Friday, November 03, 2006

A. B. Taylor. VI

William Gadsby (pictured) was undoubtedly one of the great Christian leaders of the early 19th century. Originally from Attleborough near Nuneaton in Warwickshire, he had been called to the pastorate at what is now called Rochdale Road Chapel, Manchester, in 1805. By 1834, then, Gadsby was quite a fixture in Manchester. Since A. B. Taylor loved Gadsby's hymn-book, it was only natural that he should fix on Gadsby's chapel as his spiritual home in the metropolis.
Soon after the move to Manchester, Taylor's health began to suffer. Gadsby, always a concerned pastor, prayed with him. One day, in the service, Taylor was overwhelmed with a knowledge of the love of God shed abroad in his heart. The assurance he had lacked for so long came now in a wonderful golden tide, and he rejoiced 'in joy unspeakable and full of glory.'
Because of his health Taylor was forced to move out of Manchester again and back to Accrington, then a town outside Manchester. On the Lord's Day he went to the chapel in Blackburn that was connected with Mr. Gadsby. It was there that he was finally baptized into the Divine Name in obedience to a command that he had hitherto not obeyed because of his lack of assurance. For the first time since he had left Scotland, Alexander Barrie Taylor was received into the membership of a local church.
The more experienced members of the church carefully taught Taylor in the things of God, and in due time the membership felt that their brother had been gifted by God as a preacher. He was asked to preach at one of the Lord's-day meetings, but for fear did not tell his wife. She found out some other way, and her reaction was hardly positive - she threw a teapot at him!
He still preached, and his wife repented of the teapot-throwing incident.
There being quite a number of people who walked to the Blackburn chapel on Lord's Days, it was decided to plant a church at Accrington. One was finally set up in 1836, and continues to this day as Peel Street Baptist Church. A pastor was called, but Taylor was often asked to preach at the chapel. It seemed now that God was guiding him towards the ministry of the Gospel.
And that, God willing, shall be our subject next time.



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