Account of the particular soliloquies and covenant engagements, of Mrs. Janet Hamilton
Of the Particular
Soliloquies and Covenant Engagements,
Mrs. Janet Hamilton.
The deceased Lady of Alex. Gordon of Earlston
Printed by M. Randall
Covenant Engagements, &c.
The firſt dated at
Blackneſs Caſtle, December, 1687.
O LORD, I desire to bleſs thy name for thy former loving kindneſs unto me is the time of my ſtrait, in helping and ſtanding by me when overcharged with affliction, and deſerted of friends. What was I and my father's houſe? A poor inſufficient creature, taken up with nothing but vanities of all ſorts. O what moved a holy God ever to condeſcend to look upon me, and paſs by ſo many much more worthy than poor undeſerving me? O praiſes be unto thee, O Moſt High! O that were my tongue employed thro' time in magnifying the holy name of ſo merciful a God! I May not I ſay that his mercies are over all his other works to me! May not I sit and admire his free love, firſt in inclining my heart to love him and his people, and in caſting my lot amorgſt the godly, and in beſtowing a godly and kind huſband unto me (when left destitute of father or mother); and that he did to care for me, as not to ſuffer me to enjoy the desires of my heart, but was at pains to hedge in my way with thorns; and his infinite love ſuffered me to sit at my eaſe, enjoying my pleaſure in the day of Zion's calamity.
And preparing the way by ſmaller trials for greater, thou didſt, in thine infinite love and wiſdom, and at firſt caſt me into the hotteſt ſlames of the furnace, left I ſould not have been able to ſtand, but in fright fainted and turned back: but, O praiſe, praiſe be to him that inhabits eternity! that condeſcended ſo far to me a worm, as ſweetly to train me up, alluing me and ſpeaking confortably to me at my firſt entry into the wilderneſs. Thou cauſed thy word to be to my ſoul as the honey and the honey-comb. Thou madſt me sit under thy ſhadow with great delight, and thy fruit was ſweet to my taſte. So that many a time that, which to on-lookers was ſad was ſweet to me. The Lord did ſo ſupport and feaſt me in his banqueting houſe, that I was made to rejoice in the midſt of my tribulations.
Likewiſe thou didſt not ſuffer me to go on with thoſe that were indifferent in Chriſt's matters, but with thy rod thou didſt raiſe ſuch a zeal and love on my ſpirit, and ſo filled my mouth with arguments that I could not ſee anything like detection from, or wrong done to, any of thy truths, without reſenting, teſtifying, and contending againſt it. Thou ſo far changed my heart, which was proud and haughty, much disdaining the converſe of the poor,—that thou helped me to be denied to great folk and to the reproach I ſuffered on that were godly in the land dear of the poor that were godly in the land dear unto me and I hope they ſhall be ſo, while they keep in God's way—he having paſsed by the great ones, and honoured the poor, making them boldly to teſtify for him, and thoſe whom he honours, I desire (thro' grace) to
And when thou didſt (for the trial of my faith and patience) throw me in very hot flames of affliction, having all diſcouragements from the world that a poor thing could be tryſted with; and that which was soreſt to me, not having that meaſure of ſenſe of thy preſence as ſometimes before; but O that condeſcendence! O that fatherly love! that did not ſuffer me to sink in this ſtorm, which was lightly looked on by the moſt part; few to ſympathize with me, but many thinking it their duty to add to my affliction. O praiſes! praiſes be to thee, who at that time helped me to sit silent, bearing thy indignation patiently becauſe I sinned againſt thee; yet thy mercies did not fail towards me, but thou didſt in this extremity ſupport me, and did, by reſtraining grace, bind me in, not giving me liberty to ſeek sinful deliverances. O Lord, continue in thy love in keeping me in thy way, that I may have reaſon to ſet up my Ebednezzar, and to ſay, Hitherto the Lord hath helped me. O thou that haſt begun this good work, perfect it, that I may praiſe thy holy name tho' time and all eternity. And now, O Lord, out of the ſenſe of all theſe thy loving kindneſs towards thy poor handmaid, I desire in thy ſtrength to renew former engagements, and ſolemnly anew to enter is to covenant with thee. O honour. Praiſe be to thee, whoſe care of me was ſuch that it was miniſters who were valiant for Chriſt that he ſent in my way; ſuch as did not flatter me in my sin, but faithfully and freely did hold out in the goſpel what was sin and what was duty, and ſealed the ſame with their blood How didſt thou encourage me with many ſweet anſwers of prayers to confirm me in thy love. Thou didſt help me in the days of thy love to me, to make a full resignation of all that was mine unto thee. When I was put out of all, ſtripped bare and deſtitute, not knowing of ſhelter to me and my poor babes, how calmly and quietly didſt thou help me to go under it! ſo that I was made to fear that it was ſtupidity, and not ſupporting grace. And ſuch was thy love, that even in that thou would not let me go without reproof; for there was a friend ſuffered to wrong me in a busineſs, and the Lord withdrew, and then I was as a bullock unaccuſtomed to the yoke; I could not get it borne, until I mourned for my folly, in thinking that nature could do any thing in me without aſsiſting grace: then he helped me to make a full resignation anew of all that was mine, and to look beyond all earthly portions unto that noble inheritance which thou haſt purchaſed with thine own blood, and gave me a full contentedneſs in all no ſufferings, both from friends and foes, Lord, help me to go sincerely about it, and let the preſence go along with the duty.
O Lord, I here desire to enter ſolemnly into covenant with thee, taking thee for my Lord and Maſter, accepting thee on thy own terms taking thee for my King, Prieſt and Prophet; and in my ſtation, thro’ thy grace, to ſtand by truth, and cheerfully to take on thy yoke and follow thee. Lord, thou knoweſt my weakneſs: I desire to believe that thou wilt be a preſent help in the day of need, to me, according to thy promiſe; and I, in the faith of this, do go onː-I here give my hearty content to thy coming and taking poſſeſsion of my ſoul and to thy caſting out of all there that ſtands in opposition to thee. Come, Lord Jeſus, ſubdue all my corruptions, and bring them under my feet, that I may be thro' thee a conqueror over them. I desire here to take thee for my All, to be ruled and governed by thee, acquieſcing to whatſoever ſhall be the way of dealing with me. Give me thyſelf, and this ſhall be all my desire: I desire to enter my proteſtation at the throne of grace againſt all principalities and powers in me that ſtand out againſt thee, and ſhall endeavour in thy ſtrength; to war againſt them, for they reign as tyrants not having conſent. Whatever I have been, I dare here accept of the offer of peace thro' Chriſt, and do make a ſure covenant with thee this day never to be reverſed, hoping thou wilt make all forthcoming unto me, both on thy part and mine.—I desire here to own all the contraverted truths that are founded on thy holy word; which word I desire to be my rule, and to confeſs me before men, that thou mayeſt confeſs me before the Father Lord, give me in that hour, if I ſhall be brought before great ones for thy names ſake, I desire to adhere to all the articles of the Covenants, National and Solemn League, to which I am engaged; only I diſown the king’s part of it, he having unkinged himſelf by the breach of Covenants, and by making our land a land of graven images that was ſo ſolemnly given up to God: I desire in weakneſs to adhere to it, altho' burnt by the hand of the hangman, and now buried by thoſe that better things were expected oh O Lord, I desire to cloſe all, by giving myſelf up to thee, and all mine. Accept Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and help to perform, and own me as thy covenanted child proteſting humbly, and failing on my part (againſt which I reſolve as thou knoweſt) ſhall not make void this covenant. I have accepted of thy offer upon thy own terms, and will henceforth wait for what is good, that when thou comeſt I may rejoice in thee crying, This is my God, I have waited for him. As witneſs my hand at Blackneſs Castle.
December, Sic ſubſcribitur,
The ſecond dated at
Earlſton, January, 1691.
LORD, thou knoweſt my former engagement which paſt betwixt my ſoul and thee, when I entered into covenant with thee (to my ſoul's great comfort) in the ſweet Caſtle of Blackneſs.—I giving myself up unto thee promising to be for the in my, ſtation adhering to thy ſacred ſcriptures, and to our noble work of reformation, which was then the head of my ſufferings, and for which I had loſt the favour of my relations and chriſtian friends, whoſe untenderneſs to me made me sit ſolitary, eating the bread of adversity, and drinking the water of affliction; killed all the day long with ſore and heavy reproaches; tow or none to ſympathize with me but thyſelf, who ſweetned all my trials with the ſoul comforting conſolation of thy Holy Spirit; ſuch contentedneſs thou gave me in thy ſweets croſs, that I never knew what it was for to weary.—I at that time engaged to endure what ingredients thou ſhouldeſt put in my cup to drink, and to drink chearfully and ſubmiſsively.—Such was thy love to me, that thou brought me from under the feet of that cruel enemy, without wronging truth; and haſt letten me ſee, that I have nothing to boaſt of — it being nothing in me but ever free grace that perfected ſtrength in the weakneſs, O that I had the tongue of the learned, that I might ſhew all thy praiſes! It was not I, but thou who magnified thy power, in carrying a poor weak thing thro’ ſuch-depths, and ſuffered great ones to ſtagger and fall in the way — Thy word was made out in making uſe of the fooliſh things of the world to confound the wiſe—Thou haſt made thy infinite love to carry thro' a poor finite creature.
How often have I been made to ſtand and wonder and admire free love; knowing my own weakneſs, and the many infirmities I am liable to, by a body of sin and death: ſuch was thy love, that thou gave me ſuch courage, that neither the flattering of friends nor the threats of enemies would move me to do any thing to truth’s disadvantageǃ Such was thy love to me! O thy ſweet croſsǃ thy yoke was made eaſy to me, and thy burden light. O that any ſhould fear at thy ſoul inſtructing rods! How many leſsons of Chriſtianity are to be learned under thy rodǃ So much comfort and conſolation is to be found quitely and calmly acquieſcing to his will, that I may ſay, I ſhall never have ſuch contentedneſs, were I to be inheritor of the whole world, as I had under the sweet croſs of Chriſt. O praiſes! praiſes to him who made it ſoǃ———But with what a heavy heart did I come out of that Caſtle of Blackneſsǃ The Lord did give me ſuch a tight of the intricate diſpenſations that the Church was to meet with, by the coming of the Prince of Orange, that inſtead of being compaſt about with ſongs of deliverance, it was attended with great heavineſs: I could take pleaſure in nothing, but mourning over the ſad things I ſaw coming on the Church. When others were rejoicing, I durſt not make mention of my diſconſolate caſe. When they ſpake preferment to my family, it was as a ſword to my heart, I cried, and the Lord heard me in that; and inſtead of that, he gave me the aſsurance of the ſalvation of my dear child William, and gave me full ſubmiſsion to his sickneſs, which I could never win to before — accompained with many ſweet melting days, which was to me an inexpreſsible mercy. Oh, thenǃ what did I ſee next? The work of God betrayed, not by enemies, nor by that party only that had sitten at their eaſe, but by thoſe miniſters and the greatitude we have ſhewn him for all his loving kindneſs to us in the wilderneſsǃ Is this for his feeding, cloathing and preserving in deſpight of enemies! Is this all we have rendered to him—to run as ſo many ſheep out of a fold, every one to what he could win at, without ever looking and considering what was their duty to do in ſuch a time for Chriſt and his cauſe! O! wrath is gone out againſt us! Plague upon plague is the portion for profeſsors of this generation! O Lord, I fear I, and many others, have been building upon a ſandy foundation; ſuffering more out of an expectation of a temporal delivery, than out of love to Chriſt and his cauſeǃ the event of the ſufferings of Scotland ſpeaks out the truth of this,—the fight whereof has made my heart to trouble. Therefore, O Lord I desire that you wouldeſt uncover the deceit of my heart in this with a true ſenſe of it upon my ſpirit; that I may mourn in ſecret places for it. O! give me thy abiding grace and helping hand in this reeling, fainting and failing time, that I may be helped, in singleneſs and uprightings of heart, and in sincerity without hypocriſy or guile, to lay that foundation ſtone right which is Jesus Chriſt. O come and give thy conſent to this covenant and bargain this day: let thy preſence ſhew thy ſatisſaction in it, that I may win to the faith—that not only I have covenanted with thee, but that thou haſt condeſended in thy. people that had jeoparded their lives in the high places of the fields taking chearfully the ſpoiling of their goods;—theſe are they that have buried the work of the Lord ſadened the hearts of their poor affliction brethren buried the Covenant and the Reformaation work, which was the glory of our land.
ſeeing all this with the home-coming to my houſe, which I thought I never would have enjoyed again till Chriſt had been reſtored to his rights ; for, O Lord, thou knowest that I desired not delivery till it had come with Zion's I ſay, this caſt me into a great grief. Lord thou knoweſt my burden; it is not hid from thee and it is all my comfort. O the depths of the intricate diſpenſations I have been tryſted with since I came out of that forehead Caſtleǃ If it were not that my caſe and Zion’s is ſomewhat levelled alike, ſurely I would ſink beneath the ſtream; but, the cup which my father had given me, ſhall I not drink it? Lord, help me, that I weary not before it be at an end.
Would it not affect any ſoul that ever had any love to Chriſt, to ſee the ſad fruit of a perſonal delivery;—every one running out of the furnace after the world, and alter his own rights and privileges, without being concerned to enquire how Chriſt inveſted him in his rights and prerogatives. Ohǃ is this infinite love to covenant with me, and haſt made it ſure for every thing.—Now,Lord, I desire to enter into covenant with thee this day, in opposition to all the corruptions of a body of sin and death that I am maſtered with:—I desire, in thy sight, to proteſt againft all things in me, or in my family, that is not like thee;—and this day, to invite thee back to my houſe on any terms,—and do not break us with thy long abſence—Come, Lord Jeſus, and take up thy dwelling amongſt us—we are a heartleſs company without thee.—Come to the heads, and tell us what is duty, and our duty; and put work in our hands. Art thou paſsing by us as one that hath no more work for us to do? O Lord, I cannot think upon this; let not our iniquities put a ſtop in thy way: come over the mountains of opposition, and put us to duty, and keep us at duty and dwell with us. I invite thee to come to my poor babes; let them be of the little children that thou ſuffers to come unto thee. Salvation to him that appears to be near his cloſe: let him have mercy in, and thro’, a compleat Mediator Chriſt; let thy ſympathy and free love be extended towards him—he being one of thy ſuffers wanting the adminiſration of thy Sacrament of Baptiſm, becauſe of the unfaithfulneſs of miniſters. Lord, thou knoweſt, that it was not in contempt of thy holy ordinance that it was wanting; but we could not, in our ſtation, ſhew in a more eminent way our dislike to the injuries done to thee. O Lord unfaithful miniſters: all their treachery is well known unto thee. Lord, break the ſnares, and let thy poor flock eſcape; and haſten the day when my kids ſhall feed beside the ſhepherd's tents. I invite thee this day to every ſoul within my family; let the work of grace be amongſt them all,—every one encouraging another in the way of duty, that we may be a little sanctuary for thee to dwell in.—I invite thee, O Lord, this day, to return to poor covenanted Scotland; altho’ ſhe has broken covenant with thee yet thou muſt not give up with her. Remember thy former loving kindneſs to her and, for thine own name's ſake, return, return, and deliver. Are not enemies rejoicing, that they have gotten of the ſons and daughters of Zion to help them to lay on the grave-ſtone, to hold down the work? Are not enemies crying, Where is the covenanted God of Scotland,—and ſaying, If this work had been of God, it would have ſtood; So that all the blood of thy people, and the cauſe of God for which they ſuffered, is now buried, with the mockery of some and joy of others But thou, who art the lion of the tribe of Judah, rouſe up thyself, and let it be known to all nations, that the covenanted God of Scotland lives and reigns! O that the reſurrection of thy buried and put forth their hands to iniquity—I desire this day to convenant with thee, in opposition to all the power civil and ecclesiaſtic, that has eaten out the life of Chriſtianity, and ſtands in opposition to thee and thy precious truths—and engage never to own them, till they be for thee. This I engage, in the ſtrength of the Lord.
I adhere to all the truths of the Old and New Teſtaments; and to all the teſtimonies of thy people (given by them) for carrying on thy work.—I desire to adhere to the now buried Covenants, and to all the work of reformation which is founded upon thy word. Lord, help a poor weak inſufficient creature to hold by this vow ; and in paying vows unto thee I do this day give up my dear huſband unto thee, and all my children, that thou mayeſt make them for thee, and employ them in thy ſervice—be the hazard what it will.
O Lord, take them off my hand, that they may be marked in thy love in that day when thou goeſt thro’ the land with the devouring ſword let them get their ſouls for a prey, and be found within the bounds of the everlaſting covenant. This is all my desire— grace in exerciſe be their portion. work were more glorious than everǃ Let Zion’s walls be built again ſo that ſhe may be beautiful as Tirza, comely as Jeruſalem, fair as the moon clear as the ſun and terrible as an army with banners,- ſo that her enemies may tremble; and her children, who for a long time have been mourning over her rubbiſh, may rejoice in her comely order, and be compaſsed about with ſongs — I invite thee to the poor betrayed ſcattered ſocieties of Scotland, that thou art now juſtly contending with. The marks of thy displeaſure are evidently to be ſeen in every meeting; an abſent God in every piece of duty; love and tenderneſs much gone; heart-burnings and like a practical work among the moſt part, or making any progreſs in the way or Chriſtianity: Is not all this come upon us, becauſe our God is not amongſt usǃ O that thou, O Lord, wouldeſt return and make known for what thou are contending, and remove their spiritual plagues, and let thy Spirit be poured out among the sinners in Zion, and let them again behold the King's face in peace.—I deſire to invite thee to every afflicted and wearied ſoul that is loſt and like to faint on the dark mountains paſsing thro' dark ſteps, and none to ſpeak comfortably unto them, but every one adoing grief to grief. Lord, appear thou for their help, and ſhorten theſe days for the elect’s ſake, leſt they faint under the burden.
I do this day ſolemlny enter into covenant with thee holding up my hands, vowing to be thine, giving up myſelf unto thee, cloſing with thee in thine own terms, begging thee to come and put to thy ſeal to this great work: and I desire, that this covenant may be as a ſtaff to hold me up from ſtaggering on the dark mountains. Lord help me to have a practice in sincerity, like one covenant with thee. O LORD, I do take the ſtones in the wall, and the timber of the houſe, to witneſses, that I have given up myſelf, and all mine, into thee, O Lord this day. As witneſs my hand.At Earlston,
The third dated as
Airds, June, 1695.
Out of the ſenſe of my own weakneſs, and the great falling away of this generation, do desire to renew my covenant engagements. The Lord has been kind unto me; has not been a barren wildernefs, nor land of drought in the day of famine—he has fed me in the green paſtures. O for grace to improve all thy loving kindneſs which I desire to do only in thy ſtrength. O help meǃ Accept of my weak performances, which I deſire me to covenant aright with thee, and to keep covenant vows to theeǃ I do again give up all that I have unto thee. I give up my dear ſympathizing huſband to thee: put work in his hand that may be for thy glory his ſoul's comfort and truth's advantage, that we may rejoice in thee in the way of thy ſalvation. I likewiſe give up my dear brother unto thee; his cauſe is known unto thee thou haſt hitherto helped him, and I desire to believe thou wilt continue thy love. Lord, thou haſt given a little flock; dear and precious Chriſt as thou haſt given them unto me, I do freely and ſolemnly give them back unto thee, and desire that thou mayeſt diſpoſe of them at thy pleaſure;—only, let grace be given to them, that they may be employed, in their ſtations, for thy glory—and be kept from the abomination of the time. Do with them, as to the world, as thou thinks fit, only, convey grace down to their poſterity; let them be pleaders ſor thee as I have pleaded for them as the throne of grace: this is all my desire, and would be my comfort to ſee. O Lord, come this day and ſmile upon my poor gift, and accept o them." I ſolemnly ſtand to all my former engagements, and make a ſolemn resignation of myſelf unto thee, and desire to cloſe with thee on thine own terms. O ſet to thy ſeal to it, and condeſcend in thy love to let it be regiſtrate in heaven that whatever may be may cauſe or trials. I may have a covenanted God to run to. Lord, keep me in thy way, and help me to ſtand by truth, I desire this day to proteſt againſt all the incroachment made on thy rights and Church privileges: and I desire to proteſt, this day, before thy throne, againſt the ſoul-mudering courſes of miniſters and people adopted: and I desire to proteſt againſt that horrid abomination of defiling the Lord's Table after ſuch an ignominious manner.
Oh, poor Scotland! what ſhall be thy end? Wrath from on high, for your ſacriligious abominations. I desire, this day, to adhere to all thy covenanted truths, founded on thy holy word.— desire to mourn over any thing that is in me or mine, that is offensive in thy sight. O Lord, let us be wholly for thee, acting for thee with a perfect heart. I desire no longer to have a poſterity than they are for thee. O Father, Son and Holy Ghoſt, come and be witnesses to this bargain, and cloſe with me that desires to close with thee, any to be thy covenanted child. Here I take all the trees of the wood, and all the works of creation about me, to witneſs, that I have given all mine unto thee. not in my ſtrength but in thine. O Lord Jehovah, to whom I desire everlaſting praiſes, that thou haſt not ſuffered my table to be empty whilſt others are defiling thine! O praiſe A praiſe for ever be to thee. As witneſs my hand,
N B. If any ſuspect this to be vitiate or counterfeit, they may go to her huſband, who can ſhew them the principal, all written and ſubſcribed with her own hand.
This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.