Изображения страниц

sionally had a sermon delivered in her drawing-room at the Abbey of Holyroodhouse. Yet she laments with great feeling the little progress she made in the divine life, in the midst of this and many other means of grace which she enjoyed.

Monday, February 19, 1770.-- This day I have felt more life in my soul than for a week past. Lord Glenorchy told me this morning that he would allow me to take a chaplain into the family as soon as Lord Breadalbane was gone. I went to Lady Maxwell, and sent for Mr Middleton, and invited him to come and officiate as chaplain during the absence of Lord Breadalbane. At that time I felt myself in the spirit of devotion ; but on coming home I found a friend there who has often been a snare to me. Being very agreeable, with her I entered into idle conversation; and although my conscience frequently checked me, yet I went on till after tea. Thus did I knowingly trifle away time against conviction, which brought darkness on my mind. O when shall I live wholly to God! !

[ocr errors]

Tuesday, February 20.- I prayed this morning for help to be faithful through the ensuing day. In some measure this has been granted. I paid two visits this morning, where I was enabled to speak boldly for the truth. Before dinner, I spoke seriously to a person of whom I have hitherto been much afraid. Had company to dinner, and did not feel ashamed of owning my singularity. I went in the evening to the meeting, and heard a good sermon on these words, “Lord, help me." It was very suitable to my case in every thing I need his help. Without it I must quickly perish.

Friday, February 23.—Went to Lady Leven, where a proposal was made for printing some small tracts, to show the evil of indulging a party spirit, also to reprint Professor Frank's Nicodemus. Afternoon I went to meet Mr Thomson at Lady Maxwell's. I was much pleased with his conversation-he observed, that the farther we advanced in divine knowledge, the more we see our ignorance, because every step we get on shows us that there are greater degrees yet to be attained. After he was gone, Lady Maxwell asked me to pray with her, which I refused, and have been much distressed ever since I did so, as I perceive now I am more desirous of appearing well before my fellow-creature than before God. Pride and false shame abash me. I have asked the Lord to give me courage to pray with others.

Saturday, February 24.-I began this day by praying that the Lord would enable me to walk up to the light he had given me. I saw my danger if I persisted in neglecting to comply with what he demanded, particularly in praying with my friends, and instructing my servants. I am determined in his strength to comply, let it cost me what it will, and to humble myself, and appear weak and mean in the sight of others, rather than forfeit the love of God, grieve his Spirit, and stifle the convictions of conscience. Accordingly, after prayer for assistance, I called one of my menservants, whom I judged most ignorant. I spoke some time to him on religious subjects. I then went out to see a Christian friend. I prayed first to be enabled to pray with her, which after some conversation I did, and found liberty of expression beyond expectation. I found, that in keeping the command, and following the teachings of the Lord, there is a present reward. After this I had two opportunities given me of speaking freely, without fear or shame, for the cause of religion. After tea I went to the chapel, and heard an excellent sermon on following Christ and denying self ; that is, being denied to sin, the honours and friendship of the world, and all confidence in the flesh. ' I cannot but observe, that Satan begins again to-day to assault me as formerly, by stirring up some to tease and vex me ; but I dare not repine at this, for when the Lord prevails over my slothful temper, and enables me to be somewhat active for him, the enemy rages with most violence against me. this night I have learnt to take up my cross, deny myself, and follow him. May he enable me to possess

soul in patience, to bear all things, and forsake all things, for his sake. O blessed Jesus, who would not willingly give up all things for thy love? What must their joy be who are blessed continually with the light of thy countenance, when I, even the poorest of thy creatures, sitting in darkness, feel unspeakable comfort in obeying thy commands ?

I hope


up to

Sunday, February 25.-Went to church, and heard a good lecture and sermon. Came home, and spoke with a maid-servant. Endeavoured to stir her more diligence to make her calling and election sure. Afternoon, heard Mr Plenderleath on the Shunamite, -a delightful sermon. I came home, and had sore trials of patience during the whole evening. Lord, withdraw not thy help from me one moment! Support me under these afflictions, till thou hast answered all thy loving purposes by them. I commit my soul to thee ; thou knowest what it stands in need of to purify and subdue my evil temper. Let all thy will be fulfilled in me. Save me to the uttermost, and

glorify thyself in me. Amen.— I have spoken with two of the servants to-night, and find that one of them wishes to follow the Lord.

Thursday, March 1.-Mr Middleton came home and began family worship. I had some spiritual conversation with him. Found great comfort in considering his coming as an answer to prayer.

Friday, March 2.-After prayer in my family I went out to see my mother. Ventured to speak to her on religion. Came home to meet Dr Webster and Mr Thomson. Was interrupted in a useful conversation by lady — who came to ask me to a ball ; —was enabled boldly to state my, reasons against it. After tea, preaching in the great room by Mr Thomson—the servants were much pleased. This day I have enjoyed many privileges; but hast thou profited, O my soul ? Alas, how cold and dead I yet am, notwithstanding all these means of grace ! Lord, quicken me, and impart saving faith and knowledge to my dark ignorant mind!

[ocr errors]

Sunday, Marck 4.- Last night I prayed for health to attend on public ordinances this day, and was heard. Mr

preached in the morning upon these words: Having a form of godliness,” &c. a good sermon. In the afternoon we had an excellent sermon from Mr Plenderleath on the sufferings of Christ. My soul was not so much quickened by it as it ought; yet I could not help shedding tears to see with what indifference it was received by those who call themselves followers of that divine Redeemer, who suffered so much for them.

Wednesday, March 7, 1770.—This day St Mary's


Chapel was opened for preaching the Gospel. Ministers of every denomination are to be admitted, who have a sincere love to the Lord Jesus Christ and the souls of men, and who preach the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Mr Middleton* preached this day from Ephesians ï. 8. “ for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” I have been much distressed to-day with a weak body and an unbelieving heart. I laboured under anxiety that good might be done, and at the same time was so much distressed by the fear of man, that I got no good by the sermon myself. In the evening I wrote an addition to a little book against vain amusements.

Thursday, March 8.- I received a visit this morning from Mr , and had a long conference with him about Mr W—and public places. He seems deeply prejudiced against Mr W-; thinks he is stealing in Arminian doctrines into the country, and sapping the foundation of our faith under the pretext of greater sanctity and strictness than others. As to public

* St Mary's Chapel was opened, on the plan formerly mentioned, by the Rev. Mr Middleton, author of " The Lives of Eminently Pious Women,” and one of the six students who, a year or two before, had been expelled from Oxford for attending private religious meetings, and who, having received orders in the Church of England, officiated at this time in a small Episcopal Chapel at Dalkeith. The different opinions of the persons employed in officiating in this chapel, never could in the nature of things coalesce; and although the congregations were large, and good was done to individuals, the design being in Scotland altogether novel, met with much disapprobation from the religious public; and their remarks, as it often happens on such occasions, either from levity, thoughtlessness, or prejudice, were neither kind nor just. These expressions of dissatisfaction, together with her other trials, temporal and spiritual, deeply depressed Lady Glenorchy ; but, following the example of the Psalmist David, she waited on God, and prayed that integrity and uprightness might preserve her; and she was preserved.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »