Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Chapel - Cardiff (1904)




14th December 1904 (Wednesday): I was led to a meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Chapel, at Hayes to-night. The Rev. Dr. Charles Davies invited me to exhort the people in the after meeting. A most wonderful after meeting it was. Over fifty came to Christ. The Revival has come to Cardiff. Hallelujah!

16th (Friday): At one given moment (by an inspiration) the great congregation (at the Tabernacle) poured out into the street to sing, pray and speak. I never saw such a sight in my life.4th January 1905 (Wednesday): My wife came with me to Tabernacle Church, Hayes, Cardiff. Wonderful audience and many conversions. It is indeed blessed to see the Revival going on so powerfully. Cardiff will certainly be moved before long. The flame is burning in six or seven churches now. From, Seth and Frank Joshua: The Story of their Wonderful Life Work- T. Mardy Rees (1926). Striking scenes were witnessed at the Tabernacle Baptist Chapel, Cardiff, on New Year’s Eve. The meeting opened with a conversion—a young man, who said he had been “on the brink” for some time—and later the large congregation was greatly impressed when an elderly married couple entered the “set fawr” and testified. Miss Annie May Rees, the young evangelist, who made a late arrival, took her place in the pulpit and sang impressively. One scene deeply moved everyone present. Two young brothers were brought forward. The elder confessed to being an Atheist, while the younger said he was intended by his parents to become a priest in the Lutheran Church. No sooner had they made the confession that their mother, a Norwegian, appeared in the budding, and, speaking fairly good English, said a promise had been made that her younger son should become a priest, and that, therefore, the promise should be respected. She asserted very feelingly that she was very surprised that he had come forward and confessed in the way he had, and she thought it very wrong of him to have done so. - The congregation then sang and Principal Edwards assured the Norwegian lady that “there had been many surprises.” About eleven o’clock there was a large influx from the streets, and the chapel became very crowded. At one time considerable confusion was feared. Some young Atheists wishing to discuss certain questions forced their way to the deacons seat. It was pointed out to them that their questions were irrelevant to the object of the meeting, but to this they would not listen. One of the young men wanted to know why they had changed the seventh day into the first day of the week, and his companions were told that the workers at- the Tabernacle would be very pleased to discuss any question in private, as the discussion of such matters in public would not be in harmony with the proceedings. After This the confession of another young Atheist was announced. A few nights previously he had prided himself on his position. He now said that he had given his books to others to burn for him. The meeting lasted until nearly one o’clock on Sunday morning, during which there were 33 conversions, which brings the total to about 250. A matter in which all present showed keen interest was the passing of a vote of thanks to the Cardiff press. Among those who spoke to the vote was Principal Edwards, who emphasised the work of the press in defending the revival against the attacks of people who had “no courage to sign their names or even to send their names to the editor.” From, 'The Western Mail', 31st December 1904. Here is a still more striking illustration of the same immediateness. It was at the Tabernacle, Cardiff. A young man was seen to make his way to the big pew, and sink on his knees and pray. A middle-aged man in the body of the chapel, who had been watching the young man as he walked up the aisle, jumped up as if struck, and, rushing to the big pew, stood for a moment at the side of the young man, and then knelt down at his side. The meeting went on in prayer and praise oblivious of the touching drama. When the two men particularly under notice arose, the younger man looked at the elder as if transfixed. “Father !” he cried. “Son!” replied the father, and both embraced with almost fierce joy. The father was a well-known magistrate and mines’ official. The son had left home three years before, and the parents, meanwhile, had heard no tidings of him. Holding the youth by the arm, the father took him out of the “big seat”, through the aisle, down to the body of the chapel, where the young man’s mother was engaged in prayer for her long-lost son. She was oblivious of everything around her, and looked up rather startled when she felt a touch on her arm. With a cry that thrilled every soul she threw her arms around her son’s neck, showering kisses upon him. When the audience had recovered from its own emotion the very rafters rang with “Diolch Iddo”. Here was almost an instance of “Before they call I will answer” Form, 'Rent Heavens', by R B Jones. They reported on the 3rd April 1905 that they had 652 converts to date.

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