prolonged to seven hours' length. He probably did not sanction conjoint singing, but is said to have been ‘excellent at extempore hymns.’ Noted for the fearlessness of his reproofs, his habitual tone was tender rather than denunciatory, and his sermons were filled with vivid illustration drawn from familiar life. He was deficient in power of organisation, and (though himself a frequent visitor from house to house) he relied too much on preaching as a means of evangelisation; but there can be no doubt that the effect of his work was in the direction of moral improvement and practical religion. His use of travelling preachers anticipated and probably suggested George Fox's employment of the same agency. He was a generous entertainer, especially of the poor, keeping open house for his friends, and telling them he had ‘room for twelve in his beds, a hundred in his barns, and a thousand in his heart.’ A fifth of his income he devoted to charity. His seal bore a skeleton, seated on the tree of life, holding in the right hand a dart, in the left an hour-glass.
He published: 1. ‘The Scripture's Concord; or a Catechisme,’ &c., 1646, 8vo; 5th edit., 1653, 8vo; 1673, 8vo (this was translated into Welsh, with title ‘Cordiad yr Isgrythyran,’ 1647, 8vo). 2. ‘God the Father Glorified,’ &c., 1649, 4to; 2nd edit., 1650, 8vo. 3. ‘Truth's Conflict with Error,’ &c., 1650, 4to (contains the disputation with Goodwin, from the shorthand of John Weeks). 4. ‘Christ and Moses Excellency,’ &c., 1650, 8vo (the second half is a concordance of Scripture promises). 5. ‘Three Hymnes,’ &c., 1650, 8vo (one by Powell). 6. ‘Christ Exalted,’ &c., 1651, 8vo. 7. ‘Saving Faith … Three Dialogues,’ &c., 1651, 8vo (in Welsh, same year, with title ‘Canwyll Crist’). 8. ‘The Challenge of an Itinerant Preacher,’ &c., 1652, 4to. 9. ‘A Narrative of a Disputation between Dr. Griffith and … Powell,’ &c., 1653, 4to. 10. ‘Spirituall Experiences,’ &c.; 2nd edition, 1653, 12mo. 11. ‘Hymn sung in Christ Church, London,’ &c., 1654, 4to. 12. ‘A Word for God,’ &c., 1655, 8vo (in Welsh, same year, with title ‘Gair tros Dduw’). 13. ‘A Small Curb to the Bishops' Career; or Imposed Liturgies Tried,’ &c., 1660, 4to. 14. ‘Common-Prayer-Book no Divine Service,’ &c., 1660, 4to; enlarged, 1661, 4to. 15. ‘צופר בפת, or the Bird in the Cage, Chirping,’ &c., 1661, 8vo; 1662, 8vo. 16. ‘The Sufferer's Catechisme’ (Wood). 17. ‘Brief Narrative concerning the Proceedings of the Commissioners in Wales,’ &c. (Wood). 18. ‘Sinful and Sinless Swearing’ (Wood). Posthumous were: 19. ‘An Account of … Conversion and Ministry,’ &c., 1671, 8vo (with appended hymns and other pieces). 20. ‘A New … Concordance of the Bible,’ &c., 1671, 8vo; 1673, 8vo (finished by N. P. and J. F. [James Fitten?], &c., commended to the reader by Bagshaw and Hardcastle, and in the second edition by John Owen, D.D. (1616–1683) [q. v.]). 21. ‘A Description of the Threefold State … Nature, Grace, and Glory,’ &c., 1673, 8vo. 22. ‘The Golden Sayings,’ &c., 1675? broadsheet, edited by J. Conniers. 23. ‘Divine Love,’ &c., 1682 (Rees). ‘The Young Man's Conflict with the Devil,’ 8vo, attributed to Powell by Wood, is more likely by Thomas Powell (fl. 1675) [see under Powell, Thomas, 1572?–1635?].
Specimens of his extempore hymns are given in the ‘Strena’ and elsewhere; some have been translated into Welsh by D. Richards; although they are rhapsodical and want finish, they have an interesting bearing on the development of modern hymnody. The editions of the Welsh New Testament and Welsh Bible, 1654, 8vo, were brought out by Powell and Cradock.
[The Life and Death of Mr. Vavasor Powell, 1671, is attributed by Richard Baxter to Edward Bagshaw the younger. Wood questions this on no good ground; it includes Powell's autobiographical account, and has been reprinted by the Religious Tract Society, and in Howell's Hist. of the Old Baptist Church at Olchon, 1887. A. Griffith's three pamphlets—Mercurius Cambro-Britannicus, 1652, Strena Vavasoriensis … A Hue and Cry after Mr. Vavasor Powell, 1654, and A True and Perfect Relation, 1654—are criticised in Vavasoris Examen et Purgamen, 1654, by Edward Allen, John Griffith (1622?–1700) [q. v.], James Quarrell, and Charles Lloyd. A Winding-Sheet for Mr. Baxter's Dead, 1685, contains an able estimate of Powell's character; Cal. of State Papers (Dom.), 1660, pp. 123 seq.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 911 seq.; Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, 1696, iii. 72; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, i. 147 seq.; Calamy's Church and Dissenters compared as to Persecution, 1719, pp. 46 seq.; Crosby's Hist. of the Baptists, 1738, i. 217 seq., 373 seq.; Thurloe State Papers (Birch), 1742 ii. 93, 116 seq.; iii. 252; iv. 228, 373, 380; Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, 1779, ii. 507 seq.; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, 1803, iii. 517; Richard's Welsh Nonconformist's Memorial, 1820, pp. 141 seq. (an excellent account); Neal's Hist. of Puritans (Toulmin), 1822, iv. 108 seq., 411 seq., v. 128 seq.; Life, by T. Jackson, 1837; Records of Broadmead, Bristol (Hanserd Knollys Soc.), 1847, pp. 108 seq., 115 seq., 516; Ormerod's Cheshire (Helsby), 1882, ii. 132; Rees's Hist. Prot. Nonconf. in Wales, 1883, pp. 85 seq., 97 seq., 145 seq., 511 seq.; Jeremy's Presbyt. Fund, 1885, p. 110; Palmer's Nonconf. of Wrexham (1889), pp. 28, 55; R. H. Williams's Montgomeryshire Worthies, 1894.]