DEATH OF THE REV. D. PRICE, SILOA
We deeply regret to record the death of the Rev. David Price, the much beloved pastor of Siloa Welsh Congregational Church, of this town, on the 5th instant, in his 68th year. The deceased gentleman’s health had for some time been failing him, and he had of late years suffered several severe attacks of bronchitis, which distressing complaint ultimately carried him off. He was however possessed of a robust, powerful frame, and was only confined to his house some ten days, being able to preach as usual on Sunday fortnight.
Mr. Price had been in the ministry for 35 years, and was ordained as pastor of the church with which he was so long and honourably connected. Few men have worked mere zealously, consistently, and successfully in the good, cause than did Mr. Price. His loss will consequently be incalculable to the church and congregation. Chiefly through his efforts churches at Cwmbach and Abernant were formed, and the churches at Cwmdare, Aberaman, and Mountain Ash also derived much valuable assistance through his labours and aid in various ways. His ministerial career was unblemished. Being of a modest and unassuming disposition, he confined his attention to the furtherance of the interests of the church, and was never known to meddle with party squabbles and such matters still, he was always ready to assist in every good movement and was a warm advocate of temperance. The respect in which he was held was manifested by all classes; the tradesmen had their shutters in and signs of regret at his decease were visible on all hands.
The funeral, which took place on Thursday, at the cemetery, was one of the largest ever witnessed in the neighbourhood. Amongst those present we noticed the Vicar of Aberdare, several of the clergy, and nearly 100 ministers of all denominations. The procession started from the residence of deceased at 12.30 for Siloa Chapel, where service was held, the body having been deposited in the lobby. The spacious building, which was draped in black, was crowded to overflowing. On the platform was the late minister’s vacant chair, with the inscription “Cadair wag.” Printed copies of the hymns to be sung on the occasion were distributed to each person present. The hymns were given out by the Revs. D. Lewis, Llanelli; H. Morgan, Bethel; and J. Davies, Zoar. The Rev Gibbon, Llandovery, read the scriptures, and prayer was offered by the Rev. W. Edwards, Ebenezer. A most impressive discourse was delivered by Dr. Rees, of Swansea, from Daniel xii. 3. On leaving the chapel the procession was re-formed in the following order minister’s tradesmen and professional men friendly societies; the choir the body, followed by the mourners, women and children, carriages, &c.
At the grave addresses were delivered by the Revs. D. Jones, B.A., Swansea, D. Richards, Caerphilly and Dr. Price; the proceedings being concluded by prayer by the Rev. J. Farr.
Presentation to the Rev D. Price Siloa, Aberdare 20/10/1866
On Tuesday evening last a large and enthusiastic public meeting was held at Siloa (Independent) Chapel, in this town, for the purpose of presenting the Rev. David Price, the minister of the place, with an address, together with a purse containing £170 2s., as a token of respect for his long and successful labours in connection with that place of worship. We understand that this handsome sum was subscribed almost entirely by those attending the chapel, and that if any efforts had been made outside the pale of the congregation and church of Siloa, the subscription list might have been extended to ten times its present proportions. There can be no doubt of Mr. Price’s deserts both as a respectable, peaceful citizen, and a remarkably useful minister of the gospel. In all good movements in which he could becomingly assist be has been found labouring modestly but earnestly, and we should not think he had been too well rewarded if the purse so gracefully handed to him on Tuesday evening last had contained more money than he could have conveniently counted.
The spacious building was filled to overflowing, and on the platform we noticed the Revs. T. Thomas, Glandwr; W. Edwards, Ebenezer R. Evans, Bethel; Fr. Rowlands, Aberaman; J. T. Jones; R. Jones, Nelson T. Llewellyn, Mountain Ash J. Rees, Treherbert; E. Evans, Penderrin; W. Williams, Abercwmboi, &c.
Mr Eustace Richards, colliery proprietor, was voted to the chair, and he opened the proceedings in a neat speech, characterised by his usual good sense. He said he hardly knew what to say to them, as he was not in the habit of presiding at such meetings, but he would venture to assert that he felt as much zeal in this movement as any one of them, and he therefore could not refuse to take the chair on the present occasion (Cheers.) He had known Mr. Price for nearly twenty-three years, and during that period he had probably had as much to do with him in connection with the affairs of the chapel as any man. They had seen many changes and had met with many re- verses, but at last, he was proud to find their labours had been crowned with success. (Cheers.)
He would say that he had never been disappointed in Mr. Price, and he bad as much confidence in him now as-ever. He always found him where he left him. There had been a good deal of talk amongst the members from .time to time about making some acknowledgment to Mr. Price for his efforts amongst them, but in consequence of the debt on the chapel, and other matters that were in the way, they had not been able to do so until now. The young men connected with them at last took the matter up, and whatever they took in hand they always succeeded with it, and on the night on which the testimonial was first proposed 60 guineas were subscribed. (Cheers.) When the matter was afterwards brought before the church meeting, it was received with so much warmth that he believed they could then have easily collected a hundred guineas. (Cheers.) In the course of a most appropriate speech the Chairman urged that it was not a new thing to reward merit. (Hear, hear.)
The history of every nation disclosed the fact that the deserving were rewarded in some way or other. Many modes were adopted. Sometimes columns were erected, at others statues, positions of trust were conferred on the meritorious whom it was sought to honour, and not unfrequently large sums of money were voted in the shape of rewards. (Cheers.) Acts of the kind were calculated to encourage those who laboured in a good cause, and he must say he felt great pleasure in taking part in the present unostentatious though worthy movement. The respectful manner in which they addressed Mr. Price in their address should serve as a permanent pattern to them, aa it was but right they should always address him with that respect and dignity which the congregation and church should always adopt towards their minister. After repeating the great pleasure he felt in being a humble instrument in doing honour to Mr. Price, and, having called on the choir, the chairman resumed his seat amidst loud cheering.
Mr. David Jones, High Street, was then called upon to address the meeting. After paying a high compliment to the chairman, he remarked that the testimonial to Mr. Price was only a feeble mark of the respect in which that gentleman was held by them as a congregation. Many large sums had been contributed, but’ there were many smaller sums amongst them, and he would venture to say that the small sums represented as much warmth of feeling as the larger ones. There was scarcely a family attending the chapel that had not contributed something. They had acted purely on the voluntary principle, and every one gave with the utmost good will. Had their means been equal to the kindly feelings entertained towards Mr. Price, the amount would have been considerably more. (Cheers.) Mr. Jones concluded an excellent speech, by referring to the many good traits in Mr. Price’s character.
The meeting was afterwards addressed by Messrs. David Jones, Abernant; J. James, Gadlys; John Hughes, William Davies, William Nicholas, Dan Thomas, William Davies, and Thos. Williams, all being members of the church, and speaking in terms of high praise of Mr. Price.
The chairman then read an address, of which the .following is a translation, and which was splendidly got up both in point of framing and penmanship Address to the Rev, David Price, from the Congregational Churches of Siloa, Aberdare, and Bethesda, Abernant.
Respected Pastor:—Permit us, on behalf and in the name of the churches, to greet you on your success and position as a minister, and the sincere respect you have universally won. We find that you united yourself to the congregational church at Glyn-Neath, in the year 1830. You were exhorted to commence preaching there in the year 1836. We afterwards find that you removed to Aberdare, and joined the church at Ebenezer.
In the year 1842, you, together with 13 others, left the church, in a regular manner, for the purpose of forming this church (Siloa,) and you had the honour to be ordained its minister in August, 1848 and from that time to this your connection therewith has been a peaceful one, and so successful that it has increased from 14 to 600 and upwards, for some years past, in addition to the branches which have sprung out of it, viz, Brynseion, Cwmbach and Bethesda, Abernant. Your character as a minister has been such as to merit our most sincere respect, for your care for the temporal and spiritual welfare of these churches.
“We have not forgotten the labour, activity, and care, which you underwent in the starting of the cause in the face of many disadvantages you worked hard to erect the first chapel; you sacrificed much of your valuable time as an industrious workman to devise the best means, and worked with your own hands, to complete the building in the cheapest manner; and, not only that, after its completion you were always fore- most with your contribution to pay-off the debt as well as to contribute towards other causes, especially so when the church consisted of only a small number of members, and was unable to give but little for your services as a minister. And likewise your liberal efforts were the same in building the present chapel.”
“Your services as treasurer deserve our acknowledgments, which office you have filled almost from the commencement, The accounts show that you received and paid towards different causes (independently of your own salary) over £4,944; and your care and readiness to present the accounts in a clear light and with promptitude, has given the greatest satisfaction, and we believe that our success in a pecuniary point of view is due in a great measure to your care and minuteness.”
“You have displayed a heroic and determined spirit in the face of many difficulties to establish the principles of Congregationalism in the churches and we feel proud that these principles have been so fully unfolded by them until the present, which we consider is an honour to yourself and a source of gratification to us.”
Your efforts in extending and spreading the cause of the Saviour in the neighbourhood are most valuable in our sight. You have been “industrious” in time and out of time and that in the most unassuming and self-denying manner. You have not been, neither are you now, at any time backward in your readiness to assist weak churches, far and near, and,’ through God’s blessing, your efforts have not been in vain.”
“After 23 years of labour, we cannot but see the fullness of your character as a minister, in your efforts with the Sunday School, prayer meetings, religious societies, and all institutions that have for their object the resisting the sins )f the age your unblemished character, as well as the pleasure, the delight, and the spiritual edification we have experienced under your simple and evangelical ministrations, so that we have not the slightest hesitation in our minds that you have been “unto God a sweet savour of Christ” in our midst. In consideration of the above, as well as many other virtues we might name, we ask you to receive this address together with the purse and its contents, as a small proof that we value your steadfastness and untiring labours; and we are glad that it is not a parting gift, but a token of our adherence to one another, hoping that the peace and tranquility that has existed in our midst from the commencement may continue to the end of your life, and that a long and happy life to yourself and family. But above all, we unite in acknowledgment to the Lord, who has been with us, and who has smiled upon us, and may His Spirit remain in our midst forever.”
William Davies, Chairman,
Eustace Richards, Treasurer.
David Jones Secretaries
David Jones, Abernant.
“After the cheering which followed the reading of the above address had subsided, the chairman handed it to Mr. Price, and immediately afterwards the purse, which contained £170 2s. 0d. was gracefully handed to the reverend gentleman by Miss Davies, Ynyslwyd House, the act being followed by protracted cheering.
A number of poetical addresses, from which we select the following by Iago ab Dewi, were then read:
Hen arfer ganmoladwy yn rahob oes,
Gan rai sy’n dewis parchu dysg a moes,
Yw rhoi anrhegion i rai teilwng sydd
Yn eldiwyd a ilcfnyddiol yn cu dydd.
‘Ry’m ninau heno wedi cwrdd yn llon,
Er mwyn cyflwyno’r dysteb fechan hon
I David Price, ein bugail anwyl iawn
0 wir enyllys ei chyflwyno wnawn.
Nid tal, ond cydnabyddiaeth fechan yw,
O’n didwyll barch, a’n cariad uchel ryw
Tuag at y gwrthddrych sydd yn awr ger bron—
Hyn ydyw’r dysteb a’r anerchiad hon.
Nid tysteb ymadawol ydyw chwaith,
Ond tysteb o ymlyniad yn y gwaith,—
Yr eglwys a’i gweinidog o un fryd
Fo’n cydymdrechu at lesoli’r byd.
Mae cofio’i lafur dwys, a’i Iwyddiant mawr,
Yn creu teimladau cynes iawn yn awr;
Y fechan gynt sydd megys byddin gref,
Trwy fendith Ion ar ei ymdrechion ef.
Hir oes ddefnyddiol a Ilwyddianus iawn,
A phob cysuron iddo fore a nawn
Yr Ion o’i ras fo’n gymorth iddo byth
Tra byddo byw, i draethu’r gwir dilyth.
Tra byddo’n gweini yma, ‘n ddedwydd boed,
A’r undeb fo’n agosach nag erioed;
A phan orpheno’i waith, boed iddo ef
Gael tysteb ganmil gwell yn nef y nef.
A thra bo maen ar faen o’r adail hon,
Y geiriau pur a draethir ganddo’n llon,
Fo’n aros yn eu blas fel geiriau’r ne’
A heddwch fyddo byth yn llenwi’r lle,
The Rev. D. Price then made a suitable and feeling reply, warmly thanking all for their kindness. Several ministers, including all whose names are mentioned above, the-n addressed the meeting, each bearing testimony to Mr. Price’s great worth as a minister and a man. The proceedings, which were of a most warm and cordial character, and must have been highly gratifying to Mr. and Mrs. Price, were brought to a close by a vote of thanks to the Chairman for his valuable services.
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