Wrong Road to Martin Top

I enjoy reading Jessica Lofthouse’s 1962 Lancashire Countrygoer, a dated but animated account of the walks, history and legends of our Red Rose county. She comments:

Stray on a wrong road and the odds are you find yourself at Martin Top chapel, or at Newby, or Stopper Lane, all outlying hamlets near Rimington. Or lanes deep within screening hollies, rowans, thorns and ashes, which coax spring flowers to show their heads in early March and induce summer flowers to bloom into October, send you hithering and thithering into Howgill or Gazegill. These byways, in sinuating themselves into hidden corners of the county, are not over crowded; which is just as well, they are so narrow.

That first line made me smile. For that particular walk, detouring by our chapel was not advisable, though she playfully describes the kind of flora one is likely to meet. I wonder how many people have got lost in the lanes of Middop and found themselves, accidentally, by our chapel. Indeed, Salem Chapel, like its attendant lanes, is both uncrowded in its attendance and narrow in its adherence to truth. Yet few find themselves there by accident, not really. The sovereign God of heaven who providentially draws and brings, pushes and pulls, is gathering for Himself a people to call His own. Those who come to our chapel are not there by chance.

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:30