Sunday, May 6. -- I preached in the college kirk at Old Aberdeen, to a very serious (though mostly genteel) congregation. In the evening I preached at our own room and early in the morning took my leave of this loving people. We came to Montrose about noon. I had designed to preach there but found no notice had been given. However, I went down to the green and sang a hymn. People presently flocked from all parts, and God gave me great freedom of speech; I hope we did not meet in vain.
At seven in the evening I preached at Arbroath, properly Aberbrothwick. The whole town seems moved: the congregation was the largest I have seen since we left Inverness. And the society, though but of nine months' standing, is the largest in the kingdom, next that of Aberdeen.
Tuesday, 8. -- I took a view of the small remains of the abbey. I know nothing like it in all North Britain. I paced it and found it a hundred yards long. The breadth is proportionable. Part of the west end, which is still standing, shows it was fully as high as Westminster Abbey. The south end of the cross aisle likewise is standing, near the top of which is a large circular window. The zealous Reformers, they told us, burnt this down. God deliver us from reforming mobs!
I have seen no town in Scotland which increases so fast, or which is built with so much common sense, as this. Two entirely new streets and part of a third have been built within these two years. They run parallel with each other and have a row of gardens between them. So that every house has a garden, and thus both health and convenience are consulted.