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PAGE 160

of the English nobility came to my chamber to be informed how matters went. I had been but ane few dayes there, when Mr Borthwick came to me,1 and told that the Marqueis of Hamilton had sent him to me to shew he had overheard the king saying I was come, but he would endeavour to put a pair of fetters about my feet. Wherefore, fearing to be waylaid on the post-way, I bought ane horse, and came home by St Albiins and the Westerway.

I was present at Lanerk and at severall other paroches, when on ane Sabbath after the forenoon sermon, the Covenant was read and sworn, and may truely say that in all my life, except one day in the church2 of Shotts, I never saw such motions from the Spirit of God; all the people generally and most willingly concurring, where I have seen above 1000 persons all at once lifting up their hands, and the tears dropping down from their eyes; so that through the whole land, except the professed Papists, and some few, who for base ends adhered to the Prelates, the people universally entered into the Covenant of God for reformation of religion, against prelacie and the ceremonies.

Period IV.

The fourth period of my life I reckon from the time I entered to the ministrie at Stranrawer, till I was transported to Ancrum.

In the end of May 1638, I got letters from the Earle of Cassills to come to his house of Cassills in reference to ane call to ane paroch, wherein he had some interest. When I came there, there came both at one time commissioners from the town of Stranrawer in Galloway, and from the paroch of Straiton in Carrick, with ane call to me. I desyred some time to advise, and because both equally urged me, I proponed we should referr the matter to the determination of3 six ministers, Mr Blair, Mr Dicksone


1    "My chamber."

2    "At the kirk."

3    "Refer the determination of the matter to."

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Mr Andrew Cant, Mr Alexander Henderson, Mr Samuel Rutherfoord, and my father; who, by occasion of another meeting, were all to be in Edinburgh within ane few dayes. My own mind inclined most to Straiton, because it was an obscure place, and the people being landwart simple people, were more likely to be wrought upon by the gospell. But they all having heard both parties, advised me to hearken to the call of Stranrawer, being ane throw-fair within four myles of Portpatrick; and so nearer for the advantage of our people in Ireland. So I was there received by the Presbytrie the 5th of July 1638, and shortly after transported my family thither, and I remained in the ministrie of that place untill harvest 1648, when, by the sentence of the Generall Assembly, I was transported to Ancrum in Teviotdale. Because I had some houshold furniture to carry, and the way was far, I put my family in a boat at Irvine, and put in ane tolerable quantity of meat and drink. The wind being the first day very fair, and so we likely to come soon to our port, the boat's company consumed most of all our provision, so that by ane calme and ane litle contrary wind, being three dayes at sea, we were ane whole day we had neither meat nor drink, nor could reach no coast, and my wife had then an child sucking her breast. Yet it pleased the Lord we came safe to Lochryen. Some of our friends out of Ireland came and dwelt at Stranrawer, and at our communions twice in the year great numbers used to come; at one time 500 persons; and at one time I baptized towards twenty-eight children brought out of Ireland.

Providence so ordered it, that I was ane member of the Generall Assembly of Glasgow in November 1638, which established the reformation of religion, and of all the rest of the Generall Assemblies, even till that in the year 1650, except only that of Aberdeen, 1640. When I came first to Stranrawer, some of the folk in the town desyred to come to our house to be present at our family exercise. Therefore I proponed that I would chuse rather every morning to goe to the church, and so each morning at nine a'clock the bell rang. We conveened, and after two or three


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

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