From this county joyful tidings are heard. Denbigh„ Ruthin, Llangollen, Llanrwst, and more than forty other places, report a movement which brings considerable numbers"with weeping and supplication" to "ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward."
In the month of October last, a correspondent of the Baner Cymru wrote:—" We have the pleasure of stating that the awakening in this place (Denbigh) continues to gather strength. There is nothing in its general features to distinguish it from similar awakenings in other parts of Wales. An idea may be formed of its nature from the fact that it is the topic of conversation amongst all classes, and that its effects are deeply and generally felt throughout the town and neighbourhood. We may look at it in its inner and most spiritual character. The spirit of prayer has been poured out on the Christian churches in this town. The young people were among the first to enjoy it, but it has at length been given to all classes of professors. The revival shews itself in a deep concern for the salvation of souls, in a strong desire to see the Saviour glorified, and in a strong faith in those great and precious promises which relate to these subjects. The character of the prayers offered, and the conversations among the people, are unmistakable proofs that the Lord works savingly by His Holy Spirit in the souls of the people. There are clear signs of that which the Bible represents as conviction for sin—the pricking of the heart—a broken and contrite spirit—repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in those who offer themselves as candidates for church-membership, and this is very evident in those who were previously immoral in their conduct.
"We may further regard the external circumstances of this movement, and compress the whole into a short compass. The prayer-meetings are very popular. They are attended not only by those who were in the practice of attending the means of grace frequently, but by many who had totallyneglected the house of God. There is such a powerful charm in the prayer-meetings, that it is found difficult to terminate them at the usual time; and although they are held every night, without interruption, they often continue until midnight and even later. It is no uncommon thing to hear persons in the distress of their souls crying out for mercy. Some have experienced very deep convictions. In some cases there have been loud rejoicings in the services. The effects of this movement upon the town are very remarkable. You may observe a general seriousness of manner and deportment. Drunkenness has greatly diminished, and Sabbath desecration is now rare, when compared with former times."
In another communication, bearing a later date, it is said:—" The revival tree continues to take root and to grow in this town. Very many have placed themselves under its shadow, and have tasted its fruits. Converts pour into the churches. The union meetings for prayer are felt to be a great power. The chapels are filled to overflowing by multitudes of solemnised people… The attention of one poor thoughtless sinner was arrested at one of these meetings. He remained in the church meeting at the close of the public service. On his return home, his wife, being struck by his appearance, asked him—'What is the matter?' He replied, ‘I am arrested.' She asked, with an oath, ‘Who has arrested you?' to which he meekly replied, Oh, never swear again; it is Jesus who has arrested me.' The two wept together."
It is further stated by a Denbigh correspondent:— "Several ungodly characters have been convinced of sin, and whole families have been converted. The following may be given as an example:—A man who was addicted to drinking, and in the practice of going out with his gun on Sundays, told his wife, on his return home on a Sunday evening lately, that he had been in the chapel, and that he had even remained at the church-meeting at the close of the public service. He also said that he much wished she had been there with him. For the first time since their marriage they knelt together in prayer. He slept but little for two nights. He requested his wife to sell the gun, as he should never use it again as he had done, and to use the money to buy a shawl for herself, that she might be able to attend the house of God."
Similar accounts have reached us from Pentrevoelas, Llansannan, Llangernyw, Pentredwr, Llanrwst, &c.; but as some of these places will be noticed again in connexion with the results and general effects of the movement, further extracts are not required here.
Llangernyw.—"Religion and its concerns are the chief topics of conversation throughout the neighbourhood. Drunkenness is diminishing, and other sins seem to die away. The very countenances of the young people seem changed—the proud are in the dust—the frivolous are sober-minded—those who never attended the sanctuary now attend the prayer-meetings. There is a visible change in the converts—many of them weep almost constantly— are hardly able to sleep at night. Women may be seen with the open Bible on their tables at home, and before they have peace in believing, they are in great agitation and concern. They are brought to the dust, and learn that this is the way to heaven."—January, 1860.
From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.