Siloh Welsh Independent Chapel - Nantyffyllon (1905)

At exactly twenty minutes past one pm today someone in the body of Shiloh Chapel, Nantyffyllon struck up – “O anfon Di yr Ysbryd Glan, Yn enw Jesu mawr” (“Send down the Holy Spirit, Lord, In our dear Saviour’s name”). And the congregation sang with considerable fervour the well-known and appropriate hymn. This over the afternoon meeting opened. The reading of the Saviour’s “Great Prayer” (John xvii.) aroused considerable fervour, which presently found vent after a powerful Welsh prayer in the singing of “Dyma Gariad fel y moroedd” (“Here’s a Love like mighty torrents”) – a hymn indissolubly linked with Nantyffyllon by the fact that the extraordinary popularity of the love-song of the revival has been mainly brought about by the solo singing of Miss Annie Davies of Nantyffyllon. No wonder the hymn was sung here with a “fire” which it has seldom been one’s privilege to witness. The prayer of one of the local ministers which followed was a powerful outpouring of the man’s whole soul for the spreading of the power of the “Love like mighty torrents,” and no sooner was that prayer concluded than Miss Maggie Davies (who, with her sister Annie, and Miss Mary Davies, had just entered) broke out into “Dyma Gariad” (“Here’s a Love”), and the hymn was again taken up with enthusiasm. Miss Annie Davies and Miss Maggie Davies, standing in the aisle, prayed passionately in Welsh, and while those prayers and others (for there was a great outburst of simultaneous prayer) were proceeding, Mr Evan Roberts arrived. He promptly rose in the pulpit and took up a phrase used by a speaker as his text. Standing aside, he said, was the proper attitude for them all, and if a man was filled with the Spirit he found no difficulty in standing aside to give God the glory. They could not themselves bear the light; but Christ could bear the scrutiny. The Plan of Salvation was perfect. (A Voice: “There is no flaw in it.”) No, there is no flaw in it – and evangelist and congregation joyously laughed. “Some people,” continued Mr Evan Roberts, “criticise this joy.” (A Voice: “Let them criticise. I don’t care, as long as we have a share in the joy.”) “Yes,” went on the evangelist,” but they say the House of God is holy! Well, is not heaven Holy? If there is joy in Heaven, why should we not share it? Jesus is joyful because He, looking down, sees the work of His Love is going on, and when Jesus rejoices we rejoice! The only danger in the midst of this joy is that we may forget the unsaved.” The evangelist then asked the congregation to sing “Duw mawr y rhyfeddodau maith” (“Great God of wonders”), and the grand hymn of praise sounded through the building with a ring unmistakable and pronounced enough to make the service a memorable one in the midst of all present. Several prayers and an English solo led up to a glorious rendering of “Maddeuant” (“Forgiveness”) as a solo by a young lady standing in the body of the chapel. Miss Mary Davies (Gorseinon) delivered a brief Welsh address, and the meeting was tested by the pastor (the Rev. Glasnant Jones), and several converts were enrolled. Amongst those who were present at Maesteg during the day may be mentioned the Rev. C.H. Spurgeon (Greenwich), the Rev. D. Davies (Brighton), the Rev. Dr Wells (Glasgow) and a considerable number of ministers and clergy from various parts of the country. The morning meeting, held in Salem Chapel, Nantyffyllon, was attended by an enormous crowd of people, the commodious edifice being crowded with fully 1,500 people. The meeting began early, and a young lady in the gallery was singing splendidly “Nesau at Dduw sydd dda i mi” (“It is good for me to draw near to God”), when Mr Evan Roberts and the three lady evangelists arrived, accompanied by Mr Dan Roberts and the Rev. D. Mardy Davies. At the conclusion of the solo Mr Evan Roberts read the Scriptural act of Moses and the burning bush, and taking the words of the solo for his text, he pointed out the significance of Moses’ conduct in going bare-footed and hiding his face because the place was holy. If Moses did that, what should they do? They should worship in a contrite, humble spirit, and if there was anything in their hearts that needed removing let them open their hearts, and if they received Christ their hearts would be purified and cleansed. The Spirit, he said, looked for a place to glorify Christ. Some people thought God was hard because they asked Him frequently to save, but, whatever their thirst might be for a good meeting and their desire to glorify Jesus, the thirst of God for the salvation of souls and the glory of Christ was infinitely greater. If the altar was prepared, the wood in its place and the sacrifice laid upon it, He would send the fire.

From, 'The Western Mail', 15th February 1905.

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