Thomas Davies

The Life And Ministry Of Thomas Davies

Earthen Vessel 1887:

The Late Mr. Thomas Davies

The name of Thomas Davies is not so well-known today, as in years past. This may be accounted for by his advanced age, and by his retiring disposition. Although he sought to serve his Master, he never intruded himself upon any Church, but was sought after, even to within a short time preceding his death. The causes of truth he served latterly were Old Brentford, Hornsey Rise, Holloway, &c., where his labors were much appreciated. A brief account of his life will, we believe, prove interesting to our readers. 

Thomas Davies was born at Wrexham, N. Wales, in the year 1811. To use Mr. Davies’ own words, he said: “I had the inestimable advantage to be blessed with a godly mother, whose chief care was to instruct me in the truths of God.” When about seventeen years of age he became the subject of serious impressions, and joined a Church in Wales, by which he was soon sent to preach in the surrounding villages. In the course of a few years he came to England, where he established a large printing and stationary business in Staffordshire, and united with the Countess of Huntington people, by whom he was recognized as a minister. In course of time he had many fears and misgivings as to his real state before God, and came to the conclusion that he was a stranger to the regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit. These feelings so wrought on him that he resolved to break up his business and move to London, where he would be unknown, and never open his mouth again in the Lord’s name. When he came to London he possessed £1,800; but within twelve months he lost is all, and was almost reduced to absolute want; and while in this state he ruptured a blood-vessel on the lungs, which brought him near death. While lying prostrate the following words came with power: “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord,” which revealed to him that he would not die of his affliction, or die eternally; they were a great comfort to him, but darkness of mind followed for many months, by being impressed with the words, “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things written in the law to do them.” These feelings almost prostrated him—it discovered to him the evils of the heart. While in this state, as he was walking up Holborn-hill, light suddenly broke in with the annexed Scripture language, “Deliver him from going down into the pit, for I have found a ransom,” and “perfect love casteth out fear,” which produced a sweet and happy feeling in his mind, and he never lost their savor. While passing through Smithfield one Sunday afternoon, a gentleman asked him if he would stand by while he preached. He consented, and continued to do so for several weeks, and on one occasion Mr. Davies was asked to preach; this took him by surprise, but he stood up and preached. 

His first sermon in London was in the open-air, in Smithfield, from, “This is a faithful saying,” &c. (1 Tim 1:15) The sermon was blest to one poor soul; there was present at this service a member of Mr. Foreman’s, with whom our departed friend became acquainted in the following manner:—In the night (after preaching that afternoon) he dreamed that a man of peculiar appearance asked him to go and preach at Croydon. On the Monday, a gentleman, bearing a resemblance to the imaginary one he had seen in his dream, came and asked him to go to Croydon to preach. Mr. Davies went, and from then till a short time before his death, was always employed in his Master’s service. 

Our departed brother’s first and only pastorate was at Bethel, High Street, where he was publicly recognized on Thursday, April 26th, 1855; the late Messrs. John Foreman, G. Wyard, Samual Milner, and Palliser, took part in the service, where Mr. Davies labored more than 25 years, carrying on, at the same time, a printing business for the maintenance of his large family. His last sermon was from “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee,” preached at Wedmore-street, Holloway. He was anticipating preaching again, but on Sunday, March 6th, in the afternoon, he entered into that rest of which he had so recently been speaking. Mr. H. F. Noyes was in frequent attendance upon him, and was with him just before he died. 

The funeral took place on Thursday, March 10th, at Tiford Cemetery, in the presence of a circle of attached friends, among whom we noticed Mr. Buttery, Mr. Fountain, Mr. Lake, and others, and was followed by his children and grand-children. Mr. Noyes conducted the service, reading several portions of Scripture, and spoke of the grace of God that made him seek for salvation, and made him a minister of Jesus Christ, and meet for the inheritance above. On Sunday evening, March 13th, Mr. Noyes preached his funeral sermon at Bethel Chapel, Poplar, from “I am now ready to be offered up, the time of my departure is at hand,” &c. (2 Tim 4:6-8) The preacher adverted to the circumstances that caused the apostle to write these words, and showed how, in numerous instances, they referred to his departed predecessor—speaking of him as a valiant soldier of the Cross, without any undue adulation. We were exceedingly glad to find our brother Noyes was so well helped through the service, and that he preached with so much liberty. The chapel was well filled. 

Mr. Davies leaves seven sons and daughters, and twenty-five grand-children, some of whom are, by grace divine, following in their honored father’s footsteps. Our departed friend was very zealous for the cause of God, and when first in England he built, at his own cost, a place of worship for the body with whom he was connected in Birmingham. He was convinced of believer’s baptism through hearing the late Joseph Irons preach a sermon against the ordinance; which made him search the Scriptures for himself, and the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to see the sacred rite, and was baptised by the later John Foreman, and remained a member there till he accepted the pastorate above referred to. Twenty years ago he prophesied that Mr. H. F. Noyes (then a deacon) would be his successor, so it has occurred. That the event may be sanctified to the good of his numerous family, and the Church at Poplar is the prayer of,

John Waters Banks. 

Thomas Davies (1811-1887) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. In 1855 he was appointed pastor of the church meeting at Bethel, High Street, Croydon, a position he held for twenty-five years.