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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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Teacher—Whereof cometh this thy bentness to actuall sinne, and breaking of God's commandements?
Disciple—Of the corruption of nature, from my first parents, Adam and Eve, called originall sinne.
Teacher— Howe were they corrupted, seing they were made gude at the beginning?
Disciple—By the deceit of Sattan, in the serpent making them brake God's commandement.
Teacher—What was the commandement they brake?
Disciple—They ate of the frute of the tree in Paridise, whairof God forbad them to eate.
Teacher—Brought this their fault condemnation on them and their haill posteritie?
Disciple—Yes: for in them wee all sinned, and who can bring ane cleane thing out of filthiness? sa having sinne fra them we have also death and damnation, the reward of sinne through them.
Teacher—Then all being sinners by nature, we are all by nature the children of wrath and condemnation?
Disciple, —It is so; for as by ane man sinne entered into the warld, and death by sinne; sa death went over all men, because all men have sinned. "
There are other three parts of the Catechism, about equal in length to the foregoing, and the whole is finished up with a—
" Note to the author, touching the Short Catechisme immediatlie going before.
" I thank God for your precious pearles, little in quantitie, but infinite in waight. I allow and approve the perspecuitie, ardour, and substantious comprising of so great mysteries in little bounds.
" The judgement of another learned man: —
" There is not an idle word heir.
" N. (B. )—If anything be wrang heir, it is of weaknesse and not of wilfulnes, and therfore is humbly submitted to the loving and advised correction of the Godlie learned by God's word. "
A couple of prayers, also by Davidson, follow, and the following note is in reference thereto: —
"These formes of praier and thanksgiving following are onely for thankful persons to God for His benefites, and not for profane abusers and gracelesse devourers thereof: wha the mair wealth they have by God's gift, and the better cheere they make, the mair forgetfull of God they are, and swell in pride and disdaine against all true thankfulnesse, swashing downe to the table like swyne, and starting up like dogs when they ar filled: thinking the true praising of God (namely, at table) to bee but monkish hypocrisie, or Popish ceremonie, or loste time, " etc., etc.
In March 1603 James succeeded to the English throne. On the suggestion of the Presbytery of Edinburgh Mr Davidson approached His Majesty with congratulations on his advancement, and an expression of earnest desire for his spiritual welfare. He sought permission to kiss the King's hand. The occasion was opportune for the exercise of clemency, but His Majesty had no favour to bestow on his reprover.
In his progress southward the King passed through the parish of Prestonpans, and the " Provincial Synod " met in the neighbourhood and despatched a deputation to the King, praying that Davidson might be pardoned and admitted to homage. To the deputists James said angrily, "I may be gracious, but I will be also righteous, and until he suitably confesses his fault, he may lie and rot there. "
Davidson at this period was sick and infirm, and confined within the bounds of his parish; but the end was near, and he died between the 16th of August and the 5th of September of that same year 1603, at the age of about fifty-six years.
A little before his death he penned a treatise, " De Hortibus Ecclesia Christi, " wherein he affirms "that the erecting of bishops in the kirk is the most subtle thing to destroy religion that ever could be devised. "
" His papers after his death, " says Calderwood, "came into the hands of John Johnstone, Melville's colleague. "
" Item, I leave the trunk that lyes under the buirde, wt Mr Johne Davidsone's papers thairin, to Mr Robt. Wallace and Mr Alexr. Hoome at Prestounpannes. "—(Johnstone's Testament. }
At Johnstone's death an order was issued by the Lords of Privy Council (21stNovember 16n) to the Rector of the University and Provost and Bailies of St Andrews to " cause his coffers to be closed, " as it is understood "that he had sundrie paperis, writtis, and books, pairtlie written be himself and pairtlie be uthers, qlk contenis sum purposs and mater whairin his majestie may have verry just cause of offens, gif the same be sufferit to come to licht. "—(Collection of Letters in the possession of the Earl of Haddington. )
Rowe, the historian, who knew Davidson personally, describes him as "a learned man and a worthie preacher: yea, a verie prophet of God; for, " he adds, "he foretald many
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