Letter of William Howells to Orson spencer about Capt. Dan, dated May 11, 1848, at Aberdare. (Vol 10:175)
Aberdare, May 11, 1848.
My dear Brother,--The above address contains familiarity, not exactly in accordance with a first letter; and I should not have gone so far had it not been for the great respect I have for you as a man of God, to be loved, honoured, and obeyed with sincerity, in all things pertaining to the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My earnest prayer to God our Heavenly Father, for your welfare and prosperity, contains that high opinion of the great importance of your exalted office, as President of the Church of God in the isles of Britain, that induces me to remember you at the throne of grace continually.
I greatly rejoice in the honour of being sent as an ambassador of the gospel to France and Brittany, and I can assure you that it is the first, the principal, the highest object of my ambition, and I long to see the day for commencing the honourable journey, in proportion as the wonderful events, overruled by the hand of God, prepare the ninety millions on the continent to be privileged with the blessings of the gospel. The field of labour being so extensive, the work being so great, and the workmen being few, makes me long for the hour of emancipation.
My respecdted brother, our dear Captain Jones, has, with our dear sister Mrs. Jones and daughter, been spending a few days as my honourable guests, and I know you will believe my testimony, that we are and have been for the last few days the happiest of the happy. Having our dear President Spencer with us, would have made it the very element of the rest and pleasure in the land of Zion. But we have one sour leaf here, which my faith says will be done away with, viz., the bodily weakness of our dear Captain Jones. His exertions, day and night, has worn at last his iron constitution, in a great degree; but through all he is at it continually. We are going (I had almost said to transport him, for a few months) to send him down to the healthy atmosphere of Carmarthen, but I fear that nothing short of your command, or our handcuffs will keep him quiet there, so as to enable him to recruit. He is a regular Welshman; having waged war once, nothing but a thorough victory will do for him. And you know of the war he has waged with the kingdom of darkness in Wales. No one, as yet, can describe to you the wonderful success of his courage and wisdom. The gates of hell, throughout Wales, have made him the object of their arrows, but the little champion of the cross of Christ, with the armour of the gospel, clothed with the salvation of God, returns heaven's ammunition to meet the arrows of hell with such power that the very gates of darkness
begin to shake; many a breach had been made in the bulwarks that surround the camp of the enemy, and some thousands of the enemy have already flocked to the Saviour, and the day of the hireling priestcraft's prosperity has just reached the last moment of its black existence.
I shall just conclude my first to you with my testimony. Having spent twenty years nearly with the Baptist denomination seeking truth, but still in darkness, until the reply of dear brother Jones to the false accusations of a neighbouring Baptist minister, vindicating the principles of the Saints, came to my hand, which in a few hours proved the religion I professed to be no other than a sandy foundation--all my false hopes fled,--all human traditions that I had cleaved to appeared folly. I was convinced that the Saints were the only true church of God. The first few hours I spent after having been baptized for the remission of my sins, by a servant who knew that he was sent by God to administer the ordinance, gave me more pleasure and knowledge of spiritual things, than during the twenty years with the Baptist connexion. The blessings I have received since will fill another letter.
Dear brother Captain Jones, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Howells join with me in kind love to you and Mrs. Spencer.--Yours respectfully,
P.S.--Brother and Sister Jones buried their youngest daughter last Tuesday. The multitude of Saints that showed their respect to our dear brother and sister, was from 1000 to 1500. Their order in the procession, and respectability, made a general sensation at Merthyr. Brother William Howells, of Aberdare, preached in the Welsh languge; subject--"The only true and sufficient ground of glorying."--Jer.ix, 23,24.