Thursday, October 26, 2006

A. B. Taylor. III.

Like many young men, even from Christian households, young Aleck Taylor looked forward to working away from home. The early years of idependence can be a snare to young people from Christian backgrounds, as a heart that is not stayed upon God has the opportunity to rebel. Although he went to Glasgow with a certificate of membership to enable him to attend one of the United Secession Churches in Glasgow, he left the certificate in his trunk and threw himself into all the pleasures Glasgow had to offer. Looking back, Taylor was astonished at how much he had been kept from sin by the mercy of God. "I was at this time a vain and foolish fellow, mixed up with many things, the song and the dance, made smart with curled hair and fine slippers, albeit my good minister's certificate was at that time in my trunk."
Again we say, beware if all YOUR religion is in a certificate or a church book. Both will be burned up on the Last Day.
Even an accident in which he fell through ice and nearly drowned did not give him any concern
Yet God was working in his life. At that time Dr. Thomas Chalmers was the wonder of Glasgow, the greatest orator in the city. His preaching was something everyone in Glasgow went to - and Taylor went. Yet his heart was not affected in any lasting way beyond occasional fears of death.
Then the company closed, and he had to return to Perth. That filled him with concern, for Mr. Jamieson was certain to know that the certificate he had given Aleck had never been presented. He tried to avoid him, and when he had arranged to go to England to complete his apprenticeship he thought that he had accomplished his objective.
He had not. One day Mr. Jamieson met him on the road and asked about the certificate. Stumblingly, Taylor explained that he had felt he would not be long in Glasgow, so he had hesitated before transferring his membership. Jamieson observed that he would need another certificate if he was going to Lancashire. That put Taylor in a very awkward position, for he had already asked a certificate from another church. He explained.
Then Mr. Jamieson looked at him very earnestly and said: "I have a favour to ask you before we part."
Writing later, Taylor confessed he would have said anything just to get rid of the godly minister. He said he would agree to it, whatever it was.
"The favour I ask of you is, to read your Bible; you know not what God has for you to do. You are a child of many prayers; you know not what God has for you to do. Read your Bible."
The words sank into Taylor's heart, "read your Bible." Although he tried to dismiss them, he could not.
That summer (1826) A. B. Taylor felt a strange and affecting sense of the sufferings of Christ for sin. Although he had often heart of the death of Christ, now it came home to his heart with a peculiar power. Yet he was not yet a Christian, and he was still in sin.
But now the time came for him to leave Scotland and go to England. "Surely, 'God brings the blind by a way they know not.'" Taylor observed in later years.
God willing, next time we shall consider Taylor in England, and what happened to him there.



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