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TOWCESTER FAMILIES

 

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Diary entries from Henry Hardin, Pastor of Towcester Baptist Church 1861 – 1869 (extracts only)

 

1861 18 May (Sat)  Went by rail to Blisworth and thence in Mr Gallard's carriage to Towcester. On Sunday 19th, preached on 1 Peter 1 v3,5 in the morning, Col 1 v14 in the afternoon and Ezekiel 36 v36 in the evening. Bless the Lord, I have had a good day today. I have felt the presence of the Master. The chapel is very badly situated, and the congregations are small,, but there appears to be a good prospect of success for a hard-working minister.

31 Jul (Wed)         Received a letter from Towcester to supply for two months.

1 Oct           Invited to the pastorate

          10 Oct         Went to College. Wrote to Towcester accepting the invitation

19 Oct         Went to Towcester

20 Oct         Conducted 7 am prayer meeting. Preached both morning and evening, and addressed the children in the afternoon

 

1862  Feb. 6th        Married to Jane Gray at New Park St. Chapel, Southwark by Mr. J. Spurgeon. May the Lord bless us, shine upon
          our path and crown our journey's end.

 

1862  31 Jul My ordination. Thank the Lord, we have had a good day. He has sustained me and granted me success, to his name be the praise. May He keep me from falling; when tempted to sin, may I remember the vows that I have publicly made today. I tremble when I think of the great responsibility now resting on me, but He has said, “My grace is sufficient for thee”. Oh may I prove it to be so. May the Holy Spirit help my infirmities, keep me from falling and bless my ministry.

 

1862  Dec. 9th. Went to laying foundation stone, New Baptist Chapel, College St., Northampton

1863  13 Jan         Went to court to oppose Church Rate summons. The magistrates dismissed sum­monses.

 

1863  March 10th. Marriage of Prince of Wales. Processions and meetings: Each child presented with medal, half pound cake, poor families 2 to 7 pound meat. Races, sports, etc. Town illuminated in evening.

 

1863  Nov. 26th. Went to opening of College St. Baptist Chapel

 

1864 11 Nov          Appealed against Income Tax assessment with success

          24 Dec         Very small congregations

 

1865  7 Mar Jane woke me this morning at six o’clock – she had just found our dear little baby dead.

8 Mar The inquest was held today on the body of dear little Jane. The verdict was, “Died by the visitation of God.”

 

1866  5 Nov Conducted prayer meetings at 5 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 noon, 3 pm and 7 pm. This was a day set apart by the Baptist Churches for fasting and prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the churches. These are blessed seasons. The Lord hear and answer for his name’s sake.

22 Nov        Bible class. The engine of the Towcester Railway was seized for debt last night, consequently all trains are stopped.

 

1867  24 Mar        A heavy flood last night, in consequence of which we could not have service in our chapel today.

11 Jul This week engaged with T and G Mickley and others in whitewashing and painting the chapel.

21 Au Intended to go to Matlock today, but could not get the pony out of the field soon enough.

 

1868  20 Sep         Preached in the Baptist Chapel, Wakefield. Did not enjoy the services much. Felt cold and dead today.

 

1869  24 Jan         Church meeting. Gave notice of my intention to resign and was requested to wait a week before deciding. Oh Lord, lead me in a right path.

          1 Feb  Decided to go to Wakefield. The Lord let his blessing rest on the step taken. If Thy presence go not with us carry us not up hence.

          4 Feb Church meeting. Resolution proposed and carried requesting me to withdraw my resignation, and granting me 12 months leave of absence.

 

1869  Sun. March 2lst. Evening preached my farewell sermon, Heb. 13, 20. Very full prayer meeting, followed at which Independents united with us. Notwithstanding Bishop of Peterboro' at Parish Church, large congregation.

 

1869  Mon. 22nd. Tea Meeting at 5. Public Meeting afterwards. Mr. Davis presented me with an address and photograph on behalf of Teachers and Bible Class and an address and £15 on behalf of Meeting

1869  Wed. March 31st. Sent the goods off. The Lord bless the people for their kind assistance. Went round with Jane to bid them farewell; a heart-breaking work.