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attempted; but a good deal of discussion took place with respect to the terms of the sentence. At length, at a late hour, on the motion of the Lord Chief Baron, they agreed to and pronounced the following sen
"The Assembly, waving the consideration of the first part of the synod's sentence, disapproving of the Presbytery's appointing Dr Webster to introduce Mr Balfour to the chapel by preaching on that occasion, agreed, without a vote, to reverse, and hereby do reverse the second part of the synod's sentence prohibiting all the ministers and probationers within their bounds to officiate in the said chapel, and discharging the ministers of this church to employ any minister of the said chapel to officiate for them; and in case the matter shall again be brought before the Presbytery, the Assembly recommend it to them to take proper care, that the person to be admitted to the said chapel conform himself to the standards of the church."
The respondents in this cause, and those of the members of the Assembly who supported their views on it, are now no more; but they lived long enough to see, that their apprehensions of evil, arising from the admission of Lady Glenorchy's chapel into the communion of the church, were groundless; and also to shew that their hostility towards it was completely removed, by evincing, on every occasion that offered, their anxiety for the welfare both of the chapel and its minister.
On the third of June following, Lady Glenorchy had occasion to write to the author of these pages; and in her letter she very incidentally mentions the decision of the General Assembly, but in such a way as to make it plain, that she was under the impression that it was an event that, stranger as he was to the
country and people, and placed as he was at the distance of six hundred miles from the scene of action, it could be of very little interest to him. The way of God, however, is in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known; two short years were not to pass away, before he was to become the person principally interested in this decision.
Lady Glenorchy's mind being now set at rest with respect to her chapel, she immediately prepared to return to Scotland, and arrived in Edinburgh in the month of June. The state of her mind on this occasion, will be seen by the following letter, and extracts from her Diary.
Lady Glenorchy to T. S. Jones.
Rev. Sir,-You know, by happy experience, the exquisite pleasure it gives one to be made in any degree instrumental in bringing souls to Christ; and therefore you can guess my feelings when I look back upon last winter, and view the Lord's hand leading me from place to place by a way unknown, making crooked things straight, and rough places plain, still granting the request with which I set out upon that journey -that I might, through grace, be a savour of Christ in every place. O, what cause have I to praise and adore rich, sovereign, free, unmerited grace, that has thus made use of a brand plucked from the burning, to kindle the flame of divine love in these poor souls! I am every day hearing of some good effects of 's preaching in the Island, and at Southampton. I hope there is a work begun in the former that will increase and flourish. The enclosed letter to, I commit to your care, as I don't know where to direct to him: It is informing him of the General Assembly's having
reversed the decree of the Synod, and granting full communion to the minister of my chapel with the Church of Scotland;-this is what I did not expect from them. I am to set out, God willing, on Thursday, for Scotland; and having much business on hand, can only assure you of my best wishes for every spiritual blessing to your own soul, and success to your labours, and that I am, Rev. Sir, your sincere friend and well-wisher in Christ,
"If you have any good news to send me, or any thing you wish to communicate by letter, my address is now at Edinburgh."
June 11.-I arrived safe at Edinburgh; was much comforted on my way hither by a sermon from Mr R—, junior, at Northampton, on Psalm cxix. 117. "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe; and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually;" and by hearing and conversing with Mr Edwards at Leeds. The Lord has preserved me in my outgoings and my coming in; he has been with me in the way, and guided me with his eye; he hath led me to places where I have either got refreshment to my own soul, or been the means of carrying the gospel to others; he hath never left me nor forsaken me; so I may here raise my Ebenezer, and adore the matchless love and grace of Jehovah to me a poor worthless worm, less than the least of all saints, yet the greatest debtor to free grace. All praise and glory be to my God, for ever and ever!
[Aged 36.] Taymouth, September 2.-When I take a survey of the last year of my life, I am filled with
wonder and astonishment at the goodness of God my Saviour, and at the ingratitude and folly of my vile incorrigible self. My life, since this day twelvemonth, has been a series of gracious dispensations of Providence. The Lord hath manifested himself to me as the preserver of my life, the hearer of prayer, the deliverer from temptation, the Saviour from sin, the giver of every needful blessing, spiritual and temporal, Yet, notwithstanding this, my ungrateful heart is this day as prone to wander from him as ever, as averse to pray as if he had never answered my requests, as averse to read and meditate on his word as if I never had found comfort therein. I am led away by every trifle; and, though convinced in my judgment that God is an allsatisfying portion to the soul, an all-sufficient fountain of every desirable blessing, yet still I do not abide with him as such. Strange perverseness! Yet let this perverseness endear a Saviour to me. The Lord Jesus is able to heal my soul; he never rejected any who came to him in the days of his flesh. Have compassion then, O Lord, on my poor soul; say to me, thy sins are forgiven thee, go in peace; and O that power may accompany the word, that soul and body may be invigorated to run in the way of thy commandments. Lord, thou knowest it is the desire of my heart this night to be wholly devoted to thee, to glorify thee with soul, body, and spirit, which are thine. I wish to live for this end. Do with me, for me, and in me, thy whole will; and let me serve thee here, and dwell with thee for ever. Amen. W. G.
Lady Glenorchy looks out for a Minister for her Chapel in EdinburghMakes choice of the Rev. Mr Sheriff-Mr Sheriff falls into bad health-Obtains an assistant-Forms the congregation into church order-His health gradually declines-Extracts from Diary from November 2. to December 30. 1777-Lord's Supper dispensed for the first time in the Chapel-Death of Mr Sheriff-Extracts from Diary, from February 2. to June 14. 1778.
AFTER the decision of the General Assembly, the chapel was, for four months, chiefly supplied by the ministers and probationers of the city and neighbourhood, while her Ladyship was actively endeavouring to find a fit person who might be settled in it as pastor. At length she heard of Mr Francis Sheriff, who, she thought, would in every respect suit the situation. He had been educated at the University of Edinburgh, licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of Haddington, and was now a chaplain in one of the Scots regiments in Holland,-a situation which he could resign when he pleased without the intervention of any church court. He was twenty-seven years of age, accomplished, of good appearance, and had fine abilities; and was possessed of all the simplicity, integrity, and ardour of one recently brought to the knowledge and experience of the gospel. He had friends in Edinburgh, and through these Lady Glenorchy invited him to come over and preach in her chapel, and reside in her house, with the understanding, that if, on due acquaintance with each other, all