Llanwrtyd Wells (1777-1840)

1777 Llanwrtyd. ‘The region was visited with a powerful revival in the year 1777. This added many to church congregation. It was necessary now, to have a larger place for worship. The house at Gorwydd was too small,’ and so a chapel was built to accommodate the increased congregation. [*MC iii. 331-2; HEAC iv. 365; CCHMC viii. 74]

1790 Llanwrtyd. Revival. ‘There was a very powerful revival in 1777, and another one in 1790, when the famous David Williams joined the church, as a boy of eleven years old.’ [HEAC iv. 365] ‘He [David Williams] felt deep religious impressions on his mind when young, and he has tender memories of his mother making him kneel at his little chair when his grandfather and father lead family worship. He dreamed about the day of judgment before he was seven, which frightened him greatly, and the effects of the dream stayed with him always. On one Sabbath in March 1790, he was playing with two small boys about his age, a girl came by who was older and stronger than them, and struck them hard. In his commotion under the blow, the girl agitated Dafydd, and he used an oath towards the girl, and that was the first and the last time he was tempted to that sin. He felt deep wounds in his conscience because of it, and the following Sabbath afternoon he went with his father to Tygwyn to hear Mr Isaac Price preaching; and sometime in the middle of the sermon the preacher said with seriousness and terrible intensity—”Were it not for the patience of God, thou wouldst this minute be between the teeth of devils,” and the boy Dafydd heard a penetrating voice saying to him “Thou art the man.” He spent the following fortnight in great bitterness of soul, until the second Sabbath after this, in a prayer meeting in Tygwyn, he felt he had found a resting place for his weary and heavy-laden soul, and after two months he was received as a full member when he was only eleven years old. This was a time of fervent revival so he had the privilege of beginning his journey in religious fervour, and the holy flame continued to burn in his soul throughout his long life.’ [HEAC iv. 378-9] [David Avan Griffith, Cofiant y Diweddar Barch. David Williams, Troedrhiwdalar, Llandilo 1877, pp.12-5]

1812 Llanwrtyd. Another gracious visitation from the Lord, which started about the End of August 1812. The first to come into fellowship at that time was Isaac Williams, the brother of David Williams, the minister. At the same time David Price, Ty’nymaes, David Price, Troedyrhiw, and James Clee joined the churchmen who turned out to be notable for their faithfulness with the cause [HEAC iv. 365; cf. Cymru xlvii, p.116]

1828 Llanwrtyd. ‘This revival started in that area in the Methodist chapel in Pontrhydyfere, and the following Sabbath broke out in the Independent chapel. On that Sabbath afternoon Mr David Williams, after catechising the school, began to preach, and in his sermon he said the following words in his own fiery manner, ‘It is miserable that thou art a servant to me arising from the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the captives of Israel[???]. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession’ and the whole congregation broke out weeping. At this, in the passion of his feelings, without knowing what he was doing, David Price, or Daffy Tynymaes, as he was called, pulled off his neckerchief and threw it out of his hand, and it descended in the pulpit. With that he began singing and jumping, and at the same time Evan Price, Penhernwen, shouted out in a melting tone, ‘If he gave his life to redeem my life, who is under greater obligation to praise Him than me.’ Then one shout went through the whole house. In this revival scores were added to the church and among them many who turned out to be most excellent believers.’ [HEAC iv. 365; Cofiant David Williams, p.?]

It was on the following Sunday that the revival broke out in the Congregational church at Llanwrtyd while David Williams was preaching. The revival continued throughout the spring and summer, with a total of 160 new members being added to the church.

MC, iii, pp. 333-334 and HEAC, iv, p. 365.

1839-43 Finney’s Revival. Thomas Rees’s account:

‘SIR,—In your remarks on the general dearth of revivals of religion in the United Kingdom, on the wrapper of the WITNESS for this month, you intimate that no such thing as a revival has been heard of even in Wales during the last twelve years. It affords me the highest gratification to be now able to inform you that powerful awakenings were felt in North Wales in the years 1839 and 1840, and in South Wales in 1841, 1842, and 1843. The circulation of a translation of Mr Finney’s “Lectures,” by Mr Griffiths, of Swansea, was eminently instrumental, in the hand of God, in promoting that ever-memorable revival.’ (The Christian Witness, vii (1850), p.315, reprinted in Thomas Rees, Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Wales, pp.?)

‘In 1839 the churches in North Wales, and the Welsh churches in Liverpool were favoured with a large measure of revival, which in the ensuing three years reached almost every part of South Wales. This differed from all the former revivals in Wales in it's not being accompanied by the usual excitement and noisy manifestation of feeling. That difference led some elderly professors, of a naturally excitable tempera­ment, to question its genuineness. The means also by which it was chiefly promoted the reading and study of “Finney’s Lectures on Revivals,” which gave a less evangelical tone to the ministry, and led the preachers to dwell more on the sins and duties of professors than on such melting themes as the love of God, the death of Christ, and the privileges of believers, caused some good people to suspect that there was more of man than of God in the movement. But the good and lasting effects which have followed it prove beyond question that the hand of the Lord was in the work. The converts amounted to many thousands, but we are not able to state the exact number.’ (HPNW pp.429-30)

Lewis Morris’s quote: ‘great additions to the churches in Meirionethshire in the years 1839-40’ (source ????, see DCC p.348)

Revival was reported in Llanwrtyd in 1840

This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones

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