Bethel (1859)

A correspondent at Gaerwen communicates interesting details respecting the revival work in that and the sur­rounding districts. Amongst other things, he says:—" On Monday morning, November 28, while the master of the day-school at this place offered up prayer, as was his cus­tom before the school duties commenced, the Lord poured out a spirit of grace and supplications' on him, and upon all the children present, about ninety in number, so that they continued in the exercise of prayer and praise until noon. A considerable number of the neighbours assembled to look on and to listen, and they might have said, When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.' They were deeply affected while listening to young children pouring out their full hearts in earnest prayer before the throne of grace. Many of the petitions were remembered and repeated afterwards, and the following may be regarded as a specimen: ‘Save me, oh, save me through the blood of Christ. The blood of Jesus can cleanse a great sinner like me.' A little boy prayed for his father with great earnestness, and with weep­ing eyes, Oh, save my father. My father is ungodly, save; oh, save my father, for Jesus Christ's sake.' Others pleaded for brothers and sisters, and the various members of their families. A woman who came to the place without knowing what was going forward, was so impressed by the sight, that although she had scoffed at every manifestation of feeling in religion only the previous evening, she was so overcome that she joined the children in their devotional exercises."

The same writer adds:—" If I look round the district to Llanfair, Brynshenkin, Dwyran, Newborough, Bethania, Bethel, Llangristiolus, Llangefni, Gilead, and including Gaerwen, I may say that many hundreds have been added to our churches. In Newborough alone we have had two hundred. The Wesleyans and Baptists have had additions. At Llangefni the Calvinistic Methodists have had about one hundred fresh members; and other brethren, the Inde­pendents, Wesleyans, and Baptists, have had occasion to rejoice. At Talwrn, also, about sixty persons have been added since the 5th of November, the day on which the Rev. D. Morgan, of Yspytty, visited them." Later...

The revival in this county(Carnarvonshire) is so wide-spread in its extent, and so beneficial in its influence, that a volume of no small dimensions could be written respecting it. A catalogue of the names of the places already favoured with what is believed to be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit would of itself be a monument to the praise and glory of Him who is "the resurrection and the life." Although some of the churches of various denominations had been moved in the spring of the year, it was only in the autumn the movement became so general and powerful that it deservedly obtained the name by which such extraordinary movements are generally distinguished. I have before me the state­ments of clergymen and ministers of various denominations, and all unite in adoring gratitude to the Lord, who, after a season of comparative darkness and deadness, has again -visited His people. A few extracts will now be given.

The Rev. Mr Griffiths of Bethel writes as follows:— "The first place in which this wonderful religious move­ment developed itself in this part of the country is a populous neighbourhood, about three or four miles east­ward of Carnarvon, generally called Waunfawr. The people of Cod among the Independents and Calvinistic Methodists were eminently blessed with the spirit of grace and supplications.” Deep seriousness regarding Divine things seemed to pervade all minds. As a consequence many were turned to the Lord. Cases of most marvellous conversions continually took place. In the course of a few weeks, about one hundred and twenty new mem­bers were added to the Calvinistic Methodists' Church in the neighbourhood, and upwards of fifty to that of our own. A few weeks ago the revival fire broke forth with marvellous power in the picturesque village of Cwmyglo, a place not far distant from the Dinorwic slate-quarries. Soon after this, the whole surrounding country was in a blaze. Scenes resembling those which occurred on the Day of Pentecost were to be witnessed on every hand. Hun­dreds were pricked in their heart, and cried out in deep agony, as of old, Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ The Lord pours forth His Spirit with an abundance of grace far exceeding our highest expectations. The revival is manifesting itself among all religious denominations, but more especially among the Calvinistic Methodists and Inde­pendents, they being the most numerous and influential bodies in this part of the country. A spirit of unity and Christian love has been produced by the revival among the various sections of the Church of Christ, whose effects can­not but tell powerfully on the kingdom of darkness. A spirit of prayer has likewise possessed the Lord's people, which is really wonderful to behold. Our prayer-meetings have become exceedingly popular, and often there is an influence at work which cannot be gainsaid or withstood. The most contrite feelings are made manifest, while some of the most unlikely characters are melted down, and feel constrained to cry aloud for mercy. Our religious meet­ings now often continue till eleven or twelve o'clock at night, and scores of people retire from them to weep and to pray till the sun of another day dawns upon them. During the silent watches of the night the rocks of our country are to be heard resounding to the voice of prayer and praise, and our majestic mountains testify to the greatness of the work that is being carried on among us. A short time ago, a prayer-meeting for quarrymen was held on one of the mountains between the Dinorwic and Beth­esda slate-quarries. About four thousand persons attended, and the Lord graciously met His people. An eye-witness told me it was an occasion to be remembered while memory holds its seat.

" As yet, I am happy to state, there seems to be no abatement of the religious concern thus awakened in our country. It seems rather to advance and spread in all directions. Bethesda and the surrounding neighbourhoods, comprising a most populous and important district, have just caught the sacred flame of revival.

"Three of the churches, under the joint pastoral care of my father and myself, have been signally blessed at this juncture. I have already alluded to the state of things at Waunfawr. The church at Bethel, again, has been wonder­fully revived. Upwards of sixty new members have been added thereto in the course of a few weeks. At Shiloh, also, appearances are full of hope; more than twenty new members have been added to the church already."

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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