Zion (Seion) Welsh Independent Chapel - Caerau (1905)

The afternoon meeting at Seion Chapel, Caerau, today was as warm in temperature at the commencement as any of the services that have been held in this revived and reviving district. An overflow meeting would be held in Noddfa Chapel close by. The old-time “Lingham” was sung, first to the words which conclude, “Mae ynddi ddigon, digon byth, i’r truan ac i’r gwan” (“It is sufficient evermore for sinners sad and weak”). Then to the same tune came the words, “Crown Him Lord of all,” and as the “crowning song” in its new style rang out, the enthusiasm of the congregation increased until, as the “repeats” went on, the temperature of the meeting rose to an extraordinary degree, so that the scene and the singing became touching and remarkable to all present. When the singing ceased a man in the body of the chapel rose and said he was glad of the privilege of being at that meeting to join a congregation which was so strangely moved by the power of the eternal love. Mr Evan Roberts immediately took up the words and expressed the hope that they were imbued with the love referred to. Voices: “I am filled with it,” and “And I am.” Continuing, Mr Roberts said: “You are singing gloriously today. Would you like to sing another hymn? (And he read the account of the hymn singing prior to the departure of the Saviour to Gethsemane). He was permitted to go to Gethsemane! And what we should remember is that He went into the garden for us – for me. (A Voice: “And for me.”) “Wrth gofio’i riddfanau’n yr ardd” (“Who can on recalling His wondrous groans”) was sung by the congregation with great tenderness, and a lad standing in the gallery read Isaiah’s prophecy with reference to the Crucifixion. When the words, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied,” were uttered, Mr Roberts resumed his address: “If you say “Amen” to anything, you should say it after these words, and shall be satisfied. The Son of God is to be satisfied. There will be a vast throng of the redeemed. What have you done? Have you done anything to bring together that vast throng? What would you think if you had a King to wait upon you to serve you? Yet here you have greater than a King. The Son of God came not to be served, but to serve. How many were, or are, willing to wash the feet of the disciples? There are some who if you ask them to teach a class of children shake their heads, but Jesus comes, singing as He comes. If we are not prepared to do everything we are not in our places. There is something wrong with us.” Mr Roberts added: “He now asks someone to repeat a verse.” Testimonies and confessions instantly poured in. One man halted and was helped by a ministerial friend to finish his verse. “Don’t help each other,” said Mr Roberts; “the Spirit sometimes utilises a little lapse of memory to do good to a meeting. You sometimes see a crack in a pane of glass in the window, and when the sun shines upon it that crack enables you to see the beauty of the sunbeams that strike on it.” “Duw mawr y rhyfeddodau maith” (“Great God of countless wonders”) was sung, and the meeting was tested by a pastor, the Rev. Mr Morris, and when he was emphasising the alternative between Christ and Satan, Mr Roberts interposed. “Mr Morris,” he said, “is putting it gloriously; but I want to ask, ‘Those of you who have received Jesus, have you any fault to find with Him?’” There were shouts of “No,” in reply. With the singing of “Fy nghartref sydd ‘nawr yn nef” (“And now I dwell in Paradise”), this remarkable meeting was brought to a close. The meeting had not proceeded far before Mr Evan Roberts said: “There is an obstacle here which must be removed, and the Spirit tells me what it is. There is a person in this congregation who does not speak to his brother. If you are honest you will rise and say so, that the meeting may go on. God wishes you to rise and say so. If you do not there is a terrible time awaiting you. It is not I who is asking. You may go through this service without saying it, but you may rely upon it there is a time awaiting you.” A long pause followed, after which a voice was heard saying, “Better say it in English lest he be an Englishman.” Mr Roberts: “No, he is a Welshman.” Then, after another pause: “The person is looking around instead of rising. It is, however, no use putting off the matter. If you don’t stand soon I shall have to ask you to do so. The service cannot proceed otherwise.” There was silence for some time and the Rev. Mr Griffiths (pastor of the chapel) broke out in prayer. A man standing on the pulpit stairs said: “There was a matter between me and another, but I have forgiven him, and he will not forgive me.” Mr Roberts: “Is he here?” – “I don’t know.” Mr Roberts: “It is between natural brothers. God will not accept praise from us until this is cleared up. ‘Dead flies cause the ointment of apothecary to send forth the stinking flavour.’” A man standing in the body of the chapel said: “I have fallen out with my brother, but I have forgiven him.” Mr Roberts: “That’s it. Now sing ‘Duw mawr y rhyfeddodau maith’” (“Great God of countless wonders”), and this great hymn of praise resounded through the building for a considerable time. The Rev. Mr Griffiths said: “If we have had nothing else we have had a great revelation of the power of God.” Mr Roberts: “Just a few words. There were only two persons hitherto who were very near me, but what has happened tonight adds a third. I love him for what he has done” – the reference being to the man who had confessed the quarrel between himself and his brother. The service seemed in the ordinary course to have come to an end, but so great was the enthusiasm aroused that the singing went on. Even when Mr Roberts and the lady evangelists left the singing still continued, everyone declaring as the people were dispersing that it was by far the most wonderful of the meetings yet held in the district.

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

Additional Information

The building now is Flats.

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