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temper, which in a fortnight's time brought his
body very low : and, by the time that he was
recovered, his wife fell into a languishing dis-
ease, which threatened death, besides grievous
afflictions in her spirit, and sad apprehensions
of death for above a month together; a swell-
ing in her throat, which increased to a hard
tumour in the hollow of her throat, which in-
evitably, in the eye of reason, threatened death ;
but, beyond all expectation, God graciously re-
moved that, and raised her up again in mercy
to the fiimily. In the year 1670, his son Natha-
nael was strangely taken with convulsion fits,
which tortured and distorted his face, limbs,
and every part of his body in a prodigious man-
ner ; but God also at last raised him up upon
the prayers of his people. These providences
found him work for, and quickened his spirit in,
prayer.

In October, 1671, Mr. Hey wood fell into a
malignant fever, which (as his two doctors, Dr.
Fife and Dr. Grundy, said) had seized the
nerves, and spirits, and brain. He was not



260 LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

in extremity of pain, because (as the physicians
said) the disease lay not so much in the blood.
Upon the thirteenth day after he began, he was
judged to be past recovery : Dr. Fife (a bois-
terous man, and justice of the peace in the Fild-
country, near Garstang) called for a candle,
and bade him open his mouth ; which, when
he had looked into, he swore a great oath, and
said, " His tongue is as black as a thrush.
Call the mistress of the house ; let him set all
things in order, and make his will ; for he is a
gone man." These words astonished his fa-
mily ; but his own and only surviving sister,
being present, and hearing these confident ex-
pressions, gathered encouragement, and thought
within herself, " This is but a man, and may
be deceived. God is God, and can confute
him." Thus Dr. Fife left him as hopeless, and
said, it was in vain to give him any thing. But
before he came to his own house, at Houghton
Tower, a fever seized violently upon the doctor
himself, and, in a few days, made an end of him ;
so he never returned home alive. But from
that very day Mr. Heywood began to amend,
the fever abating. It is likely that was a crisis,
when the disease was at its height ; for it was
a dreadful day and night. He had all the symp-
toms of death upon him ; but God had mercy
upon him, as upon sick Epaphroditus. (Philip-
pians ii, 27.) God had much work for him to
do. But he continued under weakness, and
some disorder in his head ; for he could not be
persuaded that he was at home, confidently



LIFE OF NATHANAEL HKYWOOD. 261

affirming he was at Bickerstaff, where indeed
he was immediately before his distemper began,
to visit Sir Edward Stanley, w lo was begim in
a fever, and died shortly after: Mr. Hey wood
would needs be helped to the window to see
the funeral pass by to the church.



CHAPTER IIL

This sore sickness was in the year 1671 ;
and the king's licenses came out in the year
following. And, indeed, hitherto he had very
little or no disturbance in his preaching. God
was preparing him both fur service and suffer-
ing. This sickness preceded service. God
laid the foundation low, designing to build high ;
and often he thinks fit to lay the fairest colours
upon a sable bottom. So God passed the sen-
tence of death upon him immediately before
this little resurrection ; for, in the spring fol-
lowing, came out the liberty to preach. Air.
Heywood cordially embraced it, and had two
chapels licensed, namely, BickerstafT, adjoining
to Lady Stanley's house, two miles south from
Ormskirk ; the other was Scaresbrook, two miles
north from the church, both in Ormskirk parish.
These he supplied constantly ; preaching at
the one chapel one day, at ihe other the next
Lord's day ; of which he thus writes : — " I
bless God, my congregation is numerous and



262 LIFE OF XATHAXAEL HEYWOOD.

attentive. O that they were as fruitful ! My fami-
ly is healthful: O that they were more holy!"
He continued two years in these two chapels ;
but about April 9th, 1674, he thus writes : — "I
have had more trouble and opposition in my
ministerial employment these four months last
past, than ever I had in all my life. Archers
have sorely grieved us, and shot at us thirty-
four arrows, I mean warrants ; but our bow
abides in strength, by the hands of the mighty
God of Jacob. Officers have come eighteen
Lord's days together, but have not as yet scat-
tered us. How easy is it for God to save us,
while we serve him, if we could believe I I am
encouraged to hope that some good is done, or
may be done, by my poor labours in this season ;
and it is no ill sign when Satan rageth so vio-
lently against us. God can work without or
against means, and can work by improbable
means to accomplish great ends. I was never
more inwardly borne up under storms, nor
strengthened against difficulties, in all my life.
It may be that my time is short, and my work
near an end. O that I may live and die in
God's work and way, and be faithful unto
death! Dear brother, let my condition have a
deeper impression on your heart than ordinary.
Two warrants (one for JC20, the other for £A0)
have been out against me these seven weeks :
but we keep our doors fast barred, and the
officers are very civil to us. O that I could
see you ! I have no horse, but go all my jour-
neys on foot."



LIFE OF NATHAXAEL HEYWOOD. 263

November 13th, 1674, lie thus writes: — "I
bless God, my libert}', notwithstandin^r all my
troubles, is not wholly lost, but somedmes dis-
turbed. We meet in lear, yet we meet in both
chapels. No warrant has been sent for a
month or more, and my auditory increaseth
again. O that I had a heart to improve late
experiences and present opportunities, and do
my duty, leaving the issue to Him that judgeth
righteously !"

But his excessive pains, though refreshing to
his spirit, were wasting to his body; for about
that time thus he writes : — •• I am still at work
in both chapels ; but I am much cast down with
pains and weakness of body, having overgone
my strength, and wasted myself in these inter-
vals of liberty which God hath given us. But
I have no reason to repent any thing I could
ever do for so good a Master. O that I had
done more and better !"

About the same time he writes thus : — •" Some
assaults Satan hath made upon me with a right-
hand temptation. The whole parish of Aughton
have been importunate with me to put myself
into a capacity for their parsonage, (worth seven
or eight score pounds per annum;) the bishop
(that is, Dr. Wilkins) promiselh favour to mc in
it ; but God did not leave me so much as to have
any serious thoughts to yield to that temptation.
I preach still, but not so constantly, nor in so
full a congregation, as formerly. Dear brother,
I beseech you, for the Lord's sake, and for the
love of the Spirit, strive together with me, in



264 LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

your prayers to God for me, you know for
what."

At last, after many stmgglings, threatenings,
affrightings, people's withdrawings and rallying
again, a stratagem was contrived to silence him
at once. The deputy-lieutenants sent some sol-
diers to take Mr. Heywood in the pulpit ; and
though it was known, yet they met in Bickerstaff
chapel. Lady Stanley came out of her galler\',
and placed herself near the pulpit-door, hoping
to overawe their spirits, and obstruct their de-
signs. The soldiers stood without while Mr.
Heywood was at prayer ; but when he had prayed,
ihey rushed in, and required him to come down,
and go along with them. He mildly desired the
favour of them, that ihey would give him leave
to preach, and he would go along with them ;
but they rudely ran toward the pulpit. The lady
would have stopped them, but they pressed for-
^vard, opened the pulpit-door, got hold of his
coat and tore it, and in a sort pulled him out,
and took him a, way with them : nor could the
lady's mediation prevail to procure him a little
refreshment ; only in the road he grew faint,
and desired them to call with him at an alehouse,
which they did, and the landlady (though he had
no acquaintance with her) was exceedingly kind
to him, and said he should have any thing she
had in the house ; *' but those rogues that took
him," said she, " shall not have a morsel ;" so
they carried him away to an alehouse in Hol-
land, where he lodged that night, and from
whence he thus wrote to his wife : —



LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD. 265

*• I am very well, I bless God, and never in
greater honour, or so highly advanced, in all mv-
life. I was pulled out of the pulpit with a pistol
lilted up at my head, and a profane oath in mine
ears ; but the man repents his rashness, and
wishes he had let me preach, for he never heard
a better prayer, (tc. But be not troubled, God
hath showed me more mercy than I can be
thankful for. O help me to praise him I O
what cause have we to rejoice in suffering upon
this account ! God will have glory, and his
church the benefit. But I fear it must be an
imprisonment, or promise not to preach, which
is my very life."

But God in his gracious providence also scat-
tered this cloud ; for the day after, when it was
noised abroad that Mr. Hey wood was taken,
abundance of people, and many considerable
gentlemen, and some that were no friends to his
cause, out of respect to his person, mediated for
him ; yea, several of good report, and intimate
with the justices, offered to be bound for his
appearance, and to give any security that should
be required. The justices then tendered him
the Oxford oath. He was in a strait ; for if he
peremptorily refused it, they had some advan-
tage against him. He told them that persons
must swear in judgment, and therefore he de-
sired some time to consider of it ; which was
consented to. And seehig such an appearance
of persons of all ranks for him, they gave him
respite, and liberty to go home till the next
quarter-sessions, which was to be at Wigan a



266 LIFE OF XATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

montli after ; but they bound him to appear at
the sessions.

Thus he was deUvered out of that snare,
and went home, and wrote a letter that day,
dated January 28th, 1674: "Pray help me to
praise God, and remember a poor sufferer for
the gospel in your prayers. People do so throng
in to see me, now I am come home again, that
I have not time to write fully to you, but com-
mit you to God and his protection, that you
may long enjoy and fruitfully improve that
sweet liberty in God's vineyard which I doubt
I have lost."

The sessions at Wigan came on : he attended
there according to his bonds. Several justices
appeared for him, and his friends came to see
the issue, and to mediate for him. Old Lady
Stanley came herself, and her husband ; Mr.
Henry Hoghton, a justice of the peace, Mr.
Christopher Banister, of Bank, and several
others, spoke much on his behalf. Another
justice, then upon^he bench, said, " If Mr.
Heywood be sent to Lancaster jail, he will be
as comfortably maintained, and as honourably
released, as ever any prisoner was." Some of
his adversaries, seeing which way the court
inclined, slunk away in a discontent, took horse
and rode home ; so the snare was again broken,
and Mr. Heywood was dismissed, to the joy of
his friends, vexation of his enemies, and amaze-
ment of all that heard of it.

Other snares were laid to entrap him upon the
Five-Mile Act; but nobody could be brought to



LIFE Oh- XATHAXALL HEYWOOD. 267

swear that he hved in the town, though ^Ir.
Heywood was usually at home, and conversed
openly in the town, he was so generally beloved,
A warrant was issued out to distrain upon Mr,
Hey wood's goods for JC20; but the officers said
the doors were shut, and they had no orders to
break them ; yet they might have taken advan-
tage, if they had been severe ; but indeed they
were generally very favourable. It is true, the
doors were kept fast for half a year together,
and they never got a pennyworth of his goods,
which was looked upon as a wonderful provi-
dence ; for children and others were frequently
passing and repassing through the doors, both
before and behind his house. God took him
off his work by men's rigour, and obstructed
his former diligence by his own immediate
hand upon his body, at the same time ; and
thus he writes : —

" ]^Iay 7th, 1675. I am glad your precious
liberty is continued. I have nothing to do now
at home, but am much abroad, which is a heavy
burden to me. Pray increase your fervent pray-
ers for me. Riding is very painful to me,"

January 1st, 1675-6, he writes thus : — " I am
now very busy, blessed be God. These holy
days, so called, when others play, I work, having
preached oftener hereabouts in a few days than
I did in the whole year. I was lately at Ches-
ter, (beino compelled thither by the importunity
of friends,) where I preached thrice, and had
gjeat encouragement. God hath much people,
I believe, in that place : they would persuade



268 LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

me to live with them ; but 1 am resolved to stick
here yet, where Providence hath so eminently
settled me, preserved, and provided tor me.
My lads seem to be inclined to the ministry.
Who knows but God may be fitting instruments
for his work in the next age ? For my part, I
can see no reason to look for any thing but~
judgments in this."

He was always a zealous and notable cham-
pion against papists, of whom there be great
store in those parts. When Air. Heywood has
been sent for to visit sick persons, (in which
w^ork he was constant, careful, and sometimes
successful,) popish friends or neighbours would
often procure some popish priest, or one of their
religion, to come also to them ; and if they had
but the least pretence to give it out that the
party died in their faith, they would wonder-
fully insult over the Protestants. One person
dying with whom Mr. Heywood took abun-
dance of pains, and a popish priest also fre-
quented that house, who was so vexed that he
could not prevail with the party that he wrote
some queries for Mr, Heywood to answer ; which
he did so acutely and solidly, that the ignorant
priest was nettled and puzzled, and sent to one
of their more learned advocates to vindicate
their desperate and falling cause. He made a
large rejoinder, with abundance of quotations
out of the ancients : to which Mr. Heywood
made a learned and sufhcient reply; only it was
lame because he had not by him the authors
quoted. He therefore sent the papers to Mr.



LIFE OF XATHAXAEL HEYWOOD. 269

Illingworth, (an excellent scholar, and at that
time much conversant in the college library at
Manchester,) who took abundance of pains to
search and read over some large volumes to
satisfy and solve a quotation which referred not
to book, chapter, or page ; however, they join-
ing together, that work was incomparably done,
worthy of an impression ; but they heard no
more of that gentleman, (for so the popish
priests are called.) though he had often to do
with them.

Another passage he wrote in a letter, dated
June r2th, 1675, to this purpose : — " I do just
nothing almost, either publicly or privately ; it
is much worse with me than before the indul-
gence ; yet God hath of late employed me an-
other way, not so delightful and according to my
genius as preaching. A gentlewoman, inclined
to marry a popish gentleman, would not marry
till she had satisfaction that it was lawful from
some divine ; and pitched on me to resolve the
case, which I did very freely and plainly to her
once or twice. I never dealt so plainly with
any person in my life, and yet she took all well;
whereas she fell out with her nearest relations
and best friends for speaking but a little against
it. She would needs have my reasons in
writing ; and having got them in a large dis-
suasive letter, she showed it to the gentleman,
and he carried it to a priest ; and twelve days
after the letter, he brought me a long and subtle
answer; to which I made a large and, I think
satisfactory reply. In the meantime we endea-



270 LIFE OF XATHAXAEL HEYWOOD.

voured to divert her to other matches, but all
in vain ; her affections were too strong for her
judgment, though she seemed to approve and
consent to my reply, yet went on with the gen-
tleman, and was just about to be married ; so
that I could expect no other fruit of my labour
but my own satisfaction that I had done my
duty, leaving the event to God. God, however,
appeared in the mount. One Mr. D., (a hope-
ful young gentleman, of religious parents in
Cheshire,) coming very accidentally to A., and
finding this lady there, was struck with love,
courted her, and married her in eight days' time.
Such a providence must not pass without parti-
cular notice, and special praise to God. The
young gentleman came thither also for a diver-
sion, upon the like occasion ; yet knowing
nothing of her, but designing another place,
was turned by a minister in his company to
take a night's lodging at A. This is the talk
and wonder of the whole country, the shame
and confusion of the papists, (who had a design
upon that family, and were confident it was their
own,) the joy of all good Protestants, and of all
friends to that worshipful family. I want and
crave your help to give due praise to God for
answering prayers so wonderfully."

Another thing which greatly exasperated the
popish party was a sharp sermon which Mr.
Hey wood preached upon November 5th, 1673,
at Scaresbrook chapel, upon Revelation xviii, 4;
a very learned, judicious discourse against the
papists; which, together with the forementioned



LIFE OF NATHAXAEL HEYWOOD. 271

provocations, so offended them that (though they
could not take full revenge on him themselves,
yet) they prevailed with some justices to prose-
cute him. And this is thought to be the true
reason of all that unparalleled rage of some
against Mr. Heywood ; whereas several others
in the same circumstances as culpable were let
alone to enjoy iheir meetings quietly.



CHAPTER IV.

Ix the midst of these employments and oppo-
sitions, God was pleased to lay a very afflictive
distemper upon his body, which for a long time
was judged to be the stone or gravel. Certainly
it was exceedingly acute and painful ; yet it is
disputable whether his loss of gospel liberties,
or his violent bodily distemper, was the greater
affliction to him. His riding about six or seven
miles, in the year 1675, rendered his pain
scarcely tolerable. Thus he writes : — " I have
now this last ill fit discovered more of the cause
of it than ever before. I am very confident it
is not the stone. Want of health and liberty,
believe me, are two sore evils. I hope you
will particularly help me with your prayers for
direction as to health, but more especially as to
restoration of liberty in my beloved work ; the
loss of which is a greater grief than the want
of health and ease."

In another letter, dated July loth, 1676, he



272 LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

saith, " I have endured extreme pain and tor-
ment for a month together. The pain made me
roar and tremble, and so shrunk my flesh, and
weakened my body, that I apprehended death
to be approaching. The good Lord fit and pre-
pare me for it, and account me worthy to find
mercy in that time of need ! My pain was oc-
casioned by the great heat, and preaching that
hot weather oftener and longer than I was well
able. I am sure that I have the greatest reason
to submit to his holy will, yea, and be thankful
also, that though he hath afflicted me very sore,
yet he hath not given me over to death ; whereas
I hear of many that are dead of late of my dis-
temper : Bishop Wilkins, cousin John Cromp-
ton, and several hereabouts, within these two
months, I beg your prayers, that if God spare
my life, he would also give health and liberty
to improve it in his service, more publicly and
fruitfully; or if it be death, (which will be less
unwelcome, because of my restraints, pangs,
and troubles in this world, only my wife and
children make the thoughts of it burdensome,)
may God be glorified. I hope it will be my
advantage. I wish neither you nor any faithful
minister, that minds and loves his work, may
ever know what I have felt in the want of people
and work. Other afflictions are light, compared
to a dumb mouth and silent Sabbaths."

Yet, notwithstanding all this affliction, he had
a great desire, once again, if it were the will of
God, to visit his friends in Yorkshire : and God
was pleased to grant his request ; for he gave



LIFE OF XATHAXAEL HEYWOOD. 273

him some mitigation of his pain, which was an
encouragement to undertake that journey; so
himself, his wife, and his two sons travelled
into Yorkshire, April 20th, 1677. There he
preached the sermons that are since printed ;
and another most excellent and pathetical ser-
mon upon Romans v, 8, From thence he sent
his eldest son to be trained up in academical
learning, with Mr. Frankland, at Xatland, in
Westmoreland. But O what affectionate part-
ing was there I as if they must never see one
another's faces again. And indeed so it proved.
They could not speak to each other, for weep-
ing and sobbing. He desired another to pray;
for he could not refrain. In that journey he was
carried out beyond himself in praying, preach-
ing, discoursing, to the admiration and edifica-
tion of all his ancient friends in those parts,
though he had frequent returns of his wonted
pain. He was as a man coming down from
heaven to tell what is done there ; or as one
ripe for heaven, too big for earth, upon the wing
to take his flight into those mansions above ; as
indeed it proved.

After he had done his work which he design-
ed in those parts, he left Yorkshire on May 1st,
1677 ; but could reach that day only ten miles.
The next morning he went to Rochdale. He
was forcibly detained by the importunity of
Christian friends, and preached there that eve-
ning, though greatly to his prejudice as to health :
the day following he reached Bolton ; yet,
saith he, with great difficulty and hard hewing,
18



274 LIFE OF NATHANAEL HEYWOOD.

they got home on Friday night ; and it would
have been a great inconvenience to have stayed
one day longer on several accounts, which he
mentions. Thus God carried him abroad in
mercy, and brought him seasonably back to his
own house in safety.

How much he was satisfied with this journey,
(though his pains were extreme several days
after his return home,) his letter, May 14th,
1677, testifies. "The great mercy," saith he,
"in my late journey to you, comforts with you,
and safe return home, (where we found all well,)
I hope I shall never forget. Pray help me to
be thankful for them. I do heartily thank you
for all your pulpit, table, house, and country
kindness. I am sorry and ashamed that I made
no better improvement of them, not knowing
that ever I shall enjoy such opportunities
again of doing myself and others good in your
parts ; but an indisposed body, and a bad heart,
mar duties and waste mercies."

His distemper still prevailed upon him all
that summer. In a letter, dated September,
20th, 1677, he saith : " I am far from being
well ; and as the church once complained that
she forgot prosperity, so I health ; and am
ready sometimes to add, as she, ' My strength
and my hope are perished from the Lord.'
This day five weeks I came from the exercise
at Toxteth park, where I had preached twice,
and oftener than I was well able a little before.
Since that day I never came on horseback, nor
preached but once near home ; but all this time



LIFE OF XATHAXAEL HEYWOOD. 275

God hath been preaching to me with a terrible
thundering voice. O that I could hear the rod,
and who hath appointed it ! So sharp and so
long" a fit of pain I never had since this distem-
per began. God alone knows what may be the
issue of it ; but for my part, though I find it no
easy matter to look death in the face, and con-
quer the difficulties that precede and attend it,
yet I have no great reason to love life, or to de-
sire my long stay in this wicked weary world.
My pained days and wearisome nights make
thoughts of death and the grave less terrible, and
apprehensions of rest with Christ most wel-
come and pleasant. But I feel natural inclina-
tions working toward life, and to loving them-
selves with the fair glass of doing God more and
better service in his church . I am best resolved,
and most at anchor, when I can (but O how sel-
dom ! how coldly I do I) say, ' The will of the
Lord be done.' Dear brother, pray for me, (as


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