Saron Welsh Baptist Chapel - Nantymoel (1905)

The second day’s proceedings in connection with the visit of Mr Roberts were of quite as extraordinary a character as those of the previous day, and yet of a totally different kind. There were services this morning and afternoon, but they were not attended by Mr Roberts or any of the young lady evangelists, and there was no special feature except a somewhat interesting incursion of English evangelists and laymen, who took some prominent part, especially in the afternoon. This gave the English visitors a keener relish for the revival, which is evidently spreading through many countries. Among those visitors were three ladies from Germany who did not understand even English, six French gentlemen, a lady sent from Paris by the Church with which she connected, two missionaries on a visit to this country from China, and dozens of Scottish, English, and North Wales clergymen, preachers, and laymen. The night meeting in Saron Chapel (where the revival fire has for weeks been burning brightly) was from the outset unique in its spiritual temperature. The crush was itself an indication of the intense expectation prevailing, for not-withstanding the “strangeness” of the previous night’s meeting, this was a Pentecostal gathering. The prayers and hymn-singing, which had been remarkable in the morning and afternoon, culminated in high tension from the time of the opening of the night service. Very tenderly Mr Evan Roberts soon after entering the building asked those who had not received Christ to abstain from singing, for they could not possibly sing from their hearts – an appeal which silenced some, but which elicited a literally tremendous outburst of hymn-singing and simultaneous prayers. Mr Roberts remarked that the service was a powerful illustration of the fulfilment of the promises of God. The promise of the previous night – that He would give His presence at this meeting – was simply fulfilled already. Another outburst of prayer and song followed, the repeat of several of the hymns being extraordinary in frequency and fervour. Incidentally, the evangelist dwelling upon the need of obeying the Spirit in all things, pointed out the need also of a pure heart in individuals who have a share in the work of winning souls. Still, he said, this idea did not justify all the remarks of some unconverted people. “I am as good as he is,” they said. The question was not were they as good as man or woman: but were they as good as Christ? He then invited the congregation to sing “Duw mawr r rhyfeddodau maith” (“Great God of countless wonders”) and the response was thrilling, for the congregation rose and sang with intense fervour, repeating the last four lines about twenty times. And with the singing came prayers in Welsh and English, singly and simultaneously so that the service became simply indescribable. Miss Annie Davies (Maesteg) delivered a telling and pithy English address, and concluded it with the recital of the Welsh hymn “O gariad, O gariad, anfeidrolei faint” (“O wonderful love, how immense is its scope!”) and “What will you do with Jesus?” was sung, and, with not a chance for a pause, testimonies and prayers were launched forth as if the “Love like mighty torrents” which had been sung of earlier in the proceedings had filled all hearts to overflowing. So mighty was the flow that there were frequently prayers, praise, and testimony given at the same time, astonishing some visitors, who cried, “Hush!” – an ejaculation which elicited from the evangelist the reply, given with a smile: “No, friends, please don’t hush. Go on, God ca hear all” – and upward rose the tide. An English minister in the body of the chapel gave thanks for the spiritual influence which was felt in that gathering and the Pentecostal blessing vouchsafed in that meeting and while a Welsh prayer was offered by a young woman, who asked God to “save now” (achub yn awr”), the English petitioner might be heard asking that the business, the politics, and the Churches of this country should be revolutionised by the revival. Then suddenly, Mr Evan Roberts rose to test the meeting. “Let all who have received Christ stand up,” and there was a great response. Of course, some retained their seats, and this gave the opportunity to draw in the net. Mr Roberts had only just began his exhortation to the unconverted when someone shouted, “Here’s one who wants to accept Christ now.” “Diolch Iddo” (“Thanks be to Him”) and “Songs of praises” were sung, and while the singing was going on others declared and gave further cause for rejoicing. “There are three here who will not give in” (“Tri yn gwrthod rhoi mewn”), explained a young woman at the front of the gallery, and there was immediately an avalanche of prayers for the unconverted. One woman prayed for an old hearer by name and elicited scores of “Amens” from all parts of the chapel. In order to impress waverers, an English visitor spoke of the necessity of personal consecration and while he was speaking a woman announced a conversion. “Diolch Iddo” interrupted the speaker. He resumed his speech and was almost immediately again interrupted in the same way and for the same reason. Mr Roberts urged those who had received Christ to invite those near them to do the same, and there were prompt responses in a double sense, for all the workers who acted upon the new call succeeded in their mission and “Diolch Iddo” again rang through the building. The interrupted testimony was then concluded. The question as to how many had prayed before coming to that meeting for the salvation of souls was put by Mr Roberts, and only a few raised their hands in reply. He then declared that they could not expect great blessings in the way of the saving of souls if they did not pray for them, and he asked them to pray for those blessings now. Silent prayer indicated by bowed heads, following for a time, but not for long as the Celtic temperament spoke through the stillness, and audible prayers soon poured forth. “Cof am y cyfiawn Iesu” (“Of Jesus, just and holy”) was sung, and later on, “For you I am praying.” A brief address of considerable power and pathos was delivered from the body of the chapel by Miss Olwen Davies of Pontycymmer, who has taken a prominent part in revival work elsewhere, and the prayers of women then became numerous and fervent. A testimony from a man who had served in South Africa on the need for forgiveness led Mr Evan Roberts to remind the congregation of the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses.” He then asked if there was anyone else who would accept Christ that night: “The devil laughs with glee at the very thought of Welshmen refusing to accept Christ in a land so greatly blessed by the Gospel as Wales!”

From, 'The Western Mail', 9th February 1905.

Additional Information

The chapel no longer exists.

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