John Kershaw (1792-1870) was pastor for fifty-two years of Hope Chapel, Rochdale. He exercised a powerful ministry among his flock, and became an influential preacher across the country. Few ministers remain faithful to a single congregation for an extended period—Kershaw committed himself to the same church he attended as a boy. His autobiography, “Memorials of the Mercies of a Covenant God while Traveling through the Wilderness”, is one of the best written of its genre. The following excerpt from this book (third edition) is selected in order to highlight the joy of those that sat under his ministry.
Lines to the Memory of Mr. Kershaw, Fifty-Two Years Pastor of the Church at Hope Chapel, Rochdale, Who Died on the 11th January, 1870, in the 78th Year of His Age.
“A Sinner Saved By Grace”
Robe in black weeds, ye Rochdale saints,
Pour out your wail in sore complaints;
Let sorrow trickle from…
A Sketch of Covenant Truth and Its Witnesses
By: John E. Hazelton
“Hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Tim 1:13)
“An everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure” (2 Sam 23:5)
The following pages are but a slight sketch of a vital subject; they aim in a simple way to show the continuity through the centuries of the testimony to “the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The Author has, so far as possible, given interesting quotations, bearing upon present-day perils, so that it may be said of each Witness referred to…
Chapter 1: Sovereign Grace
Chapter 2: The Reformers
Chapter 3: The Puritans
Chapter 4: The Eighteenth Century
Chapter 5: The Church of England
Chapter 6: The Independents
Chapter 7: The Baptists
Chapter 8: Literature
Chapter 9: The Future
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”—Ephesians 2:8,9
In the crowded synagogue of Capernaum the Lord Jesus Christ, addressing many who had eagerly followed Him because of His miracles, declared, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can some unto Me, except it were given him of My Father.” Immediately the enmity to the truth of God which is latent in every unrenewed hearted was deeply stirred; for, “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” “Will ye also go away?” was the piercing question put to the twelve. “Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the…
“The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”—Ephesians 6:17
The peaceful little Leicestershire town of Lutterworth, situated in the midst of beautiful pasture lands, has no more prominent object than its noble Church, the tower of which is visible for miles round. To it many travelers wend their way that they may look upon a place which will ever be association with John Wycliff, who in the fourteenth century was so eminent a patriot and above all so great a spiritual benefactor to his country by his translation of the Bible into the English tongue, multiplying the copies with the aid of transcribers, and by his “poor priests” in their russet gowns recommending it to the perusal of their hearers. His spare, emaciated form, weakened by study, hardly promised a Reformer who could stand before the rising storm, but within this frail body was an immense energy and an immovable conviction, and the personal charm which ever accompanies real greatness drew many around him. He was wondrously strengthened for the work given him to do, and in his well-nigh 300 treatises…
William Styles published a book in 1902 entitled, “A Guide to Church Fellowship, as Maintained by Primitive, or Strict and Particular Baptists”. On pages 31 and 32, under the general heading, “ Error Concerning the Covenant of Grace to be Resisted”, the following statement is found:
“Any so-called Gospel which expressly or implicitly denies these truths [anti-duty-faith and anti-free-offer]—which represents the regeneration and conversion of sinners to be contingent on the earnestness and activity of “Gospel workers”—or the progress of God’s salvation…
William Styles published a book in 1902 entitled, “A Guide to Church Fellowship, as Maintained by Primitive, or Strict and Particular Baptists”. On pages 78 and 79, under the general heading, “Duty-Faith is Denied by All Strict and Particular Baptists”, the following statement is found:
“Duty-faith is the doctrine that it is the duty of natural men to exercise spiritual Faith in the Lord Jesus, and so to obtain salvation. Its emphatic denial is a distinguishing feature of the Strict and…
On Friday, 21st March 2014, Dr. Matthew Hyde delivered the annual lecture for the Strict Baptist Historical Society at Bethesda Chapel. After the lecture, he and I shared a brief exchange on the subject of high-calvinism and nineteenth-century Strict Baptist pastors. Since one of these pastors, John Hazelton, had been connected with the church that I pastor, his name naturally came up. Subsequent to our chat, Dr. Hyde graciously gave me one of his copies of William Styles’, “John Hazelton: A Memoir”.
I believe Baptists should be familiar with the life and ministry of John Hazelton for three reasons:
First, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he was one of the leading Baptist ministers in the city of London during the nineteenth-century.
Second, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he is among a gallant group of Baptist ministers who tenaciously subscribed to a high view of Sovereign Grace.
Third, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he has much to teach this generation of professing Christians who like to call themselves Reformed Baptists.
The following chapters have been mainly compiled from materials supplied to the Author from various sources. His task has, therefore, to a great extent, resembled that of one who binds together into a bouquet, a number of flowers, chosen and culled by others.
His special acknowledgments are due to Mr. J. E. Hazelton, without whose laborious and indefatigable help, this Memoir of his beloved father could not have been prepared.
To the Rev. C. T. Bust, LL.B., of Westerfield, Ipswich, and the Rev. E. Spurrier, of Colchester, he is under great obligations. His respected ministerial brethren, W. Barnes, of Walshamle-Willows…
“A time to be born.”—Ecclesiastes 3:2
Most of us have stood at eventide on some tall cliff that towered above the far-stretching ocean, glowing with the reflected tints of the setting sun; while each restless wave, as it rose and fell, caught the golden glory. Then, as fresh beauties struck us—as new effects of light and shade, harmony and contrast, successively claimed our admiration—we longed for the skill of an artist to depict the scene, for our delight in coming days. The wish, though natural, was vain. The radiance departed from the solemn west; the darkness crept on and hid the distant prospect; and as the evening bell warned us of the flight of time, we wended our homeward way, with faint and fast-fleeting recollections of a vision of grandeur and loveliness.
Somewhat similar has been the case with not a few of the worthies of the great King. They served their generation wisely and well. They won esteem and love. But none were found on earth able or willing…