The Bethesda quarry district was described by one writer of the period as a place where religious carelessness and callousness had attained their climax before the '59 Revival. Troops of youths loafed about on the Sabbath who jeered at all reproof and could not blush. The cause of temperance was under an eclipse, the land bore thorns and briars, and the members of the churches were, too generally, hand in glove w4th the world. It was about the beginning of September that the Lord drew nigh to break the gates of brass, though October had arrived before the churches, as a whole, were led into liberty and joy. Throughout the first w^eek in October the prayer-meeting was as a river whose streams made glad the city of God, and on Saturday night it broke in a crystal flood over the banks.
There were two large C.M. chapels in Bethesda at this time — Carneddi and Jerusalem. The same minister officiated in both on Sunday, October 9, preaching at the former in the morning, and at the latter at night. That morning, sixteen young men sat on the railing of a bridge, waiting for the opening of the public-house door opposite. One of them suggested going to hear Evan Williams, Morfa Nefyn, at Carneddi. Another proposed that they should toss-up to decide between the tavern and the chapel. The die being cast, it fell to the lot of eight to go to chapel. They went, and the eight were saved in that service.
The text was, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." He compared the verse to the pillar in the wilderness, which presented a dark side to the Egyptians and a bright side to the Hebrews. He portrayed with startling vividness the dark side which the text showed to the ungodly, "The wages of sin is death'' The audience felt it had been brought to the mountain that might be touched, unto blackness and darkness and tempest; and so terrible w^as the sight that the most hardy and defiant exceedingly feared and quaked. When the preacher, w4th the fine dramatic skill of a true orator, suddenly turned the shining side of the text on his audience, it leapt wildly to its feet, and the air was rent by a universal shout of joyful relief. The tumult was so great that the church meeting for the reception of converts was postponed to the afternoon. At that service sixty-eight yielded^ and twenty-four in the evening meeting.
The same sermon was preached at night at Jerusalem; and when the preacher cried, "Don't you want to see me turning the leaf? There is something here besides death — Eternal life!''' the morning scene was paralleled, and twenty-eight souls saved.
In a prayer-meeting at Carneddi that week seventeen penitents remained, each confessing that he was the chief of sinners. The resident minister exuberantly asked, " Dare we bring so many great sinners to Jesus Christ at the same time?'' "Yes," responded a jubilant voice in the crowd, "He is mighty to save,"
From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, page 149-50.