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Mr Balfour gives up his nomination to Lady Glenorchy's ChapelLady Glenorchy, thrown into renewed perplexity, actually leaves Scotland-Extracts from Diary-Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Mrs Walker-Decision of the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, respecting her Chapel in Edinburgh-Lady Glenorchy at Exeter-There the author first becomes acquainted with her-She visits Exmouth— Erects a Chapel there-Goes to Plymouth Dock-Extracts from Diary, from December 1, to December 15, 1776-Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell-Goes to Dorsetshire-Visits the Isle of Wight-Crosses over to Southampton-Arrives in London-Extracts from Diary, from January 27, to February 19, 1777-Meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland-Sets apart a day of prayer to God, to request, that he would overrule the Decision of the General Assembly-Favourable Sentence of the General Assembly-Lady Glenorchy returns to Scotland-Letter from Lady Glenorchy to the Rev. Mr Jones-Extracts from Diary.
IN prosecution of the design of Mr Balfour's settlement in Lady Glenorchy's Chapel, he, at the first meeting of the Presbytery of Dunblane, in whose bounds the parish of Lecropt is situated, tendered his resignation of the charge of his parish into the hands of the Presbytery, when, contrary to all expectation, and to general practice, they refused to receive it. This new and serious difficulty, which would have required a long and vexatious contest in the Church Courts to remove, determined him to give up his nomination to Lady Glenorchy's chapel. This threw Lady Glenorchy back into her former state of perplexity and distress, and led her not merely to resolve, but actually
to take measures for leaving Scotland. This appears from the following extract and letter:
October. After frequent prayer to God for direction, I was led to determine upon leaving my own country for a season, perhaps for ever. The bad state of my health, which seemed partly owing to the trials I have met with, together with the opinion of the physicians that I should live in a warmer climate, made me see it to be my duty to go to the south of England, which I preferred to that of France, on account of having the benefit of the ordinances of the gospel. I earnestly begged of the Lord, that if his presence went not with me, I might not leave home; and that, if I did go, he might make me a savour of Christ in every place. About the middle of October (1776) I set out with one man and one maid-servant, after selling off my cattle and horses, and leaving orders to sell my lands, when a purchaser should offer. I felt much heart satisfaction upon the road, from a sense of the eye of the Lord being upon me as a guide. To him I committed my way, desiring to settle wherever I might receive good, or be of use to his church. I had occasion to remark an answer to this prayer in several instances upon the road; being undesignedly led to stop at places where some things were attempted for the good of souls. From Hawkstone, my friend, Miss Hill, accompanied me, and we travelled on to Bath and Wells, where we first met with
who promised to meet me at Exeter, and accompany us to any place we fixed on, and to act as my chaplain.
LETTER TO MRS WALKER.
Lady Glenorchy to Mrs Bailie Walker.
"Hawkstone, 19th October.
"My dear Madam,-I wrote you a few hasty lines from Carlisle, which I hope you received: Since then, I have continued my journey under the protection of the same gracious God, who hath never left me, but preserved and comforted me in all places and times, in sickness and health, and brought me safe to this place, where I found my kind friends all well; their souls, I trust, prospering, as well as their material part; and their hearts as much inclined as ever to glorify God with their bodies and spirits, which are his. My friend and I are to set out from this place on Wednesday for Bath, where I purpose staying till after the 30th of October, which is a day I wish to observe with my family, in imploring the direction of God how to proceed in the affairs of the chapel; and also for his blessing upon every means used for the spread of the gospel in all places, in Scotland in particular, pleading, as in Psalm lxxxv. ver. 6.
That in thee may thy people joy,
Wilt thou not us revive?
Show us thy mercy, Lord, to us
Do thy salvation give.
"I hope to meet you, and many others that day, at a throne of grace.
"We have not yet determined any thing farther than to go to Bath, and to pay a visit to Mrs Tudway at Wells, and there to consider where to go next. The Lord, I hope, will guide and lead us to the place where he would have us to be, and where he will employ us in his work, and refresh our souls with his presence. This is all I desire, if I know any thing of my own
heart. To his care and infinite grace and love I commend you, my very dear friend, begging to be remembered by you, as an unworthy but needy sinner, and as such, a proper object of the Saviour's compassion; and in every situation, with sincere affection, yours, "W. G."
At Wells, Lady Glenorchy and her friend, Miss Hill, paid a visit to Mrs Tudway, the lady of Clemant Tudway, Esq. who was many sessions member of Parliament for that city. Here she received an account of the decision of the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale with respect to her chapel. She had written a letter to Dr Webster, requesting him to inform the Presbytery, that she intended to give them no further trouble with respect to Mr Balfour's settlement in her chapel, as he had determined to remain at Lecropt. This intimation was received by the Presbytery without remark, and ordered to be inserted in their minutes. In these circumstances, the friends of the chapel concluded, that as the occasion of complaint to the Synod was thus taken away, the complaint itself would consequently be withdrawn, and under this impression some of them did not attend the meeting of Synod. The complainants, however, collected their friends on the occasion, all of whom together did not amount to nearly the number of the members of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, who were excluded from judging in the question, being parties. After much discussion, the Synod, without a vote, on the motion of Dr Carlyle, minister of the parish of Inveresk, pronounced a sentence reversing that of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and discharging all the ministers and probationers within their bounds from officiating in the said chapel; and further discharging the ministers
MEETS MR HOLMES.
of this church, to employ any minister of the said chapel to officiate for them; a sentence which was considered both extraordinary and extrajudicial.
Against this judgment, Dr Erskine, Mr Walker, and Mr Johnston, (minister of the parish of North Leith), protested and appealed to the ensuing General Assembly, and on the day following Dr Webster joined in this protest and appeal, which, at the next Presbytery, these ministers were appointed to support at the bar of the General Assembly.
On the last day of November, Lady Glenorchy and her fellow-traveller proceeded westward, literally as Abraham, not knowing whither they went, but like Abraham also, walking before God towards the inheritance which fadeth not away, and both receiving and scattering blessings as they went along. At Exeter, she met with Mr Holmes, a gentleman of a congenial spirit to her own. He had been, in his youth, a merchant trading to Lisbon, and early in life had acquired an ample fortune: he had now, however, retired from business, and was the kind and generous friend of every good man who happened to be brought within the sphere of his notice, and the munificent patron of every work of piety and charity. His house was made by him and his excellent lady, the welcome home of every approved minister of the gospel who passed through their city, where they found every thing which could delight a well informed and well disposed mind. For the space of two years and a half, the writer of these pages resided at Plymouth Dock, as assistant to an aged minister in that place; during which period, many weeks never elapsed without his visiting their hospitable roof. In the beginning of December, he accompanied a young gentleman of rank and fortune in the west of England, from Plymouth to Exeter, and on entering Mr Holmes'