John Berridge was a minister of the gospel during the great awakening of the 18th century. After spending years preaching a destructive mixture of law and gospel, the sovereign Spirit of God opened his eyes to see the spirituality of the law, the depravity of his own heart, the flawless perfection of Christ, the infinite value of Christ’s atonement, and the necessity of looking to Christ alone for salvation. After his conversion, he spent more than thirty years preaching the gospel in churches, barns, homes, and fields – proclaiming the sufficiency of Christ and urging sinners to renounce their own righteousness and to rely upon the merits of Christ alone. When he died, his request that he be buried in the part of the cemetery reserved for those who either took their own life or who died under dishonorable circumstances, was granted. The following words (all of which were written by him except the date of death) were etched upon his tombstone:
Here lie The earthly remains ofJOHN BERRIDGE, Late Vicar of Everton,Who loved his Master, and His work,And after running on His errands many years,Was called up to wait on Him above.
Reader, Art thou born again?No salvation without a New Birth!I was born in sin, February, 1716,Remained ignorant of my fallen state till 1730,Lived proudly on Faith and Works for SalvationTill 1751.
Was admitted to Everton Vicarage, 1755.Fled to Jesus alone for refuge, 1756.Fell asleep in Christ Jesus, January 22, 1793