Tabernacle Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church - Aberystwyth (1859)



David Morgan did not visit Aberystwyth the most important town in Cardiganshire, till the middle of February. Out of deference to the feelings of the Rev Humphrey Jones, who laboured there at this time, he had refused invitations to conduct a mission there. It was with Mr Jones's cordial acquiescence that he went at last, accompanied by Thomas Edwards, Penllwyn. "After a most extraordinary address by David Morgan,'' recorded a contemporary newspaper, *'a society meeting was called, but something seemed to tie the people to their seats so that they couldn't go out. Sixty converts went forward. Saturday morning, some brother thought of having a prayer-meeting at three in the afternoon. He rejected the first impulse to send the bell-man around as too commercial, and all that he did was to inform his next-door neighbour. The Tabernacle, holding 1200, was full by three."

By the end of March, the accession of new members to the Tabernacle church alone was 400. Half-a-dozen religious services were held daily, frequented by all classes, especially by a crowd of sailors who were a curse to the town before. These were now incandescent with the holy fire, and their prayer-meetings in the streets were memorable. Altars to God were reared in almost every house. Taverns were closed, their signs dismantled, and the "unclean thing " poured into the rivers. Long-standing bad debts were paid. The Gogerddan popular horse-races turned out an ignominious failure. The militiamen held a prayer-meeting before morning parade, at mid-day, and in the evening. A flag exhibiting the device '* Worship" would be unfurled in the harbour, and a daily service held onboard the ship on whose mast it floated. There were showers of blessing, and the iniquity of the land was removed in one day.

While Captain Williams of the Peggy was praying one evening in a service in a schoolroom, one of the vilest reprobates of the town rushed in under the influence of drink. The reverent solemnity pervading the meeting checked his roistering insolence. He listened and scanned the scene for a few minutes, then suddenly dropped on his knees, shouting with an exceeding bitter cry,  O God, be merciful unto Dave the bully! " Then he moved to the front, mingling his supplications with those of the captain, and making his wife the subject of his prayers. "Betty is in the house, Thou knowest, O Lord; go there, Lord, and if the door is locked, unship it off the hinges, and save Betty, Lord!" In a short time, Betty too came in with a wild look, and cried immediately, ^'Lord, have mercy on me, the biggest sinner in Trefechan." Their reformation was lasting.

One night in the same place, heaven burst as in a shower of coruscating sparks on the young people assembled. Several dropped as dead. One went home at a late hour making the streets re-echo with the apostolic charge, "Be ye reconciled to God! Be ye reconciled to God!'''

Preaching at the Tabernacle on Ezekiel xxxiii. 7-9, the Rev. Morgan James quoted, "Their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord." He compared the life of the ungodly to a man binding sheaves on the cornfield. The sheaves of his own acts w^ould be placed on the head of the ungodly in the Judgment, and under that terrible burden he would sink eternally! Two of his hearers became temporarily insane. There was no improvement in their condition after days of medical treatment; they perpetually moaned, "The burden! the burden! " The Tabernacle and the schoolrooms were filled by men and women imploring God on their behalf; and as they prayed^ sanity returned to the sufferers and the peace of the gospel in its train. "This is the finger of God! " averred the doctor. "I gave one of these men four times the normal quantity of narcotics to induce sleep, but all in vain."

From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, pages 

Additional Information

Burned down 2008


Related Wells