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Showing posts from May, 2013

We've all got a bit of Wesley in us on Aldersgate day!

On this day in 1738 John Wesley was famously converted at a Society meeting in a room on Aldersgate Street, London. I say 'famously', although it wasn't particularly noteworthy at the time, other than for Wesley and his close circle, but the repercussions from this evening in London were to spin out down through the generations to such an extent that we continue to remember today.

Having tried and failed in his attempts at religion, and even church leadership, Wesley was hugely impacted by the example of genuine faith that he observed in Moravian believers. Observing their attitude and prayer life during terrifying storms on board a boat bound for America, the lack of peace with God in his own soul was highlighted. Wesley was so deeply disturbed that he lamented on his return, 'I went to America to convert the Indians but oh,who will convert me!'

Frustration growing, Wesley's story finds him arriving heavy hearted at Aldersgate Street, 'very unwillingly'…

Dense crowds at Moriah Chapel. A reminder.

In November 1904 something new was happening in Moriah Chapel, Loughor, Wales, as over 800 people raced to get there night after night from their daily business to squeeze into the small building.

The Western Daily Mail reported it in this way on Nov 11th of that year:
A remarkable religious revival is now taking place at Loughor. For some days now, a young man named Evan Roberts, a native of Loughor, has been causing great surprise at Moriah Chapel. The place has been besieged by dense crowds of people unable to obtain admission.

Such excitement has prevailed that the road on which the chapel is situated has been lined with people from end to end.........The preacher soon launches out into a fervent and at times, impassioned oration. His statements have had stirring effects upon his listeners. Many who have disbelieved Christianity for years are again returning to the fold of their younger days.

One night, so great was the enthusiasm invoked by the young revivalist that, after his ser…

Marriage: Mars, Venus, dogs and balloon flights!

Charles Darwin was considering marriage to his cousin Emma Wedgewood, and wrote some brilliant thoughts on the subject. Writing out of his scientific personality, Darwin drafted this rather cold sounding logic as an argument for marriage. Ladies, don't expect to swoon over the next few lines with romance heaving in your bosom!

Against the idea of marriage Darwin noted, "the expense and anxiety of children" and the fact that a married man could never "go up in a balloon". An odd one perhaps, but maybe just his way of expressing that marriage will tie him down and limit his risk taking (in his view!)

More positively, in favour of marriage, he spoke of acquiring a "constant companion and friend in old age". The clincher that settled the argument was that a wife would be "better than a dog, anyhow."

Remarkably, (and leaving aside the thought of marrying your cousin!) Mr and Mrs Darwin continued on to have a strong and happy marriage. On his dea…