« AnteriorContinuar »
1778 or 9, the particulars of which are members of a hierarchy, that cared not for not now distinctly known. It was, how- their souls, and had left them to perish in ever, soon made evident that it was a their sins. The pious clergyman was then change from “darkness to light, and but little known; and on the despised secfrom the power of Satan unto God.” tary devolved the work of evangelizing Shortly after it had taken place he was those whom baptism had failed to regeneadmitted a member of the church then rate, and whom he did not dare to abanunder the pastoral care of the Rev. don to a “sure and certain hope"—the George Burder, whose apostolic spirit he mere figment of ritual delusion, neither imbibed. The village evangelist and the imparted nor sanctioned by the spirit of author of the “Village Sermons,” whose truth. Offensive and dangerous missiles itinerant labours, while sustaining the flew around the intrepid field preacher onerous duties of an extensive pastorate, as he stood, without any other protection diffused the light of salvation through all than that afforded him by Heaven, calmthe regions roundabout, found in Jonathan ing the tumult of the people and beEvans a man after his own heart. His seeching them with tears to be reconciled own son in the faith entered into all his to God. Names of reproach in all such plans of usefulness, and was always ready cases have been invented by witless for every good word and work. Though malice and applied by thoughtless folly. eminently qualified for the Christian In Suffolk these were the pograms; in ministry as to natural gifts and ardent | Ireland, the swadlers; and in Foleshill, piety, he could not relinquish his secular the crab-grinders—these were often the employment. He found it necessary to watchwords of violence. Had we not read be “diligent in business," while it was the annals of Methodism we could have his privilege to be “fervent in spirit, scarcely deemed such things possible in a serving the Lord.” Deeply affected with Protestant country and in the eighteenth his obligations to Divine mercy and with century. Rightly interpreted, perhaps, the condition of sinners around him, con- their true meaning is, “Jesus, thou Son strained by the love of Christ, he went of God, art thou come to torment us forth, on the right hand and on the left, before the time.” Demons of modern and sometimes to the distance of ten as well as of ancient days, rend the air miles, preaching in the open air wherever with their yells and cries at the
approach a congregation could be gathered. Regular of the Power which comes to dislodge in his irregularity, he was "instant in them from their strongholds, and will no season and out of season," so that in ad- longer suffer them to retain their goods dressing many he might win some. in peace. So great was the success of
In the year 1782 he turned his atten. Mr. Evans's disinterested efforts, that tion more particularly to the extensive about the year 1784, he purchased a and populous parish of Foleshill, near building by the side of the canal which Coventry, which stood greatly in need of had been used as a boat house, and fitted efforts such as he was disposed to make. it up very commodiously as a place of He preached out of doors and in houses worship. The congregation was so nuwhere he could obtain them in different merous that it soon became necessary to parts of the parish; in connection with enlarge it so as to accommodate from which he commenced a number of little three hundred to four hundred persons. Sunday-schools, for which he sought and This enlargement proving insufficient, in found persons willing to assist in teaching the year 1795 the present chapel was While in these benevolent and laborious built, and in a short time freed from debt exertions he was favoured with all the by the liberality of his many friends in zealous co-operation he required. He Coventry, London, and elsewhere. To was no stranger to the coarse and brutal this erection it is believed Mr. Wilson hostility of the ignorant and besotted was a munificent contributor.
In 1796 a church was formed chiefly his intention. But when I consider the of those who were the fruits of the Divine consequence of his ardent and honest blessing on his ministry. Previous to efforts; when I see, as I do this day, this Mr. Evans and his pious friends many immortal souls, who a little while were in the habit of communing with ago were dead in trespasses and sins the church at West Orchard, Coventry, really alive to God, boldly appearing where indeed he remained a member till on his side, and making their public his pastoral relation at Foleshill com- avowal before many witnesses that they menced. No man ever quitted one ho- are not ashamed to acknowledge the nourable connection and entered upon Lord Jesus, I feel confident that you will the duties and responsibilities of another esteem him very highly in love for his under more auspicious circumstances. work's sake." The testimony in the church books re- On the 1st of January, 1800, Mr. cording these interesting events, and the Evans circulated a tract entitled “A New letter of dismission which Mr. Evans ob- Year's Gift,” presented with Christian tained from his pastor and his deacons affection and earnest prayer for its sucare worthy of the occasion, and are in cess to the inhabitants of Foleshill, deperfect accordance with the discipline of signed to teach them how to be useful in primitive Congregationalism, that is, of this world and happy in the next. The embodied vital Christianity-Christianity introduction to this plain, faithful, and alive in its forms and institutes.
affectionate epistle runs thus: “This April 4th, 1797, Mr. Evans was or- short address is principally intended for dained. The very interesting ordination those persons who are not in the habit of service was published. Most persons reading the Bible, or of attending the pubwho were present were struck with the lic worship of God; but that none of the ample and scriptural confession of faith, inhabitants may be excluded from having which, without any assistance from notes, an opportunity of knowing their duty, he delivered on the occasion. The fol- and the earnest desire I feel to serve lowing passage from the introductory
them in the best sense, a copy will be discourse by the Rev. Jehoida Brewer, of delivered gratis at every house in the Birmingham, may interest your readers: parish.” A note is appended to this “ It is truly a consideration calculated address, stating: “It is truly lamentable to warm and animate the most sluggish that many persons grown to years of soul, that the very spot which we now maturity cannot read the Scriptures; for occupy was a few years ago a pasture for the instruction of such a Sunday-school the beasts of the field, and to-day it is a is established at the chapel, where they field for the flock of God. To-day it is are taught to read every Lord's day for a place which the Lord Jesus, the great an hour and a half between the afterShepherd of the sheep, deigns to con- noon and evening service, and books secrate with his indisputable sanction, found them gratis. A considerable numand to acknowledge as the place of his ber of both sexes now attend, and no abode. When I consider that a very few ' persons will be rejected who apply for years ago, ye were all as sheep going admission.” This school for adults Mr. astray, every one of you turning to his Evans usually attended as a teacher, own way; and consider the sovereign whilst he took great pains with the elder goodness of God, who put it into the children in the Sunday-school, some of heart of our good brother and your pre
whom bore living and dying testimony sent pastor, to come among you, and in to the success of his endeavours for the imitation of his Divine Master to seek salvation of their souls. A controversial and to save that which was lost, I must pamphlet upon the subject and mode of conclude you will all of you think very baptism appeared during the latter part gratefully of him for the benevolence of of his ministry, of which Mr. Thomas
Wilson entertained so high an opinion Nothing with Jesus can compare; that he published several editions of it,
From him such blessings flow! somewhat altered in form, and adapted for
'Tis heaven his precious love to share
I cannot let him go. general and gratuitous circulation. His defence of this pamphlet against a certain
I'll praise him with my latest breath,
Nor fear the ghastly foe; Philologos who ventured to attack it, is He will not leave my soul in death, very amusing. In order to prove that the Nor will I let him go. term "household” does not include child
And when in beaven I see his face, ren, Philologos observed, "for instance, I The rest I will outdo am the first-born in my house, and I am
In praising Jesus for that grace
That would not let me go." not young." "This argument,” says Mr. Evans, "is quite a childish one and what Mr. Evans laboured in his Master's many children would be ashamed of.” vineyard about twenty-seven years. He Similar to this is an argument brought died August the 31st, 1809, in the sixby a Papist champion, recorded by Dr.
tieth year of his age, after an illness of Mayo, in his reply to Dr. Gill: “ It may a few days. As it regarded his worldly very much be questioned, whether the affairs, his death was so awfully sudden jailor had any children, seeing it hath that he was not prepared for it; and been observed, that for many years to- those who had to administer after him, gether, not one child was born to all the it is to be feared, were deficient in the jailkeepers in all the county of Essex." delicacy and justice which were due to
The subject of this brief notice was his character. His disinterested integrity less a controversialist than a preacher. rose above suspicion while he lived, and The best productions of his pen were the if a temporary cloud passed over it at hymns he composed to be sung after his death it has long rested far away preaching on particular subjects and on from him. As a Christian minister, he special occasions. In Burder's Selection, was engaged in his Master's work to the the three fine hymns beginning, “Come, last; and at His bidding without a murthou soul-transforming Spirit,” “Hark! mur or a feeling of regret entered into the voice of Love and Mercy,” “Let the blessedness of those who die in the saints on earth their anthems raise,” | Lord and whose works do follow them. were written by him. One of the mem- He sent for a young friend* who at bers of our church, the fruit of Mr. that time was engaged as an occasional Evans's ministry, very recently departed preacher, and who had often supplied in the faith and hope of the gospel, and his pulpit, very early in the morning of a hymn of his, with which she had been the day on which be died, and thus adfamiliar in her youth, she referred to, as dressed him, “I am going; I have no best expressing her living and dying ex- time to make any provision for my poor perience. It is as follows :
people; do all you can to assist them;
farewell; we shall meet again, and speak Jesus I sought and found at last;
of one subject and sing one song for I love my Saviour so,
ever." I am resolved to hold him fast,
Mr. Evans continued in business at Nor will I let him go.
Coventry to the end of life, receiving but Once, this vain world my heart possest,
a small pecuniary return for his labours I lived on things below;
* The Rev. Nathaniel Rowton, who became But now I am with Jesus blest,
Mr. Evans's successor in the pastorate, the Nor will I let him go.
duties of which he discharged for about 16
years. Mr. Rowton is now the pastor of the My Lord above all things I love
church in Well-street, Coventry. The chapel His matchless worth I know.
was built by him; and the congregation and My former choice I still approve,
church are the result of the blessing of God Nor will I let him go.
upon his labours.
at Foleshill, as most of his flock were of chapel the last week in August 1845. the humbler class of society, and it is Appearances are encouraging; "the poor probable that in medicine (of which he have the gospel preached to them;" their had some knowledge) and in other modes children are receiving a scriptural eduof benevolence he gave them quite as cation; a day-school on the British sysmuch as he received. Mr. Rowton, to tem has been established within the last whom I am indebted for most of the year; great numbers of young people particulars I have here stated, says: regularly attend the chapel, and many " He was
a plain, faithful, carnest have placed themselves under the inpreacher of the great leading truths of struction of the master of the British the gospel; generally dwelling on the School. We are working and waiting, subjects of repentance, faith, and con- trusting and praying, and we know who version, their nature and evidences. His has said, “In the morning sow thy seed, ministry was much blessed in the con- and in the evening withhold not thine version of souls; and during its continu- hand, for thou knowest not whether shall ance a manifest and most pleasing im- prosper, either this or that, or whether provement was visible in the parish to they both shall be alike good.” those who were familiar with it."
I am, my dear doctor, This field which the Lord once so sig
Yours very sincerely, nally blest, it is my privilege to cultivate.
J. STYLES, We celebrated the jubilee of opening the Foleshill, January 20, 1847.
HYMN TO THE TRINITY.
All glory to the Trinity-
Enthron'd in light above;
The triune God of love.
And Spirit, all Divine.
In one Jehovah shine.
That makes the Godhead known;
And call that grace our own.
And thou Incarnate One,
And lead us to thy throne.
Newly risen from the tomb
THE SNOWDROP. Lovely flower, of purest white, Emblem of some child of light,
Review of Books.
FAMILY RELIGION, especially as exem- not a few pulpits, and from clergymen from
plified in Family Prayer. By W. Davis, whom better things might well have been of the Croft Chapel, Hastings.
expected, who assemble for family worship Snow, Paternoster-row, London.
in the parochial edifice, evidently tend to
restore a superstitious reverence for places How many tractates on this subject have supposed to be sacred, and for persons we read! All of them worthy of perusal, imagined to be peculiarly holy. All this, and especially adapted to the times and we believe, strikes at the root of intelligent circumstances in which they were written. ' piety, of personal consecration to God, and Each has been useful in its own circle, and of that household religion, which is one of still answers its specific end. This little the best nurseries of the holy and lovely work by Mr. Davis was no doubt suggested graces of the Christian character. It is by the too general neglect of family religion more than probable that the advocates of which he must have observed and deplored the obsolete rites and pompous ceremonies in common with his brethren, and by the of an encumbered Christianity are well spirit of the hierarchy, whose Puseyism is aware how much would be gained to their transferring the practice of piety from the party could they but divert the thoughts of family to the isolated individual, and from men from the substance of religion to its the domestic altar to the church and the outward forms; and especially from devocrucifix. After noticing those who, though tion itself to its spurious and specious reprofessing godliness, do not practise family presentations, in formal repetitions and imprayer, some deeming it wrong to join in posing observances.” To this little unob. devotional exercises with the unconverted, trusive messenger of mercy to the dwellings and others because it is not expressly en. of the rich and poor we cordialy wish "God joined in the New Testament, the author speed." observes : “ Well-taught Christians; men, we mean, who have passed the mere novi. ciate of their Christianity; do not expect
HISTORY of the REFORMATION in Ger. minutely specific directions on all the duties
By LEOPOLD RANKE. Transand circumstances of life, in a volume which
lated by Sarah Austin. Vol. III. 8vo. is the charter of our deliverance from the burdensome rites and minute ceremonial
Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. observances of the Levitical dispensation. At the time of their publication, we took We are not called unto bondage, but unto occasion to introduce to the favourable no. liberty. If we rigidly demand a positive tice of our readers the two first volumes of precept for every action which as Christians Miss Austin's translation of Ranke's great we perform, our range of duty must neces- work. In these volumes, which constitute sarily be very limited. We have only,” he the first part of the author's comprehensive adds, "to look at the spirit of the New plan, the reader is made acquainted, by a Testament to learn what is our duty with very laborious scholarly process, with the respect to family prayer." He then pro- early struggles and partial and doubtful ceeds to show that family prayer ought to triumphs of the Reformation Church, as be characterised by a devotional spirit, by headed by Luther and others, who were the ioculcation of short and suitable pre. his fellow-workers in his great and glorious cepts, and by the exhibition of a holy and undertaking. In the volume now under consistent example. In the illustration of consideration, which treats of the second these particulars there is not anything very epoch of the Reformation, according to the new or very striking. It is, however, plain, plan pursued we have placed before us the pithy, and pointed.
steady progress of the Protestant cause, as The author deplores in the Anglo-Anti- it gradually emerged from the early difficul. Protestant Church, as its modern priests ties which threatened its success, until, at love to designate the Church of England, last, we behold it in the zenith of its symptoms of a return to the superstitious strength, a regularly organized form of usages of the darker ages, from which the Christian worship and discipline, placed unReformation have effected much in deliver- der the protection of the civil power, and ing our people. "The daily services in contributing its full share of influence to some of the churches of the Establishment," the support of the state. Mr. Davis remarks, “the exhortations from We cannot examine with care the in