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fimote himself with fore sickness, of which he died, and went to his place.
Immediately after he was thus persecuted, that choice and pious gentleman, the sole heretor of the said parish, who was one among a thousand in such an evil time, and afterward suffered much for non-conformity, gave him a house to dwell in åt Duplin, be. side himself, was his ordinary hearer, and, while he lived, showed no small kindness to whiin, which deserves a thankful remember: ance from his relations.
His father never repented his faithfulness in adhering to the covenanted work of re. formation, but rejoiced that he had been ho. noured to suffer on that account; and when he fell asleep in the Lord, in the year 1682, in the 55 year of his age, he died in the faith of this, that God would deliver this church from the then fore persecution it was under.
His mother was daughter to Mr. Andrew Playfere, the first minister of Aberdalgy parish after the reformation from Popery, to whom her husband succeeded a little before the restoration of Prelacy. She was allied to some of the best families in the kingdom, by the mother; of which here I shall for. bear a particular account: but, which was their far greater glory, both of them from their youth up, were truly religious.
His mother excelled many of her own sex for knowlege of the principles of religion,
and an uncommon memory of the scriptures; she would have exactly repeated many of the choicest chapters of the bible.
! They had a numerous family, no less : than eleven children, and very fickly; all' of them died young, except their eldest daughter Janet, and this their fon Mr. Tho. mas; but to'sweeten these trials, they had peculiar comfort in the death of their chil. dren; some, even of the youngest of them, gave singular evidences of their
dying in the Lord, which some yet alive well mind.
When his father died, he was happy to be under the care of such a mother: the e. piscopal persecution for non-conformity daily growing, she, with her son in-law, and daughter, were forced, for their safety, to withdraw to Holland, took him along with them: while he was very young: he quickly learned the Dutch, and went to Erasmus' school to learn the Latin : there they sojourned till August 1687, at which time they returned home, narrowly escaping shipwrack.
At their return, he went to the school, and afterwards to the university, where he made great proficiency beyond many of his equals. When he had finished his course there, he entered chaplain to a noble family, where one that had been his school-fel: low, and had drunk in the principles of the Deists, began to rattack him on that fide, which obliged him in the beginniog of his à 3
studies, to read that controversy carefully; and what progress he made in this, will
appear from his book against the Dents. He could not attend lessons of divinity in any of our colleges, while in that family; and tho' he had read divinity only two years, the presbytery of Kirkaldic importuned him to enter on trials, and he was licensed by them to preach, June 22d, 1699.
He was settled ininister in Ceres parish, May ift, 1700.
In 1701, he was married with Janer Watson, a virtuous and pious gentlewoman, daughter to Mr. David Watson, an heretor in the parish of St. Andrews, a zealous good man, and one that suffered much in the late times for non-conformiry. His relict survived him, with fix children, one son, and five daughters, beside two sons and a daughter that died.
Some few years after his settlement at Ceres, his health broke, and his indifpofition daily increased, fo that he was hardly able to go through his ministerial work in that large parish.
In April 1910, having received a patent from her majesty, and an invitation from the presbytery, he was transported by the fynod of Fife, to be professor of divinity in che New College of St. Andrew's.
Being admitted professor, he enjoyed not much found health in the exercise of that office; for in the beginning of April 1711,
he was suddenly seized with a dangerous fickness and pleurisy, which obliged the phyficians, at several times, to take from him a. bout 44 ounces of blood: he recovered and went abroad again, but his walted body never attained the small strength he had before this sickness: shortly after his arms and legs became a little benummed and insensible, as also swelled, which, at his death, increased greatly.
To his successor in the parish he was tranfported from, he said,
“ I have this to say, as to my congregation, That people were 65 my
choise: with much peace and pleasure " I preached as I could, though not as I “ should, the gospel of Jesus Christ; though " in all things I own myself to have finned " exceedingly before the Lord; yer I have peace,
that I aimned, with concern, at leading them to the Lord Jesus ; and another
foundation can no man lay. I hope you " will build on thar fame foundation : and
as you will in that way save your own " soul, fo it is the way to fave them that “ hear you. From experience I can fay, " That the pursuing this fincerely is the " way to falvation. Signify to them, That “ if it please the Lord to take me away, I " die rejoicing in the faith and profeffion of " what I ofr preached to them under a low “ state of body; and without this I could * have no relief. I would have my folk
“ understand, That that gospel which I re« commended to them, if it is not received, “ it will be a witness against them.”
His fucceffor said, “ I am persuaded you “ have seals to your ministry in that parish.”
He answered, “ We are like our master, set for the fall and rising again of many.
Though we can reach no more, if we are o faithful, they shall know that a prophet bas “ been among them.”
When he was desired to ly quiet, and try if he could get rest, he answered, “ No, no: “ should I ly here altogether useless? should “ not I spend the last bit of my strength to « fhew forth his glory." He held up
his hands and said, “ Lame hands and lame legs, “ but see a lame man leaping and rejoicing.” 5. Finding himself very low, he took farewel of his wife and children, faluting them all one byone, and spoke particularly to each of them. Then he faid, “A kind and affectionate wife
you have been to me, the Lord bless you, " and he shall bless you. I am no more thine, “ I am the Lord's. I remember on the day I “ took you by the hand, I thought on part"ing with you ;. but, O! I wilt not how to • get my heart off you again, but now I
got it done. Will not you give me to the " Lord, my dear?" Then leeing her very fad, he said, "My dear, do not weep; you Lithould rather rejoice: Rejoice with me " and let us exalt his name together. O wait