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LETTER CLXVI. glass. O what a wise course were TO WILLIAM GLENDINNING. it for us, to look away from the Dear Brother,
false beauty of our borrowed prison, GRAce, mercy and peace be to you and to mind, and eye, and lust for Your case is unknown to me, wheth- our country! Lord, Lord take us
be yet our Lord's prisoner at home, And for myself, I think, if Wigton, or not ; however it be, 1 a poor, weak, dying sheep, seek for know our Lord Jesus hath been in an old dyke, and the lee side of an quiring for you; and that he hath hill
, in a storm, I have cause to long honoured you to bear his chains, for a covert from this storm in which is the golden end of his cross; heaven'; I know node will take my and so hath wailed out a chosen room over my head there. But and honourable cross for you; I wish certainly, sleepy bodies would be you much joy and comfort of it; for at rest and a well made bed, and an I have nothing to say of Christ's old crazed bark as a shore, and a cross but much good; I hope my wearied traveller at home, and a ill word shall never meet either breathless horse at the rink's end. Christ, or his sweet and easy cross. I see nothing in this life but sin, and I know he seeketh of us an out-cast the sour fruits of sin: and O what with this house of clay, this mother- a burden is sin ! and what a slavery prison, this earth, that we love full and miserable bondage is it, to be well; and verily, when Christ snuff at the nod, and yea's and nay's of eth my candle, and causeth my such a lord-master as a body of sin ! light to shine upward, it is one of truly, when I think of it, it is a my greatest wonders, that dirt and wonder that Christ maketh not fire clay hath so much court with a and ashes of such a dry branch as I soul not made of clay; and that our am. I would often lye down under soul goeth out of kind so far, as to Christ's feet, and bid him trample make an idol of this earth, such a upon me, when I consider my guiltideformed harlot, as that it should ness : but seeing he hath sworn, wrong Christ of our love. How that sin shall not loose his unchangefast, how fast doth our ship sail ! able covenant, I keep house-room And how fair a wind hath time, to amongst the rest of the ill-learned blow us off these coasts, and this children, and must cumber the Lord land of dying and perishing things of the House, with the rest, till my and alas, our ship saileth one way, Lord take the fetters off legs and and fleeth many miles in one hour, to and arms, and destroy this body of hasten us upón eternity; and our sin, and make a hole or a breach in love and hearts are sailing close back. this cage of earth, that the bird may over, and swimming towards ease, flee out, and the imprisoned soul be lawless pleasure, vain honour, perish- at liberty. In the mean time, the ing riches, and to build a fool's nest, least imitation of Christ's love is I know not where, and to lay our sweet, and the hope of marriage with eggs within the sea mark, and fasten the Bridegroom holdeth me in some our bits of broken anchors upon the joyful on-waiting, that when Christ's worse ground in the world, this summer-birds, shall sing upon the fleeting and perishing life; and in branches of the tree of life, I shall the mean while, time and tide carry be tuned by God himself, to help us upon another life, and there is them to sing the home-coming of daily less and less oil in our lamps, our Well-beloved and his bride to and less and less sand in our watch-their house together. When
think of this, I think winters and me to pay praises ; and tell others, summers, and years and days, and the daughters of Jerusalem, how time do me a pleasure, that they kind Christ is to a poor prisoner: shorten this untwisted and weak he hath paid me my hundred-fold, thread of my life, and that they put it is well told me, and one to the sin and miseries by-hand, and that hundred : I am nothing behind with they shall carry me to my Bride Christ: Let not fools, because of groom within a clap. Dear brother, their lazy and soft flesh, raise a pray for me, that it would please slander and an ill report upon the the Lord of the vineyard to give me cross of Christ; it is sweeter than room to preach his righteousness fair, I see grace groweth best in again to the great congregation. winter: this poor persecuted kirk,, Grace, grace be with you. Remem- this lily among the thorns, shall ber me to your wife.
blossom and laugh upon the GardeYour's in his sweet Lord Jesus. ner;
the Husbandman's blessing Aberdeen, 1697.
S. R. shall light upon it. Oh if I could
be free of jealousies of Christ, after
this ; and believe, and keep good LETTER CLXVII.
quarters with my dearest Husband !
for he hath been kind to the strangTo the Lady CULROSS,
er : and yet in all this fair hot sumRev. vii. 14, These are they which came mer-weather, I am kept from saying,
out of great tribulation, and have washed It is good to be here, with my siltheir robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
ence, and with grief to see my moMadam,
ther wounded, and her vail taken Grace, mercy and peace be multi-down; and my belly is pained, my
from her, and the fair temple casten plied upon you. I greatly long
to soul is heavy for the captivity of the be refreshed with your letter. I am now (all honour and glory to the of the fury of the Lord, and his
daughter of my people, and because King eternal, immortal, and invisble!) fierce indignation against apostate in better terms with Christ than I
Scotland. I pray you, Madam, let was. I, like a fool, summoned
my Husband and Lord, and libelled un: here, that my sufferings may preach
me have that which is my prayer kindness against him; but now I from that foolish pursuit, I give and therefore tell others, how open
to the four quarters of this land; pass over the plea: he God, and I
handed Christ hath been to the I was loosing a fast stone, and digging at the ground-stone, the prisoner, and the oppressed stranglove of my Lord, to shake and un
er: why should I conceal it? I
know no other way how to glorify settle it; but, God be thanked, it is
Christ, but to make an open profast: all is sure. In my prison he hath shewed me day-light; he could clamation of his love, and of his
soft and sweet kisses to me in the not hide his love any longer. Christ furnace, and of his fidelity to such was disguised and masked, and I
suffer for him. Give it me under apprehended it was not he; and he hath 'said, It is I, be not afraid; and your hand, that ye will help me to and now his love is better than wine. pray and praise; but rather to praise, O that all the virgins 'had part of
and rejoice in the salvation of God. the Bridegroom's love, whereupon Grace, grace be with you. he maketh me to feed! Help me to Your's in his dearest and only Lord Jesus, praise: I charge you, Madam, help Aberdeen, Dec. 30, 1636.
LETTER CLXVIII. Lord hath brought me to this, that
To the Lady CARDONESS. I would not give a drink of cold My dearly Beloved and longed for in water for this world's kindness: I the Lord,
wonder that men long after, love, or GRACE, mercy
be to you. care for these feathers; it is almost I long to hear how your soul prosper- an uncouth world to me, to think, eth, and how the kingdom of Christ that men are so mad as to block thriveth in
you and with dead earth: to give out conbeseech you in the bowels of Christ, science, and to get in clay again, is faint not, weary not.
There is a a strange bargain I have written great necessity of heaven ; ye must my mind at length to your husband: needs have it: all other things, as write to me again his case; I canhouses, lands, children, husband, not forget him in my prayers :
I friends, country, credit, health, am looking, Christ hath some claim wealth, honour, may be wanted; but to him. My counsel is, that ye heaven is your one thing necessary, bear with him when passion over. the good part that shall not be tak. taketh him ; a soft answer putteth en from you. See that ye buy the away wrath; answer him in what field where the Pearl is; sell all and he speaketh, and apply yourself in make a purchase of salvation : think the fear of God to him; and then iç not easy, for it is a steep ascent ye will remove a pound weight of to eternal glory; many are lying your heavy cross, that way, and so dead by the way, that are slain with it shall become light. When Christ security. I have now been led by hideth himself, wait on, and make my Lord Jesus to such a nick in din till he return; it is not time then Christianity, as I think little of for- to be carelessly patient. I love it, mer things. O what I want ! I want to be grieved when he hideth his so many things, that I am almost smiles; yet believe his love in a asking if I had any thing at all. patient on-waiting and believing in Every man thinketh he is rich en- the dark. Ye must learn to swim ough in grace, till he take out his and hold up your head above the purse, and tell his money, and then water, even when the sense of his ħe findeth his pack but poor and presence is not with you, to hold light in the day of a heavy trial. I up your chin : I trust in God he found, I had not to bear my expen- shall bring your ship safe to land, ces, and should have fainted, if want I counsel you study sanctification,
had not chased me to and to be dead to this world: urge the Store-house of all. I beseech kindness on Knockbrex: labour to you make conscience of your ways; benefit by his company; the man is deal kindly and with conscience acquaint with Christ. I beg the with your tenants; to fill a breach, help of your prayers, for I forget or an hole, make not a greater not you. Counsel
hushand to breach in the conscience. I wish fulfil my joy, and to seek the Lord's plenty of love to your soul; let the face; shew him from me, that my world be the portion of bastards, joy, and desire is to hear he is in make it not yours; after the last the Lord. God casteth him often trumpet is blown, the world and all in my mind, I cannot forget him. its glory will be like an old house, I hope, Christ and he have somethat is burnt to ashes, and like an thing to do go together.
Bless old fallen castle, without a roof. Fy, John from me. I write blessings fy upon us, fools, who think our- to him, and to your husband, and selves debtors to the world, My'the rest of your children. Let it
not be said, I am not in your house, LETTER CLXX. through neglect of the sabbath-ex. To my Lord CRAIGHALL. ercise.
My Lord, Your lawful and loving Pastor in his I RECEIVED Mr. L's letter with your only, only Lord,
lordship's, and his learned thoughts Aberdeen, Feb. 20, 1697.
S. R. in the matter of ceremonies. I owe
respect to the man's learning, for
that I hear him opposite to ArminLETTER CLXIX.
ian heresies; but with reverence
of that worthy man, I wonder to TO JANET MACKCULLOCH.
hear such popish like expressions Dear Sister,
as he hath in his letter, as your Grace, mercy and peace be to you. tordship may spare doubtings, when I long to hear how your soul pro- the king and church have agreed spereth. I am as well as a prisoner in the settling of such orders; and of Christ can be, feasted and made the church's direction in things infatwith the comforts of God: Christ's different and circumstantial, as if kisses are made sweeter to my soul indifferent and circumstantial were than ever they were. I would not all one, should be the rule of every change my Master with all the private Christian.
I only viewed kings of clay upon the earth, O! the papers two hours since, the my Well-beloved is altogether love bearer hastening me to write. ly and loving. I care not what flesh find the worthy man not so in this can do. I persuade my soul, I de controversy, as some turbulent men livered the truih of Christ to you, of our country, as he calls refusers slip not from it, for no boasts or fear of conformitý: and let me say it, of if ye go against the truth I am more confirmed in noncon. of Christ that I now suffer for, 1 tormily, when I see such a great shall bear witness against you in wit play the agent so slenderly; but the day of Christ. Sister, fasten I will lay the blame on the weakyour grips fast on Christ; follow nor ness of the cause, not on the meanthe guises of this sinful world; letness of Mr. L's learning. I have not this clay portion of earth take ever been and still am confident, up your soul; it is the portion that Britain cannot answer one ar. of bastards, and ye are a child of
gument a scandalo: and longed God. and therefore seek your much lo hear Mr. L. speak to the Father's heritage. Send up your cause : and I would say, if some heart to see the dwelling house and ordinary divine had answered as fair rocms in the new city. Fy, fy Mr. L. doth, that he understood upon these, who cry, Up with the not the nature of Scandal; but I world, and down with conscience dare not vilify that worthy man so, and heaven. we have children's I am now upon the heat of some wits, and therefore we cannot prize other employment: I shall (God Christ aright. Counsel your hus- willing) answer this, to the satisfying band and mother to make them of any not prejudiced I will not ready for eternity: that day is say that every one is acquaint with drawing nigh. Pray for me, the the reason, in my letter, from God's prisoner of Christ. I cannot forget presence and bright shining face, in you.
suffering for this cause: Aristotle Your lawful pastor and brother, never knew the medium of the con. Aberdeen, Feb. 20, 1637.
S. R. clusion; and Christ saith few know
it. See Rev. ii. 17. I am sure. let the wife gloom, I care not, if conscience standing in awe of the rhe Husband laugh. Remember Almighty, and fearing to make a ny service to my lord your father, little hole in the bottom for fear of and mother, and your lady. Grace under-water, is a strong medium, to be with you. hold off an erroneous conclusion in
Your's at all obedience in Christ, the least wing or lith of sweet, sweet
S. R. truth, that concerneth the royal Aberdeen, Jan. 24, 1637. prerogative of our kingly and high
Neoriệee est Lord Jesus; and my witness is in heaven, I saw neither pleasure, LETTER CLXXI. nor profit, nor honour, to hook me, Tở his reverend and dear brother Mr. ROBERT or catch me; in entering in prison for Christ; but the wind on my Reverend and Dear Brother, face for the present; and if I had The reason ye gave for not writing loved to sleep in
whole skin, with to me, affecteth me much, and giv. the ease and present delight that I eth me a dash, when such an one saw on this side of sun and moon, as ye conceive a opinion of me, or I should have lived at ease, and any thing in me; the truth is, when in good hopes to fare as well as I come home to mvself, O what others. The Lord knoweth. I pre- penury do I find, and how feckless ferred preaching of Christ, and still in my supposed stock, and how little do, to any thing next to Christ him-have I! He to whom I am as crys. self: and their new canons took my tal, and who seeth through me, and one, my only joy from me, which was perceiveth the least mote that is in to me as the poor man's one eye thame, knoweth that I speak what I had no more; and alas their is little bink and am convinced of; but men lodging in their hearts for pity or cast me through a gross and wide mercy, to pluck out a poor man's sieve. My very dear brother, the one eye for a thing indifferent, i. e. room of the least of all saints is too for knots of straws and things, as great for the like of me; but, lest they mean, off the way to heaven this should seem art, to fetch home I desire not that my name take reputation, I speak no more of it; it is journey, and go a pilgrim to Cam- my worth, to be Christ's ransomed bridge, for fear I come in the sinner and sick one; his relation to ears of authority, I am sufficiently me is that I am sick, and he is the burnt already. In the mean time, Physician of whom I stand in need. be pleased to try if the bishop of Alas how often play I fast and loose St. Andrews, and Glasgow (Gal. with Christ; he bindeth, I loose; loway's Ordinary) will be pleased he buildeth, I cast down; he trimto abate from the heat of their meth up a salvation for me, and I wrath, and let me go to my charge. mar it ; I cast out with Christ, and Few know the heart of a prisoner; he agreeth with me again, twenty yet I hope the Lord shall hew his times a-day; I forfeit my kingdom own glory out of as knotty timber and heritage; I lose what I had; as I am. Keep Christ, my dear but Christ is at my back, and foland worthy lord; pretended paper lowing on, to stoop and take up arguments from angering the moth- what falleth from me. Were I in er church, that can reel and nod and heaven, and had the crown on my stagger, are not of such weight as head, if free will were my tutor, I peace with the Father and Husband: should lose heaven: sceing I lose