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The name of Christmas Evans is already widely known. The extract from one of his sermons, generally published under the title of the “ Specimen of Welsh Preaching,” has been sufficient, among Christians speaking the English language, to establish his character as a preacher of sublime genius, and of lofty powers of imagination. For his genius and power in the pulpit, Robert Hall is well known to have had him in high admiration. It is not perhaps as generally known among American Christians that he was equally eminent for piety and ministerial usefulness. The Memoir prepared for the use of English readers by his countryman, the Rev. D. Phillips, as exhibiting his unremitted labors, and the blessing of God that accompanied them, and the simplicity, devotedness, and disinterestedness of his character, will be found, in the judgment of the subscriber, one of interest and value.
To the Baptists of the United States it may have also still another recommendation, as bringing to their view the character and habits of the numerous and flourishing churches of their denomination in the Principality of Wales.
WILLIAM R. WILLIAMS, Pastor of Amity-st. Bapt. Ch. New-York. ii
I cordially unite with Brother Williams“ in his commendation of Christmas Evans, and in the desirableness of having his Memoirs printed and circulated in the United States. He was a man of God, and eminently useful in his generation.
The manuscript prepared by Brother Phillips I have read with deep interest. I find Brother Evans exhibiting, with great clearness and power, the distinguishing doctrines of grace throughout his ministry; and his cheerful, humble, and devoted life, as presented in these Memoirs, exhibits with equal clearness the holy practical influence of the doctrines he preached.
I hope the work may be speedily printed and widely circulated.
SPENCER H. CONE, Pastor of First Baptist Church, N. Y.
ME MO I R.
Introduction.—Birth of Christmas Evans.-Parents.-First
religious impressions.-Uniting himself to the Arminian Presbyterians.— Beginning to preach.— Seeking after knowledge.- Visit to Herefordshire.-Spiritual declension.- The loss of his eye. - Admonitory dream.Change of his views on baptism. His baptism.-Joining the Baptist church at Aberduar.-His subsequent experience.-Remarks on conversion.
The late eloquent Robert Hall observes, that “ of all the species of literary composition, perhaps Biography is the most delightful. The train of incidents through which it conducts the reader, suggests to his imagination a multitude of analogies and comparisons; and while he is following the course of events which mark the life of him who is the subject of the narrative, he is insensibly compelled to take a retrospect of his own. In no other species of writing are we permitted to scrutinize the character so exactly, or to form so just and accurate an estimate, of the excellencies and defects, of the lights and shades, the blemishes and beauties of an individual.”
A very large proportion of the sacred writings consists of biographical accounts of men of different characters and diversified genius; hence, it is obvious that the Author of our existence deemed it important to transmit to succeeding generations the histories of the minds and manners of men. The utility of this species of composition cannot fail to approve itself to the mind of every thoughtful observ
It serves to stimulate the man of talent to greater exertion in the improvement of his powers, and in following up the object of his pursuit; for, seeing what has been achieved by others, whose lives of labor, toil, and success are presented to his view on the biographical page, he feels that the same may be accomplished by himself, at least in part, by proper attention and diligence. Biography serves also to warn the thoughtless wanderer from the paths of rectitude of the danger to which such a course will ultimately lead him, for he perceives in the accounts which have been furnished of others, the loss and disgrace in which their wayward career terminated.
The lives of virtuous and extraordinary men should be exhibited to public inspection in the most advantageous manner, that generations yet to come may be led to contemplate with holy admiration the rich displays of divine grace in their salvation, labors, and prosperity. This has been held important by Christians at all times; hence, we are presented with the holy and useful lives of a Bunyan, a Brainerd, and a host of others, men of God, eminent in their day for the grace that was given to them.
And who, by reading their histories, has not felt his heart swelling with the promises of that God, by whose power and grace they were raised to such eminence of piety and usefulness? With a view to such ends as these, an humble attempt is here made to delineate some of the most prominent features in the character of one of the natives of Wales, whom the inhabitants of that principality have been accustomed to rank among the most distinguished of their preachers, and whose name is not unknown to the Christians of Britain and America, and to exhibit in some humble measure those extraordinary powers and gifts with which he was endowed. It is hoped that this may be done in such a way as to engage the mind of the reader in devout admiration of the distinguished grace and mercy of God, which were so evidently manifested in his laborious and useful life.
In surveying the wonderful dispensation of God in the ministry of his word, how appropriate, as we perceive, are the assertion and reasoning of the apostle in the following passages :
“ Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the