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_ JUBILEE SOUVENIR : 2 _ SCAPEGOAT HILL
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BAPTIST CHURCH, SCAPEGOAT HILL.
A SHORT HISTORY
BAPTIST CHURCH SCAPEGOAT HILL
JUBILEE SOUVENIR. 1871I—I192I1
HUDDERSFIELD: B. RILEY & Co., Ltp., Fox Street.
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To trace and record “* the story of the past,” when that story relates to the formation and development of a Christian Church, is a work both pleasing and profitable. Pleasing, in that it dis- closes to the mental vision some conception of those who laboured in days gone by, and who by their loyalty and steadfastness have left an example worthy of imitation; profitable, in that it enlarges the horizon, and is calculated to enrich the experi- ence. The task, however, is not without its difh- culties, as it requires some discrimination in select- ing, from much that is ordinary and routine, that which is entitled to a place of more permanent interest. Should there have been omitted names
‘or incidents that courteous readers expected to
appear, the writer would crave their generous in- dulgence and charitable judgment, assuring them that his object throughout has been to present the salient points of the Church’s activities. A notable feature of the Old Testament history is the insistence with which the fathers were com- manded to tell to their children the wonders God had wrought on their behalf, so that the work attempted in the following pages is in harmony with the Divine injunction.
Like several matters mentioned in this book, the ‘* historical sketch ’’ has been long in coming to maturity. Years ago a desire found expression that some such work should be undertaken, and _ ministers, who had previously served the Church, were asked to kindly contribute reminiscences of their respective periods. For various reasons the work has been deferred, and some who gave their quota to the stock of general information have, in the meantime, been “* gathered home.’’ Now, at length, the work takes definite form, and its publi- cation will, after all perhaps, not be regarded as untimely; seeing that it coincides with the Jubilee Celebrations. Like the building of the temple at Jerusalem, prepared for by David, and erected by Solomon, so, much of the material for this work has been gathered to the writer's hand. To change the figure, the warp and the woof have been largely supplied; so that what remained to be done was. the weaving of the fabric. Of those who have rendered material assist- ance by written contributions the writer desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following :— Revs. D. Lewis, A. Harrison, T. R. Lewis and B. Williams—all former ministers. Messrs. O. B. Kenworthy, Edwin Whitwam, Edward Crowther, Edward Blackburn, Geo. Wood and Andrew Taylor. For valuable assistance in obtaining ** cleanings from the sheaves ”’ of old records and
5 ~ ae
minute books, the thanks of the author are due to Mr. J. W. Lockwood, his co-editor; as also to the Committee for their sympathetic co-operation. While the writer is conscious of limitations, which, more or less, will be reflected in the work; yet, if love for the place and sympathy with the aspirations and ideals for which it stands can in any way be regarded as qualifications for the under- taking, then to these the author would humbly lay claim. That its perusal may stimulate in the hearts of the young a love for “* the courts of the Lord,”’ and its examples of fidelity and faith lead others to emulate their devotion, is the earnest prayer of I Yours sincerely, NATHAN HAIGH. Oak View, Golcar. 12th July, 1921.
Chapter. Page. i. Scapegoat Hill I i. Early Days . 9 lil. Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders .. 18 iv. The Formation of the Church 3] v. Church’s First Pastor, Rev. D. Lewis. vi. The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison 46 vii. The Rev. T. R. Lewis . viii. The Rev. S. J. Robins. The Building of the Chapel ee ix. The Rev. B. Williams, A.T.S. . 9] x. The Rev. H. R. Jenkins 97 xi. The Day School . 104 xii. Open-Air Preaching 114 xiii. Baptemel Services He xiv. Sunday School Anniversaries 124 xv. Later Days . 134
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A Short History of the Baptist Church Scapegoat Hill.
ON the eastern side of the Pennine Chain, situated: in the West Riding of the County of York, and somewhat removed from the rest of the mountain. range—like a solitary sheep that has strayed from the ninety and nine—stands Scapegoat Hill: the: subject of this chapter. Unassuming, like its. people, this eminence has never claimed to be regarded as a mountain; though its summit is 1152. feet above the sea level. Although at such an high altitude, being com- paratively flat, this elevation has the distinction of being fairly well inhabited; a village of some twelve hundred inhabitants having grown up on its lofty heights; indeed it is said to be one of the highest inhabited districts in the county. How it came to be known by its present name,. it is difficult to ascertain, the derivation being some- what obscure; yet there are evidences that, like most modern things, it has undergone a change within comparatively recent times.
2 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
In the cemetery of the Baptist Church at Pole Moor, there is a tombstone erected to the memory of one, Betty Lockwod, of Slip-cote Hill, who died the first of March, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen; thus showing that only about a century ago its name was not exactly what it is to-day. How the change came about, or what led to the present designation, or what significance attaches to it, are questions about which we can only con- jecture. Possibly the change was suggested by some Bible student, who saw some analogy between this isolated region and the solitude of the wilderness to which Moses directed that the scapegoat should be led, to be seen never more,— fitting emblem of the forgiveness that God bestows upon the penitent. We must remember, however, that this was in the early part of the last century, before the sound of a railway engine had broken the stillness of the valley below, and when the adjacent district of Longwood, now thriving and populous, was what its name implies—an extensive forest. Assuming this theory to be correct, it will readily be seen that the name Scapegoat Hill has lost something of its former appropriateness; particularly so when we take into consideration the developments of the last fifty years; though, in the matter of accessibility, there is still room for improvement. Like most names, however, it serves its purpose as a dis- tinguishing appellation, and its scriptural origin has
A Short History. 3
‘doubtless rendered it inexpressibly dear to the
people whose history we shall endeavour to trace. Viewed from an utilitarian standpoint, this neighbourhood may not present many attractions to an outsider. It cannot boast any flourishing industry. For the most part its inhabitants are engaged in the woollen manufacture, carried on in the far-famed Colne Valley which lies immediately below. For the rest, there are small farmsteads, the holdings of which have, by dint of arduous toil, been reclaimed from the primitive moorland. Perhaps the most historic spot in this locality is a place where four roads meet, known by the name of “Standing Stone.’’ Here is erected a plain, but substantial stone pillar, some five feet in height and four feet in circumference. Somewhat defaced by age, this rude monument bears the date 1756. It is a kind of land-mark, or travellers’ guide and, like a sentinel on duty, it stands four-square, waiting to direct the pedes- trian, whether he comes by night or by day. Could the genius of some poet enable it to articulate after the manner of Tennyson’s “ Brook,’’ or Burns’ Brigs of Ayr,’’ its story would, doubtless, be > full of instruction and romance. Here, in the summer-time, open-air preaching services have been held, and earnest evangelists have published the glad tidings of redeeming love, further reference to which will be made in a sub- sequent chapter. As a trysting place it has oft-
4 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
times been suitable and appropriate. Friends arranging a day’s outing would say to each other ‘We will meet at Standing Stone,’’ and, when returning, perhaps late at night, weary and tired with the day’s journey, many a cheery ‘* Good- night ’’ has been exchanged as the dissolving com- pany have taken their several ways from this. converging point. Sir Walter Scott, in the ‘‘Lay of the Last Minstrel,”’ tells us that :—
“If thou would’st view fair Melrose aright, Go visit it by the pale moonlight.”’
While it may seem presumptuous to refer to the magnificent architectural beauty of the ruins of Melrose Abbey in the same connection with the obscure region we are now considering, yet we would venture to suggest that each has a charm peculiarly its own; and if the one is revealed by the silver glory of the night, the other perhaps might be seen with advantage by the golden glory of day. Not in its immediate environment will the visitor find much to attract, but regarding it as a point of vantage, he will at once realize how comprehensive is the view. I Away to the north-west, just upon the may be seen Studley Pike, built upon a craggy summit overlooking Todmorden, and not far removed from the Lancashire border, a distance of some ten miles as the crow flies. More direct north.
A Short History. 5
is the town of Halifax, seated among the hills, with its lofty monument at King Cross, serving as an ornament to the town, and enabling one to locate it at a considerable distance. Looking east is to be seen the pleasant town of Huddersfield, the com- mercial centre for the woollen industry of the district, while far beyond the town, on rare occa- sions, when the atmosphere is exceptionally clear, you may see the dim outline of Ossett Church, only about three miles from Wakefield. Turning south, your range of vision is also expansive. Nestling under the shadow of the mighty hills which serve as a gathering ground, is to be seen the Blackmoor- foot reservoir, which supplies the town of Hudders- field, while far beyond there rises peak upon peak, composing part of the extensive watershed of the North of England. In every direction, except the west, you have, for a considerable distance, an uninterrupted view, and in this direction you have a continuation of the plateau which forms part of the summit, but which is beyond the confines of the village. This is partly under cultivation, while the rest is an extensive moorland. To the lovers of solitude, this affords a congenial retreat. Here, you may occasionally listen to the cry of the lapwing, or hear the cackle of the partridge. Now and again you may see a flock of black birds, of the raven genus, assembled in noisy conclave: while ever and anon the sweet notes of the skylark are poured forth, as it soars into the blue
6 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
vault of heaven. Well nigh surrounded by moor and sky, with fleecy clouds overhead, and the purple heather beneath your feet, shut out from the noise and the tumult of the city, you may find time for reflection, and incentives to gratitude and praise. Across this moor the “ pilgrim fathers ’’ of a former generation wended their way to worship at Pole Moor Baptist Chapel—not inaptly termed St. John’s-in-the-Wilderness. This was in the days prior to a cause being formed at Scapegoat Hill, although some few have continued to attend there unto this When we take into considera- tion the distance they had to travel, it will readily be seen that it required more than ordinary enthusi- asm to sustain their fidelity, through summer’s heat and winter’s cold. Incidentally it affords us a glimpse of the type of character of the early founders of the Church whose history we are about to consider. Men of conviction, devotion, sincerity, self-sacrifice, faith: these undoubtedly were some of the characteristics they brought into exercise. Simple in habit, frugal in fare, constant in purpose, they pursued the even tenor of their way, leaving to posterity the legacy of an holy example, and the memory of a conscience void of offence. While, speaking geographically, Scapegoat Hill is but one, yet, in consequence of the fact that the boundary line dividing two separate townships runs directly across its centre, it has to some extent
A Short History. 7
a dual significance. Like the tribes of Israel, part of whom settled on the other side of the Jordan, while the rest entered into the land of Canaan, so this small community, though socially, industrially, and religiously they are one, yet municipally they are twain. The northern portion, known by the name of Nettleton Hill, lies in the township of Longwood, and is part of the borough of Hudders- field; while Scapegoat Hill proper is in the Golcar township, and belongs to the West Riding Area. In many respects this is a distinction without a difference, yet there are occasions when this dual form of government cannot be ignored and raises problems not always easy to solve. On the tableland there is little to indicate the division between the two townships; but on the eastern slope of the summit there rises a small stream, which eventually forms one of the minor tributaries of the river Colne. Here, there is a deep declivity, known by the name of Bunny Wood, and in former times this was one of the beauty spots of the district. On one occasion it served as the subject for a landscape painting by the Rev. A. Harrson, a former pastor of Scapegoat Hill Church, who was: artist; as well as preacher. Of late years, however, many of the trees have been cut down, the claims of beauty having been sacri- ficed for considerations of utility, with the result that the glen-like appearance of former days has been well-nigh effaced.
8 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
The village itself consists principally of one main street, composed of cottages built, for the most part, during the last century; while here and there, in addition, are small groups standing at ‘various angles, yet in close proximity to the rest. The old chapel formerly stood at the west end of the village, and, close by, the open-air baptistry— still in existence—occupied a most commanding position, where large crowds could witness the solemn rite from the highway. Since the building of the new chapel, however, the old sanctuary has been removed, and the site utilized for building purposes, so that, apart from the baptistry in the adjoining field, there is little to indicate the place made sacred and memorable by the christian activities of former years. The present chapel : is built on a plot adjoining the school premises, at a short distance from the old meeting-house. The grounds surrounding the building are fairly extensive, and the approach to the main entrance presents a pleasing appearance. And now, having briefly glanced around this neighbourhood and its environs, we will not further detain the reader in the outer court, so to speak, but introduce him to the temple proper, and in the following pages endeavour to trace the growth and development of the Christian cause in this locality, and review the labours of those, who, though no longer with us in the flesh, yet ‘“* whose works do follow them.’’
~ CnHaptTer II. EARLY DAYS.
Long before any place of worship was erected on Scapegoat Hill, many religious influences had been exerted and much good accomplished. In great measure this was due to the earnest and faithful labours of the Rev. H. W. Holmes, for forty-five years was pastor of the baptist church, Pole Moor, Scammonden. Untrammelled by the confines of any geographical diocese, this ‘‘ mountain missionary, so far as was physically possible, ** went everywhere preaching the word.” In the year 1894 the Rev. T. R. Lewis—then Pastor of the Scapegoat Hill church—published a small booklet, giving a brief account of the life and labours of this worthy minister of the gospel, to which we are indebted for a fuller acquaintance with his estimable character and manifold useful- ness. I 7 Being, in the truest sense of the word, in the Apostolic succession,’’ this saintly man of God consecrated himself wholly and unreservedly to the service of the Master. Constitutionally strong, mentally vigorous, prolific in imagination, and devout in spirit, this worthy hero, thus endowed
10 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
both in mind and heart, laid his gifts on the altar of sacrifice. Having received the Divine call, expressed may be through the voice of His people, he, like one of the old prophets, had responded and, if not in word, yet by the surrender of his life, had exclaimed, ‘‘ Here am I, send me.”’ After exercising his ministry in various places for a period of years, he eventually settled at Pole Moor, which subsequently proved to be the sphere of his life work. Radiating from this centre, the light of his ministry extended in almost every direction, both far and wide. Among the places so visited was Scapegoat Hill, where cottage prayer meetings and preaching services were regularly conducted on week even- ings, the services being held alternate weeks on Scapegoat Hill and Nettleton Hill. While there were certain cottages that were specially regarded as places for prayer, perhaps owing to the fact that they were larger and more commodious than others, or possibly because the residents were more in sympathy with the aims ana aspirations of the worshippers than the rest, yet it appears that at times it was customary for the services to be held at the cottages in consecutive order. In adopting this method the preacher, doubtless, had in mind the illustrious example of that noted apostle, who, when called upon to vindicate his faithfulness, declared, “‘I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have
Early Days. ; 13
shewed you and have taught you publicly and from house to house.’’ Here was a display of similar fidelity, and the fruit of those efforts who can estimate? Always foraging for the pulpit, possess- ing deep spirituality of life full to overflowing, being mighty in the scriptures, and having an ardent love for the souls of men, together with a ready flow of language, this old-time . evangelist composed sermons with ease, and preached with facility sometimes as many as six sermons a week. He could ‘* reprove and rebuke,”’ as well as exhort with all long ‘‘ suffering and doctrine.’’ He was a man who almost instinctively read the signs of the times, and his discourses were prepared accordingly. He was therefore seldom at a loss for a theme, and his deliverances possessed the quality of containing within them a message for the hour. At holiday and feast times he would especially inveigh against all manner of excesses, and any tendency towards epicurean practices would call forth his severe denunciations. His abstemious mode of life gave weight to his utterances, so that while he was loved and revered by those who received his councils, his example and general demeanour was a standing rebuke to evil-doers. Thus, silently and unosten- © tatiously the good seed of the kingdom was being sown, and the gospel faithfully proclaimed. Not always, however, did the worshipping band meet with that cordial reception which was their general experience. On one occasion at least, there
12 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
was an exception to the rule. In the course of their systematic visitation of the homes of the people, they came to the house of a family who, perhaps though not hostile, yet had little sympathy with, or interest in, the things pertaining to religion. The house was made ready for the meeting, a good fire burning in the grate, and a candle, together with Bible and hymn book, placed on the table; but, lo and behold! the inmates had There was no one to bid them welcome or listen to the preacher’s exhortation. Nothing daunted, however, the people quietly assembled and the service proceeded: We can imagine, perhaps better than describe, the intensity of feeling that must have characterized that — assembly. Doubtless ardent prayers were offered for the absentee members of the household; that having opened their house for prayer, might eventually be led to open their hearts to Him who says Behold I stand at the door and knock.’’ I I In contrast with the foregoing, however, there were other houses, as we have already indicated, where the faithful few were always welcome. Notably among these were the homes of George Shaw, Joseph Singleton, John Lockwood, Nathan Townend and John Eastwood. os: The three former. lived on Scapegoat Hill, while the two latter resided on Nettleton Hill. Thus was the whole district provided for by a wise and representative arrangement.
Early Days. 138
The heads of these if not all actually members of the Pole Moor Church, were yet more or less connected with it, so that the worshipping company held their services amid sympathetic surroundings and. in a congenial atmosphere. I From these humble the work grew, until eventually it was decided to build. The way in which the latent desire for a place of worship of their own crystallized into action was, accord- ing to the testimony of one of the oldest inhabitants, on this wise. A number of friends had gathered, one beautiful Whit-Monday, on the brow of the hill, at a place known by the name of Whitwam’s Banks, to watch the children of a neigh- bouring Sunday School walk in procession. Why cannot we have a School for our children >’’ some- one presently asked. The question was unanswer- able; for surely no barrier was insuperable in view of so laudible an enterprise. It is interesting to note that great movements have sometimes been able to trace their inception to circumstances apparenily trifling. In the life of General Booth there is a striking passage that describes how the Salvation Army came into being. Mr. Booth had laboured I for some years as an evangelist, having been asso- ciated with the Wesleyan Meihodists and kindred Connections.. The time, however, had come for independent action, and he and his colleagues were preparing their annual appeal, in which the work
14 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
of the Christian Mission was described. ‘* What is the Christian Mission >’’ was a question put in the circular. “A Volunteer Army "’ was the reply. Pausing for a moment, Mr. Booth picked up his pen, passed it through the word ** and wrote above it “‘ Salvation.’” Thus, by a stroke of the pen, so to speak, the Salvation Army sprung to birth, with all the complexity of its organism, and its potential- ity for national and universal service. So here, in a lesser degree perhaps, the idea had been con- ceived, which, from this time forth, hastened to maturity and complete accomplishment. Next to the task of raising funds, the question of primary importance was the procuring of a suitable site on which to build. In this quest, the Committee were singularly fortunate. Mr. Joseph Shaw, an inhabitant of the neighbourhood, and one who subsequently took a deep interest in the new school, being the owner of a somewhat extensive plot of freehold property, generously offered to give them as much land as they required. This, the Commit- tee gratefully accepted According to tradition, the old man measured the ground in primitive fashion; counting the num- ber of yards required, by so many strides. Be this as it may, sufhcient land was secured, and building operations commenced. This was in the year 1849. The Revs. John Stock, L.L.D., Salendine Park, and H. W. Holmes, Pole Moor, were the principal
Early Days. 15
speakers at the stone-laying ceremony. At Easter, 1850, the opening services were held, and from that time until the present, the principle of evolution has continued to operate, and the cause has gone for- ward ‘‘from strength to strength.”’ The original structure was four-square, measur- ing twelve yards by twelve. The front of the building was facing south, with the entrance in the centre; immediately opposite which was the pulpit, or superintendent’s desk. The school was arranged into twelve classes : six on the east for boys, and six on the west for girls; while running across the room from east to west, was acentral aisle. In those early years, when corporeal punishment was considered more effca- cious than now, it was the custom for one of the staff to be specially deputed to parade the aisle with a long stick, for the maintenance of order, and ‘‘woe betide the youth who was found conducting himself or herself in a disorderly manner.”’ The School was managed by four superinten- dents, and a teacher for each class : these attended once a month. As the office of superintendent was a permanent institution, these respective days came to be known by the name of the individual in charge; as for example, one Sunday would be re- garded as James Thewlis’ day; another as Thomas and so on. While many were willing to lend a helping hand in the noble work of train- ing the young, it sometimes happened that those
16 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
who were engaged as teachers, were not in mem- bership with any particular church; and the superin- tendent occasionally found himself in the position of having no one upon whom he could call to en- gage in prayer; thus indicating some of the difh- culties. with which the early founders had to struggle. The children of the school assembled for in- struction morning and afternoon, sabbath, by sabbath; in addition to which preaching services were held on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. The Sunday evening services were generally conducted by lay preachers of the district; together with an occasional visit from Revs. H. Watts, Golcar: or H. W. Holmes, Pole Moor. Mr. Holmes invariably preached on Tuesday evenings: and in order to do so, travelled from his distant home “‘in all weathers.’ Occasionally, he would he wet through, when he would change his raiment at the house of Mr. George Shaw, preaching in Mr. Shaw’s clothes, while his own were put to dry, ready for the return journey. 7 Such deeds of heroic self-sacrifice need no eulogy; they are more eloquent than speech, and reveal to us something of the intense earnestness this good man displayed for the extension of the Redeemer’s kingdom. _. Thus, the work of evangelization was © ek: lished, the mora] and spiritual tone of the neigh- bourhood was raised ; the darkness began to scatter ;.
Early Days. 17
and the dawn of a brighter day was ushered in. What though the building be small and unpreten- tious, with little of structual elegance or artistic beauty; these are more than compensated for by the consciousness of a glory Divine; and the exper- ience of many of those early worshippers, doubt- less, is expressed in the language of one of the © anniversary hymns: often sung with gusto and fervour :— I
] have been there, and still would go, like a little heaven below : At once they sing, at once they pray, They hear of heaven, and learn the way.
LAY PREACHERS AND NOTABLE LEADERS.
As in the days of the early church, there were given unto her “‘some, apostles; and some, pro= phets; and some, evangelists; and some, and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,’” so all through the centuries since then, there have been raised up a succession of witnesses,. to bear testimony to the truth. These, as at the beginning, have been diverse in their gifts and graces, and oft-times most dissimilar in their dis- position and educational equipment. It is our pur- pose in this chapter, briefly to review some incidents in the lives of a number of those, who, while exercising a ministry in a more or less obscure way, yet, are still “‘remembered by what they have done.”’ I As previously observed, the Sunday evening services were generally conducted by lay brethren, and conspicuous among these was James Thewlis. Born at a time when day-schools were almost un- known, his opportunities for receiving instruction had been the most meagre. In spite of disabilities, however, he courageously struggled at the work of
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. 19:
self-improvement, and sought to make the most of what powers he possessed. Being whole-hearted in his devotion, he rendered service in various capac-. ities. As lay preacher, he became known beyond. the confines of the immediate locality; and at times. travelled to Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, Ossett, and other places, to preach the gospel. According to. the testimony of one who knew him intimately, and who was well qualified to judge, “his sermons. showed considerable ability in their construction. He often spoke in the vernacular, and many amusing expressions illustrated and drove home. the truth. Preaching on baptism, he declared that the subject of that ordinance to be rightly baptised must be dipped, “‘plump ov-ver th’eead 1 watter’’ In a sermon upon the subject of Christ’s temptation, referring to Satan’s utterance when he _ proffered him ‘‘all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them,” he remarked, and the devil hadn’i a thrip- penny bit.’ While there was something of einai in his language and style, yet he possessed the power “of appropriating what he had heard;. and_ being gifted with a retentive memory, his gleanings from. the sermons of eminent preachers to whom he had listened were not inconsiderable. As a superindentdent, he was faithful and con- stant; and usually gave an address from the desk. His outlook on life is said to have been somewhat sober, which may have been accounted
20 Scapegoat Hill. Baptist Church.
perhaps, more or less, by the fact that for long he had to struggle with domestic affliction. Yet, was he full of fervour and courage, and has been described as ‘a saint and a hero.”’ At one time it was customary to hold a prayer meeting every Sunday morning at 7 o'clock. Fore-’ most among those who attended that service was James Thewlis, and not content with going himself merely, he undertook the task of inciting others to follow his example. One brother, who also took & deep interest in these meetings, but who lived at a distance from the school, was one sabbath morn- ing rather rudely awakened from his calm repose by a sound at his bedroom window. On going to ascertain the cause of the disturbance, he discov- ered that brother Thewlis was standing without; having arrested attention by throwing gravel at the window pane. On looking out he was greeted by the vigorous enquiry “ arn’t ta baan to get up, an’ come ta meetin’.”’ Such instances of fervour and devotion reveal to us ““Wherein his great strength lay,’’ and should afford inspiration and stimulus to those who read this narrative, when tempted to laxity or indifference. Mr. Thewlis, moreover, had some knowledge of music, and.as in those days there was no properly constituted choir, he was one of a number who sat in the singing pew, and led the praises of the sanctuary. He lived to a ripe old age—-/8 years—and entered into rest 4th June, 1886. Another familiar figure belonging to this period
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. ai
was Mr. John Pogson. Like brother Thewlis he also was a lay preacher; and travelled in circuit to many of the smaller places of worship in the district. He was little of stature, of a portly build, and grave countenance. His mode of delivery was slow and deliberate, giving weight and dignity to his utter- ances: and those who knew him tell us that his sermons were somewhat lengthy. He also took a prominent part in the temperance movement, and in this way sought to improve the general state of society, and give encouragement to those things that contribute to good citizenship. In addition to his labours as an evangelist, he rendered service as a superintendent, taking charge of the school one Sunday in four. Thus, at a time when labourers were few, and amid many other pressing claims, he found opportunities for useful- ness, and endeavoured to spread the light both at home and abroad. I Another name worthy of honourable mention is that of Robert Hyde Shaw. In early life he was a cloth finisher, and in a small way engaged in busi- ness on his own account. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, and was not content to follow the beaten track made by others, but early seems to have formed the resolution to make a way for him- self. Having an intense thirst for knowledge, he devoted much of his spare time to self-culture, even curtailing the hours of repose in order to pursue his studies. Although practically self taught, he
22 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
rose to such a degree of proficiency that eventually he gave up business and became a school master, having opened a small private school at Town End, ‘Golcar. , I Joining himself with the little band of workers at Scapegoat Hill, he soon found a suitable sphere for the exercise of his gifts, for, coupled with his extensive knowledge, was an ardent piety. ‘As a local preacher he was highly acceptable and much appreciated. On occasions, when for some reason there was no preacher to take the service, he would, at short notice, occupy the pulpit, and some of those sermons are still remembered with a glow of in- terest that the passing years have not been able to obliterate. When, in 1871, the Church was formed, brethren Thewlis, Pogson and Shaw were among the founders, and although there were only 28 members—15 brethren and 13 sisters—yet of that number these three were lay preachers: a pleasing augury, surely, for the future welfare of the infant cause. I To return more particularly te the work of the Sunday School, there were, as we have already seen, superintendents for each Sunday in the month. ‘One of these was Edmund Dyson. Brought to a knowledge of the truth under the ministry of the Rev. H. W. Holmes, as a young man of about twenty years of age, he was baptised and added to
the Church at Pole Moor in 1840. Although he
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. 23
never severed his connection with the Church of his youth, yet from the time that the school was built on Scapegoat Hill, he became actively associated with all that pertained to its welfare. He was of a mild disposition, meek and gentle in spirit, and patient and forbearing in his attitude toward the young. It would appear that in those early days it had been customary during prayer for the children to stand and turn round, as an outward indication of reverence and devotion. In the latter years of Mr. Dyson's tenure of office, however, this practice had been allowed to fall into disuse. Notwithstanding this, whenever the old man rose to offer prayer, with gentle voice and patriarchal mien, he would say, in his own characteristic manner, © Turn yo raand childer,’’ a command that was invariably ignored, yet entailing a disobedience for which they were never censured.’ He was never tedious in prayer, but brief aaa comprehensive—a model superintendent in_ this respect—and his familiar language and accent are still cherished as a grateful memory by those who sat at his feet. He passed to his reward on Christmas Day, 1895, and his funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. T. R. Lewis, Sunday evening, 19th January, 1896 (being subsequently printed and circulated, under the title ‘“ A good soldier of Jesus Christ ”’). Contemporary with brother Dyson in the super-
24 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
intendent’s office was James Shaw. If, as in the early days of the Church, it had been necessary for the disciples to go forth by two and we can conceive of no more appropriate arrangement than the yoking of these two brethren together. Both were members at Pole Moor, yet laboured at Scape-. goat Hill. Both were quiet and unassuming in manner, and faithful in the discharge of their duty. James Shaw was regular and constant; he shone with a steady light; and although he knew by experience something of the truth contained in the statement that we must through much tribulation enter into the yet he maintained his integrity and persevered to the end. There was one hymn of which he was particularly fond, and which has become associated with his name, the first verse of which runs as follows :—
There is, beyond the sky, A heaven of joy and love; And holy children when they die Go to that world above. I
Many of those who received instruction under his benign influence have already passed within the veil, trusting in the Redeemer, of whom they heard in the Sabbath Another of the pioneers, and first superinten- dents, was Thomas Whitwam. At the time when the School.was built he was a man in the prime of life, though in point of years he had passed life’s
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. 25
meridian. He was active and energetic, and threw himself whole-heartedly into the work of training the young. Prior to the formation of the Church, he was a member of the Baptist Church, Golcar, but was one of those who united to form a new cause at Scapegoat Hill; and his name stands second on the original Church roll. The work of the superintendent in those days was by no means easy, as there was oft-times a dearth of teachers, and those they did manage to secure, as we have already seen, were not always the avowed disciples of Jesus; so that the responsibilities of the superin- tendent were intensified accordingly. Mr. Whitwam, however, was a man not to be discouraged by difficulties, and he laboured on with cheerful optim- ism, and lived to see much good accomplished and ‘* believers added to the Lord.’’ Among his other qualities was an ardent love of music. When preparations were being made for the anniversary services—always an important function in the school calendar—he would render conspicuous service in the selection of tunes; and just as a connoisseur would rejoice over some rare art treasure or piece of antique furniture, so would he delight in the discovery of some beautiful tune. His taste inclined towards the bright, jubilant, melodious air, followed by a rousing chorus, with repetitions and amplifications, sustained and elaborated by orchestral accompaniment; a class of music much in vogue at that time. To many a
26 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
teacher and scholar, when far removed from the Sunday School, the singing of the songs of Zion has relieved the dull monotony of the common round and daily task, and brought a gleam of sunshine into surroundings otherwise sombre and grey, re- calling happy seasons spent in the sanctuary, much as the traveller would recall the oasis when cross- ing the sands of the desert. I Mr. Thomas Whitwam’s successor in office was Joseph Sykes Bolton. He married a daughter of the Rev. H. W. Holmes, and, while a zealous worker at Scapegoat Hill, like others to whom reference has already been made, he remained in membership at Pole Moor. A day school having _been formed, he served in the capacity of head- master, combining with his day-school duties that of superintendent to the Sunday School. Owing to a physical disability, he wrote with the left hand; yet this proved to be no disadvantage, for he developed a style of surpassing beauty and eleg- © ance, which was much admired by those with whom he came in contact. As a superintendent he was a strict disciplinar- ian and firm in the maintenance of order; yet was he of a kindly disposition and alert to recognise and encourage young men who gave promise of future usefulness. When the School had lost a scholar by the hand of death, Mr. Bolton would seize the opportunity to impress upon the minds of the children the solemnity of eternal realities, selecting
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. 27
a hymn suitable to the occasion, and_ thus endeavouring to lead their thoughts from things that are passing, to those that are permanent. In addition to his other duties, he occasionally served as lay preacher. In doctrine he was Calvin- istic, which became more pronounced with advanc- ing years. While his sermon matter was thoughtful, his delivery could scarcely be regarded as felicitous. He spoke with deliberation, demanding the pati- ence and undivided attention of those who would profit from his discourse. He was many-sided in his character and gifts, and consequently his labours were manifold. To such men we owe a debt of gratitude, which perhaps can best be paid by seek- ing to emulate their conduct and follow in their steps. Leaving the superintendents and coming to workers in general, it is worthy of note that among the first teachers there were three generations in one family. Joseph Shaw, to whom reference has already been made as the donor of the land for the school building; George, his son; and Eli, his grandson. This fact in itself is an eloquent tribute to the interest and devotion displayed by this family towards the newly-formed institution. It further suggests that here, in the exercise of parental in- fluence, is to be found the solution for one of the most difficult problems with which we are con- fronted to-day : the retention of our young people. The ancient record declares, ** Instead of thy fathers
28 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
shall be thy children,’’ and wherever the flag of truth is handed on from sire to son, there may we look forward with confidence and hope, to a bright and glorious future. There is one other name that we et bring before our readers in this connection, viz. : Benjamin Singleton. At the time when the school was opened he was a youth of sixteen. When the Church was formed, twenty-two years later, he was one of the founders, being transferred as a member from Pole Moor. He does not appear to have been a public speaker; and opposite his name on the Church roll there stands a cross with the words ‘“ His mark,’’ suggesting that he was not accus- tomed to penmanship, although in other respects he possessed abilities above the average. As a teacher in the Sunday School, a leader of the prayer meeting, a worker in every enterprise connected with the cause, he brought into exercise the influ- ence of a consecrated life, and a sanctified person- ality. Such were his qualities that they have in- vested his memory with a halo of glory that still abides. Like Barnabas *“ He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost.’’ He was regular and constant in his attendance at the prayer meeting, so much so that it is said, ““ Whoever missed, he was. and when occasionally it was necessary for him to work overtime, he would arrange to take tea, and make his way to the house of prayer without going home. When funds were required
Lay Preachers and Notable Leaders. 29
for the support of the work, he would readily and generously contribute thereto, setting an example. which was an inspiration to others. He was a kind father, a sincere friend, a lowly christian. He passed to his rest and reward 18th February, 1877, at the early age of forty-two, being loved, revered, lamented. oe In bringing this chapter to a close, it will perhaps be appropriate here to append a number of names that have come down to us, of those who laboured in those early days. As, in addition to those stars that may distinctly be seen in the heavens, there are myriads of others that appear to the naked eye little more than a hazy, nebulous light, so there are many faithful souls that: have lived and laboured in the quiet obscurity of their own sphere, who, though they may have had little or no public recog- nition on earth, yet are among those “‘whose names are written in the book of life.’’ Such, doubtless, were many of the following :—William Blackburn, James Hirst, Edward Blackburn, Ben Crowiher, John Crowther, Samuel Kenworthy, John Thewlis, Abraham Lockwood, Joseph Singleton, Thos. Thorpe, James Whitwam, Jas. Sugden, John Haigh, Joseph Blackburn, John Arthur, Thomas Taylor, Benjamin Haigh; Hannah Blackburn, Ann Whitwam, Rebecca Bailey, Elizabeth Hoyle, Martha Arthur. Of this number only two survive : Thomas Taylor and *Benjamin Haigh.
*Benjamin Haigh died suddenly, 17th May, 1921, at the age of 83 years, while this work was passing through the press.
30 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
As the first registers have not been preserved, this list is probably incomplete and the names given are of those who have been remembered by those who still remain.
. 2 : - , , . : = i > ’ ae ; . * hs ‘4 ¥ . bs A i %, ~ . 1" t ° j ’ ae ht . e . wut ‘
CHAPTER IV. THE FORMATION OF THE CHURCH.
To return to the thread of our narrative, at the point where it was discontinued at the close of Chapter II., we had already seen the School built and all its agencies in active operation. For the next fourteen years—1849 to 1863—the work was continued with some measure of success: the number of scholars steadily increasing, and the interest of the neighbourhood generally. being slowly awakened towards the new cause. To meet the growing demands of still increas- ing numbers, it was then decided to enlarge the School, and also to fix, at the east end of the build- ing, a gallery for the children, suitable for anniver- sary services and other special occasions. Beneath this gallery was a fairly large vestry, capable of seating some eighty or ninety people, and which proved serviceable for holding tea-meetings, week- night services and other functions. In later days this vestry was further divided by a movable ‘wooden partition, so as. to provide suitable accom- modation for’ candidates for baptismal services. Many happy and memorable gatherings have been held in this room, to which we may later have
32 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
occasion to advert, in the respective sections con- cerned. With these additional the work was sustained for another eight years, during which _time there does not appear to have been anything of special importance to record. It was then deemed advisable to consider the question of con- verting the School into a Chapel; as a preliminary step towards the institution of a proper order of preaching services and the subsequent formation of a Church. Having ascertained the mind of the neighbourhood generally, and having received signal tokens of sympathetic interest, a meeting was called on the 3lst December, 1870, when a com- mittee was formed, designated the *‘ Chapel Com- mittee.”’ Asa detache: revealing to us something of the strenuous life these men lived. and the long hours they had to labour, it is interesting to note that one of their first was :—'* That we meet I every Saturday evening at 9 o'clock. The ultimate outcome of their deliberations was a decision to have pews fixed in the body of the School, and in this way change it into a Chapel. This work was executed by a Mr. W. H. Shaw, Longwood, for the sum of £60 8s. Thus was there provided sitting accommodation for two hundred and forty people in the area of the building, with room for one hundred and sixty children on the gallery. .
The Formation of the Church. 33.
After various alterations and improvements the. Chapel was opened for public worship on Wednes- day, 17th May, 1871, when the late Rev. J. P. Chown, Bradford, was the preacher. The open- ing services were continued the following Sunday ;. Rev. H. W. Holmes occupying the pulpit morning and afternoon; and Rev. Thos. Berry, Golcar, in the evening. The total costs of the whole of the alterations amounted to £150; and towards this. sum the collections taken at the opening services. reached approximately, £21. The next step in advance was the formation of the Church. This. interesting and significant event took place 9th August, 1871. The Church was composed of twenty-eight members, and was made up as fol- lows :—Twenty-one from Pole Moor; four from Golcar; and three from Salendine Nook. Thus, the constitution of the membership affords us a clue to the urgent need that existed for the formation of a Church in this locality; Scapegoat Hill being a
kind of centre, to which the other Churches named
might be regarded as the circumference, and accordingly each one contributing thereto. The Rev. H. W. Holmes, Pole Moor, presided on this occasion. From an historical sketch drawn up by Mr. O. B. Kenworthy for a Bazaar Catalogue in 1896, we glean the following singing and prayer, the Church was formed in the usual
way—all the members joining hands. The Rev. J. Barker (Lockwood), described the nature and.
34 _ Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
constitution of a Christian Church. Mr. Geo. Shaw
(Salendine Nook), and Mr. Geo. Walker (Lindley),
gave addresses on ‘Importance of Christian Activity’ and Christian Forbearance and Forgiveness.”’ .
Launched under such happy and favourable circumstances, the Church began her career of sacrifice and service. Never did she forget the glad day of her inauguration, the anniversary of which has been held from year to year, usually in the month of August, the occasion taking the form of an Annual Members’ Tea and Meeting. A matter requiring consideration about this time was the question of what hymn book should be used. Some favoured the adoption of the books used at Pole Moor which were the first and second editions of Dr. Watt’s book, bound separately, and which required care and attention, in order to secure accuracy Others thought it would be better to have one volume only, both from considerations of economy and convenience, and as the *‘ Psalms and Hymns ”’ had been introduced by some of the Churches in the district and perhaps because this was a more modern book than those already re- ferred to, it was eventually decided that ‘‘ Psalms and Hymns’ be used. We might here say that there has been no change since then in. this particu- lar. : It is interesting to note, in this connection, the slender provision that was made for the musical
The Formation of the Church. 35.
requirements of the sanctuary worship. Mr. Edward Blackburn, one of the vocalists, who interested him- self in training the ** Tenors,’’ was authorised to purchase one “‘Houldsworth”’ and three blank MS. books, for the use of the singers. This, it would appear, comprised the whole of their portfolio. The singing was accompanied by an harmonium, and this remained the established order so long as the services were held in the old Chapel. At its first regular monthly meeting the Church proceeded to the election of deacons. It had been thought advisable to select five brethren to serve in this capacity. On counting the votes, which had been taken by ballot, it was found that seven had so nearly equal a number as to make it undesirable to adhere to their original intention. The whole of the seven were therefore appointed, I bringing their action into line with apostolic pre- cedent. The names of the brethren were :—James Thewlis, John Pogson, James Hirst, Robert Hyde Shaw, Edmund Lockwood, John Whitwam and Oliver B. Kenworthy. Reference has already been made to three of the former, while the others will come under consideration in connection with later events. With respect to the tenure of this office, there does not appear to have been any stipulated period for which they were appointed to serve; the generally accepted opinion of the Church at that time being that deacons should remain such for life. This view, however, no longer obtains, and
36 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
in January, 1900, the rule was modified, reducing the term of office to five years, with power of re- election. It is interesting to note that certain privileges ‘were accorded to senior deacons; as, for ‘“ four of the eldest were appointed to preside at Church meetings.’’ It is equally manifest: that those who could not claim to have travelled quite so far on life’s journey had yet learnt to cultivate the grace of self-suppression, for we read, in connection
with this and other resolutions: ‘‘ They were adopted with the greatest cordiality and kindly feeling.”’
With a view to the promotion of intellectual development, and the provision of healthy and suit- able literature, the Church, at an early date, intro- duced the sale of magazines and religious periodi- cals. These have been continued with more or less regularity all through the years. Being further desirous of influencing those outside the ordinary congregation, it: was decided to commence the dis- tribution of religious tracts, the preamble to the resolution revealing, in a measure, the fervour dis- played by these early founders, and which reads ‘as follows : — ‘" Realizing the painful fact that a large portion of the inhabitants of this and the adjoining neigh- bourhood attend no place of worship, it was thought that the distribution of religious tracts might, with the Divine blessing, be attended with beneficial results.”
The Formation of the Church. 37
Can we wonder that under.such circumstances and in such an atmosphere much good was accom- plished? Or does it cause surprise to find that, in a little over three years, the Church membership ‘was more than doubled, the numbers increasing from twenty-eight to sixty-three ? ! Several entries in the minute book of this early period are of value as indicating the gradual de- velopment of the Church’s activities. On Sunday, ist October, 1871, the first baptismal service was held, when three candidates—George Wood, Mary Thewlis and Emma Sugden—were immersed in the newly-made open-air baptistry, for the completion of which the service had been deferred for several weeks. The ordinance was performed by Robert Hyde Shaw, one of the deacons. These were a kind of first fruits of the abundant harvest still being gathered. In July, 1874, a letter was received from Dr. Stock, Salendine Nook, intimating that the District Meeting had unanimously recommended _ the Church at Scapegoat Hill for admission into the Yorkshire Association of Baptist Churches. Thus was this small body of believers, occupying a distant outpost, linked up with their co-religionists throughout the county of broad acres. 7 Sunday, 17th May, 1874, witnessed the advent cof the first student from Manchester Baptist College. During the years the Church has, from time to time, been well supplied by men connected with
38 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
this Institution, two of its ministers having received their training within its sacred precincts :—Revs. A. Harrison and T. R. Lewis. The first quarterly meeting of the Home Missionary Society for the Huddersfield district was invited to Scapegoat Hill, 4th June, 1874, while the Foreign Missionary Deputation held its first meeting here, 20th October of the same year. In these and other ways the sense of isolation was dis- pelled, the horizon enlarged, and the claims of the universal church and the world brought into view. For the first three years the pulpit was prin- cipally supplied by local preachers. In addition to those who were members of the Church, and to whom reference has already been made, there were several others who rendered faithful and conspicu- ous service. Of this number were the following :— Samuel Kenworthy, Eli Smith, Chas. Smith, William Hirst, Abraham Kenworthy, Thos. I Edward Sykes, William Haigh—later, pastor of the Baptist Church, Steep Lane—John Tate, Robert McShaw, John Clay. To enable the Church to meet her financial obligations, these worthy men gave their services gratuitously, thus literally carrying out the Divine Injunction “ Freely ye have received, freely give.”’ To such, the Church owes a debt of gratitude. Other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”’ Not that they shall be without recom- pense, for “ they that be wise shall shine as the
The Formation of the Church. 39:
brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and.
THE FIRST PASTOR— REV. D. LEWIS.
‘While, during the first two and a half years, a goodly number had been added io the membership, and considerable progress been made under the ministry of the lay preachers, it soon became mani- fest to the brethren that it was desirable to have an under shepherd, who would, sabbath by sabbath, minister to the Church in holy things. Having received an intimation that the Home Missionary Society in connection with the York- shire Baptist Association was willing to render financial support in the event of a minister being appointed, steps were immediately taken to bring about this desirable end. After due consideration it was decided to invite Rev. D. Lewis, of Mount Pleasant, Bridge End, North Wales, to supply the pulpit for three or four Sundays, with a view to the pastorate. Mr. Lewis was recommended to the
Church by Rev. David Davies, then Pastor of the Baptist Church, Oakes, Lindley, and also by Mr. John Arthur, who had made Scapegoat Hill the home of his adoption, but who originally hailed from the Principality.
Rev. D. LEwiIs.
The Church’s First Pastor. 41
The occasion of Mr. Lewis’ first visit was the opening ceremony in connection with the new Day and Sunday School. This was Easter-tide, 1874. Mr. Lewis’ preached three times on Easter Sunday, and also spoke at a public meeting on the Monday evening: Rev. Edward Parker, then of Farsley, and afterwards Principal of Manchester Baptist College, having preached in the afternoon. As the result of this visit, a cordial invitation was extended to Mr. Lewis to become Pastor of the Church, which, in due course, was accepted. ~ He commenced his ministry in August of the same year, although the “‘ Recognition Services ”’ did not take place until Good Friday, 1875. At the time of Mr. Lewis’ settlement the order of services—like most country Churches in the district—was morning and afternoon, with a prayer meeting in the evening, at which the preacher usually gave a short address. The new pastor, evidently, had not been accustomed to this arrange- ment, for in his ‘* Reminiscences of Scapegoat Hill ’’ he télls us that “‘ he was in a great fix as to what part of the day he should deliver his inaugural sermon. Finally, he decided upon the evening, assuming that this would be the service at which he would be likely to have the largest congregation. We may judge of his dismay when he discovered that the bulk of the congregation had gone home, and that only a few, comparatively, remained for the evening service. Notwithstanding this little
42 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
misadventure, the preacher had evidently made an impression upon his auditory, the result of which we have already seen. His text, on that memorable Sunday evening, was singularly appropriate: Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?’ Acts 10-19. Doubt- less those few who did remain were amply repaid for their fidelity, for that sermon was often com- mented upon and long remembered. Some time after Mr. Lewis’ settlement, the question which had caused him some little em- barrassment on the above occasion was introduced while in conversation with one of the sages of that time, viz.:—IThe propriety of adopting morning and evening as the order of services. The worthy gentleman to whom the question was propounded, however, soon settled the matter by saying that ‘he liked daylight to go to chapel, and that he preferred the light of the sun to the light of the lamps.”’ It would appear that these sentiments expressed the general consensus of opinion prevailing at that time, for not until the year 1907—some thirty-three years later—was the suggested alteration effected and morning and evening recognized as the estab- lished order. 3 Contemporary with Mr. Lewis in the Baptist ministry of the Huddersfield district at this time were several notable men :—Dr. J. Stock, LL.D:,
The Church’s First Pastor. AS
Salendine Nook, whose ** Handbook of Theology has been scattered far and wide; Revs. H. W. Holmes, Pole Moor, whose life-long ministry was closely interwoven with Scapegoat Hill; J. Alderson, Meltham, an attractive and forceful preacher; T. Bury, Golcar; J. Barker, Lockwood, I and D. Davies, Oakes; men of true piety and sterling worth. Among such a galaxy Mr. Lewis shone with undimmed radiance. His sermons were thoughtful and convincing, revealing largeness of vision and familiar acquaint- ance with the word of God. While his delivery was somewhat deliberate, and marked by an occa- sional pause, yet at such times his hearers éxperi- enced a feeling that what was to follow was well worth their waiting for, and would more than repay their patient attention. When animated, he rose to the sublime, and, borne aloft by the inspiration of his theme, his voice would rise and fall with the musical cadence peculiar to Welsh preachers. He had an eye for the beautiful; was an ardent admirer of nature; contemplated with delight the glory of the landscape, with the result that his sermons were adorned and enriched by appropriate metaphors and elegant imagery. As indicating the high appreciation in which he was held by his own people, it is worthy of note that in 1877 he was nominated by the Church as association preacher, and although we have no record that his nomination was successful, it does
44- Scapegoat Church.
not prove that he was undeserving of that honour. Rather may it not in a measure confirm the senti- ment of the poet :—
‘* Full many a flower is born to blush unseen And waste its fragrance on the desert air.”’
Though an able preacher, and at this time a man in the prime of life, Mr. Lewis presided over a comparatively small’Church; yet he laboured not in vain. During his three and a half years’ ministry thirty-two were added to the Church by baptism and seven by letter, making a total increase of thirty-nine. In appearance he was little of stature; wore a long flowing beard, which gave to him the grace and dignity of a Jewish rabbi, or perhaps some resemblance to one of the old patriarchs. Temperamentally, he was super-sensitive, with a taste for the exquisite and an inclination for re- tirement. Writing of the time spent in :his neigh- bourhood long years after he had left, he calls to mind his walks among the heather on rhe moors, and the refreshing breezes on the The im- pressions also made by the awful force of a thaw wind and an overwhelming ihunderstorm were among the few that remained, when much else had been obliterated by the flight of time. It is gratifying to know that, looking back from the retirement of a ripe old age, Mr. Lewis regarded the time spent on the Hill, from a ministerial point of view, as the happiest period of his life.
The Church’s First Pastor. 45
He preached his farewell sermon on the first Sunday in February, 1878, having received a call to the Baptist Church, Drake Street, Rochdale. Although Mr. Lewis was the first pastor of the Church, and although it is more than forty years since he relinquished his charge, yet in the merciful Providence of God his life has been prolonged until a comparatively recent date. After exercising his ministry in various places, he eventually returned to the land of his birth, and in the quiet seclusion of life’s eventide patiently waited the home-call. This came 5th November, 1920, at the advanced age of 84 years: his labours ended, his trials past, his victory won. Writing in the Baptist Times and Freeman, 26th November, 1920, Rev. T. Witton Davies, B.A., D.D., pays a high tribute to his work. He informs us that Mr. Lewis, while Pastor of the Church at Maesteg, South Wales, baptised Rev. John Thomas, M.A., and encouraged him to preach his first sermon. He further goes on to say ““Mr. Thomas has always held, as I have done, that Mr. Lewis was one of our ablest preachers and finest men, and but for extraordinary modesty, con- tinued bodily weakness and severe domestic bereavement, he might have occupied a front place iN our ministry.”’
CHAPTER VI. THE PASTORATE OF REV. A. HARRISON.
Looking back upon the past fifty years, it is. singular to note that, of the six ministers who have served the Church at Scapegoat Hill, there has only been one Englishman. All the others have been Welshmen, or of Welsh extraction. How to. account for this strange phenomena is a task we would not here attempt, as so subtle a disquisition does not come within the scope of our present © purpose. The one who thus stands in solitary grandeur is Rev. A. Harrison, whose period of service we are next briefly to consider. His first sermon to this people was delivered Sunday, 3rd November, 1878—less than twelve. months after the resignation of his predecessor. As the outcome of his ministrations on this occasion, a unanimous call was duly forwarded, and subse-. quently accepted. He came from Warrington to this neighbourhood, entering upon his pastorate 5th January, 1879. The recognition services were held on Shrove Tuesday, 25th February. The Rev. E. Parker, Manchester Baptist College, preached in the after- noon, followed by a Public Tea and Meeting. The:
Rev. A. HARRISON.
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. AT
Chapel was crowded. Many of the ministers of the district were present, in addition to representa- tive laymen. Brother James Thewlis was deputed. to narrate the circumstances leading up to Mr. Harrison’s invitation, while Geo. Henry Hanson, Esq., Milnsbridge, was invited to take the chair. Judging from the number of ministers appointed to speak—some nine or ten in number—we should conclude that the evening meeting did not lack in point of brevity. This, however, may be regarded as some indication of the fervour and enthusiasm displayed by the people as a whole, and alike reveals their attachment to their new Pastor and the gospel he had come to preach. Soon after Mr. Harrison’s settlement, the ques- tion of procuring a plot of land, to be used as a ‘* Burial Ground,’’ was brought up for considera- tion. This was not the first time the matter had been mentioned, for, during the ministry of Mr. Harrison’s predecessor, we find a minute, under date 3rd February, 1876, which reads as follows :— That Mr. Lewis be requested to give an address on * The importance of having a Burial Ground attached to, or in connection with, a place of wor- ship.” ’’ Assuming that the Pastor complied with the request, we must conclude that the reasons advanced and the arguments used were quite con- vincing—an experience very gratifying to an advocate—for we find that from this time forth the project was never completely abandoned, though it was considerably deferred.
48 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
A plot of land, known by the name of Weasel Hill, was decided upon as being suitable for the purpose, and, at the time of which we write, May, 1879, steps were taken to purchase the same. Negotiations, however, proceeded but slowly, so much so that we cannot attribute the cause solely to “‘ the law’s delay.’’ Eventually trustees were appointed, deeds were ordered, and the sanction of the Home Office was secured. It now transpired that the land was not available, there being a joint ownership, and the parties concerned not being agreeable to sell. After a lapse of nearly twenty-two years— strange as it may appear—this identical plot of land became disposable, and in 1903 was secured by the Church for the sum of £200. Since then it has been consecrated as the last resting place of the ‘* dear departed ’’ of the district, and the passing years have enshrouded it with sacred memories to many sorrowing hearts. The next forward movement was the building of the Manse. For this purpose a public meeting was convened 6th May, 1879, when a Committee was appointed to superintend the work of erection. A plot of land was secured on the brow of the Hill, adjoining that which, in after years, was purchased as a Burial Ground.’’ This is a short distance from the Chapel. In a little more than twelve months the building was completed, having cost the sum of £550; and in June, 1880, Mr. Harrison,
as the first resident, removed to the: new: house.
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 49
While in some respects the Manse is beautifully situated, being built facing south, and commanding an. extensive and unobstructed view, yet these advantages can scarcely be regarded as an unmixed blessing. Like Nelson’s star-bespangled coat, which, while it conferred dignity, yet at the same time made him a target for the enemy’s fire, so the pastor's residence is exposed to the full force of the westerly winds, which, at times, have not con- tributed to the comfort and tranquillity of the occupants. To meet the cost involved in the above undertaking, and also provide funds for renovating the chapel, preparations were commenced for a Bazaar. Sewing meetings were estab- lished, a feature of the arrangements being “‘That the proceedings be opened each sewing night at 8 o'clock by singing and prayer.’’ In this and other ways the people laboured until Eastertide, 1884. when the Bazaar, long anticipated and zealously provided for, was held. As the outcome of this effort the liabilities on the minister’s house were met, and the Church enabled to look forward to some new enterprise, This came in the form of a further development. Up to this time the only artificial light that Scapegoat Hill had enjoyed, was that obtained by the use of candles and oil lamps. For week- night meetings and Sunday evening services the Sanctuary had been provided with the latter: and Mr. Harrison tell us, in his reminiscences of this
50° Stapebads Hall Bapting Chateh.
period that ““They had suffered many things of them, particularly at the time of crowded. gather- ings, when they refused to burn.”’ It requires little stretch of the imagination to picture the scene of one of those’ old-time gatherings :—with the building densely packed; the lamps_ burn- ing dimly, and giving forth an odour that could scarcely be. described as of a_ sweet smell; with the preacher roused to animation; and the audience rapt in its attention :—presenting a spectacle, at once beautiful, yet almost weird in its primitive simplicity. Now, however, the old order is about to pass away, and the feeble flicker of the lamps is to be substituted by a more up-to- date mode of illumination. The Longwood Gas Co.—since absorbed by the Huddersfield Corpor- ation—having been approached by representatives of the community, on the question of extending their service pipes to Scapegoat Hill, had decided to accede to the request. This was a boon to the individual house-holder, but not less so to the sanctuary worshippers. For some time the chapel had required painting and renovating, and now that the installation of gas had been decided upon, it became opportune that the two projects should be carried out conjointly. To effect this, a large and representative committee was appointed and the work proceeded apace. In the early part of August, 1884, the alter- ations and improvements were completed, and re-
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 51
opening services were held. The transformation had indeed been truly great, and the language of Isaiah might appropriately be used as descrip- tive of the sanctuary at this time: “‘Our holy and our beautiful house where our fathers praised thee.’’ The first of the re-opening services was held on a week-day—Wednesday—with a preach- ing service in the and a public tea and meeting in the evening. Special peachers were secured for these opening services in addition to which special music was rendered by the Choir. Miss A. Holroyd, of Mount, Longwood, a soprano of some celebrity, was present at the Wednesday service, and contributed the Air: “* Let the bright Seraphim’”’ from Handel’s Samson. The minis- ters of the district were also represented, and the © eccasion was regarded as an event of exceptional interest and significance in the history of the Church. As indicating the difficulties that had been overcome, and the financial struggles through which they had passed, there is a brief statement found in the records for 1885, which is noteworthy. It is to the effect that, ** For the first time since its formation, the Church is, this year, free from debt."’ What the struggle had meant to the small company comprising the Church during those four- teen years, we can only surmise; but the extin- guishing of the debt would, doubtless, be hailed with unfeigned delight.
52 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church. In the Annals for the year 1887 we find
another brief statement, which, though in itself not particularly striking, yet, is significant in what it portends. A branch of the Yorkshire Penny Bank having been formed, it was decided by the managers of that body to give the sum of £5, as the nucleus of a New Chapel Building Fund. As the acorn is suggestive of the mighty oak, and the I budding leaves of the forest proclaim the fact that summer is nigh, so this first donation was an earnest of the “‘New Sanctuary,’’: which was com- pleted thirteen years later; and for which the inter- vening years were largely taken up with earnest preparation. Having taken a brief survey of the principal events relating to the material and financial pros- perity of the work during Mr. Harrison’s Ministry, we shall now direct attention to those phases of service more intimately connected with his work as pastor of the Church. We saw, in our opening chapter, that Mr. Harrison, in addition to being a_ preacher, was also an artist. Exercising his gifts in this direction, he drew a plan of the Chapel, which proved of service in facilitating the letting of pews and sittings. Although, since then, the old chapel has been taken down, and the site on which it stood utilized for building purposes, this plan still remains; and hangs in the present chapel vestry, as a relic and memento of former days. As a lecturer, moreover, Mr: Harrison charmed
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 53
and captivated those who were privileged to hear him. During one particular winter, he gave a series of four lectures, on four successive Monday evenings. The weather was bitterly cold, and a keen frost held the earth in its icy grip. The old- fashioned stove placed in the middle of the Schoo!- room—used for day and Sunday-school purposes— was the only apparatus for heating the spacious building; so that the conditions could scarcely be described as particularly congenial. Yet, under such circumstances, those lectures were listened to and enjoyed with relish and keen appre- ciation. His flashes of wit, his dry humour, his ability to poke fun out of the peculiarities and eccentricities of others, evoked merriment; yet his purpose was not merely to amuse, but to instruct; and beneath the lighter vein there was sound moral precept, and wise council. At other times he brought into requisition the magic lantern, and on different occasions delivered lectures on _ his travels in the Holy Land, and his visits to the con- tinent; thus combining instruction with entertain- ment, and thereby securing the interest of the young people. In his attitude towards the question of Foreign Missions, Mr. Harrison was an enthusiast. He organized collections on their behalf, enlisting the sympathy and co-operation® of the scholars in the School, and providing them with special boxes for the purpose; at the same time offering a suitable
54 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
reward as an incentive to earnest endeavour, in the work of soliciting contributions. His missionary fervour moreover, revealed itself in his public ministrations. He loved to speak of men __ like Carey, the pioneer baptist missionary to India; or of William Knibb, who laboured in the West Indies, and his familiar references to men of this ‘class seemed to invest them with a grandeur and a glory that impressed itself upon the youthful imagination of some who listened to his voice. His expansive vision and broad sympathy, however, did not cause him to be oblivious to the claims of those nearer home, for he was not only pastor, but evangelist. Occasionally there would be held, particularly in the autumn or winter months, special evangelistic services, when neigh- bouring ministers would be invited to preach on week-evenings. A series of meetings of this des- cription was held in October, 1881, and, in order to generate enthusiasm, and possibly induce some to attend who otherwise would have remained in- different, it was arranged to meet on Nettleton Hill each evening; and, some 15 minutes before the time for service, marching from a given point, proceed to the Chapel singing Sankey’s hymns en route. In this way, some who never entered the house of prayer, were constrained to join the wor- shipping throng, and thus brought under the influ- ence of the gospel message, which declares, ““Who- soever will, let him take the water of life freely.”’
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 55
As in the days prior to the formation of the Church, cottage prayer-meetings continued to flourish during this period. The attendance was usually large, and sometimes the house where they had assembled would be crowded almost to inconvenience. Mr. Harrison tells us that “‘these occasions were often melting moments in one
direction if not in another.’’ He further goes on
to narrate an exceptional experience in connection with one of these services. I “*The hour was often one of blessing; still one can remember how at times our attention was brought down from high and spiritual things to very mundane, and sometimes ludicrous affairs. Well does one remember a prayer-meeting at the
house of a brother, who at that particular time was
the possessor of a donkey. The animal often roamed about outside at its own sweet will. The prayer-meeting on the evening in question had just closed, and all were still sitting quietly, none had ventured to stir, and no word had been spoken, when the door quietly opened and in protruded the nose and ears and then the head of the saga- cious © Neddy,’’ much to the amusement of all. The silence, as may be supposed, was speedily broken in an unwonted way on the appearance of so unusual a visitor. Whether drawn by the sing- ing or the unusual brilliance of the light, “* Neddy ”’ came to see what was I In contrast to the foregoing, the prayer-meet-
56 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
ing, as Mr. Harrison indicates, was oft-times a real means of grace. It afforded an opportunity of bringing the gospel within the hearing of the aged, the feeble, and those who found it -difficuli to attend the services of the Sanctuary. As a preacher Mr. Harrison was earnest and thoughtful, scriptural and evangelical. An emin- ent writer has declared “‘ The style is the man,’’ and this statement is verified in the instance before us. In language he was chaste and moderate; yet clear and unequivocal. In appealing to the un- converted he would emphasize the: necessity of definite decision for Christ, at the same time ex- posing the fallacy of those who took refuge in an attitude of neutrality. As a Baptist, he received his faith from the word of God, and in the distinc- tive practice of believer’s baptism, he loved to quote from the New Testament, particularly in- stancing the example of the Ethiopian eunuch. Although he possessed the gift of humour, it was sparingly used in his pulpit ministrations; he, doubtless, being desirous to avoid anything that might detract from the solemnity and significance of his message. : In his sermon preparation he seems to have occasionally adopted what Dr. Phillips Brooks has called ‘“The suggestive method.’’ By this means, texts, more or less obscure, were presented in a variety of aspects, and moral and spiritual truth deduced therefrom. Under his illuminating ‘treat-
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 57
ment many of the incidents of the old Testament were presented in such a way as to reveal their peculiar charm; and passages were made memor- able, as having, at some time, been the basis of one of his discourses. God’s dealings with his
ancient people, the children of Israel, would at
times engage his attention. He would speak of the Shekinah glory; enlarge upon their unique blessed- ness; call to mind Jehovah’s mercy and love, and from thence draw some comforting lessons, for God’s Spiritual Israel. The doctrine of the Atone-
ment—the central truth of Christianity—was given
due prominence in all his preaching, and he had the joy of seeing that promise fulfilled which declares “‘My word shall not return unto me void.’’ During his pastorate fifty-six were added to the Church by baptism. Recalling these years at a subsequent date, Mr. Harrison states : The whole period of my union with the Church was character- ized by peaceful, happy fellowship, and a measure of prosperity. As aman he was refined, courteous, gentle- manly—always a minister. In conversation he was homely, vivacious, entertaining and _ instructive. While he was naturally of a gentle disposition, yet he could be firm when occasion required. An in- cident is recalled by one who was a member of his congregation in confirmation of this. On one par- ticular Sunday a number of boys, seated at the back of the chapel just under the clock, were rest-
58 _ Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
less and inattentive. Their unruly behaviour con- tinued for some time, until at length the pastor stopped in the middle: of his exercises, and addressed them in words something to this effect : ‘‘ If you boys don’t behave, I will single you out.”’ It was the language of gentleness incensed, and it made an impression that has remained through the years. In his work among the young people, Mr. Harrison was ably seconded by Mrs. Harrison. While he taught the young men, and presided over . the mutual improvement class, she was similarly engaged among the young women. She conducted very successully a young women’s Bible class, and many, doubtless, who joined the Church at this time, received impressions under her instruction. Before dismissing this part of our subject, it may be of interest to note some of those who were actively associated with Mr. Harrison during these I years of service. As the general relies on his bat- talions, and the architect looks to those who labour under him for the execution of his plans, so in the calmer sphere of christian activity the best results may be expected where there is loving, sympathetic co-operation, between pastor and people. In addi- tion to those whose names have already been men- tioned, the following, among others, were “‘fellow- helpers ’’ at this time :—William Haigh, Edwin Whitwam, Edward: Crowther, George Ainley, Ben Haigh. William Henry Crowther, Wright Clay,
The Pastorate of Rev. A. Harrison. 59
Peter Singleton, Thomas Pogson, William Wood, William Haigh, Arthur Whitwam, Benjamin Haigh, George Hirst, John W. Howe, Joseph Whitwam, Thomas Edward Haigh, Fred Lock- wood. These, with a goodly company of sisters, who, like those women composing the Philippian Church who laboured with the Apostle in the gos- pel, combined to help on the cause of truth and righteousness, and their united labours have borne abiding fruit. After a period of nearly nine years’ ministry, Mr. Harrison tendered his resignation, preaching his farewell sermon the last Sunday in September, 1887. Often, since then, he has re-visited the scene of his former labours, and his coming amongst us has been an occasion of inspiration and joy. May he, and Mrs. Harrison, continue to enjoy the divine benediction; and the immutable promises of the eternal word, still remain their abiding strength.
CHAPTER VII. TPG, Rev os
Within the brief space of about four months — after the removal of Mr. Harrison, the Church de- cided upon his successor; yet not until nearly two years had elapsed did Mr. Lewis actually take up residence in the neighbourhood. While, in point of order, he was the third minister; yet was he the first to be ordained at Scapegoat Hill. At the time of receiving the call, he was a student at the Baptist College, Manchester, where he was expect- ed to remain for a further one and a half years before completing his College course. The invita- tion to the pastorate was given, and accepted, on the mutual understanding that the Church should wait until the expiration of that time, during which period he came at intervals, as pastor-elect. If Churches, and particularly such as receive a minister direct from a college, may be regarded as having any influence in moulding the characters of their ministers, then to Scapegoat Hill must be assigned the responsibility for discharging that func- tion in the case of Mr. Lewis. Writing of this period, long after he had left the district, he des- cribes his first pastorate as comprising “‘ten forma- tive years’ of his ministry.
ey oT. R Lewis:
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 61
His first acquaintance with Scapegoat Hill was made in December, 1887. His impressions of the place and the people on that occasion will ner- haps be best conveyed, if we quote his own words. ** It was a cold, damp and dreary December night, when, as a youthful Divinity student I came, on a Saturday evening to fulfil a Sabbath preaching engagement for the Church at Scapegoat Hill. That evening the first tea and meeting to. raise funds for a new chapel were held: the tea, in the dimly lighted school-room, before the instal- lation of gas; the meeting, with a varied pro- gramme including an address by the Manchester College Student, was held in the Old Chapel. .. The country round about was bleak and barren, and were it not for the warm-heartedness of the. people I should not have had the remotest desire to spend another week-end in such a cold region.” Notwithstanding this somewhat inauspicious in-- troduction, we find that two months later he had accepted the call to the pastorate. From this time to the time of his settlement, the Church was not inactive. A bazaar—the first for the New Chapel Fund—was held at Easter, 1888, when the sum of £118 was realized. The new pastor visited his people on that occasion, preaching on the Sunday, and remaining for the special effort. Moreover the spiritual aspect of the work was in a healthy and flourishing condition, twenty-four being added to the Church during this: period. I
62 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
_Mr. Lewis formally commenced his ministry on Sunday, 4th August; 1889. Four young people were added to the Church by baptism, and one by letter, on that, his first Sunday, so that his minis- terial career began under favourable and encourag- ing. circumstances. The Ordination Services were held on Wed- nesday, !6th October, 1889. As this was an event unique in the history of the Scapegoat Hill Church, it was prepared for, and looked forward to, with considerable interest. The Rev. Edward Parker, ‘D.D., then president of the Manchester Baptist College, gave the charge to the pastor; following which Rev. Prof. J. T. Marshall, M.A., delivered the charge to the church. The new pastor made a brief statement respecting his conversion: his call to the ministry; and the declaration of his faith; and after being commended to God in prayer, was duly set apart to the sacred work of the Christian ministry. Although the service was held on a weekday, the Chapel was crowded, so much so that it was with difficulty that the Doctor, who was racher cor- pulent, succeeded in making his way to the pulpit. The service was impressive, and its solemnity and significance, doubtless, appealed to no one more than to Mr. Lewis. At the close of the afternoon service, tea was served in the school-room, after which the recog- nition service was held in the chapel, presided over
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 63
by the pastor, when the place was again densely crowded. Quite a number of ministers were pres- ent, among those invited being Mr. Lewis’ prede- cessors: Revs. D. Lewis, and A. Harrison. lhe Baptist College, Manchester, was represented by a goodly array of students, whose congratulations and words of appreciation were expressed by one of their number. Thus began an era which was to be fraught with much blessing and considerable success. I From the commencement of his ministry Mr. Lewis won the hearts of his people by the charm of his personality. Pre-eminently, he was a man of the people; understanding their point of view; sympathizing with their aspirations and entering into their difficulties. He was ever approachable, not only to those within the church, but also to those without; so that in course of time many who seldom came to hear him preach, in some undefin- able way claimed him as their minister. Maybe he had sought to comfort them in their bereave- ment; or rejoiced with them in their connubial bliss; or conversed with them upon things in gen- eral, as he went in and out, in the course of his pas- toral visitations. In these and other ways there were forged links of attachment, which bound him to the people of his choice, and the community as a whole. Mr. Lewis possessed in a marked degree what are denominated “*‘ conversational powers.’’ He
64. Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
had the happy knack of adapting himself to well- nigh any class of people, and could almost intui- tively hit upon some point of contact, thus intro- ducing a subject which enabled the one addressed to enter into conversation as upon common ground. Where he was one of a company, there was little fear that conversation would flag. His speech was racy, amusing, instructive. As president of the young men’s mutual improvement class he was. often the “ soul’’ of the gathering; and as chair- man of the various entertainments promoted for the Building Fund”’ he very materially contributed to their success. His throne however was the pulpit, and in the work of preaching he found his greatest delight.. ‘Following in the wake of men of the type of Rev. H. W. Holmes, who, though unknown to him in the flesh, yet, something of whose spirit he seemed to have imbibed, his labours were many and var- ied. He did not write his sermons, or at least he did not bring his manuscript to the pulpit; this did not suit his genius, or comport with the buoyancy of his temperament; and to have done .so would have been like encasing David in Saul’s armour. A brief outline was usually sufficient for his pur- pose. I His style was clear and vigorous; his language forceful and plain; and his appeal direct and power- ful. Some of his fellow-students used to tell him that “‘ the common people heard him an
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 65
observation which he regarded as highly compli-
mentary in view of its original application. Under these circumstances it is scarcely surprising to find that the congregations increased jn numbers, and many were added to the Church. He possessed the gift of imagination, which, though not extensively exercised, yet, occasionally was given a place in his preaching. In this, doubt- less, he followed along the lines of some of the old Welsh preachers of last century: men of the type of Christmas Evans, of whom he sometimes spoke. When adopting this style, which was generally con- fined to the former part of his discourse, he would introduce characters of his own creation, putting speeches into their mouths, and producing an effect more or less dramatic. This mode of composition was more manifest in his earlier years; and seems to have been almost eliminated in latter days. A further notable feature of his sermon con- struction was his special aptitude for historical narration, and pictorial description. To the young, and indeed to those of older years, not conversant with the incidents of the Bible, he could appeal with peculiar force; unfolding the story; marshal- ing the facts; delineating the characters, and thus preparing the minds of his hearers for the special phase of the subject upon which he desired to dwell. Closely allied with this, and perhaps to some extent included in it, was his ability to pourtray F
66 _ Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
scriptural characters. Under the magic of his treat- ment, the old testament worthies, as it were, lived again. Elijah, in particular, was a favourite; and from his obscurity among the inhabitants of Gilead he was presented as stepping forth upon the arena of public life; teaching lessons of faith and fidelity; courage and conquest; Divine power, and human weakness. His power of analysis was keen and penetrating; he was therefore able to extol the virtues, and expose the vices of those characters with whom he chose to deal. Next to the perfect Son of God his greatest hero seemed to be the apostle Paul, whose epistles he greatly admired, and of whom he never tired to speak. An eminent writer has given as his definition of preaching “‘the bringing of truth through personality.”’ If this definition be correct, it follows that those aspects of truth which particularly appeal to one’s life and experience will furnish the themes with which such an one will the more effectively deal. Between the Apostle Paul and Mr. Lewis there seems to have been a natural affinity. The cheery optimism, the abounding labour, the fiery eloquence, the almost reckless self-sacrifice, the earnest desire for the spread of the gospel :—these were some of the traits ‘conspicuous in the master-apostle, and which, in a measure, found their counterpart in the village pastor. As a doctrinal preacher, Mr. Lewis was a bap- tist of baptists. He was one of the few ministers
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 67
who enjoyed the privilege of being repeatedly in- vited to preach for those churches designated “‘strict and particular baptists’” and who have become associated with the name of William Gadsby. Though he tells us that some of this class “* con- sidered his sermons short in weight, and deemed him ‘a duty-faith man,’”’ yet among his own people he was looked upon as eminently orthodox : Associated with him in those early years were men of like conviction, for when in 1901 the question of amalgamation with the general Baptists came under consideration, the Church at Scapegoat Hill regis- tered its vote against the proposal. Viewed in the light of modern events, when conferences on Christian Unity engage the attention of almost all sections of the Christian Church, such attitude might appear conservative; yet those who view the question from a different standpoint can still appre- ciate the loyalty to conviction which such attitude displayed. _Mr. Lewis implicitly obeyed the apostolic in- junction, and was ready always to give an answer to every man that asked a reason of the hope that was in him. To the question, Why baptizest thou? he had ever a ready response. At baptismal services he would frequently explain and defend the Baptist position, giving historical references and corroborative passages in confirmation of his argu- ment. While his sympathy extended to all sections of the Christian Church, yet was he particularly
68 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
attached to his own denomination, and the term ‘* baptist ’’ seemed a kind of talisman that made I the whole world akin. Ever anxious to edify the saints and build up the people of God on their most holy faith, he did not fail to do the work of an evangelist and urge repentance and faith upon the careless and the indifferent. Having taken a cursory glance at the preacher in the pulpit, it will perhaps be of interest to pass in review some of the services that he conducted. As we have seen, these were not the days of morn- ing and evening service. The old order still re- mained: morning and afternoon, with a prayer meeting in the evening, which not infrequently developed into a fully-fledged preaching service. Should there be candidates for baptism, then on the first Sunday in the month this ordinance would be observed immediately after morning worship. ‘Following the afternoon service on each first “Sunday, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was observed; while after the evening meeting Sabbath by Sabbath there usually followed a meeting for prayer, or a class for enquirers, or a combination of both. From this brief summary it will be seen that these were strenuous days, and while, on the one hand, they may serve as a reproach to the apathetic and half-hearted, yet, on the other, they indicate _that the course of true wisdom lies along the lines of a happy mean, which leaves time for Sabbath restfulness and holy contemplation.
Rev. T. R. Lewis. : 69
In addition to the above, the services held dur- ing the week were maintained, both in point of attendance and interest. As was intimated in Chapter IV., the week-night preaching service was held in the Chapel vestry—usually on the Tuesday evening. To attempt to depict the scene presented by one of those gatherings—now. impressed only upon the imagination and the memory—is a pleas- ing, though difficult, task. . The room was “‘long and low,”’ the sloping ceil- ing, from which were suspended three dual gas burners, revealing the fact that the children’s gallery was immediately overhead. At the farther end was an open, old-fashioned fireplace, where, in cold weather, a cheerful fire burned in the grate. Asa provision for dividing the vestry into two rooms of unequal size, there was fixed the framework of a movable partition, the door of which, on these occasions, was opened, the partition boards being taken down, so that only the side post interrupted the view. To the preacher’s left were arranged a > number of forms which, by common consent, were set apart for the female portion of the congregation ; while on his right, and sitting at right angles with those immediately facing him, were one or two benches usually taken up by the young men. Near to the fire, and facing the larger portion of the con- gregation, was the place occupied by the A small table served as lectern, or pulpit. No instrumental music accompanied the singing, but
ie Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
one of the brethren usually acted as _precentor. Here assembled, week by week, some seventy or eighty people, gathered together to hear the word and supplicate the throne of grace. An air of freedom and homeliness pervaded the assembly. Instead of a set service, brethren were called upon to engage in prayer—men whe could wrestle like Jacob, and prevail like Israel. Occasionally, the preacher seemed to excel himself, and his brief homily was more appealing than perhaps some of his more laboured effusions. On such occasions the language of the patriarch would have well expressed the feelings of many a heart: “* l/his is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”’ Much on the same lines the cottage prayer meetings, held in the homes of the people on Thurs- day evenings, continued to flourish. In graphic language Mr. Lewis describes these assemblies. He recalls the congregation, as being composed of children and young people, with here and there a grave sire or venerable dame ”’; tells of the neigh- bours *‘ who, actuated by courtesy, curiosity or piety—perhaps a blending of all three in many cases —put in an attendance ’’; makes mention of the “big fire—purely unnecessary, but part of the welcome.”’ Further on he tells us that ‘ The prayers were many and fervent, and were offered by both men and women, and the address, always brief, was generally evangelistic in charac-
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 71
ter.’ Not infrequently a few clay pipes and a saucer filled with tobacco of a distinctive brand would be placed on the table at the close of the meeting, and, as another chronicler tells us, “’ the men sat around the fire, and either interpreted _ passages of scripture or spoke of the Lord’s dealings with them. * The old contending While the young surveyed.’ ”
While dealing with this part of our subject, though not following in chronological order, it will perhaps be appropriate here to make reference to the united mission, held in the autumn of 1895. Earlier in the year the neighbouring Churches at Pole Moor and Sunny Bank had been approached upon the question, and, having readily agreed to co-operate, representatives were appointed from the various Churches to make the necessary arrangements. The Rev. A. A. Harmer, one of ‘C. H. Spurgeon’s evangelists, was invited to con- duct a three weeks’ mission, each Church to receive the united gatherings in turn. These services were preceded by a week of special prayer metings, so that, to use the pastor’s alliterative phrase, it was ‘* A mission for a month.’” Mr. Harmer came amongst a people ready to receive him and his message. The seed sown not only fell into good ground,’ but ground that had been prepared by faithful teaching, holy example, and earnest prayer. Hymns from Sankey’s selection were sung, some,
72 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
more or less new to the congregation, were intro- duced, giving a novelty and freshness to the service of praise. Mr. Harmer’s messages were solemn, pointed and appealing, and lit up with many telling illustrations: The services as a whole were charac-. terized by intense fervour, as the result of which. many avowed discipleship, and were added to the respective churches. In the month of December following, 24 were baptized at Scapegoat Hill, this being the largest increase at any one time in the history. In the year 1892 (when the church had been in
existence for 21 years) a series of special services was.
held to commemorate the event, which was termed ‘ The coming of age celebration.”” The Rev. Wm.
Jones, then of Hebden Bridge, preached on the afternoon of Saturday, 6th August, followed by a
public meeting in the evening, addressed by ministers of the district. On Tuesday, 9th August, being the anniversary of the church’s formation,
the Rev. A. Harrison was invited to preach, after
which the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was. observed. This was a season of happy retrospect, re-consecration and thanksgiving. Passing from the internal to the eternal phases. of the activities during this period, we. might observe that these were almost wholly taken up with the raising of funds for the *‘ New Chapel.’” Functions, semi-social and semi-religious, were: varied and numerous, but all had this in
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 3
the swelling of the coffers for the projected sanctu- ary. Bazaars, sales of work, teas, concerts and entertainments followed each other in fairly rapid succession, organized and sustained by a zealous and enthusiastic people. In this connection there was instituted a festival new in the experience of Scapegoat Hill, viz. : —An old scholars’ anniversary. Since its inception this innovation has been repeated at irregular inter- vals of about three years, and for a time seemed to bid fair to become a triennial institution. The first of these “‘ Anniversaries ’’ was held on Easter Sunday, 1894. The “* scholars,’’ drawn. from far and wide, were mostly matrons who in earlier years had attended the Sabbath School. They were trained by Mr. James Haigh, a veteran. musician, who, like the scholars under his com- mand, had rendered conspicuous service in other years. The tunes selected were in keeping with the occasion, and were suggestive of the glory of former times. This anniversary proved so successful that it was deemed worthy of repetition, and a few weeks later, through the kindness of the Baptist. friends at Golcar, this was made possible, the repetition taking place in their beautiful and com- modious sanctuary. Similar services were held at a subsequent date, the scholars on this occasion being restricted to men only. This anniversary, in like manner, was repeated at Pole Moor, the church generously lending the chapel for the occa-
74 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
sion, the Scapegoat Hill pastor being the preacher, and Mr. Jas. Haigh the conductor, as in the former instance. By these and other means the “* Building Fund "’ was steadily augmented. In addition to his labours among his own people, Mr. Lewis did much pastoral work for the church at Pole Moor. During the latter part of his ministry he tells us that ** it was his mournful duty to attend between two and three hundred Rev. James Evans having resigned his charge, and the pastorate remaining vacant for 44 years. In this way he came into close contact with the people, visiting the sick and occasionally conducting preaching and baptismal services; so that the relationships between the mother church and Scape- goat Hill were those of cordiality and mutual esteem. During his stay on Scapegoat Hill, Mr. Lewis brought to the Manse his bride. He married a daughter of the late Mr. James Walker, Storth House, Linthwaite, who, prior to her marriage, was _actively connected with the Baptist Church, Milns- bridge. His family, now grown up, consists of one daughter—married—and one son, still at home, who, along with many other young men of the neighbourhood, served in the late war. Life, however, is made up of sunshine and shade, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, and oft- times we find “ the one set over against the other.”’ Three of the elder deacons who welcomed Mr.
Rev.:-T; R. 75
Lewis to Scapegoat Hill ** passed within the veil ”’ during his pastorate:—Brethren William Haigh, Edmund Lockwood and John Whitwam. William Haigh had been a deacon for nearly five years, having been appointed along with Brother Edwin Whitwam, in July, 1886, on the decease of James Thewlis. He had formerly been connected with the church at Pole Moor, re- maining in membership there until after the death
of the venerable Pastor, Rev. H. W. Holmes. Mr.
Lewis speaks of him as being of a “* pensive dis-
position and pious character . . and as having filled the office of a deacon well.’” He died 12th April, 1891.
Edmund Lockwod was one of the founders, being among those who composed the original twenty-eight, and having been transferred, along with three others, from the church at Golcar. He was of a quiet, amiable disposition; a man of few words, yet whose opinions, when expressed, were worthy of consideration. His presence gave no countenance to levity, and in him was found that qualification named by the Apostle as essential to deacons, viz.:—IThe power of “ruling their children and their own houses well.’’ Occasionally he assisted the secretary with the finances, and in other unobtrusive ways sought to further the interests of the kingdom of God. He had a long illness, which was borne with
Pee and fortitude, and he died 12th September, 1893.
6 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
Exactly a week later the church sustained a further loss by the death of John Whitwam. At the time, the Pastor was away on his honey- moon, so that the double bereavement, at such a season, came as a severe shock. He, also, was one of the founders, having previously been in member- ship at Pole Moor. As we have already seen, both these brethren were deacons from the commence- ment, and John Whitwam was church treasurer from the formation to his decease. At one time his daily occupation had been that of a stone quarry- man, and his nature seemed appropriately to possess something of the rugged strength peculiar to his environment. As a young man he had been careless and indifferent to the claims of religion, but once having been arrested in his “‘ mad career of sin and folly,’ he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the service of the Master, and the change in his life was not only real, but apparent. The doctrines of grace were his delight, and his confidence was reposed in God's power, not only to save, but also. to keep. There was one hymn of which he was particularly’ fond, and which he _ occasionally selected when conducting a prayer meeting. The deep, powerful tone of voice in which it was read was sufficient to impress it upon one’s memory :—
When any turn from Zion’s ways,— Alas, what numbers do !— Methinks I hear my Saviour say, Wilt thou forsake me too?
Rev. T. R. Lewis. I 17
Ah, Lord ! with such a heart as mine Unless Thou hold me fast, I feel I must, I shall decline, And prove like them at last.
Thus, having no confidence in the flesh, he relied upon the arm of Omnipotence, and waged, successfully, the Christian warfare. He was a ‘* terror to evil-doers,’’ and had little sympathy with the listless and the apathetic. A short time before his death he had a very serious illness, and was brought almost to “ the gates of the grave’’; but eventually recovered sufficiently so as to be able to attend the services of the sanctuary. With tenderness and pathos, and manifest humility, he spoke at one of the services, making mention of his great affliction, and comparing his recovery to that of Hezekiah, to whose life the Lord added fifteen years; and for a sign of which the shadow was brought -backward ten degrees in the dial of Ahaz. It was a beautiful comparison, and probably took the form of an earnest prayer, seeing that he was less than sixty years of age; yet in the able wisdom of Him ‘“‘in whose hand is the breath of all mankind,’’ the analogy was not to receive complete fulfilment. After a brief illness he passed away within a comparatively short period, 19th
September, 1893. ‘* The memory of the just is blessed.”’
78 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
There is one other aspect of the work in con- nection with the ministry of Mr. Lewis, without which this review would be incomplete: the work of the Sabbath School. During his time the classes for young men and young women were re-organised and in co-operation with other faithful workers— I O. B. Kenworthy, Edwin Whitwam, Andrew Taylor and others—much good was accomplished. His expositions of the Bible were instructive; awakening interest, and kindling enthusiasm, and from those taught at that time, many found their way into the church. ? Meanwhile the years passed: the funds for th ‘“New Chapel’” steadily increased, and the time drew nigh when building operations came up for consideration: this was in the early autumn of 1896. Unhappily, questions arose, in connection with the preliminary arrangements, which proved to be contentious, and which, to some extent, im- paired the spirit of concord and amity that had previously prevailed. Diversities of disposition and temperament, of outlook and ideal, need cause no surprise when found among men, indeed they are in keeping with the diversities of nature, seen in the myriad forms of leaf and flower; yet it is matter for regret when such differences cannot be composed and harmonized without loss of mutual esteem and fraternal feeling. Concord is something like the sensitive plant, occasionally seen in conservatories, which blooms ‘in its. own congenial atmosphere
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 79
with delicate beauty, but which will shrivel, and droop, and, for the time being, seem to fade, when touched, even by the human hand. So, is the effect of contention among brethren ! It is not always the great difficulties, and the abstruse problems that lead to disagreement and - misunderstanding; these solicit our fortitude, and call forth our noblest powers of penetration, dis- cernment, and calm deliberation; rather, is it not oft-times matters of less moment. that ruffle our composure and disturb our equilibrium. Two of the most conspicuous of the early church founders failed to see eye to eye concerning so small a mat- ter as to who should be their travelling companion, with the result that each went his several way. Dissention we might almost regard as the parent of disintegration. If we are to learn wisdom from the past; if, “‘out of the eater there is to come forth meat, and out of the strong we are to extract sweet- ness,’ then we shall learn not only to cultivate strength of conviction, but the spirit of gentle for- bearance; so shall there be fostered that grace—ex- celling all others— the ‘‘charity that never faileth.’ In this way past danger shall minister to present security, even as the buoy floats over the sunken reef, or as the light gleams forth from the rock- bound coast. Mr. Lewis did not remain at Scapegoat: Hill until the new chapel was built. Receiving a “‘call’’ from the baptist church at Elland Edge he preached
80 Scapegoat Hill Baptist. Church.
his farewell sermon on Sunday, 24th Ociober, 1897, I removing to his new sphere in the December fol- lowing. He had been pastor of the church for just over eight years, in addition to the eighteen months that he was pastor-elect; so that from the time of his first visit to that of his removal, was a period of ten years. During his ministry one hundred and forty-four were added to the church: one hundred and thirty-five by baptism, and nine by letter; while in matters of finance about £1,200 had been raised towards the ‘“‘Chapel Building Fund.”’
* * * *
History repeats itself, and to make this state- ment is but to give expression to a commonplace; yet there are circumstances when this is peculiarly manifest. In a short historical sketch of the Pole Moor baptist church, written by Mr. Lewis during his pastorate at Scapegoat Hill, he tells of a Rev. Abraham Webster, who, after serving the church as pastor for ten years, removed to the neighbour- ing church at Meltham; but who subsequently re- turned to the scene of his former labours at Pole Moor. In like manner we learn that Rev. Dr. Stock, who was pastor of the baptist church at Salendine Nook from 1848 to 1857, left the district to return again, after an absence of fifteen years, to minister to the same people. So in the case before us. After a lapse of nearly seventeen years, during which time he had served the churches at Elland
Rev. T. R. Lewis. 81
Edge, the two churches at Ossett, and that at Prim- rose Hill, Mr. Lewis retraced his steps to Scapegoat Hill. I _ The recognition services, on the occasion of his return, were held on Saturday, Ist August, 1914: a day ominous in our national history; when the war- clouds, then gathering in all their blackness, were so soon to burst in all their fury. It will readily be seen, therefore, that Mr. Lewis’ second pastorate has been one of “‘stress and strain.”’ Prior to his settlement, he had had a serious breakdown, which had necessitated for a time a’ complete rest; but having so far recovered as to be able to resume pastoral duties, it was hoped that something of his former vigour might be restored. During the six years, since his return, the work has been main- tained amidst difficulties, shared in common by all communities during the dark days of the war :— depleted numbers, anxious hearts, sorrowing rela- tives. These, undoubtedly, have been a tax upon the all too slender resources of his vital energy. Nevertheless the church has experienced a measure of success, and twenty-eight have been added by baptism. Increasing weakness, however, reluctantly compelled Mr. Lewis to consider the advisability of tendering his resignation, with the result that he I terminated his ministry with the closing year; preaching his farewell sermon 26th December, 1920. To mark their appreciation of his devoted service, and as an expression of their sympathy in
82 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
his premature retirement, the church and congrega- tion have presented to Mr. Lewis a cheque for £109 8s. Od. In the name of all who have sat under his ministry with delight we would extend to him our cordial good wishes, with the prayer that he may still be spared, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
REV. S. J. ROBINS—THE BUILDING OF THE NEW CHAPEL.
Having somewhat anticipated our ‘story, in order to complete the record of the late pastor, we now return to the point where we made the digres- sion. After Mr. Lewis’ resignation in Oct., 1897, the pulpit was supplied by ministers from different parts of the country, who came with a view to the pastorate. Among these was Rev. S. J. Robins, then of Blakeney, Gloucestershire. He was invited to preach on the first two Sundays in February, 1898, and, as the distance was considerable, it was arranged that he should remain in the neighbour- hood during the intervening week. Such was the impression made during this short visit, that on Tuesday, 15th February—immediately following the second Sunday—a special church meeting was held, when it was decided to invite Mr. Robins to accept the charge of the church. To this request he acceded, commencing his ministry on the first Sunday in May. He was formally recognized on Thursday, 30th June. The Rev. R. G. Fairbairn, B.A., Chelten-
84. _ Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
ham, preached in the afternoon and spoke at a public meeting in the evening, which was also addressed by Rev. Chas. Payne, and other neighbouring ministers. Although Mr. Robins came as a complete stranger to the district, he very soon made his influence felt in the locality. Without any special advertisement the congregations increased, and there were those who attended his ministry who previously had never been accustomed to worship at Scapegoat Hill. As a preacher he possessed remarkable power. His voice was musical and his manner pleasing; his diction was chaste and copious; his illustrations were felicitous and appropriate; his thought striking and original, while his delivery was animated and energetic. Added to these, there was a genuine ring of evangelical truth and scriptural teaching, without which all else were of little or no avail. Apart from the distinctly devotional aspect of the work during Mr. Robins’ ministry, the chief feature was the building of the New Chapel. Soon after his settlement the “* Stone-laying Ceremony *” was held: Saturday, 10th September, 1898. The Rev. D. W. Jenkins, Salendine Nook, officiated as chairman, while several of those selected to lay foundation stones—twelve in number—performed their honourable task in a representative capacity. Reading from left to right the names and descrip- tions are as follows :—
Rev. S. J. Robins. 85
Rev. S. J. Robins, on behalf of the Church and Congregation, September !0th, 1898.
Mrs. Mary Ann Whitwam, Scapegoat Hill, Golcar.
Mr. John Sykes, Fern Lea, Linthwaite, on behalf of Pole Moor Church. Mrs. Mary Hall, Moor Croft, Golcar. Rev. W. Gay, Golcar, President of the Yorks. Baptist Association. I Miss Betty Thorpe, Scapegoat Hill, Golcar. Alderman J. C. Horsfall, J.P., Keighley, Vice- President of the Yorkshire Baptist Association. Miss Francis E. Hirst, Rockfield, Lockwood. Alderman Joseph Brooke, J.P., Rein Wood, Lind- ley, Ex-President of the Yorkshire Baptist Association.
Miss Mary Brook, Grove Cottage, Bolster Moor,
Golcar. I Mr. David Haigh, Ash Grove, Longwood. Mr. Edwin Whitwam, Vermont, Golcar, on behalf of the Sunday School, September 10th, 1898.
Following the ceremony, tea was served in the school-room, after which a public meeting was held in the chapel, presided over by the Pastor, and addressed by the following ministers :—Revs. F. J. Benskin, D. Witton Jenkins, R. Briggs, T. R. Lewis, E. Evans and T. Iles. In this way the work of building was inaugurated, and the time occupied in its completion from this date covered a period of eighteen months. Another question that received consideration
86 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
about this time was the abbreviation of the church covenant.’ Although this was, comparatively speak- ‘ing, but a small matter, it is perhaps worthy of mention as indicating the changes in the thought, language and customs of the people made by the passing years. It would be of interest to trace the history of this old covenant to its original source, but for. the present we must forego the indulgence. Suffice ‘it to say that the Scapegoat Hill copy, neatly written in the opening pages of the ‘* Church Roll,’’ is a reproduction of the one in use at Pole Moor, which in turn may have come from Salendine Nook, or perhaps some of the other churches of Yorkshire or Lancashire, founded at an even earlier date. The revised version, as adopted and printed by the church at Scapegoat Hill, 2nd March, 1899, suggests, among other things, a more catholic spirit in its attitude towards Christians of other denomina- tions. This is seen in the elimination of.a sentence like the following :—‘* Whatever is contrary to ‘them . (the doctrines of Calvinism) whoever may bring it shall receive no countenance or encouragement from any of us, neither by our purses, meeting or dwelling houses.’ The revision further implies a change in the” customs and practices of the people. Among the things mentioned as being unworthy of the time and attention of a Christian are “‘ Rush-bearings,”’ a form of sport evidently in vogue at the time when the covenant was written, but altogether unknown,
Rev. S. J. Robins. 87
at least during the greater part of the last half century. I Other sections appear to have been pruned of any tendency towards verbosity, and while retain- ing their essential features they have been abridged so as to exclude many a sentence that had become both familiar and expressive. From a number of such we select the following We will humbly intreat, faithfully admonish, earnestly exhort, and carefully rebuke as the nature of the case may re- quire." I This grand old document, curtailed and modernized, is the code for the regulation of the individual Christian life. May its precepts and its promises be translated into actual experience, so shall the church become a real power in the world. Mr. Robins’ stay on Scapegoat Hill was only brief. To him belongs the distinction of having had the shortest. pastorate of any minister who has served the church. Officiating at the stone-laying, he had removed before the opening.. He preached his farewell sermon 17th September, 1899, having received an invitation to the pastorate of the Baptist Church, Birchcliffe, Hebden Bridge. Thirty-eight were babtized and added to the church during the period of his oversight, which was only about one and a half years; and it was with regret that his resignation was accepted. For the next eighteen months the church was ‘without an under-shepherd, and, although several
88 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
attempts to secure one were made during this period, they all proved abortive. Interest therefore next centres in the preparations that were made for the opening of the new chapel. In addition to the new edifice. it was decided to have a new organ, and so the building of both proceeded ously. The organ was installed by Messrs. Peter Conacher and Co., Huddersfield, at a cost of £300. It is a two-manual instrument, having seven stops. to the “‘swell organ’’ and six to the ‘‘great organ,” with two 16 ft. pedal stops, and three couplers. Being comparatively small and inexpensive, it does. not possess any of the accessories which are so prominent and valuable a feature of the modern instrument; but making allowance for these limita- tions it renders good service. The closing services in the old chapel were held on Sunday, 25th March, 1900. The Rev. T. R. Lewis, then of Elland Edge, was invited to preach on that occasion. The services were solemn and impressive, for this was an epoch in the church’s history. Clustering around the old sanctuary were many hallowed associations and happy. memories, which were, so to speak, gathered up in this final assembly. The preacher’s discourses were suitable to the occasion. His farewell message was based upon two texts:—* The Lord hath done. great things fer us ”” (Psalm 126-3), and ** The Lord hath
made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the
Rev. S. J. Robins. 8 land’’ (Gen. 26-22). The two divisions of his
sermon being :—
A Grateful Retrospect. A’ Glorious Prospect. __
With thankfulness and hope, therefore, the church made its exodus from the place where it. had tabernacled for so long, and proceeded to its. new abode. The new chapel was opened on Thursday, 29th March, 1900. The opening ceremony was, performed by J. R. Birkinshaw, Esq., Bradford, following which the Rev. W. Jones, Hebden Bridge, preached the opening sermon, from the text: ‘* Thou preparest a table before me in the presence. of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil ; my cup runneth over " (Psalm 23-5). I The total cost of the new chapel, with the land I thereto belonging, and all the appurtenances. _ thereof, amounted to the sum of £3,760, while the debt at the time of opening was about £1,100. To meet her liabilities the church was grateful to receive the generous assistance of the Yorkshire: Baptist Association, £600 being advanced as a loan, free of interest, and £100 given as a subscription from the Baptist Building and Extension Fund. And now at length, after the toils and struggles, and manifold activities of more than thirteen the work of building is consummated, and the church provided with ample accommodation for all
90 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
those who, like the Psalmist, ‘* desire to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in his temple.’’ May its congregations continue to increase, until the vision of the prophet, expressed in poetic imagery, shall find a more complete fulfilment: ‘“ Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? *
al i Sic
setae: corse are
REV. B. WILLIAMS, athe
During the summer of 1900, soon shad the open- ing of the new chapel, and while the church was still without pastor, the jubilee services in connec- tion with the formation of the Sunday School were celebrated. To commemorate this auspicious occa- sion a special medal was struck and presented to all the scholars. On one side of the medal there was I a design of the new chapel, while on the other was the following inscription Hill Baptist Sunday School Jubilee Celebration, September 15th, The day set apart for this event being Saturday, a demonstration took place in the afternoon, which was followed by a public meeting in the evening. Messrs. Thomas Pogson and Edward Crowther, two veteran teachers, were appointed to lead the procession, which was also accompanied by the Scapegoat Hill Brass Band, and which marched round the village. The evening meeting was presided: over by Mr. Joseph Blackburn, a former teacher, who had removed from the neighbourhood, and addressed _ by several old scholars and friends.
92 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
In continuation of the celebrations, an ‘‘ Old Scholars’ Anniversary was held on the Sunday, when Rev. William Haigh, Steep Lane, Sowerby Bridge, was the preacher. As a young man, while a member of. the church at Pole Moor, and before he entered the ministry, Mr. Haigh had, to some extent, been associated with Scapegoat Hill, so that it was fitting that he should occupy the pulpit at this time. His sermons were appropriate to the occasion, being historical and reminiscent in their character. The old scholars, male and female, were under the directorship of Mr. James Haigh, and_ suitable hymns and tunes were heartily sung. The services were well attended and much appreciated, recalling happy memories, and giving inspiration for re- newed service. Within a few weeks of the jubilee celebrations, Mr. B. Williams, then a student at the Baptist College, Cardiff, was invited to supply the pulpit for two Sundays. The ultimate outcome of that visit was a call to the pastorate. For the second time, therefore, the church was to receive a pastor direct from college. During his collegiate course Mr. Williams was successful in obtaining the diploma of A.T.S.— Associate of the Theological Senate—which was obtained by competitive examination, there being twenty-one candidates for six open scholarships. Prior to devoting himself to the Christian ministry
Rev. B. Williams. 93
he had laboured as a collier, so that, like many another preacher who has gained renown, he passed “* from pit to pulpit.” Accepting the church’s invitation, he com- menced his ministry at Scapegoat Hill on Easter Sunday, 7th April, 1901. The Ordination Services were held on the Tuesday following. The Rev. D. W. Jenkins, Salendine Nook, offered the ordination prayer. The Rev. Prof. Davies delivered a sermon in the afternoon, as the representative of the Baptist College, Cardiff, where Mr. Williams had been educated. Other ministers, among whom was Mr. Williams’ brother, Rev. J. Lloyd Williams, were also present, and took part in the proceedings. As a minister, Mr. Williams was faithful, sincere and conscientious. He enjoyed the con- fidence and appreciation of the members of his flock, and his pastorate was marked by reciprocal kindness and goodwill. His sermons were thought- ful and instructive, and were directed towards the edification of the saints and the arousing of the careless and the indifferent. He never strove after ** effect,’” and there was nothing sensational in his style or methods; yet was he eager and anxious that the work of the Lord should prosper, and was keenly sensitive to the apathy and unconcern of those who refused to surrender themselves to the claims of the gospel he preached. His solicitude for the salvation of souls was eventually rewarded by a large ingathering. In the
94 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
early part of the year 1905, Mr. Williams paid a visit to the Principality. At that time the ‘‘ Welsh Revival was at its height, and he had the privi- lege of attending some of the meetings. On his ‘return, at both the Sunday services, he narrated his experiences of what he had seen and heard. The outcome was a decision to hold.a series of special prayer meetings, and these were continued for several nights in each week, for six consecutive weeks. During this time the spirit of devotion grew in intensity. To quote Mr. Williams’ own words, The people wrestled, agonized and prayed at the throne of grace as I have never heard people suppli- cate—they stormed the mercy seat—then I saw the literal fulfilment of the words, * The violent take it by force." . . . The indifferent were quickened, the luke-warm revived, and the spiritual life of the church deepened and intensified.”’ As the result of this spiritual awakening forty were baptized and added to the church. I Another outstanding episode in the ministerial career of Mr. Williams was his imprisonment in Wakefeld gaol. After the passing of the Education Act of 1902, the ** Passive Resistance ’’’ movement came into prominence. Among other Nonconform- ists of the district, Mr. Williams was one of those who felt called upon to signify their disapproval of the provisions of that measure by refusing to pay the sectarian portion of the education rate. Being ‘an unmarried man, and having no goods upon
~ Rev. B. Williams. 95
which to distrain, he was, after arraignment before the justices of the peace, committed to serve a term of four days incarceration, as stated above. The following year the same attitude was taken up, with the result that the period of detention was extended, -but through the kindness of some unknown friend the amount owing was paid and the imprisoned preacher released, after having spent a day and a night in his solitary cell. Incidents like these reveal to us the strength of conviction and the courage of avowal which Mr. Williams manifested, traits that have been conspicuous in all great reformers. Some time after the opening of the new chapel, the trustees of the old building entered into correspondence with the Charity Commissioners, with a view to obtaining their sanction to dispose of the now derelict meeting house. After the neces- sary preliminaries, this sanction was obtained. The building was then taken down and the stone used in the erection of a boundary wall, enclosing the new cemetery referred to in Chapter VI., and which was publicly dedicated Saturday, 22nd July, 1905. Mr. Williams came as a new minister to a new chapel. There were, therefore, aspects of his work peculiar to himself. He tells us, “‘It was my pleasure to marry the first couple, and my joy to baptize the first believer in the new chapel, and it was my sad duty to bury the first person in the new Burial Ground.”’ After exercising his ministry at Scapegoat Hill
96 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
for five years, during which time seveniy-five were baptized, Mr. Williams removed to Ibstock, preach-
ing his farewell sermon 22nd April, 1906. His con--
cluding discourse was based upon that familiar declaration of the Apostle Paul, ‘‘For I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power
of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth ”’ (Rom. ,1-16)—a statement the truth of which had been so abundantly demonstrated during the years. of his sojourn.
ai Oe a ee
4 = + : ' i ‘ : ; - 5 . : : ae +” : é . = ; ; ‘ 5 = > ’ : : eo ‘ ’ . .
REV. H. R. JENKINS.
After Mr. Williams’ removal the church was happy to speedily secure a successor to the pastor- ate. During the ensuing summer Rev. H. R. Jenkins, South Wales, came as a supply, and, receiving an invitation, he commenced his labours as resident minister 7th October, 1906. It is interesting to note. the wide field from which the various pastors of the Scapegoat Hill church have been drawn. The first was educated at the Pontypool Baptist College; the second and third at Manchester; the fourth at London; the fifth at Cardiff, while Mr. Jenkins came from Rawdon. The recognition services were held, Saturday, 17th November, 1906. The Rev. Mr. Jones, a minister from South Wales, preached in the after- noon. A public meeting was held in the evening presided over by the new pastor; when addresses were delivered by Revs. James Williams, Dowlais, South Wales; E. G. Thomas, Heptonstall Slack; D. W. Jenkins, T. R. Lewis and James Evans ministers of the district; and also by the preacher for the afternoon. Mr. Edwin Whitwam, the
98 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
church secretary, gave a brief report of the church's: history. [he services were largely attended, and. were characterized by fervour and enthusiasm. With the commencement of Mr. Jenkins’ ministry the order of services, to which we had. occasion to refer in chapter V., was changed to morning and evening. At first this was only in the nature of an experiment, and was confined to the winter months; but after some fluctuations it finally became the established order. The church next directed its attention to sun-. dry minor improvements. On Saturday, 2nd February, 1907, the *‘Tree- planting Ceremony” took place. Arrangements. had been made with a landscape gardener for the laying out of the grounds, and the supply of the necessary plants and shrubs, for the sum _ of £25 12s. 6d. Those desirous of planting a sapling were given the opportunity of doing so, the contri- butions thus received being devoted towards defray- ing the expenses incurred. A public tea and meet- ing followed the ceremony, to which friends from other churches were invited, and addresses de- livered during the evening. ie A further improvement was effected by fixing a small gate on the south side of the chapel grounds, to the right of the principal entrance, with a walk running parallel to the eastern boundary wall from the road to the chapel building. This is particular- ly convenient for week-night services, which are
Rev H. R. Jenkins. 99
usually held in the chapel vestry, and to which it directly leads. matter calling for attention was the jnconvenience suffered owing to the exposed posi- tion of the northern entrance. When the wind blew from the north-west, the lack of protection was most marked, and the danger arising from violently closed doors, not inconsiderable. To remedy this state of things a porch was erected, thus breaking the current, and providing an additional door; and so adding to the comfort and security of the wor- shippers. The next undertaking of importance was the renovation of the chapel. When the chapel was first built, it was fitted with a ceiling of plaster or cement, but for some reason or other this had proved unsatisfactory, and in certain places had begun to fall. It was therefore decided that this should be taken down, and substituted by a ceiling of pitch pine. This work was executed for the sum of £135 5s. Od., and was carried out during the time that the chapel was closed for painting and decor- ating. To meet the cost of the various improve- ments the church applied to the Yorkshire Baptist Association for a further loan of £300, which was kindly granted free of interest. The re-opening services were held during the early part of Septem- ber, 1907, when additional preachers were secured, and special services held to mark the festive occasion.
100 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
Soon after this time the church sustained the loss by death of one of its most prominent leaders : Deacon Edwin Whitwam. He had been connected with the church from its formation, having pre- viously been in membership with the baptist church. at Golcar. For nearly twenty-three years he was secretary of the Sunday School, and the reading of the report at the annual meeting, formerly held on Christmas day, was always regarded as an item of interest. He possessed in some measure the gift of poetry, and occasionally his reports would be adorned by a verse or couplet which was a com- position of his own. On more than one occasion he wrote a hymn for the anniversary: these were usually songs of glad thanksgiving, suitable to ex- press the children’s praise. As one of the instru- mentalists who accompanied the singing on Anniversary Day, he rendered long and faithful service on the violin; and every cause connected with the welfare of the young found in him an ardent and generous supporter. He served the church as a deacon for more than twenty-one years, and at the time of his decease was the senior mem- ber of that body. For nearly five years he held the office of church secretary, continuing his labours in that capacity almost to the last. Although, reckoning time by the calendar, he did not live to be an old man, yet his christian activities covered a period of about forty years, so that in his case the encomium of the prophet found fulfilment, ** /¢
Rev H. R. Jenkins. oO
is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”’ He died 14th December, 1907, at the age of 58 years. I Falling within the period under review, though removed in point of time from the foregoing by more. than five years, the church lost another prominent leader by the death of brother Edward Crowther. From his youth up he was connected with the Church and Sunday School. He had a special aptitude for maintaining order and discipline, and, in his earlier years took an active part among the children at such functions as Whitsuntide Demon- strations, and open-air baptismal services. He was a man of more than average intelligence, and he devoted much time to matters pertaining to the material and social well-being of the community. Being fluent of speech, and interested in business, he found a congenial sphere of service in committee work of various descriptions, and at many such gatherings proved himself a capable chairman. At the services of the sanctuary he was most regular and constant, always taking up his place in the pew, so that of him it might be said, as it is said of David, “‘Thou shalt be missed because thy seat will be empty.’’ He died ‘‘in harness’” 15th May, 1913, at the age of 66 years, having attended a business meeting the same evening; and having been a member of the church thirty-eight years. In the early part of the year 1909 the church decided to print, and distribute to all its members
102 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
copies of its “‘Confession of embodied in twenty-one articles; and which had been drawn up and handed down, as the creed of the ‘‘Particular Baptist Churches,’’ in a similar manner to the ‘Covenant, to which reference has already been made. Prior to this time the church possessed but one written copy, and this had not been publicly read for many years. By the new arrangement, therefore, individual members may become more thoroughly acquainted with the church’s distinc- tive, denominational tenets, which should enable them to give a reason for the faith they hold. Having briefly surveyed the notable features of the work in general during the pastorate of Mr. Jenkins, we next turn our attention to his minister- ial labours. His sermons bore the marks of care- ful preparation in the study, calling to mind the in- junction given by Moses where he _inculcates “beaten oil’’ for the sanctuary lamp. Not only was there sequence in the arrangement of his thoughts, but his language was varied and well chosen. Mr. Jenkins seldom attempted an elaborate introduction. Speaking figuratively the ‘‘structure’’ of the sermon was never ornamented with massive pillars or im- posing portico; but once you had entered the you were conscious of design and order. A few brief sentences, spoken with deliberation, in a somewhat quiet tone of voice, would introduce to his hearers the theme upon which he purposed to dwell. ‘Then, passing to his more copiously written notes,
Rev H. R. Jenkins. 103
he would unfold the doctrine, or develop the argu- ment with the skill of the logician. He was sparing in his use of illustrations, and his sermons were abstract rather than concrete: appealing to the intellect more than the imagination. In this respect he somewhat resembled Dr. John Foster, the emin- ent baptist minister, formerly of Bristol. His mode of treatment was textual rather than topical, so that in his preaching due place was given to the expos- ition of the word. These qualities enabled him the more effectively to minister to the saints, and to ** feed the flock of God.’’ As we have seen, Mr. Jenkins was a Welshman, and this fact was made abundantly manifest by his delivery. There was nothing monotonous in his speech, but his voice rose and fell in harmony with the sentiments ex- pressed; recalling the ministry of Rev. D. Lewis, the church’s first pastor. For seven years Mr. Jenkins laboured at Scapegoat Hill, during which time 24 were added to the church by baptism. He terminated his ministry Sunday, 26th October, 1913, having received a call to the baptist church Caersws, North Wales.
CHAPTER XI. THE DAY SCHOOL.
No history of the Church and Sunday School at Scapegoat Hill would be complete without some reference to the Day School. In the years that are passed, perhaps more so than to-day, they were almost inseparably connected. When it is remem- bered that at the time when the Sunday School was first formed, there was no properly established system of compulsory elementary education, and that many of the children of those days were in- debted to the Sunday School for the little learning they were able to obtain, we shall realize, in a measure, the close affinity that has existed between. the two. _ Before the building of the present Day and Sunday School, which was erected by voluntary subscription in the year 1872, Mr. and Mrs. Bolton had taught, in a small way, at the old Sunday School. The new building was completed at Easter, 1874, and opened for instruction under the direction of Mr. J. G. Mason and his sister, Miss Mason, as Headmaster and Mistress. In the autumn of the preceding year—1873—
The Day School. 105
when as yet the School was incomplete, there had been formed a *‘ Mechanics’ Institute,’ which met in the vestry beneath the School. This company was largely composed of men living in the neigh- bourhood who realized the value of education, and who were anxious to do what they could to further its interests. Here emanated the suggestion of taking steps to secure a schoolmaster, and from this body a committee was formed to make the neces- sary enquiries. The committee was composed of the following :—William Lockwood, Edward Crowther, Edwin Whitwam, O. B. Kenworthy and John Arthur. Soon after, an advertisement was inserted in the Huddersfield Examiner ’’ and the ‘“ Manchester Examiner and Times ’’—the latter paper is now extinct—which appeared in the follow- ing words:— Wanted, a Schoolmaster and Mistress for Scapegoat Hill Day School : a Dissenter preferred.’’ As the outcome of this advertisement, Mr. and Miss Mason were appointed, and com- menced their labours as stated above. I In preparation for the work of teaching there had been provided school books, desks, and other necessary apparatus. As, however, the resources — of the committee were but small, they had to con- tent themselves with a very modest outlay. The desks secured were second-hand, and the books, unfortunately, more or less unsuitable and not up- to-date, so that from the commencement the work was carried on under disabilities.
106 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
Steps were next taken to place the School on the Government Grant List, and for this purpose the following were appointed as a committee :— Messrs. John Pogson, Joseph Crowther, Samuel Kenworthy, Edmund Lockwood, Edward Black- burn, John Arthur, O. B. Kenworthy, William Lockwood and Edward Crowther. On enquiry it was ascertained that one of the conditions essential to the School being recognized by the Government was that the Headmaster should be certificated. It now transpired that Mr. Mason was not certified : he was therefore asked to qualify under Article 59 of the Code of 1874. Being unwilling to comply with the terms imposed, Mr. Mason tendered his resignation in October, leaving at Christmas, 1874. The School was next re-opened on the 4th January, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. William Aspin had _ been appointed as Master and Mistress, with their son, Master Wilfred Aspin as Monitor. A notice calling the attention of the public to the terms and conditions of enrolment, was printed and circulated, a copy of which is still preserved. For purposes of payment, the children were grouped into three classes, the charges per week, payable in advance, being as follows:—Infants under seven, 2d.: Middle Section, 4d.; First Class, 6d.; Half-timers, 3d. and 4d., respectively. A small discount was allowed upon these rates for large families, and also for monthly advance payments. A _ noticeable feature of the time table is, that while the hours
SS > aaa
The Day School, 107
of attendance in the summer were the same as now, an extra half-hour’s grace was given in the winter months, the morning session commencing at 9-30, instead of 9 o'clock. This document is signed : : William Aspin, Master. John Pogson, For the Committee.
On the 13th March, 1876, after a brief illness, Master Wilfred Aspin died of brain fever. This was a great blow to his parents. Shortly afterwards Mrs. Aspin was absent from school duties for nearly three months, so that, during this period, the School must have been conducted with difficulty. Hitherto no provision had been made in the way of class-room accommodation, so that all the respective standards, as well as the infant classes, were taught in the same room. Attention was re- peatedly drawn to this state of things by Her Inspectors, but no improvement was effected until the following year. For reasons of health, Mr. and Mrs. Aspin sent in their resignation on the October, terminating their engagement 21st December, 1876, having just completed two years’ service. With the opening of the year 1877—the 7th January, to be specific—Mr. Andrew Taylor and his sister, Miss Emma Taylor, assumed the reins of government, and thus commenced a period in the
educational history of Scapegoat Hill that has since ~
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A feature of the work at this time was the teaching of ‘“‘ Evening : Classes.”’ These were attended both by males and females. The progress, however, was slow, for many of the pupils had had no day school training. Their conduct, moreover, was not all that could be desired, and they were sometimes rude in manner and abrupt in speech, making control and discipline difficult. From the time of his appointment, Mr. Taylor undertook the management of the ‘** Evening Classes.’’: He tells us that the measure of attain- ment, at the time of examination, was very timited. ‘“ Not one of the whole school was qualified to be presented above Standard II.”’ In the arduous task of teaching, Mr. Vaylor was loyally supported by the school managers and a few others who had reached a higher standard of attainment than the rank and file. In addition to those whose names have been previously men- tioned, the following were of this number :—Messrs. Oliver Singleton, G. Wood, Joseph Singleton, John Kenworthy, George Ainley and Chas. E. Clay. These classés were continued from the time of which we write, to the year 1902. Contrasting the early, with the latter days, Mr. Taylor mentions the fact that, at the close of this period the sub- jects taught included :—Composition, Mensuration, Book-keeping, Drawing, Woodwork, Leatherwork, Cookery, Laundry and Dressmaking. He also tells us that Mr. Firth, one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors,
The Day School. 109
who conducted the examinations almost throughout the whole of the time, “‘ often remarked on the marvellous change which had been wrought in one generation. To return to the work carried on during the day, we had already seen that there was only one room for all purposes. Soon after Mr. settlement, the Managers decided to erect a light, plaster partition, thereby reducing the size of the main room by one-third. The remaining portion was further sub-divided into two rooms of unequal size, the larger room being fitted up with a small gallery suitable for infants, and the smaller being set apart for one of the lower standards. This
work was executed by Mr. William Lockwood,
Golcar, for the sum of £40. These alterations proved beneficial and contributed to the more efficient management of the School. For the next fifteen years there was no further development, so far as the school premises were concerned. At the end of that time, however, the Government Inspectors began to press for more suit- able accommodation and better apparatus. The infants’ room had become out of date, and the small class room was condemned owing to _ its meagre dimensions. To meet these new demands a scheme of extension and improvement was evolved, which incurred an outlay of about £450. The School Managers—** Educational. Mr. Taylor has termed them—together with the Pastor
110 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
and people of the Church and congregation, began to devise ways and means to raise the funds thus required. The old partition was taken down, and the large room thrown open as at the first. Two class rooms and a large infants’ room were then erected at the southern end of the original building. The stone-laying ceremony took place on Saturday, 30th April, 1902, when foundation stones were laid by Mrs. Hall, Golcar, and Mrs. Whitwam, Scape- goat Hill. The sum of £50 was raised on that occasion. The work was completed in the early autumn of the same year, and the event was cele- brated by a magnificent gathering on the 29th October. The late Lord Airedale, then Sir James Kitson, M.P., occupied the chair. John Sugden, E'sq., County Alderman J. B. Robinson, and Wm. Crowther, Esq., were the speakers for the evening, -and without doubt this was a memorable occasion in the educational history of Scapegoat Hill. The next change of importance brings us to the summer of 1894. For some considerable time prior to this, the question of forming a School Board had engaged public attention. Now, it had become an established fact, and on the 2nd July, 1894, the school was re-opened as the Scapegoat Hill Board School. From this time fees were abolished, and the government, hitherto vested in the “ Day School Managers ’’ was transferred to the Golcar School Board. The Rev. T. R. Lewis, who was
Pastor of the Church at the time, was elected to
The Day School. 111.
serve on that body, so that the community had still its representative on the new Educational Author- wie At the urgent request of the Government Inspectors, further improvements were effected in the year 1900. New cloak rooms were added, a heating apparatus installed, the playground re- paired and enlarged, and out offices built, the total cost of which was £600. ~The Golcar School Board rendered good ser- vice for a decade, after which it was superseded by the West Riding County Council, as provided for by the Education Act of 1902. Since the School was taken over by the County Authority in 1904, further improvements have been carried out. The infants’ gallery has been dis- placed, and movable wooden partitions erected in the main room, dividing it into three separate class rooms, when occasion requires. For the long period of forty-three years and nearly five months, Mr. Taylor has conducted the School as Headmaster. Commencing as a young man of less than twenty-two years, he has spent a life-time at Scapegoat Hill in the interests of educa- tion and the service of the children. Associated with him in the work of teaching during this period there have been eight male, and more than thirty female assistants. From under his care there have gone forth scholars to many lands and to every continent. Of those who have passed through the
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School some have risen to distinction and success;. while others, as the result of the instruction.
received, have been the better fitted for ‘* the
common round and the daily task.’’ With the
exception of the Rev. D. Lewis, whose pastorate commenced two and a half years before Mr.
Taylor’s appointment, all the ministers, whose term.
of service we have briefly traced, have come, and gone, during his stay. The sterling qualities that he has displayed during this protracted period have gained for him
the respect and esteem of those who have come under his influence. His genial manner, his un-
failing constancy, his strict integrity, his untiring
industry, and his devotion to the teaching profes-.
sion :—these are some of the traits that have been conspicuous in his life and work. He retired at the age of sixty-five years on the 18th May, 1920.
To commemorate his long and faithful service:
a public meeting was held on Saturday, 2Ist August, 1920, when Mr. Taylor was presented
with a gold watch, suitably inscribed, and a cheque for £61 10s. The list of speakers, representative in
character, included the following :—Messrs. T.
Ward, Mr. Taylor’s former schoolmaster; John.
Whiteley, J.P., Chairman of the Colne Valley
Education Sub-Committee; Edgar T. Woodhead,
LL.B., Divisional Clerk; J. Griffiths, on behalf of
the Colne Valley Head Teachers; J. Garlick, Assistant Master at Scapegoat Hill; Rev. T. R.
The Day School. 113:
Lewis, Pastor of the Church. The appreciation of former scholars was also expressed by Messrs. J. W. Kenworthy, J. W. Lockwood (Chairman), N. Haigh and J. H. Whitwam, who made the respec-. tive presentations. Songs were also rendered by the school children. A truly historic gathering ! We rejoice that Mr. Taylor is still able, in vari- ous ways, to render useful service to the commun- ity, and would wish for him long life wherein to enjoy his well-earned rest. The familiar and honoured name of “* Taylor *” is still maintained, in the person of Mr. Norman Taylor, who, though not related to his predecessor, has followed him in the head teacher’s office. For- him we would desire a happy and _ prosperous. career.
CHAPTER XII. OPEN-AIR PREACHING.
Since the days of the Apéstles, when on Mar’s Hill Paul preached to the Athenians, or when John the Baptist proclaimed, in the wilderness of Judea, the baptism of repentance, there has been, through all the centuries, effective open-air preach- ing. The Master himself, in this, as in other respects, a pattern for his people, made known the ‘word of life on the slopes of Olivet, and by Gennesaret’s shore. In our own land, about the middle of the eighteenth century, George Whitfield did a mighty work by proclaiming the gospel in the open air. Writing of his experiences after preaching to thousands in the colliery district of Kingswood, near Bristol, he says, ‘* The first discovery of their being affected was to see the white gutters made by their tears, which plentifully fell down their black cheeks, as they came out of their pits.”’ About the same time, far away in the mountain fastnesses of the North of Scotland, men like Robert and James Haldane “ proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus,’’ their ministry also being blessed with abiding fruit.
Open-air Preaching. TS
Soon after the formation of the Church at Scapegoat Hill, arrangements were made for hold- ing open-air services during the summer months; and this practice has continued, more or less inter- mittently, up to the present time. In the days when the order of services was morning and afternoon, the summer evenings would oft-times be devoted to services of this nature; but since morning and even- ing has been adopted, a brief open-air meeting has only been possible, following a curtailed evening service. In earlier days the favourite place of rendez- vous was near to the Standing Stone,’ to which reference was made in the opening chapter. Viewed from the standpoint of securing a large congregation, this place might not appear to be the most suitable, as it is situated some distance from the village. Being in direct line with a neigh- bouring township, however, there were generally a number of passers-by, who from time to time would stop and listen to the preacher’s message. Witnessed under ideal climatic conditions, the scene was one to be remembered. The evening calm; and the sky clear and cloudless; the distant horizon suggesting something of ihe boundlessness of the love of which the preacher spoke; the moor- land heather providing a carpet or a cushion, whereon the children sat, or the weary reclined; the band of faithful followers, who, gathering about the preacher, joined in the singing, or led in K
116 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
prayer; the preacher, in language simple and plain, occasionally lit up with some telling illustration or striking anecdote, making known to the people the way of life, through faith in the Crucified. Though there may have been no visible tokens, like those manifested by the colliers of Kingswood, we would fain hope that impressions were made, and that lasting good was accomplished. On other occasions the worshipping throng would assemble at various places in the neighbour- hood suitable for public concourse. Among these might be mentioned Nettleton Hill, Spring Head, Pike Law, Upperfields, and, last, but not least, the junction uniting High Street with School Road, known by the name of Pike Law Lane—a kind cf market place to the village. At these places the preacher came into immediate contact with the people of the neighbourhood, and, if they failed to hear the gospel’s joyful sound, generally speaking, it must have been due to lack of desire, rather than lack of opportunity. Not only was the gospel faithfully preached, but its truths were heralded forth in song. Hymns from Sankey’s selection were, for the most part, adopted, and familiar lines, such as *‘ Whosoever will,”’ or ‘‘ There is life for a look,’’ would be wafted on the evening air. In the choice of subjects the preachers had regard to the audience and the occasion, with the result that suitable themes were usually presented.
Open-air Preaching. 117
Incidents, such as “* Christ’s call to Zacchaeus”’;
parables, like *‘ The Rich Man and Lazarus ”’; metaphors, as The house not made with hands ”’ : these, and others like them, were made the basis of many an earnest appeal. Some of these addresses have been remembered through the years; the unusual surroundings amid which they were delivered having helped to fix them upon the memory, and given to the text a peculiar setting, all — its own. May the seed thus sown by the wayside yet spring up and bring forth an abundant harvest.
CuHapter XIII. BAPTISMAL SERVICES.
To become a Baptist almost excludes the possibility of hiding one’s light under a bushel, at least in so far as it relates to the initial stages of the christian career. Nicodemus, may have come to Jesus by night, and, under cover of darkness, discussed with him the mysteries of the new birth. Those, however, who would ally themselves with the church, whose history we are now considering, and others, of the same faith and order, must fol- low the example of the Master; who, on the occa- sion of his baptism declared “* Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.’’ Repeatedly, in the writ- ings of the New Testament, we have instances of the observance of this sacred rite. By John in Jordon; by the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost; and by Philip, when he came to a place where there was water, as he crossed the desert, towards Gaza. Here, in the home country, though our climate is not as mild at that of Palestine, open-air bap- tisms, in former times, were no unusual sight. With the passing of the years, however, customs have changed; and where new chapels have been
Baptismal Services.. 119
erected, a baptistry has usually been placed within the building; so that at the time of which we write, Scapegoat Hill was the only church, for some con- siderable distance, where the old order remained. Baptismal services were invariably conducted after the morning worship, which was held in the chapel. The baptismal pool was situated in a small field in the immediate vicinity, and here the dismissed congregation wended its way, to witness the sacred ordinance. The place was admirably suited for the: pur- pose, being on the southern slope of the summit, and forming a kind of natural gallery. Running parallel with the field, on the northern side, was the highway, from which a vast concourse could look down upon the service, with uninterrupted view. Here, there usually assembled a_ large gathering, composed of those who had not attend- ed the morning service: of those alas! who seldom came. A feeling of solemnity, if not of awe per- vvaded the scene. The preacher, robed for the occasion, and in consequence looking more _ pro- phetical than was his wont, would, in solemn tones, announce the hymn. Mr. Harrison, in his time, had one particular favourite. It spoke of dedica- tion, and self-surrender :—
‘‘ In all my Lord’s appointed ways, My journey I'll persue; I Hinder me not, ye much loved saints, For I must go with you.’’
120 — Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
This would be sung to a plaintive air, like ‘* St. or, “ St. from Houldsworth’s Cheetham’s Psalmody, and, as the strains were carried on the breeze, it is impossible to compute what influences were exerted. During Mr. Lewis’ ministry, he would occa- sionally deliver a short address, expounding the principles and practices of the baptists, and urging upon his hearers, decision for Christ. The most popular service that was ever con- ducted in this place, if we are to judge by the num- bers who witnessed it, was held on Ist Dec., 1895. The ‘‘ United Mission,’’ referred to in a previous chapter, had just been held: and ten brethren and fourteen sisters had avowed discipleship. The news of the baptismal service had travelled far and wide, and on the appointed day, an unprecedented number came to behold. Every available space was occupied; every point of vantage was gained, even to the roofs of the adjacent out-buildings; and it was estimated that some fifteen, or sixteen hun- dred people assembled on that morning. Yet was the service observed with due decorum. Truly, this was a memorable occasion ! While to some, it may have been a cross thus publicly to confess Christ, yet to others it was a joy and a delight, yea, a duty, that could not brook delay. Generally, friends and relations were only too pleased to encourage sincere seekers after truth: yet others did not receive such encouragement, and
Baptismal Services. 121
in one particular instance, marked hostility was manifested. The one in question was a married. sister, who, though connected with the Sunday School from her youth, and was now well past mid-life, had still remained outside the pale of the church. He to whom she had plighted troth, was. unsympathetic towards religion, and apparently all its adherents. Consistent with his views, on learn- ing that his partner in life anticipated baptism, he resolutely set himself the task of thwarting her in her purpose. ‘A man’s foes shall be they of his own and this statement may be irrespective of sex. It was the custom of the-ehutth “at Scapegoat Hill for candidates for membership to give some verbal statement of their christian experience, and in company with another applicant, this sister was expected at a certain church meeting, preceding the day of baptism. She did not appear; and through the agency of another, the church learned the reason why. Yet, as in the case of imprisoned Peter, whose fate she had shared, though under different conditions, “‘ prayer was made of the church unto God’’ for her. The sabbath dawned, bright and beautiful, for it was a glorious spring morning. The worship-. pers assembled; but there was one vacant place ! And now, for a moment, we must gaze upon another scene. In the hardness of his heart, the stern husband had resolved that morning to re--
122 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
main at home, thinking thereby to frustrate the noble intentions of his devoted helpmeet. But as the morning wore away, and fully persuaded that his purpose had been accomplished, he relaxed his rigour, and left the house. Seizing her opportun- ity, the brave heroine, in unconventional dress, likewise left her abode, and, travelling by devious ways, reached the sanctuary, as the morning ser- vice concluded. We may imagine, if we cannot express the surprise. In her own charac- teristic fashion, she asked for baptism, and that without delay, lest her avenger should follow in hot pursuit. There was no need for alarm. The ser- vice was conducted with calm tranquillity, and that day, there was added to the church one who has been a living witness ever since; and who, in her own incomparable way, has endeavoured to “ let her light shine before men.”’ The last baptism to be observed on this his- toric spot, was conducted Sunday, 3rd Dec., 1899. There was but one candidate, Mrs. Elizabeth Haigh, who at the time of her baptism was 58 years of age. With one exception she was the old- est member ever baptized. She continued in mem- bership nearly fifteen years, when she was called home 5th Nov., 1914, at the age of 73 years. Con- cerning her it is recorded that the whole of her long life was spent in the house in which she was born. Taking all these circumstances together :— the dying year; the elderly candidate; and the un-
Baptismal Services. 123
eventful career, and they seem to form a fitting accompaniment to an epoch, which on this partic- ular occasion, was brought to a close. Baptismal services are still observed, though no longer in the open air, but in the well-appointed up-to-date baptistry, beneath the table-pew in the
SUNDAY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARIES.
No event in connection with the Sunday School occupies greater prominence than the ‘’ Anniversary.”’ All through the years it has en- joyed something of its present popularity, and its influence has been far-reaching. To insure its suc- cess preparations are made long before the time, and the day is looked forward to with glad anti- cipation. This is the occasion when enthusiasm reaches high-water mark, and when a _ spirit of liberality is more manifest than at any other season. Not that considerations of finance pre- dominate, these certainly have their place, and, taken in conjunction with the musical and devo- tional aspects of the services, they form one com- plete whole. The first Anniversary was held on Sunday, 28th July, 1850. A copy of the Hymns—brown with age—sung on that occasion has been pre- served. The name of the preacher is not given, and there is no mention of an anthem or chorus: but simply three hymns, printed on a single sheet for the afternoon service. We cannot, at this dis- tant date, ascertain the reason why the Annivers-
Sunday School Anniversaries. 125
ary, that year, was held in July; yet it would appear that soon after, it was changed to the third Sunday in June, a date that has been looked upon as a kind of fixture ever since. In this matter of the selection of the date, simple as it may appear, we have reason to be grateful to the teachers of those early days; for associations have been formed, and customs established that have almost indissolubly linked the Scapegoat Hill Annivers- ary with the “‘ length of days.” One of the first steps to be taken in the way of preparation for the Anniversary was the selec- tion of suitable tunes. In the old days this was no small task, for music publishers did not cater for Sunday School festivals to the same extent as they do now. In the neighbourhood of Dewsbury there lived, at that time, certain composers of repute, and a few of the veteran musicians would, accord- ingly, arrange to pay them a visit. This would constitute ‘‘a sabbath day’s There were no cars at the time to which we refer, so that the distance had usually to be covered on foot. Possibly, they would call at some place of worship on the way for morning service, continuing their
journey, after rest and refreshment, later in the
day. Arrived at their destination they would make known their quest, when the good man would bring forth his treasures, and, to suitable accom- paniment, demonstrate their worth. Having made the necessary selection, and doubtless partaken of
126 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
the hospitality of their musical host, they would address themselves to the return journey, rejoicing in the discoveries that they had made. As we have already seen there was no choir, as such, in those days, so that the work of training the scholars was deputed to one specially appoint- ed for the purpose. Looking back over the past years we find that quite a good number of music- ians have rendered valuable service in this capac- ity :—John Wood, James Haigh, William Haigh, George Wood, O. B. Kenworthy, Nathan Haigh, Joseph A. Blackburn, Joseph Webster and John Haigh. These bring us down to more recent days. Others who rendered additiona! assistance include : James France, Walter Haigh, and Friend Dyson, while as accompanists on the Harmonium there were notably. :—Joseph Singleton, Herbert France and John W. Whitwam. The work of training the scholars has gener- ally occupied some five or six weeks, during which time they would assemble with the teachers in the chapel for rehearsals. Formerly, these rehearsals were very popular, and large numbers of young men would attend, occupying the body of the chapel, and listening to the singing. During the time that Rev. T. R. Lewis was pastor he noticed this, and formed the opinion that the practice did not contribute to the success of the occasion. This was during the time that Mr. Kenworthy was con- ductor. One day, in the course of his pastoral -
Sunday School Anniversaries. 12
visitations, he called upon a lady who was a mem- ber of his congregation; and, among other things the conversation turned upon the scholar’s rehears- als; when the following dialogue, in substance, took place :— Said the minister: “If I was Mr. Kenworthy I should lock the door, and keep every one out except those who came to sing.’ ‘* If you did you would soon get into trouble,’ retorted the lady. ‘* How asked the astonished pastor. ‘* Because the young men come to listen to the singing of the young women, and from among them each one selects his future partner-in-life.’’ ‘* And: do you think ‘matches’ have been made that way>’’ queried the guileless munistei. ‘* Many a score, Mr. Lewis, many a score !’’ Needless to say the would-be reformer pursued his policy no further: the lady’s argument had clinched the whole matter. Not alone were the preparations confined to the practising of anniversary music: they covered a much wider field. Practically every house-wife was engaged in the self-imposed task of additional spring cleaning; with here and there little improve- ments; if only in the shape of an extra bit of oil- cloth, or a new curtain for the window. In the matter of new dresses moreover, it was highly essential that these should be obtained in time for the anniversary day; and if by some unfortunate
128 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
circumstance this should not be possible, you might regard them as having depreciated in value. Should the much-coveted prize turn out unsatis-
factory, in matters of shape, colour or size, then
the countenance, that had previously gleamed with something like the June sunshine, would be changed, so that it more nearly represented an April shower. I Even the officials of the Urban District Council did not forget the date of the anniversary, but in the days immediately preceding busied themselves with sundry improvements. Only with the dawn of the anniversary day were the preparations completed. Then, friends from near and far would assemble, and to those who loved ** the gates of Zion ’’ it was considered a privation to be missing. On one occasion, a brother, who took a deep interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the Sunday School, found himself in a rather awkward predicament. His business occasionally took him on a Saturday to a somewhat distant town in Lancashire. On this particular occasion—the day preceding the anniversary—for some unexplained reason, he missed the last train by which he should have returned home. There was no help for it but to settle down with such patience as he could command, seek lodgings for the night, in the hope of travelling by the 11 train on Sunday morning. Sunday morning arrived, and, so far as
Sunday School Anniversaries. 129
we know, the train departed at the scheduled time,
but again, strange as it may appear, this unfortu- nate brother was left behind. What was to be done? The anniversary services commenced at
2-30 p.m., and he was anxious to be there. Eventu-
ally he discovered that, later in the morning, a train was due to leave for Yorkshire belonging to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Co., but this meant that he must travel to Huddersfield, four. miles beyond his destination, and in- those days no cars were running. With alacrity he embraced his only remaining opportunity, and by various contrivances, which love can
‘suggest, he at length arrived at the Chapel,
the children were commencing to sing the first hymn for the afternoon service. Such an instance recalls the language of the Psalmist, ‘* My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”’ The services were always well attended, and,
jn the early days to which our story more particu-
larly relates, the old Chapel was usually crowded. If the preacher lacked warmth it was not the fault of the environment. In addition to the harmonium, the singing was accompanied by a band, composed of string, reed and pipe instruments. Occasionally, the stillness of the service would be broken by a sudden click,”’ when it would be discovered that a fiddle-string
180 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
had snapped, no longer able to bear the tension consequent upon the excessive heat. Although the singing was an important feature of the service, the sermon had always its due place. Many earnest and faithful appeals were made by the respective preachers, which, in general, were listened to with close attention and keen interest. For the most part the music was bright and joyous, composed of hymn-tunes, some of which had very lively choruses, together with selections. from some of the great Oratorios. These gave an opportunity for the band to display their powers of execution, for the choruses, as a rule, had a very full accompaniment. At one time an almost indis- pensable item was the “* Duet,”’ usually sung by first and second soprano voices. ‘This éame immediately after the sermon, and while there had been a manifest lull about the doors during the preaching, by the exit of those who could not find sitting accommodation, immediately the band commenced to play the first quavering notes of the symphony they would again re-assemble. One of these duets, which will perhaps be better remem- bered than some others, was set to the following words :—
Let us join to swell the chorus Of the saints enthroned on high: They have crossed the floods before us Now in Heaven they ever cry.
This was followed by a rousing chorus :—** Unto
Sunday School Anniversaries. 131
Him that hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God. To Him be glory and dominion for ever. Amen.”’ In contrast to the more cheerful music there would be introduced from time to time a somewhat plaintive air, to commemorate the loss of some scholar or teacher. This was the more impressive
_ if the one lamented had been taken in the bloom
and buoyancy of youth. Some suitable hymn, descriptive of the ** blessedness of heaven,’” would be set to the music, and at such seasons eternal realities did not appear to be far distant, and language like that of the apostle was invested with a new significance: *‘ Ye are come to Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, . . . to the general assembly and church of the first born, to the spirits of just men made perfect.”’ To the household of faith the sorrow and pain of parting lose something of their poignancy, in the beautiful assurance given by John in his Apoca- lypse: “‘ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things are passed away.”’ As we have seen, the collection was not for- gotten, and friends from afar would lovingly send their contributions when unable to be present. At the first anniversary the amount raised was from
£8 to £9. In 1920—the highest collection on record
132 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
—the total receipts were £202 Is. 103d. After making allowances for inflated currency due to the late war, this is surely a remarkable advance, and is, at least, some indication of the progress made during the years that are past. Having in imagination taken a brief glance at the service in progress, we next pass to the vestry below, and in so doing descend from the trans- cendental to the matter-of-fact. As we have already seen, the ordinary company of musicians was, on this occasion, augmented, usually both by vocalists and instrumentalists, particularly the latter. It was therefore necessary to make some provision for their requirements. In a corner of the room (“‘ Tell it not in Gath’’), shaded from the light and heat, was a small barrel of home-brewed beer, which oné of the good sisters had prepared during the previous week. On the table there was placed a joint of roast beef, in addition to which were other things necessary for the preparation of a substantial tea. In a small cupboard, or some other out-of-the-way place, there would be provided a number of pipes and tobacco, for those who loved to indulge in ‘the fragrant weed.”’ A few sisters—faithful and constant, in season and out of season—busied themselves with the arrangements. The after-supper speech making was a function of more than ordinary interest. the musicians was John Sugden, Esq., known to fame as the author of “ Slaithwaite Notes.’’ For very
Sunday School Anniversaries. 133
many years, with scarcely an exception, he assisted at the anniversary by playing the viclin. To him usually fell the lot of responding to the vote of thanks accorded to the musicians. With winning manner and charming eloquence he would recipro- cate the kind words expressed, making some pleas- ing allusion to the improvements that had been effected during his time, and adorning his brief utterance with a quotation from poetry or text of scripture. For the disinterested kindness of Mr. Sugden, and many others of like mind, the school officials were indeed grateful; and we would here place on record our high appreciation of the services they rendered. Things have changed since then: those little extras that might offend the finer sensibilities of the temperance reformer have been eliminated; while of recent years, for obvious reasons, there have been certain other curtailments. The anni- versary still continues a centre of attraction and a source of power. May its glory never wane !
CHAPTER XV. LATTER DAYS.
In gathering up the scattered threads of our narrative, it will be necessary to take a brief glance at the events of the last few years. As we saw in the latter part of Chapter VII., when dealing with the closing years of the Rev. T. R. Lewis’ second pastorate, there were unique experiences during the years of the late war. On the 8th December, 1914, the Church and Congregation received into their midst a family of Belgian Refugees, who remained in the neighbour- hood for about 15 months. During this time the Church undertook their support, and the whole of the district was organized for the collection of systematic gifts to accomplish this end. In this way the Church was privileged to share, with other districts, in the noble work of helping those in distress. On the 3rd February, 1915, the Church made a slight change in the constitution of its Diaconate, by increasing the number from seven to nine. Of that body the senior deacon at the present time is Brother Ben Haigh, whose long record of faithful service calls for a word of comment and apprecia-
Latter Days. 135
tion. Mr. Haigh is the oldest male member of the Church, having been baptized as a young man, six months after its formation. As a youth he possessed few educational advantages, yet, by dint of patient industry, he acquired sufficient knowledge to enable him to become familiar with the sacred scriptures, and his attainment in this direction may well be looked upon as an example to those with larger opportunities. In his attendance at the services, both ordinary and extraordinary, he is a pattern to others, entertaining, as he does, a high sense of the claims of his own spiritual home, and being desir- ous to maintain her noblest traditions and _ her most effective witness. The rest of the deacons are younger men, and as our concern is principally with the past, nothing further, bevond their names, need be recorded :—Friend Dyson, John Ed. Parkin, John Wm. Lockwood, Ainley France, Albert Wm. Crowther, Edmund Lockwood, Nathan Haigh, Fred Haigh. In July, 1915, the Church decided to introduce unfermented wine, to be used at the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. This step, we judge, will be conceded as wise and prudent, and as being calcu- lated to protect the young and shield the weak from the insidious attacks of a foe which still works havoc in our land. I __ A further reform in connection with the Lord's Supper was brought about in January, 1920, when, from considerations of hygiene, the individual cup
136 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
system was introduced. The Church was indebted for the gift of this beautiful service to the kindness and generosity of Mrs. Robert Parkin (nee Miss Alice Blackburn). The gift was bestowed in com- memoration of the twenty-sixth anniversary of her baptism, a most laudable thank-offering, which the Church does not fail to appreciate. On Sunday afternoon, 21st November, 1920, a special service was held in the Chapel, to do honour to those who had served King and Country in the late calamitous war. The Scapegoat Hill Brass Band was in attendance, and a large proces- sion was also formed, which marched through the village to the place of worship. The band also accompanied the singing during the service. The area of the Chapel was occupied exclusively by men, and the scene was most impressive. A Roll of Honour was unveiled by Mr. Fred Haigh, Chair- man of the Local Comforts Fund, which showed that 232 young men from the neighbourhood had returned from active service, while 38 had fallen in the conflict, making a total of 270. An anthem, What are these,’’ was rendered by the Choir, in memory of those whose lives had been sacrificed in their country’s cause. Though the dominant note was one of joy, remembering that the strife was over and the struggle past, yet there was an under-tone of sadness at the memory of those whom we should see in the flesh nevermore. We rejoice in all that the League of Nations
yi ty nae ae wane ~ =
Latter Days. 137
seeks to accomplish for the promotion of peace and. yearn for the time :—
‘* When the war-drum shall throb no longer And the battle flag be furled.’’
On the 24th April, 1917, the Church lost one of its leaders by the death of Brother George Ainley. For more than 25 years he had served the Church as Deacon, and for 22 years he was Church Treasurer. Baptized by the Rev. A. Harrison, 4th January, 1880, he had been in membership for more than 37 years. He was a man of strong con- victions, and he delighted in the doctrines of grace. In various ways he sought to be useful and to pro- mote the interests of the Saviour’s kingdom. He died with tragic suddenness while following his daily avocation, at the comparatively early age of 62 years. With the passing of Brother John Eastwood, on the 18th October, 1918, the Church lost another of its most notable characters. He was a man who was cast in no ordinary mould. In his early years, like the prodigal, he had literally *‘ wasted his substance with riotous living,’’ but having ‘* come to himself ’’ he had returned to the “‘ father’s house.’’ His conversion was startling, and the cir- cumstances connected therewith he loved to narrate. In later years his knowledge of the Bible was considerable, and he delighted to urge the promises, in his supplications at the mercy seat.
138 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church. :
While he rejoiced in the forgiveness of sins, there were times when he realised that the Christian life was a warfare, and he would be cast down because of the difficulties of the way. At other seasons he was on the mountain summit, and his joy and gratitude were irrepressible. His shouts of “‘Glory”’ and ‘Bless Him’’ would almost startle a visitor who heard him for the first time, while his out- bursts have been known to give fresh stimulus to desponding preachers. He took great delight in the meetings held for prayer and was solicitous for the extension of the Redeemer’s king- dom. He clung with tenacity to those promises which speak of God's love, and care, and provi- dence,: and would exult in the doctrine of the ‘final perseverance of the saints.’”’ May his excellencies be copied by those that remain. And now, having considered the chief features and incidents of recent years, there remain a few general observations which arise from a_ broad survey of the last fifty years. I Of the original 28 who first formed the Church, in 1871, only one remains: ‘* Brother O. B. Kenworthy. Before that time he was in member- ship at Salendine Nook, and,.as one of the founders at Scapegoat Hill, he was.a Deacon and Church Secretary from the commencement. His many gifts eminently fitted him for varied usefulness. In the Sunday School, in the prayer meeting, in the enquirers’ class, in the praises of the sanctuary, in
. B. KENWORTHY.
Latter Days. 139
matters of finance and business routine he laboured with constancy and.efficiency. At all services, stated and occasional, he would endeavour to be present, and his example was always an influence for good. For 26 years he continued as Secretary, so that in the days of the Church’s infancy and youth he was a tower of strength. For the last 22 years he has been actively connected with the Baptist Church, Golcar, having been transferred from Scapegoat Hill 27th July, 1899. We rejoice that, in the kind Providence of God, his life has been spared up to this present time, and would pray on his behalf “* light at evening time.”’ Viewed from a financial standpoint the last half-century bears witness to great achievement. I In addition to current expenses, there has been raised and expended a sum of money represented by the following :—
4) th Old Chapel (building and enlargement) 700 Day and Sunday School (original) ... 600 "= (enlargements) 600 ‘The Manse ap es CB. O..0 New Chapel ae ee: Burial Ground a, a OO £6710 O
During the days that are past the Church has
140 Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church.
been the grateful recipient of several generous: donations :— .
I 4% 8. a’ 1902 Yorkshire Baptist Association —
(not previously recorded) ‘ae ae 1909 The Late John Lockwood, Find: 50 Oe? 1911 Messrs. W. H. and F. Lockwood (sons of the above). In memory of their late uncle, William . 3 Lockwood dons rae Oe 1920 Mrs. Betsy Hudson bc ican ee eee £3300:
Since the Church was formed the nee added by baptism is 416. ‘The present number on the Church Roll ; is 257. Since Mr. Lewis’ resignation in December last, the Church has been without an under-shepherd, but patiently seeks Divine guidance. Of those who have been in membership from _the beginning there have been translated to the Church triumphant 124. These have been called :— from beds of languishing, from the midst of life’s activities, from the family circle, from the field of battle; in youth’s bright morning, in age’s ripe eventide. With some, their sun set in glory, with others it was shrouded in gloom; yet, notwith- standing these diversities, we believe that they are
Latter Days. 141
united in this, in that they have entered into the presence of the king. *‘ What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? These are they which came out of great and have washed their robes, and made:
them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
‘“ Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion: put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusa- lem.’ May thy “ glory ’’ never depart, nor thy ‘candlestick be removed out of his place.’’ May thy “‘ watchmen be upon thy walls,’’ and thy children be, *‘ not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of
Go forth, then, Church of the living God, and
win the world to. the feet of Jesus, dispelling the
darkness of sin, and ignorance and unbelief, point-. ing to Calvary, the only remedy for the world’s woe, and sovhastening the time when “ He shall have dominion from sea.to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.’’
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