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" weakness.” I made my way thither on the Friday, but with much difficulty ; not from pain or fickness, but mere weakness to fit the horse. Howbeit I had abundant strength given me for my work there, preached Saturday and Sabbath afternoon, and served five tables ; and the Lord was with me in my public, and private work in my chamber; and at the table helped me to believe in him as my God. On the Saturday, there was, I think, some thunder before we ivent out: but between two and three o'clock, when I had begun my fermon, it returned, and went to a great pitch. Upon the back of the second or third clap, I said to the people, · The God of glory
thundereth; he will give his people strength, and bless
them with peace.' So I went on undisturbed, the fire every row and then flathing in my eyes. The people fat gravely and decently, without any disturbance discerned by me, perceiving nothing of that nature among them, more than the drawing of their cloaths about then, as in the case of rain. In time of the prayer after sermon, the thunder went to a prodigious height, that I could not miss the imagination of being struck down in a moment; but through grace was kept undisturbed in my work. In tine of singing the psalms, while I looked for Mr Davidson to come up, to speak to the people, as usual, I was told he could not come : fo I addressed myself to ofhciate for him. But whereas there had been but little rain be. fore, there came such a mighty pouring out of rain, that I was obliged to dispatch quickly. Then we distributed the tokens, the papers mean while being damnified with the rain, while they were produced and read. Having done the work without, when I came into the house, Mr Davidson was lying groveling and groaning on his chamber-floor, under a moit exquifite fit of the gravel : and after fitting fome time with hin, who in his extremity declared himfelt under a Father's hand, I left him as I found him. The pain going off, he was sick through the night, and role not foon. So I had laid my account to officiate for Irin before the action ; but fuid nothing, waiting to fee how Providence would move. Eut, after all, he went out betwixt nine and ten, preached a sweet sermon, and did his other work, without the least veftige of his illness about him, in it; speaking with as much vigour as ever, I think, I heard him at any time when at his best: so that the multitude seemed in no uneasiness at all to hear. This was a wonderful stroke of Providence, carrying matters to such an extremity, and then bringing to such a comfortable issue. But that was the full-fea mark as to him, since which time to the day of the writing hereof, more than a quarter of a year after, fo far as I know, he has not had a return of his usual pains, but a turn to the better, and seems to be in a way of recovery. On the Sabbath morning we heard of two persons, in the neighbouring parish of Stow, flain by the thunder; and afterwards of a third : the which made it the more signal mercy, that there was no breach made on the multitude, either in the place, or going to their places of abode. Long was the roll of the sick and distressed which was read. In prayer I found fenfible help of the Lord, to go through the several kinds, and petitions for them laid to my hand. · This was the prayer after the afternoon-fermon, on the Lord's day.
The fornions on this fubiect were publithed in 1753, along with others.
Í saw at Galafhiels a letter from Sir Richard Ellys to Mr Hogg, approving and encouraging the design of printing the MS. on the covenant; and a postscript by Mr G. bearing, that it should be returned as toon as might be : but no word of the other MSS. There also I had a letter from a young minister, Thewing some difficulty in conceiving about the covenant of grace, and defiring my thoughts on that subject. I took it for a providential hint, towards publishing of the said MS. And afterwards I wrote him my thoughts at large, willingly embracing that occasion of ferving the intereit of truth, whatever ute fhould be made of it.
Having been of a considerable time, again and again urged with a project in favour of a certain person, in the which I had no clearness to be active, but only to yield and give way to it; the case some time in August became heavy to a degree, so that I set myself to seek of the Lord a right way in it: and after frequent addresses to the throne of grace on that head, I was at length fully cleared to be active in the matter, considering it as it stood circumstanced. But upon my declaring and offering to be active in carrying it on, the party to my surprise declined it : fo it behoved to be dropt. Some time after, standing without, and seeing a tree toffed with a violent wind, which caused the withering leaves to fall off, that otherwise in a little would have drop off of themselves ; I received instruction as to heavy trials tryfting with a declining state.
From fome time after my return from Galashiels, till towards the latter end of September, I was on the study Gen. xxiii. the two former being transcribed. That study proved so difficult and flow, that it seemed to me, I was not in case for such work, by reason of the state of my body; and I often thought Providence would oblige me to give it over, and so take away that remaining comfort of my life. But in that time I was twice remarkably pitied, after serious application to God by prayer, on that head.
On the 3d of September, I had, by a letter, an account of an apparent beginning of Mr Davidson's deliverance and recovery.
And being on the 5th to begin lecturing on the Song of Solomon, considering the growing infidelity and profaneness of the day, I was moved to preach on the first verse thereof, to vindicate the divine authority and fpirituality of it, &c. before I should enter on explaining it. I was much satisfied in the diviñe conduct in that matter, several persons of some distinction falling to hear that day, beyond what was ordinary with us, it being the first Sabbath after Tushilaw's return from his travels.
Having had some expectation, that, as in some former years, I would become somewhat better in health about the autumnal equinox; instead thereof, I became fenfibly worfe : the knee particularly swelled more, and the leg became weaker; so that I was fain to betake myself to my ftaff again, as in the beginning of that trouble. This turn as to my body, gave me a rational view of what might be expected from the spring-shock added thereto, in case of my feeing the spring: and I had some comfortable profpect of the weary's getting to reft.
William Blaik's family, who had a train of trials fince the facrament, was tofled in a fea of trouble for a long time from the beginning of August, he, his wife, and three children, all fixed to fick-beds together. They were attended by a neighbour, a weak woman, who des clared the had not of a long time had so much health as was afforded her during the time of her attendance. Af ter a long trial of liveral turns, the Hearer of prayer brought all safe through : and at length, at their defire, thanks were returned in the congregation for their recovery, as prayers had been put up there for them.
Considering the continued silence as to the MSS. relating to the Hebrew, and thence perceiving that they do not take at London, this did sometimes put me almost out of conceit with them myself; but yet the value for them revived again with me, when I cast my eyes on the discoveries made by that study. However, I came to be in good measure weaned in the matter, only had some difficulty, as to the calling them home peremptorily, being afraid of not allowing Providence full scope in the bu, finess; and wanting only to be cleared as to my duty in that point. But the MS. on the covenant was again written for.
The facrament of the Lord's fupper was administered at Maxton, O&t. 3. Looking on it as posibly the last such occasion I might have there, I was determined to John i. 29. “ Behold the Lamb of God,” &c. that I might make another offer of Christ to sinners; my sermons of that naļure abroad having for some time been fitted to the case of serious persons exercised. Being to go off on Thurfday, that by reason of my weakness i might take two days for the journey, I began my study of that text on the Monday. But on the Tuesday I quite stuck therein, and could not proceed ; which made it a heavy day. Having earnestly begged of the Lord, that he would give me a message, whether old or new, as he saw meet ; lying abed at night, that word came to me, Prov. ix. 12. If 6 thou be wise, thou fhalt be wise for thyself,” &c. an old text. Tinding the agreeableness hereof to the public circumstances of the land, and to my own private circumstances, as a concluding word, I was that night much eased, and on the morrow fully deterinined thereto; as I was also to Gen. vi. 9.
« Noah was
-- perfect in his “ generations ;" recommending integrity in a declining generation unto all, and particularly to the younger fort. I was earnest for the blowings of the Spirit; and the Lord was with me in delivering these two words *, which in my own eyes, and in the eyes, I believe, of some others too, looked like farewell-fermons, whatever be the issue.
• These iwo discourses are both prin'ed; the former in the author's Body of Divinity, vol. 3 the latter in the second volume of a collection of his fermons published in 1753.
But day-light failing on the Lord's day at night, and not being able to command the lines of the psalm I was mind. ed to have given out, there was no psalm fung; the which I heartily was forry for afterward. During that time I was pitied also in my private work.
As we were coming away homeward from Maxton, Mr Wiifon put into my hind a printed paper of the commilfion of the general alicmbly 1650, intitled, The great fin and chief guiltinefs of Scotland, in the contempt of the gsSpol, deligned to be reprinted; defiring me to write a preface to it. This I utterly refused, and that in earneft; knowing nothing particularly about the matter, and judging bim more fit to manage things of that nature. However, he obliged me to keep it, to read it at my leisure, and thew what I observed in it. Getting home on Wednefday, as I lay a-bed that night, I read the paper above mentioncd; and I was thereby, through the bleffing of God on it, convinced, instructed, directed, comforted, and recovered; and particularly helped towards a right usemaking of facraments received. And the impreslion it made was, through grace, lasting. On the morrow, linding I had several occasional things laid to my hand to do, and knowing mytelf liable to an unfitness for action after travel, I chose to tranicribe in mundo something of what was written on Gen. xxiii. that being the thing which the bent of my fpirit lying mainly toward, I judged best to bring me in cate for applying to work in my closet.
But holy Providence had dcfigned a piece of new trial for me, that I was not aware of. When I came home from Maxton, I was told, that one had advised blistering, and putting a pea in my leg, for my fore knee, and had left me a blistering-plaifter for that end. The plaister was applied on the Friday's night. On the Sabbath night the pa was put in; and through pain I flept none that night. The pain continuing, the pea wis taken out again on the Tuday; and on the morrow after, I had my first diet of catechiiing at Chapelhop. After taking away the pea, the hole quickly cloíod; but there grew upon it a hard callous fubítance, and withal the leg was inflamed. This created thoughts of heart, and the fore knce was forgotten. On the Monday after I wrote for a surgeon ; who returned me antwer, that he apprehended no danger, and fent me an oirtinent to apply. Expecting fome benefit by the ointment, I wrote him on the morrow, that he needed