Burns, Jabez

Born on 18 December 1805 at Oldham, he was named after Jabez Bunting by his WM mother. In 1820 he became a draper's assistant in York, where he was converted and began speaking in public for the Wesleyans. He later set up as a bookseller in Keighley, where he became a local preacher for the MNC. Moving to London in 1826, he began his career as a prolific writer, especially of sermons, devotional works and children's books. Converted to a belief in believer's baptism, he was baptized by the General Baptists, but maintained his association with the MNC. He was involved in the work of the Christian Union Mission in Edinburgh, Leith and Perth, before becoming the pastor of a General Baptist congregation in Marylebone, London in 1835. He became a strong advocate of total abstinence, preaching the inaugural sermon for the United Kingdom Alliance in 1853. He joined the Evangelical Alliance soon after its formation in 1846 and was chairman of the Baptist Union in 1850. In the course of two visits to America he received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. and from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. In 1875 he published an autobiography, Retrospect of Forty-Five Years' Christian Ministry. He died at Paddington on 31 January 1876.

  • Oxford DNB