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William Tiptaft

Quotes from his biography by J.C. Philpot

I just got done reading an excellent book (8-2004). It was on William Tiptaft written by J.C. Philpot. It was produced by Gospel Standard Trust Publications, but I ordered it from Gospel Mission out of Montana. On the back of the book, it says this: "William Tiptaft was a man who forsook all for Jesus' sake. There have been greater preachers and men of more ability; but where can we find one who followed the Lord more closely? This is the only biography written by J.C. Philpot. His close friendship with William Tiptaft, his sincere love and admiration for him, along with the author's style, combine to make this a book of quality." Before I had read this book, I had only read one paper that was from William Tiptaft and that was a sermon entitled "His People". I thought it was excellent. But now that I have read this book, I have a far greater amount of respect for this man whom the Lord called to do His work. I have included some quotes from the book to attempt to wet your appetite and possibly even order it from Gospel Mission. It is only a 159 page book. You can order a catalog from them at this address:

BOX 318

Or at this email: Gospel Mission  - gospelm@3rivers.net

One note before the quotes. These first quotes are from personal letters that William Tiptaft wrote to his friends (underline emphasis added - TA) and then at the end are his Aphorisms.

page 30 & 31

Sutton, July 12, 1830

"We could as soon make a new world as begin a spiritual work in our souls. It is this doctrine that lays man so low in the dust. You have expressed a great wish to see me, and that others anticipate my arrival in Oakham. I can assure you that you will not very much like to hear the truths the Lord has taught me. I have given you nothing but milk, either by letters or by the sermon as yet, which is plainly seen by the little dislike with which my sermon has been received by you. I have things to say 'hard to be uttered,' because you are 'dull of hearing.' The greatest offence is given when you pull down the strongholds of Satan, when you expose false religion; but remember that no one is to be heard any further than the Scriptures bear him out. I have given great offence in speaking upon prayer as wholly a spiritual work; for God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. It troubles exceedingly the Pharisees; they are very unwilling to cast away their false idols. But it matters not to me whom I offend. Is it scriptural? Whatever is scriptural I hope God will enable me to speak boldly and faithfully.

"It seems very cutting to parents when I warn them against making children Pharisees and hypocrites; but the truth is cutting to flesh and blood, for it is sharper than any two-edged sword. When I talk of the holiness of Satan as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of righteousness, they look upon me as they did upon my great Master, with hatred and contempt, and cry out like the very pious in his day of humiliation, "He hath a devil and is mad; why hear ye him?' But the servant is not greater than his master, and if they call the Master of the house Beelzebub, what will they say of his household? We must be looked upon as deceivers, and strong opposers of what the professing world calls true religion; 'as deceivers, and yet true.'

"I beging to meet with much hatred and contempt, but my good Master met with much more. The more they revile me falsely, the stronger testimony I have that I am doing the work of hte Lord. Who am I that I should disturb a neighborhood? Is it not I. What do they care what opinions I hold? It is the work of God that troubles them; it condemns them, as the Lord enables me to take it out of the letter and set it forth in the Spirit. So I become a troubler of Israel. Nevertheless, my church is crowded in spite of all their hatred, lies, and contempt. Some who show the greatest hatred to the children of God and the truths I declare cannot help coming. The Lord, I rejoice to say, speaks by me. I believe that many are brought to the light through my ministry, and others are comforted and built up, being brought out of bondage."

Page 31

"...If what I preach is not foolishness to the natural man, know assuredly that I preach not the gospel."

Page 33

"There is but very little true religion anywhere. Our hearts are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and the Scripture, which cannot be broken, tells us that the righteous scarcely are saved. It is very narrow way to heaven, and if we enter in, it will be entirely by the grace of God. You will be led to see how vain the doctrines of the Arminians are. It is very plain that hte world is too much in the hearts of Christians, and Satan covers over covetousness under the name of prudence. How Christians compare themselves one with another, instead of with the word of God; but God has a people, whom He will separate from the world. He will show them, by His blessed Spirit, what He has done for them through our Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul says, 'Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.' Happy and blessed are they who have not the spirit of the world ruling in their hearts, but the Spirit of God, so that htey may understand the things which are freely given to them, such as justification through the blood of Christ, pardon of our every sin, promises of help, support and strength to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, and a certainty of our being more than conquerors through Him who died that we might live, who was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Page 35 - (same letter as above)

"...As a Christian, your mind will be much more easy the less you have to do with the world. Having food and raiment, be therewith content. Riches and cares choke the seed, and keep you from communion with God through Christ. They that will be rich fall into many snares, etc. (1 Tim. vi. 9) Your kingdom is not of this world."

Page 35

"You will not be persecuted for holding truths in the head, but for having grace in your heart; for the former will not cause you to differ from the world. When the fruits of the Spirit manifest themselves in your life; when you are blind to your own interests in this world; when you are deaf to the advice of the worldly wise, then it will be said, 'Mr. _____ is a changed man, he is a fool.' Now, my dear brother, be assured of this, as God works in your dark soul, such changes as these will be caused; so that instead of panting after the riches of this world, you will pant after the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Page 62

"...Take my advice and have as little to do with the world as you can help. I very likely may, if the Lord will, pay you a visit this spring, before my chapel is completed; but I have plenty of preaching. There is but little vital godliness anywhere, and very few ministers are led into the great mysteries of the gospel. So few know the power of godliness, or the preciousness of Christ's blood, or the love of God shed abroad in the heart. If there be no root to a man's religion, it soon withers and dies. None can keep alive his own soul. When you talk with professors upon the subject of religion, ask them what htey know of these things experimentally."

Page 75

"...It is very painful to the flesh to become nothing. But the more the Lord's Spirit operates upon our spirit, the more unintelligible will our language be to those who know not God."

Page 76

"Your determination not to hear any minister at Oakham will give great offence, and bring with it a cross. The word of God fully justifies you: 'Take heed what ye hear;' and, 'Beware of false prophets.' If you cannot receive a man as a sent servant of God you are certainly right, and your conduct will powerfully affect the minds of others, who even do go, but not without pricks of conscience. The consistent life of a man of God is an epistle to be seen and read of all men, and he wonderfully influences others without his in any way being aware of it. He glorifies God, and lets his light shine. We need to be much in prayer, and very watchful, considering what wicked and deceitful hearts we have, and what an unruly member our tongue is.
"When God leads His children into a discovery of their fallen state there are many painful lessons to learn; but faith is not worthy anything if it be not tried..."

Page 80

"Paul says, 'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.' The shortest way of entering into a man's religion is to ask him whether he has the Spirit of Christ, and if he says, 'Yes,' then ask him what the Spirit of God has done for him, what change it has wrought. If he can give a good scriptural account, you will say, I have met with a brave companion; if he evades questioning, you can tell him you would not be in his place for a thousand worlds."

Page 86

"I believe that God will mar the pride of man. He will have all the glory, and prove that the best of men are but men ab the best. Such instances are left on record in God's word, and we may truly say God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor God's ways as our ways. If we have the Spirit of christ, we must have treatment similar to His. The ungodly will hate the godly, and if we do not suffer with Him we shall not reigh with Him. You will have your trials and crosses before you will have your crown, and they will not come in the way most suited to your natural wishes. A cross is to be a cross. You will have trials with your chapel, trials with your brethren, and trials with the world; but that monster self will be your worst trial, for he will so often plead your friend. Nevertheless, as the sufferings abound, so also the consolations; and as thy day is, so thy strength shall be."

Page 110

"O how dreary is the prospect of eternity when we long after nothing but what the world affords - when we have a heart ready for everthing but prayer, self-denial, and what is God-glorifying! I used to find and think religion very different. And if I had not had the experience of some who seem always inclined to God and goodness, I should stumble when I consered their state, and should say, 'Surely the Lord is with them alone;' but having had my religion sifted in sharp trials of mind, and heart-stirring seasons, I am confident that no religion is rightly measured if the opposition to it is nat gauged also; that is, we are not to consider what wonderful conquests the new man has gained, if we do not hear a clear account of the power, might, and strength of his enemies in the old man. We must learn our religion in warfare, temptations, and fiery trials, which will surely attend every quickened soul. There must be a reality in a man's religion. Where there is life, there will be fearing, sinning, loving, hating, falling, confessing, doubting, hoping, mourning, rejoicing, and various ups and downs, ins and outs, in a very mysterious manner wrought in the soul. I can meet with but little vital godliness. Very few seem to have any powerful operations of grace upon the heart; and those few who can speak of hte Lord's dealings seem very much like professors with a name to live. The Lord evidently does not bestow much of His heavenly blessings on elect souls here below, so that they are reminded that they are to have only an earnest in this life. All things are very puzzling, and no one more than myself to myself; for I am a mystery indeed. I feel sensible, at times, of the Lord's goodness and mercy, that I am what I am; that I have any hope, faith, and love is a mercy indeed. And I am sure that the Lrod must keep and preserve every tempted sinner; for all who know their inbred corruptions will acknowledge that the Lord is very merciful, in that He has not cut them off as vile cumberers of the ground.

Page 111 - (same letter as above)

"...I am so hated, despised, and cursed that the Lord does favour me for their reproaches and curses; but it is a bad sign when a minster has the smiles of worldy professors."

Page 137

Just a little note here. This next quote is from a friend of his who was abiding by his side on William's deathbed. This is a letter not from William but from his friend there.

"About half-past 11 he got more quiet, and his restlessness was nearly over. He then began as though he would preach to us, and said, 'What a mercy! My last moments are my best.' I then said, 'You will soon be in glory.' He said, 'Yes, and join the happy throng, and it is free grace, free grace. Free-will sentiments will not do to die with. It is free grace that will stand for ever; but free will will be dashed.' He said something else, but I could not hear distinctly the other words. He then said, 'What troubles and sorrows attend the true followers of the Lamb! But what a mercy to endure to the end.' And again, 'My last moments have been my best.' I heard him now say, 'Thy love is better than wine. Praise God, praise God.' He said that he 'longed to be gone and praise the Lord in glory.' I answered, 'You can say, "Behold his chariot wheels, and say, Let grace triumphant."' He said, 'Yes, and grace shall have all the praise.' He then got very quiet, and gently breathed his last at 25 minutes past one in the morning of the 17th of August, 1864. How forcibly those words stuck in my mind as his last breath was gone 'Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.'"


Grant that we may be more anxious to die well than to get through the world well.

Deliver us from everything that may entangle our affections and harden our hearts.

Grant that we may hold the world with a loose hand.

Grant that we may have dying strength for a dying hour.

Make our consciences tender and keep them so.

Grant that we may not sin cheaply.

Make us more dead to the world, and separate in spirit from it.

Bless those who have troubles and sorrows which they cannot tell to thier nearest and dearest friends.

Make us very grateful for the least mark or evidence that we are among thy children.

Look upon those who mourn in Zion; put their tears into thy bottle; lesten to their sighs and groans.

Make and keep our consciences very tender in thy fear.

Dear Lord, teach us what is right and give us power to do it.

Grant, Lord, that we may be made right in doctrine, right in experience, and right in practice.

Teach us what we know in the letter and what we know in the spirit.

Look upon thy little Zion here. Bless our meeting together in this place; grant that it may be a Bethel to our souls, and the very gate of heaven.

Who amongst you present are more anxious about your souls than about your bodies?

If the way to heaven is so narrow, and so few find it, what will become of those who never seek it?

Can you call God your Father, Christ your elder Brother, and the blessed Spirit your Friend and Comforter?

Who amongst you are asking how a sinner can be saved, and that sinner yourself?

Has your religion ever kept you awake at night? Have you ever esteemed in a mercy that you are out of hell?

Who began the work in your soul, God or you?

Have you ever stook on the same plot of ground with the publican, crying, "God be merciful to me a sinner?"

Some may say, "The minister never describes my case." Have you a case to describe, or are you at ease in Zion? "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion!"

Has your religion cost you anything? If it has cost you nothing, it is worth nothing.

What a mercy to have a religion of the right kind! What a very great mercy to have a religion of the right kind! What an extraordinary great mercy to have a religion of the right kind!

How many of you would be in chapel to-day, if you knew that you would be flogged for in the market-place to-morrow? and if you were flogged for it to-morrow, how many of you would be here next Sabbath?

What a mercy to have a religion that will do to di by; that will stand when the world is in a blaze! Those amongst you who are favoured with such a religion cannot be too thankful; it is a greater mercy than if you could call all Abingdon your own.

I can tell you one thing you have to be thankful for, and that is, that you are out of hell, on praying ground, and where hope can come.

God is pleased with gratitude; he gets so little of it. God has been a good God to me, and if I were not to say so, he would be angry with me.

God can rain money into farmers' pockets, and he can rain it out. He can shine it in, and shine it out.

It is a great work to make people fit for the cemetary. If you are to go to heaven you must be made fit for heaven. There are prepared mansions for a prepared people.

Six feet by two-and-a-half is all the ground that the richest man in England will shortly occupy.

If not washed in Christ's blood and clothed in his righteousness, no heaven for you, no heaven for me.

How awful to die out of Christ! How blessed to die in Christ!

I am not afraid of alarming people too much about their souls; I wish I could hear more crying out, "What must I do to be saved?" under a feeling sense of thier lost and ruined condition, and crying earnestly for mercy.

If I preach to please men, I am not the servant of Christ; and "woe unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!"

If you have one grain of grace, you must die to know how rich you are.

However you may be persecuted, they cannot put you where you cannot pray. What a mercy!

What an awful think to see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, and you yourselves thrust out! O to be amongst the "thrust out"! What can be more awful! "And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage supper: and the door was shut."

I am tried about the beginning, middle and end of my religion. Tried about sin in myself and tried about sin in others.

Sinning will stopy praying, or praying will stop sinning.

The depraved characters did not become so all at once, they go from bad to worse; and like a wheel going downhill, the further it goes, the fast it goes.

I want to be begging mercy every hour.

A prayerless man is a careless man.

Shew me a man who prays for himself alone, and I will shew you a man who alone is prayed for.

I should not think lightly of that man's religion who get answers to prayer.

When the Lord finds his rod, his people find their knees.

Where we see blossoms we hope for fruit, but where there are no blossoms we are sure there will be no fruit.

She me a man's books and shew me a man's companions, and I will tell you what sort of a man he is.

The worldly think little of God's people, but they expect much: they would be surprised to see any of you who attend this chapel at the races. How they would talk about it.

How hard it is to pray against besetting sins!

Children take more notice of what their parents do than of what they say.

If you were to go about telling people that you had an inheritance worth a million of worlds, and yet to be out of temper for half-an-hour about a thing not worth sixpence, they would not believe you.

We are not going to jump out of Delilah's lap in to Abraham's bosom.

I used to try to reconcile creature comforts and spiritual consolations. We cannot hold the world in one hand and Christ in the other. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Dead fish go with the stream, living ones against it.

Real religion is to be severed from the world, to be married to Christ, and to bring forth fruit unto God.

You may deceive yourselves, but you cannot deceive God; "for God is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."

I used to try to reconcile the friendship of the world and God's favour, but I found it would not do; "He that will not forsake all is not worthy of me."

What a great work is the work of the ministry! to stand up between the ever-living God and never-dying souls. "If thou shalt cease to warn the wicked, their blood will I require at your hands." Soul blood stains deeply.

Many of the Lord's people have troubles which they cannot tell at every corner of the street.

Whoever thinks of finding real happiness in this world will be a day's march behind.

You must not always expect the wind to be at your back all your way to heaven.

Who are you, and what are you, that you should expect to escape trouble?

It is better to be preserved in the brine of tribulation than to rot in honey.

We come into the world crying, we go through it complaining, and go out of it groaning.

We are all good till we are tried.

Whatever little differences may be amongst God's people, they will be sure to cleave close together in prison and in heaven.

If you put a dog into a sheepfold, the sheep will be sure to huddle together in a corner of the fold.

We need restraining grace as well as saving grace.

God will give dying grace in the dying hour.

If Christ's righteousness will not do to die by, creature righteousness will not.

If free grace will not save a soul, free-will will not.

There is something great in real religion.

Many are going about saying what they are doing for God; but who can tell what he is doing for them?

I have no objection to your calling God your Father if he has called you his child. It is by degrees we attain to this knowledge. First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.

I have nothing to say against a living assurance; but I would not encourage a dead assurance.

They are well kept whom the Lord keeps.

If rich people only knew when they died, how their relatives would scramble for their money, the worms for their bodies, and the devils for their souls, they would not be so anxious to save money.

If this world with its fading pleasures is so much admired, what must heaven be, which God praises!

We must lose things to know the value of them. It is a dry well which makes people know the value of water.

They have taken one woe off me since I have been in this neighbourhood. "Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you! for so did their fathers of the false prophets."

If you had a thousand crowns, you would put them all on the head of Christ; and if you had a thousand tongues they should all sing his praise, for he is worthy.

I wish I could love Christ more, and be more concerned for his honour and glory. I wish I could love the Lord more, and speak more of him; if I did not speak well of his name I should be a base, ungrateful wretch, for he has been a good God to me, both in providence and grace. You may think of this when my gray hairs are laid in the grave.