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Why should I smother my husband's ye be in heariness for a season, and honesty, or sin against his love, or be that God's will, in crossing your de. a niggard in giving out to others sign and desires to dwell amongst a what I get for nothing? Brother, people whose God is the Lord, should eat with me and give thanks: I move you: I deny not but ye have charge you before God, that ye cause to enquire what his providence speak to others, and invite them to speaketh in this to you ; but God's help me to praise. Oh my debt of directing and commanding will can, praise, how weighty it is, and how by no good logic, be concluded from far run up! Oh that others would events of proviilence. The Lord lend me to pay, and learn me to sent Paul many errands for the praise! Oh I am a drowned dyvour! spreading of his gospel, where he Lord Jesus take my thoughts for found lions in his way: a promise payments. Yet I am in this hot was made to his people of the holy summer blink with the tear in my land, and yet many nations in the eye; for, by reason of my silence, way fighting against, and ready to sorrow, sorrow hath filled me: my kill them who had the promise, or to, harp is hanged upon the willow-trees, keep them from possessing that good because I am in a strange land. 1 land which the Lord their God had am still kept in exercise with envi. given them. I know
have most ous brethren, my mother hath born to do with submission of spirit; but me a man of contention. Write to I persuade myself ye have learned,
mind anent Y. C. I cannot in every condition wherein ye are forget him; I know not what God cast, therein to be content, and to hath to do with him ; and your mind say, Good is the will of the Lord, anent my parishioners' behaviour, let it be done. I believe the Lord and how they are served in preach tackleth bis ship often to fetch the ing, or if there be a minister as yet wind, and that he purposeth to bring thrust in upon them, which I desire mercy out of your sufferings and sigreatly to know, and wiich I must lence, which I know from miae own fear. Dear brother, ye are in my experience is grievous to you: seeheart to live and to die with you. ing he knoweth our willing mind to Visit me with a letter. Pray for me. serve him, our wages and stipend is Remember my love to your wife. running to the fore with our God; Grace, grace be with you; and God, even as some sick soldiers get pay, who heareth prayer, visit you, and when they are bedfast, and not able let it be unto you according to the to go to the field with others.
Though Israel be not gathered,
of Your own Brother, and Christ's prisoner, yet shall I be glorious in the Aberdeen, Jan. 1, 1637.
the Lord, and
God shall be my S. R.
strength,' Isa. xlix. 5. And we are sees
to believe it shall be thus ere all the
play be played. Jer li. 35. • The LETTER LXXXVII.
violence done to me and my flesh be To my well-beloved and Reverend Brother Mr. upon Babylon, and the great whore's
lovers, shall the inhabitants of Zion Reverend and doarly beloved Brother, say ;
chaldea, GRACE, mercy,
peace from God shall Jerusalem say.' And Zech. our Father, and from our Lord Jes- xii. 2. • Behold, I will make Jerusaus Christ, be unto you. It is no lem a cup of trembling to all the great wonder, my dear brother, that people about, when they shall be in
the siege both against Judah and Je- /miskent that ever I wronged his love; rusalem.' v. 3. And in that day I and now he is come again with merwill make Jerusalem a burdensome cy under his wings. I passed from stone for all the people; they that my (O witless) summons; he is God,' burden themselves with it shall be I see, and I am man. Now it hath broken in pieces, though all the peo- pleased him to renew his love to my ple of the earth be gathered against soul, and to dawt his poor prisoner. it. When they have eaten and swal. Therefore, my dear brother, help lowed us up, they shall be sick, and me to praise and shew the Lord's vomit us out living mên again: the people with you what he hath done devil's stomach cannot digest the to my soul, that they may pray and church of God.' Suffering is the o- praise'; and I charge you, in the ther half of our ministry, howbeit name of Christ, not to omit it; for the hardest : for we would be con- this cause I write to you, that my tent our King Jesus would make an sufferings may glorify my royal King, open proclamation, and cry down and edify his church in Ireland. crosses, and cry up joy, gladness, He knoweth how one of Christ's ease, honour, and peace : but it must love-coals hath burnt my soul with not be so; through many afflictions a desire to have my bonds to preach we must enter into the kingdom of his glory, whose cross I now bear. God; not only by them but through God forgive you if ye do it not; but them must we go ; and wiles will not I hope the Lord will move your take us by the cross ; it is folly to heart, to proclaim in my behalf the think to steal to heaven with a whole sweetness, excellency, and glory of skin. For myself, I am here a pri- my royal King. It is but our soft soner confined in Aberdeen, threat. Alesh that hath raised a slander on ened to be removed to Caithness, the cross of Christ ; I see now the because I desire to edify in this white side of it; my Lord's chains town; and am openly preached are allover gilded. O if Scotland and against in the pulpits in my hearing, Ireland had part of my feast! And and tempted with disputations by the yet I get not my meat but with many doctors, especially by D. B. Yet I strokes. There are none there to am not ashamed of my Lord Jesus whom I can speak; I dwell in Ke. his garland and crown; I would not dar's tents. Refresh me with a letexchange my weeping with the four. ter from you; for none know what teen prelates their painted laughter. is betwixt Christ and me. Dear At my first coming here I took the brother, upon my salvation, this is dorts at Christ, and would forsooth his truth that we suffer for; Christ summon him for unkindness: I would not seal a blank charter to sought a plea of my Lord, and was souls. Courage, courage, joy, joy, tossed with challenges whether he for evermore! O joy unspeakable loved me or not? and disputed all and glorious ! O for help to set my over again that he had done to me ; crowned king on high ! O for love to because his word was a fire shut him who is altogether lovely! that up in my bowels, and I was weary love which many waters cannot with forbearing; because I said I quench, neither can the floods drown!
cast out of the Lord's in- I remember you and bear your name heritance. But now I see I was a on my breast to Christ; I beseech fool : my Lord miskent all, and did you forget not his afflicted prisoner. bear with my foolish jealousies, and Grace, mercy and peace be with
Salute in the Lord, from me, small powder, and bray me into dust, Mr. Cunninghame, Mr. Livingstone, and scatter the dust to the four winds Mr. Ridge, Mr. Colwart, &c. of heaven; that my Lord would gaYour brother and fellow-prisoner,
ther up the powder, and make me Aberdeen, Feb. 7, 1637.
S. R. up a new vessel again, tobear Christ's
name to the world! I am sure that Ocepe love, bottomed and sealed upon the
faith of his love to me, would deLETTER LXXXVIII.
sire and endure this, and would even To JOHN KENNEDY, Baillie of Ayri
claim and urge kindness upon Christ's Worthy and well-beloved Brother, strokes, and kiss his love-glooms; GRACE, mercy, and peace be unto and both spell and read salvation you. I am yet waiting what our upon the wounds made by Christ's Lord will do for his afflicted church, sweet hands. O that I had but a proand for my re-entry to my Lord's mise made from the mouth of Christ, house. Othat I could hear the for- of his love to me! and then, howfeiture of Christ (now out of his in-beit my faith were as tender as paheritance) recalled and taken off by per, I think longing, and dwining, open proclamation ; and that Christ and complaining of sick desires would were restored to be a free-holder cause it hold out the siege, till the and a landed heritor in Scotland : Lord came to fill the soul with his and that the courts fenced in the love; and I know also, in that case, name of the bastard prelates, (their faith should bide
sappy at godfathers the pope's bailiffs and the root, even at mid-winter, and sheriffs) were cried down! Oh how stand out against all storms. Howsweet a sight were it, to see all the ever it be, I know Christ winneth tribes of the Lord in this land fetch- heaven in despite of hell ; but I owe ing home again our banished King, as many praises and thanks to free Christ, to his own palace, his sanctu- grace as would lye betwixt me and ary and throne! I shall think it mer. the utmost border of the highest hea. cy to my soul, if my faith shall out. ven, suppose ten thousand heavens watch all this winter night, and not were all laid above other. But oh! nod or slumber till my Lord's sum. I have nothing that can hire or bud mer-day dawn upon me. It is much grace; for if grace would take hire if faith and hope, in the sad nights it were no more grace : but all our of our heavy trial, escape with a stability, and the strength of our salwhole skin, and without crack or vation, is anchored and fastened upcrook. I confess, unbelief hath not on free grace; and I am sure Christ reason to be either father or mother hath, by his death and blood, casten to it, for unbelief is always an irra- the knot so fast, that the fingers of tional thing, but how can it be, but the devils, and hell-fulls of sins cansuch weak eyes as ours must cast not loose it: and that bond of Christ, water in a great smoke: or that a that never yet was, nor never shall, weak head should not turn giddy nor can be registrated, standeth surwhen the water runneth deep and er than heaven, or the days of heastrong? but God be thanked, that ven, as that sweet pillar of the coChrist in his children can endure a venant, whereon we all hang. Christ, stress and storm, howbeit soft nature and all his little ones under his two would fall down in pieces. Oh that wings, and in the compass or circle I had that confidence as to rest on of his arms, is so sure, that cast him this, though he should grind me into and them in the ground of the sea,
he shall come up again, and not lose LETTER LXXXIX. one; an odd one cannot, nor shall
To ELIZABETH KENNEDY. not be lost in the telling. This was Mistress, always God's aim since Christ came Grace, mercy and peace be to you. in the play betwixt him and us, to I have long had a purpose of writing make men dependent creatures, and unto you, but I liave been hindered. in the work of our salvation to put I heartily desire that ye would mind created strength and arms, and legs your country, and consider to what of clay, quite out of play, and out of airth your soul setteth its face; for office and court: and now God hath all come not home at night, who substituted in our room, and accept suppose they have set their face ed his Son the Mediator for us, and heavenward: it is a woful thing to all that we can make. If this had die and miss heaven, and to lose not been, I would have skinked over house-room with Christ at night; it and foregone my part of paradise is an evil journey where travellers and salvation, for a breakfast of dead are benighted in the fields. I per. moth eaten earth : but now I would suade myself that thousands shall be not give it, nor let it go, for more deceiveil and ashamed of their hope; than I can tell; and truly they are because they cast their anchor in silly fools, and ignorant of Christ's sinking sands, they must lose it. worth, and so full trained and tu. Till now, I knew not the pain, tored, who tell heaven and Christ labour, nor difficulty that there is to over the board, for two feathers or win at home; por did I understand two straws of the devil's painted so well, before this, what that mean. pleasures, only lustered in the outer eth, The righteous shall scarcely be side. This is our happiness now, saved. O how many a poor prothat our reckonings at night, when fessor's candle is blown out, and eternity shall come upon us, cannot never lighted again! I see ordinary be told; we shall be so far gainers, profession, and to be ranked amongst and so far from being super-expend the children of God, and to have ed, as the poor fools of this world
a name among men, is now thought are, who give out their money, and good enough to carry professors to get in but black hunger, that angels heaven; but certainly a name is but cannot lay our counts, nor sum our a name, and will never bide a blast advantage and incomes. Who know. of God's storm: I counsel you, not eth how far it is to the bottom of to give your soul or Christ rest, nor our Christ, and to the ground of our your eyes sleep, till ye have gotten heaven? who ever weighed Christ in something that will bide the fire, and a pair of balances? who hath seen the stand out the storm. I am sure if foldings and plies, and the heightsand my one foot were in heaven, and depths of that glory which is in him, then he would say, Fend thyself, I and kept for us? Ohfor such a heaven will hold my grips of thee no longa as to stand afar off, and see, and love, er; I should go no further, but and long for him, while time's thread presently fall down in as many pieces be cut, and this great work of crea- of dead nature. They are happy tion dissolved at the coming of our for evermore who are over head and Lord! Now to his grace I recom- ears in the love of Christ, and know mend you. I beseech you also, pray no sickness but love sickness for for a re-entry to me into the Lord's Christ, and feel no pain but the house, if it be his good will.
pain of an absent and hidden WellYour's in his sweet Lord Jesus, beloved. We run our souls. out of Aberdeen, Jan. 6, 1637.
breath, and tire them in coursing men with cars in a boat after sinful and galloppingafter our night-dreams vanities, they may find great and such are the rovings of our miscarry. sweet employment to their thoughts ing hearts to get some created good upon Christ; if those frothy fluctuthing in this life, and on this side of ating, and restless hearts of ours death: we would fain stay and spin would come all about Christ, and out a heaven to ourselves, in this look into his love, te bottomless side of the water; but sorrow, want, love, to the depth of mercy, to the changes, crosses and sin, are both unsearchable riches of his grace, to woof and warp in that ill-spun web. enquire after, and search into the O how sweet and dear are these beauty of God in Christ, they would thoughts that are still upon the be swallowed up in the depth and things which are above! and how height, length and breadth of his happy are they who are longing to goodness. Oh if men woud draw have little sand in their glass, and to the curtains, and look into the inner have time's thread cut, and can cry side of the ark, and behold how the to Christ, Lord Jesus, have over, fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in come and fetch the driery passenger! him bodily! O who would not say, I wish our thoughts were more fre- Let me die, let me die ten times to quently than they are upon our see a sight of him! Ten thousand country.
O but heaven casteth a deaths were no great price to give sweet smell afar off, to those who for him; I am sure, sick, fainting have spiritual smelling! God hath love would heighten the market, and made many fair flowers, but the raise the price to the double for fairest of them all is heaven, and him. But alas, if men and angels the flower of all flowers is Christ. were rouped, and sold at the dearest O why do we not flee up to that price, they would not all buy a lovely one ? Alas, that there is such night's love, or a four and twenty scarcity of love, and lovers of hours sight of Christ. 0 how Christ amongst us all! Fy, fy upon happy are they who get Christ for us, who love fair things, as fair gold, nothing! God send me no more for fair houses, fair lands, fair pleasures, my part of paradise but Christ; and fair honours, and fair persons, surely I were rich enough, and as and do not pine and melt away well heaven'd as the best of them, if with love to Christ! Owould | Christ were 'my heaven. I to God I had more love for write no better thing to you than to his sake! O for as much as would desire you, if ever ye laid Christ in lye betwixt me and heaven for his a count to take him up, and count sake! O for as much as would go over again; and weigh him again round about the earth, and over the and again; and after this, have no heaven, yea, the heaven of heavens, other to court your love, and to woo and ten thousand worlds, that I your soul's delight, but Christ; he might let all out upon fair, fair, only will be found worthy of all your fair Christ! But alas, I have nothing love, howbeit it should swell
upon for him, yet he hath much for me. you from the earth to the uppermost It is no gain to Christ, that he get-circle of the heaven of heavens. To teth my little feckless span-length our Lord Jesus and his love I and hand-breadth of love. If men commend you. would have something to do with
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, their hearts and their thoughts, that
S. R. are always rolling up and down like