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CYNWYSIAD. I

THE CHURCH IN wales.

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THE CHURCH IN wales. 10 THE nIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P. —In my last letter I gave a hasty sketch of the great religious revival in South Wales the last century. The moral condition of People in the Northern province of the Principality was far worse than that of their fellow-countrymen in the South at that time. The five mile and Conventicle Acts had well ^igh extinguished the light of the small num- 0r °f Nonconformist Churches which had been planted there by the ejected ministers of 1662. There remained yet a few, one here and there, in j* ery feeble and isolated condition. They had ut. little intercourse with each other—no plan for combined action and co-operation. That poor Daughter of Zion was left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged City.' The Established Church Was left in almost undisputed possession of the field: and what was the result ? Lo, the field was all grown over with thorns, nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone Wall was broken down A Solomon might occasionally pass by that field of a slothful Church-that vineyard of a Church void of Understanding, and look at it, 'considering well, and receive instruction.' A poet now and f. 611 Would raise the cry of lamentation over e deplorable state of things in the land. Old Jonathan Hughes of Llangollen, a poet of no :m b .L eaii pretensions, though a member of her com- was unmercifully severe in his denunci- n 10118 a8'aihst the sins of the Church,: but all to a a httle ^eeP, a little slumber, ciil G of the hands to sleep,' was the Espouse to all calls to life and activity. u ere let remained among the small rem- ti'me Konconformi^ in ^01'th Wales at that! > a few eminently holy men, the frag- rance nf i ° j- JI Whose memories is still as the wine of left ail°n" cxcePt tllc Ij0r(l °f hosts had to the land that very small remnant, it WOUld have been left as Sodom: and have ^eiUike imto Gomorah. Of this small remnant ° Pious men, William Pritchard, a native of arjiarvonshiro, a respectable farmer, and a erriber of the Independent Church at Pwll- tho' o^aS m°st emincnt- ^r- Pritchard, am a layman' wc^ deserves to be ranked 0f th§ tllG ClllCfS °f tllC evan8'elical Reformers suff ? probably, was the greatest Pora^ f°r thC (^0Rl)el's salie °f a11 his eontern- ttientleS' 'Being constantly annoyed and tor- Wil]-ed bj gentry and clergy, and their ^00^'s» he removed from his native home, ,tookS-^t an asylum in Angiesea, where he man? larg° fai'm* H° S°0n became a marked 5Upo als0: thc clergy luuI their eye 11 him, who represented him to the people ;^0 ^ori.]nror, a man in league with the devil; J such a man would have been an accept- and Serv^Ce t° God, they said. The ignorant ftild81IPeYstitious populace became enraged st him. His life was in constant jeopar- them. They killed his live stock, his ^tr°y°d his implements of husbandry; o^rok riGTS were laid desolate, his barns %ag^^°Wn, and his fields devastated. He b1T)lo0ia,10<1 011 eycry s^c' yet not distressed; Jfeot ^Xe(l' hut not in despair persecuted, but j^is e°rSa^cn 5 east down, but not destroyed. t^einies sought in every way to crush him, bite 1^llce his family to beggary: but in HGav 1 malice, notwithstanding the many- ly .°Srses they inflicted upon him, his word- Of continued to prosper the good hand Ndp r •°(1 Was llPon him, and his £ gentlenesp §reat-' Was but one small Nonconformist l(.nt ftl 111 Angiesea at that time, the Indepen- pUi J> ^h at Pvhosymeireh, of which Will- ^^hard became a meraoer, and an orna- ■l:! invited iae venerable Lewis Eee;- i • • (father of the late eminent Dr. Abraham Rees), who at that time was the minister of the Inde- pendent Church at Llanbrynmair, Montgomery- shire, to pay a visit to the Island, who accord- ingly went there, and preached the word of life to the benighted people who sat in dark- ness, and in the region and shadow of death.' fr. Rees was endowed with extraordinary gifts in prayer. Did he but once succeed to attract the ear of the most turbulent and un- ruly mob for a minute or two whilst praying, all further opposition would be at an end. Such was the sacred and melting influence which accompanied his words and petitions, that it disarmed all prejudice, and subdue all passions. He had the honour of being the pioneer of the great revival in North Wales. It was he who cut the first sod, and com- menced the work of breaking up the fallow ground in that part of the field. Mr. Rces also induced the great Thunderer, Howell Harris, to visit North Wales for the first time, whose powerful preaching produced extraor- dinary effects every where. Other ministers from South Wales soon followed. The whole country was aroused from its lethargic sleep. The gentry and the whole body of clergy be- came enraged, and were ready to exclaim, 'Those that have turned the world upside down are come here also!' The great struggle between the light and power of gospel truth, Z, and the might and power of ignorance and z7, o superstition had fairly commenced, and raged with unabated fury from one end of the coun- try to the other. The sacred fire was sent on the earth, houses were troubled, families be- came divided, three against two, and two against three. Converts multiplied exceedingly, Z, n among whom were men and women of all ages, and of all classes in the community, and not a few of those who had been the most profligate and abandoned char- acter. Those converts, like them at Thessal- onica, who consorted with Paul and Silas, clave unto the preachers with the fondest attachment. Those who believed not, on the other side, consorted with the persecuting priests and rulers, who gathered and took unto them a company of lewd fellows of the baser sort, and set all the country on an uproar After a severe and protracted struggle, the Z, battle was fairly won, truth prevailed; the whole country was pervaded and subdued by its influence all violent opposition was at an end; those who were anxious to continue the persecution could no longer find willing tools for the cruel work. The preachers whom they had maltreated and abused became the idols of the people they were regarded by them as angels from heaven their persons were sacred in their eyes even the horse of a great preach- er was an object of some veneration. The revival gave birth to a new denomina- tion of Christians in Wales—the Calvinistic Methodi ts. They were very unwilling to leave the communion of the State Church for a long time. They stoutly repudiated the name of Dissenters. They were careful not to hold their religious services on Church hours, and a great number of them were regular attendants at the Parish Churches. Notwith- standing all this, the hierarchies preferred even the Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists who had always been out and out Dissenters. In time, the numerous societies belonging to the new sect felt the neccessity of having ordained ministers of their own to administer the sacraments among them, but their leaders, the few clergymen who joined the-movoment, and had been suspended on that account, stout- ly. opposed the innovation as a, dangerous ir- regularis y. They strongly maintained episco- pal ordination to be essential. The Churches, however, under their great leaders, Ebenezer Morris, John Elias, and others, carried their point at last: ministers were ordained after the Nonconformist fashion, and the Calvin- istic Methodists became a consolidated body of Dissenters. What remains to be told I shall reserve for my next anlIast letter. I havo the lonour to be, Eight Hen. Sir, 1 Your obedient Servant, W. BEES.

BETH Y MAE Y GYMDEITHAS DDIWYGIADOL…

CYFARFOD CYNHYRFUS YN LLUNDAIN.

DARGANFYDDIAD DYCHRYNLLYD.

CYFARWYDDIADAU I GOFRESTRU…