Llangefni - Evan Roberts (1905)

They are enterprising, far-sighted folk at Llangefni. Sassiwn Mon, the annual open-air cymanfa of the Anglesey Calvinistic Methodists, is to be held here next week, an event which never fails to bring together from six to eight thousand people. Wherever the Sassiwn is held a covered stage is erected on a convenient field, the pulpit in the centre, and, springing from it to right and left, in the form of a horseshoe, a couple of platforms affording sitting accommodation for close upon a thousand people. On the grass in the space between from four to five thousand people find standing room. What the Llangefni people have done is to push forward the erection of this staging in time to be utilised for Evan Roberts' visit. In this they have succeeded, and this evening's concourse justifies their enterprise to the hilt.

Already, at five o'clock, there is on the Cyrnanfa Field as great an assemblage as was seen at the biggest Sassiwn ever held in Sir Fon. All the afternoon the incoming trains have been packed. For unlike yesterday, the day is fine, and visitors, knowing that an open-air meeting was possible, have come in great crowds, not from Anglesey only, but also from all parts of Carnarvonshire, and even from greater distances.

Within a stone's throw of the staging, and in full view of the pulpit is Capel-y-Dinas, where John Elias ministered for many years. Today, alas, it is deserted and almost dismantled for the lease is long expired, and the congregation now worship in a new and modern edifice in the centre of the town. The service which now, at 6 o'clock, is in full swing, has been proceeding since 4 o'clock and was preceded by a series of prayer meetings. In the several local chapels to-night visitors from other countries—and there are many of them—are given places of honour on the principal stage, and amongst others so accommodated are one,.if not two Anglican clergyman.

The missioner, soon after he arrives, administers a severe reprimand. Prayers have been numerous and fervent, but his quick eye has detected some undesirable features... One preacher at a time has hitherto been the rule at every Sassiwn held in Wales, To-night it is not one but 50, and they can be seen all over the field. Evan Roberts, after the remark referred to, rests with elbows on the open Bible, and remains in a bending posture with eyes closed for half an hour. There is no pulpit to screen him to-night, and his face is in full view of the audience. Now and then his features convulsively twitch. Sometimes the lips move, as if in

silent prayer, and now and then a pleasant smile plays about the mouth. His is the only silent figure in the throng, Mr Sidney Evans and Mr Sam Jenkins, who are with him, enter heartily into every phase of the service; so too do the Lady evangelists. If ever a gathering deserved the title of mammoth prayer meeting, this is it. Hymns are sung and solos are appreciated, but the prayers form the chief feature; and those engaged in this form of devotion are of all ages, men and women, girls and boys…

Strangely moved the Rev. J H Williams springs to the front of the platform. "I instinctively feel” he declares “that there is a terrible contest now proceeding in this gathering between the forces of Heaven and the forces of Hell. Is Christ to be vanquished at this meeting? We who bear His name, shall we not range ourselves on His side? I feel that the meeting is a hard one. All who are ready to pray now and at once, will you put up your hands?” Instantly thousands of arms pointed skyward and thousands of voices are simultaneously raised in a great outburst of prayer. For ten or fifteen minutes the extraordinary scenes continued. Scores prayed themselves hoarse, and the din was deafening. Hundreds wept. Strong men shook as if with ague. Women frantically waved pocket hand kerchiefs, and many exclaimed through their tears, “Jesus Christ forever”.

The test tonight was soon over. There was no lack of workers in the throng, and though the converts were numerous, their names and addresses were soon taken. Some of the conversions were hailed with delirious joy, and with cries of “The prodigals are coming home.”

From, 'The South Wales Daily News', 20th June 1905.

Additional Information

I do not know which field the meeting was in.

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