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motion commenced, they would have shuddered with abhorrence at the prediction, and been ready to reply in the language of Hazael to the prophet Elisha, "Am I a dog, that I should do this thing?"
"Now, it is evident, that no man of ordinary understanding would consent to such loose capricious terms of conformity, were they fairly set before him, as in common honesty they ought to be. So that the meaning of my second question is abundantly plain, and the aim so just and honourable, that I should not need to make any apology for putting it, and demanding a clear and direct answer.
"But the third and last question I would ask is of a higher importance than either of the former two. I should certainly press him to tell, without disguise or reserve, from what motive he is so solicitous to gain the Christian over to a conformity to the world in any kind or degree whatever.
"It cannot be, that his character as a Christian may acquire dignity and lustre from his connexion with the world, and shine forth to public view with more attractive grace. This pretence would be confuted by the very title he hath assumed. For how is it to be supposed, that a man of the world should exert himself to advance the honour of a character, to which his own stands in the most direct and hostile opposition?
"Neither can his motives be, that the addition or mixture of worldly pleasure may heighten the relish of those which are peculiar to the Christian; for, with respect to pleasure, the man of the world would certainly chuse to be at least on an equal footing with the Christian; and, therefore, if once he admit that there is any real enjoyment in religion, when he presseth his own sweet cup on the Christian, he should at the same time ask permission to pledge him in his, that the
whole compound quantity of pleasure may be as equally divided betwixt them as possible: so that, according to the genuine influence of this motive, just as far as the Christian cometh into the world, so far should the man of the world go out of it, and sally forth into the Christian ground. But as this promiscuous intercourse and reciprocal participation of pleasure, would annihilate at one stroke the distinction we have all along supposed between the Christian and the world, and upon which, indeed, the question at issue is entirely founded; and as the man of the world appears firmly determined to keep within his own ground, it is plain, that we must look somewhere else for the true motive of his zeal and activity,
"But why should I affect to be in suspense upon this head? It is certain, and the querist will not presume to deny it, that he hath and can have no other aim, than either to strip the Christian by little and little of every badge of distinction, and to gain him entirely over to his own party; or, at least, that he may disarm him of the power to hurt his favourite interest, by clothing him with such motley apparel as will render him an object of contempt and ridicule, and either cover, or, if possible, totally extinguish, that penetrating light and overpowering splendour of pure and undefiled religion, whereby the despicable meanness and hateful deformity of the maxims and manners of a corrupt world, are most clearly detected and most severely reproved.
"Pray, Sir, what have I to do with your querist? You know well, that the inquiry was proposed by one who does not profess to be of the world. Why then have you introduced a person with whom I neither have nor desire to have, any connexion, and wasted so much of your paper upon him, that you have not left your
self room to fulfill the promise you made to me? I suppose you are going to add, And, now that I have brought my preliminary questions to this conclusion, it would be superfluous to proceed any farther in the subject, as it could serve no good purpose to give such a querist an account of—'
"Your Ladyship may stop. I confess you have got the start of me, and hit upon almost the very words I was just about to write. But I hope you do not suspect me of a serious intention to fight off, as it is called, by a feigned rencounter with a combatant from whom I can with such ease disengage myself at pleasure? I assure you, that I have no design to elude, by any artifice whatsoever, the performance of my promise to consider the subject you recommend to me, with all the attention and accuracy of which I am possessed. It is my fixed purpose to lay before you as full a description as I can, of what appears to me to be the just measure of Christian conduct in relation to a present world.
"But as you have laid me under no restrictions, either as to time or manner of execution, I think myself at liberty to chuse my own road, and even to digress from it occasionally to any moderate distance, when an object which is inviting happens to attract my attention.
"I frankly acknowledge, that I was under no necessity of laying hold upon the gentleman who hath of fended you, but might have let him pass on quietly, without seeming to take notice of him. And yet, however strange it may seem, such persons are apt enough, of their own account, to thrust themselves into the company of serious Christians; and which is equally surprising, though they affect no concealment, but appear without disguise, yet their solicitations, not only
obtain a patient hearing, but too often make an impression upon, and even prevail with some, who bear that honourable appellation.
"I am truly at a loss to determine which of the two is most astonishing: whether the confidence of an avowed enemy in presuming to offer counsel, or the simplicity of those who are capable of hesitating for one moment about the reception that is due to it.
"I can look back upon a time, and it is not very remote, when they that were styled of the world pleaded for nothing higher than a toleration to follow their own way. Instead of pressing the Christian to be conformed to them, and reviling him for an opposite course, they only begged the favour of him to turn his eyes some other way, that he might not be offended by looking at their conduct. They seemed contented that others should frequent places of worship, and be as devout as they pleased, provided only they themselves might be indulged to resort freely to other places that were better suited to their inclinations and taste.
"Whence the amazing revolution we now behold hath proceeded, deserves to be seriously inquired into; and I have little doubt, that the result of such an inquiry would afford just matter of shame and sorrowful regret to many yet living, who still retain the name of Christian, and would complain loudly of injury, if you should apply to them the opposite denomination.
"But I have detained you too long, and shall only add, that I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Lady Glenorchy complains of want of spiritual comfort-Inquiry into the cause of this-Extracts from Diary, from January 5. to April 3. 1774 -Note of Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell-Situation of Lady Glenorchy's chapel in Edinburgh-Correspondence between Lady Glenorchy and the Presbytery respecting her chapel-Chapel opened for public worship-Extract from Diary-Lady Glenorchy goes to Taymouth-Finds much delight in the retirement she there enjoys-Extracts from Diary, from July 18. to September 11. 1774-Lady Glenorchy returns to Edinburgh-Is exposed to new trials-Extracts from Diary-Lady Glenorchy goes to England-Remarkable occurrence in Pinner's Hall-Visits her friends at Hawkstone-Extracts from Diary, from March 14. to August 13. 1775-Lady Glenorchy goes to Taymouth-Extracts from Diary, from August 17. 1775.
LADY GLENORCHY almost always complains in her Diary of the want of religious comfort. This is a very common case among Christians; and by many it is frequently ascribed to a want of integrity, to negligence in the use of the means of grace, to the indulgence of known sin, to undue conformity to the world, and to a heart but partially devoted to God. None of these things, however, with truth could be charged against Lady Glenorchy. Her integrity was evinced in all her thoughts, and words, and deeds; she was most diligent in the use of all the means of grace, both public and private; she was, in an uncommon degree, separated from the world, and her heart was unreservedly devoted to God; yet she enjoyed comparatively little peace of mind and religious comfort. It may not be improper, therefore, to inquire, What was the cause of this? It was attri