Thankfully, Dissenting Mr Rees was one of the spiritual forerunners of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, and the vicar was proved wrong!
'Where are you from?' asked the clergyman.
'I am from Llanbryn-mair, sir,' answered Lewis Rees, mildly.
'What brought you to Llanbryn-mair?
'The Dissenting congregation was without a minister. At their request I came to them, firstly on probation, and both sides being satisfied, I was appointed pastor over them.'
'How,' said his reverence, 'can you, being a Presbyterian, expect to be tolerated in this country? Go to Scotland. That is the Presbyterians' country.'
'I hope, sir,' said Mr Rees, 'that you act from a higher principle in religion than a regard to the custom of the country in which you happen to live; else, if you were to change your country you would change your religion: if you were to go to Scotland you would turn Presbyterian; if to Italy, a Roman Catholic.'
Monday, November 30, 2009
A Presbyterian in Wales, 1739
In a fascinating passage in The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales (Vol. 1), we read of the following interchange between a parish clergyman in Llanymawddwy and Lewis Rees (Dissenting minister of Llanbrynmair), the year being 1739: