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heaven; and time shall file off, by our corrupt nature: Alas! that is a little and little, our iron bolts, which friend near of kin and blood to are now on legs and arms, and out- hinself, and will not fail to fall date, and wear out trouble thread- upon us: and hence it is, that bare and holely, and then wear them he, who saveth to the uttermost, and to nothing: for what I suffered yes- leadeth many sons to glory, is still terday, I know, shall never come righting my salvation, and twenty again to trouble me. O that we times a-day I ravel my heaven, and could breathe out new hope, and then I must come with ny ill-ravel. new submission, every day, in Christ's led work to Christ, to cumber him, lapi For certainly, a weight of glo- as it were, to right it, and to seek ry well weighed, yea, encreasing to again the right end of the thread, and a far more exceeding and eternal to fold up again my eternal glory weight, shall recompense both weight with his own hand, and to give a and length of light, and clipped and right cast of his holy and gracious short-dated crosses; our waters are hand to my marred and spilt salvabut ebb, and come neither to our vation. Certainly, it is a cumberchin, nor to the stopping of our some thing, to keep a foolish child breath. I may see, if I would bor. from falls and broken brows, and row eyes froin Christ, dry land, and weeping for this and that toy, and that near ; why then should we not rash running, and sickness, and chil. laugh at adversity, and scorn our dren's diseases; ere he win through short-born and soon-dying tempta- them all, and win out of the mires, tions! I rejoice in the hope of that he costeth meikle black cumber and glory to be revealed, for it is no un- fashrie to his keepers: and so is a be. certain glory we look for; our hope liever a cumbersome piece of work, is not hung upon such an untwisted and an ill-ravelled hesp, as we use to thread, as, I imagine so, or, it is say, to Christ; but God be thanked, likely; but the cable, the strong tow for many spilt salvations, and many of our fastened anchor, is the oath ill-ravelled hesps hath Christ mended, and promise of him who is eternal since first he entered tutor to lost verity; our salvation is fastened with mankind. O what could we, children, God's own hand, and with Christ's do without him? how soon would we own strength, to the strong rock of mar all! But the less of our weight God's unchangeable nature. Mal. be upon our own feeble legs, and the iii. 6.
“I am the Lord, I change more that we be on Christ the strong not; and therefore ye sons of Jacob Rock, the better for us; it is good are not consumed.' We may play, for us, that ever Christ took the and dance, and leap upon our wor. cumber off us; it is our heaven, to thy and immovable Rock; the ground lay many weights and burdens upon is sure and good, and will bide hell's Christ, and to make him all we have, brangling, and devil's brangling, and root and top, beginning and ending the world's assaults. Oh if our faith of our salvation; Lord hold us here, could ride it out, against the high Now to this tutor, and rich Lord, I and proud waves and winds, when recommend you; hold fast till he our sea seemeth to be all on fire! (come, and remember his prisoner, how oft do I let my grips go! I am Grace, grace be with you. put to swimming and half sinking I find the devil hath the advantage
Your's in his and your Lord Jesus, of the ground, in this battle; for Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. he fighteth on known ground, in
LETTER CXXX. right and his church's lawful calling. To Mr. WILLIAM DALGLEISH. Dear brother, let Christ be dearer Reverend and Dear Brother.
and dearer to you; let the conquest Grace, mercy and peace be to you. of souls be top and root, flower and I received your letter ; I bless our bloom of your joys and desires, on high and only wise Lord, who hath this side of sun and moon; and on broken the snare that men had laid the day, when the Lord shall pull for you; and I hope, that now he up the four stakes of this clay tent shall keep you in his house, in de of the earth, and the last pickle of spite of the powers of hell. Who sand shall be at the nick of falling knoweth, but the streets of our down in your watch-glass, and the Jerusalem shall. yet be filled with master shall call the servants of the young men, and with old men, and vineyard to give them their hire; ye boys, and women with child; and will esteem the bloom of this world's that they shall plant vines in the glory like the colours of the rainbow, mountains of Samaria ? I am sure, that no man can put in his purse the wheels, paces and motions of and treasure; your labour and pains this poor church are tempered and shall then smile upon you. My ruled, not as men would, but accor. Lord now hath given me experience, ing to the good pleasure and infinite howbeil weak and small, that our wisdom of our only wise Lord. I best fare here is hunger; we are but am here waiting in hope, that my at God's by-board, in this lower innocency, in this honourable cause, house: we have cause to long for shall melt this cloud that men have supper-time, and the high table, up casten over me. I know, my Lord in the high palace; this world dehad his own quarrels against me, serveth nothing but the outer-court and that my dross stood in need of of our soul. Lord, hasten the mar. this hot furnace : but I rejoice in riage supper of the Lamb. I find this, that fair truth, beautiful truth, it still peace to give up with this (whose glory my Lord cleareth to present world, as with an old deme more and more) beareth me courted and cast-off lover; my bread company; and that my weak aims and drink in it, is not so much worth, to honour my Master, in bringing that I should not loath the inns, guests to his house, now swell upon and pack up my desires for Christ, me in comforts; and that I am not that I have sent out to the seckless afraid to want a witness in heaven, creatures in it. Grace, grace be that it was my joy to have a crown with you. put upon Christ's head in that coun
Your affectionate brother anu Christ's try, what joy would I have, to
prisoner. S. R, see the wind turn upon the enemies of the cross of Christ, and to see my
Aberdeen, 1637. Lord Jesus restored with the voice of praise to his own free throne again; and to be brought amongst you, to
LETTER CXXXI. see the beauty of the Lord's house! I hope that my country will not be so
Much honoured Sir, silly, as to suffer men to pluck you GRACE, mercy and
peace away from them, and that ye will I long to hear how your
soul pros. use means to keep my place empty, pereth! I have that confidence that and to bring me back again to the your soul mindeth Christ and salvapeople, to whom I have Christ's tion: I beseech you in the Lord,
To the Laird of CALLY.
be to you.
give more pains and diligence to love constraining me, not I but the fetch heaven, than the country sort Lord's word, not I but Christ's of lazy professors, who think their commanding power as King in me! own faith and their own godliness, O what pains; and what a death is because it is their own, best; and it to nature, to turn me, myself, my content themselvs with a coldrife lust, my ease, my credit, over in my custom and course, with a resolution Lord, my Saviour, my King, and to summer and winter in that sort my God, my Lord's will my Lord's of profession that the multitude and grace! But alas! that idol, that the times favour most; and are still whorish creature, myself, is the masshaping and clipping and carving ter idol we all bow to. What made their faith, according as it may best Eve miscarry ? and what hurried her stand with their summer sun and a headlong upon the forbidden fruit whole skin; and so breathe out both but that wretched thing, herself? hot and cold in God's matters, ac. what drew that brother nurderer to cording to the course of the times: kill Abel? that wild himself. What this is their compass they sail toward drove the old world on to corrupt heaven by, instead of a better their ways? who, but themselves, Worthy and dear Sir, separate your- and their own pleasure? What was self from such, and bend yourself to the cause of Solomon's falling into the utmost of your strength and adultry and multiplying of strange breath, in running fast for salvation; wives? what, but himself, whom he and, in taking Christ's kingdom, use would rather please than God? violence. It cost Christ and all his What was the hook that took David followers sharp showers and hot and snared him first in adultery, but sweats, ere they won to the top of his self lust; and then in murder, the mountain : but still our soft na. but his self credit and self honour? ture would have heaven coming to What led Peter on to deny his Lord? our bed-side, when we are sleeping, was it not a piece of himself, and and lying down with us, that we self-love to a whole skin? What might go to heaven in warm clothes; made Judas sell his Master for thir. but all that came there found wet ty pieces of money, but a piece self feet by the way, and sharp storms, love, idolizing of avaricious self? that did take the skin off their face, What made Demas to go off the and found tos and fros, and ups way of the gospel, to embrace this and downs, and many enemies. It present world ? even self-love and is impossible a man can take his love of gain for himself. Every lusts to heaven with him, such wares man blameth the devil for his sins; as these will not be welcome there. but the great devil, the house-devil O how loath are we to forego our of every man, the house-devil that packalds and burdens, that hinder eateth and Iyeth in every man's bous to run our race with patience! It som, is that idol that killeth all, is no small work to displease and himself. O blessed are they, who anger nature, that we may please can deny themselves, and put Christ God. O if it be hard to win one in the room of themselves! O would foot or half an inch out of our own to the Lord, I had not a myself, will, our own wit, out of our own but Christ; not a my lust, but ease and worldly Justs; and so to Christ; not a my ease, but Christ; deny ourself, and to say, It is not I not a iny honour, but Christ! O but Christ, not I but grace, not I sweet word! Gal. ii. 20. “I live no but God's glory, not I but God's more, but Christ liveth in me! O if
every one would put away himself, tle point of your well or ill employhis own self, his own ease, his owned short and swift posting sandpleasure, his own credit, and his own glass : seek the Lord while he may twenty things, his own hundred be found; the Lord waiteth upon things, that he setteth up as idols a- you. Your soul is of no little price; bove Christ! Dear Sir, I know ye will gold nor silver, of as much bounds be looking back to your old self, and as would cover the highest heaven to your self-lust and self-idol, that ye round about cannot buy it. To live set up in the lusts of youth, above as others do, and to be free of
open Christ. Worthy Sir, pardon this my sins, that the world crieth shame up-, freedom of love. God is my witness, on, will not bring you to heaven ; as that it is out of an earnest desire much civility and country discretion after your soul's eternal welfare, that as would lye between you and heavI use this freedom of speech: your en, will not lead you one foot or one sun, I know, is lower, and your inch above condemned nature; and evening-sky and sun setting nearer therefore take pains upon seeking of than when I saw you last : strive to salvation, and give your will, wit, end your task before night, and to humour, the green desires of youth's make Christ yourself, and to ac. pleasures off your hand to Christ. quaint your love and your heart with It is not possible for you to know, the Lord. Stand now by Christ and till experience teach you, how danhis truth, when so many fall foully, gerous a time youth is; it is like and are false to him. I hope, ye love green and wet timber ; when Christ him and his truth, let me bave power casteth fire on it, it taketh not fire, with you to confirm you in him. 1 There is need here of more than orthink more of my Lord's sweet cross dinary pains, for corrupt nature hath than of a crown of gold, and a free a good back friend of youth: and kingdom lying to it, Sir, I le. sinning against light will put out member you in my prayers to the your candle, and stupify your conLord, according to my promise: science, and bring upon it more cov. help me with your prayers, that our erings and skin, and less feeling and Lord would be pleased to bring me sense of guiltiness; and when that is amongst you again, with the gospel done, the devil is like a mad horse of Christ. Grace, grace be with that hath broken the bridle, and runyou.
neth away with his rider whither he Your's in his sweetest Lord and Master, listeth. Learn to know that which Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. the apostle knew, the deceitfulness of sin; strive to make
reading, and holy company, and LETTER CXXXII. holy conference your delight; and To JOHN. GORDON of Cardoness, Younger. when delight cometh in, ye shall by Dearly beloved in our Lord,
little and little smell the sweetness GRACE, mercy, and peace be to you. of Christ, till at length your soul be I long exceedingly to hear of the over head and ears in Christ's sweetcase of your soul, which hath a large ness; then shall ye be taken up to share both of my prayers and care- the top of the mountain with the ful thoughts, Sir, remember that a Lord, to know the ravishments of precious treasure and prize is upon spiritual love, and the glory and ex. this short play that ye are now up. cellency of a seen, revealed, felt, on; even the eternity of well or wo and embraced Christ; and then ye to your soul, standeth upon the lit. shall not be able to loose yourself
off Christ, and to bind your soul to strange wells are poison. Strive to old lovers; then, and never till then, learn some new way against your are all the paces, motions, walkings, corruption, from the man of God, and wheels of your soul in a right M. W. D. or other servants of God: tune, and in a spiritual temper. sleep not sound, till ye
find yourself But if this world and the lusts in that case, that ye dare look death thereof be your delight, I know not in the face, and durst hazard your what Christ can make of you; ye soul upon eternity. I am sure, many cannot be metal to be a vessel of ells and inches of the short thread glory and mercy. As the Lord liv- of your life are by-hand since I saw eth, thousand thousands are beguil- you; and that thread hath an end, ed with security, because God, and and ye have no hands to cast a knot, wrath, and judgment are not terrible and add one day or a finger-breadth to them. Stand in awe of God, and to the end of it. When hearing, of the warning and checking of a and seeing, and the outer walls of rebuking conscience: make others the clay-house shall fall down, and to see Christ in you, moving, doing, life shall render the besieged castle speaking and thinking; your actions of clay to death and judgment, and will smell of him, if he be in you: ye find your time worn ebb and run there is an instinct in the new-born out, what thoughts will you then babes of Christ, like the instinct of have of idol-pleasures, that possibly nature that leads birds to build their are now sweet? what bud or hire nests, and bring forth their young, would you then give for the Lord's and love such and such places, as favour? and what a price would ye woods, forests, and wildernesses, then give for pardon? It were not better than other places. The in. amiss to think, “What if I were to stinct of nature maketh a man love receive a doom, and to enter into a his mother country, above all coun- furnace of fire and brimstone ? what tries; the instinct of renewed nature if it come to this, that I shall have and supernatural grace, will lead no portion but utter darkness ? and you to such and such works, as to what if I be brought to this, to be love your country above, to sigh to banished from the presence of God, be clothed with
your house not made and to be given over to God's serwith hands, and to call your borrow- jeants, the devil, and the power of ed prison here below, a borrowed the second death i' Put your soul prison; and to look upon it servant. by supposition, in such a case, and like and pilgrim-like; and the pil. consider what horror would take grim's eye and look is a disdainful., hold of
you, and what ye would like discontented cast of his eye, bis then esteem of pleasing yourself in heart crying after his eye, Fy, fy, the course of sin. O dear Sir, for this is not like my country. I re- the Lord's sake awake to live rightcommend to you the mending of a cously, and love your poor soul ! hole, and reforming of a failing, one and after ye have seen this my
let. or other every week; and put off a ter, say with yourself, The Lord sin, or a piece of it, as of anger, will seek an account of this warning wrath, lust, intemperance, every I have received. Lodge Christ in day, that ye may more easily mas. your family. Receive no stranger ter the remnant of your corruption. hireling as your pastor. I bless your God hath given you a wife; love children. Grace be with you. her, and let her breasts satisfy you : Your lawful and loring Pastor, and, for the Lord's sake, drink no Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. waters, but out of your own cistern;