Llanddeusant (1809-1828)

1809 Llanddeusant, Carmarthenshire. ‘The church of Llanddeusant experienced extensively various Welsh revivals, particularly revivals of previous years. The revivals of 1859 and 1904 did not happen to have a very deep influence on the church, but it experienced powerful revivals in 1809 and 1828. It is said that the revival of 1809 broke out under the ministry of Rhys Morgan, Capel-hir. The Rev. Lewis Powell, Cardiff, happened to be also preaching the same night in Tirpaun, the farmhouse where the Rev. Thomas Williams, Myddfai, was born. Some families split up, some going to hear the Rev. Lewis Powell, and others to hear Rhys Morgan. The Tirpaun meeting came to an end, but there was no sound of the Twynllanan returning, but some time before morning the Twynllanan people returned singing and dancing. Dozens became religious as a result of this revival.’ [James Morris, Hanes Methodistiaeth Sir Gaerfyrddin, Dolgellau, 1911, p.356-7]

1809 Nantgwyn, Radnorshire. ‘The late Rev. D. Jones, of Cardiff, in his ‘Welsh History of the Baptist Churches in South Wales,’ writing of Nantgwyn, says: ‘There was great increase in the church and in all the country in 1809. There were fourteen persons baptized on the same Lord’s day morning in that year. Also, in 1821, there was a remarkable increase in the church and in all its branches. There were nineteen persons baptized at the same time at Nantgwyn. Many were afterwards baptized there from time to time.’’ [HBR p.117]

1828 Llanddeusant, Carmarthenshire. ‘In a prayer meeting in the house of Dafydd Thomas, one of the elders of the church, the sky began to lighten, as the verse was sung He ope’d the door to captives

To flee from great distress, &c

After a few days Mr Joshua Phillips was preaching in the place on John 3:3 [‘Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.’]; and the Lord was pleased to cloth his servant, and send the arrows of the truth to stick in the consciences of the hearers. This was only the first of a series of similar ones that followed. Both preaching and prayer meetings gave much greater delight that usual to the worshippers, but the most remarkable meeting of all was a prayer meeting for the success of the gospel, on the first Monday night of the month. The 60th of Isaiah was read, and a verse was given out to sing –

Beth yw’r cynnwrf garw iawn What is the very severe agitation

Sy’n y goedwig? That is in the forest?

A yw’r arfaeth fawr ei dawn Is the purpose of great gift

Ddim yn ddiddig? Not gentle? At the close of the meeting another verse was given out to sing, - . If ask some of the people

The cause of this great joy,

* * * * *

Behold the straying children

Upon their homeward way.’ At which one young girl broke out, repeating in a very affecting way the last line of the verse, and then many shouted out loudly, ‘What shall we do to be saved?’ Thus the stirring began, but it was only its beginning; it advanced with additional power and strength for many months. The ministry was as if harvesting multitudes of hearers of every age, from 7 and 8 years old up to 80 years old. About 280 were added to the church in this period. There was now hardly a house to be found in the parish where an altar to God had not been raised; it was as if the fear of God had descended on the inhabitants of the whole region. Often strong men would break out crying out or praising in the fields, when at their work. The sound would reach the ears of some others, and such inspiration would descend on them also so that the region would resound with praise and song. As they kept family worship the dwellers of the houses would often break out praising, and would frequently continue thus until midnight, and sometimes until the next morning. The attention of strangers who were travelling through the neighbourhoods in the night would be drawn to the sound of the praising in the houses. So powerful were the influences that, most frequently, the sermons and the religious meetings were breached and even the general work of the farmers occasionally almost came to a standstill, even in the harvest time. And what was amazing was that no one complained of this. Impressed on the hearts of all in the area was, ‘This is of the Lord.’ ‘And who are we to try to resist God!’ [Texts/source?]

It is worth noting here that the like influence reached the parish church. A young godly minister came there to preach one Sabbath afternoon, who is until today a remarkable man in grace, gifts, and usefulness, and shortly after he had begun preaching, the congregation broke out singing and praising, the minister also having been filled with the same spirit, and broke with the old forms, cast off his garment [alb?], and went down to the middle of the congregation, praising with a loud voice, ‘He anointed his head with oil, and his cup ran over.’ This continued for some hours. Some scores of the most ungodly men here were tamed, and many of them remain to this day, with their shoulders under the ark, while others of them were called away in their first love. Little, it is said, of the fruit of the revival was lost, or few of those that had been brought to religion under its influence turned their back in backsliding.’ [MC ii. 434-6; also Morris, Methodistiaeth Sir Gaerfyrddin, p.357]

Llanddeusant School Meeting on 30 July 1828. ‘As that verse, ‘And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin’ was read out the result was such that they broke out to such a fervent degree that it had to wait for fifteen minutes. And at the end of a sermon by William Llewelyn there was nothing to be heard but the sound of praise and singing within the walls of the house of worship.’ [source??]

From ‘The Welsh Revival’ by Thomas Phillips.

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