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(mote himself with sore sickness, of which
Immediately after he was thus persecut-
His mother was daughter to Mr. Andrew Playfere, the first minister of Aberdalgy pa-:rish after the reformation from Popéry, 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 fall forbear a particular account: but, which was their far greater:glory, both of them from their youth up, were truly religious. : 9 His mother excelled many of her own sex for knowlege of the principles of religion, 916a
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 sickly; 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 daugh. ter, were forced, for their safety, to with. draw 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 side; which obliged him, in the beginning of his à 3 .
studies, to read that controversy carefully; and what progress he made in this, will appear from his book againft the Dents. He could not attend lessons of divinity in any of our colleges, while in that family; and thos 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 sertled ininister in Ce May ift, 1700.
In 1701, he was married with Janet 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-conformity. His reli&t survived him, with fix children, one fon, and five daughters, belide two sons and a daughter that died.
Some few years after his settlement at Ce. res, his health broke, and his indifpofition, daily increased, so 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 divinicy 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 fick ness and pleurisy, which obliged the phyfi. cians, at several times, to take from him a. bout 44 ounces of blood : he recovered and went abroad again, but his wasted body never attained the small strength he had before this sickness : fhortly 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 “ 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 fi exceedingly before the Lord; yer I have “ peace, that I aimed, with concern, at lead« ing 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 1 soul, so it is the way to fave them that 66 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 profession 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
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if hinhould I ly hehe last bit, or He held wegs,
“ understand, That that gospel which I re-
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.--
Thew forth his glory." He held up his
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. Iamno 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 seeing her very fad, he faid, "My dear, do not weep; you Bishould rather rejoice: Rejoice with me, "and let us exalt his name together. O wait