Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Conversion of Thomas Charles Edwards

In a gesture of fillial piety towards my Alma Mater, today's entry presents the conversion of that young man who was instrumental in the conversion of John Pugh, Thomas Charles Edwards, pictured here later in life.

Thomas Charles Edwards was possessed of an impeccable pedigree. His father was Lewis Edwards, first Principal of the Calvinistic Methodist College in Bala, an advocate for a learned ministry. Thomas received the best education availiable. And it did him no good at all. He read deeply in philosophy and theology. All his reading did was fill him with doubts, until he was uncertain 'of the very being of God.'

The year was 1859, when Thomas returned to his home on holiday from college. Soon after, he found himself in a special meeting in the chapel, a meeting that was to be addressed by two preachers from another part of Wales. Both men were comparatively unlearned, especially so in comparison to Edwards. One man had been a tailor, and the other a carpenter. Edwards with all his learning, viewed the men with something akin to disdain, as he sat in the chapel gallery.

As he left the meeting, Edwards could not recall all the details of the two sermons, but his lofty academic spirit was quite gone. He was one with the two unlettered men, for now he was their bother. The doubts had gone, to be replaced with the ultimate certainty: 'He was more certain of God than he was of even the things he could see with his naked eye.'

Doubt was now impossible. The young scholar had met with God. Not with clever arguments, not with his intellectual equal, but with the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Thomas Charles Edwards, doubter, was converted and filled with the Holy Spirit. He was filled with a burning desire to tell others the good news.



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