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Choice Gleanings

Willaim Grimshaw

August 2014

  from William Grimshaw

William Grimshaw (1708-1763) is indelibly associated with Haworth in Yorkshire. Another preacher said of him, ‘A few such as him would make a nation tremble. He carries fire wherever he goes’. He was utterly devoted to spreading the gospel in many different parts of the north of England, and gave himself without stint to the task. The following extracts give a flavour of his ministry.

O Christians, give all your glory to him who gave his all for you! All you have received is from God, let all you have be returned to God. The more God’s hand is enlarged in blessing you, the more should your hearts be enlarged in blessing God.

Be diligent in using the means of grace, but do not make an idol of them. Prayer, praise, reading, meditation, self-examination must be daily diligently and seriously observed. We must be daily in private and family prayer, and regular in public worship. Let prayer be your daily work and your first and last work daily. Christians can never lack time for prayer if they have a heart for prayer.
But do not make an idol of the means of grace. What is hearing without Christ, but like a cabinet without jewel; or receiving the Lord’s Supper without Christ, but like an empty glass without a cordial? Means of grace can never have too much of our diligence … But look in them and through them at Christ and in him and through him for grace and holiness, heaven and happiness. Then all will be well.

Crucify your sins that have crucified Christ. Were the rocks rent when Christ died for our sins? And shall not our hearts be rent that have lived in our sins? The nails that pierced his hands should now pierce our hearts. That should now grieve our spirits that grieved his spirit. O! put sin to death which put Christ to death. We may blame Judas for his treachery and the Jews for their cruelty, but the truth is, it was ourselves and our iniquity that crucified the Lord of life and glory … Let the cry of your prayers outcry the cries of your sins.

O! what is darkness to light? What is gold to grace? What is earth to heaven that many so shamelessly neglect the great and weighty and vital things and busy themselves about straws and feathers? I beseech you, labour more for inward holiness than outward happiness; more for the seed of grace than the bag of gold, more for inward piety than outward plenty, more for a heavenly conversation than an earthly possession. In a word, while you live you will find godliness gainful, and when you die you will find it needful.

Consider, Christian, these three things: what you were by nature, what you are in grace and what you shall be in glory. If you are in a state of inward faith, light and life, then you are in Christ and in a state of grace; and if you are in a state of grace then you shall be in a state of glory.

I find I am slothful in prayer however conscious I may be of the need of it … Fervency, I am fairly satisfied, in prayer, though of no merit, yet is a necessary expedient to gain our petition. We must be wrestling Jacobs if we would be prevailing Israels.

The most lowly believer is the most lovely believer. They are most like Christ who says, ‘learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls’ (Matthew 11:29). The most holy are always the most humble … A humble heart knows no fountain but God’s grace and an upright man knows no end but God’s glory.