Earthen Vessel 1893:
Mr. J. Jull, Pastor, Eden Chapel, Cambridge
Dear Mr. Winters,—As you have expressed a wish that I should give you a short account of my call by grace, and to the ministry, for publication in the E. V. & G. H., I do so with pleasure.
I was born at Wrotham Water Farm, in the county of Kent; was brought up in a moral way, and at the age of 14 years left boarding-school, and came home to assist my mother (who had been left a widow, in the management of the farm. Through leaving school and becoming my own master while so young, the seeds of evil and wickedness began to show themselves in my using oaths, hating the Bible, and speaking of it in a most contemptuous manner—“of which things I am now ashamed.”
In the summer of 1849, I witnessed the ordinance of believers’ baptism several times. I had convictions that those people were right and I was wrong; I longed to be a Christian, and wished such feelings might continue; but they were like “the morning cloud and early dew which passeth away”—proving to me they were only natural.
In the month of September, 1849, while I was walking across one of the fields on the farm, without any thought of God or care about my soul, these words came into my mind, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them”(Gal. 3:10); then followed, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 5:13). The effects it produced were all new to me. I felt that I was a lost, guilty sinner in the sight of a holy and righteous God and justly deserved the curse of God for my sins. Sin then became a great burden to me; my soul was distressed. I did not know there was any remedy or hope for such a sinner as I felt myself to be. This great burden of soul led me to pray to God, and for the first time in my life out of real distress, did I pray for mercy, and the pardon of my sins.
I now began to read the Bible, and to go to chapel, with very different feelings and desires from any that I had ever had before. When I went to chapel before, the service was irksome, and I wished myself away. Now I went with a burdened conscience, as a poor, lost, and guilty sinner. How I longed to hear if there was any pardon or hope for a sinner like me. Sometimes there was a little hope, at other times all darkness and despair; the burden of sin continued, and how I longed to know if Jesus would save a sinner like me. But after anxiously seeking by continued prayer, and while coming home from chapel, in the spring of 1850, thinking of the sermon and the text, “O thou of little faith, wherefore did thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:34) a ray of light entered into my soul—I felt the power of Jesus’ blood to take away my sin, and to cleanse me; the burden was gone, and I felt I was a forgiven sinner. Now I could see Jesus died for me. There was no great ecstacy of joy, but a sweet persuasion that my soul was saved.
But, alas! after a time this peace and joy subsided; I began to question the reality of my religion—whether I was right after all. Oh! how I longed to know if all the past experience was from God, and I was really and truly born again, or if it was only a deception from the enemy. My soul became greatly troubled, and I even tried to give up my religion, and go back into the world again; yet I felt so unhappy, so tried, so tempted, so tossed to and fro, that I did not know what to do. The only relief of mind I obtained was by pouring out my soul before the Lord.
At last I went to Boro’ Green Anniversary. The minister quoted these words: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth,” &c. (Psa. 40:2, 3.) My soul was liberated, my fetters were all snapped and gone, my fears were all removed—I could now see my religion was of the Lord, and my soul was happy. I went home singing through the wet cornfields; and rejoiced for many days in the deliverance that the Lord had given me. I attended the Baptist Chapel at Ryarsh, where my soul was greatly blessed under the supplies that came. At length Mr. Inward became the settled pastor, under whose ministry my soul was still further blessed and my mind instructed in the truth of God. For some time my mind had been exercised about baptism; I desired to join the Church, but felt my unfitness. However, I was proposed and accepted, was baptized at Boro’ Green in May, and was received into the Church at Ryarsh, by Mr. Inward, on the 6th of June, 1858.
As to my call to the ministry. My exercise of mind commenced in the year 1856, which seemed so strange to me, that I could not understand it; I trembled at the thought of it. I feared it was from Satan, to fill me with pride, and I tried to resist the thoughts and exercise of mind about it. I was also very fond of business, and therefore was determined to follow my business, and not be a minister; in fact, I thought it was a delusion on my part to think of it. Then also I felt the solemnity of the office, the solemn responsibility of being a minister, and my total unfitness and unworthiness for it. I felt I had no gifts or qualifications for it, so I tried all I could to banish the thoughts from my mind; but still they were there.
During the year 1859, my mind was deeply exercised about the work, the burden of my private prayers was about the work of the ministry; yet, with all my resisting this exercise of the mind, and resolving that I never would preach, there was in my heart a deep yearning for souls—a love for poor sinners—that I might be useful to them. Such was my yearning for them, amidst all my felt unfitness, that I was like Jeremiah, ”Then, I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. But His word was in mine heart, as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9). However, the time came for me to open my mouth in the Lord’s name. It was at Ryarsh, on the 1st January, 1860. The text was,”I have finished the work Thou gavest me to do.” None can tell the distress of soul I suffered, for I felt that the Lord had not called me to the work. I then resolved never to speak again. But I was soon asked again to go to a cottage at Upper Halling; there the Lord blessed the Word, to the calling of one, and the setting at liberty of another, who afterwards joined the Church.
At length, I was chosen as their minister at Ryarsh. For eight years I laboured there with the Lord’s blessing on the Word, during which time 40 were baptized and added to the Church.
In the year 1873, I was settled at Carlton, Bedfordshire, where I had a happy pastorate for six years. I left them on terms of greatest love and esteem; and we parted in prayer for each other’s welfare.
In the year 1879, I came to Cambridge, and have been with the Church at “Eden” fourteen years. The Lord has graciously supported me; and amidst all the changes that have taken place, I am thankful to say the Word has been made useful to many souls. Many have been brought to know the Lord, and to join the Church; and there is great cause or thankfulness and for feeling helped in the work, while often have to say, “Who is sufficient for these things?”
John Jull (1833-1909) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He served as pastor for the church at Ryarsh, Kent (1865-1873), the church at Carlton, Bedford (1873-1879) and Eden Chapel, Cambridge (1879-1907). We have found no evidence to support the assertion of some Reformed Baptists that Mr. Jull became a Fullerite in the latter part of his ministry. To our knowledge, he remained a staunch Hyper-Calvinist till his death in 1909.