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have often made me to cry unto my God, who doth all things for me, that he would raile ap instruments for the work. And now, Sir, that, after disappointments and discouragements from several hands, wience I looked for encouragement, it hath piealed the Lord, there where I could have no cx. pectation, to raise me up a friend, by inclining your heart 10 take notice of and comfort me, and to beitir yourself to act in favour of that and me;
May not I be allowed to say unto you, though I have never with inine eyes feen your face, and it is likely never will in this world, “I have seen thy face as if I had seen the face of si God?” A perion of honour, learning, and piety, stirred up to befriend me. The acceptableness of the Fourlold State to you, notwithstanding of its homely dress, gave me an irexpressible pleature. Your transmitting the specimen, title, and index, and friendly writing along therewith, to Mr Gowan and Mr Loftus, in Holland, was a most charitable action ; and the fending therewith the Fourfold State, was such an encou. raging token of your regard for it, as I could not have ex. pected, more than I could have dreamed of what else you did in favour of it. Mr Gowan's return, concerning the specimen, which you was pleased to dictate to my worthy friend Mr Grant, coming unto niy
hand, was as cold waters to a thir“ fty foul.” And your generosity, preventing the remotelt thought in me, is quite surprising; having received at your hand ten guineas, a gift in that kind, of such value in itielf, that it was new to me, and therefore received with proportionable thankfulness; the which value is yet but a very small thing, in comparison of the value I put upon it, as a token of the regard you are pleased to have for me, and pledge of your readiness to lay out yourself to encourage any work of mine, What remains on my part is, on your account to bless the Lord, who hath given you wealth and honour, and, which is more rare, a heart and wisdom to improve them to the honour of his name; and to pray, that he fo multiply his bleflings on you and your confort, as you may plainly perceive, that what you have done, and are dilposed to do, in this matter, is a good work, acceptable unto God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And I am not without confidence in the Lord, upon the ground of his own word, Prov. xi. 25. “ He that water“ eih, fhall be watered alto nimfell,” that it thall be even so unto you in due time; the vicw being carried, but without limiting of fovereignty, towards the particular trial it bath pleased God to exercise you and my Lady Eilys with; the which, lince it came to my knowledge fome several months ago, hath been much on my heart, continuing in a difpofition to trait on the Lord's hand in that matier; having also recomWended it to the prayers of two sodiy miniflers, my intimate
iron gates :
friends. Herein I am the more encouraged, that as we learn from the word, I have learned also by forty years experience, and upwards, that the niore signal and eminent mercics designed for one in the way of the covenant, are usually brought through
which for a time making their accels apparently hopeless, for the exercise and trial of faith, hope, and patience, do yet, in the Lord's own time, open of their own accord. However, other kinds of mercies may fall into the Jap of the receiver fitting at ease.
The MS on the covenant of grace is not as yet returned to me, but expected shortly. I will greedily embrace an opportunity of putting it into your hand, how foon I can; being exceedingly refreshed with the accounts of your favour and relih of the doctrine of the free grace of God in Christ Jefus, the foundation of all our hopes.
I own the great civility of your Honour's noticing your not writing me; though I think the circumitantiate case leaves not an apology to be necessary. If at any time I shall have the honour of a few lines at your hand, it will be very acceptable ; but while
Oiew such a warm concern otherwise, I can be in no pain about it. If you have had any leisure to glance the MSS. your judgement and remarks thereon would be an additional favour.
I hope you will pardon the prolixness of this, Once it is occafioned by the multiplicity of your favours, and the warm fenfe of them had by, - Honoured Sir, your Flonour's molt oblis ged, and most obedient humble servant, T, Bostosa
N° 15. A third letter from the Author to Sir Richard Ellis, meria
tioned p. 488. l. 11, at Sir Richard. Honoured Sir,
Etterick-manse, Jan. 2. 1731. Yesterday I had the honour of yours, which added exceedingly to the fatisfaction I had before in your favours. I sincereJy declare, that the friendliness and openness of it ourdid any thing I had been able to expect, notwithstanding of the figna! proofs you had been pleased to give me of your kindness, and which were then freih in my view. The regard you are plea: sed to have for me, I accept with all humility and gratitude, imputing it to the Lord's touching of your heart on a particu. lar design. As to what concerns literature, I have a secret pleasure and glorying in infirmities, that the power of Chrifti may reit upon me, and more satisfaction in the character of a little child leading, than if I were capable of fpeaking and writing on all the parts of learning. Your judgement of the valuableness of the defign or end aimed at in the MSS. which judgement speaks a, becoming regard to the very words of the
Holy Ghost, I am much strengthened with ; and I need no more, Sir, than what I have, to assure me of your readiness to favour me in that matter which I have so much at heart. I have long travailed as in pain about it, not without fears fometimes, that both it and I should be hissed off the stage, tho' I dare not say I ever altogether lost hopes in its behalf : how then could the judgement of Schultens and Gronovius upon the specimen miss of affording me a very singular comfort ? And if what is expected from Mr Loftus should prove to be a balance to it, I will, through grace, fall down, and kiss the high hand that sends it. I wrote at large to your Honour t'other day, before yours came to my hand, in the which difpensation I saw a beauty : and I shall not enlarge here. As to what you require of me, I shall only add, that I think it will henceforth be natural to me to rejoice and weep with Sir Richard Ellys, in all his concerns ; being, - Honoured Sir,your Honour's most obliged, and most obedient humble servant,
NO 16. Letters from the Author to bis correspondent in Edin.
burgh. (1) Dear Sir,
October 8. 1720. Last time I wrote to you, I was in a mind to have writ. ten you anent the matter I have now in hand; but that I was hurried, and time would not allow. The prospect of enga: ging in it, which is awful, whether I consider myself or the matter, and the proof I have had of your Christian friendship, natively led me to impart it you, as I have done to a very few other.
The subject is the accentuation of the Hebrew Bible, which in the depth of sovereign wisdom has been less cultivated by the learned than any thing else I know of relating to the facred volume. My acquaintance with books is very narrow; but I know no translations of the Bible in which the tranlla. tors have not thought themselves very much at liberty in pointing of the text. I am of their opinion who think the Hebrew text is most accurately pointed; and from my own observation, as well as from books, I am convinced the sacred ftigmatology bears the signature of a divine hand. The difficulty has been, and is, to assign the proper value to the several stops therein used. Now, if that divine pointing can be cleared, it is easy to see what influence it must have on transJations, and commentaries too, fixing the grammatical sense of the words. There have been but very few books written purposely for that effect. I have but two of them, viz. Cross's Taghmical Art, and Wasmuth's Institutiones accent. If either of them could have fatisfied me, they had saved me considerable labour. I have employed fome to get me of
ther two; but they have not found them. I hope I have, through the blefling of our gracious God, attained to fome insight into this matter. I will no longer say, if it be a delufion; but several difficulties there are, which I fee, that I know not how to get through; besides others, which it is like) I see not. But, in dependence on the same Father of lights, who, in other points of the same kind, has been pleased to guide me through thickets, where I could discern no outgate when I entered them, I design to press forward in the study; and if any effay of mine on that subject might prevail to awaken the learned to the further study of that point, it might be reckoned good service. I have some materials prepared, though I see I want some others. I cannot obtain it of myself, to fall at this season in quest of them; but in regard my health and strength are not so firm as before, and that I know not what may befal me, I desire (if the Lord will) this winter to begin to put in form what I have, that it may not be useless to others, in case Providence do not allow me to finish it. As for printing-expences, there is no occasion to speak of that : he only knows whether ever I shall have any thing of that nature prepared for the press, or not.
Sir, I have imparted this matter to you out of an earnest desire that you would be concerned in prayer for me with respect to that business of so great importance, that, if it be his holy will, I may have life and health, and the light of his Spirit, to lead me into all truth; that he will make darkness light before me, and crooked things straight, in this matter particularly. I do not desire it to be propaled, nor would it be prudent for me to do it, the matter not being ripe, and it remaining doubtful if ever it shall be so. But I am content you impart it to the Honourable Person you speak of, if you judge it proper. As for Buxtorf De punétis, I shall be obliged to any who will get me a loan of it; but I would rather have it of my own; and I suppose you have correspondents both in London and Holland ; and if you could help me that way, I would defire the favour of you to do it; pot only to that book, but to the other two I spoke of before. - I hope to hear from you by the bearer; and continue, dear Sir, yours, &c.
(2) D. Sir,
Sept. 25. 1721. I received yours with the inclosed letter and paper; the which last, when I had considered, I found my heart disposed to bless the Lord, who had given you counsel wisely to manage this important affair. I had got the contrary paper before, which had come also from your hand; by the reading of which I was much confirmed in what we have done; but withal perFeiying fo little regard to truth, (I mean not only gospel truthș,
but truth and ingenuity in conversation), I am made to think they can have little hope from that airth, whose lot it is to fall intó such hands. But I should account myself happy to get garments kept clean, whatever the Lord may fee meet otherwise to do; and I hope that through the supply of the Spirit, and the prayers of the godly, whose eyes are opened in this matter, it may be our mercy to find pity in the eyes of the Lord, to be carried cleanly through, which the Lord knows is that which I mainly desire. I heard nothing of the meeting you speak of, till I read it in yours; but I think I cannot be at it, nor do I think Mr Wilson will, and perhaps not Mr D. neither, who is now in Nithsdale, As matters appear to me now, (whatever I might by conference be brought to), I do not think it proper, that any thing which is not to be publicly owned as the common deed of the whole, should undergo so foJemn a trial; and if it was mine own case, I would expect more of a half, if not of a fourth part, their peruling the fame privately in their closets, than of the whole men together. As for myself, I hope our Dr B. to whom the Lord has given a quick wit, and a clear apprehension, needs not be be very folicitous about the matter of getting our thoughts of it. I long to see it, but in such a manner as will be common to all; and heartily with that no time may be lost, that can be gained. You are still remembered by me in my most folemn addresses; and the true reason why I have not written to you for some time is, that my strength I find to be much abated; but work is laid to my hand, upon which all I have is laid out. So that when an occasion of conveying letters does offer, I am much out of case for writing ; that time being to me the Saturday's night readily, because of our occasions on the Monday. I mult now have some breathing-time wherein to do nothing, otherwise I must be quite laid atide ; and any little thing I have to do cofts me much application ; but I blets the Lord for any thing he gives me upon diligence and application, and desire to be thankful to my bountiful God, who gives me for digging what others would find as it were lying above the ground. The best way that I know for keeping up religion in a hurry of businels, is, to look on the business as a duty of the eighth command of our Sovereign Lord, Creator, and Redeemer ; and so going about it in coinpliance with his will, who has allotted to every man their fiation, and determined the duties of it; to make application to him ordinarily in your stated addreffes to the throne of grace, for wisdom to guide your affairs with discretion, and for the fuccess of them according to his promises thereanent; and actual. ly to go about them in dependence on the Lord. Thus, while you served your lawful purposes in the world, you would ferve the Lord Christ; the which I put you in remembrance of, alộcit you know, and I doubt not aim at the same. From the lic