EVANS, JOHN: 1. Non-conformist; b. at Wrexham (25 m. s. of Liverpool), Wales, c. 1680; d. in London May 16, 1730. He was ordained at Wrexham in 1702 and remained there as pastor of a new Congregational church till 1704, when he went to London as the assistant of Dr. Daniel Williams, whom he succeeded in 1716. In London he threw in his lot with the Presbyterians. He frequently presided at meetings of dissenters and was admired for his tolerant views. He published a number of sermons, completed Matthew Henry's commentary on Romans, and, intending to write a history of non-conformity, gathered much of the material subsequently used by Daniel Neal (q.v.) in his History of the Puritans. Evans is best known by a series of sermons entitled, Practical Discourses concerning the Christian Temper (4th ed., 2 vols., London, 1737; edited with a life, by J. Erskine, 1825).
2. Baptist; b. at Usk (11 m. s.w. of Monmouth) Oct. 2, 1767; d. at Islington, London, Jan. 25, 1827. After studying at King's College, Aberdeen, and at the University of Edinburgh (M.A, 1791; LL.D., Brown University, 1819), he went to London to take charge of the morning congregation of General Baptists in Worship Street. He was ordained pastor May 31, 1792, and served the church till his death. An illness in 1815 deprived him of the use of his legs, and after that time he had to be carried to his pulpit. In 1795 he opened a school at Hoxton Square (later at Islington) which he maintained for thirty years. Of his forty or more writings by far the most popular was his Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World (London, 1795; 15th ed., revised, 1827). The book was translated into various languages, and during Evans' lifetime more than 100,000 copies were sold. For the copyright he received ten pounds. Other works are, Preservative against the Infidelity and Uncharitableness of the Eighteenth Century (1796), a sequel to the above mentioned book; An Attempt to Account for the Infidelity of the Late Mr. Gibbon (1797) ; An Essay on the Education of Youth (1798); Complete Religious Liberty Vindicated (1813); and The Christianity of the New Testament Imperishable and Impregnable (1819).