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Lady Glenorchy establishes family worship in her house-Extracts from Diary from February 19. to March 4. 1770-Plan of conducting worship in St Mary's Chapel not approved of by many religious characters in Edinburgh-Extracts from Diary from March 7. to May 7. 1770-Lady Glenorchy becomes acquainted with Mr Wesley-Is urged to join his Society, which she declines—She occasionally hears his preachers-Extracts from Diary from May 12. to June 3. 1770Lord Glenorchy gets possession of Barnton-A great many workmen employed in embellishing it-Lady Glenorchy erects a chapel there -Much good done by this means-Extracts from the Diary from June 4. to 19. 1770.
Ir is abundantly obvious, that the regular worship of God in the family, is in every case of the greatest importance to the interests of religion, and more especially so when there happens to be a very numerous household. Of this truth Lady Glenorchy was deeply sensible. Circumstanced as she was, however, the introduction of this excellent practice into her family was a work of no small difficulty. Nevertheless, to a person of her integrity, piety, and decision of character, all things, if seen to be duty, are possible. Hence, at this time she actually accomplished the desire of her heart, and raised an altar to God in her house, the pure flame of which was never afterwards during her whole life extinguished, and around which, every morning and every evening, fervent prayer and grateful praise ascended to the God of the families of the whole earth. This event she records in her Diary with much humility and thankfulness. She also occa
sionally had a sermon delivered in her drawing-room at the Abbey of Holyroodhouse. Yet she laments with great feeling the little progress she made in the divine life, in the midst of this and many other means of grace which she enjoyed.
Monday, February 19. 1770.-This day I have felt more life in my soul than for a week past. Lord Glenorchy told me this morning that he would allow me to take a chaplain into the family as soon as Lord Breadalbane was gone. I went to Lady Maxwell, and sent for Mr Middleton, and invited him to come and officiate as chaplain during the absence of Lord Breadalbane. At that time I felt myself in the spirit of devotion; but on coming home I found a friend there. who has often been a snare to me. Being very agreeable, with her I entered into idle conversation; and although my conscience frequently checked me, yet I went on till after tea. Thus did I knowingly trifle away time against conviction, which brought darkness on my mind. O when shall I live wholly to God!
Tuesday, February 20.-I prayed this morning for help to be faithful through the ensuing day. In some measure this has been granted. I paid two visits this morning, where I was enabled to speak boldly for the truth. Before dinner, I spoke seriously to a person of whom I have hitherto been much afraid. Had company to dinner, and did not feel ashamed of owning my singularity. I went in the evening to the meeting, and heard a good sermon on these words, "Lord, help me." It was very suitable to my casein every thing I need his help. Without it I must quickly perish.
Thursday, February 22.-I got up early for prayer. Spent some time in it, but had little comfort. Went out to visit, and providentially called at a place I did not at first intend, where I met with Mr Thomson, whose conversation was blessed to me.
Friday, February 23.-Went to Lady Leven, where a proposal was made for printing some small tracts, to shew the evil of indulging a party spirit; also to reprint Professor Frank's Nicodemus. Afternoon I went to meet Mr Thomson at Lady Maxwell's. I was much pleased with his conversation-he observed, that the farther we advanced in divine knowledge, the more we see our ignorance, because every step we get on shews us that there are greater degrees yet to be attained. After he was gone, Lady Maxwell asked me to pray with her, which I refused, and have been much distressed ever since I did so, as I perceive now I am more desirous of appearing well before my fellow-creature than before God. Pride and false shame abash me. I have asked the Lord to give me courage to pray with others.
Saturday, February 24.—I began this day by praying that the Lord would enable me to walk up to the light he had given me. I saw my danger if I persisted in neglecting to comply with what he demanded, particularly in praying with my friends, and instructing my servants. I am determined in his strength to comply, let it cost me what it will, and to humble myself, and appear weak and mean in the sight of others, rather than forfeit the love of God, grieve his Spirit, and stifle the convictions of conscience. Accordingly, after prayer for assistance, I called one of my menservants, whom I judged most ignorant. I spoke
some time to him on religious subjects. I then went out to see a Christian friend. I prayed first to be enabled to pray with her, which after some conversation I did, and found liberty of expression beyond expectation. I found, that in keeping the command, and following the teachings of the Lord, there is a present reward. After this I had two opportunities given me of speaking freely, without fear or shame, for the cause of religion. After tea I went to the chapel, and heard an excellent sermon on following Christ and denying self; that is, being denied to sin, the honours and friendship of the world, and all confidence in the flesh. I cannot but observe, that Satan begins again to-day to assault me as formerly, by stirring up some to teaze and vex me; but I dare not repine at this, for when the Lord prevails over my slothful temper, and enables me to be somewhat active for him, the enemy rages with most violence against me. I hope this night I have learnt to take up my cross, deny myself, and follow him. May he enable me to possess my soul in patience, to bear all things, and forsake all things, for his sake. O blessed Jesus, who would not willingly give up all things for thy love? What must their joy be who are blessed continually with the light of thy countenance, when I, even the poorest of thy creatures, sitting in darkness, feel unspeakable comfort in obeying thy commands?
Sunday, February 25.-Went to church, and heard a good lecture and sermon. Came home, and spoke with a maid-servant. Endeavoured to stir her up to more diligence to make her calling and election sure. Afternoon, heard Mr Plenderleath on the Shunamite, —a delightful sermon. I came home, and had sore trials of patience during the whole evening. Lord,
withdraw not thy help from me one moment! Support me under these afflictions, till thou hast answered all thy loving purposes by them. I commit my soul to thee; thou knowest what it stands in need of to purify and subdue my evil temper. Let all thy will be fulfilled in me. Save me to the uttermost, and glorify thyself in me. Amen.-I have spoken with two of the servants to-night, and find that one of them wishes to follow the Lord.
Monday, February 26.-I was employed all the morning in the country. My soul feels much oppressed with the things of this world.
Thursday, March 1.-Mr Middleton came home and began family worship. I had some spiritual conversation with him. Found great comfort in considering his coming as an answer to prayer.
Friday, March 2.-After prayer in my family I went out to see my mother. Ventured to speak to her on religion. Came home to meet Dr Webster and Mr Thomson. Was interrupted in a useful conversation by Lady G-, who came to ask me to a ball; -was enabled boldly to state my reasons against it. After tea, preaching in the great room by Mr Thomson-the servants were much pleased. This day I have enjoyed many privileges; but hast thou profited, O my soul? Alas, how cold and dead I yet am, notwithstanding all these means of grace! Lord, quicken me, and impart saving faith and knowledge to my dark ignorant mind!
Saturday, March 3.-I spent the day in reading, writing, and talking of the things of God; but alas,