Evan Bowen appears to have been bom in Wales, where lie laboured in the work of the ministry. He was employed for some time in the Principality as one of the itinerant
preachers, whom Dr. Walker profanely denominates gospelpostillions.t Afterwards he obtained a settled ministry. Mr. William Williams being ejected for some delinquency, he was appointed by the commissioners to be his successor at Llanatan. Dr. Walker mentions this affair more than once. He observes that there were four thousand souls in the parish; and brings four separate charges against Mr. Bowen: as," That he had been an itinerant, and had received a salary for his labours, as appeared from the account of the sequestration." We may, therefore, suppose he was a man of approved abilities tor so laborious an office; and he might have been many years employed in the ministry. After he had proved himself to be an able minister of the gospel, he would be accounted no unfit person for the charge of so large a parish.
"He was fifty-five years of age." This is a heavy charge, indeed! if such a number of years necessarily disqualify a man for the ministerial work. This, surely, could be no great blemish in his character. By the experience of many years, and a long acquaintance with the world, he would not be less qualified for the numerous duties of so populous a parish.
But ." he was a mason by occupation." The charge may be true, and be no greater blemish in his character than his years. Dr. Walker himself mentions several clergymen who kept tippling-houses, and, surely, the occupation of a mason will not be accounted less honourable. But the fact most probably was, (hat Mr. Bowen, when a youth, 01 during the former part of his life, ha been employed in this business; and what disgrace was there in this? If the doctor had said, that he followed his trade even while he was an itinerani, it would have shewn him to be a man of most extraordinary abilities, and the charge would have been no great crime.
• Neat's Puritans, »ol. ir. p. 971.,
+ Palmer's Nonrun. Mem. vol. ii. p. 3'.'3.
t Walker's Attempt, part i. p. 159.
"He was untaught in the English tongue, and confessed he had never reid the Primer in English."* Had he been well taught in the English tongue, it would have been no very important qualification for preaching among the mountains of Wales. Then* were thousands ot excellent scholars who never read the Primer. The puritans were not very partial to that book. The truth is, Mr. Bowen was a most laborious, acceptable and useful preacher. He was a nonconformist to the established church, and supposed to have been of the baptist denomination. He died about the year 160'O.f