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Lewis Edwards

1809-1887. Welsh Calvinistic Methodist minister. Born at Pen-llwyn, Cardiganshire, he had a patchy education in local schools, engaged in a little teaching himself, and went to Edinburgh University in 1833. In 1837 he and his brother-in-law, David Charles (1812-78) opened a school at Bala which was eventually adopted by the Calvinistic Methodists* as the institution for training its ministers. He spent the remaining fifty years of his life as principal there. Edwards was a powerful personality and became the undisputed leader of his denomination, particularly in intellectual matters. He was an eager protagonist of institutional efficiency and led the Methodists to adopt a modified form of Presbyterianism. His most substantial work, however, was done in literary and intellectual circles. He was the founder in 1845 of the quarterly magazine Y Traethodydd, in which he introduced Welsh readers to a much wider range of international ideas than had previously been available to them. He wrote books on the person of Christ and the doctrine of the Atonement, and a brief history of theology. As a theologian he sought to evade controversy while maintaining a somewhat moderate Calvinism. His son, Thomas Charles Edwards (1837-1900), first principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, is better known to English readers through his commentaries on 1 Corinthians and Hebrews. He also wrote his father's biography (1901).