I am behind again. I have been traveling almost non-stop the last several days, and haven’t had a lot of opportunities to publish to the blog.
On Day 12, I took the train from Edinburgh to Cardiff, Wales. It was a very long trip, and by the time I arrived, I was quite exhausted. I spent the evening reading about Sandemanians in Wales.
Christmas Evans was a one-eyed Baptist minister who served the poor congregants throughout Wales for 49 years. For about 10 of those years, Christmas Evans was a Sandemanian. He was converted to the Sandemanians on the Island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, where he had been assigned to minister to all of the Baptists on the island. He and many other Baptists became Sandemanians, in part, it seems, in defense of their strict Calvinist beliefs. When Methodists arrived on the island, Evans attacked them, attempting to defend Calvinist soteriology against Wesleyan Arminianism. Evans became one of the most well known free church ministers in the history of Wales non-conformity.
Day 13 was my birthday. I spent it touring the Cardiff area, visiting the Cardiff Castle, and enjoying this beautiful city. Later in the day, I took the train to London, and promptly went to bed.
Day 14 I spent in London, discovering the city. London is the place where the most famous of Sandemanians, Michael Faraday, was a member. Faraday was an important enough person in the social and political circles in London that he has his own memorial in Westminster Abbey. However, because of his supposedly unorthodox Sandemanian beliefs, he was denied burial in the Abbey and was instead buried in the Highgate Cemetery in London. I did not have time to visit Highgate on this day, but I hope to do so before I leave the UK.
I found the following poem about the Sandemanians in London:
THE SANDEMANIAN MEETING-HOUSE IN HIGHBURY QUADRANT
On roaring iron down the Holloway Road
The red trams and the brown trams pour,
And little each yellow-faced jolted load
Knows of the fast-shut grained oak door.
From Canonbury, Dalston and Mildmay Park
The old North London shoots in a train
To the long black platform, gaslit and dark,
Oh Highbury Station once and again.
Steam or electric, little they care,
Yellow brick terrace or terra-cotta hall,
White-wood sweet shop or silent square,
That the LORD OF THE SCRIPTURES IS LORD OF ALL.
Away from the barks and the shouts and the greetings,
Psalm-singing over and love-lunch done,
Listening to the Bible in their room for meetings,
Old Sandemanians are hidden from the sun.