Lewis, George (1763-1822) (DNB00)

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LEWIS, GEORGE (1763–1822), dissenting divine, born in 1763 at Trelech, Carmarthenshire, was admitted in 1781 to the Presbyterian College at Carmarthen, where he studied under Robert Gentleman [q. v.] In 1786 he became pastor of a congregation at Carnarvon, from which charge, in 1795, he was called to Llanuwchllyn, Merionethshire. Here he stayed seventeen years, immersed in theological studies, yet finding time to promote and sustain a powerful religious revival. In 1796 he issued his ‘Drych Ysgrythyrol; neu Gorph o Dduwinyddiaeth; yn cynnwys eglurhad a phrawf o amrywiol ganghenau yr athrawiaeth sydd yn ol duwioldeb … Yr ail argraffiad,’ Bala, 1812, 8vo—a small manual of divinity, which, popular from the first, has passed through numerous editions. This was followed in 1802 by his valuable Welsh commentary on the New Testament (‘Esboniad ar y Testament Newydd,’ 7 vols. 8vo), the result of about twenty years' assiduous labour. The work met with almost universal acceptance in Wales, and in 1812 the author was summoned to Wrexham to succeed Jenkin Lewis as head of the Independent Academy or Theological College, originally founded in 1755 at Abergavenny. In 1816 Lewis removed from Wrexham to Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, and the board in London consented to move the academy with him. In 1821 it was thought desirable to move it again to Newtown in the same county. Some nine months after the removal, on 5 June 1822, Lewis died at Newtown, and was buried in the New Chapel there, funeral sermons being preached both in English and Welsh.

All Lewis's works were written in the last-mentioned language. His Calvinism was of the type of Dr. John Owen (1616–1683) [q. v.], one of the few Welsh nonconformists by whom he was surpassed in learning. Besides the works mentioned above and some sermons, Lewis wrote:

  1. ‘Cyfiawnhad trwy Ffydd,’ Machynlleth, 1803, 12mo. ‘Arweinydd i'r Anwybodus, yn cynnwys cyfarwyddiadau i'r anllythyrennog i ddysgu darllen, ynghyd a hyfforddiadau byrrion tu ag at cyrhaedd gwybodaeth o egwyddorion crefydd. … Y pummed argraphiad,’ &c., Gwrecsam, 1812, 12mo.
  2. ‘Catecism Athrawiaethol ac ymarferol. Neu gasgliad o wirioneddau a dyledswyddau Cristnogol. … Y degfed argraffiad,’ Llanfyllin, 1818, 16mo; new ed. Wrexham, 1870.

[Williams's Eminent Welshmen, pp. 271–2; Evangelical Magazine, xxx. 277–8; Gent. Mag. 1822, ii. 94; Rees's Protestant Nonconformity in Wales, p. 499; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.