Moriah Baptist Chapel - Pentre (1904)

The evening meeting at Moriah Chapel had been announced for six p.m., and long before that time the building was full, although it was known that Mr Evan Roberts would not be there for some time, If at all. The first of the revivalists to come in was Miss Rees, of Loughor, the young lady whose story of her visit to the gipsy encampment thrilled the Trecynon meeting about a. fortnight ago. She took her seat, alone, in the “big pew,” and presently began to sing some of the beautifully touching hymns of the revival. After the congregation had joined her she opened the meeting with prayer, and afterwards spoke alternately in Welsh and English, taking practically charge of the proceedings, as there was at first, a seeming lack of readiness on the part of individuals in the congregation to take part. Gradual]y, however, the reserve broke down, and prayer after prayer, “testimony,” exhortation and hymn came with a promptitude and enthusiasm which was refreshing for a first meeting. Miss Mary Davies (Gorseinon) and Miss Annie Davies (Maesteg) came, and the solo-singing became more and mere touching so that the crowded congregation could not help being imbued with the spirit which everywhere prevails, while the mere state of curiosity to see Mr Evan Roberts has been overcome. The most eloquent and fervent in prayer, certainly, were the women of the congregation, and the number who spoke and prayed here was larger than at any of the previous meetings. There was also another feature which I had not expected to find at Pentre, viz., more English in the speaking, the praying, and the singing. Another was the state of things when, at half-past seven o’clock, Mr Evan Roberts arrived. Then there was a general hush of expectation, soon broken by an ‘enthusiastic outburst of “Pen Calfaria, Nac aed hwnw byth o’m cof.” The revivalist was in a cheerful, aggressively cheerful—or, should I say cheerfully aggressive?—mood. He took the “Diolch Iddo” of one of the verses of the hymn sung as a kind of text and dwelt upon the necessity for unstinted, active, cheerful gratitude to God. He compared the state of the heathen with the state of Wales and pictured in forcible words the surprise which he felt at the fact that so many in Wales rejected the Love of Christ. Practically applying this to the business of every-day life, the speaker dwelt upon the advantages, even from a temporal point of view, of absolute faith in God. It was not until the Church itself was fully imbued with faith that the pagan would receive the blessings of the Word. Many who sang, “lesu, Iesu, ‘rwyt ti’n ddigon” (“Jesus, Jesus, all-sufficient”) could not possibly believe what they were singing, or they would not go to the places which they frequented. They were, therefore, hypocritical in singing it. Suddenly a voice from the rostrum breaks in with music, and the congregation begin singing, “Duw mawr o rhyfeddodau maith,” and the rolling basses are heard as they have been heard at so many places. But Mr Evan Roberts is not satisfied. He actually tells the people that they lack the spirit of gratitude. They had, he said, been fervent and spirited in their appeal for his presence, whereas now they sang a triumphant song of praise as if they were half-hearted, Of course, there was a second rendering of the hymn, with much more life and energy in it, and the revivalist took up the thread of his discourse as if nothing had happened. But he had not spoken long before there came an interruption from the front of the gallery—a young lady singing to the tune of “The Last Rose of Summer,” the words of the hymn, “Dyma Feibl anwyl Iesu.” a rendering made popular by Miss Annie Davies. However, as the interruptions to Mr Roberts’s speech had come, so did the interruptions come even to the work of reciting verses and giving testimonies. The congregation on this particular night seemed to be full of singing, but it was noticeable that it was very fine and fervent singing, tenderer than has been the case in any other place. The hymn— “O, yr Oen, yr addfwyn Oen,” -was sung with thrilling effect, and even though it interrupted a peculiarly impressive portion of the service, the young revivalist simply clapped his hands and cried out “Ardderchog.” During one portion of the proceedings come of the people in the congregation cried “Hush!” when more than one spoke at a time or when a singer interrupted Mr Roberts himself, whereupon Mr. Roberts said he hoped they would not indulge in any such interruptions as crying “hush” to anybody. If a drunken man had come forward to sing or say anything he would not have interrupted him, because, in his experience, he had known a drunken man coming into a service and yet being saved within a quarter of an hour, for the Spirit sobered even a drunken man. “Therefore,” he said, “in any case don’t say ‘Hush’ to anyone.

From, 'The Western Mail', 2th December 1904.

Additional Information

The chapel is closed.

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