St. Mary’s Dedham, Essex.

A great Puritan evangelist, John Rogers, warned his congregation against neglecting Scripture by telling them what God might say: “I have trusted you so long with my Bible … it lies in [some] houses all covered with dust and cobwebs, you care not to listen to it. Do you use my Bible so? Well, you shall have my Bible no longer.” Rogers then picked up his Bible and started walking away from the pulpit. Then he stopped, fell on his knees, and took on the voice of the people, who pleaded, “Lord, whatever Thou dost to us, take not Thy Bible from us; kill our children, burn our houses, destroy our goods; only spare us Thy Bible, take not away Thy Bible.” “Say you so?” the minister replied, impersonating God. “Well, I will try you a while longer; and here is my Bible for you. I will see how you use it, whether you will search it more, love it more, observe it more, and live more according to it.” The Puritan Thomas Goodwin, who regularly road 30 miles from Cambridge to hear Rogers, was so moved by Rogers’s dramatic presentation that when he left church he wept upon his horse’s neck for fifteen minutes before he felt strong enough to mount it, at St. Mary's Dedham, Essex.
A great Puritan evangelist, John Rogers, warned his congregation against neglecting Scripture by telling them what God might say: “I have trusted you so long with my Bible … it lies in [some] houses all covered with dust and cobwebs, you care not to listen to it. Do you use my Bible so? Well, you shall have my Bible no longer.” Rogers then picked up his Bible and started walking away from the pulpit. Then he stopped, fell on his knees, and took on the voice of the people, who pleaded, “Lord, whatever Thou dost to us, take not Thy Bible from us; kill our children, burn our houses, destroy our goods; only spare us Thy Bible, take not away Thy Bible.” “Say you so?” the minister replied, impersonating God. “Well, I will try you a while longer; and here is my Bible for you. I will see how you use it, whether you will search it more, love it more, observe it more, and live more according to it.” The Puritan Thomas Goodwin, who regularly road 30 miles from Cambridge to hear Rogers, was so moved by Rogers’s dramatic presentation that when he left church he wept upon his horse’s neck for fifteen minutes before he felt strong enough to mount it, at St. Mary’s Dedham, Essex.

(© James R Hamilton, taken 1st, January, 2015)

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