from William Grimshaw
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
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.