Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

am willing to part with all, even life itself, for his love: But by and by my soul grows dead,--a crowd of useless impertinent thoughts break in upon me like a flood without my consent, and hurry me away I know not whither. This often happens when I am at prayer; and when I discover the treachery of my enemies, who have thus unawares got possession of me, I

cry aloud to the Lord for help, and he delivers me. O for a steadfast faith, to cleave continually to the Lord. Then should I be more than conqueror! Lord, grant me this faith.

Friday, December 14.--I spent this niorning in reading and prayer, and found liberty to cast my soul on Jesus, and trust upon his word both for present and future mercy. I have cause to praise the Lord this day for ordering all things well that concerneth

Lord Garrived from the country. I received many comfortable letters from absent friends. O how comes it that so many show kindness to such a poor worm as I? What cause have I to bless him who turneth their hearts towards me!

me.

יל

Sunday, December 16.- I went this morning to Leith to hear Mr A. Hunter, and found much comfort in hearing him preach from these words,—“ To those that believe he is precious.” His prayers and sermon came with power to my soul. I felt a secret witness within

me,
that the marks he

gave

of true believers applied in some measure to me.

Since I came home, I have met with a severe trial, which sent me to a throne of grace with strong cries and tears. The Lord enabled me to plead with him for perfect submission to his will, and he gave me power to rejoice in some measure in this trial, as the way he hath appointed to mortify my corruptions, and to subdue his enemies in my soul. I cast my care upon him, and he hath sustained me, and caused me to look forward with joy to the glorious appearance and second coming of Christ, to that happy period when all sin and sorrow shall for ever cease, and I shall behold him, and be transformed into his image, and rejoice in his presence for ever more. O blessed trials! happy afflictions ! since they bring me nearer to God, and give me clearer views of him for whom my soul longeth.

Sunday, December 23.— I have been confined all last week with a cold, and also attending Lord G. who has been ill. I have had little leisure for reading, meditation, or prayer; no Christian companions, nor any person to whom I could speak of the things of God, and my own soul in a dead and uncomfortable frame. At times I have got liberty to pour out my complaint to the Lord, and found some comfort in weeping in secret for my own sins and the sins of others. I have also had refreshing letters from friends at a distance ; yet, upon the whole, it is not with me now as in former times of sickness. I am confused, and my thoughts are dissipated. I long for access to God; I groan after him, but cannot get near him. O merciful Jesus ! thou who knowest my inmost soul, and canst read the secret desires of my heart, have pity upon me! Grant but the crumbs which fall from thy children's table, remove whatever hinders my intercourse with thee. I desire only thy love,--take whatever else thou wilt from me,-take health, friends, fortune, reputation, or even life itself,—only let me be assured of an interest in thee, and of the eternal enjoyment of thee, in the world to come!

N

Monday, December 31.-Another year is gone, and where art thou, my soul ? What shall I render unto thee, O Lord, for thy long-suffering kindness and forbearance with me? Hadst thou cut me off in

my

sins I could not but have justified thee : But thou hast prolonged my day of grace ;-still there is hope--still thy Spirit strives with me, and carries on thy work, thy marvellous work, in my soul. Thou art refining me in the furnace of affliction, that I may come forth like gold. I see thy hand in all my trials. They are necessary to my soul, I could not do without them. Lord, I would submit in all things to thy will. I commit my soul wholly to thee. Do with it whatever is most for thy glory!

This year I have gained a deeper sense of the evil of sin, and seen more of the depth of corruption in my own heart. I have seen more of the vanity of the world, and am become (through grace) more dead to it. I have got more courage to speak for God, and less fear of the reproach of men. I have spent more time in prayer, and have been enabled to pray with others. The Lord has blessed some attempts I have made for the conversion of souls, and I hunger and thirst more after Christ; yet the light has not shone so powerfully upon my own soul as I have experienced it formerly. The Lord hides his face from me, and I am troubled; I mourn after him ; it has been a sorrowful year to me in this respect. But blessed be his name for the mercies and privileges bestowed upon me, and that he still keeps me waiting upon him, and trusting in his word.

CHAPTER IX.

Lady Glenorchy's zeal leads her to go lengths which unnecessarily ex

pose her to trials—This remonstrated against by her Christian friends -Rev. Mr Gillespie's letter to Lady Glenorchy on the subject Admirable letter of Mr Walker on the same subject-Lady Glenorchy's influence over Lord Glenorchy—Mr De Courcy appointed minister of St Mary's Chapel-Letter of his to Lady GlenorchyExtracts from Diary from January 9, to 30, 1771_Lady Glenorchy's letter to Lady Maxwell—Extracts from Diary from February 7, to 12_Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell Extracts from Diary.

THE reader will no doubt have observed, by the extracts already made from Lady Glenorchy's Diary, that she considered it a duty incumbent on her to recommend and enforce, not only by her example, but also in her conversation, the practice of religion upon every one, great and small, to whom she had access; and if she happened to neglect any opportunity of this kind which occurred, she viewed and lamented it as a sin of omission, which heavily burdened her conscience: and hence she studiously sought occasions to perform these services. These services, however, were not confined to persons in her own family, or of her own rank and station in society. She was in the practice of going among the lower orders, especially in the country, and in the course of her journies, and speaking to them respecting the state of their souls. This, as might be expected, did not always succeed. Indeed, it not unfrequently exposed her to very unworthy treatment, unsuitable to her rank. These circumstances, and other peculiarities connected with her Christian zeal, were observed by some of her friends not without a considerable degree of uneasiness and regret, and produced some attempts to open her eyes to the impropriety of it. Accordingly, a very interesting and sensible letter on this subject, though directed to a lady in general terms, yet evidently intended for her use, was written by that very apostolical man, the Rev. Mr Gillespie, justly considered as one of the most able casuists of his day, and who had himself been deprived of his living of Carnock, for his zeal and fidelity in the cause of truth. This letter was communicated to her; and a copy of it, taken by herself, is still in existence. Another letter, of which she frequently spoke, even to the close of her life, with great approbation, and the original of which was found amongst her papers, was written and sent to her by her judicious faithful friend and pastor, Mr Walker. It is, as might be expected, marked with all the good sense and elegance, as well as piety, for which he was so eminently distinguished. As these letters are both excellent in themselves, and have a relation to the situation of Lady Glenorchy at this time, they shall be inserted, and are as follow.

Letter of Mr' Gillespie.

fs Dear Madam,--The doubtful point on which your conscience wants satisfaction, is a weighty case. Resolution of it is to be humbly sought of from the Lord by prayer, and searched for in the blessed Bible, -a rule both perfect and infallible. That our hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, appears by the divine declaration. Hence it is both difficult to discern duty in certain circumstances, and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »