To William Burness
Irvine, December 27th 1781
Honored Sir,
I have purposely delayed writing in the hope that I would have the pleasure of seeing you on Newyearday but work comes so hard upon us that I do not chuse to come as well for that, as also for some other little reasons which I shall tell you at meeting.-
My health is much about what it was when you were here only my sleep is rather sounder and on the whole I am rather better than otherwise tho it is but by very slow degrees.- the weakness of my nerves has so debilitated my mind that I dare not, either review past events, or look forward into futurity; for the least anxiety, or perturbation in my breast, produces most unhappy effects on my whole frame.-
Sometimes , indeed, when for an hour or two, as is sometimes the case, my spirits are a little lightened, I glimmer a little into futurity; but my principal, and indeed my only pleasurable employment is looking backwards & forwards in a moral & religious way - I am quite transported at the thought that ere long, perhaps very soon, I shall bid an eternal adieu to all the pains, & uneasiness & desquietudes of this weary life; for I assure you I am heartily tired of it, and of I do not very much deceive myself I could contentedly & gladly resign it.-
The Soul uneasy & confin'd from home,
Rests & expatiates in a life to come.
It is for this reason I am more pleased with the 15th, 16th & 17th verses of the 7th Chapter of Revelation than any ten times as many verses in the whole Bible, & would not exchange the noble enthusiasm with which they inspire me, for all that this world has to offer - As for this world I despair of ever making a figure in it - I am not formed for the bustle of the busy nor the flutter of the Gay I shall never again be capable of it.- Indeed, I am altogether unconcern'd at the thoughts of it. I foresee that very probably Poverty & Obscurity await me & I am, in some measure prepared & daily preparing to meet & welcome them,- I have but just time & paper to return you my grateful thanks for the many Lessons of Virtue & Piety you have given me - Lessons which were but too much neglected when they were given but which, I hope have been remembered ere it is yet too late - Present my dutiful respects to my Mother & my Compliments to Mr & Mrs Muir and with wishing you all a merry Newyearday I shall conclude- 
I am,Honored Sir,your dutiful son
My meal is nearly out but I am going to borrow till I get more-
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