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Death of Mr. L. M. Richards,I…

A Beloved Bishop. -I


An Unburied Carcase I

A Long Tramp. |



Llanbadarn-fawr Funeral.I

Glasbury Centenary.I


Glasbury Centenary. I Methodism at Cwmbach. INTERESTING STORY OF A VILLAGE CAUSE. Sunday and Monday, December 1st and 2nd, 1918, were red letter days in the history of Cwmbach (Glasbury) Wesleyan Methodist Church, for the centenary of this cause was then celebrated. Rev. J. Wesley Hughes, the superintendent minister, though not in other respects an autocrat, assumed the role of the centurion," and directed that the preachers on both days should preach from the texts taken by the ministers who officiated at the opening services in 1818. Mr James Thomas, of Brecon (who has been serving this little church, occasionally, for 48 yeaxs), and Pastor C. W. Senior, of Hay, were the preachers on the Sunday, Revs. J. Wesley Hughes and C. A. Harries taking the services on the following day. Different parts of the circuit were well represented, and one good brother, who has removed from Glasbury, walked ten miles to be present at the Monday services. A free tea was provided for visitors on this day, and, at 7 p.m., Mr James Williams, of Hay, presided over the last of an excellent series of services. Mr Hughes gave the following interesting and inspiriting address, after which the Doxology was most heartiiy suug: Words will even fail to express the indebtedness of Methodism to the zeal and steadfastness of its village churches—the small, struggling, loyal "societies" which, through succeeding generations, have kept the flag flying amid vicissitudes and difficulties of which they who dwell among the wealth and crowds of towns and cities can never form an adequate conception. Their foundations have been laid, often, in the presence of opposition and persecution; their growth has been slow and stunted; their maintenance has been secured only by a sacrifice and a loyalty deserving of the greatest admiration. That many of them have continued to live at all is a subject of wonderment when the conditions are careftftly examined, and their existence, in spite of the discouragements which they have experienced, is a matter for deep gratitude, and praise to Almighty God. To despise these country BBthels because they are smaH, to neglect them because they are difficult of access, is an attitude which can only be assumed by those who are ignorant of their history, and of their value to the larger life of our great church. Not only are these little folds of Christ" loyal to the best traditions of Methodism in point of doctrine and Christian conduct, but they produce that type of men and women who, when circumstances compel their removal into the larger churches of our towns and cities, are to be found among the best and most faithful of their members, and the most trusted of their office bearers. It would be no extravagance of language to assert that the best and choicest of Methodism, past and present, is produced, not among the hurry and bustle of the city, but in the calm, pure atmosphere of the struggling, unobtrusive village Bethels. Methodism owes more to its village societies than can ever be expressed. As the character of these services indicate, Wesleyan Methodism was planted in the district of Glasbury a little over one hundred years ago. The sanctuary in which we are now gathered to worship God was erected exactly a century ago, but the cause was called" into existence a few years earlier. It is the direct product of the open-air evangel. In the face of much opposition and ill-treatment, the first Methodist preacher proclaimed the Word of Life in this neigh- bourhood. His message brought liberty and joy to many, but especially to Sarah Price, of Ciltwrch and she, upon the advent of winter, graciously threw open her home to the faithful evangelist, for the holding of regular Methodist services. Her example was followed by others, among them being William Jones, whose son,*Thomas, became a minister of our church, and laboured with considerable success for the honoured period of 53 years. For the first few years of its history, the little church appears to have experienced a somewhat chequered career, owing, probably, to the breaking up of the homes, which, in turn, gave it shelter. But God did not forsake His people. His spirit was working upon the heart and conscience of a man who was destined to become the medium of the permanent establishment of Methodism in Glasbury, and of a resting place for the Ark af the Lord. The Word found lodgment in the heart of 'Squire Hargest, of Skynlas, and he, like King David, found no rest until "he had found out a place for the Lord, and a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob." Speaking of this soon after the opening of the chapel, he said: "When traversing my fields, everything about me, even the birds, seemed to cry, I Lost! lost! lost!' Many times have I climbed the mountains alone to pray, but there was no peace, no rest. One day, in the summer of 1818, when crossing a meadow, God spoke to me and said, 4 Give that corner of this meadow to the Methodists, and build a cliapel. Thus were the prayers of the little band of faithful Methodists at Cwmbach answered of God. In October, 1818, 'Squire Hargest presented the site for the erection of the first Methodist Chapel in -this district, and, we are told, subscribed very liberally towards the cost. He also joined the society at its opening, remaining a faithful member up to his death. For some year before he died, he acted as one of the "leaders of the society serving it with great zeal and devotion. In his death he forgot not the interests of his spiritual home, as the tablet on these walls eloquently testifies. On the first day of December, 1818, the Chapel was opened amid great rejoicing on the part of the little society. The preachers who officiated were the Ministers of the Brecon Circuit, the Revs. William Woodall and James Dixon. A record of the texts of their sermons has been kept and some faithful soul has left his impressions of the services and discourses in the following lines 1 Samuel, vii., 12. My Ebenezer here I'll raise, I In shouts and songs of endless praise To the great God, who built this Frame In honour of His glorious Name. Isaiah lxii., 1. For Zion I'll not hold my peace, Till filled with truth and righteousness, And light breakforth from pole to pole And filled with faith is every soul. Psalm xxvii., 4. Lord, to Thy house will I repair, With holy joy and filial fear, Till called to dwell with Thee aboT Where all is calm, and peace, anaove. Lord, in Thy temple I'll abide, Till Thou shalt seat me by Thy side, Where consolations ever flow, And all Thy precious love I know. 2 Cor., ix., 8. God is sufficient of His grace, To fill with love and holiness The saints that may assemble hare, Till they before His face appear. The lines may not claim to have much of the poetic quality about them, perhaps, but they certainly breathe that spirit of gratitude and devotion which filled the breasts of those who participated in those memorable opening services one hundred years, ago. The burial- ground adojining the chapel was also a gift of Squire Hargest, and was conveyed to the trustees in the year 1836; and thereto hangs a touching tory :-A young woman, named Clements, who had found the Saviour at one of the services held in the chapel, expressed a wish. whilst dying, to he buried near the Mcred spot. The wish came. to the can of the good squire, and he, by an immediate gift of the necessary ground, made it possible for the solemn desire to be realised. Since its erection the chapel has. been twice renovated-in 1867, when the Rev. Richard Roberts officiated at the re- opening services, and in 1887, a year after our good friend, Mr Thomas Jones, Skynlas, was appointed chapel in 1818. These, the original trustees, were:- chapel steward. Minor improvements were also carried cut in the year 1880. No historical survey of the cause at Glas.bury could be complete without reference to David Price, schoolmaster, of Talgarth, who assisted Sarah Price in the inauguration of tM early Christmas morning service, which exerted such a powerful influ- ence on Glasbury Methodism, and which maintained its popularity for at lea.st 40 years; William Price, of Boughroom Castle, one of the first (if not the first) leaders of the society; William Butcher and Jane Beavan, two of the earliest member., George Butcher and his worthy wife, etc. Worthy of remem- brance are those upon whose willing shoulders devolved the responsibilities associated with .the erection of the chapel steward. Minor improvements were also carried Richard Hargest; Clement Probert, Tymawr, Llanigon; Richard Williams, Great House, Pipton; Jonathan Thomas, Hay; William Jones, Glasbury; Edward Probert Braddws; Roger Pugh, Boughrood; James Williams, Aberll unvey; John Higgins, Painscastle; and Thomas Jones, schoolmaster, Glasbury. One by one these faith- ful ten passed to their reward, and at the jubttee of the -chapel, which was celebrated in the year 1868, only one was left-the venerable- Jonathan Thomas, of Hay. It, therefore, became necessary to appoint additional trus- tees, and the following names were enrolled :-Charlpg. Butcher and W. Vaughan, of Glasbury; R. Brearley, W Owen, James Michael and J. P. Lloyd, of Hay; H. C. Rich, D. Jones, W. J. Roberts, O. P. Larkin, J. E. Nott, and W. >1. Brien, of Brecon; and D. Price, of Talgarth. These, in turn, have 'obeyed the call to higher service and the reward of the faithful; but other should- ers have loyally taken upon them the "burden of love," and so the "Sanctuary of the Lord" continues to be cared for. The spiritual interests of the work, so jealously fostered by the fathers, remain in loving hands and hearts. The preaching of the Word, the oversight of the young, the claims of our connexional system, the traditions of our beloved Methodism—these things will not be allowed to suffer while such men as Jones and Hobby and Price and Connop are in charge of affairsb at Cwmbach. Loyalty to Christ, a loving attachment to Methodism, a generosity of heart beyond oppression, have been the outstanding features of this little Church during the one hundred years. which come to such a fitting close this evening. The history of the past cen- tury shall not be forgotten, but let us not rest upon the past, glorious though i.t be. Rather let us look for- ward, trustfully, to greater things in the future. Let all our efforts be consecrated to the endeavour to make the coming century even more glorious in its prosperity than the one we are now celebrating. We have every- thing on our ,ide! Greater oportunitie Better facilities! A wider experience and larger knowledge than our fathers possessed—and withal we had the Divine promise upon which they rested and prospered. Tho word of the Lord comes to us at the close of the century as it came to them at its opening" And God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye, alwavs having all .sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II. Cor., ix., 8). For all the necas- I sities of the work—both material and spiritual-the, Lord will provide, if only we are willing mediums for His grace and goodness. The Lord gives to us that we, in turn, may sacrifice unto Him, and no man is the poorer for what he give*; unto the Lord. "We lose what on ourselves we spend, We have no treasure without end Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend, Who givest all." No man has ever wanted that which he has offered in sacrifice to God Not only will it bring glory to the Name of God by the prospering of His Kingdom, but it will redound to the temporal and eternal advantage of the man himself. "Every man, according as he pur- poseth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly. or of necessity for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." What an appropriate message for the closing service of this centenary I What comfort and joy we find in the past of our history- here in this little Church! What encouragement for the future I We have the glorious- example of our father to follow. We have the evidence of God's faithfulness unto them in all their trials and difficulties, because they trusted Him and served Him with zeal- and devotion and generosity! And -we have His pro- mise-the same promisee our fathers enjoyed-we have our God's promise to inspire us, as we face the tasks and the cpoprtunities of a new -century. The God of our fathers is our God! Only let us trust Him. Only let us serve Him as they served Him, and their pros- perity shall be ours—yea and greater! God baptize us anew with the spirit of faith and love-the spirit of con- secration and service—the spirit that shall make the future of his little church better, brighter, and more- prosperous than its most prosperous past.