The Man In The Dark

DAVID EVANS, the celebrated "Welsh preacher,

was the child of very poor but very religious

parents. Like most pious Welsh families,

they were very fond of social prayer. Thus,

however late the father came home, or however

wearied by the toils of the long, long day,

the family altar was never deserted; for, like

the Hebrew altar of old, "the fire never went

out." With God in this lowly cottage, we

cannot wonder that the spot became holy and

happy ground.

Whether from habits of economy, or to prevent

the mind from being disturbed, it is not

easy to say, but most poor Welsh cottagers are

accustomed to put out the candle during family

devotion. The mind of little David was much

impressed by this fact, and it often became the

subject of his childish meditations. Employed

by the good Spirit of God, it became the means

of his giving his heart to the Saviour in his

tenderest years.

When David Evans was a man, he became a

wonderful preacher; and thousands flocked to

his preaching, as to another Whitefield. He

was once asked by a friend,

"What made you first feel the value of the


He thus replied "After my father read the

Bible to my dear mother at night, he always

put the candle out and talked to some one in the

dark. For some 'time I could not make out

who my father was speaking to; for I never

heard any one speak to him in return, and

when the candle was relighted, there was no

one in the room. This puzzled me very much.

Often I lay in my bed wondering with whom

my father had been conversing, especially as

he always seemed to be much happier 


Now, as my father was a very good

man, I thought what he did every night could

not be wrong; so I also determined to speak to

the man in the dark before I went to bed.

Very often I said to myself, 'As I see no one,

and hear no voice, I wonder whom I talk with

in the dark?' But I could not give any answer

but this: 'I speak to the same man my

dear father talks to when the candle is put


Very soon, however, did David find that it

was no mere man his father talked to; for the

unseen one present was no less than the Lord

Jesus, who can hear one in the dark as well as

in the sunshine. Nor did he cease to talk to

the one in the dark, until his work in this

world was finished, and he was prepared for

that happy place where "they need no candle,

neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth

them light."

But, dear child, do you ever talk to the man

in the dark? Or do you not think he is

worth speaking to, who died on the cross that

you might be with him forever? Perhaps you

say, "I do not know how to talk with him, I, a

little child, and he so great and holy!" Then

that is the very reason why you should go to

Christ at once, and let your heart say, "Lord,

teach me how to pray." Jesus is the best of

teachers; doubt not that he is willing to teach


S- S. Banner.