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Thort ? Many things I seemed to have and do : Mark
world by the knowledge of the truth. 2 Pet. ii. 20. "I seemed enlightned, and partaker of the heavenly
gift, and got some tastes of the good word of God, • and the powers of the world to come.' Heb vi. 5., I underwent many changes, and yet all the while was naught, defective, as to the main : “Many shall "leek to enter in, and thall not be able. Luke xiii. * 24. Not every on that says, Lord, Lord, mall en
ter into the kingdom of God. Matth vii. 216
4. I cannot but look back with wonder, to the astonishing patience of God that suffered my manners Acts xiii. 18. so long, and the steadiness hc shews in pursuing his work, notwithstanding many provocations to desist, still working for his name's Jake. Ezek XX 14. All the creation could not have afforded fo much patience. The disciples of Christ would have called for fire from heaven, Luke ix, 54. Yea Moses the meekest man on earth, would have found more to irritate him here, than at Meribah. Numb. xx. 13. Glory to God, that we have to do with him, and not with man. His ways are not our ways. Nor • his thoughts ours. But as the heavens are high • above the earth, so are his ways and thoughts
of mercy above ours.” Ifa. lv. 8.
5. I must bear witness to the rationalness of God's way ; For 1. These things he put ine under concern about, deliverance from wrath, eternal salvation, and security about them, were such as my own reasou, upon the best attention, could not but own worthy of the utmost and first concern. He did not call me to vex myself about vanity, and the things of no importance. 2. The way he dealt with me in, was not deftructive to the nature of my faculties, but improv. ed them. He enlightned my eyes to see what he would
have me do, and he forced not my will, but fway'd it in a way suitable to its nature to a compliance, so far as I went. This was not to force, but gently to bend the will to these things that really were proper for it to incline to. 3. He always observed the true order of the faculties. He sway'd the will so far, as it went in compliance with his work, by sending forth his light into the mind, that in the true order of things, should guide the understanding. 4. He carried me on to conlideration. He did not seek, as it were, to entangle the affections, and by them carry my mind away in a hurry, as sin and satan are wont to do, who guide Sinners, as the Philistines did Samson, they first put out their eyes and then made them grind in their mill, 5. The Lord never obliged me to part with any way, any sin, or refuge I betook myself to, till he had let me see, that it was not only against my duty, but my true interest. 6. So far as I coinplied with his call, I cannot say that his way was fruitless, or that he was a barren wilderness, or a land of drought Jer. ii. 31. The meanest and most feckless piece of compliance wanted not its reward. Mal. i, 10. Who is there among you that would put the doors for nought: Neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. Thus the Lords work was power,not force. He drew, but it was with the cords of love, and bands of a man. Hof. xi. 4. He bid me quit many things, but they were vain things that were no bread. Ija. lv. 2. “Re« member this and few yourselves men : Bring it • again to mind Oye transgressors. O house of Israel « are not my ways equal ? Are not your ways un
equal ? Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not e. . qual.' Ezek xviii. 25.
6. Though it was congruous to reason, yet it was a work far above the power of nature, I cannot a. scribe its rise, or progress to myself ; for it was what, I fought not, I thought not of, I lik'd not, yea, I hated it, I fear'd, I avoided, I shifted it ; and when all this
would not do, I opposed it. For I was of those that rea bel againlt the light. Job. xxiv. 13: I cannot afcribe it to any outward means. There are many parts of it which they did not reach, The most feasible fail'd, the weakest wrought the effect. Neither Itrong nor weak, had always the like effect. But the work was carried on by a secret indiscernible power of him who is like the wind blowing where it listeth. John iii. 8. The work bears an impress of God in all its steps, the word that awakned me was, the voice of him that makes the dead to hear, John v. 25. that calleth things that are not as if they were Rom iv. 17. The Jight that shone, was the candle of the Lord searche ing, yea, piercing unto the hidden parts of the belly, Prov. xx. 27, tracing a deceitful and unsearchable heart into all its turnings and windings. Jer. xvii. 10. The work was that of one who is every where, and who knows every thing, and is of one' mind, Job xxiii. 13. and so not to be turned ; who will not faint, nor be discouraged till he have brought forth judgment unto victory. The work is uniform, tho'variousy carried on through many interruptions, over many oppositions, for a long tract of time, by means seemingly weak, improper and contrary, suitable only for him whose ways are in the sea, and whose paths are in the great waters, and whole footfteps are not known. In a word it was a bush burning and not consumed only by the presence of God. Exod. iii. 3. It was a spark in the midst of an ocean maintain’d, notwithstanding floods continually powred on it, to exstinguish it. This fame was maintained by oil secretly conveyed into it. Pfal. cxviii. 23. This
is the doing of the Lord, and it is wondrous in our
PART III. Containing an account of the progress of the Lord's
work, for the space of about three years insuing, from August 1696, to June 1699; The dreadful Strait I was at last brought to with my outgate, and the fate of matters with me for some time after this.
| C H A P. . . . Giving an account of the progress of my convictions
temptations, and vain reliefs, from the time I went
to the Wemyss, till I was at the last brought to this . utmost extremity.
1. ( Hen I had studied Philosophy three years,
VV being tickled with it, and some whar puffed up with what progress I had made, and defign'd and expected to make. (Though I must own that still as knowlege increas'd, self-conceit decreas'd: and I apprehended I knew more the first year than ever I thought I knew afterwards.) Being thus, prepared, I delign’d to go abroad, and improve myself further, to which also I was advised; but two things brake this project, my mother would not consent; and the former exercise having brought me into bondage through fear of death, I was afraid to run the hazards I must run of my life, so long as I was in so unsettled a case as to my soul's state: Wherefor upon the motion of some friends, I consented rather to engage Chaplain to a family for some time.
. 2. Accordingly, August 1696,I went to the Wemyss. When I came here, a stranger amongst strangers and persons of considerable quality, by my natural bath. fulness, the censoriousness of my auditors, the pub. lickness of the appearances I was oblig'd to make, to
which formerly I had not been accustom’d, my want of breeding, and the like, I was, for a time, in a very great, strait, forc'd to retiredness, and to petition förhelp low to carry: And though it was my own, not the Lord's lionour I design'd, and was concern'd for, yet he that hears the cry of the Ravens, Job xxxviii. 41. Psalm cxlvii. 9. and would not overlook Ahah's humiliation, 1 Kings xxi 29. and the Ninevites re'pentance, Jonah iii. 10. did nor fail me in my straits, but helped, so far as was necessary, to maintain the respect due to the station I was in, and to obtain kind. iness,
3. During the first half year or so, that I was here, I was somewhat diverted from my main work, being oblig'd to study what was necessary for my accomplishment for converse in the world. But still. I held. on, and the more difficulty I met with, I keept the closer to the form of religion I had taken up. Besides, ROW ny station callid and oblig'd me to somewhat, more. But leaving this, which is only introductory, I proceed to that which is mainly and only design'd in this narrative, .;
4. I had not long been here, when I was often nepo ceffarily, and frequently without sufficient necessity,
engag'd in debates about the truth of religion, the divinity of the scriptures, and the most important
doctrines delivered in them, whereby I was drawn to inof read the writings of deists, and other enemies to re
ligion, that I might be acquaint with the arguments, whereby these I sometimes had occasion to dispute wiih, opposed the truth. As to the issue of those arguings, with respect to others; I shall here wave it, because others are concern’d in it; only I may fay, I found, it true, Tit. iii. 9. That foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law, are unprofitable, and vain. 2 Tim. iii. 13. For evil men and reducers wax worse and worse, deceiv