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CHAPTER I

deposed. The effect of this arbitrary and cruel measure was, to induce him and a number of his friends, to think seriously of emigrating to New England. A vessel was built for the purpose; and they actually set sail for America: but encountering from the moment of their departure, violent adverse winds, and being driven back at last, after a lapse of nearly two months, to the port whence they had loosed, the design was altogether abandoned. In 1638, he settled in a place called Stranrawer, in Scotland; and for ten years he exercised his ministry here with great comfort, and some measure of success. He had not been long in this place, before some of his parishioners expressed a wish to be present at his morning family exercises. To gratify them, as his house could not conveniently accommodate all who might desire to attend, he assembled them every morning, in the Church, by the ringing of the bell, and spent about half an hour with them in singing, expounding the word of God, and prayers.

While he retained this interesting charge, he was several times sent by the General Assembly of the church of Scotland to visit some vacant parishes in the North of Ireland, Each missionary tour occupied three months; and, "for the most part of all these three months," he says, "I preached

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CHAPTER I

every day once, and twice on the Sabbath: the destitute parishes were many: the hunger of the people was become great; and the Lord was pleased to furnish otherwise than usually I was wont to get at home. I came ordinarily the night before to the place where I was to preach, and commonly lodged in some religious person's house, where we were often well refreshed at family exercise: usually I desired no more before I went to bed, but to make sure the place of Scripture I was to preach on the next day. And rising in the morning, I had four or five hours myself alone, either in a chamber or in the fields; after that we went to church and then dined, and then rode some five or six miles more or less to another parish."

From Stranrawer he removed in 1648, to Ancrum, in Tiviotdale. With the people of this place, he continued, a number of years, beloved and useful; but that intolerant spirit of the time, which could brook no mode of worship no ministerial services, not conformed to prelatical rule, at length, procured his banishment, with that of several other eminent ministers, from the kingdom of Great Britain.

In April 1663, he fled to Holland, and settled in Rotterdam. His wife and two of the children followed him toward the close of the year, but five children remained in Scotland.






        
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