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David Charles

The youngest brother of the above--Rev. DAVID CHARLES, of Caermarthen--has the Christ-given honour of having written one of the foremost hymns in the language. He was born in 1762; and, like his brother, he was under spiritual impression 89 from early childhood. During the days of his apprenticeship he learnt by heart the whole of Young's Night Thoughts. A book, and an English book, was also the means of helping him to final decision for Christ--the sermons of Ralph Erskine. He spent several years of his young manhood in Bristol; and all these English influences served him well in after years, enabling him to preach effectively in both languages. He preached several times with and for Rowland Hill in Gloucestershire; and twice at least he occupied the famous pulpit of Surrey Chapel. He was a true builder of the churches; and early Methodism in Wales owed a great deal to his soberness and wisdom.

He wrote several hymns, but one has singled itself out from among the rest. The biography of 'O fryniau Caersalem ceir gweled,' like that of the 'Miners' Hymn' already referred to, can only be written in the light of the Home-land. The poet had heard 'the shout of them that triumph,' and he was no longer afraid of the weariness and perplexity of his pilgrimage in the desert. Some day he would reach the cloudless hills of Zion, and look back on the meanderings of the journey, to find that it was the nearest way home.

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