Born at Aberystwyth, 11 May 1826, son of Robert Davies (1790 - 1841), and Eliza, daughter of David Charles I, Carmarthen; his home was the house in Great Darkgate Street, in which the Confession of Faith of the Calvinistic Methodists had been drawn up in 1823. He was educated at an Aberystwyth school kept by John Evans (1796 - 1861) before he proceeded to Bala to be among the first group of students at the academy which Lewis Edwards had opened there in 1837 and which subsequently developed into the Theological College. In 1841 he went to Hanley as private pupil of William Fletcher, Congregational minister, and left in 1844 for University College, London (B.A. 1847). After a short stay in New College, Edinburgh, where he had a serious illness, he returned to University College, London, in 1848, and graduated M.A. in 1849.
His career as a preacher started in his home church (Tabernacle, Aberystwyth) in 1848. In 1850 he was admitted to membership of the South Wales Association and was its assistant secretary for two years. He was ordained at Llanelly in 1852, and held temporary or fixed pastorates at the following: Newtown (English), 1850, Alpha church, Builth (1851-3), and again (1856-8), Windsor Street, Liverpool (1853-6), Newtown (1858-9), New Jewin, London (1859-76); then, owing to ill health, he removed to Bangor, though retaining a connection with London until 1882. He married a Miss Cooper of Llangollen in 1857.
He was closely connected with the educational activities of his church and especially with the training of its ministry. Having refused the principalship of Trevecka in 1863 and 1864, and a tutorship at Bala in 1874, at the end of 1888 he accepted appointment to Trevecka as principal after the death of William Howells; a very successful tenure of the post was cut short by his death at Bangor, 26 September 1891.
Davies, despite chronic ill health, was an assiduous lecturer, writer, preacher, author, and teacher, who has many volumes of commentaries, articles, sermons, and lectures to his credit, among the best known being Yr Epistol at yr Effesiaid (two vols.), at y Rhufeiniaid, Epistolau Ioan, Salmau (selection), Darlithiau Athrofaol ar Ysbrydoliaeth y Beibl, Anerchiad ar Fedydd a Swper yr Arglwydd, Ymyl Ei Wisg (sermons), and Darlithiau ar Gristionogaeth, delivered during his memorable London pastorate, 1879-83, and transcribed for Y Traethodydd (1881-4) by Sir E. Vincent Evans. He was a powerful thinker whose mind exhibited marked gifts of analysis and synthesis; an inspiring teacher who had long experience of Bible and theological classes; a profound preacher, not by nature eloquent, but for forty years his preaching in the Association meetings of his church made a strong appeal to thoughtful hearers of all ages.
Published date: 1959
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