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John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays (Morgan)

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North Wales in the early part of the nineteenth century provides a striking instance of the way in which a spiritual revolution can change the whole direction of a people and a society. Equally striking was the agency which brought the prevailing religious indifference and lawlessness to an end: it was the preaching of the gospel by men without position or influence like John Elias (1774-1841), Under the preaching of Elias, the outlook of thousands was permanently changed. They not only heard of the crucifixion of Christ, but felt that they had seen it. ‘I felt’, said one hearer, ‘as if the earth shook for miles around me.’

This account by Edward Morgan traces the life and ministry of Elias from his first religious impressions until the day when 10, 000 attended his funeral in Anglessey, the scene of most of his labours.

Here, in days of revival, forty-four chapels were built in forty years. To Elias’ life and the lessons to be drawn from it are added his letters and other papers originally published as a separate volume. Previously published by the Trust in this form in 1973, the Life, Letters, and Essays of John Elias is now reckoned among Christian classics.

Table of Contents: 

1 Elias’s origin, education and early serious impressions 3
2 Elias becomes more decided – enters the Welsh Methodist Connexion – his public ministry 16
3 Elias at the commencement of his ministry – his desire for learning and knowledge 30
4 Elias’s removal to Anglesey – the state of religion there and the great alteration therein at his departure 42
5 Elias’s marriage – his family – education of his children 56
6 Elias’s difficulties, afflictions and oppositions 75
7 Elias’s ministerial character – his intellectual and delineating powers in preaching 95
8 Illustrations of Elias’s great powers – testimonies to his success 111
9 Of Elias’s zeal in the cause of religion 132
10 Elias’s exertions for the Bible and the London Missionary Societies – Sunday schools – the temperance cause 147
11 Elias’s second marriage – his private character – catholic spirit 162
12 Elias’s declining years and happy end 175
  To Mrs Elizabeth Elias, his first wife 187
  To his daughter, Phoebe Elias 189
  To his children after the death of his first wife 195
  To his daughter after her marriage 197
  To his son, John Elias 204
  To Lady Bulkeley 216
  To the Rev W. Roberts 219
  To a sister-in-law 221
  To Mr Thomas Owen, prisoner in France 223
  To the Church of God in London 226
  To Mrs Jones and Mrs Davies, London 242
  To the Church of God in Liverpool- Mr John Roberts 245
  To Mr John Jones, a preacher at Liverpool 253
  To the Rev Henry Rees 258
  To the Rev Robert Jones, Ty Bwlcyn 260
  To Mr Daniel Jones, a preacher at Liverpool 261
  To the Church of God in America 262
  To the Association at Denbigh 275
  To the Church in America in 1840 278
  To Mrs Jones of Wrexham 282
  To Miss Rogers, afterwards Mrs Davies, of Carnachen-wen 296
  To Mrs Foulkes of Machynlleth 304
  To Mrs Lloyd of Beaumaris 310
  To Mrs Roberts of Caernarvon 311
  To W. R. Roberts, Esq, Surgeon of Caernarvon 313
  To a clergyman 316
1 Thoughts on the Bible 337
2 On the use of reason 343
3 On preaching the gospel 349
4 On the important subject of the ministry 353
5 On hearing the Gospel 356
6 On the moral inability of man 362
7 On the obligations of man 368
8 On government and the sin of despising it 372
1 Documents on the better observance of the Sabbath 381
2 Papers showing the loyalty of Elias 385
3 Short account of the death of Mr John Lloyd 388
4 On singing 392
1 On the Sabbath 397
2 Justification 399
3 On hardening under religious privileges 401
4 Advantages of the yoke to young people 404
5 A sermon on the death of faithful ministers 406
6 A sermon on the death of King George III 409
7 A sermon on the death of the Duke of York 411
  Index 413



"In John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays we are confronted with a spiritual giant – a reminder to us that our great God can raise great men for His church from the humblest of circumstances. Letters, essays and biography combine to give a rounded picture of one who was ‘a burning and shining light’. A most important book. Buy it. Read it. You will be spiritually much richer." — HYWEL R. JONES