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on my heart for my charge, and their case touched my heart very nearly. I came away in the strength of the Lord; and the serenity of my mind that I enjoyed at this time was sweet to me.
July 14. This morning when I awoke, I was with God, and my soul had confidence in the Lord ; yet ere I went to the church, some wandering thoughts rushed in and marred my ease ; so that in the first prayer I was much deserted, and very faint both in body and mind. But being thus emptied of myself, the Lord filled my sails in all the other parts of the day's work. And betwixt sermons I had such felt strength from the Lord, that I admired and rejoiced in his love ; for he really set me on my high places ; and his love at this juncture was wondrous in my eyes. So in his strength I went away again, and we sung Psal. cxxxviii. 5. and downwards. I sung it with an uplifted hearty, and light from the Lord : and for the sihi verse, “ Yea in the righteous ways of God," &c. though I saw little in it when I gave out the psalm, yet when fung, O how sweet, confirming, and soul-strengthening was it to me, even with respect to my business! for I saw it was the way of commanded duty. For the whole of it, I thought, if I had been at the penning of that part of that psalm which we sung, for my present case, I would not have altered one word of it. I preached and prayed with great light and life from the Lord. At night my heart was glad, and my glory rejoiced to fpeak of Christ. And thus was it with me when honest J. E. came in to me, with whom I conversed with an uplifted heart. When we were going to part, I told him of what was before me ; but he was an instrument of discouragement to me, by means of my own corruption. The good man said particularly, If you acknowledge God in your ways, &c. This seemed to me said with such an air of jealousy, that my proud heart murmured at it ; which was after matter of mourning to me. Thereafter I found my strength abated; but I gave myself to prayer, and wrestling with God for his pretence to go with me. As I was filling a pipe, and my heart was discouraged in that, I found not God with me as before, I gave a glance to the Bible lying open on the table before me, and inet with that word, Il. xl. 27. “ Why fayeft thou, O Jacob, and speakest, О Ifrael, My “ way is hid from the Lord, and my judgement is passed " over from my God ?” and finding it so speaking, I
read on to the end of the chapter, where all was most seasonable, and suited to my case. So I went away ima mediately to the Lord with it, cried to him, and got strength to believe, that feeing I waited on God, my strength should be renewed.
July 17, I came yesterday to Barhill in the strength of the Lord, leaning on that promise, Is. xl. ult. “ They " that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength : " they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run “ and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be " faint ;” and that was all I had. This day in the after: noon I withdrew from company, and fought the Lord in secret : and afterwards, before the minister came, I went to prayer with the family and relations present, particularly for the Lord's blessing with respect to the marriage ; and was much helped of the Lord. Mr Mair having come, went alone into a room, and staid some time ; and I went into another alone, and spent the time in prayer : and then the Lord was kind to my soul ; he drew near to me, and said to me, Fear not; and I came forth in the strength of the Lord. The action was gone about most sweetly by Mr Mair. The Lord directed hiin to moit seasonable and pertinent exhortations, and they came with power and life. Of a truth God owned it, and it was Iweet both to him and us. As for my part, my heart be. ing touched with the finger of God, was sensibly going forth in love to Christ, and admiration of him, to my great comfort and satisfaction. So we were married betwixt eight and nine o'clock at night. Immediately after I withdrew into the room where I was before, and went to God, (it was the upper weitern room), and there the Lord filled my heart with joy in himself unspeakable, and loaded me with loving-kindness, truth, and faithfulness. Verily he made me renew my strength, and gave it me with palpable increase. Verily the Lord did great things for me at that juncture as ever ; and my soul was made to rejoice in him.
Thus was I by all-wise Providence yoked with my wife, with whom I have now, , by the mercy of God, lived thirty years complete : A woman of great worth, whom I therefore passionately loved, and inwardly honoured : A stately, beautiful, and comely personage, truly pious, and fearing the Lord; of an evenly temper, patient in our common tribulations, and under her personal
distreffes: A woman of bright natural parts, an uncommon stock of prudence ; of a quick and lively apprehenfion, in things she applied herself to ; great presence of mind in surprising incidents; sagacious and acute in dis. cerning the qualities of persons, and therefore not catily imposed upon ; modest and grave in her deportnient, but naturally chearful ; wire and affable in conversation, having a good faculty at speaking, and expreffing herself with affurance; endowed with a fingular dexterity in dico tating of letters ; being a pattern of frugality, and wife management of household-affairs, therefore entirely committed to her; well fitted for, and careful of, the vir. tuous education of her children ; remarkably useful to the country-side, both in the Merse and in the Forest, through her skill in physic and surgery, which, in many instances, a peculiar blessing appeared to be commanded upon from heaven; and, finally, a crown to me in my public station and appearances. During the time we have lived together hitherto, we have passed through a fea of trouble, as yet not seeing the shore but afar off. I have fometimes been likely to be removed from her: she having had little continued health, except the first fix weeks, her death hath oftentimes stared us in the face, and hun. dreds of arrows have pierced my heart on that fcore ; and fometimes I have gone with a trembling heart to the pul. pit, laying my account with being called out of it, to fee her expire. And now for the third part of the time we have lived together, namely, ten years complete, she has been under a particular racking distress ; and, for several of these years, fixed to her bed; in the which furnace, the grace of God in her hath been brightened, her parts continued to a wonder, and her beauty, which formerly was wont, upon her recoveries, to leave no veftige of the illness the had been under, doth as yet now and then they Tome vestiges of itself.
AT and about the time of my marriage, it pleased the u Lord to deal bountifully with my foul. And the Lord's day immediately following I preached at Duoning in
1700. Mr THOMAS BOSTON. 163 Strathern. I was habitually kept right these days, and the Lord was kind to me. I met with a tharp trial after fo fair a blink as I had : and while I was musing on the causes of the fame, I found myself called to go to secret prayer at a time unexpected ; and within a little after, the Lord vas graciously pleased to let me find he had heard me, and the dispensation was sweet, coming as an answer of prayer. But when I came to Dunning on the Saturday's night, I found myself wrong, having neither heart nor hand for my work. On the Sabbath morning my indirposition continued, save that at family-prayer my affeca tions were loosed, and I had a deep sense of my own vileness on my spirit. In the forenoon it was neither very ill nor very well ; but in the afternoon my bands were freea ly loosed, and I had light and life from the Lord. I preached on Pral. xviii. 46. “ The Lord liveth, and bless" ed be my rock;" the which text I was led to, as my anchor-ground, in my new circumstances through the change of my lot. And that week we came home to Şimprin,
Until the 15th of Auguft, the weekly sermon was continued in the kirk; at which time, being intermitted because of the harvest, it was begun again on the 7th of November in the house, and that in the night. And after that manner that exercise was managed during the remaining time of my miniftry in that place.
Nov. 14. This has been a time of many troubles to me, so that I have sometimes wondered what the Lord minded to do with me. Now I had a very sharp one, but was. quickly delivered : fo on the morrow I spent some time in fasting and prayer, and renewed my covenant with the Lord; and it pleased the Lord to let out fomething of himlelf to me, so that, reflecting on my troubles, I clearly saw the need of them, with a deal of convincing power, and my soul was made to see God's love in them all, and from my heart I was made to fay, he had done all things well. The fruit of them is, that I have thereby feen tie vanity of all things belides Christ, and that there is no rest but in him alone, and to desire to be with him, which is best of all.
In April 1701, my dear father fickened again ; and deach appearing on its way, the rest of his children were: sent for. They being come, he, on Sabbath the 13th of that month, after a Tore toss of sicknels, especially afies
fermons, died that night, in the 70th year of his age, having been born in December 1631. This sharp rod the Lord had shaken over my head that time twelve months before, for my warning. However, being laid on, it went to the quick with me. It was a heavy death to me, the shock of which I had much ado to stand. He was a man of a low stature, of a fresh and lively complexion ; nimble, strong, and vigorous; active, and given to ap. plication in business; one who, in the worst of times, retained his integrity, beyond many; and, in view of death, gave comfortable evidences of eternal life to be obtained through the Lord Jesus Christ. His body lies interred in the church-yard of Simprịn, in the burial-place of the ministers there, whereof I thereby took poffeffion, and foon had more occasion for.
On the 24th of May, about two or three o'clock in the morning, my wife, after long and fore labour, brought forth her first child, a daughter, called Katharine; having, at the holy and just pleasure of the fove. roign Former of all things, a double harelip, whereby The was rendered incapable of sucking. My wife, having a great terror of the pains of child-bearing, had beforehand laid her account with death; as she always, I think, did on that occasion thereafter ; having, at the same sovereign pleasure, an uncommon share of these pains, the remembrance whereof to this day makes my heart to Shrink, When I, understanding her to be delivered, and preserved, was coming towards the chamber to see her ; Mrs Dawson above mentioned meeting me, intimated to me the case of the child : with which my heart was struck, like a bird Ihot and falling from a tree. Howbeit I bore it gravely; and my aflicted wife carried the trial very christianly and wifely, after her manner. Thus it pleafed my God, to correct me for my fins; to balance my enjoyment; and to teach to acknowledge him, in the formation of children in the womb. The child being weak, was baptized by Mr Dawson the same day; and was for a long time watched in the night, through the summer. In that dear child's case, I had a fingular experience of tender love melted down in pity ; as considering her teeth sex on edge through the parent's eating of the four grape.
After my father's death, his tenement in the Newton of Dunfe falling to me, by his difpofition thereof in my favour, I thereby became liable to a burden of 1000 merks }