Salem Fardre Calvinistic Methodist Chapel (1904)

In the evening there were meetings at all the four chapels in the place, and at the Vardre Chapel, where I attended, there was a crowded congregation as early as half-past five for a service announced to commence at half-past six. One of the features of the proceedings was the leading of “For you I am praying” by a little boy. Madame Kate Morgan Llewelyn sang the Welsh version of “Jesus of Nazareth.” Several solos followed in English and Welsh, the congregation in each instance joining in the refrain. Mr Evan Roberts arrived at a quarter to seven, accompanied by Miss Annie Davies (Maesteg), Miss Mary Davies (Gorseinon), and other friends. The curiosity which had been aroused was such that when the evangelist arrived even the singing became evidently weaker, and for a few moments the face of the missioner was clouded. Presently “Dyma gariad fel y moroedd” was struck up, and the congregation to some extent regained its buoyancy; but even the Welsh rendering of “I need Thee, oh, I need Thee,” lacked the spirit which one might have expected to prevail. Fervent prayers were then offered up, one of the petitioners expressing the fear that the congregation there that evening, as well as the people of the neighbourhood generally, had been looking forward too much to the advent of the missioner, and too little to the presence of the Spirit. Miss Annie Davies (Maesteg) struck up very pathetically and tenderly “Lead, Kindly Light,” and the congregation joined in. While this was being sung the pastor prayed for the conversion of those present, including many who had not been in a place or worship for years. Mr Evan Roberts then rose, and in the course of his address said he had had a blessing himself in listening from outside when they were singing of the Love of Christ. Scores of them had, however, since his (the speaker’s) arrival in that meeting “quenched the Spirit.” Many of them did not sing with the Spirit. ‘How did he know? Their faces showed it. Proceeding, he declared that if baptised with the Spirit they could, and would, do a great work. While Mr Roberts was speaking a young woman in the congregation fainted, and there being a little commotion the missioner asked them not to allow their attention to be distracted from the subject. Madame Kate Morgan Llewelyn immediately struck up “O, yr Oen, yr addfwyn Oen,” which was sung and repeated very effectively by the congregation. Miss Annie Davies continued singing it after the congregation had ceased to sing, and the repeat was rendered in the pathetic style which characterised so much of the charming music introduced by that young lady. Mr Evan Roberts had scarcely begun urging everyone to obey the Spirit, whether by reading, reciting, praying, or singing, before Mr. John Rees (Llansamlet) sang the solo and led the congregation in ‘Mae’n disgwyl am danat yn awr,” and immediately afterwards a young lady stepped into the pulpit and read a psalm. She then went on her knees and prayed for some relatives, whose whereabouts she declared she did not know, The congregation sang ‘Diolch Iddo,” and the last few lines of “Dyma gariad,” repeating this many times. Miss Mary Davies delivered a brief Welsh address on “Coming to the Father,” and then prayed. The “testimonies” which followed were prompt and remarkable. Subsequently, when Mr Evan Roberts was portraying [sic] with skill the idea of infinity, a little boy in the gallery began singing “lesu, Iesu, gwrando lais fy nghri” (“Saviour, Saviour, hear my cry”), and some of those present cried, “Hush,” but the Evangelist said, “No, no; I can wait,” and the hymn went on for some time, the little boy being heard through all others from beginning to end. Two young ladies from Birchgrove then rose from the body of the chapel and prayed passionately, so that once more prayer actually overwhelmed praise. The congregation began singing “Tyr’d ato, bechadur” (“Come unto Him, sinner”). The extraordinary fervour and eloquence of a little girl on behalf of her father aroused the meeting to a pitch of excitement and enthusiasm such as I have seldom witnessed at the great meetings held by Mr Roberts. “Ar El ben fo’r goron” was sung, many people clapping hands as the music swept on like a mighty wave. A mother fervently and tearfully prayed for her boy, and she was joined by another, who asked that “Tom” should be saved. The usual tests were put, and the meeting throughout distinctly showed that the “fire” of the revival had most distinctly spread to Clydach. There were hundreds unable to gain admission.’

From, 'The Western Mail', 28th December 1904.

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