Charles Hemington

The Life And Ministry Of Charles Hemington

John E. Hazelton, “Hold Fast”:

Charles Hemington (1830-1904) was born at Over, Cambridgeshire. For fifteen years he ministered to the people at Corpus Christi Chapel, Plymouth, and then, from 1871 to the time of his death, he was Pastor of the Old Baptist Chapel, Devizes, where his teaching was highly valued by his people, and his frequent visits to Gower Street Chapel and West Street Chapel, Croydon, were seasons of help and blessing to many. To his matured judgment his brethren were ever ready to defer, and his gracious and powerful influence was of the utmost use among the Churches. His love to and sympathy with the young were evinced by the annual sermons he preached to them and on their behalf. His wisdom and foresight are apparent by a few sentences, by which “he being dead, yet speaketh.”

“In numbers of instances it is a long time after the soul is quickened before the work of the law is very deep. Depend on this, the manifestations of God and His visits often come as little gleams of light. Says the soul sometimes, ‘I think I heard the minister with a little sweetness to-night; I felt a little bubbling up of hope.’ This is the dayspring; do not be discouraged, little ones; God is merciful, and He will perfect the work. Young believers do not see things very clearly, and I do not care to see them so far advanced. When they get to be men and women all at once, I am puzzled about them. ‘He that believeth shall not make haste.” I am no pre-existerian. Pre-existerianism is phantasy of the human brain. It is sufficient to know that the blessed God did condescend to give presages of His gracious appearing in our nature.”

“Those people who read the prophecies of Scripture and see nothing but good coming upon the nations of the earth, before the morning cometh are altogether in the dark with regard to the meaning of those prophecies. Coming judgment, calamity and woe for the nations are plainly foreshadowed.”

“God’s truth, and not Arminian Protestantism, must be the weapon used to defend our country from worse encroachments of Popery than what are now causing trouble. It is for the godly, who only are on the Lord’s side, to wait and watch for the light of a brighter day, when the great image of false religious systems and doctrines shall be ground to powder by Jehovah’s Christ as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and when nothing shall abide and stand as a monument of the glory of God but His own free and sovereign grace truth.”

Dear Charles Hemington! an eminent preacher, a wise counsellor, and a friend, tender and true. “The memory of the just is blessed.”

Space will not allow of any more extended references, but cherished memories of Samuel Milner, D. Smart, Thomas Stringer, Philip Dickerson, Eli Ashdown, Prank Covell, of Croydon, and a multitude of others now in the Fatherland above, recur to those who knew and loved them for their work’s sake and for the Lord’s sake.

The testimony of these servants of God was honoured by Him; their chapels were filled; sinners were brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord; the Churches were edified, and useful service in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ was accomplished. There were no faltering or hesitating notes in their ministry; no keeping back of any part of God’s truth; their careers prove that “Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me I shall be lightly esteemed.”

Charles Hemington (1830-1904) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. Between 1856-1871, he served in an unofficial capacity as presiding minister for the church meeting at Corpus Christi Chapel, Plymouth. Between 1871-1904, he served as pastor for the church meeting at the Old Baptist Chapel, Devizes, Wilts. He also served on three occasions editor of the Gospel Standard Magazine—(1) January to June 1881; (2) February and March 1882; (3) May to July 1884.