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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. 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 Anglesey, 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.
Edward Morgan (MPhil., PhD. (Cantab.)) is Research Associate at the Centre for Early Christian Studies, Australian Catholic University; and tutor in philosophy at the same institution, and he has authored Incarnation of the Word: The Theology of Language of Augustine of Hippo.