These newspaper articles are provided to encourage Christians throughout the world to pray for, and to live expectantly of, a new revival in our day and age. As a young Christian living in South Wales I avidly read these Western Mail accounts and visited the locations of the scenes described, and my heart leapt at the prospect that God would do it again. It is my prayer that you too will know such encouragement from reading these accounts. However, these articles were, for the most part, written by unconverted men, and read in isolation will give you a one-sided view of the revival. There is a danger of outright rejection that this was a move of God, or a blind acceptance of the emotional, with no spiritual discernment of the true, life changing work of Grace that rocked a nation. Either reaction would be a great loss to the furtherance of the work of God, so please read these few words with an open and a warm heart, and then be astonished and full of praise at the things our God did for the people of Wales in 1904.
November 14th. 1904.
THE NEW REVIVAL SPREADS
DISCIPLES IN THE SURROUNDING VILLAGES.
GIPSY WOMEN TEAR THEIR HAIR.
Our Llanelly representative writes : The publication given in the 'Western Mail" to the great Revival in progress in Loughor and surrounding districts has been the means of attracting thousands of people to the various chapels at which these remarkable gatherings are held. 1 described in Saturdays Western Mail the meeting held on Thursday which did not conclude until five o' clock on Friday morning. Fridays meeting was equally protracted, while the meeting on Saturday night even exceeded these lengths, the lights in the chapel not being extinguished until after five o'clock.
All the gatherings were alike in that they were marked by the same ecstatic fervour as distinguished the meetings already described. By this time, Mr Evan Roberts, who is the guiding spirit of this wonderful mission, has come to dispense with the opening address, with which in the earlier days of the movement he commenced each meeting. His impassioned oratory has done its work, and now the conduct of the proceedings is left almost altogether in the hands of the congregation. How thoroughly they enter into it may be gauged by the length to which each meeting is carried on.
As might have been expected some extraordinary incidents are taking place each day outside the chapel walls. On Friday afternoon, for instance, a young man engaged on a farm in the vicinity was sent by his master with a cart load of tumips to Loughor. Earlier in the week he had come under the spell of the missioner, and might be described as one of his converts. When nearing Loughor he was approached by a woman in deep distress, who, with tears in her eyes besought him to come and pray for her husband. Like the disciples of old, he forthwith 'left all', and followed the woman to her house. Over an hour elapsed when his employer came to town and found his horse and cart in the charge of two young children. He was directed to the house, and the scene that presented itself there so affected him that he remained to join his prayers with those of the woman and his servant.
GIPSIES AT FIRST SUSPICIOUS.
During the whole of Saturday prayer meetings were held in various homes these being continued up until the late evening meeting at Moriah Chapel. On Saturday, two young women who were predominantly associated with the revival, went on a preaching mission to Gorseinon. They were joined by other enthusiasts, and they preached and sang outside of several public houses. Crowds quickly gathered. Here again there were heart broken outcries of contrition among the listeners, men and women sobbing like children.
But, perhaps the most remarkable service of the day was that held in the middle of a large Gypsy encampment on Kingsbridge Common. The dwellers in tents received the missioners with a degree of suspicion which augured ill for the progress of the service. Before the meeting had been long in progress, however, this suspicion gave way to wonderment, and later on to devout awe. Then came paroxysms of grief from the female members of the camp, some tearing their hair in their self denunciation. When the meeting came to a close a collection was made of behalf of the poor Gypsies, and a promise was given them that service would be held on Sunday.
On Saturday night, Moriah Chapel was besieged by a large crowd anxious to obtain admission. Hundreds of people had come from Llanelly, Swansea, Gorseinon and other places, and after the chapel had been filled to its utmost capacity there was yet a surging mass of people on the roadway. Mr Roberts seeing this ordered that the old chapel, which is nearby, be opened, and services were then held simultaneously in both buildings. The scenes that I described on Saturday were re-enacted at these two meetings. On all hands it could be seen that people had been moved to the very hearts core. What could not fail to impress even the most callous was the impassioned eloquence of men and women who up to this juncture in their lives had never uttered a word in public. It was thrilling to see young colliers uneducated, ignorant of you like, rise from their pews and speak as if inspired. Mr Roberts was joined on this occasion by a fellow student, Mr Evans roused his hearers to new enthusiasm with his account of the revival in Cardiganshire.
Mr Evans described his visit to Cardigan Fair, and how the crowd at first refused to hear the message, preferring to go on with their business. Bye and bye, however, the people gathered round, and they had the most successful meeting.
THROW OUT THE LIFELINE.
The high water level of fervour was reached in the old chapel, where, after a young woman had asked the audience to pray for her brother, a man rose in the gallery and speaking with passionate eloquence, described the vision which appeared to him the previous evening. He said that he was alone in his bedroom, when he suddenly felt that he was not alone. At the same time a voice seemed to be calling upon him to pray, buy he could not pray. This command was thrice repeated and he fell on his knees. but not a word escaped him. Then, however, the voice bade him to 'throw out the lifeline'. Upon this the whole audience rose as if by some common instinct and sang, as it has rarely been sung before, the well know hymn of which these words are the refrain.
The experience of a young man engaged as a clerk in a Llanelly office is well worthy of notice. Like many others. his curiosity was attracted by these meetings, and he determined to be present on Saturday evening. By 'reason of the throng' K was nearly three hours before he gained admission. Seated next to him was man whose prayer so affected him that he implored the prayers of the congregation on his own behalf and later on he rose and spoke as a newly made convert.
Before the meeting ended Mr Roberts left in order to prepare to go to Aberdare.
It was announced that the mission would be continued at Gorseinon on Monday and at Pontardulais on Wednesday.
A meeting was held on Sunday afternoon on King's Common, Gorseinon being attended by thousands of people. In the absence of Mr Roberts young ladies led in prayer.
As a result of a previous meeting two Gypsies attended at Libanus, and although they were unable to understand Welsh, in which language the service was conducted, they were so moved by the spirit of the meeting that they were in tears from beginning to end.
On Sunday night Mr Sidney Evans, a fellow student of Mr Roberts, conducted a meeting which was crowded, and hundreds failed to gain admittance. A prayer meeting was held at Gorseinon Steel Works.
At Trinity Chapel, notwithstanding that it was an ordinary service, dozens of young people went forward and confessed Christ. People coming from chapels in the evening were seen to pray and preach in the streets.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon