Imágenes de páginas

learning, and pardon for not seeking his blessing, But this was only when more than ordinarly difficul.


But as to the main, all this exercise left me where I was before, affar off from God, and an enemy to “ him in my mind, which I evidenced by wicked works. Gol, i. 21.

GHA P. III. Giving an account of the increase of my convictions,

during my stay at Edinburgh, from harvest 1690, or 1691, till May 1693, and the vain refuges I betook myself to for relief.

1. M y mother designing to have me well educated

I for the advantage of better schools, in har: vest 1690, or 1691, did remove to Edinburgh,and fixed me at Mr. Gavin Weir's school, where I stayed (lave only for the space of some months that I abode in Garlop's family, and learn’d with his children and fome others,under one who had been an under teacher to Mr. Weir, and after his removal, taught a few privately) till November 1692, when I entered to the college under Mr. Alexander Cuningham. Here it was my mercy that I fell in with sober comrades, and bookishly inclined. But this is not my design to narrate; and therefore I proceed to observe the steps of the Lord's work with me as to my soul.

2. While I abode here, the Lord gave not over his dealings with me. Aets xiii. 18.' About the time.

of forty years, suffered he their manners in the wil. . derness.' Long also did he bear with my manners. In this place the work went on. For, ist, as knowlege increased, so convictions, if not in force, yet in number increased, still as knowledge of the law grew, which it daily did under the means of grace, the knowlege of lin also grew : 'For by the law is the


knowlege of fin. Rom vii 7.' The Lord daily let me see, that he was wroth on account of sins that formerly I had not noticed. P/alm 1, 21 " These things I thou hast done,and I keept silence : Thou thoughtest 'I was such an one as thyself : But I will reprove " thee, and set thy sins in order before thee.' 2dly, By new afflictions, the impressions of my mortality were riveted. and I was still the further in bondage through the growing fears of death. Heb ii. 15. 3dly, The word being daily preach'd, and daily meeting with me, forced me, tho’unwilling, to make some enquiry into my sincerity in religion, which I now made some profession of. A closs word, will, at length even bring a Judas to say, Master is it I. Matth xxvi. 20, 21, 22, 23. 4thly, By the means of grace, Heroda like, to save some bosom idols, engaged me, Mark vi. 20. 'to do many things and hear the word gladly.'

3. The means whereby these effects were wrought, were, ift, The preaching of the word. Rev. i 16. "By the two-edged sword that goes out of his Mouth, the Lord did oft wound me, and the secrets of my heart were made manifest. I found the word a dif-, • cerner of the thoughts of the heart and its intents.' i Cor. xiv. 23. Heb. iv. 12. 2dly, The Lord made use of the rod. He laid his hand on me. When I was well and in health, the word did not affect so much, nor did I attend to it so carefully. Jer. xxii. 21. 'I • spake unto thee in thy prosperity, and thou wouldest

not hear : This has been thy manner from thy O youth, that thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord " Hol v 15. In their aMiction they will seek me ( early Job xxxvi. 8. 9. If they be bound in fetters, I and be holden in cords of affliétion: Then he ihew. «eth unto them their work, and their transgressions

that they have exceeded.' 3dly, I read Shepherd's treatife, called, The sincere convert, which galled me, and cut me to the quick; it came very closs home to

me ,

me, and affected me very much, and put me to question deeply my sincerity, , 14 By these means I was driven sometimes to great extremity, and carried the length of a form of religion. I prayed not only evening and morning, but at some other times retired, and would weep plentifully in secret, and read, and pray,and resolve to live otherwise than I had done. But this goodness was as the morning cloud, and early dew, Hof. vi 4, It keept pace with my convictions. It was force,not nature; and this strictnels lasted no longer than the force that occasion'd it did. And Joash did that which was right in the fight of the Lord, all the days of Jehoiada the Priest. But Jehoiada waxed old--and died. 2 Chron. xxiv. 2. 15, 17, 18. Now after the death of Jehoiadu, came the princes of Judah and made obeilance to the king and the king hearkned unto them. And they left the house of the Lord God of their fa. thers and served Groves and idols,

5. While I was under these distresles,many a wicked shift did I betake myself unto for relief, though , without effect Hof. v. 13. When Ephraim faw

his sickness and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent unto king Jareb, 1. yét could he not heal you, nor cure you of your

wound.' When searching marks were offered from the word, which tended to discover my naughtiness or when I read them in books, ift, If any thing was spoken or mentioned, that did in appearance make for me, than I greedily gripped to that : For I was very unwilling to see my owr hypocrisie ; and there. for, if I had but a shiew to found my claim, I laid hold on what was offered, like the young man, when Christ spoke of keeping the comandments, he answered: being unaquainted with the spiritual extent of the law, Matth. xix. 20. 'All these things have I

kept from my youth, what lack I yet?' So fald I. 2dly; When I found somewhat required that I neither


Worm could he not frian, and fe wound, therim law

had nor refolved to comply with, because perhaps it was, on some account or other, dear, than I resolved to compound the matter, and make amends some other way and beg a licence for that, like Naaman, 2 Kings v. 17, 18. ' Thy servant will henceforth of. ' fer neither burnt offering, nor facrifice unto other gods but unto the Lord. In this thing the Lord pardon thy kervant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself down, in the house of Rimmon.' 3dly, When any mark was of fered, that I could not shift, nor pretend untó, then I was ready to question, whether he that offered it were not mistaken,' and secretly questioned the truth;' following the measures satan took with Eve ; Gen. ii. 1, 4.-_' Yea hath God faid, ye shall not eat of e• very tree of the garden.' And again, “Ye shall not

surely die.' 4thly, When I could not fee, not thro' the want of sufficient light, but through my unwillingness to admit it. I was ready to quarrel that ministers and books did not tell me piainly. John. X. 24. " Then came the Jews round about him, and faid e unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt, • If thou be the Christ tell us plainly. Jesus answerred theni, I told you and you believed not' 5thly, Sometimes when I was gravelled with a mark l-pro. miled it a hearing at a more convenient season, and so like Felix shifted the trouble for the time Alls xxiv, 25. 6thly, Sometimes I would lip over these things that made against me. Afts, xvii. 32. 'He that doth:

evil, cometh not to the light, because his deeds are s evil, left they should be reproved. John ii. 20. gtbly, I carefully fought for the lowest marks, and the least degrees of grace that might be saving. I deligned only as much Religion as would take me to heaven ; and therefor I still enquired with the young man,' Whať

good thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Mat six: 16. I desired no more than would do this, C2,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


serve this turn ; and any thing that would serve this, provided my beloved lufts were fpared, I would with him resolve upon. 8thly, When none of these thifts would avail in the general, I would resolve upon doing any thing that the Lord required, like him that faid, Luke ix. 57, 58. “Master, I will follow thee ( whithersoever thou goeft.' But then with him, I still retracted when the Lord, as he oft did, did tell me 'kcc of particulars he would try me in, which were cross to my inclination. Sthly When I saw I behoved to far, ve quit these of which the Lord oft convinced me, then while I begged a little respite or delay, and I would comply; nels, « Augustin-like, I was content to be holy, but not yet.' l'oft And another also said, Luke ix. 61, 62. • Lord, I l'iser

will follow thee, but let me first go bid them fare. l'ofc ( well which are at home at my house. And Jesus

faid, No man having put his hand to the plough and " looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.' An excuse, a delay in God's account, is a plain refusal : For all commands and invitations require present obedience; 2 Gor vi. 2. 'Now is the accepted time. “Now is the day of salvation. Heb iii. 15. And to• dạy if you will hear his voice ; harden not your

hearts.' rothly, After all ways were tried, I found no relief. I blamed my education. I knew there was fome change, my question was whether it were the right one: Now, thought I, if I had not been religie hat in ously educated, but had turned all at once, it would have been more easily discernable: Thus I was in perfor tangled in my own ways. Ifa. lix. 9,10. "We wait o for light, but behold obscurity ; for brightness but consi ' we walk in darkness We grope for the wall ? the blind and we grope as if we had no eyes : We 80 C

stumble at noon-day as in the night, we are in de Powe "folate places as dcad men.' And the true reason of lado my strait was, I was scorning, and not really delirous oflight,unless it had been to my mind.Pfalm lxxxii.5. Con "They know not, neither will they understand; they of



« AnteriorContinuar »