Archive for August, 2008

William Grimshaw: A Great Pastor

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

When studying the triumphs of God’s kingdom on earth–the revivals, the great missionary movements, etc.–one invariably finds at the center a man or a woman, sometimes groups of such individuals, who has been greatly used by God for a particular time and challenge.

Some of these individuals are household names in Christian circles. We all know about George Muller and Hudson Taylor. But there are many are less known.

Some of them worked in highly visible venues. Others worked in the obscurity of country parishes where the work was hard, the distances were great, and the daily fare was rough and simple.

In spite of these challenges, men and women were able to bring the Holy Spirit into the every day activities of their parishioners, and in some cases their communities.

Why were they so successful? Were the ruby-throated wordsmiths who could deliver polished phrases in ideal worship-filled settings? Were they attended by large pastoral staffs? Did they have lots of time to study and meditate? Were they loved and protected from outside distractions? Were they blessed to have extra time since they had so few people to look after?

Truth be told, though they were competent to stand before learned men, they spoke in simple terms that their hearers could understand. They preached wherever and whenever they could, sometimes twenty to thirty times each week. Often they spent hours on horseback traveling through their districts in spite of the inclement weather. More often than not their success made their peers jealous, and sometimes those peers led in persecuting efforts. In spite of all of this they were marvelously successful.

William Grimshaw was such a man. He worked in a rural parish, preached countless times per week, faced great opposition, but greatly impacted his community.

Oh, that God would raise up more people like William Grimshaw.

William Grimshaw

Here a few paragraphs of a document that you can find at the page on William Grimshaw: A Great Pastor:

“As a result of his intense interest in the people, a longing for spiritual things swept into his congregation. Speaking of this he said, “Souls were affected by the word, brought to see their lost estate by nature, and to experience peace through faith in the blood of Jesus. My church began to be crowded, insomuch that many were obliged to stand out of doors. Here, as in many places, it was amazing to see and hear what weeping, roaring, and agony, many people were seized with, at the apprehension of their sinful state and wrath of God.” He would meet with these people in smaller groups of ten to twelve people, where the blessings continued.

He was a “plain” preacher. His first aim was to preach the whole truth as it is in Jesus. His second aim was to preach so as to be understood. To accomplish this he was willing to make many sacrifices, including preaching with words that were below his education, but words, none-the-less, that communicated with his parishioners. John Newton, speaking of him, said: “The desire of usefulness to persons of the weakest capacity, or most destitute of the advantages of education, influenced his phraseology in preaching. Though his abilities as a speaker, and his fund of general knowledge, rendered him very competent to stand before great men, yet, as his stated hearers were chiefly of the poorer and more unlettered classes, he condescended to accommodate himself, in the most familiar manner, to their ideas, and to their modes of expression. Like the apostles, he disdained that elegance and excellence of speech which is admired by those who seek entertainment perhaps not less than instruction from the pulpit. He rather chose to deliver his sentiments in what he used to term ‘market language.’ … Frequently a sentence which a delicate hearer might judge quaint or vulgar, conveyed an important truth to the ear, and fixed it on the memory for years after the rest of the sermon and the general subject were forgotten…. But if his language was more especially suited to the taste of his unpolished rustic hearers, his subject matter was calculated to affect the hearts of all, whether high or low, rich or poor, learned or ignorant; and they who refused to believe were often compelled to tremble.” Read the rest of the summary on William Grimshaw at

William Grimshaw was a great man.

Find more resources for pastors at

The River Still Flows

Friday, August 1st, 2008

“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God….” Psalms 46:4

I found an old poem this morning which brought joy to my heart. Though I don’t know the author’s name, because it comes from a book of poetry of the German Pietists called, “The Hymns of Tersteegen, Suso and Others,” I am confident it comes from one of the people who so desired to have a heart experience with Jesus in the 1600-1700s.

The River of God

From the Rock that God has riven
Flows the sacred river,
Through the wastes of barren ages,
Ever and for ever.

Still on this side and on that side,
Grow the healing trees-
Bearing fruit for all the hunger
Leaves for all Disease.

From the everlasting fountains
Still it flows along,
Making glad the holy city
Of eternal song.

From the throne of Christ in glory,
Rock that God has riven,
Onward still the crystal river
Bears the life of Heaven.

Sheep lie yet in quiet pastures
By the waters still,
Lilies grow in God’s green meadows,
Cedars on His hill.

Still to drink the living waters
Come the souls athirst,
Eyes behold the Face of Jesus
Even as at first.

Clad in white there walk beside Him
Still the blessed throng-
Through the ages sound unsilenced
Psaltery and song.

Onwards weary generations
Pass through deserts dread.
Void and silent skies above them,
Under them the dead.

Whilst unseen the Lord’s fair garden
Round about them glows,
And the barren wilderness
Blossom as the rose.

Whilst beside them unimagined
Glide the waters fair-
Whilst around, the psalms ascending
Tell that Christ is there.

C.P.C., From Hymns of Tersteegen, Suso and Others.

Find many more beautiful writings on Christian devotion at

This link will direct you to pages with information on how to have a stronger devotional life: Help me have a stronger devotional life

You can also find sermons from Gerhard Tersteegen at