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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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to. But what with his preaching against the king, denouncing the nobles as oppressors of their tenantry, and condemning the Commons for imitating their vices, Edinburgh soon again got too hot to hold him, and he was counselled to accept a rural charge. He remained in the above charge, however, till called to Prestonpans.
In the spring of 1595 he was named for the second charge of Haddington, but proceedings for his settlement were suddenly broken off. On the 5th November 1595, the Presbytery of Haddington took initiatory measures for his being called to the ministry " at South Preston and ye Panns, east and west, and ye haill bounds yairabout, belonging alswill to my Lord Newbattle as to ye Laird of Prestoun. "
Mr Davidson demanded "a lawful call, " and in order thereto preached at Salt Preston on the 19th November 1595, and again on the 17th December.
He was cordially invited by the people to become their pastor, and Lord Newbattle having expressed concurrence, his induction was proceeded with. That event took place on the 5th January 1596, when Mr Davidson made a long address to his flock, and proposed to them certain religious stipulations. On the 9th December he had preached a valedictory discourse at Edinburgh. In that discourse he used these words: —
" I came not hither by haphazard, but sent of God more than sevin yeers since. So long as I had place to teache, I dealt faithfullie according to the meane measure of knowledge bestowed on me, after a rude and familiar way, of verie purpose for edificatioun's sake; whereas I could have done otherwise if my conscience would have suffered me. It was compted rude and rough by manie; but I thanke God I wist what I spake; so that I have uttered nothing against prince, preacher, or people which I have not my warrant for, and bye the helpe of God will stand to the defence of it in face of man or angell. So that my first preaching and last are one, without differing, to witt, that the princes of the land, the king, the chiefe prince, with the rest of the rebellious nobilitie, the profane ministrie are negligent for the most part to winne soules, and the rebellious multitude sail be severlie punished except they repent.
" I have sought to be away, but could not till that it has pleased the Lord to ryppin my departure. It was nather a drinke of the Muse Well nor anie other benefite in Edinburgh that drew me to it like an adamant stone, as some speeke, or that keeped me here; but the mightie hand of God sent me
hither, for causes known to Him, and so having cleered my ministrie hitherto I take my leave of you in Christ. "
The Presbytery Records, loth March 1595-6, contain the following minute: —
"The haill gentlemen being required to reform their houses and use prayers at morn and evening, with reading of the Scriptures after dinner and supper, promised to obey; and for execution thereof every minister was ordered to visit their houses and see whether it was so or not; and for behoof of the unlearned Mr John Davidson was ordained to pen short morning and evening prayers, with graces before and after meat, to be communicated to each minister for behoof of his flock. "
The Presbytery met on the 17th March, when the forms of prayer prepared by Mr Davidson were approved. These were as follows: —
" Blis us gude Lord and ther thi creatures quhilk the pre-parest for our nurishment through Jesus Christ our Lord. —Amen. "
" Blissit be you, O Lord, for this nourishment of our bodies at this tyme and mekle mair for the continuall nurishment of our saullis by Christ crucefyit. To quham with the Father and the Haly Gaist be praise and gloire for ever. God save the Kirk and countrey, King, Quene, and Prince. —Amen. "
" We hairtlie thank the" Hevinlie Father for all thi goodnes this nycht past beseiking the to forgive us our sinnes for Christ Jesus thi sonnes saik, and blis our labouris and guid us this day in thi trew feire. Continew the trew preaching of thi Word among us and give us grace to esteme mair of it than hitherto we have done, and save us from merciles strangeris, and tak not thi peace from this land. Send us sesonabull wether and stay this greit dearth. Lord blis the Kirk, and King, Quene, and Prince, for Christ Jesus thi sonnes saik. To quhome with the, O Father and Haly Gaist, be all praise gloire and honour, for ever and ever. —Amen. "
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