Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Christ Shall be Magnified:' Mrs. Laura Thomas VI

As one who had been converted in her youth, Mrs. Thomas had no truck with the notion that young people should not be expected to take an interest in the tings of God, and so must be attracted with the things of the world. From the start of her time in Cardiff she took an active interest in children's work, and the manse doors were always open to the young people of the church.

About 1862 a prayer meeting for young people was held at Bethany English Baptist Church, a few hundred yards from the Tabernacle. Mrs. Thomas went, taking one of the Tabernacle young people with her. On the way back from this, the youth asked whether a similar meeting could be held at Tabernacle, a request that was readily granted. A prayer meeting for the young people fo the church was held on Tuesday evenings in the vestry of the old chapel. After a period these meetings were felt insufficient, and a second meeting was arranged for Sunday evenings.

Mrs. Thomas led these Sunday evening meetings, reading a portion of scripture and expanding upon it. Hymns were sung, and Mrs. Thomas would call on a few of the children to pray. While many welcomed these meetings, and the interest shown by the children and young people, others were less kind to the meetings, accusing the children of 'playing at church.'

But play does not bear the lasting fruit of piety which these meetings produced. This was not the rowdiness of some modern 'youth' services. One Sunday night twenty-two young people entered the evening service at the chapel, enquiring about membership of the church. They told the pastor that they had been converted in the five o'clock meeting. It was the start of revival, and many more were added to the church.

What was her secret? It was her life of prayer. She had learned the goodness of God by experience, and knew that nothing is too hard for God. Mrs. Laura Thomas knew her God; is it any wonder that she was strong and did exploits?



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