Evan Roberts was a leading leader in the 1904 Welsh Revival. Here is an incident of deep prayer and Gethsemane like travail. I really like this quote out of "I saw the Welsh Revival,book". It is also said that he would for a time during the night have encounters with God and once he even asked that God would hold back lest he die."There was not a wondering eye in all the congregation.Every eye was glued on the young preacher in the pulpit. He was still in his twenties. Yet men like Dr. G. Campbell Morgan and the beloved F.B. Meyer had listened enraptured at the young preacher. The prophets mantle was upon him. His words burned like fire. The light of another world was in his eyes. This was not just the flaming oratory of the Welsh. This particular night "unction" -that Divine accolade-touched this preacher with an unusual compassion and fervor. Let an eyewitness of this solemn event tell us what happened:His soul seemed to be saturated through and through with the spirit of prayer. I am a living witness of this incident that this prayer was answered in a terrifying way. Falling on the floor in a pulpit, he moaned like one mortally wounded, while his tears flowed incessantly, his fine physical frame shook under the crushing soul-anguish.No one was allowed to touch him. Those seated close to him frustrated any attempt at assistance which many willing hands would have gladly rendered. The majority of us were petrified with fear in the presence of such uncontrollable grief. What did it mean? What good could possibly accrue from such manifestations in over crowded meetings? Thoughts of this nature agitated our minds.No one doubted the transparent sincerity of the man, however mysterious the happenings. When Evan Roberts stood before the congregation again, his face seemed transfigured. It was patent to all that he had passed through an experience that was extremely costly. No one who witnessed that scene would vote for a repetition. One wonders whether such hallowed occurrences should be chronicled.Dave Matthews reported this solemnizing event in his book, I Saw the Welsh Revival (p.41). This was Evan Roberts' public Gethsemane. I am sure that he often had such encounters with soul agony in the privacy of his prayer closet. What a pity that our seminary men are not acquainted with this kind of soul-shaking prayer. In the nation-shaking Welsh Revival, Matthews tells us that "even the little children between nine and twelve years of age prayed with wisdom and fluency that sounded uncanny."
I am a living witness of this incident that this prayer was answered in a terrifying way. Falling on the floor in a pulpit, he moaned like one mortally wounded, while his tears flowed incessantly, his fine physical frame shook under the crushing soul-anguish.
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