John Kershaw, Sermons

A Sermon Preached By John Kershaw At Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, London on November 24th, 1842

“The desire of the righteous shall be granted”—Proverbs 10:24

I shall not take up any time, my friends, by way of introduction tonight, but shall come immediately to the words of the text. And I hope and trust the Lord will be graciously pleased to assist me,

I. Briefly to describe to you the character of “the righteous.” And
II. To take into consideration, “the desire of the righteous,” which, it is said, “shall be granted.”

Now, in reference to the character of the righteous, I shall be very brief, as I intend to speak more at large, by the Lord’s help, upon “the desire of the righteous,” which is to be granted.

I. First, then, “the righteous.” But where are we to find a righteous man among all the fallen sons and daughters of an apostate Adam? My friends, as we stand in relation to the first Adam, our federal head, there is not a just man or a righteous person to be found under the canopy of the whole heavens. It is said, “the Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” It was the omniscient God, who beholds all things with one glance of his eye. The Lord looked down from heaven upon earth, to see if he could find any that did good, and sinned not. But what was the result? He could not find one; for there was not a just man that did good, and sinned not; all flesh had corrupted his way. There is none righteous in this sense, no, not one: our very nature is fallen, depraved and sunken; it is unclean; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint; from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is nothing but wounds, bruises and putrefying sores. The carnal heart of man is…

Continue reading

Substance Of A Sermon Preached By John Kershaw At Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, London, On Lord’s Day Morning, April 12th, 1846.

“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

My beloved friends, as we had this precious portion of God’s holy Word under consideration last Lord’s day, we will come at once to the second part of our subject, that the enjoyment of our interest in the salvation of Christ is by faith.

What a blessing, beloved, for us that the work of salvation is finished. The poor sinner is made to feel his lost, ruined and undone state. It is necessary in this part of our subject to draw a line of distinction between the real, genuine faith of a be- liever and the faith that a man may have and yet not be quickened by God the Holy Spirit. Now, there is what is called a nominal, natural faith. James, speaking on this subject, says, “Thou believest that there is…

Continue reading

A Sermon Preached By John Kershaw At East Street Chapel, Walworth, On April 25th, 1848.

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he will never suffer the righteous to be moved.”—Ps 55:22

Beloved, without taking up any time by way of introductory observations, we will come immediately to the words of our text. And with the help of the Lord, we will, first, notice the exhortation and the promise connected with it. We are exhorted to “cast our burden upon the Lord”; and the promise stands for our encouragement, “he shall sustain us.” In the second place, we have a solemn declaration made, “He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

I. In the first place, let us notice the exhortation, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord.” This is an exhortation that will not suit everyone. For instance,

1. If we look for a moment at the careless, unthinking world, who are rolling sin and iniquity under their tongue like a sweet morsel; who are lying down in sin and filth, and wallowing therein like the sow—these are not burdened. O no; Gallio-like, they neither care for sin, their never-dying souls, nor the…

Continue reading

A Fragment of a Sermon

“One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of ]acob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.”—Isaiah 44:5

The three characters spoken of in my text were children of God in different stages of experience: the first, in the full assurance of faith, with the enjoyment of peace and pardon in the soul; the second seemed to embrace by far the largest number of God’s family—poor, fearful, staggering, doubting sinners, yet spiritual Jacobs; and the third, those who possessed some good degree of confidence, whose desire was unto the Lord, to serve him with purpose of heart.

I. “One shall say, I am the Lord’s.” Highly favoured and greatly blessed is the soul that can feelingly, honestly and, with the Spirit of God testifying to the conscience, humbly say, “I am the Lord’s.” How many are there of my hearers in the chapel this morning who can thus unhesitatingly declare, “I am the Lord’s”? “My Beloved is mine, and I am his”? I do not think there are many who without a doubt or without fear could say so. Now, if we were in private conversation together, there would be many, doubtless, who would say, “I hope and trust I am the Lord’s; but I fear to be presumptuous.” But there are some here, I dare venture to say, who can well remember the time when the Lord…

Continue reading

Cave Adullam

4 Oct 2016, by

The Substance of a Sermon preached at Zoar Chapel, London, in April 1842

“And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them.” (1 Samuel 22:2)

These words contain something more than a literal meaning of the circumstances which are mentioned. And the order in which they have been laid upon my mind is as follows:

I. In many respects, David was an eminent type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. The men that went down to the Cave of Adullam, and the circumstances in which they were placed, were typical of all who really go unto Christ for salvation.

I. The psalmist, the sweet singer of Israel, was an eminent, a soul-comforting type of our spiritual David, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Two or three observations here must suffice…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Two sermons preached at Gower Street Chapel, London on 14 and 21 November 1841

[On Sunday, 14 November 1841, Pastor Kershaw spoke on the subject of justification. His text was Job 25:4. Although he intended to cover his three headings in a single sermon, he took up only the first heading on Sunday 14 November, then completed the final two headings on Sunday 21 November. The two sermons are combined in the manuscript that follows.]

“How then can man be justified with God?”—Job 25:4

The doctrine of justification is clearly and strikingly revealed in the sacred oracles of truth, and is by God the Holy Ghost made manifest in the souls of all the election of grace. Hence, Paul speaks of it as one of the links in the chain of our salvation. “Moreover,” says he, “whom God did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also…

Continue reading


3 Oct 2016, by

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…

Continue reading

Copyright © 2019, The Association of Historic Baptists