The Welsh Revival Welsh Revival The Welsh Revival 1904
Welsh Revival 1904


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On The Track Of The Welsh Revival

James L. Brown

The Lord opening our way beautifully, we found ourselves in the midst of the Welsh Revival immediately on reaching Cardiff. Wending our way to Bethany Baptist Chapel, we got a good seat at 7.15pm, but very soon after the place was filled in every corner, with hundreds outside, which necessitated an overflow meeting in the Wesleyan Chapel near by. Our meeting was one of praise and prayer in Welsh and English, mostly the former, with little speaking, and preaching none at all. Great fervency seemed to characterise the prayers, and the singing in Welsh was so spontaneous and sustained, and withal so beautiful and hearty, as to cause us to wonder and marvel. The meeting was led by Miss Rees, a young lady who had been travelling with Mr Evan Roberts, helping him in the singing with several other ladies. The means used to bring sinners to the Saviour were all so simple, that we were apt to think that the work must be very superficial, judging from all our past experiences of the working of God’s Holy Spirit; so that we came away from our first meeting a little disappointed.

Our second meeting, next evening, was in the Ebenezer Tabernacle, a much larger building than that of the previous evening, and yet, long before the time of meeting, the whole available space was crowded. The singing had begun before we arrived, but being again fortunate, we got a good seat. The meeting differed very little from the former one, it being again led – if anybody could be said to lead – by Miss Rees, who spoke a few words in Welsh, then broke into a solo, afterwards calling upon anyone led of the Spirit to speak or sing or pray, which was taken advantage of without a moment’s pause for hours, the Rev Seth Joshua speaking a few earnest words in English and Welsh from the “big seat” underneath the pulpit. Then a man shouted from the gallery that the Lord led him to say that God’s children should go out and bring in the outcasts who were perishing and without hope in the streets. This led quite a large number to rise and to go out to march in the streets and to form several open-air meetings. In the one we were privileged to take part in, two men professed to accept Christ, and seemed quite real and sincere.
It being now late, we left to go to our hotel, feeling we had already begun to take some little part in the great work going on all around us.

Next day led us to PONTYPRIDD, some twelve miles up the Taff Value, and here we got into the heart of the fire, so to speak; for as soon as we were located, we went to Hafod, two miles off, and got into a chapel filled to the last available foot of standing room; and here we saw Mr Evan Roberts, and heard the Misses Davies, who accompany him, singing beautifully. The meeting was similar to what we had already seen and heard, but much more intense. There was no preaching so called, and most the speaking, singing, and praying was in Welsh; and yet again we had to acknowledge in our heart that never before in England, Ireland or Scotland had we heard such beautiful, earnest, hearty congregational singing. It seemed as if the people were all trained to sing, with all the parts going, and all the crowded gatherings were of one heart and voice. In fact, the effect and emotion aroused is indescribable, and, if we are right, cannot be reproduced anywhere else. The Lord is working in a new way, and doing a new thing; many being melted and converted in every meeting.

In our hotel, we had got into a goodly company hailing from Birmingham, Bristol, and London. One dear brother, we found, was the father of one of our old pilgrims, Miss Cater, now Mrs Maxwell; the knowledge of this tended to cement a friendship already formed. Praise the Lord!

All our godly company went next morning (Sunday) to Sardis Chapel, Pontypridd, where Mr Roberts spoke in Welsh for over an hour, and praise and prayer was as evident as ever before; and the meeting lasted from 9.30am till 1pm. There were meetings in the middle of the day, but we waited on God and rested. At night we went to the Tabernacle, which was crowded out, with perhaps two thousand outside, and the preaching, praise and prayer went on outside and in, numbers professing to accept Christ in the open-air as well as inside the chapel. A number of our English friends spoke to the crowd on coming out, where men and women were leaping over the railings and pressing past two policemen stationed inside the same, to get inside the chapel.

We then joined a company of our friends, in marching through the streets to the Town Hall, where a meeting was going on. The place was well filled, and the speaking and singing was mostly in English, and quite a number professed to forsake sin and turn to God.

A beautiful incident occurred on coming back to the hotel. Three of the young women there were so moved as to request a Mrs Longley to speak to them, then she was helped by a brother, and when we all arrived we all knelt in the coffee?room, when each of them accepted Christ; Mr Longley being led afterwards to inquire about their relatives so as to pray for the, which we did. next morning all the three looked so bright; but in the forenoon two of them who were sisters received a wire saying their father was very ill, and a little later another wire, that their father had died. One sister left at once, and the other followed by a later train. How blessed to know that the Lord had so prepared these dear young women for this great trial of their lives; and had led to the offering of special prayer for their father when – unknown to them – he was entering the dark valley.

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