Crynant (1781-1816)

1781? Crynant, Glamorganshire. ‘Creunant experienced some very powerful revivals. The first we have an account of happened about 75 years ago [1781?]; when at the time the cause was in a very low state, and the believers very few in number. This revival was the means of adding many to the number of the disciples, and among them, there were two who were afterwards very useful in the work, namely, Morgan Lewis and John Jenkins. This revival broke out under the ministry of the father of the Rev. Benjamin Williams. [connected with Neath Association May 23 1780?] [MC iii. 46]

1793 Llansamlet, Gopa Fach, Llanelli, Ystradgynlais, and Creunant. ‘At about this time [1791/2] I felt a compulsion in my mind concerning speaking publicly, but I did not indicate anything or say a word to anyone about this, until brother Griffith Morgans asked and compelled me, and said that he would speak with me when there was a Sabbath without a visiting speaker in Gopa Fach, and so about 1792 I began speaking; and in 1793 when the Chapel had no one visiting, brother Morgans and I would speak publicly there. The following year I began to travel a little from home; not far — only to the neighbouring localities: Llanelli, Loughor, Llansamlet, Ystradgynlais, and Crynant. About this time we had a very strong and powerful revival in Llansamlet. Mr Llwyd of Henllan was at Gopa Fach one Sabbath morning, and in Llangyfelach village for two o’clock, speaking on the Horse Steps, by the upper Tavern House, and the Lord anointed the meeting in a very particular way. That evening at six in Llansamlet there was a most special unction upon the ministry, and as a result a very strong and powerful revival broke out. Scores were added to the Society in Llansamlet, and many of them have continued faithful to the glorious and worthy cause to the end of their days.’ Hopkin Bevan, Ychydig o Hanes, pp.8-9 ‘It would not be disadvantageous to the history of religion to draw attention here, to a religious revival that took place at this period [1793?], throughout the regions: y Gopa, Llanelli, Llansamlet, Ystradgynlais, and Creunant. It took stronger hold in the Llansamlet area than in other places. It is clear that the old Methodist ministers called more frequently at the latter place, and so the holy fire, namely the spirit of the revival, was kept more alive, and so its effects were more evident. About this time the famous Llwyd of Henllan, Caio, Carmarthenshire, came past this part of the county. It is said that he had a dewy ministry. He preached one Sabbath at Gopa in the morning, and at two o’clock in Llangyfelach village. The two meetings, the morning and afternoon, were wetted with a tender spiritual rain. The presence of the Spirit of the Lord as dew was evident to the people of Israel. But at six o’clock in Capel-y-Cwm, Llansamlet, the rain descended heavily, the influence became irresistible. Some scores were added in the places referred to to the people who used to worship and serve Jesus Christ. The greater part of them endured to the end, bearing testimony to the grace of God. They experienced the joy of the gospel until death.’ [Williams, Cofiant Hopkin Bevan, pp.32-3]

‘In the year 1792, [Hopkin] Bevan began ‘speaking’, but rather locally for some years; Llanelli, Loughor, Llansamlet, Ystradgynlais and Creunant were his only haunts. At this time, through the preaching of Mr. Llwyd, of Henllan, in Gopa Fach in the morning, from the Horse-Steps by Ty Tafarn uchaf in Llangyfelach in the afternoon, and in Llansamlet in the night, a powerful revival broke out and many were added to the churches, particularly in Llansamlet.’ [CCHMC ii. 46; cf. W. Samlet Williams, Hanes a Hynafiaethau Llansamlet, p.252]

‘The Lord visited Llansamlet several times with powerful revivals, through which many were added to the number of believers from time to time; and among them some of the most wicked and prodigal of the region. The old people remember particularly the revival of 1793; a year of lovely revival, and of great additions. At this time various men were brought to faith who were notorious for their ungodliness; men who it was as surprising to see amongst the believers as it was to see Saul amongst the prophets.’ [MC iii. 16, 17].

James Bowen writing to Thomas Charles from Castle Gorfod on 24th January 1795 says: ‘There is a sweet revival in the neighbourhood of Llansamlet which is near Swansea, and it continues very fine along Tivy side from New Castle down, tho’ I understand not so fresh in every place as it hath been last Summer; likewise in the Neighbourhoods of New Chapel [Capel Newydd, Pembrokeshire], Cleddey [now Milford Haven], Nevern, and Newport; It has been flattened in this neighbourhood and is at present a winter season on most of the Young People, nevertheless though this is the weather that I think we generally experience at this time, And though some have left us and joined other Denominations, and others have gone back into the World, yet, Eternal praises to God, such are few in comparison to those who have been hitherto kept; and there is seldom a society but we receive in one, sometimes more.’ [LTC ii. 147]

1816? Crynant, Glamorganshire. 'About the beginning of this century the Sabbath school began in the region. Here also, as in many other places, its beginning was small; there was a strong enough school in the winter, but it lost its breath in the summer. In this fashion, it is imagined, it continued for the space of 12 years. Now, it was taken hold of more energetically in the work; a new start was given to the school, and the endeavour succeeded to answer the purpose. There was here at the time a very godly old sister of the name of Mary James, sister of the old faithful preacher Richard James, living in the area. When the Sunday school restarted, she would bustle about the neighbourhood compelling all to come to it. But the old sister only lived to do this for two Sabbaths. She also used to go each day to the chapel to pray for the Lord to visit the neighbourhood in the way of his grace, but it was not given her to see the answer to her prayers. But in the prayer meeting held at her wake a revival broke out. Only the old elder John Jenkins, and a few girls and women, were there to hold the meeting. The man read a chapter, and gave out a verse to sing. But soon after the singing began there were most certain signs that it would not swiftly end. A secret influence descended on the small number in the place, and put new emotions in their breasts, and a new sound in their songs. There was no sign that the man who gave out the verse would have opportunity to go on his knees that evening. The influence increased in strength; the emotion and the song grew correspondingly more fervent; and it continued thus for the greater part of the night. ‘Wisdom hath furnished her table, and she hath mingled her wine;’ [Prov 9:2] and it was not surprising, since it was such a rarity, that the old people at its taste were ‘leaping and praising God.’ This visitation drew others to the place, until the house was more than full. Many were added to the small church through this revival. Thus, from strength to strength, the cause remains until today. And though the number of members is not great, yet the work is in a comfortable and cheerful state, and the pillar of glory has not wholly departed.’ [MC iii. 46-7]

This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones

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