Saturday, 18 August 2012

Exhorters in Wales

I have mentioned the marvellous two volume work, The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales, and commend these strongly.  These were books that Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones read often, and especially when he was feeling a bit jaded.

But the section to which I want to draw your attention is in Vol.1, p.263.  Here we discover a vitally important matter.

We learn that when schoolmasters were being appointed to Griffith Jones's schools, a necessary qualification was "that a man should have sufficient knowledge of the Scriptures.  He had to address his pupils from the Word and catechize them."

This is an important, nay, crucial, aspect of Huguenot philosophy of education.  They saw reading, writing and arithmetic as necessary tools but these were not, in themselves, education.  They were preparatory to education, which was to bring the children to a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and to know Christ personally as Lord and Saviour.

Not a few schoolmasters became 'exhorters' in Wales during and following the revival in the eighteenth century.  Knowing how to communicate the Gospel to children was but a short step to doing similarly with adults - and they did!  Some 40 such men worked in this capacity and gave valuable assistance to the progress of the awakening in Wales.

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