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Andrew Gray

It appears that Mr Gray, was born about the year 1634, and being very early sent to college, was prepared for license by his twentieth year. He, shortly after, was called to be minister of the Outer high Church of Glasgow, where his notable gifts as a preacher soon procured for him an extensive reputation and a numerous auditory. People from all quarters flocked to hear him, it being their constant emulation who should be most under the refreshing drops of his ministry. He was allowed to continue in his blessed work only for about two years and a half, when it pleased his divine Master to call him home. It is to be regretted that his last words were not recorded. we may learn, however, what were his spiritual exercises, and what his concern for the church's prosperity, and what his desire to save souls, from the following letter, addressed by him to Lord Warriston, a little before his death, and bearing the date February 7th, 1656.

'My Lord, - It may seem strange, that after so long interruption of intercourse with your lordship by letters, i should at this juncture of time write to you, wherein there seems to be a toleration of tongues, and lusts, and religion, wherein many by their practice say, ' our tongues are our own.' I am afraid, that sad word shall be spoken to Scotland yet seven times more, ' That whereas he hath chastised with whips, he will do it by scorpions, and his finger shall be heavier than his loins in former times.' If our judgements that seem to approach, were known, and these terrible things in righteousness, by which He, whose furnace is in Jerusalem, is like to speak to us, were seen and printed on a board, it might make us cry out, ' Who shall live when God doth these things, and who can dwell with everlasting burnings?'

He hath broken His staff of bands, and is threatening to break His staff of beauty, that His covenant which He hath made with all the people, might not be broken. Is it not to be feared, ' That the sword of the justice of God is bathed in heaven, and will come down to make sacrifice, not in the land of Idumea, or Bozrah, but on these that were once His people, who hath broken His everlasting covenant, and changed His ordinances? What shall Scotland be called? Loruhamah and Lo-ammi, who was termed Beulah and Hephzibah, ' A people delighted in, and married to the Lord.'  I think the curse in Zeph. 1:17 is much accomplished in our days, ' They shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord.' Does not our carriage under all these speaking and afflicting dispensations, fighting against God in the furnace, and our dross not departing from us, speak this with our hearts, ' That for three transgressions, and for four, He will not turn away the punishment of these covenanted lands?' And this shall be our blot in all generations - ' this is that Scotland that in its affliction, sins more and more.' It is no wonder then, that we put to our, 'How long, how long wilt Thou hide Thy face? How long wilt Thou not forget, O Lord? O Lord, how shall Thy jealousy burn like a fire, and we hear the confused noise of war, and of rumours of war?'

'Since God has put it, ' How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter?' Jeremiah 31:22. Are ye not gadding about to change, turning His glory into shame, and loving lying vanities? And there are four 'How longs' that God is put to lament over Scotland, and which are most found in Luke 9:41. ' How long shall I be with you and suffer you?' Is not Christ necessitate to depart, and to make us a land sown with salt and grass in our most frequented congregations? Aye, believe it, before long, these two words shall be our lot, there is that in Jeremiah 2:31. ' O generation, see the word of the Lord;' when these dispensations; when all our threats shall be preached to our ears; and that word in Hosea 7:12. 'I will chastise them as their coasts, and to subscribe the bill of divorce (in a manner) before Christ subscribe it? It is like, these three sad evidences of affliction that are in Isaiah 47:11. ' Shall come upon us in their perfection.' I shall add no more on a sad subject.'

' My lord, not being able to write to you with my own hand, I have thought fit to present these few thoughts to you by the hand of a friend.'

' I know not, (I will not limit Him) but I stand within that judgement hall, where that glorious and spotless High Priest doth sit, with that rain that does fill the temple: and, O to be among the last of these that are bidden come in, and partake of that everlasting peace! O what a poor report will the messengers of the covenant and gospel make, whose image they crucify in their hearts, to whom I may apply these words by allusion, ' The morning of conversion is to them as the terrors of death, and  as the terrors of the breaking in of the day to the destroying of them?'

What a poor account will some of us make, both as to the answer of our conscience, and as to the answer of His pains taken upon us, and as to the answer of His promises, and as to the answer of His threatenings, and as to the answer of His commands, and as to the answer to our light? Now, not to trouble your lordship, whom I also highly reverence, and my soul was knit unto in the Lord, but that you would speak my case to the great Master of requests, and my broken case before Him, who has pleaded the desperate case of many, according to the sweet word in Lamentations 3:56 - this is all at this time from one in a very weak condition, in a great fever, who for much of seven nights has but little sleep at all, but has been kept in a right sad and grievous torment from his hand, with many other sad particulars and circumstances.

' I shall say now no more, but I am yours in some single respects, I hope, I may say, dying in Christ.'