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sing beauty! If men and angels ders, that he will take any praise or would come and look to that great glory, or any testimony to his honand princely Ope, their ebbness ourable cause, from such a forlorn would never take
up his depth, sinner, as I am: but when Christ their narrowness would never com- worketh, he needeth not ask the prehend his breadth, height, and question, by whom he will be glorilength : if ten thousand thousand ous; I know, seeing his glory at worlds of angels were created, then the beginning did shine out of poor might all tire themselves in wonder nothing, to set up such a fair house ing at his beauty, and begin again for men and angels, and so many to wonder of new. O that I could glorious creatures, to proclaim his win nigh him, to kiss his feet, to goodness, power and wisdom, if I hear his voice, to find the smell of were burnt to ashes, out of the his ointments ! But oh alas, I have smoke and powder of my dissolved little, little of him! yet I long for body, he could raise glory to himself:
Remember my bonds, and his glory is his end; oh that I could help me with your prayers; for 1 join with him, to make it my end! would not niffer or exchange my I would think that fellowship with sad hours with the joy of my velvet him sweet and glorious. But alas ! adversaries. Grace be with you. few know the guiltiness that is on Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus,
my part; it is a wonder, that this Aberdeen, June 10, 1637.
S. R. good cause hath not been marred
and spilt, in my foul hands: but I rejoice in this, that my sweet Lord
Jesus hath found something ado, LETTER CXXXVII,
even a ready market for his free
grace, and in comparable and match. Reverend and well-beloved in our Lord.
less mercy, in my wants; only my GRACE, mercy
peace be to you. (lothsome wretchedness and my wants I received your letter, which hath have qualified me for Christ, and refreshed me in my
bonds. I cannot the riches of his glorious grace; he but testify unto you, any dear broth. behoved to take me for nothing, or er, what sweetnes I find in our Mas. else to want me: few know the unter's cross; but alas, what can I seen and private reckoning betwixt either do or suffer for him! If I my Christ and me; yet his love, his alone had as many lives, as there boundless love would not bide away, have been drops of rain since the nor stay at home with himself; and creation, I would think them too yet I cannot make it welcome as I little for that lovely One, our Well- ought, when it is come unsent-for beloved; but my pain and my sorrow and without hire. How joyful is my is above my sufferings, that I find heart, that ye write ye are desirous not ways to set out the praises of to join with me in praising; for it is his love to others, I am not able, by a charity to help a dyvour to pay tongue, pen, or sufferings, to provoke his debts; but when all have helped many to fall in love with him; but we, my name shall stand in his counthe knoweth, whom I love to serve book under ten thousand thousands in the spirit, what I would do, and of sums unpaid : but it easeth my suffer by his own strength, so being heart that his dear servants will þut I might make my Lord Jesus lovely speak of my debts to such a sweet and sweet to many thousands in this Creditor. I desire, he may lay me land. I think it amongst God's won in his own balance and weigh me,
To Mr JAMES FLEMING.
if I would not fain have a feast of honourable testimony; I see, the his boundless love made to my own Lord can ride through his enemies soul, and to many others. One bands and triumph in the sufferings thing I know, we shall not all be of his own; and that this blind world able to come near his exellency with seeth not, that sufferings is Christ's eye, heart, or tongue; for he is armour, wherein he is victorious : above all created thoughts ; all nao and they that contend with Zion see tions before him are as nothing, and pot what he is doing, when theya & less than nothing; he sitteth in the set to work, as under-smiths and circuit of heaven, and the inhabitants servants, to the work of refining of the earth are as grasshoppers be- of the saints, (Satan's hand also by fore him! O that men would praise them is at the melting of the Lord's him! ye complain of your private vessels of mercy) and their office in case: alas I am not the man who God's house, is to scour and cleanse can speak to such an one as ye are: vessels for the King's table. I marany sweet presence I have had in vel not to see them triumph, and sit this town, is (I know) for this cause, at ease in Zion; our Father must that I mighi express and make it lay up his rods, and keep them careknown to others; but I never find fully for his own use; our Lord myself nearer Christ, that royal and cannot want fire in his house; his princely One, than after a great furnace is in Zion, and his fire in weight and sense of deadness, and Jerusalem ; but little know the ad. gracelessness: I think, the sense of versaries the counsel and thoughts of our wants, when withal we have a the Lord. And for your complaints restlesness, and a sort of spiritual of your ministry, I now thiok all I do impatience under them, and can too little: plainness, freedom, watch. make a din because we want him fulness, fidelity, shall swell upon you, whom our soul loveth, is that which in exceeding large comforts, in your maketh an open door to Christ; and sufferings; the feeding of Christ's when we think we are going back. lambs in private visitations, and ward, because we feel deadness, we catechising, in painful preaching, are going forward : for the more and fair, honest and free warning of sense, the more life, and no sense the flock, is a sufferer's garland. O argueth no life. There is no sweeter ten thousand times blessed are they, fellowship with Christ, than to bring who are honoured of Christ to be our wounds and our sores to him. faithful and painful, in wooing a But for myself, I am ashamed of bride to Christ! My dear brother, Christ's goodness and love, since I know ye think more on this, than the time of my bonds; for he hath I can; and I rejoice that your pur, been pleased to open up new trea- pose is, in the Lord's strength, to sures of love and felt sweetness, and back your wronged Master, and to give visitations of love, and access come out, and call yourself Christ's to himself, in this strange land. I man, when so many are now denying would think a fill of his love, young him, as fearing that Christ cannot and green heaven; and when he is do for himself and them. I am a pleased to come, and the tide is in, lost man for ever, or this, this is the and the sea full, and the King and way to salvation, even this way
that a poor prisoner together in the house they call heresy, that men now do of wine, the black tree of the cross mock and scoff at. I am confirmed is not so heavy as a feather, I can- now, that Christ will accept of his not, I dare not, but give Christ an servant's sufferings as good service
To Mr. JOHN MEINE.
to him, at the day of his appearance; and embracing, and upon the hopes and that ere it be long he will be of my meeting and his, when love. upon us all, and men in their blacke letters shall not go
but and whites shall be brought out be. he shall be messenger himself; but fore God, angels and men. Our there is required patience on our Master is not far off; oh if we could part, till the summer fruit in heaven wait on, and be faithful! The good be ripe for us; it is in the bud, but will of Him who dwelt in the bush, there be many things to do before the tender favour and love, the our harvest come, and we take ill grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with it, and can hardly endure to
Help me with your set our paper-face to one of Christ's prayers; and desire, from me, other storms, and to go to heaven with brethren, to take courage for their wet feet, and pain, and sorrow. Master,
We love to carry a heaven to hea. Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, ven with us, and would have two Aberdeen, Aug. 15, 1637. S. R; summers in one year, and no less
than two heavens; but this will not
be for us ; one, and such an one, LETTER CXXXVIII.
may suffice us well enough; the man Christ got but one only, and
shall we have two? Pemember my Worthy and dear Brother,
love in Christ to your father, and GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. help me with your prayers. If ye I have been too long in answering would be a deep divine; I recomyour letter, but other business took mend to you sanctification; fear him, up.
I am here waiting, if the and he shall reveal his covenant to fair wind will turn upon Christ's sails
Grace be with you. in Scotland ; and if deliverance be
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus. breaking out to this over-clouded
Aberdeen, Jan. 5, 1637. and benighted kirk,
Oh that we could contend by prayers and supplications with our Lord for that effect! I know, he hath not given
LETTER CXXXIX. out his last doom against this land.
To CARDONESS, Elder I have little of Christ is this prison, Much honoured Sir, but groanings, and longings, and Grace, mercy and peace be to you. desires; all my stock of Christ is I have longed to hear from you, and some hunger for him, and yet I can- to know the estate of your soul, and not say, but I am rich in that, my the estate of that people with you. faith, and hope, and holy practice I beseech you, Sir, by the salvation of new obedience, are scarce worth of your precious soul, and the mer. the speaking of; but blessed be my cies of God, make good and sure Lord, who taketh me, light and work of your salvation, and try upclipped, and naughty, and feckless, on what ground-stone ye have build. as I am. I see Christ will not prig ed. Worthy and dear Sir, if ye be with me, nor stand upon stepping upon sinking sand, a storm of death, stones, but cometh in at the broad. and a blast will loose Christ and you, side without ceremonies, or making and wash you close off the rock; O it nice, to make a poor ransomed for the Lord's sake, look narrowly one his own. O that I could feed to the work. Read over your life, upon his breathing, and kissing, with the light of God's day light and
sun; for salvation is not casten down breath in their race many miles, and at every man's door: it is good to yet come short of the prize and the look to your compass, and all ye garland! Dear Sir, my soul would have need of, ere ye take shipping; mourn in secret for you, if I knew for no wind can blow
you back again. your case with God to be but false Remember, when the race is ended, work : love to have you anchored and the play either won or lost, and upon Christ, maketh me fear your ye are in the utmost circle and tottering and slips: false under water border of time, and shall put your not seen in the ground of an enlightfoot within tbe march of eternity, ened conscience, is dangerous: so is and all your good things of this short often failing and sinning against light: night-dream shall seem to you like know this, that these who never had the ashes of a blaze of thorns or sick nights or days in conscience for straw, and your poor soul shall be sin, cannot have but such a peace crying, Lodging, lodging, for God's with God, as will undercot, and sake; then shall your soul be more break the flesh again, and end in a glad at one of your Lord's lovely sad war at death. O how fearfully and homely smiles, than if ye had are thousands beguiled with false the charters of three worlds for all hide-grown-over old sins, as if the eternity. Let pleasures and gain, soul were cured and healed! Dear will and desires of this world, be put Sir, I saw ever nature mighty, lofty, over in God's hands, as arrested and heady and strong in you; and it was fenced goods, that ye cannot intro- more for you to be mortified and mit with. Now when ye are drinking dead to the world, than another the grounds of your cup, and ye are common man: ye will take a low upon the utmost ends of the last link ebb, and a deep cut, and a long of time, and old age, like death's lance, to go to the bottom of your long shadow, is casting a covering wounds, in saving humiliation, to upon your days; it is no time to make you a won prey for Christ. court this vain life, and to set love Be humbled, walk softly; down, and heart upon it: it is near after- down, for God's sake, my dear and supper ; seek rest and ease for your worthy brother, with your top sail; soul, in God through Christ. Be- stoop, stoop; it is a low entry to go lieve me, I find it hard wrestling, to in at heaven's gates: there is infinite play fair with Christ, and to keep justice in the party ye have to do good quarters with him, and keep with; it is his nature not to acquit love to him in integrity and life, and the guilty and the sinner; the law of to keep a constant course of sound God will not want one farthing of and solid daily communion with the sinner; God forgetteth not both Christ; temptations are daily break the cautioner and the sinner ; and ing the thread of that course, and it every man must pay, either in his is not easy to cast a knot again, own person (O Lord, save you from and many knots make evil work. O that payment !) or in his cautioner, how fair have many ships been ply. Christ.
It is violence to corrupt ing before the wind, that, in an nature, for a man to be holy, to lye hour's space, have been lying in the down under Christ's feet, to quit will, sea bottom! How many professors pleasure, worldly love, earthly hope, cast a golden lustre, as if they were and an itching of heart after this pure gold, and yet are, under that fairded and overgilded world, and skin and cover, but base and repro- to be content that Christ trample bate metal! And how many keep upon all. Come in, come in to
Christ, and see what you want, and sundered us; and that cannot be. I find it in him; he is the short cut, as desire your children to seek this we use to say, and the nearest way to Lord: desire them from me to be an outgate of all your burdens. I requested, for Christ's sake, to be dare avouch, ye shall be dearly wel. blessed and happy, and come and come to him; my soul would be glad take Christ, and all things with bim; to take part of the joy ye should let them beware of glassy and sliphave in him. I dare say, angels' pens, pery youth, of foolish young notions, angels' tongues, nay as many worlds of worldly lusts, of deceivable gain, of angels, as there are drops of wa. of wicked company, of cursing, lyter in all the seas, and fountains, and ing, blaspheming, and foolish talk. rivers of the earth, cannot paint him ing: let them be filled with the Spiout to you. I think, his sweetness, rit, acquaint themselves with daily since I was a prisoner, hath swelled praying, and with the store house of upon me to the greatness of two wisdom and comfort, the good word heavens. O for a soul as wide as of God. Help the souls of the poor the utmost circle of the highest hea- people; O that my Lord would bring ven that containeth all, to contain his me again among them, that I might love! And yet I could hold little of tell uncouth and great tales of Christ it. O world's wonder! O if my soul to them! Receive not a stranger to might but lye within the smell of his preach any other doctrine to them. love, suppose I could get no more Pray for me, his prisoner of hope. I but the smell of it! O but it is long pray for you without ceasing; 1 write to that day when I shall have a free my blessing, earnest prayers, the love world of Christ's love! O what a of God, and the sweet presence of sight to be up in heaven, in that fair Christ to you, and yours, and them. orchard of the new paradise; and to Grace, grace be with you. see, and smell, and touch, and kiss
Your lawful and loving Pastor, that fair field flower, that ever-green Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. tree of life! His bare shadow were enough for me; a sight of him would be the earnest of heaven to me. Fy,
LETTER CXL. fy upon us that we have love lying To the Earl of LOTHIAN. rusting beside us, or which is worse,
Right honourable, and my very worthy and wasted upon lothsome objects, and
Noble Lord, Christ should lye his alone. Wo, wo Out of the honourable and good is me, that sin hath made so many report that I hear of your Lordship’s mad-men, seeking the fool's paradise, good will and kindness, in taking to fire under ice, and some good and heart the honourable cause of Christ, desireable thing, without and apart and his afflicted church and wronged from Christ. Christ, Christ, nothing truth, in this land; I make bold to but Christ can cool our love's burn- speak a word on paper to your Lording languor; O thirsty love! wilt ship at this distance, which I trust thou set Christ, the well of life, to your Lordship will take in good part. thy head, and drink thy fill; drink it is your Lordship’s honour and and spare not, drink love, and be credit, to put to your hand, as ye drunken with Christ? Nay, alas, do, all honour to God! to the fallthe distance betwixt us and Christ ingand toitering tabernacle of Christ, is death. O if we were clasped in in this your mother-church, and to other's arms! We should never twin own Christ's wrongs, as your own again, except heaven twined and wrongs. O blessed hand, which shall