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trysted me with in Scotland. The first was at East Nisbet, in the year 1678, in the spring of the year. Another at Carrick, Aug. 4, 1678. And the third, in the South, at Cherrietrees. They were in the fields, in the time of sad persecution. I set them down, to keep me in mind what confirming dayes they were unto me. He made his love known to me, and he drew my heart after him in covenant transactions with him: tongue cannot express it; it is better felt nor it can be exprest.
Thus I lived, without the least questioning of his love, though I knew his comings and his goings. He gave me full submission to be disposed at his pleasure, for he said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee;" thus I stand under the sense of my obligation to him who hath purchased this freedom for me.
There is something of a stem [check] lately risen in my heart, by reason of a strong temptation (I cannot set it down) which Satan did present to my thought, which strake at the foundation of my comfort. 01 the depths of Satan's subtilty, and our depraved nature that he has to work upon ; but blessed be God that lets not Satan get the victory.
And when I was tossed, I was trysted with a mercifull dispensation of the Lord, in the ninth and tenth day of Januarie 1686, wherein I heard that sweet subject spoken to by a minister (Mr James Kirton, in Rotterdam in Holland) of Christ, of covenanting with the Lord. There were three wayes of covenanting he spoke of. 1, By the thoughts of the heart. 2lie, By word of mouth. Zlie, By subscribing to the Lord with the hand.
I had done the first two, but I had not done the third ; this made me sit and write an account of the Lord's dealing with me, and to shew my obligation to him, I do here, with my whole heart, and with my whole soul, take Christ to be my Saviour, upon his own tearms, and I give myself away to him, to be his for ever; and, in testimonie hereof, I subscribe with my hand to the Lord,
The 24th January 1686. And, after the year 1691, I returned with my husband to Seotland. My heart did cleave to all the testimonies that those who laid
down their lives did give, wittnessing for the glorious work of reformation from papesie and prelacy, from the testimonie of the Noble Earle [Marquis] of Argyle, and famous Mr James Guthrie, to famous Mr Daniel [Donald] Cargill, with all those of that fair number that suffered after them. I, as a member of this Church of Scotland, being born, and baptized, and brought upin it, I, as a witness to the renewing of the Solemn League and Covenant in 1648, I held up my hand. I have lived to see this day of sad defection that this poor Church is groaning under this day, spirituall judgements, impenitence, and hardness of heart; and here I have set down the Lord's former love to me.
I come now to speak of my present condition. At my first coming from Holland, I found a difference in my hearing of the gospell; I found not that which I found in the persecuting times, when our faithful ministers were driven to the mountains ; nor as I found it in our Church before cursed prelacy came in : and what wad I do? it was that way by the Word and Spirit that the Lord mett with me in his lively ordinances, and now they were dry, my soul found nothing. I thought the blame was in myself; I was not 80 straitened in my secret approach to ye Lord in privat dutie, which keeped up my spirit; this was some weeks after my landing.
On a Sabbath, going to church, a word was darted in my soul, “Spring up, O well,” with so much heat and warmness, that it stayed with me many dayes. When I came home and found the word, Numb. 21st chap. 17th verse, Then sang Israel this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: 18th verse, The princes digged ye well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, immediatlie I applyed it to the covenant, wherein the Lord took Scotland to be his people, and we swore to be his people, and that (though enemies burnt the covenant, broke the covenant, and then burned it) the Lord should be our God; we all know the tearms upon which we covenanted with God. It did not become Scotland to be silent, when so many famous witnesses had laid down their lives adhering to the covenant.
Had our work been to mourn for our breach of covenant with
God! had all ranks of persons in the land followed the practice of those that went before us, set down in our Confession of Faith, and acknowledgement of sin, and engadgement to duties of our day! but this is a dutie which we have neglected, which the Church is groaning under this day. And what sad steps of defection this poor covenanted land has made ; everie one, in their station, privat Christians and public persons, are guiltie herein. And, alas ! alas ! our work is hid from our eyes, and it will never be well with Scotland, nor with covenanted Britain and Ireland, untill there be a particular and honest confession of, and mourning for, our nationall departing out of the Lord's way.
I come now to my own particular case. I have sadly smarted in having a hand in the present guilt of the nation. I allwayes was conscious of my weakness and insufficiency for giving a testimonie for his great interest, but I must acknowledge, to the praise of his rich grace, that I was by his providence kept from publique steps of defection that some of the poor weak saints have fallen in. I had not that temptation that some of his people had (though I want not my own guilt) to lead them into snares, for the Lord blest me with a worthy godly husband, whom the Lord helped to give an honest testimonie to his interest in his privat station, and whom I walked with hand in hand, with a joint spirit, so that in all his sufferings, he and I had cordiall joynt unity, in love and concord strengthening one another's hands, which made our marryed lot sweet. At his death, his regrate to me was, that he had not left under his hand, in record, what the Lord had done to him and me in strengthening and bearing us up in all his providences towards us, and especiallie the Lord's love in making his comforts unutterably sweet to both our souls in our witnessing against prelacie. He lamented on his deathbed his not recording the Lord's goodness to him, both for spiritual mercies and singlar providences, as to his soul's condition, and for common providences, as to his temporal and outward condition, and enjoyned me to do it. He declared his mind very faithfully both to ministers and professors who came to visite him, which yielded him great joy and peace.
He was a man of a very singularly holy life; he made it his diligent studie carefullie to keep himself from sin, and was of a very tender conscience. He neither connived at sin in himself, nor in his family, nor in any he conversed with, but was a sharp reprover of it; and I, who was his wife forty-three years, and some odd moneths, never knew him guiltie of making a ly, or any thing like an equivocation; all that ever knew him can bear wittness of it. He was a burning and shining light in his day, and this was my great mercy, I was marryed to such a godly husband, who was taken away by death on Saturday evening, the 14th of December 1700.
A little after my husband and I went to Ireland to dwell,” the prelatick party began to thrust out the honest and faithful Presbyterian ministers, and to establish the prelats in their room and place. Our second son, Sampson, was baptized by Mr Hope Sherid, minister of Ardmagh, where we dwelt before he was put out of his church. Afterwards, when faithful ministers had no liberty to preach publiquely, Joseph, our third son, was baptized by Mr Thomas Kennedie, minister of Dungannon. Our landlord, Samson Thaker, desired my husband to baptize Joseph with the curat, but he answered, I do not belong to their Church, and, therefore, will have nothing to do with abjured prelats. After that, we had two other children baptized with Presbyterian ministers.
They who would not comply with the prelats to hear curats, or observe the king's birthday, Christmass day, or other superstitious days, which they appointed, such persons were warned to the bishop's official court; and when they appeared at the court, every man payed a groat, and was not called in question for any thing untill the next year, after that they payed a groat at the same court again. But my husband would not answer any of their courts, nor pay them any thing at all; and when Mr Thaker pleaded earnestly with him to go to the church, he desired him only to go in and come presently out again ; and when he refused that, he having a concerned care to excuse my husband at the
She was married in the Summer of 1657. ? They removed to Ireland soon after the Restoration.
prelats' hands, he desired him only to come into the entry without the church door, that he might say that he saw him there, and satisfy the prelats with that account. But my husband refused that also, and would not make any shew or appearance of complying with them in any thing, for he durst not in conscience mock God and deceive man at that rate.
The prelats were so enraged at my husband's zeal, that they proceeded against him with the censure of their Kirk. When they could not prevail with him, neither with their promises nor threatenings, so they excommunicat my husband, and other eighteen of the professors of the parish of Ardmagh, because they came not such a full length as they would have had them, although they answered their courts. Mr Pedine told my husband, that, by the prelatick excommunication, he was casten out of the devill's countbook.
In process of time the prelats proceeded to greater rigor, and imposed the oath of supremacie upon the people, wherebie they made the king the head of the Church, which verie few of the professors complyed not with, except my husband and his brother, and some others. My husband's brother said to my husband, when they were discoursing of that sacrilegious supremacie, that it seemed they were of the mind to make a god of that man.
My husband continued three years giving testimony against all their superstitions. The behaviour of the most part of the professors, dwelling in the countray, did not come so much under the view and observation of the prelatick partie as my husband's did, because he dwelt in the town, and some of the most considerable persons of the clergie passed by my husband's door as they went to the church, and as they came from it, for it was just in their way. And when they came by he was then sure to make most noise at his work, which made them account him contumacious; however, he regarded not their displeasure for his keeping a good conscience.
He desired an honest man, who had his horse a-grazing in the country, to send him in the horse, because he wanted sand. And