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ance; but let him do with me what but come in, and see his beauty and seemeth good in his own eyes ; I excellency, and feed your soul upon am bis clay, let my Potter frame Christ's sweetness. This world is and fashion me as he pleaseth. not yours, neither would I have Grace be with you.
your heaven made of such metal as Your lawful and loving Pastor, mire and clay. Ye have the choice Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. and wale of all lovers in heaven or
out of heaven, when ye have Christ, the only delight of God his Father.
Climb up the mountain with joy, LETTER CL.
and faint not; for time will cut off To SIBILA MACADAM.
the men who pursue Christ's followMistress,
Our best things here have a GRACE, mercy
peace be to you. worm in them; our joys besides I can bear witness in my bonds, God, in the inner half, are but woes that Christ is still the longer the and sorrows: Christ, Christ is that better and no worse, yea, inconceiv- which our love and desires can sleep ably better than he is or can be sweetly and rest safely upon. Now called; I think it half an heaven, the very God of peace establish you to have fill of the smell of his in Christ.
Help a prisoner with sweet breath, and to sleep in the your prayers, and entreat that our arms of Christ my Lord, with his Lord would be pleased to visit me left hand under my head, and his with a sight of his beauty in his right hand embracing me. There house, as he has sometimes done. is no great reckoning to be made of Grace be with you. the withering of my flower, in com
Tour's in his sweet Lord Jesus. parison of the foul and manifest Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. wrongs done to Christ ; nay, let never the dew of God lye upon my branches again, let the bloom fall from my joy, and let it wither, let
To the Laird of CALLY. the Almighty blow out my candle, so being the Lord might be great Worthy Sir, among Jews and Gentiles, and his GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. oppressed church delivered. Let I have been too long, I confess, in Christ fare-well, suppose I should writing to you. My suit now to eat ashes ; I know he must be sweet you in paper, since I have no accese himself, when his cross is so sweet. to speak to you as formerly, is, that And it is the part of us all, if we ye would lay the foundation sure in marry himself, to marry the crosses, your youth: when ye begin to seek losses, and reproaches also that fol-Christ, try, I pray you, upon what low him; for mercy followeth Christ's terms ye covenant to follow him, and
His prison for beauty is lay your accounts what it may cost made of marble and ivory; his you; that summer nor winter, nor chains, that are laid on his prison- well nor woe, may not cause you ers, are golden chains; and the change your Master, Christ. Keep sighs of the prisoners of hope are fair to him, and be honest and faithperfumed with comforts, the like ful, that he find not a crack in you. whereof cannot be bred or found on Surely, ye are now in the throng of this side of sun and moon. Follow temptation: when youth is come to on after his love, tire not of Christ, its fairest bloom, then the devil, and
the lusts of a deceiving world, and they see a spot in Christ's fair face! sin are upon horse-back, and follow Alas they are not worthy of Christ, with
sails. If this were not so, who look this way upon him, and Paul needed not to have written to a see no beauty in him why they sanctified and holy youth, Timothy, should desire him! God send me my a faithful preacher of the gospel, fill of his beauty, if it be possible flee the lusts of youth. Give Christ that my soul can be full of his beauty your virgin love, you cannot put here: but much of Christ's beauty your love and heart into a better needeth not abate the eager appetite hand.
knew him, and saw of a soul, sick of love for himself, his beauty! Your love, your heart, to see him in the other world, where your desires would close with him, he is seen as he is. I am glad with and cleave to him. Love by nature, all my heart, that ye have given when it seeth, cannot but cast out your greenest morning age to this its spirit and strength upon aimiable Lord Jesus: hold on, and weary not, objects, and good things, and things faint not, resolve upon suffering for love worthy; and what fairer thing Christ; but fear not ten days tributhan Christ? O fair sun, and fair lation, for Christ's sour cross is su. moon, and fair stars, and fair flowers, gared with comforts, and hath a and fair roses, and fair lilies, and taste of Christ himself. I esteem it fair creatures: but O ten thousand my glory, my joy and my crown, thousand times fairer Lord Jesus! and I bless him for this honour, to Alas, I wronged him in making be yoked with Christ, and married the comparison this way! ( black with him, in suffering, who therefore sun and moon, but O fair Lord Je was born, and therefore came into sus! O black flowers, and black the world, that he might bear witlilies and roses, but O fair, fair, everness to the truth. Take pains above fair Lord Jesus! O all fair things, all things for salvation ; for without black and deformed without beauty, running, fighting, sweating, wrestwhen
ye are beside that fairest Lord ling, heaven is not taken. O happy Jesus! O black heaven, but O fair soul, that crosseth nature's stomach, Christ! O black angels, but surpas- and delighteth to gain that fair garsingly fair Lord Jesus! I would seek land and crown of glory! What a no more to make me happy for ever- feckless loss is it for you, to go more, but a thorough and clear sight through this wilderness, and never of the beauty of Jesus my Lord; let taste sin's sugared pleasures! what my eyes enjoy his fairness, and stare poorer is a soul to want pride; lust, him for ever in the face, and I have love of the world, and the vanities all that can be wished. Get Christ of this vain and worthless world ? rather than gold or silver; seek Christ, Nature hath no cause to weep_at howbeit
ye should lose all things for the want of such toys as these. Es. him. They take their marks by the teem it your gain to be an heir of moon, apd look a squint, in looking glory; O but that is an eye-look to to fair Christ, who resolve for the a fair rent! The very hope of heavworld and their ease, and for their en, under troubles, is like wind and honour and court and credit; or for sails to the soul, and like wings, fear of losses and a sore skin, will when the feet come out of the turn their back upon Christ and his snare. O! for what stay we here? truth. Alas, how many blind eyes Up, up, after our Lord Jesus ; this and squiat lookers look this day in is not our rest, nor our dwelling: Scotland upon Christ's beauty, and what have we to do in this prison
TO WILLIAM GORDON at Kenmure.
except only to take meat and house short timed creature, and our souls room in it, for a time? Grace, grace gather neither heat nor life, nor be with you.
light; for these cannot give to us Your souls well wisher, and Christ's what they have not in themselves. prisoner,
O that we could thrust in through Aberdeen. 1637.
S. R. these thorns and this throng of bas.
tard-lovers, and be ravished and sick
of love for Christ! We should find LETTER CLII.
some footing and some room, and
sweet ease for our tottering and witDear Brother,
less souls in our Lord. I wish it GRACE, mercy
peace be to you. were in my power, after this day, I have been long in answering your to cry down all love but the love of letter, which came in good time to Christ, and to cry down all gods me. It is my aim and hearty desire, but Christ, all saviours but Christ, that my furnace, which is of the all well-beloveds but Christ, and all Lord's kindling, may sparkle fire soul suiters, all love beggars but upon standers-by, to the warming Christ. Ye complain, that ye want a of their hearts with God's love. The mark of the sound work of grace and very dust that falleth from Christ's love in your soul. For answer, cinsidfeet, his old ragged clothes, his er for your satisfaction (till God serd knotty and black cross, is sweeter more) Job: i. 3, 14. And as for your to me, than king's golden crowns, complaint of deadness and doubtings, and their time-eaten pleasuress I Christ, I hope, will take your deadshould be a liar and false witness, if ness and you together : they are boI should not give my Lord Jesus a dies full of holes, running boils, and fair testimonial, with my whole soul; broken bones that need mending, my word, I know, will not heighten that Christ the Physician taketh up; him; he needeth not such props un- whole vessels are not for the Medider bis feet, to raise his glory high : ator Christ's art: publicans, sinners, but that I could raise him the whores, harlots, are ready merketheight of heaven, and the breath wares for Christ: the only thing and length of ten heavens, in the that will bring sinners within a cast estimation of all his young lovers of Christ's drawing arm, is that For we have all shapen Christ but which ye write of, some feeling of too narrow and too short, and form- death and sin, that bringeth forth ed conceptions of his love in our complaints; and therefore out of conceit, very unworthy of it. Oh sense complain more, and be more that men were taken and catched acquaint with all the cramps,
stitches with his beanty and fairness! they and soul swoonings that trouble you: would give over playing with idols, the more pain and the more nightin which there is not half room for watching, and the more fevers, the the love of one soul to expatiate better; a soul bleeding to death, itself; and man's love is but heart- till Christ were sent for, and cried hungered in gnawing upon bare for in all haste, to come and stem bones, and sucking at dry breasts: the blood, and close up the hole in it is well wared they want, who will the wound, with his own hand and not come to him who hath a world balm, were a very good disease, of love and goodness and bounty when many are dying of a whole. for all. We seek to thaw our froz-heart. We have all too little of en hearts at the cold smoke of the hell-pain and terrors that way; nay
God send me such a hell, as Christ, again, to hold a candle to this dark hath promised to make a beaven of. world. Grace, grace be with you. Alas, I am not come that far on in Your's in his sweet Lard and Master, the way, as to say in sad earnest, Aberdeen, 1697.
S. R. • Lord Jesus, great and sovereign Physician, here is a pained patient
COD3030323 for thee. But the thing that we mistake is the want of victory; we
LETTER CLIII. hold that to be the mark of one TO MARGARET FULLERTON. that hath no grace; nay,
the Mistress. want of fighting were a mark of Grace, mercy, and peace be to of no grace; but I shall not say, you: I am glad that ever ye did the want of victory is such a mark. cast your love on Christ ; fasten If my fire and the devil's water make more and more love every day on crackling like thunder in the air, 1 him. O if I had a river of love, a am the-less feared; for where there sea of love, that would never go is fire, it is Christ's part, that I lay dry, to bestow upon him! But alas and bind upon him, to keep in the the pity! Christ hath beauty for coal, and to pray the Father that me, but I have not love for him. O my faith fail not, if I in the mean what pain is it, to see Christ in his time be wrestling, and doing, and beauty, and then to want a heart fighting, and mourning for pray- and love for him! but I see, want er putteth not Paul's thorn in the we must, till Christ lend us; never flesh--the messenger of Satan—to be paid again. O that he would to the door at first; but our Lord empty these vaults and lower houses will have them trying every one of these poor souls, of these bastard another, and let Paul fend for him and base lovers, which we follow ! self, by God's help, God keeping and verily, I see no object in heaven the stakes, and moderating the play or in earth, that I could ware this and ye do well not to doubt, if the much of love upon, that I have, but ground-stone be sure, but to try if upon Christ. Alas! that clay, and it be so; for there is great odds time, and shadows run away with between doubting that we have our love, which is ill spent upon any grace, and trying if we have grace but upon Christ: each fool at the the former may be sin, but the lat day of judgment shall seek back bis ter is good. We are but loose in love from the creatures, when he trying our free-holding of Christ, shall see them all in a fair fire; but and making sure work of Christ. they shall prove irresponsal debtors; Holy fear is a searching the camp, and therefore it is best here, we that there be no enemy within our look ere we leap, and look ère we bosom to betray us, and a seeing love. I find now under his cross, that all be fast and sure: for I see that I would fain give him more many leaking vessels fair before the than I have to give him, if giving wind, and professors who take their were in my power: but I rather conversion upon trust, and they go wish him my heart than give him on securely, and see not the under it; except he take it, and put himwater, till a storm sink them: each self in possession of it (for I hope man had need twice a day, and of he hath a market-right to me, since tener, to be riped and searched with he hath ransomed me) I see not candles. Pray for me, that the how Christ can have me. Lord would give me house-room he would be pleased to be more
homely with my soul's love, and to a sight of him so near hand, as to come in to my soul, and take his see, hear, smell, and touch, and em. own! but when he goeth away and brace him : but oh, closed doors, hideth himself, all is to me that I and vails, and curtains, and thick had of Christ, as if ii had fallen in clouds hold me in pain, while I find the sea bottom. Oh that I should the sweet burning of his love, that be so fickle in my love, as to love many waters cannot quench ! 0 him only by the eyes and the nose! what sad hours have I, when I that is, to love him only in as far as think, that the love of Christ scar. food and foolish sense carrieth me, reth at me, and bloweth by me! if and no more. And when I see not, my Lord Jesus would come to barand smell not, and touch not, then gaining for his love, I think, he I have all to seek. I cannot love should make price himself; I should parquier, nor rejoice parquier : but not refuse ten thousand years in this is our weakness, till we be at hell, to have a wide soul enlarged. home, and shall have aged men's and made wider, that I might be stomach's to bear Christ's love. exceed:ngly (even to the running Pray for me, that our Lord would over) filled with his love. O what bring me back to you, with a new am I to love such an one, or to be blessing of the gospel of Christ. I loved by that high and lofty One ! forget not you. Grace, grace bę I think the angels may blush to look
upon him; and what am I to defile Your's in his 'sweet Zord Jesus.
such infinite brightness with my sinAberdeen, 1697.
ful eyes! O that Christ would come near, and stand still and give me leave to look
him? for to look
seemeth the poor man's privilege, LETTER CLIV.
since he may, for nothing, and withTo WILLIAM GLENDINNING. out hire, behold the sun. I should Dear Brother,
have a king's life, if I had no other Ye are heartily welcome to that thing to do, but for evermore to honour, that Christ hath made com behold and eye my fair Lord Jesus : mon to us both, which is to suffer nay, suppose I were holden out at for his name. Verily I think it my heaven's fair entry, I should be hapgarland and crown; and if the Lord py for evermore, to look through should ask of me my blood and life an hole in the door, and see my for this cause,
I would gladly, iu his dearest and fairest Lord's face. 0 strength, pay due debt to Christ's great King, why standest thou honour and glory, in that kind. aloof? Why remainest thou beyond Acquaint yourself with Christ's love, the mountains ? O Well-beloved, and ye shall not miss to find new why dost thou pain a poor soul golden mines and treasures in Christ, with delays? A long time out of nay truly, we but stand beside thy glorious presence is two deaths Christ, we go not in to him to take and two hells to me; we must our fill of him. But if he should do mect, I must see him, I will not two things, 1. Draw the curtains, want hiin. Hunger and longing for and make bare his holy face; and Christ, hath brought on such a nethen, 2. Clear our dim and bleared cessity of enjoying Christ, that, cost eyes, to see his beauty and glory; me what it will, I cannot but aga he should find many lovers. I sure Christ I will not, I cannot would seek no more happiness, but want him : for I cannot master or