1774 - 1841
John Elias was a preacher in Wales in the first half of the 19th century, as part of the Welsh Methodist revival. His preaching was noted as being exceptionally powerful, "as if talking fire down from heaven". On one occasion it is said he preached to a crowd of 10,000 people.
He was a strict High-Calvinist who believed in the literal truth of the Bible. At one stage he argued strongly for the controversial doctrine of Elected Salvation, meaning that salvation was pre-ordained for a select few. He came to be known as The Methodist Pope because of his forthright views.
Despite his wide interests, he was a religious conservative who opposed all forms of political Radicalism as well as the assertion, popular at the time amongst Nonconformists in Wales, that "the voice of the people was the voice of God".