In the month of October, 1870, the Rev. Robert Aitken, who some years before had become an earnest revivalist, with his two sons, the Rev. W. Haslam, and other clergymen of the Church of England, came to hold a ten days' mission in the town. Services were conducted in almost all the churches, every morning and evening; the preaching was highly evangelical, and admirably adapted to awaken sinners; great power attended the message of God's servants; and, subsequent to these ministrations in the churches, prayer meetings were held in the National Schoolroom, to which many resorted in the most earnest spirit. There persons of all ranks in society were found anxiously inquiring the way of salvation, and numbers found it and went home rejoicing.
My wife attended nearly all the services both in the churches and in the schoolroom, and literally exulted in what she saw and heard. Some of the scenes we witnessed were of a very solemn yet joyous character, and, before that mission closed, a considerable number of persons had entered on an earnest Christian life. All the more did Mrs. Smith rejoice in this work, because it had begun in the Church of England, for much as she loved Methodism, she could unite with Christians of other denominations, and take part with them in extending the kingdom of the Lord.
But this was the prelude of a further work of God. After these excellent men had left the town we held a series of special services in our own chapel, and night after night penitents knelt at the feet of Jesus, trusted in Him as their personal Saviour, and left their burdens at His feet. I well remember how active my wife was during that revival, and how she rejoiced over those who were won to Christ.
Many of them were young people, some the children of our best families. Hence there was joy in many a Christian home; and to several homes that were not Christian a light was carried which continued to shine, and shines to this day. There was a little opposition, and some there were who complained of excitement, and some who even ridiculed the work; but God's hand was made manifest, and the work went on.
Ere long it commenced at the Mumbles, and in Sketty and some other parts of the circuit; and again we witnessed very gracious displays of the power of God to save. In the course of a few months a hundred members were added to our societies, and, by-and-by, steps were taken towards the erection of a second chapel in Swansea, on a site which had previously been secured.From 'A Christian Mother - memoirs of Mrs Thornley Smith', 1885, page 30.