Aberystwyth (1859)



The awakening influences at length reached the towns of Aberystwyth, Aberayron, Tregaron, and almost every district in the upper and middle parts of Cardiganshire.

A clergyman writes:—" There is a revival (thank God for it !) in the upper part of Cardiganshire. Sinners, and some very notorious ones, are flocking to the Church by the scores, and I may say hundreds. Do not misunder­stand me when I say the Church, as meaning the Church of England exclusively, but the Church of Christ, including different denominations. I am not so bigoted as to think that the Church of God is not among the Methodists, &c., though they differ from us in minor points. I feel my heart full of gratitude when I think of the revival—of prodigals returning home to their Father's house, and feasting on the precious Sacrifice of Calvary! They say that there are upwards of three hundred who have joined the Church at Aberystwith, and there are scores and scores who have joined religion in the neighbouring chapels.

In April 1859, a correspondent says--

"In the town of Aberystwith about four hundred mem­bers have been added to the Calvinistic Methodist Church alone. Several of the most ungodly people of the town have been converted. Eight publicans have taken down their signs, and become teetotallers. The work commenced here one Friday night, when Mr David Morgan was preach­ing. A few agreed privately to meet on the Saturday afternoon to pray for a blessing on the services of the Sabbath. The report soon spread that such a meeting was to be held, and, although it was a market day, most of the shops were closed, and the chapel filled to overflowing."

Later..

From Aberystwyth, under the same date, the following accessions are reported—" Established Church, about 260; Calvinistic Methodists, 300; Independents, 54 ; Baptists, 100; Wesleyans, 123; United Wesleyans, 24—total, 871."

Later...

The Rev. Griffith Davies, of Aberystwyth, communicates the following facts:—" At a prayer-meeting held in the Sunday school-room, Skinner Street, in this town, a man engaged in prayer, who had been, previous to his conversion, one of the most notoriously wicked characters in the town. The entire congregation was moved by this prayer, and the feelings of all were greatly excited. Suddenly, a man was heard exclaiming, ‘What is the matter with me?’ and in an instant he fell to the ground. It seemed as if he had been prostrated by a sun-stroke. The fall of the persecutor of Tarsus could scarcely have been more sudden. This man was a most abandoned, openly-profane sinner, a drunkard, swearer, and cruel husband. He was also an infidel in opinion as well as in practice. He was, nevertheless, an intelligent man, beyond most of his own class. It is to be remarked that he had been for years the chief com­panion of the man who had engaged in prayer at this meeting. Behold, then, the blasphemer, the sceptic, the drunkard, convinced of his sins while listening to the prayer of his former companion in wickedness! He has been ever since another man and I believe I may say a new man. He is the reverse of everything he was before. For some weeks he appeared as if he would lose his reason, in con­sequence of the strength of his convictions, but at length he found salvation in Christ, whose blood cleanseth from all sin.

"Many of the recent converts furnish strong evidence of the reality of the change which they profess to have experienced. There is in this town a person who had led a most ungodly life, but during this revival he has been brought to feel himself a sinner, and to trust in Christ as his only Saviour. He is as remarkable for his zeal in religion as he was formerly in the service of Satan. He works in the foundry. In order to try him to the utmost, one of his fellow-workmen commenced a series of provoca­tions. He struck him with his fist. All he said in reply was, ‘Don't.' He again pushed him against a piece of iron, which caused him great suffering. To this he only said, `Don't act foolishly.' If he had received such provocations six months before, he would have retaliated with fearful vengeance, but he was now taught of Him who was 'meek and lowly in heart'—and like Him, when he was reviled, he reviled not again, and when he suffered, he threatened not.' Later...

Aberystwyth.—" It is a rare thing to see a drunken man passing through the turnpike gates on a market or fair day, The Gogerddan races, generally attended by thousands, were this year only witnessed by hundreds. It was but a small affair when compared with former years, Strangers from England were the leading characters, joined by some of the gentry of the neighbourhood. The common people' have found better employment; and they pray heartily for those who still support that which occasions so much sin and wickedness."

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.


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