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From Alexander Colden.
OXNAM Febry 34 1729. Dear Son
I have yours Nov: 19th from Coldenghame about 10 dayes ago, I hope you are sensible of & duely affected w the good hand of God in the carrying of your Publick dispute in your favours befor the King & Council your thankfullnes to God for this will be not only a mean both of your trusting in God for the future in all your after affairs & of hope yt he who hath delivered will deliver but also thankfullnes to god for one mercie makes way for another
I desire also to see Gods gracious providence still working for you in defeating all the attempts of your adversaries in the dispute you have wi them at respect to Governour Burnet's character hitherto yo more under paid work y may be agt you & these wt you the more will the grace & power of god be seen in preventing the success yrof, you have reason to bless God yt you have the testimonie of a good conscience to support you in all events. Studie to observe the providence of God in all things you meet wither prosperous or advers & afflictive a hair cannot fall from our heads without his pleasure he is the father of all our mercies in all his dealings wt his own people he deals well wt them all flowes from love to ther persons & w a designe of ther spiritual & eternal good tho they may not apprehend it in the tyme of some afflicting dispensations yet in the issue they will be obliged to acknowledge the same to the praise of his rich & free grace & imortall Love in Jesus Christ yt far still hope in his mercie & fear his name he taketh pleasure in such, trust in him at all times shew your trusting in him by acknowledging him in all your wayes & he will direct your paths pour out your heart befor him in prayer he will be your refuge & a Verie present help in the time of trouble Committ your way to him your thoughts to him & he will bring it to pass resigne your selfe to his disposing will & resolve to make welcome whatever tis all be his holy & good will in his providence this will fill your heart with pecae y passes understanding when you have cast all yourbuhrdens & cares upon the Lord & have left all events to him, I hope the Lord is teaching you by such trying dispensations the beautie of yo world & discribeing to you the hidden coruptions of your heart is humbling you & drawing you to him selfe by Jesus Christ wi the cords of his love manefested in directing you in breaking temptations & in helping you to cleave to duty & shuning all sinfull means to carry your defence & in appearing in his providence in bringing to Nothing all the devices & attempts against you & I hope also y as hitherto so now ye shall have occasion to set up your Ebenezer hitherto the Lord hath helped me, if your mothers prayrs & mine may be of any use to you in your present circumstnces they are dayly put up for you.
I look upon it as a mercy from the Lord yi you have all kept your health so well last summer & fall & yt you are all especially the children so fond of your Countrie retirment. I longe wish for a letter from you befor I got the last & Was almost wout hope of getting any at this season after I heard from from the News papers yt the Bever was taken by the Spanish privateers.
Your mother keepes her health verie well since the cold weather came in I have had more health in the frost then befor, but about a forthnight ago I went in a cold frostie wyndie day some miles in the parish to Visit sick persons & catechizd 2 oyrs (others) at Plendirleith next day & then the day following Which was also Verie cold wi a frost I came home then I catched a severe cold wt a cough yê I am not altogether free of to this day yet still I have preacht once a day & have more strength & life then than any time els. I hardly ever found my bodyly strength more gone then the day when I went to the nook to visit a sick Bson my upper coat was so heavie yt I could hardly bear it & had much to do to get thither & return again which obliged me to think upon riding to the nook & now for the future, so y I have grown to apprehend my dayes in this world are drawing quitely to an end, I know I shall never see your face now or any more as I have never seen the faces of your dear children my grand children so I have no hope of seeing them in this world It is & shall be my prayer to the Last of my life y both you & the dear children & we may be in Christ purifyd by his blood sanctifye by his spirit & guided in the way of truth & holynes unto the end, yt when we dy we may have the well grounded hop of meeting together in Glorie & of being together for ever wt the Lord, I pray you notwtstanding of the distance of Coldenghame from New York you will be carefull to let me hear from you as long as I live, you know not how reviving it is to me to have a letter from you & to hear of Gods kinde providence towards you & your famlie
I heard from your brother James Last week he his wife & children wer all then in health, tho they have been fearing the small pox which hath prevaild in this Countrie in this parish last fall & in this Winter by which great Numbers of Children have been taken from ther parents by death, your brother hath (we wrote in my last to you) three sons Alex: George & Cadwallader all of them pleasent children your mother was greatly pleased when she heard the last called Cadwallader & designes if he live to have him w her I baptizd Alex' & Cadwallader & M. Byres the other grandfather baptizd George, Sandie Was w us but is now at Whitsome but we expect him againe here in the spring if I live till then, I wrote you in my last (as I suppose) y M. Lautie M: James Christies father in law is dead & ye M: Walter Douglass Late min' at Lenton is also dead & now I can tell you yt he is succeeded in that church by M: George Hall who was at Abbotts Rule, I hear also your old Acquaintance M William Oglivie late min' at Ennerwick dyed lately within these few weeks.
Your mother bath sent three webs of Linnig & 2 peices of Gilly Mankie a peice of Silk Camlet to your daughter & grandchildren to London & she knows not if they be gone from London for New York she was informd yt they
wer safe at London she employd a Merchant in Berwick to send them to his correspondent ther who is to put ya into some ship for New York.
I would be glade to have a line from Sandie only tyme paper & health will not allow me to write to him no was I desire.
I am glade he is come yê lenth as to be in capacitie so near to bear you company to New York, that the Lord may bless you & our dear daughter & grandchildren w all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ is & shall be the earnest prayer while I live of dear Son
Your most tenderly affectionat father (Indorsed]
From James Alexander.
Yours of the 9th instant with the incloseds I have As you was Surprized of Letellier's account So I Suppose you'll be no Less by the inclosed which is a Coppy of the account Entered Lately by M. Heath Since his return in the Cash book, which with the Leger he yesternight Sent me by M: Soumain & Silvester when they insisted upon their note up which I refused them till your Answer & till we knew Sufficiently that no more was paid than what he has given Credit for
They told me he would appear abroad in a few Days & that he had only one person to make up with & that then he would give all the assistance in his power to putt M. Hunt in a way to get in the outstanding Debts by Coppying the accounts for that purpose or otherwise & that if you'll give him Leave to receive them he will Answer for them but as the Advertisement put up to pay no further to him hinders him from receiving them it
cannot be Expected that he Should answer for further than he has actually received, in which indeed there's Some weight, for if you make him answerable he must not be barred of receiveing
I Should have first told you that your Letter to him I thought was very proper to be delivered & I gave it to M: Hunt & desired him to Consider of it if he thought it proper which he thought also & accordingly it was delivered & the delivery up of the Leger & Cash book is in Consequence thereof
The Security I had for Heath I Send you a Coppy of it under the Coppy of his account by which you'll See its not So full as you imagined & as we had put an advertisement to pay no further to Heath it would not be insisted upon to be Larger than for the moneys actually received, its true, that Heath is therby freed from the Obligation of further receiveing which is a trouble taken off his hands & brought on yours or M. Hunts, but in Such cases people are very willing to take Such Security as they can get, & this is the utmost I could get, & I believe the utmost that could have been got had the Extent issued agt Heath for no Contract with you but his actually receiveing the Kings moneys made him Lyable to that process & consequently only So far as he had received them
You'll Consider whether it be prudent to Suffer Heath to receive any further of the moneys which they Say he is willing to do in order to the deserving his Salary if you do, you must also consider, that Semain & Silvester are not by what they have given answerable for Such receipts, & whether they will further undertake to be So, I much doubt, (I really forgot to ask them whether they would) How Heath comes intitled to so much Porteridge you'll also consider & Explain
I am Sorry for your Late indisposition, but I think it happy you did not Adventure hither for in all probability it would have been much more, you need make no apoligies for not comeing for I have no Less pleasure in Serving you than you can have to desire me, for I think Life would be Stript of its greatest pleasures if those of oblidgeing & being Oblidged were taken away