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:':',.....1 WELSH VILLAGE…


1 WELSH VILLAGE LIFE.] b- y 1 j fteligious Revivals and EntSuislasm of the Cymry. "JUMPING" SCENES. By MORIEN." jt was, and I fear is still the fashion ftinong some English writers to refer: id religious enthusiasm in Wales with smiling indicule. The "jampings" occasionally wit- itfewed at those meetings have been referred Jó M illustrating a low condition of civilisa- tion as existing in those districts of the principality where they took place. There are current in Wales tales relating fa) old revival meetings, describing entire bftregations becoming suddenly under a strange influence, resembling mesmeric or Jbiologioal energy. ^Te read in Kings L, viii-r.—" And it c £ me to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the ^hotifte of the Lord, so that the priests could £ !ot stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house ol the Lord." It is staled that one of the most marvellous instances ever witnessed in Wales of the presence at a meeting of a mysterious energy overwhelming an entire congregation was at Holyhead, under the ministry of the late [lev. ;Robert Roberts, Clynog, when he was preach- ing there at a cymmanfa, before a vast congre- gation. Every single word from his mouth seemed to influence the entire people like a current of eleotrioity. During the meeting many people fell to the ground insensible, And with terror depicted on their faces and a young woman died on the spot. Fanaticism ? Enthusiasm ? Or was it once more the cloud filling the house, so that the priests could not stand ?" I am not going to endeavour to account for those extraordinary demonstrations of the assembled Cymry during the gatherings of devout men and women of a nation which, in all periods of history, has been earnestly 'devout. But the introductory observations were necessary to understand what follows Between twelve and one o'clock on a Satur- day night, or, rather, Sunday morning, in the month of April, 1877,1 was walking home to Pontypridd from Porth y Cymmer, where I had been busily writing and telegraphing the latest news of the entombed Welsh miners at Tynewydd Colliery. Near the Holly Bush an aged Welsh dame driving a horse and cart in the direction of Pontypridd over- took me. There were potatoes and cabbages an the cart, and the Amazonian driver was sitting on the forepart of the vehicle behind the animal. Being very tired-I had spent most of the day below in the mine—I asked Sarah (that was the dame's name) for a ride to Ponty- pridd. Is it you, Morien' ?" quoth the generous Sally; and "Yes, sure; come up." I was in less than half a minute lying on my back on the vegetable contents of the cart, and with the back of the Amazon towards me. Giving a whack to the horse's back with her short whip she asked me at the same time, Whether the entombed men had been brought out ?" I replied in the negative, "('h, dear, anwyl I "-another whack, which the horse did not seem to heed a bit—"Oh, dear, anwyl I" The poor men," she said, are ■ure to perish for wUnfc of food, but, as for water, they seem to have more than enough af r After some further exchange of remarks on the disaster, she told me she knew the Rhondda Valley intimately sixty years ago. Do you remember ?"—another whaok- do you remember the revival at Cymmer Chapel sixty years ago?" she asked me. Then, laughing, she said, "Dear di shevo ni! How foolish I am Your father and mother were young children sixty years ago I was then a little girl myself." We had now come to a descent in the road, and the old horse began trotting, and my posi- tion on the potatoes became too uncomfor- table. Sarah's bonnet fell back on her neck by the force of the wind, but the jaw strings" held it from falling off. The old horse seemed to have suddenly acquired the animation of youth, and ,-he drew in the reins, and called .out to the animal, Whei, nei di -0, drato dy galon di!" The old horse seemed some- what asthmatical, and was soon glad to adopt a slower pace. When pe-ice between her and the old horse wa3 re-established, she said, "1 often saw'jump- jug' at thie Cymmer Divvygiad (Revival,). We children—children are so mischievous !-used to go to chapel to witness the 'jumping.' When the jumping would commence, all the boys—boys wore white pinafores then- would ascend the steps of the broad old pulpit and stand there in rows "—whack, again, to the horse—" like birds, looking on at the 'jumping.' One of those boys ('Biii o'r Fforest') became a very good preacher. The men and women walked about like people out of their senses, but singing hymns, and now and then some of them would jump and cry I lfalleiii 'iah I' and I I)Iulch iddo !'—' Gogoniant!' and Iddo ef "Dear me," she continued, reflectively, most of those who jumped and praised have died-bai-e seen Him whom they praised so loudly Then turning her side face to me, she said, To be ready is the thing After a few moments of silence she said, laughingly, Ii I well recollect one Sunday morning in that old chapel. I and other children were near the fireplace, and the cinders were lying from under the grate on the hearthstone. There was no fender, The old chapels were not such grand ones as people have nowadays, but the old chapels contained more real religion than is found, I fear, in the present grand ones 0, dear, dear,"she groaned," people only think now pf dresses, cushioned pews, and respectability They do provoke the Almighty with their Iquavers (Used among the Welsh for osten- tation.) t flere she dealt the old horse a vigorous iitroke-, but the whip only struck the harness, v. Well, 1 was telling you," she continued, we little girls were by the fireplace. A stout old woman stood with her back to the fire- I cflace, and ohe held up the skirt of her town of 'bwmbast a gwlan' in folds behind. What did 1 do—children are po mischievous !— but placed quietly many lumps of cinders in the folds of the old Woman's dress. She was listening to the preacher, and didn't notice what I was doing. Presently, owing to something the preacher jhad said, all the congregation sprang to their feet together, and the old woman in front of the fire bounded forward, singing the while: I 1 Goicliwyd Magdalen yn ddisglaer, A Manasse'n hyfryd wyn fhe entire congrsgation adopted the old Roman's hymn, and, moving backward ânu: XorwarcLi, they sang, and Ji* cinders fell from the folds on the dgar, and were crushed under the fee £ .of tile congregation. tafo. Air. Evan liforvan.T v'n v CVmmer. who was in a pew behind me," she went on to say, leaned forward and said to me, I Little girl, whoever you are, if you will come to Tyn' y Cymmer to-morrow morning, I will give you your pinafore full of apples for the knack you have played the old woman. I have heard other anecdotes of that re- vival. It appears that one of the most demonstra- tive of revivalists at Cymmer was known by the name of Evan, who was a local black- smith. He was then very young and died only a few years ago. It was Sunday morning, and it was the "sul Pen Mis Mawr" (the great Monthly Sacrament Sunday). There was a very heavy flood in the Rhondda River. Evan dwelt with his mother at the lower end of Dinas, and above Cymmer a mile higher up the valley. Evan was walking backwards and forwards along the bank of the river, apparently in a deep reverie. His mother saw him, and called out, Ivan come from there, will you You may fall into the flood (" ir llif.") "No, mother," replied Ivan, gravely, "I shall not fall into the flood. A greater than the flood takes care of me." Wn i ddim ya wir," said the doubting I mother, "I don't know, indeed! You may slip into the flood from between his fingers It is, however, doubtful whether the mother fully understood to whom Ivan was referring. At the time in question there were only three chapeb and a church in the Rhondda Valley, namely, Cymmer (Independents), Ynysfach (B), anil now called Nebo, Ystrad Hhondda, and Libanus (B), Treherbert. But the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists held Divine Service at Tai, Dinas. It became rumoured at Dinas that a marvellous religious revival had broken out at Ilermon (M.) I Chapel, Aberdare. At peep of day on the following Sunday morning, my father, then about seventeen years of age, and several other youths climbed the lofty mountains, and passed over them to Aberdare. They reaohed Ilermon by ten o'clock, in time for the service. The late Rev. William James, Neath, grandfather of Mr. James, now deacon with the Calvinistic Methodists at Porthcawl, was the preacher. There was a large congregation. My father, who was a good musician, noticed, as he often told me long afterwards, a strange quivering of voioes in the singing during the introductory portion of the service. The most intense solemnity prevailed. Presently the preacher took for his text the following verse in the book of the Prophet Isaiah Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah ? This that is glorious in His apparel, travel- ling in the greatness of His strength ? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save 1" After introductory observations, pointing out that the Hebrew prophet, as a seer of the Lord,described in the text the future advent of the Messiah, of the redemption of fallen humanity by His intercession and atonement, he said, the coming from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah," implied the death and resurrection of the Lord. The preacher then personified the Church of God, and in a dramatic manner represented the personified Church of the Old Testament as asking ques- tions of the Prophet Isaiah, and then described the Hebrew prophet giving explanatory replies. After a number of interrogatories and answers, which greatly moved the large con- gregation, the preacher, in musical tones, represented the bewildered Church of the Old Testament as asking Isaiah, Why, why art thou so astonished at one coming up from Edom, and with dyed garments from Bozrah ? -Why wonderest thou at His coming from there ? The prophet then replied, Because no one came before from there alive Instantly the entire congregation rose together to their feet as if they had previously rehearsed the act, and the most thrilling expressions of thanksgiving and praise broke forth and filled the saored building! A young girl, about sixteen years of age, in the next pew to that occupied by the young men from the llhondda, with tears streaming over her rosy cheeks, broke forth into song, singing the appropriate Welsh hymn founded on the text of the preacher Pwy welaf;o Edom yn d'od, Mil harddach na thoriad y wawr, Yn sathru dan wadn ei droed Elynion yn Iluoedd i'r Ilawr Ei wisg wedi ei lliwio gan waed, Ei saethau a'i gleddyf yn lIym Ei harddwch yn Ilanwr holl wlall, Yn ymdaith yn amMer ei rym ? The deeply-moved congregation now joined the young maiden in the singing, and they were all singing when the young men left. They re-crossed the mountains, and arrived shortly after two o'clock at Tyardwyn, which stood by the side of the road where the Cwm (Tvdach incline now crosses the highway at Tonypandy. A religious service had already commenced in that house. My father's youthful companions passed into the meeting. lIe himself lingered talk- ing to his acquaintance near the garden gate. He was suddenly startled by the sound of loud uproar in the cottage, followed by sing- ing, The young men had brought the sacred f, re in their hearts across the mountains, and thus commenced in the Rhondda the religious revival referred to by Sarah, the driver of the cart described at the beginning of thi sketch.




_.__--Granny's Omnibus Ride.