Sardis Independent Chapel - Pontypridd (1904)




This morning there was an uncertainty as to where Mr. Evan Roberts would attend. He was expected at Sardis at 10.30 to eleven, and long before that the chapel was crowded out, a notable feature being the cosmopolitan nature of the congregation, several being from London, two or three were Jews, and one, who later on prayed avowed himself a Swiss. The meeting proceeded and presently Madame Kate Morgan Llewelyn, Miss Mary Davies (Gorseinon) and Miss Maggie Davies entered. The announcement was made that at ten o’clock on Saturday night Mr. Evan Roberts had had a call to Tylorstown, and would be down at Pontpridd by the twelve o’clock train. Half an hour before this,however, he arrived in a cab, and at once went into the pulpit. He had spoken but a few minutes before it was evident that his deep sincerity and personal belief in the doctrine he was setting forth had begun to tell upon his hearers. There was no straining after effect. Referring to overhearing a man in the congregation speaking to those who scoffed at the present religious movement, Mr. Roberts said it was a terrible thing to do. He then dwelt upon the necessity of people when they came to worship to give Him all the glory. The two watchwords at the present moment were, “Bend and save” – bend the church and save the world.

Following the close of Mr. Roberts’s address came a deep hush until one of the lady evangelists led, “Crown Him Lord of all,” which was sung with great fervour and in delightful harmony. A man then rose in the gallery, and said that seven converts had been taken into the fold the previous night, the congregation again welling forth in unison, “Diolch iddo.” Emphasised here and there by the stamping of feet and the clapping of hands. The words of the hymn were sung in Welsh and English at the same time. Again there was silence, which was broken by Miss Maggie Davis commencing in a soft, appealing voice, “Lead, kindly Light”. This hymn seemed to touch the evangelist deeply, and he sat back in his chair as though making an earnest supplication. After some singing and praying, calm and dispassionate, with a strange gleam in his eyes. A voice from the gallery then rang out clear, begging the brethren to take no notice of man, but only of God. “dash the football down and convert the footballers.” “Help. Help!” came a piteous cry from another portion of the balcony, and again the congregation were moved to song, as though the worshippers were unconsciously singing a pæan of praise as a recognition for another conversion. Still from the gallery came another suppliant. This time the Swiss referred to, who prayed that he might take with him to his native hills and his people the spirit at present pervading Wales. Scarcely had the man sat down when a London pressman arose on the platform and asked to be allowed to say one word. He was returning home the following day, and hoped to take back with him the Spirit, and trusted that God would extend the Welsh revival to the great Metropolis. Amongst non-members six converts were made. From 'Western Mail' Newspaper. A fuller account is given at http://daibach-welldigger.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/accounts-of-evan-roberts-visit-to.html.


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