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 very plain and powerful preaching, where cateCymrodorion Society, p. 59. chizing was omitted." His arguments in favor of the practice are sought from Hegesippus and Ussher, as well as from Jewish and Mahometan custom; but the example of his own earnestness must have been more effective than them all. His

This argument appears to have weighed more with the Court of Arches than with the people of the Principality; and a certain portion of the dissent now existing may be considered as a permanent protest against the practice thus defended. There is probably no living member of the Church of England who would not regret what was at once a source of just irritation to the people, and of natural discouragement to the native clergy. Men, whose most probable prospect was serving as curates, under the easy relative of some nonresident prelate, would easily sink below the proper tone and qualifications of their office.* Such was, in some measure, the result; and after a large allowance for a considerable sprinkling of educated talent and liberal piety, we may affirm that the clergy, as a body, were little prepared to meet the moral earthquake which was about to burst under their feet.

Exposition of the Church Catechism in the Welsh language is a standard work, and has been adopted by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was also induced by his zealunhappily, as we think, though great allowance must be made for the times-to set the first example in the church of preaching in other parishes and in the open air. We have not seen any specimens of his sermons; though, from the practice of his followers, they may be suspected of having laid considerable stress upon physical emotion—

Hoc fonte derivata clades

In patriam populumque fluxit ;


Howel Harris of Trevecca, the elder of the twin founders of Welsh Methodism, was a man of pure and ardent zeal. He was born in 1714, and,

yet, on the whole, his great and persevering exertions 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, Stillingfleet, 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. 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. teaching did not counterbalance the mischief done his work abides. by their allies; the congregations which sprang from them were few and feeble: but the elements of healing came from the Church, as the ruin had 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 work, is Griffith Jones, of Llanddowror. It appears evident—indeed it is fully acknowledged that a impulse had been given to his exertions by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, then growing from lusty infancy to its prime. He became a member of the Society in 1713, and in 1730, with the assistance of Mrs. Bevan, whose name is still justly honored on that account, he established a kind of itinerant schools. These singular institutions were most ingeniously contrived to spread the elements of education, and taught many thousands of persons to read. In his own parish, on the beautiful banks of the Towy, not far from the ancient towers of Llaugharne, Griffith Jones spent most of a long and useful life.

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ferment, he went to Oxford in 1735, when the influence of Wesley and his friends must have been fresh in the University. The successive stages of terror and consolation, which he thought necessary to true religion, came upon him at intervals while receiving the Eucharist; his devotion became more passionate, and his life stricter than ever. To a mind thus excited, the discipline and the want of discipline of the University would be both distasteful; and, under the influence of feelings not unlike those which in later times have hurried men in a different direction, he sought what he considered the purer atmosphere of his home. Here he at once began to teach not so much by set sermons, as by exhortation and converse on religion with whoever would listen.

to house, until I had visited the greater part of my I was occupied (he says) in going from house native parish, together with neighboring ones: the people now began to assemble in great numbers, so that the houses wherein we met could not contain them. The Word was attended with such power, that many on the spot cried out for pardon to God, and such as lived in malice confessed their sins, making peace with each other, and appeared

in concern about their eternal state. Family worship was set up in many houses; and the churches as far as I had gone were crowded, and likewise the Lord's table.

He soon became laudably desirous of taking holy orders; but we cannot join those who censure Bishop Clagett for not ordaining him before the canonical age. The following passage, which is said to occur in Whitfield's Journal, appears to us an extraordinary one to have been reproduced in Welsh by a person calling himself a clergyman, and therefore not a stranger to the practice of the church :

He (Harris) endeavored twice to obtain orders; he was fit in every sense; but he was refused, on the untrue pretext that he was not of age, though he was at the time twenty-two years and six months. -Life of Rowlands, App. D.

Surely a delay of six months, in order to attain the proper age, was not a very unreasonable requirement. The impatience, however, of Harris at first, and his subsequent perseverance in a course of zeal, which sat in judgment upon regular authority, seem to have prevented his becoming a clergyman. Yet, if his attachment to the church was not consistent, it was genuine in its kind. His societies were formed on the model of those of Dr. Woodward; his school at Trevecca (which has been succeeded by a different institution) was held for a time in the parish church, and the whole tone of his life and mind is enthusiastic

rather than sectarian.

I was carried (he says) on the wings of an eagle triumphantly above all persecution. I took no particular texts, but discoursed freely, as the Lord gave me utterance. The gift I had received was, as yet, to convince the conscience of sin. There appeared now a general reformation in several counties.

We find him subsequently encouraged by a letter from Whitfield, and by the concurrence of many fellow-laborers, who sprang up suddenly under the impulse of a common spirit. For seventeen years his life was one of journeying and preaching

throughout a land of storms, and a people, as he believed, of heathens. There are touches of fancy, which denote perhaps unconscious exagger

ation in the annals of his labors. When interrupted in his sermon by a turbulent mob, his custom was to kneel down and pray; while in this attitude, if a stone missed him, or the deadlier blow of a reaping-hook were diverted, it became a manifest, miraculous answer to his prayer. Yet Beither the smile to which we are tempted by the enthusiast, nor the polemics into which we might easily be provoked by the preacher, ever destroy our sympathy for the man. His temper seems to have been naturally amiable, and the greater anxiety of his later years was to retain in communion with the church the more eager disciples, who were already hurrying on from schism to schism.

Several (he tells us) were going to the Dissenters and other parties, and I thought it my duty to declare against them by laying Scripture proofs

before them-as the example of the prophets of old and good men who abode in the Jewish church, notwithstanding its degeneracy in every respect; and our Saviour and his apostles attended service at knew it was to be abolished. the hour of prayer in the same church, though they And as the late revival began in the Established Church, we think it not necessary or prudent to separate ourselves from it, but our duty to abide in it, and to go to our parish church every Sunday, and we find that our Saviour meets us there.

We find him in

Harris did not escape that estrangement from his associates, which seems the destiny of those who beget a spirit of change. the latter part of his life at variance with Rowlands, and founding a sort of monastic establishment, by which the church service was attended as well on holydays as Sundays, at Trevecca. Even his integrity did not escape unmerited suspicion; and he was happy in dying, (July, 1773, ætat. 60,) before errors, of which his teaching contained the germ, broke out into heresies which he would have been the first to condemn. His funeral was celebrated in characteristic language by Lady Huntingdon and her daughter. Six clergymen in succession blew the Gospel trumpet, on that occasion, with remarkable power and freedom; and, amid the vast multitude of mourners who assembled, "there were some special seasons of Divine influence both upon the converted and the unconverted."

Soon after, if not simultaneously with Howel Harris, a far more striking personage, whose labors were to produce more permanent effects, had entered upon the scene. Daniel Rowlands, of Llangeitho, (born in 1713,) did for Wales whatever Whitfield did for England, and perhaps something more. He sprang from a family of strong character and keen impulses. With sinewy frame and glowing imagination, he could play alike the athlete or the orator. No one surpassed him as a when first ordained, to join, after his Sunday duty, youth in activity and strength; nor did he hesitate, in the games which were then universally popular. But a day came when Griffith Jones, of Llanddowror, preached in the neighborhood; and Row

lands determined to be one of the audience. Some accounts speak of a previous mental struggle; but his biographer describes him as standing with a look of pride and defiance in front of the pulpit; while the aged preacher, at whom he scoffed, saw already in spirit an Elisha who, he prayed, might be destined to succeed him. As the sermon proceeded, the face of scorn changed first to an expression of doubt, then of shame; when it ended, His work hitherto had been a patchwork of forms; it was now to be a ministry of the Spirit. The fervid eloquence which gave vent to his new-born convictions, became more attractive than that of his teacher; and we soon hear of an ungodly squire, who came with hounds and huntsmen to church, undergoing the same conversion as he had himself experienced, during a single sermon.

the scoffer went out from church an altered man.

* 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 that his views became clearer; but his power from the first of startling men, by awakening a sense of sin, and convincing them that the Grave and Hell already yawned beneath their feet, is said to have been absolutely unrivalled. A woman, who came twenty miles from Ystradfin to Llangeitho to hear him every Sunday, persuaded him to extend his operations; at first by preaching in churches where permission was given, and subsequently by less legitimate means. The profane among his parishioners set up a rival congregation of wrestlers and foot-ball players. Rowlands, nothing daunted, went out to expostulate; and his success in the attempt first made him venture on that system of field-preaching, which became so fruitful in strangely mingled, but certainly wonderful, effects. Still, for about a quarter of a century, he served his two churches, with a stipend of ten pounds a year, preaching occasionally in a third, famous both for the eloquence of St. David and the pious war of Gorono ab Cadogan, which is thus described :

tomed as he was to kindred scenes, was surprised by the emphatic form which the epidemic assumed in the Principality. Mr. Milman has happily remarked that the climate of Africa worked into the language and creed of its inhabitants; so in South Wales it seemed as if the old afflatus of the bards had passed from minstrelsy into religion. The extreme agony of the Saviour, as the Welsh litany has it, became present to men's minds as a spectacle to shudder at, while they exulted frantically in the deliverance which it wrought. A succession of such scenes constitute, we are told, a revival, (though by an unfortu nate ambiguity the same Welsh word means also reformation,) and seven of such revivals are alleged to have taken place, at intervals of seven years, in the ministry of Rowlands. Some circumstances which attended them gave offence to the weaker brethren; but as Mr. Charles of Bala instructs us, “we are not permitted in the slightest degree to doubt that it was the work of God." The subsequent change of life, in many persons concerned, is adduced to prove that their emotion was more than transient; though, if such were the rule, it must be allowed to have admitted of very numerous exceptions.

Llandewi-brevi is very large, capable of containing three thousand people or more; but it was not too large at that time. There were no seats for the 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 commenced in the church, and was chiefly propachurch to the other, and did not return home till late 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 multitude, 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 pasnot of man, but of God. True Christianity was sionate 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 agony The very men who had most assailed the supersti• and 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 philosoboded 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 cooperates on such occasions with hysterical or an abundant share in the blessing."* A woman, nervous emotion. Certainly no solution would be satisfactory which entirely omitted either of

* It provokes a smile to find that Bishop Hoadley has a place among this writer's army of martyrs.

Antinomianism afflicted" the churches;" how Mr. Popkin fell off to Sandimanianism, and Mr. Peter Williams to Sabellianism; how some men in Pembrokeshire devised doctrines to which the Romish purgatory is not to be compared-some thinking with Origen the devil might be saved, others, with Mr. Froude, that sin was impossible; how spiritual interpretations refined Scripture away, and Antinomianism affected even household worship; how many people were persuaded to believe in an invisible family resembling fairies; and how " Mary of the white mantle," who perhaps was a coarser edition of St. Catharine of Sienna, came as a missionary from Satan into Merionethshire. Throughout his work the author seems to have been familiarly admitted not only to the counsels of heaven, but to those of the prince of darkness.

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 urddasol, which seems intended to be contemptuous) had threatened to inform a gentlewoman that her tenant harbored preachers, but before he could execute his purpose he became speechless and died, leaving the entertainer of angels unmolested. We must acknowledge that the author of the Mirror of the Times, notwithstanding his studious imitation of Scripture, reminds us against our will at one time of the Apocrypha, and at another time of the biography of some Romish saint. His scenes of persecution lose nothing for want of coloring, and have generally the advantage of illustration by scriptural parallels. Any attempt to tame down the supernatural of his narrative would only leave an incorrect impression. But we shall best give our readers an idea of his matter by some extracts 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 glad tidings which they heard.

refreshed by the The usual organization of Methodism followed; and the revival of the church degenerated into a schism, which has become hereditary-a less hopeful faith than our own would add-irretrievable.

Rowlands died in October, 1790-aged seventyseven. It is highly creditable to him that he never spoke with bitterness of the great Christian mother, in whose arms he had been originally nurtured. No relish of malice was added to what he believed to be the bread of life. He seems always to have felt, what the honest frankness of the Welsh people allows to appear even in their most sectarian publications, that the Church of England, including its elder British sister, has directly or indirectly been the medium, by which alone the influences of Christianity have been kept alive in their country. The following colloquy between Rowlands, shortly before his death, and his son, is too remarkable to be omitted:


“I have been persecuted (said Mr. R.) until I got tired, and you will be persecuted still more, yet stand by the church by all means. You will not, perhaps, be repaid for doing so, yet still stand by it-yea, even unto death. There will be a great revival in the Church of England; this is an encouragement to you to stand by it." The son said, "Are you a prophet, father?" To this he answered, "No; I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but God has made this known to me on my knees. I shall not live to see it." Then the son asked, "Shall I live to see it?" He then put his hand for a time over his eyes, and afterwards said, "Yes, you may live to see it."-Life, Appendix M.

One fatal circumstance which has come to our knowledge, though not written in the chronicles of Methodism, would alone prevent us from styling Rowlands an apostle. His wife proved unworthy of his affection; and he drank deep consolation at a source which undoubtedly contributed to give his preaching its peculiar energy. Yet we would not mention otherwise than with regret a fact which touches the consistency of his conduct rather than the sincerity of his principles.

We have more unmixed pleasure in dwelling on the character of Williams of Pant-y-celyn. He was a man in whom singular purity of sentiment added grace to a truly original genius. He produced by his hymns and their music an effect more abiding than Rowlands by his sermons. Neither St. Ephrem of Syria, nor Milton, conceived more strongly than the Welsh poet of the genuine Muse of religious poetry as


our own

the influence of the Holy Spirit. His direction to other composers was, never to attempt to compose a hymn till they feel their souls near heaven." His precept and practice in this respect have been compared to those of Fra Angelico. He was in deacon's orders; and, though his poetical temperament, encouraged by the advice of Whitfield and the example of Harris, betrayed him into the usual course of itinerancy, which he long continued, he seems to have regret

ted in his later years that he had diminished his usefulness by a zeal inconsistent with discipline. This regret should have been better considered by writers who represent him as the victim of persecution. It is curious to find that, after fifty years of singing and preaching, he thus describes in one of his last letters* the result of his own and his companions' labors.

Believe me, dear Charles, the Antitrinitarian, the Socinian, and Arian doctrines gain ground daily. Our unwary new-born Methodist preachers know nothing of these things; therefore pray much, that no drop of the pernicious liquor may be thrown into the divine fountain of which the honest Methodist drinks. Exhort the young preachers to study, next to the Scriptures, the doctrines of our old celebrated Reformers, as set forth in the Articles of the Church of England and the three Creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian. They will see there the great truths of the Gospel set forth in a most excellent and suitable manner; they are a most sound form of words on the high and spiritual things of God.

deserves as much consideration as their conduct at The closing experience of men of this stamp three-and-twenty.

Yet his first

Peter Williams, of Carmarthen, is a man sufficiently remarkable, and has happily been his own biographer.† As St. Augustine heard a voice saying, tolle, lege, so our Peter "not once, but several times when he was alone, heard a voice superior to any human voice; as different and distinguishable as the voice of thunder from the sound of a trumpet; yet it was not terrible, but comfortable; and it put him in mind of the Scripture, that the angels of God encamp round about them that fear him." A person so favored became easily convinced that the ordinary modes of religion were dead forms, and that the church, like the world, lay in wickedness. inclination was to awaken rather than forsake. He obtained the charge of a parish, which enjoyed an annual visit from its vicar; and after some warfare against wakes, and other tricks of Popish ignorance, had an unsatisfactory interview with his bishop, and "went out from the palace without the offer of meat or drink." He next pressed the matter home with the aldermen of Swansea, who declared their opinion that he would not continue long there; and, thinking him too zealous, "did not invite him to dinner; so everything seemed to confirm what he often thought, that he was called to be an itinerant preacher."-(Life, P. clxxii.) In another curacy we find him wrestling bodily for his pulpit with a supplanter" (for which, however, he expresses contrition ;) and although he " preached powerfully," the keeper of the purse told him, "It is reported that you are a Methodist, and I have resolved not to pay you any salary at all.” misfortune, an eminent exhorter introduces him to the avowed Methodists, and the same distinctive *The lettter is given at large by Sir T. Phillips, pp.



After this series of

See this autobiography in the Appendix to Eliezer Williams' English works. London: Cradock, 1840.

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