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The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader
Chapter XX


MISCELLANEOUS EXTRACTS, 1716—1721.

Colonel Blackader’s private pursuits—His Speeches in the General Assembly—Is appointed Deputy Governor of Stirling Castle— His observations on Legal and Evangelical Preaching—Speech at the Synod of Ayr—Ormond’s Invasion—Oath of Abjuration enforced—Visiting, Amusements, fee.

The time from the suppression of the Rebellion, until his appointment as Deputy Governor of Stirling Castle, the Colonel spent in his usual retired manner, enjoying the recreations of the country, and the society of his friends. Many of his leisure hours he devoted to benevolent purposes, in doing offices of kindness and charity to the poor in his neighbourhood, or to the cultivation of his own mind in reading and study, for which he had always a predilection. In the Greek, and Roman classics he took great delight, and had made considerable attainments in several of the branches of Natural Philosophy. The General Assembly of this year, to which he was returned a member, furnished him with some occasions of trying his talents as a public speaker; and if we may judge from the imperfect specimens he has recorded, his exhibitions in that venerable court do no discredit to his rhetorical powers. His oratory seems to have been entirely extempore—the unpremeditated expression of those feelings which rose in course of the debate. The subjects of discussion have now lost their interest; and the short abstracts of his speeches can serve no other purpose than to develop some characteristic features of his mind, when called into a new sphere of action.

April 25. This day kept for thanksgiving by appointment of the synod. God has done great things for us, an evil and ill-deserving generation; he has disappointed our fears, and broken the power of our enemies. It was not our sword nor our bow, but thy right hand that wrought our deliverance; for we saw enough to humble the pride of man.

May 3. The Assembly sat down: Went to church with the Commissioner, and heard a good sermon from Acts ix. 30. The King’s letter was very kind, and the Commissioner made a handsome speech.

May 5. Sitting on a committee all the afternoon, seeking council and direction to guide me right among the rocks and shelves of debate. Alas ! I think there is not the spirit of love among us that should be, but a rankling party-spirit, churchmen siding themselves too much with state-parties. Lord, subdue passions, envy, pride, self-seeking, wrangling; restore peace, love, and unity.

May 8. This day in the committee of Instructions. There were many proposals about redress and representation of grievances. Some were for addressing the King alone; others, for addressing the King and Parliament ; and a third party for endeavouring merely to get their grievances redressed. I said I was willing to go in with the second and last of these proposals, if we could fall upon a proper way to do it, but I disagreed with the first; for these grievances were now, many of them, enacted into laws, and so it is the legislative power alone that must help us; and for us to adress the executive, when it is the legislative only that can help us, were the seeking a remedy where it is not to be found, and putting a thorn in the King’s foot, and he gets too many of these.

Speaking of the Toleration, (which was one of the grievances,) I said it was my opinion,-that it was not so much the legal toleration that was a grievance, as a connivance at practices beyond the law; and that if magistrates in towns, and justices in the country would execute the laws as they were impowered to do, and which the Toleration Act did not hinder them from doing, then there would be no such abuse or grievance in the toleration itself. For instance, I said, in this our capital, where the Assembly sits, there are twelve or fifteen Meeting-houses where either the Pretender is prayed for, or King George is not prayed for, and where the principles of rebellion are taught. Now the Act does not allow this; and if these houses were shut up, as I suppose by law they may and ought to be under such circumstances, then the toleration could be no grievance; for I would have liberty, to all scrupulous consciences, to worship God in their own way. Upon this, some went out and told the Provost of Edinburgh what we were about, as if we were reflecting upon him; and he came in immediately and justified himself, which, I told him, I was glad of, and that I had given him an opportunity to do it; for I was indeed informed by the best authority, that there was an order, directed to the Provost of Edinburgh, come down a month ago, for shutting up the Meeting-houses, if they did not pray for the King.

May 11. In committees, and in the Assembly all this day. In the address to the King, congratulating him on the happy ending of the rebellion, and conveying the thanks of the Assembly to the officers who had been, under God, instrumental to it, it was proposed by some that the Duke of Argyle only should be named. I rose and gave my opinion to this purpose.

Moderator.—It may be thought reasonable, that, after having mentioned his Grace the Duke of Argyle, with all the honour due to his great merit and eminent services, we should, in the next place, do justice to a gentleman and a brave officer, who has also deserved well of this country. Moderator, there is not a man within these walls has a greater honour and esteem for the Duke of Argyle than I have. I have seen too many of his great actions, not to have a just esteem of them. But, Moderator, his Grace has such a fund of merit—such a stock of renown, that I am sure neither he nor his friends (as I hope all of us are) will grudge us the doing justice, in the second place, to General Cadogan. Moderator, this Gentleman is a stranger, and for that reason some would perhaps grudge him his share in our favour; but for my part, I think he ought, for that very reason, to have a stronger claim on our gratitude—to have his merits fully and duly considered. Moderator, General Cadogan neither affects it, nor does he want to have his services recommended to his royal Master, or his merit proclaimed to the world by the mouth of a General Assembly. Moderator, Fame has taken care of that. But he is an officer who has, of a long time, deserved well of the Protestant interest and alliance abroad; and now Providence has put an opportunity in his hand of deserving well of us; and in ours, of being generous and thankful.

Finding several members proposing others to be named also in our address, I said, Moderator, there is, I think, a handsomer way of setting up great merit and great actions to light, than by mentioning names or pointing out the man, and that is, by touching the bright character of the person, and the circumstances of his exploits,—for example, in the Queen’s time, when we spoke of a victorious General who liad reflected lustre on her reign, and made her arms triumphant,—who had curbed the insolence, and reduced the exorbitant power of France, nobody needed to name that personage, every man knew it was the Duke of Marlborough. So in our case, when we speak of the great deliverance God has wrought for us, by defeating the rebels, and frustrating their designs, then we all know it was the Duke of Argyle that led on the army to victory; and when we speak of reducing the Highlands, and restoring peace and tranquillity to the country, we know it was General Cadogan had the management of it. And I think this is the best expedient to make us unanimous, to name both, if we do name any; for by that it will appear, that the General Assembly is not actuated by any party spirit, but acting fairly and impartially. Whereas, if the Duke alone be named, it may be thought to be done by a faction; but if we name General Cadogan also, it will be seen to the world, that whoever serves the King with fidelity, or deserves well of our country and our church, will have a good title to the favour and thanks of the General Assembly.

It was carried to name the Duke alone, and I went cheerfully along with it. I know by this I lose the favour of both sides, hut I hate to be a tool or a party man. I would join with both when they are right, and with none of them when they are wrong.

May 12. This day came on the affair of Mr. Webster and Mr. Simpson.1 There seems to be much heat and party spirit about it. After some members had delivered their opinion, I spoke to this purpose.

Moderator,-—We have spent much time upon this business both in the last Assembly and in this. We have heard much reasoning about it, or to speak more properly, much speaking, and some reasoning; for where reason ends, there passion begins; and of that there is no end while there is. so much fuel in our breasts to feed it. Moderator, if this business be ripe for the Assembly—if Mr. Webster’s first libel and answers to it be prepared by the Committee, and if his last libel and answers to it be ready for the Assembly, then let us go on to the judging of it, in the name of God, in the fear of God, and in the love of truth; for I hope all of us are come here with upright and sincere hearts, to defend and maintain truth2 and suppress error. But if this affair be not yet ripe for the Assembly, why is it so much pressed to come on ? It ought to be left with the Committee it was referred to. And I am persuaded, Moderator, it will come to this; and I am told by several judicious members, that it will certainly land there. But, say they, it is too soon yet, it is not time yet. Moderator, are we come here without an object, to spend our fire upon one another—are we come here to spend our ill humours upon one another—are we come here to list ourselves under the banners of Mr. Webster and Mr. Simpson, with a factious spirit to fight and contend, not for truth but for victory ? Or are we come here to afford diversion to the town; for it has now become the common street talk, Come let us go into the Assembly and see sport.* Moderator, and are we come to this—to make ourselves buffoons and laughing stocks for the public ? I am afraid, Sir, it may be like the sport that Samson made to the lords of the Philistines, pull down the house about our ears, rend arid divide the church, so that neither we nor our posterity may ever see cured.

Moderator, we call ourselves a Venerable Assembly; it is in every body’s mouth, The Venerable Assembly. What is it that makes this or any Assembly Venerable ? It is not a great company of gentlemen in black coats and bands, and some with grey hairs; (and, Moderator, would to God there were more grey hairs among us.) It is not party-spirit, passion, heat, or wrangling. Moderator, you know, and can tell better than I, what it is that makes an Assembly Venerable. I shall only name two characteristics which I find in one of Paul’s Epistles—two lists, and set the one against the other, the one is called the works of the flesh, anger, wrath, malice, hatred, variance, strife, envying, emulation, sedition, heresies. To be purged of these, Moderator, will make an Assembly Venerable. The other list is the fruit of the Spirit, love, peace, joy, long-suffering, meekness, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance. To be endowed with these will make an Assembly Venerable, and answer the end of our coming together to consult for the glory of God and the good of the Churchy as every member binds himself to do in the words of his commission. Moderator, I beg pardon for using so much freedom with this Venerable Assembly ; I am sensible it does not belong to one of my coat. But I waited to hear if grey hairs would speak; and finding no body to do it, I was pressed in my conscience to say what I have said. Moderator, let not the reverend brethren consider the insignificant person it comes from; but let every one of us lay our hands on our hearts, and see if it be true; and if it be so, then—Pudet hcec opprobria nobis et did potuisse et non potuisse refelli. If if be not true, I humbly beg the pardon of this Venerable Assembly. .

This speech, I found, was ill taken by some hot, stiff men on both sides; but it was approved of, and thought necessary by the more peaceable and moderate.

May 14, The business of the former day still continuing; some wishing it to remain with the Committee, others pushing to bring it to the open Assembly. I said, Moderator, by bringing it into court,, we shall not only wrong the cause of Mr. W. and Mr. S., but what is of infinitely more importance, the cause of truth; for we take it out of that way, and out of these hands where it was and will be managed calmly and judiciously, and judged fairly and impartially; and we put it into a way where it will be judged hastily, and I fear precipitately. For, Moderator, if I should judge in it now, I am persuaded it would be rashly; for, I must confess, I have not yet received that evidence and conviction in the affair as to make me able to judge of it distinctly, or with accuracy. So I propose it be put again into the Committee’s hands. Next day when the business was to. be brought to a, conclusion, I made some reflections to this purpose?

Moderator,—Now that this affair is going from us, I would beg leave to, speak a word to it in con* eluding. The reverend, brethren of this Assembly have shewn a commendable zeal against error. Much has been spoken, and well spoken, against several errors, particularly against Jesuitism, Socinianism, find Arminianism. For Jesuitism, I hope there is no great danger of it, so long as we keep the Pretender from the throne of Britain. For Socinianism, I hope there is no great danger of it either, especially the grosser part of it. For Arminianism, it is a dangerous error indeed; for it saps the foundation of all our religion, by overthrowing the doctrine of free grace, and setting up that of free will. Jt is a dangerous error, because all men are by nature Arminians, and the corrupt heart of man naturally falls into Arminian principles; therefore, the Ministers of the Church of Scotland cannot shew too much zeal against it. But, Moderator, I would humbly recommend to these reverend ministers, that they would shew the same zeal against divisions and all practices tending that way. Let us not be like a General or an army that sends out all its sentries one way, and while they are looking out sharply that way, the enemy comes and attacks them in a different quarter, where they were not expecting, and therefore unprepared.

Moderator, the ministers of our church are our watchmen; and it is their duty to stand upon their watch-tower, and give us warning of our danger, from what quarter soever, whether from errors and vice on the one hand, or divisions on the other. Moderator, God has of his great mercy preserved this church, since the blessed Reformation, from the contagion of error; and I hope, by the vigilance of its pastors, he shall still preserve it. But we know that this church has been miserably rent and distressed, and brought, by divisions, into the utmost confusion. And I think I may, without offence, warn the reverend ministers of our church, that the nearest prospect of our danger comes from that quarter; for if ministers shall suffer themselves to be divided into parties, we may easily foresee, it threatens our ruin. All I shall say morie, Moderator, is to express my humble hope, that the reverend ministers in this Assembly will return home, cheerful and thankful, blessing God for the great deliverances he has wrought for us, and not let their spirits be soured or rankled by poring too much upon any grievances yet to be redressed. There are, indeed, grievances still, but these, I hope, shall he redressed in due and short time. But though we may have some cause to complain, yet, blessed be God, our church is not in danger, and, I trust, never shall be, under the happy government of our good King, and his Protestant successors.

This speech was not well taken by some, and I observed, by those especially who have most need to be warned and put upon their guard against divisions. It was the sore heel that cannot be touched. But I have exonered my conscience in giving my testimony against heats and discord.

May 16. The Assembly closed with singing the 122d Psalm. I returned in safety home to Stirling.

The remainder of this year furnishes few or no incidents in his life worthy of particular notice. His time was divided ohiefly between the cares of his own family, and the calls of friendships or charity which were occasionally made upon him.

June 16. I was sent for in the morning up to the Castle, to do a good office to a gentleman, a prisoner there, who had been taken in the Rebellion. I did it heartily, for as to matters of civility, we should heap kindness like coals of fire upon their head. We may shew zeal against their cause, and at the same time tenderness and humanity to their persons.

Next year he was nominated Deputy-Governor of Stirling Castle, an appointment which he did not solicit, and which was procured, in consideration for his services in the late Rebellion, solely by the interest of those noble friends with whom he had lately lived on terms of familiar intimacy.

(1717) March 2. This day I got my commission sent me from Edinburgh. Lord, fit me for whatever I am called to; I cast all upon thee. Thou knowest I was more afraid of the snares and temptations of great posts, than lifted up with the splendour and pageantry of them. I went up and intimated my commission. Some were making their compliments and wishing me joy, who, I knew, wished me little joy on the occasion. I desire to have the Divine approbation and the testimony of a good conscience, and then I need not much value their applause. I feel grateful to those noble persons who have honoured me with their friendship. I pray God I may deserve their favours. The best way to do this is to discharge well my duty. This is the best court we can pay to all good patriots and all honest men.

March 12. I brought up my wife and family to the Castle. I am more concerned about the duties of my post, than taken up with the honours of it.

March 26. Getting the news of a threatened invasion from Sweden. I laid my heart open before the Lord, and pleaded my case with him. Here am I posted among heaps of rubbish, and bare rocks, and almost defenceless walls, with a weak invalid garrison that I am a stranger to. There may be treachery or open mutiny among them. I know I have some enemies, and few to ask counsel of. These things look dark to the eye of sense and reason. But where sense and reason end, there faith begins. The Lord of Hosts, I trust, is on my side. He can make an invalid garrison invincible,—a ruinous and dismantled fortress impregnable. Through him we can do valiantly. It is not the Swedes, or any foreign enemy we need fear. It is our own sins and backslidings that lay us Open to the judgments and wrath of heaven. Putting the garrison in order, and providing the means of defence.

May 22k t have now qualified myself by taking the oath of Abjuration, a subject which has occasioned, much heat and mischief. I desire to take it in singleness of heart, believing that it is a cautionary oath, and that the government has no insnaring design in giving it, and that it does not oblige to any thing contrary to the word of God, or to our principles. Many do scruple to take it; well, I do not condemn them that have not light to take it, nor should they condemn those who have clearness. Only I must say this, that many in their way of managing, raise scruples and objections, both in their own and other’s consciences, rather than find them there. I see much design and cunning, under a pretence of strictness. I do not blame all, for I am persuaded many are up* right and single-hearted. But artful and designing men always lead astray the simple and honest.

May 28. This being the King’s birth-day, I was much taken up in the solemnities of the occasion. I invited the magistrates and officers to a glass of wine in the castle. We then went to the cross, and next to the town-house. I drank a good deal, but was nothing the worse. I do not justify myself, for there is sin in these things; but it is one of the snares that public posts are exposed to. Next day too there was some solemnity, but on a less deserving occasion ; the restoration of a Prince, (Charles II.) one of the wOrst that ever sat on our throne. But it is the restoration of true monarchy that we celebrate.

June 23. Sabbath. Heard a sermon against legality.

It is all very good to warn people against legality; but I see there is a party goes too far into the other extreme towards Antinomianism. I see generally Where there are errors in a church, the orthodox side, the warm, zealous party among them think they can never go far enough from the error, and so run themselves over a precipice on the other side. I desire to be found in the way of truth, shunning extremes on either hand. I know a pious minister who said, that he believed that serious, solid piety and religion have been upon the decline, since there has been so great an outcry against legal doctrine. It is not all gold that glitters. I think religion is much mistaken by many persons in Scotland, who tithe mint and anise, and neglect the weightier matters of the law, righteousness, truth, and sincerity. Lord, remove prejudices, and every thing that hinders our spiritual edification.3 July 21. Sabbath. Hearing a stranger, our minister being dead. Lord grant, that the mantles of our departed Elijah’s may descend on their successors. The town was much taken up with his preaching, and would give him a call. But I think it is not a minister’s preaching alone that makes him a blessing to any place. It is his walk and conversation, holy, humble, self-denied. For without these, if he should preach like an angel, he will not edify or do much good; especially if he be found to be of a worldly, factious, designing temper.

August 13. Going this day for Glasgow. Meeting in ‘ the evening with some of my good friends, old Stirling acquaintances, who kept me too late. Next day I waited on the Duke of Montrose. Dined with him; he was very kind and civil. Staid late and supped with him. At my coming away next morning, my kind friends intended to give me a public convoy, hut I slipt off very early, and shunned it, for I do not like parade and show.

August 28. Hearing the agreeable news of the great victory Prince Eugene has got over the Turks. Lord, turn it to thy glory. Thou art dashing the potsherds of the earth together—the Turk against Antichrist. May it prepare a way for spreading the truth—for the kingdoms of the earth to become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ. Dry up Euphrates, and make a path for the Kings of the East. Make an inroad by the glorious light of the gospel into Satan’s kingdom—into Mahomet’s and Antichrist’s kingdoms. Let the Captain of our Salvation ride prosperously, his sword girt upon his thigh, going forth conquering and to conquer. May all the kings of the earth pay him homage, till the uttermost ends of the earth be given him for a possession, and the islands receive his lawi Amen.

September 12. This is a day I ought not to forget; one of the great Ebenezer’s of my life,—the siege of Lisle. God delivered and honoured me; he wounded and healed me. He gave his angels charge over mo in that night—a night much to be remembered by me, when heaven and earth seemed to mix,—thunder and lightning from above,—cannons, bombs, and firearms round about. But my mind was staid on this promise, Isaiah xliii. 2. When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burnt, &c.

December 19. I was called to a meeting of the Session, Council, Deacons, &c. about calling a minister. As I had reason to think there had been some underhand work, I thought it my duty to discharge my conscience, and spoke to this effect:—

My Lord, (the Provost being preses,) while we have this matter entire before us, and before we be much dipt into it, I would beg, as a well-wisher to the town of Stirling, to give my humble opinion and advice in a general way. All of us that are concerned in it, ought to lay by all prejudice,—all wrong bias and ill humour, and cordially join together in calling a faithful Gospel Minister, who may feed us in the integrity of his heart,-—a man of a peaceable temper, free of all party-spirit,—a man who has no other design upon us, but to lead us to Christ. And it is much the interest of this town, at this time when people are so ready to be led into parties, to have a man of a healing quiet temper, in a word, a man that can say, This is our revoking, even the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation among you. I shall venture to say that the gospel never did thrive, and never will, in the hands of a party minister.

As to the gift of preaching, I look upon that to be but a part of his qualifications. We ought to consider his conduct and conversation also. For a minister may preach like Paul himself, and by his conduct destroy more than he builds up. It was asked, that I should explain myself, if I had any insinuations; that the minister they were seeking was not such a man. I said I had no insinuations, only I thought we should be very cautious and wary to choose such a man as I had described.

(1718,) January 14. Hearing sermon on the occasion of moderating a call for our minister. I came to church with a peaceable, calm temper, to go along with the call, though I have been passive all the while. I complained, however, that I had but little opportunity of being acquainted with Mr. M. I had heard him preach, but knew little either as to his ministerial or prudential qualifications, to say whether he be fit for this place or not; and the town of Stirling know as little. In a matter of this sort, every man should be fully persuaded in his own mind, to give his vote with knowledge, understanding, and judgment. However he got a very harmonious and unanimous call. I thought it better to shew the meekness of a Christian temper, and signed the call with the Session. I hope it is a good choice, though rashly gone into by many; and I heartly pray God, he may prove a blessing to this place, and to myself in particular. Being appointed by the Session, I waited on the Presbytery to desire their concurrence. I said nothing to them about my own opinion. I did not think it proper, being there as the mouth of the Session.

January 23. This day visited by some young people from Edinburgh. We had coarse, rambling conversation, very unsuitable and unprofitable. I like mirth and diversion, but I hate gross, unpolished talk. One foolish or vicious person in a company, will put the conversation more out of order, than a dozen of polite people will put it right. The way of sin is easy and natural to the corrupt heart; the way of virtue and piety is harsh and severe to it. Lord pardon, and cleanse from the filth contracted in such society. It could not be helped, but it is a mercy I am not tied to them.

January 25. Yesterday we had a marriage. There was much mirth and gay conversation. We had music, and the young people dancing. I think these amusements very allowable on such’ occasions, while they are kept within the bounds of decency. My own temper is cheerful, but not frolicsome. The diversion j as usual, continued till late; and this day was also spent in mirth and jovial conversation. I stole from the company in the intervals to recollect myself, for I cannot long bear too light conversation, of too great jollity. Being Saturday, we dismissed the music early, and had family exercise.

February 1. The day spent quietly; but we Supped abroad at night, which is the first time we have done so, I think these four years* since we Came to Stirling. I do not like the practice; for it puts my family out of order, and unfits us for private duty.

These extracts make it appeal* with what regularity and habitual reverence he was accustomed to maintain his intercourse with the Father of Spirits. Amidst the ceremonious cares of hospitality, or the levities of public company, lie could steal a moment to offer up a pious thought, and rally his scattered meditations. Family devotion was a part of religion which he cultivated at all times, and under all circumstances in his own house. He acted at once as the priest and the father of his family. Whether alone or in company, (and he was seldom without visitors,) this duty was never neglected. When he officiated himself, he usually read a sermon; if a clergyman happened to be present, he was requested to offer prayers, which were sometimes preceded by an extempore lecture on some passage of Scripture.

February 18. This day I was betrayed into a fit of passion, for which I do not justify myself, though I had the right on my side. It was at my servants, who were colluding together with lies to deceive me, which I discovered, and could not bear, but gave them a sharp rebuke as they deserved. O Lord, pardon wherein I exceeded, for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. . There is too much self even in our anger, and our zeal against sin. We know not what spirit we are of; there is much fuel within,, which would soon break out if left to ourselves. Every one of us carries about with him, as it were, a barrel of gun-powder, and a lighted match to kindle it.

March 15. Busy all tjie forenoon, and troubled qbout rectifying disorders and abuses in the garrison, whereby it is likely I will get the character of being severe. But I see men will not do their duty without discipline and authority. Lord, do thou direct me to do my duty, and carry aright, avoiding all extremes. :

April 1. Being appointed a member to the Synod of. Glasgow and Ayr, I took journey yesterday and came to the Synod at Ayr. I observed a stiff and fiety spirit got in among them. Lord, rebuke their spirit; heal our distempers and plagues; restore the spirit of love, charity, arid meekness.

April 2. There was sad work this day in the Synod. Mr. Anderson gave in a violent libel against the ministers of Glasgow.4 There was much wrangling and contention on both sides. A healing overture was proposed, but it displeased both partiesj and both protested. Next day we could not come to an agreement, and nothing but voting could bring the matter to a decision. When my opinion was asked, I said,

Moderator,-—I have not inclined to Speak upon tills subject all this while; now I shall give my mind freely upon the whole. This debate is between two parties, which I am sorry should be contending parties, and which should never be at variance, viz. the ministers and the people of a city. I see the business has been managed on both sides with much cross, ill humour. Both have committed faults; a great ferment has been raised, and a great fire kindled. It is not now so much our business to ask bow it has been raised and fanned, as to lend a charitable hand to allay and extinguish it. So the question comes, in short, to this, Whether it will be more for the glory of God, the peace, unity, and comfort of the town of Glasgow, to translate Mr. Anderson there ? I humbly think it will not; for, Moderator, how fit soever Mr. Anderson may have been before, and at the call, to be a minister there, and I shall not question his fitness then; yet now as the case stands, I think there is not a man in Scotland more unfit to be a minister in Glasgow than he. He is disqualified by his peculiar circumstances; for, being the occasion of so much division, and the bone of contention there, is there any chance, any likelihood, that he will ever be the cement of union ? It must be a strong faith that can believe it.

And, Moderator, his conduct in all this affair gives us no reason to think that he will ever become a bond of unity. For at the beginning of the affair when he got his call, and saw a division arising about him, he had acted with a Christian spirit if he had come or written to the magistrates, Gentlemen,—I thank you for the honour you have done me, in calling me to be one of your ministers, but I will not sow dissensions among you, I desire you to drop it. But instead of this, he sits within ten miles of Glasgow, and fans, and throws fuel into the flame; I mean his letter to the parish, Moderator, wherein, if I have any knowledge of religion, there is nothing written of a Christian temper, or a Gospel spirit, I see little else but banter, satyr, and burlesque. Moderator, my humble opinion is this: This Reverend Synod is the common father both of the ministers and the people of Glasgow.

I think you should give them your charitable advice, and tell them freely.—Gentlemen, your minds are heated; in your present ferment you are not fit to choose a minister. A man in a fever is not fit to choose what is good for him. Tell them to lay down these irascible passions of anger, malice, envy, backbiting, &c., and let their spirits cool, and then let them join heart and hand together, and choose a faithful, pious, peaceable, gospel minister; a man far from party-spirit, for I will venture to say, the gospel never did, and never will thrive in the hands of a party-man. Advise them to choose a man who has no other end in view, but to lead them to Christ; in a word, a man that can say on his admission, I determine to know no-thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified; and at the close of his ministry can say with the Apostle, This is our rejoicing, even the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we have had our conversation among you. And, Moderator, if they will choose such a man, assure them in your Master’s name, that they shall have the blessing of God with him, they shall have peace, unity, and happiness with him; and if they do not choose such, they can expect nothing but strife and contention; and I cannot but say, as the case now stands, and from the debates I have heard, that the translating of Mr. Anderson to Glasgow must be productive of the worst consequences. For these reasons I am against his translation.

It was carried in the affirmative by a great majority, though it is not likely that he who so virulently libelled the ministers of Glasgow, will be fit to be a colleague with them. I left Ayr, and returned home to Stirling.

April 28. This has been a remarkable day to me; a merciful deliverance. Returning, with some friends from a marriage-visit in the country, my horse threw me at a place where there was an ill step. All my face was sadly bruised and cut, but no bones broken. I was taken up senseless and carried into a house. There was much mercy in all this, for when my horse threw me, my foot stuck in the stirrup; and though my horse be very hot and fiery, yet he stood still till a servant came up and helped me. But they tell me that the horse was vicious, and offered to strike at me when I was lying on the ground. There is a great cut just beneath my eye, but the sight is mercifully preserved. I got a surgeon immediately, who took care of me; and next day got home in a chaise to Stirling. It was the beginning of June before I got completely recovered.

June 15. Sabbath. Serious in hearing. We have four exercises here on the Sabbath, and we had four different ministers; some expressing things one way, some another, yea, in seeming opposition to each other. These views, I confess, stumble me. Some that are called legal preachers, are blamed for leaning too much to the Arminian side; while others that call themselves evangelical, perhaps go too far to the Antinomian side. Lord, teach me thyself, for I dare not trust implicitly to any man. Lead me in the way I should go. The righteousness of Christ is the only foundation; it is through his strength alone that we can do any thing; but yet I would have the necessity of these duties pressed, Crucify the flesh, Mortify your members, Pluck out the right eye, ifc. These are all spoken imperatively, and not in a passive style, Let your lusts be mortified, 8fc< In short, I would have us as active and diligent in mortifying our lusts as if we could do it ourselves, and as if heaven were to be gained by it; and yet at the same time to believe that it is Christ must work in Us both to will and to do; and that we cannot mortify one vain thought of ourselves; it is the spirit of God and the power of his grace must do it; and to confess when we have done all we are bnt unprofitable servants. It is hard, I know, to do duties and not to rest some little upon them; but I, desire to throw all away as to justification and acceptance, which must come through the righteousness of Christ alone. In the-evening the whole congregation were disobliged by setting up a young preacher. Help us all to take the beam out of our own eye, and to look more into our own breasts, and we will be the more gentle' to the faults and failings of others.

July 15. Busy all day preparing for a visit from, the Lord Rothes, Governor of the Castle, and other great company. I rode out in the afternoon and met him near Alloa, but came home before him that I might receive him at the Castle with all the honours. We had much company supping, and sat pretty late, but I hope without offence, though I will not justify myself. Next day we reviewed the garrison, and after dinner rode to Sheriff-muir. I had a distinct view and idea of the battle from my Lord, who was present and behaved very gallantly. Not unto us, but unto Thee be the glory of the day. The pride of man was stained on both sides.

July 23. This day our friends left us.

September 30. This day travelling to Leslie to visit Lord Rothes. Serene temper; for I am never in a better frame than when riding. We came there to dinner; cheerful company, and in the evening went out to diversion. I was invited at night to play, but shunned it. Next day we spent the forenoon in the bowling-green. In the evening when the company went to play, I got a book and read beside them.

October 2. This was a very bad day, which kept us within- doors. We were sufficiently diverted by music. In the evening when the company went to play, I was more tempted than before, but got it shifted, and took a book and read till supper. We sat late as usual, but little drinking. This is rather an irregular, way of living^ and no. friend to religion. I met with great kindness and civility. It is thori, O Lord, who givest me favour in the sight of any man.

October 13. At home writing letters; but perhaps shewing too much teeth in them. I should not be severe to others faults, as knowing I have many of my own.. But I desire to have no resentment in my heart, though I do express myself sharply to correct their faults. Lord, give a meek and quiet spirit.

November 30. Sabbath. Serious in hearing, and desiring to be purged of all prejudices. Yet, alas ! pestered with. impertinent, thoughts, though serious between hands. Ministers have learned me now to hear with a critical ear, sifting and examining every thing I hear, perhaps too nicely; for now there are new plans and new schemes; but I am for the good old way. Many study vanity and applause, with a Pharisaical Stand by, I am holier than thou. Lord, teach me what is right.

December 13. Rode out upon an express from my Lord Rothes, to dine with him and others at a gentleman’s house. There was cheerful company and diversion in the evening. I was only a spectator; but though I appear grave and sober on these occasions, my heart tells me I am in as great danger of temptation as any of them. We sat late, but innocent diverting conversation, and no insobriety. My advice was asked about certain affairs, which I gave. Lord, thou orderest all well that concerns me.

April 22. Visiting and using freedom in telling my mind freely to a minister in some points of doctrine and practice. I desire to be always under deep impressions, that it is only by grace I stand; and that without it I can do nothing; and that it is in Christ alone, and by his righteousness that I can be accepted. None in the world have more reason to exalt free grace than I have, or to be more humble.

(1719,) January 1. Lord, give me grace to spend my time better now that I am descending into the vale of years. Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom. I have not been faithful as I should have been, in witnessing against sin. Lord, pardon and give me more zeal for thy service. On this occasion I desire to take shame, and be humbled before thee, and flee to the covert of blood. Help me to employ Christ freely, and to rejoice in pardoning mercy.

January 16. Agreeably diverted all day, getting home a parcel of fine. books, maps, globes, &c. We are apt to exceed in every thing; I was new-fangled about them, and spent two or three days among them. I reckon it one of the most innocent amusements.

April 18. Getting another alarm about the invasion, and that it is likely to fall upon us. If thou, Lord, plead not a controversy with us, we need not fear enemies. It is our sins and provocations that should make us tremble. Busily employed in the Castle ordering things for our defence. But, alas ! what signifies all this if the Lord watch not the garrison. If he appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks to us, we need not fear the whole Spanish army.

This projected invasion was another continental scheme in favour of the Pretender. It was headed by the Duke of Ormond, who set sail from Cadiz with an armament of ten ships of war, having on board 6000 regular troops, and arms for 12,000 more. The King was apprised of these preparations against his crown and government, by the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France, who offered him at the same time twenty battalions for his service. Additional forces were raised at home, and foreign auxiliaries called in from abroad; 2000 men were brought from Holland, and six battalions from the Austrian Netherlands. Ormond’s expedition suffered the fate of the Invincible Armada. The fleet was entirely, dispersed by a violent storm off Cape Finisterre, except three frigates which landed in Scotland with about 300 Spaniards, under the Earls Marshal, Seaforth, and other Jacobite Chiefs. They were joined by a small body of disaffected Highlanders, and took possession of some fortresses. But they were soon routed by General Wightman at the Pass of Glenshiel; the Highlanders dispersing to their hills, and the Spaniards surrendering themselves prisoners of war.

April 24. Getting the good news this day of our enemies being scattered. Providence has long appeared in a signal manner for us, disappointing the plots of designing men; and does more for us than we can do for ourselves. O that his goodness might lead us to repentance. Help us to look to thee, to take refuge under the shadow of thy wings.

April 29. This day set apart for fasting and humiliation. We go about the outward duty, but, alas ! there is little of the spirit of repentance in us. It is not the bowing down our heads as a bulrush for a day, but a confessing and forsaking of sin, every one smiting upon his breast, and saying, What have I done ? It is only a day of thy powqr that can do this. Lord, melt down our hard, hearts, and fill them with evangelical sorrow, that we may look upon him whom we have pierced, and mourn. Pour out the spirit of grace and supplication upon all people. This would be a stronger defence against our enemies than weapons of war or the strength of rocks. We have got a further confirmation of the dispersion of the Spanish fleet. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with thy east wind; thou puttest a hook in their nostrils and turnest them by the ivay they came ; and we have no more to do but to be still, and know that thou art God. Be thou exalted among the heathen ; be thou exalted in all the earth.

June 4. We have got a detachment of foreigners in the Castle. I paid a visit to the Swiss Colonel in the morning. They are a very civil people.

June 17. We have got the news of a victory in the North (at Glenshiel.) O, we admire the goodness of God who deals so mercifully with a wicked unthankful generation—who compasses us about with deliverance when we might expect wrath and judgment.

July 26. Sabbath. At night the minister and good company supping with us. Alas ! the best are hut men. There was cross humour and resentment breaking out in one, who, I dare say, has much grace, yet he was not sensible of it. Corruption shewing itself strong; even these very failings he was ridiculing and running down in another, were just his own, which every body but himself saw plainly to be his own predominants; and yet he is a clear-sighted man in every thing else. O, what is man ! no wonder we weak confused Christians know not ourselves, nor see-our own failings, when wise men are so ignorant of theirs. All flesh is grass.

October 8. Rode out in the morning to pay a visit in the country. The gentleman not being at home, I went two miles farther, and there met with a providence that affected me very much; an acquaintance of mine seemingly dying, both to her own and others apprehension. Yet she was in the greatest serenity and composure, yea, spiritual rapture, rejoicing to die, and sorry to live. I staid some hours with her, and joined in conversation, confirming her in that frame of joy, believing it to be well-founded, and prayed with her. I came away both melancholy and joyful upon different accounts. There was company with us at night, and perhaps I went too far in holding out the things I had seen through the day, to some that may be were strangers to religion. I am weak, Lord pardon.

'November 3. This is a new charge laid on me, a Justice of the Peace. Lord, give grace to discharge the duties of it, singly with an eye to thy glory, the suppression of vice, and encouragement of virtue, &c,

Every post has its duties and burdens. Lord, keep me from the snares there may he in it. Thou knowest I had rather want the honour than be exposed to the snares of any post. Give grace to act so as I may have the Divine approbation and the testimony of a good conscience. I have again qualified by taking the oaths of abjuration and of allegiance, &c. I desire to swear in the integrity of my heart, being satisfied of the lawfulness of them. Lord, give grace to perform.

December 8. I bless thee, O Lord, for another year. The mercies of this year, as of all I have gone through, are great, yea, innumerable. A peaceable and quiet habitation, goodness and mercy following me all my days. O that thou wouldest quicken and revive me, and give supplies of grace as thou doest of all outward comforts. Well may I at the- end of this year as of the rest say, Hitherto the Lord has helped.

(1720,) January 8. There is an order come down to put the laws in execution against ministers that do not qualify by taking the Abjuration oath. Lord, turn all to thy honour and glory; give light arid counsel. If they be upright and single in the matter, and have nothing but the glory of God before their eyes, the better for them; if otherwise, so much the worse, both for us and them. For my part I see nothing in the oath now, but what every Presbyterian ought to take cheerfully—every Protestant, and every. Revolution man; for it is now a plain oath, swearing allegiance to the best of Kings, and abjuring the restless Pretender. Finding some of the ministers refuse, I thought it my duty to go down and speak my mind freely to them about the matter. I first offered my services as a Justice of the Peace to our minister, to qualify him in case he would yet come in; then I spoke to him as an Elder, to put his ministry—the charge of so many thousand souls—and the flock over which the Holy Ghost had made him overseer, in one balance; and to put his metaphysical objections in the other, and see which has most weight; and if he could appeal to his Master that this is a righteous cause— that he dare not, in conscience, swear allegiance to a Protestant Prince—and dare not abjure a Popish Pretender, and if he could lay the stress of his suffering and his ministry on that point. Lord, send forth thy truth to lead and guide us, and in that purest light of thine, let us clearly see light.

January 20. This day our minister and another spoke to me from the brethren who scrupled to swear, desiring that I would write in their favour to the Duke of Roxburgh, &c. which I readily consented to do. Then we fell into debate about the oath; I was perhaps too harsh, yet I thought myself obliged itt duty to speak freely, and to tell them that they were strengthening the hands of the Jacobites, and weakening the hands of the well-affected.

April 4. Busied all day about money concerns. Getting more of the world into my hands. O Lord, guide and direct. I believe it is thy blessing alone that makes rich; give me a token for good, that thou wilt add no sorrow with it. Take my heart off the world, and keep the world out of my heart. It was Providence brought this occasion in my way; I desire not to be rich. Lord dispose of me, and what thou givest me, for thy glory, and my own good. I am but a chamberlain, a trustee; pass it through my hands, to whom thou pleasest to give it. Enlarge my heart, as thou enlargest my estate; fill it with love to thee, and charity to thine,—the poor—the widow, and the fatherless. I would follow Jacob’s example and vow, Gen. xxviii. 20—22. I have good reason; for the Lord has been with me, and kept me in all the way I have gone—through battles, sieges, and dangers these thirty years by-gone. He has given me not only bread and raiment, but riches and honours in abundance. He has brought me again to my father’s land in peace. He has enlarged my steps, and set my feet upon a rock. I desire then to say with the patriarch Jacob, The Lord has hem my Godand qf all thou hast given I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

July 3. Sabbath ; heard a young man preach. I do not like this new fashion of preaching. I like a good style of language; but I would have a sermon take me by the heart, and not by the ears.

July 26. Went to Edinburgh to wait on the Duke of Roxburgh. Came in safe in the evening. There is something in a great town that destroys that serenity of mind that one has in the country. Here all are humming like bees; sharping upon one another; no idea of innocence. Living in a town is a perfect hurry, and confusion. Waited upon the Duke. It is the goodness of God that gives me favour in the sight of great men, and not skill or dexterity of my own. The more he raises me, may I be the more humble.

July 31. Went with his Grace to church, and heard a good sermon. Dined with him; and took the opportunity to recommend to him some persons,

the widow and oppressed. It is the greatest privilege of the favour of great men to use it in doing good. Afternoon with him at church again.

August 1. Taking leave of the Duke this morning. Busy using my interest, with people in power, for those that need protection and favour. There is a pleasure in doing good, and being serviceable to mankind, especially good people.

August 4. Returning home. Serene thankful temper; sitting alone in the chariot. Mercy and goodness follows me all the days of my life. I thought with myself, I am now the last of my father’s family, born after my father was thrust out of his church, in destitute circumstances. Now God has heaped riches and honours upon me. I see the children of Providence are better carried through and seen to, than the children of inheritance. .Thou art the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup. Truly the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.

August 11. This morning we were visited by the Duke of Argyle. I waited upon his Grace; he was very civil and courteous. In the afternoon the Duchess oame up to the Castle. I shewed her all the civility that lay in my power, and she was sensible of it. What am I, O Lord, and what is my father’s house, that thou givest me such honour. Thou raisest up the poor from the dung-hill, to set him with princes. At night I waited again on the Duke; I pressed him to give the parole and orders, but he refused. He went away early next morning. I gave him eleven guns; so I hope I have not omitted any part of my duty.

September 1. Went on a visit to Leslie-House. Diverted with innocent country recreations.

September 10. The Duke of Roxburgh joined us to-day. We had cheerful conversation, but sat late. There are many temptations in greatness, and great men’s company; though I must say I saw nothing but sobriety and modesty. Indeed I find the greatest quality always the politest.

September 12, Went out in the morning with the Duke and other gentlemen a-fowling, and got good sport; then went up to the top of the Lomond hills, and had a fine view of the country. Came home, where a splendid entertainment was prepared; at night there was music and dancing, and the young people very merry. I laid a restraint upon myself for fear of going too far, and joined but little, only so as not to shew moroseness or ill-breeding. We sat late, but the conversation was innocent, and no drinking but as we pleased. However, much time is spent; which I dare not justify. In all things we offend.

September 20. We came home to Stirling.

October 2. In the house of mourning; and at a funeral. The righteous man perisheth, and none layeth it to heart. I was concerned for the person— he was an honest man. Obliged to comply with that foolish custom of dirgee after the burial; and much idle, vain conversation, unsuitable to the day, and to the occasion; and though there was four ministers there, yet there was no help for it, where there is a promiscuous omnigathering of idle graceless people.

The death of another friend in Edinburgh, Mr. Balderstone, affected him also very much. The following is a consolatory letter he addressed to Mrs. Balderstone on the mournful occasion.

Stirling Castle, Dec. 5, 1720.

The account of your dear husband’s death was a surprise to us, having never heard of his illness. Probably it might have been so to yourself, and thus the stroke the heavier; but even in that case you must with Aaron hold your peace. His God hath done it; and whatever nearness to himself he pleases to admit any of his own to, yet he always reserves a liberty to himself, in the midst of the greatest familiarity, to shew some strokes of sovereignty, and he is not bouiid to reveal to us either what he is about to do with us, or the reasons of it, at the time. Elisha was a man who. lived near God, and in much favour with him, yet he says, Let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. God hath not given us absolute promises about temporal things, so nether should our faith go out peremptorily about them: but you have an absolute promise, that all things shall work together for good to them that love him. Yon may take that, and I hope you find already in your sweet experience, that this bitter cup lias that blessed effect.

But what I write of your surprise is mere guessing, for perhaps, as by his indisposition before, you got outward warning, so it may be you got some notice and intimations of it also upon your own spirit; but whether the one way or the other, be persuaded the way God has taken is the best for you. You need not doubt of mine and my wife’s tender sympathy with you; but indeed, 1 almost thought it needless for me to trouble you on this sad occasion, or to offer any thing for your comfort: for you must go to the fountain of all comfort for that, and you live nearer the fountain-head than I do. You have also many dear and worthy friends about you, through whose hands the divine consolations are more likely to be communicated than by mine; but the long and intimate friendship between us, prevails with me to throw in my mite among others. Your own melancholy will make you ready to pore too much on the dark side of the providence, but allow me to turn up another side of it, which is brighter you have reason to be very thankful, and even to think with pleasure, that you have long enjoyed one of the best of husbands, with whom you have lived easy and comfortably as true yoke-fellows, and helps meet for one another, as heirs of the grace of life, strengthening one another’s hands in the way of God; and in that good way ybu have led one another by the hand, even to the Verge of life, to a good old age; and if he has got the start of you, and stepped in before you, why should you grudge at that ? you are fast following, and will not be very long behind him; and this sharp providence will, through grace, wean you more from the world, make you so^ journ in it as a stranger, and finding nothing in it to set your heart much upon, your affections will be more set upon the things that are above, where Jesus Christ is; and so by this sharp trial, you will be made more meet to be a partaker of that inheritance of the saints in light; and being made meet, you will desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, where your heart and treasure is, and will, as a shock of com fully ripe, fall into the grave. The time is but short in this valley of tears; joy will come in the morning, and faith, at one view, can soon look over the few days or years of sorrow that are before you in lime, into that fulness of joy that is in his presence, and those rivers of pleasure that are at his right hand for evermore; but as I said before, you are more capable of practising than I am to shew it you, and when, I hope, you have such access to the fountain of comfort yourself, you need it not from my hands. Yours, &c.

J. B.

To Mrs. Balderston, Edinburgh.

(1721,) January 6. Writing most part of the day about business, and in recommendations of one who* I believe, is wronged. There is a great pleasure in doing good offices to them that stand in need of us. Lord, give me more of this humour, kind, tender* and compassionate disposition to all fellow-creatures ; especially to the members of Christ* to shew I am a member of the same body. Company in the evening* and a temptation laid in my way, but I escaped it. I bless the Lord who gives me so much of a meek and quiet spirit, as to slight little injuries, and stiffie resentment. This is grace, for I have strong irascible appetites..

January 16. Getting an account of a disagreeable affair in the town; sin and villainy, which I think myself concerned to pursue, and get punished. I desire, Lord, to let thy glory be my chief aim in every thing. Give us Zeal and boldness for thee, that iniquity may be ashamed, and stop its mouth. I went next day to the Justice-of-Peace Court* and told my mind very freely against Jacobitism, and stood up for the ministers. I spoke to the Magistrates to this effect -^-Gentlemen, I believe you are satisfied that the libel is proven, hnd more than what was libelled* I believe you are fully convinced of the wicked designs of this man; designs of mischief, yea, I may say of murder, as appears by the probation, where he says he would venture to lose his life for it; that is, to be hanged for killing her. You sec also his implacable hatred and malice against one of the ministers of this place, by his cursing and way-laying him—a pious godly man who never gavo him any provocation— who never offended him, except he took it for an offence, when the minister, from the pulpit, reproves fornication and drunkenness. The same spirit that carried him out to an unnatural rebellion, led him to curse and revile the minister; and the same spirit that made him curse his minister, would also lead him, if he had opportunity, to imbrue his hands in his blood. It is the same spirit that runs through all.

Now Gentlemen, I, as having the honour to command, at present, his Majesty’s Castle here, require satisfaction for the injury done to a family belonging to one of the King’s soldiers. Next, as Justice of the Peace, I demand security and protection for the ministers of the place ; and that wicked men, if the fear of God will not restrain them, the fear of punishment may. Gentlemen* I am very thankful, and I may say in the name of the town of Stirling, we are very thankful, that we have magistrates who will make it a conscience to do their duty—magistrates, who answer the end of their institution, to be a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well. Now this is just what we demand of you, that you will tie up this wicked man’s hands, and oblige him to give security for his good behaviour, under such a penalty, that he may be afraid of ever committing the like crimes.

The magistrates gave sentence accordingly to this effect, and he was committed to prison. I bless the Lord that vice is checked, and gets not leave to triumph, (though it prevails too much,) and that iniquity is put to shame, and hides its face before authority.

February 1. Hearing sermon, and the ministers dining with us. Went out with them afterward to meet with a man who pretends to the spirit of prophecy ; but he would not speak to them. I took upon me to examine his pretensions a little. I believe he may be a good man, but weak, and perhaps not solid. The ministers have gone too far in it, and made too much noise; I wish religion do not suffer.

March 9. Going to the country to see an acquaintance who is ill; and O, we got a preaching there, humbling and edifying; seeing a poor man in miserable circumstances, dying in appearance, yet no sense of his condition, his mind filled with vanity and the world. Lord, pluck him as a brand from the burning, out of the jaws of hell and Satan; make him a monument of rich, free, efficacious grace. Let thy glory be exalted in redeeming and conquering such a soul from the power of sin and Satan. I was going to speak with him, and speak freely, and I had a great check afterwards that I did not. If the Lord give me another opportunity, I beg grace to be faithful to his poor soul. .

June 18. Sabbath. Hearing sermon from a weak nian; better have pity than prejudice on such occasions. Lord, quicken and revive, for without the in-t fluences of thy. Spirit, neither law nor gospel will do the business. It must be a day of thy power. The minister supped with us. I bad a check for being too rash in ah expression concerning a person, perhaps it was true, but it was uncharitable, and rash in me to say it.

June 28. The fast before the sacrament. Watching over my own heart, and against self-righteousness or self-working. I desire to come straight to Christ;

I must have all from him of his free grace in the way of believing. Hearing two sermons in the forenoon ; the last rather dead, and looking like legal work. I find I have much corruption, strong lusts and passions that war against the soul. I desire to come immediately to Christ, to get my heart filled with love to him, mixed with sorrow for sin-—to come to him as a Prince and Saviour exalted to give repentance and remission of sin. This is the frame I would be at. I have many things upon my heart, many complaints, many plagues, much wrong. I would come to Christ to plead that promise* I, even I, am he that pardoneth your iniquities. But, alas ! I find not only a weakness and want of preparation, but a backwardness and unwillingness.

July 1. The Preparation. Hearing much of the love of God in Christ to sinners. He that spared not his own Son, fye. O this hard heart of mine that is not melted down and warmed with such love ! O blessed Jesus, commend thyself to my soul; make thyself precious. I desire to embrace him in his full and free offer; and to go to the well-ordered covenant. I have many complaints of myself, deadness, formality, backsliding, falling from my first love, earthly mind, corruption strong, grace weak. What should I do with all these ? Fruitless complaints will not help me. O then let me go straight to Christ; he is the life; he gives repentance and remission of sin; he washes ns in his blood; he heals our backslidings, and loves us freely; he subdues our lusts; he is our righteousness and our sanctification; he is all, and must do all for us and in us.

July 2. Sabbath. I cannot say my frame is lively, but I desire to act faith On Christ, to lay myself down . at his door as a needy beggar. O to hunger and thirst after him ! I would think that a good frame. May a sense of my need, sin, and guilt, chase me to. Christ. The things I named before, still heavy on my heart; O to get them removed ! not in a legal, but' in a gospel way; by Christ, and not by working; yet I must not be idle. Serious in communicating, ejaculations, breathings of faith and love, God in my thoughts, my heart in heaven. O that such a holy frame were the native element of my soul! Let thy Spirit dwell in me for this is all I desire.

July 3. Thanksgiving. Serious in hearing. I have -taken the cup of salvation in my hand. I hope I have. also taken Christ and all his salvation. May my soul feed and rest upon him as my portion for ever.

July 9. Another death in the garrison; three within these few months. I was called up at three in the morning to see the dying person. I spoke to him, but, alas ! I found not those impressions deep, enough on my own spirit that I seemed to press home upon him; and I was grieved they made so little impression on him, through ignorance and stupidity. I ordered a military funeral for him. Lord, fit us all for our change. Thou art calling away the old men in this garrison pretty fast. Give us that inheritance which is incorruptible and passeth not away.

August 14. At home all day writing letters. My talent lies perhaps too much in writing facetious letters of wit, humour, and jest. We should have a check upon ourselves in all things, even in those pleasures we think innocent; for though they may be innocent in their nature, they may become faulty by excess. Even our diversions should be seasoned with salt; the salt of grace rather than that of wit.

December 25. Christmas. I am not for observing of holidays; yet I think I was not ill employed this morning when I awakened, in thinking on these passages about our Saviour’s birth, Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and goodwill to men. I thought it no superstition in meditating on these things. I see ho command for the keeping of this day, yet I have no zeal against those who keep it religiously.


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