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venture to engage in preaching, that passage being much on his mind: “Who is sufficient for these things?” His first attempt to preach was in some obscure place near Preston, when on a visit to some friends in that neighbourhood, and, afterwards on a similar occasion at Carleton, and Skipton in Yorkshire. His uncle Francis Critchlaw, being on a visit to some friends at Coley, near Halifax, and finding they were destitute of a minister at that place, mentioned that he had a nephew, a young man just returned from Cambridge, who had lately commenced occasional preaching. Receiving a favourable account of him, the Chapelry deputed two persons to wait on him, and bring him over with them. Upon Mr. Heywood's return home from Skipton, he found them waiting for him at Bolton. He consented to go and supply for them one Lord's day,* and the people were so much pleased with his services, that before he came away, they began to express a desire for his settlement among them. Such a proposition being quite unexpected at that time, and a way being opened for his admission into Mr. Angier's family at Denton, to receive instructions in religious knowledge from that holy man, he was unable to give them an answer, but promised to supply them another day. Having a previous engagement to go into Wales, on a visit to his uncle Ralph Critchlaw, who resided at Wrexham, and was at that time a justice of the peace, several Lord's days intervened before he could perform his engagement at Coley. During this period another person had been engaged as a supply, with whom the people had nearly agreed for his continuance, only some refused their consent, expecting Mr. H. would fulfil his promise of a second visit. Accordingly he went, and they renewed their solicitations. Several days were set apart for
• This was about Michaelmas, in 1650.
seeking God by prayer, and for consulting friends on this important subject; and, on Nov. 26th, 1650, in the 22nd year of his age, he agreed to supply the place for six months. · At the close of this period, he was earnestly pressed to accept an invitation to Houghton Chapel, in Lancashire, to succeed good Mr. Horrocks, who was lately deceased. This situation had many attractions : it was not far from his native place and pious kindred ; it was a place where his income would be greater than at Coley, and his esteemed and reverend friend, Mr. Tilsley, of Dean Church, was very urgent in persuading him to comply. But he had now been a sufficient length of time at Coley, to gain the affections of the people, and to entertain pleasing hopes of usefulness; and therefore concluded it was the will of God he should remain there. His decision was honourable to his character, a presage of his future conduct, and a happy earnest that as he sought the glory of God, and not his own ease and comfort in his settlement, so God would not refuse him the blessed reward he desiredthe conversion of many souls to Christ. Had his people rightly estimated his conduct in his determination to abide with them, when so powerful a temptation was laid in his way, at a time too, when he could have complied without violating the principles of justice or honour, (his engagement with, them being fulfilled,) it would have disarmed them of that opposition he afterwards met with, from some of their number, If a minister cheerfully makes sacrifices for the good of his people, they ought in return to make his comfort and welfare objects of their peculiar attention.
.. PART II.
History of Coley—Ministers at Coley--Commencement of Mr. Heywood's Ministry there-His Ordination-Reflections on his Settlement at Coley–His Lodgings—Sickness-Disappointments Marriage-Birth of his Son John-Parental Affection, Birth of his Son Eliezer Death of Mr. Heywood's Mother-Preparation for Troubles—Neglect of the Lord's Supper and Discipline al Coley-Ordinances restored—His Joy on the Occasion-Opposition -Public Calamities—Cheshire Rising-Birth and Death of Mr. Heywood's Son Nathaniel-Conduct of Mr. Heywood's Opponents -His Invitation to Preston—The Restoration of Charles II Death of Mrs. Heywood—A faithful Servant.
COLEY chapel, to which Mr. Heywood was unanimously invited, as the scene of his stated labours, and in the neighbourhood of which he spent above fifty years in the service of his Master, is situated in the parish of Halifax. The attachment a person naturally feels to a place in which he has spent the principal part of his days, and where he beholds on every hand the memorials of various circumstances connected with the most interesting seasons of his life, induced the subject of this memoir. to draw up a paper, entitled, “ Particulars respecting Coley, collected by 0. Heywood.” The former part was written in the year 1674, and the latter, in 1695. The following are extracts :
“ Tradition tells us, there were two sisters, never married, that lived at Priestley Green, having large estates, who built the two chapels, Coley and Lightcliffe, a mile distant from each other, and both standing in Hipperholme township; but in what year, or by what
inducements they were influenced I cannot learn. Being built in popish times, possibly they were founded in superstition; but the work was good, and it is not our province to judge of motives at this distance, This I take notice of, there has been a vast discrepancy between these two chapels, considering their vicinity, both as to the ministers of the word and the manners of the inhabitants. They have scarcely ever had a good minister at Lightcliffe, since the Reformation, except one Mr. Blanks, about sixty years ago; and in the late times of liberty, Mr. Cudworth was about a year with them, but they hated him and soon got him out: the rest have been generally loose, tippling preachers; and like priest, like people. The whole chapelry is much addicted to profaneness, so that Lightcliffe and Oakenshaw have been called Sodom and Gomorrah, and I have scarcely ever known any serious people live there. When I have gone by the place, I have often thought of the sons of the prophets, saying to Elisha, concerning Jericho, ‘Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth : but the water is naught, and the ground barren,' 2 Kings ii. 19. This I may apply to the waters of the sanctuary and to the people, bad and barren, otherwise the place is very pleasant and fruitful. Comparing these two chapelries, so near together, I have thought of Amos iv. 7, “I have caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not, withered.' I could tell sad stories from my own knowledge about ministers and people at Lightcliffe, but my work is not about them, therefore I shall forbear." .
“To return to Coley, which has its name from Coley-Hall, near an ancient seat of the tenure commonly called, St. John of Jerusalem. All the houses
of the sono, Bebna my loren; %
of this tenure are to have a cross set up on the end of them, or else they are fineable at the court. ColeyHall was a priory in popish times. The ministers at Coley chapel, since the Reformation in Queen Elizabeth's days, were the following:”—
“1. After a reader called Sir Adam, Mr. Nichols commenced preaching : he was a good scholar and an able expositor, and did good by catechising and expounding. His successor acknowledged he had followed him in two places, and that he had laid a good foundation of knowledge among the people; yet he was addicted to drinking and company. He would say to his companions, you must not heed me except when I am three feet above the earth, that is, when I am in the pulpit. He removed from Coley to Thornton chapel, in Bradford parish. 2. The next was one Mr. Gibson, a pious man and an able preacher. How long he was minister here, I cannot tell; he left some plate to the chapel with his name on it. 3. Mr. Ralph Marsden was a godly, orthodox, and zealous minister, but much opposed by several professors in this place, who never rested till they got him out. He then became curate at Ashton-under-Lyne, and was followed by some heavy afflictions in the latter end of his days. 4. After Mr. Marsden there were several that remained a very short time. The next settled minister was Mr. Robt. Hurst, born at Ribchester. His brother was vicar of Leigh, and was turned out by the act of Uniformity, and afterwards lived at Macclesfield in Cheshire. This choice young man was at Coley, seven or eight years, but fell into a consumption, took his solemn leave in the chapel, and told the people he had spent his strength with them, and was able to preach no more: there were many tears shed at parting.