John Stevenson of Carrick - How John Welsh was the cause of his Conversion
Both doctrine and application had great weight with me, and
made me go away longing to be reconciled to God, and resolved never to be easy
till it were so.
After this, in the same year, 1678, and 12th of August, I heard Mr John Welsh on Craigdowhill, who preached on the above- named text, 2 Cor. v. 20, and insisted chiefly on this, "We beseech you, be ye reconciled to God." In speaking to which words, the Lord helped his servant, not only to show what it was to be reconciled to God, but also earnestly to press reconciliation, and to make a free, full, and pressing offer of glorious Christ as Mediator and day's-man, and the great peace-maker, who would make up the breach, and bring about this much needed reconciliation. I, being fully convinced how greatly I needed this reconciliation and day's- man, who is the only way to the Father, I with all my heart and soul did cordially and cheerfully make the offer welcome, and with out known guile, did accept of and receive glorious Christ on his own terms in all his offices as Mediator, and did give myself away to the Lord in a personal and perpetual covenant never to be forgotten, accepting of God for my Lord, and my God, and my guide to the death, and great reward after it; resolving, though strange lords had dominion over me, yet henceforth I would be called by His name, whom I now avouched for my only God and Lord; upon which I took the heavens, earth, and sun in the firmament that was shining on us, as also the ambassador who made the offer, and clerk who raised the Psalms, I say, I took all these to witness in the great judgment-day, that I had uprightly and cheerfully entered into this everlasting marriage covenant, resolved through grace to be stedfast in his covenant till death.
After which, my soul was filled with joy and peace in believing; it was a joy unspeakable and glorious, having now got good hope through grace, that though he was angry, yet now his anger was turned away, and he was now become my salvation. I rejoiced in the thoughts of my new relation to God the Saviour, and felt the ravishing sweetness of a reconciled state, and went away firmly resolving that I would walk all my days in the bitterness of my soul, and never be vainly lifted up, but would fear the Lord and his goodness, who had so far condescended to stoop so low as to pardon a rebel, and be reconciled and pacified to me after all I had done, and all my bones at this very time shall and do cry out, "Who is a God like unto thee, a God keeping covenant, and whose faithfulness and mercy endure to all generations ?" Though after this sensible and sweet covenanting with God on the hill of Craigdow, I always studied to improve this covenant relation with God, according to my various cases, tentations, necessities, and distresses, yet the most memorable time of my renewing this covenant was at Craigdarroch in Nithsdale.
In the year 1686, where in secret prayer the Lord determined to renew that covenant I had entered into with him on Craigdowhill, and wonderfully condescended to bring me as it were nigh to his seat, and filled my mouth with arguments, and allowed me to plead with him as a man does with a reconciled friend; there was I helped with great enlargement to renew and adhere to the everlasting covenant, and there the kind God manifested himself to me otherwise than to the world, and I may say that truly my fellowship was with the Father, and with his dear Son Jesus, in as sensible a way and eminent degree as ever I met with before or since, though many times he has been even since kind to my soul."
From "Select Biographies" by Rev. W.K.Tweedie
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