Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Memoir

John Berridge

The late John Berridge was born in 1716; in the fifteenth year of his age he was convinced of the sinfulness of sin, and the necessity of being born again, “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will or man, but of God.”

He was sent to the university of Cambridge, in the nineteenth year of his age, and in 1749, commenced his ministry at Stapleford, near Cambridge, where he preached for several years with zeal and faithfulness, but with little success. In 1755 he was presented to the vicarage of Everton, in Bedfordshire, where he continued until his death.

From his personal memoranda found amongst his papers since his decease, it appears that he was a stranger to that faith which purifies the heart, works by love, and makes Christ all in all to the believing soul, until the year 1757; and therefore went about preaching up the righteousness of the creature instead of the merits and righteousness of Jesus Christ alone, for acceptance with God. In the following year it pleased the Lord of his infinite mercy to open the eyes of his mind to see his error, and make him to cry out, “Lord, if I am right, keep me so; but if I am not, make me so!”

A few days after this, his earnest and constant prayer was granted; he was led by the blessed Spirit to acknowledge the insufficiency of good works to merit the divine favour, and accordingly renounced them; he was taught the necessity of believing in the dear Redeemer alone for life and salvation, and joyfully received and depended on him, as the only Saviour from the wrath to come, agreeable to the declaration of an inspired apostle; “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.

From this time he truly found his preaching “was not in vain in the Lord,” for he had many bright and eminent seals added to his ministry, which were his joy in life, and shall doubtless be his crown of rejoicing when time shall be no more. Amongst these was Mr. Hicks, a minister of Wrestlingworth, about four miles from Everton, who became a very useful man, and often accompanied him in his itinerant labours from place to place.

A few years before George Whitfield died, Mr. Berridge came to preach at the Tabernacle in Moorfields, and continued to do so annually until 1793; he intended to have come the beginning of that year, and was expected by his numerous friends, both at Moorfields and at Tottenham-court; but they were mournfully disappointed, by receiving the melancholy tidings of his decease. On the 20th of January he came down into his parlour as usual, but, through increasing weakness and debility, with great difficulty reached his chamber in the evening. Some little time after he went to bed he appeared to be struck with death: his face was contracted, his speech faltered; and in this situation he continued until about three o’clock on Tuesday morning, when he calmly entered into the joy of his Lord, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

His remains were interred in his own parish churchyard attended by weeping thousands, who truly loved him, living, and sincerely mourned his loss. Mr. C. Simeon, a pious minister of Cambridge, preached his funeral sermon from 2 Timothy 4:7-8, to a very numerous and deeply affected congregation.

May the great Lord of the harvest, while he sees fit to remove such bright and shining lights in the Church, send forth more such faithful labourers into the harvest; for the harvest is truly great, but such faithful and eminent labourers are but few.

The following epitaph is inscribed on the tablet erected to his memory by his parishioners:-

Here lay the earthly Remains of JOHN BERRIDGE
late Vicar of Everton and an itinerant Servant
of JESUS CHRIST who loved his Master and his Work
and after running on his Errands many Years was called
up to wait on him above Reader art thou born again
No Salvation without a new Birth.

I was born in Sin Feb. 1716
Remained ignorant of my fallen State till 1730
Lived proudly on Faith & Works for Salvation till 1754
Admitted to Everton Vicarage 1755
Fled to JESUS alone for Refuge 1756
Fell asleep in Christ Jany. 22d. 1793

Wednesday June 22, 2016

The Happy Man

By Lachlan Macenzie

Monday May 2, 2016

Be Still My Soul

By Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697

Saturday March 12, 2016

What the Reformation Really Means

By WILLIAM WILEMAN

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Memoir

By John Berridge

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Letter I

By John Berridge

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Letter II

By John Berridge

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Letter III

By John Berridge

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Cheerful Piety – Letter IV

By John Berridge

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a preaching engagement in the North of England, orders placed 19th to 27th July will not be processed until 29th July 2019, DV. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Dismiss