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Perhaps no single verse in Welsh hymnody has such a romantic incident in its history as the one given below, written, as it was, by Williams on the occasion of the memorable Lisbon earthquake:

If Thou would'st end the world, O Lord,

Accomplish first Thy promised word,

And gather home with one accord

From every part Thine own:

Send out Thy word from pole to pole,

And with Thy blood make thousands whole,

Till health has come to every soul,

And after that--come down!

In February, 1797, the French effected a landing near Fishguard, in Pembrokeshire. Napoleon was then a name of terror to England; and the news of the landing spread through the country with the rushing violence of a prairie fire, bringing with it wherever it went an overwhelming sense of doom. Mounted heralds posted through the length and breadth of Wales, without waiting to ascertain the force of the enemy. In every village and town the terrible message was left, and people generally made ready for the bitter end of all 145 things. One of these fiery heralds happened to pass by the Independent Chapel at Rhydybont, Cardiganshire, where a preaching service was being held at the time. Mysteriously he whispered his wild message to some one near the door, and away he went again to scatter broadcast the seeds of a storm. From one to another in the chapel the news mysteriously flashed--the curiosity of those who did not know being almost as tragic as the consternation of those who knew. The preacher was confounded, and he was compelled to stop and ask for the cause of such unseemly commotion. Some one shouted--'The French have landed at Fishguard!' Bad before, it was worse now. Had a lightning struck the house, the panic could scarcely have been more overpowering. No one durst move or speak; the preacher himself sat down in the midst of his sermon utterly overborne. Only one soul was found equal to the occasion--and that a woman's soul. Let the name of Nancy Jones not be forgotten in the chronicles of noble women who have dared and endured. She never for a moment slackened her hold of the Higher Will. She was a true daughter of the Great Revival: a neighbour, too, of David Jones, of Cayo. At many a service before that day her voice had been sweetest and fullest in the fervour of song. She called to the preacher when he stopped--'Go on: if the French are at Fishguard, we have God to take care of us.' But the preacher still declined. A 146 neighbour of hers--David John Edmund by name--was present, remarkable for his gift in prayer. To him she turned next, and asked him to pray. But even he was not one of five that could chase a hundred that day. 'Well, then,' she said, 'give a verse out for us to sing.' No; David John had no heart for so much as that. 'Very well,' this mother in Israel added, 'I shall give out a verse myself, and you start the tune.' Calm and solemn and sweet echoed the words through the building--

If Thou would'st end the world, O Lord,

and so on to the end of the verse. Great was the fall of David John; even his tunes had taken unto themselves wings. She had to start the tune herself; but scarcely had she struck the first notes before her courage with an electric thrill restored the congregation to spiritual consciousness. They joined in the song, of their new Deborah; faith grew more steady and clear; the French were well-nigh forgotten in the glorious inspiration of 'the promised word.' A woman's faith has often in it something of a miracle.

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