Imágenes de páginas

hope in God, and blest be his name. Tho' I was once well near the saying, my hope my frength, is perished from the Lord; yet the Lord rebuked that. My unbelief was very impudent in urging fuggeftions. A shadow of a difficulty will fright, and lay me on my back. I'm nothing, less than nothing, a vile finner ; but mercy does all, I bless his name'; and he himself has said it, and done it ; and now I'm lying his debtor not able to pay a mite of it. : Then to the ministers he said, now I would fain liear, sirs, hear of the gospel, hear of Christ. On which the ministers present discoursed a while on the promises of God, the faith and experiences of the saints in former times. The Lord, said he, has indeed dealt wonderfully with me; he has taken me out of the miry clay and set my feet on a rock; he has come in the watches of the night, and calmed the waves of the raging sea. I expected no smile when I took this trouble ; and many a time I've been this winter at saying, I'm like to be a branch that's withered, and cast over the hedge ; I brought all this strait on myself; and I thought, if I could win away creep. ing with terrors, to be plunged into eternity with a peradventure, it was fair. praise is comely: I am one of the chief of sinners very kindly dealt with ; whence is this to me!

At night, he said, there will be a turn. One said, yea, no doubt of that ; your defluxion is already dried up. He said, I take shivers, that I am hopeful 'tis my deliverance coming, under the conduct of the great captain of salvation, I'll shake hands with the king of terrors ; tho’one fit of sickness would but take away my tongue, another my ear, another my throat, I'll be content. One said, that's a mercy, He said, yea, yea, the troubled sea, a mind fretting, rising up in rebellion against God, is uneasy. I bless him I got that mercy in the violence of my trouble, he kept me from daring to entertain a harsh thought of him . . .R


he held me by the hand : and I fee now what cor. ruption is, even while under the most of God and his goodness : I have been kept under a continual fear of my ill heart. These are the two worst enemies I have, self with its fair shews, secret insinuations and unbelief, struggling hard against me. 'Tis a mercy he gives me now and then, when I am able to speak, leave to follow the old trade, to preach and commend Chrift ; I think he has given me good cause, Some. times I find it safer for my body and head, to hear others fpeaking, i

After he had lien quiet a little, to his wife he said, O! my dear, I was just praying for you and your bairns, and commending you to your God, and my God, to our fathers God. Being much troubled with the cough, he said, there are no coughs in heaa ven.

In the night-time he caused read the songs of degrees, and said, they were so called by fome, because they were sung on the steps of the stair, that led up. to the temple : And, said he, what meeter to be read to a poor finner, that aims at elimbing up the hill of God, where the temple of God is. Under the old testament, it was only the high priest that was to enter within the most holy place, and that once a year, and not without blood ; but now there's a way opened into the holiest of all, for every believer.

One said, I thought, fir, you was expressing your fears annent the times. He answered, yes indeed ; I'm no prophet, I'm not possitive on the head, but I greatly fear a heavy stroke coming on this land, I fear the plague of God is coming on Scotland. One said the pellilence, Sir, do you mean? He said, yes indeed, and a bloody sword also. Nay, 'tis what I fear'd these several years, and I bide by it, I'm of the fame mind still; and I do not fee what way 'tis evitable without a miracle ; and a miracle I do not

[ocr errors]

expect : But seek to be established in the truth. These are like to be shaking times.,

September 22, At half two, he asked what hours it was ? and said, early in the morning my friends should be acquainted, because I do expect this cough will haften the deliverance ; the Lord can do it speedily, but in the mean time he'll give me rest. Rest with himself. What needs a poor creature, that hath a prospect of such a rest, weary of outward trouble ? I'm lying very composedly, glory to his name; I hope I'm going to the land where there's a calm. One said, you have no reason to doubt of that. He said, no no.

Then he renewed his discourse on the case of the church, and said, Zion has been much upon my heart; I have had much tossing about the poor kirk of Scotland; O what will come of it, and the town of St. Andrews ! Then he expressed his fears of a stroke coming on all the churches, that God was about to', give them a terrible shake. One said, if so, I would fain hope it may be. Antichrist's last stroke. He anfwered, perhaps it may be so. He spoke of Mr. Hooker's denunciation of wrath against England, which . is mentioned in the history of New-England. And laid he, we are going to unite with the sins of France, what ground of fear may this be? I fear persecution by the popish party. One said, however 'tis the more hopeful that the reformed churches are like to be joined with us in the trial. He answered, but I am very apprehensive God is about to winnow the rem formed churches indeed. Well, well, said he, I'll get out of the dark cloud ; within a little, I'll be in A.,

braham's bofom, yea, in the bosom of him that car7.ries the lambs in his bosom ; and I'm sure of goodness.

and mercy in great store, even all that's laid up for - his people, to follow me. O he's good to a poor worm ; the chief of finners! O! let us exalt his name toge· Eber ; 'tis the constant employ of all above, they cease

not day nor night, they see and fing, they have a clear vision. O if I saw his lovely face, that's fairer than the fons of men,yea, that's beyond the sun at noon-day! O to be where there's no sin, How sweet has even this bed been, tho' fin remains, and my trouble's great! yet l've been compos'd in the midst of my trouble.' He can give heaven in the worst of cases. What shall I say? How shall I conceal his goodness ?

Thinking on the students of divinity, who were then separate in time of vacance, he dictated a letter, to be communicated to them at their next meeting; the copy whereof follows.

Dearly beloved in our Lord, my joy and hope and the - hope thall I say of the church of Scotland.

« V OU are devoted to the study of the gospel, “ I for preserving a seed to serve the Lord in the 6 church of Scotland, in order to the continuance of " the gospel, with the rising generation. A prof" pect this is of the highest concern, the most 6. honourable piece of service you can ever be “ employed in. This study weakly as I could, I did “ endeavour to assist you in, according to the measure of the gift of Chrift; in public, in private, to the « utmost that a fading body would allow, and be. yond; yet with much pleasure and satisfaction, in 66. hopes that the Lord one day might make my weak 46.labours, and your vigorous studies, through his *blessing useful in the church of God, a blessing to Só posterity, and a high honour to yourself: Want of 6 health allowed me not what was in my heart to “ have done for your assistance and encouragement :

And now I have no more left me, but to give a *. sincere testimony of my intire affection for you, "and that I have really the yearnings of a parents es bowels towards you, by signifying in this fort

6. Jine when upon a death-bed and near the confines “ of eternity, that you may vigorously ply that study " and rest not short of saving acquaintance with the .power of divine truth, and experimental knowlege

of the mystery of God and of Christ, diligently using all means that the word of God may dwell in

you richely, and that you may have treasures fur“ nished richly with things new and old, and that ye

may prove one day able ministers of the new testament : But rest not for the Lord's sake, and for 6. your own soul's fake, in the bare fruits of your

own study ; but seek to be taught of God, that you " may at once grow in grace and in the knowlege of 6 God: Beware of curiositys and novelties in relig: on : Adhere, as you will be answerable, unto the « doctrine of the church of Scotland, sincerely taught

by your worthy and judicious master, whom ye are “ happy in, if you know your own mercy, and have “ grace given you to improve it. This is a time of a" bounding errors; beware of drinking them in, be 6 ware of an assuming boldness in the matters of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. What man fears God, God will teach him the secret of his covenant. I have not time nor strength, being by the « Lord's hand cut short,to write my mind distinctly to “ you: but since I am now very near eternity,loaded “ with the riches of God's goodness,I could not but by “this line signify my sincere desire, that you may be « nourished up in the words of truth, and that you " may use wholsome food, and be kept from poison. “ I recommend to you among humane writtings, for « a true view of the mystery of the gospel, especial“ ly those of the great doctor Owen : But the word “ of God in dependance upon the spirit of God, “ must be your study and meditation day and night. " Words cannot express what I have found of God since I came to this bed of languishing, what ad“yantage I have found of having minted at follow

« AnteriorContinuar »