Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Christmas Evans & Sandemanianism 8: The Melting Heart

His experience with Sandemanianism had left Christmas Evans' heart cold. But God had not finished with him. A journey from Merioneth to Montgomeryshire saw Christmas Evans visited by the Holy Spirit. Reproduced below is his own account of the experience (spelling has not been changed):

'On a day ever to be remembered by me, as I was going from Dollgelly to Machynlleth, and climbing up towards Cadair Idris [pictured], I considered it to be incumbent upon me to pray, however hard I felt my heart, and however worldly the frame of my spirit was. Having begun in the name of Jesus, I soon felt as it were the fetters loosening, and the old hardness of heart softening, and, as I thought, mountains of frost and snow dissolving and melting within me. This engendered confidence in my soul in the promise of the Holy Ghost. I felt my whole mind relieved from some great bondage: tears flowed copiously, and I was constrained to cry out for the gracious visits of God, by restoring to my soul the joy of his salvation; - and that he would visit the churches in Anglesea, that were under my care. I embraced in my supplications all the churches of the saints, and nearly all the ministers in the principality by their names. This struggle lasted for three hours: it rose again and again, like one wave after another, or a high flowing tide, driven by a strong wind, until my nature became faint by weeping and crying. Thus I resigned myself to Christ, body and soul, gifts and labours – all my life – every day and every hour that remained for me; - and all my cares I committed to Christ. – The road was mountainous and lonely, and I was wholly alone, and suffered no interruption in my wrestlings with God.

‘From this time, I was made to expect the goodness of God to churches and to myself. Thus the Lord delivered me and the people of Anglesea from being carried away by the flood of Sandemanianism. In the first religious meetings after this, I felt as if I had been removed from the cold and sterile regions of spiritual frost, into the verdant fields of the divine promises. The former striving with God in prayer, and the longing anxiety for the conversion of sinners, which I had experienced at Leyn, was now restored. I had a hold of the promises of God. The result was, when I returned home, the first thing that arrested my attention was, that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in Anglesea, inducing them in a spirit of prayer, especially in two of the deacons, who were particularly importunate that God would visit us in mercy, and render the word of his grace effectual amongst us for the conversion of sinners.’[1]

[1] Reproduced in Joseph Cross, ‘Memoirs’, in Sermons and Memoirs of Christmas Evans (New York, 1856, reprinted Grand Rapids, 1986), pp.256-7.



Blogger reglerjoe said...

I have enjoyed this series tremendously.

9:29 pm  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Thank you, sir.

9:35 am  

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