Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A. B. Taylor. IV

Despite the care and the prayers of his parents and pastor, Alexander Barrie Taylor grew to manhood in Scotland as a careless, carnal sinner, a stranger to grace and to God. His chief delights in life had been shooting and fishing, not the things of God. But with the need to go to England for work he was shaken out of his carelessness.
In the 1820s the easiest way to go from Perth to Lancashire was to go by road to Glasgow, and then to take a ship from Glasgow to Liverpool. Taylor was a friendly young man, but England was another country. I dare say that a Scotsman moving from Perth to Preston today would find Preston a strange place, and in the 1820s the differences would have been even more pronounced.
Taylor stayed at the 'Legs of Man' hotel in Preston, and the landlord there proved to be another Scotsman. The landlord took great pleasure in telling the young apprentice about the more unpleasant customs of the local people, such as their drinking-bouts and their manner of fighting. Taylor was quite afraid of them and decided he had to stay away from such bad company.

It was a cruel thing to do to a young man recently arrived in a strange country, but it was used for good. Lying on his bed that night Taylor thought of home, of his parents and his pastor. His mind dwelt upon his sin. He had not lived as he ought, he had sinned against a holy God. He had a certificate of Church membership, but he realised that it meant nothing as to his soul. He needed a certificate from another, higher court for that.
And then, as he felt crushed under the Law of God, it seemed to him that a voice spoke to him in the darkness; "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."
He sat up, "What do you want with me?"
There was no audible answer, but those words echoed in his mind, "Commit thy way unto the Lord." They came with the force of a commandment, and Taylor committed his way to God. This is what he says about the experience.
"My fears were now removed, my heart was warmed, and I felt that my whole soul and body were filled with a glorious something which I cannot well describe. That was the strangest thing that has happened unto me up to this time, but that I felt all this no power can now disprove."
He woke happy and as he walked past the Old Church in Preston he sang 'The Lord's my Shepherd.' Yet he was not yet fully set at liberty. Like Bunyan and Spurgeon he still had some way to go. Yet he was being led by God in the way.
He soon had a post at Accrington, and there he met his wife. They were married in what is now Manchester Cathedral on 6th October 1828. In Accrington he went to the old Particular Baptist Chapel, pastored by Mr. Joseph Harbottle.

Yet he had deep waters ahead of him. How God brought him through them we shall see, God willing, next time.



Post a Comment

<< Home