Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Howell Harris :
Although it was contrary to the laws of the church of England for an unordained man to go about as a religious teacher, Harris took up this work with increased zeal. He expected to be ordained as soon as he was old enough, but would not sit idle till that time, and we see something of his fervent activity as we read his account :
"A strong necessity was laid upon me, that I could not rest, but must go to the utmost of my ability to exhort. I could not meet or travel with anybody, rich or poor, young or old, without speaking to them concerning their souls. I went during the festive season from house to house in our parish, and the parishes of Llangors and Llangast, until persecution became too hot. I was absolutely dark and ignorant with regard to the reasons of religion; I was drawn onwards by the love I had experienced, as a blind man is led, and therefore I could not take notice of anything in my way.
My food and drink was praising my God. A fire was kindled in my soul and I was clothed with power, and made altogether dead to earthly things. I could have spoken to the King were he within my reach - such power and authority did I feel in my soul over every spirit...I lifted up my voice with authority, and fear and terror would be seen on all faces. I went to the Talgirth fairs, denouncing the swearers and cursers without fear or favour.
At first I knew nothing at all, but God opened up my mouth (full of ignorance), filling it with terrors and threatenings. I was given a commission to rend and break sinners in the most dreadful manner. I thundered greatly, denouncing the gentry, the carnal clergy and everybody."
Howell Harris, Welsh Methodist revival preacher 1739