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The North of Wales in the 1770s was one of the least Christian parts of Britain. The next three decades brought a transformation akin to that of the apostolic era and at the centre of the change was Thomas Charles, ‘the Lord’s gift to North Wales’.
Debarred from the pulpits of his own denomination, and dependent on his shop-keeper wife at Bala, Charles quietly became the leader of the people (‘Calvinistic Methodists’) whose God-anointed witness gathered thousands to the gospel. This astonishing advance involved Bible distribution, the use of circulating schools, preaching, and publishing. More than all these things, there was an outpouring of the Spirit of God and the most enduring lessons of the period have to do with the quality of spiritual life which was then recovered.
This volume, first published in 1838, shows us both what that life was in Thomas Charles’ own experience and how wisely he taught it to others.
Charles’ main characteristic, said Edward Morgan (his editor), was his large measure of love and humility. His life itself, ‘with heaven in his face’, as men said, was a sermon.
For insight into real, biblical Christianity this book will always be one of the classics of evangelical literature. John Elias’ verdict of many years ago remains true, ‘Whatever proceeds from Mr. Charles is excellent’. This was one of the last books in the hands of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones before his death and it led him to conclude that Thomas Charles ‘is definitely one of the most neglected of the spiritual leaders’.
Biographical Introduction xi
LETTERS TO MR D. CHARLES 213
LETTERS TO MISS SARAH JONES
(AFTERWARDS MRS THOMAS CHARLES) 234
LETTERS TO HIS WIFE 286
LETTERS TO MISS WRIGHT, OF TARVIN 302
LETTERS TO MR RICHARD JONES, OF WREXHAM 306
LETTERS TO MRS ANN JONES, OF WREXHAM 308
LETTERS TO MR ROBERT JONES, OF TY BWLCYN… 312
LETTERS TO MRS THOMAS COLLEY, OF CEFNGWIFED… 319
LETTERS TO MISS ELIZA COLLEY, OF CEFNGWIFED 324
LETTERS TO MR JOHN WALKER, OF CHESTER 326
LETTERS TO MR AND MRS JOHN WALKER, OF CHESTER 329
LETTERS TO MR AND MRS WILLIAM ASTLE, OF LONDON 332
LETTERS TO THE REV MR JOHN MAJOR, OF SHAWBURY 352
LETTERS TO MISS MARY ASHWELL, OF MILBORNE PORT… 370
LETTERS TO MR R- D-, OF LIVERPOOL 381
LETTERS TO EDWARD MORGAN 383
LETTERS TO MISS MARY FOULKS, OF MACHYNLLETH 401
LETTERS TO MISS MARY HUGHES, OF LIVERPOOL 403
LETTERS TO MRS E-, C- N 404
LETTERS TO THE REV HENRY GREY, OF STENTON… 408
PAPERS – Preface to the Rev Mr Oliver’s Hymn Book 414
SUNDAY SCHOOLS 420
MINUTES OF QUARTERLY MEETINGS 437