Penycaerau (1849)

1848-9 Revival in Lleyn, Eifionydd and Anglesey.



In a Letter from a Friend in Liverpool.

To the office of the ‘Cyfaill,’

by W. Griffith, New York.

20 April 1849

The Lord is at work in Wales these days, in a way beyond the expectation of anyone, even his own people, in various districts of Anglesey and Caernarfonshire. The heavenly fire is spreading continuously—the old waste and desert places blossom as a rose in many places, in places where religion was at a low ebb and has been for almost an age. God by his Spirit is saving scores of people; and those who were trying to keep the house during the long night that has passed cry out with all their heart, like Zacharias of old, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people.’

In Lleyn it is a new world—there is a new heaven and a new earth: the old poor dying appearance has passed away, and all things have been made new. There are in Lleyn, besides a general gracious visitation, various young men who show signs that the Lord will use them as stars in his right hand since they are qualified to be fit ministers of the New Testament. The fire kindled in Rhydlios. In that poor, low and grey place, about 80 have been added to the church. In Penycaerau, Pen-y-graig, and Ty-mawr, and a multitude of places scores have come walking and weeping, with their faces towards Zion. Someplace almost every week receives the promise of the Spirit in Lleyn. It is now starting in Eifionydd. The Rev. John Owen, Gwindy, was here lately and said that before he had left home, 46 had turned their faces towards Zion in Brynengan, and that there were the same effects in other regions in Eifionydd, and that in these days.

Concerning Arfon, I cannot truly say how things are, but I understand that the great work advances there briskly—large numbers being converted in several districts, even though I have not heard that the mighty revival, that has broken out chiefly in Lleyn, and has begun in Eifionydd, has broken out powerfully in Arfon.

I am not as informed about the revival in Anglesey, but I have sufficient assurance that many hundreds in the last few months are showing signs that the Lord has saved them.

Let the world do what it will, this is a subject of unspeakable gladness and rejoicing.

The Lord has not turned his gaze away from the Welsh nation yet. He has indeed done much since the time of Rowland of Llangeitho, and others, for our nation, beyond that of any nation we know of on earth. And what he sees in us more than others, I know not, except that we are more stubborn and perverse than any, and because of this, he is manifesting his grace in us rather more than in any other nation. There is nothing for us to say, but to be amazed and worship, thankfully acknowledging his infinite mercy, love and grace. And the only reason for the difference in his dealings with us, more than the Irish and other nations, is For so it seemed good in his sight.

Dear brother, lift your heads, you and your companions: though the great cause is so low amongst our nation in America, who knows that your deliverance is not at hand. Wait earnestly for this visitation—God is most wonderful.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel Jones

(Y Cyfaill o’r Hen Wlad, xii. (1849), p.252-3; also Y Drys. 1874, p.210)

‘It is considered that this revival started with a sermon of Cadwaladr Owen in a vigil of Hugh Griffith, Bodwrdda, who was an elder in Penycaerau, Lleyn. This took place on December 3, 1848, and his text was Rev. 14:13, - “Blessed are the dead, etc.” Thus it is said in the memoir of Hugh Griffith in the Drysorfa, which was written by Robert Evans, Methlam, an elder in Rhydlios, - “The effectual preaching of the brother on this occasion was in a great part instrumental in starting the religious revival which broke out in the region afterwards, the like of which has not been for 30 years.”’ [DCC p.372]

Revival at Rhydlios. ‘Shortly before the revival the outlook for the cause was bleak. The elders and a few of the brethren felt that they were getting on in years and there was no prospect of anyone to fill their place. The feared that the church would cease completely. This made them a little anxious, and the anxiety gave birth to an intense feeling and an unyielding importunity in prayer at the throne of grace. This is one of the strongest and most positive proofs that God hears the prayer of his people. The region experienced one of the strongest and most powerful visitations at the end of 1848, and throughout the year following.

(MS account of J.W. Hughes, Penygraig, written March 1891 in Rhydlios, Llyn: Trydydd Jiwbili, 1800-1950. Hanes yr Achos, [1950], pp.6-8; see DCC, 371, 373-5). Robert Prichard & Robert Jones, Llanllyfni (Cofiant Robert Jones ?). Also Deunant, Aberdaron [source?]

This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones

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