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Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received by Robert Pegg, Esq., Treasurer, Derby; and by the Rev. J. C. Pike, Secretary, Leicester, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collecting Books and Cards may be obtained.
CHRISTMAS Evans has been styled makings, except at occasional fairs the Welsh Bunyan, and not without and weddings, no theatres, no reason. He bore a striking re- politics, no newspapers, no literasemblance to the glorious dreamer ture. Cooped up in their own in his love of allegories and im- mountain fastnesses, and strangers personations, in his power of clothing to the bustle and stir of great cities, them with flesh and blood, in his and all that gives them attraction and day visions, and in his hand to hand life, they were in the most favourable conflicts with the Prince of Darkness. circumstances for the development He was like Bunyan also in his of their provincial character. Their study of one Book, in his burning Celtic ardour was ready to seize upon zeal for the spiritual welfare of his the first excitement that offered. countrymen, and in the marvel. Happily that excitement came lousness of his pulpit efforts. And chiefly in the form of religious reyet the extant sermons of the Welsh viyals. The followers of Whitefield and English dreamers scarcely help and Wesley stirred up the old Cymric us to understand the secret of their fires and fanned them with the breath power. In the case of Evans, much of heaven. The Bible became the more than in the case of Bunyan, Welshman's chief study, and theothe character and condition of the logy his only science. By the road, people and the times had much to in the fields, in the farm-house, in do with his success.
the shop, in the smithy, and even The Principality before the days in the way-side inn, religious themes of Evans, and even during the now formed the staple of his conearlier portion of his life, was cut versation. It naturally followed that off from the absorbing interests and preaching should become the chiefest pursuits common elsewhere. The attraction to Welshmen. They forgot Welsh had no sports, no merry, I the ripening harvests, ready for
VOL. IV.-New SERIES, No. 6,
the sickle; they forsook the shop, | understand, and addressed itself the smithy, and the ale-house, that chiefly to this one object~present they might flock to hear the great effect. men whom God was then raising But a very important part must up. Vast crowds gathered upon also be assigned to the hywl, * spots which from their natural especially among such a susceptible grandeur or loveliness might aid people. This last peculiarity of the dullest speakers, yet where the Welsh preaching, which stranger's eye could only detect a during the revivals, is unlike any. few scattered homesteads. But the thing known in England. To compreachers owed more than half pare it to the Puseyite intonation their power to their hearers. Rapt would be simply absurd. Intonation attention was depicted on the already is ludicrous or distressing according excited throng. A single hymn, or to the temper of those who hear for a fervent prayer, touched the springs the first time its drawling monotoof an emotion which was but faintly nous whine. The Welsh hyvl, on concealed. The eager upturned the contrary, was varied, musical, faces kindled the inspiration of the entrancing. Now it murmured in preacher, even before he had taken soft lute-like cadences, or low and his text. Presently, as he warmed sweet as the gentle cooing of wood. with his theme, murmurs of approval pigeons in the heat of a summer's and encouragement arose from the noon, when their pleasant lullaby, listening throng. There was not, the welcome shade, and the balmy as with the Byzantine Greeks, when air, combine to invite repose. Then stirred with pulpit oratory, waving it would suddenly ring out in the of handkerchiefs and clapping of shrill and startling tones•of alarm, hands; nor yet, as in their case, fearful from its vehemence, and lond any disturbing effects upon the enough to awaken the Seven Sleepers preacher from dissimilar demonstra- of Christendom. Again it sank, -tions. On the contrary, the fervent now into a faint hollow sepulchral Welsh responses stimulated rather whisper, now into a wail of despair, than checked the glow of the now into a plaintive sobbing as of preacher's fancy, and loosened his a broken heart; and then, while tongue. Many were entirely de- scarcely an eye was dry, thespeaker's pendant on such modes of approval, voice once more gathered volume and in their absence were certain and swelled, and waxing louder and to fail. The people excited the louder, at length burst forth into preacher, and the preacher, reflect the deep diapason of the thunder's ing the excitement visible before roar. bim, in deepening it increased his To a Welsh audience the hyrol was
simply irresistible. It would obey It should not be forgotten, how the impulses of the preacher's ever, that the style, the language, passion as passively as the cornand the adaptation of the discourse fields answer the shifting currents assisted in producing the general of the wind. Even impassive effect. The orator talked in a style Englishmen have confessed the tinctured with imagery borrowed weird potency of its enchantment. from the Bible, or suggested by the Without knowing a word of Welsh, common incidents of everyday life. their senses have been soothed as by His language was the purest ver- the witchery of sweetest music; and nacular-good sonorous Welsh- then, as the orator's tones become inwith a considerable admixture of spiring or terrible, they have as the broadest provincialisms. Ad rapidly passed from the ecstasies aptation marked the whole discourse. of delight into the depths of an It avoided points in dispute-matters awe-stricken and crouching despair. purely speculative, or aspects of truth which plain people could not
• Literally, 'full sail.'
Evans's Allegories and Oddities.
In estimating the success of to look very like Welsh peasants. Welsh preachers, and of Christmas The Magi have to pay toll at the Evans among the rest, all these gate of Bethlehem, the village circumstances must be taken into itself boasts of a public house account. Christmas Evans was that sells porter, and a shopkeeper essentially orator, but re- who sells tobacco and 'reads all the flected most accurately the traits newspapers !! of the Welsh preachers and people. But the audiences of Christmas He caught the fervour of the re- Evans were neither cultivated nor vivalists, the quirks and oddities of fastidious. They were less informed the exhorters, and the easy self- than the preacher, and blemishes confidence of the itinerants. But even more striking than these pro. he had, what they lacked—an exu- voked no cynical criticism. Indeed berant fancy and an imperial intelligent hearers, if such were imagination. Unlike those who present, must have been incapaci. bedeck their passionless harangues tated for sober judgment by the with flowers, Christmas Evans was irresistible drollery of some single most natural when most imaginative. rokes of his pencil. No audience, He taught, he reasoned, he per- however refined, could have gravely suaded, he declaimed—but all in listened to the following :metaphor. What Butler humour- * Jesus commanded the legion of ously said of Hudibras may be unclean spirits to come out of the said in sober truthfulness of man. They knew that they must Christmas Evans:
go out; but they were like some
Irishmen-very unwilling to return "For Rhetoric, he could not ope
to their own country again. And His mouth, but out there flew a trope.'
He suffered them to go into the herd of "Scenical representations, to use swine. Barrow's phrase, were, however, • Methinks that one of the men his special excellence. His pictures who fed the hogs kept a better lookpossessed such vigour and life that out than the rest of them, and said:the dullest imagination was aroused. “What hails the hogs ? Look The hearers became spectators of sharp there, boys-keep them inthe scenes depicted, and listened as make use of your whips. Why if they overheard the imaginary don't you run ? Why, true as I am conversations. But his allegories alive, one of them has gone head. were rarely well sustained, were long over the cliff! There! there, often disfigured by the most glaring Morgan, yonder goes another! anachronisms, and were sure to Drive them back, Tom !” reveal some errors of taste.
• Never was there such running, In all this the Welsh dreamer and whipping, and hallooing ;-but
the very opposite of his down go the hogs, before they are English superior. Bunyan drew aware of it. One of them said :sketches of imaginary scenes, They are all gone!” and was
never at fault. Evans *No, sure, not all of them gone sought to enliven those already into the sea ?” sketched in the pages of the New “Yes, every one of them; and Testament, and from his meagre if ever the devil entered anything knowledge of Oriental life, was in this world he has entered those often caught tripping. Like the hogs." Dutch painter, whose celebrated What,” says Jack, “and is the descent from the cross' shows noble black bog gone?” Joseph of Arimathæa dressed like
“Yes, yes ! I saw him scampering a substantial burgomaster, Evans down that hill as if the very devil equips ancient Persian sages like himself was in him; and I saw his tail modern gipsy pedlars, and paints take the last dip in the water below!"!! the inhabitants of a Jewish village Evans was fond of illustrating
Scripture by odd or homely incidents shelter, flew wildly against it, and from common life. He was preach. were found dead in the morning. ing about men being led captire by So many souls, who have not lodged the devil at his will
, and thus began : in the branches of the great tree, 'I was once standing at my cottage before the night came, driven by the door, when a butcher passed by, on storm of death, strike against the his road to the slaughter-house, great lighthouse of Sinai's law, followed by half a dozen hogs. What seeking shelter, but in vain.' can this be ? said I. Here are hogs Evans's wit–broad and grotesque going contrary to their nature. You rather than refined ;-his keen sus. generally have to drive them; but ceptibilities, (of which we have these bogs, are led, and without already spoken ;) his fondness for any trouble. I went up to the man, all living creatures; and his blunt and at once found out the secret. outspokenness—as free from affectaHe had his pockets filled with beans, tion as from bitterness-these were which dribbled out through a hole, elements of character that not only and the pigs finding beans fall along distinguished the man, but largely his track, followed him. This, said contributed to his popularity. This I, is the devil's method. He never last trait sometimes showed itself drives men; but draws them with to the great confusion of his fellow. sometempting bait.' Again,speaking ministers, and yet not one of them from Hosea vi. 3, His going forth is ever charged him with cynicism, prepared as the morning, he says; while none, perhaps, who ever came When I am staying at farm houses, under his lash would forget his I sometimes hear the master call criticisms. up the servants before the day Evans was essentially a speaker dawns. “Turn out, Tom,” he says; | -not a writer. His claims to be “ turn out immediately; you have to considered an author are of the go for lime to-day.” Tom answers slenderest description. A few not a word, but turns himself lazily sermons, a few letters and sketches in bed, and seems as if he would not in Welsh magazines, and a handful stir. “Get up, Mary,” he cries out of pamphlets on matters of temporary to the girl ; "get up instantly ; it's interest--this is all that the famous milking time, and the cows have to Welsh preacher has left for pos. be brought up from the field;" terity. They will be chiefly valued but with the same effect. It is im- because they are his. They can possible almost to arouse them before never earn "for bim any enduring the dawn; but the morning comes, fame, either within or beyond the and how the scene changes! The borders of the Principality. servants get up, set to work, and all The contemporaries of Christmas is life and activity. So it is with us. Evans were everyway remarkable Though we call out ever so loudly, men, and will be found to increase exclaiming : The night is far spent inattraction on a fuller acquaintance. the day is at hand; though we cry | As Evans mirrored in himself the out, Awake, thou that sleepest ! our men of his own times, no estimate voice is not heeded, and we cannot of his character would be complete break the sleep of sin. Be not dis. without at least a passing glance at couraged, brethren. When the Lord some of his contemporaries. In cometh, He will come as the morning, his youth, in his prime, and even awakening everywhere life and ac- in his latter days he tivity.' Here is an opposite simile, consciously influenced by the reminding one of Ward Beecher : originality and force of character 'I was once told by a man who kept of the men with whom he was on a lighthouse between Anglesea and terms of intimacy, or within whose Ireland, that on darkandtempestuous magic circle he was occasionally nights multitudes of birds, having drawn. lost their way and seeking for Daniel Rowlands, the clergy