Nazareth Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel - Pentraeth (1859)

The Rev William Pritchard, Pentreath, who was present, has favoured us with an account of the Revivalist's service at Pentraeth on the following morning, which we now give in a condensed form: —

"Nazareth Chapel was overcrowded long before the hour for Divine Service. Some who never came inside the house of God except on the occasion of some funeral were present, one of them, 'because of the present distress,' having pushed his way into 'the big seat.' The Pentraeth congregation had heard of strange spiritual forces in operation in Cardiganshire and elsewhere. No parallel upheaval had ever been experienced among them, and the possibility of any violent interruption of the even tenor of their way was laughed to scorn. They had definite preconceptions also of the Revivalist's features, physical and moral. They expected to behold a tall, emaciated man, with a religio-austere countenance, w^hose strength had been dissipated by religious excitement; groaning dolorously, and crushed to the ground by the burden of the Lord. Instead of that, a robust and powerfully built man mounts the pulpit, a man whose frank and cheerful countenance indicates the possession of a larger measure of common sense than the bulk of mankind is blessed with. He has no peculiar mannerisms, and the singing is heavy. He reads a chapter calmly, then prays. There was something in the prayer to be felt but not described; something new, vivid, natural, putting us in mind of the * still small voice' that Elijah heard at Horeb; yet nothing that we reckoned as ^revivalistic' The singing before the sermon again was dull and lifeless. The preacher looked a disappointed man and glanced scrutinisingly at every portion of the audience. The sermon was only similar; sound, strong, good, but in- effective. Then descending to the big seat, he began to speak more directly, seriously but calmly, the atmosphere still heavy as before. The preacher appeared like a man who knew he had missed his mark. He looked around for a place to sit, yet continuing to speak; when all at once, like a bolt from the blue, the powers of the world to come were in the place ' with energy divine.' Speaker and hearers felt it simultaneously. Some wept as if stabbed: others lifted cries of terror because God was so manifest in the place; others stood on their feet with surprise and doubt, as those on the day of Pentecost, asking in attitude if not in words, ' What meaneth this?' others bowed their heads to pray or to we can hardly say what for, if they knew themselves. No one raised a cry of rejoicing — the place was dreadful in very truth I In the midst of the tumult, Mr Morgan's tenderly-penetrating voice could be heard, yet not intelligibly; but I remember his last sentence, 'You shall sing triumphantly when the Isle of Anglesey is hovering like a crow in the vault of heaven.' The converts numbered twenty-one. I can only compare what took place to the action of the quarryman, who perforates the rock with his wedges, places dynamite in the hole, shuts it down, ignites the fuse, then retreats to wait the result; and instantaneously the rock is split and shattered to pieces, and in half a minute all is over. It was only for half a minute that the overwhelming power described above continued that strange Sabbath morning at Pentraeth. ]\Ir. Morgan told me years afterwards, ' I saw nothing more remarkable in the whole course of the Revival. I was on the point of giving up all hopes of success. As soon as I felt that God was in the place I sat down.' "

From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, pages 163-5.

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