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Fire in a Coalpit

The men instantly fell on their faces, or they would have been burned to death in a few moments. One of them, who once knew the love of God (Andrew English), began crying aloud for mercy. But in a very short time his breath was stopped. The other three crept on their hands and knees, till two got to the shaft and were drawn up; but one of them died in a few minutes. John McCombe was drawn up next, burned from head to foot, but rejoicing and praising God. They then went down for Andrew, whom they found senseless, the very circumstance which saved his life. For, losing his senses, he lay flat on the ground, and the greatest part of the fire went over him; whereas, had he gone forward on his hands and knees, he would undoubtedly have been burned to death. But life or death was welcome; for God had restored the light of His countenance.

Monday, 21.--I preached at ten in the market place at Wigton and came to Solway Frith, just as the water was fordable. At some times it is so three hours in twelve; at other times, barely one.

After making a short bait at Rothwell, we came to Dumfries before six o'clock. Having time to spare, we took a walk in the churchyard, one of the pleasantest places I ever saw. A single tomb I observed there, which was about a hundred and thirty years old; but the inscription was hardly legible. So soon do even our sepulchers die! Strange that men should be so careful about them! But are not many self-condemned therein? They see the folly, while they run into it. So poor Mr. Prior, speaking of his own tomb, has those melancholy words, "For this last piece of human vanity, I bequeath five hundred pounds.”

Tuesday, 22.--We rode through a pleasant country to Thorny Hill, near which is the grand seat of the Duke of Queensborough. How little did the late duke imagine that his son would plough up his park and let his house run to ruin! But let it go! In a little time the earth itself, and all the works of it, shall be burned up.

Hence we rode through and over huge mountains, green to the very top, to Lead Hills; this village contains five hundred families who have had no minister for these four years. So in Scotland, the poor have not the gospel preached! Who shall answer for the blood of these men?

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