bitterness. Time and experience Christ himself: few are saved. Let will prove this to be true; and dying her consider what joy the smiles of men, if they could speak, could God in Christ will be, and what the make this good. Lay no more on love-kisses of sweet, sweet Jesus, and the creatures than they are able to a welcome home to the new Jerusa. carry: lay your soul and your weights lem, from Christ's own mouth, will upon God; make him your only, on- be to her soul, when Christ shall ly best beloved. Your errand to this fold together the clay tent of her life is to make sure an eternity of body, and lay it by his hand for a glory to your soul, and to match time, till the fair morning of the your soul with Christ; your love, if general resurrection. I avouch beit were more than all the love of an- fore God, man and angel, that I gels in one, is Christ's due: other have not seen, nor can imagine a things worthy in themselves, in re- lover to be comparable to lovely Je. spect of Christ, are not worth a sus; I would not exchange or niffer windlestraw, or a drink of cold wa. with ten heavens: if heaven ter. I doubt not but in death ye could be without him, what could will see all things more distinctly, we do there? Grace, grace be with and that then the world shall bear you. no more bulk than it is worth, and

Your soul's eternal well-wisher, that then it shall couch and be con- Aberdeen, 1697.

S. R. tracted into nothing; and ye shall see Christ longer, higher, broader and deeper, than ever he was. 0

LETTER CXLVII. blessed conquest, to lose all things and to gain Christ! I know not what ye have, if ye want Christ; alas, Much honoured Sir, how poor is your gain, if the earth Grace, mercy


peace were all yours in free heritage, hold. I have been too long in writing to ing it or no man of clay, if Christ.U. I am confident


have learn. be not yours? O seek all midses, ed to prize Christ, and his love and lay all oars in the water, put forth favour, more than ordinary profesall your power, and bend all your sors, who scarce see Christ with half endeavours, to put away and part an eye, because their sight is taken with all things, that ye may gain up with eyeing and liking the beauty and enjoy Christ; try and search his of this over-gilded world, that proword, and strive to go a step above miseth fair to all its lovers, but in and beyond ordinary professors, and the push of a trial, when need is, resolve to sweat more and run faster can give nothing but a fair beguile. than they do for salvation. Men's I know ye are not ignorant, that mid-way, cold and wise courses in men come not to this world, as godliness, and their neighbour-like some do to a market, to see and be cold and wise pace to heaven, will seer; or as some come to behold a cause many a man want his lodging May-game, and only to behold, and at niglit and lie in the fields. I re- to go home again: ye came hither commended Christ and his love io to treat with God, and to tryst with your seeking, and yourself to the him in his Christ, for salvation to tender mercy and rich grace of our your soul, and to seek reconciliation Lord. Remember my love in Christ with an angry wrathful God, in a to your wife: I desire her to learn covenant of peace made to you in to make her soul's anchor fast upon Christ; and this is more than ao or.

be to you.

dinary sport, or the play, that the life with that long-lasting life to greatest part of the world give their come, and can balance the weighty heart unto: and therefore, worthy Sir, glory of the one, with the light goldI pray you by the salvation of your en vanity of the other! The day of soul, and by the mercy of God, the Lord is now near hand, and all and your compearance before Christ, men shall come out in their blacks do this in sad earnest, and let pot and whites, as they are: there shall salvation be your by-work, or your be no borrowed lying colours in that holy-day's task only, or a work by day, when Christ shall be called the way; for men think, that this Christ, and no longer nick-named. may be done in three days space on Now men borrow Christ and his a feather bed, when death and they white colour, and the lustre and are fallen in hands together, and fairding of Christianity; but how tisat with a word or two they shall many counterteit masks will be make their soul-matters right; alas! burnt in the day of God, in the fire, this is to sit loose and unsure in the that shall burn the earth and the matters of our salvation; nay, seek- works that are on it? and howbeit ing of this world, and the glory of Christ have the hardest part of it it, is but an odd and by-errand that now, yet in the presence of my we may slip, so being we make sal- Lord, whom I serve in the Spirit, vation sure.

Oh when will men I would not niffer or exchange learn to be that heavenly wise as to Christ's prison, bonds, and chains, divorce from, and free their soul of with the gold chains and lordly all idol-lovers, and make Christ the rents, and smiling and happy-like only, only One, and trim and make heavens of the men of this world. ready their lamps, while they have I am far from thoughts of repenting, time and day! How soon will this because of my losses and bonds for house skail, and the inns where the Christ. I wish all my adversarics poor

soul lodgeth fall to the earth! were as I am, except my bonds. how soon will some few years p.Worthy, worthy, worthy for everaway, and then when the day is more is Christ, for whom we should ended, and this life's lease expired, suffer pains like hell's pains; far what have men of world's glory, but more the short hell that the saints dreams and thoughts? O how bless- of God have in this life. Sir, I ed a thing is it to labour for Christ, wish your soul may be more acand to make bim sure! know and quainted with the sweetness. of try in time your holding of him, and Christ. Grace, grace, be with you. the rights and charters of heaven,

Your's in his only Lord and Master, and upon what terms ye have Christ

Aberdeen, 1637.

S. R and the gospel, and what Christ is worth in your estimation, and how lightly ye esteem of other things,

and how dearly of Christ! I am


see him in his beau. ty and glory, ye shall see him to be Dearly beloved in our Lord, all things, and that incomparable GRACE, mercy and peace from God jewel of gold that ye should seek, our Father, and from our Lord Jehowbeit


should sell, wadset and sus Christ be multiplied upon you. forfeit your few years portion of this I long exceedingly to hear of your life's joys. O happy soul for ever- on-going and advancement in your more, who can rightly compare this journey to the kingdom of God:

To bis Parishioners at Anwoth.

my only joy out of heaven is to hear divide the elements one to another; that the seed of God sown among the timber and stones of the church you is growing and coming to an walls shall bear witness, that my harvest; for I ceased not while I soul was refreshed with the comforts was among you, in season and out of God in that supper : and that of season (according to the measure crossing in baptism was unlawful, of grace given unto me) to warn and and against Christ's ordinance; and stir up your minds: and I am free that no day (besides the sabbath from the blood of all men; for I which is of his own appointment) have communicated to you the should be kept holy, and sanctified whole counsel of God. And I now with preaching and the public wor. again charge and warn you, in the ship of God, for the memory of great and dreadful name, and in Christ's birth, death, resurrection the sovereign authority of the King and ascension; seeing such days so of kings and Lord of lords; and I observed are unlawful, will.worship, beseech you also by the mercies of and not warranted in Christ's word: God, and by the bowels of Christ, and that every thing in God's worby your appearance before Christ ship, not warranted by Christ's Jesus our Lord, by all the plagues testament and word, was unlawful: that are written in God's book, by and also, that idolatry, worshipping your part of the holy city, the new of God before hallowed creatures, Jerusalem, that ye keep the truth and adoring of Christ, by kneeling of God, as I delivered it to you be- before bread and wine, was unlaw. fore many witnesses, in the sight of ful: and that ye should be humble, God and his holy angels; for now sober, modest, forbearing pride, the last days are coine and coming, envy, malice, wrath, hatred, con. when many forsake Christ Jesus, tention, debate, lying, slandering, and he saith to you, Will ye also stealing, and defrauding your neighgo away? Remember that I fore- bours in grass, corn or cattle, in warned you to forbear the dishon- buying or selling, borrowing or lend. ouring of the Lord's blessed name, ing, taking or giving, in bargains in swearing, blaspheming, cursing, or covenants: and that ye should and the profaning of the Lord's work with your own hands, and be sabbath; willing you. to give that content with that which God hath day from morning to night to pray- given you: that ye should study to ing, praising, hearing of the word, know God and his will, and keep in conferring, and speaking not your mind the doctrine of the catechism, own words, but God's words; think, which I taught you' carefully, and ing and meditating on God's nature, speak of it in your houses and in word and works: and that every the fields, when ye lie down at day at morning and at night (at night, and when ye rise in the least) ye should sanctify the Lord, morning: that ye should believe in by praying in your houses publicly the Son of God, and obey his comin the hearing of all; that ye should mandments, and learn to make your in any sort forbear the receiving of accounts in time with your Judge; the Lord's Supper, but after the because death' and judgment are form that I delivered it to you, ac before you. And if


have no cording to the example of Christ penury and want of that word, our Lord; that is, that ye should which I delivered to you in abun. sit as banqueters at one table with dance; yea, (to God's honour I our King, and eat and drink, and I speak it, without arrogating any

[ocr errors]

thing to myself, who am but a poor joy and with the comforts of God. empty man) ye had as much of the Upon my salvation, I know and am word, in nine years while I was a- persuaded, it is for God's truth, and mong you, as some others have had the honour of my King and royal in many; mourn for your loss of Prince, Jesus, I now suffer; and time, and repent. My soul pitieth howbeit this town be my prison, you, that you should suck dry yet Christ hath made it my palace, breasts, and be put to draw at dry a garden of pleasures, a field and wells. O that ye would esteem orchard of delights. I know like. highly of the Lamb of God, yo ur wise, albeit I be in bonds, that yet Well-beloved Christ Jesus, whose the word of God is not in bonds; virtues and praises I preached unto my spirit also is in free ward. Sweet, you with joy, and which he did sweet have his comforts been to my countenance and accompany with soul; my pen, tongue and heart some power; and that ye would have not words to express the kindcall to mind the many fair days and ness, love and mercy

of my Wellglorious feasts in our Lord's house beloved to me, in this house of my of wine, that ye and I have had pilgrimage. I charge you to fear with Christ Jesus ! But if there be and love Christ, and to seek a any among you that take liberty to house not made with hands, but sin, because I am removed from a- your Father's house above. This mongst you, and forget that word laughing and white.skinned world of truth which ye heard, and turn beguileth you; and if ye seek it the grace of God into wantonness; more than God, it shall play you a I here under my hand, in the name slip, to the endless sorrow of your of Christ my Lord, write to such heart. Alas, I could not make persons all the plagues of God, and many of you fall in love with Christ, all the curses that ever I preached howbeit I endeavoured to speak in the pulpit of Anwoth against the much good of him, and to commend children of disobedience: and, as him to you (which as it was your the Lord liveth, the Lord Jesus sin, so it is my sorrow): yet once shall make good what I write unto again suffer ine to exhort, beseech, you.

Therefore, dearly beloved, and obtest you in the Lord, to think full my joy; fear the great and of his love, and to be delighted with dreadful name of the Lord; seek him, who is altogether lovely: I God with me. Scotland's judg. give you the word of a King, ye ment sleepeth not; awake and re- shall not repent it. Ye are in my pent: the sword of the Lord shall prayers night and day, I cannot for. go from the north to the south, from get you: I do not eat, I do not the east to the west, and through drink, but I pray

all: I inall the corners of the land; and that treat you all, and every one of you sword shall be drunk with your to pray for me. Grace, grace be blood among the first : and I shall with you. stand up as witness against you,

Your lawful and loving Pastor, if

Aberdeen, Sept. 28, 1637. do not amend your ways and

S. R. ye your doings, and turn to the Lord

Pocco with all


heart. I beseech you al. 80, my dearly beloved in the Lord,

LETTER CXLIX. my joy and my crown, offend not

To the Lady CARDONESS, at the sufferings of me, the prisoner Mistress, of Jesus Christ ; I am filled with | I BESEECH you in the Lord Jesus,

for you

make every day more and more of from sun, moon or candle; there Christ; and try your growth in the shall be no complaints on either side grace of God, and what new ground in heaven; there shall be none there, ya win daily on corruption: for tra. but he and we, the Bridegroom and vellers are day by day either ad- bride; devils, temptations, trials, vancing farther on, and nearer home desertions, losses, sad hearts, pain or else they go not right about to and death shall be all put out of compass their journey. I think still play; and the devil must give up the better and better of Christ: alas, his office of tempting. oblessed I know not where to set him, I is the soul, whose hope hath a face would so fain have him high! I can looking straight out to that day! It not set heavens above heavens, till is not our part to make a treasure I were tired with numbering, and here ;, any thing under the covering set him upon the highest step and of heaven we can build upon, is but story of the highest of them all: but I ill ground and a sandy foundation ; wish I could make him great through every good thing, except God, wantthe world, suppose my loss, and pain, eth a bottom, and cannot stand its and shame were set under the soles alone; how then can it bear the of his feet, that he might stand upon weight of us ? Let us not lay a load me, I request that you faint not, on a windlestraw; there shall noth. because this world and ye are at yea ing find my weight, or found my and nay, and because this is not a happiness, but God. I know all home that laugheth upon you; the created power should sink under wise Lord, who knoweth you, will me, if I should lean down upon it; have it so, because he casteth a net and therefore it is better to rest on for your love, to catch it and gather God, than sink or fall; and we it in to himself: therefore bear pa weak souls must have a bottom and tiently the loss of children, and bur- a being-place, for we cannot stand dens, and other discontentments, our alone; let us then be wise in either within or without the house; our choice, and choose and wale your

Lord in them is seeking you, our own blessedness, which is to and seek ye him. Let none be your trust in the Lord. Each one of us love and choice, and the flower of hath a whore and idol, besides our your delights, but your Lord Jesus. Husband, Christ : but it is our fol


upon the world. ly to divide our narrow and little since God hath not made it your love; I will not serve two: it is portion; for it will not fall you to best then to hold it whole and toget two portions, and to laugh twice, gether, and to give it to Christ; for and to be happy twice, and to have an then we get double interest for our upper heaven and an under heaven love, when we lend it to, and lay it too: Christ our Lord and his saints out upon Christ; and we are sure were not so; and therefore let go besides, that the stock cannot peryour grip of this life, and of the ish. Now I can say no more; regood things of it. I hope your heav- member me. I have God's right to en groweth not hereaway. Learn that people; howbeit by the violence daily both to possess and miss Christ, of men stronger than I, I am banin his secret Bridegroom-smiles; he ished from you, and chased away. must go and come, because his in-. The Lord give you mercy in the finite wisdom thinketh it best for day of Christ. It may be God will you:

: we will be together one day ; clear my sky again; howbeit there we shall not need to borrow light is small appearance of my deliver

Set not your

« VorigeDoorgaan »