John Elias

Life, Letters and Essays

Look Inside Price $26.10

500 in stock

Weight 1.52 lbs
Dimensions 1.0 × 1.0 × 1.0 in
ISBN 9780851511740



18th Century, 19th Century, Preaching & Teaching, Revival, Pastoral Biography

Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Mar 1, 1973

Page Count





‘In John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays we are confronted with a spiritual giant – a reminder to us that our great God can raise great men for His church from the humblest of circumstances. Letters, essays and biography combine to give a rounded picture of one who was “a burning and shining light”. A most important book. Buy it. Read it. You will be spiritually much richer.’ — HYWEL R. JONES

Book Description

North Wales in the early part of the nineteenth century provides a striking instance of the way in which a spiritual revolution can change the whole direction of a people and a society. Equally striking was the agency which brought the prevailing religious indifference and lawlessness to an end: it was the preaching of the gospel by men without position or influence like John Elias (1774-1841), Under the preaching of Elias, the outlook of thousands was permanently changed. They not only heard of the crucifixion of Christ, but felt that they had seen it. ‘I felt’, said one hearer, ‘as if the earth shook for miles around me.’

This account by Edward Morgan traces the life and ministry of Elias from his first religious impressions until the day when 10, 000 attended his funeral in Anglessey, the scene of most of his labours.

Here, in days of revival, forty-four chapels were built in forty years. To Elias’ life and the lessons to be drawn from it are added his letters and other papers originally published as a separate volume. Previously published by the Trust in this form in 1973, the Life, Letters, and Essays of John Elias is now reckoned among Christian classics.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

Introduction ix
1 Elias’s origin, education and early serious impressions 3
2 Elias becomes more decided – enters the Welsh Methodist Connexion – his public ministry 16
3 Elias at the commencement of his ministry – his desire for learning and knowledge 30
4 Elias’s removal to Anglesey – the state of religion there and the great alteration therein at his departure 42
5 Elias’s marriage – his family – education of his children 56
6 Elias’s difficulties, afflictions and oppositions 75
7 Elias’s ministerial character – his intellectual and delineating powers in preaching 95
8 Illustrations of Elias’s great powers – testimonies to his success 111
9 Of Elias’s zeal in the cause of religion 132
10 Elias’s exertions for the Bible and the London Missionary Societies – Sunday schools – the temperance cause 147
11 Elias’s second marriage – his private character – catholic spirit 162
12 Elias’s declining years and happy end 175
To Mrs Elizabeth Elias, his first wife 187
To his daughter, Phoebe Elias 189
To his children after the death of his first wife 195
To his daughter after her marriage 197
To his son, John Elias 204
To Lady Bulkeley 216
To the Rev W. Roberts 219
To a sister-in-law 221
To Mr Thomas Owen, prisoner in France 223
To the Church of God in London 226
To Mrs Jones and Mrs Davies, London 242
To the Church of God in Liverpool- Mr John Roberts 245
To Mr John Jones, a preacher at Liverpool 253
To the Rev Henry Rees 258
To the Rev Robert Jones, Ty Bwlcyn 260
To Mr Daniel Jones, a preacher at Liverpool 261
To the Church of God in America 262
To the Association at Denbigh 275
To the Church in America in 1840 278
To Mrs Jones of Wrexham 282
To Miss Rogers, afterwards Mrs Davies, of Carnachen-wen 296
To Mrs Foulkes of Machynlleth 304
To Mrs Lloyd of Beaumaris 310
To Mrs Roberts of Caernarvon 311
To W. R. Roberts, Esq, Surgeon of Caernarvon 313
To a clergyman 316
1 Thoughts on the Bible 337
2 On the use of reason 343
3 On preaching the gospel 349
4 On the important subject of the ministry 353
5 On hearing the Gospel 356
6 On the moral inability of man 362
7 On the obligations of man 368
8 On government and the sin of despising it 372
1 Documents on the better observance of the Sabbath 381
2 Papers showing the loyalty of Elias 385
3 Short account of the death of Mr John Lloyd 388
4 On singing 392
1 On the Sabbath 397
2 Justification 399
3 On hardening under religious privileges 401
4 Advantages of the yoke to young people 404
5 A sermon on the death of faithful ministers 406
6 A sermon on the death of King George III 409
7 A sermon on the death of the Duke of York 411
Index 413
Illustrations appear between pages 210 and 211

3 testimonials for John Elias

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  1. Matthew Sullivan

    This is a precious book that deserves much more attention than it seems to get. I knew little about the history of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism, only what I read from Lloyd-Jones’ bio, and so it was a delight to learn about John Elias, who seems to be one of the greatest and godliest preachers the UK has ever had. It’s amazing that he is hardly known today. Edward Morgan’s biographical material is very good and gripping, just as edifying, I thought, as Elias’ own content. Morgan not only lays out the facts of Elias’ life, but seems to understand very well the heart of the man and the gospel that shook his hearers. Someone said of Elias’ preaching that they not only heard of the cross, but they even felt it’s power, and for myself anyway, that’s kind of how I felt as I read this book. My heart was genuinely stirred as I read about this man, his piety, his love for Jesus, his zeal for the gospel, his vision of the kingdom, his heart for the church, and his usefulness during times of revival. Few biographies have been as entertaining for myself as this one.

    Some “must reads” have been Dallimore on Whitefield, Murray on Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon’s autobiography, and so on. I would venture to say that The Life, Letters, and Essays of Joh Elias should be on this list as well, especially for those men called to gospel-ministry. There is much encouragement and wisdom to be found here. This man needs to be discovered by our leaders today. Do check it out!

  2. D.W.Miller

    There are always lives of certain men in church history that stand out in a special way. Some are great preachers, some are gifted evangelists, some are scholars in the scriptures. But when all three are combined you have a rare and holy jewel that shines in and for the Kingdom of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ in a remarkable way, such was John Elias.

    If there is also any man who had the marks of the Holy Spirit upon him even from a young age, years before he was even converted, it was John Elias. It was so refreshing to read of a young boy so brought up in the fear of the Lord one story from the book stayed with me very powerfully of which I will share. I was in my study on a Lords day afternoon reading Elias and I heard the children in the street swearing and cursing, (even at their own parents) and sadly this is normal in our society today. But as I was reading Elias I read that when he was a boy he said; ‘Once I heard a lad swearing (I was not allowed to keep company with such boys). I thought it was splendid of the boy to say such words’. Then Elias went on to say; ‘I went far from all people to the middle of a field to attempt uttering the swear-word. Alas, I said it! Upon which such fear and terror seized me that I thought the earth would open and swallow me to Hell on the spot’. (Pg 6)

    How much we need the fear of God such as this in our children in society today! Hearing what we hear in our streets today compared to what we read of Elias is vastly different, Oh how we need the tide to change! If Gods Word teaches us anything it is that we should ‘train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it’ (Prov 22:6). The life of John Elias is what I can only describe as a Thrilling Spiritual Journey from his beginnings to his end, every Christian must read it. He went from a God fearing young boy to a fine man of God or as the bible puts it; ‘a burning and shining light’ (John 5:35) describing a man full of the Holy Spirit and preaching the Gospel with power. For the enrichment of your own soul I would recommend the life of Elias over any other in Welsh history and that is quite a statement when we think of the calibur of preachers the country has produced through the centuries, after Elias would be Daniel Rowlands. But that’s another story all together.
    God Bless

  3. Joseph Balding

    This is a book that is encouraging, convicting, and will lead you to greater prayer and worship to our Great God who brings revival and changes human hearts.
    There were four things I was reminded of when reading the biographical section. First, the observance of the Lord’s Day has a profound impact in one’s growth in holiness as well as the spiritual state of society. Second, early piety leads to great blessing in life and you see this so wonderfully in John’s life. Third, the power of faithful preaching is used by God to bring about revival and transformation in people’s lives. I see this every week in my own particular congregation and pray that God would continue to change people’s lives under the preaching of the word just as it did when Elias preached so long ago. Fourth and finally, the power of a humble and gracious life given in serving one’s family and fellow man. Once you have read this fine work you will see that John Elias was faithful not just in the public ministry but in his own family and to everyone he came in contact with. May God raise up more men like John Elias and may God bring revival at this time just as He did in the UK. I greatly encourage you to read this fine work and be edified.

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