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For, 1. The bent of my foul from a Child, was fet against the Lord: Nor was this the effect of Custom and education ; for there was a sweet conSpiracy of precept, discipline and example of those, with whom I conversed, during this first part of my life, to carry me another way. Nor can. I charge the fault of this on my constitution of body, or any such thing, as might be alledged to proceed from my parents in a natural way. For those lafts which are of the mind, Eph. ii, 3. and are not influenced by any constitution of body, were as strong, sensible, active and prevalent as any other, nay, more than these which may be pretended to depend on the frame of the body. And as my soul in in its accursed inclinations was thus opposite to the Lord, so the opposition was of that strength and force, as was not to be suppressed, much less to be overcome and subdued by the outmost care of parents, and the best outward means. This is une doubted Stat. 2. I cannot at all conceive it consistent with the wisdom, goodness or equity of God, to send me thus into the world, without any fault on my part. To say I was thus originally fram’d without respect to any sin chargeable on me, is a position so full of fat contrariety to all thc notions I can entertain of the diety, that I cannot think of it without horrour much less can I believe and give assent to it.. 3. Penal then this corruption must be, as death and diseases are. And, whereof can it be a punishment, if not of Adam's fin? While those things are so plain in fact, and the deduction fo easic from thern; whatever subrile arguments : avy use to overthrow this truth, I have no reason to be much fhaken or moved with them, or call the truth in question. If once I am sure, that God hath done a thing, there is no room left for difputing its equity. I am sure, I'was corrupt from my infancy. I am sure, God could not have made me
so without cause, or fent me into the world in such a case if it had not been for some fault wherein I am concerned. If there is any attempt to charge God on this score, I look upon it as highly injurious. There is no more left for me in this case, but humbly to en- 6 deavour to clear God of any seeming hardship. If we cannot easily do this, then I will much rather own · my ignorance, and stop under his incomprehensibili
ty, than lay any charge of injustice against him. This "' has staid my soul against the most subtile arguings of men of perverse minds, and even of Satan, who hath oft assulted me in this instance, Be their arguments what they will, Job xxxiii. 12, 13, 17. Behold, in this they are not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man, Why dost thou strive against him? For be giveth not an account of his matters. That he may withdraw men from this, among other evil purposes, of measuring God by his short line, and hide pride from his eye.
4. Hence also, I am taught what estimate to make of the pretendedly good and virtuous inclinations, wherewith some are by deists and pelagians alledged to be born: If it be not in these few and rare instances of the early efficacy of fanctifying grace all that which is looked on as good, is really no more but the fruit of education, custom, occasional restraints, free: dom from temptation, or perhaps, a natural temper influenced by some of those, and by the constitution of the body to somewhat of opposition to those grof. fer actings of sin, which makes the most noise in the world. In a word, whatever there is of this, save in the rare instances before-mentioned, is but fin under a disguise. The odds is not great. The one fort, of sin. ners seem to promise good fruit, but deceive: Where. as the openly profane give a plain refufail, and forbid expectations. And yet of this last fort moe receive the gospel than of the former, But what think ye? Matth xxi. 28, 31. A certain man had tw? fcrs, and
he came to the first, and said, fon, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not; But afterward he repented, and went, And he came to the fecond and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go to, Sir; and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, the first. Jesus faith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the Publicans and the Harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
PART II. Containing an account of the rise, progress, interrup
tions, revivals, and Ifues of the Lord's strivings with me, during the ten or eleven ensuing years of · my life, from May 1685 to August 1696.
C H A P. I. Containing an account of the first rise of my concern
about religion, its result, revivals, and other occurrences thereto relating, for the first two years of
this time, 1. TN the month of May 1685, my mother being by
the heat of the perfecution obliged to retire to Holland, I went along with her. While we were at fea, being in some real or apprehended danger, my conscience, which had for all the bygone ten years, so far as I can now remember, been fast asleep, began to awaken ; I was challenged for fin, terrified with the apprehensions of hell and death, and the wrath of God, which I had no thought about before I was brought to this distress ; Jer. ii. 27. They have turn
ed their back unto me, and not their face : But in the i time of their trouble they fall say, Arife, and save us, i 2. All this concern was nothing more than a sad i mixture of natural fear, and a selfilh desire of preser
vation from the danger that was supposed imminent, at least by me, Peace, acceptance, communion with God, came not much in my thoughts. I was afraid and unwilling to die; I would gladly have been out of danger of hell. This was all my exercise at this time. It was not sin, but death its consequence I was. concern’d to be rid of; Exod. x. 26, Then Pharaoh i alled for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, I have finned against the Lord your God- Now therefor 1 pray thee, forgive my fin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
3. As this exercise was wholly selfish, without any concern for the Lord's glory, so it led me to selfish courses for relief. I promised, That were I at land, I would live and be better than formerly: I engag'd to keep all God's commands. My mother told me, I was in a mistake, and would not hold there. But there was no persuading one so ignorant of his own heart, as I at this time was, of this. I multiply'd engage ments, and doubted not myself as to the performance: Josh. xxiv. 16. And the people answered, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to Jerve other gods.--aver, 19. And Joshua Said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord; for he is an holy God. ver. 21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay, but we will ferve the Lord.
4. No sooner was I come to land, and fix'd at Roto terdam, but I verified what had been foretold. I forgot all my promises and resolutions. The unrenewed and corrupt heart, being free from the force put upon it by the natural conscience under appearance of haze ard, took its old course. I returned to former evils and grew.worse ; Corruption, that had been dammid in for a little, having easily forc'd down all these Mounds raised to hold it in, run with the greater violence. It is true, thro' the mercy of God I was still restrained from open scandalous fins. Toward which
the aw of my godly and prudent mother, and prina, ciples of education did contribute not a little : But as. to secret evils of all sorts I had no averlion to them : Nay, to many of them I was strongly inclin'd, and in many instances followed my own inclinations. I was a ready and easy prey to every temptation, notwithstanding all my engagements :- Jer. ii. 20. And thou laidjt, I will not transgress, when upin every high hill, and under every green tree thou wandereft, playing the harlot.. .
5. My sins, in this place, had this grievous aggrä-, vation, That they were against greater light, and more of the means of grace than I had formerly enjoyed. On the Lord's day we had three Sermons and two Lectures in the Scots church, on Thursday, a Sermon there likewise. On Tuesday one of the suffering. Mi- nisters by turns preach'd, There was a meeting for prayer on Wednesday. On Monday and Friday's night Mr. James Kirkton commonly lectured in his family. On Saturday he catechized the children of the Scots sufferers who came to him. My mother took care to have me attend most of these occasions, was careful to keep me to duet, was not wanting in advice, correction, prayer with and for me, the obliged me :0 read the scriptures and other edifying books But fo. far were all these from obtaining a due effect on me, that I was weary of them, and went on in sin : Ija. v. 4. What could have been done more, (viz. in point. of outward means) to my vineyard, that I have not done? Wherefor when I looked that it mould have brought forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes
Mal, i. 13. re raid allo (viz. of the Lord's service) | What a wearine's is in it? And ye have snuffed at it
faith the Lord of Hoffs; And ye brought that which was torn, and the lame and the fick ; thus ye have brought an offering ; Mould I accept this of your hand, faith the Lord?
6. At this time I wanted not frequent convictions,