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…
Notes of a Sermon preached on 11 April 1843
“I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish.”—John 10:28
The Holy Ghost, in the canon of Scripture, has borrowed a variety of metaphors from natural things to show us what Christ is to his people, and what his people are to him. Here he calls them “sheep,” and himself the “Shepherd.”
Jesus has received his sheep from his Father’s hand as his portion, as the lot of his inheritance. He knows his sheep intimately and perfectly. When they are wandering on the mountains of the Adam fall, the shepherd has his eye upon them, and he seeks them out, and calls…