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shall build again the old waste places' acquaint them with my troubles,
Your Brother in Affliction, in our the sweet Mediator's hand, are very
sweet Lord Jesus, sweet; he has always been sweet to From Irving, being on my journey to my soul, but since I suffered for him, Christ's palace in Aberdeen. his breath hath a sweeter smell than
Aug. 4, 1636. before. Oh that every hair of my head, and every member, and every
ye sleep I am afraid makes us fat with wants and deser- of your souls, that they be off the tions. I know not, my dear Brother, rock: next to my Lord Jesus and if our worthy brethren be gone to sea, this fallen kirk, ye have the greatest or not; they are on my heart, and in share of my sorrow, and also of my my prayers. If they be yet with you, joy; ye are the matter of the tears, salute my dear friend John Stuart ; care, fear, and daily prayers of an my well-beloved brethren in the Lord, oppressed prisoner of Christ. As I Mr. Blair, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Liv. am in bonds for my high and lofty ingston, and Mr. M.Cleland, and One, my royal and princely Mas
TO HIS PARISHIONERS.
ter, my Lord Jesus ; so I am in you, and ye follow him, I assure bonds for you: for I should have you, the man's work shall burn, and sleeped in my warm nest, and kept never bide God's fire, and ye and he the fat world in my arms, and the both shall be in danger of everlastcords of my tabernacle should have lasting burning, except ye repent. O been fastened more strongly, I might if any pain, any sorrow, any loss that have sung an evangel of ease to my I can suffer for Christ, and for you, soul and you for a time with my bre. were laid in pledge to buy Christ's thren, the sons of my mother, that love to you, and that I could lay my were angry at me, and have thrust dearest joys next to Christ my Lord me out of the vineyard, if I should in the gap, betwixt you and eternal have been broken, and drawn on to destruction! 0 if I had paper as mire you the Lord's flock, and to broad as heaven and earth, and ink cause you eat pastures trodden up as the sea, and all the rivers and on with inen’s feet, and to drink foul fountains of the earth, and were and muddy waters: but truly the able to write the love, the worth, Almighty was a terror to me, and the excellency, the sweetness, and his fear made me afraid. O my due praises of our dearest and fairest Lord, judge if my ministry be not Well-beloved; and then if ye could dear to me, but not so dear by many read and understand it! What could degrees as Christ Jesus my Lord, I want, if my ministry among you God knoweth the sad and heavy should make a marriage between sabbaths I have had; since I laid the little bride in that bounds and down at my Master's feet my two the bridegroom? O how rich a prishepherd's staves, I have been often soner were I, if I could obtain of saying, as it is written, Lam. iii. my Lord, before whom I stand for 52, 53. • My enemies chased me you, the salvation of you all! O sore like a bird without cause : they what a prey had I gotten, to have have cut off my life in the dungeon, you catched in Christ's net ! O then and cast a stone upon me;' for, I had cast out my Lord's lines and next to Christ, I had but one joy, his net with a rich gair! O then, the apple of the eye of my delights, well-wared pained breast and sore to preach Christ my Lord, and they back, and crazed body, in speakhave violently plucked that away ing early and late to you! My wit. from me, and it was to me like theness is above, your heaven would poor man's one eye, and they have be two heavens to me, and the sal. put out that eye, and quenched my vation of you all as two salvations to light in the inheritance of the Lord'; me; I would subscribe a suspension, but my eye is toward the Lord, 1 and a fristing of my heaven, for know I shall see the salvation of many hundred years, according to God, and that my hope shall not al. God's good pleasure, if you were ways be forgotten. And my sorrow sure in the upper lodging, in our shall want nothing to complete it, Father's house, before me. I take and to make me say, What availeth to witness heaven and earth against it me to live? If ye follow the voice you, I take instruments in the hands of a stranger, of one that cometh of that sun and day-light that beheld into the sheep.fold not by Christ the us, and in the hands of the timber door, but climbeth up another way. and walls of that kirk, if I drew not If the man build his hay and stub- up a fair contract of marriage beble upon
the golden foundation, twixt you and Christ, if I went not Christ Jesus, already laid among with offers betwixt the Bridegroom
and you; and your conscience did ye see whither they lead you ; conbear you witness, your mouths con- tinue still in the doctrine which ye fessed, that there were many fair have received ; ye heard of me the trysts and meetings drawn on be- whole counsel of God, sew no clouts twixt Christ and you at communion upon Christ's robe; take Christ in feasts, and other occasions ; there his rags and losses, and as persewere bracelets, jewels, rings, and cuted by men, and be content to love-letters, sent to you by the sigh and pant up the mountain, with Bridegroom ; it was told you what a Christ's cross on your back; let me fair dowery ye should have, and what be reputed a false prophet, (and a house your husband and ye should your conscience once said the condwell in, and what was the Bride-trair,) if your Lord Jesus shall not groom'sexcellency,sweetness,might, stand by you, and maintain you, power; the eternity and glory of and maintain your cause against his kingdom, the exceeding deep- your enemies. I have heard, and ness of his love, who sought his my soul is grieved for it, that since black wifethrough pain, fires, shame, my departure from you, many adeath, and the grave, and swimmed mong you are turned back from the the salt sea for her, undergoing the good old way, to the dog's vomit curse of the law, and then was made again; let me speak to these men : a curse for you, and ye then con- it was not without God's special disented and said, Even so I take him. rection, that the first sentence that I counsel you, beware of the new ever my mouth uttered to you was and strange leaven of mens' inven- that of John, ix. 39. ' And Jesus tions, beside and against the word said, For judgment came I into the of God, contrair to the oath of this world, that they which see not might kirk, now coming among you; I see, and they which see might be instructed you of the superstition made blind. It is possible, my first and idolatry of kneeling in the in. meeting and yours be, when we shall stant of receiving the Lord's supper, both stand before the dreadful Judge and crossing in baptism, and the ob- of the world; and in the name and serving of men's days without any authority of the Son of God, my warrant of Christ our perfect law. great King and Master, I write, by giver : countenance not the surplice, these presents, summons to these the attire of the mass-priest, the gar- men, I arrest their souis and bodies ment of Baal's priests, the abomina-, to the day of our compearance ; ble bowing to altars of tree is com- their eternal damnation stands subing upon you ; hate, and keep your scribed, and sealed in heaven, by selves from idols ; forbear in any the hand-writing of the great Judge case to hear the reading of the new of quick and dead; and I am ready fatherless Service-book, full of gross to stand up, as a preaching witness heresies, popish and superstitious against such to their face, that day, errors, withoutany warrant of Christ, and to say Amen to their condem. tending to the overthrow of preach- nation, except they repent. The ing: you owe no obedience to the vengeance of the gospel is heavier bastard canons ; they are unlawful, than the vengeance of the law; the blasphemous, and superstitious; all Mediator.8 malediction and vengethe ceremonies shat lye in the Anti-ance is twice vengeance, and that christ's foul womb, the wares of that vengeance is the due portion of such great mother of fornications, the men ; and there I leave them as kirk of Rome, are to be refused; bound men, ay, and while they re
pent and amend.
You were wit- twenty cubits long, and ten cubits Desses how the Lord's day was spent broad, that goeth out from the face while I was among you: O sacrileg- of God, shall enter into the house, ious robber of God's day, what wilt and in upon the soul of him that thou answer the Almighty when he stealeth and sweareth falsely by seeketh so many sabbaths back again God's name, Zech. v. 2, 3. I defrom thee? What will the curser, nounce eternal burning, hotter than swearer, and blasphemer do, when Sodom's flames, upon the men that his tongue shall be roasted in that boil in filthy lusts of fornication, a. broad and burning lake of fire and adultery, incest, and the like wickbrimstone: and what will the drunk-edness, no room, no, not a foot ard do when tongue, lungs, and breadth for such vile dogs within liver, bones and all, shall boil and the clean Jerusalem, Many of you fry in a torturing fire ? for he shall put off all with this, "God forgive be far from his barrels of strong us, we know no better:' I renew my drink then, and there is not a cold old answer, 2 Thess. i. the Judge well of water for him in hell. What is coming in flaming fire, with all shall be the case of the wretch, the his mighty angels, to render vencovetous man, the oppressor, the geance to all those that know not deceiver, the earth.worm, who can God and believe not. I have often never get his womb full of clay, when told you, security shall slay you: all in the day of Christ, gold and silver men say they have faith, as many must lye burnt in ashes, and he must men and women now, as many saints compear and answer his Judge, and in heaven : and all believe, say ye, quit his clayey and naughty heaven? every foul dog is clean enough, Woe, woe, for evermore, be to the and good enough for the clean and time-turning Atheist, that hath one new Jerusalem above. Every man God and one religion for summer, hath conversion and the new birth : and another God and another religion but it is not leel come; they had for winter, and the day of fanning, never a sick night for sin; conver. when Christ fanneth all that is in his sion came to them in a night-dream: barn floor; who hath a conscience In a word, hell will be empty at the for every fair and market, and the day of Judgment, and heaven pangsoul of him runneth upon these oiled ed full : alas ! it is neither easy nor wheels, time, custom, the world, and ordinary to believe and to be saved ; command of men: O if the careless many must stand in the end at hea. Atheist, and sleeping man, who edg.en's gates; when they go to take eth by all, with, God forgive our pas- out their faith, they take out a fair tors if they lead us wrong, we must do nothing, or as ye used to speak, a as they command, and lay down his bleflume: O lamentable disappointhead upon time's bosom, and giveth ment! I pray you, I charge you in his conscience to a deputy, and sleep. the name of Christ, make fast work eth so while the smoke of hell-fire of Christ and salvation. I know
in his throat, and cause him there are some believers among you, to start out of his doleful bed ! O if and I write to you, O
broken such a man would awake, Many hearted believers ; all the comforts woes are for the over-gilded and of Christ in the Old and New Tes. gold-plaistered hypocrite. A heavy tament are yours. O what a father doom is for the liar and white- and husband you have! O if I had tongued flatterer; and the flying pen and ink, and engine, to write book of God's fearful vengeance, lof bin! Let heaven and earth be
consolidate in massy and pure gold, evening, as I often desired you, esit will not weigh the thousand part pecially now, let him not want lodg. of Christ's love to a soul, even to ing in your houses, nor lye in the me a poor prisoner: 0 that is a mas fields, when he is shut out of pulpits sy and marvellous love! Men and and kirks. If ye will be content to angels, unite your force and strength take heaven by violence, and the in one; ye shall not heave nor poise wind on your face, for Christ and it off the ground: ten thousand his cross, I am here one who have worlds, as many worlds as angels some trial of Christ's cross; I can can number, and then, as a new say, that Christ was ever kind to world of angels can multiply, would me, but he overcometh himself, if not all be the balk of a balance to I may speak so, in kindness while I weigh Christ's excellency, sweetness suffer for him; I give you my word and love : put ten earths in one, and for it, Christ's cross is not so evil as let a rose grow greater than ten they call it; it is sweet, light, and whole earths, or ten worlds, O what comfortable: I would not want the beauty would be in it, and what a visitations of love, and the very smell would it cast but a blast of breathings of Christ's mouth when he the breath of that fairest rose in all kisseth, and my Lord's delightsome God's paradise, even of Christ Jesus smiles and love-embracements, unour Lord, one look of that fairest der my sufferings for him, for a mounface would be infinitely, in beauty tain of gold, nor for all the honours, and smell, above all imaginable and court, and grandeur of velvet kirkcreated glory. I wonder that men men; Christ hath the yolk and heart can bide off Christ. I would esteem of my love, I am my Beloved's, and myself blessed, if I could make an my Well Beloved is mine.' Othat open proclamation, and gather all ye were all hand-fastened to Christ! the world, that are living upon the O my dearly beloved in the Lord, earth, Jew and Gentile, and all that I would I could change my voice, shall be born till the blowing of the and had a tongue tuned with the last trumpet, to ftock round about hand of my Lord, and had the art Christ, and to stand looking, won- of speaking of Christ, that I might dering, admiring, and adoring his paint out unto you the worth, and beauty and sweetness; for his fire is highness, and greatness, and excelhotter than any other fire, his love lency of that fairest and renowned sweeter than common love, his beau- Bridegroom! Į beseech you by the ty surpasseth all other beauty. When mercies of the Lord, by the sighs, I am heavy and sad, one of his love tears, and heart's blood of our Lord looks would do me meikle world's Jesus, by the salvation of your poor good. O if ye would fall in love and precious souls, set up.the mounwith him! How blessed were 1! tain, that ye
may meet before How glad would my soul be to help the Lamb's throne, amongst the con. you to love him! But amongst us gregation of the first-born, Lord, all, we could not love him enough: grant that that may be the trysting. he is the Son of the Father's love, place, that ye and I may put up and God's delight, the Father's love our hands together, and pluck, and lyeth all upon him : 0 if all man. eat the apples off the tree of life, kind would fetch all their love, and and we may feast together, and drink lay it upon him. Invite him and together of that pure river of the take him home to your houses, in water of life, that cometh out from the exercise of prayer, morning and under the throne of God, and from