EDWARDS, LEWIS (1809-1887), Welsh Nonconformist divine, was born in the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire, on the 27th of October 1809. He was educated at Aberystwyth and at Llangeitho, and then himself kept school in both these places. He had already begun to preach for the Calvinistic Methodists when, in December 1830, he went to London to take advantage of the newly-opened university. In 1832 he settled as minister at Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, and the following year went to Edinburgh, where a special resolution of the senate allowed him to graduate at the end of his third session. He was now better able to further his plans for providing a trained ministry for his church. Previously, the success of the Methodist preachers had been due mainly to their natural gifts. Edwards made his home at Bala, and there, in 1837, with David Charles, his brother-in-law, he opened a school, which ultimately became the denominational college for north Wales. He died on the 19th of July 1887.
Edwards may fairly be called one of the makers of modern Wales. Through his hands there passed generation after generation of preachers, who carried his influence to every corner of the principality. By fostering competitive meetings and by his writings, especially in Y Traethodydd ("The Essayist"), a quarterly magazine which he founded in 1845 and edited for ten years, he did much to inform and educate his countrymen on literary and theological subjects. A new college was built at Bala in 1867, for which he raised £10,000. His chief publication was a noteworthy book on The Doctrine of the Atonement, cast in the form of a dialogue between master and pupil; the treatment is forensic, and emphasis is laid on merit. It was due to him that the North and South Wales Calvinistic Methodist Associations united to form an annual General Assembly; he was its moderator in 1866 and again in 1876. He was successful in bringing the various churches of the Presbyterian order into closer touch with each other, and unwearying in his efforts to promote education for his countrymen.
See Bywyd a Llythyrau y Parch, (i.e. Life and Letters of the Rev.) Lewis Edwards, D.D., by his son T. C. Edwards.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)