Wednesday, November 24, 2010
"The scene was almost indescribable. Row upon row of men and women filled every inch of space. Those who could not gain admittance stood outside and listened at the doors. Others rushed to the windows, where almost every word was audible. When, at seven o’clock, the service began, about 2,000 people must have been present.
"The enthusiasm was unbounded. Women sang and shouted until the perspiration ran down their faces, and men jumped up one after the other to testify. One told in quivering accents the story of a drunken life. A working coal miner spoke like a practiced orator. And one can imagine what a note the testimony of a gypsy woman struck when, dressed in her best, she told of her reformation and repentance.
At ten o'clock the meeting had lost none of its ardor. Prayer after prayer w hen up from those Welsh hearts with almost dreary persistence. Time and again the four ministers who stood in the pulpit attempted to start a hymn but it was all in vain.
The revival has taken hold of the people, and even Mr. Roberts cannot hold it in check. His latest convert is a policeman, who, after complaining that the people had gone mad after religion so that there was nothing for him to do, went to see for himself, and bursting into tears, confessed the error of his ways and repented.
Meetings such as this are being repeated every day, and the enthusiasm is still spreading. While there has been no organization, no elaborate preparation for this mission, in the ordinary sense of the word, there is a strong belief that it is the direct result of earnest prayer.
A prominent member of a Newport Baptist church, who has followed the movement with close interest and deep thankfulness, declared the other day the revival was a result of the praying by the young women who had been engaged in it for some months. Evan Roberts had, he said, been praying for thirteen months, for that wave to come, and he related how the young man was turned out of his lodgings by his landlady, who thought that in his enthusiasm he was possessed or somewhat mad. He spent hours praying and preaching in his rooms, until the lady became afraid of him, and asked him to leave.
It may be observed that the dominant note of the revival is prayer and praise.
Another striking fact is the joyousness and radiant happiness of the evangelist. It has been remarked that the very essence of his campaign is mirth. To the rank and file of the church ministers this is his most incomprehensible phase. They have always regarded religion as something iron-bound, severe, even terrible. Evan Roberts smiles when he prays, laughs when he preaches. "Ah, it is a grand life," he cries. "I am happy, so happy that I could walk on the air. Tired? Never! God has made me strong. He has given me courage."
Roberts is a leader who preaches victory, and shows how it may be won—victory over the dull depression and gloomy doubt of our time. Is it surprising that thousands flock to his meetings. It has long been felt in Wales, as elsewhere, that the time was ripe for a great Holy Ghost revival."