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depends on him for the renewing of his grace against the temptations and dangers above-mentioned, and for light and understanding and direction in the particular anent That all natural respects, and affections, and interests, may yield to thy will, and to the love of thy name, and thy glory. He seeks a sanctified and obedient subdued heart to thee. He hath many affairs this day to enter on; and, fearing his own frailty, partiality, corruption, he looks up to God for Grace to sanctify his name in the work and employments of the day: in the valuations of the Shire, that his own particular, or friends, or the prejudice or disobligement of other men, may not sway: in this he may be like the Lord, to have no “respect of persons.” “If any fellowship in Christ,” Lord, let it forth. In other advices anent Grange, his question with Newtoun November 8th.-John Brodie was sick of a boil; and in him he saw much of human frailty. My soul was humbled under barrenness, that I had not spoken a word for him, or to edify others. Lord, pardon | Something of the Lord's dealing may be observed in the sickness which we are liable unto. Oh that I may understand and learn, and may not be as the beast ! This day the Laird of Grange" and John Forbes were agreed. I besought the Lord that nothing might stick to me, as if anything of that kind were brought to pass by my skill, wisdom, or dexterity. I did before the Lord disclaim and renounce all as being nothing, and having nothing to boast of. I worshipped the Lord in the variety and freedom of his gifts; that gives some the gifts of family government, which he withholds from others; and to some to take their necessary competent use of their substance, while others deny to themselves the things that are convenient and necessary for them. This is his gift; and he finds the want of it, and looks up to God, that he would supply or be in stead of it. He observes that his heart cannot bide [abide] long at a resolution against a temptation or a sin; and, in particular, in the matter of inordinate desires and coveting: albeit he has seen the evil and vanity of that sin, yet, alas ! how soon is he carried away and intangled, forgetting his resolutions? Here he prayed for Grace, more Grace, and to be prevented. Saturday, 12th November.—I had been toiling at the Stone:
• The Laird of Grange.—Alexander Dun- Thomas Dunbar of Grange, 20th December, bar of Grange was served heir of his father, 1631. N
Thence the Lord led me to reflect on his Church, and to pray that he would repair and make straight her walls, and bless her walls, and erect and finish them; that there may be no enormity in them, and that they may be for holding out ravenous, destroying beasts, and for preserving the trees of his planting. Take pleasure in thy vineyard yet, and plant and water and adorn it, that thou mayst delight in it, and trees may grow up in it, both fair to look on, and fruitful; and hedge them up from the violence of beasts. Does the poor creature take such care in his dikes and trees? Does he promise himself a subordinate contentment and pleasure in them? And wilt not thou much more take pleasure in thy sweet, pleasant Garden? Wilt thou not help what is amiss in it, and dwell in it for ever? Lord, let that which he is about be a token to him, that thou wilt yet do that to thy kirk, which thou puttest him upon toward his natural habitation and dwelling. Oh for faith to believe in thy name for this 1 and he would not let thee go till thou blessest us.
13th November.—Die Dom. It was the great suit of the day, and the chief errand and exercise, that the Lord would remember the broken estate of his Church in these lands and beyond sea; and would consider both the violence which the one is under, whereby the Gospel is suppressed, resisted and cast of, and idolatry set up; and there they have not so much as liberty of profession, where sometimes he has had a glorious Church; and among us, how great our confusions and darkness and differences! so that we are like to be devoured of one another. Next, the manifold errors and corruptions that are crept in in his worship, and no effectual means taken to refrain and punish error and corrupt doctrine. 2, The society, fellowship, and communion of his Churches and people broken down, our walls broken down unto the ground. 3, The carnality of our spirits in employing and making use of discipline, Churchjudicatories and censures. Therefore, that he would heal our breaches, build up our walls, knit and unite our minds and affections in the Lord, and for him and his truth; take away our carnality and our looseness, dwell among us, and set up his tabernacle in these lands; may rid us out of snares and mistakes in the matter of Ecclesiastick and Civil Government; would [bear] us forth, and uphold us in this trial, until he grant the desired issue. This evening I found much deadness and indisposedness. Oh that the Lord impute it not, and that it be no impediment in the errand of the day to his Church or my poor soul!
14th November.—Reading Phil. iii. 9, 10, 11, 12. I desired to be cast down under his unsensibleness, that he finds not any such rare, transcendant excellency in the knowledge of Christ, as to count all things but dung for him. He counts over much of other things, which is a shrewd sign that he counts not so highly of him as he ought. Oh Lord! help and correct this error in his judgment, affection, and practice, that he may find that excellency in the knowledge of his name, that all things else may stink in comparison 1 Want of knowledge is the cause. Oh for some increase and growth of this knowledge W. 15.-I desired and besought the Lord to give me and his people the understanding of that Word, “If in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” Give thy people the right use of this Word; for it is a ground of differ Here I desired to note and write down this prayer, and these tears and observations, that they may be as a witness betwixt God and me. In the evening my heart smote me under Mr. Necessity: and I resolved, since he was serving me in some measure, I ought (nay, and, albeit he were not, I ought) to look to his need, as unto a member and servant of Jesus Christ. 15th November—Upon Phil. iv. 11, 12, 13. “I have learned in whatever estate to be content. I know how to be abased, &c.” My poor soul was cast down under the corruption which I found in my heart contrary hereto; much disquiet, strong violent lusts, inordinate desires and affections, particularly the covetous desire——either by removing me from them, or them from me; that he would subdue and slay by his Grace, and grant that he be not given up to this sin, to be conquer'd and overcome of it. He prayed and believed on this Scripture, to be well instructed in every estate; and, if it had been lawful, he desired to disclaim, nay, and inclin'd to promise against— 17th.-I went to King-edward,” and observed the Lord's Providence in dissolving my bargain with John, that thereby he might [be] rid of some impediments, which give occasion of more free exercise of tenderness to the poor tenants; and he, in the sense of goodness in it, worshipped and prayed for strength to improve it. 20th.-Die Dom. It was the exercise of the day, to be humbled under the blasphemous raging of the poor man David, who by his hideous and * King-Edward, a parish in the presbytery of Turriff, Aberdeenshire.
blasphemies deafen’d and fill'd my ears. Oh Lord! how much wrath and sadness is in this matter 1 sanctify this, and pardon for the Lord's sake. Further, in regard of the times and relations he stood in, that he might be guided in his paths, and fill'd not with politick or carnal, but spiritual wisdom and understanding; to be well-pleasing to him in all things, and be strengthened. He sought for Grace to be fitted for suffering. He besought the Lord for direction in disposing of his son, to what place he thought fittest, and might be for his glory and their good; and desired to be humbled under family sins and impenitency; most not repenting, or but unsoundly repenting them of their evil ways. The Minister, from Herod's family, spoke seasonably, in exhorting to diligence and care over his family; and he adored and worshipped the Lord, whose message it was. In the Evening I called for my Son,” and exhorted and admonished him to self-trial, and to more exactness, sincerity and watchfulness over his heart and thoughts than ever. He read Jer. xl. The pride and commotion of Ishmael, and his murder of Gedaliah, and taking the Jews captive to the Ammonites; and desired to remark that passage, for it seems a warning, that the poor people of Scotland may be put to suffer harder things from their own countrymen, than they have done from strangers. Lord! fit them and me for it. Their discontentedness to submit to Babylon, and their carriage seems to represent 21st.—H. Stewart was buried; on which occasions I besought the Lord to sanctify that object and warning of mortality to me, for my preparation for death. At night I called for my daughter Grissel; and, after sad and grave admonition, reproof and warning, she entred on a new engagement, as follows. [It is written and subscribed with her own hand.] “This night my Father carried me before God for my forgetting the resolutions and promises which I made lately to God. I did confess and take with my hainous guiltiness, and promised yet again to bewail it and mourn for it before God; in p[articular] I confess my [Here she makes a particular enumeration of her sins.] This night I purposed against these things, and every one of them; and will beseech the Lord's strength and grace for that effect, and that for my former dealing with him he would not forsake me, but would forgive and heal for his own name's sake. For this end I employ, and believe in, the Lord Jesus Christ for all-sufficient Grace, without whom I can do nothing: and, that this night may be remembred, and my renewed promises (L. L.) [I subscribe] this, that it may be a witness for ever against me in this world, and at the Day of Judgment in the World to come. - GRISSEL Brodie.” I closed this exercise with supplication; wherein the Lord most sensibly and comfortably assisted me: which I took as a token, that he would either hear me in the particular, or else would accept of me, and of my desire to honour him in my poor children. 24th.—For this cause he was bowed down and abased, and sought to have the spirit of constancy, fortitude, discerning, and of a sound mind poured forth; that, in time of the Church's trial, he be not like a beast, all dried up. This is more grievous than all that can befal him. Deliver him from carnal counsel, and let him not be saved by it, but by the name of the Lord. Alas, he despaired of seeing the breaches of Scotland and England made up, and of seeing a settled estate of his Church in these lands, go matters as they will! Oh Lord! tho' it should be thus, keep him from despair, and every wrong way. Lead him in thy way, albeit he should sacrifice his life in it. Oh this is a blind prayer, albeit in some measure from his heart! 27th.-Die Sab. It was the great errand of this day, to be humbled under his unstedfastness of mind, ignorance, unsettledness, wavering, learning to his own understanding; therefore besought the Lord for more understanding and light for the right ordering of his ways, in a dark, evil, slippery time. Oh the need he stands [in] of thy inlightning, quickning, confirming Grace | Lord! remember the trial of thy poor Church in these lands, that our dfferences may bring forth some advantage to religion and thy work, and may not end in a perpetual confusion and disorder, and utter darkness. Oh Lord! prevent. He desired to be humbled under his barrenness, and the ineffectualness of the word in private and publick. Oh Lord! let him find it the Word of Life, and let more life be in it towards him, from and thro' the Lord Jesus his Lord! Give a door of utterance, and much of thy Spirit and blessing, to him that is sent to us this day, and to thy ordinance among us, and in every congregation in the land. 29th November, 1653.-Myson and nephew went to the College, and were uncertain which way or to what place to go. I committed them to the Lord's Providence, and believed in his name for mercy and direction to them. I did myself go towards Elgine about the Valuations; and my heart
* James Brodie, not David, as erroneously stated in foot-note, p. 60.