John Griffith of Pencaerau, Llyn was, a rural shopkeeper, who became a deacon of the chapel at Pencaerau, and was very active within its life there, being furthermore himself a man of spiritual propensity. After his death on the third of December 1921, amongst his documents was found an envelope bearing the message ‘agreement, this is not to be opened’. But under the impression that this had something to do with his business, it was opened and inside was found a covenant that John Griffith had made with God forty years previously. The local inhabitants came to know about it and it was generally affirmed that he had adhered to his part of the agreement and that God also had granted his wishes. Here is a copy of the covenant.
I John Griffith Pencaerau on the fourth day of December in the year 1881 and the thirty first year of my age after long and profound consideration am presenting myself body, soul, and possessions to my Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.
Do not give me wealth or poverty but feed me with plenty of bread, Lest if he gives me such wealth I shall wax proud and exalt myself so to say ‘Who is the Lord so that we can serve him? And on the other hand let me not fall into poverty because that could lead me to Unbelief and cause me to fall under the feet of my enemies so as to bring shame and contempt on thy great cause in earth, but give me sufficient of things of the world so as not to be indebted to anyone for anything but of loving each other and also that I shall have something to contribute to those in want and towards upholding thy cause on earth.
(Give me) A particular skill to pray and to speak in public so that with thy blessing I shall be of some benefit to my fellow pilgrims and sinners and accordingly be of some service to thy great cause upon earth, also that taking part in any public meeting or any beneficial concourse shall not be a burden on me but on the contrary be a great pleasure. ‘Desire the best talents’.
(Give me) manifest piety so that the enemies of the church will acknowledge that I am seeking the land of a carpenter and builder which is God. Let the light of your piety so shine which is beneficial to everything.
(Give me) To enjoy the communion and peace of God so that I shall in spirit praise the name of the Lord, and never after I have counselled others myself be unacceptable but shall be able to say: My fellowship is truly with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ
Help me, Heavenly Father, to keep my covenant that is to love the Lord with all my soul and all my heart and to await confidently and faithfully the granting by you to me of other gifts of grace through the merit and worthiness of thy blessed and beloved son Jesus Christ, I implore you- I who will be found in him without self justification.
Signed the 4th Day of December 1881.
And according to hearsay so it turned out, Have you heard tell of similar covenants ?
It is interesting to note that John Griffith was never poor nor rich and that throughout his life remained very faithful to his Cause and to God.
Thanks to Canon T J Prichard for his help with the translation.
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