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man that can lie, or the son of wrestling in our Lord's work, and man that can repent? Nay, he is have been tried and tempted with unchangeable, and the same this brethren, who look awry to the year that he was the former year : gospel. Now he that is able to and his Son Jesus, who upon earth keep you until that day, preserve ate and drank with publicans and your soul, body, and spirit, and sinners, and spake and conferred present you before his face with his with whores and harlots, and put own bride, spotless and blameless. out his holy hand, and touched the rour Ladyship's to be commanded always leper's filthy skin, and came ever
in the Lord Jesus, more nigh sinners, even now in Anwoth, Nov. 26, 1631.
S. R, glory, is yet that same Lord : his honour and his great court in heaven hath not made him forget his
LETTER X. poor friends on earth; in him honours change not manners, and he To my Lady KENMURE. doth yet desire your company,
Nadam, Take him for the old Christ, and I am grieved exceedingly that your claim still kindness to him, and say, Ladyship should think, or have Oh it is so, he is not changed, but cause to think, that such as love I am changed: nay, it is a part of you in God, in this conntry, are his unchangeable love, and an arti- forgetful of you: for myself, Mad. cle of the new covenant, to keep am, I owe to your Ladyship all you that ye cannot dispone him nor evidences of my high respect (in sell him, he bath not played fast the sight of my Lord, whose truth and loose with us, in the covenant I preach, I am bold to say it) for of grace ; so that we may run from his rich grace in you. My comhim at our pleasure : his love hath munion is put off till the end of a made the bargain surer than so ; longsome and rainy harvest, and for Jesus as the cautioner is bound the presbyterial exercise, (as the for us, Heb. vii. 22. and it cannot bearer can inform your Ladyship,) stand with his honour to die in the hindered me to see you: and for burrows, as we use to say, and lose my people's sake finding them like thee, whom he must reader again to hot iron that cooleth being out of the Father, when he shall give up the fire, and that is pliable to no the kingdom to him. Consent and work, I do not stir abroad, neither say amen to the promises, and ye have. I left them at all, since
your have sealed that God is true, and Ladyship was in the country, save Christ is yours ; this is an easy at one time only, about two years market; ye but look on with faith ; ago; yet I dare not say but it is a for Christ suffered all, and paid all. fault, howbeit no defect in my afMadam, fearing I be tedious to fection; and I trust to make it up your Ladyship, I must stop here, again, so soon as possibly I am able desiring always to hear that your to wait upon you. Madam, I have Ladyship is well, and that ye have no new purpose to write unto you, still your face up the mountain. but of that which I think, nay, Pray for us, Madam, and for Zion, which our Lord thinketh needful, whereof ye are a part ; we expect that one thing, Mary's good part, a trial ; God's wheat in this land which ye have chosen, Luke x. 42. must go through Satan's sieve, but Madam, all that God hath, both their faith shall not fail. I am still himself and the creatures, he is
dealing and sparting amongst the of whom ye will not entertain an ill sons of Adam; there are none so thought; far more ought ye to bepoor, as that they can say in his lieve good overcome of your dear face, he hath given them nothing ; friend, that lovely fair person, but there is no small odds betwixt Jesus Christ. The thorn is one of the gifts given to lawful children, the most cursed and angry and and to bastards: and the more crabbed weeds, that the earth greedy ye are suiting, the more yieldeth: and yet out of it springwilling is he to give, delighting to eth the rose, one of the sweetest be called open-handed. I hope smelled flowers, and most delightful your Ladyship laboureth to get to the eye, that the earth hath; assurance of the surest patrimony, your Lord shall make joy and gladeven God himself. Ye will find in ness out of your afflictions : for all Christianity, that God aimeth, in his roses have a fragrant smell. all his dealings with his children, to Wait for the time, when his own bring them to a high contempt of holy hand shall hold them to your and deadly feud with the world : nose : and if ye
would have present and to set an high price upon comfort under the cross, be much Christ, and to think him one who in prayer; for at that time your cannot be bought for gold, and faith kisseth Christ, and he kisseth well-worthy the fighting for ; and the soul. And O if the breath of for no other cause, Madam, doth his holy mouth be sweet ! I dare be the Lord withdraw from you the caution, out of some small experi. childish toys, and the earthly de ence, that ye shall not be beguiled; lights, that he giveth unto others ; for the world yea, not a small number but that he may have you wholly of God's children, know not well to himself; think therefore of the what that is, which they call a God. Lord, as of one who cometh to woo head. But, Madam, come near to you in marriage, when ye are in the God-head, and look down to the furnace; he seeketh his an- the bottom of the well; there is swer of
in afiliction, to see if ye much in him, and sweet were that will say,
Even so I take him, Mad- death to drown in such a well; your am, give him this answer presently, grief taketh liberty to work upon and in your mind do not secretly your mind, when ye are not busied grudge nor murmur. When he is in the meditation of the ever-destriking you in love, beware to lighting and all-blessed God-head. strike again, that is dangerous; for if ye would lay the price ye give those who strike again, shall get the out which is but some few years last blow. If I hit not upon the right pain and trouble, beside the comstring, it is because I am not ac- modities ye are to receive, ye quainted with your Ladyship's pre- i would see they were not worthy to sent condition, but I believe your be laid in the balance together ; but Ladyship goeth on foot laughing, it is nature that maketh you look and putting on a good countenance what ye give out, and weakness of before the world, and yet ye carry faith that hindereth you to see what heaviness about with you. Ye do ye shall take in. Amend your hope, well, Madam, not to make them and frist your faithful Lord a while ; witnessess of your grief, who can- he maketh himself your debtor in not be curers of it ; but be exceed- the new covenant; he is honest, ing charitable of your dear Lord. take his word, Nahum i. 9. AflictAs there be some friends worldly, ion shall not spring up the second
time, Rev. xxi. 7. • He that over.
LETTER XI. cometh shall inherit all things. Of To my Lady KENMUR E. all things then which ye want in Madam, this life, Madam, I am able to say UNDERSTANDING a little after the nothing, if that be not believed writing of my last letter, of the gowhich
ye have, Rev. ii. 7. and Rev. ing of this bearer, I would not omit jii. 5. The overcomer shall be the opportunity of remembering clothed in white raiment, &c. and your Ladyship, still harping upon V. 28. ' • To the overcomer I will that string, which in our whole life. give to sit with me in my throne, as time is never too often touched I overcame and am set down with upon; nor is our lesson well enough my Father in his throne. Consider, learned, that there is a necessity of Madam, if ye are not bigh up now, advancing in the way to the king. and far ben in the palace of our dom of God, of the contempt of the Lord, when ye are upon a throne world, of denying ourself, and bearin white raiment, at lovely Christ's ing of our Lord's cross; which is no elbow. O thrice fools are we, who less needful for us, than daily food ; like new born princes weeping in and among many marks that we are the cradle, know not that there is a on this journey, and under sail tokingdom before them ! then let our ward heaven, this is one, when the Lord's sweet hand square us and love of God so filleth our hearts that hammer us, and strike off the knots we forget to love, and care too of pride, self-love, and world-woro much for the having or wanting of ship, and infidelity, that he may other things ; as one extreme heat make us stones and pillars in his burneth out another. By this Ma. Fathers house, Rev. iii. 12. Madam, dam, ye know ye have betrothed what think ye to take binding with your soul in marriage to Christ, the fair corner.stone, Jesus ? The when ye do make but small reckonLord give you wisdom to believe ing of all other suiters or woers, and and hope, your day is coming. when ye can, having little in hand, hope to be witness of your joy, as I but much in hope, live as a young have been a hearer and beholder of heir during the time of his non-age your grief.
ye much to fol. and minority, being content to be as low the heir of the crown, who had hardly handled, and under as preexperience of sorrows, and was ac- cise a reckoning, as servants : bequainted with grief ? Isa. liii. It cause his hope is upon the inheritwere pride to aim to be above the ance: for this cause, God's children King's Son; it is more than we take well with the spoiling of their deserve, that we are equals in glory, goods,' Heb. xi. 34. • knowing in in a manner. Now commending themselves, that they have in heayou to the dearest grace and mercy ven a better and an enduring subof God, I rest.
stance.' That day that the earth Your Ladyship’s at all obedience
and the works therein shall be burnt in Christ,
S. R. with fire, 2 Pet. iii. 10. your hidden Anwoth, Jan. 4, 1632.
hope and your hidden life shall appear; and therefore, since
have pot now many years of your endless eternity, and know not how soon the sky above your head will burst and the Son of Man will be seen in the clouds of heaven ; what better
and wiser course can ye take, than God will not be so loved: for that to think that your one foot is here, were to behave as harlots, and not and your other foot in the life to as the chaste spouse, to abate from come, and to leave off loving, desir- our love when these things are puling, or grieving for the wants, that led away. Our love to him should shall be made up, when your Lord begin on earth, as it shall be in heaand ye shall meet, and when ye ven : for the bride taketh not by a shall give in your bill that day of thousand degrees so much delight all your wants here? If your losses in her wedding-garment, as she be not made up, ye have place to doth in her Bridegroom ; 80 we, in challenge the Almighty ; but it shall the life to come, howbeit clothed not be so, “ Ye shall then rejoice with glory as with a robe, shall not with joy unspeakable and full of be so much affected with the glory glory, and
your joy shall none take that goeth about us, as with the from you," John xvi. 22. It is Bridegroom's joyful face and preenough, that the Lord hath promis-sence. Madam, if ye can win to ed you great things ; only let the this here, the field is won; and your time of bestowing them be in his mind, for any thing ye want, or for own carving. It is not for us to set any thing your Lord can take from an hour-glass to the Creator of time, you, shall soon be calmed and since he and we differ only in the quieted; get himself as a pawn, and term of payment; since he hath keep him, till your dear Lord come promised payment, and we believe and lose the pawn, rue upon you, and it, it is no great matter, we will put give you all again, that he took from that in his own will; as the frank you, even a thousand talents for one buyer, who cometh near to what the penny. It is not ill to lend God seller seeketh, useth at last to refer willingly, who otherwise both will the difference to his will, and so cut- and may take from you against your teth off the course of mutual prig- will : it is good to play the usurer ging. Madam, do not prig with with, and take in, instead of ten of your frank-hearted and gracious the hundred, an hundred of ten, Lord, about the time of the fulfil. often an hundred of one. Madam, ling of your joys: it will be-God fearing to be tedious to you, I break hath said it; bide his harvest, wait off here, commending you, as I trust upon his Whitsunday: his day is to do while I live, your person, better than your day; he putteth ways, burdens, and all that concern. not the hook in the corn, till it be eth you, to that Almighty, who is ripe, and full-eared. • The great able to bear you and your burdens“; Angel of the covenant bear you I still remember you to him, who company till the trumpet shall sound will cause you one day to laugh, and the voice of the arch angel a- I expect that, whatever ye can do waken the dead. Ye shall find it by word or deed, for the Lord's your only happiness, under what-friendless Zion, ye will do it; she ever thing disturbeth and crosseth is your mother, forget her not, for the peace of your mind in this life, the Lord intendeth to melt and try to love nothing for itself, but only this land, and it is high time we were God for himself: it is the crooked all upon our feet, and falling about love of some harlots, that they love to try what claim we have to Christ. bracelets, ear.rings, and rings, bet. It is like the Bridegroom will be ter than the lover that sendeth them : taken from us, and then we shall
mourn. Dear Jesus remove not, Bridegroom, our sweet, sweet Lord else take us with thee! Grace, grace Jesus, fairer than all the children be with
of men, the rose of Sharon, and the
fairest and sweetest smelled rose in Your Ladyship’s at all dutiful obedience, all his Father's garden; there is Anwoth, Jan. 14, 1632.
none like him ; I would not exchange one smile of his lovely face
with kingdoms. Madam, let others LETTER XII.
take their silly seckless heaven in
this life, envy them not; but let To my Lady KENMURE.
your soul, like a tarrowing and misMadam,
learned child, take the dorts, as we Your Ladyship will not, I know, use to speak, or cast at all things weary nor offend, though I trouble and disdain them, except one only ; many letters,
the memo- either Christ or nothing. Your ry
of what obligations I am under to Well-beloved Jesus will be content, your Ladyship is the cause of it. I that ye be here devoutly proud, and am possibly impertinent in what I ill to please, as one that contemneth write, because of my ignorance of all husbands but himself; either the your present estate ; but for all that king's son or no husband at all, ; is said, I have learned of Mr. W. D. this is humble and worthy ambition. that ye have not changed upon, nor What have ye to do to dally with a wearied of your sweet Master, whorish and foolish world? your Christ, and his service; nether were jealous husband will not be content it your part to change upon him, that ye look by him to another ; he who resteth in his love, Ye are will be jealous indeed, and offended, among honourable company, and if ye kiss another but himself. What such as affect grandeur and court. weights do burden you, Madam, I But, Madam, thinking upon your know not, but think it great mercy estate, I think I see an improvident that your Lord from your youth hath wooer, coming too late to seek a been hedging in your out-straying bride, because she is contracted al. affections, that they may not go aready, and promised away to ano. whoring from himself; if ye were his ther; and so the wooer's busking bastard, he would not nurture you and bravery (who cometh to you, so: if ye were for the slaughter, ye as who but he) is in vain; the out- would be fattened; but be content, ye ward pomp of this busy wooer, a are his wheat growing in our Lord's beguiling world, is now coming in field, Matth. xiii. 25, 38. And if to suit your soul too late, when ye wheat, ye must go under our Lord's have promised away your soul to threshing instrument, in his barnChrist many years ago.
And I floor, and go through his sieve, Amos know Madam, what answer ye may ix. 9. and through his mill to be justly make to the late suiter, even bruised, as the Prince of our salvathis, Ye are too long of coming ; tion Jesus was, Isa. liii. 9. that ye my soul the bride is away already, may be found good bread in your and the contract with Christ sub- Lord's house. Lord Jesus, bless scribed; and I cannot choose, but the spiritual husbandry, and sepa. I must be honest and faithful to rate you from the chaff, that can him.' Honourable Lady, keep your not bide the wind. I am persuadfirst love, and hold the first match ed, your glass is spending itself by with that soul.delighting lovely little and little; and if ye knew