Bethania Chapel - Beddgelert (1859)

David Morgan came to Beddgelert on Tuesday, October II. There was in this place an ungodly, brazen-faced farmer, who made it his pastime in the house of God to stare God's servants in the pulpit out of countenance; and he often boasted to his boon companions that he had never lowered his eyes before one of them. When the Revivalist ascended the pulpit, his gaze ranged as usual over the congregation; and as a mighty warrior in the onset selects the foeman worthiest of his steel, so his eyes became fixed on this man, sitting in the seat of the scornful. The audience recognised at once that an eye-to-eye struggle had commenced between the preacher and the farmer. The preacher, too, recognised that the bold, defiant eye glaring at him must be put to shame as the necessary preliminary of a victory over the audience; and the scorner realised that he must extinguish that rebuking flame burning in the preacher's eye, or lose a reputation confirmed by a hundred contests. It was a singular duel, and for a minute or two the issue was not certain. It was the sword of the Lord that drew first blood; for a moment the farmer's eyelids dropped, but he immediately regained his impious strength, and again lifted his insolent looks to the pulpit. However, the flame in the eye of the man of God was more than flesh could withstand, and the scorner's recovery was only momentary; his heart became as water within him, and a flush of self-contempt covered him. Once again he made a desperate effort to rally, but the ordeal of facing the preacher's frown was too terrible for him. He trembled from head to foot, grew pale, then dropped his forehead on the seat, and so remained till the service was ended.

"What is your name?" said the Revivalist to a middle-aged man among the penitents. "John Roberts, Brynmelyn.'' "You stuck for many years to the old master. I suppose you got a lot out of him. He gave you many a suit of clothes, I suppose?" "Never a thread," said honest John. "Do you expect much from the new Master? " " It was He who gave me all before," was the reverent reply. Shortly afterwards he found Mrs Catherine Roberts, Brynmelyn, among the converts, and still, another said that she was "Gwen Owens, servant at Brynmelyn." "You Brynmelyn folks must have prearranged this for tonight?" said David Morgan. "Had you, Gwen, told your employers that you meant to join tonight?" "No, sir, I hadn't breathed a word about it, though it had been on my mind for some days." "And you hadn't told anyone? '' After a slight hesitation she replied, " I had told my Father." " Oh! you had told your father. And where does your father live, my girl?" ^^ In Heaven^' was the answer. After adorning the doctrine for twelve months, and before winter had touched the bloom of her piety, Owen Owens went to live in her Father's House.
From here David Morgan went to Bethania the cradle of the great Beddgelert Revival. In the after-meeting, the chapel being packed, the deacons were sent around to look if there were any converts. They returned reporting one by the door. "There is more than one here," said the preacher confidently. "Search again." They did so, but fruitlessly. "There must be more than one here," he insisted. '' Go around again." This time he was discovered, an old man of eighty-two, who had escaped detection in a secluded corner of the big seat, where he generally sat owing to his deafness. "Will you begin to hold family worship at once?" asked David Morgan. " I began a fortnight ago," was his answer. *' Dear me! " cried the preacher. "And an old man of eighty-four that I received some time ago had begun three weeks prior to his public confession of Christ."

Returning to Beddgelert, the Revivalist had a very powerful evening service. He had told them at Bethania in the afternoon that many wounded there would drop at night in Beddgelert, and so it befell. A certain young man shouted distractedly, " Oh! friends, what shall I do? " " Why didn't you enlist this afternoon at Bethania when you were sober?" said David Morgan to him. His conviction was so poignant and profound, that it cost him three weeks in bed to get over the physical effects of it.

The floodgates were lifted high in this neighbourhood, and the tide swept gloriously in. The old hymns of the Beddgelert Revival were resuscitated, and they had the dew of their youth on the lips of the '59 converts.

From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, pages 153-6.


The chief work, however, is in the vast slate-quarries, amongst the thousands who toil in the great excavations and caverns made by their own hard hands and strong arms. From Bethgelert to Waenfawr, Llanberis, Dinorwie, Pentir, Beth­esda, Capel Curig, Bettws-y-coed, and Dolyddelen—the vil­lages which surround Snowdonia—the revival has already spread. Like a belt of fire, it encircles the mighty moun­tains, and whatever natural ice and snow may be found on any of their high peaks, or in their craggy recesses, there is but little moral ice now left which has not felt, in some degree, the melting power of this gracious influence.


From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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