Baumaris Castle - Evan Roberts (1905)

Beaumaris, Wednesday,—Mr Evan Roberts addressed another meeting in Beaumaris Castle this evening.

All the afternoon crowds poured into the town from the surrounding country districts, while a special ferry service brought large detachments from the mainland. About 5 o'clock the Castle quadrangle presented a picturesque appearance, the crowd being varied by the summer dresses of many ladies and the uniforms of the Engineer Militia, who were present in considerable force.

The meeting, which was at first under the leadership of the Rev. Ishmael Evans, was lifted to a high plane by the singing of a young man on the platform, whose rendering of “A glywais ti son am yr Iesu dinam” was remarkably beautiful, The Rev. Ishmael Evans at one time rebuked the curiosity of a number of persons who repeatedly stood up to see who were praying. A sensational incident occurred at an early stage of the meeting. An aged man had been praying - bareheaded in the glaring sun, when he suddenly fell back fainting, to the alarm of those around him. He, however, soon recovered, and with a loud "Diolch Iddo" unburdened his overladen heart. A feature of the meeting distinguishing it from the previous open-air gatherings was that the crowd, instead of breaking out into half a dozen different hymns at the same time, confined themselves to one tune at a time, the singing being led from the platform by Mr T. J. Williams, headmaster of the St. Paul's Council Schools, Bangor.

Just before Evan Roberts put in an appearance there were some fervent prayers, and hymns were sung that were equally striking. Evan Roberts was unusually late in arriving at the place of meeting. He entered by the back entrance in order to avoid the crowd, whose attentions are becoming increasingly embarrassing. His arrival proved the signal for a fresh outburst of praying, fervour. For half an hour the revivalist sat silent, looking at the crowd. “Ymgrymed pawb i llawr” was sung with majestic effect. Then the Rev. John Williams rose and warned the audience against too much curiosity. "Pray that you may have strength to pray and conquer the cold spirit that seems to pervade the meeting," he said.

Mr Roberts was on his feet now and speaking. Some," he said "may be ready to ask why I was not here sooner. All I know is that some purpose has been answered by the delay. I feel that heaven is satisfied and I am happy. There is no burden to-night.” Mr Roberts went on in his happiest mood, and it was evident that he was brimming over with joy. “Our lives," he said, "are not to be scaffolds to lift our own names, but the name of God." After speaking for some time in his most winning fashion, Mr Roberts asked the Rev. John Williams to test the meeting. Hands were up,

but Mr Williams could see scores with their hands down, and he passionately asked for more workers. Up sprang a minister on the stage. "Come, dear friends," he cried, “let us go into the crowd to work. What are we good for here?” And many followed him and proceeded to speak to the great numbers who had given no signs. “Pray all of you” said the revivalist, and a storm of passionate prayer followed. The testing proceeded and at one time a small group formed around a man in the audience who could not break the ice. Suddenly he gave way, and a great shout of rejoicing went up when Mr John Williams said this brother had been sent to Beaumaris Castle to be saved from Boston, America.

Speaking to the members, Mr Roberts said, “If you see any refusing help them your best. Say to them, ‘Come in, boys.’” The meeting, which first was not a very bright one, concluded beautifully, and everything seemed pervaded by the happy spirit of the revivalist. Many converts were registered, but many, even scores, remained obdurate, and Mr Roberts commanded all to pray silently for the salvation of these men. A wonderful silence fell upon the great gathering, in which came a woman's broken prayer. The meeting concluded with the Lord’s Prayer.

From, 'The South Wales Daily News', 29th June 1905.

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