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cop, | 

Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year One 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, by J. Davis, in the 
clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for thtr 
Western District of Pennsylvania. 

P R E F A C E 

As nothing makes stronger impressions upon the mind than example, a view 
of the lives and principles of eminent persons, and the consideration of the rise 
and progress of the Christian Religion, might be the most powerful means, 
under the blessing of God, to lead others to follow the footsteps of those who 
have denied themselves, taken up the cross, and followed their Lord through 
evil and good report. Every one, therefore, who has any concert! for the glory 
of God, and the welfare of his fellow creatures, will, most cordially, encourage 
effort, in order to obtain these glorious ends. How far this book will 
answer that purpose, is not for us to say ; it must be submitted to the judgment 
of lite reader. 

Though the most part is a translation (abridged,) of Thomas's History of 
the Baptists in Wales, yet we have collected all that we deemed interesting 
from every other author that we could find on the subject. 

It might not be improper to mention the names of some of the authors, from 
which many of these documents have been taken, and also to make a few 
remarks relative to the character of the men, and the time in which they lived, 
as far as we have been informed by authors of later (kite. 

Gildas Fritwn, is the oldest Welsh Historian we could find; because almost 
all the books that were written before Dioclesian's time, were consumed in 
that fire, that he ordered to be kindled, (in his wrath and indignation) against 
the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Gildas wrote some of his books 
in Latin and some in Welsh, in and about the year 548. He was a good man, 
and a Minister of the Gospel. More of him hereafter* 

Twrog was one of ihc first ecclesiastical Welsh Historians; for Gildas 
wrote chiefly on the troubles of the times, and the duty of religious people, and 
the degeneracy of the age. Twrog wrote about the year fiOO. We have not 
seen his writings; but Dr. Thomas Williams says he has seen it in the parish 
church of Gelynnog, Carnarvonshire, in 1591, covered with black stonc.t 

Tyssilio also wrote his history in Welsh, about the same time. His works 
are often quoted by other Historians. 

JerTre ap Arthur, Bishop of Llanclwy, and Caradog of Lancarvan, are 
considered the best national historians; both of them wrote in Welsh, 11 32. 
The works of the former were translated into Latin by himself; and the other 

* De Exidio Britannic; and Hancs y ffydd, 4th ed. p. 131.; also Thomas's 
Preface, p. 19. 
t Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 217, and Arch. Brit. p. C\!">. 


into English, by Humphrey Lloyd, Esq., and was reprinted by W. Wynne, A. 
M. in the year 1702. 

Ninnius of Bangor, wrote the History of Wales, about the year 800. Walter 
Calenius, Archdeacon of Oxford, about the year 1120, brought from Brittany, 
in France, the History of the Welsh Kings, written in Welsh, which was 
translated into Latin by him. 

Sir John Price was one of the most excellent historians that Wales ever 
produced ; he wrote his Fides Historie Britannie, and his Historie Britannie 
Defensio, about the year 1553. 

Humphrey Lloyd, Esq., wrote the following, the manuscript of which is now 
at Oxford College, in Latin : Chronicon Wallie a Rage Cadwaladero usque ad 
Anno Domini 1294. He wrote three other small books : two of them have 
been printed. He died in the year 1570. 

Dr. David Powel, Vicar of Rhywabon, collected from various authors, the 
History of Wales, which was published in 1584. 

Theophilus Evans, Vicar of Llangamarch Brecon. His Drych y prif oesoedd, 
(or Looking-Glass of the Ancient Ages) was published in 1716. 

Simon Thomas, a Presbyterian Minister, printed his History of the World 
and the Times, (Hanes y byd a'r amseroedd) 1724. 

Thomas Williams, a Presbyterian Minister, published his (Oes lyfr) Age 
Book in 1724* 

Much information has also been obtained from manuscripts, such as the Red 
Book of Hergest; the Black Book of Carmarthen; old histories; the works 
of Hugh Pennant ; Cwtta cyfarwydd, and the Ancient Bards of the Principality 
of Wales ; from various English authors, as well as Americans, particularly 
Morgan Edwards and David Benedict. 

* Noorthouck's Historical Dictionary. Athene Oxonienses. 


Containing the History of the Welsh Baptists, from the year 
sixty-three to the Reformation. 

The Welsh, properly called Cumry, the inhabitants of the 
Principality of Wales, are generally believed to be the descend- 
ants of Gomer, the eldest son of Japheth, who was the eldest 
son of Noah.* The general opinion is, that they landed on 
the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years 
after the flood. f 

About eleven hundred years before the Christian era, Brutus 
and his men emigrated from Troy in Asia, and were cordially 
received by the Welsh. They soon became one people and 
spake the same language, which was the Gomeraeg, or Welsh ; 
hence the Welsh people are sometimes called the Ancient 

About four hundred years before Christ, other emigrants 
came from Spain, and were permitted by Gwrgan, the Welsh 
king, to settle in Ireland, among the Ancient Britons, who were 
in that country already. They, also, soon became one people, 
but have not retained either the Welsh or the Spanish language ; 
for the Irish language, to this day, is a mixture of both.|| 

By what means the Christian religion was first introduced 
into Britain, is a matter which has often engaged the pens of 
historians, but whose records do not always agree. The tra- 
dition that Joseph of Arimathea was the first who preached the 
gospel in Britain, at a place called Glastenbury, the wicker 
chapel built for him by the Ancient Britons, and his walking- 
stick growing to a plumtree, might be worthy of the attention 

* See Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 7. Dr. Gill on Gen. 10:2. Thomas's His- 
torv of the Baptists in Wales, p. 2. Arch. Britannica, 35 and 267. Dr. Lle- 
wellyn's History and Critical Remarks, p. 10. Dr. Heylin's Cosmography, 
lib. 1, p. 218. Mr. Walter's Dissertation, p. 15. See also Bedford's Scriptural 
Chronology, p. 194. 

t See Oes lyfr, page 23. Holmes's History of England, page 16. Thomas's 
Preface to the History of the Baptists in Wales, p. 7, in the Welsh language. 
Dr. Gill on Gen. 10:2. Bedford's Scripture Chronology, p. 194. Drych y 
prif oesoedd, p. 7. 

t See Breviary of Britain, vol. 8, by Humphrey Lloyd, Esq. John Price's 
History of Wales, p. 1. Wynne's Preface to the History of Wales. 

tl Preface to Arch. Britannica. 


of those who can believe any thing. However, we are 
willing for those who believe that the good man who buried 
our blessed Redeemer also proclaimed salvation in his name 
to our forefathers, to enjoy their own opinion. That the 
apostle Paul also preached the gospel to the ancient Britons, 
is very probable from the testimony of Theodoret and Je- 
rome ; but that he was the first that introduced the gospel to 
this island cannot be admitted ; for he was a prisoner in Rome 
at the time the good news of salvation through the blood of 
Christ reached this region. That the Apostle Paul had great 
encouragement to visit this country afterwards, will not be de- 
nied. When we consider the particular inducement he might 
have from Pomponia, Grecina, and Claudia Ruffina, the saints 
in Cesar's household ; the former the wife of Aulus Plautius, 
the first Roman governor in Britain, and the latter a Briton 
born, the daughter of Caractacus the Welsh king, whose hus- 
band was Pudence, a believer in Christ.* 

In this capital, persons of different ranks, employments, and 
offices, might be found: ambassadors, captive princes, mer- 
chants, and mechanics. Many of those would be prompted 
by curiosity to make inquiries concerning Paul, a noted prison- 
er at Rome, famed, even before his arrival, as an abetter of a 
new religion, the principal teacher and propagator of the doc- 
trine of Jesus Christ, who was condemned by Pilate to the 
death of the cross. As the apostle was permitted to live in his 
own hired house, guarded by a soldier, he was at liberty to 
receive all who applied to him for information and instruction ; 
and hereby the gracious purpose of Divine Providence in spread- 
ing Christianity through the world was promoted. How pleas- 
ing it is to carry our views back into those remote ages, and 
imagine we see the first missionaries and their disciples, assem- 
bled under the shade of the wide-spreading oak, instructing the 
people in the knowledge of the true God and of Jesus Christ the 
Savior of mankind; disputing with the Druids, confuting their 
absurd notions, their gross conceptions, their confused and 
complex mythology. 

About fifty years before the birth of our Savior, the Romans 
invaded the British Isle, in the reign of the Welsh king, Cassi- 
bellan; but having failed, in consequence of other and more 
important wars, to conquer the Welsh nation, made peace with 
them, and dwelt among them many years. During that period 
many of the Welsh soldiers joined the Roman army, and many 
families from Wales visited Rome; among whom there was a 

* So says the learned Archbishop Usher. See also Magna Britannica. 


certain woman of the name of Claudia, who was married to a 
man named Pudence. At the same time, Paul was sent a 
prisoner to Rome, and preached there in his own hired house, 
for the space of two years, about the year of our Lord 63.* 
Pudence and Claudia his wife, who belonged to Cesar's house- 
hold, under the blessing of God on Paul's preaching, were 
brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and 
made a profession of the Christian religion.f These, together 
with other Welshmen, among the Roman soldiers, who had 
tasted that the Lord was gracious, exerted themselves on the 
behalf of their countrymen in Wales, who were at that time 
vile idolaters. 

Whether any of the apostles ever preached in Britain cannot 
be proved, and though it is generally believed that Joseph of 
Arimathea was the first that preached the gospel in that part of 
the world, we must confess that we are not positive on that sub- 
ject. The fact, we believe, is this : the Welsh lady, Claudia, 
and others, who were converted under Paul's ministry in Rome, 
carried the precious seed with them, and scattered it on the 
hills and vallies of W r ales; and since that time, many thou- 
sands have reaped a most glorious harvest. They told their 
countrymen around, what a dear Savior they had found; they 
pointed to his redeeming blood, as the only way whereby they 
might come to God. 

The Welsh can truly say: if by the transgression of a 
woman sin came into the world, it was through the instrumen- 
tality of a woman, even painted Claudia, that the glorious news 
of the gospel reached their ears, and they felt it to be mighty 
through God, to pull down the strong holds of darkness. 

How rapidly did the mighty gospel of Christ fly abroad ! 
The very year 63, when Paul, a prisoner, was preaching to a 
few individuals, in his own hired house in Rome, the seed 
sowed there is growing in the Isle of Britain. We have no- 
thing of importance to communicate respecting the Welsh Bap- 
tists, from this period to the year 180, when two ministers by 
the names of Faganus and Damicanus, who were born in 
Wales, but were born again in Rome, and there becoming 
eminent ministers of the gospel, were sent from Rome to assist 
their brethren in Wales.J 

* See Acts of the Apostles, 23:30. 

t 2 Tim. 4:21, Fox's Acts and Monuments, p. 137. See also Dr. Gill and 
Matthew Henry, on 2 Tim. 4:21. Godwin's Catalogue. Crosby's History of 
the English Baptists, preface to vol. 2. Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 179. 

t See Dr. Heylin's Cosmography, lib. 1, p. 257. Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 


In the same year, Lucius, the Welsh king, and the first king 
in the world who embraced the Christian religion, was bap- 

Faganus and Damicanus were two faithful witnesses, bearing 
testimony to the truth, and were remarkably successful in win- 
ning souls to Christ. Through their instrumentality, the light 
of the gospel burst forth from the Isle of Anglesea to the Isle of 
Thanet, like the sun in the morning after the dark night of 
Druidism; the glorious light of the gospel dispelled the shades 
of ignorance and error, in which the seed of Gomer had been 
enveloped from generation to generation. Fired with a sacred 
zeal for the cause of Christ, and the welfare of immortal souls, 
our Welsh apostles followed the superstitions and cruelties of 
paganism to their most secret chambers, and exposed them in 
their native deformity. 

It is true they had not to stretch on the rack, neither had they 
to endure the flames; yet they had to encounter with pagan 
ignorance, and much opposition from Beelzebub the prince of 
darkness. Though the gospel had been preached in the island 
since the year 63; yet, as God had not departed from his ge- 
neral way of disseminating his truth among the children of 
men, by beginning with small things in order to obtain great 
things, hitherto it had been the day of small things with our 
forefathers, the inhabitants of the ends of the earth. But now 
Zion's tent was enlarged, and the curtain of her habitation 
stretched forth ; she broke forth on the right hand and on the 
left; kings became nursing fathers and queens nursing mo- 
thers. Behold King Lucius, not only embracing the religion 
of Christ himself, but finding the means of propagating the gos- 
pel very inadequate, sending a most earnest request to Eleuthe- 
rus, for additional help. Here the Macedonian cry vibrated 
from the Welsh throne at Carludd, as well as from the Welsh 
cabin at the foot of Caderidris or Plimlimon. 

About the year 300, the Welsh Baptists suffered most terri- 
ble and bloody persecution, which was the tenth pagan perse- 
cution under the reign of Dioclesian. Alban had the pain, and 
honor, to be the first martyr on the British shore. Next to 
him, were Aaron and Julius, renowned men, who lived at Car- 
leon, South Wales. The number of persons, meeting-houses, 
and books, that were burnt at that time, is too horrid to relate ; 
but, however, they were not all consumed by the flames. Re- 
ligion, yes, pure religion, the religion of Christ and his apostles, 

* See Acts and Monuments,?. 96. Bede, Hist. Eccles. lib. 1, c. 4. Sea 
also Salutaris luxe Evangelii a Fabricio, p. 406. 


was yet alive. Here, as well as in many other places, the 
Wood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of the church.* 
Alban was highly esteemed, as a pious and active man, of 
strong constitution and brilliant imagination. His patience 
humility prudence, and piety, acquired for him the esteem of 
some and the hatred of many. He had to suffer buffeting 
stripes, reproaches, and death, for following the meek and lowly 
Jesus; but the grace of God was sufficient for him, so that he 
could rejoice in tribulation. He deemed it the greatest honor 
that could be conferred upon him, to suffer for the cause of 
Uirist, who, though equal with the Father, yet made himself 
of no reputation, but took upon himself the form of a servant, 
despised the sname, for the joy that was set before him, became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He drank 
deep of the Spirit of Christ, enjoyed much of the presence of 
Uinst, and was most wonderfully supported by him in his last 
hour, when he laid down his life to evidence his love to him 
who remembered sinners when they were in their low estate, 
and gave his life a ransom for many. 

Aaron was a man of sound judgment, correct principles, and 
humble demeanor. He was a father to the youth, a friend to 
tne distressed, and a sympathizing guide to those who were 
travelling the way to Zion. But notwithstanding all this, few 
men suffered more persecutions than he did, or were more 
roughly treated than he was by the sons of Belial, at different 
times and places, until he had the honor to suffer death in his 
Master s cause, at Carleon, Monmouthshire, South Wales. He 
bore all with Christian patience, meekness, and resignation : 
knowing that the sting of death was taken away, he° yielded 
himself to the king of terrors as one ready to be offered up, 
when he enjoyed much consolation, and had most crlorious 
manifestations of the love of God to his soul. 

Julius was a painful laborer for the salvation of sinners, a 
great comforter of the people of God, and a most wonderful 
peacemaker between the different churches, or different individu- 
al members. He was much beloved and respected by his 
mends, but by his enemies he was treated with unrelenting 
severity, and constantly followed with persecutions and dis^ 
tresses, till he suffered martyrdom along with his brother Aaron, 
at Uarleon. 

Dioclesian's strict orders were, to burn up every Christian, 

every meeting-house, and every scrap of written paper, belong. 

mg to the Christians, or that gave any account of their rise and 

progress; and, no doubt, many valuable documents were burnt 

* See Acts and Monuments. Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 196. 


that would have been very interesting to the present generation ; 
and it is a wonder that any of them were preserved from the 
flames. Christianity has not existed long in the world with- 
out some severe struggles. It has made its way by the irre- 
sistible force of its evidence. None of the Princes, nor any 
of the great men of the earth smiled upon the religion of 
Christ, until it won the day by the excellency of its doctrine, 
the purity of its morals, and the rationality of its arguments. 
It triumphed on the ruins of Judaism in Palestine, Idolatry in 
Rome, and Druidism in the Principality of Wales. 

Never, since the birth of Christ, was there such a moral 
phenomenon exhibited on earth, as there was in Britain at this 
time. The opposition with which the gospel was met, and the 
success which attended its career, were of a most extraordinary 
character, when Druidism and Pagan superstition were sway- 
ing a magic sceptre from Carludd to Carguby. Yes, at this 
very period, light shined in darkness, our Welsh Baptists 
marched forward from conquest to conquest, notwithstanding 
the host of opposition which they had to encounter: their 
cause was the cause of truth, and truth will ultimately triumph. 
God, in a very remarkable manner, honored the Welsh nation. 
From amoncr them he raised up a most wonderful defender of 
the faith, to'the great joy and comfort, not only of the Welsh 
Baptists, but of all Christian professors in every part of tho 
world, and of every age to the present time. The Roman 
Emperor, Constantine the Great, embraced the Christian reli- 
gion, and was baptized on the profession of his faith. He 
abolished all the persecuting edicts of his predecessors; so that 
the whole system of paganism gradually dissolved. Constan- 
tine the Great was born in the Isle of Britain; his father was a 
Roman; his mother was a Welsh lady, of the name of Ellen, 
the daughter of Coelgodebog, Earl of Gloucester. Having re- 
sided in Britain for some time, they removed with their son 
Constantine to Rome; and there he was born again. 

As Lucius, the Welsh king, was the first king in the world 
who made a profession of the religion of Christ; so the first 
Christian Emperor in the world was a Welshman, who em- 
ployed all the resources of his genius, together with all the en- 
gaging charms of his munificence and liberality, to efface the 
superstitions of paganism, and to further the propagation of the 
gospel of the glorious Redeemer of mankind, both at home and 

* See Drych y prif oesoedd, pp. 64 and 203. Thomas's. History of the 
Baptists in Wales, printed in the Welsh language. Williams sOee lytr. 
Acts and Monuments, p. 104. See also Danvers on Baptism, pp, 60, 61. 


Historians inform us that his mother Elen, (for that was her 
name in Wales — the Romans called her Helina,) was a very 
pious woman, who filled the whole Roman empire with her 
benevolent acts in supporting religion.* 

However, some of our English historians have very judi- 
ciously said, that when princes engage in religion, they either 
do too much for it, or too much against it. Indeed, it was a 
very desirable thing at that time, to be liberated from the rage 
of a persecuting power; at the same time we must acknowledge, 
that it is an awful thing to be elated at the external prosperity 
of religion, while little of the spirit of godliness is to be seen. 
To be exalted on the pinnacle of worldly grandeur, is moro 
dangerous than to suffer affliction with the people of God. In 
many parts of the world, and particularly in Rome, this stato 
of things opened the way for Antichrist, the Man of Sin, to 
creep into the churches. But that was not the case in the Isle 
of Britain. The Welsh people of that country would not sub- 
mit to the superstitions that were beginning to creep into the 
churches in other countries; but notwithstanding all this, the 
state of religion among the Welsh Baptists was not so flourish- 
ing at this time, as it had been in times past. The Welshmen, 
for a considerable time, had a sort of a religious quarrel »with 
one of their countrymen, of the name of Morgan, known abroad 
by the name of Pelagius. The civil war between them and the 
Scots and Picts, was by no means a friend to religion ; and the 
measures they took in calling in the Saxons to assist them, in 
the year 449, were very injudicious; for the Saxons never re- 
turned to their own country. After many bloody and desperate 
battles, for many years, the Saxons, by stratagems too horrid 
to mention, drove the Welsh to the mountains, and took pos- 
session of their land. Yes, all that land, now known by the 
name of England, and too well known all over the world, by the 
adjectives prefixed to the noun, bloody and tyrannical England. 
But notwithstanding the troubles of the times, there were several 
eminent and faithful ministers among the Welsh Baptists. f 

Here it may not be improper to mention the names of a few 
of the most eminent ministers belonging to the Welsh Baptists 
at this time. 

Gildasi was a very noted man for zeal against the degeneracy 

* Milner's History, vol. 1, p. 318; and, also, vol 2, p. 39. 

t Up to this time, the Welsh were the inhabitants of the Isle of Britain, now 
called England ; but ever since, they have dwelt on a tract of land, on the 
■western part of the island, now called Cumry, or Wales. 

t Known by the name of Gildas Britannicus. Thomas's History, Preface, 
p. 19. One of his books, supposed to have been written in Welsh, is De JExi- 
dio Britannic 


and lukewarmness of the age. He wrote many books in Latin ; 
some of them have been translated into Welsh. Why lie, be- 
ing a Welshman, should have written these good books in 
Latin, can be easily accounted for, when we consider the con- 
nection that had subsisted between the Welsh churches and the 
church of Christ of the same faith and order, as founded by the 
Apostle Paul in Rome; but not the present church of Rome, 
pretended to have been founded by St. Peter. 

It is, therefore, evident, that the grand design of Gildas in 
writing in Latin, was, to endeavor to rectify, to purge and pu- 
rify the Latin church from the corruptions that had lately crept 
into her, and continue therein to this day. He was a man 
whose heart was fully resigned to the will of God ; whose hope 
was founded on Christ as the only foundation laid in Zion ; 
strong in the faith, full of love to God and man, and zealous in 
the good cause in which he was engaged. 

Dyfrig was a man whose heart was engaged in the best 
cause, whose mental powers were great, and whose conversa- 
tion was free and affable. As a Christian, he was truly hum- 
ble, lovely, and pious; and as a minister, he was zealous, faith- 
ful, and experimental. His talents were far above mediocrity ; 
his ¥oice was clear, his countenance majestic, and his addresses 
manly and very engaging. Christ and his cross was all his 
theme, the foundation of his hope, the object of his faith, and 
the centre of his affections. His life corresponded with the 
profession which he made of the religion of Christ ; his conduct 
exemplified the rules he laid down for others. 

Dynawt was a well-informed, intelligent, and learned man, 
of very great natural abilities, of most excellent character, and 
very amiable temper. A very useful preacher of the gospel of 
Christ, he seemed to be very well acquainted with the art of 
touching the consciences of his hearers, as well as enlightening 
their understandings. He was a steady, zealous, and powerful 
advocate for the truth. He possessed the wisdom and sagacity 
of the serpent, as well as the harmlessness of the dove. He 
was a man of retentive memory, sound judgment, and undaunt- 
ed courage. He shone like a brilliant star in the church mili- 
tant, and we have reason to hope, that in the church triumphant 
he shines brighter than the sun in his full meridian, where 
there is neither sin nor sorrow, but joys unspeakable and full 
of glory. He was the President of the College of Bangor, and 
the chief speaker in the Conference and Association of Welsh 
ministers and messengers who met Augustine, with whom he 
had a debate on baptism. 


Teilo was a man endowed with a large portion of grace and 
excellent gifts, whose understanding was enlightened, whose 
will was subdued, and whose affections were set on heavenly- 
things. Having seen the glory of Christ by faith, having tasted 
thatthe Lord was gracious, and having felt the power of divine 
grace in his heart, he most earnestly urged, and by the strong- 
est arguments, compelled his fellow sinners to be reconciled to 
God. He was remarkably pathetic, pungent, and forcible in 
his addresses to the heart ; so that the most careless were ar- 
rested, and the most insensible were made to feel, while he 
exhibited the unsearchable riches of Christ, the Redeemer of 
ruined and miserable sinners. He could so rightly divide the 
word of truth, as to give every one a due portion in good sea- 
son ; so that the unconvinced might be convinced, the uncon- 
verted might be converted, and the mourners in Zion might be 
comforted and strengthened in the inner man. 

Padarn was a faithful evangelical minister of Christ, who 
exhibited, at all times, a dignity of temper and conduct, becom- 
ing the nature and the requirements of the character which he 
sustained. The powers of his mind were strong and capacious; 
his taste was elegant, if not refined ; his addresses to the throne 
of grace, in prayer, were affectionate and fervent ; his sermons 
were doctrinal, practical, and experimental. He walked hum- 
bly and faithfully with God; he lived under the influence of the 
love of Christ ; and endeavored to improve all his time to the 
best end and purpose. He was truly a messenger of peace, and 
by him the tidings of peace were communicated to hundreds 
and thousands of the children of Gomer. 

Pawlin was remarkable for his kindness and benevolence. 
By his zeal in preaching the gospel he manifested his love to 
God and man. His manners were easy, blended with that po- 
liteness which is destitute of affectation. He was well versed 
in Scripture, and a workman that needed not to be ashamed. 
His preaching was solemn and instructive, and the rules which 
he laid down for others he practised himself. He was well in- 
structed in the doctrine of the cross, and was honored of his 
God as the instrument of bringing many to the knowledge of 
the truth. As a man, as a Christian, and as a preacher, he 
bore a very excellent character. 

Daniel was a man of peculiarly strong and lively feelings. 
His whole soul seemed to be engaged in whatever he did. 
He was endowed with delicacy of feeling, blended with a sense 
of propriety; with ease blended with politeness of manners; 
and with pious zeal blended with wisdom and prudence. His 
ministry was well calculated to awaken the thoughtless, to heal 


the wounded, and to dry the tears of the weeping ej'esj to 
convince sinners, to edify saints, and to build up Zion in her 
most holy faith ; to bring sinners to repentance, to restore back- 
sliders, and to settle the minds of wavering souls. Religion 
appears to have been the element in which he breathed ; reli- 
gious duties his constant delight; and the dignity of his whole 
deportment was such, that it interested the feelings of all who 
knew him. 

Our Welsh historians inform us, that there were several 
other noted ministers among the Welsh Baptists, at that time ; 
such as Cadog, Dewi, and many more. In what respects they 
were noted, we have not been able to ascertain. Neither have 
we seen all the written documents relative to them, which 
might have been interesting to the public, as some of them have 
never been printed in any language* 

Infant Baptism was in vogue long before this time in many 
parts of the world, but not in Britain. The ordinances of the 
gospel were then administered exclusively there, according to 
the primitive mode. Baptism by immersion, administered to 
those who professed repentance towards God and faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Welsh people considered the only bap- 
tism of the New Testament. That was their unanimous senti- 
ment as a nation, from the time the Christian religion was 
embraced by them in 63, until a considerable time after the 
year 600. As soon as any of them renounced paganism 
during that period, they embraced Christianity, not as corrupt- 
ed by the Romans, but as founded by Christ and his apostles* 
This we assert to be a fact that cannot be controverted ; for the 
proof of which, we refer our readers to the dispute between 
Austin and the ministers in Wales, sometime after the year 
600. When Austin came from Rome to convert the Saxons 
from paganism to popery. Having succeeded in a great mea- 
sure in England, he tried his experiments upon the Welsh ; but 
was disappointed. At this period the Welsh were not ignorant 
pagans like the Saxons, but they were intelligent, well-informed 
Christians. It is true, they had no national religion; they had 
not connected church and state together ; for they believed that 
the kingdom of Christ is not of this world. 

However, they agreed to meet with Austin, in an association 
held on the borders of Herefordshire. Austin said he would 
propose three things to the Welsh ministers and messengers of 
the different churches of the Principality. First, he proposed 
infant baptism. He was immediately answered by the Welsh, 
that they would keep this ordinance, as well as other things, as 
they had received them from the apostolic age. On hearing 


this, Austin was exceedingly wroth, and persuaded the Saxons 
to murder one thousand and two hundred of the Welsh minis- 
ters and delegates, there present; and many more afterwards 
were put to death, because they would not submit to infant bap- 
tism. The leading men being dead, king Cadwalader and the 
majority of the Welsh people submitted to popery ; at that time 
more out of fear than love. Those good people that did not 
submit, were almost buried in its smoke ; so that we know but 
little of them from that time to the Reformation.* 

Since the above was written, we find that Theophilus Evans, in 
his Drych y prif oesoedd, or Looking-glass of the Ancient Ages, 
could see the remnant of the Welsh Baptists, through the dark- 
ness of popery, to the year 1000. And Peter Williams, a 
Methodist preacher, who wrote an exposition on the Old and 
New Testaments in Welsh, has followed them through the 
thick clouds till they were buried out of his sight in the smoke, 
in the vear of our Lord 1115. However, it is a fact that can- 
not be controverted, that from this time to the Reformation 
there were many individuals in Wales, like the seven thousand 
left in Israel, whose knees had never bowed to this Baal of 
Rome.f Since we wrote the foregoing translation, we have 
seen Benedict's History of the Baptist denomination in America, 
and take the liberty of making the following quotation from his 
works : 

" About sixty years after the ascension of our Lord, Chris- 
tianity was planted in Britain, and a number of the royal blood, 
and many of inferior birth, were called to be saints. Here the 
gospel flourished much in early times, and here also its follow- 
ers endured many afflictions and calamities from pagan perse- 
cutions. The British Christians experienced various changes 
of prosperity and adversity, until about the year 600. A little 
previous to this period, Austin the monk, that famous Pedo- 
baptist persecutor, with about forty others, were sent here by 
Pope Gregory the Great, to convert the Saxon pagans to popery, 
and to subject them to the dominion of Rome. The enterprise 
succeeded, and conversion (or rather perversion) work was per- 
formed on a large scale. King Ethelbert and his court, and 
a considerable part of his kingdom, were won over by the suc- 
cessful monk, who consecrated the river Swale, near York, in 
which he caused ten thousand of his converts to be baptized in 
one day. Having met with so much success in England, he 

* See Acts and Monuments, p. 149. Preface to Crosby, vol. 2. Drych y 
prif oesoedd, p. 249. Dr. Godwin's Catalogue, p. 43. Thomas's History of 
the Baptists in Wales, first part. 

t Thomas's History of the Baptists in Wales, published in Welsh, 


resolved to try what he could do in Wales, There were mai-y 
British Christians who fled hither in former times, to avoid the 
brutal ravages of the outrageous Saxons. The monk held a 
synod in their neighborhood, and sent to their pastors to request 
them to receive the pope's commandment; but they utterly re- 
fused to listen to either the monk or pope, or to adopt any of 
their maxims. Austin meeting with this prompt refusal, en- 
deavored to compromise matters with these strenuous Welsh- 
men, and requested that they would consent to him in three 
things; one of which was, that they should give baptism to 
their children. But with none of his proposals would they 
comply. ' Sins, therefore,' said this zealous apostle of popery 
and pedobaptism, ' ye wol not receive peace of your brethren, 
ye of other shall have warre and wretche.' And accordingly 
he brought the Saxons upon them to shed their innocent blood, 
and many of them lost their lives for the name of Jesus. The 
Baptist historians in England, contend that the first British 
Christians were Baptists, and that they maintained Baptist 
principles until the coming of Austin. ' We have no mention,' 
says the author of the Memoirs, ' of the christening or baptizing 
children in England, before the coming of Austin in 597 ; and 
to us it is evident, that he brought it not from heaven but from 
Rome.' But though the subjects of baptism began now to be 
altered, the mode of it continued in the national church a thou- 
sand years longer, baptism was administered by dipping. 
From the coming of Austin, the church in this island was 
divided into two parts, the old and the new. The old, or Bap- 
tist church, maintained the original principles. But the new 
church adopted Infant Baptism, and the rest of the multiplying 
superstitions of Rome."* 

Austin's requesting the Ancient British Christians, who op- 
posed his popish mission, to baptize their children, is a circum- 
stance which the English and Welsh Baptists consider of the 
greatest importance. They infer from it, that before Austin's 
time, infant baptism was not practised in the Isle of Britain, and 
that though he converted multitudes to his Pedobaptist plan, 
yet many, especially in Wales and Cornwall, opposed it; and 
the Welsh Baptists contend, that Baptist principles were main^ 
tained in the recesses of their mountainous Principality, all 
along through the dark reign of popery. 

" God had a regular chain of true and faithful witnesses in 
this country, in every age, from the first introduction of Chris- 
tianity to the present time, who never received nor acknowledged 

* Benedict's History of the Baptist Denomination in America, p. 190. 


the pope's supremacy : like the thousands and millions of the 
inhabitants of the vale of Piedmont, residing on green and fruit- 
ful meadows, surrounded by high and lofty mountains, sepa- 
rated from other nations, as if the all-wise Creator had made 
them on purpose, as places of safety for his jewels that would 
not bow the knee to Baal."* 

No wonder, then, that Dr. Mosheim said that the true origin 
of that sect called Anabaptists, is hid in the depth of antiquity. 
Dr. Richard Davis, Bishop of Monmouth, said, " there was a 
vast difference between the Christianity of the Ancient Britons, 
and that mock Christianity introduced by Austin into England, 
in 596; for the Ancient Britons kept their Christianity pure, 
without any mixture of human traditions, as they received it 
from the disciples of Christ, and from the church of Rome 
when she was pure, adhering strictly to the rules of the word 
of God." 

President Edwards of America, said: " In every age of this 
dark time, (of popery,) there appeared particular persons in 
all parts of Christendom, who bore a testimony against the 
corruptions and tyranny of the church of Rome. There is no 
one age of Antichrist, even in the darkest times, but ecclesias- 
tical historians mention by name, who manifested an abhor- 
rence of the pope and his idolatrous worship, and pleaded for 
the ancient purity of doctrine and worship. God was pleased 
to maintain an uninterrupted succession of many witnesses 
through the whole time, in Britain, as well as in Germany and 
France; private persons and ministers; some magistrates and 
persons of great distinction. And there were numbers, in 
every age, who were persecuted and put to death for this testi- 

The faith and discipline of the Scottish churches in Ireland, 
were the same with the British churches, and their friendship 
and communion reciprocal. The ordinances of the gospel in 
both islands, at this time, were administered in their primitive 
mode. The venerable Bede says, that the supremacy of Rome 
was unknown to the ancient Irish. The worship of saints and 
images was held in abhorrence, and no ceremonies used which 
were not strictly warranted by Scripture. All descriptions of 
people were not only allowed but desired to consult the sacred 
writings as their only rule of conduct. 

In short, from what we have stated, and the evidence pro- 
duced by the learned Archbishop Usher, quoted by the Rev. 

* See Doctrine of Baptism, by Benjamin Jonee, P. A. Mon. p. 149; and Sir 
Samuel Moreland. 
t Edwards's History of Redemption, p. 205. 
2 * 


William Hamilton, " we have the strongest reason to conclude 
that these islands enjoyed the blessings of a pure enlightened 
piety, such as our Savior himself taught, unembarrassed by any 
of the idle tenets of the Romish church. 

" When we cast our eyes on King Henry the second, advan- 
cing towards this devoted nation, bearing the bloody sword of 
war in one hand, and the iniquitous bull of Pope Adrian in the 
other, we have one of the strongest arguments to prove that this 
was not originally an island of popish saints, and that the juris- 
diction of Rome unquestionably was not established here."* 

Respecting the Culdduon, singular Culdu,f or Culddu, the 
plural of which our English friends made to end in s— thus, 
Culdees — Bede says " preached only such work of piety and 
charity as they could learn from the prophetical, evangelical, 
and apostolical writings. They firmly opposed the errors and 
superstitions of the church of Rome. When the Romish monks 
poured into the kingdom, they supplanted the Culdduon, or 
Culdees, and by degrees got possession of their colleges. 

" The Culdees existed no longer in colleges, but they continued 
to teach true Christianity apart ; so that the reign of error in 
these parts was very short, and the darkness of the night was 
intermixed with the light of many stars." 

The above is taken from the Parish church, in the Religious 
Magazine published in Philadelphia, in 1829. Note how re- 
markably well this agrees with the Welsh History of the Bap- 
tists, in the fact that the darkness of the night of popery was in- 
termixed with many brilliant stars of Baptist ministers and 
Baptist members, who maintained Baptist sentiments as they 
received them of the apostles in the year 63, to the present 

It is well known to all who are acquainted with the history 
of Great Britain, that Carleon, in South Wales, was a renowned 
city in past ages, and a notable place for religion. In the tenth 
persecution under Dioclesian, the pagan Roman Emperor, many 
of the seed of Gomer suffered much. No less than three of 
those martyrs were citizens of Carleon: Julius, Aaron, and 
Amphibal, Baptist ministers. Many of the Welsh writings, 
which were more valuable than the precious gold, were de- 
stroyed at that time, which was about the year 285. And it 

* Bede, Vita S. Columbi. Bede, Hist. Gent. Angl. lib. 3, c. 27. Brit, de 
Hiberni, p. 703. Vide a curious treatise of Archbishop Usher on the religion 
of the Ancient Irish. Vide Harding's Chron. c. 241. Also Hamilton's Let- 
ter, p. 38 and 43. Also Bishop Lloyd's Historical Account. 

t Culdu is a compound Welsh word. Cul, thin ; du, black. Gwr cul du, 
a thin black man ; a thin, grave, dark-looking man. 


is remarkable, that where persecution raged the most, there the 
church of Christ increased the most, and continued the longest. 
There is no seed so productive as that which grows in the field 
enriched by the blood of the martyrs. It appears that it can- 
not be rooted up by all the stratagems of paganism, infidelity, 
and popery; and by all the superstitions and cruel persecutions 
of nominal Christians. The vale of Carleon is situated be- 
tween England and the mountainous part of Wales, just at the 
foot of the mountains. It is our valley of Piedmont; the moun- 
tains of Merthyn Tydfyl, our Alps; and the crevices of the 
rocks, the hiding-places of the lambs of the sheep of Christ, 
where the ordinances of the gospel, to this day, have been ad- 
ministered in their primitive mode, without being adulterated 


j i 

by the corrupt church of Rome. It was no wonder that P 
Wroth, and Erhury, commonly called the first reformers of the 
Baptist denomination in Wales, should have so many follow- 
ers at once, when we consider that the field of their labors was 
the vale of Carleon and its vicinity. Had they like many of 
their countrymen, never bowed the knee to the great Baal of 
Rome, nor any of the horns of the beast in Britain, it is proba- 
ble we should not have heard of their names ; but as they were 
great and learned men, belonging to that religion, (or rather ir- 
religion,) established by law, and particularly as they left that 
establishment and joined the poor Baptists, their names are 
handed down to posterity, not only by their friends but also by 
their foes, because more notice was taken of them than those 
scattered Baptists on the mountains of the Principality. As 
this denomination had always existed in the country, from the 
year 63, and had been so often and so severely persecuted, it 
was by this time an old thing. But the men who left the 
popish establishment were the chief objects of their rage; par- 
ticularly as they boldly and publicly headed that sect that is 
every where spoken against, and planted and re-organized Bap- 
tist churches throughout the country, like the men who were 
charged with turning the world upside down. The vale of 
Olchon, also, is situated between mountains almost inaccessi- 
ble. How many hundred years it had been inhabited by Bap- 
tists before William Erbury ever visited the place, we cannot 
tell. We have no account of him, or any other person, bap- 
tizing any there before the time we know that there was a Bap- 
tist church there; that is, in 1663. It is a fact that cannot bo 
controverted, that there were Baptists here at the commence- 
ment of the Reformation; and no man upon earth can tell 
when the church was formed, and who began to baptize in this 
little Piedmont. Whence came these Baptists? It is univer- 

20 HISTORY or 

sally believed that it is the oldest church, but how old none can 
tell. We know that, at the Reformation, in the reign of Charles 
the First, they had a minister named Howell Vaughan, quite a 
different sort of a Baptist from Erbury, Wroth, Vavasor Pow- 
ell, and others, who were the great reformers, but had not re- 
formed so far as they ought to have done, in the opinion of the 
Olchon Baptists. And that was not to be wondered at; for 
they had dissented from the church of England, and probably 
brought some of her corruptions with them, but the mountain 
Baptists were not dissenters from that establishment. We 
know that the reformers were for mixed communion, but the 
Olchon Baptists received no such practices. In short, these 
were plain, strict, apostolical Baptists. They would have or- 
der and no confusion — the word of God their only rule. The 
reformers, or the reformed Baptists who had been brought up in 
the established church, were for laying on of hands on the bap- 
tized, but these Baptists whom they found on the mountains of 
Wales were no advocates for it. As the Baptists of Piedmont 
were much disappointed in the reformation of Luther; so these 
on the mountains of the Principality were, in some degree, dis- 
appointed in the reformation of their Baptist brethren in Wales ; 
not compromise matters with Austin. Indeed, they were so 
for the Olchon Baptists were like those Baptists that would 
much like them, in many things too numerous to be mentioned, 
that they must have been a separate people, maintaining the 
order of the New Testament in every age and generation, from 
the year 63 to the present time.* 

Here it may not be improper to remark, that those ministers 
who were first put to death by the English, through the instru- 
mentality of that sanguinary saint, known by the name of 
Austin, were men of learning as well as piety, brought up 
either in the college of Bangor in the north, or the college of 
Carleon in the south. These colleges were somewhat similar 
to the confraternities of our Moravian Baptists, in former times, 
or the mission house at Serampore, at the present time.f 

* Thomas's History. Notwithstanding the Baptists in Wales were very 
numerous in 1653, yet there were but six or seven churches of the old Baptist 
order. However, the difference between them and V. Powell and other re- 
formers, was not a bar of communion. At the same time, it is evident, that 
they had a more intimate fellowship with one another. Six of them joined to- 
gether in an association ; namely — Olchon, Llanwenarth, Llantrisaint, Swan- 
sea, and Carmarthen — the other was the church of Dolan. All the other 
churches, and numerous religious societies, gathered by the instrumentality of 
the reformed Baptists, such as Penry, Erbury, Wroth, V. Powell, and others, 
had not as yet joined this association. 

t Any one who can understand the Welsh language, for farther information 
may consult Twrog's History of the Church, written about the year 600. 
















Tho following are the names of a few of the most noted 
Baptist ministers in Britain before the reformation : 

8. Dynawt. 

9. Tailo. 

10. Padarn. 

11. Pawlin. 

12. Daniel.* 

13. Dewi, or David. 

The names of several others are mentioned in Welsh manu- 
scripts, as being noted; but in what respects we are not in- 
formed : except William Tyndal, who translated the Bible into 
the English language, and translated the five books of Moses 
into the Welsh language, in the year 1520; for which he was 
put to death in 1536. He was born near the line between 
England and Wales, but lived most of his time in Gloucester- 
shire. Llewellyn Tyndal and Hezekiah Tyndal were mem- 
bers of the Baptist church, at Abergaverney, South Wales. 

And, also, Tysilio's History of the Church, written about the same time, in a 
book with a black stone cover. See, also, Taleisin's Poems. Also, several 
papers in Jesus' College, Oxford. 
* Dr. Llewellyn's Historical Account, p. 2. See, also, Marryrology. 



Containing the History of the Welsh Baptists, from the Re* 
formation to the year One thousand seven hundred and 

The following extracts are taken from Evans Martyn's Let- 
ter, published in the eighth number, sixth volume, of the Pitts- 
burgh Christian Herald: 

" While the Lord was employing the immortal WicklifF to 
prepare his way in England, he remembered Wales in his ten- 
der mercy, and visited her with the day spring from on high. 
The pioneer in the cause of the reformation in Wales was 
Walter Brute, who was a native of the Principality, and who 
had been at Oxford, where he became acquainted with WicklhT, 
with whom he formed an intimacy, and fully entered into his 
views respecting the reformation of the church. It is an old 
adage, that like begets like, which was verified in the case of 
Brute. Having reflected on the pitiable condition of his coun- 
trymen, who were bewildered in the haze of ignorance, his 
heart was moved with compassion. He left the university, en- 
dowed with the principles, fortified with the intrepidity, and 
fired with the zeal of his colleague; and fully determined to 
resist the delusions and abominations of the secular church 
even unto blood, he entered his native land, where he soon dis- 
tinguished himself." " Fox says, that Walter Brute was ' emi- 
nent in learning, gifts, knowledge, zeal, and grace.' " 

" He fearlessly sounded the trump of God throughout the 
land, until, in a few years, the huge temple of Antichrist began 
to crumble, and its gilded worshippers to tremble for their 
safety. As his weapons were those of truth and righteousness, 
and his cause the cause of God, his victory was certain, and 
he soon became instrumental in rescuing the prey from the 
mighty, and in delivering many lawful captives. His disinte- 
restedness becoming generally known, and his labors of love 
appreciated, he found a number of steady friends among high 
and low. It may be supposed, that in traversing the country 


to preach the truth, and to seek the lost sheep of the house of 
Adam, that the established churches were closed against him ; 
for we learn that he was preaching from house to house, and 
in the chief places of concourse and elsewhere, and conducting 
the worship of God with the greatest simplicity. He main* 
taincd that baptism was not necessary to salvation ; and that it 
was to be administered to adults subsequently to conversion. 
And he frequently took occassion to protest against the doctrines 
and discipline of the established church. His zeal for the truth 
and his exposures of the papacy, soon elicited the hostility of 
the clergy, and fixed upon him all the enw of the sons of the 
church. Such was the importance attached to him and the 
cause he promoted, and such a wonderful reformation he had 
been instrumental in producing, that all the attempts of ecclesi- 
astical judicatories, and of the ministers of the civil law, to arm- 
rest his progress, were vain and ineffectual. Finally, a petition 
was presented to Richard II., king of England, praying his 
majesty to interfere in behalf of the church, in the prosecution 
of the hcresiarch, Walter Brute, whose words the land was not 
able to bear. The insolence, oppression, and exactions of the 
clergy, had become quite intolerable to the lords and squires* 
whose hereditary high-mindedness would not suffer the sons of 
Levi to surpass them in authority or splendor. Many of the 
great congratulated Brute in putting a check to the clergy, from 
no other principles than those of personal interest and envy; 
and gladly availed themselves of the opportunity to chastise 
their powerful rivals. Besides, the reformation had so exten- 
sively prevailed among all ranks, that some of the great and 
nobles were pious reformers, and others were impelled to vield 
to the force of public opinion.. 

[n the year 1391, the king, wishing to show favor to the 
church, issued a letter to the nobility of the Principality, in 
which he imperiously enjoined them to assist Dr. John Trev- 
nant, Bishop of Hereford, in apprehending and punishing Wal* 
ter Brute and his adherents. Notwithstanding the peremptory 
command of the king, and the unwearied vigilance of his ene- 
mies, he was permitted to proceed unmolested in the prosecu- 
tion of his work, till the year 1393, when he received a citation 
to appear before the Bishop of Hereford, to answer to certain 
charges of heresy. Fearless of consequences, the reformer 
made his appearance on the affixed day, and presented a writ- 
ten testimonial in defence of himself and of the truth for which 
he was an advocate. In that testimonial, he avowed his belief 
in the doctrine of the Trinity ; in the sufficiency of the Scrip- 
tures, as the infallible rule of faith and practice ; in the divinity 


of Christ; in reconciliation through his atoning sacrifice; in 
the work of the Holy Spirit, &c, &c. In this defence, he also 
took opportunity to prove that the pope was the Antichrist spo- 
ken of in Scripture ; and that the Roman church was Babylon 
the Great, whose fall he described and proved in a lucid man- 
ner. For some reasons, unknown to the writer, the stern re- 
former was discharged before the trial had actually taken place, 
and nothing is known of him after that event. We cannot 
imagine what induced the judges to dismiss him without any 
examination. They were probably led to such a course, for 
fear of violence from his followers, who were no less zealous 
for their moral deliverer, than against all the orders of the po- 
pish clergy. 

" Shortly after our reformer had sounded the alarm against 
the strong holds of the kingdom of darkness, and had exhorted 
his countrymen to l come out of Babylon that they might not 
partake of her plagues,' numbers broke their fetters asunder, 
and not a few among the clergy became witnesses for the truth. 
In the reign of Richard II., and some of the subsequent reigns, 
Davydd Ddu [David Black], of Hiraddug, on the borders of 
Cardiganshire, and John Kent, D. D., of Grismond, in Mon- 
mouthshire, distinguished themselves as steady reformers, and 
by their preaching and writing were the means of effecting a 
great amount of good." 

" The reformers knew of the obstacles to an extensive revi- 
val of God's work, or to give an unshaken and permanent basis 
to the reformed religion, while the people were destitute of the 
Holy Scriptures. These considerations induced Davydd Ddu 
to undertake the translation of the Bible, or at least some por- 
tions of it, into Welsh ; specimens of which are now extant. 
By the philanthropic and Christian industry of several friends 
of the reformation, portions of the Sacred Word were very ex- 
tensively circulated. Dr. Kent, who was withal a respectable 
bard, labored by the efforts of his pen, in prose and verse, to 
reclaim the clergy from their indolence and vices, which he 
manfully exposed. Both these divines were stigmatized as ma- 
gicians; and various are the traditions respecting their disputes 
with familiar spirits, and their sagacity in cheating the deviL 
It may be fairly conjectured that these drolleries were circulated 
by the clergy, to prejudice the minds of the people against the- 
reformers. Yet all the efforts of the clerical order to cool the 
zeal of these men, and to retard the progress of truth, were nu- 
gatory. Revivals took place in the cloisters, and several 
monks came forth from within their secluded walls, and let 
their light shine, in all its brilliancy, before men. It was stated 


to the writer, by a celebrated antiquarian, that such was the 
progress of the reformation, that in the monastery of Margam, 
in Glamorganshire, a large majority of monks had left it, and 
had rallied round the standard of the reformers. This was the 
only cloister of which I have any definite and substantiated ac- 
count, as a theatre of revival ; but it is extremely probable, that 
the same divine effects extended to other religious houses. Tho- 
mas Evan ab Rhys was a monk from this monastery, and from 
the extant traditions in regard to him, we can form an idea of 
his ardent temperament and indefatigable exertions. When 
this devoted man was traversing the hills and valleys of Wales, 
to call his countrymen to awake to righteousness, persecution 
had assumed a formidable aspect, and the fulminations of the 
pontiff and his subalterns had spread terror, even in those warm 
bosoms where the principles of the reformed religion had been 
planted. Rhys was compelled to itinerate not only at the 
constant peril of detection and death, but under the frequent 
denial of the rites of hospitality, and often destitute of the 
means of subsistence." 

" Such were the struggles which some had to encounter, to 
prepare Wales for a brighter day, and for a more tranquil and 
blissful period, for which ages yet unborn shall reap the most 
substantial benefits, and ascribe undivided praises to God for 
the instruments he employed to accomplish his work." 

In the year 1586, John ab Henry, called by the English John 
Penry, an Episcopalian minister, who had a very liberal edu- 
cation, and who was a very acceptable preacher in both the 
colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, dissented from the church 
of England and became a Baptist minister. Immediately he 
commenced preaching to his countrymen throughout the Prin- 
cipality. He became the ringleader of those Baptists in Wales, 
who never had and never would, bow the knee to the great 
beast of Rome, nor any of his horns in England. He was 
noted for piety, ministerial gifts, and zeal for the welfare of his 
countrymen. He was a native of Brecknockshire, and the first 
who publicly preached the gospel among the Baptists in Wales, 
after the reformation; which implies that the gospel was, more 
or less, privately preached among the Baptists, on the Welsh 
mountains, during the whole reign of popery. He also wrote 
.nd published two books.* Mr. Anthony Wood, an Episcopa- 

* A View of some parts of such Public Wants and Disorders, as are in the 
service of God, within her Majesty's country of Wales; with an humble Peti- 
tion to the High Court of Parliament, for their speedy Redress. The other 
was. An Exhortation unto the Governors and People of Wales, to labor ear- 
nestly to have the preaching of the Gospel planted among them. 


lian minister, says that John Penry was the worst enemy the 
church of England had through the whole reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. He calls him a most notorious Anabaptist, of which 
party he was, in his time, the Corypheus. As such, he had to 
die the death of a martyr, in the year 1593, in the 34th year 
of his age. He was remarkably active and useful while he 
lived, and died triumphantly shouting, victory, victory, victory, 
through the blood of the cross! O death! where is thy sting % 
O grave! where is thy victory? 

In the year of our Lord 1620, Erbury and Wroth, ministers 
of the gospel of the church of England, established by law in 
Wales, dissented from that establishment. In what particular 
steeple-house Mr. Erbury officiated, what were the means of 
his conversion, and what were his reasons and motives for dis- 
senting, we have not been able to ascertain from any written 
or printed document; but from what we have read of him, 
since he became a Baptist minister, we evidently see that he 
was a good man, and a very eminent minister of the gospel of 
Christ, who had his share of persecution as well as Mr. Wroth. 
Their history is so blended, and their attachment to one an- 
other, seemed to be so great, that we cannot well separate them. 
However, Mr. Thomas of Leominister, in his Welsh history of 
the Baptists in Wales, informs us, that he found the following 
account, in a written paper in Monmouthshire, relative to Mr. 
Wroth: A certain nobleman, in Mr. Wroth's parish, having 
occasion to go to London to attend a law-suit, and having been 
successful, as soon as the news reached home that he had 
gained the victory, Mr. Wroth the vicar, being very fond of 
music, bought a new violin, for the purpose of joining the no- 
bleman and his friends on their return, in feasting, music, and 
dancing. The time was appointed, great preparations were 
made, and the vicar, with his new violin, ready to receive him, 
when the news came that he was dead ; so that their great 
rejoicings were turned to bitter lamentation and mourning. 
The vicar immediately fell upon his knees, and for the first 
time in his life he prayed: Yes, he prayed from his heart ; he 
most earnestly and fervently prayed, that the Lord would bless 
that solemn event to them all ; that the widow, the fatherless 
children, himself, and all their friends, relatives, and connec- 
tions, might consider the frailty of life, the vanity of the world, 
the certainty of death, and the importance of eternal things. 

This circumstance was the means of his conversion to God. 
He then began to study the word of God, and preached with 
power and energy, as one having authority. Now he most 
earnestly endeavored to glorify God, to exalt the Savior of sin- 


ncrs, and to save precious and immortal souls. This new way 
and new manner of preaching, made a most wonderful excite- 
ment in the country ; so that many cried out, " what shall we 
do to be saved," and others persecuted them. But they travel- 
led and preached together, through the whole region, showing 
the nature and the requirements of the religion of Christ, in 
such a manner that the vicars and the great men were most 
dreadfully offended at them. But these two missionaries of the 
cross were not discouraged by the rage of carnal and wordly- 
minded men. The cause in which their hearts were engaged 
was the cause of God. Glory to God in the highest, peace on 
earth and good-will to men, was their motto. They considered 
the man who becomes instrumental in saving one soul from 
eternal ruin, as doing more good for his fellow creature, than 
if he were to give him all the riches of the universe. The 
most profound philosophers, the wisest statesmen, and the most 
refined metaphysicians, with all their resources of natural light 
and solid reason, leaves the mind in a bewildered state, desti- 
tute of the knowledge of the only way that sinful men can be 
restored to the favor of God, consistently with his veracity, the 
requirements of his violated law, and the demands of divine 
justice: but our Welsh missionaries directed their countrymen 
to Calvary, to the sufferings and death of Christ, where divine 
justice shone with more splendor and glory, than if all man- 
kind were under the wrath and displeasure of God forever; 
where divine mercy appeared brighter, than if wc had been 
saved without the execution of justice; and where it was mani- 
fested, that the rights of divine government are so sacred and 
inviolable, that they must be maintained though the spotless 
Lamb of God should fall a sacrifice for sin. It appears that 
this was the grand theme upon which they dwelt ; the truth 
which God has blessed to the conversion of our forefathers 
on the Welsh mountains. But the more active they were in 
their Master's service, the more enraged was the Prince of 
Darkness, with his allied powers and confederates on earth. 
Both of them were soon taken up and sent to London, to be 
tried for their crime. In the year 1633, they received their 
sentence, and in the year 1635, they were turned out of their 
parishes.* But they cared not for these things. They preached 
the gospel from house to house, from valley to valley, and 
from mountain to mountain. By this time the Bible was 

* See Neale's History of the Puritanp, vol. 2, pp. 252. 275. Bennet's Me. 
morial of the Reformation, p. 75. Rapin, vol. 1, p. 141. Athen. Oxon. vol, 1, 
col. 253, &c. 


printed in the Welsh language, and the people? began to search 
the Scriptures, and found that it was even so therein recorded. 
Some of Mr. Erbury's Letters to Mr. Morgan Lloyd, and one 
letter to the Baptist churches in South Wales, may be seen in 
Mr. Thomas Meredith's book printed in the year 1770, in the 
Welsh language, and were it in our power to get at that book, 
we should have been glad to present it before our readers. The 
first Baptist church in Wales since the reformation, was con- 
stituted by Erbury, on the plan of strict communion, in 1663. 
The second was constituted on the principle of mixed commu- 
nion, in the year 1639, at Llanfaches, in Monmouthshire, by 
Mr. Wroth, assisted by Mr. Jesse* of London. Mr. Wroth be- 
came the pastor of the church at Llanfaches, and labored 
among them the remainder of his days. Mr. Erbury did not 
settle any where, but preached in many places. We have not 
seen any account of the death of these servants of God, but we 
are inclined to believe, that as they lived the life of the 
righteous, so, also, they died the death of the righteous. 

Vavasor Powell was born in Radnorshire, South Wales. 
He was brought up a minister in the established church, and 
for some time officiated at Clun, on the borders of Shropshire. 
One day, as he was breaking the Sabbath, one of the people 
called Puritans, sharply reproved him ; so that he became con- 
cerned about his soul. Soon after he went to hear Mr. Cra- 
dock and others preach, and by the blessing of God on the 
preaching of the gospel, he was brought from the broad to the 
narrow road. He was inclined to suffer affliction with the peo- 
ple of God, rather than to proceed in the ways of sin and folly. 
Soon afterwards he was baptized on the profession of his faith, 
and became a very popular preacher among the Baptists in 
Wales, in the year of our Lord 1636. He was one of the most 
zealous and useful preachers in the Principality. He often 
preached throughout Wales, and in many parts of England. 
Being a man of liberal education, he was remarkably fluent in 
both languages. He suffered much for the cause of Christ. In 
1642, he was obliged to leave his native country, and to escape 
for his life, for preaching the gospel ; but he returned in the 
year 1646, and preached boldly throughout the whole country; 
sometimes in the churches, sometimes in dwelling houses. Yes, 
he often preached salvation free in Jesus' name, in the public 
markets, in the woods, and on the top of the mountains, to very 
large and crowded congregations. In his time, the state of 

* Mr. Jesse was then an Independent, but became a Baptist minister, soon 



religion in Wales suffered much from the frowns and smiles of 
earthly courts. In 1641 the war commenced between King 
Charles and the parliament. In 1648 the king was conquered. 
In 1658 Cromwell died. In 1660 King Charles the second 
returned to England, and a most horrid persecution commenced. 
When they had a king to reign over them, language is made- 
quate to express the sufferings of our Welsh brethren; find 
while they were without a king, they were too highly exalted 
in honor and dignity. 

After the return of Charles the second, many of the Baptists 
in Wales were imprisoned, without either judge or jury, or any 
sort of trial or regular commitment whatever. Hundreds of 
them were taken from their beds at night, without any regard 
to acre, sex, or the inclemency of the weather; and were driven 
to prison on foot, fifteen or twenty miles, and if they did not 
keep up with their drivers on horseback, they were most cruel y 
and unmercifully whipped. And while their drivers would 
stop to drink at taverns, the poor sufferers were pounded like 
cattle, during the pleasure of the king's friends ; and their 
property was forfeited to the king, except what was deemed 
necessary to defray the expenses of their drivers. All this was 
only the'beginning of sorrows. It was nothing in comparison 
to the sufferings they endured, for the space of six and twenty 
years afterwards; when King William landed in England, on 
the 5th day of December, 1688— a day for the manifestation of 
the goodness of God in a very peculiar manner; for even a 
yoke is far better than a most dreadful heavy yoke, but liberty 
is ten thousand times better than either. 

Vavasor Powell had to endure his part in all these persecu- 
tions. He was immured in no less than thirteen prisons. In 
fact, he was in prison all the time from the restoration of 
Charles the second to the end of his life; which happened on 
the 27th day of September, 1670. His last illness continued 
about a month. He greatly rejoiced with joy unspeakable and 
almost full of glory, under the consideration that he was so 
near eternal glory. There were no less than twelve elegies 
published by his friends on his death. Some of the Episcopa- 
lian ministers wrote against him, and called their book " The 
Hue and Cry," which he most nobly answered. The title of 
his book is, " Examen et Purgamen Vavasoris." "He was a 
most successful preacher of the last generation; a faithful wit- 
ness to the present generation ; and a good pattern to the next 
generation."* He was the means of gathering and forming the 

* The above is engraved on his tombstone. See Thomas's History. Also 
Vavasor Powell's Life. 



church at Llanbrynmar, and several other congregations, con- 
sisting of five or six hundred communicants, who were not 
then regularly formed into churches. 

Howell Vaughan was the first pastor that we know of, in one 
of the first Baptist churches formed in Wales, called Olchon, 
on the borders of Herefordshire. Though the church was re- 
freshed through the instrumentality of Mr. Erbury, and often 
fed by the labors of Vavasor Powell, yet neither of them was 
properly the pastor of the church at Olchon. What time 
Howell Vaughan commenced preaching we know not, neither 
can we find out when and where he was ordained. But, how- 
ever, we find him the pastor of the church at the time of the 
reformation. He was not a learned man, like Erbury, Wroth, 
and Powell, as he never had a college education; but he was a 
plain, conscientious, and godly man, remarkably well versed 
in Scripture. He was a very good preacher, well calculated to 
feed the church of God with knowledge and understanding. 
The church under his pastoral care, though small at first, in a 
short time increased most wonderfully. This part of Zion's 
tent, through the labors of H. Vaughan, was so enlarged, that 
in the year 1649, it reached as far as Hay and Clifford. Hay 
being a market town, and many of the members living there at 
this time, it was thought best for the church to meet there. 
And the first meeting-house since the reformation, belonging 
to the Baptists in Wales, was built there. However, after the 
branches were formed into separate churches, the mother 
church met at the old place. There is no meeting-house at 
Olchon to this day. Our old mother has brought forth and 
raised up many daughters, and has assisted them in building 
large and elegant houses, while she herself dwells in a cabin. 
And we are sorry to say, that she is too much neglected by 
her children. The place of her habitation was well chosen in 
the time of persecution ; being situated between two mountains, 
almost impassable, and altogether so for the silver slippers of 
this day. We have not seen any account of the death of H. 
Vaughan. We find him in the first Baptist association formed 
in Wales since the reformation, held at Abergavenny, Mon- 
mouthshire, on the 14th and 15th days of August, 1653. We 
have been informed, that he was well calculated to feed the 
church of God with knowledge and understanding. Zeal with- 
out knowledge is like an ignis-fatuus. He, therefore, taught 
the people to know themselves; to know something more of 
God ; to know something more of Christ ; and something more 
of the glorious things exhibited in the gospel. For every one 
that loYeth is born of God and knoweth God. It was his ear- 


nest prayer, that their love might abound more and more, in 
knowledge and in all judgment; that they might put on the 
new man, which is renewed in knowledge ; that they might 
increase in the knowledge of him, whom to know is life eternal. 
He, therefore, endeavored to enlighten the understanding, not 
to amuse his hearers with lively conceptions of shapes and co- 
lors, or of voices and sounds,* for there is nothing more delu- 
sive than mere impressions on the imagination, while the under- 
standing is not illuminated. He also taught them the difference 
between speculative knowledge, and that knowledge which is 
connected with the affections, in which there is something that 
not only sees but also feels. 

William Thomas began to preach at Llanfaches, Glamorgan- 
shire, in the year 1638, about twelve months before the church 
was formed there ; which was the second church formed in 
Wales since the reformation. Mr. Wroth being old, William 
Thomas was ordained his co-pastor, and labored with accept- 
ance and success, until the year 1641, when by reason of per- 
secution in that part of the world, he fled to another, and ar- 
rived in Bristol, England; where he preached and baptized a 
great many. He was a very learned man, brought up in Ox- 
ford college. He did not settle over any congregation in Eng- 
land, but kept school in Bristol, where many young ministers 
were educated. In Cromwell's time, he returned to Wales, 
and preached in St. Mary's church, near Swansea* He was 
turned out of that church on the restoration of Charles the se- 
cond. He kept school afterwards at Swansea, and often 
preached at Carmarthen, and other destitute places. After he 
was turned out of St. Mary's, he became a member of the Bap- 
tist church at Swansea. We have an account of his bavin"- 
been sent as a messenger from Swansea to three associations. 
Before his death he returned to Llantrisaint, near Llanfaches, 
from where he went to Bristol. At this time the Baptists met 
at Llantrisaint. In the association held at Abergavenny, this 
church proposed to revive the old plan of supporting ministers 
in weak and destitute churches ; which was for the strongest to 
help the weakest. William Thomas was appointed home mis- 
sionary for six months, and received from Swansea, £5 ; Llan- 
trisaint, £2 10s.; Carmarthen, £2 10s. 

William Thomas died, July 26, 1671, and was buried at 

Our Welsh brethren were great advocates for the ancient 
order of things. They adopted the old plan of supporting mis* 
sionaries. The gospel, through the channel of missions, has 
made its way to many parts of the world; and through th© 


very same channel, will shortly go over the whole world. 
Our blessed Redeemer condescended to undertake a mission 
into .this sinful world. God so loved the world, that he sent 
his only begotten Son ; and in every sense of the word, he was 
a missionary while he was upon earth. And the apostles who 
drank deep into the same Spirit, and having received their 
commission from Christ their head and leader, to go into all 
the world, became so many missionaries to proclaim salvation 
free in Jesus' name. These missionaries are dead, but the 
God of missions ever liveth, to raise up new missionaries, to 
assist and protect them, and to bless their labors. 

Is it absolutely necessary that sinners who live in darkness, 
without hope, and without God in the world, should hear the 
gospel? that they should repent and believe the gospel? that 
they should be partakers of that faith that purifieth the heart? 
that repentance that needeth not to be repented of? that Chris- 
tian watchfulness against sin? that vehement desire for a holy 
life? and that zeal which is according to knowledge? If it is, 
will not that love which is stronger than death, constrain them 
to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow the Lord 
through evil and good report? And how are they to be made 
partakers of these precious graces? Faith comes by hearing 
the gospel, and the gospel comes by the means of missionaries. 
But how can missionaries preach except they be sent? And 
who is going to send them empty-handed? The age of mira- 
cles is gone; and God has ordained that those who devote 
themselves entirely to the preaching of the gospel should live 
of the gospel. 

" Roger Williams was born in Wales, in the year 1598. 
He was brought up a lawyer, under the patronage of Sir Ed- 
ward Coke ; but finding that employment not agreeable to his 
taste, he turned his attention to divinity. His preaching was 
highly esteemed, and his private character very much revered ; 
but as he embraced the sentiments of the Puritans, he was so 
much exposed to suffering, that he was compelled to leave his 
native country. He embarked for America, on the 5th day of 
February, 1631. He preached first at Salem, and afterwards 
at Plymouth, New England; but on account of his Baptist sen- 
timents, and the doctrine of liberty of conscience, of which he 
was a great advocate, he was banished from New England in 
the year 1636. He ventured among the savages, pitched his 
tent, near a spring* of water in the wilderness, and called the 
name of the place * Providence,' Being kindly received and 

* Now near the Episcopal church in Providence. 


highly esteemed by the Indians, he soon learned their lan- 
guage, and bought of them that tract of land now known by 
the name of Rhode Island. He became the parent and found- 
er of that state, and was the first who planted the standard of 
liberty on the American shore. Many of his friends soon re- 
paired to the new settlement; and by the assistance of Sir 
Henry Vane, he obtained from England, a free and absolute 
charter of civil incorporation, dated March 17, 1644. 

In the year 1639, he formed a Baptist church at Providence, 
Rhode Island, which is the first church of the Baptist deno- 
mination in America. The second was founded at Newport, 
by John Clark in 1644. The third, which is the second 
church in that town, was founded 1656. The church at Swan- 
sea began by our Welsh brother, John Miles, was the fourth 
Baptist church in the New World. 

Roger Williams, as a scholar, as a Christian, and as a minis- 
ter, was truly respectable. He was one of the most disinte- 
rested men that ever lived, and a most pious and heavenly- 
minded soul. It is said of him, that instead of showing any 
revengeful temper, he was continually employed in acts of 
kindness and benevolence to his enemies. 

Roger Williams justly claims the honor of being the first le- 
gislator in the world, who fully and effectually provided for, 
and established a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience;* 
for the true grounds of liberty were not fully understood in 
America, until he publicly avowed that Christ alone is king in 
his own kingdom. Liberty of conscience, as the most darling 
principle, was planted in the soil of Rhode Island by this emi- 
nent Welshman, long before the red men left it, or even the 
lofty forests were laid waste, and has been transmitted from 
father to son with the most studious care. It was interwoven 
in every part of the state constitution, has extended its influence 
to all transactions, both civil and sacred; and in no part of the 
world has it been more inviolably maintained. It is the glory 
and boast of Rhode Island, that no one within her bounds was 
ever legally molested on account of his religious opinions, and 
that none of her annals are stained with acts to regulate those 
important concerns, which lie wholly between man and his 

Roger Williams not only founded a state, but through his in- 
fluence among the Indians, he became the Savior of all the other 
colonies. He held his pastoral office four years, and then re* 
signed the same to Mr. Broom, and preached among the Indians, 

* Governor Hopkins. 


until he died in the year 1682, aged 84, and was buried in his 
own lot, near Mr. Dorr's house, on Benefit street, Providence, 
Rhode Island."* 

Hugh Evans was a native of Radnorshire, South Wales. 
He began to preach in the year 1642. He was the first settled 
minister in that county. On account of wars and commotions 
in his native country, he went to Coventry in England, when 
he was young ; and there he found the Lord gracious to his 
soul; there he was converted, baptized, and received as a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church. He proved to be a very godly and 
lively man in religion. After he began to preach, he felt much 
concern for the state of religion in Wales. His love for the 
truth and for his country was most wonderful. He even de- 
spised the honor and riches of which he had a good prospect 
in England, and settled with his poor countrymen in Wales. 
Having, however, received a liberal education, under the in- 
structions of Rev. Jeremiah Ives, before he returned. He was 
a very laborious, useful, and acceptable preacher, all the days 
of his life. Through his instrumentality, the church at Dolan, 
in the county of Radnor was formed. He died in the year 
1656. Paul-like, this good man could say the truth in Christ, 
his conscience also bearing him witness, that he had a great 
heaviness and continual, sorrow in his heart, for his kinsmen 
according to the flesh ; so that it was his most earnest desire, 
that he should be set apart by Christ his heavenly Master and 
glorious Redeemer, to preach the everlasting gospel to them. 
Like Paul, who reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and 
judgment to come, Mr. Evans always considered mankind, not- 
withstanding the depravity of their nature, as reasonable crea- 
tures, who are under the greatest obligations to love God and 
keep his commandments; for the worship of God is a reasona- 
able service. Nothing is more rational than the testimony of 
Divine Revelation, that God is a Spirit, and, therefore, they 
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth ; that 
God is love, therefore we ought to love him ; and that God is 
good, merciful, just, and holy, therefore we should consider it 
our privilege as well as our duty, to live holily, soberly and 
righteously; to be holy, for God is holy; to render to every 
one his due ; to render to God the praise and adoration due to 
his name, and the obedience due to his commands ; and to be 
just and honest in all our dealings with our fellow creatures: 
this is our reasonable service. 

Morgan Lloyd began to preach in 1643. He was converted 

* Benedict's History ef the Baptists in America. 


under the ministry of Mr. Cradock, an Independent preacher. 
He was a very wise, shrewd man, remarkable for ready an- 
swers, and a very acceptable preacher throughout Walos, both 
North and South. A great man for deepness of thought and 
correctness in composition ; but often too mysterious in his ex- 
pressions. He kept up a regular correspondence with Mr. 
Erbury. Those letters contain very valuable matter, relative 
to the labors, sufferings, and success of both of them. Morgan 
Lloyd published several small books in Welsh ; such as Llyfr 
y tri Aderyn; Gair o'r Gair; Yr Ymrhoddiad; and others. 

We have seen a copy of a letter which he wrote to a friend 
in Welsh, in the translation of which we must acknowledge 
that we are not able to do justice; not only owing to the differ- 
ent idioms of the two languages, but on account of the peculiar 
turn of mind of the person who composed the original. But, 
however, for its antiquity it should not be entirely lost: 

" Wrexham, the 14th day of 
the 11th month, 1655. 
" Dear Madam: 

" Many who have misspent their breath in life are asthma- 
tical in death. Redeem the time, for with you also the days 
are evil. You should always consider that the true God is a 
sufficient God. Every thing that you see in this world as a 
branch, is in him as a root. Rejoice in the invisible goodness- 
Those that are planted in the house of the Lord, shall revive in 
their old age as the corn, and shall grow as the vine spoken of 
in the 14th chapter of Hosea. In the midst of the storm, they 
have that anchor spoken of in Hebrews, 6th chapter. Many 
souls are fast asleep. Some are half awake, and they will be 
nodding when the Bridegroom shall come. But death will 
shake them ; yes, it will shake them from the world and the 
things thereof. Ask the Lord to awake you in this life, that 
the peace of your soul may not be disturbed hereafter. When 
you feel within you any spiritual pain, you must think that it is 
a wind of love from God, to winnow the chaff from the wheat 
in your heart, that Christ may be chief within. We all here, 
in the goodness of God, salute you and my sisters. 

" Mor. Lloyd." 

Writing to his mother-in-law, he says: 

" You have a little grand-daughter here, of the name of 
Elizabeth Lloyd. It is nothing but a candle lighted by the 
blessed Father of our Spirits. But for your daughter, my dear 


wife, the Lord has enlarged upon her when she was in distress. 
Consolation will come, if we will wait for it with an easy mind. 
Let God do his own work and let us do our work. 

" Mor. Lloyd." 

We have not seen any account of the death of Morgan 
Lloyd. He must have had his share of persecution, under 
Charles the first, for five years at least after he began to preach. 
Many good ministers at that time left their native country, and 
have never been heard of since. Some went to America, whose 
names are highly spoken of by American historians, of whom 
the Welsh have no account whatever. It is said that Morgan 
Lloyd was in the habit of riding a very good horse. Once 
meeting with two gentlemen — one a lawyer, the other a jus- 
tice of the peace — the magistrate said, " Why do you ride such 
a good horse, sir? why don't you ride an ass like your Mas* 
terl" " His Majesty has converted so many asses to justices 
that an ass cannot be found for money," was the reply. 
" Well done," said the lawyer; "but I find that his Majesty 
cannot teach them so much wit, as to mind their own business 
and let other people alone." 

Thomas Watkins began to preach at Olchon in 1643. He 
lived at a place called Maes y ffin, near Capel y frin. He 
lived through the whole persecution of the two Charles, and 
enjoyed six or seven years of calmness afterwards. He was 
one of the most laborious and most successful ministers in the 
Principality. He was well calculated for the discipline of 
churches. For this very purpose he was sent for, in the year 
1668, by the church at Rhydwilim, Carmarthenshire, the dis- 
tance of near one hundred miles. We may safely say, that as 
a man, he was much respected; and as a preacher, though 
plain, yet he was truly evangelical. His sermons, though not 
ornamental, were particularly scriptural; and he often was 
highly favored with the presence of his divine Master. He 
lived and acted up to the profession which he made, and the 
character which he sustained. Yes, verily, he was a burning 
and a shining light, who not only enlightened the understand- 
in o-, but warmed the hearts of many. He left behind him a 
wood name, which is ten thousand times better than silver and 
gold, or the most precious ointment. 

Thomas Watkins had a peculiar turn of mind, to manage 
unruly members; to teach the churches to do all things de- 
cently and in order; to have compassion on one another; to 
love one another; and to be pitiful and courteous, not rendering 
evil for evil, or railing for railing; to avoid any root of bitter- 


ness. He was a very strict observer of the golden rule in 
Matthew 18:15, and would never suffer any case to come to 
the church when that rule had been neglected. And when any 
one brought any thing to the church, in any manner contrary 
to that rule, no notice was taken of it; but the person who vio- 
lated the rule, in bringing any case to the church contrary to 
it, was recognised by the church as an offender — not against 
them as a church, nor against any individual on earth — but as 
a violator of the positive law of Christ the Head of the church. 
Carnal reason teaches that it is the duty of the offender to go 
to the offended, but the law of Christ commands the offended 
to go to the offender. If thy brother offend or trespass against 
thee, go and tell him his fault, between thee and him alone; 
which ought to be done in the spirit of the gospel, and every 
punctilio of that rule should be observed ; and if the case must 
come to the church at last, both the offender and the offended 
should abide by its decision. This is mentioned, as a specimen 
of the manner by which Thomas Watkins observed the order 
of the house of God. Our limits will not admit us to enlarge. 

Walter Prosser was born at Llanelly, Carmarthenshire. It 
appears that he and one Mr. Meredith, began to preach in that 
part of the world, about the year 1644. What became of Mr. 
Meredith we know not. It is supposed that he went to America, 
because of the persecution in Wales. As for Walter Prosser, 
he went to Olchon, the Welsh Piedmont, at the foot of the Black 
Mountains, in the year 1652. He was a messenger from that 
church to the association at Abergavenny in 1654, when he 
was appointed to devote some of his time to supply the church 
at Carmarthen, then destitute of a pastor, though the two 
churches are about eighty miles distant from each other. It 
was not a strange thing in those days, for ministers to supply 
churches one hundred miles apart, while some good and even 
great preachers in Wales, at present, never have been fifty 
miles from home. 

Walter Prosser was not learned, but he was a gifted and ac- 
ceptable preacher. In Cromwell's time he removed from Ol- 
chon to Dredynog, in Monmouthshire, and preached there until 
the restoration of Charles the second, when he was driven from 
there. Afterwards he joined the Baptist church at Llantrisaint, 
in the neighborhood of Dredynog. 

Notwithstanding Charles the second was not much better 
than a devil incarnate ; yet to whip the Baptist ministers out of 
the steeple-houses was not one of his worst actions, if he had 
let them alone afterwards; for they had no business there. 
Those houses better became the tithe-gatherers than the minis- 


ters of the cross* Worldly prosperity, pomp, and grandeur, 
are dangerous; and however contrary to reason, or commor* 
sense, and however painful and disagreeable to flesh and 
blood is persecution, yet it winnows the chaff from the wheat, 
and unites the people of God together in love ; so that they may 
value their privileges, and be more earnest before God in prayer. 
May the happy inhabitants of the United States of America 
praise God for their liberty, and always recollect, that where 
much is given, much is required. 

John Miles began to preach about the year 1645. He was 
the founder of the Baptist church at Swansea, Glamorganshire, 
South Wales. He was one of the greatest advocates for close 
communion in the Principality, in his time, and the leading- 
minister of the Baptist denomination in Wales. 

The church at Swansea was formed in the year 1644. In 
that year, John Miles, the pastor of the church at Swansea, 
wrote a letter to the church of Olchon, in which he promised 
to pay them a visit and defend the practice of close communion ; 
which also he did. And in the following year, he sent there 
another epistle on that subject, which may be seen recorded in 
the church book at Abergavenny. 

In 1651 he was sent as the representative of all the Baptist 
churches in Wales, to the Baptist ministers' meeting, at Gla- 
zier's Hall, London, with a letter giving an account of the peace, 
union, and increase of the Baptist churches; and returned with 
& written letter from the London ministers to their brethren in 
Wales, in which they were advised to form new churches; so 
that their members who lived at a distance, might be made more 
useful; and that several of the small churches so formed should 
meet together, as often as convenient, to break bread. And as 
their ordained ministers were comparatively few, they were 
advised to look out for the most gifted among themselves, bv 
whom they might be edified in the Lord ; for, in so doing, they 
might find out some to labor in word and doctrine among them. 
Mr. Miles wrote an excellent letter to the new-formed church 
at Abergavenny, which they most preciously preserved, for the 
benefit of the rising generation.* In the year 1600, after the 
restoration of Charles the second, he was most dreadfully per- 
secuted; when he fled for his life to New-England, in North 
America. Mr. Thomas, our Welsh historian, concludes by 
observing, that if ever any accounts of the Baptists in America 
should Ik." published, and ever come to Wales, he would most 
sincerely hope., that some farther account of our dear brother 

* It is recorded in their Church Book. 


Miles may be seen by his countrymen ; which we are sorry to 
say has not been realized to this day. 

However, this moment, while we have Edwards' and Bene- 
dict's History before us, we must, for the benefit of our Welsh 
brethren, once more appear before the public, in clothes bor- 
rowed from American manufacture. 

"In 1663, John Miles came over from Wales, and began 
the church which has continued to this day. He founded a 
Baptist church at Swansea, in his native country, in 1649, and 
was one of about two thousand ministers, who were ejected 
from their places of worship, by the cruel act of uniformity in 
1662.* Some of Mr. Miles's company came over with him, 
and at the house of John Butterworth, in Rehoboth, they, to the 
number of seven, united in a solemn covenant. Their names 
were, Elder John Miles, James Brown, Nicholas Turner, Jo- 
seph Carpenter, John Butterworth, Eldad Kingsly, and Benja- 
min Alby. 

This measure became offensive to the orthodox churches of 
the colon) 1 ". The court was solicited to interpose its influence; 
and the members of this little Baptist church were fined, five 
pounds each, for setting up a public meeting, without the know- 
ledge and approbation of the court, to the disturbance of the 
peace of the place. They were ordered to desist from their 
meeting for the space of a month, and advised to remove their 
meeting to some other place, where they might not prejudice 
any other church.f 

Not long after, they built a meeting house, near Kelly's 
Bridge, at the upper end of Warren, on a neck of land, which 
is now in the township of Barrington. Afterwards it was re- 
moved to the place where the present meeting house stands, 
which is only three miles from Warren and about ten from 
Providence. In 1667, the Plymouth Court, instead of passing 
the sentence of banishment against this little company of Bap- 
tists, as the men of Boston had done against Gould and his as- 
sociates, made them an ample grant of Wannamoiset, which 
they called Swansea. It then included the extensive territory 
which has since been divided into the towns of Swansea, War- 
ren, and Barrington. Barrington and Warren, now in Rhode 
Island, were then claimed by the Plymouth colony, and after- 
wards by the Massachusetts government, until 1741. 

* As we had closed the Welsh account of Mr. Miles, before we had seen 
the American History, it is with pleasure we observe the dates. 

t Poor Brother Miles! who would imagine that the demon of persecution 
would meet thee in happy America, among those people who had escaped fot 
their lives from Old England. 


What is now the town of Swansea became the residence of 
the Baptists; and no church of the Pedobaptists has ever been 
established here, to perplex and fleece them. However, some 
of their members, who resided in other towns around, were at 
times harassed with ministerial taxes ; but their sufferings, of 
this kind were trifling compared with what their brethren in 
other places endured. 

Beside the constituent members of this church, there were 
families of the name of Luther, Cob, Bowen, Wheaton, Mortin, 
Barns, Thurber, Bosworth, Mason, Child, &c, among the 
early planters of Swansea ; whose posterity are still numerous 
in the surrounding country. 

Mr. Miles continued pastor of the church, until his death in 
1683. What few sketches have been preserved of his life, go 
to show that he bore an excellent character, and was eminently 
useful in his day. 

He lived near a bridge which still bears his name, but a 
small distance from the present meeting house. He labored 
frequently with his brethren in Boston, in the time of their 
sufferings; and at one time there was a proposition for his be- 
coming their pastor, which was not, however carried into effect. 
We are told, that being once brought before the magistrates 
for preaching, he requested a Bible, and opened at these words 
in Job — ' Ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the 
root of the matter is in him?' — which having read, he sat down. 
And such an effect had the sword of the Spirit, that he was 
afterwards treated with moderation, if not with kindness,"* 

William Prichard began to preach about the year 1649; 
formed a church at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, South Wales, 
1652; was ordained pastor of that church in 1653. He was 
one of the original thirteen that constituted the church, and con- 
tinued their faithful, laborious, and highly esteemed pastor, for 
sixty years, through the whole of the most severe persecutions 
of that monster, commonly called King Charles, as well as 
through the calmness the churches enjoyed in Cromwell's time ; 
and we can truly say of him, what we cannot say of some of 
his brethren, that he neither courted the smiles nor feared the 
frowns of earthly courts. 

When King Charles the first was beheaded, the bishops de* 

* Benedict informs us, that large extracts were taken from the records of 
the Swansea church, by Mr. Backus, and sent over to Mr. Thomas, of Leo- 
minister, England, the historian of the Welsh Baptists; but by the expressions 
made by Mr. Thomas in concluding Mr. Miles's history, as above, it appears 
those records never came to hand. They must have been lost, if sent by Mr. 


throned, and the forms and ceremonies of that worship estab- 
lished by law was done away with, Cromwell's commissioners 
appointed ministers of every denomination that were willing to 
officiate in the churches, and to receive payment from govern- 
ment. And we are sorry to say, that some of the Baptist minis- 
ters accepted that generous offer. But our Brother Prichard 
would have nothing to do with that antichristian system. He 
neither would preach in their parish churches, nor take any 
money from government for preaching. Not that he did not 
want money, for he was a poor man, and his church was so 
poor, that other churches, such as Olchon and Llantrisaint, 
assisted to support him in the pastoral office. But he would 
have nothing but the people's freewill offering. He never was 
an advocate for the union between church and state, under any 
form of government whatever. The members of the church 
under his care, were residing at a great distance frome one an- 
other; so that he was a circuit preacher within the bounds of 
his own church. As yet, the Baptists in those parts had no 
meeting houses. About the year 1697, Mr. Prichard had a 
meeting house built within two miles of the town of Aberga- 
venny, in the parish of Llanwenarth, where the church meets 
to this day; consisting, at present, of about six hundred mem- 
bers. In the year 1668, he formed a Baptist church at Rhyd- 
wilim, about one hundred miles from Llanwenarth. In 1689 
he attended the general association in London, as the represen- 
tative of the Welsh churches. In 1696 he formed a church at 
Blacnegwent, consisting of sixty members when formed. In 
1669 he formed another church at Maesyberllan. He was a 
very diligent and useful preacher, at home and abroad, until he 
died in the Lord, in the year 1709. 

John Tombs. In the year 1653, there was a public debate 
on baptism, at Abergavenny, between Mr. Tombs and Mr. 
Cragg: the former a Baptist, the latter a Pedobaptist. Many 
were convinced that believers are the only subjects of baptism, 
and that immersion is the only mode of baptism ; and more than 
forty persons were baptized and added to the church under the 
pastoral care of Mr. Prichard. We do not know from where 
Mr. Tombs came to Abergavenny. How long he continued 
there, and what became of him afterward we cannot tell. He 
most dreadfully irritated and mortified Mr. Cragg, and most 
nobly defended the Baptist principles. This is all we have 
ever read of him. 

Abbot was a Baptist preacher in the parish church at 

Abergavenny, in Cromwell's time. In 1660 he was turned 
out from there, and joined the Baptist association* 


Jenkin Jones was a Baptist preacher whose name is often 
mentioned by our Welsh historians; but not one of them has 
given us any particular account of him. In Thomas's History 
of the Baptists in Wales, his name is mentioned as a travelling 
preacher of the Baptist denomination, as early as the year 
1541. In Cromwell's time, we merely find his name men- 
tioned as one of the commissioners that were appointed to 
examine and judge who were qualified, or rather who pos- 
sessed those qualifications, which rendered them fit ministers to 
officiate in the different parishes, and to be paid by government. 
No doubt the government paid him well while he held that sta- 
tion; but King Charles made him smart for it. From the his- 
tory of the church at Rhydwilim, and other documents, where 
his name is as it were accidentally mentioned, we learn that he 
was imprisoned in the castle at Carmarthen, for a considerable 
time. He never became a pastor of any church,* nor was he 
much esteemed by the Baptists, after he became a commissioner 
in the regulation of church and state; which was highly offen- 
sive to the Baptist churches. They were not so much against 
a minister's preaching occasionally in a parish church; but 
they were decidedly against their being supported by govern- 
ment; and would rather their ministers would never darken 
the doors of those houses, built by king's-craft and priest-craft, 
with the poor people's money. The rise and progress of the 
Baptist interest in Wales, are not indebted to the labors of such 
men. In every place throughout the Principality, in the time 
of most dreadful persecution, where the ministers kept with 
their flocks, and preached to them by night when they could 
not preach to them by day, in the woods and on the mountains; 
and in the times of peace and calmness, led their flocks by the 
still waters, and fed them with heavenly manna; we positively 
say, that in every place where the ministers thus acted, there 
is a Baptist church there to this day. Some of them now con- 
tain seven or eight hundred members; and many of their per- 
secuted ministers and members have heard the joyful sound, 
" Well done, ye good and faithful servants." 

Thomas Parry was baptized and joined the church at 01- 
chon, about the year 1641, and continued therein an honorable 
member, main pillar, and assistant preacher, for the space of 
sixty-eight years. The church met in his dwelling-house called 
Wenalt, most of the time of those dreadful persecutions under 
the reigns of Charles the first and Charles the second. Just at 

* In Cromwell's time he officiated in the pariah church of Llangatwg, near 
Neath, Glamorganshire. 


the time the war commenced between Charles the first and the 
Parliament, when those bold and zealous ministers of the cross, 
Vavasor Powell, William Thomas, and others, were obliged to 
escape for their lives from their native country, behold our 
Brother Parry steps forward, takes hold of the rope, and pulls 
with all his might. He strengthens the hands of Vaughan, 
Prosser, Watkins, and others, by a hard pull, a long pull, and 
a pull altogether. Like a noble general, he takes hold of the 
flag, marches forward, and cries out aloud that he never was 
born to die on the field of battle, and that even he that loseth 
his life shall find it. In the name of his God he hoisted up his 
banners. He cared not for the sword, the famine, and flames 
of fire, to which the people of God at that time were exposed. 
His dwelling house was the Jerusalem of Wales, to which pil- 
grims resorted and found themselves refreshed both in their 
souls and bodies. He was really a hospitable man, in the 
Welsh sense of the word. 

When he was young, it pleased God to visit him with a 
very severe affliction. In his affliction he dreamed that he was 
dead. He saw two different places before him: one of them 
was a very terrible and miserable place, where innumerable 
multitudes of the human race are eternally tormented in that 
fire which is never quenched, and where their worm dieth not, 
bound with chains of darkness, to be reserved unto the judg- 
ment day ; where there is not the least drop of mercy — not so 
much as a drop of cold water to cool the tongues of those 
miserable beings; where there is no light, but utter darkness; 
where all carnal pleasures are lost in eternal sorrows; where 
there is no hope to all eternity, and no better company than 
devils, the messengers of destruction; and where the wrath of 
God is poured out without mixture, and the smoke of their tor- 
ment ascendeth up for ever and ever, under the most painful 
sensation of every thing that is bad, and the eternal loss of 
every thing that is good. 

The other place was so unspeakably glorious, that ear hath 
not heard, eye hath not seen, neither hath it ever entered into 
the heart of man, to imagine the glory of those heavenly man- 
sions, where there is no serpent to tempt; no sorrow, nor pain, 
nor death; no darkness of mind, and no evil heart of unbelief; 
but white robes for garments of mourning; the palm of victory 
instead of the sword, and the crown of glory instead of the 
cross; eternal riches, and no poverty; unspeakable joy, and no 
sorrow; and continual light, and no darkness at all: where 
Christ, the heavenly Lamb, is in the midst of the throne, con- 


tinually adored by angels, seraphim, and spirits of just men 
made perfect. 

Thomas Parry, in his dream, requested that he might be ad- 
mitted to enter that glorious place. He was answered that he 
should not come in at that time; that he must go first and get. 
some bread. Fie cried with a loud voice, When shall I go in 
there? He was answered, after ten days. He awoke, and 
behold it was a dream. But it made so much impression on his 
mind, that when he recovered from his illness, he went to hear 
the Episcopal minister in the parish church, and became a lit- 
tle more moral as to his outward conduct. 

One day, as he was going to his place of worship, he met 
an old woman going to the Baptist meeting, and being request- 
ed, he went there also. The text was, " I am the bread of 
life." The sermon had so much effect upon him, that he 
thought he would go there again. The text, the second time, 
was, "And ye shall have tribulation ten days." Then he 
thought of his dream, and the interpretation thereof; for the 
preacher showed him what was that bread of life, without 
which he could not go to heaven, and described the tribulation 
that he must expect to meet with on his way there ; and that it 
was to continue only for a short time, in comparison with that 
eternity to which he was hastening. These were the means of 
his conversion to God; and from this time to the end of his 
life, he suffered affliction with the people of God. Soon after 
he joined the church, he was called to the work of the ministry. 
His name is in the minutes of the association held at Aberga- 
venny, in 1653; and also in the minutes of the association 
held at Llanwenarth, in 1705. The church of Olchon met at 
his house, during his time, during the life of his son, David 
Parry, and the life of his grandson, Nathaniel Parry, for the 
space of one hundred years. 

Thomas Parry was a godly and peaceable man, and very 
useful in the cause of Christ in many respects, and died in good 
old age, triumphing in redeeming grace and dying love, in the 
year 1709. 

In Mr. Parry's neighborhood, there was a very sensible man 
of the name of Price, who would sometimes hear the Episcopa- 
lian, and sometimes the Baptist ministers. Being asked what 
he thought of the Episcopalian minister of the Hay. He an- 
swered poetically as follows. Such is the meagreness of our 
English language, in comparison with the Welsh, that we will 
not attempt to spoil it by a translation ; but the Welsh emigrant 
in the United States shall have it as it is; 


w Y mae Thomas Parry yn well i bregethu, 
Na ffeirad y Gelli, er torchi'r wisg wen ; 
Peth rhyfedd bod cryddion, taelwriaid, gwehyddion, 
Yn baeddu 'sgolheigion Rhydychen." 

The substance is this: "Thomas Parry is a far better 
preacher than the clergyman of the Hay, notwithstanding he 
wears a surplice. It is a wonder that shoemakers, tailors, and 
weavers, beat the Oxford scholars." 

John Rees Howell was a member and an assistant preacher 
of the church at Olchon, about the year 1645, and continued 
among them till his death, in 1699. 

It appears that these servants of the most high God, began 
their pilgrimage about the same time, were both members and 
preachers of the same church, and finished their course nearly 
together: And we have no reason to doubt, but that they are 
together now in the mansions of glory, singing hallelujah to 
God and the Lamb. However, in the church militant, they 
had to endure affliction with the people of God, especially from 
the year 1660, nearly to the end of their lives. At that time, 
the church generally met in two or three different places: At 
Wenalt, as stated before; at the Wern Wer, the house of Da- 
vid Watkins; afterwards, at the Baily-bach, the house of John 
Gilbert. But for twenty-eight years, in the reign of Charles 
the second, the church had to meet in the most secret places by 
night, somewhere in the woods, or on the Black Mountain, or 
the rough rock. They were obliged to change the place every 
week, that their enemies might not find them out. Often tho 
friends of the infernal foe diligently sought them, but found 
them not. While the wolves were searching in one mountain, 
the lambs were sheltering under the rock of another. But not- 
withstanding all their care and prudence, they were sometimes 
caught, and most unmercifully whipped and fined, as violaters 
of the law of the land, and their cattle and household furniture 
seized, to pay the fine and expenses of the executioners of the 
law. The safest place they ever found, was in the woods, under 
a large rock, called Darren Ddu, or the Black Rock. It is a 
most dreadful steep, and the roughest place we have ever seen. 
Surely our Welsh brethren, at that time, had trials of cruel 
mockings and scourgings, bonds and imprisonment; for they 
were hunted in the woods, and mountains, and the tops of the 
rocks of the wild goats. They were destitute, afflicted, and 
tormented. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens 
and caves of the earth. But notwithstanding all this, they 
persevered. They enjoyed much of tho divine Presence on 

46 HI8T0HY OF 

the Black Rock,* in the severest weather. Among the Bap* 
tists who suffered thus, there were some wealthy people; such 
as Mrs. Watkins of Llanigon, and others. Mrs. Watkins had 
a very pious servant man, to whom she used to give every 
Lord's day morning, as much silver as she could hold in her 
hand, for him to distribute to the poor on that clay. She never 
counted it, nor was he ever mistrust* d. 

Thomas John Williams was a member and an assistant 
preacher of the church at Olchon. He generally preached in 
his own house ; and was remarkably diligent in things belong- 
ing to this world and the world to come. When requested to 
rest, he would say, " This is not a resting-place, but I shall 
rest in the other world. On long winter nights, when the 
family were seated around the fire, he would retire once or 
twice every night to pray in secret. Many wondered at his 
piety, humility, and becoming conduct. We have never read 
any thing more about him. 

Thomas Proud was a member and an assistant preacher of 
the church at Swansea. He began to preach in the year 1645. 
He preached there as an assistant to John Miles, after the 
church was formed in the year 1649, and supplied other desti- 
tute churches, until he settled in one of those places established 
by law in Cromwell's time. He was turned out in the year 
1660, on the restoration of Charles the second; and fled for 
his life somewhere — we know not where. 

David Davis was a member and a minister of the church at 
Llantrisaint. He began to preach in the year 1645, and 
preached much at home and at Abergavenny, until the year 
1654, when the association was held at Llantrisaint, there was 
a charge brought against him by the church to the association, 
that he made use of some harsh expressions; but on the most 
mature deliberation of thp subject, he was cleared. At the 
same time, the ministers finding the church was not satisfied, 
advised him to remove to some other part, where his preaching 
would be more acceptable, and where his labors might be more 
blessed. He accordingly removed from Llantrisaint to Neath, 
in the same county ; and afterwards preached to the judges at 
Cardiff. He had three brothers belonging to the Baptists: one 
of them was high sheriff; the other, deputy sheriff; and the 
third was recorder. 

Morgan Jones began to preach at Swansea, South Wales, 

* This Black Rock belonged to a gentleman of the name of Hugh Lewis, 
whose daughter was then a member with the Baptists. She was the mother 
of that excellent man, whose name is well known all over the religious world, 
Hug b Evans, of Bristol. 


about 1646. He was a member of that church, and was highly 
respected as a good preacher. He accepted a commission to 
preach at Llanmatog, from which he was turned out in 1660. 
Dr. Calamy calls him a good ploughman. He was certainly a 
very good linguist; and whatever might have been Dr. C.'s 
motive in informing us that he was a good ploughman, it was 
a recommendation to his character; and many good Baptist 
preachers in Wales, to this day, can manage the plough very 
well, and can truly say that they have experienced as much of 
the presence of God, when their hands were lawfully employed 
about the things of this world, as any where else. And the 
writer of this, is far from being ashamed to place himself 
among them; so far, indeed, that he deems it a very great 
honor. So much so, that he would prefer G. P., Good Plough- 
man, in addition to his name, to D. D., Doctor in Divinity. 
However, this is not the only instance in which that great 
Doctor has cast out insinuations before his readers. He is full 
of them through the whole of his writings. The Doctor was 
one of that class of men, who seem to be most dreadfully af- 
flicted with hydrophobia, whenever they think of a man who 
has been dipped all over in water; and, being an Englishman, 
he could not speak very highly of any other nation. Most of 
the citizens of the United States know, that it is a failing pecu- 
liar to an Englishman. Poor man! 

Morgan Jones had to escape for his life in the reign of Charles 
the second. It is thought that he went to England in disguise, 
as did many others at that time. Whether he became a shep- 
herd or a miller there, we cannot tell. We have heard of one 
of the ejected ministers, who went to England, and hired him- 
self as a shepherd to a nobleman in that country. One day 
the nobleman's wife was very ill, and he sent for the officiating 
clergyman of the parish to come and pray for his wife. The 
clergyman being a great sportsman, told the messenger that he 
would comply with the nobleman's request after his return 
from hunting. The nobleman hearing this, became very un- 
easy in his mind, and thought it very strange that a man who 
called himself a minister of the gospel, should prefer hunting 
to praying. One of his domestics told him that the shepherd 
could pray very well; that he went out every night to pray in a 
certain private place; and that he had watched him, and heard 
.him praying many times. On hearing this, the shepherd was 
sent for, and was requested to pray; and he prayed so power- 
fully that the nobleman's heart was melted. He urged the 
poor shepherd to tell him whence he came, and what he had 
been. The shepherd reluctantly told him the whole history of 


himself; and the nobleman said, " Well, then, henceforth you 
shall be a shepherd of men. The nobleman built him a meet- 
ing house, attended his ministry, and never troubled the sport- 
ing huntsman any more. 

Thomas Quarrel was a native of North Wales. Though he 
was Quarrel byname, and a warrior by office, yet he was a man 
of a very mild and peaceable disposition. He was an officer 
in Cromwell's army, and often preached with the sword hang- 
ing at his side. What time he began to preach we do not 
know; but it must have been before the restoration of Charles 
the second; for that was the time he was turned out of the 
parish church in Salop.* It appears that this was the time he 
was baptized. He afterwards preached through the county of 
Salop for many years. About the year 1670, he removed to 
Monmouthshire, and settled near Usk, in that county. He 
preached there, and at Pontypool and other places; so that 
by his labors, in connection with others, a Baptist church was 
formed, or reorganized, at Penygarn near Pontypool. He 
also often preached about St. Weonard's, in Herefordshire, and 
baptized many there. He was the first settled minister over 
the Baptist church at Usk, where his labors were not in vain. 
It was rather singular to see any minister joining the Baptist 
denomination in 1660: a time when so many eminent minis- 
ters among the Baptists were obliged to leave the country, and 
others were imprisoned. About this time, John Miles, one of 
the leading ministers of the Welsh association, fled for his life 
to North America. At this time, Vavasor Powell, the most 
useful travelling preacher that Wales ever produced, was im- 
prisoned for life, for preaching the everlasting gospel. And at 
this time, many great and good ministers left the Principality, 
and never have been heard of since : some to America, in the 
character of preachers, and others to England in disguise. 
And it is more than probable, that some of them were murdered 
on their way; whilst others had to endure the most dreadful 
persecutions at home. To see a man of Mr. Quarrel's talents 
and learning, and especially a man who had been an officer in 
the army of (what was called) the rebels, enlisting under the 
banner of the cross, among the poor, despised Baptists of the 
day — W e say, was a wonder. But it is a greater wonder still, 
that we cannot find out one single instance of his persecution, 
after he joined the Baptists. We quit his history with the 
greatest astonishment ! 

Wonders of grace to God belong ; 
Repeat his mercies in your song ! 

* A county in England, on the borders of Wales. 


T. Quarrel died in 1682, and was buried at Llangwm, near 
Usk, in the county of Monmouth, South Wales. 

Howell Thomas and Thomas Joseph, were both members 
and preachers belonging to the Baptist church at Llantrisaint. 
They began to preach nearly at the same time, about the year 
1646. In the year 1655, the commissioners appointed them 
to preach in those houses established by law: Joshua Thomas 
at Glyncorwg, and Thomas Joseph at Llangeinwr; both places 
in Glamorganshire. They were both ejected in 1660, and left 
their native country by reason of the persecution. Joshua 
Thomas expressed a hope, that if ever he should see' the History 
of the Baptists in America, by the Rev. Morgan Edwards, 
some farther account of them might be seen, if ever they went 
to America. We have examined the first volume of Edwards' 
History, but no mention is made of them there. Neither is 
there any thing in Benedict's History concerning them. 

Anthony Harris was a member at Llantrisaint; was dis- 
missed from there, and joined the church at Abergavenny, 
when it was formed in the year 1653. He was soon ordained 
deacon of that church; and in the year 1654 he began to 
preach. He was a gifted man, but his life did not altogether 
correspond with his profession.- However, the church could 
not find any tfeirig against him of a criminal nature, but some 
things that were deemed imprudent; therefore it wks agreed 
that he should give up his office as a deacon, and' devote him- 
self entirely to the work of the ministry. He was* authorized 
by the government to preach in the parish of Llanffbap'gel, ! a'rid 
the commissioners permitted him to receive what was due "Jo 
the clergyman from that parish. He' was one of , the ejected 
ministers we know, and the great day of judgment' wHl r?y?al 
what became of him afterwards. [* • >•»•' 

Thomas Jones began to preach at Llantrisaint in the yea/ 
1646. About the year 1655, all the preachers belonging" to 
Llantrisaint loft there, and officiated in those places 'established 
by law, except Thomas Jones. He never accepted'the com- 
missioner's appointment to preach in any parish. ' A'bou'<: , flv; 
same time, a branch of the church at Llantrisaint .was, formed 
into a regular church at Hen god, which continues to this u\k: 
Thomas Jones was one of the original constituents who lived 
in that neighborhood. He became their minister, uttd preached 
as often as he could also at Llantrisaint. He laboi;e(J among 
them, and suffered much with them, for the best cause, as' 
long as he lived. He died about the year 1680. Tne'chijjou. 
under his pastoral care, met at first in two different, places: ai 


Berthlwyd and Craig-yr-allt. William Jones, *• who lived at 
the latter place, was imprisoned, and all his property forfeited 
to the king, for permitting preaching in bis house. Notwith- 
standing the most dreadful persecution in these parts, many 
respectable men joined the church ; such as Colonel Prichardf 
of Llancayach, Captain Evans of Dyffryn-y-ffrwd, and others, 
who endured their part of the persecution, and whose liberality 
was very acceptable to those who lost their all by reason of the 
persecution. One of Thomas Jones' members, well known by 
the name of Old Savin, though dead yet speaketh — not by 
his writings,* for he never published any — but by his ready an- 
swers and sharp reproofs; which are related from generation 
to generation. One day, as several young men were violating 
the Sabbath, one of them said, " Here comes Old Savin, we 
shall have it now" — Another said, " No, no, I shall ask him 
a few questions." As soon as he came near them, he was 
asked how many commandments there were. lie answered, 
eight. One of the young men observed, that he thought there 
were ten. " Yes," said the old man, " there were, but the pope 
has broken one by worshipping images, and you have broken 
another this very day.". This reproof had a very desirable 
"effect, in consequence of the manner in which it was given. 

Thomas Jpncs was not a learned but a faithful and good 
preacher cf the cross, who could give a plain exhibition of the 
obedient life, painful sufferings, and excruciating death of 
Christ, for the chief of sinners. And it is worthy of remark, 
that there is no theme of the gospel which arrests the attention 
and affects the heart, so much as the preaching of Christ and 
him 'crucified, his resurrection from the grave, his triumphant 
victory over the powers of darkness, and his most wonderful as- 
cension to the mansions of glory, where he sits on the right hand 
of the Father, and makes intercession for us. To this doctrine, 
under the blessing of God, Thomas Jones attributed his success 
in propagating the gospel among the Ancient Britons. This was 
considered by him a distinguishing trait. and cardinal point of 
the gospel ;' the golden thread running through the whole gar- 
ment; the 'sword by which the sinews of purgatory, penance, 
. and v\\ the merits of the works of sinful men are cut in pieces : 
rhe mighty hammer that beats- down all superstitions and hu- 
man- inventions, like Dagon before the ark of the Lord: ves. 

'*- It is supposed that he was the minister's brother. 

i The present Lord Talbot is a descendant from Colonel Prichard, in the 
female line. 


the very foundation upon which the church is built, and the 
gates of hell cannot prevail against it. 

Thomas Evans began to preach at Bontnewydd, on the bor- 
ders of Radnorshire,- some time before the year 1653; for, at 
that time, he was authorized by government to preach, which 
the following extract evidently proves: 

" By the Commission for the Propagation of the gospel in 
Wales: Whereas five of the ministers, in the act of parliament 
named, bearing date the 25th of February, 1649, and entitled, an 
act for the better propagation of the gospel in Wales, have accord- 
ing to the tenor of the said act, approved of Mr. Thomas Evans 
the younger, to be a person qualified for the work of the minis- 
try, and recommended him with their advice to us, that he be 
encouraged in the work of the ministry; we do, according to 
an order to us directed by the committee of five at Neath, 
therefore order, that Mr. John Price, Treasurer, shall forthwith 
pay unto the said Thomas Evans, the sum of thirty pounds, 
which we have thought fit to allow him toward his salary and 
encouragement in the work of the ministry. And this our 
order, together with his acquittance, shall be a sufficient dis- 
charge for the said Treasurer. Dated under our hand, 16th 
of May, 1653. John Williams, &c." 

In the year 1656, Thomas Evans became the assistant of 
Henry Gregory, the pastor of the Baptist church at Bontne- 
wydd and Dolau. Though Mr. Evans received the above 
commission-, yet he never did confine himself to any parish, 
but as he had that authority, he would sometimes preach in a 
parish church, sometimes in a barn, and sometimes in private 
houses, or in the open air ; he thought it was his duty to preach 
wherever there were people willing to hear him. In the time 
of persecution he suffered by fine and imprisonment. So great 
was the persecution in that region, that the king's friends would 
not suffer the Baptists to bury their dead in the grave-yards. 
One young woman being buried in the night, was ordered by 
the officiating clergyman of the parish to be taken up and 
buried on the cross roads. However, he soon died very sud- 
denly and most miserably* The people, in general, attributed 
the cause of his wretched death, to his cruel conduct to the re- 
mains of the Baptist girl. 

Thomas Evans was a faithful and acceptable preacher in his 
life, and died in peace in the year 1688; which was the last 
year of the persecution under Charles the second. From him 
as the root, sprung up eight or nine branches, that became cele- 


brated ministers of the gospel : all belonging to the Baptist de- 
nomination. We do not now recollect to have ever read or 
heard of any thing like it. 

1st. Thomas Evans, senior, was a member of the Baptist 

2d. Thomas Evans, the preacher at Bontnewydd. 

3d. Caleb Evans, 4th. John Evans, his sons, ministers of 
the gospel. 

5th. Hugh Evans, M. A., 6th. Caleb Evans, 7th. Peter 
Evans, 8th. John Evans, his grandsons, ministers of the gos- 

9th. Caleb Evans, M. A., 10th. Caleb Evans, M. A., his 
great grandsons, ministers of the gospel: the former, in Bris- 
tol, England ; the latter died in America. 

Henry Gregory began to preach at Dolau, in Radnorshire, 
about the year 1656. As to his circumstances in the world, 
he was once called a respectable farmer. But he lost all for 
Immanuel's cause. All his stock and crop were taken away 
from him, being forfeited to the king because he was a Baptist 
— except one cow, which they left him that the children might 
have some milk to drink. But one day they returned,' and took 
that cow away also, and left him nothing but his wife and chil- 
dren. One of the men who drove his cattle through the river, 
near his house, with such a glee and merriment, in the course 
of a few days was drowned in that very ford, in sight of his 
house. Another was actually eaten up of worms like Herod. 
A third said, on his dying bed, that the thoughts of his having 
had any thing to do with the property of Henry Gregory, was 
a continual torment to him. It was a visible judgment of God 
upon the persecutors, which put an end to the persecution in 
this part of the world. There is a line beyond which God will 
not suffer the rage of man to go; and he can make the remain- 
der of wrath to praise him. 

Henry Gregory was a faithful preacher. He possessed pecu- 
liar talents to set forth the duty of man to love the Lord, found- 
ed on man's obligation unto him as his Creator, Benefactor, and 
rightful Sovereign, who has an undisputed right to demand our 
obedience, adoration, and praise ; for he has made us and not 
we ourselves ; and he has made us but little lower than the an- 
gels, and has crowned us with much more lofty honor and 
glory, than any other creature on the terrestrial globe. He 
has given us a variety of members in due proportion, with- 
out any confusion, and has endowed us with understanding as 
reasonable beings, and has kept and defended us ever since we 
have had our existence ; supported us in our actions, presided ov«r 


our movements, and inspected our several conditions: Surely 
we ought to love him for what he is in and of himself, but how- 
much more should we love him for what he has done for us. 
He remembered us when we were in our low estate. He sent 
his Son to save us from guilt, and darkness, and eternal ruin ; 
from the curse of the law and the threatenings of vindictive jus- 
tice; and from the power and dominion of sin. He so loved 
us, as to give his only-begotten Son, who suffered, bled, and 
died for us. And shall we not love him? Yes, verily, we 
must, we will love him. We know it is our duty, we deem it 
our privilege, to evidence our love and our gratitude to him, by 
observing his statutes and keeping his commandments; to ren- 
der obedience unto him as the only King and Lawgiver in 
Zion ; who said unto us, " If ye love me keep my command- 

We do not know what time Mr. Gregory was ordained pas- 
tor over the church at Dolau. However, we know that from 
the time he began to preach, he labored among them as long 
as he lived. He died in the year 1700. 

Christopher Price was a member of the church at Aberga- 
venny, began to preach about the year 1655, and continued an 
assistant preacher in that church, until he died in 1697. He 
was a good preacher, a respectable man, and an excellent phy- 
sician. He gave the ground on which the meeting house at 
Llanwenarth is built. And in many other respects he was 
very liberal, and his heart was engaged in the cause of Christ. 

John Price of Maes-y-gelli, Nantmel, was a preacher of the 
gospel in the church at Dolau, Radnorshire. He was an assist- 
ant to Mr. Gregory. What time he began to preach we do not 
know. He was an intelligent man, and very zealous for the 
truth. Being a rich man in the world, he had a considerable 
influence in the region where he lived ; as we may well expect 
when piety, property, and prudence meet together. But as he 
lived in the time of persecution, he had to endure a part, of the 
afflictions wherewith the people of God were afflicted. He died 
in the year 1673, and was buried in the grave-yard at Nant- 
mel, and a tombstone is laid on his grave. As he bore testi- 
mony in his life-time against the superstitions of the established 
church, so he did in his death. The church of England bury 
all their dead with their heads toward the west ; but he ordered 
that his head should be buried towards the east; and a brass 
plate was set in his tombstone, to certify that he would not con- 
form to the church of England, dead or alive. And to that 
effect, though dead yet he speaks to the present generation. 

54 iiistoiiy of 

Thomas Price was a member and assistant preacher of the 
church at Olchon, about the latter end of the persecution. He 
was remarkably gifted, but not an acceptable preacher: for 
what cause our Welsh historians have not informed us. 
Neither can we find out what time he began to preach, nor 
when he died. His name is found among the ministers of the 
associations, in the years 1704 and 1705. 

Robert Morgan began to preach about the year 1630. He 
was a messenger from the Baptist church at Carmarthen to the 
association held at Abergavenny, in 1653. He bore testimony 
for the truth, through the whole of the persecutions for twenty- 
eight years. Many of the Baptists were imprisoned at Car- 
marthen, because they would not quit going to the meeting- 
house, and conform to the traditions of men; but they bore 
testimony with such zeal, and manifested such a degree of pa- 
tience in their sufferings, that even those who mocked them and 
pelted them with stones, returned home weeping, saying there 
must be such a thing as religion, and these men have it, for 
nothing else would enable them to behave in the manner they 
do. The more they are persecuted, the more they rejoice; the 
more we curse them, the more they bless us. God was glori- 
fied, saints encouraged, and sinners converted, by their becom- 
ing conduct towards their enemies. So hot and terrible was the 
persecution at that time, that the Baptists in this region sent a 
most humble petition to his Majesty, King Charles the second, 
soliciting mercy and justice, which was put into the king's 
hand by the member of Parliament for Carmarthen. In that 
humble petition they conclude by saying: "O king! we dare 
not walk the streets, and we are abused even in our own houses. 
If we pray to God with our families, we are threatened to be 
hung. Some of us are stoned almost to death, and others im- 
prisoned for worshipping God according to the dictates of their 
consciences and the rule of his word." His majesty gave them 
a very polite answer, with fair promises, which were never ful- 
filled; for their sufferings increased more and more. Such 
was the lamentable state of our celebrated fathers in the Princi- 
pality of Wales, in the reign of King Charles the second. 

At this time, in 1660, Robert Morgan had to fly for his life. 
However, he did not go farther than about fifteen miles from 
the town. He hired a house at Pontarddules, and preached in 
his own hired house and elsewhere — not for the space of two 
years, like Paul in Rome — but until he died in 1711. After 
he moved from Carmarthen, he became a member of the church 
at Swansea, and preached there occasionally. He was an ex- 


cellent man, good preacher, and a great poet. During the lat- 
ter part of his life, he resided with his daughter, who was mar- 
ried to Arthur Mclchior, who afterwards went to Pennsyl- 
vania, North America. 

Lewis Thomas began to preach in 1660. Just at the time 
John Miles had to leave his native country by reason of the 
persecution, to seek refuge in North America, the Almighty 
God took care of the church at Swansea that he left behind him. 
The sheep and the lambs who were left without a shepherd, 
were fed, guided, and protected by the instrumentality of Lewis 
Thomas. The moment we think of the events that took place 
in the years 1680 and 1662, when so many celebrated minis- 
ters fled for their lives, and as many, if not more, engaging in 
the wsrk of the ministry at the same period, we are entirely at 
a loss to know, whether we shall mostly pity the former or ad- 
mire the latter. Yea, rather, let us admire the wisdom of God, 
whose ways are higher than our ways, and whose thoughts 
are higher than our thoughts; whose goodness knows no limits, 
and whose faithfulness is such, that he will never, no never, 
no never forsake his church in the wilderness. 

Lewis Thomas was a member of the church at Swansea, 
South Wales, some time before the year 1653; for as a mem- 
ber of the said church, we find his name in connection with 
others, in a letter sent by John Miles to thf church at Aberga- 
venny, bearing the above date. As John Miles, the first pastor 
of the church at Swansea, was the leading minister of the 
Baptist association in Wales, in the time of peace and calmness ; 
eo Lewis Thomas, the second pastor of the church at Swansea, 
was the most celebrated minister among the Baptists in that 
Principality, in the time of most dreadful persecution. He 
lived at the Moor, in the parish of Newtown, near Margam, 
Glamorganshire. He was actually a missionary within tho 
bounds of his own church, and often visited other churches in 
their troubles and distresses. How extensive was the field of 
his labors! Most wonderful was his care of the churches! 
And so great was his zeal for Christ and his cause that 
he feared no evil! The enemy's artillery seemed to play 
in vain on him. Nothing could impede his progress. The 
inclemency of the weather would never detain him from a 
journey to fulfil his appointments. Hardships, fatigue, and 
bad treatment, seemed to be his familiar companions. To 
make use of a Welsh expression concerning him, " his fore- 
head seemed to have been made of brass, and his shoes of 
iron." And as his days were, so was his strength. Tho 
grace of God was sufficient for him ; and by the grace of God 

55 nisTORY op 

he was what he was. Truly he labored more abundantly than 
any in his days; and would say, " Not unto me, not unto me, 
but unto thy name, O Lord, be the glory!" 

From the year 1649 to the year 1660, they held ther annual 
associations; but during the persecution, from 1660 to 1668, 
the associations were dropped. In 1689, there was a general 
association for all the Baptists in England and Wales, in the 
city of London, and Lewis Thomas was the representative from 
Wales. Afterwards it was divided: one was held in London, 
and the other in Bristol. The Welsh churches joined the Bris- 
tol association, it being nearer them. In 1700, it was divided 
again, when all the Welsh churches were formed into a sepa- 
rate association. The two first were held at Llanwenarth ; 
afterwards, at Swansea and Llanwenarth alternately, for six or 
seven years; then at Rhydwilim, and all the churches in regu- 
lar rotation. At the commencement of the associations held in 
W T ales, after the time of what is called the liberty of conscience, 
Lewis Thomas was the leading minister. His name is in the 
minutes of the association held at Llanwenarth in 1703. 
Though he was old and feeble, yet he was there; and before 
their next annual meeting, he joined the association of the spi- 
rits of just men made perfect. 

Though he was a man of very strong constitution, yet by 
reason of old age, he became feeble at last, and when he was 
not able to stand up, he would call for his staff, and leaning 
upon it, he would talk and pray most wonderfully. His death 
was most bitterly lamented by the church and many others. 
So this apostolical preacher finished his course, having fought 
the good fight, and having kept the faith, he died in peace, 
his eyes seeing the salvation of the Lord. 

John Edward was a member and assistant preacher of the 
church of Abergavenny. He was a useful exhorter, was 
appointed to preach about Llanhhangel, where his labors were 
not altogether in vain. But about Llangors, in Brecknockshire, 
his labors were greatly blessed, and he was very much respect- 
ed there. In Cromwell's time, he was permitted to preach in 
the establishment. What became of him in the time of perse- 
cution, we do not know. 

Henry Morris was a native of North Wales. He was a man 
of piety, talents, and education ; and was brought up an Epis- 
copalian, in Oxford College. He conformed to the established 
church, on the restoration of Charles the second; but on a ma- 
ture deliberation on the subject, he afterwards dissented from 
that establishment, joined the Baptist denomination, and had to 
endure a double portion of sufferings. Being liberated from 


prison, he settled with the church at Maesyberllan, Brecknock- 
shire. He never hecame their pastor, but preached often there 
and elsewhere, and administered the ordinances of the gospel 
in different places. 

In consequence of his indefatigable exertions in the Redeem- 
er's cause, and the trials which he had to encounter, by reason 
of persecution, his constitution was so much injured that ho 
died when he was about forty years old, in \hc year 1682. 
His walking-stick may be seen in that region, by the curious, 
to this day. 

Perhaps few men understood the connection between the doc- 
trines of sovereign grace and man's obligation better than he. 
Sinners are justified freely by the grace of God, through the 
redemption that is in Christ Jesus; for he was delivered for our 
offences, and was raised again for our justification. They aro 
not only delivered from condemnation, but accepted in the Be- 
loved, and acquitted in the court of Heaven ; not only washed 
from all their sins, but made kings and priests to God; adopted 
the children of God; made heirs of God and joint heirs with 
Christ. Grace formed the plan whereby the sinner can be jus- 
tified, through the merits of the Mediator; and the Mediator 
opened the way whereby mercy can be manifested to the sin- 
ner, agreeably to the demands of justice and the requirements 
of the law. And the sinner is under the greatest obligation to 
receive this glorious robe of righteousness; to repent and be- 
lieve in Christ; and to live holily, soberly, and righteously. 

There is nothing that can justify any person- but the good- 
ness of his cause. But except he produces his testimonials, he 
stands as yet condemned. He cannot clear himself of the 
charge laid against him. Therefore a man must be justified 
by the testimony of the witnesses, as well as by the goodness 
of his cause. The righteousness of Christ imputed to him, 
and received by faith, is the only thing that will make his 
cause good ; and his works of obedience are the witnesses 
whereby he can evidence that it is so indeed. 

William Jones was brought up a Presbyterian. In Crom- 
well's time, he preached at Cilmaenllwyd; wa~s turned out from 
there on the restoration of Charles the second, and imprisoned 
in the Castle at Carmarthen. In that prison he became a Bap- 
tist in sentiment; and as soon as he was liberated, he travelled 
to Olchon, about eighty miles distant, and was there baptized. 
He returned to the neighborhood of Cilmaenllwyd, and told 
his religious friends what he had done, and his reasons for so 
doing; and baptized eleven of them. This was the beginning 
of the Baptist church at Rhydwilim, consisting now of about 


eight hundred members. The church was formed in the year 
1668, twenty persons more were baptized, and two received 
by letter previous to the formation of the church; so that they 
were thirty-three in number, when the church was formed. 
On the same day, William Jones and Griffith Howell became 
the pastors of the church. Their place of worship, at that 
time, was Rushacre, the house of G. Howell. W. Jones was 
mnch respected, not only by his religious friends, but also by 
the nobility, some of whom offered him a very good living in 
the establishment; which he refused, and reasoned with them 
in such a manner, that they esteemed him more than ever. 
He was naturally a man of a soft, mild, and peaceable disposi- 
tion; but the more he was persecuted, the more bold and 
courageous he became. 

Once, as he was taken to the prison in Haverfordwest, about 
ten miles from home, the most respectable noblemen in the city 
came out of their houses to meet him, to talk with him, and to 
invite him to their houses. Such was his respectability among 
them, that the king's officers who v.-ere taking him to prison, 
were so much ashamed that they did not know how to show 
their faces. In the course of a few clays afterwards, one of 
the noblemen finding that he had an appointment in the coun- 
try, gave bail to the jailer, and gave his own clothes and 
horse, that he might fulfil that appointment. The people hav- 
ing not heard of his imprisonment met together, and were quite 
surprised to see hiii so well dressed and riding such a good 
horse, and on explanation, they were full of joy and grief. 
After the meeting was over he returned to the prison. How 
long he was confined we have not been informed. He lived 
through the whole of the persecution. After it was over, he 
and G. Howell went together to the London association, to join 
their brethren there in praising God for that sort of liberty 
they at that time enjoyed. They were representing that large 
and scattered church in the western part of Wnles, which was 
formed in the heat of persecution. What time he died we have 
not been informed. 

Morgan Rhydderch, or Prothroe in English, was baptized 
at Rhydwilim in 1667, one 3<ear before the church was formed. 
On the 13th day Of the 5th month, in 1668, the day after the 
church was formed, lie was set apart to the office of a deacon. 
On the 27th day of the 9th month, 1669, he was ordained dea- 
con. When he began to preach we are not informed. He was 
not an ordained minister but an assistant preacher, who had to 
endure his part of the persecution for more than twenty years. 
In 1662 he was ordered by the king's officers not to preach any 


more, but he persevered in the good cause in which he was 

Tie had two sons in the ministry, of the names of Enoch and 
Abel, who went to America. Mr. Benedict, in his history of 
them, observes, that " their father was Morgan Rydderch, a 
famous Baptist minister in Wales. But it was a common thing 
in that country, for the children to take the personal name 
of their father instead of the sirname, only joining to it the 
names of their progenitors, by a string of aps." And Mr. 
Ed words says that he had seen a Bible of his grandfather's, 
with the following title-page: " Eiddo Edward, ap William, ap 
Edward, ap. Dafydd, ap Evan" — viz.: The property of Ed- 
wards, the son of Williams, the son of Edwards, the son of 
Davis, the son of Evans. A custom by which much property 
has been lost. 

Henry Williams began to preach at Llanbrynmair, in the 
year 1660: the very time the voracious wolves began to tear 
the flock of the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, this 
under shepherd stepped forward to protect and feed them. He 
lived at the Sea fell, near Newtown, Montgomeryshire: that 
very house is the Pilgrim Lodge to this day. Many times has 
the writer of this been kindly entertained there, by a person of 
the name of Jones and his family. Had the name of the place 
been Stafell, (a chamber,) it might have been called indeed the 
Prophet's Chamber; for it has been, for time out of mind, the 
resting-place of almost all the ministers in Wales. Some time 
before H. Williams began to preach, he was in the habit of 
writing the sermons that he heard ; and when they were with- 
out a preacher, he would repeat one of those sermons, and en- 
gage in prayer. But so dreadful was the persecution, and so 
few were the preachers, that his store of that description was 
soon exhausted; so that he began to study the word of God, 
and to deliver to the people what he collected therefrom. He 
was a good, gifted, and learned man, and soon became a very 
acceptable and popular preacher. 

He was imprisoned for the space of nine years. His house 
was plundered and burnt up; and his father, an aged man who 
lived with him, was murdered by the same people who plun- 
dered and burnt the house. At all these cruel actions the 
government winked, and never called the murderers to an ac- 
count. Put his blood speaks .to this day against bloody and 
tyrannical England. II. Williams' wife, who was in the 
family way very near her time, fled for her life, with one child 
upon her back, and leading the other by the hand. One would 
think that the most hard-hearted wretch that ever existed 

©0 history of 

would have had compassion upon her in this situation; but it 
was not so. One of the soldiers ran after her to hinder her 
from crossing the river, presented his pistol at her, and swore 
he would shoot her brains out; but one of the officers, whose 
heart was not altogether so hard, knocked the fellow down, and 
she made her escape over the river Severn. Another time, while 
H. Williams was preaching, he was taken up, dragged out, and 
abused in such a manner and to such a degree, that he was 
left on the earth for dead, like Paul in Lystra. Language is 
not able to express the sufferings this good man had to endure. 
The sufferings of the martyrs are not worthy to be compared 
with his continual torment, under the reign of that vile tormen- 
ter, Charles the second. Nothing but the visible judgment of 
God upon the persecutors put an end to his sufferings. One of 
the magistrates, who was active in the conspiracy against him, 
died suddenly while eating his dinner. Another coming home 
drunk from Newtown, fell down and broke his neck. Another 
fell into the Severn and was drowned. And what is still more 
remarkable, was the circumstance relative to his field of wheat, 
universally believed throughout the Principality to be a fact that 
cannot be contradicted. In the month of October, when his 
house was burnt, and all his property, his stock, and crop, and 
household furniture, forfeited to the king, nothing was left but 
a field of wheat lately sown: no thanks for leaving that behind, 
for they could not take the seed out of the ground. That field 
of wheat yielded so much, that from its produce H. Williams 
was more than doubly paid for all the loss which he had sus- 
tained the preceding year. That there should be so many 
straws growing from the same root, was a great wonder; for 
it far exceeded every thing that had been seen in that country, 
either before or after. But that there should be so many ears, 
as two or three, growing on the same straw, was very little, if 
any, less than a miracle. However, let it be called what it 
may, such was the case. On most of the stalks, which were 
very numerous, there were no less than three full long ears of 
wheat. Some of them, however, had but two ears.* So visi- 
ble was the hand of God manifested here, that Henry Wil- 
liams's enemies trembled. The field is visited often to this 
day, by many from England and different parts of Wales: by 
some as a mere curiosity, and by others as a matter of grati- 
tude to that God who rules above and manages our mean 

II. Williams was indeed a true man, a lively preacher, 

* See Thomas's History of the Baptists in Wales, p. 136. 


and a champion in the cause of God, who suffered much for 
conscience' sake; who never thought of looking backward, but 
pressed forward, looking unto Jesus the Captain of salvation, 
and through that conquest once obtained on Calvary, he is 
more than a conqueror. 

He lived on his own farm, and preached the gospel gratis, 
until he died, in the year 1685, three years before the end of 
the persecution. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, 
their works shall follow them. 

Francis Davis was a member and an assistant preacher at 
Dolau, Radnorshire, he began to preach about the year 1661, 
and continued among them an acceptable preacher till he died, 
in the year 1690, two years after the persecution was over. 
He had a great many children : some of them went to Penn- 
sylvania, North America. He had the pleasure and the pecu- 
liar satisfaction of seeing them all making a profession of reli- 
gion, except his eldest son Nathan. He was a very wild and 
prodigal young man, who had been the means of almost break- 
ing his father's heart. Neither rough nor fair means would 
have any effect upon him. Though often reproved, he turned 
a deaf ear to the glorious invitations of the gospel. His aged 
father prayed often with him and for him, but the bars of hea- 
ven seemed to be bolted, and the young man growing worse 
and worse. At length the time came when the old man must 
die, and like old Jacob he called all his children around his dy- 
ing bed, he gave every individual of them a solemn charge, 
and appropriate advice how to conduct themselves in the house 
of God, and in the world, and exhorted them all to conduct 
themselves in the wisest manner they possibly could towards 
their ungodly brother, as they could expect nothing but sorrow 
from him. And without uttering one single word to his eldest 
son, he turned his face towards the partition and died. The 
father's silence in his last moments had more effect upon the 
prodigal son, than all the exhortations he had given him in his 
life. In an instant he was melted down to the ground. The 
arrows of conviction stuck fast in his heart. Tears of evange- 
lical repentance flowed from his eyes, and by faith he beheld 
the bleeding Savior extending his arms wide open to embrace 
him, and his bowels of compassion yearning over him. Turn- 
ing his face towards his aged father, he beheld the vital spark 
had gone. Nathan Davis, the old man's eldest son, made a 
profession of religion, and became a celebrated preacher of the 
gospel, and pastor of the church where his father had been a 
member. More account we may give of him hereafter. O! 
the depth of the wisdom, love, goodness, and mercy of our 


God! His ways are past finding out! His ways arc in the 
seas, and - his paths are in the great waters! Who is a God 
like our God? 

• Thomas Powell of Maes-yr-onen, in Radnorshire, was a 
member and an occasional preacher of the church at Olchon. 
He was a very excellent physician. On that account he was 
generally known by the name of Doctor Powell. He was a 
very useful member of the church, and a great help in the time 
of persecution, about the same time as Thomas Parry. We do 
not know what time he began to preach, nor when he died. 

John Gilbert was a member of the church at Olchon, and 
took his turn as a preacher. He was well received and much 
approved of in that capacity, and was very useful to them after 
the death of their pastor, Thomas Watkins. He liven at a 
place called Baily-bach. In 1686 the church met at his house, 
and was their place of worship for many years after. 

Griffith Howell was baptized at Rhydwilim, on the 4th day 
of the 6th month, 1667. He was ordained co-pastor with W, 
Jones over that church, on the 13th day of the 5th month, 1668. 
It is not certain whether he was a preacher before he joined the 
Baptist church or not. If not, our Welsh brethren, in this case, 
have deviated from their usual custom; for they laid their hands 
on him rather suddenly. However, if that was the case, they 
had no reason to repent it; for he turned out to be one of the 
most excellent men that Wales ever produced. He was in the 
west what Thomas Parry was in the east: truly a hospitable 
man. The church met at his house for many years, their 
members residing in three different counties, and all of them made 
his house their home. He suffered much by fines and im- 
prisonment for preaching the gospel; but notwithstanding his 
property had been so often sold, and so much under value, to 
pay those fines, he was a man of considerable property when 
he died. In his last will and testament, he left forty pounds 
towards the support of the gospel at Rhydwilim. He died in 
the year 1707, and was buried on his own farm. He acknow- 
ledged no king in Zion but Jesus; for he is the King of kings, 
and the Lord of lords, who is the head of all principality and 
power; and he must reign till all his enemies are subdued — till 
every knee shall bow before him, and every tongue confess his 
glory and majesty. At the time when the Baptists suffered so 
much, in consequence of the union between church and state, it 
is no wonder that Griffith Howell and others, insisted so much 
that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world ; that his sub- 
jects are spiritual characters; that the natural man receiveth 
not the things which are of the Spirit of God; and that his 


law is a spiritual law, which reaches not only to the words and 
actions of his subjects, but to their most secret thoughts. With 
rapture and delight he meditated on, and talked of, the happy 
period when ImmanuePs kingdom shall break in pieces and con- 
sume all other kingdoms. When the kingdom, and the domi- 
nion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven 
shall be given to the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom 
is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and 
obey him. Yes, he looked forward over the gloomy hills of 
darkness, when our blessed Redeemer shall have the heathen 
for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his 
possession; when the knowledge of the glory of Christ shall 
cover the earth as the waters cover the sea ; and when the lit- 
tle one, even the small church of Rhydwilim, shall become a 
thousand, and the small one, a strong nation; Ezekiel's stream 
shall be swimming waters; the stone cut out of the mountain, 
shall fill the universe; Zion's tent be enlarged, and the curtain 
of her habitation stretched forth. To him the time appeared 
not far distant, when the Jews would look upon him whom they 
pierced and mourn; believe in him, and rely upon him, as the 
only Savior of lost and perishing sinners; and with them the 
fulness of the Gentiles coming in. The watchmen seeing eye 
to eye, when the ordinances of the gospel shall be universally 
administered according to the primitive mode. 

Thomas David Rees was brought up a Presbyterian. Hav- 
ing embraced the sentiments of the Baptists, he was baptized, 
and joined Landwr branch of the church, which was at Rhyd- 
wilim, now Rehoboth, on the 10th day of the 6th month, in 
1668. He was the first who was baptized after the church was 
formed. He was ordained in that church, on the 27th day of 
the 10th month, 1669. He suffered much by fine and im- 
prisonment. He lived at Moyddyn, in the parish of Llanarth, 
Cardiganshire. In the year 1696, a branch of the church at 
Rhydwilim was formed into a regular church. Thomas David 
Rees became their pastor. W T hen this new church was formed 
their place of worship was a dwelling-house, of the name of 
GiandwT. After they built a meeting-house, it was called 
Panteg — now Rehoboth. 

T. D. Rees was truly a godly man: active and faithful in 
the best cause; very accurate, but not rigid; feivent, not fana- 
tic; rational, not phlegmatic. He carefully avoided extremes, 
swell as violent excitement, on the one hand, and a dull and 
formal state, on the other. He was thoughtful and solemn, but 
not gloomy; grave, but not morose; deliberate, but never dila- 
tory; cautious, but not obstinate; sedate, but not absent, Hq 


sometimes mourned, but never murmured. He bowed submis- 
sively to the providence of God, waited patiently his appointed 
time, and in all things committed himself to the Lord, the 
strength of his heart and his portion forever. He died in the 
year 1700, and was much lamented by all his friends. 

Joseph Price began to preach at Olchon, about the year 1681. 
He lived at Shephouse in the parish of Hay, till he moved to 
Leominister in the county of Hereford, and became a member 
of the Baptist church at that place. In 1695, he became the 
pastor of the Baptist church at Tewkesbury, where he labored 
with acceptance the remainder of his days. He often preached 
at Ross and several other places in Herefordshire. He was a 
great poet. Three of his poems have been published in Eng- 
lish: One on believer's baptism; another is a defence of the 
Baptist ministers, in answer to a sermon preached by an Epis- 
copalian minister; the third is an elegy on the death of Timo- 
thy Thomas of Pershore. 

He died on the 13th day of September, 1721, and was buried 
near the Baptist meeting-house at Tewkesbury, in the county 
of Gloucester. He obtained to himself a good name, and left 
a sweet savour behind him. 

John Evans was chosen pastor of the church at Wrexham, 
in 1668. He continued to preach in his own house in a secret 
manner, through the greatest part of the persecution, without 
being detected. And when he was found out, in 1681, the 
bishop of the establishment offered him a very rich living, but 
on his refusing to accept of it, his lordship was most dreadfully 
offended; but John Evans made his own house his prison* 
He locked himself up, and out of there he would not and did 
not go, for a considerable time, but would preach there to as 
many as would come to hear by night, after his lordship and 
his friends had gone to rest. He was an excellent preacher all 
the days of his life. He died triumphantly in the Lord, in 
1700, aged seventy-two years. Matthew Henry attended his 
funeral, and preached from Acts 21:14. Dr. Evans of Lon- 
don, was a son of John Evans of Wrexham. 

George John of Llangolman, was baptized at Rhydwilim, on 
the 5th day of the 2d month, 1668, about three months before 
the church was formed. He was of a very respectable family. 
He remembered his Creator in the days of his youth. When 
the rest of the family were playing cards, he would be reading 
his Bible; and would rather suffer affliction with the people of 
God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin and folly. How long he 
was in the ministry we do not know. He died in the year 
1700. He was a member of the church thirty-two years, and 


had to endure his part of the persecution. He was far from 
being a man of liberal sentiments. He measured every thing 
by his own rule. Any thing short of that measurement, was 
with him a bar of communion. Poor man! how imperfect* 
are the children of men, when they demand perfection from 
every one else. 

James James was baptized at Rhydwilim, in the year 1667. 
He belonged to that branch of the church which then met for 
divine worship at Landwr — the same that now meets at Reho- 
both — under the pastoral care of Griffith Jones. He became 
co-pastor with T. D. Rees of that church, after it was regularly 
formed; and labored among them all the days of his life, until 
he died in 1734. In the time of persecution, on a certain fast 
day appointed by government, no Dissenter was permitted to 
preach, let him be who he might, under the penalty of forty 
pounds sterling. The Baptists, however, met on that day to 
pray, when James James explained the object of the meeting. 
In the course of a few days the king's officers seized the man's 
property, at whose house the prayer meeting was held. The 
poor man borrowed the money, paid the forty pounds, and re- 
prieved his cattle. The case was afterwards tried, in an open 
court, at Llanpeter. After a long and warm debate between 
the lawyers and counsellors on the subject, the jurymen gave 
their verdict in favor of the man, and the forty pounds were re- 
turned to him on the table in court. . Upon which the king's 
lawyer vehemently, and with the greatest wrath and indigna- 
tion, struck the table with his fist, and said, " As long as I 
have this arm to my body, I will be against this sect." The 
words had no sooner dropped from his lips, than a most dread- 
ful pain seized his arm. It actually rotted from his body in a 
short time, and he died a miserable death. 

Evan Davis was baptized and became a member of Rhyd- 
wilim in 1667, and was of the Llandwr branch of the church. 
it m said that his parents were very pious people. What deno- 
mination they belonged to we have not been informed, neither 
do we know when he began to preach, nor when he was or- 
dained. Once as he was preaching at Henfas in Llanllwny, 
and was about to break bread, the constables came and took 
him away to prison; but it so turned out, that none of his 
enemies knew his name, and as he was not bound to give his 
name, they could do nothing but threaten him and let him go. 
He immediately returned to his congregation, and found them 
praying for him-, as the church of old did for Peter. He ad- 
ministered the ordinance of the Lord's supper that evening, late 
as it was, and all rejoiced in the God of their salvation. But 
6 * 


.soon afterwards, the magistrate found out his name, and com- 
mitted him to prison. One day as the magistrate was visiting 
the prisoners, he asked Evan Davis how he liked that place. 
" Very well," was the reply. " I thank God that I am in a 
place where I can pray and preach, without being molested by 
you, with all your, spite and malice." Evan Davis was soon 
liberated from prison, by some means or other. About that 
time, the justice and his brother having offended some one that 
was higher than them, both of them lost their places, and said 
that it was in consequence of Evan Davis's prayers against 
them. " The wicked flee when no man pursueth." Evan 
Davis having suffered much in- the best cause, for more than 
twenty years, died in the year 1707. 

John Jenkins was baptized and became a member of the 
church at Rhydwilim, in the year 1667. He was pastor of 
that church for many years, and was one of those who came 
out of the great tribulation in 1689. He had a public debate 
with John Thomas, on the ordinance of baptism ; in conse- 
quence of which a great many of the Independents were bap- 
tized and joined the church. He died in full hope of a glorious 
immortality, in the year 1733, aged 77. 

Thus died John Jenkins, pastor of the Baptist church at 
Rhydwilim, a man of great talents, bright genius, and most 
wonderful activity. Before he was converted, he was remark- 
ably wild, much given to drink, and one of the greatest pugil- 
ists in the region where he lived; but after his conversion to 
God, he became as noted a peace-maker, as he had been 
quarrelsome before. The agreeableness of his conversation, 
the fervor of his zeal, and the unweariedness of his diligence, 
were such, as to distinguish and ennoble his character. True 
piety reflected a lustre on his natural and ministerial gifts, that 
qualified him to be useful in his own house and in the house of 
God. He was a man of most tender conscience, most catho- 
lic spirit, and most benevolent heart. With regard to his suc- 
cess in the ministry, it \vas by no means inconsiderable. In bis 
life-time he baptized a great many. The whole of his ministry 
exhibited a singular display of the power of divine grace among 
the ancient Britons. Deeply impressed with the necessity of 
the influence of the Holy Spirit for the conversion of sinners, 
he combined most earnest prayer with his most active endea- 
vors, and ascribed all the glory to God, whose prerogative it 
is to speak so that the dead may hear his voice and live for- 
ever. Sometimes he would be greatly oppressed with a sense 
of his own guilt and depravity, and at other times he seemed 
to be with Moses on the mount. He longed to be as a flame 


of lire, continually glowing in the service of bin dear Re- 

Samuel Jones was born on tbe 9th day of July, 1657, in tho 
parish of Llanddewy, and the county of Radnor, South Wales, 
He was baptized and received a member of the Baptist 
church at Dolau, in the above county, during the time of perse-, 
cution under Charles the second. He was a man of piety, and 
firmly and understanding^ established in Baptist principles. 
By reason of most cruel persecution at home, Samuel Jones, 
John Eaton, George Eaton and Jane his wife, and Sarah Eaton y 
all members of the church at Dolau, with their families, and 
other friends and relatives, went to America in the year 1686, 
two years before the end of the persecution in Wales, and set- 
tled on the banks of Penepeck, Pennsylvania. John Baker, a 
member of the Baptist church at Kilkenny, Ireland, and Samuel 
Vaus, a member of a Baptist church in England, also arrived 
and settled with them. 

In the year 1687, Rev. Elias Keach, son of the celebrated 
Benjamin Keach of London came among them, preached the 
gospel unto them, and baptized Joseph Ashton and Jane his 
wife, William Fisher, and John Watts. These persons, by 
mutual consent, formed themselves into -a church, in the month 
of January, 1688; choosing Mr. Keach to be their minister, 
and Samuel Vaus, deacon. Soon after, the few emigrated 
Baptists in Pennsylvania and West Jersey, and those whom 
Elias Keach baptized at the Falls, Coldspring, Burlington, 
Cohansey, Salem, Penn's Neck, Chester, and Philadelphia, 
joined them. They were all one church, and Penepeck the 
centre of union, where as many as could met to celebrate 
Christ's death; and for the sake of distant members, they 
administered the ordinance quarterly, at Burlington, Cohansey^ 
Chester, and Philadelphia: which quarterly meetings have since 
been transformed into three yearly meetings, and an associa-. 
tion. Thus, for some time, continued their Zion with length-, 
ened cords, till the brethren in remote parts, set about formino- 
themselves into' distinct churches, which began in 1699. By 
these detachments, Penepeck was reduced to narrow bounds, 
but yet abides among the churches, as a mother in the midst of 
many daughters. As Elias Keach did not settle long enough 
among them, John Watts, one of the members of the church, 
was ordained their pastor in 1690, an 1 soon after died of small- 
pox. In 1697, Samuel Jones was called to the work of the 
ministry. He was ordained and took part in the ministry with 
Evan Morgan, on the 23d of October, 1706. He died FebrtK 
ary 3d, 1722, and was buried at Penepeck. The ground on 


which the meeting house stands was given by him. He also 
gave for the use of the church — Poole's Annotations, 2 vols. ; 
Burkit's Annotations, 1 vol.; Keach on the Parables; and 
Bishop's Body of Divinity. Though he had left the Princi- 
pality for many years, and was only a member of the church 
when he left there; yet his name is well known in Wales at 
the present day, owing chiefly perhaps to the regular corres- 
pondence he kept up with several ministers in this region, par- 
ticularly Nathan Davis and Caleb Evans. Some of these let- 
ters are published in Welsh.* 

Evan Morgan was a man of piety, parts, and prudence. He 
was a native of Wales, but went to America when young, and 
joined the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, broke 
off from them along with many others of Keith's party in 1091. 
He was baptized in 1697, by Thomas Rutter, and the same 
year, renouncing the reliques of Quakerism, was received a 
member of the church at Penepeck. In 1702 he was called to 
the ministry. He was ordained on the 23d of October, 1706, 
by Messrs. Thomas Griffiths and Thomas Killingworth. He 
died on the 16th of February, 1709, and was buried at Pene- 
peck, after having had the joint care of the church for upwards 
of two years, f 

Abel Morgan was a member of the Glandwr branch of 
Rhydwilim, now Rehoboth. At the age of nineteen he began 
to preach the everlasting gospel. Soon afterwards he moved 
to Monmouthshire, and became a member of Llanwenarth.. 
He was ordained and became the pastor- of the church at 
Blaenaugwent, in 1696. He was very well received and much 
respected by the church and congregation there, as well as 
many other places throughout the Principality. 

On the 23d day of August, 1711, when it was known that 
he was determined to go to America, where many of his coun- 
trymen, relatives, and religious friends, had gone before him, 
the church held a special meeting, as he had been so useful 
among them, and so much esteemed by them for a long time. 
It is said that it was one of the most molting, interesting, and 
affcctincr meeting, that was ever held. To part with such a 
celebrated minister, whom they loved so dearly, having no ex- 
pectation of ever seeing his face, nor hearing his voice any more 
on earth, was almost more than their feelings could bear. But 
the Western Macedonian cry, " Come over and help us," pre- 
dominated. However, on the day of the meeting, several reso- 

* See Thomas's History, and Morgan Edwards'a Materials, p. 6, 
t See Morgan Edwards's Materials, vol. I, p. 12. 


iutions were proposed by him, which were seconded and passed 
without a dissenting voice: such as, that William Philips, a 
member ;md assistant preacher, should be appointed to preach 
regularly to the church as a probationer, to become their pas- 
tor; and many other things too tedious now to be enumerated. 
In parting he gave the church a charge, 

1. That they should never grieve their ministers, who should 
labor among them in word and doctrine, but cheerfully to 
assist them in temporal things, as well us in any difficulty 
which might occur in the exercise of discipline, or the important 
work of the ministry. 

2. That they should love one another. Not forsaking the 
assembling of themselves together, as the manner of some is; 
but to exhort one another to stand fast in one spirit, with ono 
mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. 

3. That they should encourage all who might have any pro- 
mising gifts for the ministry. 

His last address is left on record in the church book, for the 
benefit of the rising generation. Soon afterwards he took his 
family over to Bristol, and on the 28th of September they em- 
barked for America. The next day the wind being contrary, 
and the ship exceedingly tossed with the tempest, they turned 
in to Mil ford haven, where they were detained three weeks. 
And when they sailed from that place, they were driven by the 
tempestuous winds to Cork, in Ireland, where they were obliged 
to stay five weeks, in very uncomfortable circumstances, as 
most of the passengers were unwell. From there, however, 
they all sailed on the 19th of November. On the 14th of De- 
cember, Abel Morgan's little boy died, and on the 17th of the 
same month, his dearly beloved wife breathed her last, and 
both of them were committed to the deep. This was to him a 
severe trial, indeed. But the Lord gave and he had an undis- 
puted right to take away, and to say to the work of his hand, 
" Be still, and know that I am God." He was eleven weeks 
on the Atlantic ocean, in the depth of winter. He was in the 
vessel which sailed from Bristol to Philadelphia, no less than 
twenty-two weeks. Morgan Edwards informs us, that he was 
born at AUt Goch, in the parish of Llanwcnog, county of Car 
marthen, in 1637. He arrived in America on the 14th of 
February, 1711. He resided some time at Philadelphia, and 
then removed to Penepeck. He took on him the care of the 
church, as soon as he landed, and continued in that trust until his 
death, which came to pass December 16, 1722. He was buried 
in the grave-yard of Philadelphia, where a stone is erected to 
his memory. Mr. Morgan was a man of considerable distine- 


tion. He compiled a folio concordance to the Welsh Bible, 
which was printed at Philadelphia in 1730. He also translated 
the Century Confession into Welsh, and added thereunto arti- 
cles twenty-three and thirty-one.* 

Morgan Edwards and David Benedict, we think, were mis- 
taken respecting the year in which Abel Morgan was born. It 
is not likely that he was born in 1637, when his brother Enoch, 
of the same father and mother, was born in 1676; and his 
brother Benjamin Griffith, of the same mother though not of 
the same father, was born in 1688. 

Richard Williams began to preach at Rhydwilim, about the 
year 1681. He was ordained about the year 1687. He be- 
came the pastor of the church at Maesyberllan, in 1700. He 
was a godly man, and a very acceptable preacher, whose influ- 
ence in the associations was considerable. He was active and 
diligent in the important work in which he was engaged, and 
suffered much in the cause of Christ; for he was one of those 
ministers that came out of great tribulation in 1688. Having 
adorned the profession which he had made, he died in the vear 

John Davis was a member of the church at Rhydwilim, and 
began to preach about the year 1681. He was the son of a 
rich man in the world, but most wonderfully displeased his 
father when he became a Baptist. And as he married one of 
the members of the church, the old man thought fit to disinherit 
him; so that he and his wife had their share of poverty as long 
as he live I. However, Mr. John Evans of Llwyndwr, out of 
respect to him, was so liberal to his widow and his fatherless 
children, that they wanted nothing which this world could af- 
ford. Though he was poor in the world, yet he was rich in 
grace and ripened for glory. He never was ordained, but was 
a good and faithful preacher. He finished his course in the 
year 1700. His children and grand-children, from time to 
time, have been eminent members, and some of them deacons 
of Baptist churches in that region to the present day. . 

Samuel John was a member of the church at Rhydwilim, 
and began to preach about the year 1682. He was ordained 
about the year 1695, and became pastor of the church of Cil- 
fowyr in the year 1704. He died in the year 1736, aged 80 
years, and was buried in the burying-ground belonging to Cil- 
fowyr. He had a very peculiar way of expressing himself in 
short and pathetic sentence-;, which never were forgotten by the 
most of his hearers as long as they lived. His peculiar turn 

* Morgan Edwards'a Materials, p. 14. 


of mind and mode of expression, was something similar to that 
of Daniel Burgess, of London, which would amuse, convince, 
rebuke, and comfort his hearers, at the same time. I lere we 
must take notice of one of his members: one of the most useful, 
active, and zealous men that ever Wales produced. His name 
was John Philips, of Cilcam, in the parish of Eghvyswcn, (or 
Whitechurch in English,) county of Pembroke, South Wales. 
He was not only the first man that advocated the Baptist prin- 
ciples in this region, but was the means of bringing the Baptist 
ministers to these parts: At his house they first preached; at 
his house, also, the church was first formed, and met to worship 
God and to receive the ordinances of the New Testament, for 
many years, until the meeting house at Cilfowyr was built in 

The first Baptists in this part of the world were Lelice Mor- 
gan, Margaret Nicholas, and the said John Philips. He was 
brought up a Presbyterian, and was a member of the Presbyte- 
rian church, whereof John Thomas was pastor; but on examin- 
ing the Scriptures, after the most mature deliberation, he was 
convinced that Infant baptism could not be found in the Bible, 
and consequently that it did not come from Heaven but from 
Rome. But as he was a good man, and a very respectable 
man in the world, the Presbyterians were very unwilling for 
him to become a Baptist. They invited him to come before 
the church, that they would satisfy his mind on that subject; to 
which he consented, and the "day was appointed; but he sent 
for George John, a Baptist minister of Rhydwilim, to go with 
him to meet the Presbyterian church and their pastor John 
Thomas. On the appointed day they all met at a place called 
( astell-maelgwyn. Having had a long conversation on the 
subject, and seeing that John Philips was not yet convinced 
of the propriety of Infant baptism, the Presbyterian minister 
proposed that he would preach on the subject, and that J. Phi- 
lips should choose any Baptist minister to preach, and to hold 
a public debate, on the subject of baptism. The place and time 
were then appointed. Thousands of people met. Two ser- 
mons were preached : the first by J. Thomas, the second by 
J. Jenkins, on the same text — the commission of Christ to his 
apostles. The consequence was, that John Philips and a great 
many of the Presbyterians were baptized on the 18th day of 
the 4ih month, 1692; and several more of their fellow mem- 
bers were baptized soon after. 

Thomas, the Welsh historian, informs us, that John Philips 
went to America, and that if ever he should see the History of 


the Baptists in America, by Morgan Edwards, he hoped to sec 
some farther account of John Philips. 

On examining Morgan Edwards's History of the American 
Baptists, among the members of the Great Valley church, near 
Philadelphia, we find the name of John Philips, who bequeathed 
the sum of fifty pounds towards the support of the cause in that 
place. We are inclined to believe him to be the said John 
Philips, of Cilcam, and a relation of the celebrated David Phi- 
lips, pastor of the Baptist church at Peter's Creek, Washington 
county, Pennsylvania. We know that David Philips was born 
in the parish of Eglwyswen, Pembrokeshire, and arrived in 
Pennsylvania : more of him hereafter. 

Thomas Griffiths was born in 1645, in the parish of Llanfer- 
nach, county of Pembroke. He was baptized and became a mem- . 
ber of the church at Rhydwilim, in 1677. He resided at that 
time in the parish of Melinau. He began to preach about the 
year 1683, and had to suffer his part of the dreadful persecu- 
tion under Charles the second, for the space of eleven years. 
At first, the subjects of his preaching were the perfections of 
the Deity, the beauty of creation, and man's depravity and 
moral obligation: subjects which, however excellent in them- 
selves, and however well mananged, are, nevertheless, not 
calculated to awaken the careless sinner from a state of carnal 
stupidity, any more than the thunders of Sinai and the damna- 
tion of hell. But when he directed the attention of his hearers 
to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world — to 
the incarnation, life, sufferings, and death of Christ — his tri- 
umphant victory over the powers of hell, and his glorious re- 
surrection from the grave — he often found himself so impressed, 
his heart so much warmed and animated, attended with corres- 
pondent effects on his hearers, that the Spirit of God seemed to 
have descended with such astonishing energy, as to overpower 
all opposition, like a mighty torrent sweeping before it whatever 
comes in its way with irresistible force. In the year 1701, he 
and fifteen of the members of the church went to America in 
the same vessel. They formed themselves into a church at 
Milford, in the county of Pembroke, South Wales, and Thomas 
Griffiths became their pastor in the month of June, 1701. 
They embarked on board the ship James and Mary, and on 
the 8th day of September following, they landed at Philadel- 
phia. The brethren there treated them courteously, and ad- 
vised them to settle about Penepeck. Thither they went, and 
there continued about a year and a half. During that time 
twenty-one persons joined them, but finding it inconvenient to 



abide there, they purchased land in the county of Newcastle, 
and gave it the name of Welsh-tract, where they built a meet- 
ing-house, and Thomas Griffiths labored among them as their 
pastor, till he died on the 25th of July, 1725, aged 80 years. 
He was buried at Penepeck. 

Reynold Howell, in a letter to Miles Harris, dated 1752, 
states, " that the Baptist church at Welsh-tract, under the pas- 
toral care of Thomas Griffiths, was the first regularly formed 
church in the state of Pennsylvania." In a letter from Samuel 
Jones to Caleb Evans, dated 1713, we are informed, " that T. 
Griffiths was of almost infinite service to the cause of Christ in 
that region, notwithstanding that he was not a man of popular 
talents." Of the fifteen that went over with him, two of them 
at least came up out of the fiery furnace of persecution : Grif- 
fith Nicholas and Jennet Davis. 

The following account of David Thomas and Morgan Ed- 
wards, is taken from Benedict's History of the Baptist Deno- 
mination in America: 

" David Thomas, who had often visited the state before, in 
his evangelical excursions, now removed from Pennsylvania, and 
became a resident in Virginia, where he acted a most distinguish- 
ed part for thirty years ; when he removed to Kentucky, where 
he was living, but almost blind, in 1809. As this eminent ser- 
vant of God has doubtless ere now gone to his rest, and can 
therefore be but little affected by the praises or censures of men, 
we shall take the liberty of saying more about him in the 
following narrative, than we generally intend to say of the 

David Thomas was born August 16, 1732, at Loudon Tract, 
Pennsylvania, and had his education at Hopewell, New Jersey, 
under the famous Isaac Eaton, and so considerable were his 
literary acquirements, that the Rhode Island College, (now 
Brown University,) conferred on him the degree of Master of 

David Thomas made his first stand in Virginia, in Berkley 
county, with, dr in the neighborhood of the Opcckon or Mill- 
creek church ; but in 1762, he removed to the county of Fau- 
quier, and became the pastor of the Broadrun church, which 
was gathered soon after he removed to the place. 

The origin of the Broadrun church, and the manner in which 
David Thomas was introduced among them, are related as fol- 
lows : A short time previous to'his removing to Virginia, two 
men in this region, without any public preaching, became muck 


concerned about their souls and eternal things, were convinced 
of the reality of vital religion, and that they were destitute of 
it. While laboring under these convictions, they heard of the 
Baptists, (New-Lights, as some called them,) in Berkley coun- 
ty, and set out in search of tfiem ; and after travelling about 
sixty miles over a rough and mountainous way, they arrived 
amongst them, and by their preaching and conversation were 
much enlightened and comforted, and were so happy as to find 
what had hitherto to them been mysterious, how a weary and 
heavy-laden sinner might have rest. The name of one of these 
men was Peter Corn well, who afterwards lived to a good old 
age, and was so eminent for his piety, as to receive from his 
neighbors and acquaintances, the title of * Saint Peter.'* It is 
related by Mr. Edwards, ' that this Peter Comwell induced 
Edmund Hays, (the same man who removed from Maryland to 
Virginia, in 1743,) to remove and settle near him, and that in- 
terviews between the families of these two men were frequent, 
and their conversation religious and devout ; insomuch that it 
soon began to be talked of abroad as a very strange thing. 
Many, came to see them, to whom they related what God had 
done for their souls, exhorted, prayed, and read the Bible, and 
other good books, to the spreading of seriousness through the 
whole neighborhood.' Comwell and his companion, (whose 
name is not mentioned,) in a short time made a second visit to 
Berkley, and were baptized; and Divine Providence had so 
ordered matters, that in this visit they met with David Thomas, 
whom they invited to go down and preach amongst them. He 
accepted the invitation, and settled with them, as before related, 
and soon became the instrument of diffusing gospel light in 
Fauquier and the adjacent counties, where ignorance and super- 
stition had long prevailed. 

David Thomas is said to have been a minister of great dis- 
tinction in the prime of his days; for beside the natural endow- 
ments of a strong and vigorous mind, and the advantages of a 
classical and refined education, he had a melodious and pierc- 
ing voice, pathetic address, expressive action, and, above all, a 
heart filled with love to God and his fellow men, whom he saw 
overwhelmed in sin and misery. But for a few of the first 
years of his ministry in Virginia,' he met with much rustic per- 
secution from the rude inhabitants, who, as a satirical historian 
observes, ' had not wit enough to sin in a genteel manner.'f 

Outrageous mobs and individuals frequently assaulted and 
disturbed him. Once he was pulled down as he was preach - 

* Fristoe's Hist, of the Ketockton Asso. p. 100. T Morgan Edwards. 


ing, and dragged out of doors in a barbarous manner. At an- 
other time a malevolent fellow attempted to shoot him, but a 
bystander wrenched the gun from him, and thereby prevented 
the execution of his wicked purpose. ' The slanders and re- 
vilings,' says Mr. Edwards, ' which he met with, arc innume- 
rable; and if we may judge of a man's prevalency against the 
devil, by the rage of the devil's children, Thomas prevailed- 
like a prince' But the gospel flourished and prevailed; and 
Broadrun church, of which he was pastor, in the course of six 
or eight years from its establishment, branched out, and became 
the mother of five or six others. The Chappawomsick church 
was constituted from that at Broadrun, in 1766. The Baptists 
in this church met with the most violent opposition. One Ro- 
bert Ashly and his gang, (consisting of about forty,) combined 
against them, with the most determined and envenomed hos- 
tility. Once they came to harass them at their worship, and 
entered the house with violence; but some stout fellows, not 
able to bear the insult, took Ashly by the neck and heels, and 
threw him out of doors. This infernal conspiracy continued 
to vent their rage against the Baptists, by throwing a live snake 
into the midst of them at one time, and a hornet's nest at an- 
other, while they were at worship; and at another time they 
brought fire-arms to disperse them. But Ashly dying, soon 
after, in a miserable manner, struck a damp on their mischiev- 
ous designs, and procured quietness for a while to the poor suf- 
ferers, whom the civil powers left to the mercy, or rather to 
the rage and insolence of such an irlfuriated banditti. 

But to return to Mr. Thomas. He travelled much, and the 
fame of his preaching drew the attention of people throughout 
an extensive circle; and they travelled, in many instances, fifty 
and sixty miles to hear him. It is remarkable, that about this 
time, there were multiplied instances, in different parts of Vir- 
ginia, of persons, who had never heard of any thing like evan- 
gelical preaching, who were brought, through divine grace, to 
see and feel their want of vital godliness. Many of these per- 
sons, when they heard Mr. Thomas and other Baptist preach- 
ers, would travel great distances to hear them, and to procure 
their services in their own neighborhoods. By this means, the 
gospel was first carried into the county of Culpepper. Allen 
Wyley, a man of respectable standing in that county, had been 
thus turned to God; and not knowing of any spiritual preacher, 
he had, sometimes gathered his neighbors, and read the Scrip- 
tures, and exhorted them to repentance; but hearing, after a 
while, of Mr. Thomas, he and some of his neighbors travelled 
to Fauquier to hear him. As soon as he heard him, he knew 


the joyful sound, submitted to baptism, and invited him to preach 
at his house. He came; but the opposition from the wicked 
was so great that he could not preach. He went into the 
county of Orange, and preached several times, and to much 
purpose. Having, however, urgent calls to preach in various 
other places, and being much opposed and persecuted, he did 
not attend here as often as was wished. On this account it 
was, that Mr. Wyley went to Pittsylvania, to procure the labors 
of Samuel Harris. David Thomas and Mr. Garrard, some- 
times together and sometimes apart, travelled and propagated 
the pure principles of Christianity in all the upper counties of 
the Northern Neck; but Mr. Thomas was far the most active. 

The priests and friends of the establishment, viewed with a 
jealous eye these successful exertions of the Baptists, and 
adopted various methods to embarrass and defeat them. The 
clergy often attacked the preachers from the pulpit; called 
them false prophets, wolves' in sheep's clothing, and many 
other hard names equally unappropriate and slanderous. But 
unfortunately for them, the Baptists retorted these charges, by 
professing to believe their own articles ; at least, the leading 
ones, and charged them with denying them ; a charge which 
they could easily substantiate: for the doctrines most com- 
plained of, as advanced by the Baptists, were obviously laid 
down in the common prayer-book. 

When they could not succeed by arguments, they adopted 
more violent measures. Sometimes the preachers, and even 
some who only read sermons and prayed publicly, were car- 
ried before magistrates, and though not committed to prison, 
were sharply reprimanded, and cautioned not to be righteous 

In two instances only, does it appear, that any person in 
these parts, was actually imprisoned on account of religion, al- 
though they suffered much abuse and persecution from out- 
rageous mobs and malicious individuals. The one, it seems, 
was a licensed exhorter, and was arrested for exhorting at a 
licensed meeting-house. The magistrate sent him to jail, where 
he was kept until court; but the court, upon knowing the cir- 
cumstances, discharged him. The other was James Ireland, 
who was imprisoned in Culpepper jail, and in other respects 
treated very ill. At the time of his imprisonment, Mr. Ireland 
was a Separate Baptist, but he aftewards joined the Regulars. 
The reasons why the Regular Baptists were not so much per- 
secuted as the Separates, was, that they had, at an early date, 
applied to the gGneral court, and obtained licenses for particular 
places of preaching, under the toleration law of England ; but 


few of their enemies knew the extent of these licenses; most 
supposing, that they were by them, authorized to preach any 
where in the county. 

The Regulars were considered less enthusiastic than the Se- 
parates. They were frequently visited by a number of eminent 
and influential ministers from the Philadelphia Association, and 
they also had at their head, the learned and eloquent David 
Thomas, who, after stemming the torrent of prejudices and op- 
position for a few years, acquired an extensive fame and great 
weight of character, even in the eyes of his enemies ; and was 
the means of procuring a degree of quietude and respectability 
for his reproached and persecuted brethren. But in the most 
persecuting times, the Baptist cause still flourished, and the 
work of grace progressed. New churches were constituted, 
and young preachers were raised up. Daniel and William 
Fristoe, Jeremiah Moore, and others, were early fruits of Elder 
Thomas's ministry. These young heralds, uniting their en- 
deavors with those of the more experienced, became zealous 
laborers in the vineyard of the Lord. 

Morgan Edwards, A. M. The following biographical sketch 
of this truly eminent man, and distinguished promoter of the 
Baptist cause in America, was drawn by Dr. William Rogers, 
of Philadelphia, in a sermon preached at his funeral, and by 
him communicated to Dr. Rippon, of London, who published 
it in the 12th No. of his ^Annual Register, from which it is 
now extracted. The sermon, which for some cause was not 
printed, was preached in the First Baptist Church in Philadel- 
phia, February 22, 1795, on 2 Cor. 6:8: \ By honor and dis- 
honor ; by evil report and good report ; as deceivers and yet 

' Morgan Edwards was born in Trevethin parish, Monmouth- 
shire, in the Principality of Wales, on May 9th, 1722, old style, 
and had his grammar learning in the same parish, at a village 
called Trosnat; afterwards he was placed in the Baptist semi- 
nary at Bristol, in Old England, at the time the president's 
chair was filled by the Rev. Mr. Foskett. He entered on the 
ministry in the sixteenth year of his age. After he had finished 
his academical studies, he w r ent to Boston, in Lincolnshire, 
where he continued seven years, preaching the gospel to a 
small congregation in that town. From Boston, he removed 
to Cork, in Ireland, where he was ordained, June 1, 1757, and 
resided nine years. From Cork he returned to Great Britain, 
and preached about twelve months at Rye, in Sussex. While 
at Rye, the Rev. Dr. Gill, and other London ministers, in pur- 
suance of letters which they received from this church, (Phila- 
7 * 

78 HISTORY or 

delphia,) urged him to pay you a visit. He complied, took his 
passage for America, arrived here May 23, 1761, and shortly 
afterwards became your pastor. He had the oversight of this 
church for many years; voluntarily resigned his office, when 
he found the cause, which was so near and dear to his heart, 
sinking under his hands; but continued preaching to the peo- 
ple, till they obtained another minister, the person who now 
addresses you, in procuring whom he was not inactive. 

' After this, Mr. Edwards purchased a plantation in New- 
ark, Newcastle county, state of Delaware, and moved thither 
with his family in the year 1772; he continued preaching the 
word of life and salvation in a number of vacant churches, till 
the commencement of the American war. He then desisted, 
and remained silent, till after the termination of our revolution- 
ary troubles, and a consequent reconciliation with this church. 
He then occasionally read lectures in divinity, in this city, and 
other parts of Pennsylvania; also, in New Jersey, Delaware, 
and New England; but for very particular and affecting rea- 
sons could never be prevailed upon to resume the sacred char- 
acter of a minister. 

'Our worthy friend departed this life, at Pencader, New- 
castle county, Delaware state, on Wednesday the 28th day of 
January, 1795, in the 73d year of his age; and was buried. 
agreeably to his own desire, in the aisle of this meeting-house, 
with his first wife and their children; her maiden name was 
Mary Nunn, originally of Cork, in Ireland, by whom he had 
several children, all of whom are dead, excepting two sons, 
William and Joshua; the first, if alive, is a military officer in 
the British service; the other is now present with us, paying 
this last public tribute of filial affection to the memory of a fond 
and pious parent. Mr. Edwards's second wife was a Mrs. Sin- 
gleton, of the state of Delaware, who is also dead, by whom he 
had no issue. 

' Several of Mr. Edwards's pieces have appeared in print, 
viz. 1. A Farewell Discourse, delivered at the Baptist meeting- 
house, in Rye, February 8, 1761, on Acts 20:25,26. And 
now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I hare gone 
preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more : 
wherefore, I take you to record this day, that I am pure from 

* It is said, that the church in Philadelphia, sent to Dr. Gill, of London, to 
assist them in obtaining a pastor; but that they required so many accomplish- 
ments to be united in him, that the Dr. wrote them back, that he did not know 
that he could find a man in England who would answer their description ; in- 
forming thein, at the same time, that Morgan Edwards, who was then preach- 
ing in Kye, in the county of Sussex, came the nearest of any one who could 
be obtained. 


the blood of all men. This passed through two editions, 8vo. 

2. A Sermon preached in the College of Philadelphia, at the 
ordination of Rev. Samuel Jones, (now D. D.,) with a narra- 
tive of the manner in which the ordination was conducted, 8vo. 

3. The Customs of Primitive Churches, or a set of Proposi- 
tions relative to the Name, Materials, Constitution, Powers, 
Officers, Ordinances, &c, of a Church; to which arc added, 
their proofs from Scripture, and historical narratives of the man- 
ner in which most of them have been reduced to practice, 4to. 
This book was intended for the Philadelphia!! Association, in 
hopes they would have improved on the plan, so that their joint 
productions might have introduced a full and unexceptionable 
treatise of Church Discipline. 4. A New- Year's Gift; a Ser- 
mon preached in this house, January 1, 1770, from these 
words, This year thou shalt die; which passed through four 
editions. What gave rise to this discourse will probably be 
recollected for many years to come. 5. Materials towards a 
History, of the Baptists in Pennsylvania, both British and Ger- 
man, distinguished into First-day, Keithian, Seventh-day, Tun- 
ker, and Rogerene Baptists, 12mo. 1792. The motto of both 
volumes is, LoJ a people that dwell alone, and shall, not he 
reckoned among the nations. 6. A Treatise on the Millenni- 
um. 7. A Treatise on the New Heaven and New Earth: this 
was re-printed in London. 8. Res Sacra, a Translation from 
the Latin. The subject of this piece is an enumeration of all 
the acts of public worship, which the New Testament styles 
offerings and sacrifices; among which, giving money for reli- 
gious uses is one; and therefore, according to Mr. Edwards's 
opinion, is to be done in the places of public worship, and with 
equal devotion. 

' Beside what he gave to his intimate friends as tokens of per- 
sonal regard, he has left behind him forty-two volumes of ser- 
mons, twelve sermons to a volume, all written in a large print 
hand; also about a dozen volumes in quarto, on special sub- 
jects, in some of which he was respondent, and therefore they 
may not contain his own real sentiments. These, with many 
other things, unite to show that he was no idler. « 

' He used to recommend it to ministers to write their sermons 
at large, but not to read them in the pulpit; if he did, he ad- 
vised the preacher to write a large, fair hand, and make him- 
self so much master of his subject, that a glance might take in 
a whole page. Being a good classic, and a man of refinement, 
Iig was vexed with such discourses from the public as deserved 
no attention, and much more to hear barbarisms; because, as 
he used to say, "They were arguments either of vanity or in- 


dolence, or both ; for an American, with an English grammar 
in his hand, a learned friend at his elbow, and close application 
for six months, might make himself master of his mother 

' The Baptist churches are much indebted to Mr. Edwards. 
They will long remember the time and talents he devoted to 
their best interests, both in Europe and America. Very far 
was he from being a selfish person. When the arrears of his 
salary, as pastor of this church, amounted to upwards of £372, 
and he was put in possession of a house, by the church, till the 
principal and interest should be paid, he resigned the house, 
and relinquished a great part of the debt, lest the church 
should be distressed. 

' The College of Rhode Island is also greatly beholden to 
him for his vigorous exertions at home and abroad, in raising 
money for that institution, and for his particular activity in 
procuring its charter. This he deemed the greatest service he 
ever did for the honor of the Baptist name. As one of its first 
sons, I cheerfully make this testimony of his laudable and well- 
timed zeal. 

' In the first volume of his Materials,-he proposed a plan for 
uniting all the Baptists on the Continent in one body politic, by 
having the Association of Philadelphia, (the centre,) incorpo- 
rated by charter, and by taking one delegate out of each asso- 
ciation into the corporation ; but finding this impracticable at 
that time, he visited the churches from New Hampshire to 
Georgia, gathering materials towards the history of the whole. 
Permit me to add, that this plan of union, as yet, has not suc- 

' Mr. Edwards was the moving cause of having the minutes 
of the Philadelphia Association printed, which he could not 
bring to bear for some years ,; and therefore, at his own expense, 
he printed tables, exhibiting the original and annual state of the 
associating churches. 

' There was nothing uncommon in Mr. Edwards's person; 
but he possessed an original genius. By his travels in Eng- 
land, Ireland, and America, commixing with all sorts of peo- 
ple, and by close application to reading, he had attained a re- 
markable ease of behavior in company, and was furnished with 
something pleasant or informing to say on all occasions. His 
Greek Testament was his favorite companion, of which he was 
a complete master; his Hebrew Bible next, but he was not so 
well versed in the Hebrew as in the Greek language; however, 
he knew so much of both as authorized him to say, as he often 
did, that the Greek and Hebrew are the two eyes of a minister, 


and the translations are but commentaries ; because they vary 
in sense as commentators do. He preferred the ancient British 
version above any other version that he had read; observing 
that the idioms of the Welsh fitted those of the Hebrew and 
Greek, like hand and glove. 

' Our aged and respectable friend is gone the way of all the 
earth; but he lived to a good old age, and with the utmost com- 
posure closed his eyes on all the things of time. Though he 
is gone, this is not gone with him ; it remains with us, that the 
Baptist interest was ever uppermost with him, and that he la- 
bored more to promote it, than to promote his own; and this 
he did, because he believed it to be the interest of Christ above 
any in Christendom. His becoming a Baptist was the effect 
of previous examination and conviction, having been brought 
up in the Episcopal church, for which church he retained a 
particular regard during his whole life.' " 




Olchon, was a regular Baptist church in 1633. How long 
it had been in existence before, we cannot tell. Their minister 
at that time was one of their own sons, of the name of Howell 
Vaughan, who took them by the hand, and fed them with know- 
ledge and understanding. However, the increase of this 
church is one of the blessed effects of the circulation of the 
Bible in the Welsh language. The Welsh, as well as many 
other nations, had been for several hundred years without the 
Bible in their native tongue, except what might have been in 
manuscripts. There were few copies of it in Latin. Some 
part of the Scriptures was published in 1551; but the persecu- 
tion under the reign of bloody Mary, put a stop to its circula- 
tion. Robert Farrar and Rawlins White, in Wales, as well as 
many others in England, were burnt to ashes for conscience* 
sake: the former suffered in the town of Carmarthen, and the 
latter near Cardiff, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales. 
Bloody Mary died in 1558, and for the time being, the Roman 
or popish persecution died with her, and the whole Bible was 
ordered to be published in Welsh, by an act of parliament in 
1563, under the superintendence of the Episcopal ministers or 
bishops of Llanelwy, Bangor, St. Davids, and Hereford, trans- 
lated by William Salesbury, who lived in the Cal-du, Llansa- 
nan parish, Denbighshire, North Wales. This was only for 
the churches, but the Bible for the use of the common people, 
was published in 1630, by Sir Thomas Middleton, of Wann- 
castle North Wales. 

The Welsh nation had several copies of the Bible, the Old 
and New Testaments, in manuscripts, after King Lucius made 
a profession of religion. Whether they had any before that 
period we know not; but most of them were burnt as well as 
their meeting-houses in that dreadful pagan persecution under 
the reign of Dioclesian ; but in a short time afterwards, they 
were very liberally supplied with a great many copies of the 
Bible in manuscript, by their countryman, the Emperor Con- 
stantine the Great. And we are rather of opinion, that some 
of these valuable manuscripts might have escaped the fire of 
St. Austin and his followers. 


In 1649, the effects of the gospel were so amazing, that it 
seemed as if a general revival was about to take place in that 
part of the country. Many were converted to God, yielded 
obedience to his commands, and enlisted under the banner of 
the cross. Many more were concerned about the things be- 
longing to their eternal peace; inquired with tears in their 
eyes, " What they should do to be saved ;" while there 
were a great number on whose consciences the word appeared 
to make a serious impression. A considerable reformation of 
manners was evidently seen among those who never had made 
a public profession of religion. Many of their barbarous, hea- 
thenish, and most ungodly customs, were either entirely abo- 
lished, or in a great degree abandoned. About this time a 
Baptist meeting-house was built at Hay, a market-town about 
eight miles from Olchon, where the church generally met until 
the persecution, when they had to draw towards the Black 
Mountain, and worship God under the canopy of heaven, as 
we have observed already. Several branches of this church 
have been formed into distinct churches, which has reduced 
her to narrow bounds, but still she abides as a mother among 
many daughters. Many were the trials through which she 
passed; many were the afflictions wherewith she was af- 
flicted; and many and severe were the persecutions which 
she endured.* Their next pastor was William Williams, 
a young man from Cilfowyr. He was regularly dismissed 
from his mother church, and was ordained at Olchon in 1731. 
He continued there about seven years, and then went to Maes- 
yberllan, to assist their minister. In his last days, however, lie 
was not a very acceptable preacher, but was considered a good 
man. He died in 1771. 

In 1733, Jacoby Rees of Penyfay, was chosen pastor of this 
church. And about that time, John Powell, of Abergwessyn was 
baptized, and soon afterwards began to preach. He was a 
very gifted man, but there was something wrong in his con- 
duct. However, he was very highly esteemed by many. He 
died in 1743. Their pastor, J. Rees, having served them about 
seven years, left them and went to Blaenaugwent. 

In 1745, Joshua Andrews, from Penygarn, engaged to sup- 
ply them two Sabbaths in the month ; and Joshua Thomas, the 
author of the History of the Baptists in W T ales, the other two 
Sabbaths, till he went to Leominister, in 1754. About 1766, 
George Watkins, a member of the church, began to preach. 

* See a short Biography of Ten of the Ministers of this Church. 


He was ordained in 1773, and engaged to preach for them half 
his time, and Joshua Andrews supplied them the other half. 

About this time, they had preaching-often near Capel-y-ffyn, 
in the house of a daughter of their late pastor, Thomas Watkins, 
until they built a meeting-house, where a branch of the church 
now meets. The preaching has been held since, alternately, 
at Olchon and Capel-y-ffynn. They are not far distant, were 
it not that the almost impassable Black Mountain is between them. 

Noah Delahay Symonds was a native of this region. He 
was baptized in the city of London, and returned to his father's 
house, and began to preach in this church in 1772. He went 
to Bristol College, was on probation for some time at Bovy- 
Tracy, in Devonshire. He removed from there to Bampton, 
in the same county, and was ordained there in 1777. 

This church, though the oldest in Wales, is undoubtedly the 
weakest. May the Lord revive his work among them. The 
association has been held here in 1653, in 1754, and in 1770. 

Olchon Ministers to the year 1770. 

1. Howell Vaughan, ordained before 1640, the period of his 
death not known. 

2. Thomas Watkins began to preach 1643; died 1694. 

3. Walter Prosser began to preach 1644; time of his death 

4. Thomas Parry was baptized 1641 ; died 1709. 

5. John Rees Howell, baptized 1645; died 1692. 

6. Howell Watkins, baptized 1645; died 1699. 

7. Thomas John Williams; not known when he began to 
preach, nor. when he died. 

8. Thomas Price; unknown when he began to preach, and 
when he died. 

9. Thomas Powell; not known when he began to preach, 
nor whep he died. 

10. John Gilbert; not known when lie began to preach, nor 
when he died. 

11. Joseph Price began to preach 1681; went to England; 
died 1721. 

12. William Williams went to Maesyberllan ; died 1771. 

13. Jacob Rees went to Blaenaugwent ; died 1772.' 

14. John Powell died 1743. 

15. Joshua Andrews. 

16. George Watkins. 

17. Noah Delahay Symonds. 


Llantrisaint Church was first formed at Llanfaches, on 
the principle of mixed communion, by Mr. Wroth, assisted by 
Mr. Jesse of London, in the year 1639. William Thomas 
was co-pastor with Mr. Wroth in this church, until the time 
of the persecution under Charles the first, when he went to 

In 1645, the Baptists separated themselves, and formed into 
a distinct church at Llantrisaint, and had for their minister, one 
David Davis, and others to assist.* 

In the association held at Swansea in 1654, the church at 
Llantrisaint proposed to assist the church at Abergavenny, now 
Llanwenarth, to support their minister; which also they did. 
From the messengers of Llantrisaint, also, the proposal to re- 
vive the ancient order of things, came the preceding year; that 
is, to encourage and support the missionary cause. Let our 
brethren in the new world, look and stare at this, especially 
our anti-missionary friends ! Be it known unto them, that in 
the year 1653, in the Welsh association held at Abergavenny, 
county of Monmouth, South Wales, collections were made, 
when the Welsh church subscribed to raise a fund for mission- 
ary purposes. Their plan was, for the messengers of every 
church to mention a certain sum, and bind themselves to bring 
that sum with them to the next association. For instance, 
Swansea, £5; Llantrisaint, £2 10s. ; Carmarthen, £2 10s. 
No one was compelled to give any thing, neither was any mes- 
senger ever blamed for making such engagements, but was 
cheerfully assisted by his brethren to fulfil them. 

This is "only a specimen of the commencement of the mis- 
sionary cause in this region. The next year, we find that the 
churches had more than doubled that sum. Llantrisaint gave 
five pounds sterling; which was no small sum, at that time, in 
the Welsh mountains. Many branches have sprung out of this 
root, which are now like the cedars in Lebanon, exceedingly 
high; so that the heavenly wind shakes them so powerfully, 
that the seed is carried to a great distance. New plantations 
are raising up every year, far and near. He that is greater 
than Solomon, has many thousands that bear burdens, and 
many hewers on the mountains of Wales, who prepare the ma- 
terials to build Zion the city of our God. In the year 1742, 
the meeting-house fell; and for some cause or other, it was 
never rebuilt. The members afterwards met at Penygarn, near 

* See their biography. 

t See a Continuation of the History of this Church, under the name of 



Llantrisaint Ministers to the year 1770. 

1. Wroth dissented from the establishment in 1620. 

2. William Thomas began to preach in 1638; died 1671. 

3. David Davis began to preach in 1645. 

4. Thomas Joseph began to preach in 1646. 

5. Howell Thomas began to preach in 1646. 

6. Thomas Jones began to preach in 1646; died 1680. 

7. William Davis went to Pennsylvania. 

8. William Thomas joined the Quakers in 1742. 

9. Walter Prosser preached here after he was ejected from 

Dolau Ciiuhcii, in the county of Radnor, South Wales, 
was formed through the instrumentality of Hugh Evans, in 
1646, on the principle of strict communion. At first, their 
place, or places of worship, were in the open air, in the woods, 
where the members from three counties met to worship God, 
by reason of the persecution under the reign of Charles the first. 
Afterwards they met at the Cwm, in the parish of Llanddewy, 
in the said county of Radnor; at the Pentref, in the county of 
Brecknock; and at the Garth, in the county of Montgomery. 
About the year 1721, the meeting was moved from the Cwm to 
the Rock near Penybout, which was a dwelling-house, with 
some land belonging to it, purchased by one of the members 
of the name of Stephen Price, who gave it for the use of the 
church forever. The house was converted into a meeting- 
house. A burying-ground was enclosed ; and the annual rent 
of the land, with the interest of £100, (the gift of the said 
Price,) is for the support of the minister. Preaching was also 
held at a farm house called Dolau. The people in the neigh- 
borhood of the Rock speak the English language, and the 
Welsh is universally spoken about the Dolau. And as David 
Evans, their minister, could not preach in English, and most of 
the members residing near Dolau, a meeting-house was built on 
that farm, and from that circumstance it is called the Dolau. 
However, after the death of David Evans, senior, David Evans, 
junior, his son, was ordained pastor of the church, and being 
able to preach in both languages, he preached at Dolau in 
Welsh, and at the Rock in English, every Lord's day. In the 
history of this church, we have an instance of the wonderful 
effect of habit. In the time of persecution, when the followers 
of the Lamb, were holding their meetings in secret places, for 
fear of being discovered by the wolves, the agents of the infer- 
nal foe, they were under the necessity of making as little 


noise as they could, and consequently never had any singing. 
They became so habituated to this custom, that they would not 
suffer it to be introduced among them for many years after the time 
of what is commonly called the liberty of conscience ; and it was 
with some difficulty that it was at all admitted into this church. 
When it is recollected that the original constituents of the first 
Baptist church in Pennsylvania, were formerly members of 
Dolau, and that they left Wales in the time of persecution, the 
citizens of the Western World, will cease to wonder, that there 
has been a dispute in the church of Penepeck about " singing 
of psalms." The meeting-house at Dolau was built in 1761, 
and it has been rebuilt and enlarged since. 

Among the members of this church who went to America in 
1636,* there was one John Eaton, who had two sons, George 
and Joseph, who became preachers of the gospel in that country. 
George married Mary Davis, a daughter of Peter Davis, an as- 
sistant preacher in this church. He was useful in the ministry 
for many years in the church at Penepeck, Pennsylvania, and 
died in 1764. 

Joseph Eaton, his brother, was only seven years old when 
he went to America. He was baptized in that Western world, 
and called to the work of the ministry, as an assistant to Benja- 
min Griffiths, in the church called Montgomery, in the year 
1722, with whom he did not agree very well in some things, 
which caused a great deal of uneasiness in the church, and 
ended in a separation in 1743. Joseph Eaton died in 1749, 
aged 70 years. His son, Isaac Eaton, A. M., was the first 
pastor of the church at Hopewell in that country. He joined 
Southampton church, and commenced preaching in early life. 
He went to Hopewell in 1748, and was ordained pastor of that 
church the same year. He continued in the pastoral office 
until July 4th, 1772, when he died, aged 47 years. We have 
collected this from Thomas's History. 

David Benedict says that his funeral sermon was preached 
by Samuel Jones, D. D., Penepeck, who thus briefly portrayed 
his character: "The natural endowments of his mind; the im- 
provement of these by the accomplishment of literature; his 
early and genuine piety; his abilities as a divine and a preach- 
er; his extensive knowledge of men and books; would afford 
ample scope to flourish in a funeral oration ; but it is needless." 
He was the first among the American Baptists, who set up a 
school for the education of young men for the ministry. 

Samuel Jones, D. D., was born at Cefeu-y-gelly, in Beltus 

* See Samuel Jones's biography. 


parish, Glamorganshire, on January 14, 1735; went to Ame- 
rica in 1737; was bred in the College of Philadelphia; was 
ordained minister of Penepeck, January 8, 1763. 

John Thomas was born in the county of Radnor, South 
Wales, in 1703. He went to America, and became the pastor 
of Montgomery church, Pennsylvania. This is all that we 
have ever heard of him, except that he was the first pastor of 
the Hilltown church, which sprang from Montgomery church. 

Nathan Davis, son of Francis Davis,* was a wild young 
man; but, as we have stated, became a member and pastor of 
this church. He was ordained in 1703. In 1707, he received 
a very pressing invitation to become the pastor of the church at 
Salop, England. He was very much respected at home and 
abroad, in England and in Wales ; and a very useful and 
faithful minister of Jesus Christ, until he died the 8th of June, 
1726, aged 63 years. On his tombstone are the following 
lines : 

Believe, repent, leave sin while thou hast breath; 
Eternal wo or joy will follow death. 
Here see and view thy end without delay ; 
Prepare for death and the great judgment day. 
For know, O reader ! thou must shortly dwell, 
Alas ! with me in dust. Awake !— Farewell ! 

Roger Walker was their next pastor, who was married to 
their former pastor's daughter, Thomas Davis his assistant. 
Though R. Walker was an Englishman, yet, by the assistance 
of his wife, he learned Welsh, so as to be able to preach in that 
language. He is the first man that we ever heard of doing such a 
thing. He died in 1748, aged 63 years, and was buried in the 
grave-yard, by the Rock meeting-house. 

While on the earth I was upon this Rock, 
I daily strove to feed my Savior's flock. 

Thomas Davis, having preached here about seven years 
after the death of R. Walker, for some reason or other was 
determined to leave the place; and accordingly rented a farm 
at a great distance, in Monmouthshire. But while he was at 
that farm, making some preparations to remove his family, he 
died, in 1756. Miles Harris, in a letter to Mr. Thomas of Leo- 
minister, says, that he was very comfortable in his last days 

* See his biography. 


— that he felt himself happy in his company as long as he could 

Their next minister was Richard Jones, who had been 
among the Presbyterians. He was baptized in this church, in 
1749; was called to be their minister in 1750; and after about 
twenty years, he was excluded. Afterwards he returned to the 
Presbyterian church whence he came. 

They were, now, some time without a minister. At last, 
David Evans, a young man from Cilfowyr, was chosen by 
them unanimously. He was ordained in 1771, and continued 
their faithful and laborious minister until his death. 

Dolau Ministers to the year 1770. 

I.Hugh Evans. Died 1656. 

Assistant pastor, John Price. Died 1678. 

2. Henry Gregory. Died 1700. 

Assistant pastor, Francis Davis. Died 1700, 
Assistant pastor, Peter Davis. 

3. Nathan Davis. Died 1726. 

4. Roger Walker. Died 1748. 

5. Thomas Davis. Died 1756. 

6. Richard Jones. Excluded. 

7. David Evans. 

Assistant pastor, James Griffiths.* 
Swansea Church, in the county of Glamorgan, South 
Wales, was gathered and regularly formed by John Miles, in 
1649. This church enjoyed much peace and prosperity under 
his ministry, until the persecution on the restoration of Charles 
the second. Afterwards our brethren had to meet in different 
places, in the most secret manner: such as Heol-las, Lledre- 
brith, and Alltfowr, and different private houses in the town of 
Swansea. In 1698, they rented the old Presbyterian meeting- 
house. In 1758, they built a new meeting-house, on leased 
premises of ninety-nine years. In 1710, several of the mem- 
bers of this church emigrated to America. The following is a 
copy of the letter of their recommendation, which was con* 
fcidercd as their dismission : 

" South Wales, in Great Britain. 

* The church of Jesus Christ, meeting at Swansea, in Gla- 
morganshire, owning believer's baptism, laying on of hands, 
the doctrine of personal election and final perseverance; to any 

* S^c the biographv of the first ministers of this church. 


church of Jesus Christ, in the province of Pennsylvania, in 
America, of the same faith and order, to whom this may con- 
cern, sendeth Christian salutation. Grace, mercy, and peace, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. Dearly beloved breth- 
ren, in the Lord Jesus Christ: Whereas our dearly beloved 
brethren and sisters, by name — Hugh Davis, an ordained 
minister, and Margaret his wife, Anthony Mathews, Simon 
Mathews, Morgan Thomas, Samuel Hughes, Simon Butler, 
Arthur Melchior and Hannah his wife, design, by God's per- 
mission, to go with brother Soreney, to the aforesaid province 
of Pennsylvania : This is to testify unto you; that all the above 
named are in full communion with us, and we commit them, all 
of them, to your Christian care, beseeching you, therefore, to 
receive them in the Lord, watching over them, and perform- 
ing all Christian duties towards them, as becometh Christians to 
their fellow members. So we commit you and them to the Lord, 
and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you and 
them up in the most holy faith. That the God of peace may 
sanctify you wholly, and that your and their spirits, souls, and 
bodies, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, shall be the earnest prayer of your "breth- 
ren, in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. 

Dated the 3d of the 7th Month, 1710 — Signed at our Meet- 
ing by a part of the whole. 

John Davis, 

Jacob Morgan, 

John Howell, 

Robert Edwards, 

Philip Mathews, 

Thomas Morgan."* 
* # # 

John Morgan, 
William Mathews, 
William Morgan, 
Hugh Mathews, 
John Hughes, 
Owen Dowle, 
Morgan Nicholas, 

Their first pastors were, John Miles, Lewis Thomas, and 
Morgan Jones— Thomas Proud, William Thomas, Morgan 
Jones, Robert Morgan, and John Morgan, Assistants. f After 
the death of their pastor, Morgan Jones, they were, for some 
time, without one. Griffith Jones, of Penyfay, administered 
the ordinances during that period. 

Their next pastor was Griffith Davis. He was born in 
1699 — baptized in 1721 — began to preach in 1726 — ordained 
in 1736 — and died in 1776. John Davis was an assistant 
preacher in the church, more than fifty years. He refused to 

* There is one name more in the book, not legible, 
t See their biography. 


take the pastoral care of the church. He had a great deal less 
opinion of himself, than others had of him. He died in hvs 
Master's service, while he was fulfilling his appointments, in 
Pembrokeshire, at.Boncath. He was buried at Cilfowyr, in 

Benjamin Francis was baptized in this church, when he was 
fifteen years old ; and called to the ministry in 1755. Ho 
went to Bristol college, and became the pastor of the church 
of Horsley, England, in 1758. He attended the Welsh asso- 
ciations annually, for many years. He was a godly and lively 
preacher — his voice almost, if not altogether, as clear as 
George Whitfield's — which was much in his favor, in preach- 
ing in the open air, to fifteen thousand people, in a Welsh asso- 
ciation. The writer heard Mr. Winterbottom, the late pastor of 
Horsley, saying, "If any body should bring a dog from Wales,, 
and could testify that Benjamin Francis did once tap him on the 
head, it would fare well at Horsley, such is the esteem in 
which he is held there to this day."* 

John Hopkin was an assistant in this church before the 
death of G. Davis, and many years afterwards, when they 
were destitute of a pastor. 

Swansea Ministers to the year 1770. 

1. John Miles. Died 1660. 

Assistant, Thomas Proud. Died 1660, 
" Morgan Jones. 
" William Thomas. 

2. Lewis Thomas. Died 1703. 

3. Morgan Jones. Died 1730. 

Assistant, Robert Morgan. Died 1711. 

*' John Morgan, his son. Died 1703. 

John Davis. Died 1742. 
« Griffith Jones. Died 1754. 

David Owen. Died 1765. 

4. Griffith Davis. Died 1776. 

William Morgan, baptized here. Died at Salop, 1753. 
Benjamin Francis went to Horsley, England. 
Assistant, John Hopkin. 

Llan-Bryn-Mair, was formed about the year 1650, 
through the instrumentality of Vavasor Powel. For that rea- 
son, it was generally known by the name of Powel's church, 

* See hia biography. 


for upwards of one hundred years. In his time it was re- 
markably large, and very much scattered, meeting for divine 
worship in several places: such as Llan-bryn-mair, Aberha- 
fesb, Fachwen, Ca'rcapon, Llanfyllyn, and Newtown: and 
some of these places are far from each other. Before the per- 
secution, the cause of our Redeemer was in a very prosperous 
condition in this region. Hundreds were converted to God, by 
the influence of the Holy Spirit attending the ministry of Va- 
vasor Powel. The church, at that time, contained from four 
to five hundred members. In 1660, the ravenous wolves broke 
in among the flocks, and made a most terrible havoc of them. 
They most dreadfully persecuted, chased, and spoiled the shep- 
herd and the sheep. From this period to the end of his life, 
Vavasor Powel had to spend his days in one prison or an- 
other. After his death, they were destitute of a minister for a 
considerable time, until one of their own members, of the name 
of Henry Williams, led them by the still waters to the green 
pastures, though surrounded by that sort of wild beasts, on 
every hand, which were ten thousand times more dangerous 
than the tigers and the lions of the forest. 

He labored among them, for the space of two or three years, 
until he was stopped from preaching publicly by the higher 
powers. But he continued to preach privately, in several parts 
of the county, as often as he had an opportunity, until he was 
imprisoned, when all his personal property was taken from 
him. At his death, he left this numerous and scattered church 
in the wilderness, without a pastor. But though the under 
shepherd is dead, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls 
is yet alive. A respectable young man, a member of the 
church, of the name of Reynold Wilson, who had been regu- 
larly brought up for the church of -England, but having 
examined the word of God, and felt its power in his soul, not- 
withstanding the troubles of the times, determined to suffer af- 
fliction with the people of God — 10 answer a good conscience. 
He was called to the work of the ministry, and became the 
pastor of this church after H. Williams's death. He set up a 
seminary in that neighborhood, where many respectable young 
men were brought up : some of them became clergymen of the 
established church. How the wheels of Providence turn round ! 
One of his students, Francis Turner, became his assistant in 
the work of the ministry, until he received a call to become 
the pastor of the Baptist church at Hill-Cliff, Gloucestershire; 
where he remained all the days of his life, and where he was 
buried. On his tombstone is the following epitaph ; 


" Francis Turner, late pastor of the church of Christ, at 
Hill-Cliff, died September 16th, 1727, aged 73.* 

Soundness of faith, true learning, love, and fear, 
Dwelt in that soul, whose dust in peace lies here." 

John Turner, his son, was also a minister of the gospel at 
Liverpool, until his death. The following epitaph is on his 
tombstone there: 

" In memory of the late pious and faithful minister of Christ, 
Mr. John Turner, who departed this life, January 12th, 1739, 
a?t. 50. 

This orient star shall shine forever bright, 

Who set the sacred truth in a clear light. 

Those sheep and lambs of Christ, whom here he fed, 

Shall live forever with him in their Head." 

After Francis Turner went to. Warrington, Reynold Wilson 
was left alone in the work of the ministry, at Llan-bryn-mair. 
The important work soon became too heavy for him ; particu- 
larly as the church met at so many different places. William 
Jervis"j" became his assistant. Soon after, some of the braaches 
belonging to this church, regularly formed themselves into dis- 
tinct churches. After William Jervis left them, Benjamin 
Meredith, of Llanwenarth, a gifted young man, was ordained 
pastor of the church ; but in the course of two or three years, 
he was deemed to be erroneous in his sentiments, and he left 

Llan-Bryn-Mair Ministers, 

1. Vavasor Powel. Died 1670. 

2. Henry Williams. Died 1670. 

3. Reynold Wilson. Died 1720. 

4. Francis Turner. Died 1727. 

5. Benjamin Meredith. Died 1749. 

Wrexham. W. Cradoc, who was converted under the 
ministry of Mr. Wroth, had his education at Oxford college, 
and was a man of considerable landed property in Monmouth- 
shire ; but, in the course of providence, became a resident of 
W r rexham. Though in many things he followed the form of 

* See his biography. 

t William Jervis was an Independent minister. Lewis Rees, John Tibbot, 
and Richard Tibbot, were also Independents. 

04 niSTORY OF 

the church of England, yet he was a powerful preacher, and 
God abundantly blessed his labors. The consequence was, 
that, as the taverns, and many sorts of carnal amusements, 
were deserted, many rose up against him, like Demetrius 
against Paul, because the former ungodly actions of the people 
were of great gain to them. But notwithstanding all this, he 
preached faithfully and perseveringly, in the town and the 
country around, until the persecution under king Charles; 
when he was obliged to leave the country, like many others at 
that time. However, the seed soon brought forth fruit to the 
glory of God. Morgan Lloyd, who was converted to God 
under his ministry, soon became a very eminent, pious, and 
evangelical preacher in the town of Wrexham ; and John 
Evans after him: both of them have already been noticed.* 
Also, Timothy Thomas, a grandson of John Evans, who went 
afterwards to Pershore, England. He was born seven months 
after his father's death, but through the instrumentality of his 
mother, and the aid of his rich uncle Titus, he knew the Holy 
Scriptures from his youth, and was brought up " in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord." He was baptized on the profes- 
sion of his faith, when he was very young, and soon began to 
preach in his grandfather's church, and many other places in 
England and Wales. When he was twenty years old, he was 
called to be the pastor of the Baptist church, at Pershore, Wor- 
cestershire. He was a very laborious, respectable, and accept- 
able preacher all the days of his life: not only on account of 
his talents and learning, but his most wonderful success and 
prosperity in the work of the Lord. Benjamin Keach, hearing 
him preach in London, said, " He is the best preacher in the 
kingdom, but we must not tell him that." He died at the age 
of forty, and was buried at Pershore. The following is on his 
tombstone : 

" Here lieth the body of Timothy Thomas, minister of the 
gospel, who departed this life, January 10th, 1716, aged 40 


'And many that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake.' Dan. 12:2." 

There was a gentleman living near Wrexham, of the name 
of Thomas Edwards, Esq., a member of the church, who often 
preached for them. He was a learned, pious, and gifted man. 
He wrote and published a book on the controversy between 
Dr. Williams and Dr. Crisp, called "Baxterianism Barefaced." 

* See their biography. 


Jenkin Thomas also preached among them, for some time. 
What became of him, we do not know. John Williams was 
their next minister. He was a son of that pious nobleman, 
Lieutenant Williams, of Llangallon. He was brought up a 
Presbyterian, but to answer a good conscience towards God, he 
submitted to the ordinance of believers' baptism, according to 
his word. He was a very humble, meek, and kind man, re- 
markably circumspect in his conversation. His talents, how- 
ever, were more calculated to comfort, confirm, and build up 
the people of God, than to awaken careless sinners. 

About the latter end of the reign of Queen Ann, the clouds 
were darkened, and the storms of persecution made their hor- 
rid appearance; but after her death, and the coronation of 
George the first, the atmospheric air seemed to be considerably 
more calm. Put the enemies of the cross, being disappointed, 
brcamc exceedingly wroth, and in no place did they manifest 
their Airy more than in Wrexham. They pulled down the 
Presbyterian meeting-house, and considerably injured the 
other; but the government soon stopped their progress, and 
made up the loss of the sufferers. After the death of John 
Williams, the church was a long time without a pastor. They 
were laboring under two inconveniences: they were advocates 
of mixed communion, and there were but very few ministers in 
Wales who sanctioned that practice. Also, it was necessary 
that their minister should preach in both languages; for Wrex- 
ham is on the borders of England. 

The following persons were for some years on probation: 
John Philips, of Rhydwilim ; Rces Williams, of Maesyberllan ; 
and Morgan Henry, of Blaenaugwcnt. In the year 1737, 
Evan Jenkins, a gifted, promising young man, well versed in 
Welsh and English, paid them a visit; but in the course of 
twelve months, he went to Exeter, England, and continued 
there about a year and a half. He then returned to Pcnygarn, 
Monmouthshire, where he was a member, and was ordained in 
that church in 1740. He accepted the call of the church of 
Wrexham, settled in the town, and was married there in 1741. 
1 Te was a son of John Jenkins, pastor of the Baptist church at 
Rhydwilim, where he himself was originally a member; and 
from there he was regularly dismissed to Penygarn, where he 
was called to the work of the ministry. He received his edu- 
cation at Bristol college. No one ever preached oftener, in as 
short a time, in the Welsh associations, than he. He often 
preached at Cefu, North W r ales; and was the means of raising 
the Baptist church, at Brosely, Salop, England. But notwith- 
standing that, he was a very acceptable preacher at home and 

96 nisTORY op 

abroad, his ministry was not greatly blessed at Wrexham. 
He preached at the association held at Hengoed, in 1751 ; but 
before the next association, he had joined the association of the 
spirits of just men made perfect, in the mansions of glory. 

He was buried at Wrexham. On his tombstone is the fol- 
lowing epitaph : 

u Underneath are deposited the remains of the Rev. Evan 
Jenkins, late minister of the gospel at Wrexham; who, after a 
life, holy and exemplary, studiously laid out, and laboriously 
spent, in the service of God, and for the welfare of immortal 
souls, finished his course with joy, in the 40th year of his age, 
March 23, 1752. 

4 Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so 
doing.' Luke 12:43. 

' We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in 
them that perish.' 2 Cor. 2:15." 

Their next minister was David Jones, of Moleston, Pem- 
brokeshire, who was ordained there in 1755. He had been 
a preacher, for many years, among the Calvinistic Methodists. 
Soon after he settled at Wrexham, a revival commenced, and 
a great many were added to the church, and new churches 
were formed in the county, at New Bridge and Gluneeiriog.* 
But something of a disgraceful nature took place between him 
and the church; so that after he got a new meeting-house 
built in the county, and another in the town, and collected 
money to pay for them, he left the place, and became an itine- 
rant preacher. 

Their next minister was Joseph Jenkins, A. M., a son of 
their late pastor, Evan Jenkins. 

Wrexham Ministers. 

1. Morgan Lloyd. Died about the year 1658. 

2. John Evans.' Died 1700. 

3. Timothy Thomas — went to England. Died 1716. 

4. John Williams. Died 1725. 

5. Evan Jenkins. Died 1752. 

6. David Jones. 

7. Joseph Jenkins. 

Llanwenarth Church, was formed in the month of 
August, 1652. The original members were thirteen in num- 

* See the History of the Gluneeiriog church. 


ber: seven men and six women. The day on which the 
church was constituted, they received, hy letter, one from Llan- 
trisaint, one from Swansea, and one from Olchon — making 
in the whole, twenty-five members. 

Respecting the thirteen original constituents, their church 
book gives no account whence they came. The general 
opinion is, that they had been dismissed from Llnntrisaint, in 
order to form themselves into a church there. William Prich- 
ard was one of the thirteen, who was then a preacher, and 
soon afterwards became their pastor. In July, 1653, the asso- 
ciation was held in this church, when it was resolved that 
William Prichard should be ordained. Soon after the associa- 
tion, there was a great dispute in the town about baptism. 
John Tombs preached on the subject of believers' baptism, and 
John Cragg, A. M., on the subject of Pedobaptism. And on 
the 5th of September, the same year, there was a public debate 
on the subject, in St. Mary's church in the town: John Tombs 
for believers' baptism, and John Cragg, A. M., and Henry 
Vaughan, A. M., for pedobaptism. John Cragg also published 
a book on the swbject; and was answered by John Tombs. 
The consequence was, that between forty and fifty were bap- 
tized, (many of them had been members in the Pedobaptist 
order,) and added to the Baptist church that year. In the year 
1654, there were several young men in this church, who were 
exercising their gifts as public speakers. Some of them were 
very acceptable, and some of them were not. And as the 
church had increased considerably, they contributed thirty 
pounds for the support of their minister that year. In 1655, 
the subject of the laying on of hands on the baptized, came un- 
der their consideration ; and hearing that the Baptist church 
at Glazier's Mall, London, was for it, they sent a letter to them 
on that subject; and the brethren, William Rider and Robert 
Hopkin, were sent from London to instruct their brethren in 
Wales respecting that duty. In. the time of persecution, some 
of the members were living in the Cwmdu. They attended 
divine service at the church, twice in the month, and attended 
to the ordinance of the Lord's supper, every other month. At 
that time, they always partook of the Lord's supper, after eat- 
ing their evening meal, commonly called supper. Whether 
that was a matter of conscience, or in consequence of the mer- 
ciless persecution with which they had to encounter, we do not 
know. Hitherto they had no meeting-house, but they met 
in different dwelling-houses. In 1695, Christopher Price, 
an assistant preacher of William Prichard, gave a spot of 
ground, on which a meeting-house was then built, and called 


Llanwenarth. This church was considered, for many years, 
as the Jerusalem of Wales, and William Prichard, chief bishop. 
Joshua James, who was received a member of the church in 
1689, became an assistant of William Prichard in his old age, 
and after his death became the pastor of the church. He was 
very much respected in London and Bristol, as well as at home. 
Through him the Welsh ministers received money from the 
London fund. He died in the month of August, 1728, being 
sixty-three years old. These words are on his tombstone, at 
Llanwenarth : 

"Here lieth one of Abel's race, 
Whom Cain did hunt from place to place ; 
Yet, not dismay'd, about he went, 
Working until his days were spent. 
He's now at rest, and takes a nap 
Upon his common mother's lap, 
Waiting to hear the Bridegroom say. 
Arise, my love, and come away." 

Abel Morgan was a useful man here; but when that branch 
of the church at Blaenaugwent, was formed into a separate 
church, he belonged to it — and from there he went to Ame- 

Timothy Lewis was ordained in this church, in 1708, by 
William Prichard and Joshua James. Notwithstanding that 
he was not very well received as a preacher, yet he was use- 
ful at home, and in the neighboring churches. 

John Spencer was a member and a preacher in this church, 
in 1695. How long he continued, we have not been in- 

William Meredith was born about the beginning of the per- 
secution, and was received, as a member of the church, one 
year before its close — that is, 1687. How much he suffered, 
we cannot tell. He began to preach about the year 1700. Ho 
would not be ordained, but he was one of the most active and 
laborious preachers that ever existed. It is said that he used 
to walk, on Sunday morning, twenty or twenty-five miles to 
preach. He finished his pilgrimage in the month of March, 

David Evans was a preacher in this church, some time be- 
fore 1718. He went to America in 1739. He wrote a letter 
to Miles Harris. It appears that he could not preach in Eng- 

* See his biography. 


lish, and of course had to give it up. In Griffith Jones's letter 
concerning him, we find that he lived in Pennsylvania, about 
sixty miles from Philadelphia; that he was doing well; was 
much respected, and was called Esquire Evans, and sometimes 
Captain Evans ; that he had many children and grandchildren. 
If ever we shall see the History of the Baptists in America, we 
hope to hear more of this good man.* 

Roger Davis began to preach here in 17 10, and when the 
minister died, he was chosen pastor of the church, in 1733. 
He served the church carefully, and filled his station honora- 
bly, until he finished his labors in February, 1742. The 
church, for ninety years before this time, never had any min- 
ister from any other church. She had been fed, from her first 
formation, by one and another of her own sons. And even 
now, she had to go no farther than her own daughter's, (Bla- 
enaugwent,) which had been a branch of this church. 

Thomas Edwards, a member of Blaenaugwent, was the 
object of her choice. He was ordained here in 1737. He 
was a sickly man, weak in body, but strong in spirit — a mighty 
preacher of the New Testament. His ministry was very ac- 
ceptable, and his conversation becoming the gospel of Christ. 
But his race was short; his strength failed, and he soon ripened 
for another and a better place. His labors, afflictions, and 
services, were finished in 1746 ; being thirty-four years old. 
Great was the mourning after him, by his family, the church, 
and all that knew him. 

Caleb Harris was their next minister. He was born in 
Newcastle, Carmarthenshire; was baptized and became a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church there, in 1738. He began to preach 
about 1742. 

Benjamin Meredith, of whom some account has been given 
in the history of Llan-bryn-mair, was a son of William Mere- 
dith, one of the pastors of this church. He began to preach 
about 1730 ; was remarkably gifted, and very acceptable 
throughout the church. He was ordained in 1733. He dif- 
fered, in some respects, from many of his brethren, respecting 
the Trinity. He returned from Llan-bryn-mair to Llanwe- 
narth, but never was very much respected afterwards. 
Though he never gave the church any trouble on account of 
his sentiments or conduct, yet he never preached much after 
his return. 

Francis Lewis began to preach about 1745; the next year 

* Thomas's History of the Baptists in Wales. 

We have not seen any thing concerning him in Benedict's History. — Ep. 


went to Bristol college, and became the pastor of the Baptist 
church at Newbury, Berkshire, England. 

James Edwards commenced the work of the ministry here, 
in 1750. He also went to the same college, and was after- 
wards chosen pastor of the Baptist church at Waterford, Ire- 
land. He was a brother to Morgan Edwards, author of the 
History of the American Baptists. 

David Jones was brought up a Presbyterian; but while in 
Abergavenny college, under the tuition of D. Jardine, he was 
convinced that believers' baptism is the baptism of the Bible. 
Therefore he endeavored to answer a good conscience towards 
God, notwithstanding the critical situation in which he was 
placed. He was baptized at Llanwenarth, in 1765, but he wa3 
soon obliged to leave the college, and return home to Carmar- 
thenshire, his native place. He did not settle any where, but 
preached in the Baptist churches, in that county, until he died, 
in the year 1770. 

Morgan Harris and John Price, were called by this church 
to exercise their gifts in the work of the ministry, on probation, 
in 1774. The former went to Bristol college in 1776. 

William Parry began to preach here in 1747, but in the 
course, of a few years gave up the ministry, and became what 
is called an occasional preacher. 

This church built a new meeting-house in the town of Aber- 
gavenny, two miles from Llanwcnarth, in 1769. It was in 
different dwelling-houses in this town, the church originally 
met for divine worship. The church is not so much scattered 
now, as there are so many of her brethren formed into sepa- 
rate churches. They broke bread at Llanwenarth, every 
month, and in the town of Abergavenny, every three months. 
The congregation in the town is not very numerous, but in the 
country, at Llanwenarth, it is exceedingly large. Most of the 
inhabitants, for several miles around, are favorable to Baptist 

Llanwcnarth Ministers!. 

1. William Prichard. Died 1708. 

Assistant, Anthony Harris. 
" John Edwards. 

" Christopher Price. Died 1697. 
Abel Morgan went to America. 

2. Joshua James. Died 1728. 

Assistant, Timothy Lewis — ordained as an assistant. 
" John Spencer. Died 1723. 


Assistant, William Meredith. Died 1742. 
David Evans went to America. 

3. Roger Davis. Died 1742. 
Benjamin Meredith. Died 1749. 

4. Thomas Edwards. Died 1746. 
Francis Lewis went to Newbury, England. 
James Edwards went to Ireland. 

David Jones. Died 1769. 

5. Caleb Harris. 

Morgan Harris went to England. 
John Price, probationer. 

Hengoed Church, Glamorganshire, was originally a 
branch of Llantrisaint. It was constituted a church about 
1654. Thomas Jones was their first minister, who labored 
among them, suffered with them, and for the best cause, as 
long as he lived. He died about eight years before the end of 
the persecution under Charles the second. When the church 
was formed, they met in a dwelling-house, called Berthlwyd, 
in the parish of Llanfabon, and in another place, called Craig- 
yr-allt, in the parish of Eglwysilan. In the biography of 
Thomas Jones, the pastor of this church, we have made a few 
remarks, respecting one of the members, whose given name 
was Sappanaia, but known in Wales, in his time and even to 
this day, by the name of Old Savin. Once, in the time of 
persecution, as the members of this church held a religious 
meeting, in a private room up stairs, in the parish of Merthyr- 
Tydfil, the hired girl belonging to the house watching the 
door, Old Savin, who lived at a great distance, and knew no- 
thing of the meeting until he came \o the neighborhood, arrived 
late in the evening ; but there was no admittance — the door 
was secured, and the girl keeping watch as a faithful sentinel. 
The old man, finding himself in a sad predicament, resolved to 
try the following experiment: He walked backward and for- 
ward, before the door, and said repeatedly, with a loud voice, 
" There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, be- 
cause fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect 
in love." The consequence was, that, though the girl knew 
him .not, yet she readily opened the door; and great was the 
joy within the house, when they found it was Old Savin. 

After the death of Thomas Jones, this church was destitute 
of a pastor for a long time, but they were often refreshed by 
the labors of that eminent man of God, Lewis Thomas, of 

9 * 


About 1700, Morgan Griffiths, of Rhydwilim, was called to 
the pastoral office in this church, and remained among them 
many years. How long he was ordained, before he left Rhyd- 
wilim, we have not been able to ascertain. In a copy of the 
letter of his dismission from Rhydwilim, it is said, that the 
church had a long trial of his highly becoming conduct, his 
grace, and ministerial gifts ; that he had been ordained to the 
work of the ministry, by prayers, and fasting, and the laying 
on of the hands of the elders: but it does not mention the date. 
In 1710, the meeting-house was built — the congregation in- 
creased, and many were added to the church; so that there 
were no less than five hundred members at that time. 

David Rees was a member of this church. He was born in 
1663, of very pious parents, and was converted to God when 
very young. His lively qualifications — his diligence, together 
with his anxious desire to be useful, induced his parents to 
spare no pains nor expense in his education. He was first 
under the tuition of that notable man, Samuel Jones, M. A., 
near Neath, Glamorganshire. Soon the news of his promising 
talents reached the metropolis, and he was cordially invited 
there, by some of the greatest men in London ; and he was 
unanimously called to the pastoral office, by the Baptist church 
at Lime-House, London. He was ordained by Joseph Stennet 
and John Piggot, about the year 1709. He was the pastor of 
that church about forty years, and was very useful in the city, 
as well as to his countrymen in Wales. 

There was another assistant preacher in the church, of the 
name of William Davis, who was ordained over the church at 
Llantrisaint. About this time, the debate about baptism was 
so hot, that both Baptist and Pedobaptist ministers thought it 
advisable to put a stop to it, Ly holding a friendly meeting to- 
gether : which also they did, at Merthyr-Tydfil, in 1728. 

Several of the members of this clmrch went to America ; 
among whom was Reynold Howell. He lived near Carphily, 
Glamorganshire. Though he was not a minister, yet he was 
a man of great knowledge in spiritual things. 

Thomas Williams and Roger Davis, also were assistant 
preachers here at this time. 

Evan Edwards was an assistant preacher, a godly man of 
good savor. 

William Philips, an assistant preacher, preached constantly 
in a distant branch of the church, called Cosbach. 

Charles Winter was an assistant preacher. He was a man 
of piety, parts, and prudence. 


All these were of great help to their old pastor, Morgan 
Griffiths, who served them faithfully for the space of thirty- 
seven years. His sermons were short, comprehensive, and so 
methodical, that most of his hearers could recollect them. He 
finished his work on earth, on the 11th of June, 1738, being 
sixty-nine years old. He was buried in the burying-ground 
belonging to the church. The following epitaph is on his 
tombstone : 

" Here lieth the body of Morgan Griffiths, who was for thir- 
ty-seven years, a laborious and successful pastor of the church 
of Christ here. He departed this life, the 11th day of June, 
1738, aged 69. 

From these remains the soul hath fled above, 
Who was the sinner's light, the godly's love. 
All sorts he did admonish, and was kind ; 
He many winn'd, and taught with humble mind." 

Their next pastor was Griffith Jones, from Penyfay. The 
work of the Lord prospered in his hand wonderfully ; so that 
he was baptizing several almost every month, for a long-time. 
Another meeting-house was built, called Bethesda, in 1746, 
and twenty-one of the members of this church dismissed to 
form a new church there. But in the midst of joy, here springs 
up sorrow. Griffith Jones, their beloved pastor, went to 
America, in 1749. He was born at the Allt-fawr, in the pa- 
rish of Llanon, county of Carmarthen, in 1695. He began to 
preach when he was nineteen, in his father's church, meeting 
at Swansea, Llanon, Fagwyr, and Penyfay. In the time of 
persecution, after the return of Charles the second in 1660, 
Allt-fawr, became a city of refuge, to which pilgrims resorted, 
and often found themselves much refreshed both in their bodies 
and souls, while travelling the road to Zion. Under this con- 
sideration, the writer must acknowledge his weakness — the 
moment his eye caught the word Allt-fawr, he could not help 
shedding a tear. The church met here for a long time, before 
and after John Miles, their first pastor, went to America. 

Morgan Jones, who began to preach in 1646, lived at Allt- 
fawr. Thomas, in his history of the Baptists in Wales, says, 
that his father held meetings here for a long time. Whether 
his father was a preacher or not, we are not positive. But it 
appears from the words, held meetings, that he was. The 
tradition that is generally believed in Wales, is this: That 
John Morgan — that is, Morgan Jones' father — was a wild 
young man, and being possessed of considerable property, (for 

104 HISTORY or 

he was the sole proprietor of Allt-fawr,*) and fond of seeing 
the world, he travelled through some part of England, and 
spent his whole stock while at Exeter. Finding he could go 
no farther, he hired himself to one of the citizens of that place. 
However, it was not to feed swine, we presume. But, be that 
as it may, God was pleased to visit him in his sovereign grace 
and mercy; and, like the prodigal son, He brought him to him- 
self in a far country. In a short time afterwards, he returned 
to Allt-fawr, and held meetings there for a long time. His 
son Morgan became a minister of the gospel, and in the time 
of persecution is supposed to have fled to England in disguise, 
to the spot where his father found the Lord gracious to his soul ; 
and should the anecdote we related in his biography be appli- 
cable to him, we are bound to say, 

" Wonders of grace to God belong ; 
Repeat his mercies in your song." 

It appears that Morgan and Jones have been the names in 
this family, for many generations. They followed the ancient 
custom of the Welsh, viz.: when the father's name was Mor- 
gan Jones, the son's name would be John Morgan. But Grif- 
fith Jones, of whom we now speak, was named after his 
mother's father, and so the link was broken in the chain. For 
a wonder, his name was Griffith, and his son's name was Mor- 
gan Jones: more of him hereafter. His mother's father's 
name was Griffith Griffiths, a nobleman in the county of Car- 
marthen. His mother was a very pious woman; but her pa- 
rents were so much opposed to the Baptists, that they disin- 
herited her, and kept from her' by force, what they could not 
deprive her of by law. When she was on her death-bed, she 
sent for her parents, and they came to see her. She requested 
them not to withhold from her dear husband and her mother- 
less children, that which was their right by law. Her mother 
advised her not to think of the things of this world, but to think 
of another world to which she was hastening. The daughter 
replied: "Dear mother, I have not left those important things 
to the hour of death. I know in whom I have believed." And 
then she requested them to fulfil her request, as they would have 
to answer for their conduct before God, in the great day of 
judgment. Soon afterwards she cheerfully took her leave of 
them, her husband, her children, and others. She departed 

* Allt-fawr is the name of a farm, or tract of land, with some houses built 
on it ; how many we do not recollect. 


with joy, and in the full assurance of faith. But her parents 
did not comply with her request. 

John Morgan, the prodigal son, who went to England, was 
converted to God near Exeter. He returned to Allt-iawr, and 
held meetings there for a long time. 

Morgan .(ones, his son, a member of Swansea church, 
preached chiefly at Llanmadog; was ejected under Charles the 
second, and is supposed to have gone to America. 

Morgan Jones, his son, the third pastor of Swansea, died at 
that place. 

Griffith Jones, his son, began to preach in his father's 
church at Swansea, and afterwards, more particularly, to 
a branch of the same church at Penyfay. He became the 
pastor of the church at Hengoed, and afterwards t© America. 

Morgan Jones, his son, returned from America to Wale3, 
and afterwards settled at Hampstead, England. 

Respecting Morgan Jones, Griffith Jones's father, we have 
to say, that he was one of the best of men, a good preacher, 
and was universally beloved by all that knew him; and more 
especially by the church at Swansea, of which he was pastor. 
By reason of the most horrid persecution, which he and his 
forefathers endured, by heavy fines and imprisonment, he was 
not so rich in this world as his progenitors. The Allt-fawr has 
been sold : by whom and at what time we do not know. He 
was born in 1662 — the full meridian of that bloody persecu- 
tion. He had felt and seen so much of the troubles of the time, 
and heard so much of the persecutions of his father, grand- 
father, and others, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
he was entirely weaned from the world and all its pomp and 
vanities. Griffith Davis, pastor of Swansea church, related to 
Mr. Thomas, of Leominister, the Welsh historian, the follow- 
ing anecdote respecting Morgan Jones. At a certain time, be- 
ing in debt to an individual, who was determined to put him 
into prison if he did not pay him that day, he was in great dis- 
tress; having not the least idea whence could get the money. 
In this agony of mind, he withdrew to a secret place, to pour 
out his soul to God in prayer, that he might not bring a re- 
proach on the gospel. While he was at prayer, a certain man 
called, and told the family, that Sylvanus Beavan wanted to 
see Morgan Jones immediately. Accordingly, he went to Bea- 
van's, who was a member of the society of Friends, (commonly 
called Quakers,) and a very respectable storekeeper, in the 
town of Swansea. " Well, friend Morgan," said the Quaker, 
" friend Pycard, of Barnstable, requested me to pay thee a 


certain sum of money: here it is."* It was enough to pay the 
man, and a little over. 

Though Morgan Jones was naturally mild, meek, and easy 
in his manners ; yet he was a man of very ready answer. He 
happened to call at a house, at Swansea, where there were two 
men disputing ahout religion. One of them was an Episcopa- 
lian; the other had lately embraced the sentiments of the Ro- 
man Catholics. " Well, my neighbor," said the Episcopalian, 
" I never was so glad to see you in my life." " What is the 
reason," said M. Jones. " My friend here is turned Papist," 
and he has the impudence to say, that the church of Rome is 
the true church, and that the church of England is a bastard." 
"Ho!" said Jones, "I have no reason to say any thing — I 
don't belong to either of them." " A good reason why," said 
the Roman Catholic; "because you have nothing to say." 
" O yes!" said Jones, " I have something to say. If the church 
of England is a bastard, the church of Rome must be a har- 
lot." Thus ended the debate. 

On the 29th of November, it being their ordinance day at 
Swansea, the good old man was too weak to preach ; but he 
administered the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and, at the 
close, exhorted them, and prayed in so pathetic a manner, that 
there was not a dry face in the house. He told them that it 
was the last time that they should ever see him on earth, gave 
his Bible to one of the poor members of the church* and re- 
quested two other members to assist him home. He felt him- 
self too weak to walk. On his way home, he turned into a 
house belonging to one of his relatives, and there expired. 

Griffith Jones, son of the foregoing, began to preach in 1714. 
About 1726, took charge of the church of Penyfay ; removed 
to Hengoed ; from there to America, as stated before. There 
he became a member of the Welsh-tract church, and assistant 
to David Davis, their pastor. He died in 1754, aged fifty-nine. 
There is an excellent elegy made on his death, in the Welsh 
language, by Benjami% Frauds. He preached chiefly at 
Brynsion, then a branch of the Welsh-tract. 

Dr. Thomas Llewellyn, of London, was baptized and re- 
ceived a member of this church. He was a real friend to the 
Welsh people in many respects. In his last years, he spent 
the greater part of his time in Wales, though he resided in 
London. He was born at Gelly-gar, Glamorganshire, and 
was baptized about the year 1738. He took a very active 

* It was a present from Friend Pycard to M. Jones. 


part on behalf of the Welsh, in order to get Bibles for them, 
in 1769, when the Welsh Bible was printed in London. Soon 
after Griffith Jones went to America, there was a split in this 
church, on account of difference in sentiments. Charles Win- 
ter and several others, who imbibed the Arminian sentiments, 
left the church, and formed themselves into a general Baptist 
church at Craigyfargoed. 

In 1753, Lewis James and Watkin Edward, both members 
of the church, who had been preaching for a considerable time 
before, were ordained. Lewis James became their pastor, 
and Watkin Edward his assistant. The former died in 1767. 
W. Edward was brought up a Presbyterian; but being con- 
vinced that believers' baptism is the baptism of the Bible, he 
went to Hengoed to be baptized and to join the church. Ro- 
ger Williams, his former minister, wrote a very friendly letter, 
by him, to the Baptist church; and two of the Presbyterian 
members came with him, to see him baptized and received a 
member; and, on parting with him, they wept bitterly. Ho 
died in 1771, aged eighty-two. 

The church meet, every Lord's day, at Hengoed; they 
break bread every month. They preach every month, and 
break bread every three months, at Romney ; and often preach 
at the Bcrthlwyd. 

Hengoed Ministers, 

1. Thomas Jones. 

Lewis Thomas, of Swansea, supplied them for many years. 

2. Morgan Griffiths. Died 1738. 
David Rees went to London. Died 1748. 

3. Griffith Jones — went to America. Died 1754. 

Assistant, Evan Edward. Died 1771. 
Jenkin John. Died 1740. 
William Davis and Thomas Williams went to Llantrisaint. 
Charles Winter went to Craigyfargoed. Died 1773. 

Assistant, David Lewis. Died 1767. 
Thomas Llewellyn went to London. 

4. Lewis James. 

Ordained assistant, Watkin Edward. 

Rhydwilim. William Jones, an ejected minister, a prison- 
er for preaching the gospel of Christ, being convinced in the 
prison of Carmarthen, that believers' baptism is the only bap- 
tism of the New Testament, as soon as he was liberated from 
the said prison, went immediately to Olchon, nearly one hun- 


dred miles, to be baptized. Returning to the neighborhood of 
Rhydwilim, (whence he was taken to prison in 1667,) in the 
warmest and most severe period of the bloody persecution 
under that monster, (commonly called king Charles the second,) 
he actually did baptize sixty-nine persons in six weeks; which 
was the beginning of the Baptist church at that place. In a 
short time, eleven were added to them by baptism. On the 
12th day of the 5th month, they were regularly formed into a 
church, by William Prichard, of Llanwenarth, and Thomas 
Watkins,t)f Olchon. On the 13th day of the same month, 
William Jones and Griffith Howell were chosen elders, and 
Morgan Ryttrerch, or Prittroe, and Llewellyn John, deacons. 

Like Israel in Egypt, the more they were persecuted, the 
more they increased. In the end of the year 1668, they num- 
bered forty-eight members. In 1669, nine were added to them 
by baptism. In 1671, one by baptism. In 1672, ten by bap- 
tism. In 1673, six by baptism. Some were added to them 
every year. Of the first sixty-nine baptized, only two were 
known to have backslidden. 

In 1689, there were one hundred and thirteen members: all 
of them coming out of that great tribulation — of that dreadful 
persecution, under Charles the second. Fifteen of them were 
the first constituents, who lived to see a glorious harvest after 
a most severe winter. They had no less than eleven minis- 
ters, most of them popular men, and all eminent for piety and 
usefulness. They broke bread every month, at Rushacre and 
Glandwr, and held their church meetings at Ynsfach, in the 
parish of Llandisilio, on the last day of the week, (as they called 
Saturday.) in every month. At that time, their marriage cere- 
mony was performed in the meeting-house, and a certificate of 
the same entered on the church book, as follows: 

" W T e, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do certify 
whom it may concern, that L. P. and E. J., of the parish of 
LI., did, in the presence of God, and of us his people, enter 
into the honorable state of matrimony, to live together accord- 
ing to his holy ordinance, until death shall them both separate. 

Griffith Howell, 
James James, 
Thomas John, 
July 1st, 1682." 

George John, 
Henry Griffiths, 

John Evans, one of the members of this church, lost his 
father when he was young. He was the youngest of three 
brothers. His oldest brother was entitled to the real estate — 


the youngest was brought up for the church of England ; but 
being brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the instru- 
mentality of William Jones, the first pastor of this church, he 
refused the honor and emoluments belonging to that establish- 
ment; which so much displeased his mother, that she was de- 
termined to turn him out pennyless; for he was not entitled to 
any of his father's estate. The tithe of some parish was in- 
tended for him; but before he was turned out, his mother hap- 
pened to hear him pray in some secret place, for himself and 
for her, in such a fervent, affectionate manner, which had so 
much effect upon her, that John became her best son. She 
gave him money to buy a farm for himself, which also he did. 
In a short time, his mother and his brothers died, and he be- 
came the sole proprietor of his father's real and personal estate. 
He built a large and convenient meeting-house on his own es- 
tate, and altogether at' his own expense. He called it Rhyd- 
wilim, conveyed it over to the Baptists forever, and became an 
honorable member of the church. Godliness is profitable for 
all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and that 
which is to come. He gave, also, several acres of land for the 
support of the ministry. He died in full assurance of faith, in 

Elisha Thomas belonged to this church, and was one of the 
sixteen, belonging to that church, who emigrated from Milford 
Haven, in South Wales, to Welsh-tract, in Pennsylvania. He 
was born in the county of Carmarthen, in 1674. He was 
called to the work of the ministry, and ordained at Welsh-tract, 
and became their pastor after the death of T. Griffiths. Tho- 
mas, of Leominister, thinks he was a son of Thomas David 
Recs, minister of this church. He died, November 7, 1730, 
and was buried in the church-yard, where a handsome tomb 
was erected to his memory. 

Enoch Morgan was born in the Alltgoch, in the parish of 
Llanvvenog, county of Cardigan, South Wales, in 1676. He 
was brother to Abel Morgan, (author of the Welsh concord- 
ance,) whose father's name was Morgan Prothroe, or Rydderch. 
He was a member of this church — arrived in America with the 
Welsh-tract church, whereof he was one of the constituents. 
He took on him the care of the church, after the death of 
Elisha Thomas. He died in 1740, and was buried in the 
grave-yard, where a handsome tomb was erected to his memory. 
His son Abel was a minister in some other place in America. 

Owen Thomas was a member of this church. He was born 
at Gwrgodllys, Cilmanllwyd parish, county of Carmarthen, in 
1691. He went to America in 1707, and took the pastoral 


care of the church at Welsh-tract, after the death of Enoch 
Morgan; in which office he continued until 1748, when he re- 
signed to go to Vincent, where he died in 1760, aged sixty- 
nine. He left behind him the following manuscript : 

" I have been called upon three times, to anoint the sick 
with oil, for recovery. The effect was surprising in every 
case, but in none more so, than in the case of our brother, 
Rynallt Howell. He was so sore with the bruises which he 
received, by a cask falling on him from a waggon, that he 
could not bear to be turned in bed : the next day he went to 

David Davis was born in the parish of Whitchurch, county 
of Pembroke, in 1708 — went to America when he was two 
years old — was ordained and became the pastor of Welsh-tract 
in 1734. He died in 1769. He was an excellent man, and 
is held dear in remembrance by all who knew him. His 
widow was a daughter of Elisha Thomas. He left behind him 
six children: three sons and three daughters. Two of his 
sons were preachers. Jonathan was a Seventh-day Baptist. 
His son John supplied his father's church. 

Jenkin Jones was born at Llanfernach, within the bounds of 
this church, in 1690 — went to America in 1710 — was called 
to the work of the ministry, at Welsh-tract, in 1724 — was 
chosen pastor of Penepeck church, in 1725 — removed from 
thence to Philadelphia, in 1746, where he labored in word and 
doctrine, until he died in 1761. 

James Davis, from this church, went to America, and formed 
a church at the Great Valley. He was one of the sixteen 
emigrants belonging to that church, mentioned before. 

Hugh Davis, the first pastor of the Great Valley church, 
was baptized and ordained in this church, before he went to 

John Davis, the second pastor of the Great Valley church, 
was born at Llanfernach, in 1702. He went to America in 
1713 — called to the ministry in 1722 — was ordained in 1732 — 
was an assistant to Hugh Davis, until his death in 1753, and 
afterwards became the pastor of the church. 

We have now before us, Thomas's History of the Baptists in Wales, (from 
which we translate,) and Benedict's History of the Baptist Denomination in 
America. Though they differ a little in two or three places, yet they are ge- 
nerally the same. 

In many parts of his work, Thomas seemed to be very anxious to see the 
history of the Baptists in America* At the time he was writing the history 
of Rhydwilim, it is probable that he either had seen Morgan Jones, or received 
letters from America. — Ed. 

* See more of him, in the history of Newcastle, and of Swansea. 


Joshua Jones was born in the parish of Little Newcastle, 
Pembrokeshire, in 1721 — went to America in 1726 — was or- 
dained over the church at New Britain, Pennsylvania, in 1761. 

Morgan Griffiths went to Hengoed.* 

About 1718, a new meeting-house was built within the 
bounds of this church, called Fynnonwcllnabywch. 

About the same time, David James and Philip John began 
to preach, and were ordained about 1718. Philip John died 
about 1720, and David James, about 1726. 

John Philips was baptized in 1720. Having exercised his 
gifts for some time, he went to Bristol college. He was the 
second student, under the tuition of Mr. Foskett, in that college. 
He returned thence to Wales, and preached at Usk for some 
time. He went from that place to Wrexham, and thence to 
London; but he never settled any where. He was an excel- 
lent preacher, but of bad temper, which was against his minis- 
try. He lived to be an old man, and finished his course in 

Thomas Mathias was baptized in 1701 — began to preacli 
about 1704 — was ordained about 1710 — became the pastor of 
the church about 1733, after the death of John Jenkins, their 
late pastor. He was a pious, lively, and learned man. He 
was brought up for the church of England. He was well ac- 
quainted with both the English and Welsh languages ; and his 
memory being like an ocean, he could interpret an English 
sermon into Welsh, or Welsh into English, after any preacher: 
as the congregation often, in some parts of Wales, are made up 
of both Welsh and English people. He died in 1745, aged 

John Folk was baptized in 1702. He was an assistant 
preacher. Died about 1740. 

Dr. Philip James was born in Carmarthenshire, and brought 
up for the church of England; but being under serious impres- 
sions, upon the most mature deliberation, he relinquished the 
idea of being an Episcopal minister; which so much offended 
his parents, that they turned him out of doors unprovided for, 
and entirely disinherited him. It was in the heat of persecu- 
tion — 1685. He went to Liverpool, and hired himself to one 
of the Baptists, of the name of Dr. Fabus ; and, while in his 
house, he turned out to be very useful, both to the souls and 
to the bodies of his fellow creatures. In Liverpool he was bap- 
tized, and became both Dr. and minister of the gospel. He 
married Lawrence Spooner's daughter. He preached at War- 

* See the history of Henproed church. 


wick for some time, and moved from there to Hampstead, near 
London, and was the pastor of that church for thirty years. 
He died in 1748, aged eighty-four. His son Samuel was a 
Baptist minister at Hitchin, in the same county. 

After the death of J. Mathias, the church was without a pastor, 
though there were two ordained ministers among them — David 
Richards and John James: the former was ordained in 1726, 
and the latter in 1734. Daniel Garnon, Evan Davis, David 
Lewis, and John Griffiths, were assistant preachers. 

In 1745, the church and congregation being too numerous to 
be contained in one house, they were divided. John James be- 
came the pastor of Rhydwilim, and D. Richards, the pastor of 
the new-formed church at Llanglophan. All the assistant 
preachers joined the new church, except John Griffiths. John 
James was a good preacher, but was by no means popular. 
He died in the Lord, rejoicing in the truth, and was buried 
at Castlebeith. The following words are on his tombstone : 

K Here lieth the body of John James, the preacher at Rhyd- 
wilim, who departed this life, the 4th of February, 1760, aged 
sixty -two years. 

Earth on earth, discern me well, 
When earth to earth shall go to dwell, 
Then earth in earth shall close remain, 
'Till earth from earth shall come again." 

David Thomas, of Llanglophan was their next pastor. The 
work of the Lord prospered in his hand. A great many were 
added to the church. In the space of the eight years that he 
was in Rhydwilim, he baptized one hundred and twenty-seven. 
But he most awfully fell, and was excluded. " Let us not be 
high-minded but fear. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take 
heed lest he fall."' 

Benjamin Morgan began to preach in 1761 — went to Bristol 
college in 1762 — went to Kingstanley in 1765 — was ordained 
there in 1767 — went to Cornwall in 1770, and thence to Gam- 
lingay, one of the churches of John Bunyan. From that place 
he went to Ashford, in Kent, in 1777. 

Joshua Thomas, a member of this church, having exercised 
his gifts for some time, went to Bristol college, in 1766, re- 
ceived a call from the church at Lymington, and was very 
prosperous, until he died in 1769. 

Their next pastor was George Rees, from Llanglophan, who 
took charge of them in 1775, 



Rhydwilim Ministers. 

William Jones. 

Griffith Howell. 

Thomas David Rees. 

George John. 

James James. 

Evan Davis. 

John Jenkins. 

Richard Williams went to Maesyberllan. 

John Davis, assistant preacher, 

Thomas Griffiths went to America, 

Samuel John. 

All these came from the persecution. 
Morgan Griffiths went to Hengoed. 
Thomas Mathias. 
Philip John. 
David James* 
John Philips. 

Griffith Williams went to Moleston, 
John Folk. 
Evan Jenkins. 

Dr. Philip James went to Hampstead. 
John James. 

David Richard went to Llanglophan. 
Daniel Garnon. 
Evan Davis. 
David Lewis. 

Benjamin Morgan went to Kent, England. 
Joshua Thomas. 
David Thomas— -excluded. 
George Rees, 
John Griffiths. 
Daniel John. 
James Williams. 


i 1700. 











u . 







































REHOBorn Church was a branch of Rhydwilim. When 
this church was formed, in 1668, their chief place of worship 
was Gland wr, in the parish of Llandysul. They also met to 
worship in many other places, within the bounds of the church: 
such as, Tydanyralltfawr, Bwlchog, Felyndre, and Newcastle. 

Mary Jones, of Llanllwny, was the first that was baptized 
in this region, on the 4th day of the 6th month, 1667. As 
Lydia was the first that was baptized in Macedonia, and so far 
10 * 


as we know, in Europe; so this good woman was the begin- 
ning of the Baptist interest in these parts, since the reformation. 
Elizabeth Griffiths, Thomas David Rees, Morgan Rydderch, 
and several more, soon followed. 

Thomas David Rees was their first pastor.* Evan Davis 
was an ordained assistant. 

Next to him was James James.f 

Several of the members of this church went to America, and 
formed themselves into a church, at a place called Montgomery, 
Pennsylvania. Benjamin Griffiths became their pastor, and 
Joseph Eaton his assistant: the former was ordained in 1725; 
the latter, in 1727. Benjamin Griffiths was born in the parish 
of Llanllwny, in 1688 — went to America in 1710 — was bap- 
tized, in that country, in 1711. He was brother to Abel Mor- 
gan, on the mother's side, but not of the same father. 

Abel Griffiths, his son, was born in 1733 — baptized in 1744 
—ordained in 1761 — the same year chosen pastor of the 
church at Brandywinc — removed thence to Salem, in Jersey. 

Nathaniel Jenkins, also, was a member and a preacher in 
this church. He preached mostly, at that branch called Llan- 
llwny. He and his forefathers lived at the Bwlchog, where the 
meeting had been held for a long time. He was a very useful 
and acceptable preacher, throughout Wales. His name is in 
the minutes of the Rhydwilim association, in 1701. [ have 
not been able to find where he was baptized, nor when he be- 
gan to preach. While in Wales, he was truly a hospitable 
man, according to the Welsh sense of the word. We have 
heard but little of him since he went to America. Abel Mor- 
gan, in 1702, writing to one of his friends in Wales, says — " I 
have to go about one hundred and twenty miles, in the month 
of May, to form a church at Cape May, West Jersey, where 
brother Nathaniel Jenkins is to settle as pastor." Griffith 
Jones, in one of his letters, dated 1750, says — " I have been to 
Jersey, and have seen brother Nathaniel Jenkins: he is yet 
alive." Writing again, in 1754, he says — " Last May, Na- 
thaniel Jenkins, a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, died." The 
three letters are now before me on the table. As I have not 
seen Morgan Edwards's History of the American Baptists, this 
is all that I can say about him. He has left many friends in 
Wales, whose children and grand-children would be very glad 
to hear something more of him.J 

Since writing the foregoing, we have consulted Benedict's His- 

* See hie biography. t See his biography. 

I Thomas's History of the Baptists in Wales, p. 374. 


toryofthc Baptist Denomination in America, and take the liberty, 
once more, of borrowing from brother Benedict, that which, wo 
hope, will not make him, nor any of his posterity, the poorer. 

" Cape May. The foundation of this church was laid in 
1675, when a company of emigrants, from England, arrived in 
the Delaware, and some of them settled at the Capes. Among 
these were two Baptists, whose names were George Taylor and 
Philip Hill. Taylor kept a meeting at his house, until his 
death in 1701. Hill kept up the meeting until 1704, when he 
also died. After this, the few brethren who had been collected 
here, wc^visited by George Eaglesfield, Elias Reach, Thomas 
Griffiths, and Nathaniel Jenkins: the last of whom became 
the pastor of the church, which was constituted in 1712. Jen- 
kins was a Welshman, born in Cardiganshire, 1G78 — arrived 
in America in 1710, and two years after settled at the Cape. 

He was a man of good parts and tolerable education ; and 
quitted himself with honor, in the loan office, whereof he was a 
trustee; and, also, in the Assembly, particularly in 1721, 
when a bill was brought in < to punish such as denied the doc- 
trine of the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the Inspiration of 
the Holy Scriptures,' &c In opposition to which, Jenkins 
stood up, and in the warmth and accent of a Welshman, said 
— ' I believe the doctrines in question, as firmly as the promo- 
ters of that ill-designed bill, but will never consent to oppose 
the opposcrs' by law, or with any other weapon, save that of 
argument,' &c. Accordingly the bill was suppressed, to the 
great mortification of those who wanted to raise in Jersev, the 
spirit that so raged in New. England." 

Thomas Davis, a brother to John Davis, of Great Valley, 
went from this region to America — was born in the parish of 
Llanfernach, county of Pembroke, in South Wales, in 1707 — 
arrived in America in 1713 — was ordained at Great Valley — . 
preached at Hopewell about four years — then resigned to go to 
< ) ystcr Bay, on Long Island. He died at Yellow Springs, on 
the 15th of February, aged seventy years. 

After the death of Evan Davis, and Nathaniel Jenkins hav- 
ing gone to America, J, James, the pastor, lost most of his 
assistants. But in 1708, the Lord of the harvest was pleased 
to raise up in this church, one of the most pious, most popular, 
and most excellent men, that ever was in VYalos, or, perhaps, 
in any other part of the world. His name was Enoch Francis, 
He was born at Pantyllaethdy, on the river Teify. He became 
a member of this church when very young, and began to 
preach at the age of nineteen, at a place called Pcngwyn, in the 
parish of Lkmllwny, from the 55th chapter of Isaiah. VVc 


have not been able to ascertain at what time he was ordained, 
but it must have been some time before the year 1729; for he 
preached at the association of Llanglophan, that year, from 
Cant. 8:12. The ministers and messengers, there present, 
were so much delighted with his sermon, that they unanimous- 
ly, and most urgently, requested him to publish it; and he re- 
luctantly complied with their request. It is entitled, " The 
Work and Reward of faithful Ministers of the Gospel." Some 
time afterwards, he published a book on the peculiar senti- 
ments of the Baptist denomination, called, " Gair yn ei bryd," 
(A word in Season): So called, because the segments of 
James Arminius were spreading in some parts of Wales, at 
that time; particularly about Hengced and Newcastle. Per- 
haps it is the best on that subject, on account of the meek and 
lowly spirit, and the great and wonderful love to Christ, the 
truth, and souls of his fellow creatures, which is manifested 
therein. It is published, of course, in Welsh. At this time 
there was a great revival in the church, and people generally 
flocked to hear Enoch. Francis, from twenty and thirty miles 
around. In that revival, he often baptized at that distance, in 
many places. This most wonderful work of God spread so 
rapidly, and so powerful was the sword of the Spirit, in the 
hands of Enoch Francis and others, that it became mighty 
through God, to pull down the strong hold of Satan. Young 
people, calling themselves members of the church of England, 
(for no other reason, than that they had been sprinkled in their 
infancy, in the steeple-house,) had been generally in the habit 
of meeting together on the Lord's day, to amuse themselves by 
drinking, dancing, and fighting, were excited, out of mere cu- 
riosity, to hear Enoch Francis, to see the baptizing, and to 
have something to say about the revival. But, to their great 
surprise, they heard him thundering, like a Boanerges, against 
cursers, swearers, fighters, liars, and Sabbath-breakers; and 
scattered, as it were, the sparks of hell in the midst of them, 
and directed them to look, by faith, to the bleeding Lamb of 
God, that taketh away the sin of the world; so that many of 
them were pricked to the heart. The news spreading about, 
that Saul also was among the prophets, induced many more to 
come out to see; and while returning home, they could say, 
that they had seen the glory of Christ, by the eye of faijth, and 
felt the power of God in their souls. 

At this time, Howell Harris, Daniel Rowland, W r illiam Wii- 
Hams* Peter Williams, Howell Davis, (all clergymen of the 
established church *f England,) commenced preaching through- 
out the Principality ; and much good was done through their 


instrumentality. The Presbyterians, also, began to shake 
themselves- from their lethargy, and to quit their stiff and for- 
mal manner of preaching. And many souls were added unto 
them, of such as are eternally saved;* so that all Wales 
seemed to be on fire. 

At this very period, in the full meridian of that revival, 
Enoch Francis died and went to heaven, aged only fifty-one 
years. O what a shock! what consternation! what agitation! 
Fire and water seems to be in motion ! The whole territory 
of Cambria trembles ! But a voice from heaven says, " Bo 
still, and know that I am God." 

Death gave him the mortal blow, while he was preaching at 
Fishguard, from Psalm 73 : 25, 26. His dear wife died a few 
months before him. So he left six fatherless and motherless 
children behind him: all of them young — not brought up to 
maturity. But God, who has promised to be a husband to the 
widow, and a father to the fatherless, took care of his children, 
and made them all partakers of that godliness, which has the 
promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. 

Two of his sons, Jonathan and Benjamin, became Baptist 
ministers: the latter, it is said, was very much like his father. 
The other son, a very pious young man, died at the age of 
eighteen. One of his daughters was married to Stephen Davis, 
Baptist minister at Carmarthen. The other two daughters 
were married in the county of Glamorgan, in good circum- 
stances. Some of his grandsons and great-grandsons, were 
also in the ministry. 

After the death of Enoch Francis, three of the four assistant 
preachers were ordained — Thomas David Evans, John David 
Nicholas, and Rees Jones. They were ordained at the Tynew- 
ydddanyralltfawr, in 1740, Griffith Jones, assistant. In the 
same year, Evan Saunders, John Thomas, and Timothy Tho- 
mas, began to preach. The same God who took off the pillar 
held up the house. About the year 1742, Griffith Jones was 
ordained. In 1747, David Thomas was ordained. In 1755, 
Samuel George began to preach — was ordained at Wantage, 
England, and died there in 1767, aged thirty-three years: he 
was buried there. The following epitaph is on his tombstone : 

" To the memory of the Rev. Samuel George, pastor of the 
Christian church, at Wantage, in this county. He lived, justly 

* .So far as we know, there was no other denomination in Wales at that 
time, except a few Quakers. Since that time, the Methodista commenced 

118 HISTORY or 

esteemed for his piety and usefulness; and died, justly lament, 
ed, in the 33d year of his age, May 14, 1767. 

The preacher, whose so early death we mourn, 
Here, in deep silence, speaks our great concern.*' 

In 1757, Zecharias Thomas began to preach, but soon 
moved to Bethel.* Hitherto, the main body of the church had 
no meeting- house, -but as there was a great revival in the parish 
of Cilrhedyu, within three miles of the town, a meeting-house 
was built in that parish, called Panteg, in 1764.| There is a 
good burying-ground adjoinining. 

In 1765, David Evans was ordained. 

In 1778, James Thomas was ordained pastor of the church 
» — John Davis, assistant. 

Rehoboth Ministers* 

1. Thomas David Rees, 

Assistant, Evan Davis. 

2. James James. 

3. Enoch Francis. 

Assistant, William Evans— joined the 

church of England. 
Assistant, Abel Francis. 
Evan Saunders went to Aberduar. 
Thomas David Evans went to Aberduar. 
Rees Jones went to Aberdeen. 

Ordained assistant, John D. Nicholas. 
Griffith Thomas. 

Timothy Thomas went to Aberduar. 
Zecharias Thomas went to Aberduar. 
Samuel George went to England. " 1767, 

David Thomas. 
David Evans. 
James Thomas. 
John Davis. 

P. S. Some time after this, there was a division at Panteg, 
about doctrine. The party that imbibed Arminian sentiments 
kept the meeting-house; and the Regular Baptist church built 
a new meeting-house, and called it Rehoboth. It is within one 
mile of Panteg. Therefore the church is now known by that 

* Sec the history of that place. 

Died 1700. 






















Blaenau Church, in the county of Monmouth was con- 
stituted in 1660. It had been a branch of Llanwcnarth 
for many years. It was gathered by W. Prichard, Dr. 
Price, and Lewis Thomas.* This church suffered much by 
bitter persecutions. At that time, they were obliged to meet 
to worship God in the fields, the woods, and the rocks of the 
mountains, like many of their brethren. Sometimes, however, 
they ventured to meet in some private houses. They often 
met at the house of Nest Llewellyn. Though she was fre- 
quently dragged before the higher powers, to answer for her 
crimes; yet she was not at all daunted, but Lydia-like she in* 
vited the disciples of Christ to her house. She neither feared 
their threatenings and frowns, nor courted their smiles, let the 
consequences be what they might. Morgan Williams, an as* 
sistant preacher among them, sometimes held meetings at his 
own house, of course as secret as possible. Near his house 
they used to baptize. Afterwards the meetings were held in 
the house of Watkin Harris, until the meeting-house was built. 

Their first settled pastor was Abel Morgan. f Their second 
pastor was William Philips, who had been a deacon of the 
church for a long time, and had been in the ministry for many 
years before. Abel Morgan went to America. He was or* 
daincd in 1711, and died in 1730. He was a very useful man, 
and much respected as a minister and as a citizen. He was a 
most excellent mechanic, and above all, he was a good minis- 
ter of Jesus Christ. 

The third pastor was John Harris. He was ordained in 
February, 1714, and took charge of the church in November, 
1731. Miles Harris preached on the occasion, from Psalm 
78:72. He died on the 28th of December, in 1737. Pie waa 
firm in the faith; a great advocate for the truth; given to hos- 
pitality; and very laborious in the work of his heavenly Mas- 
ter. He had the honor of baptizing his own father. The 
meeting-house was built in 1715. 

Their fourth pastor was Morgan Harris, son of their late 
pastor. He was baptized at the age of fifteen ; began to preach 
when he was very young; was ordained in 1735 ; took charge 
of the church in 1737. On the same day, Thomas Edwards 
was ordained his assistant. He was a learned man, brought 
up at Bristol college, but he was not a healthy man. He was 
weak in body, but strong in mind. He was an acceptable 
preacher at home and through the Principality. He soon 

* 3ee their biography, t See his biography. 


finished the work the Lord gave him to do. He finished his 
course in 1746, aged forty-two. 

The fifth pastor was Edmund Watkins, who had been a 
preacher among them several years. He was ordained in 
1747; but he was not able to be so useful among them as was 
desirable, as he was living so far from them — at least twenty 
miles. At the same time, he was much beloved by them, and 
by all who knew him. He labored hard to serve them, until 
he died in the Lord, with his eyes seeing his salvation. 

Assistant Ministers. 

Morgan Williams. 

Moses Llewellyn — baptized 1699 — began to preach 1701 — 
died 1745. 

Henry Evans — baptized 1700 — began to preach 1710 — 
gave up preaching. 

Miles Harris — died 1776. 

Thomas Edwards — died 1759. 

William Thomas— died 1757. 

Evan Harris — baptized 1738 — began to preach 1740^not 
known when he was ordained. 

William Morgan went to Salop — died 1753. 

Evan Jones — began to preach 1744 — gave up preaching. 

Rees Evans went to Penygarn — began to preach 1745 — died 

William Watkins went to Somerset, England — died 1768. 

Rees Vaughan. 

Maurice Jones was ordained in 1774. 

William Thomas. 

John Thomas. 

Maesyberllan Church, in the county of Brecon, was 
gathered by Henry Morris,* in the time of persecution under 
Charles the second. At first they met, (even while the snow 
was deep,) in the open air, under the canopy of heaven, by 
night, to worship God; and terrible were their sufferings in 
many other respects. But they were not regularly formed 
until 1699, At that time, William Prichard, of Llanwenarth, 
preached often in this region. Most of the original constituents 
were originally under his pastoral care. Richard Williams, of 
Rhydwilina, was their first pastor.f 

* Sec his biography, 


The second pastor was Philip Morgan, who began to preach 
about 1721) was ordained in 1731, being thirty-seven years old* 
Soon after this time, a revival commenced, and a great many 
were added to them. Now Zion's tent was enlarged, and the 
curtain of her habitation stretched forth. She broke forth on 
the right hand and on the left; and great was the labor of their 
pastor. All the Baptist churches in Wales, at this time, were 
in the practice of laying on of hands on the baptized. But 
while their minister was once examining the candidates for 
baptism, a certain young man said, that he was not satisfied 
respecting that practice. He did not believe that it was an or- 
dinance ordained by Christ to be continued in his church. 
That he wished to have more time to consider it. This natu- 
rally led them all to think on the subject. The consequence was, 
that their minister, and William Herbert, the assistant preach- 
er, and several of the members, became decidedly against it ; 
and the other members were so much for it, that they could 
not be in fellowship. At last it was brought before the asso- 
ciation, and finally considered not to be a bar of communion. 
In 1746, they built a meeting-house, and called it Maes-y-ber- 
ilan. They met before in several dwelling-houses, in barns, 
and often in the open air, when the weather was favorable. 

After the death of Philip Morgan, in 1776, John Thomas, 
from Aberduar, became their pastor. The cause was very low 
when he took their charge. Afterwards there was a gradual 
increase. After that, however, there was a decrease for four 
or live years, when quite a revival broke out suddenly. 

Assistant Ministers, 

Rees Williams — began to preach 1721 — died 1759. 

William Herbert was baptized 1731 — begon to preach 1736 
—ordained 1738— died 1742. 

William Williams* — died 1771. 

Rees Va ugh an. f 

John Morgan began to preach 1743. 

Joshua Thomas:): — began to preach 1744 — ordained 1749 
— went to Leominister. 

* See Olchon. t See Blaenau. 

\ Joshua Thomas was baptized at Leominister, in the county of Hereford, 
England — was regularly dismissed from there to Maesyberllari, in 1746 — re- 
turned to Leominister, and became the pastor of the church there, in 1754. 
He wrote the History of the Baptists in Wales, and labored with much accep- 
tance at Leominister, until his death. His son, Timothy Thomas, was the 
pastor of the church at Devonshire Square, London. 


Zechariah Thomas.* 

Thomas Philips — baptized 1762 — began to preach 1764.f 

William Williams—ordained 1706. 

Glascwm Church, in the county of Radnor. It appears 
that the first Baptist minister that preached in this region, was 
Vavasor Powel, who commenced in 1G36. After the year 
1640, the gospel was regularly preached through the whole 
county, and many, by the grace of God brought to the know- 
ledge of the truth. Among the many difficulties under which 
the Baptists labored at that time, not being suffered to bury 
their dead in the proper grave-yards, was considered by them 
a piece of cruelty. Sometimes their bodies were taken up 
from their graves, by those blood-thirsty hounds in human 
form, in many places — such as, Newbridge, Leoniinister, Pem- 
bridge, &c. ; So that, they were obliged to bury in their own 
gardens by night. To remove that difficulty, in this region, 
John Lewis, a man of considerable landed property, enclosed 
a piece, or spot of ground, for the Baptists to bury their dead ; 
in which he and his posterity have been buried to this day. 
His son, Thomas Lewis, became the pastor of the church, and 
the only pastor it ever had, though it existed more than one 
hundred years. It is now extinct. The sum of one hundred 
pounds was bequeathed, by' a relation of T. Lewis, for the sup- 
port of the Baptist interest here, or the next Baptist church to 
it. The church of Builth enjoys the benefit of it now, on con- 
dition that their minister shall preach once a month in this re- 
gion; which he has done for several years, apparently to no 
purpose. May the Lord revive his work in these parts. Tho- 
mas Lewis died in 1735. 

Cilfowyr Church, in the county of Pembroke. Accord- 
ing to sacred and ecclesiastical history, it appears that a woman 
of the name of Lydia, was the beginning of the Baptist 
churches in Europe; and that a woman of the name of Clau- 
dia, was the means of introducing the gospel into Great Bri- 
tain, among the Welsh nation. A woman of the name of 
Mary Jones, was the beginning of the Baptist interest in tha 
region where Rehoboth church sojourned for many years; and 
a woman of the name of I>ettis Morgans, was the first that was 
baptized in the neighborhood of Cilfowyr. She was baptized 
sometime before the year 1668, because her name is among 
til© original constituents of the church at Rhydwilim, which 

• See Abcrduar. r See Cftdeon. 


was formed in that year. John Philips Cilcam, however, was 
the means of bringing Baptist preaching here. The meetings 
were held, and the church was formed at his house, in 1704. 
It had been a. branch of Rhydwilim for many years. The 
constituents of this church were thirty-six males, and thirty- 
two females — sixty-eight in number.* 

Soon after a revival commenced, and a great many were 
added to them for three years, with a gradual increase to this 
day. Thus they travelled onward, under the shining beams 
of the sun, until the year 1714, when the clouds were dark- 
ened, and threatenings and fears increased in equal proportion; 
but most fervent and ardent prayer prevailed. Queen Ann 
died, and George the first ascended the throne, on the first day 
of August, 1714. The Baptists in Wales kept that day as a 
day of thanksgiving for many years. After these clouds were 
scattered, they built themselves a meeting-house, in 1716. 
James Morgans, the son of Edward Morgans, and the said 
Lettis Morgans, gave the ground for building ihe house, and 
for a large grave-yard. After the death of their first pastor, 
Samuel John, they became more like the troubled sea than the 
deep and still waters : not for want of means, but by reason of 
abundance. They had three ministers, James Williams, John 
Richards, and David Thomas. Part of the church wanted 
James Williams to be their pastor, and the other part wanted 
David Thomas. This dispute ended in a separation. Their 
case being before the association, and every means employed 
for their reconciliation to no purpose, it was therein unani- 
mously resolved, that if either of the parties would not adhere 
to the advice of the association, they should have no fellowship 
with them ; and if any minister, or any church, should coun- 
tenance that party, they should have no fellowship with the 
association. It was also resolved, that a special prayer-meet- 
ing should be held in every church belonging to the connec- 
tion, throughout Wales, on the same day, to pray for their 
reconciliation. These resolutions had the desired effect. The 
church considered the advice of the association. They met 
for prayer, on the day appointed, as well as other churches. 
They 'humbled themselves before God, confessed their sins, and 
were reconciled to one another, and agreed that the two minis- 
ters should be co-pastors of the church. In the next associa- 
tion, it was resolved, that all the churches should meet on the 
same day, to return thanks to Almighty God for the reconcilia- 
tion of this church. Thus they progressed, until the old man, 

* See the biography of Samuel John, the first pastor of this churcL 


James Williams, became weak and feeble. Then David 
Thomas was chosen sole pastor of the church. James Wil- 
liams was baptized in 1696, and died in 1744. After this for 
many years, the church increased greatly in number and gifts. 
Several young men were called to the work of the ministry, 
and the pleasure of the Lord prospered in their hands. 

David Thomas was a good, faithful, and able minister of 
Jesus Christ; much respected in the church and in the world, 
far and near ; well received as an acceptable minister. He 
was of great service in the associations, and often manifested 
a great deal of patience blended with courage. He served the 
church, in the work of the ministry, forty-eight years. He 
died in 1773. 

In 1769, this church built another meeting-house, called 
Ferwig, within two miles of the town of Cardigan. Preaching 
is held there every Sabbath, and the ordinance of the Lord's 
supper is administered every two months, by David Evans and 
Lewis Thomas, co-pastors. 

Assistant Ministers* 

John Morgan—baptized 1705 — died 1760. 

John Richard*— died 176S. 

William Williamst— died 1771. 

James Lodwig — began to preach 1742 — ordained 1761— 
died 1762. 

David Evans — began to preach 1742 — ordained 1761— 
died 1773. 

Nicholas Edward — died 1760. 

William Williams — began to preach 1762.J 

Thomas Henry — began to preach 1763. § 

David Evans — ordained 1771. || 

Thomas Davis — began to preach 1763. 

David Evans — began to preach 1763 — became pastor after 
D. Thomas. 

Lewis Thomas — began to preach 1742 — ordained 1761 — 
became co-pastor with D. Evans. 

P. S. As several are gone from this region to America, wc 
will mention a few of them. 

David Philips, pastor of Peter's Creek church, was a native 

* See Ebenezer. + See Olchon and Maesyberllan. 

t See Ebenezer. $ See Ebenezer. 

II See Dolau, 


of this, part of Wales, and, we believe, of Cilcam, the very 
house where this church was formed.* 

William Thomas was born at Llanwenarth, South Wales — 
went to America from the parish of Bedvvelldy — arrived in the 
Western World in 1712 — was a member of Blaenaugwent — 
became an assistant preacher in Montgomery church — and 
labored among them, until he died in 1757. 

Francis Evan Francis, a cousin of Enoch Francis, went to 
America some time before the year 1689. 

John Griffiths, in one of his letters dated 1760, says, that 
John Davis, the pastor of the Baptist church at a place called 
Baltimor •. Maryland, was a near relation of the late Enoch 
Francis, in Wales* It is therein stated, that he was the first 
pastor of that church, and that he was an excellent preacher. 

Lewis Richards was born in this region, in the parish of 
Llanbadarn, in the county of Cardigan. He belonged to Lady 
Huntington's connection. He was baptized, and became a 
noted preacher in North America. 

Enoch Davis, a Seventh-day Baptist, preached chiefly at 
French ("reek, thirty miles from Philadelphia. 

lt In the year 1737, the following Baptist members of the 
Welsh-tract church, which was then in the province of Penn- 
sylvania, but pow in the state of Delaware, arrived at Welsh- 
neck; viz.: James James, Esq., and wife, and three sons, 
Philip, who was their minister, Abel, Daniel, and their wives ; 
Daniel Devonatd and wife; Thomas Evans and wife; one 
other of the same name and his wife; John Jones and wife; 
three of the Harrys — Thomas, David, John and his wife ; 
Samuel Wilds and wife; Samuel Evans and wife; Griffith 
Jones and wife: and David and Thomas Jones and their 
wives. These thirty members, with their children and house- 
holds, settled at a place called Catfish, on Pedee river, but they 
soon removed about fifty miles higher up the same river, where 
the^v made a permanent settlement, and where they all, except 
James James, Esq., who died at Catfish, were embodied into a 
church, January, 1738. 

James James, Esq., was the most distinguished of this com- 
pany of emigrants, for he was the head of the party, and bis 
son Philip became the pastor of the church. Of him f can 
learn no more, than that he died at Catfish. His son Philip, 
the first pastor of the Welsh-neck church, was born near Pen ? 
nepeek, Pennsylvania, in 1701 : he was ordained over the 

* See George John's biography. 
11 *,. 


church in 1743, by Messrs. Chanler and Simmons, and died 
in 1753. 

This venerable man passed through a very singular scene 
about three months before his death; the narrative is related 
in full by Mr. Edwards, but we shall be able to give only the 
substance of it here, which is as follows: He was greatly 
afflicted for the death of a favorite child, and bewailed his loss 
in the language of David, ' O Abel, my son, my son, would to 
God I had died for thee,' &c. In the midst of his wailings he 
fell to the ground as if dead, and was taken up and put on the 
bed, where he continued for near an hour, withe ut any signs 
of life. When he revived and saw the people about him weep- 
ing, he bid them desist, adding, ' had you seen what I have 
seen, you would not be in trouble about the dear little one.' 
His wife and the company urged him to tell what he had seen 
concerning the child. He was reluctant to it, but their impor- 
tunity prevailed, and he went on, ' The child now enjoys more 
happiness in one moment, than compensates for all the mise- 
ries he endured through life, and the pangs of death also.' He 
then related how he had been transported by a celestial con- 
ductor to the paradise of God, where he was chided for his 
excessive grief, and saw his child in the full stature of a man, 
in company with the angelic hosts, and uniting_ in their songs 
of praise. At length his conductor said to him, ' I am one of 
that company, and must join them.' Having said this, the en- 
tranced spirit began to sink fast, and soon found itself united 
with the body. This account is preserved by the family, and 
signed by four respectable witnesses.* After this vision, the 
old man minded no w T orldly thing, but was full of heavenly 
joy, and attentive only to spiritual concerns. 

Samuel Harris, of Welsh extraction, was born in Hanover 
county, Virginia, January 12, 1724. Few men could boast of 
more respectable parentage. His education, thcugh not the 
most liberal, was very considerable for the customs of that day. 
When young, he moved to the county of Pittsylvania ; and as 
he advanced in age, became a favorite with the people as well 
as with the rulers. He was appointed Church Warden, She- 
riff, a Justice of the Peace, Burgess for the county, Colonel of 
the Militia, Captain of Mayo Fort, and Commissary for the 
fort and army. All these things, however, he counted but 
dross, that he might win Christ Jesus, and become a minister 

Edwards's MS, History, 6lc, pp. 19, 20. 


of his word among the Baptists : a sect at that time every where 
spoken against. 

His conversion was effected in the following way: He first 
became serious and melancholy without knowing why. By 
reading and conversation he discovered that he was a helpless 
sinner, and that a sense of his guilt was the true cause of his 
gloom of mind. Pressed with this conviction, he ventured to 
attend Baptist preaching. 'On one of his routes to visit the 
forts, in his official character, he called at a small house, where 
he understood there was Baptist preaching. The preachers 
were Joseph and William Murphy, at that time commonly 
called Murphy's hoys. Being equipped in his military dress* 
he was not willing to appear in a conspicuous place. God, 
nevertheless, found him out by his Spirit. His convictions 
now sunk so deep, that he was no longer able to conceal them. 
He left his sword and other parts of his equipments, some in 
one place and some in another. The arrows of the Almighty 
stuck fast in him, nor could he shake them off until some time 
after, At a meeting, when the congregation rose from prayer, 
Colonel Harris was observed still on his knees, with his head 
and hands hanging over the bench. . Some of the people went 
to his relief, and found him senseless, When he came to him- 
self, he smiled; and in an ecstacy of joy, exclaimed, Glory! 
glory! glory! &c. Soon after this, he was baptized by. Rev. 
Daniel Marshall, as mentioned above. This probably took 
place some time in the year 1758. He did not confer with 
flesh and blood, but immediately began his ministerial labors ; 
which afterwards proved so effectual as to acquire him the 
name of the Virginia Apostle. 

In 1759, he was ordained a ruling elder. His labors were 
chiefly confined, for the first six or seven years, to-the adjacent 
counties of Virginia and North Carolina, never having past to 
>the north of James River, until the year 1765. During the 
first years of his ministry, he often travelled with Mr. Mar- 
shal, and must have caught much of his spirit, for there is ob- 
viously a considerable resemblance in tbeir manners. Janua- 
ry, 1765, Allen Wyley travelled out to Pittsylvania, to seek 
for a preacher. He had been previously baptized by some 
Regular Baptist minister in Fauquier; but not being able to 
procure preachers to attend in his own neighborhood^ and hear- 
ing of New Lights, (as they were called in North Carolina,) he 
set out by himself, scarcely knowing whither he was goin«-. 
God directed his way, and brought him into the neighborhood 
of Mr. Harris, on a meeting day. He went to the meeting, 
aod was immediately noticed by Mr. Harris, and asked whence 


he came. He replied that he was seeking a gospel minister ; 
and God having directed his course to him, that he was the 
man, and that he wished him to go with him to Culpepper. 
Mr. Harris agreed to gp, like Peter, nothing doubting but that 
it was a call from God. This visit was abundantly blessed for 
the enlargement of the Redeemer's cause. Soon after he had 
returned, three messengers came from Spottsylvania to obtain 
Mr. Harris's services. He departed into North Carolina to 
seek James Read, who was ordained to the ministry. Their 
labors were so highly favored, that from that time, Mr. Harris 
became almost a constant traveller. Not confining himself to 
narrow limits, but led on from place to place, wherever he 
could see an opening to do good, there he would hoist the flag 
of peace. There was scarcely any place in Virginia, in which 
he did not sow the gospel seed.* It was not until 1769, that 
this eminently useful man was ordained to the administration 
of ordinances. Why he was not ordained at an earlier period, 
is not certainly known : some say, that he did not wish it; 
others, that his opinions respecting the support of ministers 
were objected to by the leading elders. After his ordination, 
he baptized as well as preached. 

In every point of view, Mr. Harris might be considered as 
one of the most excellent of men. Being in easy circum- 
stances when he became religious, he devoted not only himself 
but almost all his property to religious objects. He had begun . 
■a large new dwelling-house, suitable to his former dignity, 
which, as soon as it was enclosed, he appropriated to the use 
of public worship, continuing to live in the old one. 

After maintaining his family in a very frugal manner, he . 
distributed his surplus income to charitable purposes. During 
the war, when it xvas extremely difficult to procure salt, he 
]copt two waggons running to Petersburg, to bring up salt for 
Ins neighbors. His manners were of the most winning sort/* 
having a singular talent at touching the feelings. He scarcely 
over went into a house, without exhorting and praying for 
those he met. there. 

As a doctrinal preacher, his talents were rather below me- 
dio«-ritv, unless at those times when, he was highly favored 
from above; then he would sometimes display epnsi (Jemble 
ingenuity. His excellency lay chiefly in addressing the heart, 
and perhaps oven Whitfield did not surpass him in this. 
When animated himself, he Seldom failed to animate his. 
auditory. Some have described him, when exhorting at great 
meetings, as pouring forth streams of celestial lightning from 
bis eyos, which, whithersoever he turned his face, would strike 


down hundreds at once. Hence he is often called Boanerges* 
So much was Mr. Harris governed by his feelings, that if he 
began to preach and did not feel some liberty of utterance, he 
would tell his audience he could not preach without the Lord, 
and then sit down. Not long before the commencement of 
the great revival in Virginia, Mr. Harris had a paralytic shock, 
from which he never entirely recovered. Yet this did not de- 
ter him from his diligent usefulness. If he could not go as far, 
he was still not idle within that sphere allowed him by his in- 
firmities. At all associations and general committees, where 
he was delegated, he was almost invariably made moderator. 
This office, like every thing else, he discharged with some 
degree of singularity, yet to general satisfaction. 

For some short time previous to his death, his senses wero 
considerably palsied ; so that we are deprived of such pious 
remarks, as would probably have fallen from this extraordi- 
nary servant of God in his last hours. He was somewhat over 
seventy years of age when he died. 

The remarkable anecdotes told of Mr. Harris are so nume« 
rous, that they would fill a volume of themselves, if they were 
collected. A part of them only we shall record. 

Mr- Harris, like Mr. Marshall, possessed a soul incapable of 
being dismayed by any difficulties. To obtain his own con* 
sent to undertake a laudable enterprise, it was sufficient for 
him to know that it was possible. His faith was sufficient to 
throw mountains into the sea, if they stood in the way. He 
seems also never to have been appalled by the fear or shame 
of man, but could confront the stoutest sons of pride, and boldly 
urge the humble doctrines of the cross. Like the brave soldier, 
if beaten back at the first onset, he will still be ready for a fur- 
ther assault; so that he often conquered opposers, that to 
others appeared completely hopeless. With this spirit he com- 
menced his career. 

Early after he embraced religion, his mind was impressed 
with a desire to preach to the officers and soldiers of the fort. 
An opportunity offered in Fort Mayo, and Mr. Harris began 
his harangue, urging most vehemently the necessity of the new 
birth. In the course of his harangue, an officer interrupted 
him, saying, ■ Colonel you have sucked much eloquence from 
the rum-cask to-day ; pray give us a little, that we may de- 
claim as well, when it comes to our turn.' Harris replied, l I 
am not drunk ;' and resumed his discourse. He had not gone 
far, before he was accosted by another, in a serious manner, 
who, looking in his face, said, ' Sam, you say you are not 
drunk; pray are you not mad then? What the d — 1 ails 


you?' Colonel Harris replied, in the words of Paul, ' I am 
not mad, most noble gentleman.' He continued speaking pub* 
licly and privately, until one of the gentlemen received such 
impressions as were never afterwards shaken off; but he after- 
wards became a pious Christian. 

Soon aft?r this, Mr. Harris found a sad alteration as to his 
religious enjoyment. He prayed God to restore the 'light of 
his countenance, and renew communion with him, but his peti- 
tion was deferred. He then went into the woods, and sought 
for the happiness he had lost ; thinking that, peradventure, God 
would answer his prayer there, though not in the fort, where 
so much wickedness abounded ; but no answer came. Then 
he began to inquire into the cause why God dealt so with him. 
The first that offered was his lucrative offices ; upon which he 
determined to lay them down immediately, and settle his ac- 
counts with the public. Having now removed the Achan out 
of the camp, as he thought, he renewed his suit for a restora- 
tion of the joy which he had lost ; but still ' the vision tarried, 
and the prophecy brought not forth.' He began, to examine 
himself a second time. Then he suspected his money was the 
cause, and that he had made gold his trust. Accordingly he 
took all his money and threw it away into the bushes, where 
it remains to this day, for aught any one knows to the con- 
trary. After this, he prayed again, and found that man's im- 
patience will not shorten the time which infinite wisdom hath 
measured out for delays or beneficence. However, in due 
time, the wished-for good came. t I am aware,' (says Morgan 
Edwards, from whose MS. history this anecdote is selected,) 
* that this story will render the wisdom of the Colonel suspected. 
Be it so. It nevertheless establishes the truth of his piety, and 
shows that he preferred communion with God before riches 
and honors.' 

Rough was the treatment which Mr. Harris met with 
amongst his rude countrymen. In one of his journeys in the 
county of Culpepper, a Captain Ball and his gang came to a 
place where he was preaching, and said, * You shall not 
preach here.' A by-stander, whose name was Jeremiah Mi- 
nor, replied, ' But he shall.' From this sharp contention of 
words, they proceeded to a sharper contest of blows and scuf- 
fles. Friends on both sides interested themselves ; some to 
make peace, and others to back their foremen. The support- 
ers of Mr. Harris were probably most of them worldly people, 
who acted from no other principle, than to defend a minister 
thus insulted and abused. But if they were Christians, they 
were certainly too impatient and resentful, and manifested too 


much of the spirit Peter had, when he drew his sword on the 
high-priest's servant. Colonel Harris's friends took him into 
a house, and set Lewis Craig to guard the d( or, while he was 
preaching; but presently Ball's gang came i p, drove the sen* 
tinel from his stand, and battered open the dour; but they were 
driven back by the people within. This involved them in an- 
other contest, and thus the day ended in confusion. 

On another occasion, he was arrested and carried into court, 
as a disturber of the peace. In court, a Captain Williams ve- 
hemently accused him as a vagabond, a heretic, and a mover 
of sedition every where. Mr. Harris made his defence. But 
the court ordered that he should not preach in the county again 
for the space of twelve months, or be committed to prison. 
The Colonel told them that he lived two hundred miles from 
thence, and that it was not likely he should disturb them 
again in the course of one year. Upon this he was dismissed. 
From Culpepper he went to Fauquier, and preached at Carter's 
Run. From thence he crossed the Blue Ridge, and preached 
at Shenandoah. On his return from thence, he turned in at 
Captain Thomas Clanathan's, in the county of Culpepper, 
where there was a meeting. While certain young ministers 
were preaching, the word of God began to burn in Colonel 
Harris's heart. When they finished, he arose and addressed 
the congregation, * 1 partly promised the devil, a few days 
since, at the court-house, that 1 would not preach in this coun- 
ty again, for the term of a year: but the devil is a perfidious 
wretch, and covenants with him are not to be kept, and there- 
fore I will preach.' He preached a lively, animating sermon. 
The court never meddled with him more. 

In Orange county, one Benjamin Healy pulled Mr. Harris 
down from the place where he was preaching, and hauled him 
about, -sometimes by the hand, sometimes by the leg, and 
sometimes by the hair of the head ; but the persecuted preacher 
had friends here also, who espoused his part, and rescued him 
from the rage of his enemies. This, as in a former case, 
brought on a contention between his advocates and opposers ; 
during which, a Captain Jameson sent Mr. Harris to a house 
where was a loft with a step-ladder to ascend it. Into that loft 
he hurried him, took away the step-ladder, and left the good 
man secure from his enemies. . 

Near Haw-river, a rude fellow came up to Mr. Harris, and 
knocked him down while he was preaching. 

He went to preach to the prisoners once, in the town of 
Hillsborough, where he was locked up in the gaol, and kept 
for some time. 


Notwithstanding these things, Colonel Harris did not suftef 
as many persecutions as some other Baptist preachers. Tem- 
pered in some degree peculiar to himself, his bold, noble, yet 
humble manner, dismayed the ferocious spirits of the opposers 
of religion. 

A criminal, who had been just pardoned at the gallows, 
once met him on the road, and snowed him his reprieve. 
4 Well,' said he, ' and have you shown it to Jesus V ■ No, 
Mr. Harris, I want you to do that for me.' The old man im- 
mediately descended from his horse, in the road, and making 
the man also alight, they both kneeled down ; Mr. Harris put 
one hand on the man's head, and with the other held open the 
pardon, and thus, in behalf of the criminal, returned thanks for 
his reprieve, and prayed for hirn to obtain God's pardon also. 

The following very interesting narrative was published by 
Mr. Semple, in his History of the Virginia Baptists ; it has also 
been published by Mr. John Leland, in his Budget of Scraps, 
under the title of ' Prayer better than Law-suits.' As there is 
some little variation, not as to matters of fact, but in the mode 
of expression, in these two relaters, I have selected from them 
both this singular and instructive story. When Mr. Harris 
began to preach, his soul was so absorbed in the work, that it 
was difficult for him to attend to the duties of this life. Find- 
ing at length the absolute need of providing more grain for his 
family than his plantation had produced, he went to a man 
who owed him a sum of money, and told him, he would be 
very glad if he would discharge the debt he owed him. The 
man replied, ' I have no money by me, and therefores cannot 
oblige you.' Harris said, * I want the money to purchase 
wheat for my family ; and as you have raised a good crop of 
wheat, I will take that article of you, instead of money, at a 
current price.* The man answered, ' I have other uses for 
my wheat, and cannot let you have it.' ' How then,' said 
Harris, ' do you intend to pay me V ' I never intend to pay 
vou, until you sue me,' replied the debtor, ' and therefore you 
may begin your suit as soon as you please.' Mr. Harris left 
him, meditating: ' Good God!' said he to himself, ' what shall 
I do l Must I leave preaching to attend to a vexatious law- 
suit! Perhaps a thousand souls will perish in the mean time, 
for the want of hearing of JesusJ No, I will not. Well, what 
will you do for yourself? Why, this I will do; I will sue him 
at the court of Heaven.* Having resolved what to do, he 
turned aside into a wood, and fell upon his knees, and thus 
began his suit : * O blessed Jesus ! thou Eternal God ! Thou 
knowest that I need the money which the man owes me, to 


supply the wants of my family ; but he will not pay me with- 
out a law-suit. Dear Jesus, shall I quit thy cause, and leave 
the souls of men to perish? Or wilt thou, in mercy, open some 
other way of relief?' In this address, the Colonel had such 
nearness to God, that, (to use his own words,) Jesus said unto 
him, * Harris, I will enter bonds-man for the man — you keep 
on preaching, and omit the law-suit — I will take care of you 
and see that you have your pay.' Mr. Harris felt well satis- 
fied with his security, but thought it would be unjust to hold 
the man a debtor, when Jesus had assumed payment. He, 
therefore, wrote a receipt in full of all accounts which he had 
against the man, and dating it in the woods, where Jesus en- 
tered bail, he signed it with his own name. Going, the next 
day, by the man's house to attend a meeting, he gave the re- 
ceipt to a servant, and bid him deliver it to his master. On 
returning from the meeting, the man hailed him at his gate and 
said, ' Mr. Harris, what did you mean by the receipt you sent 
me this morning V Mr. Harris replied, ' I meant just as I 
wrote.' ' But you know, sir,' answered the debtor, ' I have 
never paid you.' * True,' said Mr. Harris, * and I know, also, 
that you said you never would, except I sued you. But, sir, I 
sued you at the court of Heaven, and Jesus entered bail for 
you, and has agreed to pay me ; I have, therefore, given you 
a discharge !' ' But I insist upon it,' said the man, ' matters 
shall not be left so.' 'I am well satisfied,' answered Harris, 
* Jesus will not fail me; I leave you to settle the account with 
him another day. Farewell.' This operated so effectually on 
the man's conscience, that in a few days he loaded his waggon, 
and sent wheat enough to discharge the debt. 

A complete history of the life of this venerable man, would 
furnish still a lengthy catalogue of anecdotes of the most inte- 
resting kind. 

John James, the minister of a church of Seventh-day Bap- 
tists in London, was put to death in a most barbarous manner, 
in 1661. To take away his life was not sufficient to satisfy 
the rage of his blood-thirsty enemies; but after being hung at 
Tyburn, he was drawn and quartered ; his quarters were car- 
ried back to Newgate on the sledge, which carried him to the 
gallows; they were afterwards placed on the gates of the city, 
and his head was set on a pole opposite his meeting-house. 
This innocent man was exposed to these terrible sufferings, on 
the charge of speaking treasonable words against his Majesty's 
royal person at a private meeting, &c. Some of the treasona- 
ble words were, that the king was ' a bloody tyrant, a blood- 


sucker, a blood-thirsty man, and his nobles the same; and 
that they had shed the blood of the saints,' &c. To these 
charges, he pleaded not guilty, neither in form nor matter ; but 
had he acknowledged these charges against the infamous 
Charles II. and his bloody associates, they would have been 
the words of truth and soberness. 

But there appears to have been a malicious combination 
against this harmless man, and he was convicted upon evidence, 
which the court with all its prejudices, at first thought not 
worth regarding. It was proved afterwards, by four respecta* 
ble persons, that one Bernard Osborn confessed that he had 
sworn against Mr. James, he knew not what. His wife, by 
the advice of her friends, presented a petition to the king, stat- 
ing her husband's innocency, and the character of the witness. 
When his inexorable Majesty saw the paper endorsed, * The 
humble request of Elizabeth James,' he replied, holding up his 
finger, 4 Oh ! Mr. James — he is a sweet gentleman !' And 
when the afflicted woman followed Kim to get some further 
answer, the door was shut against her. The next morning, as 
the king entered the park, the distressed wife again entreated 
his Majesty to answer her request, and pardon her husband ; 
but, deaf to her cries, he again replied, i He is a rogue, and 
shall be hanged !' Thus the poor woman was obliged to re» 
tire, without even being heard by her pitiless sovereign. Mr. 
James went to the gallows with Christian fortitude, and finished 
his course in a joyful manner. ' If,' says Crosby, ' there was 
any undue combination against this poor man ; if it was for 
some reason of state, rather than for any real guilt on his part ; 
if his judgment and conscience, rather than any true crime t 
were the cause of his sufferings, his blood must be innocent 

Richard Jones, a native of Wales, arrived in America, and 
became the pastor of the church of Burley, Virginia, in 1727. 
R. Jones was bordering on Arminianism when he left the 
Principality; but bya letter sent from the church to the Phila- 
delphia association, signed by him and other members, we find 
they were confessing themselves to be under clouds of dark- 
ness concerning the faith ; questioning whether they were on 
the right foundation or not — that they were unsettled in their 
minds — and requesting alliance with the said association, and 
their assistance to rectify what was wrong among them. What 
was done for them, we have not ascertained. 

* Crosby, vol. 2, p. 165. Ivimey, pp. 320—327, 
t Benedict, vol. 2, pp. 130, 331, 416. 


Penyfay Church, in the county of Glamorgan, was a 
branch of Swansea. It was gathered through the instrumen- 
tality of John Miles and Lewis Thomas. In the time of per- 
secution, it was noted for its rich and respectable members. 
Colonel Prichard and Captain Evans were both members of 
this church. In 1659, Mr. Davis, Pemnaen, was high sheriff; 
his brother, deputy Sheriff; another brother, recorder of the 
county of Glamorgan ; and another brother, David Davis, 
A. M., was the minister of the judges in the county town of 
Cardiff — all belonged to the Baptist church here ; and all had 
their share of the wrath and indignation of his most gracious 
Majesty, Charles the second. But as they were great men in 
the world, they were men of great influence in the country.* 
After the death of Lewis Thomas, Morgan Jones, of Swan- 
sea, and Morgan Griffiths, of Hengoed, labored in word and 
doctrine in this region. In 1718, a gentleman in the neigh- 
borhood, made them a present of a meeting-house, where they 
meet to worship to this clay. In 1726, they were formed into 
a regular church, and Griffith Jones became their pastor. 
Thomas Jones, an elder from this church, went to America, 
in 1737. He was born in Nottais-y-Dref-newydd, in 1703. 
He had some landed property, near Mr. Price of Ty'nton, the 
father of Dr. Price, of London, who wrote the history of the 
American war. His wife was a daughter of one of the lead- 
ing members of Rhydwilim. She was from the parish of 
Manachlogddu, county of Pembroke. He became the pastor 
of the church of Tulpehokon,f Pennsylvania, and was ordained 
there in 1740. His son, Samuel Jones, was pastor of the 
church at Penepeck, whom we have mentioned already. 

After Griffith Jones, their pastor, left them, and went to 
Hengoed, the}' were a long time without a minister. At last 
they obtained Rees Jones, of Aberduar, to be their minister. 
They very unwillingly lost their late pastor, and got the other 
quite as much against the will of the church of Aberduar. 
Ministers of the gospel ought to be very cautious in these 
things. He continued but a short time with them. 

Their next pastor was Jonathan Francis, who was baptized 

* William Davis, of New Britain, Pennsylvania, was of this family, and sup- 
posed to be the rightful heir of a large estate in this region. Whether, any of 
his posterity, (if there be any,) know any thing of it, we cannot tell. The es- 
tate ought to have been in their possession since the year 1760. The increase 
from that time to the present must be great.— N. B. 110 years of quiet posses- 
sion, in England, will avail nothing, if the plaintiff is a foreigner; if not, 00 
years will cut him off. 

t Sixty miles from Philadelphia. Several of the members of this church 
went to America at this time. 


at Newcastle, (now Rehoboth,) but was at that time at Ponty- 
pool, in school, and a member at Penygarn. He was there, 
on probation, for two or three years. After they gave him a 
call to be their minister, he was for years before he gave them 
an answer. But he was ordained at Penygarn, and continued 
a member there, but supplied them and Penyfay, which was 
not considered altogether regular. The church increased but 
very little under his ministry for fifteen years. Afterwards 
there was a revival in the church for a short time, and a great 
deal of something which ought not to have been. The best of 
men are imperfect, and the best ministers can only speak to 
the outward hearing. Paul may plant, and Apollos may 
water; but it is God alone that can give the increase ; it is his 
sole prerogative to speak to the heart, so that sinners who are 
dead in trespasses and sins, may hear his voice and live. May 
he, of his infinite mercy, add to their number, of such as shall 
be eternally saved. 

Assistant Ministers. 

William Davis — went to America. 
Thomas Jones — went to America. 

William Thomas — began to preach 1740 — went to Broms- 
grove — died 1747. 

Job Davis, Senior — baptized 1730 — died 1766. 
Enoch Francis — began to preach 1770 — ordained 1776. 
Rees Davis — began to preach 1771 — went to Norwich. 
Richard Watkins — began to preach 1772. 
John Owen — began to preach 1773. 

Newbridge Church, in the county of Radnor, was formed 
about the year 1650. Thomas Evans was their first minister.* 
His eldest son joined the church, and about 1700 began to 
preach. He was ordained about 1703. His name was Caleb 
Evans. In the year 1705, he was qualified according to the 
law of the land to preach, by taking the oaths, and subscribing 
to the declarations required by the act of toleration. He kept 
a regular correspondence with Samuel Jones, and George 
Eaton, who went from the Dolau church to America. Seve* 
ral of those letters are now before me. In one of them, 
Samuel Jones writes thus : " I can truly say with the apos- 
tle, I rejoiced greatly that I found so many of your father's 
children walking in the truth. I cannot help observing the 

* See hia biography. 


goodness of God towards his people, in calling their ohildren 
to the knowledge of the truth. May the Lord grant me assist- 
ance to improve the exhortations that your father gave me. I 
well recollect how sharp, plain, and convincing his sermons 
were, and how urgent and pathetic he was in his applications. 
I also recollect what a dear brother he was to me. May the 
Lord help you to walk in your father's footsteps, and give you 
a double portion of his spirit, and bless your labors in his vine- 
yard." This letter is dated, u Pennsylvania, 1708" — twenty 
years after the death of Thomas Evans. 

In 1727, Caleb Evans became the pastor of the church, and 
John Evans, his brother, assistant. Hugh Evans, Caleb 
Evans's son, was baptized at Bristol, while he was there visit- 
ing his aunt, in 1730. He began to preach in 1781. In 
1734, he received a very pressing invitation to become the 
pastor of that church in London, which had been so long under 
the pastoral care of the celebrated William Arnold, deceased. 
But it appears that the bounds of his habitation was the city of 
Bristol. He became an assistant of Mr. Fosket, in Bristol col- 
lege, while that gentleman lived ; and after his death, he took 
the lead in the church and in the college. Caleb Evans, 
Hugh Evans's son, became an assistant to his father in Bris- 
tol.' Caleb Evans, Hugh Evans's brother, went to Bristol col- 
lege about 1735, and became a sensible and methodical preach- 
er, but he was by no means popular. He was many years at 
Usk, in the county of Monmouth, preaching and keeping school, 
until he moved to Bristol, where he followed the same employ- 
ment as long as he lived. 

Soon after the year 1739, five young men began to preach 
in this church, Thomas Davis, John Evans, Rees Evans, Rees 
Jones, and John Evans, of Masdorglwyd. Thomas Davis was 
baptized in 1738 — went to Bristol college for his education, 
and settled as pastor at Fairfax, England. Rees Evans was 
baptized in 1740. Having exercised his gifts for some time, 
he went to Bristol college in 1749; and supplied the church 
at Leominister for three years. He went from there to Salop, 
in 1753 — was ordained there, in 1754 — went from there to 
Chester — and ended his days at Tewkesbury, England, in 

John Evans was not only illiterate when he began to preach, 
but was in such poor circumstances in the world, that there 
was no hope of his ever becoming eminent. But the ways of 
God are above our ways. Though he could not be recom- 
mended to college, on account of having no preparatory educa- 
tion, vet he went to the citv of Bristol, of his own accord, and 
12 * 


by some means worked himself into the college, in 1747. He 
turned out to be a most fluent and excellent preacher. He was 
ordained over the church of Foxton, Leicestershire, England, 
1750. He married a pious woman, of a very respectable 
family, with whom he obtained no small portion of the things 
of this world, which, in addition to other advantages, under 
the blessing of God, was much in his favor. 

John Evans, of Masdorglwyd, became the pastor of the 
church here — was ordained in 1744. He was a learned man, 
brought up in Bristol college, but he was unhealthy. He soon 
finished his labors, being happy and comfortable in his mind, 
in 1775. 

Rees Evans married a daughter of Howel Meredith, of 
Trail wm. He lived with his father-in-law, and was the means 
of raising a Baptist interest in that region. 

Peter Evans was a grandson of old Caleb Evans, the second 
pastor of this church, and a great-grand-son of Thomas Evans, 
the first pastor of the church, and a brother to Hugh and Caleb 
Evans, mentioned above. He began to preach in 1750 — went 
to Bristol college in 1751 — settled at Yeovil, England — died in 

John Evans, a brother to Peter Evans, of Yeovil, became an 
assistant to his father at home. 

Caleb Evans, A. M., was brought up by his uncle, Hugh 
Evans, tutor of Bristol college — his father having died when he 
was young. He finished his education at Aberdeen, Scotland. 
He was born in the parish of Llanafonfawr, in the county of 
Brecon, South Wales, in 1743. He went to America, and seU 
tied at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1768, and died in 1772. 
Though he was a good young man, yet his ministry was not 
so acceptable in Wales, as was desirable,* 

Morgan Evans began to preach in 1756. He was an ac- 
ceptable preacher, though not very gifted. He was a good, 
solid, and substantial minister. 

Isaac Jones, the only son of Rees Jones, of Trallwn, began 
to preach about 1771, He had a very liberal education, and 
settled at Lynn, Suffolk, England. The meeting-house was 
built in 1760. 

* Our Welsh historians give no reason for his ministry not being accepta- 
ble. We believe that it was on account of his sentiments. See Benedict's 
History of Charleston, South Carolina. 


Newbridge Ministers* 

Thomas Evans— died 1688. 

Caleb Evans— died 1739 

His sons. , John Evans _ died 1748 . 

His grand- 


" Hugh Evans, A. M. — went to Bristol. 

Caleb Evans — went to Bristol. 

sons. «J Peter Evans — went to Yeovil — died 1771, 

[John Evans. 

jr. : £ Caleb Evans, A. M. — went to Bristol. 

§ c < Caleb Evans, A. M. — went to America — ■ 
grand-sons. ^ died m2 ' 

Thomas Davis — rwent to Fairfod, England. 
John Evans — died 1775. 
Rees Evans — went to Trallwn. 
Morgan Evans — went to Trallwn, 
Isaac Jones — went to Lynn. 

John Williams, of Welsh extraction, was born in the county 
of Hanover, in the year 1747. He was of a very respectable 
family, and received a tolerable education. In the month of 
June, 1769, when acting as a sheriff of Lunenburg, he was 
awakened to know and to feel his sin and his danger. He be- 
came a convert; and shortly after, lifted up his voice to ex- 
hort his fellow men to flee from the wrath to come. He was 
. not baptized until the first Sunday in February, 1770. He 
continued to exhort, until some time the following summer ; 
when he ventured to take a text ; and from that time com- 
menced preacher. December, 1772, he was ordained to the 
ministry, and took the care of Mehcrrin church. His gifts, at 
first, were far from being auspicious. Many pronounced that 
he would never be a preacher : so delusory are the first efforts 
of the mind. 

He not only succeeded in becoming a preacher, but in be-, 
coming a first-rate preacher, at least, in the estimation of most 
of his acquaintances. 

He was exceedingly fond of reading and writing ; and, in- 
deed, was generally studious : by which means, he greatly 
improved his mind. 

When he first commenced preacher, he was zealous, active, 
and laborious in the ministry ; travelling and propagating the 
gospel in different parts. He may well be numbered among 
the fathers in Israel. His talent, however, was not employed 
$q much in breaking down the bars of prejudice in new anc} 


unenlightened places, as in directing and regulating the young 
converts, when gathered by others. Pleasing, affable, and 
refined in his manners, he had a hand to smooth off some of 
those protuberances left by rougher workmen. In associa- 
tions he was expert with his pen, as well as wise to offer coun- 
sel. He acted as clerk to the general association ; and when 
they divided the association into districts, a unanimous vote of 
thanks was offered to Mr. Williams, for his faithful and skilful 
services as clerk of the association. He also discharged the 
duties of clerk to the Roanoke association, until a little time 
previous to his death. He introduced several excellent regula- 
tions, both into the general and Roanoke associations, for the 
government of churches, &c. Few men understood church 
discipline better, or were more successful in building up large 
respectable churches wherever he attended. For many years 
he acted as pastor to four churches, whom he attended monthly. 
He was in high estimation both as a man and a minister. 
Even the enemies of the Baptists, would often except Mr. Wil- 
liams from their reproaches. In his temper towards those of 
other religious persuasions, he was remarkably liberal. In- 
deed, by some of his acquaintances it is said, that he was 
friendly to open communion ; but that he was restrained from 
putting it into practice, by his tenderness for his brethren, 
most of whom differed from him on this head. This liberality 
of spirit did not prevent him fron* maintaining his own princi- 
ples with great firmness, whenever an occasion offered. It 
was such an occasion as this, which drew forth his reply to 
Mr. Patilloe's* sermon on infant baptism. He committed his 
arguments to writing, with an intention of printing them in the 
form of a pamphlet; but as nothing came out on the other 
side, and- as so much had been already published on that sub- 
ject, it was not put to press. 

In his preface he makes the following remark : 
" I hope I have sufficiently demonstrated to my country- 
men, for a series of years, that I am not overbearing on others, 
or bigoted to my own principles- which are not essential to sal- 
vation ; but have uniformly endeavored to promote a catholic 
spirit, with peace and concord, in the Israel of God. But, ne- 
vertheless, I am set for the defence of the gospel ; and as such, 
circumstances often occur, that involuntarily lead me forth to 
contend for the faith and order of Christ's church." 

He was o-enerally upon the best terms with the Presbyter^, 
ans ; who were pretty numerous in his neighborhood. 

* A cclibratcd Presbyterian preacher. 


His talents, if not equal to any, were certainly very littlo 
inferior to those of the first grade. 

His. appearance in the pulpit was noble and majestic, yet 
humble and affectionate. In the beginning of his discourses, 
he was doctrinal and somewhat methodical : often very deep, 
even to the astonishment of his hearers. Towards the close, 
and, indeed, sometimes throughout his sermon, he was exceed- 
ingly animating. His exhortations were often incomparable. 
At an early period, he became very corpulent. At an associa- 
tion, in the year 1793, he accidentally fell by the turning of a 
step, as he was passing out of a door, and became, for a year 
or two, a cripple; being under the necessity of going on 
crutches. Notwithstanding this, he would still go in a car- 
riage to the meetings, and preach sitting in a chair in the pul- 
pit. During several of the last years of his life, he was 
afflicted with a very painful disease. Under his severe suffer- 
ing, he was not only patient, but, when he could have any 
mitigation of his pain, he was also cheerful. About ten days 
before his death, he was attacked by a pleurisy ; from which, 
no medicine could give him relief. His work was finished ; 
and his Master had called for him. On the 30th day of April, 

Nothing very remarkable transpired at his death. He was 
pensive and silent. He told his wife, that to live or die was to 
him indifferent : he had committed this to God, who, he knew, 
would do right. He said he felt some anxiety for his numer- 
ous family ; but that these also, he was willing to trust in the 
hands of a gracious Providence. 

January, 1768, he was married to Miss Frances Hughes, of 
Powhatan county ; by whom he had fourteen children ; of 
whom eleven were living, at the time of his death : and of 
these, four professed religion, and were baptized. 

Penygarn Church, in the county of Monmouth. The 
history of this church might be called a continuation of Llan- 
trisaint. When their old meeting-house fell, it was never re- 
built, and as there was a new meeting-house built at Penygarn, 
and several members of different churches living in that region, 
they all joined together in one church, and ever since went by 
the name of Penygarn. However, this church might have 
been organized before the Llantrisaint members joined them. 
Much preaching has been in this neighborhood for near one 
hundred years before this time — by William Jones, William 
Thomas, Robert Morgan, William Prichard, Christopher Price, 
Abel Morgan, Joshua James, Timothy Lewis, William Mere. 


dith, William Philips, John Harris, Morgan Williams, Morgan 
Griffiths, Thomas Quarrel, and others. They began to build 
the meeting-house in 1727. It was three years in building. 
What was the reason of that we have not been informed. Two 
years after, they were regularly formed. Miles Harris, of 
Blaenaugwent, became their pastor, in the month of May, 1732. 
John Harris, of Blaenau, preached on the occasion. Thero 
were about two hundred members, and there was a gradual in* 
crease for many years, until 1747, when twenty-five members 
were dismissed to form a new church at Bethesda. In 1771, 
several were dismissed to form a new church at Carleoru 
Many were dismissed to form a new church at Usk, and a 
great many of their members went to America at that time ; 
and some unpleasant things crept in among them, so that 
their number became less. But, however, these difficulties 
soon vanished away, like the morning dew before the heat of 
the sun, and this church became noted for brotherly love and 

Miles Harris was a very useful and acceptable preacher. 
He labored much in different places about Penygarn — such as, 
Pontypool, Blaenafon, Rhisga, Glasgoed, and Goedtre. He 
held regular meetings in those places, as well as at home, as 
long as he lived. He preached at Penygarn the last Sabbath 
he was upon earth. He was baptized at Blaenaugwent, on the 
1st of April, 1724. He was the first who was baptized in that 
great revival at Blaenaugwent. Soon after he began to preach 
he was ordained on the 29th of November, 1729 — took the 
pastoral care of the church at Penygarn, in 1732 — and died 
in 1776. He kept up a regular correspondence with several 
in America. 

David Jones was their second pastor. He had been preach- 
ing in the church as an assistant for many years before. He 
was a great revivalist — quite an eccentric character, bordering 
on enthusiasm. The whole of his design in preaching seemed 
to be, to work on the passions of his hearers — at which he was 
a complete master. ■ He could make a congregation of fifteen 
hundred people, laugh and weep in two or three minutes. He 
was very popular, notwithstanding many people did not lik© 

Assistant Ministers. 

Benjamin Vaughan — went to Chesham— turned a Sandema- 

Thomas Rogers^-went to Bristol in 1730, and died soon 


Joshua Andrews — took charge of Olchon in 1745> 
Morgan Edwards.* 
Jonathan Francis — went to Penyfay* 
Evan Jenkins — went to Wrexham* 
Henry Philips — went to Salishury. 
Daniel Thomas — went to Henley — died 176d. 
James Drewett — went to Honiton — died 1770. 
Thomas Lewis — went to Exeter — died 1774. 
Charles Harris — went to Bridgewater — died 1775. 
* Thomas Philips — went to Carleon. 
Miles Edwards — -went to the Werm. 

Moleston Church, in the county of Pembroke. Griffith 
Howell was the first that was baptized in this region, by Wil- 
liam Jones, in 1667. He lived at a place called Rushacre, in 
the parish of Narberth, where the church of Rhydwilim met 
for upwards of forty years. 

About 1727, they began to preach at a place called Moles- 
ton, about two miles below the town, on the premises of Mr. 
George. The inhabitants of these parts, speaking the English 
language,f and being far from Rhydwilim, they formed them- 
selves into a regular church, in 1730 ; having been a branch 
of Rhydwilim for many years. 

Their first minister was Griffith Williams, one of the mem- 
bers of the church, who had been preaching among them for 
some time. He was baptized at Rhydwilim, in 1714, and be- 
gan to preach about 1725; but in 1733, their minister and 
deacons died, and this, new church was left in a deplorable 
state. But, by divine assistance, one of their own sons took 
them by the hand, and taught them the way in which they 
should walk. His name was Evan Thomas, who was bap- 
tized in 1731, and ordained on the 4th of September, 1736. 
Enoch Francis, Miles Harris, and other ministers officiated. 
Evan Thomas served them faithfully in the work of the minis- 
try, for many years. His conduct was exemplary, and hi» 
preaching truly evangelical and sweet. 

In 1763, this church built themselves a meeting-house, about 
two miles from the town of Narberth. 

* See his biography. 

t In 1111, some part of Flanders being overflowed by water, many of the 
inhabitants came over to England. The king of England sent them, and 
some Englishmen with them, to settle in any part of Wales they could. 
They took possession of the lower part of Pembrokeshire. They speak what 
•hey call English ; and their posterity have been residing there ever since. 


Assistant Ministers* 

David Evans — baptized 1734 — began to preach 1736. He 
went to Hooknorton — thence to Ireland' — thence to Newport- 
pagnel — thence to Biggleswade. 

David Jones — baptized 1753 — went to Wrexham, and after- 
wards became an itinerant. 

Samuel Griffiths— began to preach 1761 — went to Bristol — 
died 1765. 

Stephen Arley. 
George Thomas. 
David Davis. 

Llanelly Church, in the county of Carmarthen. There 
were some Baptists in, and about this town, before the year 
1640. How long before that time, we cannot tell. In 1653, 
they used to meet to worship at the lower Mill in the town. 
They had two preachers at that time, of the names of Meredith 
and Prosser.* As for Meredith, we know not what became of 
him in the persecution. It is supposed that he went to Ame- 
rica ; but we have heard nothing of him since. The members 
residing in this country then, belonged to the church at Swan- 
sea, under the pastoral care of John Miles. In the time of 
persecution, the meeting was held chiefly at the Alltfawr, 
Llanon parish. Preaching was also held at Gelly'r-cnyw, and 
other places, until they built a meeting-house, within a mile of 
Llanelly, called Felynfoel, in 1709. Anthony Mathews, Simon 
Mathews, and Simon Butler, members of the Swansea church, 
living at Llanelly, went to America. 

This church was constituted, or re-organized, in 1735. It 
had been a branch of Swansea for many years. 

David Owens was their first pastor, as far as we know, who 
had been preaching among them about ten years before. He 
was ordained some time before he became the pastor of the 
church. He was a very acceptable preacher, and provided 
well for the church, and for his family, and died 1765. 

John Morgan, the son of Robert Morgan, was a learned man, 
very gifted and popular. He received a call to go to Warwick, 
England, and about a week after he arrived there, he died, in 
1703, aged twenty-four. 

Soon after the church was regularly formed, Evan Thomas 
began to preach, and went to Bristol college. He went from 

* See Proseer*B biography. 


that place to Warwick, in 1742 — thence to Birmingham, in 
1743 — theace to Trowbridge, where the Lord blessed his la- 
bors abundantly for a short time. He removed from there to 
Bridgewater, in 1746 ; and was ordained there, in 1749. At 
Bridgewater he finished his labors, in the month of August, 

About this time, David Morgan began to preach. He was a 
good, substantial preacher, for the building up of Zion; but his 
principal talent was, to regulate and maintain the discipline of 
the church. In that respect he was very useful, though his gifts 
as a preacher were but small. While they were talking about 
ordaining him, the Lord called him home to his eternal rest, 
in 1748. 

Morgan J. Rees and John Duckfield, began to preach in 
1744. They were both ordained at the same time, in 1761. 
John Duckfield died in 1766. Morgan J. Rees was left alone, 
and the church was so large, and the places of worship so nu- 
merous, that it was impossible for one man to serve them.* 
But it was not long before God was pleased to raise up two of 
their members to assist in the ministry — William Hughes and 
David Owens. William Hughes was ordained as an assistant 
to Morgan J. Rees, in 1774. 

Samson Davis, also, who had been a preacher of the Pres- 
byterian order, was baptized and became a member of this 
church about this time, and often preached here and at Swan- 
sea and Llangafelach. 

Respecting Robert Morgan and Morgan Jones, see bio- 
graphy, and the history of the churches of Swansea and Hen- 

Aberduar Church, Carmarthenshire. There were seve- 
ral Baptists in these parts, soon after the Reformation, brought 
to the knowledge of the truth, through the instrumentality of 
that eminent man and faithful minister of Jesus Christ, Vava- 
sor Powel. Though not formed into regular churches, they 
were called Powel's congregations ; so that the Welsh people 
of this region, at that period, could say, that though they had 
many ministers, yet they had not many fathers. To cut down 
the timber was his work — the building of houses he left for 
other men. Had the builders made use of all the good mate- 
rials in his time, there would have been many more churches ; 
but he went forward so rapidly in the chopping work, that they 
could not keep up with him. There were hundreds and thou- 

* See Morgan John Reee'e biography. 


sands of sinners, in different parts, converted to God, without 
any form or order whatever. He had a great many congre- 
gations, each consisting of five or six hundred people, who 
were brought to the knowledge of the truth. 

But the most excellent men have their deficiencies. The 
most perfect men on earth have their imperfections. As he 
was an advocate of mixed communion, he paid but very little 
attention to the form and order of the house of God. These 
things, in addition to the want of time to regulate matters, are 
the only reasons that can be given for so many large and nu- 
merous congregations being in some parts, where there was 
not a church. After all, it is probable, that the good, the 
great, and worthy man, Vavasor Powel, intended to return to 
bind up and gather his sheaves, after he had done reaping a 
certain quantity, but the infernal demon of persecution com- 
menced a most furious and violent hurricane, and made a most 
dreadful havoc on the field of his labors, before the grain which 
he had cut down was bound up and gathered together. 

Once as Vavasor Powel was preaching in this region, in the 
open air, on a large meadow, the agents of Lucifer hearing of 
it, crave out their appointments to be there that day kicking 
loot-ball ; and they were faithful to their engagement. There 
were two large congregations in the field. A young man, a 
gentleman's son, a leader in the foot-ball party, who had just 
finished his education abroad and lately returned home, thought 
that he must do some exploits on that day* He fixed on a 
plan, to run the ball among the congregation, and to kick it 
into the minister's face ; and being an exceedingly fast runner, 
he seemed to succeed in putting his plan into execution, had it 
not been for some cross fellow, who tripped up his heels, so 
that he fell and broke his thigh in a dreadful manner. But 
that was not all ; for God was pleased to break his heart, by 
the operation of his Spirit, in his conviction and conversion. 
The strong man armed was cast out, and his house spoiled by- 
one mightier than he. The blasphemer became a praying 
character on the green meadow, and an exhorter of the thought- 
less crowd to flee from the wrath to come. He sent for the 
minister, and made a public confession of his evil designs, and 
requested him to come home with him ; which, also, he did. 
Through the mercy and goodness of God, the young man re- 
covered, made a profession of religion, and became a preacher 
of the gospel ; and endured his part through the whole perse- 
cution, which commenced soon after his conversion. 

About the year 1720, Enoch Francis baptized a great many 
in these parts. Some time after, one of the inhabitants, Tho- 


mas David Evans, began to publish salvation free in Jesus' 
name, and sinners nocked to the house of God, as doves to 
their respective windows. 

Enoch Francis, at this time, was living at Capel-Iago ; but 
after he moved to Newcastle, the meeting was held at a farm- 
house, called Aberduar, where Evan Saunders lived. 

About this time, T. D. Evans began to preach at Bwlchy- 
rhyw. He had a long mountainous road to go, but he con- 
tinued going there once a month, for some years, apparently 
to no purpose — there being very few hearers. Often he made 
use of these words in his prayers : " Though we have toiled 
all the night, and have taken nothing, nevertheless, at thy 
word we will let down the net." At last, he gave them his 
farewell sermon, from Matt. 23:38, 39 — " Behold your house 
is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see 
me henceforth, until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in 
the name of the Lord." He closed the meeting, and gave out 
no appointment. This was in 1737. Some time after, as he 
was returning from Radnorshire, by the house, he found that 
there was a young woman, of the name of Harris, keeping 
school in it. He turned in, and in the course of their conver- 
sation, she requested him to come and preach there once more. 
He told her he would. At the time appointed, there was a 
very large and attentive congregation. He visited them twice 
in the month, and in a short time, a great many submitted to 
the ordinance of baptism. The first who was baptized was the 
father of J. Thomas, of Leominister. Enoch Francis, though 
he was so much engaged in the revival in other parts of the 
church, attended to administer the ordinances. But in the heat 
of this revival, he died. The Lord carried on the .work, not- 
withstanding his death was a great loss to them, and to thou- 
sands more in other parts. Most wonderful was the mourning 
and lamentation after that man. 

Evan Saunders, of Aberduar, was a deacon of the church, 
and a most excellent, wise, and prudent man — well qualified 
for that office. Immediately after the death of Enoch Francis, 
he began to preach, but in the course of two years he died 
also ; so that we might say, that, in a certain sense, the church 
suffered a greater loss in consequence of his death, than that of 
Enoch Francis. 

On the day that Enoch Francis died, being from home, 
Timothy Thomas began to preach at home, at the age of 
nineteen. He was a very acceptable preacher, and, in the 
opinion of many, capable to fill up the place of their late pas- 


tor. John Thomas began to preach soon afterwards, and was 
well received as a worthy minister of Jesus Christ. 

The church of Aberduar, which was a branch of Newcastle 
and Panteg, now Rehoboth, was regularly formed as a sepa- 
rate church, in 1742. This was an infant grown-up church, 
on the day it was constituted. There were four branches be- 
longing to it — that is, Penycoed, Argoed, Bethel, and Bwlchy- 
rhyw. Bethel meeting-house had been built, the year before 
this friendly separation took place. 

In 1743, Timothy Thomas and John Thomas were ordained 
— both of them the same day. 

Towards the latter end of the year 1743, Joshua Thomas, a 
brother of Timothy Thomas, and the author of the History of 
the Welsh Baptists, began to preach. Though he was bap- 
tized at, and was an original member of, Leominister, in the 
county of Hereford, England; yet he was at home, at his 
father's house, when he began to preach. He preached his 
first sermon at the request of the church at Penycoed — the 
branch above named — from Rev. 3:2 : " Be watchful, and 
strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for 
I have not found thy works perfect before God." He con- 
tinued preaching there, untill 174S, when he removed to the 
Hay to live, and was received by letter, a member of the 
church of Maesyberllan. He labored there and at Olchon 
with acceptance, until the year 1754, when he returned to 
Leominister, and became the pastor of the church there. He 
was highly esteemed, and well provided for, all the days of his 

His son, Timothy Thomas, was born in Wales — became a 
member of the Baptist church in London — received his educa- 
tion in" Bristol college — and became the pastor of the Baptist 
church at Devonshire Square, London. 

Moses Davis received his education in London, under the 
tuition of Dr. Jennings and Dr. Savage. He married a young 
woman of very respectable family, in Essex. He lived with 
her parents, but did not take the charge of any church. He 
preached considerably in various places, until he died, in 1765. 

In 1758, John Thomas, before-mentioned, left here, and be- 
came the pastor of the church of Maesyberllan. 

At the same time, William James began to preach in this 
church, but soon left it and joined the Presbyterians. 

In 1761, the meeting-house at Aberduar was built, and a 
great revival commenced. Between sixty and seventy were 
added to them in a short time. 


Zechariah Thomas began to preach in the church of New- 
castle, now Rehoboth, in 1757. He was invited to assist his 
brother Timothy in 1762, when he moved from Newcastle to 
his native place. 

Samuol Evans began to preach in 1763. Having received 
his education at Bristol, and supplied various places in Eng- 
land, he settled at Downton, England. 

David Saunders began to preach in 1764. 
Soon after, David Davis began to preach. He was brought 
up for the church of England. 

Zechariah Thomas, David Saunders, and David Davis, were 
ordained on the same day, in 1771. 

This church has four good meeting-houses : 
Penycoed, built in 1735. 
Bethel, built in 1741. 
Bwlchyrhyw, built in 1748. 
Aberduar, built in 1761. 
They administer the ordinances, in regular rotation, once a 
month, in each of them. 

Usk Church, in the county of Monmouth, was a branch 
of Llantrisaint, was formed into a regular church about 1654; 
and therefore had its part of the persecution which com- 
menced in 1660. 

Thomas Quarrel was their first minister.* After the death 
of T. Quarrel, Nathaniel Morgan, an assistant preacher, sup- 
plied this church. He was a pious, gifted, and wealthy man. 
He was a hospitable, liberal, and useful man, in the church 
and in the world. Joseph Stennett, D. D., married one of his 
daughters. Samuel Stennett, D. D., was a grandson of this 
good Welshman. 

Nathaniel Morgan bequeathed the sum of five pounds per 
annum, for the support of the gospel in this place. He died in 
sure hope of the resurrection of the just, on the 21st of No* 
vember, 1722, aged 71 years. 

Some time after, Caleb Evans and several other ministers, 
supplied them ; so that they had regular preaching in the 
town, and at Caerfawr in the country ; but the cause was 
growing weaker and weaker. By this time the inhabitants of 
this part of the vale of Carleon, whose forefathers had been so 
noted for religion in past ages, became careless, indifFerent, and 
extremely ignorant; and what was still more wonderful, they 
were great zealots for the establishment. 

* See ha biography 
13 * « 



In 1755, Edmund Watkins, the pastor of the church at Bla- 
enau, moved to this region to live. He preached to them as 
often as he could, but very few came to hear him. He felt 
much for them, and often poured out his soul with tears before 
God, on their behalf. He exhorted and admonished them per- 
sonally, to flee from the wrath to come. They considered him 
as a good citizen, and a good meaning man, but pitied his ig- 
norance very much. Thus continued the state of things here, 
for the space of fifteen years after Edmund Watkins came 
among them. But in 1770, a revival commenced, and a great 
many were added unto them, which so enraged certain indivi- 
duals, that they were likely to lose their meeting-house in the 
town, for whieh they had no titlQ. However, Edmund Wat- 
kins witk some difficulty bought the house and paid for it. 
The old house at the Garfawr was also enlarged by E. Wat- 
kins. Though he was the pastor of Blaenaugwent, yet as he 
lived in this part, he was really a father to this church for 
many years. Other ministers supply them, so that they have 
preaching every Lord's day, or some part of the day, in both 
places ; and the ordinance of the Lord's supper administered 
every month, in one of the places, in regular rotation. 

Llanglophan Church, in the county of Pembroke, was a 
strong branch of Rhydwilim for many years. About 1690, 
the preaching was held at Trefbwrnallt, in the parish of Cas- 
tlehaidd. It was afterwards moved to Castlemorris, in the 
parish of Mathri, to the house of William Garnon, the father of 
the famous Daniel Garnon, minister of the gospel. About 1705, 
the press-gang was very troublesome in this country, and par- 
ticularly to religious people. They would take any young 
man from the meeting, and send him to the army. It is asto- 
nishing to think of all the stratagems and schemes invented by 
the prince of darkness, to hinder the rapid increase of Imma- 
nuel's kingdom. 

The meeting-house at Llanglophan was built about the year 
1706. The church and congregation increased most wonder- 
fully, and soon became very strong, wealthy, and libera!. 
They were regularly formed into a church in 1744. Their 
first minister was David Richards, one of the original constitu- 
ents of the church, who had been preaching among them nearly 
thirty years before. He was a very skilful man in managing 
the discipline of the church ; and was well respected by the 
congregation and the world in general, although he was but a 
poor man. He was well versed in Scripture — a warm and 
lively preacher — very ready to give an answer to any man. 


He was such a strong advocate for believers' baptism, that 
some of his friends thought that he was sometimes too strict 
and severe. His answer to such was, that to bear testimony 
for the truth afforded him peace of conscience. He was very 
comfortable in his soul in his last illness, under the considera- 
tion of his interest in Christ through the free grace of God, and 
the nearness of that eternal glory to which he was hastening,. 
He finished his race with joy, in 1749. 

After the death of their pastor, they were not left des- 
titute, for they had three good preachers — Daniel Garnon, 
David Lewis, and Evan Davis: these three were ordained at 
the same time — the same year their late pastor, David Rich- 
ards, died. By this time, they were rich, numerous, and pros- 
perous. There was another very promising young preacher 
among them, by the name of Henry Morgans. He was edu- 
cated in Bristol college, and returned home, but soon died, in 
1747, aged twenty-seven years. 

About 1745, three young men began to preach — John Wil- 
liams, George Rees, and David Thomas. By this time, they 
had six preachers, of no small talents, who were constantly 
employed in the work of the ministry, in every direction, all 
around, far and near, like an army with banners ; and Jesus, 
the Captain of their salvation, was their Leader. No wonder 
that almost the whole region are Baptists. 

In 1751, Evan Davis took the pastoral care of the church at 
Bethesda, Monmouthshire, 

In 1758, John Williams, George Rees, and David Thomas, 
were ordained. In 1756, they built another meeting-house, 
called Middlemill, near St. David's. About this time, Davii 
Thomas went to Rhydwilim.* David Garnon also went to 
Ebenezer. He was born in 1702 — baptized when he was six- 
teen years old — and began to preach at the age of eighteen. 
In 1776, they built another meeting-house at Fishguard. Re- 
specting George Rees, see Rhydwilim. At the same time, 
Thomas Lewis and William Evans began to preach. Before 
the branches of this church were formed into distinct churches, 
the number of members was one thousand. 

Bethesda Church, in the county of Monmouth. About 
1700, there was regular Baptist preaching at Cas-bach, by the 
ministers of Llanwenarth, Hengoed, and Blaenaugwent. Se- 
veral were baptized, and they had the ordinance of the Lord's 

* See history of Rhydwilim. 


supper administered every month, by those ministers, in regu- 
lar rotation. 

After them, Miles Harris of Penygarn, labored much, and 
baptized many in this region. Griffith Jones, also, was very 
useful here in his time. In 1742, they built a meeting-house, 
and called it Bethesda; but it is now known by the name of 
Baselic, from the name of the parish in which it is built — 
notwithstanding the proper name is St. Bazil. It is about four 
or five miles from Cas-bach, where the preaching was held at 
first. William Philips, one of the members, preached occa- 
sionally to them at this time. And Rees Jones, who moved 
from Aberduar to Penyfay, and married a widow who held a 
farm called Ty'n-y-pwll, settled in this part. But, in a short 
time, both of them were found guilty of something that was 
not becoming the gospel of Christ. 

On the third day of February, 1747, they were formed into 
a church — consisting of twenty-six members from Penygarn ; 
twenty-one from Hengoed ; and thirty baptized lately in this- 
reo-ion — .-i n the whole, seventy-seven: but they were a long 
time after this, before they had a minister of their own. 

At last they obtained David Evans, of Llanglophan, in the 
county of Pembroke, who settled w r ith them in the month of 
August, 1751. Edmund Watkins preached on the occasion, 
from 1 Thess. 5:12,13 — "And we beseech you, brethren, to 
know them which labor among you, and are over you in the 
Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem them highly in love 
for their work's sake." 

He was a godly, laborious, and diligent man, in the minis- 
try, but not very successful. 

Craigfargoed Church, in the county of Glamorgan. In 
1750, Charles Winter, and twenty-four members of the church 
at Hengoed, imbibing the sentiments of the general Baptists, 
left that church, and built a new T meeting-house, of the above 
name, within four miles of the former house. C. Winter 
preached and administered the ordinances to them, until he 
died in 1773, aged seventy-three. He was baptized in 1726 
— ordained about 1738. He was a pious and intelligent man, 
of a mild, easy, and peaceable disposition. 

Thomas Williams was an assistant preacher in the church 
for a short time. Morgan Thomas, from Newcastle, was an 
assistant, and died in 1774. 

After the death of these ministers, the particular Baptist 
ministers were invited to supply them, but they refused to ad-. 


minister the ordinance to them, on account of the difference in 

In 1777, one of the members of the church, who had been 
regularly called to the ministry among them, and educated in 
Carmarthen college, was ordained. His name was Jacob 
Isaac. He was a good preacher, and a man of good moral 
character; but notwithstanding all this, the congregation is 
very small,. and very few added to the church. It appears 
that Arminianism cannot agree with the soil of this Princi- 

Glynceiriog Church, North Wales. About the year 
1700, there were several Friends, (the people called Quakers,) 
about Newbridge, in this region. They built a meeting-house, 
and called it the Cefn. However, as they decreased in num- 
ber, they let the Baptists have the house in 1715. The Bap- 
tists met in the house for many years, for prayer, reading, and 
religious conversation, having no minister to preach to them. 
In 1740, they invited Evan Jenkins, of Wrexham, to preach 
to the Cefn, which he did occasionally as long as he lived. 

David Jones, his successor, at Wrexham, often preached at 
the Cefn. Some of the people from the Glynceiriog, having 
heard him preaching at the Cefn, invited him to preach in 
their neighborhood, which was as dark and ignorant, in divine 
things, as the regions of Asia or Africa. But out of curiosity 
many of them came to hear, and some of them were converted 
to God and yielded obedience to his commands. In 1758, 
several were baptized, and the work of the Lord prospered. 
A great revival commenced. Forty-eight were added to them 
by baptism, in a short time. The whole region seemed to be 
in a sort of fermentation. Some were converted — some were 
convinced — some were alarmed, and others enraged — and 
some were determined to put a stop to these things. Those 
who would not go to church were put into the Bishop's court ; 
but, to their great surprise, when Dr. Drummond, bishop of 
St. Asaph, came through on his visitation, he told them to let 
the Baptists alone to worship God according to the dictates of 
their own consciences; and charged them not to disturb them. 
This, in a measure, put an end to that sort of persecution ; but 
as yet there was no peace : The sword of the father was 
against the son, and the son against the father; the mother 
was against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. 
Several instances occurred, of parents having turned their chil- 
dren out of doors, because they made a profession of the reli- 
gion of Christ. At that time, the law required that every 


house for religious worship should be licensed, but some of the 
great men in the neighborhood were determined to refuse them 
a license, and had done so repeatedly, until they sent to Lon- 
don to ask the aid of the Society for the Protection of Religious 
Liberty. The consequence was, that the license was immedi- 
ately granted, and the Baptists were no more persecuted, but 
much respected by the greatest men in the land. In 1761, 
they built a meeting-house, which was opened in August, 1762. 
In 1764, they were constituted a church ; for they had been 
a branch of Wrexham before that time. 

John Hughes, a member of the church, was their first pas- 
tor. He was baptized in 1765, began to preach in 1768, and 
was ordained in 1770. In the same year, he baptized his 
brother-in-law, Maurice Jones, who had been preaching in the 
Calvinistic Methodist Connection for some time. However, 
he soon removed from there to Blaenaugwent ; and some time 
after, John Hughes left them, and settled at Brassey Green, 

About this time, Edward Jones, brother to Maurice Jones, 
began to preach — and they are supplied by other ministers. 
They break bread at Glynceiriog and Cefn-bychan, every 
other month. 

Ebenezee, in the county of Pembroke. In 1766, there 
was a dispute in the church of Cilfowyr, about laying on of 
hands on the baptized ; and though it was considered by the 
association, no bar of communion, yet it was the cause of the 
beginning of the church at Ebenezer, as they were not for it 
they had their dismission from Cilfowyr, and formed them- 
selves into a church in 1767. 

John Richards, one of their original constituents, was their 
Pastor — William Williams and Thomas Henry, assistants. 
Soon after this separation, William Williams was ordained, 
and many were added unto them. In 1768, they built a 
meeting-house, and had the pleasure of administering the ordi- 
nances of baptism and the Lord's supper, on the day it was 
opened. The same year, their aged pastor, John Richards, 
died. He began to preach with the Presbyterians at Llechryd. 
He was a good preacher, but always shut his eyes in preach- 
ing as well as praying, He was baptized at Cilfowyr in 1714, 
and ordained at the same place in 1743. Though he was not 
popular, yet his gifts and talents were well calculated to edify 
the saints. He died in a good old age, and in full assurance 
of eternal bliss, through Jesus Christ. He was buried at Cil- 
fowyr. The following epitaph is on his tomb-stone : 


M Underneath, lieth what was mortal of the Rev. John Rich- 
ards, who began in the ministry of the gospel about 1713, had 
a share in the pastoral at Cilfowyr for many years, and was 
the first pastor at Ebenezer — in which charge he finished his 
course June 27th, 1768, aged 79." 

He gathered materials for the history of the Baptists in three 
counties in Wales— Carmarthan, Pembroke, and Cardigan — 
some years before his death. 

About this time, Daniel Garnon removed from this place to 
Llanglophan, and became an assistant in that church, until he 
died, on the 18th of February, 1777, aged 75 years. 

Thomas Lewis and Benjamin Davis began to preach in this 
place, about this time. Both of them went to Bristol college, 
and settled at Bridgewater, England. 

In 1775, this church built a large meeting-house in the town 
of Cardigan. 

William Williams was their second pastor. He was a no- 
bleman of considerable landed property, and a magistrate of 
the Quorum. As such, he acted in three counties — Carmar- 
then, Pembroke, and Cardigan. He was the only dissenting 
minister, as far as we know, that ever was thus honored, in 
that country. His church and congregation were also rich and 
very respectable, although there were many poor members 
among them, to whom he was very liberal. However, he 
taught the church a bad habit. Instead of receiving some 
money from them, at every church meeting, he always took 
out his purse, and laid it on the table, and then divided the 
contents among those that were considered worthy of having; 
assistance. When this church was obliged to act, after his 
death, it was a difficult work with them at first. William 
Williams was truly a good and pious man, much respected by 
the poor, and both respected and dreaded by. the richest men 
in this region : so well qualified was he as a justice of the 
peace — so well acquainted with the law of the land — and so 
majestic was he in his appearance on the bench in court, that 
he was never contradicted. In the house of God, however, he 
was quite another man. Here he looked more like the crimi- 
nal than the judge — so free and affable, so meek and humble 
was he, that every one of his flock loved him dearly, and there 
was nothing more dreadful to the feelings of any one guilty of 
a crime, than the thought, that Williams of Cardigan would bo 
there. Oh ! how could he bear to look at him. 

Taberxacle Church, in the town of Carmarthen, belong- 
ed to the Welsh Baptist association, held at Abergavenny on 


the 1 4th and 1 5th days of May, in 1 653. How long before that 
time it had existed and belonged to that association, we do not 
know. William Thomas was appointed to preach there every 
third Sunday.* In the association held at Aberafon, within 
the bounds of Swansea church, in 1653, the following minis- 
ters were appointed to preach at Carmarthen, in regular rota- 
tion, throughout the year; William Prichard, William Thomas, 
Thomas Joseph, John Miles, Howel Thomas, David Davis, 
Walter Prosser, Thomas Jones, and Morgan Jones. 

Robert Morgan was a member and a preacher in this church.f 
On the restoration of Charles the second, many of the members 
of this church were imprisoned, and most dreadfully persecuted 
in many respects, too horrid and too tedious to be mentioned. 
We know but very little about it from this period to the time 
of the great revival, through the instrumentality of Enoch 
Francis and others, except that Vavasor Powel preached often 
here, and near the town, in his time. It is said that Vavasor 
Powel, hearing of a poor man in this region-, who was in the 
habit of working on Sunday, went to him and asked him what 
was the reason he did not keep holy the Sabbath-day. " It is 
as much as I can do to support my family while I work hard 
seven days in the week," was the answer. Vavasor Powell 
asked him, whether he would come to meeting, if he would 
pay him as much as he was getting for his labor per day. He 
said he would. For a considerable time the man was as good 
as his word, and was paid regularly. After a while, V. Pow- 
el was in debt to him for two or three Sundays ; and calling 
on the man to turn and receive his money, he refused to take 
it, and said — " I can now depend upon God. I find that he is 
able to bless the labor of six days, and make it equal to seven. 
I hope that I shall be enabled henceforth to keep the com- 
mandments of God from a principle of love." 

In 1762, they rented a house for divine worship in the town 
of Carmarthen, and a great many were baptized in the river 
Towy and added to this church. And at this time, also, they 
were supplied by ministers from other churches. Stephen Da- 
vis and Timothy Thomas, of Aberduar, chiefly supplied them. 
In 1765, Stephen Davis removed to the town. 

David Evans was their first pastor. He was ordained in 
1765. Stephen Davis, Owen Rees, and William Bowen, were 

In 1775, Evan Davis began to preach in this church. He 
was a relation of Enoch Francis. He went to Bristol college. 

* See bis biography. t See his biography. 


Priory Street Church, Carmarthen. In 1775, there 
was a split in the first church at Carmarthen. Stephen Davis 
and several of the members left here, and formed themselves 
into a church at Tycoch. Stephen Davis was ordained their 
pastor in 1776. That year a great many were added to them, 
and Edward Evans, John Rees, and William Harris, began to 

They have two meeting-houses — Priory Street, Carmar- 
thens and Tycoch in the country, about four or five miles from 

Thus we have given a short account of some of the Baptist 
ministers, and of the churches with which they were connected. 
Some of these ministers -died in prison for conscience' sake — 
others came to their end, by various methods of legal perse- 
cution and lawless outrage. Many of them suffered by fines, 
scourging, and imprisonment — others were driven into exile, 
starvation, and wretchedness. Of these sufferers we have ob- 
tained but little information, while the history of others must 
be unknown until the day of judgment. What the Rev. Da- 
vid Benedict said is really a fact : " The reign of Charles the 
second was, indeed, a series of oppression ; but that guilty na- 
tion was then visited with sore calamities. In 1665, a plague 
broke out, one of the most dreadful within the memory of 
man. The number which died in London only, amounted to 
about one hundred thousand. Eight or ten thousand died in 
the city and suburbs in one week. This calamity was pre- 
ceded by an unusual drought, and it was succeeded in 1666, by 
a most destructive fire, which in three or four days consumed 
thirteen thousand and two hundred dwelling-houses, eighty- 
nine steeple-houses, (commonly called churches,) and many 
other public buildings. Thus, that guilty nation, which had 
committed to the flames so many of the saints of the Lord — 
which had starved and tormented so many in various ways, 
was, in quick succession, visited with three of the most terrible 
messengers of divine vengeance — famine, plague, and fire." 
• Whales has been a nursery of Baptists. Hundreds of them 
have been, and now arc, in many parts of England. Beside 
those who have joined English churches in England, there are 
two Welsh Baptist churches in London ; one in Bristol ; one 
in Liverpool ; one in Manchester ; and several in other places. 
Many of the American churches were founded, either wholly 
or in part, by Welsh emigrants. And there are several Welsh 
churches in America. Wales has also supplied the American 
churches with many useful ministers, many of whom are gone 


home to receive their reward, while others are now actively 
engaged in the western department of the Lord's vineyard. 
Indeed, most of the Baptists in the state of Pennsylvania, for a 
great number of years from the beginning, (except the Tun- 
kers and the Mennonists, were either emigrants from Wales, 
or their descendants. 



The religion of Jesus came from God, and is a most glori- 
ous dispensation, not only for the sublime wonders of its doc- 
trine, and the divine purity of its precepts, but because it excels 
all other religions in the strength of its motives, the richness of 
its promises, and the sufficiency of the divine aid attending it. 

Remote antiquity sanctions the erection and occupancy of 
suitable places for the public worship of Almighty God. The 
renowned patriarchs had their sacred altars, though of rude 
construction, upon which they offered acceptable sacrifices. 
The Israelites, during their eventful peregrinations through the 
Arabian desert, had their tabernacle of meeting, in which the 
Lord their God condescended to favor them with visible tokens 
of his gracious presence. When conducted to the fruitful land 
of Canaan, and settled there according to divine appointment, 
they erected a magnificent tesnple, whose form, dimensions, 
and elegance, rendered it for many ages the wonder of sur- 
rounding nations. In addition to which they built numerous 
synagogues, over all the c'ountry, for more general conve- 
nience ; as well as constructed houses of prayer, in which 
pious persons might assemble more privately, and there pour 
forth the warm effusion of their devout hearts. 

The primitive Christians, whose religion was rejected by the 
unbelieving Jews, as well as accounted " foolishness" by the 
learned Greeks, were so far from enjoying splendid temples 
for religious worship, that they scarcely had places where to 
hide their heads, and did frequently avail themselves of the 
nocturnal season quietly to enjoy the communion of saints. A? 
soon, indeed, as the heat of persecution had abated, and the roar- 
ing billows of boisterous passions had been hushed into silence, 
so that the Christians could enjoy peace and security, not only 
in their retreats of solitude, but also in their public assemblies, 
— then they looked out for better accommodations, and were 
industrious in procuring them. Especially when Constantine 
the Great embraced the Christian faith, and Rome pagan be- 
came Christian : then were many heathen temples converted 
into places for Christian worship, and the Christians were pro- 


tected by the civil authority in the performance of their reli* 
gious duties. 

Before the advent of Christ, the progress of his religion, and 
prosperity of his kingdom, had long been the animating theme 
of prophetic inspirations. Jehovah, speaking to the Messiah, 
says, " Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine 
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy pos- 
session." The prophet Isaiah, contemplating the flourishing 
state of the Messiah's kingdom, breaks forth in the most lively 
strains, as though he had personally realized it, .saying, " Unto 
us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given ; and the govern- 
ment shall be upon his shoulder ; and he shall be called the 
Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace 
there shall be no end." And looking forward to the extent 
and effects of his reign, he adds, " They shall not hurt nor 
destroy in all my holy mountain : for the earth shall be full 
of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." 
Daniel, in explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream, after describ- 
ing the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman 
empires, subjoins, " In the day of these kings," namely, the 
Roman emperors, " shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom 
which shall never be destroyed ; and the kingdom shall not," 
like the former, " be left to other people ; but it shall break in 
pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for 
ever." Again, he says, " I saw in the night visions, and be- 
hold one like the Son of Man came to the Ancient of Days, and 
there was given to him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, 
that all people, nations, and languages,, should serve him : his 
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass 
away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." 

Long before the appearance of John the Baptist, the Jews 
had been taught to expect that " the God of heaven" would, at 
a certain time, " without hands, set up a kingdom which should 
never be destroyed." This heavenly kingdom was the econo- 
my of assortment which John introduced, and the baptism of 
John is called the beginning of the gospel, the epoch from 
which the New Testament is to be computed. " The law and 
the prophets were until John : since that time the kingdom of 
God is preached."* This came to pass in the fifteenth year 
of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, when Pontius Pilate was gover- 
nor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Annas and Caia- 
phas were high priests. 

From the beginning of the world to this period good men 

* Mark 1:1,2. Luke 3:1,2. Acts 1:21,22. 


had been in a condition of comparative imperfection. They 
were individuals mixed and confounded with numerous persons 
of opposite characters, in family, tribal, and national divisions- 
They never had been a people, but John was sent to asso- 
ciate individuals, to form a people, or, as an evangelist ex- 
presses it, "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord," and 
the revolution effected at this time was so substantial, that it is 
called a creation, a new age, a new world, of which Jesus, 
whom John proclaimed and introduced as chief, was declared 
the Creator and Lord, for John professed himself only a mes- 
senger of Jesus, employed indeed in his service, but " not 
worthy to unloose the latchet of his shoes." 

John, it is supposed was born at Hebron, and, if a judgment 
of his education may be formed by the character of his pa- 
rents, he was trained up in habits of piety and virtue, for " they 
were both righteous before God, walking in all the command- 
ments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." 

When he was about thirty years of age, in obedience to the 
heavenly call, he entered on his ministry, by quitting the hill- 
country, and going down by the wilderness to the plains of 
Jordan, by proclaiming the kingdom of God, the near advent 
of the Messiah, and the necessity of preparing to receive him 
by laying aside sin and superstition, and by an exercise of 
universal justice, and lastly, by identifying the person of Jesus 
as the Messiah. He distributed various rules of righteousness 
among the ditferent classes that attended his ministry. He 
said to soldiers, Do violence to no man ; he exhorted publicans 
to avoid exaction, and he taught the people benevolence, Let 
him that hath two coats impart to him that hath none ; and he 
directed all to Jesus as Master and Lord, in manifesting whom 
his ministry was to cease. His dress was plain, his diet ab- 
stemious, and his whole deportment grave, serious, and severe. 
Multitudes, both of provincials and citizens, flocked to hear 
him, and all held him as a prophet, and such as renounced 
their former sinful practices, and believed his predictions con- 
cerning the Christ, were baptized- by him in the river Jordan, 
but the Pharisees and lawyers are to be excepted, for " they 
rejected the counsel of God against themselves, and were not 
baptized of him." 

While John was employed in preaching and baptizing at 
Bethabara beyond Jordan, various reports were spread abroad 
of him, and as the people were in expectation of the Christ, all 
men mused in their hearts whether he were the person or not, 
and the Jews of Jerusalem sent a deputation of priests and Le- 
yites to him to inquire what account he gave of himself. He 
14 * 


fully answered all their questions, and informed them that he 
was not the Christ, but the person, spoken of by Isaiah, sent 
before to prepare the way of the Lord, who stood then among 
them, but who was not then known. This was the day of the 
manifestation of Jesus. 

It is uncertain by what means John obtained an interview 
with Herod ; but, certain it is, he reproved him for living in 
adultery with Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and his lan- 
guage was that of a man who well understood civil govern- 
ment, for he considered law as supreme in a state, and told the 
king, " It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife." 
Herodias was extremely displeased with John for his honest 
freedom, and determined to destroy him ; but though she pre- 
vailed on the king to imprison him, yet she could not persuade 
him to put him to death. Two great obstacles opposed her 
design. Herod himself was shocked at the thought, for he had 
observed John, was convinced of his piety and love of justice, 
he had received pleasure in hearing him, and had done many 
things which John had advised him to do; and, as there is a 
dignity in innocence, the qualities of the man had struck him 
with an awe so deep and solemn, that, tyrant as he was, he 
could not think of taking away the life of John. Herod also 
dreaded the resentment of the public, for he knew " the multi- 
tude held John as a prophet." Herodias therefore waited for 
a favorable opportunity to surprise the king into the perpetra- 
tion of a crime, which neither justice nor policy could approve, 
and such an one she found on the king's birth-day. The .story- 
is at large in the gospel. Dreadful is the condition of a coun- 
try where any one man is above control, and can do what 
this absolute king did ! Whether he felt, or onl} r pretended to 
feel, great sorrow, the fact was the same, he sent an execu- 
tioner, and commanded the head of the prophet to be brought, 
and John was assassinated in the prison. 

The murder did not sit easy on the recollection of Herod:, 
Jfor, soon after, when he heard of the fame of Jesus, his con- 
science exclaimed, It is John, whom I beheaded, he is risen 
from the dead! Certainly, John the Baptist will rise from- the 
dead., and Herod the tetrarch must meet him before an impar- 
tial Judge, who will reward or punish each according to the 
deeds done in the body. In the present case, the Judge hath 
declared the character of John. "• John was a burning and a 
shining light. Among them that are born of women there 
hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." 

It was for just and noble reasons, worthy of a wise and be- 
nevolent mind, that Jesus estimated John so highly as to pro- 


nouncc him as great a man as had been born of women : to 
which he added, the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater 
than he. It was a comparison between John and his prede. 
cessors, and John and his successors, in framing the new ecor 
nomy. He was greater than his predecessors, because he first 
introduced a moral assortment of Jews, a kingdom of heaven 
upon earth : he was less than the apostles, his successors, be«. 
cause under the direction of Jesus, they brought his plan to 
perfection, by assorting and incorporating Jews and Gentiles 
in societies, expressly united for the improvement of the mind, 
the meliorating of the heart, and the regulation of the life, a 
compact practice of piety, and an uniform course of virtue, and 
so extending and establishing personal excellence, tending to 
unite all mankind in one family of universal love; and he who 
under God gave a sketch of a design so pure, and so generous, 
ought to be reputed one of the first characters among mankind. 
How great then must he be, the latchet of whose shoes this 
great man was not worthy to unloose ? 

Whether John baptized by pouring on -water, or by bathing 
in water, is to be determined chiefly, though not wholly, by 
ascertaining the precise meaning of the word baptize. Native 
Greeks must understand their own language better than fc- 
reigncrs, and they have always understood the word baptism 
to signify dipping ; and therefore from their first embracing 
of Christianity to this day they have always baptized, and do 
yet baptize, by immersion. This is an authority for the mean? 
ing of the word baptize infinitely preferable to European lexi- 
cographers; so that a man, who is obliged to trust human tes- 
timony, and who baptizes by immersion, because the Greeks 
do, understands a Greek word exactly as the Greeks them- 
selves understand it ; and in this case, the Greeks are unex- 
ceptionable guides, and their. practice is, in this instance, safe 
ground of action. 

The Syrians, the Armenians, the Persians, and all Eastern 
Christians, have understood the Greek word baptism, to signify 
.lipping, and agreeably to their own versions, they all, and al- 
ways administer baptism by immersion. 

There is a propriety in acknowledging a believer in Christ, 
a real character, by baptism. It is giving him the name who 
hath the thing. To this sense of the word all circumstances 
and descriptions agree, as baptizing in the river Jordan — going 
down into the water— coming up out of the water, buried in 
baptism, and the rest>=— so that, the proper answer to the que% 
Uon, How did John administer baptism? is, By immersion. 


John baptized at Bethabara beyond Jordan. Here he re- 
ceived the messengers from Jerusalem, and bore that testimony 
of Jesus which is recorded in the first of John ; then he crossed 
the river, and baptized on the opposite side, which belonged to 
Reuben or Manasseh : and thus his ministry was extended 
through the region round about Jordan; and here he delivered 
that testimony concerning Christ, which is recorded in the 
third chapter of John; and this is what some call his second 
baptismal station. The word Bethabara signifies a passage- 
house, and such there were on both sides of the river near the 
fords, and most likely they were houses to accommodate and 
direct travellers in times of low water, and ferry-houses for 
the convenience of passage, when floods and high waters ren- 
dered boats necessary. In the arabah, or plain sloping to- 
wards the ford, where the abutments of Judah, Benjamin, and 
Reuben met, near the mouth of the river, a little above the 
north bay of the lake Asphaliites, stood the town called Beth- 

No places could be chosen more convenient for the baptism 
of immersion than these. Here was a gentle descent into 
water of sufficient depth ; here were houses of accommodation ; 
and fords were public roads. 

The third station of John was at Enon, near Salim. Salim 
is differently written, as Saleim, Salem, Salom, Schiloh, Za- 
leim, and so on. Enon was chosen for a place of baptism by 
John, because there was much water there. 

In the kingdom of heaven which John was forming, rank 
was nothing, superior faculties were nothing, moral excellence 
was all in all, and faith and repentance were indispensable 
qualifications for baptism ; for on John's part there was no 
collusion, on that of his converts no blind credulity, and the 
individuals whom the Baptist formed into a people were dis- 
tinguished by three characters, a character of freedom, a cha-_ 
racter of piety, and a character of virtue. 

1. A character of freedom. John taught, but he employed 
no force, he used no allurements, oflered no bribes, nor did 
any thing to give an unworthy bias. He published a fact, of 
the truth of which all the world was left free to judge, and it 
was a circumstance highly favorable to his doctrine, that no 
power in being took it under patronage. It was left in the 
country among the common people, wholly to itself, at a dis- 
tance from the court, the temple, and the army, and many of 
his hearers fully examined, and freely entered on the econo- 
my; for they had nothing but conviction to induce them to act 
o& they did. 


2. A character of piety. The fact was contained in the 
prophecies, and the disciples of John believed them, giving 
themselves up by baptism to the guidance of him whomsoever 
God had appointed Lord of the economy, whenever it should 
please God to make him known. 

3. A character of virtue. I baptize you, said John, at, or 
upon your repentance, your invincible abhorrence of sin, 
manifested by fruits meet for repentance, that is, by reforma- 
tion. Except in one instance, John baptized only persons hav- 
ing these characters. 

This one instance was the baptism of Jesus. In perfect 
freedom, with eminent piety and virtue, but without any pro- 
fession of repentance^ Jesus was baptized. By this he entered 
on his public ministry. 

To Bethabara, amidst a great multitude of spectators, in 
presence of those who had been baptized, and were now in 
waiting for him, " a people prepared for the Lord," and while 
John was conversing with the deputation from Jerusalem, Je- 
sus came to be baptized, giving by his conduct, as well as by 
his language to John, the most unequivocal proof of his entire 
approbation of water baptism. Thus it becometh us to fulfil 
all righteousness. The very handsome and respectful manner 
in which John received Jesus, and the conversation that passed 
between them, no doubt, held up Jesus 'to the multitude as some 
person of singular merit, produced a pause, and a profound 
silence, and attracted every eye to behold the man. Immedi- 
ately after John, had baptized Jesus, he went up out of the 
water praying, and while he was going up, the clouds parted, 
and a bright line appeared hovering over him, falling and ris- 
ing, rising and falling, as a dove hovers when it is about to 
alight, an I at length settling on him. This was placing his 
whole person in full view, so that his features could not be 
mistaken, and, to those who saw him, his face must ever after 
have been the best known face in Judea. While the specta- 
tors were beholding this new and strange appearance, a voice 
from heaven said, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased." John seeing the promised sign, exclaimed, 
addressing himself to the deputation from Jerusalem, " This 
is he of whom I said, he that cometh after me is preferred be- 
fore me ;" and he repeated the same record the two succeeding 
days, on seeing Jesus walking, and so engaged his disciples to 
deliver themselves up to the Son of God, which was the chief 
design of his ministry. 

Jesus Christ, before his death, promised his apostles, that 
after his resurrection he would meet them on a mountain in 


Galilee.* Immediately after his resurrection, the angel, who 
informed the women at the sepulchre that he was risen, direct- 
ed them to go quickly and tell his disciples that he was risen 
from the dead, and that he was going before them into Galilee, 
and that there they should see him.f As they were going to 
deliver the message, Jesus himself met them, and repeated the 
order, " Go tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, and 
there they shall see me." ■ In the forty days between his 
resurrection and ascension, he had many interviews with his 
disciples, in which he instructed them in the things pertaining 
to the kingdom of God. Baptism was one of these things, and 
of this he chose to speak in the most public manner on the 
mountain in Galilee to above "five hundred brethren at once." 
It is not very material whether this were the third, the eighth, 
or the last appearance of Christ to his disciples, in which " he 
showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible 
proofs, and spoke to them of the things pertaining to the king- 
dom of God."^: 

To the assembly on the mountain, " Jesus came, and spake 
unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and 
in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all. nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever 
I have commanded you : and I am with you alway, even unto 
the end of the world."§ It is a glorious example of that bene- 
volence with which Jesus used the vast powers committed to 
his trust. 

The authenticity of this passage is allowed by all Christians, 
but they differ very much in expounding it; and three classes 
of expositors deserve attention ; the first enlarge, the second 
diminish, the third supersede the meaning of the passage. • 

Without entering into verbal criticisms, upon which the 
Christian religion doth not stand, for it is supported by facts 
true and demonstrative, and not by hypothetical reasonings 
confined only to a few learned men, it is observable, that one 
class of expositors so expound' the text, as to give it a much 
wider extent than Jesus intended, for they make it an autho- 
rity from him to baptize infants, though they are not mention- 
ed, and though there is not either precept or precedent' for the 
practice. The order runs, " teach all nations, baptizing .them." 
The thing speaks for itself, the style is popular, the sense plain, 
and it must mean either to baptize whole nations, or such of 

* Matt. 26:32. Mark 14:28. t Matt. 28:7—10. 

t Acts 1:3. $ Matt. 28:18, &c. 


all nations as receive your instructions, and desire to be bap- 
tized. The first is too gross to be admitted, because it cannot 
be effected without force, and the grossness of the one instantly 
turns the mind to the other, the plain and true sense. In the 
principles of the kingdom of Christ there is neither fraud nor 
force, nor is it suitable to the dignity of the Lord Jesus to take 
one man by conviction, and his ten children by surprise. 

The practice of the apostles, who understood the words, no 
doubt, is the best exposition of the language. Did they bap- 
tize any whole nation, or city, or village? yet they described 
the baptism of individuals in a style similar to that of the 
words in question. The following is an example : " Philip 
went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Chmst unto 
them," and such as believed Philip, preaching " the things 
concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, 
were baptized, both men and women."* The history of this 
is thus described by Luke. " The apostles which were at Je- 
rusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God," 
not the whole country called Samaria, not the whole city of the 
same name, not Simon and his adherents, inhabitants of the 
city, but such only as believed Philip, had received the word 
of God, and were baptized. 

The same Philip baptized the Eunuch, but not his servants ; 
for Christianity is a personal, not a family, or national af- 
fair, f Some families were baptized, but it was only when 
each person of each family was a believer, and not always 
then. Crispus,J the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, 
" believed' on the Lord with all his house," yet Paul " baptized 
none but Crispus ;" for there might be very good reasons for 
the other believers in his family to defer, their baptism. § The 
Jailer at Philippi " believed in God with all his house," there- 
fore ""lie was baptized, and all his straightway. "j| The house- 
hold of Lydia were brethren who were comforted by the apos- 
tles.1T The family of StepJianas of Corinth, which Paul bap- 
tized, were the "first fruits of Achaia, and addicted themselves 
to the ministry of the saints," that is, to assist the deacons in 
relieving the poor.** 

In the days of the apostles, it was argument to tell, " multi- 
tudes were added both of men and women.ff The worcl of 
God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in 
Jerusalem, and a great company of the priests were obedient 

* Acta 8:5—14. t Ibid, verse 30. 

t Acta 18:8. $ 1 Cor. 1:14. 

U Acts 16:31—33. T Acts 16:16, 40. 

** 1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15. ft Acta 5:14. 


to the faith.* The same day there were added unto them 
about three thousand souls.")" What is the reason that this is 
no argument now ? Further, it is inquired, whether the turn- 
ing of whole nations into Christian churches, so that there is 
no world, but all is church, have not deprived Christianity of 
that noble argument which the purity of the doctrine of Christ 
afforded. The few upright lose the evidence of their " shin- 
ing as lights in the world" in the vast multitude of wicked cha- 
racters, among whom they are obscured, confounded, and lost. 
Of what national church can it be said, the people are " holy, 
harmless, undeflled, and separate from sinners?" What na- 
tion, if they observe the direction of apostolical epistles, durst 
claim a letter directed " to them that are sanctified in Christ 
Jesus, called to be saints?":}: To such a change, say they, it 
is owing that infidelity abounds ; and a Christianity of this 
kind admits of no defence. 

The state of baptism during the lives of the apostles, is to be 
gathered from the book of Acts written by Luke, the first ec- 
clesiastical historian. It extends from the ascension of Christ 
to the residence of Paul at Rome, a space of more than thirty 
years. The book is full of information, and in regard to bap- 
tism, it informs by what it does not say, as well as by what is 
reported. For example: The historian relates the baptism of 
many proselytes — as Cornelius, the Ethiopian Eunuch, and 
others — on their profession of Christianity; of course, the ad- 
ministrators did not know of such a custom as proselyte-bap- 
tism, or they did not understand proselyte-washing to be bap- 
tism, or they practised anabaptism, which is not credible. 

There are frequent narrations of the baptism of believers, but 
not one infant appears in the whole history ; yet, no doubt, 
some Christians had married, and had young families within 
the thirty years between the ascension of .Jesus and the settle- 
ment of Paul at Rome. 

There is no mention of any of the ceremonies which modern 
Christians have affixed to baptism : no consecration of water, 
no sprinkling, no use of oils and unguents, no sponsors, no 
kneeling in the water, no trine immersion, no catechumen- 
state, no giving a name, no renunciation of any demon, none 
of the innumerable additions, which, under pretence of adorn- 
ing, have obscured the glory of this heavenly institute. It be- 
longs to those who practise such additions, to say how they 
came by them, and under what master they serve. 

In conformity to these predictions concerning the kingdom 

* Acts 6:7. t lb. 2:41. } 1 Cor. 1:2. • 


of the Messiah, our Savior also declares the extensive spread 
of his religion. u The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached 
in all the world, for a witness to all nations." Accordingly 
when he gave his apostles their commission, he said, " Go ye 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." 
The Jewish economy like a light whose feeble rays are 
confined to one house : but Christianity resembles the glorious 
orb of day distributing his bright beams to the whole of the 
human family. Though it was certain, from the sublimity of 
the doctrines of the gospel, the spirituality of its precepts, its 
tendency to humble the pride of man, its contrariety to the 
idolatry and superstition which had for so many ages existed 
in the world, that the apostles would meet with much opposi- 
tion in the faithful and zealous discharge of their ministerial 
duties; yet our Savior, in his address to Peter, concerning his 
excellent confession, says, " Upon this Rock will I build my 
church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
Gamaliel, speaking to his fellow senators, reasoned wisely and 
conclusively, " If this counsel or this work, be of men, it will 
come to nought : but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." 
On the first promulgation of Christianity at Jerusalem, the 
capital of Judea, its progress was rapid and considerable. Our 
Savior, at the beginning of his public ministry, chose twelve 
persons to attend him, and then seventy disciples, whom he 
sent by two and two before his face, into every place whither 
he himself would go. The ministry of the seventy disciples 
was successful, for he says, " I beheld Satan as lightning fall 
from heaven;" and they " rejoiced, that the devils were sub- 
ject unto them, through his name." At the ascension of our 
Savior, probably the most part of the members of his church 
were present, for " he was seen of above five hundred breth- 
ren at once." On the day of Pentecost, such was the power 
of divine grace attending the ministry of the word, that " there 
were added about three thousand souls." Soon after, such was 
the efficacy of the gospel, that the sacred historian uses this 
language, " Many of them who heard the word, believed ; and 
the number of the men," exclusive of the women, ** was about 
five thousand." Again, he says, " Believers were the more 
added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." Nay, 
what is still more remarkable, that " a great company of 
the priests were obedient to the faith." Thus the promise of 
our Savior to his apostles was accomplished, " I will give you 
a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be 
able to gainsay nor resist." 


On the death of Stephen, the proto-martyr, many of the 
members of the Christian church at Jerusalem, were " scat- 
tered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, 
except the apostles." Soon after, Saul of Tarsus, afterwards 
called Paul, who had been an active agent in this persecution, 
became a sound convert to the faith of Christ, and a zealous 
apostle in propagating the Christian religion among the Gen- 
tiles ; to whom our Savior sent him, " to open their eyes, and 
to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God." His zealous exertions in the cause of Chris- 
tianity were attended with such happy results, that from the 
testimony of his enemies it is stated, " Ye see and hear, that 
not alone at Ephesus, but almost through all Asia, this Paul 
hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying, that 
they be no gods which are made with hands." And such 
were the effects produced by the ministry of all the apostles 
and their associates, in various countries, that, as Dr. Paley 
observes, before the end of thirty years from the death, resur- 
rection, and ascension of our Savior, the Christian religion had 
spread itself through Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, almost all 
the numerous districts of the Lesser Asia, through Greece, and 
the islands of the Mgean sea, the sea coast of Africa, and had 
extended itself to Rome, and into Italy. At Antioch in Syria, 
at Joppa, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Berea, Iconium, 
Derbe, Antioch in Pisidia, at Ludda, Saron, the number of 
converts is intimated by the expressions, " a great number- 
great multitudes — much people." Converts are mentioned, 
without any designation of their number, at Tyre, Cesarea, 
Troas, Athens, Philippi, Lystra, and Damascus. 

Thus the apostles, through the. divine blessing, though desti* 
tute of the advantages of birth, education, fortune' — without 
secular terrors to affright, pecuniary rewards to bribe, or daz- 
zling eloquence to enchant — armed with nothing but faith, 
truth, goodness — yet encountered the power of princes, the 
bigotry of priests, the learning of philosophers, the rage of the 
populace, the prejudices of all-^-and were honored with amaz- 
ing success ! All the literary acquirements and sarcasm of 
the Greeks and Romans were employed to ridicule the gospel, 
and prevent its progress; and the potentates of the earth drew 
the sword against it, armed their legions for effecting its over- 
throw, but without their accomplishing their malicious designs; 
which evidently proves an extraordinary interposition of God. 
Had the infidel wits of the present age seen the apostles, when 
entering on their arduous and unexampled labors, they would 


sneeringly have derided the attempt, saying, as Sanballat did 
long before, " What will these feeble Jews do ?" But had they 
seen the astonishing event, surely they must have owned, with 
the Egyptian magi, in a less illustrious miracle, " This is the 
finger of God ! 

Tacitus, in giving a relation of a great fire that happened at 
Rome, in the tenth year of Nero, which concludes with the 
thirtieth after Christ's ascension, speaking of the Christians, 
says, " They had their denomination from Christus, who, in 
the reign of Tiberius, was put to death as a criminal, by the 
procurator Pontius Pilate." 

The doctrine of uninterrupted succession is necessary only 
to such churches as regulate their faith and practice by tradi- 
tion, and for their use it was first invented. 

But a Baptist has not the least trouble about what is called 
a lineal or apostolical succession. His line of succession is in 
faithful men, and it is a matter of indifference with them, when 
or where they lived, by what name they were called, or by 
Whom they were baptized or ordained. 

Notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, we 
still date the origin of our sentiments, and the beginning of our 
denomination, about the year of our Lord twenty-nine or thir- 
ty ; for at that period John the Baptist began to immerse pro- 
fessed believers in Jordan and Enon, and to prepare the way 
for the coming of the Lord's Anointed, and for the setting up 
of his kingdom. 

A Baptist is one, who holds that a profession of faith, and 
an immersion in water are essential to baptism. 

Christ's disciples began to congregate into churches, soon 
after he left the earth. The church at Jerusalem was formed 
the evening of the glorious day of his ascension, in an upper 
room, and consisted of about a hundred and twenty believing 
men and women. The persecution, which arose about the 
time of Stephen's death, caused all the disciples of Jesus, ex- 
cept the apostles, to leave Jerusalem. They proceeded out 
every way, like the radii of a circle from the centre, and 
formed churches in many places — first in Palestine, then ii 
other parts of Asia, and lastly in Europe. 

Mr. Robinson has shown that the apostles and primitive 
preachers gathered churches in between sixty and seventy dif- 
ferent cities, towns, and provinces, and in many instances a 
number were gathered in each. These churches were all 
composed of reputed believers, who had been baptized by im- 
mersion on the profession of their faith. Their bishops and 
elders were merely overseers of their spiritual flocks ; they 

172 niSTORY OF 

claimed no right to lord it over God's heritage; every church 
was an independent body, and no one claimed a right to regu- 
late the affairs of another. If they met in council, as they did 
at Jerusalem, it was to advise, not to give law. 

Christians of these sentiments have existed in every age, and 
their number has been larger than their friends generally 
imagine, or than their opposers are ever willing to acknow- 
ledge. The first Christians were undoubtedly all Baptists, and 
we believe they will all be Baptists again, when they are all 
brought to keep the ordinances of Christ as they were first de- 
livered to the saints. For almost three centuries, baptism was 
in the main rightly administered by all parties, for they all re- 
quired a profession of faith, and all immersed. 

We do not pretend that the primitive saints were called Bap- 
tists ; all went under the general denomination of Christians, 
and when they began to file off into parties, they took the 
names of the men by whom they were led. It is not the his- 
tory of a name, but the prevalence of a principle, of which we 
are in search. No denomination of Protestants can trace the 
origin of its name farther back than about the time of the Re- 
formation, and most of them have originated since that period* 
And I suppose it was about this time that our brethren began 
to be called Baptists. And I am inclined to think that they 
assumed the name in opposition to that of Anabaptists, with 
which their enemies were continually reproaching them. But 
that all the primitive Christians would have been called Bap- 
tists, if sentimental names had then been in use, and that there 
always has been a people on earth, from the introduction of 
Christianity, who have held the leading sentiments by which 
they now are, and always have been peculiarly distinguished, 
is a point which I most firmly believe, and which I shall now 
attempt to prove. 

I know that all denominations take this ground, and attempt 
to prove that their sentiments have existed from the Apostles 
through every age. The Catholic pretends that his church is 
of Apostolic origin, and was founded by St. Peter, and he can 
easily prove that a very large portion of the Christian world 
has, for many centuries, been, and now is, of his belief. The 
Churchman pleads that all the first Christians were Episcopa- 
lians, and that Bishops Paul, Peter, Timothy, and Titus, go- 
verned the churches ; and he moreover supposes that Paul's 
parchment, which he left at Troas, contained his episcopal 
authority. The Presbyterians, Independents, Congregational- 
ists, Quakers, Methodists, and all, contend that their churches 
are built after the Apostolic model. And even the Shaking 


Quaker, although he can make no good pretension to Aposto- 
lical succession, yet claims relation to the hundred and forty- 
four thousand who have not defiled themselves with women. 
I am not about to dispute the pretensions or proofs of any one 
sect in Christendom. It is not my object to show what is not 
true respecting them, but what is true respecting ourselves. 
The Episcopalian can find Bishops, and the Presbyterian, El- 
ders or Presbyters, among the primitive Christians, and the 
Congregationalist and Independent, have good grounds for 
saying that the Apostolic churches, were of their belief re- 
specting church government. The Baptists believe in Episco- 
pacy and Presbyterianism or Eldership, when explained ac- 
cording to their sense of the terms. They hold to the zeal of 
the Methodists, and the inward light of the Quakers, when re- 
gulated and explained according to their sense of propriety and 
correctness. With most denominations they find something 
with which they agree. But in the article of baptism they dif- 
fer from all. While their brethren all around admit infants to 
baptism, (the Quakers excepted,) they have always confined 
the rite to professed believers, and a baptism without an im- 
mersion is, in their opinion, " like a guinea without gold." 

The Baptists have been distinguished from other sects, not 
only in their views of the subjects and mode of baptism, but 
they have always held to other sentiments peculiar to them- 
selves, and which they consider essential important truths, but 
which their opponents have branded with the name of danger- 
ous errors, or damnable heresies. 

The supporters of believer's baptism have, under every form 
of government, been the advocates of liberty; and for this 
reason, they have never flourished much except in those go- 
vernments where some degree of freedom has been maintained. 
Arbitrary states have always oppressed them, and driven them 
for refuge to milder regions. They cannot live in tyranni- 
cal states, and free countries are the only places to seek for 
them, for their whole public religion is impracticable without 
freedom. In political changes they have always been friendly 
to the cause of liberty, and their passion for it has at different 
times led some into acts of indiscretion, and scenes of danger. 
But with a few exceptions, we may say in truth, that the Bap- 
tists have always adhered to their leading maxim, to be "sub- 
ject to the powers that be;" and all the favor they as Christians 
have asked of civil governments, has been — to give them their 
Bibles, and let them alone. The interference of the magis-. 
trate in the affairs of conscience, they have never courted, but 
have always protested against. Classical authority and priest- 
15, # 


ly domination, they have ever opposed and abhorred, and the 
equality of Christians as such, and the absolute independency 
of churches, they have most scrupulously maintained. Learn- 
ing they have esteemed in its proper place ; but they have also 
uniformly maintained, that the servants of God may preach 
his gospel without it. The distinction between their ministers 
and brethren is less than in almost any other denomination of 
Christians; whatever abilities their ministers possess, they re- 
duce them to the capacity of mere teachers; and they consider 
all not only at liberty, but moreover bound to exercise, under 
proper regulations, the gifts they may possess, for the edifica- 
tion of their brethren. 

From the New Testament account of the primitive Chris- 
tians, we believe that they were Baptists. But we will 
quote the accounts given of them by two authors, and then the 
reader may judge for himself. Mosheim was no friend to the 
Baptists, and yet he has made many important concessions in 
their favor ; and in relating the history of the primitive church, ' 
he has given a description, which will not certainly apply to 
his own church, the Lutheran, nor to any sect in Christendom 
except the Baptists. " Baptism," he observes, " was adminis- 
tered in the first century without the public assemblies, in 
places appointed for that purpose, and was performed by im- 
mersion of the whole body in water." By this account it ap- 
pears that the first Christians went " streaming away, (as Dr. 
Osgood would say,) to some pond or river" to be baptized. 
Respecting church discipline, the same writer observes: " The 
churches in those early times were entirely independent, none 
of them subject to any foreign jurisdiction, but each one go- 
verned by its own rulers and laws. For though the churches, 
founded by the Apostles, had this particular deference shown 
them, that they were consulted in difficult and doubtful cases, 
yet they had no juridical authority, no sort of supremacy over 
the others, nor the least right to enact laws for them. Nothing 
on the contrary is more evident than the perfect equality that 
reigned among the primitive churches,"* and so on. " A 

* Respecting the council of Jerusalem, Mosheim has the following note, 
Vol. 1, page 105: — "The meeting of the chuich at Jerusalem, mentioned in 
the 15th chapter of the Acts, is commonly consideud as the .first Christian 
council. But this notion arises from the manifest abuse of the woid council. 
That meeting was only of one church; and if such a meeting he called a 
council, it will follow that there were innumeiable councils in the primitive 
times. But eveiy one knows, that a council is an assembly of deputies or 
commissioners sent from several churches associated by certain bonds in a 
general body, and therefore the supposition above mentioned, falls to the 
ground." Mosheim appears to understand the word council in a high eccle- 
siastical sense, and in this point of view his observations are doubtless correct ; 


bishop, during the first and second centuries, was a person who 
had the care of one Christian assembly, which at that time 
was, generally speaking, small enough to be contained in a 
private house. In this assembly, he acted not so much with 
the authority of a master, as with the zeal and diligence of a 
faithful servant"* and so on. 

" There was," says Robinson, " among primitive Chris* 
tians, an uniform belief that Jesus was the Christ, and a per- 
fect harmony of affection. When congregations multiplied, so 
that they became too numerous to assemble in one place, they 
parted into separate companies, and so again and again, but 
there was no schism; on the contrary, all held a common 
union, and a member of one company was a member of all. 
If any person removed from one place to reside at another, he 
received a letter of attestation, which was given and taken as 
proof; and this custom very prudently precluded the intrusion 
of impostors. In this manner was framed a catholic or univer- 
sal church. One company never pretended to inspect the af- 
fairs of another, nor was there any dominion, or any shadow 
of dominion, over the consciences of any individuals. Overt 
acts were the only objects of censure, and censure was nothing 
but voting a man out of the community." 

Let any candid man compare the different denominations of 
Christians, of the present day, with these descriptions of th9 
primitive church, and he will, we think, be at no loss to deter- 
mine which comes the nearest to it. But Mr. Robinson goes 
farther, and determines the matter just as a Baptist believes. 
" During the three first centuries, Christian congregations all 
over the East, subsisted in separate, independent bodies, un- 
supported by government, and consequently without any secu- 
lar power over one another. All this time they were Baptist 
churches, and though all the fathers of the four first ages down 
to Jerome, were of Greece, Syria, and Africa, and though they 
gave great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet 
there is not one record of the baptism of a child till the year 

but according to the ideas which a Baptist T.ould affix to the term council, I 
see no improprieiy in applying it to this assembly. But I find our brethren 
differ in their opinions respecting the nature of this council, whether it was 
advisory or authoritative. Dr. Gill gives the decisions of this assembly, no 
higher name than advice, sentiments, determinations, &c, and in this point of 
view, I think it proper to consider them. B-ut it ought to be observed, at the 
same time, that ihe advice of so lespectable a body as the apostolic mother 
church at Jerusalem, assisted in its deliberations by the apostles and elders, 
and all acting under the influence of the Holy Ghost, became a law or a rule 
#f action to the church at Antioch, and to other Christians in the primitive 
ages. u This advice," says Dr. Gill, " was regarded as a law," &c, 
* Mosheim, Vol. 1, pp. 103, 104, 105, 126., 


370, when Galates, the dying son of the emperor Valens, was 
baptized by order of a monarch, who swore he would not be 
contradicted. The age of the prince is uncertain, and the as- 
signing of his illness as the cause of his baptism indicates 
clearly enough that infant baptism was not in practice." 

But the primitive Baptist churches, in process of time, be- 
came corrupted with many errors, and with infant baptism 
among the rest. And when Constantine established Chris- 
tianity as the religion of his empire, errors, which before had 
taken root, soon grew up to maturity, the Christian church, as 
established by law, became a worldly sanctuary, and those 
who would maintain the gospel in its purity, were obliged to 
separate from the great mass of professors, and retire to the 
best refuges they could find. 

Pliny, the younger, in a letter written to the emperor Trajan, 
concerning the Christians, not quite eighty years after Christ's 
ascension, says to him, " Suspending all judicial proceedings, 
I have recourse to you for advice ; for it has appeared to me 
a matter highly deserving consideration, especially on account 
of the great number of persons who are in danger of suffering: 
for many of all ages, and of every rank, of both sexes likewise, 
are accused, and will be accused. Nor has the contagion of 
this superstition seized cities only, but the lesser towns also, 
and the open country."* 

Justin, surnamed the Martyr, who embraced Christianity 
about the year 132, in his dialogue with Trypho, a noted Jew, 
(which he wrote about thirty years after Pliny, and 106 after 
the ascension,) has these remarkable words : " There is no 
nation, whether of Barbarians or Greeks, or any others, by 
what names soever they are called, whether they live in wag- 
gons, or without houses, or in tents, among whom prayers are 
not made, and thanksgiving offered up, to the Father and Cre= 
ator of all, through the name of the crucified Jesus."f 

Irenseus, who was made bishop of Lyons, in the year of our 
Lord 179, states, " This preaching of the gospel, and this 
faith, the church scattered up and down the whole world main- 
tains, as inhabiting one house, and believes it with one heart 
and soul, teaches and preaches it as with one mouth; for 
though there be different languages in the world, yet the force 
of tradition, or of that doctrine that has been delivered to the 
church, is but one and the same.":}: 

Tertullian, of Carthage, who flourished about the middle of 

* C. Plin. Trajano, Imp. lib. x. ep. 97. 

t Dial, cum Tryph. p. 315. 

\ Adversus Haereses, lib. 3, cap. 3, pag. nn. 39,, 


the second century, and wrote probably not more than twenty 
years after Irenaeus, gives a larger account, and mentions 
Britain by name. Quoting the words of David, Psalm 19:4, 
as applicable to the apostles, " Their line is gone out through 
all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." " In 
whom," says he, " have all the nations of the earth believed, 
but in Christ? Not only Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, 
and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappa- 
docia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, 
and in the parts of Lybia and Cyrene, and strangers at Rome, 
Jews and proselytes, and the other nations ; but also the boun- 
daries of the Spaniards, all the different nations of the Gauls, 
and those parts of Britain which were inaccessible to tho 
Romans, are become subject to Christ." He goes on to say, 
after enumerating other nations, " In all which the name of 
Christ reigns, because he is now come ; before whom the gates 
of all cities are set open, and none shut ; before whom doors 
of brass fly open, and bars of iron are snapt asunder; that is, 
these hearts once possessed by the devil, by faith in Christ are 
set open."* 

Origen, who flourished about the year of our Lord 220, 
speaking of the prophecies which the Jews themselves allowed 
to refer to the advent of the Messiah, and particularly on tho 
words, " the whole earth shall shout for joy," he says, *' Tho 
miserable Jews acknowledge that this is spoken of the presence 
of Christ ; but they are stupidly ignorant of the person, though 
they see the words fulfilled. ' Quando enim terra Britannia* 
ante adventum Christi, in unius Dei consensit, religionem ;' 
tahe?i, before the advent of Christ, did the land of Britain 
agree in the worship of one God ? When did the land of 
the Moors — when did the whole globe at once agree in this ? 
But now, on account of the churches, which are spread to tho 
uttermost bounds of the world, the whole earth, with rejoicing 
invokes the God of Israel. "f Origen tells Celsus what was 
the cause of this extensive and rapid spread of the Christian 
religion: "The first preachers who planted Christian churches, 
their sermons had a mighty force of persuasion above those 
who taught the philosophy of Plato, or of any other man en- 
dowed only with the power of human nature ; but the persua-. 
sion of the apostles of Jesus Christ was given of God, persuad- 
ing men to believe by the efficacy and power of the Holy Spi- 
rit ; and therefore quickly and swiftly did their word run 
through the world, or rather the word of God, by their minis* 

* Adversus Judaeos, cap. 7, pag. m. 92. 
t Origen Op, vol. — , pag. 370. 

173 HI9T0RT OF 

try converting many sinners from the evil of their ways, 
whom no man could have changed by whatever punishments, 
but the word of God converted them according to the will of 

Eusebius, a learned and inquisitive historian, says, " Innu- 
merable multitudes of people, in all cities and countries, like 
corn in a well-filled granary, being brought in by the grace of 
God that brings salvation. They whose minds were hereto- 
fore distempered and overrun with the error and idolatry of 
their ancestors, were cured by the sermons and miracles of 
our Lord's disciples : so after shaking oft' these chains of 
darkness and slavery, which the merciless demons had put 
upon them, they freely embraced and entertained the know- 
ledge and service of the only true God, the great Creator of 
the world, whom they worshipped according to the rites and 
rules of that divine and wisely contrived religion which our 
Savior had introduced. "f In the third book of his Evangelical 
Demonstration, having named Romans, Persians, Armenians, 
Parthians, Indians, and Scythians, as people among whom the 
apostles preached the gospel of Christ, he mentions particularly 
that some of them passed over the ocean to the British islands. 
That some of the apostles preached the gospel in the British 
islands, he was probably informed by Constantine himself, to 
whom he was well known ; or received it from some of the 
emperor's countrymen, who were then in his court ; or of the 
British bishops, summoned to the council of Nice, where, in 
all likelihood, some of them made their appearance. 

While the red horse of war was prancing in wanton fury on 
the banks of Britain, trampling on the full ripe blossoms of its 
youth, and in the glory of its strength — while the sleepless 
sword was extending its ravages, and while miseries were mul- 
tiplying, without any prospect of a suitable remedy, behold, the 
feet of them that bring good tidings of great joy, that publish 
peace and salvation, that say unto Zion thy God reigneth, ad- 
vance toward the British isle. Yea, behold the heralds of the 
Redeemer, carrying in their hands the torch of everlasting 
truth, and in their hearts the zeal of the Lord of hosts, enter 
Wales, and commence their labors of love in Llanilltyd Vawi'4 
in the vale of Glamorgan. § 

* Contra Celsum, lib. 3, p. 129. 

t Hist. Eccl. lib. 2, cap. 3. 

t Lantwit major, the port where the missionaries first landed and entered on 
their mission, 

$ A county of South Wales. The vale of Glamorgan is a rich and extend- 
ed district of the county, proverbially called the garden of Wales. 

Till". WELSH HAITIST*. 179 

The names of the missionaries were Illtyd, Kyndaf, and 
Arwystly. While in Rome as prisoners of war, they wero 
brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God, and be- 
eame teachers of the Christian religion. 

These missionaries of the cross became instrumental in turn- 
ing many Britons from their ignorance to the knowledge of 
Christ; and Druids, not a few, became obedient to the faith. 

The supposition that Paul preached the gospel in Britain is 
not altogether without foundation. About six years ago, a 
polished stone, of about eight feet in length, was found embo- 
somed eight feet deep in the earth, near Llandilo Vawr, in 
Carmarthenshire, with this inscription upon it in the Welsh 
language : " Near this place has the apostle Paul been preach- 
ing the gospel — A. D. 64." 

While the missionaries were incessant in labor, and indefa- 
tigably exercising their ministrations among their benighted 
countrymen, some informed the British king that certain per- 
sons were spreading a new religion, altogether different from 
the ancient religion of the country. The king, consequently, 
summoned the preachers to appear before him and his princes, 
on a certain day, which summons they obeyed. When the 
aecused made their appearance before the court, the king in- 
quired of them what were their principles, and whence they 
had been taken. One of them replied, " Ye honorable men, 
the God of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things, whether 
visible, or invisible, hath sent us to declare unto you, that he 
is the only object of worship, and that if you believe in him, 
and cast away your idols, you shall have eternal life in hea- 
ven." Then he proceeded to describe the condition of man 
by nature, and our salvation by Jesus Christ. Then the kin<* 
and his princes answered, " We find no fault in your offers, 
and could we believe that they were true, we would, poradven- 
ture, submit ourselves to what you require. But we, (praise 
to the tutelary gods,) live secure by following the religion of 
the country. And we may be rash and unwise, if we renounce 
the religion of the fathers and listen to your tales; but as we 
have been informed that you are intelligent, peaceable men, we 
declare unto you, that you shall not be in need of support. 
And as many as you may prevail upon to become proselytes, 
peace be to them. But we will adhere to the religion of the 
state." Thus the missionaries were dismissed from the British 
throne with almost Gallio-like indifference. Yet the British 
king had no disposition to stop them in their career of benevo- 
lence, but encouraged them in the continuance of well-doino-, 
with a promise of protection and patronage. 


Meyric Gwawdrydd, the sovereign of Britain, together with 
his son Coel, and Arivog, the chief prince of his host, were al- 
most persuaded to become Christians ; but still they loved the 
honor which comet h from men rather than that which cometh 
from God, by adhering to Druidical superstitions and rejecting 
the claims of the Christian religion. " Not many wise men 
after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. 
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to con- 
found the wise : and God hath chosen the weak things of the 
world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things 
of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, 
yea, and things that are not to bring to nought things that 
are." Thus it was in Britain : while the king and many of 
his princes and nobles were following their heathenish practices, 
the common people, seeing the miracles wrought, and witness- 
ing the power of divine grace exemplified in the lives of those 
who had been, heretofore, the most abandoned and desperate 
characters, were melted into submission to the faith of Jesus 
Christ, and vast numbers rallied around the standard of the 
cross ; and in contrasting the present peaceful habits of these 
Christian converts with their former warlike exercises, one 
might have justly exclaimed. This is the outstretched arm 
op God. 

The word of God mightily increased in Britain, by the divine 
influence which accompanied the preaching of the truth. Such 
was the rapid march of the gospel, that in the space of a few 
years nearly all regions of the country heard the " gladly so- 
lemn sound." About the year 197, Tertullian, an African 
divine, makes honorable mention of the Britons by the. abun- 
dant success which accompanied the preaching of the gospel. 
It is true that Tertullian lived at a great distance from Britain, 
and made these statements from the reports he had received. 
Nevertheless, the gospel must have taken a deep root in 
Britain, since the report of its success had extended to Africa. 

In the year 180, Lies ab Coel,* the British king, was con- 
verted to Christianity. In his conversion we have the first ac- 
complishment of the promise, " And kings shall be thy nursing 
fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow 
down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the 
dust of thy feet ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for 
they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." Lies was the 
first of all the princes of Christendom that received Christian 

* Lucius. His name in the British language signifies beneft, because of &• 
true benefit which his subjects derived from his Christian benevolence. 


Although his own country was supplied with Christian teach- 
ers, yet in 'embracing Christianity he sent for direction to Elu- 
therius, the Bishop of Rome. Because the Romans were then 
so powerful in Britain, and the mutual commerce and inter- 
course of the two nations so extensive, he chose to send to the 
capital of the world. At that time the streams of divine truth 
were not corrupted there with the traditions' of men, and with 
gross superstitions. Here is a copy of the letter: 

" Lies ab Coel, the king of Britain, to Elutherius, the bishop 
of Rome, sendeth greeting : I have endured, for some time, a 
wounded spirit and a troublesome mind, because I hesitated in 
regard to the best religion for me and my subjects to adhere 
To. Now I begin to feel the wretched state of my ignorance 
of God, and of his religion. I know that idols can do nothing, 
and doubtless that all are fools who trust in them. Therefore, 
1 beseech thee to send over to Britain some of your pious 
teachers, to instruct us in the Christian faith. — Farewell" 

God, the wise disposer of all human events, in his inscruta- 
ble wisdom, permits the wrath of man to fly on the wings of 
speed, and to fix its deadly talons on the excellent of the earth. 
But in his own time, he restrains the remainder of wrath, curbs 
the foaming rage of the tyrant, and tells the cruel persecuter, 
"'Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther." 

After Dioclesian had sated himself with the blood of saints, 
he abdicated his throne, retired to a secluded spot, where he 
spent the residue of his life in painful reflections and keen re- 
morse. Having dragged a miserable existence, for the space 
of nine years, by the stings of a guilty conscience, he com- 
mitted suicide by swallowing a chalice of poison. He was suc- 
ceeded by Constans, a man famous for his clemency and 
equity, and who was married to Helen, the daughter of Coel 
Godebog, of Britain ; by whom he had a son, known by the 
name of Constantine the Great, who was the first of the Ro- 
man emperors that received the faith of Christ. Constans was 
favorably disposed towards Christians. He interceded for 
them, though unsuccessfully, with Dioclesian ; yet by his 
authority in Britain, the persecution there did not exceed a 
year ; whereas, in other countries it continued for ten years. 

Constans, although not a professor of Christianity, was yet 
decidedly partial to Christians ; and his decided esteem for 
them was strikingly manifested on all occasions. On a certain 
occasion, he made a trial of the sincerity of his chief officers, 
and he determined to know whether his courtiers were real 
Christians or hypocrites. He therefore convened them to- 
gether, and said that his will was, that whosoever would saeri- 


fice to the gods should continue in his favor, and enjoy their 
privileges in court, but that those who would not submit should 
be dismissed from his service. Consequently, the Christians, 
bowing their heads, resigned their offices, and departed ; but 
the hypocrites remained with the emperor, and declared their 
willingness to sacrifice. The emperor caused the Christians 
to be recalled, and exalted them to still more honorable offices 
and privileges ; but the hypocrites he banished from his pre- 
sence, as unworthy of confidence ; justly inferring that those 
who could prove treacherous to their God, could never be his 
faithful subjects. 

No Roman was ever so endeared to the Britons as Constans, 
and the affection of the latter to the former was no less ardent 
and distinguished. It is difficult to know which of the two 
parties showed the most signal marks of attachment; whether 
they, in their respect and obedience, or he, in his mildness and 
kingly benevolence. For the sake of establishing permanent 
peace between the two nations, and in order to remove all 
jealousies and inveteracy, he married Helen, or Ellen, a lady 
of rare beauty and of shining virtues, who was the daughter of 
Coel, king of Britain, by his wife Stradwen, daughter of Cad- 
van ab Conan, prince of North Wales. Helen became the 
mother of a prince, whose name will be remembered as long 
as the world standeth, not only as the warm advocate of the 
Christian faith, but as one who injudiciously amalgamated the 
church with the state. 

During the dissemination of Pelagian doctrines, the Britons 
were in a state of weakness and religious decline. The coun- 
try was frequently involved in troubles, by the inroads of Picts, 
Hibernians, Franks, and Saxons, whose depredations kept the 
natives in perpetual alarm, and tended effectually to obstruct 
the progress of religion. While Agrigola and his exhorters 
were preaching salvation through Christ, their doctrines were 
well received, and relished as doctrines in which they had been 
taught in the gospel. But when they asserted and maintained 
that man could be saved by exerting his own ability, indepen- 
dent of the aid of divine grace, they were either heard with 
suspicion or rejected as heretical. And when the ingenuous 
auditors demanded proofs, they could not be adduced from 
Scripture ; but Agrigola and his followers attempted to prove 
their new doctrines from the principles of false philosophy. 
The unsophisticated Britons not being prepared to meet them 
on this illegitimate ground, they sent over to their neighbors 
in Gaul (France), requesting them to furnish them with a few 
pious, able, and learned ministers, who would enter into a pub- 


lie discussion with those sanctimonious novices, who sought to 
deprive them of their hope, and to overturn their faith. 

The deputies were received by the Gallic church with re- 
spect and honor; and, to express their willingness to serve 
their brethren, they held a council, in order to fix on men of 
good report, full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom, to meet the 
wishes and supply the wants of the churches in Britain, in 
their present exigency. Two ministers, Garmon, bishop of 
Alet-y-sodqr, and Lupus, bishop of Trecastle, men of superior 
intelligence, of excellent moral character, and of sound and 
firm principles, were chosen by the council to be sent to Bri- 
tain. As soon as they arrived in Britain, they were actively, 
zealously, and warmly employed in preaching the gospel of truth 
to the body of the people in Welsh, and to the learned in Latin. 
The then moral and religious state of Britain demanded their 
indefatigable labors and most zealous efforts. Besides the er- 
roneous principles disseminated by the false teachers among 
avowed adherents to Christianity, idolatry and Druidism had 
been restored in many sections of the country, but the accumu- 
lation of obstacles only augmented the labors of the bishops 
and brightened their confidence in God. It was their invaria- 
ble custom to traverse the country in all directions, preaching 
the necessity of divine grace to aid their hearers to glorify 
God, and showing that good purposes and resolutions are 
merely the offspring of selfishness, presumption, and folly, if 
proceeding not from a principle of sanctifying grace. The 
Lord gave of his Spirit to co-operate with their diligent minis- 
trations. Thus, by the blessing of God, unbelievers were 
brought over to the faith, the feeble were strengthened, and 
those who had before despised the doctrines of grace saw their 
error, and were brought to adopt the language of Paul, " Not 
I, but the grace of God which was with me." 

Garmon and Lupus having ascended high in the public es- 
teem, and become distinguished for their popular talents, the 
false teachers retired for a season from public observation, per- 
haps to screen themselves from the arrows of enthusiasm, or 
rather to prepare themselves for a public oral discussion with 
their reverend opponents. 

The tide of public feeling against the advocates of Pelagian- 
ism having diminished by their silence and disappearance, the 
false teachers and their exhorters took courage, re-entered on 
their labors, and challenged the Gallic bishops to enter with 
them into a public discussion, on the points at issue. The 
place of their rendezvous was London. There the false teach- 
ers, who composed the majority, commenced by making their 


harangues, in which they magnified the powers and faculties 
of man, and asserted how many meritorious works man could 
perform, if he only followed the dictates of reason, and con- 
sulted his own judgment, and that transgressions were merely 
the effects of carelessness and pliability. Gannon, in reply,, 
explained systematically, the change which had been effected 
in the moral essence of the mental faculties of Adam, posterior 
to his transgression. Instead of uprightness of heart, he be- 
came prone to a wayward course ; and instead of the calm, 
the composure, and comfort, which were before a perpetual 
feast to his soul, his breast was now the seat of tumultuous 
passions, such as carnal desires, perturbation of mind, anguish, 
and remorse. " Now," said he, " this is what is intended in 
the Scriptures by the old man — namely, the base passions, the 
lusts, the evil propensities that are in us, which we have inhe- 
rited from Adam our progenitor; for, as the branches partake 
of the nature of the stock, so we, being of Adam's race, par- 
take of his corrupt nature, which he acquired by the fall. 
Thus it is evident that the first work of a Christian's new 
birth is to cast away the unruly passions and lusts, which so 
extensively now domineer and exercise authority over him. 
But he cannot enter upon such an important work merely by 
his own ability and efforts ; for our nature is frail and corrupt, 
and the imaginations of man's heart are evil from his youth ; 
but by seeking the aid of God's grace to stand with our good 
purposes, as it is written, " My grace is sufficient for thee, my 
strength shall be made perfect in thy weakness." The audi- 
tors were highly satisfied and greatly comforted by the defence 
of Garmon, and such were the angry feelings manifested to- 
wards the false teachers and their exhorters, that they would 
have been roughly treated, had it not been for the interposition 
of the two bishops. 

The two bishops systematically carried forward their opera- 
tions in the moral amelioration and conversion of the Britons. 
They first established schools for the attainment and diffusion 
of religious and useful knowledge, as far as means rendered 
their object practicable. Several of the British clergy were 
then unlearned and unstable. They were but children in un- 
derstanding, and but partially and superficially acquainted with 
the Holy Scriptures, and the branches of theology. This state 
of ignorance and insufficiency induced them to send over to 
France* for suitable men to resist the false teachers. In those 

* France at that time was called Gaul, and the inhabitants were Welsh peo- 
ple, who spoke the Welsh language. But after the Romans invaded Gaul 


academies established by Garmon and Lupus, young men 
studied in the higher branches of literature, and in theology, 
to aid them in the sacred ministry. The two principal men 
chosen as superintendents over these nurseries of learning, were 
Dyfrig and Illtyd, men of distinguished talents, both natural 
and acquired, and of ardent zeal in the dissemination of know- 
ledge and promotion of piety, and who were in all respects 
qualified for their important charge. Dyfrig opened his school 
at the city of Caerleon, in South Wales, where not only the 
sons of farmers and mechanics received his tuition, but the sons 
of the nobility, who studied the sciences — namely, philosophy, 
astronomy, &c. It is stated that, on some occasions, his pupils 
amounted to a thousand in number. Teilo Vawr, who so 
strenuously defended the grace of God in an assembly held at 
Llandewi-brevi, in South Wales, was his pupil. Another pupil 
of his was Cadoc, the son of Kynlas, the lord of Glamorgan. 
Dyfrig, having extensively sown the seed of knowledge, and 
having seen the rapid progress of literature, resigned his charge 
as a tutor, and was made the first bishop of Llandaff, and was 
translated thence to the bishopric of Caerleon. Illtyd also 
ably acted his part in Llanilltyd, in Glamorgan, in restoring 
literature and exerting a moral influence. His pupil was Sam- 
son, a man of extensive knowledge, who, nevertheless, greatly 
injured his country, by collecting many rare and ' precious 
manuscripts, and taking them with him to Bretagne. Gildas 
was one of his pupils, who wrote an ecclesiastical history of 
Britain in Latin. Dewi and Paulin were among his pupils ; 
beside many others, who in point of genius, learning, and piety, 
were ornaments to their country, and who would have been an 
honor to any country in the age in which they lived, and per- 
haps would shine during the present march of refinement. 

Bangor-is-y-Coed, in North Wales, also experienced the be- 
nevolent care, and efficient encouragement and support of Gar- 
mon ; for he appointed Adian as the principal and superinten- 
dent of the college, who was the son of Gornew, and the grand- 
son of Urien Keyed, prince of North Wales. Bangor-is-y- 
Coed and Caerleon, were the principal fountains of learning in 
Great Britain at that period. The reason why Wales sur- 
passed England, as it regarded its literary institutions, was, 

and Britain, the nobility of both countries learned the L&tin language; so 
that it was necessary for Garmon and Lupus to preach in both Latin and 
Welsh to the ancient Britons. Though it was not the native tongue of 
either preachers or hearers, yet no man was considered learned, at that time, 
except he could speak fluently in Latin; which is, in some measure, the case 
in Wales to this day. 

16 * 

1$6 ItlSTOSV OF 

thai the latter was often the scene of foreign inroads, while the 
former was but seldom annoyed with savage invaders. 

Garmon and Lupus, having established order in Britain, re- 
turned to France. As soon as the news of their departure was 
generally announced, the false teachers re-entered upon their 
labors, and soon filled the country with the sound of their in- 
sipid doctrines. A messenger was sent to solicit the return of 
Garmon to the former scenes of his ministerial labors, inas- 
much as the advocates of Pelagianism were throughout the 
country loudly decrying the fundamental principles of Chris- 
tianity, and, by all the art and cunning of errorists, were at- 
tempting to erect their own standard of faith. Garmon pro- 
ceeded to Britain without delay, and took Severus with him, an 
able and eloquent man in the Scriptures. 

Nothing deserving of peculiar notice transpired in Britain, 
between the final departure of Garmon thence, and the coming 
of the Saxons thither. 

See Extracts from the Parish Church, in the Religious 
Magazine. — Benedict's History of the Baptist Denomination 
in America. — Hanes Prydain Fawr, by Rev. Titus Lewis ; 
Hanes Crefydd yng Ygmry, by Rev. Prof. D. Peter : 
Translated by Evans Martyn, and •published in the Chris- 
tian Herald, Vol. 6. 



We have every reason to believe that the Welsh Baptists 
had their associations, and that Dyfrig, Illtyd, and Dynawt, 
were the leading men among them, long before Austin's at- 
tempt to convert them to Popery, in that association which was 
held on the borders of England, about the year 600. 

The first association after the reformation, as far as we can 
find, was held at Abergavenny, on the 14th and 15th days of 
the sixth month, in the year 1653; when the ministers and 
messengers of five of the old and apostolical Baptist order, met 
and calmly and deliberately considered the best means to be 
adopted for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ. They re- 
presented the churches of Olchon, Llantrisaint, Llanwenarth, 
Swansea, and Carmarthen.* They unanimously agreed that 
the church of Olchon should ordain more elders and deacons, 
and assist the church of Llanwenarth to support their minister. 
The names of the delegates are not recorded. It is only stated, 
that twenty-four of them signed the minutes; and J. Thomas* 
the Welsh historian, has given us only the names of seven of 
them — namely: Howel Vaughan, W alter Prosser, Thomas 
Parry, Howel Watkins, Charles Garson, and Stephen Brace.. 

The next association was held at Aberavon, within the 
bounds of the church of Swansea, in the year 1654; wherein 
it was resolved, that the church of Carmarthen being destitute 
of a pastor, should be supplied by other ministers in regular 
rotation ; and that John Miles, David Davis, Walter Prosser, 
and William Prichard, should prepare writings to be [.resented 
to the next association, on the duty of pastors, deacons, and 
members of churches; which also they did. John Miles was 
appointed to visit the churches of Olchon and Llanwenarth, as 
often as he could during the year, to assist them, and to endea- 
vor to ascertain whether there were any among them that were 
likely to be useful in the work of the ministry, and to form his 

* From the history of the above churches, we find that each of them had 
several branches ; and that every minister was both a pastor and a mission, 
ary, within the bounds of his own church. The distance from Llanwenarth 
to Carmarthen is about one hundred miles, and nearly as much from Olchon 
to Swansea, 



judgment of the gifts and qualifications of such as had com- 
menced preaching. 

The next association was held at Llantrisaint, in the same 
year; when the subject of laying on of hands on the baptized, 
first came under their consideration. The above named minis- 
ters, and William Thomas also, were appointed to write on 
the subject against the next association, to be held at the Hay, 
within the bounds of the Olchon church. 

We have not seen the account of that association, but soon 
afterwards Messrs. Rider and Hopkins, who were great advo- 
cates for it, were sent down from Glaziers' Hall church, Lon- 
don, to Wales, and laid their hands on some of the children of 
Gomer, for the first time since the introduction of Christianity 
into the Isle of Britain. By degrees, it became a universal 
practice. Some years afterwards, the question was agitated 
again in the churches of Maesyberllan and Ebenezer, and 
finally settled by the association that it should not be a bar of 

The associations were held afterwards in the following 
places : 

































Ministers appointed to preach. 

Richard Williams. 
Philip James. 
Abel Morgan. 
Morgan Griffiths. 
Nathan Davies or Caleb Evans. 
John Jenkins or Samuel Jones. 
Minutes lost. 

* This year the association published their Confession of" Faith, which was 
adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist association in 1742. 







Pen y fay 





1740 Cilfowyr 

1741 Blaenau 

1742 Llanglophan 

1743 Cilfowyr 

1744 Penygarn 

1745 Pent re f 

1746 Swansea 

Ministers appointed to preach. 
Minutes lost. 

Nathan Davies. 

John Jenkins or Nathan Davies. 
Morgan Griffiths or John Harris* 

John Jenkins or John Harris. 
John Harris or Enoch Francis. 
Enoch Francis or W. Meredith. 
David James or Nathan Davies. 
Nathan Davies or Samuel Jones. 
Samuel Jones or W. Meredith. 
Caleb Evans or William Philips. 
N. Davies or Morgan Griffiths. 
Morgan Jones or Enoch Francis- 
Enoch Francis or John Philips. 
John Jenkins or Caleb Evans. 

Griffith Jones or John Jenkins. 
John Jenkins or Miles Harris. 
Enoch Francis or Roger David. 
Enoch Francis, Matt. 24:45. 
Bern'd Foskett, Bristol, 1 Tim. 4:7, 
Roger David, 1 Tim. 4:16. 
Miles Harris, Rom. 10:15. 
Hugh Evans, Ef>h. 3:8. 
Morgan Griffiths, Acts 26:28. 
Thomas Mathias, Jer. 3:15. 
Griffith Jones, 1 Cor. 4:1,2. 
Hugh Evans, Phil. 4:8. 
Morgan Harris, Job 33:23. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Kings, 2:14. 
David Owen, 1 Cor. 16:10. 
Bern'd Foskelt, Bristol, 1 Thes. 1:5. 
Griffith Davies or Hugh Evans. 
Miles Harris, Jer. 15:19. 
Evan Jenkins, 2 Tim. 2:19. 
D.Thomas, Cilfowyr, lChron. 29:1, 
Hugh Evans, Isaiah 62:6, 7. 
Thomas Edwards, 2 Tim. 2:15. 
Evan Jenkins, Heb. 12:15. 
Griffith Jones, 2 Chron. 15:7. 



Year. Place. 

1747 Brechfa 

1748 Garth 

1749 Llanelli 

1750 Moleston 

































Ministers appointed to preach. 
Evan Jenkins, Jude 21. 
Evan Thomas, John 21:17. 
Evan Jenkins, 1 Thes. 2:12. 
Griffith Jones, 1 Cor. 2:2. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Cor. 5:20. 
G. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Cor. 5:11. 
D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, Matt. 22:4. 
Griffith Jones, 2 Cor, 13:2. 
Evan Jenkins, Matt. 16.11. 
John Thomas, 2 Tim. 4:5. 
Griffith Davis and Evan Jenkins. 
Edmund Watkins, Mark 16:15. 
Caleb Harris, Col. 4:3,4. 
D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, 1 Tim. 4:16. 
Griffith Davies, Eph. 3:8. 
Caleb Harris, 2 Tim. 2:25. 
Miles Harris, 1 Cor. 15:34. 
Richard Jones, 2 Tim. 4:2. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Tim. 2:1. 
Miles Harris, Rev. 14:6,7. 
Griffith Davis, Acts 5, 42. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar, 1 Cor. 9:16. 
Hugh Evans. 
David Owen, Col. 4:17. 
Hugh Evans, 1 Cor. 1:23,24. 
Evan Thomas, Luke 12:42. 
Hugh Evans, Acts 4:24. 
Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:23. 
Benjamin Francis, Tit. 2:14. 
D. Thomas, Newcastle, Matt. 2 1 :42. 
Hugh Evans, Rom. 1:16. 
John Williams, Col. 1:28. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Peter, 2:2. 
D. Thomas, Rhydwilim,Ps. 51:13. 
Hugh Evans, Eph. 4:12, 13. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Phil. 2:1. 
James Lewis, 2 Tim. 2:15. 
Hugh Evans, Hos. 14:5. 
George Rees, 1 Peter, 5:2. 
Benjamin Francis, Micah 2:7. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar, Tsa. 27:13. 
Hugh Evans, Zech. 14:20. 
Griffith Davies, Col. 1:28. 
Caleb Evans, D. D. ? Col. 3:11. 



Year. Place. 

176S Hengoed 

1769 Aberduar 

1770 Capelyffin 

1771 Penyfay 

1772 Rhydwilim 

1773 Bethesda 

1774 Ebenezer 

1775 Brynbyga 

1776 Panteg 

1777 Caerleon 

1778 Salem 

1779 Glyn 

1780 Llanvvcnarth 

1781 Llanglophan 

1 7 *2 Blaenau 

1783 Cilfowyr 

1 75?4 . Penvcarn 

Ministers appointed to preach. 
D. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Cor. 4:5. 
Sam. Stennett, D. D., Mat. 28:20. 
D.Thomas, Rhydwilim, 2 Cor, 5:14. 
Benjamin Francis, Rev. 3:19. 
John Williams, Acts 6:2223. 
Hugh Evans, Mai. 2:15. 
William Williams, 2 Cor. 5. 11. 
Benjamin Francis, Psalm 126:G. 
Griffith Davies, 2 Cor. 5:20. 
William Williams, Heb. 12:2. 
John Williams, Matt. 22:4. 
Hugh Evans, Zech. 1:5. 
Edmund Watkins, Acts 20,26, 27. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Cor. 15:58. 
William Williams, Hos. 7:9. 
Hugh Evans, Heb. 12:22,23. 
Thomas Hiller, Luke 8:35. 
John Thomas, Deut. 33:3. 
Benjamin Francis, Phil. 1:27. 
Joshua Thomas, Psalm 42:5. 
George Rees, 1 Cor. 5:18. 
Hugh Evans, Luke 12:43. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Cor. 2:2. 
Thomas Philips, Acts 15:16. 
Benjamin Francis, Luke 10:2. 
John Williams, John 1:1, 3. 
S. Medley, Liverp'l, Zech. 9:16,17. 
Stephen Davies, Matt. 16:24. 
George Rees, Acts 11:21. 
Zecharias Thomas, Gal. 6:14. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 Tim. 1:15. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Thess. 2:13. 
David Evans, Eph. 1:23. 
William Williams, Heb. 3:7, 8. 
John Thomas, Jer. 3:23. 
Benjamin Francis, Matt. 25:21. 
George Rees, Zech. 3:4. 
Benjamin Francis, Zech.. 14:3. 
Morgan Rees, 1 Pet. 2:4. 
Miles Edwards, Psalm 23:5. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, Rom. 5:11. 
David Evans, Graig, Zech. 9:9. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Ps. 119:129. 
John Richard, Graig, Luke 2:10. 





1785 Graig 

1 7 86 Pentref 

1787 Heol v Prior 

1788 Llanerchymedd 

1789 Maesyberllan 

1790 Dolau 

Ministers appointed to preach. 
H. Davies, Llanglophan, John 1:14. 
Benjamin Morgan, Zech. 4:8. 
Zechariah Thomas, Cant. 2:9. 
David Jones, 1 Tim. 1:10. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, John 8:32. 
Miles Edwards, Psalm 36:7. 
H. Davies,Llanglophan, Jer. 15:19. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 John 4:10. 
Josh. Thomas, same text in Welsh. 
George Rees, 2 Cor. 5:4. 
David Jones, Mai. 1:11. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, 1 John 2:3. 
Job Davis, Frome, 2 Cor. 4:7. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar., Isa. 53:10. 
Morgan Rees, Hab. 3:9. 
D. Powell, Matt. 17:26. 
Gabriel Rees, Luc. 24:26. 
Benjamin Philips, Eccles. 3:3. 
David Evans, Dolau, Rev. 1:20. 
B. Davies, Hwlffordd, John 3:19. 
H. Davies, Llanglophan, Eph. 3:8. 
David Evans, Cilfowyr, Ps. 149:2. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar, Is. 14:32. 
William Williams, Neh. 8:2. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Acts 15:9. 
George Rees, 1 Tim. 6:6. 
Benjamin Francis, Rom. 6:15. 
Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:22,23. 
Benjamin Francis, Phil. 3:16. 
John Evans, Roe, 2 Cor. 4:7. 
David Jones, Isaiah 40:7. 
Joshua Thomas, Josh. 21:45. 



Here it may not be improper to make a few preliminary 

The ministry of the gospel, through the instrumentality of 
Welsh preachers, has produced a most wonderful effect, which 
is visible in the ornament of evangelical knowledge, and the 
beauty of that morality, that broidered garment of pure gold in 
which the Principality is clothed. Notwithstanding many of 
her ministers go out to preach without any golden rings and 
precious diamonds on their fingers, and even without the learn- 
ing of Athens and Rome — the oratory of Demosthenes, the 
chief orator of Greece, or of Cicero, the chief orator of Rome ; 
yet, by the influence of the Holy Spirit of God inflaming their 
gifts, and firing their zeal and love to Christ and the souls of 
men, they have set the land of Cambria on fire. There is no 
portion of the terrestrial globe, of its size and containing the 
same, number of inhabitants, where the religion of Christ has 
been and now is so flourishing, and where it has had such an 
universal effect, as the Principality of Wales — where the flow- 
ers of morality decorate its hills and dales, and ungodly and 
heathenish customs are flying away, like the demons of Gadara 
before the Son of God in the days of his flesh. 

However excellent the written sermons of Welsh ministers 
might appear in any language whatever, the effect is nothing, 
comparatively, to that produced by the living speakers. Their 
superiority as preachers may be ascribed, measurably, to their 
pathetic, warm, and masterly manner of delivery, and their 
prepossessing appearance and compass of voice, which enables 
them to command the attention of thousands. Much of the 
original force and beauty of their sermons, therefore, are lost 
in translating. 

The Fall of Man, and his Recovery by Christ, 

At a meeting of ministers in Bristol, the Rev. Mr. invited 

several of his brethren to sup with him. Among them was the 
minister officiating at the Welsh meeting-house in that city. He 
was an entire stranger to all the company, and silently attentive 
to the general conversation of his brethren. The subject on 


which they were discoursing was the different strains of public 
preaching. When several had given their opinion, and had 
mentioned some individuals as good preachers, and such as were 

models as to style of composition, &c. Mr. turned to the 

Welsh stranger, and solicited his opinion. He said he felt it a 
privilege to be silent, when such men were discoursing, but that 
he felt it a duty to comply with his request. " But," said he, 
" if I must give my opinion, 1 should say that ye have no good 
preachers in England. A Welshman would set fire to the 
world while you were lighting your match." The whole com- 
pany requested the good man to give them some specimen of 
the style and manner of preaching in Wales. " Specimen," 
said he, " I cannot give you. l£ John Elias were here, he would 
give you a specimen indeed. I cannot do justice to the Welsh 
language! Your poor, meagre language would spoil it; it is 
not capable of expressing those ideas which a Welshman 
can conceive; I cannot give you a specimen in English with- 
out spoiling it." The interest of the company was increased, 
and nothing would do but something of a specimen. " Well," 
said the Welshman, " if you must have a piece, I must try, but 
I don't know what to give you — I recollect a piece of Christmas 
Evans. He was preaching on the depravity of man by sin — 
of his recovery by the death of Christ, and he said — ' Brethren, 
if I were to represent to you, in a figure, the condition of man 
as a sinner, and the means of recovery by the cross of Jesus 
Christ, I should represent it something in this way : Suppose a 
large grave-yard, surrounded by a high wall, with only one 
entrance, which is by a large iron gate, which is fast bolted. 
Within these walls are thousands and tens of thousands of hu- 
man beings, of all ages and classes, by one epidemic disease 
bending to the grave — the grave yawns to swallow them, and 
they must all die. There is no balm to relieve them — no phy- 
sician there — they must perish. This is the condition of man 
as a sinner. All have sinned, and the soul that sinneth shall 
die. While man was in this deplorable state, Mercy came 
down and stood at the gate, looked at the scene and wept over 
it, exclaiming, " Oh that I might enter, I would bind up their 
wounds, I would relieve their sorrows, I would save their souls." 
While Mercy stood weeping at the gate, an embassy of angels, 
commissioned from the court of Heaven to some other world, 
paused at the sight, and Heaven forgave that pause ; and, see- 
ing Mercy standing there, they cried, " Mercy, Mercy, can you 
not enter ? Can you look upon that scene and not pity ? Can 
you pity and not relieve?" Mercy replied, " I can see;" and 
in her tears she added, " I can pity, but I cannot relieve." 


" Why can you not enter?" " Oh," said Mercy, " Justice has 
barred the gate against me, and I cannot, must not, unbar it." 
At this moment Justice himself appeared, as it were to watch 
the gate. The angels inquired of him, " Why will you not let 
Mercy in?" Justice replied, " My law is broken, and it must 
be honored — die they, or Jesus must!" At this, there appeared 
a form among the angelic band like unto the Son of God, who, 
addressing himself to Justice, said, " What are thy demands?" 
Justice replied, " My terms are stern and rigid : I must have 
sickness for their health — I must have ignominy for their ho- 
nor — I must have death for their life — Without shedding of 
blood there is no remission" " Justice," said the Son of God, 
" I accept thy terms. On me be this wrong, and let Mercy 
enter." " When," said Justice, " will you perform this pro- 
mise?" Jesus replied, " Four thousand years hence, upon the 
hill of Calvary, without the gates of Jerusalem, I will perform 
it in my own person." The deed was prepared, and signed in 
the presence of the angels of God. Justice was satisfied, and 
Mercy entered, preaching salvation in the name of Jesus. The 
deed was committed to the patriarchs, by them to the kings of 
Israel and the prophets — by them it was preserved until Da- 
niel's seventy weeks were accomplished — then, at the appointed 
time, Justice appeared on the hill of Calvary, and Mercy pre- 
sented to him the important deed. " Where," said Justice, " 19 
the Son of God V Mercy answered, " Behold him at the bot- 
tom of the KU, bearing his cross" — and then she departed, and 
stood aloof at the hour of trial. Jesus ascended the hill, while 
in his own train followed bis weeping church. Justice imme- 
diately presented him «ith the deed, saying, " This is the day 
when this bond is to be executed." When he received it, did 
he tear it in pie<^s, and give it to the v/inds of heaven? No ; 
he nailed it to his cross, exclaiming, " It is finished." Justice 
called on noly fire to come down and consume the sacrifice. 
Holv lire descended — it swallowed his Humanity, but when it 
touched his Deity it expired! — and there was darkness over the 
whole heavens — but glory to God in the highest, on earth 
peace and good-will to men.' 

u This," said the Welshman — " this is but a specimen of 
Christmas Evans." 

The Victory of Calvary — By the same. 

After the prophets of ancient times had long gazed through 
the mists of futurity, at the sufferings of Christ, and the glory 
that should follow, a company of them were gathered together 


on the summit of Calvary. They saw a host of enemies ascend- 
ing the hill, arrayed for battle, and most terrific in their aspect. 
In the middle of the line was the Law of God, fiery and exceed- 
ing broad, and working wrath. On the right wing, was Beel- 
zebub with his troops of infernals ; and on the left, Caiaphas 
with his Jewish priests, and Pilate with his Roman soldiers. The 
rear was brought up by Death, the last enemy. When the holy 
seers had espied this army, and perceived that it was drawing 
nigh, they started back, and prepared for flight. As they looked 
round, they saw the Son of God, advancing with intrepid step, 
having his face fixed upon the hostile band. " Seest thou the 
danger that is before thee," said one of the men of God. " I 
will tread them in mine anger," he replied, " and trample them 
in my fury." " Who art thou?" said the prophet. He an- 
swered : " I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." 
*' Wilt thou venture to the battle alone?" asked the seer. The 
Son of God replied : " I looked, and there was none to help ; 
and I wondered there was none to uphold ; therefore mine own 
arm shall bring salvation unto-me; and my fury it shall uphold 
me." At what point wilt thou commence thy attack?" inquired 
the anxious prophet, « I will hvst meet the Law," he replied, 
*' and pass under its curse: for lol I come to do thy will, O 
God." "When I shall have succeeded at the centre of the 
line, the colors will turn in my favor." So saying, he moved 
forward. Instantly the thunderings of Sinai were heard, and 
the whole band of prophets quaked with terror. But he advanced, 
undaunted, amidst the gleaming lightnings. For a moment he 
was concealed from view; and the banner of wrath waved 
above in apparent triumph. Suddenly the scene was changed. 
A stream of blood poured forth from his wounded side, and put 
out all the fires of Sinai. The flag of peace >, a s now seen un- 
furled, and consternation filled the ranks of his fo^ s . He then 
crushed, with his bruised heel, the Old Serpent's hea<L ; an d put 
all the infernal powers to flight. With his iron rod he dashed 
to pieces the enemies on the left wing, like a potter's vessel. 
Death still remained, who thought himself invincible, having 
hitherto triumphed over all. He came forward, brandishing 
his sting, which he had whetted on Sinai's tables of stone. He 
darted it at the conqueror, but it turned down, and hung like 
the flexile lash of a whip. Dismayed, he retreated to the grave, 
his palace, into which the conqueror pursued. In a dark cor- 
ner of his den, he sat on his throne of mouldering skulls, and 
called upon the worms, his hitherto faithful allies, to aid him in 
the conflict ; but they replied, <' His flesh shall see no corrup-. 
tion." The sceptre fell from his hand. The conqueror seized 


him, bound him, and condemned him to the lake of fire ; and 
then rose from the grave, followed by a band of released cap- 
tives, who came forth, after his resurrection, to be witnesses of 
the victory he had won. 

The Demoniac of Gadara* 

The writer heard the following, at an association held in the 
county of Carmarthen, in 1817. It has been considered one 
of the weakest efforts of Christmas Evans. He said it was his 
desire to arouse the attention of the congregation, which had 
not been excited during the whole meeting, though many excel- 
lent sermons had been delivered. It indicates thorough know- 
ledge of human nature, and great power in drawing pictures of 
real life for practical purposes. The effect produced was asto- 
nishing. His pictures would instruct, and sometimes amuse, 
but his applications would shock the congregation like electri- 
city. We are sorry that our limits will not allow us to publish 
the whole sermon. 

" And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the 
city a certain man, which had devils a long time, and wear no 
clothes, neither abode in any house but in the tombs." 

I imagine that this Demoniac was not only an object of pity, 
but he was really a terror in the country, so terrific was his 
appearance, so dreadful and hideous his screams, so formida- 
ble, frightful, and horrid, his wild career, that all the women 
in that region were so much alarmed that none of them durst 
go to market. 

And what made him still more terrible was the place of his 
abode : It was not in a city, where some attention might be 
paid to order and decorum — (though he would sometimes ram- 
ble into the city, as in this case). It was not in a town, or 
village, or any house whatever, where assistance might be ob-. 
tained in case of necessity; but it was among the tombs, and 
in the wilderness — not far, however, from the turnpike road. 
No one could tell but that he might jump at them, like a pan- 
ther, and scare them to death. The gloominess of the place 
made it more awful and solemn. It was among the tombs 
—where, in the opinion of some, all witches, corpse-candles, 
and hobgoblins abide. 

One day, however, Mary was determined that no such 

nuisance should be suffered in the country of the Gadarenes. 

The man must be clothed, though he was mad and crazy. 

And i-f he should at any future time strip himself, tie up his 

17 * 


clothes in a bundle, throw them into the river, and tell them 
to go to sea, Abraham, he must be tied and taken care of. 
Well, this was all right — no sooner said than done. But, so 
soon as the fellow was bound with chains and fetters, Samson- 
like, he broke the bands asunder, and could not be tamed. 

By this time, the devil became offended with the Gadarenes, 
and in a pout he took the Demoniac away, and drove him into 
the wilderness. He thought the Gadarenes had no business to 
interfere and meddle with his property; for he had possession 
of the man. And he knew, that "a bird in the hand is worth 
two in the bush." It is probable that he wanted to send him 
home; for there was no knowing what might happen now-a- 
days. But there was too much matter about him to send him 
as he was ; therefore, he thought the best plan would be to 
persuade him to commit suicide by cutting his throat. But 
here Satan was at a nonplus — his rope was too short — he could 
not turn executioner himself, as that would not have answered 
the design he has in view, when he wants people to commit 
suicide; for the act would have been his own sin, and not the 
man's. The poor Demoniac, therefore, must go about to hunt 
a sharp stone, or any thing that he could get. He might 
have been in search of such an article, when he returned from 
the wilderness into the city whence he came, when he met the 
Son of God. 

" Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the 
man. And when he saw Jesus, he. cried out, and fell down 
before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with 
thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high 1 I beseech thee, tor- 
ment me not." Here is the devil's confession of faith. The 
devils believe and tremble, while men make a mock of sin, and 
sport on the brink of eternal ruin. To many of the human 
race, Christ appears as a root out of dry ground. They see in 
him neither form nor comeliness, and there is no beauty in him 
that they should desire him. Some said he was the carpenter's 
son, and would not believe in him; others said he had a devil, 
and that it was through Beelzebub the chief of the devils, that 
he cast out devils ; some cried out, Let him be crucified- — let 
him be crucified; and others said, Let his blood be on us and 
op our children. As the Jews would not have him to reign 
Over them ; so many, who call themselves Christians, say that 
he is a mere man: as such, he has no right to rule over their 
consciences, and demand their obedience, adoration, and praise. 
But Diabolus knows better— Jesus is the Son of God most 


Many of the children of the devil, whose works they do, dif- 
fer very widely from their father in sentiments respecting tho 
person of Christ. 

Jesus commanded the legion of unclean spirits to come out 
of the man. They knew that out they must go. But they 
were like Scotchmen — very unwilling to return to their own 
country. They would rather go into hogs' skins than to their 
own country. And he suffered them to go into the herd of 
swine. Methinks that one of the men who fed the hogs, kept 
a better look out than the rest of them, and said, " What ail 
the hogs ? Look sharp there, boys—keep them in— make good 
use of your whips. Why don't you run? Why, I declare, 
one of them is gone over the cliff! There goes another 1 
Drive them back," Never was there such running, and whip- 
ping, and hallooing; but down go the hogs, before they were 
aware of it. One of them said, " They are all gone !" " No, 
sure, not all gone into the sea!" "Yes, every one of them — 
the black hog and all ! They are all drowned ! — the devil is 
in them! What shall we do now?— what can we say to tho 
owners?" " What can we say?" said another. "We must 
tell the truth — that is all about it. We did our best— all that 
was in our power. What could any man do more ?" 

So they went their way to the city, to tell the masters what 
had happened. " John, where are you going?" exclaimed one 
of the masters. " Sir, did you know the Demoniac that was 
among the tombs there?" "Demoniac among the tombs! — 

Where did you leave the hogs ?" " That madman, sir " 

"Madman! — Why do you come home without the hogs?" 
" That wild and furious man, sir, that mistress was afraid of 

so much -" " Why, John, I ask you a plain and simple 

question — -why don't you answer me ?— Where are the hogs?" 
" That man who was possessed with the devils, sir •" 
" Why, sure enough, you are crazy ! — you look wild ! — tell mo 
your story, if you can, let it be what it may." " Jesus Christ, 
sir, has cast out the unclean spirits out of the Demoniac; they 
are gone into the swine; and they are all drowned in tho 
sea ; for I saw the tail of the last one !" The Gadarenes went 
out to see what was done ; and finding that it was even so, 
they were afraid, and besought Jesus to depart from them. 

How awful must be the state and condition of those men, 
who love the things of this world more than Jesus Christ !" 

The man out of whom the unclean spirits were cast, bo- 
sought Jesus that he might be with him. But he told him to 
return to his own house, and show how great things God had 
done unto him. And he went his way and published through* 


out the whole city of Decapolis, how great things Jesus had 
done unto him. The act of Jesus casting so many devils out 
of him, was sufficient to persuade him that Jesus was God as 
well as man. 

I imagine I see him going through the city, crying — " O yes ! 
O yes ! O yes ! — Please to take notice of me, the Demoniac 
among the tombs. I am the man who was a terror to the 
citizens of this place — that wild man, who would wear no 
clothes, and that no man could bind. Here am I, now, in my 
right mind. Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners, had compas- 
sion on me. He remembered me, when I was in my low es- 
tate — when there was no eye to pity, and no hand to save. 
He cast out the devils, and redeemed my soul from destruction." 

Most wonderful must have been the surprise of the people, 
to hear such proclamation. The ladies running to the win- 
dows — the shoemakers, throwing their lasts one way and their 
awls another, running out to meet him and to converse with 
him, that they might be positive there was no imposition ; and 
found it to be a fact that could not be contradicted. O, the 
wonder of all wonders ! — Never was there such a thing ! — 
must, I think, be the general conversation. 

And while they were talking, and every body having some- 
thing to say, homeward goes the man. As soon as he came 
in sight of the house, I imagine I see one of the children run- 
ning in, and crying, " O, mother! Father is coming — he will 
kill us all !" " Children, come all into the house," said the 
mother. " Let us fasten the doors. I think there is no sor- 
row like my sorrow !" said the broken-hearted- woman. "Are 
all the windows fastened, children." " Yes, mother." "Mary, 
my dear, come from the window — don't be standing there." 
" Why, mother, I can hardly believe it is father! That man is 
well-dressed." " O yes, my dear children, it is your own 
father. I knew him, by his walk, the moment I saw him." 
Another child, stepping to the window, said, " Why, mother, I 
never saw father coming home as he does to-day. He walks 
on the foot-path, and turns round the corner of the fence. He 
used to come towards the house, as straight as a line, over 
fences, ditches, and hedges ; and I never saw him walking as 
slow as he does now." 

In a few moments, however, he arrives at the door of the 
house, to the great terror and consternation of all the inmates. 
He gently tries the door, and finds no admittance. He pauses, 
a moment, steps towards the window, and says, in a low, firm,, 
and melodious voice — " My dear wife, if you will let me in, 
there is no danger. I wilt not hurt you. I bring you glad< 


tidings of great joy." The door was reluctantly opened, as it 
were between joy and fear. Having deliberately seated him- 
self, he said : " I am come to show you what great things God 
has done for me. He loved me with an eternal love. He 
redeemed me from the curse of the law, and the threatenings 
of vindictive justice. He saved me from the power and the do- 
minion of sin. He cast out the devils out of my heart, and 
made that heart which was a den of thieves, the temple of the 
Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how much I love the Savior. 
Jesus Christ is the foundation of my hope, the object of my 
faith, and the centre of my affections. I can venture my im- 
mortal soul upon him. He is my best friend. He is altoge- 
ther lovely — the chief among ten thousand. He is my wis- 
dom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. There is 
enough in him to make a poor sinner rich, and a miserable 
sinner, happy. His flesh and blood is my food — his right- 
eousness, my wedding-garment — and his blood is efficacious to 
cleanse me from all my sins. Through him I can obtain eter- 
nal life; for he is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the 
express image of his person — in whom dwelleth all the fullness 
of the Godhead bodily. He deserves my highest esteem, and 
my warmest gratitude. Unto him who loved me with an eter- 
nal love, and washed me in his own blood — unto him be the 
glory, dominion, and power, for ever and ever ! For he has 
rescued my soul from hell. He plucked me as a brand out of 
the burning. He took me out of the miry clay, and out of a 
horrible pit. He set my feet upon a rock, and established my 
goings, and put in my mouth a new song of praise and glory 
to him! Glory to him for ever! — Glory to God in the highest! 
— Glory to God, for ever and ever! Let the whole earth 
praise him! — Yea, let ail the people praise him." 

It is beyond the power of the strongest imagination to con- 
ceive the joy and gladness of this family. The joy of sea- 
faring men delivered from being shipwrecked — the jo)^ of a man 
delivered from a burning house — the joy of not being found guilty 
to a criminal at the bar — the joy of receiving pardon to a con- 
demned malefactor — the joy of freedom to a prisoner of war, — 
is nothing in comparison to the joy of him who is delivered from 
going down to the pit of eternal destruction. For it is a joy 
unspeakable and full of glory. 

In speaking from these words — 

I. We would notice Christ's mission into the world to destroy 
the works of the devil. 


II. His qualifications for that important work : He is both 
God and man — the Son of God most high. 

III. The awful state and condition of those people, who love 
the things of the world more than Jesus Christ — who join the 
Gadarenes in saying unto Christ, Depart from us. 

According to the best information we can obtain, there are 
at present in Wales, 250 Baptist meeting-houses, and about as 
many other stated preaching places, for lectures on Sunday and 
weekday evenings, which are regularly supplied with the preach- 
ing of the gospel by Baptist ministers, not once a month, but 
every week, and in some places, three or four times a week, be- 
sides Lord's-days. This is owing, not only to the number, but 
also to the diligence of the Welsh preachers, and to a plan 
which is there adopted to defray their travelling expenses, as 
well as an acknowledgment of gratitude from the churches for 
their labors of love. Although the Welsh churches do not give 
much to their ministers, yet an instance has never occurred of 
their letting a regular minister, in good standing, go from them 
without giving twin something. 

The travelling preachers receive a stated sum for each ser- 
mon, so that a man of strong constitution, who can preach 
twice every day, as Christmas Evans, John Elias, and others 
do, would receive a considerable amount for his services. For 
this purpose the churches have a fund, or treasury, into which 
the people cast their contributions, so that no collection is made 
when the minister is present. The whole number of Baptist 
communicants in Wales, is about 35,000. 



The origin of the Welsh people, 5 

The Romans' Invasion of Britain, 6 

The Introduction of Christianity into Britain, 7 

Faganus and Domicanus preaching in Britain, 7 

King Lucius embracing Christianity, 8 

Pagan Persecution, 8 

Alban, Aaron, and Julian, suffered martyrdom, 9 

Constantine embracing Christianity, 10 

The Saxons driving the Welsh from England into Wales, . . .11 

Welsh Ministers, 12 

Austin's Debate on Baptism, H 

Baptist principles maintained by the Welsh, from the year 68 to the pre"j 

sent time, 14 

The Baptists in the Vale of Carleon, ....... 18 

The difference between the ancient Baptists, and the Baptists who de- 
scended from the Church of Rome and the Episcopal Church, . 19 

The Baptists in the Vale of Olchon, 19 

The Reformation, 22 

Biography of Walter Brute and others, 22 

Welsh Baptist Ministers, 22 

History of Welsh Churches, 82 

Llantrisaint Church, 85 

Dolau, 86 

Swansea, ....... 89 

Llanbryn-mair, .-91 

Wrexham, 93 

Llanwenarth, 96 

Hengoed, , ... 101 

Rhydwilim, 107 

Rehoboth, 113 

Blaenau, 119 

Maesyberllan, 120 

Glascwn, 122 

Cilfowyr, 122 

Penyfay, 135 

Newbridge, 136 

Moleston, 143 

Llanelly, 144 

Aberduar, 145 

Usk, 149 

Llanglophan, 150 

204 v CONTENTS. 

Bethesda, 151 

Craigfargoed, - - 152 

Glyneeiriog, .--.--- 153 

Ebenezer, 154 

?S^k, j Carmarthen - . . .157 

Recapitulation, 159 

Welsh Associations, 187 

Specimens of Welsh preaching, - 193 

Meeting-houses, &c, in Wales, - - - . . . - . 202 

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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