Griffiths, David

Griffiths, David a Welsh Congregational minister, was born at Glanmeilwch, Carnarganshire, December 20, 1792. He was converted when about eighteen years of age, studied two years at Neuaddlwyd Academy, three at Wrexham College, and three at the Missionary College, Gosport; was ordained as missionary to Madagascar, reaching his destination in 1821. He formed the first native Christian church in that island, but after nearly fifteen years of labor, when the missionaries were compelled to leave the country, he returned to England. Two years later he received a letter from the Queen of Madagascar, permitting him to return for five years, at his own expense, in the capacity of a trader, but in reality a missionary. He was again expelled from the island, and after travelling on sea and land about the coast of Africa, and the Comoro Isles, he returned to his native country in 1842, and published a history of Madagascar, in Welsh. In 1852 he established a church in Kington, Radnorshire. About this time, learning that Madagascar was free for mission work, he, in company with Messrs. Joseph Freeman and T.W. Meller, commenced a new and improved translation of the Bible into the Malagasy language, and finished it shortly before his death, which occurred at Machynlleth, March 21, 1863. Mr. Griffiths was emphatically practical. He could preach in three languages, and had a good knowledge of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, Chaldee, and Arabic. Besides his work on the Malagasy Bible, he translated into the language of Madagascar, The Anxious Inquirer, Friend of Sinners, Come to Jesus, It is I, and Treatise on the Resurrection; corrected former translations of Pilgrim's Progress, and several tracts; corrected and enlarged former works, English and Malagasy Dictionary; Malagasy and English Dictionary; Vocabulary of Malagasy and English. Besides his History of Madagascar, he published, A History of Madagascar Martyrs, in English: — Malagasy Grammar: — Catechisms: Hymn Book: Essay on Destiny: — The Poor Rich Man, and the Rich Poor Man, and several Tracts. Also left ready for the press, Peep of Day, and Line upon Line. See (Lond.) Cong. Year-Book. 1864, page 216.

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