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A Covenant Of Consecration

By James Gilchrist Lawson

    Christmas Evans, often called “The John Bunyan of Wales,” after years of preaching began to feel an intense need and longing for a closer fellowship with God.  How he sought for and obtained this richer, fuller Christian experience which set his soul on fire with divine unction, is given thus in his own words:

    “I was weary of a cold heart towards Christ, and His atonement, and the work of His Spirit – of a cold heart in the pulpit, in secret prayer and in study....  I felt it my duty to pray, though my heart was hard enough and my spirit worldly.  After I had commenced praying in the name of Jesus, I soon felt as if the shackles were falling off, and as if the mountains of snow and ice were melting within me.  This engendered confidence in my mind for the promise of the Holy Spirit.  I felt my whole being relieved of some great bondage, and as if it were rising up from the grave of a severe winter.  My tears flowed copiously, and I was constrained to cry aloud and pray for the gracious visits of God, for the joy of His salvation, and that He would visit again the churches that were under my care.  ...Thus I gave myself up wholly to Christ, body and soul, talents and labors – all my life – every day, and every hour that remained to me, and all my cares I entrusted into the hands of Christ. 

    “…In the first service I held after this, I felt as if I had been removed from the cold and sterile region of spiritual ice into the pleasant lands of the promises of God.  ...When I returned home, the first thing that attracted my notice was that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in Anglesea, inducing in them a spirit of prayer, especially in two of the deacons, who were particularly importunate that God should visit us in mercy, and render the Word of His grace effectual amongst us in the conversion of sinners.”

    A great revival spread from preacher to people all over the whole of Wales.  “Powerful sermons, the breath of heaven, the weeping, the praising, the return of sinners to God” now characterized Evans’ meetings wherever he went.  It was about the time of this remarkable experience of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that Christmas Evans wrote his “solemn covenant with God,” which follows:

A Solemn Covenant with God

    •  I give my soul and body unto Thee, Jesus, the true God, and everlasting life; deliver [me] from sin, and from eternal death, and bring me into life everlasting.  Amen.

    •  I call the day, the sun, the earth, the trees, all, to witness that I come unto Thee, Redeemer of sinners, that I may obtain rest for my soul from the thunders of guilt and the dread of eternity.  Amen.

    •  I do, through confidence in Thy power, earnestly entreat Thee to take the work into Thine own hand, and give me a circumcised heart, that I may love Thee; and create in me a right spirit, that I may seek Thy glory. Grant me that principle which Thou wilt own in the day of judgment, that I may not then assume pale-facedness, and find myself a hypocrite.  Grant me this, for the sake of Thy most precious blood.  Amen.

    •  I entreat Thee, Jesus, the Son of God, in power, grant me, for the sake of Thy agonizing death, a covenant interest in Thy blood which cleanseth; in Thy righteousness, which justifieth; and in Thy redemption, which delivereth.  I entreat an interest in Thy blood, for Thy blood’s sake, and a part in Thee, for Thy name’s sake, which Thou hast given among men.  Amen.

    •  O Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, take for the sake of Thy cruel death, my time, and strength, and the gifts and talents I possess; which, with a full purpose of heart, I consecrate to Thy glory in the building up of Thy church in the world, for Thou art worthy of the hearts and talents of men.  Amen.

    •  I desire Thee, my great High Priest, to confirm, by Thy power from Thy High Court, my usefulness as a preacher, and my piety as a Christian, as two gardens nigh to each other; that sin may not have place in my heart to becloud my confidence in Thy righteousness, and that I may not be left to any foolish act that may occasion my gifts to wither, and I be rendered useless before my life ends.  Keep Thy gracious eye upon me, and watch over me, O my Lord, and my God forever!  Amen.

    •  I give myself in a particular manner to Thee, O Jesus Christ the Savior, to be preserved from the falls into which many stumble, that Thy name (in Thy cause) may not be blasphemed or wounded, that my peace may not be injured, and that Thy people may not be grieved and that Thine enemies may not be hardened.  Amen.

    •  I come entreating Thee to enter into a covenant with me in my ministry.  Oh, prosper me as Thou didst prosper Bunyan, Vavasor, Powell, Howell Harris, Rowlands, and Whitefield.  The impediments in the way of my prosperity remove.  Work in me the things approved of God that I may attain this.  Give me a heart “sick of love” to Thee, and to the souls of men.  Grant that I may feel the power of Thy Word before preaching it, as Moses felt the power of his rod before he felt the effect of it on the land and waters of Egypt.  For the sake of Thy precious blood, Jesus, my all in all, grant me this.  Amen.

    •  Search me now, and lead me in the paths of judgment.  May I see in this world what I really am in Thy sight, that I may not find myself otherwise when the light of eternity shall dawn upon me, and [I] open my eyes in the brightness of immortality.  Wash me in Thy redeeming blood.  Amen.

    •  Give me power to trust in Thee for food and raiment, and to make known my requests to Thee.  O let Thy care be over me as a covenant privilege betwixt Thee and me, and not simply as a general care which Thou shewest in feeding the ravens that perish and clothing the lily that is cast into the oven, but remember me as one of Thy family, and as one of Thy unworthy brethren.  Amen.

    •  Grant, O blessed Lord, that no sin may be nourished or fostered in me which may cause Thee to cast me off from the work of Thy sanctuary, like the sons of Eli; and, for the sake of Thine infinite merits, let not my days be longer than my usefulness.  Let me not become, at the end of my days, like a piece of lumber in the way of the usefulness of others.  Amen.

    •  I beseech Thee, my Redeemer, to present these supplications of mine before the Father; and oh, inscribe them in Thy book with Thine own immortal pen, while I am writing them with my mortal hand in my book on earth.  According to the depths of Thy merit, and Thy infinite grace, and Thy compassion, and Thy tenderness toward Thy people, O attach Thy name in Thine Upper Court to these humble supplications of mine; and set Thine amen to them, even as I set mine on my side of the covenant.  Amen.  –  Christmas Evans, Llangevni, Anglesea, April 10, 18__.

    – Taken from Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians by James Gilchrist Lawson.