The former striving with God in prayer, and the longing anxiety for the con- version of sinners, which I had experienced at Leyn, was now re- stored. I had a hold of the promises of God. The result was, when I returned home, the first thing that arrested my attention was, that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in Anglesea, inducing in them a spirit of prayer, especially in two of the deacons, who were particularly importunate that God would visit us in mercy, and render the word of his grace effectual amongst us for the con- version of sinners.
Evans now entered into a solemn covenant with God, made, as he says, " under a deep sense of the evil of his heart, and in de- pendence upon the infinite grace and merit of the Redeemer. We give it entire, as a specimen of his spirit and his faith : — I.
Redeemer of sinners, that I may obtain rest for my soul from the thunders of guilt and the dread of eternity. Grant me this, for the sake of thy most precious blood. I entreat an interest in thy blood, for thy blood's sake, and a part in thee, for thy name's sake, which thou hast given among men.
Keep thy grpcious eye upon me, and watch over me, my Lord, and my God for ever! Work in me every thing approved of God, for the at- tainment of this. Give me a heart ' sick of love' to thyself, and to the souls of men. Grant that I may experience the power of thy word before I deliver it, as Moses felt the power of his own rod, before he saw it on the land and waters of Egypt. Grant this, for the sake of thine infinitely precious blood, Jesus, my hope,?
Let me discover in this life what I am before thee, that I may not find myself of another character, when I am shown in the light of the immortal world, and open my eyes in all the brightness of eternity. Wash me in thy redeeming blood. O let thy care be over me as a covenant-privilege betwixt thee and myself, and not like a ge- neral care to feed the ravens that perish, and clothe the lily that is cast into the oven ; but let thy care be over me as one of thy family, as one of thine unworthy brethren. If possible, thy will be done ; leave me not long in affliction, nor to die suddenly, without bidding adieu to my brethren, and let me die in their sight, after a short illness.
Let all things be ordered against the day of removing from one world to another, that there be no confusion nor disorder, but a quiet dis- charge in peace. According to the depths of thy merit, thine undiminished grace, and thy compassion, and thy man- ner unto thy people,! Evans, in speaking of this solemn transaction and its influ- ence upon his spirit, subsequently observes : " I felt a sweet peace and tranquillity of soul, like unto a poor man that had been brought under the protection of the royal family, and had an annual settle- 32 MEMOIR OF EVANS.
In two years, his ten preaching places in Anglesea were increased to twenty, and six hundred converts were added to the church under his care. Evans made several visits to Liverpool, Bristol, and otlier parts of England. On these occasions he was frequently solicited to preach in English, to which he several times consented, to the great gratification of his English friends. These sermons evinced the same energy of thought, and the same boldness of imagery, as those which he preached in Welsh ; but in the power of his peculiar delivery, they were inevitably far inferior.
His brethren in England were much delighted with his performances, and said it was " no wonder the Welsh were warm under such preaching ;" but his language was broken and hesitating, and they could scarcely have any conception of his animation and energy when he spoke in his vernacular tongue. His success induced him to commence a systematic study of the English language, that he might be able to preach in it with greater ffieedom and effect. He could read English before, and was some- what familiar with the best English authors of his day ; but never acquainted himself with the grammar of the language till he was thirty-three years of age.
But read his own account of the matter : — " The English brethren had prevailed upon me to preach to them in broken English, as it was ; this induced me to set about the matter in earnest, making it a subject of prayer, for the aid of the Spirit, that I might be in some measure a blessing to the English friends, for there appeared some sign that God now called me to this department of labor in his service. I never succeeded in any thing for the good of others, without making it a matter of prayer My English preachi-ng was very broken and imperfect in point of.
I was about forty years old when I learned to read the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Testament, and use Parkhurst's Lexicons in both languages. I found that, had I studied the English language attentively and perseveringly, I should be able to overcome great difficulties ; and also, thac I could without much labor in the course of few years, even in my idle hours, as it were, understand all the Hebrew words corresponding with every Welsh word in the Bible ; and so also the Greek. I had always before thought that it was impossible to accomplish this, for I had no one to encourage me in the undertaking ; but I found it was practicable, and proved it in some measure, yet relinquished the pursuit on account of my advanced age.
Here we pass over several years of Mr. Evans' history, during which nothing of very special interest occurred, except the agita- tion of the Fullerian controversy. This is a matter which requires only a passing notice in this brief memoir. We let it sleep ia silence. Evans was now nearly sixty years of age.
Sermons of Christmas Evans
Infirmity, the result of his arduous labors and numerous afflictions, began to prey upon his system. The several congregations under his care had hitherto constituted but one church. But the number of preaching places had now become too great for him, in his enfeebled state, to continue his pastoral visits and labors among them as he had done.
He therefore advised them to form themselves into separate churches, two or three stations uniting in one. This was the occasion of a dark and dreadful storm upon the apostle of Anglesea. Some of the churches refused the ministers he recommended, and called others whom he disapproved. Then arose a bitter party spirit, and ii general contention, among the congregations. Evans was severely censured, and even assailed with the shafts of slander. Many of his former friends forsook him, and some of those who professed to feel for him in his troubles did nothing for his vindir.
The severity of these public calamities was increased by private afflictions. His beloved wife had gone "the way of all the earth. But though cast down, he was not destroyed. If I only entered the pulpit, I felt raised as it were to Paradise — above my afflictions — until I forgot my adversity ; yea, I felt my mountain strong, my mind was in such a heavenly frame, and as anxious as ever for the conversion of sinners. The truth appeared to me in its power like a hammer in its strength.
The doctrine dropped as sweet as the honey, yea, sweeter than the honeycomb, and as comfortable as the best wine. I was now particularly wishful that all the ministers in Anglesea should join with me, according to the promise, ' If two of you agree to ask the same thing, it shall be given unto you of my Father which is in heaven ;' for I had such confidence that then I should see prosperity attending the ministry, and that 1 should not die until I had finished my work.
I said to a brother : — ' Brother, the doctrine, the confidence, and strength which I feel, will make some persons dance with joy yet in some parts of Wales. The unbending disposition of those who were offended at me, and the ardor of my own spirit, believing that there was work for me to do in some other field of the harvest of the Son of man, and my having prayed earnestly for twelve months for the direction of Divine Providence, together with the visions of my head in the night seasons, appeared to unite together to lead in one direction.
Sermons and Memoirs of Christmas Evans (English and Welsh Edition)
At length, the determination to leave Anglesea, afflicted as I was, preponderated. I was much like Jacob, leaving his father and his mother, going with his staff only over Jordan : so was I, leaving the church : I had prayed, yea, I had striven with God for its pros- perity, and had labored nearly forty years with it — now leaving it — possessing nothing of this world's goods, save the horse upon which I rode, and a small amount of silver in my pocket ; and scarcelj could I say that these were mine.
During the above-mentioned tribulations he received an insulting letter, threatening him with a civil prosecution. Lord, some of my brethren have run wild ; and forgetting their duty and obligations to their father in the gospel, they threaten me with the law of the land. Weaken, I beseech thee, their designs in this, as thou didst wither the arm of Jeroboam ; and soften them, as thou didst soften the mind of Esau, and disarmed him of his warlike temper against thy servant Jacob, after the wrestling at Penuel. So disarm them, for I do not know the length of Satan's chain in this case, and in this unbrotherly attack.
But thou canst shorten the chain as short as it may please thee. Lord, I anticipate them in point of law. They think of casting thine unworthy servant into the little courts here below ; but I cast my cause into the High Court, in which thou, gracious Jesus, art the High Chan- cellor. Receive thou the cause of thine unworthy servant, and send them a writ or a notice immediately — sending into their conscience, and summoning them to consider what they are doing.
Forgive them all their faults, and clothe them with white robes, and give them oil for their heads, and the organ, and the harp of ten strings, to sing, for the trampling of Satan under our feet by the God of peace. But he was never satisfied in such cases without an inward assurance of acceptance and success. I felt as cheerful and happy as Bunyan's Pilgrim, when his load fell off and r lli d into the grave of Christ ; or as Naaman, when he came up from the waters of Jordan, cured of his leprosy.
The Throne of Grace is the good man's sure resort in every emer- gency. Jehovah " hides him in his pavilion from the strife of tongues. An invitation, which he received about this time, to take charge of the Baptist church in Caerphilly, Glamorganshire, South Wales, confirmed Mr. Evans in his determination to leave the scene of his recent trials. He set out alone, in his sixtieth year. The distance he had to travel was about two hundred miles.
On the way, while dwelling on his past misfortunes, he found his heart melted within him, and drawn out in fervent prayer.
His faith soon triumphed over his afflictions and his fears. He renewed his covenant with God, and went on his way rejoicing. This revival of his religious feelings had a powerful effect upon his ministry. He had not been long in Caerphilly, before the Spirit of God was poured copiously upon the people. Previous to this time of refreshing, he had a remarkable dream, which he noted in his diary. He thought he was in the church at Caerphilly, and found many harps hanging about the pulpit, wrapped in coverings of green.
Then he cried, " Brethren, the Lord has come to us, according to his promise, and in answer to our prayers. While at Caerphilly, he entered into a second marriage. He remained there only two years. Evans have ended his life in Caerphilly ; but troubles arose between him and some of his parishioners, and, receiving a call from Cardiff, a neighboring town, he went to take charge of a church in that place. Previous to his removal, and while he was meditating the matter, he made a new covenant with God. We extract again from his journal : — " While returning from a place called Tongwynlas over Caer- philly mountain, the spirit of prayer descended very copiously upon me I wept for some hours, and heartily supplicated Jesus Christ, for the blessings here following.
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I found at this time a particular nearness to Christ, as if he were close by me, and my mind was filled with strong confidence that he attended to my requests, for the sake of the merits of his own name. This decided in favor of Cardiff. Aid it speedily, and lift up the light of thy countenance upon it; and by thy Spirit, word, and providence, so operate as to carry things forward in the churches, and neighborhoods, in such a manner as will produce changes in officers, and measures that will accomplish a thorough improvement in the great cause, for the establishment of which in the world thou hast died ; — and by scat- tering those that delight in war, and closing the mouths of those that occasion confusion.
Thanks, that thou nast not given me a prey to the teeth of any.follow site
The Triumph Of Calvary By Christmas Evans – Hampshire View Deaf Baptist Church
Blessed be thy name. Sustain my heart from sinking, to wait for fresh strength from Zion. I entreat aid to resign myself to thee, and to thy will.
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I beseech thee take my heart, ana inscribe upon it a deep reverence of thyself, with an inscription that time and eternity cannot efface. Unto thee I dedicate them. If there should be any thing in them conducive to thy glory, and to the service of thy kingdom, do thou preserve it, and reveal it unto men ; else, let it die like the drop of a bucket in the midst of the scorching heat of Africa. In this covenant, which probably is the last that will be written between me and thee on the earth, I commit myself, my wife, and the churches amongst whom I have preached, to the protection of thy grace, and the care of thy covenant.
For the sake of thy most precious blood and perfect righteousness, note this covenant with thine own blood in the court of the memorials of forgiving mercy : attach unto it thy name in which I believe ; and here I, this day, set my unworthy name unto it, with my mortal hand. Dated, Cardiff, April 24, Evans in his diary, " I came to Cardiff, heartily and unhesitatingly, like a merchant that should send his vessel to sea after it had been re- gistered in the insurance office.