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"And now, as for the generality of this generation, or these backslidden and backsliding professors, I know not what to say of them, but this is the language to me of their way, and I leave it as a dying witness for Christ, that these let, and will let, till they be taken out of the way.
"Now I leave my wife and my baby unto Him who gave them unto me; 1 fully quit with them, and leave them to my Lord and Master, who can make us meet above the clouds. Now I take my farewell of you, and all created comforts, and I am also willing, and more willing ten thousand times to lay them down at His call, than ever I was to enjoy them. Now, farewell all friends in Christ. Farewell all relations. Farewell days and nights. Farewell sun, moon, and stars. Farewell suffering. Farewell irons on feet and hands. Farewell holy and sweet Scripture, which was the savour of life unto life to me. And welcome heaven and eternal life. Welcome the company and souls of just men made perfect through the blood of the Lamb. Welcome, welcome, and never enough welcomed my lovely Lord, my Father, and my Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost, into whose hands I commit my spirit, for it is thine, "Sic subscribitur,
HE COPY of a LETTER written by Archibald
"MY DEAR AND LOVING FRIEND AND ACQUAINTANCE,—You and I must take good night of one another for a while; but I hope it shall not be long; for you know that this time that we have upon earth, lasts but for a moment; and we are but as a flower that grows up in the night, and is cut down in the morning, like the shadow that flees away, and is no more seen upon earth again; even like Jonah's gourd, that grew up in a night and perished in a night. Now you and I must part, and take good-night, you of me, and I of you, as willingly, and with as great satisfaction, contentment, and submission to our lovely Lord's will,—I say, with as great submission to the will of our God, as if we were going to our sweet and comfortable fellowship meetings, where our souls many times have been refreshed with the fresh gales of the Spirit of our God, which indeed was the life of our meetings; for had it not been the love that we bare to God, and His way, He would never have made our meetings so sweet to us; so that the longer that we continued, and the oftener that we met, the Lord made more of Himself known to us, in giving us new confirmations of His love, and tokens of His kindness.
"Now, my loving friend, I am going to my Father's house to reap the fruit of all these waking nights that you and I had together, when none knew of it but ourselves and our heavenly Father. And I die in the hope of it, we shall come to your Father, and my Father, to your God and my God (John xx. 17), to your Redeemer and my Redeemer, to reap the fruit of all these meetings we had together. Oh! but that will be a joyful harvest time! I am now going to reap the fruit of all my reading, praying, singing, conversing, and meditating, and the fruits of all my trouble, toil, and labour. Instead of bitterness, I will enjoy sweetness; instead of trouble, rest; instead of sorrow and grief, joy and gladness: 'For sighing and sorrow shall flee away.' I am going to reap the fruit of'my wounds, and all the reproaches that they have cast upon me; I am going to reap the fruit of all my sighs and groans, especially these since I came to prison, where I have had very many of them. I am going to reap the fruit of my fetters, irons and imprisonment for my lovely Lord and Master Jesus Christ; and I am going to reap the fruit of my unjust indictment and unjust sentence. Oh! but the fruits of these forementioned things will be a weighty crown of glory within a little time upon my head, up at my Father's throne, when I shall go no more out, and come no more in, having the name of my God written upon my forehead, and the song of Moses and the Lamb put in my mouth, to sing praises through all the ages of eternity!
"Now, dear friend, I cannot get Him praised, for the riches of His free grace, freely bestowed on me. Oh! I cannot get Him praised for bringing my soul out of the pit of destruction, and for reclaiming my soul from the gates of hell. Oh! my soul and heart, and all that is within me, praise the Lord for His wonderful love to me ! and also, my soul invites all the works of creation to praise Him for what He hath done to my soul; for now I can say with David, from my own experience, 'Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.' And likewise I can say with David, ' The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage' (Ps. xvi. 6). And more than all that, He hath said to my soul, that He will quarrel no more with me for sin, for my God hath said to me, 'But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee : when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isa. xliii. 1, 2). And ' Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee ' (Matt . ix. 2). Now all is sure and well with me; I am brought near unto God, through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ; and I have no more to do, but to lay down this life of mine, that He hath given me, and take up house and habitation with my lovely Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who purchased life and salvation to me by the price of His own blood and sufferings. Oh ! but I have gotten an easy cast of it. Oh! but I am come well and easy to my purpose of redemption, peace, and happiness. But oh! I cannot get Him glorified, and I will never get Him enough glorified, as long as my soul liveth; and I shall live as long as He liveth, and that is life without end.
"Now, my dear and loving friend, it is but little advice that I can leave to you, how to order your life and conversation; yet I shall leave you my last advice, as the Lord shall help me. As God hath once made you to accept of Him upon His own terms and way, hold fast by Him, and claim a right to Him, from His own promises, and former loving kindness, wherein He hath manifested Himself to you. And although you be made many times to think that He hath left you, when you are casten down and under desertion, yet claim a right to Him; though you have destroyed yourself, threep [i.e., pertinaciously affirm] kindness upon Him, and resolve with Job, that though He should slay you, yet you will trust in Him. For you must not want your down-castings and desertions; for all these things are given you, for the trial of your faith. And you may know something of this from experience, that we cannot guide our Lord's presence, when we get it; we are so lifted up, that He must cast us down again; for our old bottles cannot bear with the new wine of heaven; none of us can be free of desertion; for as long as we live in this earth, we are often under an Egyptian cloud of darkness.
"Spend much of your time in prayer and meditation, for I think, that in these is the life of religion; and spend time in Christian converse with any of your own judgment, and private prayer, as you and I did, when we were together; and if you can get none, do your own part, and the Lord will make up all your loss, for He hath engaged to make up all your wants. Now, double your diligence, and make ready for the trial, for you will not get it shifted, if you continue faithful to the end. I am not saying that the trial will take away your life; but I am persuaded you will come through difficulties, if the Lord see fit to spare you to see the glorious days that shall be seen in Scotland again, and to reap of the fruit of it. This will be a high honour, for they will be a happy people, that will be the remnant of the Church.
"Now, dear friend, hold fast, and let no man take your crown, for it is ready at the end of your race; run, and never halt, nor look back till you obtain the prize. I have gotten the first start of you a little ; but, I hope, you will follow me, before it be long; and we shall meet again; and oh! what a joyful meeting shall it be. Study deniedness to your life, and die daily, that death may not surprise you.
"But I must forbear, my time is so short, that I cannot get all said here, that I have to say; but what is wanting, Himself make it up to you. Now, I take my leave of you for a little time, hoping to meet again up above in our Father's house. I pray that God's eternal blessing may rest upon you, and wish you even as my own soul. Farewell in the Lord. Your dear and loving Christian friend, brother, and soul's well-wisher.
"Glasgow Tolbooth, March 15th, 1684."
Captain John Paton.
OHN PATON was born in the parish of Fenwick, at HJjf Meadowhead, a farm-house, about a mile and-a-half to the east of the small village of Waterside. The present farmhouse of Meadowhead has been built within the century, with the exception of its west end, which is said to be part of that in which Paton lived. Behind the house is a barn, of some size, the gables of which are of dried mud, cased with stones, and overcast with a coating of lime. Within these gables, the tradition is, that Richard Cameron, sometime early in 1681, baptized twenty-two children.
In his younger days, Paton followed the usual outdoor occupation of the inhabitants of his native parish; but when he reached manhood, he left farming for a soldier's life. John Howie says, of the way and manner in which he went first to a military life, that there are various accounts,—one is, that he served under Gustavus Adolphus; and the other, that he was at the battle of Marston Moor. But both accounts are reconcileable with each other, for the battle of Lutzen, fatal to the Swedish king, yet triumphant to the Protestant cause he sought to advance, was fought November 6th, 1632, while Marston Moor was not till July 2, 1644.
Scotland seems, in the early part of the seventeenth century, to have been much in the condition of Ireland in later times,—it experienced the distress arising from a superabundant population. England, although by the accession of James brought under the same crown, was not a very friendly country, and so Scotsmen went in large numbers to the Continent. The General Assembly, Sept . 1, 1647, sent a pastoral letter " unto the Scots merchants, and others our country people, scattered in Poland, Swedland, Denmark, and Hungary," and it refers to their numbers "as many thousands of our countrymen, who are scattered abroad." These merchants were mostly what in modern phrase would be called packmen, and travelled over the Continent, and, in an age when towns were few,