The Great Awakening of the 1700’s was a heaven-sent revival to many parts of the world. In North America, God used the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards. In England God used Whitfield and the Wesley brothers. In Wales God used the electrifying preaching of Howell Harris and his convert, William Williams.
Born the son of a wealthy farmer, Williams trained with the intention of becoming a medical doctor. But after his conversion to Jesus Christ, he changed profession and became a preacher…you might say…a physician of the souls of mankind. During his 43 years of itinerant ministry, Williams travelled over 95,000 miles and drew large crowds. Once he spoke to a group estimated to be 80,000 in number!
Williams is best remembered, however, for his hymns. He has been called the ‘sweet singer of Wales’. He composed over 800 hymns. His hymn, GUIDE ME, O THOU GREAT JEHOVAH…was first published in the Welsh hymnbook in 1745 and is known as Williams’ auto-bio-graphical prayer. It was sung to President James Garfield while he lay dying of an assassin’s bullet. With tears in his eyes, the president exclaimed, “Glorious, isn’t it? ”It was also sung at the funeral of Princess Diana.