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The Last Enthusiast

When I read the endeavours of preachers of the past in my home country, I am filled with self-condemnation and chagrin. In the 18th century there were men of extraordinary preaching gifts, but also of indefatigable energy. Their names are legendary, and their gospel’s success without parallel. The roll call sets my heart pounding. Daniel Rowlands of Llangeitho, who it is reputed, excelled George Whitefield; Howell Davies - the apostle of Pembroke; William Williams of Pantycelyn – the sweet poet and preacher of Wales, and that sterling ambassador for Christ – Howell Harris of Trefecca. 

These champions awoke the nation from its slumber and spiritual deadness, and from their efforts sprung eventually the Calvinistic Methodist denomination. Now my hero and favourite is Hywel Harris. If William Williams itinerated around Wales for 50 years, thus travelling over four times around the world, then Howell Harris must have been at least 10 times around! He traversed the whole of Wales, Bristol, Bath and London, supplying Whitefield’s pulpit when he was in America. Remember, his journeys were all on horseback, and so he preached as he passed through the villages, maybe two or three times daily, with some sermons at least two hours long. Such was his condemning power against sin, that strong men fell as logs before his axe. All his sermons were extempore. 

Oh that God would raise up preachers so endued with power, that thousands would be made captive to the King of Glory. If anyone wants their hearts stirred, then the Banner of Truth has just translated two volumes of the Methodist Fathers in Wales, from Welsh into English.