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cover latent talent, and set it to do know all that is worth knowing, work; stimulate vacant minds, and and a determination that the Spirit set them to think ; find out the un- shall teach us nothing more; or if, occupied, and give them something to escape unwelcome conclusions, to do; and by a genial influence upon we explain and explain away, and such as are able to give, succeed in read between the lines, or break off making them cheerful givers. In a every thread that would lead us church so trained the Spirit will where we do not wish to go, we work with freedom and energy ; in make the promised Spirit's guidance others, it will be cramped and con- of no worth at all, and when we fined. I know no problem of greater have it, quench the Spirit. importance than how to bring out this hidden talent in our churches, so
(4) Still more do we do this, by that it shall work in a healthy, holy, suppressing our own convictions. and useful way. And, much as I
The Spirit does not come to should shrink from an invasion of
Christians now as it came to Peter, universal exhortation ; I could al
bidding him go to Cornelius nothing most say, better even that, with all
doubting, or to Paul to prevent his its trial of patience and weary waste of time, if it will really set the
going to Bithynia, and direct his
course to Troas. But, in ways no Spirit free to choose its own instru
less distinct and clear does it produce ments and give them work to do,
convictions of duty that cannot be than a cold and proud officialism,
altogether ignored. If then, with which damps all energies and ends
such convictions, for the sake of by quenching all the light and fire that had otherwise been kindled by conscience, turn away from the goal,
pleasure, ease, or gain, we force our the Spirit of God.
shut our eyes to the duty, and will
not go; “ to him that knoweth to (3) By avoiding an honest search
do good and doeth it not, to him it for truth.
is sin." Or if, on the other hand, We have no such inspiration now
with strong misgivings, grave doubts, as could enlarge the Bible, or add to
we do the thing our consciences con
demn, and touch what we feel to be its truths. It contains the whole
forbidden : “ whatsoever is not of truth. We no more expect a new edition of Christianity, amended and
faith is also sin." The Spirit has
" this is the way, walk ye in enlarged, than we expect new strata to be added to our earth, and new
it," and we have quenched the Spirit. metals poured into its mines. But, as men of science have been engaged garding the feelings which that Spirit
(5) And, lastly, we do so by disrefor centuries in exploring the earth,
awakens in our hearts. and are for ever bringing up something new to us, though it must have There is no monotony in the work lain where they found it for myriads of the Spirit, even in the work of of years; so he who, with the help conversion. There of God's Spirit, will honestly and whose hearts from the very cradle earnestly dig in this book as for hid there is some good thing towards treasure, will find that we have not the Lord God of Israel, and others yet discovered all the truth, and God whose earliest longings for spiritual
more light to burst forth from life begin in their old age. Some "Tis works and word. But if are drawn by influences as gentle as
with an assumption that we those which draw the flower to the
light; and others driven as by the Word of God; the perpetual attacks lightning and the storm. And many that are made upon it by those who are wofully mistaken here. Waiting only study the works of God; the for their neighbour's experience, they endless and apparently hopeless attach but little importance to their diversities and disagreements that own. Expecting to be driven, they divide the Church against itself ; the will not be drawn, and with their strongholds of error and sin that ears on the stretch for a trumpet we find in our own hearts and see blast, they never catch the still small apparently impregnable all over the voice. Some, probably, quench the world : and, as we think of our utter Spirit in this way. Firmly believing impotence and selfish indolence, that they do know whence it cometh might well exclaim, “Who is sufand whither it goeth, they “know ficient for these things ?” But with not the day of their visitation.” this Spirit we have nothing to fear.
But there are others who know it Let us only accept His guidance, well enough. The voice of con- trust to His teaching, and rely upon science, the leaning of the heart, are His power, and we shall assuredly clear enough at times. My friends, find the crooked paths straight and we call it conscience and the heart, the rough places plain." The enigbut I confidently claim it all for the mas that now perplex us would be Spirit of God. And if ever an im- solved; the divisions that enfeeble pression has been made upon your us would soon be healed; the assaults heart—if ever a gentle voice has of infidelity would be bravely borne ; said, “You ought to be a Christian,” the searching criticism of an honest or a passing softer feeling in your science, which, though sometimes heart has said, “I wish I were a apparently hostile, is really a friend Christian,” at that moment the in disguise, would be courted rather Spirit of God was with you: and if than maligned; and for her great you let it pass, and the thought work of converting the world to vanished unheeded, and the feeling Christ, the Church would gird herself died without an effort or a prayer,
with braver heart and stronger hand, "you quenched the Spirit.'
Oh, if only, instead of " quenching the then, if ever such a moment should Spirit,” she would give to that Spirit return, grasp it as a priceless oppor- a more hearty, generous, and unspar. tunity; hold it fast ; let it not go; ing confidence, hold fast to her standit is thy life. This time, at least, ing principle, “the weapons of our quench not the Spirit.'
warfare are not carnal, but mighty, And now, brethren, let us all through God, to the pulling down of awake to a fuller consciousness of strongholds,” and still adopt the the worth and glory of the gift we grand watchword of both the old possess. Without this Spirit we covenant and the new-"NOT BY might indeed stand appalled before MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY the difficulties that meet us in the SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD.”
THE REV. B. EVANS, D.D., OF SCARBOROUGH.
THE well-known, earnest, useful, barous age (I mean of the “good old THE
and self-denying Christian mini- times "), but exercising, as a right, ster, a sketch of whose life forms the election of their clergyman by the subject of this brief memoir, vote, and so making him truly the which the limited time and space at minister of his people. my command compel me to curtail Of an intellectual, inquiring mind, as much as possible, was born on as a boy his thirst for knowthe 13th May, 1803, at Bilston, in ledge was intense, and he had Staffordshire.
scarcely reached adolescence, before Early in life he was employed as a conviction of the truth of the an artist to ornament articles made Gospel forced itself upon him. His in the district, such as papier-maché choice “ whom he would serve” was tea-trays, &c.; and this skill in quickly made, and he joined the drawing and painting he retained in Baptist Church in his native town. after life, surprising his family by But this did not satisfy his sanguine the life-like delineation of objects his nature; he felt he was called to brush and pencil called forth. higher work, and, although of an
If it be true, and I think it is extremely delicate constitution, true, that a man's birth-place has added to a sensitive and excitable an influence on his character
that temperament, making study very the scenery and associations, and
unadvisable, his iron will bore down the events among which he passes all opposing influences, and, in the his childhood, modify his tastes, twentieth year of his age, his name stimulate his imagination, direct his was entered on the books of Horton modes of thought, and give a bent College, Bradford, then under the to his whole mind—and his after presidency of the Rev. Dr. Steadexperience confirms the truth of man. these impressions of his childhood On joining the college, his ap—then we may say that Dr. Evans pearance and character may be thus was providentially ushered into the described : his demeanour was world at this place and period. markable for its meekness, modesty,
He was born at a time when the and timidity ; and his sermons anChurch of Christ had been raised from swered exactly to these characterits lethargy and indifference to the istics. His hair was combed straight state of the world, and when persecu- down his forehead, and it was obtion had left it at liberty to turn its served that his apparel was not of more complete attention to the work the most fashionable cut of the day. of the Gospel, and in a district On his arrival at Scarborough, to take known for the independence and the pastorate, all these were altered ; freethought of its people, revelling his apparel was improved, his hair certainly in many of the debasing brushed up; a pair of spectacles, and cruel customs of a more bar. rendered necessary by night-study,
was assumed; and his sermons were cause small numerically, and financidelivered with that boldness of ally poor, but Nonconformity at a enunciation which, in after life, so very low ebb, and High Church inwell fitted him to spread effectually fluence almost paramount in the the grand truths of the Gospel. town. The minister of the Society of
The reason of this change was Friends scarcely ever preached a that, between the beginning and sermon without extracts from “ close of the student's course at col- beautiful liturgy;" the Independent lege, he had looked into many
minister was out of the Establishthings, had contemplated many theo- ment simply because he could not ries, had preached many sermons, had
assent and consent" to all written many essays—in fact, had the Thirty-nine Articles ; the Wesbegun to feel his own power, and leyans had
not taken the posiwas determined to use it to the best tion they now hold ; and, above all, of his ability. That power he re- the Baptist Church had not the tained, continually increasing until best character in the world, nor had the day of his death, and now, in
acted in the most Christian manner very truth, "his works do follow to some of his predecessors. None him."
of these things daunted him, but Of his college days he always rather served to draw forth the full preserved a grateful remembrance, power of his enthusiastic, determined and for the memory of his tutors he nature. One stipulation he made ever cherished a respectful venera
with the Church was, that a tion; and of this he gave frequent and larger chapel should be built proofs by the effectual efforts he for for him. This was assented to; and forty years made, to assist the work the foundation-stone was laid the of the Institution now transferred to day after his ordination. It held Rawdon. The prospect of his use- double the number of the old one, fulness was
soon apparent, and, and, when finished, it the before he had completed the usual largest, best situated, and most curriculum of study, he received attractive chapel in the town. inore than one call to the pastorate. Numbers from all denominations By the consent of the committee, he flocked to hear him-Episcopalian, was allowed to abridge his period Independent, and not unfrequently at college, and, by the influence Wesleyan ministers, and their leadof his venerable tutor, intensified, ing friends, were found among his perhaps, by his own innate love of congregation. facing difficulties, especially in the Here he soon became a useful, cause of Christ, he was induced to laborious, and very popular minister. decide in favour of the unanimous On the Sabbath he preached twice and cordial invitation given him by in his own chapel, and sometimes the Church at Scarborough. And after the evening service, again now began that course of public in the open air, generally selecting and private usefulness which has the market-place, or other public posilasted through his whole life, and tion, so that he might be heard by in which, by his unfailing trust in as many as possible. Not only did God, he has been upheld, without many from his own congregation one stain ever resting upon his cha- follow him, but the numbers were racter, or hindering his devoted augmented from the people leaving ministry.
the different places of Worship, and On coming to Scarborough, in by those who went to no place at all, 1825, he found not only the Baptist and he thus was the instrument in
God's hands of effecting much good, physical labour, attended with no and of plucking as brands from the little anxiety and expense. Most of burning, many who will in the great his ministerial brethren in the disand notable day, be jewels in the crown strict were somewhat advanced in of his rejoicing, when Christ shall say, life, and their churches small; but “ Well done, good and faithful ser- they were men of intelligence, well vant, thou hast been faithful over a read in evangelical theology, and of few things, be thou ruler over ten great moral worth. They did not cities."
oppose the zeal of their more youthHe also on the Lord's-day con- ful colleague, which was, indeed, in ducted two prayer-meetings; and harmony with their own views, but when he did not preach in the open
enabled him to form an association air, this number was increased to for the North and East Ridings, of three-one at seven o'clock in the which he acted as secretary, until its morning, another at three o'clock in union with that of the West Riding the afternoon, and a third at eight in one, embracing the whole county o'clock, after the evening service. of York. He generally wrote the In addition to these public services circular letter, and usually filled the on the Sabbath, he held a Bible- post of moderator at the meetings class, before the afternoon service in held annually, in one or other of the chapel, and generally gave some the towns to which the associated attendance and oversight to the
churches belonged. Sunday-school. During the week In short, be himself records, he preached once, presided at two
was scarcely any matter prayer-meetings, and held Bible- brought forward ai annual classes for young men and young gatherings, much less carried out, women. Four sermons, five prayer- which did not devolve upon me; and meetings, and three classes each week truly the weight of all the churches could only be continued by intense presses upon me daily, indeed no one mental energy and continual ap- but myself knows the amount of plication, and from a prospect of labour, mental and bodily, and the such labour many young ministers expense, involved in these matters." would shrink back appalled; yet it
Through his zealous efforts was borne by this diligent, self-sacri- churches were planted in several of ficing pastor, not only as a young the neighbouring towns and villages, man, but (with the single exception and over one of these he ordained a of the early morning prayer-meeting) Primitive Methodist minister of wben the winters of nearly sixty Scarborough, whom he had baptized, years had passed over his head-in after convincing him that immersion short, during the whole of his was the only form of baptism in the pastorate of forty years.
New Testament. From being a branch of the parent During a visit to England of one church at Bridlington, at first num- of the sons of the Rev. William bering only fifteen members, that at Hague-bis predecessor in the pasScarborough had now, through the torate—who resided at Memel, in earnest laborious zeal of Mr. Evans, Prussia, the religious destitution become the largest Baptist Church of the British sailors who visited in the East and West Ridings of that port was brought to his notice. Yorkshire, and, as its pastor, this By the help of his father-in-law, position entailed upon him, in addiChristopher Hill, Esq., who for tion to the work of his own charge, forty years held office as a deacon an immense annount of mental and in the church at Scarborough,