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wipe and dry the watery eyes of our judice hath drawn over it; and weeping Lord Jesus, now going ye shall, in the strength of the Lord, mourning in sackcloth in his mem- bring our banished and departing bers, in his spouse, in his truth, and Lord Jesus home again to his sancin the prerogative-royal of his king- tuary. Neither must your Lordship ly power! he needeth not service advise with flesh and blood in this ; and help from men; but it pleaseth but wink, and in the dark reach your his wisdom to make the wants and hand to Christ, and follow him. Let losses, sores and wounds of his spouse, not men's fainting discourage you, a field and an office-house for the neither be afraid of men's canny zeal of his servants to exercise them. wisdom, who in this storm take the selves in; therefore, my noble and nearest shore, and go to the lee and dear Lord, go on, go on in the calm side of the gospel, and hide strength of the Lord, against all Christ, if ever they had him, in their opposition, to side with wronged cabinets, as if they were ashamed of Christ. The defending and warding him, or as if Christ were stolen wares, of strokes off Christ, his bride, the and would blush before the sun. My King's daughter, is like a piece of very dear and noble Lord, ye have the rest of the way to heaven, knot. rejoiced the hearts of many, that ye ty, rough, stormy, and full of thorns; have made choice of Christ and his many would follow Christ, but with gospel, whereas such great tempta. a reservation, that by open proclam- tions do stand in your way : but I ation Christ would cry down crosses, love your profession the better, that and cry up fair weather, and a sum it endureth winds ; if we knew ourmer sky and sun, till we were all selves well, to want temptations is fairly landed at heaven. I know the greatest temptation of all: nei. your Lordship hath not so learned ther is father nor mother, nor court, Christ, but that ye intend to fetch nor honour, in this overlustered heaven, suppose your father were world, with all its paint and fairding, standing in your way; and to take any thing else, when they are laid in it with the wind on your face; for so the balance with Christ, but feathers, both storm and wind was on the fair shadows, night-dreams, and straws. face of your lovely Fore-runner, O if this world knew the excellency, Christ, all his way. It is possible, sweetness, and beauty of that high the success answer not your desire, and lofty One, that fairest among
the in this worthy cause: what then ? sons of men ! Verily they should Duties are ours, but events are the see, if their love were bigger than Lords; and I hope, if your Lordship ten heavens all in circles without and others with you shall go on to other, that it were all too little for dive to the lowest ground and bottom Christ our Lord. I hope your choice of the knavery and perfidious treach- shall not repent you, when life shall ery to Christ, of the accursed and come to that twilight betwixt time wretched prelates, the Antichrist's and eternity, and ye shall see the ut. first-born, and the first fruit of his most border of time, and shall draw foul womb, and shall deal with our the curtain, and look into eternity, Sovereign (law going before you) and shall one day see God take the for the reasonable and impartial hear-heavens in his hands, and fold them ing of Christ's bill of complaints, and together like an old holey garment, set yourselves singly to seek the Lord and set on fire this clay part of the and his face, your righteousness shall creation of God, and consume away break through the clouds, that pre- in smoke and ashes the idol-hope of
poor fools, who think there is not a
LETTER CXLI. better country than this low country
To JEAN BROWN, of dying clay.
Children cannot Mistress, make comparison aright betwixt this GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. life and that which is to come; and I long to hear how your soul prostherefore the babes of this world
pereth I earnestly desire your who see no better, mould in their on-going toward your country: I own brain a heaven of their own know ye see your day melteth away coining, because they see no further by little and little, and that in a than the nearest side of time. I dare short time ye will be put beyond lay in pawn my hope of heaven, that time's bounds; for life is a post this reproached way is the only way that standeth not still, and our joys of peace: I find it is the way that the here are born, weeping, rather than Lord hath sealed with his comforts, laughing, and they die weeping. now in my bonds for Christ; and 1 Sin, sin, this body of sin and cor. verily esteem and find chains and ruption imbittereth and poisoneth fetters for that lovely One, Christ, all our enjoyments. Othat I were to be watered over with sweet con- where I shall sin no more! O to be solations, and the love-smiles of that freed of these chains and iron fetters, lovely Bridegroom, for whose com- that we carry about with us! Lord, ing we wait; and when he cometh, loose the sad prisoners. Who of then shall the blacks and whites of the children of God have not cause all men come before the sun, then to say, that they have their fill of shall the Lord put a final decision this vain life, and like a full and upon the pleas that Zion hath with sick stomach, to wish at mid-supper, her adversaries ; and as fast as time that the supper were ended and the posteth away, which neither sitteth, table drawn, that the sick man might nor standeth, nor sleepeth, as fast is win to bed and enjoy rest? We our hand-breadth of this short wint- have cause to tire of a mid-supper er-night flying away, and the sky of of the best messes that this world our long lasting day drawing near can dress up for us; and to cry to its breaking. Except your Lord God, that he would remove the taship be pleased to plead for me, a. ble, and put the sin-sick souls to gainst the tyranny of prelates, I rest with himself. O for a long shall be forgotten in this prison, for play-day with Christ, and our long they did shape my doom according lasting vacance of rest! Glad may to their new lawless canons, which their souls be, that are safe over the is, that a deprived minister shall be firth, Christ having paid the freight: utterly silenced, and not preach at happy are they, who have past their all, which is a cruelty, contrary to hard and wearisome time of appren. their own former practices. Now, ticeship, and are now freemen and the only wise God, the very God of citizens in that joyful high city, peace, confirm, strengthen, and e- the new Jerusalem.' Alas! that we stablish your Lordship, upon the should be glad of, and rejoice in Stone laid in Zion, and be with you our fetters, and our prison-house, for ever.
and this dear inns, a life of sin,
where we are absent from our Lord, Your Lordship's at all respective obedi.
and so far from our home. O that ence in his sweet Lord Jesus,
we could get bonds and law-suretiAberdeen, 1637.
S. Ri ship of our love, that it fasten not
itself on these clay-dreams, these
To ROBERT STEWART.
clay shadows and worldly vanities ! for him: I am his everlasting debt. We might be oftener seeing what or or dyvour, and still shall be; for, they are doing in heaven, and our alas, I have nothing for him, and he heart more frequently upon our getteth little service of me! Pray sweet treasure above; We smell me, that our Lord would be pleased of the smoke of this lower house of to give me house-room, that I may the earth, because our hearts and serve him in the calling he hath our thoughts are here; if we could called me unto. Grace be with haunt up with God, we should smell you. of heaven and of our country above,
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, and we should look like our country, Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R and like strangers or people not
and peace be to you. smoke of it; and if there be any ye are heartily welcome to my world smoke in the house, it bloweth upon of suffering, and heartily welcome to our eyes; all our part of the table my Master's house; God give you is scarce 'worth a drink of water; much joy of your new Master. If I and when we are stricken, we dare have been in the house before you, not weep, but steal our grief away I were not faithful to give the house betwixt our Lord and us, and con- an ill name, or to speak evil of the tent ourselves with stolen sorrow Lord of the family; I rather wish behind backs. God be thanked, Gods holy Spirit, O Lord, reathe we have many things that so stroke upon me with that Spirit, to tell us against the hair, as we may pray, you the fashions of the house. One God keep our better home, God thing I can say, by on-waiting ye bless our Father's house, and not will grow a great man with the Lord this smoke, that bloweth us to seek of the house: hang on till ye get our best lodging. I am sure, this some good from Christ; lay all your is best fruit of the cross, when we, loads and your weights by faith from the hard fare of the dear inns, upon Christ; ease yourself
, and let cry the
more, that God would send him bear all: he can, and will bear a fair, wind, to land us, hungered you, howbeit hell were upon your and oppressed strangers, at the door back. I rejoice that he is come, of our Father's house, which now is and hath chosen you in the furnace; made in Christ our kindly heritage. it was even there where ye and he Othen let us pull up the stakes set. tryst; that is an old gate of and stoops of our tent, and take Christ's; he keepeth the good old our tent on our back, and go with fashion with
that was in Hosea's our flitting to our best home; for days, Hos. ii. 14. “There, behold I here we have no continuing city. will allure her, and bring her to the I am waiting in hope here, to see wilderness, and speak to her heart:' what my Lord will do with me: let there was no talking to her heart, him make of me what he pleaseth; while he and she were in the fair providing he make glory to himself and flourishing city, and at ease; out of me, I care not. I hope, yea but out in the cold, hungry, waste I am now sure, that I am for Christ, wilderness, he allureth her: he whis, and all that I can or may make is pered news into her ear there, and
said, Thou art mine. What would ye may judge yourself an undone ye think of such abode? ye may man, a damned slave of hell and soon do worse than say, Lord hold sin, one dying in your own blood, all; Lord Jesus, a bargain be it, it except Christ come aud rue upon shall not go back in my side.' Ye you, and take you up; and therehave gotten a great advantage in fore make sure and fast work of con. the way to heaven, that ye have version ; cast the earth deep; and started to the gate in the morning: down, down with the old work, the like a fool as I was, I suffered my building of confusion, that was there sun to be high in the heaven, and before ; and let Christ lay new near afternoon, before ever I took work, and make a new creation the gate by the end: I pray you within you. Look if Christ's rain now keep the advantage ye have. goeth down to the root of your My heart, be not lazy; set quickly withered plants, and if his love up the brae on hands and feet, as if wound your heart while it bleed the last pickle of sand were running with sorrow for sin, and if ye can out of your glass, and death were pant and fall a-swoon, and be like coming to turn the glass : and be die for that lovely One, Jesus : I very careful to take heed to your know Christ will not be hid where he feet, in that slippery and dangerous is ; grace will ever speak for itself, way of youth, that ye are walking and be fruitful in well-doing; the in; the devil and temptations now sanctified cross is a fruitful tree, it have the advantage of the brae of bringeth forth many apples. If I you, and are upon your wand-hand should tell you by some weak ex. and your working hand; dry timber perience, what I have found in will soon take fire: be covetous and Christ, ye or others could hardly greedy of the grace of God, and believe me; I thought not the hunbeware that it be not holiness that dreth part of Christ long since, that cometh only from the cross ; for I do now, though, alas! my thoughts too many are that way disposed, are still infinitely below his worth. Psal. lxxviii. 34. When he slew them, I have a dwining, sickly and pained then they sought him, and they re- life, for a real possession of him; turned and enquired early after God. and am troubled with love-brashes Ver. 36. Nevertheless, they did flat- and love-fevers; but it is a sweet ter him with their mouth, and they pain. I would refuse no conditions, lied unto him with their tongues. It not hell excepted (reserving always is a part of our hypocrisy, to give God's hatred) to buy possession of God fair white words, when he hath Jesus: but alas! I am not a merchus in his grips, if I may speak so, ant, who have any money to give and to flatter him till we win to the for him; I must either come to a fair fields again. Try well green good cheap market, where wares godliness, and examine what it is are had for nothing, else I go
home ye love in Christ; if ye love but empty : but I have casten this work Christ's sun-side, and would have upon Christ, to get me himself; I only summer weather and a land- have his faith, and truth, and progate, not a sea-way to heaven; your mise (as a pawn of his) all engaged profession will play you a slip, and that I shall obtain that which my the winter-well will go dry again in hungry desires would be at, and I
Make no sports or child. esteem that the choice of my hapren's play of Christ ; but labour for piness; and for Christ's cross, es. # sound and lively sight of sin, that pecially the garland and flower of
all crosses, to suffer for his name, (me worth the speaking of. Sir, I I esteem it more than I can write charge you, help me to praise him: or speak to you; and I write it it is a shame to speak of what he uoder mine own hand to you, it is hath done for me, and what I do to one of the steps of the ladder up him again. I am sure Christ hath to our country, and Christ (whoever many drowned dyvours in heaven be one) is still at the heavy end of beside him; and when we are conthis black tree, and so it is but as vened, man and angel, at the great a feather to me; I need not run at day, in that fair last meeting, we leisure, because of a burden on my are all but his drowned dyvours; it back; my back never bare the like it is hard to say, who oweth him of it; the more heavily crossed for most. If men could do no more, Christ the soul is, it is still the I would have them to wonder: if lighter for the journey. Now, would we cannot be filled with Christ's to God, all cold-blooded, faint-heart- love, we may be filled with wondered soldiers of Christ would look ing. Sir, I would I could persuade again to Jesus, and to his love; and you to grow sick for Christ, and to when they look, I would have them long after him, and be pained with to look again and again, and fill love for himself; but his tongue is themselves with beholding of Christ's in heaven, who can do it! To him beauty; and I dare say then, that and his rich grace I recommend you. Christ would come in great court I pray you, pray for me, and forget and request with many; the virgins not to praise. would flock fast about the Bride
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, groom, they would embrace and
Aberdeen, June 17, 1637.
S. R. take hold of him, and not let him go; but when I have spoken of him, till my head split, I have said just nothing, I may begin again. А
LETTER CXLIII. God-head, a God-head is a world's To the Lady GAITGIRTH. wonder; set ten thousand thousand Mistress, new made worlds of angels and Grace, mercy and peace be to you. elect men, and double them in I long to know how matters stand number, ten thousand, thousand, betwixt Christ and your soul. I thousand times; let their heart and know ye find him still the longer tongues be ten thousand thousand the better, time cannot change bim times more agile and large, than in his love: ye may yourself ebb the heart and tongues of the sera- and flow, rise and fall, wax and phims that stand with six wings wane; but your Lord is this day as before him, Isa. vi. 2. when they he was yesterday; and it is your have said all for the glorifying and comfort that your salvation is not praising of the Lord Jesus, they have rolled upon wheels of your own but spoken little or nothing; his making, neither have ye to do with love will bide all possible creatures a Christ of your own shaping: God to praise; O if I could wear this hath singled out a Mediator, strong tongue to the stump, in extolling and mighty; if ye and your burdens his highness! But it is my daily- were as heavy as ten hills or hells, growing sorrow; that I am confound he is able to bear you, and save you ed with his incomparable love, and to the uttermost. Your often seekhe doth so great things for my soul, ing to him, cannot make you : a and he got never yet any thing of burden to him. In know Christ