Service to mark the bicentenary of Dan Taylor’s death

Held on Sunday, at Lee Mount Baptist Church, Melbourne Street, Halifax

Welcome & Notices:

Hymn: O worship the King, all glorious above

O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love,
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space:
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark his His path on the winds of the storm.

The earth, with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old:
hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,
and round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
it steams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distils in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail,
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
our maker, defender, Redeemer and friend!

O measureless might, ineffable love!
While angels delight to hymn Thee above,
Thy humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
with true adoration shall lisp to Thy praise.

Psalm: 89:1–2

1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever:
with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever:
thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.


Hymn: The God of Abraham praise

The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above,
Ancient of everlasting days, and God of love.
Jehovah, great i am! by earth and heaven confessed;
we bow and bless the sacred name, for ever blest.

The God of Abraham praise, at whose supreme command
from earth we rise, and seek the joys at His right hand;
we all on earth forsake, its wisdom, fame and power;
and Him our only portion make, our shield and tower.

The God of Abraham praise, whose all-sufficient grace
shall guide us all our happy days, in all our ways;
He is our faithful friend; He is our gracious God;
and He will save us to the end, through Jesus’ blood.

He by Himself has sworn — we on His oath depend —
we shall, on eagles’ wings upborne, to heaven ascend:
we shall behold His face, we shall His power adore,
and sing the wonders of His grace for evermore.

The whole triumphant host give thanks to God on high:
‘Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!’ they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God and ours! We join the heavenly lays;
and celebrate with all our powers His endless praise.


Presentation: (John Hudson)

Dan Taylor (1738–1816)

Slide: Early life: from birth in 1738 to 1763 when he joined the General Baptists Slide: Churches he founded: Birchcliffe, Queensbury, Shore, Burnley, Heptonstall Slack Slide: Dan Taylor and John Fawcett: how they studied, prayed and worked together Slide: New Connection: formation of the New Connection and foundation of New Connection training college

Hymn: Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall rise and set no more.

For Him shall endless prayers be made,
and praises throng to crown His head;
His Name, like sweet perfume shall rise,
with every morning sacrifice.

People and realms of every tongue
dwell on His love with sweetest song;
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on His name.

Blessings abound where’er He reigns;
the prisoner leaps to lose his chains,
the weary find eternal rest,
and all the sons of want are blessed.

Let every creature rise and bring
peculiar honours to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the long ‘Amen.’

Reading: Isaiah 40:1–5; 27–31

1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Hymn: On Jordan’s bank the Baptist cries

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!

Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

We hail you as our Saviour, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.

All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.

Sermon: Wait upon the Lord (Revd Terry Hepworth)

This message was contained within a booklet which Dan Taylor wrote and to which he preached I suspect on several occasions. This is only a part of the message which was entitled ‘Scriptural directions and encouragements to feeble minded Christians’ — or the modern way of looking at it ‘the weak Christian’ — ‘encouraged to wait upon God for Strength, with some directions.’

Dan Taylor begins by saying very clearly that there are two things of infinite importance for every human being who would be perfect eternally and they are

What he meant by that statement is that, if we are going to live eternally, we have, first and foremost, to have experienced conversion and, following on from that, we need to be growing in grace.

It was not for Dan Taylor the idea that somehow you can have faith without conversion and, if you have conversion that is real and true, that will be seen in the individual growing in grace.

He goes on to say that the former, or conversion, is in order to be delivered from endless woe and the latter, that is, the growing in grace, is that we might glorify him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

And the result of that is that the child of God (and I quote from Dan Taylor)

  1. may give a proof to others of his being thus called; and
  2. have a more clear and satisfactory evidence of it in his own mind.

What he means is that our growing in grace will be evident to all those around whom we meet day by day but also this growing in grace gives evidence, or proves, to our own minds our standing, if you like, before God.

That ‘if you like’ goes without saying but I will say it: when we see the evidence of God’s grace upon our own lives, that lifts our souls, strengthens our spirits and convinces us of our adoption as God’s children.

When we see no growth — when we do not see the hand of God upon us in any shape or form — then we ask the question: has the former taken place? Have we been converted? Do we truly belong to God?

This evidence that we should have, according to Dan Taylor, should be seen in the following ways within all of us who profess Christ as Lord.

First of all, our conversion includes humiliation; by that he means an accepting of our condition in the sight of God, humility before the Almighty, which leads on to us aiming, as Dan Taylor says, of the heart from all known sin, both sin of the behaviour, of the tongue, of the thought, of the temper, and of the defier.

Now ‘of the defier:’ what he means by that is, I think, the stubborn will when we defy our God.

He goes on to lay his cards on the table by stating: it is the sin of omission and the sin of commission. It’s not simply what you do that makes you sin but what you fail to do as well. It’s strong stuff my friends!

Dan Taylor is wanting to encourage his readers, and those whom he will have addressed with these words, to be sure in their own faith and to show forth that faith to all they should meet.

In his message he goes on to say that the walk of faith is a total commitment before and to almighty God; his actual words which do not translate well into modern English are:

An humble acknowledgment and confession of it, and suing God for pardoning mercy. A believing or trusting wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ or what he has done for otherwise lost sinners. In order to attain and enjoy this pardon and an entire given up of the heart to God in every known duty ie with resolute determination through grace to perform them for as no longs consult to my own will.

Here Dan Taylor is trying to instil into the hearts of feeble Christians, or should we say the ordinary Christian in the pew, the need for a wholehearted — not half hearted but wholehearted — Christianity: a Christianity which starts at our conversion with the humble acceptance of self before almighty God, the acceptance of forgiveness and the desire to walk by grace and grow in grace day by day. And this being evidenced by our lives day by day.

It’s not something we do on a Sunday, Dan Taylor would say, but it is a total sacrifice of self to the cause of Christ in our everyday lives.

The big question we should all be asking is: ‘Lord what would thou have me to do’ — a question Dan Taylor asked of his people time and again — a question we would do well to ask each day of our lives if we would be true to the name we bear: the name of Christ.

But Dan Taylor, as far as I can see, was not one for simply stating the fact that one should be like this or that. He is very careful, like all of the General Baptist Preachers, to really encourage their flocks with the ‘how they do it’ as well.

He actually asks the question that would have been on the hearts of the people reading his book but also those listening to one of his many sermons and lectures.

How may I increase in the grace of God and grow up into my living head, Christ Jesus, in all things.

You know I love that so many preachers today tell us what we should be doing but they don’t tell us how we should be doing it.

Dan Taylor wants to tell them the hows of the faith as well as the whats of the faith.

He shares that to enable growth in grace so that, in simple terms, we become more Christlike or, as he says, ‘grow up into my living head.’

He says that, perhaps of the many answers by way of direction which might be given, none is more direct and better suited to the capacities of all who ask this question that that contained in the memorable statement of the prophet Isaiah.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.’

Here Isaiah informs us that those who shall renew their strength are those who already have some strength and all that is needed is the renewing of it.

You are not asking God for strength, or expecting strength where there is none, but, by waiting on the Lord, the strength you already have by belonging to him shall be renewed.

Now Dan Taylor would never have said the first. And, when I tell you, you will understand why.

It used to be said: to get the best out of a mobile phone battery, let it drain down completely until it is dead and then recharge it.

Nowadays, they say that is bad advice; it causes damage to be totally drained; only let it drain to between 10 and 20 percent and then charge it or renew it with power.

This is good advice from Dan Taylor: wait upon the Lord and he will renew you. He actually says nothing can be renewed that does not first exist.

For him that meant there is a desire within the heart for strength — for being renewed — a desire born of faith in God and it is a desire which means we long for our God; we wait upon him and we allow him to renew us, recharge us, give us strength.

He goes on to encourage his people and us with the knowledge that there is no other way for the child of God to be renewed apart from His or her God doing the renewing or strengthening.

We might seek renewal from outside sources but only God can truly refresh us when we wait upon him.

But he goes on to say that we must wait upon God to do it, in his time not ours. We so often want it now — the immediate answer — but the call is to wait.

Now a word from myself, as Dan Taylor does not explain the word ‘wait’ in any detail; he suspects his people understand what it meant to wait on something.

The word ‘wait’ is not used in the context of waiting for a bus. To wait on God is more like waiting on a table or waiting upon a person. We shall be renewed when we serve wholeheartedly the one we wish to be renewed by.

Of course, there is an element of resting in God involved when the need is there. But on the whole it’s not a sitting and waiting but an active waiting of commitment to God.

We are going to end there; as you might have guessed Dan Taylor, in his sermons and writings, has much more to say. So, in closing, just very briefly: three things to be engaged with as we wait upon our God

For Dan Taylor goes on to give direction about how waiting is the first thing, then there is prayer, then reading and hearing the word of God and, of course, putting it into practice.

But as you do not want a 45 minute sermon, as would have been common in those days, let’s leave with just a little of Dan Taylor’s heart for us feeble minded Christians — and I include myself.

Firstly, check your basis of faith, for there is only one foundation, that is, in Christ and being converted to his cause.

Secondly, check you are growing in grace by word and deed.

And thirdly, serve the Lord — wait upon him with a full heart to that he can renew what is there, give strength when you feel weak.

And when you have done all this and more, he would end with the encouragement to put your faith into action and live the faith out there in the world day by day.

So, today, let us take to heart just one or a part of one of the great messages of Dan Taylor and let us give thanks for his life and our heritage today as General Baptist Christians.

Hymn: All hail the power of Jesus name

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
let angels prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of our God,
who from His altar call;
extol the stem of Jesse’s rod,
and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
a remnant weak and small,
hail Him who saves you by His grace,
and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe,
on this terrestrial ball,
to Him all majesty ascribe,
and crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng
we at His feet may fall,
join in the everlasting song,
and crown Him Lord of all!

Prayers of Intercession:

O lord our God look down upon your people gathered here this day and pour out your love into their hearts and lives. Move amongst us by the power of your Spirit that dwells within the heart of all believers and draw us closer to your throne of Grace that we may know you presence within and without in a real and a sustainable way.

May we know the power of your love within our hearts that we may truly know the fact of our conversion and belonging as adopted children into your family. May we continue by your grace to grow in that grace that we might attain all that is promised and may take on the very likeness of Christ who is our head.

Father of all mercies we pray for this world in which we live a world in great need and ask Father that you might move by your Spirit throughout this world your wonders to perform that men and women boys and girls might come to know your love in their own hearts.

We pray for our towns Queensbury and Halifax again Father we live in areas of great need and that need can only be met by knowing you. Help us to reach out into our communities with your love and to cherish the people around us so much that our hearts desires is to see them won for you.

And we pray for our churches Father again we acknowledge our great need of you in every area of our lives and pray that you might be our guide our light our all as you lead us by your Spirit into the your ways.

For those who are sick we pray for healing, for those who are bereaved we pray for comfort, for those who are afar off we pray the good shepherd might rekindle a Holy desire within..

Father in all these things we pray in the name of Jesus who taught us when to pray to say

The Lord’s prayer

Hymn: Fill thou my life O Lord my God

Fill Thou my life, 0 Lord my God,
in every part with praise,
that my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.

Not for the lip of praise alone,
nor e’en the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
of praise in every part:

Praise in the common words I speak,
life’s common looks and tones;
the intercourse at hearth or board
with my beloved ones.

Fill every part of me with praise:
let all my being speak of Thee
and of Thy love, 0 Lord,
poor though I be and weak.

So shalt Thou, Lord, from me, e’en me,
receive Thy glory due;
and so shall I begin on earth
the song for ever new.

So shall no part of day or night
from sacredness be free,
but all my life, in every step,
be fellowship with Thee.



  1. This was a joint service to mark the bicentenary of the death of Dan Taylor involving Lee Mount Baptist and Queensbury Baptist churches, the two remaining former New Connection churches in Halifax.
  2. The hymns were chosen from 14 hymns appearing in both Rippon, John D D (1787) A selection of hymns from the best authors London and Horrobin, P and Leavers, G (Eds) (2009) Complete Mission Praise London: Harper Collins.