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love. I dare sometimes put my very mindful of my bonds: the hunger over to him to be judged, if Lord give her, and her child to find I would not buy him with a thou- mercy in the day of Christ ! Great sand years in the hottest furnace in men are dry and cold in doing for hell, so being I might enjoy him; me; the tinkling of chains for Christ but my hunger is fed with want and affrighteth them: but let my Lord absence; I hunger, and I have not; break all my idols, I will yet bless but my comfort is to lye and wait him. I am obliged to my lord on, and to put my poor soul and Lorn; I wish him
Remy sufferings in Christ's hand; let member my bonds with praises, and him make any thing out of me, so pray for
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, own gracious end in me: I will not Aberdeen, July 9th, 1637. ,be at ease, while I but stand so far aback: 0 if I were near him, and with him that this poor soul might be satisfied with himself!
LETTER CCV. Your son-in-law, W. G. is now tru. TO ALEXANDER GORDON of Knockgray, ly honoured for his Lord and Mas Dear Brother, ter's cause: when the Lord is fan. GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. ing Zion, it is a good token that he There is no question but our mother is a true branch of the vine, that church hath a Father, and that she the Lord beginneth first to dress shall not die without an heir, that him; he is strong in his Lord, as he her enemies shall not make mount hath written to me, and his wife is Zion their heritage. We see,
whithhis encourager, which should make soever Zion's enemies go, suppose you rejoice. For your son, who is they dig many miles under the your grief, your Lord waited on ground, yet our Lord findeth them you and me, till we were ripe, and out, and he hath vengeance
up brought us in. It is your part to in store for them, and the
and pray and wait upon him: when he needy shall not always be forgotten. is ripe he will be spoken for. Who Our hope was drooping and withercan command our Lord's wind to ing, and man was saying, What can blow? I know it shall be your good God make out of the old dry bones in the latter end: that is one of of this buried kirk? the prelates and your waters to heaven, ye could not their followers were a grave above go about it; there are the fewer us: it is like our Lord is to open our behind. I remember you, and him, graves, and purposeth to cause his and yours, as I am able: but alas I two slain witnesses rise the third day. an believed to be something, and 1 O how long wait I, to hear our am nothing but an empty reed: weeping Lord Jesus sing again, and wants are my best riches, because triumph and rejoice, and divide the I have these supplied by Christ. spoil! I find it hard work to believe, Remember my dearest love to your when the course of providence goeth brother: I know he pleadeth with cross-ways to our faith, and when his harlot-mother for her apostacy. misted souls in a dark night cannot I know also, ye are kind to my know east by west, and our seaworthy Lady Kenmure, a woman compass seemeth to fail us. Every beloved of the Lord, who hath been man is a believer in day-light: a fair
day seemeth to be made all of faith (when it is come to the top of its exand hope. What a trial of gold is cellency, and to the bloom, might it, to smoke it a little above the fire? be bought with an halfpenny; and but to keep gold perfect yellow col. that it would scarce weigh the worth oured amidst the flames, and to be of a drink of water; there is nothing turned from vessel to vessel, and yet better than to esteem it our crucified to cause our furnace sound, and idol, that is dead and slaio, as Paul speak, and cry the praises of the did, Gal. vi. 14. Then let pleasures Lord, is another matter. I know be crucified, and riches be crucified, ny
Lord made me not for fire, how. and court and honour be crucified; beit he hath fitted me in some mea- and since the apostle saith, the world sure for fire. I bless his high name, is crucified to him, we may put this that I wax not paler, neither have I world to the hanged' man's doom, lost the colour of gold, and that his and to the gallows and who will fire hath made me somewhat thin, give much for a hanged man? and and that my Lord mav pour me in as little should we give for a hanged any vessel he pleaseth: for a small and crucified world; yet what a wager, I may, justly quit my part of sweet smell hath this dead carrion, this world's laughter, and give up to many fools in the world? and with time, and cast out with the how many wooers and suiters findpleasures of this world. I know a eth this hanged carrion? fools are man, who wondered to see any in pulling it off the gallows, and conthis life laugh or sport: surely our tending for it. when shall we Lord seeketh this of us, as to any learn to be mortified men, and to rejoicing in present perishing things. have our fill of those things that I see above all things, and that we have but their short summer.quarter may sit down, and fold legs and of this life! If we saw our Father's arms, and stretch ourselves upon house, and that great and fair city, Christ, and laugh at the feathers the New Jerusalem, which is up that children are chasing here; for above sun and moon, we would cry I think the men of this world, like to be over the water, and to be car. children in a dangerous storm in the ried in Christ's arms out of this sea, that play and make sport with borrowed prison. Grace, grace be the white foam of the waves thereof, with you. coming in to sink and drown them;
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, so are men making fool's sports with Aberdeen; 1637.
SR. the white pleasures of a stormy world, that will sink them. But alas, what have we to do with their
LETTER CCVI. sports that they make? If Solomon said of laughter that it was madness,
To the Laird of CARLETOUN. what may we say of this world's Worthy Sir, laughing and sporting themselves GRACE, mercy and peace be to you, with gold and silver, and honours, I received your letter, and am hearand court, and broad large con-tily glad that our Lord hath begun quests, but that they are poor souls, to work for the apparent delivery of in the height and rage of a fever this oppressed kirk; O that salvation gone mad? then a straw, a fig for would come for Zion! I am for the all created sports and rejoicing out present hanging by hope, waiting of Christ: nay, I think, that this what my Lord will do with me, and world at its prime and perfection, if it will please my sweet master to
send me amongst you again, and of a withered soul, with some halfkeep out a hireling from my poor out-breakings and half-out-look
it were my heaven till I come ings of the beams, and small ravishhome, even to spend this life in ing smiles of the fairest face of gathering in some to Christ. I have a revealed and believed-on God. still great heaviness for my silence, head: a little of God would make and my forced standing idle in the my soul bank-full, O that I had market, when this land hath such a but Christ's odd off-fallings, that he plentiful thick harvest; but I know would let but the meanest of his his judgments, who hath done it, love-rays and love-beams fall from pass finding out ; I have no know him, so as I might gather and carry ledge to take up the Lord, in all them with me! I would not be ill to his strange ways and passages of please with Christ, and vailed visions deep and unsearchable providences; of Christ; neither would I be dainty for the Lord is before me, and I am in seeing and enjoying of him: a kiss so bemisted, that I cannot follow of Christ blown over his shoulder, him; he is behind me, and follow- the parings and crumbs of glory that ing at the heels, and I am not aware fall under his table in heaven, a show. of him ; he is above me, but his glo er like a thin May-mist of his love ry so dazzleth my twilight of short would make me green, and sappy, knowledge, that I cannot look up to and joyful, till the summer-sun of an him; he is
upon my right hand, and eternal glory break up. Othat I had I see him not: he is upon my left. any thing of Christ! O that I had hand, and within me, and goeth and a sip, or half a drop, out of the hol. cometh, and his going and coming low of Christ's hand, of the sweetare a dream to me, he is round ness and excellency of that lovely about me, and compasseth all my One! O that my Lord Jesus would goings, and still I have him to seek; rue upon me, and give me but the he is every way higher, and deeper, meanest alms of felt and believed and broader, than the shallow and salvation! O how little were it for ebb hand-breadth of my short and that infinite Fountain of love and dim light can take up; and there- joy, to fill as many thousand thoufore I would my heart could be si. sand little vessels the like of me, as lent, and sit down in the learnedly there are minutes of hours since the ignorant wondering at that Lord, creation of God! I find it true, that whom men and angels cannot com- a poor soul finding half'a smell of prehend. I know the noon-day the God-head of Christ, hath delight of the highest angels, who see sires paining and wounding the poor bim face to face, seeth not the bor- heart so, with longings to be up at ders of his infiniteness; they ap- him, that make it sometimes think, prehend God near-hand, but they were it not better never to have felt cannot comprehend him. And there any thing of Christ, than thus to fore it is my happiness' to look afar lye dying twenty deaths, under these off, and to come near to the Lord's felt wounds, for the want of him ! back parts, and to light my dark where is he? O fairest, where candle at his brightness, and to have dwellest thou! O never-enough adleave to sit and content myself with mired God-head, how can clay win a traveller's light, without the clear up to thee? how can creatures of vision of an enjoyer. I would seek yesterday be able to enjoy thee! O no more till I were in my country, what pain is it, that time and sin but a little watering and sprinkling should be so many thousand miles
betwixt a loved and longed-for and glory shall be upon the top of Lord, and a dwining and love-sick the mountains, and joy at the noise soul, who would rather than all the of the married wife, once again. O world have lodging with Christ! O that our Lord would make us to let this bit of love of ours, this inch contend, and plead, and wrestle by and half span length of heavenly prayers and tears, for our Husband's longing meet with thy infinite love! restoring of his forfeited heritage O if the little I have were swallowed in Scotland! Dear brother, I am up with the infiniteness of that ex. for the present in no small battle, cellency, which is in Christ! O that betwixt felt guiltiness, and pining we little ones were in at the great- longings and high fevers for my est Lord Jesus! Our wants should Well-beloved's love. Alas! I think soon be swallowed up with his ful. Christ's love playeth the niggård
Grace, grace be with you. to me, and I know it is not for
scarcity of love, there is enough in
him: but my hunger prophesieth of Aberdeen, May, 10, 1637.
in-holding and sparingness in Christ; for I have but little of him, and lit.
tle of his sweetnsss; it is a dear LETTER CCVII.
summer with me; yet there is such
joy in the eagerness and working of TO ROBERT GORDON of Knockbrex.
hunger for Christ that I am often at Dear Brother,
this, that if I had no other heaven, Grace, mercy and peace be to you. but a continual hunger for Christ, I received your letter from Edin- such a heaven of ever-working hun burgh. I would not wish to see ger, were still a heaven to me. I another heaven, while I get mine am sure Christ's love cannot be own heaven, but a new moon like cruel; it must be a ruing, a pitiful, the light of the sun, and a new sun a melting-hearted love: but suspenlike the light of seven days shining sion of that love, I think it half a upon my poor self, and the church hell, and the want of it more than of Jews and Gentiles, and upon my a whole hell. When I look to my withered and sun-burnt mother, the guiltiness, I see my salvation one of church of Scotland, and upon her our Saviour's greatest miracles, eisister-churches England and Ire-ther in heaven or earth; I am sure land; and to have this done, to the I may defy any man to shew me a setting on high our great King: it greater wonder; but seeing I have maketh not, howbeit I were separate no wares, no hire, no money for from Christ, and had a sense of ten Christ, he must either take me with thousand years' pain in hell, if this want, misery, corruption, or then
O blessed nobility! O glo- want me. O if he would be pleased rious renowned gentry! 'o blessed to be compassionate and pitifulwere the tribes in this land, to wipe hearted to my pining fevers of longmy Lord Jesus's weeping face, and ing for him; or then give me a real to take the sackcloth off Christ's pawn to keep, out of his own hand, loins, and to put his kingly robes till God send a meeting betwixt upon him! O if the Almighty would him and me! but I find neither as takeno less wager of me than my hea- yet ; howbeit he who is absent be ven to have it done! but my fears are not cruel nor unkind, yet his aba still for wrath once upon Scotland: sence is cruel and unkind; his love but I know her day shall clear up, is like itself; his love is his love;
but the covering and the cloud, the Christ by faith and hope ; that is vail and the mask of his love, is heaven in the heart and bottom of more wise than kind, if I durst hell. Alas! I find a very thin speak my apprehensions. I lead harvest here, and few to be saved. no process now against the suspen- Grace, grace be with you. sion and delay of God's love; I
Your's in his lovely and longed for would with all my heart frist till a
Loril Jesus, day ten heavens, and the sweet Aberdeen, 1657.
S. R. manifestations of his love. Cer. tainly I think, I could give Christ මමමෙමළමළ much on his word: but whole
LETTER CCVIII. pleading is about intimated and born-in assurance of his love. O To my Lord CRAIG ILALL. if be would persuade me of my My Lord. heart's desire of his love at all, he I PERSUADE myself, notwithstanding should have the term-day of pay of the greatness of this temptation, ment at his own making. But I ye will not let Christ want a witness know, raving unbelief speaketh its of you, to avow him before this evil pleasure, while it looketh upon generation. And if ye
advise with guiltiness and this body of corrup- God's truth (the perfect testament tion. O how loathsome and buro of Christ, that forbiddeth all men's densome is it to carry about a dead additions to his worship) and with corpse, this old carrion of corrup. the truly learned, and with all the tion! O how steadable a thing is a sanctified in this land, and with that Saviour, to make a sinner rid of warner within you, (that will not his chains and fetters! I have now fail to speak against you, in God's made a new question, whether Christ name, if ye be not now fast and fixbe more to be loved for giving sancti- ed for Christ) I hope then, your fication or for free justification? And Lordship will acquit yourself as a I hold he is more and most to be man of courage for Christ, and reloved for sanctification; it is in some fuse to bow your knee superstitously respect greater love in him, to and industriously to wood or stone, sanctify than to justify; for he or any creature whatsoever. I permaketh us most like himself, in his suade' myself, when ye shall take own essential portraiture and image good night at this world, ye shall in sanctifying us; justification doth think it God's truth I now write. but make us happy, which is to Some fear your lordship hath obli. be like the angels only; neither is ged yourself to his majesty by próit such a misery to lye a condem- mise to satisfy his desire. If it be so, ned man, and under unforgiven guil- my dear and worthy lord, hear me tiness, as to serve sin, and work for your soul's good. Think upon the works of the devil; and there. swimming ashore after this shipfore, I think sanctification cannot wreck, and be pleased to write your be bought, it is above price. God humble apology to his majesty; it be thanked for ever, that Christ may be God give you favour in his was a told-down price for sanctifi. eyes. However it be, far be it from cation. Let a sinner (if possible) you to think a promise made out lye in hell for ever, if he make him of weakness, and extorted by the truly holy, and let him ly there terror of a king, should bind you to burning in love to God, rejoicing wrong your Lord Jesus. But for myin the Holy Ghost, hanging upon self, I give no faith to that report,