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such a master again :" yet my lord urged the boy to say, “ My lord, I forgive you :" howbeit the boy was hardly brought to utter these words. He said to all the beholders about him, “ bebold how low the Lord hath laid me!" To a gentleman burdened in his estate, he said, “ Sir, I counsel you to cast your burden upon the Lord your God."
A worthy and religious gentleman of his name came to visit him four days before bis death. He beholding him afar off, said, “ Robert,* come to me; leave me not till I die." Thereafter, being much comforted by the gentleman's words, he would have him to wait; and being more and more comforted with his speeches, said, “ Robert, you are a friend to me, both in soul and body.” The gentleman asked him, “ What comfort hath your soul in your love towards the saints?" He answered, “ I rejoice at it.” He then asked him, “what comfort he had in bringing the minister who attended him to Galloway?” He answered, “ God knows that I rejoice that ever he put it in my heart so to do ; and, now, because I aimed at God's glory in it, the Lord hath made me find comfort to my soul in the end. The ministers of Galloway murdered my father's soul, and if this man had not come they had murdered mine also.”+
In the hearing of my lady Herries, his sister, a papist, he testified how willing he was to leave the world, insomuch, that he could not command his soul to look back again to this life. He did so long, he said, for his soul-full of the well of life, that papists may see that those who die in their religion, see and know well wbither they go, and that we are by death fully loosed from the love of this world, for the hope of our own Father's house.
It was told him that letters were come from some of his friends to hiin: he caused deliver them to his lady, saying, “ I have nothing to do with them ;-I had rather hear of news from heaven concerning my eternal salvation." It was observed when any came to him on the subject of worldly business, that before they were out at the doors, he returned unto praying, conference, meditation, and some spiritual exercise, and was exceedingly short in despatching all earthly Jusiness ; yet so as he took the pains to sign all needful writs when he was required: likewise he recommended the care of the poor to his friends.
When he was wearing weaker, he fell into a swoon, and being iwakened, he said with smiling and signs of joy to all about him, “ I
• The individual spoken of in the text, was probably Robert Gordon of Knockbrex, “a simple hearted and painful Christian." -Livingstone's Memorable Observations, MS. His pame is well known to those acquainted with the history of Rutherford, or with his Letters. His sons, John Gordon of Knockbrex, and Robert Gordon, were executed at Edinburgh, on the 7th Dec. 1666, for having been concerned in the rising that was terminated by the battle of Pentland. - See their Testimony.
+ Kenmuir, in the prospect of death, seems to have experienced great comfort from the recollection of baving been the means of bringing a gospel preacher and a faithful clergyman, like Rutherford, to Anwoth. He previously alluded to tbo same circumstance, and evidently appealed to it as the most praiseworthy acts of bis life.
would not exchange my life with you all; nay, not with you who are ministers : I feel the smell of the place where I am going to."
Upon Friday morning, the 12th of September, the day of his departure from this life, he said to the pastor, “ This night must I sup with Jesus Christ in paradise.” The minister read to him 2 Cor. r. and Rev. xxii. and made some short notes on such places as concerned his state. After prayer, be said, “I conceive good hopes that God looketh on me, when he gives his servants such liberty to pray for me. Is it possible that Jesus Christ can lose his hold of me? Neither can my soul get itself plucked from Jesus Christ.” He earnestly desired a sense of God's presence, and the pastor said, “ What, my lord, if that be suspended till you come to your home, and be before the throne, clothed in white, and get your harp in your hand, to sing salvation to the Lamb, and to him that sitteth on the throne ; for that is heaven ; and who dare promise it to you on earth? There is a piece of nature in desiring a sense of God's love, it being an apple that the Lord's children delight to play with. But, my lord, if you would have it only as a pledge of your salvation, we shall seek it from the Lord for you, and you may lawfully pray for it.” Earnest prayers were made for him, and he testified that he was filled with the sense of the Lord's love. Being asked what he thought of the world, he answered, “ It is more bitter than gall or wormwood.” Being demanded if now he feared death, he answered, “I have tasted death now. It is not a whit bitter: welcome the messenger of Jesus Christ !” He never left off to mourn for his sins, especially his deserting of the parliament. The pastor said to him, “ There is a process between the Lord and your father's house, but your name is taken out of it. How dear, dear, was heaven bought for you by your Saviour, Jesus Christ ?" He replied, " I know there is wrath against my father's house, but I shall get my soul for a prey;" which words he had frequently in his mouth. Ofttimes also he said, “ Is not this a sweet word that God saith, As I live, I delight not in the death of a sinner. I will not let go the hold that I have got of Christ: Though he should slay me, yet will I trust in him; and lie at his feet and die there, and lie at his door, like a beggar, waiting on him, and if I may not knock, I may scrape." Another word was ordinary to him,« Oh, Son of God! one love-blink, one smile !" When he had been deep in a meditation of his change of life, he made this question, “ What will Jesus Christ be like when he cometh ?” It was answered, “ all lovely."
The day of his change, being Friday the 12th of September, he was heard to pray divinely: on wbich day he said to the doctor, “ I thought to have been dissolved ere now." The pastor answered, “ My lord, weary not of the Lord's yoke: Jesus Christ is posting fast to be at you ; he is within a few miles." He answered mildly, “ This is my infirmity. I will wait on; he is worthy the on-waiting. Though he be long in coming, yet I dare say he is coming, leaping over the mountains, and skipping over the hills. If he were once come, we should not sunder."
The pastor said, “ Some have gotten their bill of Christ in this life,
thougb he is often under a mask to his own. Even his best saints, Job, David, Jeremiah, &c. were under desertions." His lordship answered, “ What are those examples to me? I am not in holiness near to Job, David, or Jeremiah.” The minister answered, “ It is true, my lord, you cannot take so wide steps as they did, but you are in the same way with them. A young child followeth his father at the back; and though he cannot take such wide steps as he, yet this hin dereth him not to be in the same way with him. My lord, your hunger overcometh your faith : only believe his word. You are longing for Christ : only believe he is faithful, and will come quickly." To this my lord answered, “ I think it time; Lord Jesus, come.” Then the pastor said, “ My lord, our nature is in trouble to be wholly upon our own deliverance; whereas God seeketh first to be glorified in our faith, and patience, and hope; and then it is time enough that we be delivered." He answered, “ There is good reason that my Lord be first served. Lord, give me to wait on; only, Lord, burn me not to dross."
Another said, “ Cast back your eyes, my lord, on what you have received, and be thankful." At the hearing whereof, he presently brake forth in praising of God; and finding himself weak, and his speech failing, more than an hour before his death, he desired the pastor to pray,which he did. After prayer, the minister cried in his ear, “ My lord, can you now sunder with Christ?" He said nothing. Nor was it expected he would speak any more. Yet a little after, the minister asked, “ Have ye any sense of the Lord's love ?" He answered, “ I bave sense.” The pastor said, “ Do you not enjoy ?" He answered, “ I do enjoy." Thereafter the pastor said, “ Will ye not sunder with Christ ?" He replied, “ By no means." This was his last word, not being able to speak any more.
The pastor asked if he should pray. He turned his eye towards the pastor. In the time of that last prayer, he was observed joyfully smiling, and looking up with glorious looks, as was observed by the beholders, and with a certain beauty, his visage was beautified, as beautiful as ever he was in his life. He expired with loud and strong fetches and sobs, being strong of heart and body, of the age of five and thirty years. The expiring of his breath, the ceasing of the motion of his pulse, (which the physician was still holding,) ceased all precisely with the Amen of his prayer, and so he died sweetly and holily, and his end was peace. He departed about the setting of the sun, September the 12th, 1634.
XII. JAMES MITCHELL.
[This was an amiable young man, a preacher of the gospel, who died
at the early age of twenty-three. He was the son of James Mitchell of Dykes, in the parish of Ardrossan, and was born about the year 1621. During his studies at the University of Glasgow, he acquired the affection and esteem of all who knew him, and passed through his trials for license, with the highest approbation of the professors and presbytery. He had preached only a few times, when seized with a consumption, of which he died. Of his Christian experience, and pious expressions towards
the close of life, we have the following detail.] During his sickness, the Lord was pleased so to guard his heart against the malice of Satan, that his confidence and peace were but little disturbed. He possessed all manner of patience and submission, and never was heard to murmur, but often thought his Master's time well worth the waiting on, and was frequently much refreshed with secing and hearing good pious neighbours, who came to visit him. Among other gracious sayings, he declaimed much against imprudent speaking, especially in students and young ministers ; as being but the froth and vanity of a foolish mind. He lamented the pride of many such in usurping a priority of place, which became them not ; and exclaimed frequently against himself for his own practice, yet said, he was in the strength of God brought to mortify the saine. He frequently exhorted his parents to carry themselves to one another as the word of God required, and above all things to fear God, and delight in his word : he often said, that he dearly loved the book of God, and sought them to be earnest in prayer, showing that it was an unknown thing, and a thing of another world, and that the influence of prayer behoved to come out of heaven; that the Spirit of supplication must be wrestled for, else all prayer would be but lifeless and natural.
On one occasion, the laird of Cunningham coming to visit him, as he did frequently, he enumerated all the remarkable passages of God's goodness and providence towards him, especially since he contracted sickness, as in showing infinite mercy to his soul, tender compassion towards his body, patience and subinission to his will without grudging, calmness of spirit, without passion, solid and constant peace within and without! “ This," said he, “is far beyond the Lord's manner of dealing with many of his dear saints, and now, Sir, think ye not that I stand greatly indebted to the goodness and kindness of God, who deals thus graciously and warmly with me every way;" and then burst out in praise to God in a sweet and Jively manner.
At another time, the laird being present, May 26th, looking out of his bed to the sun shining brightly on the opposite side of the house, he said, “O what a splendour and glory will all the elect and redeemed saints have one day; and I how much more will the glory of the Creator be, who shall communicate that glory to all his own, but the shallow thoughts of men are not able to conceive the excellency thereof!"
Again, Mr. Macqueen being present, his father inquired at him, wherein our communion with God stood ? He said, “in reconciliation and peace with him, which is the first effect of our justification :" then, be observed, there was access and love to God, patience and submission to his will, &c.; then, the Lord manifested himself to us, as Christ himself says, Ye shall know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you. And again, He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself unto him.
One morning to Hugh Macgavin and his father, he said, “I anı not afraid of death, for I rest on infinite mercy, procured by the blood of the Lamb." Then he spake as to himself, “ Fear not, little flock, it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom;" and then said, “What are these who are of this little flock ? Even sinners. "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. But what kind of sinners ? Only those who are sensible of sin and wrath, and see themselves to be lost, therefore, says Christ, 'I came to seek and to save them who are lost. There are two words here, seeking and saving; and whom? Even those who are lost bankrupts, who have nothing to pay. These are they whom Christ seeks, and who are of his flock."
To John Kyle, another morning, be said twice over, “My soul longeth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning." At another time, perceiving his father weeping, he said, “I cannot blame you to mourn, for I know you have thought that I might, with God's blessing, have proved a comfortable child to you; but comfort yourself in this, that ere it be long, I will be at a blessed rest, and in a far better state than I can be in this life, free from sin and every kind of misery, and within a short time ye will follow after me. And in the meantime, encourage yourself in the Lord, and let not your mouroing be like those who have no hope. The Lord by degrees will assuage your grief, for so he has appointed, else we would be swallowed up, and come to nought, for I could never have been removed out of this life in a more seasonable time than now, having both the favour of God and man, being hopeful that my name shall not be unsavoury when I am gone ; and none know wbat affronts, grief, and calamities, I might have fallen into, bad I lived much longer. And for crosses and trouble, how might my life have been made bitter to me! for when I think what opposition I might have ere I was an actual minister, by divisions of the people, the patron, and the presbytery, it could not but overwhelm me; and then being entered, I know not what a fighting life, with a stubborn people, might be my lot, and then what discontent I might have in a wife, which is the lot of many an honest man, is uncertain ; then cares, fears, straits of the world, reproaches of men, personal desires, and the devil and an evil world to fight with, these and many more cannot but keep a man in a struggling state in this life.* And now, lest this should seem a mere speculation, I could instance these things
• This is at once a very correct, and very consolatory view of the many and various evils from which it is not isoprobable Mr. Mitchell was exempted by his premature death. And to have been able thus to contemplate them, thus to bring them together before the eye of his mind, wbilst it no doubt reconciled him to relinquish the world and all its prospects, may also be held as indicating a degree of intellectual sagacity and Christian experience, in the highest degree creditable to this youthful saint.