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this juncture, may we justly reckon the death of this great little man to the poor wrestling church of Scotland, to the place he lived in, and to his family? Alas! What shall we say? What great thoughts of heart may it cause, when such a green olive-tree, fair, and of goodly fruit is cut down, when such bright stars set, yea, even constellations of them in our day? May we not justly, fear, when such wrestlers with God are taken off, as he on his death: bed comments on such damping providences, that the consumption decreed Shall overflow in righte. oufnels ? Ila. X. 22.
. . OF It, THOMAS HALT BURTON,
in all respects fo inconsiderable, are not worth de recording; and if recorded, could be of little are either to myself, or others, Wherefor it is none of my design to waste time or paper with these. But t I can recount the Lord's gracious conduct toward me, the state of matters before and under the Lord's pecial dealings with me, in a way of conviction, ilEumin 'tion, conversion, consolation and edification ; and compact them so, as to discover, not only the parts of this work, the several advances it made, the opposition made to it, its victory over the opposition of my own heart, Satan and the world: but also to present the work in its order and issue, it may be of great use to my own establishment, and if ever it Thould fall in the hands of any other Christian, it might be not unuseful, considering, that the work of the Lord in all is, as to the substance, the fame and
uniform; and as face answers to face Prov. xxvvii. 19. in a glass, fo does one Christian's experience answer another's and both to the word.
This being the design of this narrative, to give some account of the Lord's work with me, and my way with him, in fo far as I remember it froin my birth this day , I shall proceed to it.
:: PART. I. Narrating tbe state of matters with me from the time
of my birth till. I was about ten years of age, or thereby, -, .
I Came into the world, not only under the guilt of I that offence, whereby many, nay all were made finners, Rom. V. 19. and on the account whereof judgment passed upon all men to condemnation : But moreover I brought with me a nature wholly corrupted, Job. xiv. 4. Psalm. li. 5. a heart wholly set in me to do evil. Eccl. ix. 3. This the testimony of God in the word satisfies me of. And herein I am Itrongly confirmed by undoubted experience, that fully convinceth me, that from the morning of my .. days, while under the advantage of gospel-light, the inspection of godly parents, and not yet corrupted by custom, the imaginations of my heart, and the tenor of my life, were evil, oniy evil and continually Jo. Gen. vi. 5, 8, 21.
2. It cannot be expected, that at fo great a dis.. tance, I should remember the particulars of that first three or four years of my life : Yet I may on the justest grounds presume, that they were filled up with those fins that cleave to children in their infancy . Many of which are not only evil, as they fow from a poisoned root; Matth. vii. 17. for an evil tree wilt bring forth corrupt fruit : But do also bear the im.
press of, and an evident congruity to their corrupt source, and taste strong of that root of bitterness whereupon they grow. While we are get on the breasts, inbred corruption breaks forth, and before we give any tolerable evidence that we are rational, we give full evidence that we are corrupted. P/alm. Iviii. 3. We shew that we are inclined to evil by presling with impatience and eagerness for what is hurtful ; -and our aversion to good, by refusing with . the greatest obstinacy what is fit, proper and useful to us. At first we are only employed about sensible things, and about them we give the first evidences that our natures are corrupt. And with the first ap.' pearances of reason, the corruption of our fpirit dircovers itself. How early do our actings discover pas: fion, pride, revenge, dissimulation and sensuality to be inlaid, as it were, in our very constitution ? Any ordinary observer may discern instances innumer. able of this fort, very early in children. · With thele and the like evils, no doubt, were the first years of my life, whereof I remember little, filled up ; ' Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, Prov. xxii. 15. and we go aside assoon as born, speaking lies,' Psal. lviii 3.
3. In this first period of my life, I had advantages above most. My parents were eminently religious, I was trained up under their eyes and inspection, for most part. I continually heard the sound of divine truths ringing in my ears, in their instructions; and I had the beauty of the practice of religion continually represented to mine eyes in their walk. I was by their care kept from ill company that might in. fect me. By these means I was restrained from those grosser outbreakings that children oft run into, and habituate to a form of religion, and put upon the performing of such outward duties of religion as my years were capable of. Hence it appears, that the fin, I now am fully convinced, that I wallowed in during this tract of time, is not to be imputed, either as to
inclination, or actings, merely to contracted custom, or occasional temptations; But it really was the genuine fruit and result of that lamentable byass man since the fall is born with. Sure the spring must be within, when notwithstanding all the care taken to keep me from them, 1' impetuously went on in sinful courses. The holy God hedged up my way by precepts, example, discipline; But I broke through all. Sure the springs must be within. And sure it most be very strong that was able to bear down such power. ful mounds * as were set in its way, by the pro. vidence of God, and run with so full a streain, not. withstanding all outward occasions of its increase were cut off, as much as might be. Herein I have a full evidence of a heart naturally estranged from, nay opposite to the Lord. And besides, this deeply aggravates my guilt. “And they have turned unto me the back and not the face, though I taught them rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. Jer. xxxii. 33.
4. The care of my father during his life, which ended O&ober 1682, and of my mother after his death, tho' very great, did not change, but only hide nature, which is indeed often hidden, sometimes ou vercome, seldom extinguished. Albeit I cannot remember all the particulars from the 4th or sth year of my life, yet so far do I remember what the genexal bent of my heart was from that time. Upon a review, I mult confess that it was wholly fet against the Lord. The carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to the law of God, nor can it indeed be, Rom. viii. 7.
5. To confirm this, when I now survey the deca. logue, and review this portion of my time, notwithstanding of the great distance, I do distinctly remember, and were it to edification, could condescend upon particular instances of the opposition of my
i heart : * Fences :
einber time ret at