The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner HTML version
Private Memoirs And Confessions Of A Sinner
My life has been a life of trouble and turmoil of change and vicissitude; of anger and
exultation; of sorrow and of vengeance. My sorrows have all been for a slighted gospel,
and my vengeance has been wreaked on its adversaries. Therefore, in the might of
Heaven, I will sit down and write: I will let the wicked of this world know what I have
done in the faith of the promises, and justification by grace, that they may read and
tremble, and bless their gods of silver and gold that the minister of Heaven was removed
from their sphere before their blood was mingled with their sacrifices.
I was born an outcast in the world, in which I was destined to act so conspicuous a part.
My mother was a burning and a shining light, in the community of Scottish worthies, and
in the days of her virginity had suffered much in the persecution of the saints. But it so
pleased Heaven that, as a trial of her faith, she was married to one of the wicked; a man
all over spotted with the leprosy of sin. As well might they have conjoined fire and water
together, in hopes that they would consort and amalgamate, as purity and corruption: She
fled from his embraces the first night after their marriage, and from that time forth his
iniquities so galled her upright heart that she quitted his society altogether, keeping her
own apartments in the same house with him.
I was the second son of this unhappy marriage, and, ere ever I was born, my father
according to the flesh disclaimed all relation or connection with me, and all interest in
me, save what the law compelled him to take, which was to grant me a scanty
maintenance; and had it not been for a faithful minister of the gospel, my mother's early
instructor, I should have remained an outcast from the church visible. He took pity on me,
admitting me not only into that, but into the bosom of his own household and ministry
also, and to him am I indebted, under Heaven, for the high conceptions and glorious
discernment between good and evil, right and wrong, which I attained even at an early
age. It was he who directed my studies aright, both in the learning of the ancient fathers
and the doctrines of the reformed church, and designed me for his assistant and successor
in the holy office. I missed no opportunity of perfecting myself particularly in all the
minute points of theology in which my reverend father and mother took great delight; but
at length I acquired so much skill that I astonished my teachers, and made them gaze at
one another. I remember that it was the custom, in my patron's house, to ask questions of
the Single Catechism round every Sabbath night. He asked the first, my mother the
second, and so on, everyone saying the question asked and then asking the next. It fell to
my mother to ask Effectual Calling at me. I said the answer with propriety and emphasis.
"Now, madam," added I, my question to you is: What is Ineffectual Calling?"
"Ineffectual Calling? There is no such thing, Robert," said she.
"But there is, madam," said I, and that answer proves how much you say these
fundamental precepts by rote, and without any consideration. Ineffectual Calling is the