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formity, gave him a house to dwell in at Duplin, beside himself, was his ordinary hearer, and while he lived, shewed no small kindness to him, which deserves 'a thankful remembrance from his relations.
His father never repented his faithfulness in adher.' ing to the covenanted work of reformation, but rejoiced that he had been honoured to suffer on that account ; and when he fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1682, in the 55, year of his age, he died in the faith of this that God would deliver this church from the then fore perfecution it was under.....!
His mother was daughter to Mr Andrew Playfere, the first minister of Aberdalgy parish after the reformation from popery,to whom her husband succeeded a little before the restoration of prelacy. She was allied to some of the best families in the kingdom by the mother, of which here I shall forbear a particular account: :But which was their far greater glory, both of them from their youth up, were truly religious. · His mother excelled many of her own sex, for knowlege of the principles of religion, and an uncommon memory of the feriptures ; she would have exactly repeated many of the choicest chapters of the bible.. in ni
. .,'. They had a numerous family, no less than eleven 'children, and very sickly; all of them died young, except their eldest daughter Janet, and this their son Mr. Thomas ; but to sweeten these trials, they had peculiar comfort in the death of their children ; fome even of the youngest of them, gave singular evidences of their dying in the Lord, which some yet alive well mind.
When his father died, he was happy to be under the care of such a mother : The episcopal persecution for non-conformity daily growing, she with her son in law, and daughter, were forced for their fafety to withdraw to Holland, took him along with them, while he was very young : He quickly learned the
Dutch Dutch, and went to Erasmus school to learn the lat'n : There they fojurned till August 1687, at which time they returned home, narrowly escaping fh po wreck.
At their return he went to the school, and after wards to the university, where he made great profici. ency beyond many of his equals. When he had fini. shed his course there, he entered chaplain to a nobl: family, where one that had been his school fellow and had drunk in the principles of the deists, began to at. tack him on that side, which obliged him in the beginning of his studies to read that controversy carefully; and what progress he made in this, will ap. pear from his book against the deifts. He could not attend lessons of divinity in any of our colleges, while in that family ; and tho' he had read divinity only two years the presbytery of Kircaldy importun'd him to enter on trials, and he was licensed by them to preach, June 22, 1699.
He was settled minister in Ceres parish, May, 1, 17007 1. In 1701, he was married with Janet Watjon 2
virtuous and pious gentlewoman, daughter to Mr. David Watjan an heritor in the parish of St. Andrews a zealous good man, and one that suffered much in the late times for non-conformity, Pis relict survives with six children, one son, and five daughters, beside two sons and a daughter that died.
Some few years after his settlement at Ceres, his "health broke, and his indisposition daily increased, lo that he was hardly able to go through his ministerial work in that large parish.
In April 1710, having received a patent from her majesty, and an invitation from the presbytery, he was transported by the synod of Fife, to be professor; of divinity in the new college of St Andrews.
In September, 23, at 7 in the morning 1712, 1:* 5 lept in Jesus, and him will the Lord bring with him, He was of low ftature, his body but thin and finally
k in this hardly his indignis feceler died. "e daugh
He was of lound him will these morning
liis hair black, but his complexion pretty clear and fair,
In April 1711, a dangerous sickness seized on him which, obliged the physicians, at several times, to take from him about 44 ounces of blood; he recovered and went abroad again, but his wasted body never attained the small strength he had before his sickness; shortly after his arms and legs became a little be: num'd and insensible, as also fwelled, which at his death increased greatly,
But o'! How noble a spirit, how great a soul dwelt in his weak and frail body. I
He was naturally of a very pleasant and desireable temper. He had an equal and chearful Spirit, which he retained under surprizing vicissitudes. This even. ness of temper appeared much in his frequent and dangerous sickness. He had a calm, peaceable, heal. ing disposition, and yet bold as a lion in his master's cause. He had a peculiar talent for composing ditferences : How afflicting the prospect of divisions was to him, the following sheets will testifie . And had fome others been blessed with more of this spirit, his and our fears had been utterly disappointed.
He was maiter of a considerable stock of prudence, he studied to walk in wisdom toward them that are without, and them that are within, and to become all things to all men.
He was dextrous in observing tenpers, and in addressing and managing persons. How wisely he car. ried in church judicatories, whereof he was a member others can witness, .
He abhorred that unedifying converse, that is spent 111 frequent and unleasonable jesting and drollery, so conimon with many ; tho' he was abundantly face. rious in company, when and where he saw it exped. ient, and this way sometimes, he has dropt what tended to edifie. Those who conversed most with him, will own, they feldom enjoyed his company without some profit by it. He oft was uneasy after
much converse with others, if he was not edified himself, or though he did not edifie' others; how circumspect and tender was the strain of his walk in this? He oft regretted the difficulty there was to re. tain integrity in the most part of company in this degenerate age ; he reckoned such company a great hardship, and loth would he be to have let any thing offensive in converse go without a check,
The following memoirs will witness his walking with God in his family and closet: But some things here I cannot pass ; it was his ordinary, except he had been necessarily hindred, to come from his closet to family worship, especially if the Lord had given him enlargment of heart, and if his spirit was in a due frame; he would then have been very uneasic, if any interruptions fell in betwixt closer and family-duties. He also commonly expounded the word of God, at least once a day in his family. The night before family-fasts, which he kept, our national-fafts, he always directed his servants how to manage that work, and on the fast-days themselves discoursed them about their souls condition and concerns.
He was an affectionate and dutiful husband, a con. scientious and kind parent, a faithful and easy master.
Such as knew him, will own, he had a clear head, a very ready and rare invention, and an uncoinmon memory; he read little after his health broke, and oft owned his greatest improvement was more by thinking than reading. · He had a very ready way of expressing his thoughts; he was far from a vain, airy affectation of language
in preaching, (a prevailing evil in this time) he had * studied an even, neat and fcriptural stile, and this be?
came natural, tho' some thought in the end, his deep thinking made it a little more abstruse than formerly to a popular auditory.
He had choice pulpit gifts, he was an accurate and 1. pathetic preacher a great textuary, close in hand. ling any truth he discoursed, and in the application, he was home, warm and searching; and in this he shewed himself usually a skilful cafuift. He oft complained, that some worthy men were too general and bare in the application of their doctrines,
He ordinarily wrote his sermons very exactly, when health and business would allow ; he used to say · A lazy minister in his younger years, would make a poor old man it were to be wished, that this example were more followed than it is, He oft adventured to preach under great 'indisposition, when he was not able to write so much as the heads of his sermon, yea, even at facraments, and he has been singularly afdsted, to the conviction of all that heard him. In his last two years he wrote little, his health then was so low.
His experience of the power of godliness, with his other gifts mentioned, inade him very skilful to deal with wounded [pirits, according to the variety of their cases ; and this converse he owned was extreamly useful to himself. Few ministers have taken a more cautious and confirming way of dealing with people, than, he did before he admitted them to the sacrament; and while in health, he was diligent in the other paris of his ministerial work.
He was no less singularly fitted for the schools ; he spoke-elegant latin promptly, tho' he had been long in the disuse of it, and was scarce at any pains to re:' cover it, which was much admired : He was very expert in the greek, but his sickness broke his design to accomplish himself in the rest of the oriental langua. ges.
In controversies, especially those of the time, he excelled many, it was strange to see how quickly he would have taken up the state of controversie, the Strength of an adversary, seen through their deceitfull sophistry and pretences, and how close and ner. vous his reasoning was usually
Now on the whole, what a loss, especially in