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At Inverness

Thursday, June 7.--I rode over to Sir Archibald Grant's, twelve computed miles from Aberdeen. It is surprising to see how the country between is improved even within these three years. On every side the wild, dreary moors are ploughed up and covered with rising corn. All the ground near Sir Archibald's, in particular, is as well cultivated as most in England. About seven I preached. The kirk was pretty well filled, though upon short notice. Certainly this is a nation "swift to hear, and slow to speak," though not "slow to wrath."

Sunday, 10.--About eight we reached Inverness. I could not preach abroad because of the rain; nor could I hear of any convenient room, so that I was afraid my coming hither would be in vain; all ways seemed to be blocked up. At ten I went to the kirk. After service, Mr. Fraser, one of the ministers, invited us to dinner and then to drink tea. As we were drinking tea, he asked at what hour I would please to preach. I said, "At half-hour past five." The high kirk was filled in a very short time, and I have seldom found greater liberty of spirit. The other minister came afterward to our inn and showed the most cordial affection. Were it only for this day, I should not have regretted the riding a hundred miles.

Monday, 11.--A gentleman who lives three miles from the town invited me to his house, assuring me the minister of his parish would be glad if I would make use of his kirk; but time would not permit, as I had appointed to be at Aberdeen on Wednesday. All I could do was to preach once more at Inverness. I think the church was fuller now than before; and I could not but observe the remarkable behavior of the whole congregation after service. Neither man, woman, nor child spoke one word all the way down the main street. Indeed the seriousness of the people is the less surprising when it is considered that, for at least a hundred years, this town has had such a succession of pious ministers as very few in Great Britain have known.

After Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, I think Inverness is the largest town I have seen in Scotland. The main streets are broad and straight; the houses mostly old, but not very bad nor very good. It stands in a pleasant and fruitful country and has all things needful for life and godliness. The people in general speak remarkably good English and are of a friendly courteous behavior.

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