« VorigeDoorgaan »
night to see day light, and Christ's seen joys, how many hidden "at un
Lord's will, my kind Lord in my ministry ; but I dare not but hath now bestowed upon me ; even say, I loved the children of the wedto suffer for my royal and princely ding chamber, and prayed for, and King Jesus, and for his kingly crown, desired the thriving of the marriage, and the freedom of his kingdom that and coming of his kingdom. I aphis Father hath given him. The prehend no less than a judgment forbidden lords have sentenced me upon Galloway; and that the Lord with deprivation, and confinement shall visit this whole nation, for the within the town of Aberdeen. I am quarrel of the covenant. But what charged in the king's name, to enter can be laid upon me, or any the against the twentieth day of August like of me, is too light for Christ; next, and there to remain during Christ can bear more, and would the king's pleasure, as they have bear death and burning quick, in his given it out. Howbeit, Christ's weak servants, even for this honourgreen cross, newly laid upon me, able cause that I now suffer for. Yet
somewhat heavy, while I call for all my complaints, and he knowmind the many fair days, sweet and eth that I dare not now dissemble, comfortable to iny soul, and to the he was never sweeter and kinder souls of many others, and how young than he is now; one kiss now iş ones in Christ are plucked from the sweeter than ten long since; sweet, breast, and the inheritance of God sweet is his cross ; light, light and laid waste; yet that sweet smell- easy is his yoke. O what a sweet ed and perfumed cross of Christ is
Father's house, accompanied with sweet refresh- through ten deaths, for the truth ment, with the kisses of a King, and cause of that unknown, and so with the joy of the Holy Ghost, with not half well loved plant of renown, faith that the Lord hears the sighing the man called the Branch, the chief of a prisoner, with undoubted hope among ten thousand, the fairest aas sure as my Lord liveth, after this mong the sons of men! 0
heart. sky to clear up again upon me, and burnings of love are in the remnants his
poor kirk, and that in a strange of the sufferings of Christ ! My dear land, amongst strange faces ; he worthy Lady, I give it to your Lawill give favour in the eyes of men dyship under my hand, (my heart to his poor oppressed servant, who writing as well as my hand,) wel. can not but love that lovely one, that come, welcome, sweet, sweet, and princely one, Jesus the comforter of glorious cross of Christ : welcome his soul. All would be well, if I sweet Jesus, with thy light cross, were free of old challenges for guil- thou hast now gained and gotten all tiness, and for neglect in my call- my love from me, keep what thou ing, and for speaking too little for hast gotten. Only, wo, wo is me, my Well-beloved's crown, honour, for my bereft flock, for the lambs of and kingdom. Oh for a day in the Jesus, that I fear shall be fed with assembly of the saints to advocate dry breasts; but I spare now. Mafor King Jesus ! If my Lord go on dam, I dare not promise to see your now to quarrels also. I die, I can- ladyship, because of the little time not endure it; but I look for peace I have allotted me, and I purpose to from him; because he knoweth I can obey the king, who hath power over bear men's feud, but I cannot bear my body; and rebellion to kings is his feud. This is my only exercise, unbeseeming Christ's ministers. Be that I fear I have done little good pleased to acquaint my Lady Marý
with my case: I expect your Lady-Christ for Christ! God forgive them ship and that good Lady will be that raise an ill report upon the sweet mindful to God of the Lord's prisoner, Cross of Christ; it is but our weak not for my cause, but for the gospel's and dim eyes that look but to the sake. Madam, bind me more, if black side, that makes us mistake: more can be, to your Ladyship; those who can take that crabbed and write thanks to your brother, tree handsomely upon their back, my Lord of Lorne, for what he hath and fasten it on cannily, shall find done for me a poor unknowo stranger it such a burden as wings unto a to his Lordship, I shall pray for him bird, or sails to a ship Madam, and his house while I live; it is his rue not of your having chosen the honour to open his mouth in the better part; upon my salvation, this streets for his wronged and oppressed is Christ's truth I now suffer for ; if Master Christ Jesus. Now, Madam, I found but cold comfort in my commending your Ladyship, and sufferings, I would not beguile the sweet child to the tender mercies others; I would
have told you of mine own Lord Jesus, and his plainly; but the truth is, Christ's good will who dwelt in the bush; crown, his sceptre, and the freedom I rest,
of his kingdom, is that which is now
called in question; because we will Yours, in his own sweetest Lord Jesus,
not allow that Christ pays tribute, Edinburgh, July 28, 1636.
and be a vassal to the shields of the earth, therefore the sons of our mother are angry at
But it LETTER V.
becometh not Christ to hold any To the noble and Christian Lady the VISCOUNTESS man's stirrup: it were a sweet and
honourable death, to die for, the My very honourable and dear Lady, honour of that royal and princely GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. King Jesus; this love is a mystery I cannot forget your Ladyship, and to the world; I would not have that sweet child. I desire to hear believed that there was so much in what the Lord is doing to you and Christ as there is; Come and see, him; to write to me were charity; i maketh Christ to be known in his cannot but write to my friends, that excellency and glory. I wish all Christ hath trysted me in Aberdeen; this nation knew how sweet his and my adversaries have sent me breath is; it is little to see Christ here to be feasted with love-ban- in a book, as men do the world in a quets, with my royal, high, high, and card: they talk of Christ by the book, princely King Jesus. Madam, why and the tongue, and no more, but to should I smother Christ's honesty ? come nigh Christ, and hausse him, I dare not conceal his goodness to and embrace him, is another thing. my soul; he looked fram'd and Madam, I write to your honour, for uncouth-like upon me, when I came your encouragement in that honour. first here; but I believe himself able profession Christ hath honoured better than his looks; I shall not you with; ye have gotten the sunny again quarrel Christ for a gloom, side of the brae, and the best of Dow he hath taken the mask off his Christ's good things; he hath not face, and saith, Kiss thy fill; and given you the bastard's portion; and what can I have more, while I get howbeit ye get strokes and sour great heaven in my little arms ? 0 looks from your Lord, yet believe how sweet are the sufferings of his love more than your own feeling,
for this world can take nothing from and my soul hath been at a pleading you that is truly yours, and death with Christ, and at yea and pay; can do you no wrong; your rock but I will yield to him, providing doth not ebb and flow, but your sea; my, suffering may preach more than that which Christ hath said he will my tongue did; for I gave not Christ bide by it; he will be your tutor; you an inch, but for twice as good shall not get your charters of heaven again; in a word, I am a fool, and to play you with; it is good that he is God. I will hold my peace ye have lost your credit with Christ, hereafter. Let me hear from your and that lord Freewill shall not be Ladyship, and your dear child; pray your tutor: Christ will
lippen the for
a prisoner of Christ, who is taking of you to heaven neither to mindful of your Ladyship. Reyourself, nor any deputy, but only member my obliged obedience to to himself; blessed be your tutor: my good Lady Marr. Grace, grace when your Head shall appear, your be with you. I write, and pray Bridegroom and Lord, your day blessings to your sweet child. shall then dawn, and it shall never have an afternoon, nor an evening
Your's in all dutiful obedience in his shadow. Let your child be Christ's,
only Lord Jesus, Aberdeen, Nov. 22, 1636.
S. R. let him stay beside you as the Lord's pledge, that you shall willingly render again, if God will. Madam,
LETTER VI, I find folks here kind to me, but in to the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my the night, and under their breath; Lady VISCOUNTESS of KENMURE. my Master's cause may not come to Madam, the crown of the causeway: others Grace, mercy and peace be to you. are kind acording to their fashion: I received your Ladyship's letter, many think me a strange man, and it refreshed me in my heaviness : my cause not good; but I care not the blessing and prayers of a prisoner much for man's, thoughts or ap- of Christ come upon you.
Since probation; I think no shame of the my coming hither, Galloway sent cross. The preachers of this town pre- me not a line, except what my tend great love, but the Prelates have brother Earlstoun and his son did added to the rest this gentle cruelty write; I cannot get my papers trans(for so they think of it) to discharge ported: but, M.adam, I want not me of the pulpits of this town. The kindness of one who hath the gate pecple murmur, and cry out against of it, Christ (if he had never done it; and to speak truly (howbeit more for me since I was born) hath Christ is most indulgent' to me engaged my heart, and gained my otherwise, yet) my silence on the blessing, in this house of my pilgrimLord's day keeps me from being age. It pleaseth my Well-beloved exalted above measure, and from to dine with a poor prisoner, and startling in the heat of my Lord's the King's spikenard casteth a fraglove. Some people affect me; for rant smell; nothing grieveth me but the which cause, I hear the preach- that I eat my feasts alone, and that ers here purpose to have my con- I cannot edify his saints: 0 that finement changed to another place; this nation knew what is betwixt him so cold is northern love; but Christ and me; nonc would scar at the and I will bear it. I have wrestled cross of Christ ! My silence eats me long with this sad silence; I said, up; but he hath told me he thankwhat aileth Christ at my service eth me ne less, than if I were preach
ing daily; he sees how gladly I would my soul with his presence: nay, now be at it; and therefore my wages I think the very annuity and casare going to the fore up in heaven, ualties of the cross of Christ Jesus, as if I were still preaching Christ. my Lord, and these comforts that Captains pay duly bedfast soldiers accompany it, better than the world's howbeit they do not march nor carry set rent. O how many rich off-fallarmour; “Though Israel be not ings are in my King's house! I am gathered, yet shall I be glorious in persuaded, and dare pawn my salthe eyes of my Lord, and my Lord vation on it, that it is Christ's truth shall be my strength,' Isa. xlix. 5. I now suffer for; I know his comforts my garland. The banished minister, are no dreams; he would not put his (the term of Aberdeen) ashameth seal on blank paper, nor deceive his me not; I have seen the white side afflicted ones that trust in him. Your of Christ's cross; how lovely hath Ladyship wrote to me that ye are he been to his oppressed servant ! an ill scholar; Madam, ye must go in Psal. cxlvi. 7, 8, 9. • The Lord at heaven's gates, and your book in executeth judgment for the op- your hand. still learning; you have pressed; he giveth food to the hun. had your large share of troubles, gry; the Lord looseth the prisoner; and a double portion; but it saith, the Lord raiseth them that are bow- your Father counteth you not a ed down: the Lord preserveth the bastard; full begotten children are stranger. If it were come to ex. nurtured. Heb. xii. I long to hear changing of crosses I would not ex- of the child, I write the blessings of change my cross with any: I am Christ's prisoner and the mercies of well pleased with Christ, and he God to him; let him be Christ's and with me; I hope none shall hear us. yours betwixt you, but let Christ be It is true, for all this I get my meat whole play-maker; let him be the with many strokes, and am seven lender, and ye the borrower, not an times a day up and down, and am owner. Madam, it is not long since I often anxious and cast down for the did write to your Ladyship, that case of my oppressed brother; yet I Christ is keeping mercy for you; and hope the Lord will be surety for I bide by it still, and now I write it his servant.
But now, upon some under my hand; love him dearly; win weak, very weak, experience, I in to see him; there is in him that am come to love a rumbling and which you never saw; he is ay nigh, raging devil best; seeing we must he is a tree of life, green and blossom. have a devil to hold the saints wak. ing, both summer and winter; there ing, I wish a cumbersome devil, is a nick in Christianity, to the which rather than a secure and sleeping whosoever cometh, they see and one. At my first coming hither, I feel more than others can do. I took the dorts at Christ, and took invite you of new to come to him; up a stomach against him; I said he come and see, will speak better had cast me over the dyke of the things of him, than I can do: come vineyard like a dry tree; but it was nearer will say much; God thought bis mercy,
I see, that the fire did never this world a portion worthy pot burn the dry tree: and now, as of you ; he would not even you to a if my Lord Jesus had done that fault gift of dirt and clay ; nay, he will and not I (who belied my Lord) he not give you Esau's portion: but hath made the first mends, and he reserves the inheritance of Jacob for spake not one word against me; but you; are ye not well married now ? ke hath come again and quickened have you not a good Husband now?
My heart cannot express what sad no great cause to think, that your nights I have for the virgin daughter stock and principal is under the roof of my people; _wo is me, for our of these visible heavens; and I hope time is coming. Ezek. vii. 10. • Be- ye would think yourself a beguiled hold the day, behold it is come, the and cozened soul, if it were so. I morning bath gone forth, the rod would be sorry to council your Ladyhath blossomed, pride hath budded, ship to make a covenant with time, violence is risen up in a rod of and this life; but rather desire you wickedness, the sun is gone down to hold in fair generals, and afar off upon our prophets.' A dry wind from this ill-founded haven, that is upon Scotland, but peither to fan on this side of the water. It speaknor cleanse; but out of all question eth somewhat, when our Lord blowwhen the Lord hath cut down his eth the bloom off our daft hopes forest, the after growth of Lebanon in this life, and loppeth the branches shall flourish, They shall plant off our worldly joys well nigh the vines in our mountain, and a cloud root,
on purpose that they should shall yet fill the temple. Now the not thrive. Lord, spill my fool's blessing of our dearest Lord Jesus, heaven in this life, that I may
be and the blessing of him that is saved for ever. A forfeiture of the separate from his brethren, come saints part of the yolk and marrow upon you.
of short laughing happiness wordly,
is not such a real evil as our blinded Your's, at Aberdeen, the prisoner of Christ, Aberdeen,
S. Reyes do conceive. I am thinking
long now for some deliverance more
than before ; but I know I am in an LETTER VII.
error: it is possible I am not come
to that measure of trial, that the To the Honourable and truly Noble Lady, The Lord is seeking in his work: if my
friends in Galloway would effectually Madam,
do for my deliverance, I would exGrace, mercy and peace be to your ceedingly rejoice; but I know not Ladyship. I long to hear from you. but the Lord hath a way, whereof I am here waiting if a good wind, he will be the only reaper of praises. long-looked for, shall at length blow Let me know with the bearer, how in Christ's sails in this land; but I the child is. The Lord be his wonder if Jesus be not content to tutor, and your only comforter, suffer more yet in his members and There is nothing here, where I am, cause, and beauty, of his house, but profanity and atheism. Grace, rather than he should not be avenged grace be with your Ladyship. upon this land. I hear many worthy men (who see more in the Lord's Your Ladyship's in all obliged obedience dealing, than I can take up with my Aberdeen, Feb. 13, 1697. S. R. dim sight) are of a contrary mind, and do believe the Lord is coming home again to his house in Scotland:
LETTER VIII. I hope he is on his journey that way; To the Noble and Christian Ladythe VISCOUNTESS yet I look not but that he shall feed this land with their own blood, be- Madam, fore he establish his throne amongst GRĄCE, mercy and peace be to you. us. I know your honour is not look. I would not omit the occasion to ing after things hereaway; ye have write to your Ladyship with the
VISCOUNTESS of KENMURE.