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William Grimshaw of Haworth [Paperback]

Faith Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The Banner of Truth Trust (Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085151734X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851517346
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 844,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This biography of William Grimshaw of Haworth is a remarkable account of someone whose life & ministry was so influential in the years of the 18th century Evangelical Awakening. This book should bring him to the notice of the Christian church.'

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biography at its best 10 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Today the Yorkshire town of Haworth builds its tourist trade around the famous Bronte sisters. But seventy years before the Brontes were born, the crowds flocking over the moors to Haworth had come to see its minister William Grimshaw and hear him preach.

And Grimshaw had a huge national significance in the 18th century evangelical revival: he partnered closely with Wesley, Whitefield and others, and was John Wesley's chosen successor as Methodist leader should he and Charles die first (in fact they outlived him by twenty years).

Despite this, Grimshaw is not widely known today, partly perhaps because he left so few published writings, and rarely travelled outside the north of England. Faith Cook has produced a wonderful biography which is easy and gripping reading yet displays balanced and careful scholarship. A number of sources are uncovered for the first time, and the early biographical sketches (including that by his friend John Newton) are skilfully woven together.

The man who emerges is a true inspiration, a masterly blend of faith and love, humble in power and powerful in humility.

In doctrine he avoided most of the mistakes made by others (e.g. John Wesley's forays into 'sinless perfection') and yet he was magnanimous in putting aside secondary differences for the cause of Christ. Meanwhile he was gently uncomprising on the fundamentals. In this book we hear of his public humiliations under mob justice; his sternness to those who trifled with sin; his fearless preaching of Christ crucified; his constant warnings of hell; and his overarching kindness to all.

He was also full of the best good humour, more than once disguising himself (for instance) to catch out a gang of troublesome youths on a dark night.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read 20 Feb 2010
By Stephen - Published on Amazon.com
This story by Faith Cook left me feeling almost breathless. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down... and by the end I was in tears. I can't properly describe the impact this book has had. I hope and pray that I can learn in some small way to live as Grimshaw did. Except for Robert Murray M'Cheyne no other individual has so profoundly touched my life. But it was Christ who so consumed the heart and life of Grimshaw and it is the beauty and worth of Christ that comes through these pages. I can only say with that man of God, "What shall I do what can I do to love and serve my God better?!"

Praise God for the testimony of these lives that bear witness to His Majesty. What He has done He can do again. It is good to speak of what He has done and to remember His deeds of old. What a joy to know that brothers and sisters in the faith have a fought a good fight finishing the course with joy having kept the faith of the glorious gospel of the blessed God!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable missing link 24 Nov 2006
By James Forsyth - Published on Amazon.com
Most of us within the Protestant tradition/faith have read a biography of one or more of the major participants of the Great Awakening. But this biography of Grimshaw is a valuable addition that has been hitherto much neglected.

It appears that the latest edition of "Through Many Dangers: The Story of John Newton" by Brian H. Edwards has been updated with more information on the meeting/s between Newton and Grimshaw as a result of Cook's book.

William Grimshaw of Haworth has a handy index, a couple of very nice photographs and is published by Banner of Truth, from whom we know we will always have a non-compromising Christian perspective.

I note in the introduction to my Penguin copy of Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights has a mention of Grimshaw. (The Brontės lived in Haworth, Yorkshire). If I hadn't read Faith Cook's excellent biography I wouldn't have known a thing about Grimshaw at all and would have felt quite lost.

Thoroughly recommended - 5 stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from the Great Awakening 20 Feb 2014
By D. T. Kleven - Published on Amazon.com
I love reading about the figures of the 18th century Great Awakening. The best known, of course, are George Whitefield and John Wesley, as well as Jonathan Edwards in America, but there were dozens of men who who were mightily used by God at the time, and William Grimshaw is one of them.

Grimshaw went to Cambridge, and then entered the ministry as a Church of England minister, all without having been converted. A current of the awakening began to swirl around him, as a book came into his hands (Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices), and men who had believed the gospel began to cross his path. Before long, he himself was converted, and his parish, based in Haworth, began to feel the effects.

Grimshaw was tireless in his efforts to bring the gospel to everyone in his parish. He would sometimes pull unusual stunts to get the attention of his congregants. One time, a group of young people were playing a game instead of attending church on the Sabbath. Grimshaw disguised himself, and hid amongst them, until finally one of them noticed him, and they all fled in fear. Grimshaw later gathered the whole group in church, rebuked and admonished them, and then preached Christ to them, to great affect.

Grimshaw was a preacher, and cared passionately for the souls to be saved. His was an example of An Earnest Ministry, and under the influence of the Wesleys, he also circuited miles and miles around his own parish, preaching the gospel, gathering groups of believers together in to "societies" and then traveling back to them to help their spiritual growth.

John and Charles Wesley preached often in his church, as did Whitefield. John Newton was his friend, and visiting him, and later writing a biography of him. Henry Venn, and the Countess of Huntingdon were also his friends and fellow-laborers.

There are fascinating examples of how he dealt with differences in his day. He tried to find a position between the calvinism of Whitefield and the arminianism of Wesley. He had dealings with many outside of the Church of England - baptists, dissenters, moravians - though he himself resisted strongly any attempts for the methodists to pull out and become dissenters themselves. He is a good example of charity with brethren who differed from him on these points. To one man, who started a baptist church in his own city, and pulled away members from Grimshaw's church, he said, "God bless thee, James; God bless thy undertaking! Perhaps God has given thee more light than he has given me - God bless thee!" (231)

His life is an example of a man who wore himself out spreading the gospel to everyone he could. Faith Cook is an excellent biographer (see also Selina: Countess of Huntingdon), and she gives Grimshaw the treatment he deserves.

I highly recommend this biography, as well as any others you can find from the Great Awakening. J.C. Ryle's Christian Leaders of the 18th Century is the place to start, and then branch out to Whitefield, Wesley, Huntingdon, Daniel Rowland, and Jonathan Edwards in America.

Oh that we might see an awakening like this today!
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