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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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things which came accordingly to passe, and that, when he was praying or blessing the Lord for refreshments of meat and drink. " Rowe quotes several examples of his prophetic power.
Wodrow also gives an illustration of his prophetic powers as follows: —A difference having occurred between him and Lord Newbattle respecting the erection of the church at Prestonpans, Davidson made the following prediction: " That his Lordship would be stripped of his lands in Prestonpans parish, and that he would die by an unknown hand. His lands were alienated soon afterwards (1609), and, " adds Wodrow, "the way of his death is a secret, and was the ground of a debate in Parliament. "
Among the many traditional tales in the village relating to his prophetic powers we give one sample only. The day on which the builders began the construction of his church, an old woman living adjacent thereto complained that they were encroaching on her ground (the ground was bestowed by Hamilton of Preston). At night she went out and pulled down what had been built on her supposed corner. The same thing happened a second night, when the builders complained to the minister, and pressed him to take action against her. " Poor woman ! " was his reply, " leave her alone. She seems unconscious of her wrong-doing; but she will not trouble you again. " That evening, on going out to pull down again, she tripped among the stones lying about, broke one of her legs, and troubled them no more. The minister, it is said, afterwards found she was in real earnest thinking she had been wronged, and gave her more than value for her supposed loss by the church building.
Though many things turned out according to Davidson's predictions, it is not on record that he ever gave any one cause to suppose he laid claim to foreknowledge.
The following is a copy of Davidson's Discourse to his parishioners, published along with his Catechism in 1602: —
" To his loving flock of Salt-Prestoun who, by the preaching of the gospel, beleeve and turne to the Lord.
"John Davidson wisheth increase of faith and repentance, with constancie therein to the end, and in the end. —Amen.
" What hath beene the drifte of my doctrine sen God placed mee among you, well beloved in Christe Jesus, yee cannot bee ignorant, seing without excellencie of wordes and all curiositie, in moste plaine sorte after my familiar maner, I shew you the testimonie of God, esteeming ' not to know anything amang you, ' as the Apostle sayeth, 'save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. ' For the whilk purpose this day sevin yeare, to wit, the 16 day of Nov. 1595, the first time I spake among you, I made chois of this place of scripture following, to bee as a ground of that doctrine whilk thereafter I minded to build therupon during our continuance together at God's pleasure.
" The place was this, ye remember. ' The people that sat in darkness saw great light' (Matthew iv. 16). First, I opened the true meaning of the place, observing some pertinent notes therupon. Therafter I made some use thereof by applycation to you for that present as a people by the sea coaste, long sitting in no less darknesse than did they of Galilie, that dwelt by the lake of Genazareth, whilk was to them as a sea; shewing therewithall the great mercie of God towarde you, in offering to you that day the light of the Gospell after sik a rare maner, so that rightly it might be saide overagaine of new, ' A people that sat in darkness hath seen great light. '
" Last after all this, I gathered some general grounds of Christian religion out of that place, as first: —
"The miserable blinde estate of man by nature without Christ.
"Secondly. —The moste comfortable light of salvation in
"Thirdly. —That men receave Christ his light by faith wraught by the Holy Spirite in the preaching of the gospell.
" Fourthly. —The end; that walking in that light of Christ we may glorifie Him that has translated us out of darknesse into His wonderful light.
"Therunto in the afternoone of the same daye, I added these words of Christ: —' Behold I stand at the dore and knock, if any man heare My voice and open the dore, I will come in to him, and suppe with him and he with Mee; ' Rev. iii. 20. To serve as a spurre to exhort you to the cheerful embraceing of so comfortable a ghuest, whilk moved the haill parish present, so at that time, and long thereafter, that as the Apostle speaketh of the Galatians, ' I beare you record that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your eyes and have given them to me. ' Though nowe and then to some I became an enemie for speaking of the trueth, God grant them amendement that offend of simplicitie and not of malice. But we must not bee offended, though one parte onlie of the foure parts of ground that the seede of God's worde lights on (and seeme for the most part to receave it) bee fruitful, for Sathan is a. busie bishop; and persecution and cares of the world with fleshly pleasures are not soon overcome.
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