1813 . . . There was great success to the work this year in our land; many were added to the Churches in various districts, particularly Llanllyfni, Clynog, Penygraig, Tymawr, Llanengan, Garn, Pwllheli, &c. About 30 were added to us in Penymount, and till now they are still keeping at it. December 25th, 1813.’ [Jones, Cofiant Michael Roberts, p.26]
‘There was a young man’ he says, ‘under twenty years of age, called Richard Hughes, a cobbler by calling, who was faithful unto death, which took place in Pwllheli some years ago, united to the religious cause, and very zealous for the school. He lived at Frondeg, with Evan Griffith, and Ellin his wife; and he took up the task when the old man was failing. There were no believers, apart from himself, who came to the school – he himself began and ended the school, and all the old believers stood at a distance. He had persuaded a few of the irreligious men who were able to read a little to become teachers; but not so much as one of them made a profession of religion except he himself! He began to keep teachers’ meetings with them. Having dealt with the circumstantial things concerning school, he would shortly begin to turn the conversation around to what they had read and the sermons they had listened to, so that their hearts burned within them, and the Spirit of the Lord worked together; and it was soon understood that there had been a great change in their manner of hearing and behaviour. The teachers’ meeting soon came to be thought of as a sort of private experience meeting, and for a long while afterwards they were considered as a sort of first step to religious profession, and no one of immoral life was suffered to be a teacher, and a member of these meetings. Up to this time there was nothing evident to be seen, only more of a spirit of hearing, and a greater earnestness in the appearance of the people: no one had newly sought for a place in the church.
Thus were things for some time; but on a certain Sabbath at two o’clock, Mr Richard Williams, Brynengan, was preaching, and such a powerful influence fell, that the whole congregation melted: strong men as if they had let themselves go, sighing and weeping, though there was no breaking out rejoicing; and indeed, they could not, because they were under Sinai, in sight of the smoke and fire. Never was there more proof of the ‘excellency of the power of God’ [text?] and not of the instrument than on this occasion. There was nothing in the talents of the preacher at that time to draw attention, though he was a faithful, useful, godly man according to his attainments; yet he was rather despised. But id men despised the meanness of the instrument, not so his great Master; and so it appeared on that occasion in an especial manner, that his mission was known by he himself [?]. The next week a large congregation came to seek a place in Zion, and the majority of them men of age. The fellowship would be held at eleven o’clock in the morning on a day in the middle of the week, and not often would any be absent, though many of them came from miles distant.
Soon afterwards great rejoicing broke out, which continued for many months; and the fellowship increased each week. Whole evenings were spent in the chapel, and along the roads, rejoicing, singing hymns, and indeed occasionally a sister would fair leap like the lame man at the gate of the temple after he was healed. When some of the congregation would leave, at the head of a path or at a crossroads prayer meetings would be held – the first at Rhyd-y-cynwr, another at Sarn-fellteyrn, and one or two others before the furthest ones left on their way to Tre-faesydd; and others in the same manner on the crossroad, towards Bryncroes, y Rhiw, and Rhoshirwaun.
Sometimes the preacher would scarce read his text, as it was with the late Rev. Thomas Jones of Llanpumpsaint. His companion had quiet before/preceding him; but as soon as Mr Jones arose and began to make some sweet and striking observations by way of introduction, a great shout broke out and he sat down without trying to say anything more; and there was rejoicing for hours. Sometimes it would clean continue from one meeting to another, or from one chapel to another. I remember that my father was once at it from Tymawr all the way home – about two miles away – and at home a long time at his supper, sometimes eating something, and sometimes rejoicing; and not stopping having gone to bed. O happy/dear days!! They were almost all adults/men of age – not children. There were only two boys among them – the writer, who at the time was nine years of age, and one other. Sometimes completely ungodly men were convicted by themselves, at their work in the middle of the fields. One ungodly youth, a servant in a farm, was breaking a load of gorse to grind it for the horses, as was the custom in that country, and he came to the house without the load of gorse, crying out for mercy, so that his cry was heard across the whole countryside, though he had given no consideration to religious things before. Those whose houses were far away would come to the school in the morning with food in their pockets in order to stay for the afternoon sermon, or to the sermon to stay for the prayer meeting in the evening. The time was used in each reading a verse and explaining it as best they could, or to read out loud Gurnall’s book, which book was always on the table in the loft or vestry, which had been given by some benefactors for the service of the chapel so to use. Almost all the inhabitants of Bryncroes and Mellteyrn, and part of the parishes of Penllech, Llangwnadl, Llaniestyn, and Rhiw, went to Tymawr at that time. Doubtless not everything at that time is to be praised; yea, there were many things connected with that revival that made many a one say ‘They are full of new wine’; but I have not seen, and I have seen many things too, one so free of the sad things that attributed to them in religious revivals as that revival in Tymawr, in 1811. It effects were more enduring, and fewer turned back, as a fruit of the revival was behind the Methodist cause in Tymawr for years afterwards. They are almost all gone now – only a few remain that have not been removed by death, and the Lord of the vineyard hurry its like again!’ [Parch. W Rowlands, Y Geiniogwerth, Ionawr 1851, pp.6-11 (NB Rowlands gives date of Ty Mawr revival as 1811. RJ & MR are united in 1813 being the date)]
1848-9 Revival in Lleyn, Eifionydd and Anglesey.
‘A POWERFUL REVIVAL OF RELIGION
IN THE COUNTIES OF ANGLESEY AND CAERNARFON;
In a Letter from a Friend in Liverpool.
To the office of the ‘Cyfaill,’
by W. Griffith, New York.
20 April 1849
The Lord is at work in Wales these days, in a way beyond the expectation of anyone, even his own people, in various districts of Anglesey and Caernarfonshire. The heavenly fire is spreading continuously—the old waste and desert places blossom as a rose in many places, in places where religion was at a low ebb, and has been for almost an age. God by his Spirit is saving scores of people; and those who were trying to keep the house during the long night that has passed cry out with all their heart, like Zacharias of old, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people.’
In Lleyn it is a new world—there is a new heaven and a new earth: the old poor dying appearance has passed away, and all things have been made new. There are in Lleyn, besides a general gracious visitation, various young men who show signs that the Lord will use them as stars in his right hand since they are qualified to be fit ministers of the New Testament. The fire kindled in Rhydlios. In that poor, low and grey place, about 80 have been added to the church. In Penycaerau, Pen-y-graig, and Ty-mawr, and a multitude of places scores have come walking and weeping, with their faces towards Zion. Some place almost every week receives the promise of the Spirit in Lleyn. It is now starting in Eifionydd. The Rev. John Owen, Gwindy, was here lately and said that before he had left home, 46 had turned their faces towards Zion in Brynengan, and that there were the same effects in other regions in Eifionydd, and that in these days.
Concerning Arfon, I cannot truly say how things are, but I understand that the great work advances there briskly—large numbers being converted in several districts, even though I have not heard that the mighty revival, that has broken out chiefly in Lleyn, and has begun in Eifionydd, has broken out powerfully in Arfon.
I am not as informed about the revival in Anglesey, but I have sufficient assurance that many hundreds in the last few months are showing signs that the Lord has saved them.
Let the world do what it will, this is a subject of unspeakable gladness and rejoicing.
The Lord has not turned his gaze away from the Welsh nation yet. He has indeed done much since the time of Rowland of Llangeitho, and others, for our nation, beyond that of any nation we know of on earth. And what he sees in us more than others, I know not, except that we are more stubborn and perverse than any, and because of this, he is manifesting his grace in us rather more than in any other nation. There is nothing for us to say, but to be amazed and worship, thankfully acknowledging his infinite mercy, love and grace. And the only reason for the difference in his dealings with us, more than the Irish and other nations, is For so it seemed good in his sight.
Dear brother, lift your heads, you and your companions: though the great cause is so low amongst our nation in America, who knows that your deliverance is not at hand. Wait earnestly for this visitation—God is most wonderful.
(Y Cyfaill o’r Hen Wlad, xii. (1849), p.252-3; also Y Drys. 1874, p.210)
‘It is considered that this revival started with a sermon of Cadwaladr Owen in a vigil of Hugh Griffith, Bodwrdda, who was an elder in Penycaerau, Lleyn. This took place on December 3, 1848, and his text was Rev. 14:13, - “Blessed are the dead, etc.” Thus it is said in the memoir of Hugh Griffith in the Drysorfa, which was written by Robert Evans, Methlam, an elder in Rhydlios, - “The effectual preaching of the brother on this occasion was in a great part instrumental in starting the religious revival which broke out in the region afterwards, the like of which has not been for 30 years.”’ [DCC p.372]
Revival at Rhydlios. ‘Shortly before the revival the outlook for the cause was bleak. The elders and a few of the brethren felt that they were getting on in years and there was no prospect of anyone to fill their place. The feared that the church would cease completely. This made them a little anxious, and the anxiety gave birth to an intense feeling and an unyielding importunity in prayer at the throne of grace. This is one of the strongest and most positive proofs that God hears the prayer of his people. The region experienced one of the strongest and most powerful visitations at the end of 1848, and throughout the year following.
(MS account of J.W. Hughes, Penygraig, written March 1891 in Rhydlios, Llyn: Trydydd Jiwbili, 1800-1950. Hanes yr Achos, , pp.6-8; see DCC, 371, 373-5). Robert Prichard & Robert Jones, Llanllyfni (Cofiant Robert Jones ?). Also Deunant, Aberdaron [source?]
This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones
Would you please contact us if you know where these meetings took place?