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Howells, William - Letter - 1850/01/25

Aberdare, January 25th, 1850

Dear Brother, ?? I have to acknowledge the receipt of tracts, &c., per favour (sic) of Bother John Davies.  I now long to be off, but in the meantime I feel an inclination to give Brother Pratt a short testimony of the pleasure I have experienced in seeing the light of truth rolling forward through the empire of darkness in Wales, under the Presidency of Brother William Phillips, Abel Evans, and John Davies, each having a peculiar quality answering the nature of their various circumstances in connexion (sic) with their stewardship ?? concentrating a power in Wales which will shortly cause the Principality to become a general Zion of the pure in heart. 

When the brave Captain left, the thousands of Saints in Wales viewed the above three officers, who were to stand in his place, just as Samuel viewed the youngest son of Jesse, "as the anointed of the Lord" ?? there was no exception, no dissenting voice, no doubt, no fear; they knew that the said officers were clothed with power and with sufficient courage to carry it forth effectually (sic), and with sufficient humility, wisdom, and understanding to make proper use of the trophies of victory.

True, the great men of Wales, with their flocks, despised 'Dan,' the honoured (sic) champion chosen by Joseph "to judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel."  But there was a something in connexion (sic) with Brother Jones that caused the enemy to start.  He was in some measure an American stranger, &c., but when the remainder of the camp of the enemy heard of the Captain's retreat to Zion, with the first fruits of his glorious victory, they naturally thought that another son of thunder, a second Cyrus, would follow from the sides of the North, from the land of Ephraim, at the same time having a faint hope that the said comer, would be wanting in one thing ?? one thing needful on Cambria's mountains, namely, a knowledge of the Welsh language ?? their last hope cleaved to this; and they knew not that Dan had another Samson brought up amongst his brothers, flesh of their flesh, bone of their bone, who would fight the Phillistines and cause their dagon to fall more perplexed than ever.  True, he could not boast of an extensive knowledge in any other language than that of his mother tongue, but other virtuous accomplishments more than compensated for the defect, so Brother William Phillips was called forward and counselled (sic) to preside over the church of Jesus Christ in Wales.  Having received the key of power, the sceptre of righteousness, he commenced the work of responsibility with such energy and courage, that caused the enemy to say, "who is this, is not this the carpenter? &c.; from whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?"  The enemy's hopes were blasted, their momentary guard was bitten by the worm of fear and withered, and the Saints shouted aloud for joy, for truly the vacuum left by the absence of Brother Captain Dan Jones is amply filled by our young president Brother W. Phillips, in the Church, the families, and the hearts of the Saints of God in Wales.

The household of faith increased in number to such an extent, that the tents that surrounded the tabernacle in the different counties in Wales became numerous: the work of stretching out their curtains, lengthening the cords, and strengthening their stakes with forty-eight conferences annually, called for new exertions continually.  So to help our beloved Brother to carry on the work swiftly, Brother Abel Evans posted himself according to counsel in the north, and Brother John Davies, with the "Welsh Trumpet" in the south, pouring forth spiritual intelligence for the exhortation, comfort, and edification of the Saints, warning, with solid reasons, the honest of heart to fly from the wrath to come, and get into the Mormon city of refuge, &c., &c., &c.  The Welsh Saints became proud of their publication, their scribe, and their editor, for they were abundantly furnished with every topic calculated to inform and elevate their understanding.

But in the midst of the harmony, unity, and prosperity of the three that constituted, as it were, the pillars of the church in Wales, all at once we found that Abel, the shepherd of the north, was to be taken away, not by the hand of violence, but by counsel, to fill another sphere in the church, which his undaunted faith entitled him to.  Abel (although away) will yet speak in Wales, through his example of patience and perseverance in the midst of continual persecution, and by surmounting all difficulties, living soberly, righteously, and godly, steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

But, just as the Saints began to fell for their Brother, W. Phillips, at the council held last Tuesday, announced the pleasing intelligence that Brother Levi Richards was appointed to Wales ?? like all other appointments in the church, directed by the unerring wisdom of the spirit, just in time and to the purpose, as Brother Phillips said in council to all the officers present.  The spirit that characterized the information from the lips of the President, caused it to be received as glad tidings of great joy, and will surely be a crown of praise to him who manifested as willing a spirit to be governed as to govern, considering further power truly necessary on many accounts.

The officers present in council, with few exceptions, were all Welsh, yet hey received the intelligence about Brother Richards, with as much pleasure as the English officers themselves; they saw that the appointment was pleasing to Brother Phillips, therefore to themselves also, so Brother Levi Richards will be received, not by the English only, but also with open bosom by the Welsh, and by none more than by Brothers Phillips and Davis, and also by your humble servant and Brother,

W. Howells.


Howells, William


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