Llanwrtyd Wells (1859)

At a place called Llanwrtyd, and in the neighbouring parishes throughout the hundred of Builth, the revival has been very powerful for many months past. It commenced amongst the Calvinistic Methodists. The first outburst is thus described:

"For some time the old members felt that the Church was not as of old, and their hearts longed for a new visita­tion. On a week-day evening, a prayer-meeting was held in a dwelling-house in one of the dingles running up be­tween the lofty and barren mountains of the neighbourhood. In this meeting something strange and powerful was expe­rienced. The young people could not refrain from singing. They sang all the way home. It was not common singing. The new tunes, cold, formal, and straitened as most of them are, had no share in it; it was the old, heavenly, unctuous heart-singing of days gone by. Its source was joy and heavenly peace in the heart; bursting as an overflowing well, its streams could not be stopped. The people of the village heard the singing. One of the old people, who had long sighed for the revival, said, There it is. That is the very thing that I have longed for. Thank God!' The singers reached the village, and the feeling spread like wild fire, till most of the people were singing and praying. On the following Sunday a great many sought admission into the church. Strong men were overpowered, and began to pray and praise aloud. The children also partook largely of the blessed influence, and about a dozen of them began to pray and sing together, and continued to do so for hours. Two of these were the children of a publican; one was, I believe, ten, and the other twelve years old. They went home, praising the Redeemer aloud. In the house they took hold of their father, one on each side, still praising God, and imploring him to join them. At last he asked them to desist, saying that they had sung enough. They replied that they had not sung enough, and at last the father was constrained to join them. The children and young people began to hold prayer-meetings, from house to house, and the revival continued to spread. Many people came from great distances to attend the meetings, and to witness the effects. Most of these experienced its power, and, return­ing home new men, they became instrumental in com­mencing the good work in their own neighbourhoods."

The Rev.-Lewis Davies, a minister in this neighbour­hood, says, "We have proceeded cautiously, not wishing to take the lead of the Holy Spirit, or to lag behind, when we had evidences of the Spirit's work on the minds of the people. The young people, those who had been brought up religiously, were the first affected. Since then the work has spread. Our church-meetings have been held separ­ately, and not in connexion with other services, so as not to avail ourselves of any excitement. More than fifty members have been received at Gorwydd, and both at Bont and Llangammarch the churches have doubled their num­bers. Thus far they go on well."

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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