Tabernacle Chapel - Ynysybwl (1904)




The second day?s proceedings of the revival meetings conducted at Ynysybwl by Mr. Evan Roberts were marked by extraordinary scenes of religious fervour, and the news from other districts continues to show that the tide is still rising. ?Throw out the life-line? is not only being sung, but acted upon. At Ynysybwl the highest expectations are being fulfilled, for from morning until night the gatherings have been large and successful in every sense. The morning meeting at Jerusalem Chapel today began at 10.30, and the spiritual tendencies of the congregation were aroused even before the arrival of Mr. Evan Roberts, but the personal appeals of the missioner in his address focussed the aims of the meeting on securing declarations for Christ rather than merely allowing the already converted to sing songs of praise, good though such work might be. In the afternoon (when, owing to the announcement made in the ?Western Mail,? it was generally thought that Mr. Roberts would be in Merthyr) there was a crowded audience in Jerusalem, Ynysybwl. Before Mr Roberts?s arrival the chapel was overcrowded, and an overflow meeting was held in the Weslyan Chapel. When he arrived, shortly before three o?clock, the meeting was well on, the Rev. J. C. Lloyd, Congregational minister, having aroused it to a high pitch of enthusiasm by his leadership of the singing. But the meeting had started well. A man in the gallery had risen and delivered an impassioned appeal to all, but especially to his fellow-workmen, to ?come over to the right side.? The congregation sang ?Diolch iiddo.? Mr Roberts utilised as the text of his address the stirring words, ?Throw out the life-line.? He asked the audience to fully realise the meaning of the words, and consider that there were friends around them, on aIl sides, who were drifting away or ?sinking.? The response was prompt and effective, for the beautiful hymn was sung with a heartiness which was very striking. From this incident onward the zeal and enthusiasm became almost unbounded. hymn after hymn was sung; a prayer, ?experience,? testimony, appeal, exhortation, solo, duet, or recitation of verse or hymn followed in rapid succession, men, women and children, ministers, laymen?all classes?taking part, and when Mr. Evan Roberts invited those who were ?saved? in that vast congregation to stand up there was a mighty response. Then, from among those seated, at the second invitation for those who wished to be saved to rise, six or seven young men sitting together in one row on the front of the gallery rose, and others stood up in yarious parts of the building, so that when the rapturous ?Diolch iddo? of the congregation broke forth it was like the mighty peal of a great anthem of triumph. The scene was really indescribable. While it was thought some were hesitating Mr. Evan Roberts invited the congregation to sing Newman?s hymn, ?Lead, kindly Light,? and it was pathetically sung in Welsh and English. Then there arose again the inspiring strains of ?Throw out the life-line,? and there were further responses. The Rev, J. C. Lloyd sang to the tune ?Haden,? full of rolling slurs and beautiful cadences, an old hymn of days gone by:? ?Dewch, bechaduriaid, dewch, Yn filoedd maith diri?, Ar anghrediniaeth na wrandewech, At orsedd freiniol Nef Mae croesaw, mae croesaw, Mae croesaw i?ch bath chwi; Y Gwr bia?r wlad sy?n dwedyd dewch? And when Miss Annie Davies, of Maesteg, sang her peculiarly pathetic rendering of ?Jesus only,? there was a totally different style of evangelisation brought into play:? ?Os caf Iesu, dim ond Iesu, Bydd fy Nef yn oleu? i gyd Bydd fy heulwen wedi codi Ar fy mywyd yn y byd? Personal prayer for individuals, in some instances named, were asked for, and in at least one instance the person referred to confessed Christ. Perhaps one of the most striking incidents of the night meeting was the rendering by Miss Annie Davies of ?Dyma Feibl anwyl Iesu,? which was given in a remarkably effective and original manner, the young lady herself holding the large pulpit Bible in her arms as she sang. It was announced in the course of the meeting that one of the converts received that night was one for whom prayers had been offered specially in the course of the afternoon, It was confidently expected that at least one other convert would be brought in in the same way in the course of the night, although it was stated that he was supposed to be in a public house in order to avoid coming within the influence of the revival. The proceedings were protracted until a very late hour, and were not expected to finish till the early hours of the morning. From 'Western Mail', 23rd November 1904.

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