« PreviousContinue »
the second a splendid portrait of as deep as ever; and he has been himself, presented to him in 1859, deservedly honoured, by his brethren by some of his fellow-townsmen. electing him its president, from year
When Dr. Evans came to the to year, town, in 1826, the corporation was On Dr. Evans's retirement from Tory to the core, and ruled with the pastorate, the Church was weakrather an iron rod. Men of known ened by a large secession of memliberal principles, such as he, were bers holding open communion views. excluded from all municipal and ma- This had been talked of for many gisterial offices, and the influence of years ; but so long as he remained that body was all-powerful. Now all it was not carried out, and be, this was altered.
knowing that through respect and At the large and influential public love to him alone, the Church was meeting called to present this tribute kept united, was, perhaps to the of respect for Dr. Evans's disinterested detriment of his health, induced to services to the Baptist Church, and re-consider his resignation so ofter to the town of Scarborough at large, tendered, when otherwise he would the Mayor presided, and Dr. Evans, have preferred an earlier release in acknowledging the gift, remarked, from the anxieties of the pastorate. “ that not only was it one of the most At the age of sixty-four, a period pleasing features that had marked the when most men retire from the effort, that Christian friends of every activities of public life, when paProtestant denomination in the town ralysis and a combination of other had contributed to the testimonial, but diseases had weakened his physical that amongst these were the names powers, but left his mind as vigorof gentlemen who, forty years ago, ous as ever, he, with other friends, would have preferred expelling him founded the Theological College at from Scarborough; and of this ex Bury, and undertook the Professorpression of their love and regurd he ship of Ecclesiastical History thereshould ever, while life lasted, retain in, and in connection therewith a grateful remembrance.” He added, established and edited the Baptist “ There is one work yet I hope to live Record, a quarterlyjournal, intended to accomplish-that is to found a to supply the want felt by the Strict Society for the education of the sons Baptists for a periodical enunciating of our poorer ministers."
their views. This publication, to After three or four years' effort he the regret of many of its readers, was enabled to effect this object by the committee have discontinued, organizing, under the auspices of the on the grounds that there is no one Baptist Union, the present much sufficiently well-known in the devalued Society for the Education of nomination, with leisure and ability the Children of Baptist Ministers of for the work, who will accept, and limited income, and by his unwearied whom they can entrust with, the efforts. made at much detriment to editorship. Surely, “instead of the his health, he has been enabled to fathers should come up the childplace it in its present financial posi- ren!” tion, intending to consecrate to the Labour had now become almost active furtherance of its interests the a necessity of Dr. Evans's nature; remainder of his days. This he did he rose at five o'clock each morning, up to a year of his death, when the to the day of his death, and finished prostration of his health made active bis literary work before breakfast. physical work impossible, though his His last public secular work was solicitude for its prosperity remained forming a local committee, under
the presidency of the vicar of Scar- and other libraries. His reading, borough, for the Palestine Explora researches, and correspondence with tion Fund, of which he acted as his learned and attached friend, the secretary; and his last public reli Rov. Professor Müller, D.D., of gious effort was the holding of Amsterdam, soon proved that a Centenary services for his old chapel. single volume would be all but use
Dr. Evans's name as a writer less, and leave the history only at stood high; his works are known the beginning; a second volume and appreciated, not only in Eng- followed, and that has left the work land, buton the continent of Europe, still unfinished. The historical doand in America.
cuments quoted in these volumes His style was terse and graphic; are of great value. remarkable for short decisively. A history of the Church at Scarworded sentences, easily appre- borough he published last year, hended, and adapted for historical and in 1843 he printed one of all details.
the Baptist Churches in the district His first large work was the association. On the introduction of editing and enlarging of an octavo the Roman Catholic hierarchy into history of Scarborough, to perfect this kingdom he issued a series of which he toiled, deciphering and “Letters to a Romanist." With transcribing old records and manu- the Patristic and Biblical arguscripts, often past the midnight ments he was somewhat familiar, hour; and so successful was he in but he thought that an insight into this attempt, that although forty the system, drawn from its popular years have elapsed since the issue manuals of devotion-the spiritual of this enlarged edition, no attempt food provided for the masses of its to improve this branch of local communion — would do more to knowledge has ever been made, counteract its influence than anyand it now stands as a standard thing else. These letters were work.
afterwards enlarged, and formed Of the Baptist colleges at Horton into a volume, under the title of and Rawdon, he was also the his. “Modern Popery." His work, torian, and at the Jubilee of this “Hints to Young Christians," did latter, in 1854, he delivered a much local good. His “Life of graphic historical sketch, which Wickliffe," his “History of the was afterwards printed in a small German Reformation,” and his volume. Of his “History of the sketch of the “Religious State of Early English Baptists,” little need Belgium,” were much appreciated. be said; as forming part of the His lectures on ecclesiastical history Bunyan Library it is no stranger -through a course of which he was in the denomination. This history taking the students at Bury, the first had been a comparatively favourite of which was published in 1867, study, and he had at various times and was favourably received — contributed to different periodicals begin at the Christian era, and go articles on this subject. He entered down to the fifth century. on the labour con amore, and to The unpublished portion fills five render it as accurate as possible volumes of microscopically written spent much time in London, ran- manuscript. The materials for sacking the archives of the British their elaboration have been the acMuseum, and other places, and by cumulation of Dr. Evans's whole life. correspondence, availed himself of To recapitulate only the names of the treasures stored in continental the numerous pamphlets that he wrote and published, would be multiplied daily; the hours of the practically impossible. To his own day were devoted to intercourse members, to those of the associated with them, either at their own Churches, and to his fellow-towns- houses or in the vestry. men he issued many; but the fol- An immense addition to the memlowing are worthy of enumeration, bers at “Ebenezer" ensued. For viz. :-" The Doctrine of the Tri- some months the remarkable mani. nity,” the “Moral Government of festations of Divine mercy in the God,” “The Nature and Import- United States had excited interest, ance of Bible Classes,” “The De- and it was felt that an address on sign of the Bible,” and “ Christian this subject, would tend to prepare Female Agency in the Church.” ' the people at Scarborough for a
No sooner did he see political, similar visitation, if God so willed. moral, or religious error raise its At the request of his ministerial head, then he attempted to combat brethren of all denominations, Dr. its diffusion by the use of the pen. Evans undertook the task, and the
The town at large he endeavoured largest chapel in the town was to benefit by his publications on placed at his disposal. - Church Rates ;" by his “ Letter to This lecture, under the title of the Bailiffs of Scarborough," who, "American Revivals," was delivered before the passing of the Municipal in many places, and afterwards Act, governed the town; by his printed; and he had the gratifica“ Thoughts on the Claims of Dis- tion of hearing from his ministerial senters to Church Reform;" on the brother at Banbridge, when he “ Duties of Christians in Relation visited Ireland, that the reading of to the Present Times," and during that lecture to his congregation, the Russian War, in a pamphlet was the origin of a remarkable entitled the “Duty of Christians revival in his Church and in that in Relation to War," he warmly town. advocated the adoption of the sys- Sermons preached by him on the tem of National Arbitration, which accession of our present Queenis now arousing public opinion on the death of the Duke of Wel
During the so-called "Revival” lington — on the “Signs of the in religion, that some years ago Times”-on the death of the Rer. passed like a galvanicshock through William Hague, the venerable the Protestant world, and more es- founder of the Baptists in Scarpecially throughout the United borough, and on that of the Rov. Kingdom and America, he made S. Bottomly, who, on Dr. Evans's great and most successful efforts. arrival, was the oldest minister in
For fifteen weeks united prayer- Scarborough, were all published by meetings were held at noon and in request. His address to the students the evening for prayer and praise. at Bury College, on the “Greatness The interest continued unabated to and Grandeur of the Christian the close. All evangelical congre- Ministry," delivered at the annual gations united. Every place of meeting held at the close of the worship, especially in the evenings, Summer Session of 1870, was adwas filled. No excited addresses mirable as an example of earnest were delivered. The exercises Christian eloquence, and was pubwere strictly devotional. Request lished by the committee, and copies for prayer came from all classes, sent to every denominational college and for every condition of relatives. in the kingdom. Enquirers, with deep convictions, For some years Dr. Evans con
ducted a monthly magazine for known in the New World, and it Sunday-schools. He was editor of was only a few days after his death the Northern Baptist, until its union that the intimation of another degree with the Church, to which he was to be conferred upon him, was also a frequent contributor. Most received by his family. of the articles were supplied by Those who know him best, revered himself, and his labours in this, and him most. As an affectionate and in every thing he undertook, while self-sacrificing father, his loss can a pastor, were gratuitous.
never be replaced nor forgotten. He may indisputably claim the Respected by his fellow-townsmen, fatherhood of the Freeman. When implicitly looked up to by the first projected many, nearly all, held members of his Church-a sincere aloof. Letter after letter did he re- and generous friend, ever pris , ceive from his leading ministerial aid by his advice and pu.. on and lay brethren, highly appreciat- be long held in remembrance. ing his motives, and wishing him As a preacher, his sermons were the sticcess he deserved, but one and intensely real, sound, and always all avowed their belief that it could evangelical ; one of his friends not be successfully supported. He observed, “I have often, very often, persisted in devoting his time, heard him preach, but never yet his money, and his intellectual have I heard a poor sormon." powers gratuitously to the work. He Sound on the doctrine of the did not know what failure meant; Atonement, he was never carried and the result is, that through his away by new phases of thought or efforts alone the Baptist denomina- of dogma; he remained to the close tion has a weekly newspaper of faithful to truth, and conscience; its own, and that of no mean and the last ministerial act of his standing. For a long time he was life, only two days before his the writer of its ecclesiastical death, was to administer the rite articles, and longer still the contri- of baptism to his daughter-in butor of those on American affairs; which he evinced his affection as and he never accepted any remu- a father, and his fidelity as a servant neration, but looked for his recom- of Christ. pense hereafter. To one of the Looking only for the reward of leading journals of that great nation, those who faithfully love and serve he was the English Correspondent, the Lord Jesus Christ, the pecuniand continued so for years.
ary benefit of his labours, literary To the "Appeal, the “Revi- and professional, was often reaped valist," the "Primitive Church," by others, and advantage taken of the "Baptist Magazine," and other his great benevolence and selfperiodicals, he was a frequent con- abnegation. tributor. The mass of manuscript On Thursday, the 6th April, 1871, he has left is immense; and con- God took him; and so from this sidering his active life, and the world passed away a great and good varied work he did, it is wonderful man, who has left behind him a how a single brain and pen could bright example of a life well and have composed and written so nobly spent, and a name that will much. A member of the Uni- live for ever before the throne of God versity of Rochester, and a valued and the Lamb. His family, for contributor to the Baptist His- whom he always manifested a most torical Society of Philadelphia, in affectionate solicitude, has suffered the United States, he was well an irreparable bereavement; the
Church and town of Scarborough, a large concourse of people, which the cause of Christ generally, and was much augmented at the cemethe world at large, have lost a tery, the chapel there being crowded faithful, self-denying labourer; but by an attentive and sorrowing audiheaven has received another acces- ence, who had gathered to pay sion to the multitude of the saved. the last tribute of respect to him His death was unexpected. He who had so well and faithfully was in his usual health, his spirits served, his day and generation. were high, and his mind calm. He On the Sunday following, his death had walked out three times that formed the topic of the sermon in day, and after supper had retired most of the pulpits in the town. to his library, where he was seated His funeral sermon was preached in conversing with his son-in-law. “Ebenezer Chapel," on the 23rd of About a quarter-past ten he stooped April, by the Rev. H. Dowson. to stir the fire, raised himself, and Numbers were unable to find adleant back in his chair with a smile mittance, every available seat, even on his face, closed his eyes, and to the pulpit stairs, being filled. To without a word, a sign, or a move. have seen his old chapel once more ment of any kind, passed away. crowded to the fullest extent, and The cause of death was "syncope,” that by Christians of all denominabrought on by " cardial dilatation.” tions, as well as by his old members, In a moment his heart had ceased and by those who had attended his to beat, and his spirit fled instanta. ministry in days gone by, would, neously to Him who gave it, leav- indeed, have filled with gladness the ing a smile on his countenance as heart and soul of Dr. Evans, could if, like Moses when he came down he have beheld it; and it was a from the Mount, he had indeed met proof of the high affection, veneGod face to face, and His glory was ration, and respect entertained for reflected from the contact, visibly him by all classes of his fellowremaining for many days after death. townsmen, which, by his life of In very truth, Christ came to him, self-denying, earnest usefulness, personally, in the midst of his la
working always for Christ and bour, and received him unto himself. for the good of others—and that
It had been his wish—possibly often to his own pecuniary loss and his prayer_" that in a moment he detriment-he had well merited. might leave this body, and be pre- He, in life, stamped his mark on sent with the Lord ; and God gave the town, and his death has made it him his desire. During the in- indelible. “ He fought a good fight, terval that elapsed between his he has finished his course, he has death and funeral, his house was kept the faith,” and now he is never free from friends, who wished crowned with the brightness of His to look on his face once more. He glory beyond death and the grave. was interred in the cemetery, the
B. H. Evans. various Dissenting ministers of the
Scarborough, 25th Dec., 1871. town being pall-bearers, followed by