1791 Christmas Evans’ first preaching tour of the south. ‘After the Lord poured the spirit of the ministry upon him in Lleyn, he visited the churches in the south. He travelled on foot at the time: the small churches in Lleyn were not able to buy a horse for him, and there was no way he could buy a horse himself. On this trip he visited Aberystwyth, Newcastle Emlyn, Cardigan, Penyparc, Blaenywaun, and went down through Trefdraeth, Tabor, &c., in Pembrokeshire. The people began to be amazed at hearing such powerful doctrine from one they had not heard of before. An uncommon awakening took place in the places he travelled to this time. The people were shouting out and rejoicing wonderfully in Penrhyncoch, Aberystwyth, Castell Newydd, and Cardigan, Penyparc, &c. In had a great part in that revival, which it is likely, there has not since been in those areas, to such a great degree, and so general. I give the reader his own account of this remarkable revival, as he recollects in great detail, and in the blessed spirit that accompanied him. “I now felt a power in the word like a hammer breaking the rock, and not like rushes. I had a very powerful meeting at Cilfowyr, and also pleasant meetings in the regions of Cardigan and Blaenywaun. The work of conversion was progressing with so much power in those parts, that there were baptisms every month for a year or more, at Cilfowyr, Cardigan, Blaenywaun, Blaenffos, and Ebenezer, numbering 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, &c. persons. The chapels and burying-grounds were filled with people who crowded to hear me in the middle of harvest-time. In the evening I frequently preached in the open air, and the singing and rejoicing continued till broad daylight. Such a spirit of tenderness descended in the meetings upon the hearers that they wept in streams and cried out, so that you would believe that the whole multitude, men and women, had been melted by the power of the word of God, which was now like a sharp two-edged sword in its effect, piercing through the joints and marrow, and revealing to them their inner lusts. The hwyl followed me indoors and in the open air, so that preaching was a delight to me. The same people would gather to hear me fifteen or twenty times that year, in the counties of Cardigan, Pembroke, Carmarthen, Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Brecon. And this revival, especially in the districts of Cardigan and Pembrokeshire, inclined the whole country to think well of religion. The same heavenly breeze followed me down to Fishguard, Llangloffan, Little New-Castle, and Rhydwilym, where Mr Gabriel Rees was then a fervent preacher. There was such a tender spirit resting on the hearers from Tabor down to Middle-mill, that they wept, cried out, and trembled like the aspen leaf in the places of worship, and all this mingled with so much heavenly cheerfulness, that they seemed to wish to abide in that state of mind forever.”’ [CCE p.19-21; David Rhys Stephen, Memoirs of the Late Christmas Evans, of Wales, London, 1847, pp.27-8; D.M. Evans, Christmas Evans: A Memoir, London, 1863, pp.66-7; see also GCE i. cxxvii-cxxix & iii. 749-53]
This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones
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