Tuesday 7 September 2010

Christmas Evans

No, I'm not getting ahead of myself - this is not about Christmas. Just about a man who was named after the day he was born on! He lived from 1766-1838 and became a Baptist minister in Wales. Have you heard of him? Read this commendation by Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones no less: 'The great Christmas Evans, whom some would say was the greatest preacher that the Baptists have ever had in Great Britain'. This is quoted from the short biography written by B A Ramsbottom, published by The Bunyan Press at £2.95. I took this little book on holiday as we stayed on the Lleyn peninsula, scene of some of Evans' labours. It is hard to imagine now the powerful revival that came to that rugged and beautiful place through his ministry. There were 5 chapels on the peninsula built for him, but he used to preach in every village he visited, and 5 times on a Sunday! He also found time to translate John Gill's Commentary into Welsh, which shows the nature of his theology I think.
Following the careful directions given in the book we managed to locate the ruins of one of the chapels, before continuing on up to the top of Rhiw Mountain (not a true mountain at all!) where fine views over land and sea may be enjoyed. The cause of the ruination of the chapels was not time, but the fatal infection of false doctrine. Sandemanianism (bare belief in the facts of the Bible and Christ's redeeming work is sufficient for salvation) wreaked havoc where great blessing had been known. The Baptist cause suffered greatly and Christmas Evans was turned out of his beloved Anglesey, to their loss. Many good men and women found a new home amongst the Calvinistic Methodists. History has lessons for us...
Tim Shenton has written a book about Christmas Evans. It is a larger hardback published by Evangelical Press, but sadly out of stock from them at the moment. Last price was £11.99. Day One have also published a paperback by him at £8 (contains historical photos). We have this one in stock.

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