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A Sermon and Congregation to Order

About eleven we took horse. While we were dining at Nairn, the innkeeper said, "Sir, the gentlemen of the town have read the little book you gave me on Saturday, and would be glad if you would please to give them a sermon." Upon my consenting, the bell was immediately rung, and the congregation was quickly in the kirk. Oh, what a difference is there between South and North Britain! Everyone here at least loves to hear the Word of God, and none takes it into his head to speak one uncivil word to any for endeavoring to save their souls.

Doubting whether Mr. Grant had come home, Mr. Kershaw called at the Grange Green, near Forres, while I rode forward. Mr. Grant soon called me back. I have seldom seen a more agreeable place. The house is an old castle, which stands on a little hill, with a delightful prospect all four ways; and the hospitable master has left nothing undone to make it still more agreeable. He showed us all his improvements, which are very considerable in every branch of husbandry. In his gardens many things were more forward than at Aberdeen, yea, or Newcastle. And how is it that none but one Highland gentleman has discovered that we have a tree in Britain, as easily raised as an ash, the wood of which is fully as fine a red as mahogany, namely, the laburnum? I defy any mahogany to exceed the chairs which he has lately made of this. 

Tuesday, 12.--We rode through the pleasant and fertile county of Murray to Elgin. I never suspected before that there was any such country as this near a hundred and fifty miles beyond Edinburgh; a country which is supposed to have generally six weeks more sunshine in a year than any part of Great Britain.

At Elgin are the ruins of a noble cathedral, the largest that I remember to have seen in the kingdom. We rode thence to the Spey, the most rapid river, next the Rhine, that I ever saw. Though the water was not breast-high to our horses, they could very hardly keep their feet. We dined at Keith and rode on to Strathbogie, much improved by the linen manufacture. All the country from Fochabers to Strathbogie has little houses scattered up and down; and not only the valleys, but the mountains themselves, are improved with the utmost care. They want only more trees to make them more pleasant than most of the mountains in England. The whole family at our inn, eleven or twelve in number, gladly joined with us in prayer at night. Indeed, so they did at every inn where we lodged; for among all the sins they have imported from England, the Scots have not yet learned, at least not the common people, to scoff at sacred things.

Wednesday, 13.--We reached Aberdeen about one. Between six and seven, both this evening and the next, I preached in the shell of the new house and found it a time of much consolation. Friday, 15. We set out early and came to Dundee just as the boat was going off. We designed to lodge at the house on the other side, but could not get either eat, drink, or good words; so we were constrained to ride on to Cupar. After traveling nearly ninety miles, I found no weariness at all, neither were our horses hurt. Thou, O Lord, dost save both man and beast!

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