Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see Sermons & Articles further down the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
Featured Sermons:

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

A Lady Sold By Auction Or, The Three Bidders for the Soul

This is a poem written about an incident in the Life of the English preacher Rowland Hill. To read a short biography of Rowland Hill see here.

Will you listen, kind friends, for a moment,
While a story I unfold;
A marvellous tale of a wonderful sale
Of a noble lady of old:
How hand and heart at an auction mart,
And soul and body, she was sold.

'Twas in the broad king's highway,
Near a century ago,
That a preacher stood, though of noble blood,
Telling the fallen and low
Of a Saviour's love and a home above,
And a peace that they all might know.

All crowded round to listen;
And they wept at the wondrous love,
That could wash their sin, and receive them in
His spotless mansions above:
While slow through the crowd, a lady proud,
Her gilded chariot drove.

"Make room," cried the haughty outrider,
"You are closing the king's highway;
My lady is late, and their Majesties wait;
Give way there, good people, I pray."
The preacher heard, and his soul was stirred,
And he cried to the rider, "Nay."

His eyes like the lightning flashes;
His voice like a trumpet rings -
"Your grand fete-days, and your fashions and ways
Are all but perishing things
'Tis the king's highway, but I hold it to-day
In the name of the King of Kings."

Then - bending his gaze on the lady,
And marking her soft eye fall -
"And now in His name, a sale I proclaim,
And bids for this fair lady call.

Who will purchase the whole - her body and soul,
Coronet, jewels, and all?
"I see already three bidders,
The world steps up as the first:
'I will give her my treasures and all the pleasures
For which my votaries thirst;
She shall dance through each day, more joyous and gay
With a quiet grave at the worst.'

"But out speaks the Devil boldly -
'The kingdoms of earth are mine,
Fair lady, they name, with an envied fame,
On their brightest tablets shall shine;
Only give me thy soul, and I'll give thee the whole,
Their glory and wealth, to be thine.' [24]

"And pray, what hast thou to offer,
Thou Man of Sorrows, unknown?
And He entry says, 'My blood I have shed,
To purchase her for mine own.
To conquer the grave, and her soul to save,
I trod the wine-press alone.

'I will give her my cross of suffering,
My cup of sorrow to share;
But with endless love, in my home above
All shall be righted there;
She shall walk in white, in a robe of light,
And a radiant crown shall wear,'

"Thou hast heard the terms, fair lady
That each hath offered for thee,
Which wilt thou choose, and which wilt thou lose,
This life, or the life to be?
The fable was mine, but the choice is Yet thine,
Sweet lady! which of the three?"

Nearer the stand of the Preacher,
The gilded chariot stole,
And each head was bowed as over the crowd,
The thundering accents roll,
And every word, as the lady heard,
Burned in her very soul.

"Pardon, good people," she whispered,
As she rose from her cushioned seat,
Full well, they say, as the crowd made way,
You could hear her pulses beat;
And each head was bare, as the lady fair
Knelt at the preacher's feet.

She took from her hands the jewels,
The coronet from her brow;
'Lord Jesus she said, as she bowed her head,
The highest bidder art Thou;'
Thou gav'st for my sake Thy life, and I take
Thy offer - and take it now.

"I know the world and her pleasures,
At best they but weary and cloy;
And the tempter is bold, but his honours and gold
Prove ever a fatal decoy;
I long for Thy rest - Thy bid is the best;
Lord, I accept it with joy.

"Give me Thy cup of suffering,
Welcome, earth's sorrow and loss,
Let my portion be to win souls to Thee.
Perish her glittering dross!
I gladly lay down her coveted crown.
Saviour, to take Thy cross."

"Amen!" said the holy preacher,
And the people wept aloud.
Years have rolled on - and they all have gone
Who formed that awe-struck crowd.
Lady and throng have been swept along
On the wind like a morning cloud.

But the Saviour has claimed His Purchase,
And around His radiant seat,
A mightier throng in an endless song,
The wondrous story repeat;
And a form more fair is bending there,
Laying her crown at His feet.

So now in eternal glory!
She rests from her cross and care:
But her spirit above, with a longing love,
Seems calling on you to share
Her endless reward, in the joy of her Lord:
Oh! will you not answer her - there?

There follows an account taken from C H Spurgeon's book Eccentric Preachers on Rowland Hill 1744-1833.

IT IS NOT OUR DESIGN to write a life of Rowland Hill, but merely to sketch an outline portrait from the "eccentric" point of view. As a preacher Mr. Hill was the child of John Berridge, whose church he attended while he was a student at Cambridge, riding over to Everton every Sabbath to hear him. From that veteran he no doubt learned that freedom and simplicity of language which always distinguished him. He also associated much with John Stittle, one of Berridge's converts, and a man of very marked individuality, who preached in Green Street, Cambridge for many years. 

Their intimacy may be gathered from the incident recorded by William Jones:—"On one occasion, when Mr. Hill was on his way to Duxford, to preach for the Missionary Society, he suddenly exclaimed, 'I must go to Cambridge, and see the widow of an old clergyman, who lives there, for I have a message to leave with her.' He was urged not to go, but he was firm to his purpose. He spent a short time with the venerable widow, and reached Duxford just before evening service. On entering his friend Mr. Payne's house he said,' Dear me, I quite forgot to leave the message with the widow,' and seemed almost determined to return to Cambridge. He, however, remained during the service, and on being asked whether the message he had forgotten was important he replied, 'Yes, sir, I wanted the old lady, who will soon be in heaven, to give my love to Johnny Stittle, and tell him I shall soon see him again.'"

Mr. Hill's first preachings were of an itinerant character. He was glad of a church, and equally delighted with a meeting-house; but the village green, a barn, an assembly room, or a hovel were all used as they were offered. He was not reared in the lap of luxury as a preacher, nor was he surrounded by the society of unmingled aristocracy, so as to be guarded from every whiff of the air of common life. He mingled so thoroughly with the people that he became the people's man, and for ever remained so. 

With all the highmindedness which ought to go with nobility he mingled an unaffected simplicity and benevolence of spirit, which made him dear to persons of all ranks. He was thoroughly a man, thinking and acting for himself with all the freedom of a great emancipated mind, which bowed only at the feet of Jesus; but he was essentially a child-man, a Nathanael in whom was no guile—artless, natural, transparent, in all things unaffected, and true. He once said of a man who knew the gospel but seemed afraid to preach it, "He preaches the truth as a donkey munches a thistle—very cautiously:" this was exactly the opposite of his own way of doing it.

His fixed places of ministry were Surrey Chapel, and Wotton-under-Edge. He facetiously styled himself "Rector of Surrey Chapel, Vicar of Wotton, and Curate of all the fields and lanes throughout England and Wales." Surrey Chapel was called by many "The Round-house," and it was reported that its form was chosen by Mr. Hill that the devil might not have a corner to hide in. 

The locality is described by Berridge "as one of the worst spots in London, the very paradise of devils." It was hard by the assembling ground of Lord George.Gordon's Protestant rowdies, and was in many respects an unsavoury spot, and therefore so much the more in need of the gospel The spacious structure was the centre of philanthropic, educational, and religious work of all kinds, and it would be difficult to find a building from which more beneficial influences have emanated.

At Wotton, Mr. Hill lived in what he called "a paradisiacal spot," having his house near the chapel, and lovely scenery all around. He says of the village, "This place, when I first knew Gloucestershire, was filled with brutal persecutors; since they have been favoured with the gospel they have been wonderfully softened." We visited the place with great interest, and were taken to the spot where dear old Rowland would sit with his telescope and watch the people coming down the neighbouring hills to the meeting, and would afterwards astonish them by mentioning what he had seen. 

Both in London and in the country he was the universal benefactor, and mixed with all sorts of people. In London he might be teen in the streets with his hands behind him, gazing into the shop windows, and in the country the cottages and the cornfields were his study. A friend told me an anecdote which I have not met with in print. When at Wotton he heard of a woman who was noted for her sausages, and therefore called in upon her, and bought a supply. "Now, my good woman," said he, "how is it that you make such good sausages?" "Why, sir," said she, "I think it is a gift from the Almighty." 

Mr. Hill shook his head at this, and began to repent of his bargain, as well he might, for the articles turned out to be stale. He told the story afterwards as an instance of how people try to pass off their bad goods by canting talk, and as a proof of the fact that fanaticism is often in alliance with knavery, "A gift from the Almighty!" said he, "and yet the produce of this precious gift is good for nothing." We give this as an instance of the manner in which he turned every little incident to good account.

Our friend Mr. Charlesworth, of the Stockwell Orphanage, has written a life of Rowland Hill, which in our judgment surpasses its predecessors in giving a full length portrait of the good man, and as this is readily to be had, we refer our readers to it. We remember reading an article in one of the reviews of the day in which Mr. Hill is abused after the manner of "the Saturday." It did us great good to see how those who were before us endured the tongue of malice and survived its venom. 

It is clear from many remarks made by contemporary writers, and especially from the way in which one of his biographers has tried to take the very soul out of him by toning down his wit, that he was regarded by many serious people as a good brother whose infirmity was to be endured, but to be quietly censured. Now, we are not at all of this mind. Mr. Hill may have allowed his humor too much liberty, perhaps he did, but this was better than smothering it and all his other faculties, as many do, beneath a huge feather-bed of stupid formalism. 

When we hear our long-visaged brethren condemning all mirth, we remember the story of holy Dr. Durham, the Scotch divine, who wrote a commentary upon Solomon's Song, and another upon the Revelation. His biographers say of him that he was so grave at all times that he very seldom smiled, much less laughed, at anything. We wonder if he had any children? What kind of father must he have been? But here is the story in the old-fashioned language in which we find it. 

The Rev. Mr. William Guthrie, minister at Finwick, met with Mr. Durham at a gentleman's house near Glasgow, some time before his last sickness, and observing him somewhat dull, endeavoured to force him to smile and laugh, by his facetious and pleasant conversation. Mr. Durham was somewhat disgusted at this innocent freedom of Mr. Guthrie, and displeased with himself that he was so merry. 

When Mr. Guthrie, according to the laudable custom of that family, and at their desire, prayed, he showed the greatest seriousness, composure, and devout liveliness. When he rose from prayer, Mr. Durham tenderly embraced his friend, and said to him, "O William, you are a happy man; if I had been so merry as you were before you went to pray, I should not have been serious, or in a frame for prayer, or any other religious exercises for two days." This occurrence led Mr. Durham to judge more leniently of his lively brethren, and our trust is that it may have the like effect upon any sour person who may chance to read this little book.

Mr. Hill's name is very sweet in South London, and if you chance to meet with one of his old hearers, it will do your heart goo(t to see how his eyes will sparkle at the bare mention of his name. He made religion a delight and the worship of God a pleasure; yea, he made the very memory of it to be a joy for ever to the hearts of the aged as they recall the days of their youth when Rowland Hill—dear old Rowland Hill as they like to call him— was in his glory.

No comments: