Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Life and Times Of Howell Harris
This is an account of his first visit to St. Davids in Pemprokeshire. His preaching was most terrific and alarming there as in every other place then. No thing was proclaimed but destruction: it was some what like Jonah's preaching to the Ninevites. An extract of the account is the following , being translated into English. " The moral state of the inhabitants of St. Davids and the country around when Mr. Harris first came to the place, resembled what is said of the inhabitants of Laish, that they were quite and secure or as the Apostle John says, the whole country lay in wickedness, and were sleeping undisturbed, and the veil of ignorance and darkness covered the whole region. 1st John 5:19. Some attended the established Church on the Sabbath mornings, but in all probability this Church and its ministers were then slumbering as others, if indeed they have ever been awakened;- while the multitude flocked together into houses, where music , dancing, and all manor of amusements imaginable were going on. In summer they had select places in the fields to meet together on the Sabbaths, where all ranks and ages carried on their sports, dreaming that none on earth were more happy than they. Suddenly came Mr. Harris to St. David's in the midst of this careless, thoughtless mood; and information being given that a stranger would preach at the appointed time, the multitude came together;- the place was the cross in the middle of the street:- and thus without delay the preacher proceeded to deliver his message, exposing the sins in which the town and country lay and were guilty of ;- every particle of his speech flashed and gleamed so vividly, as lightning, on the consciences of the hearers, that they were terrified, and feared that the day of judgement had overtaken them: yea so powerful were the effects accompanying his words, that bold and hardy men, being seized with fainting fits through fear and terror, fell as corpses in the street. Mr. Harris on this occasion completely put an end to the sinful and ungodly practice of plays and sports, which were usually carried on during the Sabbath, so that nothing of the kind was anymore to be seen in this part of the country.
" It is said that Mr. Harris would not generally take any text out of the Bible when preaching; and when he took one, he would not mention the place whence it was taken. Another thing stated by the old people is, that Harris at his first visit, did not in his delivering his message, given so much as the slightest hint of any means or dispensation existing, whereby a sinner might be spared or saved, but proclaimed in undisguised and positive terms the certain and unavoidable destruction of such. But when he came the second time to the country, he brought the healing Balm with him in its full extent, in due adaptation to the dimensions of the wound.
From :The Life and Times of Howell Harris