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Thomas Rees

The author of the History of Protestant Nonconformity in Wales is by no means an unknown name in England. The Rev. Dr. REES, of Swansea, was an interpreter of Welsh religious movements to his English brethren. He anxiously watched the growth of English speech in South Wales, and the large inflow of English people; he also saw how urgent it became to meet the new conditions. So he kept pleading for sympathy and help in a work that may well be called missionary; and he had the satisfaction of seeing his pleadings honoured, and a great movement inaugurated. He was born December 13, 1815, in the parish of Llanfynydd, Caermarthenshire, amid circumstances poor enough. His school-days were limited to one quarter; but, luckily--like many others who have become princes of the Welsh pulpit--he knew how to be his own teacher. As a boy he was put down as good-for-nothing; but the moment he found entrance into the pulpit his life-work was begun. He was abundant in labour, whether for the pulpit or for the press. He translated the commentary 130 of Albert Barnes on the New Testament into Welsh; and in his latter years he published an edition of the Bible with devotional annotations. In 1884 he was elected chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales--the first Welsh minister to be so honoured. And his chairmanship was to be honoured of heaven; for a few days before the May meetings of 1885 had come he lay at rest. His address was ready, on 'The Power of the Pulpit;' but on the 29th of April God called him to join the congregation of the first-born, leaving the vacant chair for another to fill. He is doubly deserving of a place here--both for the hymns he wrote and for the affectionate care with which he has saved the scant history of several hymn-writers from being utterly forgotten. Several of his hymns were meant for harvest thanksgivings; and one of these is given below:

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