Rowland Hill—The second Whitefield

Tim ShentonSKU: HTRH6363 ISBN: 9781846256363



‘The crowds that follow Rowland Hill wherever he is called to preach, overwhelm me with astonishment, and gratitude to the God of all grace, who has endowed him with such gifts. He boldly proclaims the doctrines of the cross, and the word of the Lord runs and is glorified in the conversions of multitudes.
A hundred awakened souls, the fruits of his preaching, have been received into the Tabernacle Society. I have attended him at Blackheath and Kennington, where the Lord blessed his testimony in a very remarkable manner. Thousands and thousands attended, and the most awful and solemn impressions seemed to pervade the vast assemblies.
Excepting my beloved and lamented Mr Whitefield, I never witnessed any person’s preaching wherein there were such displays of the Divine power and glory. May HE who has raised up this second Whitefield, with talents and zeal so distinguished, make him eminent in his day and generation, and crown his message with success.’
Lady Huntingdon


Tim Shenton is a retired head teacher and pastor, who lives in Bournemouth, England. 
He is married with two daughters and has written over twenty books and researched extensively on church history, specialising in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 
His published works by Day One include 
Christmas Evans – no ordinary preacher, 
Forgotten heroes of revival, John Rogers – sealed with blood, 
Our perfect God, expositional commentaries on some of the Minor Prophets,
Opening up 1 Thessalonians.


Endorsements for Tim Shenton's larger work on Rowland Hill, published by Reformation Heritage Books, ISBN: 978-1-60178-175-8, include:
‘Here is biography at its best. Shenton marvellously brings Rowland Hill to life in a balanced and objective way, neither minimizing his remarkable set of gifts nor hiding his destructive blemishes.’
Joel R. Beeke

‘In this exceptional biography we are introduced to a colourful character in a lively way. The courage and commitment, as well as the eccentricities and indiscretions, of this remarkable preacher are set out with an honesty for which the author is to be commended.
Brian H. Edwards

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Gwyn Davies, Aberystwyth
Rowland Hill – The second Whitefield

‘There are three men, who are the most powerful preachers that England has ever produced, and yet only two of them [Whitefield and Spurgeon] are well known.’ As its opening words imply (p.7), this book’s aim is to present the third — Rowland Hill — to a generation that knows little or nothing about him.

Tim Shenton records his birth into a prominent Shropshire family in 1744, his conversion while at Eton, his early preaching despite much persecution, and his remarkable ministry at Wotton-under-Edge and Surrey Chapel, London. Attention is also given to his more extensive evangelistic labours, his philanthropy, and his support for smallpox vaccination. The final chapters evaluate the man and his ministry.

The author is not blind to Hill’s weaknesses and eccentricities, including allowing his humour excessive liberty while preaching, his unchristian attitude towards John Wesley, his tendency to haughtiness and obstinacy, and his quick sense of injury. What shines through, however, is Hill’s bold gospel proclamation and the divine power that so often accompanied his preaching.

An index and list of sources would have been helpful. One incident seems to have been taken from the life of Whitefield, and it must be said that some examples of Hill’s ‘humour’ do not travel well over time. However, this is a fine presentation of a long-neglected figure who, in Spurgeon’s words, ‘made religion a delight and the worship of God a pleasure’ (p.168).

Peter Murcott
Rowland Hill : The Second Whitefield

Rowland Hill's father, a Baronet, wanted him to be ordained into the Anglican Church since six livings in Norfolk were in the Hill family's gift. As they were confined to fellows of St John's College, Cambridge, that is where Rowland was sent. However, since he became only a fellow commoner, he was ineligible for any of the livings. Following his conversion at 18, he had a calling to preach. He eventually came under the influence of George Whitefield, to whom he has been compared, both with regard to the numbers to whom he preached and the conversions that followed. One result of his "irregular" preaching ministry was that it was some years before he was ordained into the Anglican Ministry, much to his fathers displeasure. Along with other contemporary preachers, he met with fierce resistance - with stones and eggs being thrown, and on one occasion a snake being released in the crowd. Yet, like others, he could say: "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." And so he did, until his death. Early in life, he had a "yearning to have a heart totally given up to God's service...." His prayer was granted. This and more is what make this biography so readable. Moreover, given that God does not change, those who similarly seek to serve the Lord in this generation, unconditionally and unreservedly, are certain to find their prayers richly answered.

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