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friends in the meantime chiding with me, and thinking me a gone man that stood on such a scruple. (4.) Quickly did the Lord reward me even outwardly; for my adversary that had charged me for a spulzie, and had it to his probation before the Sheriff-court, insisting violently; and I, ignorant what defences to make, had in my company a registrate horning, which I accidentally and without premeditation (God putting it in my mind at the same time) did cast in, by which he, being the King's rebel, was incapacitate from pursuing me. And the Lord so ordered it that he never after compeared to trouble me, by which means I was delivered from a loss and a fashery, and had but one court to wait upon. (5.) Being pursued before the Commissar-court likewise for 9000 merks resting by my father, the Lord in that showed me kindness, notwithstanding of the greatness of the sum, the power, knowledge, influence, and activity of my adversary; and notwithstanding his process was very well fixed, and that I wanted money, and none to lend me from whom I was wont to borrow, and had no skill in law matters then, (I was then like the setting sun in my declining days, and looked on as a despised branch, withered, that would never grow again; and that every one thought the decreet should be quickly pronounced against me, yea, and myself every day in daily expectations thereof,) yet it pleased God to stir up a stranger to lend me money, to provide unexpected defences in some books of law, wherein my case would at first start up, and therefrom be provided with what to say in law against the next day. The time for a whole half-year, in which ordinarily every week there was a compearance, was protracted; and when at last I was adjudged to swear or otherwise be decerned, and I refusing lest I should offend others, though I was clear in the matter; the very day in which sentence was to be pronounced against me, by threatening the judges with casting in a horning against them, I got them for that day to delay it. Which horning I came very accidentally by, and so not only got it delayed, but my adversary, wearied with such delays, and his commission at the same time taken away, he gave over the pursuit, and never further troubled me till this day; and I
got, partly by reading and partly by pleading and hearing the form, a competent measure of knowledge in the law.
§ 2. At the same time I was growing in my spiritual condition, recovering out of my decays, and increasing in faith, in diligence, and in strength; likewise the evidence of regeneration, in the duty of examination was discovered, mistakes cleared, and buds of the new nature did appear above ground; the Scriptures were very sweet, occasions of meeting with God seldom in vain; this I had to counterbalance my outward troubles, so that, as the Lord did bear down with one hand, he supported with the other. One time in F. I was strongly enlightened in the mystery of the Trinity; another night I was so taken up with the thoughts of the love of Christ, and refreshed, that I awaked the whole winter night admiring Christ, and praying with suitable affection, and at other times would spend two or three hours in prayer. Likewise, at the same time, writing on the Scriptures, I received much light, clearness, and sweetness, (we were then living in a burrows town.) Several extraordinary visits would the Lord bestow on me, remembering my afflictions, by which I would oftentimes be carried above the world. I wrote at this time a complete treatise of afflictions and of conversion, as likewise finished a treatise concerning the Scriptures almost, and wrote several things on the attributes of God, and some other miscellanies, in which I was extraordinarily assisted, and with which I was very much benefited; and although there was but one professor in the town, and he clothed with many weaknesses, yet did I find great advantage in his company, in praying together and conferring. I likewise remember this, that the Lord would be very kind to me (whilst others were at sermon on the Lord's day) in private, and when others would revile me, and look down upon me, and taunt me, and vex me; so as, when friends looked aloof, the Lord would draw near; insomuch that I knew not when I profited more than now.
§ 3. When we came home again, the Lord was no less kind to me, yea, exceeded; and I was daily admitted to nearer and nearer fellowship with himself. And wherever I was, God was with me, and continued thus till October. 1. Writing several meditation§ did me much good, and speaking unto the family. 2. About this time did I begin to study faith and the covenant of grace. And one time, from Rom. v., and from the consideration of baptism, was I mightily strengthened in assurance and confidence, and " the joy of the Lord" did I find to be "my strength." 3. Another time, setting some time apart one afternoon for examining my condition, though at first I was very indisposed, yet the Lord so shined and countenanced me, as that evidences were „very clear, and I found undoubted marks of sanctification, with which I was so enlightened and refreshed, that in the strength thereof I walked many days. 4. I discovered a marvellous and great depth in the covenant of grace; I was much enlightened and strengthened in the extent, freedom, and excellency thereof. I saw it a very rational thing to believe, and among other considerations that did much strengthen me, this was one, that God required no other thing than to be content; so that, if I were content, I needed not doubt. And why do I mourn for want of Christ, (said I,) if I be not content? And I thought and supposed, and put it home to my own soul, if Christ would come down from heaven, and draw up such a covenant, wherein himself and all things were promised, would I willingly subscribe this covenant? The Lord one night began to apply this very strongly and clearly. Why dost thou not this? It was "a night to be much remembered" for ever. After going to bed, in August, the Lord did so clear the covenant of grace, and by his Spirit made me (at first dull and weak) apply and consent, and feed upon these privileges as mine. Are all these things yours? quoth the Spirit, why dost thou not feed upon them? Why dost thou not "delight thyself in fatness?" Thou complainest of the want of life, strength, and comfort. Why dost thou not come to the fire, that thou mayest be warm? Here's the Lord's security for what thou wantest. If thou hadst thy friend's security for money, thou wouldst be glad; and hast thou not the Lord's in thy Bible? and may not heaven, Christ, and holiness, satisfy thee? And with this there came such a mighty gale of the Spirit that took away all my confusions, that made my soul apply Christ and all his benefits, answered all my objections so fully and clearly, and made me strongly to apply the promises; insomuch that I found Christ a sweet and satisfying thing; I found his flesh meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; all fears were driven away; the Gospel privileges appeared exceeding sweet, so as I spent the whole night in prayer and praising and rejoicing, wishing now for the morning, that I might do mightily for the Lord. My very body was weakened with the abundance of the joy of faith, arising from a sense of an interest in God. I was likewise very evangelical in my actings, considering all actions as the Lord's service, and myself and all things the Lord's; walking in great peace and glorifying God, endeavouring to encourage others. I now began to think how to lay a bar on the doors, to keep the Lord Jesus that he should not depart again. I thought the covenant of grace would be an everlasting foundation of peace; there was more sweetness found in duties than ordinarily, and more strength to glorify him, and greater peace and serenity of mind, though my daily wanderings did continue, and I was not altogether fixed, a storm behoved to do that. Likewise at the same time I received much knowledge and comfort from Mr Goodwine's works, especially in his Growth of Grace, which answered, as face doth to face, to the frame of my spirit. The Lord's dealings with me now I have written largely elsewhere in my daily diary.
§ 4. Six days after this was Satan let loose, and he brangled all my evidences and comforts. The grounds were, because I found not after some time the comfortable and satisfying sense of these things remaining upon my spirit; and, next, because it came not after deep humiliation and horrors; and, lastly, because many of my old sins continued, as likewise there were some apprehensions of wrath immediately darted upon my soul, which at first staggered me, and made me hang down the head as I used to do. But then I thought, it is childish with the first view of things to be cast down, and to be over credulous, and led like a child by my blind apprehensions. What know I but Satan may have a hand in this? I will therefore try this, and look ere I leap, and examine the matter ere I conclude any thing, and so resolved to ding out the bottom of it; and, therefore, I began to say unto my soul, " Why art thou cast down?" And after inquiry I found the cause of my trouble to be doubting under the apprehensions of unsoundness, and that there was never a real work wrought upon my spirit. I further examined what ground was for this, and what made this continual struggle in my spirit, Gen. xxv. 22, and after search I found it to be, because at first there was not a clear humbling work continuing till the glorious revelation of Jesus to the soul. I proceeded to try what strength or truth was in this, and I found a falsehood in the objection, and grounded upon a mere imagination and allegeance, seeing by search I found out a substantial work of humiliation and preparation, though it did not agree in all circumstances with that work which hath been in others. I discovered this but darkly at first, but more clearly afterwards. I began to think why the Lord contended with me, and did seem to be angry. In prayer it was revealed to me that I might stand in awe, and fear, and not be so bold in sinning against him, and to count sin a weighty matter, Exod. xx. 20. I lastly began to think what should be my present carriage, and I thought three or four things were very clearly and sweetly recommended to me: 1. Not to give over, or despair. 2. Not to murmur, or fret, or quarrel with God, but by quiet submission to yield unto him, and keep silence before him.
3. Not to quit duty, but ever in the use of means to wait on him.
4. To be watchful against sin, and not to make my breach greater than it was. Through this exercise, and solid conclusion laid, much of the venom of my exercise was taken away, and Satan, finding me thus buckled, did leave me, and tempted no more. It ended, that in reading a comfortable practical book, the Lord touched my affections, and drew me to himself, and comforted me, and by the shining of the light of his countenance on my soul, all troubles evanished, and I was made at the same time to see, that I not only had grace, but there was sensible progress and growth in it.
§ 5. There followed upon this a certain decay during the space