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has complied with the act which requires that His strength lay in catechizing ; and he thought service shall be performed, by appointing Mr, it “amazing to consider how incredibly ignorant Griffiths, the curate, who has regularly performed the generality of people had continued, even under the duty.- Case of Dr. Bowles ; published by the Cymrodorion Society, p. 59.
very plain and powerful preaching, where cate
chizing was omitted." His arguments in favor This argument appears to have weighed more
of the practice are sought from Hegesippus and with the Court of Arches than with the people of Ussher, as well as from Jewish and Mahometan the Principality; and a certain portion of the dis- custom; but the example of his own earnestness sent now existing may be considered as a perma
must have been more effective than them all. His nent protest against the practice thus defended. Exposition of the Church Catechism in the There is probably no living member of the Church Welsh language is a standard work, and has been of England who would not regret what was at
adopted by the Society for Promoting Christian once a source of just irritation to the people, and Knowledge. He was also induced by his zealof natural discouragement to the native clergy. unhappily, as we think, though great allowance Men, whose most probable prospect was serving
must be made for the times—to set the first exas curates, under the easy relative of some non
ample in the church of preaching in other parishes resident prelate, would easily sink below the proper limens of his sermons ; though, from the practice
and in the open air. We have not seen any spectone and qualifications of their office.* Such was, in some measure, the result; and after a
of his followers, they may be suspected of having large allowance for a considerable sprinkling of laid considerable stress upon physical emotioneducated talent and liberal piety, we may affirm
Hoc fonte derivata clades that the clergy, as a body, were little prepared to
In patriam populumque fluxit ;meet the moral earthquake which was about to yet, on the whole, his great and persevering exburst under their feet.
ertions fairly entitle him to that reverence in which It was not, however, in a hostile form that the his memory is still held by his countrymen, and awakening angel at first appeared. Several in which, we hope, few members of the English churchmen, of different shades of opinion, such Church will refuse to join. It is not as the preas Tillotson, Siillingfleet, and Gouge, who may cursor of Methodism, but as the patient workman be termed the Charles Simeon of his day, had ex- in that great field of education which was then so erted themselves even in the preceding century to little appreciated, that he achieved his purest trirepair the desolation caused by the Puritans in the umphs. To him it is principally owing, not only civil war.t For whatever may be said of such that 150,000 persons learned to read is his lifemen as Cradock or Vavasor Powell, (who, by the time, but that the Bible has since been so generway, excelled as a dreamer of dreams,) their ally found and read in the Welsh cottage. So teaching did not counterbalance the mischief done his work abides. by their allies ; the congregations which sprang Howel Harris of Trevecca, the elder of the from them were sew and feeble: but the elements twin founders of Welsh Methodism, was a man of of healing came from the Church, as the ruin had pure and ardent zeal. He was born in 1714, and, come from the opposite quarter. The first Welsh- having some property as well as a prospect of preman who stands out prominently in this good ferment, he went to Oxford in 1735, when the work, is Griffith Jones, of Llanddow ror. It ap- influence of Wesley and his friends must have pears evident—indeed it is fully acknowledged — been fresh in the University. The successive that an impulse had been given to his exertions by stages of terror and consolation, which he thought the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, necessary to true religion, came upon him at interthen growing from Justy infancy to its prime. vals while receiving the Eucharist ; his devotion He became a member of the Society in 1713, and became more passionate, and his life stricter than in 1730, with the assistance of Mrs. Bevan, whose To a mind thus excited, the discipline and name is still justly honored on that account, he | the want of discipline of the University would be established a kind of itinerant schools. These both distasteful; and, under the influence of feelsingular institutions were most ingeniously con- ings not unlike those which in later times have trived to spread the elements of education, and hurried men in a different direction, he sought what taught many thousands of persons to read. In his he considered the purer atmosphere of his home. own parish, on the beautiful banks of the Towy, Here he at once began to teach : not so much by not far from the ancient towers of Llaugharne, set sermons, as by exhortation and converse on Griffith Jones spent most of a long and useful life. religion with whoever would listen. * In an early volume of the Quarterly Review, a pecu- to house, until I had visited the greater part of my
I was occupied (he says) in going from house liarly gross case of non-residence is commented on, as almost boasted of in the “ Autobiography” of Bishop native parish, together with neighboring ones : Watson.
the people now began to assemble in great numbers, 1 The great name of Baxter is the only Nonconformist's so that the houses wherein we met could not conwhich we recognize among them. Gouge was far the most actively liberal; and it speaks well for the gratifi- tain them. The Word was attended with such cation of the people, that in their current literature he is power, that many on the spot cried out for pardon still celebrated as a “benefactor to the nation of the to God, and such as lived in malice confessed their Cymry.” See Sir Thomas Phillips, pp. 110–118 sins, making peace with each other, and appeared
in concern about their eternal state. Family wor- | before them—as the example of the prophets of old ship was set up in many houses; and the churches and good men who abode in the Jewish church, as far as I had gone were crowded, and likewise notwithstanding its degeneracy in every respect ; the Lord's table.
and our Saviour and his apostles attended service at He soon became laudably desirous of taking knew it was to be abolished.
the hour of prayer in the same church, though they
And as holy orders; but we cannot join those who censure the late revival began in the Established Church, we Bishop Clagett for not ordaining him before the think it not necessary or prudent to separate ourcanonical age.
The following passage, which selves from it, but our duty to abide in it, and to go said to occur in Whitfield's Journal, appears to to our parish church every Sunday, and we find us an extraordinary one to have been reproduced that our Saviour meets us there. in Welsh by a person calling himself a clergyman, Harris did not escape that estrangement from and therefore not a stranger to the practice of the his associates, which seems the destiny of those church :
who beget a spirit of change. We find him in He (Harris) endeavored twice to obtain orders; the latter part of his life at variance with Rowlands, he was fit in every sense; but he was refused, on and founding a sort of monastic establishment, by
; the untrue pretext that he was not of age, though which the church service was attended as well on he was at the time twenty-two years and six months. holydays as Sundays, at Trevecca. Even his in- Life of Rowlands, App. D.
tegrity did not escape unmerited suspicion ;* and Surely a delay of six months, in order to attain he was happy in dying, (July, 1773, ætat. 60,) the proper age, was not a very unreasonable re- before errors, of which his teaching contained the quirement. The impatience, however, of Harris germ, broke out into heresies which he would have at first, and his subsequent perseverance in a course been the first to condemn. His funeral was celebraof zeal, which sat in judgment upon regular au- ted in characteristic language by Lady Huntingdon thority, seem to have prevented his becoming a and her daughter. Six clergymen in succession clergyman. Yet, if his attachment to the church blew the Gospel trumpet, on that occasion, with rewas not consistent, it was genuine in its kind. markable power and freedom ; and, amid the vast His societies were formed on the model of those multitude of mourners who assembled, “ there of Dr. Woodward ; his school at Trevecca (which
were some special seasons of Divine influence has been succeeded by a different institution) was both upon the converted and the unconverted." held for a time in the parish church, and the
Soon after, if not simultaneously with Howel whole tone of his life and mind is enthusiastic Harris, a far more striking personage, whose larather than sectarian.
bors were to produce more permanent effects, had I was carried (he says) on the wings of an entered upon the scene. Daniel Rowlands, of eagle triumphantly above all persecution. I took Llangeitho,.(born in 1713,) did for Wales whatno particular texts, but discoursed freely, as the ever Whitfield did for England, and perhaps soineLord gave me utterance. The gift I had received
thing more. He sprang from a family of strong was, as yet, to convince the conscience of sin. There appeared now a general reformation in sev
character and keen impulses. With sinewy frame eral counties.
and glowing imagination, he could play alike the
athlete or the orator. We find him subsequently encouraged by a letter youth in activity and strength ; nor did he hesitate,
No one surpassed him as a from Whitfield, and by the concurrence of many when first ordained, to join, after his Sunday duty, fellow-laborers, who sprang up suddenly under
in the games which were then universally popular. the impulse of a common spirit. For seventeen But a day came when Griffith Jones, of Llandyears his life was one of journeying and preaching dowror, preached in the neighborhood ; and Rowthroughout a land of storms, and a people, as he lands determined to be one of the audience. Some believed, of heathens. There are touches of fancy, which denote perhaps unconscious exagger- but his biographer describes him as standing with
accounts speak of a previous mental struggle ; ation in the annals of his labors. When interrupted in his sermon by a turbulent mob, his a look of pride and defiance in front of the pulpit ;
while the aged preacher, at whom he scossed, custom was to kneel down and pray; while in this attitude, if a stone missed him, or the deadlier saw already in spirit an Elisha who, he prayed,
might be destined to succeed him. As the sermon blow of a reaping-hook were diverted, it became a manifest, miraculous answer to his prayer. Yet proceeded, the face of scorn changed first to an exveither the smile to which we are tempted by the pression of doubt, then of shame; when it ended,
the scoffer went out from church an altered man. enthusiast, nor the polemics into which we might His work hitherto had been a patchwork of forms ; easily be provoked by the preacher, ever destroy it was now to be a ministry of the Spirit.
The our sympathy for the man. His temper seems to
fervid eloquence which gave vent to his new-born have been naturally amiable, and the greater anxiety of his later years was to retain in communion his teacher, and we soon hear of an ungodly
convictions, became more attractive than that of with the church the more eager disciples, who were already hurrying on from schism to schism. squire, who came with hounds and huntsmen to
church, undergoing the same conversion as he had Several (he tells us) were going to the Dissent- himself experienced, during a single sermon. ers and other parties, and I thought it my duty to declare against them by laying Scripture proofs
* Drych yr A., pp. 136~-139.
Still for a time he was pronounced by the enlight-( these two elements in the phenomenon. A ened to stand too exclusively upon Mount Sinai, similar excitement attended the preaching of and his warning to a reckless world was uttered Wesley and Whitfield; but the latter, accusin a voice of thunder. By degrees we are told tomed as he was to kindred scenes, was sure that his views became clearer ; but his power from prised by the emphatic form which the epidemic the first of startling men, by awakening a sense assumed in the Principality. Mr. Milman has of sin, and convincing them that the Grave and happily remarked that the climate of Africa Hell already yawned beneath their feet, is said to worked into the language and creed of its inhabihave been absolutely unrivalled. A woman, who tants ; so in South Wales it seemed as if the old came twenty miles from Ystradfin to Llangeitho to afflatus of the bards had passed from minstrelsy hear him every Sunday, persuaded him to extend into religion. The extreme agony of the Saviour, his operations; at first by preaching in churches as the Welsh litany has it, became present to where permission was given, and subsequently by men's minds as a spectacle to shudder at, while less legitimate means. The profane among his they exulted frantically in the deliverance which parishioners set up a rival congregation of wrest- it wrought. A succession of such scenes constilers and foot-ball players. Rowlands, nothing tute, we are told, a revival, (though by an unfortudaunted, went out to expostulate ; and his success nate ambiguity the same Welsh word means also in the attempt first made him venture on that sys- reformation,) and seven of such revivals are altem of field-preaching, which became so fruitful leged to have taken place, at intervals of seven in strangely mingled, but certainly wonderful, years, in the ministry of Rowlands. Some cireffects. Still, for about a quarter of a century, cumstances which attended them gave offence to he served his two churches, with a stipend of ten the weaker brethren ; but as Mr. Charles of Bala pounds a year, preaching occasionally in a third, instructs us, we are not permitted in the slightest famous both for the eloquence of St. David and degree to doubt that it was the work of God.” the pious war of Gorono ab Cadogan, which is The subsequent change of life, in many persons thus described :
concerned, is adduced to prove that their emotion Llandewi-brevi is very large, capable of contain- was more than transient; though, if such were ing three thousand people or more; but it was not the rule, it must be allowed to have admitted of too large at that time. There were no seats for the very numerous exceptions. greatest part; most of them stood, and the church From about 1740 to 1762 the movement thus was filled from one end to the other. The appear-generated had continued its course, and in the ance of the multitudes assembled was very re- latter year reached the height of its fervor. It had markable. Many followed Rowlands from one church to the other, and did not return home tili commenced in the church, and was chiefly propalate in the evening, and some not until the fol- gated by clergymen; but such stray and insignifilowing morning, without eating anything from cant congregations of dissent as then existed were Sunday morning until Monday. The spiritual eager to welcome unexpected allies. As generally food they had was sufficient for a time to support happens in a time of excitement, the distinctions them without any bodily sustenance.—Life, p. 24. which previously marked men were merged in the
Attractive as the teacher might be, his reading Shibboleth of friend or foe to the new apostles ; was equally impressive. It is a singular testimo- while to the sturdy squire, no less than to the ny to the inherent power of our glorious Liturgy, scholar armed, they were still “ brainsick Meththat Rowlands found its language the most effect- odists,” of whom his detestation was to be recorded ive instrument in touching the hearts, and we must even on his tombstone—to the multitule, and add, in stirring the fanaticism of his hearers. It especially to the softer sex, they were messengers was not his overbearing eloquence, nor the
True Christianity was not of man, but of God.
passionate appeals to conscience, which no man ever said to have been buried, except for a brief intermade more forcibly, but the solemn sound of the val at the Reformation, from the days of St. Paul. Church of England's prayers, “By thine
very men who had most assailed the superstiand bloody sweat, by thy Cross and passion, Good tion of elder days for its proneness to believe in Lord, deliver us,” which first awoke the slum- visions and portents, now found no lack of mirabering poetry of that ancient people whom he ad-cles attesting the revival of the true faith. Near dressed, and fired their imagination with the same
Nevin, on the wild arm of Carnavonshire, in the fervor in religion which their forefathers had stormy valley where legend had found fit restingshown in battle. It was while these words were
place for the discrowned old age of Vortigern, a read at Llangeitho, that tears and convulsive sobs, man named John Roberts was in distress about his followed by cries of Gogoniant, (Glory!) and soul. During his trouble, he saw in vision a head Bendigédig (Blessed!) first broke out, and ran
coming up from South Wales and lighting the through the multitude like a contagious fever. whole country. He readily inferred that it foreOne of the most difficult problems in the philoso-boded a revival of religion ; and accordingly this phy of religion would be to determine the precise result soon followed in England and America, proportion in which genuine force of conscience " and we poor Cymry," says our author, “received coöperates on such occasions with hysterical or
an abundant share in the blessing."* A woman, nervous emotion. Certainly no solution would be
* It provokes a smile to find that Bishop Hoadley has satisfactory which entirely omitted either of 'a place among this writer's army of martyrs.
who refused shelter to some preachers at Bar-| It is there set forth how the Enemy threw a spark mouth, had her house wrapt in bright flame before of strange fire into the bosom of Howel Harris, morning by the hand of Providence. A wild bull, which he mistook for a coal from the altar ; how let loose upon the congregation of saints at Rhos-y- he quarrelled with Rowlands, and how sad were Tryvan, turned and gored his owner. A digni- the results ; how“ revivals” became scarce ; how tary (if we understand aright the phrase gwr urd-Antinomianism afflicted“ the churches ;" how Mr. dasol, which seems intended to be contemptuous) Popkin fell off to Sandimanianism, and Mr. Peter had threatened to inform a gentlewoman that her Williams to Sabellianism ; how some men in Pemtenant harbored preachers, but before he could exe- brokeshire devised doctrines to which the Romish cute his purpose he became speechless and died, purgatory is not to be compared—some thinking leaving the entertainer of angels unmolested. We with Origen the devil might be saved, others, with must acknowledge that the author of the Mirror of Mr. Froude, that sin was impossible ; how spiritthe Times, notwithstanding his studious imitation ual interpretations refined Scripture away, and of Scripture, reminds us against our will at one Antinomianism affected even household worship; time of the Apocrypha, and at another time of the how many people were persuaded to believe in biography of some Romish saint. His scenes of an invisible family resembling fairies; and how persecution lose nothing for want of coloring, and “- Mary of the white mantle,” who perhaps was a have generally the advantage of illustration by coarser edition of St. Catharine of Sienna, came scriptural parallels. Any attempt to tame down as a missionary from Satan into Merionethshire. the supernatural of his narrative would only leave Throughout his work the author seems to have an incorrect impression. But we shall best give been familiarly admitted not only to the counsels our readers an idea of his matter by some extracts of heaven, but to those of the prince of darkness. taken at random from his table of contents. We It may be asked, what the bishops did, while there read how the Chancellor of Bangor preached this strangely-chequered movement was convulsagainst the gospel, and the parish clerk of Llanor ing the land. Perhaps, however, they might resatirized its professors in an “ Interlude;" how, tort with the question, What could we do? Among when Mr. Rowlands had permission to preach in the many excellencies of the Church of England, the church at Nevin, the choir went on singing, to that of elasticity cannot be reckoned ; and unless their own glory and the great trial of his patience, she were prepared to sacrifice the characteristics the whole of the 119th Psalm ; how the persecu- of her system, there would always be some limit tion increased terribly; how stones were thrown where concession must cease, and enthusiasm through the Capel windows at Pwllheli ; how Mr. would fret. She seemed now to have brought Price, a friend of Daniel Rowlands, was both hit forth Titans, whose giant struggles rent her womb, with a stone and prevented from preaching by a and, in presence of her aspiring children, she benoisy drum; how the Vicar of Rhyddlan and his came like one in whose mouth are no effectual wife hated religion ; how a thunderstorm fright- reproofs. We can just conceive it possible that ened the persecutors at St. Asaph ; how an ortho- the rarest combination of delicacy with firmness dox Guy Fawkes attempted a gunpowder plot at might have cherished that sense of the abiding Llansannan, and was frustrated ; how two drovers power of the Holy Spirit, which was the real were assailed by mistake for preachers at Corwen, merit of the men we have mentioned, and have but, being used to broils, turned upon their perse-checked the extravagances to which this true idea cutors like the evil spirit on the sons of Sceva; was perverted. But such an union of qualificahow the divine judgment came upon “ a dignitary?' tions is not given to every one ; and it is scarcely for persecuting a preacher; how the same judg- a disparagement of the bishops of the time to say ment came upon Edward Hughes and Thomas they did not possess it. After a long career of Jones ; how a profane minstrel was hired at indulgence it would seem that Daniel Rowlands Dolydd Byrion to drown the preacher's voice, but received certain monitions which he disregarded, after being fortified with drink, was seized with a and the revocation of his license was the result. shaking in his limbs, which made it impossible for It is impossible not to regret the separation which , him to approach ; how at Machynlleth, a place of ensued; but we hardly venture to affirm, with the heathenish orthodoxy, a lawyer stood up threaten- same confidence as some of our authorities, that it ing, but was healed of his disease, like Naaman, could have been prevented. The vehement old by the teaching of a servant-maid; how the preach- man, whose age had only rendered his convictions ers found, on entering each town, a vast and gloomy stronger and his oratory more commanding, immemultitude with savage looks boding persecution ; diately extended the range of his influence. From how they were beaten, stoned, and driven into every part of Wales—from the mouth of the Wye duck-ponds ; how strange providences often pre- up to the Dovey and the Conway-people flocked, served them by land and water; how women some- like the Israelites to Jerusalem, in order to hear times mocked, but generally assisted them; how the eloquence, and receive the sacrament from the they arraigned all mankind with faithfulness as hands, of one who had acquired the dignity of a naked and miserable sinners, and declared the martyr. The appearance of mountain valleys, necessity of a new birth by taking hold of the only threaded by vast numbers of simple people from appointed refuge. Lower down we find the table afar, is described as most picturesque and affectbecome more melancholy, but not less instructive. ing. These multitudes, hungry and thirsty, their
souls fainting on the way, were refreshed by the ted in his later years that he had diminished his glad tidings which they heard. The usual organ- usefulness by a zeal inconsistent with discipline. ization of Methodism followed ; and the revival of this regret should have been better considered by the church degenerated into a schism, which has writers who represent him as the victim of persebecome hereditary—a less hopeful faith than our cution. It is curious to find that, after fifty years own would add-irretrievable.
of singing and preaching, he thus describes in one Rowlands died in October, 1790—aged seventy- of his last letters* the result of his own and his seven. It is highly creditable to him that he never companions' labors. spoke with bitterness of the great Christian mother, in whose arms he had been originally nurtured. No the Socinian, and Arian doctrines gain ground
Believe me, dear Charles, the Antitrinitarian, relish of malice was added to what he believed to daily. Our unwary new-born Methodist preachers be the bread of life. He seems always to have know nothing of these things ; therefore pray felt, what the honest frankness of the Welsh people much, that no drop of the pernicious liquor may be allows to appear even in their most sectarian pub-thrown into the divine fountain of which the honest lications, that the Church of England, including its
Methodist drinks. Exhort the young preachers to elder British sister, has directly or indirectly been study, next to the Scriptures, the doctrines of our
old celebrated Reformers, as set forth in the the medium, by which alone the influences of Articles of the Church of England and the three Christianity have been kept alive in their country. Creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the The following colloquy between Rowlands, shortly Athanasian. They will see there the great truths before his death, and his son, is too remarkable to of the Gospel set forth in a most excellent and be omitted :
suitable manner; they are a most sound form of
words on the high and spiritual things of God. “ I have been persecuted (said Mr. R.) until I
The closing experience of men of this stamp got tired, and you will be persecuted still more, yet stand by the church by all means. You will
deserves as much consideration as their conduct at not, perhaps, be repaid for doing so, yet still stand three-and-twenty. by it-yea, even unto death. There will be a Peter Williams, of Carmarthen, is a man suffigreat revival in the Church of England; this is an ciently remarkable, and has happily been his own encouragement to you to stand by it.”. The son biographer.f As St. Augustine heard a voice said, “ Are you a prophet, father?” To this he saying, tolle, lege, so our Peter “not once, but answered, “ No; I am not a prophet, nor the son several times when he was alone, heard a voice of a prophet, but God has made this known to me on my knees. I shall not live to see it." Then superior to any human voice; as different and disthe son asked, “ Shall I live to see it?" He then tinguishable as the voice of thunder from the put his hand for a time over his eyes, and after- sound of a trumpet ; yet it was not terrible, but wards said, “ Yes, you may live to see it.”—Life, comfortable ; and it put him in mind of the Appendir M.
Scripture, that the angels of God encamp round One fatal circumstance which has come to our about them that fear him." A person so favored knowledge, though not written in the chronicles became easily convinced that the ordinary modes of Methodism, would alone prevent us from styl- of religion were dead forms, and that the church, ing Rowlands an apostle. His wife proved un- like the world, lay in wickedness. Yet his first worthy of his affection ; and he drank deep con
inclination was to awaken rather than forsake. solation at a source which undoubtedly contributed He obtained the charge of a parish, which enjoyed to give his preaching its peculiar energy.
Yet an annual visit from its vicar; and after some we would not mention otherwise than with regret warfare against wakes, and other tricks of Popish a fact which touches the consistency of his con
ignorance, had an unsatisfactory interview with duct rather than the sincerity of his principles.
his bishop, and “ went out from the palace withWe have more unmixed pleasure in dwelling
out the offer of meat or drink.” He next pressed on the character of Williams of Pant-y-celyn. the matter home with the aldermen of Swansea, He was a man in whom singular purity of senti- who declared their opinion that he would not conment added grace to a truly original genius.
He tinue long there; and, thinking him too zealous, produced by his hymns and their music an effect “did not invite him to dinner; so everything more abiding than Rowlands by his sermons.
seemed to confirm what he often thought, that he Neither St. Ephrem of Syria, nor
was called to be an itinerant preacher.”—(Life, Milton, conceived more strongly than the Welsh p. clxxii.) In another curacy we find him wrestpoet of the genuine Muse of religious poetry as ling bodily for his pulpit with “a supplanter” the influence of the Holy Spirit. His direction (for which, however, he
expresses contrition ;) to other composers was,
to attempt to
and although he “ preached powerfully,” the compose a hymn till they feel their souls near keeper of the purse told him, “ It is reported that heaven.” His precept and practice in this you are a Methodist, and I have resolved not to respect have been compared to those of Fra pay you any salary at all.” After this series of Angelico. He was in deacon's orders; and, misfortune, an eminent exhorter introduces him to though his poetical temperament, encouraged by the avowed Methodists, and the same distinctive the advice of Whitfield and the example of Harris, * The letiter is given at large by Sir T. Phillips, pp. betrayed him into the usual course of itinerancy,
+ See this autobiography in the Appendix to Eliezer which he long continued, he seems to have regret. Williams' English works. 'London : Cradock, 1840.