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PAGE 142

very ignorant, and I saw no appearance of doing any good among them. Yet in an short time the Lord was pleased that some of them began to understand their condition.

The Bishop of Down had an evill eye upon me because I had gone elsewhere to receive ordination; and at an visitation at Doun in the spring following, whether I went much against my will, but Mr Blair and Mr Cunninghame drew me, saying, my staying away would occasion more trouble, the Bishop, before all the ministrie, enquired1 what was my opinion of the2 Service Book. My answer so dissatisfied him that there was some appearance I might be censured shortly, but my Lord Clannybuie prevailled with him that I should be forborn.

The paroch of Killinshie being but looked on as ane pendicle of ane other parish, to witt, Killileagh, there was never ane3 officiall court keeped in it all the while I was there. Not only had we the publick worship free of any inventions of men, but we had also an tollerable discipline; for after I had been some while amongst them, by the advice of all the heads of families, some ablest for that charge were chosen elders to oversee the manners of the rest, and some deacons to gather and distribute the collection. We mett every week, and such as fell in notorious publick scandals were desyred to come before us. Such as came we4 dealt with both in publick and private, and prevailed with to confess their scandalls before the congregation, at the Saturday's sermon before the communion, which was twice in the year, and then were admitted to the communion. Such as after dealing either would not come before us, or coming would not be convinced to confess their fault5 before the congregation,6 their names, and scandals, and impenitency, was read out before the congregation, and they debarred from the communion, which proved such an terrour, that we found very few of that sort.

We needed not have the communion ofter, for there were some nine or ten paroches within the bounds of some twenty myles or


1    "Me."

2    "Anent the."

3    "Any."

4    "Were."

5    "Scandall."

6    "The Satterday before the communion."

PAGE 143

litle more, wherein there were godly1 ministers that keeped ane society together, and every one of these had the communion twice in the year, and that at different times, and had two or three of the neighbouring ministers to help thereat, and most part of the religious people of each2 paroch used to resort to the communions of the rest of the paroches. The ministers were Mr Robert Blair, minister at Bangour, Mr Robert Cunninghame at Holywood, Mr James Hamilton at Beltwater, Mr John Ridge at Antrum, Mr Henry Colwart at Oldstone, Mr George Dumbar at Learn, Mr Josias Welsh at Templepatrick, Mr Andrew Stewart at Dunagore. Most of all these used ordinarily to meet the first Fryday of every moneth at Antrum, where was an great and good congregation, and that day was spent in fasting, and prayer, and publick preaching. Commonly two preached before noon, and two afternoon. We used to come together on the Thursday night before, and stayed the Fryday night after, and consult about such things as concerned the carrying on the work of God, and these meetings among ourselves were sometimes as profitable as either presbytries or synods. Out of these parochs formerly mentioned, and out of some others also, such as laid religion to heart, used to conveen to these meetings, especially out of the Six Myle Water, which was nearest hand, and where there was greatest number of religious people; and frequently the Sabbath after the Fryday's meeting3 the communion was celebrated in one or other of these paroches.

Among all these ministers there was never any jar or jealousie, yea, nor among the professors, the greatest part of them being Scotts, and some good number of gracious English, all whose contention was to preferr others to themselves; and although the gifts of the ministers was much different, yet it was not observed that the hearers followed any to the undervaluing of others. Many of those religious professors had been both ignorant and prophane, and for debt and want, and worse causes, had left Scotland; yet


1    "And able."

2    "Every."

3    "After these meetings."


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

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