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<w:lk on in darkness Prov. xiv, 6. The scorner • feeketh wisdom, and findeth it not. Many other deceits and shifts my heart used, which now at so great a distance I cannot remember. But these are the principal which do occur upon reflection ; and in them how evident is it, That the heart is deceit. 'ful above all things, and defperately wicked. Who knows or can know it. Jer. xvii. 9. ..
6. Though now I seemed sometimes to have gone far, yet really I was wholly wrong : For, 1f, All this while being convinced of the necessity of a righteoufness, but ignorant of Christ, ' I sought it by the works
of the law. Rom X. 3. 2dly, The carnal mind that ' is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law
of God, still continued. Rom viii. 7. 3diy, All my exercise was only a tossing betwixt light and love to sin; And sin still carried it ; for my bosom idols I would by no means part with. 4thly, Self was the animating principle of any form of religion that I had. So much of it, as would save me from hell, or take me to heaven, and no more I desired. 5thly, All this religion came and went with the occasions mentioned : It was not abiding.
7, Providentially about this time Clarks Martyrology was cast into my hand. I loved history, and read it greedily. And some impressions it left on me, that wanted not their own use now and afterwards : ist, The patience, joy, and courage of the Martyrs, persuaded me that their was a power, a reality in religion, beyond the power of meer nature, :dly. I was convinced that I was a stranger as yet to this, because, I could not think of suffering. 3dly, I was brought to some faint desires, after acquaintance with this power of religion: Dan. iji. 28, 29. • Then Nebuch
adnezzar spake and said, blessed be the God of "Shadruch, Meshach and Abednego. There is no
other God that can deliver after this fort.' Oft was I in reading this book, at Balaams wish, G3
« Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my • last end be like his. Nun. xxiii. 10.' But like him, I loved not their life
8. I observe, that at this time, if, God restrained me from many follies others run into, and I was much inclined to, by my bodily infirmity, a trouble in my joints, which made me unable to go.' Thus <he hedged in my way, Hof. ii. 6.' That I should not find my lovers, 2dly, The Lord in mercy provided me comrades, that were tender of me, and took care of me. He fed me, and led me, though I know « him not. Hof, ii. 8 · Isa. xlv. 5. Jer. ii. 17. 3d\y, (So far was. I from being thankful, that my proud heart fretted, that I was kept from these things other followed. I would have been at rejoicing in my strength; and vex'd I was, that I had an occasion of glorying cut off. And I was not thankful either for the Lord's cutting off by this means many occasions of fin ; nor for his mercy in providing persons to take care of me. O what reason have I to say, “ The Lord is good to
the unthankful and evil. Luke vi. 35.
CHA P. IV. in Containing an account of the progress of the Lord's work, the straits I was reduced to, and the courses I took for relief, from May 1693, when I left Edinburgh, till I went to the family of Wemyss, August . 1696. 1. THE air agreeing neither with my mother nor
1 me, she was adviced, and at length resolved to leave Edinburgh, and go to St Andrews, a place more wholesome, and more convenient for my education, to which she always had a special regard. Here I cannot but observe the remarkable kindness of the Lord in guiding me, though then I took no
notice of it. Isa. xlv. 5. ' I am the Lord, and there .' is none else, there is no God beside me : I girded «'thee though thou hast not known mei' 11, At a
time when my heart inclined me most to folly, and by my entring to the college, I was exposed to many temptations to it, the Lord seasonably laid his hand on me, and trysted me with trouble, that was a mean to restrain me, and keep me from contracting any intimacy with those, whose converse might have proven prejudicial to me, and to engage me to choose fobber comrades. Deut. viii. 5, Thou shalt also confider in thine heart, that as a man chaltneth his son, to the Lord thy God chastneth thee. Again, 2dly, This indifpofition, during the first two months of my stay at the College, being only in my joints, did not hinder, but further my studies; and the Lord pro. vided one who, though a stranger, and under no special obligations, yet attended me as closs as he had been my fervant, and was as tender of me as if he had been my brother. During this time, I made a greater proficiency in the Latin Tongue, then ever I had formerly done; the Regent I was under being very, skilful in teaching it, and attending very carefully. After this time he fell ill, and was not capable to attend; and I fell ill, and was thereby 0hliged to remove to St. Andrews, which was much to my advantage. For I came under the care of Mr. Thomas Taylor, a man' very capable, and very careful of; and kind to me. And the class I left was broke quite, the Regent continuing indisposed that year, and falling next year into a frenzy. Thus the Lord chased me from place to place for my good, and every where provided me friends. Deut, xxxii10. He found him in a defert land, and in the waste and howling Wilderness : He led him about and instructed him, he keept him as the apple of his eye, But God's kindness in guiding to places for my good, and keeping from inconveniencies, Snäres and dangers, into which others fell, had no effect on, nor were they noticed by me. fer. ii. 6, 2. Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land ; of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a Land of deserts, and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death.--lnd I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof, and the goodness; but when ye entred ye defiled iny lanit, and made mine heritage an abomination.
2. When I settled at St. Andrews, the Lord left not his work, and striving with me : But the same sovereign grace that begun, went on with it. Ezek. Xx: 6, 8, 9. I lifted up my hand unto them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me. Then said I, I will pour out my fury upon them. But I wrought for my Name's fake. Ezek. xxxvi. 32. Not for your fakes do Ithis, faith the Lord God, be it known unto you: Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
3 Here the Lord cast my lot under choice means of grace, the Ministry of worthy Mr. Thomas Foro refter ; under this searching Ministry, the Lord begun to give me some small discoveries of the more secret and Spiritual evil of my heart and carried me Ezek. viii. 12. into the secret chambers of imagery, to let me see what my heart did in the dark. Ift, He opened mine eyes to discern somewhat of that world of pride that is in the heart, and the wickedness of it. Though I was some way convinced of my own weaknels, when I had any difficulty more than ordinary before me, and would seek help from God, yet when I got through, I valued myself upon my ac
quittance. Of the wickedness and unjustness of this, " the Lord in some measure convinced me; i Coriv.
7. 'What hast thou, O man, that thou hast not re• • ceived ? And if thou hast received, wherefore doft " thou boast ? 2dly, He convinced me of the wickedness of the straying of my heart after Idols, efpecially in the time of worship: Ezek xi, 21. But as for them whose heart walked after the heart of their
& deteftable things, and their abominations, I will re. • compence their ways upon their own heads, faith o the Lord God. Ezek. xiv, 4, 7. For every one of " the house of Israel, or of the stranger, which • setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the • stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, • and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him con
cerning me, I the Lord will answer him by my'self.' I was made to fee, in some measure the danger of offering such duties to him, who requireth us to Deut. xxxii. 46. set our hearts to what he speaks, and to keep our foot when we come to the house of God. Eccl. v. 1. 3dly, I was likewise made to see fomewhat of my trusting to my duties, and resting on the bare performance, inasmuch as I was not for molt part challenged for unsuitable performance, but for the intire omission of them, and with the Pharisee I thought it enough, if I could say, That I did the dury. But now the Lord let me see, that more was required, though with him I could say, I fast twice a week. Luke xviii. 12. The Lord convinced that he might answer, When ye fasted, did. ye at all fast ' unto me, even to me?' Zech vii. 5. .
4. These when added to former discoveries of guilt, gave frequently much disturbance, and cast me into racking perplexity and disquitement, but the darkness and enmity of my mind remaining, I still had recourse to wicked and vain courses for peace, such as these formerly mentioned; but they afforded me little quiet, Pharaoh-like I engag'd to annend those things wherein formerly I had fail'd; but with him I quickly broke, when the force that drave to this was over. At last finding no peace in any of , these courses, I resolved to enter into solemn cove, nant with the Lord; and accordingly I wrote and subscrib'd a solemn covenant, whereby, I bound my. self to be for God, like Ifrael when under the awful impressions of Sinai, and the dreadful appearance of