Bala (1859)

Thomas Edwards, Penllwyn, visited Bala the first week in April, 1859, and his fire-filled ministry left its mark, especially on the students. David Morgan came June 26, and at the end of the afternoon service one of the old deacons, tenacious of his prerogatives, stood up to ask if anyone had remained behind anew. There was no immediate response, so he continued in the time-honoured set phrase, "Well, it seems not, but let us not be dis- couraged — " " Oh dear! yes," exclaimed the Revivalist, leaping to his feet. "Oh dear! yes. Come forward, dear friends. Come on, you on the floor; and you on the gallery, come down." To the amazement of all, especially the old deacon, men and women rose on the floor and the gallery, and came striding to the front to the number of twenty-two. At night the net had thirty-three souls in it. They returned again, taking on Thursday a draught of seventeen, and of thirty-three on Sunday evening. Mr Phillips has described the after-meeting: " It was so crowded that Mr Morgan had to move around the chapel in search of the converts. One of them was a man from Park, where Mr Morgan had preached on the previous Saturday. Mr Morgan asked him if he would read and pray, morning and evening, with his family. * I do that already,' was the answer. ' Since when? ' * Since Saturday night! At this reply a wave of pleasure went over the audience, and smiles and tears were seen. In the press, the Revivalist happened to pass by a boy of fifteen without observing him. He felt his coat grasped from behind, and turning around, he saw the lad looking at him through tears. Having bent down to listen to his whisper, Mr Morgan said, ' It is a little boy that is here; I had passed without seeing him, but he took hold of my coat and told me, "I also, sir, am without salvation."' The audience was electrified, and a heavy shower of tears fell through sunbeams of joy."

When Mr Morgan began his expedition through the crowd to seek the lost sheep, who could be seen following him, about four yards behind, but Dr Lewis Edwards, a sigh escaping him now and again that could be heard through the chapel. What moved him to follow around in the wake of David Morgan no one knows, but his silent action deepened the spirituality of the service. All knew that his sighs ascended to God, and the spirit of the great audience soared with the sigh up to the throne of God." 

From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, page 118-9.


The following communication, respecting the town and neighbourhood of Bala, will be read with interest:

"In a religious sense, Bala is looked upon by the Welsh, and especially by the Calvinistic Methodists, in the same light as the Jews of old regarded Jerusalem. As might be expected, great anxiety was felt by the Lord's people in the place, lest He should leave Bala without that gracious visit­ation which is enjoyed to such a degree in other places. It appears that for some weeks a deep feeling had possessed the students in the two colleges;* but now that feeling is deepened, a cloud of spiritual gifts and blessings has burst upon them. Their prayers are like live coals upon the con­sciences of their hearers, so as to cause the most careless in the town to seek mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are examples here of the most ungodly brought to feel that there is another world; and if it should please the Lord to bless this visitation to the salvation of their souls, it will be as great a wonder to see them in heaven as to see Manasseh. On a Saturday evening, not long ago, one man went from the prayer-meeting to the public-house. After remaining there for some time, the truth respecting his state as a sinner took hold of his mind so powerfully as to send him out of doors. On his way home, in the midst of the public street, he began to cry for mercy and continued doing so for some time after reaching his own house. The children also have been visited, and their prayers are such as to astonish everyone that hears them."

A correspondent says:—" At Bala, it is most wonderful. The tutors and students of both colleges have been so blessed with this revival spirit that they have not done much in the way of study for some time past. Prayer- meetings have been held, and are still held in every house in Bala, with three or four exceptions; and a friend in­formed me that they had had some remarkable meetings in the public-houses and inns of the town. It may almost be said that every house is a temple, and every man a priest, offering up a sacrifice to God through Jesus Christ."

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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