« VorigeDoorgaan »
compassionateth you, and make a a prisoner of Christ; I pray and moan for you, in all your dumps, write mercy, and peace, and blessand under your downcastings; but ings to him and his. Grace, grace it is good for you, that he hideth be with you for ever. himself sometimes; it is not nice
Tour's in his sweet Lord Jesus, ness, dryness, nor coldness of love,
S. R. that causeth Christ withdraw, and slip in under a curtain and a vail, that ye cannot see him; but he knoweth, ye could not bear with
LETTER CXLIV. up-sails, a fair gale, a full moon and
To Mr. JOHN FERGUSHILL a high spring-tide of his felt love, Reverend and dear Brother, and always a fair summer day and a Grace, mercy and peace be to you. summer-sun of a felt and possessed my longings and desires for a sight and embracing Lord Jesus. His of the new.buided tabernacle of kisses and his visits to his dearest Christ again in Scotland, that taber. ones are thin sown: he could not nacle that came down from heaven, let out his rivers of love upon his hath now taken some life again, own, but these rivers would be in when I see Christ making a mint hazard to loose a young plant at the to sow vengeance among
his root; and he knoweth this of you ; mies. I care not, if this land be ye should therefore frist Christ's ripe for such
a great wonderful kindness, as to its sensible and full niercy; but I know, he must do, manifestations, till ye and he be a. whenever it is done, without hire. bove sun and moon; that is the I find the grief of my silence, and country where ye will be enlarged my fear to be holden at the door of for that love which ye can not now Christ's house, swelling upon me; contain. Call the burden of your and the truth is, were it not that I sweet babes upon Christ, and light- am dawted now and then with pieces en your heart, by laying your all of Christ's sweet love and comforts, upon
he will be their God. II fear I should have made an ill hope to see you up the mountain browst of this honourable cross, yet, and glad in the salvation of that I know such a soft and sillyGod; frame yourself for Christ, and minded body as I am, is not worthy gloom not upon his cross, I find of; for I have little in me but softhim so sweet, that my love, suppose ness, and superlative and excessive I would charge it to remove from apprehensions of fear, and sadness, Christ, would not obey me; his love and sorrow; and often Gods terrors hath stronger fingers than to let go to surround me, because Christ its grips of us, children, who cannot looketh not so favourably upon me, go but by such a hold as Christ. as a poor witness would have him; It is good that we want legs of our and I wonder, how I have past a own, since we may borrow from year and a quarter's imprisonment, Christ, and it is our happiness that without shaming my sweet Lord, to Christ is under an act of cautionry whom I desire to be faithful; and I for heaven, and that Christ is book- think I shall die but even minting ed in heaven, as the principal debtor, and aiming to serve and honour my for such poor bodies as we are. I Lord Jesus. Few know how toom request you, give the Laird your and empty I am at home; but it is husband thanks for his care of me, a part of mariage-love and husband. that he hath appeared in public for love, that my Lord Jesus goeth not
to the streets with hiş chiding Christ in open market, as a lovely against me: 'it is but stolen and con- and desirable Lord, to many souls? cealed anger that I find and feel, ! know he seeth to his own glory, and his glooms to me are kept un- better than my ebb thoughts can der roof, that he will not have mine dream of; and that the wheels and enemies hear what is betwixt me paces of this poor distempered kirk and him: and believe me, I say the are in his hands, and that things truth in Christ, the only gall and shall roll as Christ will have them: wormwood in my cup, and that which only, Lord tryst the matter so, as hath filled me with fear, hath been, Christ
be made a householder lest my sins, that sun and moon and and lord again in Scotland, and wet the Lord's children were never wit- faces for his departure may be dried ness to, should have moved my Lord at his sweet and much desired wel. to strike me with dumb sabbaths: come home. I see, in all our trials, Lord pardon my soft and weak jeal- our Lord will not mix our wares and ousies, if I be here in an error. My his grace over-head through other; very dear brother, I would have but he will have each man to know looked for more large and more par. his own, that the like of me may ticular letters from you, for my com- say, in my sufferings, This is Christ's fort in this; for your words before grace, and this is byt my coarse have strengthened me: I pray you, stuff; this is free grace, and this is mend this, and be thankful and pain- but nature and reason. We know ful, while
ye have a piece or corner what our legs would play us, if they of the Lord's vineyard to dress. O should carry us through all our wawould to God I could have leave to ters; and the least thing our Lord follow you to break the clods! But can have off us, is, to know we are I wish I could command my soul si- grace's debtors or grace's dyvours, lence, and wait upon the Lord. I and that nature is off a base house am sure, while Christ lives, I am well and blood, and grace is better born, enough friend-stead: I hope he will and of kin and blood to Christ, and extend his kindness and power for off a better house. Oh that I were me; but God be thanked it is not free of that idol, that they call myworse with me, than a cross for self; and that Christ were for myChrist and his truth. I know he self, and myself a decourted cypher, might lave pitched upon many more and a denied and foresworn thing! choice and worthy witnesses, if he But that proud thing, myself, will had pleased; but I seek no more (be not play, except it ride up side for what timber I will, suppose I were side with Christ, or rather have made of a piece of hell) than that place before him. O myself, ano. my Lord, in his infinite art, hew ther devil, as evil as the prince of glory to his name, and enlargement devils; if thou could give Christ the to Christ's kingdom, out of me. way, and take thine own room, Oh that I could attain to this, to which is to sit as low as nothing or desire that my part of Christ might corruption! O but we have much be laid in pledge for the heightening need to be ransomed and redeemed of Christ's throne in Britain! Let by Christ, from that master-tyrant, my Lord redeem the pledge, or, if that cruel and lawless lord, ourself. he please, let it sink and drown un- Nay, when I am seeking Christ, and redeemed. But what can I add-to am out of myself, I have the third him?. or what way can a smothered part of a squint eye upon that vain, and born-down prisoner set out vain thing, myself, myself, and
something of mine own: but I know the mercy of Christ is engagmust hold here. I desire you to ed by promise to Scotland, notwithcontribute your help, to see if I can standing he bring wrath, as I fear he be restored to my wasted and lost shall upon this land. I am waiting Aock. I see not how it can be, ex on for enlargement, and half con. cept the lords would procure me a tent that my faith bow, if Christ, liberty to preach; and they have while he bow it, keep it unbroken; reason, 1. Because the opposers and for who goeth through a fire without my adversaries have practised their a mark or a scald? I see the Lord new canons upon me, whereof one is, maketh use of this fire, to scour his That no deprived minister preach, vessels from their rust. Oh that
my under the pain of excommunication. will were silent, and as a child 2. Because my opposing of these weaned from the breasts!' Psal. canons, was a special thing that in. cxxxi. But alas, who hath an heart censed Sydserf against me. 3. Be- that will give Christ the last word in cause I was judicially accused for chiding, and will hear, and not speak my book against the Arminians, again? Oh! contestations and quarand commanded by the chancellor, rellous replies (as a soon saddled to acknowledge I had done a fault spirit, I do weli to be angry even in writing against Dr. Jackson, a to the death,' Jonah iv. 9,) small of wicked Arminian. Pray for a room the stink of strong corruption. O in the house to me. Grace, grace blessed soul that could sacrifice his be (as it is) your portion.
will, and go to heaven, having lost Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus,
his will and made resignation of it to Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. Christ! I would seek no more, but
that Christ were absolute king over my will, and that my will were a
sufferer in all crosses, without meetLETTER CXLV.
ing Christ with such a word, Why is TO JOHN STEWART, Provost of Ayr. it thus? I wish still, that my love Worthy Sir,
had but leave to stand beside beauGrace, mercy, and peace be to tiful Jesus, and to get the mercy of you. I long for the time, when I looking to him, and burning for him, shall see the beauty of the Lord in suppose possession of him were sushis house; and would be as glad of it pended and fristed, till my
Lord fold as of any sight on earth, to see the together the leaves and two sides of halt, the blind, and the lame, come the little shepherd's tent of clay. back to Zion with supplications, Jer. Oh what pain is in longing for Christ, xxxi. 8, 9. •Going and weeping, under an over-clouded and eclipsed and seeking the Lord, asking the assurance! What is harder than to way to Zion with their faces thither. burn and dwine with longing and ward, Jer. I. 5, 6. " And to see the deaths of love, and then to have woman travailing in birth, delivered blanks and uninked paper for assurof the man child of a blessed refor-ance of Christ in real fruition or mation. If this land were humbled, possession? Oh how sweet were one I would look that our skies should line or half of a letter of written asclear, and our day dawn again; and surance under Christ's own hand! ye should then bless Christ, who is But this is our exercise daily, that content to save your travel, and to guiltiness shall overmist and darken give himself to you, in pure ordi- assurance: it is a miracle to believe, nances on this side of the sea. I but for a singer to believe is two
miracles. But what obligations and above themselves, that they
mercy should not at, and with one stride set his foot ov.
Your's in his sweeetest Lord and Master,
matter to take heaven by violence ; | side, and weeping side of this world, salvation cometh now to the most and if ye look not' only upon the part of men in a night-dream: there skin and colour of thiogs, but into is no scarcity of faith now, such as their inwards and the heart of their it is ; for ye shall not now light upon exellency, ye shall see that one look the man, who will not say he hath of Christ's sweet and lovely eye, one faith in Christ; but alas! dreams kiss of his fairest face, is worth ten make no man's rights. Worthy Sir, thousand worlds of such rotten stuff, I beseech you in the Lord, give as the foolish sons of men set their your soul no rest, till ye have real hearts upon. Oh Sir, turn, turn assurance, and Christ's rights con- your heart to the other side of things, firmed and sealed to your soul; and get it once free of these entanglethe common faith, and country-holi- ments, to consider eternity, death, ness, and week-days zeal, that is the clay bed, the grave, awesome among people, will never bring men judgment, everlasting burning quick to heaven: take pains for your sal- in hell, where death would give as vation; for in that day, when ye great a price (if there were a markshall see many men's labours and et, where death might be bought conquests and idol.riches lying in and sold) as all the world. Consider ashes, when the earth and all the heaven and glory: but alas, why works thereof shall be burnt with speak I of considering these things, fire, 0 how dear a' price would which have not entered into the your soul give for God's favour in heart of man to consider? Look into Christ! It is a blessed thing to see these depths (without a bottom) of Christ with up sun, and to read over loveliness, sweetness, beauty, excel. your papers and soul.accounts with lency, glory, goodness, grace and fair day-light: it will not be time to mercy, that are in Christi and ye cry for a lamp, when the Bridegroom shall then cry down the whole world, is entered into his chamber, and the and all the glory of it, even when it door shut. Fy, fy, upon blinded and is come to the summer.bloom; and debased souls, who are committing ye shall cry, Up with Christ, up whoredom with this idol-clay, and with Christ's Father, up with eternihunting a poor wretched hungry ty of glory. Sir, there is a great heaven, a hungry breakfast, a day's deal less sand in your glass than meat from this hungry world, with when I saw you, and your afternoon the forfeiting of God's favour, and is nearer even-tide now than it was. the drinking over their heaven over As a fowl carried back to the sea, the board (as men used to speak) so doth the Lord's swift post, time, for the laughter and sports of this carry you and your life with wings short forenoon! All that is under to the grave: ye eat and drink, but this vault of heaven, and betwixt'us time siandeth not still; ye laugh, but and death, and on this side of sun your day fleeth away; ye sleep, but and moon, are but toys, night-visions, your hours are reckoned and put by head fances, poor shadows, watery hand. O how soon will time chut froth, godless vanities, at their best, you out of the poor and cold and and black hearts, and salt and sour hungry inns of this life! and then miseries, sugared over, and confected what will yesterday's short-born pleawith an hour's laughter or two, and sures do to you, but be as a snow the conceit of riches, honour, vain, ball melted away, many years since, vain court, and lawless pleasures. or worse? for the memory of these Sir, if ye look both to the laughing pleasures useth to fill the soul with