Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Coleman Anecdote 13 Nathaniel Heywood

As a further illustration of the state of things, we may present a case from another part of the country. Mr N Heywood (1633-1677), ejected from Ormskirk, in Lancashire, where he had been a laborious and successful minister of the gospel, preached privately after his ejectment as he had opportunity - usually twice on Lord's-day, and sometimes repeatedly on week days, ordering his labours in several parts of the parish, both in the day and in the night. Nay, in times of great danger, he hath preached at one house the beginning of the night, and then gone two miles on foot over mosses, and preached towards morning to another company at another house. On the Lord's day, December 20,1674, there came three men while Mr Heywood was in prayer before sermon, and when he had ended, one of them came up to the pulpit and said, "Sir, you are our prisoner, come down and go along with us." Mr Heywood desired he might be suffered to preach, and promised then to submit. But the wretch held a pistol to his head, and with dreadful curses and threatenings ordered him down. However, persons of character espoused his cause, so that he was kept from prison and his goods from being distrained; but his spirit was overwhelmed with grief on account of his people, whom he loved as if they had been his children.

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