Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , JOHN PHILIP ( 1786 - 1832 ), Baptist minister, commentator, and divine ;

b. 9 March 1786 , son of David Davies , a clergyman at Bangor Teifi and Henllan, Cards. He joined the Baptists at Tre-fach and later became a member at Llandysul , where his father's brother, Daniel Davies , was minister . He began to preach in 1804 and was persuaded by Titus Lewis to go on a missionary tour to North Wales where, in 1810 , he settled at Holywell as minister to the Flintshire baptists. He was transferred to Liverpool in 1811 and to London in 1813 . There he came into close contact with Andrew Fuller (see D.N.B. ), secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society . In 1815 he returned to Wales to take charge of the churches at Ferryside and Kidwelly . In 1817 he moved to Tredegar , where he remained until his death, 23 Aug. 1832 .

He was the apostle in Wales of Andrew Fuller 's moderate Calvinism and rejected the High Calvinism which was very prevalent at that time. He took the view that the Atonement was linked not with Christ 's suffering but with His person. High Calvinism taught that the burden of Christ 's suffering was proportionate to the sins of the elect for whom alone He died. J. P. Davies , on the other hand, maintained that the Atonement of Christ was, by virtue of the infinite nature of His person, sufficient to embrace all mankind; and as he refused to accept the thesis that man was innately precluded from accepting the gospel of his own accord, he argued that those who heard it preached ought to accept it. He, too, believed in Particular Redemption, but he regarded this ‘particularity’ as denoting the effectual working of the Atonement upon the elect alone, and not as limiting the power of the Atonement itself. Over the pseudonym Mab Dewi Ddu he took a prominent part in the Fullerian controversy in Seren Gomer , 1822-3 . He published several articles and sermons in Seren Gomer ( 1818 , 1822-3 , 1824 , 1825 ), together with a translation of a book by A . Fuller on revelation. After his death D. Rhys Stephen published his theological writings with a short memoir. J. P. Davies was one of the most fluent preachers of the day. As a divine, his influence on the theology of his countrymen was profound.


  • D. Rhys Stephen , Traethodau ar amrywiol o bynciau athrawiaethol y grefydd Gristionogol ynghyd â nodiadau ar ddyscyblaeth eglwysig (Carmarthen, 1834) (including a short memoir);
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru , 1927 , 1936 ;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru (1893–1907) , iv, 49;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru (1839) , 417;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , i, 105;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) (1908) , 176;
  • T. Morgan , Enwogion Cymreig (1700-1900) (1907) , i, 93;
  • T. Edwards , Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Salem, Glanyfferi, o'u dechreuad hyd 1890 (Aberdâr, 1891) ;
  • Joseph Davies , Bedyddwyr Cymreig Glannau'r Mersi, sef, Hanes dechreuad a thwf Eglwysi Bedyddwyr Llynlleifiad, etc (Liverpool, 1927) , 20;
  • Y Greal sef Cylchgrawn Misol at wasanaeth y Bedyddwyr , 1870 .


Reverend Principal Tom Ellis Jones, M.A., B.D., (1900-75), Bangor

Published date: 1959