[This is from an essay about William and Walter Warden written by S. H. Ford in The Christian Repository, 1856, pp. 177-178. The information came from the Journal of William Warner. The title is supplied by the editor.]
John Taylor’s Affection for Young Preachers
“Near Mayslick, Ky., March 5, 1836.
“Dear Brother Waller: — Being detained from my meeting today by bad health, (a rare occurrence with me till of late); while reclining on my pillow two occurrences respecting my dear old Brother Taylor, became the subject of reflection. You are apprised that old preachers are not always tender and affectionate to young ones, even when there is nothing forbidding such a course on their part. But Brother T. delighted in their company, and had a happy way of encouraging them and stimulating them. He sentimentally drank into the belief that the prosperity of the church and the conversion of sinners were very intimately connected with the faithful preaching of the everlasting gospel.
“As illustrative of the above, when I was a young man, and was under very many doubts whether it was required of me to endeavor to preach or not, I came from the Green River Association to Elkhorn as a corresponding messenger, and there for the first time was introduced to Brother Taylor. After having been together several days, through his management, it was my lot at a night meeting to endeavor to preach — with fear and trembling the task was performed. The state of feeling was pleasant in the congregation. An exhortation and some delightful songs followed, and the time had arrived, as we supposed, for dismission, when the old Brother arose and remarked, that when Paul come to Jerusalem and Peter, James, and John saw the gift that was in him they gave him the right hand of fellowship. And then observed, that though neither Paul, Peter, James, nor John were there, yet there were several old preachers and other brethren present; and
he thought they perceived the gift that was in their young brother, and that he proposed they give him the right hand of fellowship as a young minister. Very soon his venerable arms were round me imploring the divine blessing to rest on me, which was followed by others in a very solemn manner. I felt like “a woman and no man,” and could not hold up my head. Yet if it was ever my lot to preach, this was one of the best occurrences of my life. The mind of the Lord is apt to be with his people, and in my desponding moments the recollection of that scene increased my strength and aided to keep me from sinking under my own weight. We often met afterwards, and I ever looked to him as a father. Our parting scene, permit me to present it, was at old Bullettsburgh [sic] [Baptist Church] in Boone county. Four of us had been appointed to preach. The first lot was his, the last mine. The pain and pleasure of that day will long be remembered by me and many others.
* * * *
“And now to arrive at the object with reference to Brother Taylor — as the subject was closing he arose and made his way to me, gave me his hand, took me in his arms amidst a scene of tenderness seldom surpassed, and thus we parted, and O, may it be my privilege to mingle with him in scenes more joyful and interesting in the blessed mansions above. If all the aged ministers were to take more pains to encourage the young unaspiring ministers who greatly need their assistance, how much good might result therefrom. . . .” Walter Warder
[Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
More on John Taylor
Baptist History Homepage