« VorigeDoorgaan »
the Lamb. O how little is your anger of the Lord pass: follow not hand-breadth and span-length of the pastors of this and, for the sun days here! Your inch of time is less is gone down upon them; as the than when ye and I parted: eternity, Lord liveth, they lead you from eternity is coming, posting on with Christ, and from the good old way; wings; then shall every man's blacks yet the Lord will keep the holy city, and whites be brought to light. O and make this withered kirk to how light will your thoughts be of bud again like a rose, and a field this fair-skinned but heart-rotten ap- blessed of the Lord. The grace of ple, the vain,' vain, feckless world, the Lord Jesus Christ be with you when the worms shall make their all. The prayers and blessings of a houses in your eye-holes, and shall prisoner of Christ, in bonds for him, eat off the flesh from the ball of your and for you, be with you all, Amen. cheeks, and shall make that body a
Your lawful and loving pastor S. R. number of dry bones! Think not the common way of serving God, as
Aberdeen, July 14, 1637. neighbour and others do, will bring you to heaven; few, few are saved; the devil's court is thick and many;
LETTER III. he hath the greatest number of man
To the Honourable, Reverend, and well-beloved kind for his vassels. I know this Professors of Christ and his Truth in sincerity in world is a forest of thorns in your way to heaven; but you must through DeARLY beloved in our Lord, and it; acquaint yourselờes with the partakers of the heavenly calling, Lord, hold fast Christ, hear his voice Grace, mercy and peace be to you, only, bless his name, sanctify and from God our father, and from our keep his day; keep the new com. Lord Jesus Christ. I always, but most mandment, love one another;' let of all now in my bonds, most sweet the Holy Spirit dwell in your bodies, bonds for Christ my Lord, rejoice and be clean and holy; love not the to hear of your faith and love, and world, lie not, love and follow truth; to hear that our King, our well-belearn to know God: keep in mind loved, our Bridegroom, without tir. what I taught you; for God will ing, stayeth still to woo you, as his seek an account of it, when I am wife; and that persecutions, and far from you; abstain from all evil, mockings of sinners have not chased and all appearance of evil; follow away the wooer from the house. I good carefully, and seek peace, and persuade you in the Lord, the men follow after it; honour your king, of God, now scattered and driven and pray for him; remember me to from you, put you upon the right God in your prayers, I do not forget scent and pursuit of Christ; and my you. I told you often, while I was salvation on it, if ten heavens were with you, and now I write it again. mine, if this way, this way that I Heavy, sad, and sore, is that stroke now suffer for, this way that the of the Lord's wrath that is coming world picknameth and reproacheth, upon
Scotland: : wo, wo, wo to this and no other way, be not the King's harlot land; for they shall take the gate to heaven; and I shall never see cup of God's wrath from his hands, God's face, (and, alas, I were a beand drink, and spue, and fall, and guiled wretch if it were so!) if this not rise again. In, in, in with speed, be not the only saving way to heato your strong hold, ye prisoners of ven. O that you would take a prihope, and hide you there, while the soner of Christ's word for it, nay, I
know you have the greatest King's things, for a' lease and tack of Christ word for it, that it shall not be your for all eternity! O how are we miswisdom to seek out another Christ, led and mired with the love of things another
way of worshipping him, that are on this side of time, and on than is now savingly revealed to you. this side of death's water!
Where Therefore, though I never saw your can we find a match to Christ, or an faces, let me be pardoned to write to equal, or a better than he, among you, ye honourable persons, ye faith. created things ? Oh, this world is ful pastors yet amongst the flocks, out of all conceit, and all love with and ye sincere professors of Christ's our Beloved ! O that I could sell my truth, or any weak, tired strayers, laughter, joy, ease, and all for him? who cast but half an eye after the and be content with a straw bed, and Bridegroom, if possibly I could, by bread by weight, and water by meaany weak experience, confirm and sure, in the camp of our weeping strengthen you in this good way, Christ! I know his sackcloth and every where spoken against. I can ashes are better than the fool's laughwith the greatest assurance, to the ter, which is like the crackling of honour of our highest, and greatest, thorns under a pot. But alas ! we and dearest Lord, let it be spoken, do not harden our faces against the assert though I be but a child in cold north storm which blow upon Christ and scarce able to walk but Christ's fair face, we well love sumby a hold, and the meanest, and less mer religion, and to be that which than the least of saints, that we do not sin hath made us, even as thin-skincome nigh by twenty degrees, to the ned as if we were made of white due love and estimation of that fair-paper, and would fain be carried to est amongst the sons of men; for if heaven in a close covered chariot, it were possible that heaven, yea, wishing from our hearts that Christ ten heavens, were laid in the balance would give us surety, and his hand with Christ, I would think the smell write, and his seal for nothing but a of his breath above them all: sure fair summer, until we be landed in I am, he is the far best half of hea- at heavens's gates; how many of us ven; yea, he is all heaven, and more have been here deceived, and faintthan all heaven: and my testimony ed in the day of trial! amongst you of him is, that ten lives of black sor- there are some of this stamp. I row, ten deaths, ten hells of pain, shall be sorry if my acquaintance ten furnaces of brimstone, and all A. T. hath left you; I will not beexquisite torments, were all too little lieve he dare stay from Christ's side. for Christ, if our suffering could be I desire that ye shew him this from a hire to buy him; and therefore me; for I loved him once in Christ, faint not in your sufferings and haz- neither can I change my mind sudards for him. I proclaim and cry, denly of him. But the truth is, that hell, sorrow, and shame upon all many of you, and too many also of lusts, upon all by-lovers, that would your neighbour church of Scotland, take Christ's room over his head, in have been like a tenant that sitteth this little inch of love, of these nar- meal-free, and knoweth not his hold. row souls of ours, that is due to ing while his rights be questioned ; sweetest Jesus. O highest, О fairest, and now I am persuaded, it will be O dearest Lord Jesus, take thine asked at every one of us, on what own from all bastard lovers. O that terms we brook Christ; for we bave we could wadset and sell all our part sitten long meal-free; we found of time's glory, and time's good Christ without a wet foot; and he,
and his gospel, came upon small is like a small hair, that hath no charges to our doors: but now we breadth, and will not cleave in two: must wet our feet to seek him: our it is not possible to twist and comevil manners, and the bad fashions pound a matter betwixt Christ and of a people at ease, from our youth, Antichrist; and therefore, ye must and like Moab, not emptied from either be for Christ; or ye must be vessel to vessel, Jer xlviii. 11. hath against him. It was but man's wit, made as like standing waters, to ga- and the wit of Prelates and their godther a foul scum, and when we are father the Pope (that man without jumbled our dregs come up, and are law) to put Christ and his prerogaseen : many take but half a grip of tives royal, and his truth, or the Christ, and the wind bloweth them smallest nail-breadth of his latter. and Christ asunder; indeed when the will, in the new kalendar of indiffermast is broken and blown in the sea, ences; and to make a blank of unit is an art then to swim upon Christ inked paper, in Christ's testament to dry land: it is even possible that that men fill up; and to shuffle the the children of God in a hard trial, truth, and matters they call indifferlay themselves down, as hidden in ent, thorow other; and spin both tothe leeward side of a bush while gether, that Antichrist's wares may Christ their Master being taken, as sell the better. This is but the de Peter did; and lurk there, while the vice and forged dream of men, whose storm be overpast: all of us know consciences are made of stoutness, the way to a whole skin; and the and have a throat, that a graven imsinglest heart that is, hath a by-purse age, greater than the bounds of the that will contain the denial of Christ, kirk-door, would get free passage and a fearful backsliding. O how into: I am sure, when Christ shall rare a thing it is to be loyal and hon bring all out in our blacks and whites, est to Christ, when he hath a con- at that day, when he shall
down troversy with the shields of the earth. time, and the world, and when the I wish all of you would consider, glory of it shall lye in white ashes, that this trial is from Christ, it is like a May-flower cut down and hav. come upon you unbought; indeed ing lost the blossom, there will be when we buy a temptation with our few, yea none, that dare make any own money, no marvel that we be point, that toucheth the worship and not easily free of it, and that God honour of our King and Lawgiver, be not at our elbow to take it off our to be indifferent. Õ that this misled
this is Christ's ordinary and blindfolded world would see, house-fare that he makes use of, to that Christ doth not rise and fall, try all the vessels of his house with stand or lye, by men's apprehensions! al, and Christ now is about to bring What is Christ the lighter, that men his treasure out before sun and moon, do with him by open proclamation, and to tell his money, and in the as men do with clipped and light telling to try what weight of gold, money? They are now crying down and what weight of watered copper Christ some grain weights, and some is in his house. Do not now jouk, pounds or shillings and they will or bow, or yield to your adversaries have him lie for a penny or a pound, in a liąir-breadth: Christ and his for one, or for an hundred, accord. truth will not divide; and his truth ing as the wind bloweth from the hath not latitude and breadth, that east or from the west; but the Lord ye may take some of it, and leave hath weighed him, and balanced other some of it; nay, the gospel him already; • This is my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear that our sweet Lord Jesus will not ye him;' his worth and his weight come with chiding to the streets, to standeth still. It is our part to cry, let all the world hear what is betwixt Up, up with Christ, and down, down him and us; his sweet glooms stay with all created glory before him. under roof, and that because he is O that I could heighten him, and God. Two special things ye are to heighten his name, and heighten his mind: 1. Try and make sure your throne! I know, and am persuaded, profession; that ye carry not empty that Christ shall again be high and lamps; alas, security, security is the great, in this poor, withered, and bane and the wreck of the most part sun-burnt kirk of Scotland; and that of the world ! Oh, how many prothe sparks of our fire shall flee over fessors go with a golden lustre, and sea, and round about, to warm you gold-like before men, who are but and other sister-churches; and that witnesses to our white skin, and yet this tabernacle of David's house that are but bastard and base metal ! is fallen, even the son of David, his Consider how fair before the wind waste places shall be built again; some do ply with up-sails and white, and I know the prison, crosses, per- even to the nick of illuminations ? secutions, and trials of the two slain Heb. vi. 5. • And tasting of the witnesses, that are now dead and heavenly gift; and a share and part buried, Rev. xi. and of the faith of the Holy Ghost; and the tasting of ful professors, have a back-door and the good word of God, and the powers back-entry of escape; and that death of the world to came;' and yet this and hell, and the world, and tor- is but a false nick of renovation, and tures, shall all cleave and split in in a short time such are quickly twain, and give us free passage and broken upon the rocks, and never liberty to go through them toll-free; fetch the harbour, but are stranded and we shall bring all God's good in the bottom of hell. O make metal out of the furnace again, and
ye leave behind us but our dross, and come by conversion; that it be not our scum; we may then before-hand stolen goods, in a white and well. proclaim Christ to be victorious. He lustred profession! A white skin is crowned King in mount Zion; God over old wounds maketh an underdid put the crown upon his head, coating conscience; false under wa. Psal. ii. and who dare take it off ter not seen is dangerous, and that again ? Out of question, he hath is a leak and rift in the bottom of sore and grievous quarrels with his an enlightened conscience, often church: and therefore he is called, falling, and sinning against light. Isa. xxxi. 9. • He whose fire is in Wo, wo is me that the holy profesZion, and whose furnace is in Jeru- sion of Christ is made a stage garsalem. But when he hath perform- ment by many to bring home a vain ed his work on mount Zion, all Zion's fame; and Christ is made to serve haters shall be as the hungry and men's ends; that it, as it were, to thirsty man, that dreams he is eat- stop an oven with a king's robes. ing and drinking, and behold when Know 2. Excellent men martyr and he awakeneth, he is faint, and his slay the body of sin in sanctified selfsoul empty: and this advantage we denial, they shall never be Christ's have also, that he will not bring be- martyrs and faithful witnesses.
Oh, fore sun and moon all the infirmities if I could be master of that house of his wife; it is the modesty of idol, myself, my own, mine, my own marriage-anger, or husband-wrath, I will, wit, credit and ease! 'How
blessed were I! O but we have need tabernacle in Scotland, that we might to be redeemed from ourselves, ra- see the glory of the second temple tber than from the devil and the in this land. O that little hea. world! Learn to put out yourselves, ven were wadset, to redeem the hoand to put in Christ for yourselves ; nour of my Lord Jesus among
Jews I should make a sweet bartering and and Gentiles. Let never dew lye niffering, and give old for new, if I upon my branches, and let my poor could shuffle out self, and substitute flower wither at the root, so being Christ my Lord in place of myself; Christ were enthroned, and his glory to say, Not I, but Christ; not iny advanced in all the world, and es. will, but Christ's ; not my ease, not pecially in these three king:doms ; my lust, not my feckless credit, but but I know he hath no need of me; Christ, Christ. But alas ! in leaving what can I add to him? but oh that ourselves, in setting Christ before he would cause his high and pure our idol, self, we have yet a glaiked glory run through such a foul chanback-look to our old idol. O wretch- nel as I am! and howbeit he hath ed idol, myself! when shall I see caused the blossom fall off my one thee wholly decourted, and Christ poor joy, that was on this side of wholly put in thy room? O if Christ, heaven, even my liberty to preach Christ had the full place and room Christ to his people, yet I arp dead of myself! that all my aims, pur- to that now, so being he would hew poses, thoughts, and desires, would and carve glory, glory for evermore, coast and land upon Christ, and not to my royal king, out of any silence upon myself! and howbeit we can- and sufferings. Oh that I had my not attain to this denial of me and fill of his love; but I know ill manmine : that we can say, I am not ners make an uncouth and strange myself, myself is not myself, mine Bridegroom. I entreat you earnesto own is no longer mine own; yet our ly for the aid of your prayers, for I aiming at this in all we do shall be forget not you ; and I salute with my accepted : for, alas, I think I shali soul in Christ the faithful pastors, die, but minting and aiming to be a and honourable and worthy profes. Christian ; is it not our comfort, that sors in that land. Now the God of Christ the Mediator of the new co- peace, that brought again our Lord venant is come betwixt God and us Jesus from the dead, the great Shepin the business, so that green and herd of the sheep, by the blood of young heirs, the like of sinners, have the everlasting covenant, make you now a tutor, that is God.-And now, perfect in every good work, to do God be thanked, our salvation is his will; working in you that which bottomed on Christ ; sure I am the is well-pleasing in his sight. Grace, bottom shall never fall out of heaven
grace be with you. and happiness to us; I would give Your's in his sweetest Lord Jesus,
S. R. over the bargain a thousand times, Aberdeen, Feb. 4, 1638. were it not that Christ his free grace hath taken our salvation in hand.
@@0 Pray, pray, and contend with the
LETTER IV. Lord, for your sister-church; for it would appear,
the Lord is about to To the truly noble and elect Lady, ask for his scattered sheep, in the
My . dark and cloudy day.
o that it
Noble and elect Lady, would please our Lord to set up That honour that I have prayed for again David's old wasted and fallen these sixteen years, with submission