A Review Article -- By: Jim Elliff

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 07:1 (Winter 1998)
Article: A Review Article
Author: Jim Elliff


A Review Article

Jim Elliff

Great Preachers Of Wales, Owen Jones. Clonmel, Ireland: Tentmaker Publications (1885, reprint 1995). 540 pages, cloth, $30.00.

(Available from Reformation & Revival Ministries for $30.00, U.S. funds only, by calling, toll free within the United States, 1–888-276–1044. Canada and others call (630) 893–6404.)

I found this reprint by Tentmaker Publications on a recent trip to Wales, along with several other quality books from this publisher. I contacted the Tentmakers’ director and learned that several more books can be expected in the future. Other reprints by Tentmaker include Alex Auld’s Life of John Kennedy and Hugh Hughes’ Life of Howell Harris. (These volumes can be purchased from Reformation & Revival Ministries in the United States.) Tentmaker Publications profits help Irish ministers since most evangelical churches in Ireland are small and cannot fully support their ministers.

Unfortunately, the publisher has not included any biographical information about the author. Owen Jones’ intention was to write an additional book on other Welsh preachers of note. I was unable to find any other book written by Jones on the subject of revival, and assume that his

intention was never fulfilled. I also assume from the author’s name and the Welsh language source material that the author is Welsh by birth.

Jones surveys seven of Wales’ most prominent preachers, all of whom were instruments of God during seasons of revival. Daniel Rowlands, Robert Roberts, Christmas Evans, John Elias, William Williams (Wern), Henry Rees, and John Jones are well-known and their ministries much admired. These men are recognized for their spirituality and for their immensely successful preaching; it is this preaching that the author notes and analyzes.

Jones traces the origin of convictional Welsh preaching to eighteenth-century revivals. Both Howell Harris and Daniel Rowlands were born in 1735, the same year that George Whitefield joined the Oxford Holy Club, and a precursor revival to the American awakening broke out in Jonathan Edwards’ Northampton, Massachusetts, church. Proper signification is given to the underlying prayer and conviction of these men. But there was something different in view also—the Welsh fire. That imagination and dramatic power found in the Welsh temperament was used by God to stir the province of Wales time and time again. It was Dr. Lyman Beecher who first called preaching “logic on fire.” He could not have described the best of Welsh preaching in any more accurate terms.

This emotive and doctrinal serm...

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