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PAGE 132

and that year was to me the largemost profitable year I had in the schools. Only in my third year in the Colledge of Glasgow, I read more then I think I did any year since. I was then under the oversight of precious Mr Robert Blair, who for two years was my regent in that colledge, and having got some ground in logick and metaphysick, and the subtilties of the schoolmen, ane vain desyre to be above my equals set me to great pains.

In many things wherunto my mind was very bent, the Lord very oft disappointed me, and alwayes to my greater advantage. After I had passed my course at the colledge, I had an great mind to the study of the scholasticks, and therefore was desyreous to spend sometime as an regent in an colledge, and for that end ane place being vacant in the Colledge of Glasgow, I studied hard and prepared to disput for the regent's place. But when the time came, I heard that one without any dispute was placed. Because in the winter of my last year at the colledge, I had been long detained in Edinburgh under doctors and chirurgions, with an fistula in my left leg; at which time, Mr Robert Boyd had taught the rest of my class some Hebrew; being grieved at that loss, I began in my father's house, by my private study, to attain to some knowledge of Hebrew, which thereafter by time I somewhat increased.

I doe not remember the time and1 means particularly whereby the Lord at first wrought upon my heart. When I was but very young I would sometimes pray with some feeling, and read the word with delight, but thereafter would very often intermitt any such exercises, and have some challenges, and again begin and again intermitt.

I remember the first time that ever I communicated at the Lord's table was at Stirling when I was at school, where sitting at the table, and Mr Patrick Simpson exhorting before the distribution, there came such an trembling upon me that all my body shook, yet thereafter the fear and trembling departed, and I got some comfort and assureance. I had no inclination to the ministrie


1    "Or."

PAGE 133

till ane year or1 more after I had passed my course at the colledge; and that upon this occasion I had an bent desyre to give myself to the knowledge and practice of medecine, and was very earnest to go to France for that purpose, and proponed to my father that he would let me goe, but he refused the same. Also about that same time my father having before purchased some land in the paroch of Monyabrock, the rights whereof were taken in my name, and that land by ill neighbours being in a manner laid waste, and Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth, one of the Lords of Session, being very desireous that he might buy that land, that he might build ane burgh of barronie upon it at Burnsyde, my father proponed that I should goe and dwell in that land and marry. But finding2 that course would divert me from all study of learning, I refused that offer, and rather agreed to the selling of it, although I was not yet major to ratify the sale. Now, being in these straits, I resolved I would spend one day before God my alone; and knowing of ane secret cave in the south side of Mouse Water, a little above the house of Jeriswood, over against Cleghorn wood, I went thither, and after many to's and fro's, and much confusion and fear, anent the state of my soul, I thought it was made out to me that I behoved to preach Jesus Christ, which if I did not, I should have no assureance of salvation. After which I laid aside all thoughts of France, and medecine, and the land, and betook me to the study of divinity.

I was from my infancy bred with aversnes from Episcopacy and ceremonies. While I was in the Colledge of Glasgow in the year 1619 or 1620, being (as I think) the first year that kneeling at the communion was brought in there, I being with some two or three3 of the young men of the colledge sett down among the people at the table, and Mr James Law, the pretended Bishop of Glasgow, coming to celebrate the communion, he urged all the people to fall down and kneel. Some did so: we sat still. He came to us, commanding us to kneel, or to depart. Somewhat I


1    "And."

2    "That."

3    "More."


Rev. John Livingston,
great-great grandfather of Henry Livingston

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