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you the plan of the whole design at one view. I have taken the liberty of making such additions or other alterations, in transcribing them for the press, as appeared to me most conducive to serve the ends of practical religion.
They are designedly accommodated to the use of families, especially on the Lord's day evenings. For that purpose I have endeavoured, that they might not exceed in length; that in most of them a particular subject might be finished in a single discourse; or where that rule could not be well observed, that the matter might be so divided, as to make each sermon as entire and independent as possible.
If shall think fit to make use of them in that way, I would hope that by the blessing of God the labour would not be in vain to your children and servants; and that at least it may be so far useful to yourselves, as to bring to remembrance the most necessary directions for Christian conduct, though ye know them, and be established in them.
I am persuaded upon a long knowledge of many of you, that I have your concurrence in hearty wishes, that the zeal of all good Christians might be chiefly spent about the unquestionable points of vital religion: that eager and unedifying contentions among them who hold the head, might give place to a holy ardour for promoting love and good works in themselves and others; and that the faith once delivered to the saints might be employed as a weapon in the Christian warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil, rather than be made the occasion of doubtful disputations, or of angry contests among brethren.
I have nothing to add, but my fervent prayers to God, that your love may abound yet more in knowledge, and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere, and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God.. And it is my earnest desire of you, my brethren, that you will continue daily to pray for us who labour among you in the word and doctrine, that we may obtain mercy to be faithful and successful.
Your affectionate Servant,
JOHN EVANS, D. D.
DR EVANS' SERMONS on the CHRISTIAN TEMPER have passed through so many editions, and have been so warmly recommended by clergymen of different denominations, and attached to very opposite religious systems, that the following short account of the excellent Author may perhaps be acceptable to many. In drawing it up, I have been chiefly indebted to Dr William Harris' Funeral Discourses, the Biographical Dictionary, London, 1798, Dr Toulmin's edition of Neal's History of the Puritans, Mr Samuel Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, (of which excellent work a much improved and enlarged edition is publishing in 3 vols.) and a Letter with which Mr Palmer kindly favoured me in answer to some querries I had sent him.-It is rather unaccountable, that not only Dr Campbell's edition of the Biographia Britannica, but even the new edition, though carried on by Dissenters, should not have honoured the Doctor with an article, though the last has thus honoured a pretended conjuror of the same name.
DR JOHN EVANS descended from a race of ministers, excepting one interruption, quite up to the Reformation. His great-grandfather, and his grandfather, were successively Ree
tors of Penegus in Montgomeryshire. His father, Mr John Evans, of Baliol College, Oxford, was ordained Presbyter by Dr Manwaring, Bishop of St David's, 1648, but soon after altered his sentiments about conformity; on which occasion some papers passed betwixt him and his father, who was zealous for the hierarchy.-He was ejected from Oswastry in Salop by the Bartholomew Act, which reduced him and his family to such straits, that at one time he was forced to sell a considerable part of a large library for present maintenance. He was chosen pastor of a congregational church at Wrexham in Denbighshire, 1668. About 1681, the Bishop of the diocese earnestly pressed him to conform, and offered him a good living; but, on his refusal, persecuted him with severity. The hardships he suffered, and the frequent night journeys he was obliged to take, probably hastened that weakness, which laid him aside from public service for some time before his death in 1700.-He was esteemed a learned man, a serious and exemplary Christian, and a laborious and judicious minister.
His son John was born at Wrexham, 1679. His education for the ministry commenced at a Dissenting Academy, under Mr Thomas Rowe of London, where Dr Hart, afterwards Archbishop of Tuam, Mr Hughes the poet, Dr Isaac Watts, Mr Henry Grove, and other eminent men, were also educated. Thence he removed to the Academy of Mr Richard Frankland, at Rothmill, in Yorkshire. He enjoyed considerable advantages under both these tutors, and made great proficiency in several branches of useful literature. When his education was finished, he lived some time in the religious and agreeable family of Mrs Hunt, of Boreaton, in Shropshire, and well improved the retirement, leisure, and conveniences for study and devotion, which he there enjoyed. Among other books, he read over entirely Poole's Synopsis Criticorum, which laid the foundation for his thoroughly understanding and properly applying the sacred oracles, and perused and made judicious extracts from the fathers of the three first centuries, which he afterwards found useful.-In 1704 he was
ordained a minister at Wrexham. Having declined an invitation to Dublin, he removed to London to assist the celebrated Dr Daniel Williams, pastor to a congregation in Strand Alley, Bishopsgate-street, which afterwards removed to New Bondstreet, Petty France. He maintained an endeared friendship with Dr Williams, notwithstanding the disparity of their years, and, in some matters, their different sentiments. After some years, at the Doctor's desire, he was made co-pastor with him, and succeeded him at his death, 1716. On taking the whole pastoral charge of the congregation, he employed a week in solemn retirement, and extraordinary devotional exercises.—I am well informed, that when he first came to London, in an early period of his life, he meant to have united with the Independents; but the rigidness of some of their ministers occasioned his joining the Presbyterians.
He discharged his duty as a pastor with great diligence and reputation. His prayers and labours were not in vain. God blessed his ministry to the good of many both old and young; and of this some instances were very singular and remarkable.
Many years before his death, he formed a design of writing a history of Nonconformity, from the beginning of the Reformation, to the times of the civil war. At great expense he procured from all quarters a vast variety of proper materials, perused an incredible number of books upon that subject, and filled several quires of paper with proper extracts and references under each year. At length he began to transcribe and finish the work, and has left fairly written about a sixth part of what he intended. His pastoral duty in a large congregation, the many public affairs in which his sagacity, prudence, and application, occasioned his being consulted; various disappointments and troubles in his private concerns, and the decay of his health, prevented in the later years of his life, that close attention which the nature of the work required, so that it was left unfinished. Happily, however, the diligent and judicious Mr Daniel Neal, who had intended to begin a history of the Puritans at the period where Dr Evans was to have left