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who is before you, ye would rejoicecessities to the hands of our Lord, in your tribulation. Think ye it a and remain for ever small honour to stand before the Your Ladyship's in your sweet Lord Jesus throne of God and the Lamb, and
and mine, to be clothed in white, and to be Anwoth, Feb. 13, 1632. S. R. called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb, and to be led to the Fountain of living waters, and to come to the well.head, even God
LETTER XIII. himself, and get your fill of the
To my Lady KENMURE. clear, cold, sweet, refreshing Water
Madam, of life. the King's own well, and to the cause of my not writing to put up your own sinful hand to the your Ladyship, is not my forgetfuliree of life, and take down and eat ness of you, but the want of the op, the sweetest apple in all God's hea portunity of a convenient bearer ; venly paradise. Jesus Christ your for I am under more than a simple Life and your Lord! Up your heart obligation to be kind, on paper at shoot for joy, your King is coming least, to your Ladyship. I bless to fetch you to his Father's house. our Lord through Christ, who hath Madam, I am in exceeding great brought you home again to your heaviness, God thinking it best for country from that place, where ye my own soul thus to exercise me have seen with your eyes that which thereby it may be to fit me to be our Lord's truth taught you before, his mouth to others, I see and to wit, that worldly glory is nothing hear, at home and abroad, nothing but a vapour, a shadow, the foam of but matter of grief and discourage the water, or some less and lighter, ment, which indeed maketh my life even nothing; and that our Lord bitter ; and I hope in God never to hath not without cause said in his get my will in this world : and I word, 1 Cor. vii. 31. The counexpect ere long a fiery trial upon tenance or fashion of this world the church ; for as many men al- passeth away. In which place, our most in England and Scotland, as Lord compareth it to an image in many false friends to Christ, and as a looking glass, for it is the looking many pulling and drawing to pull glass of Adam's sons : some come the crown off his holy head; and to the glass, and see in it the picture for fear that our Beloved stay a. of honour, and but a picture indeed; mongst us, as if his room were for true honour is to be great in the more desirable than himself, men sight of God; and others see in it are bidding him go scek his lodg. the shadow of riches, and but a ing. Madam, if ye have a part in shadow indeed; for durable riches silly friendless Zion, as I know ye stand, as one of the maids of wighave, speak a word on her behalf dom, upon her left hand, Prov. to God and man: if ye can do no- iii. 16. and a third sort see in it the thing else, speak for Jesus, and ye face of painted pleasures, and the shall thereby be a witness against beholders will not believe, but the this declining age. Now, from my image they see in this glass is a liv. very soul, laying and leaving you ing man, till the Lord come and on the Lord, and desiring a part in break the glass in pieces, and reyour prayers (as my Lord knoweth move the face ; and then, like Pha. I remember you) I deliver over raoh awakened, they say, And beyour body, spirit, and all your new hold it was a dream. I know your
Ladyship thinketh yourself little in which should never have been yours the common of this world, for the fa. so as they now are, if ye had your vourable aspect of any of these three portion in this life, as others : and painted faces; and blessed be our therefore all the comforts, promises, Lord that it is so; the better for and mercies, God offereth to the you : Madam, they are not worthy afflicted, they are as many love-letto be wooers to suit in marriage ters written to you; take them to your soul, that looks to an higher you, Madam, and claim your right, match than to be married upon and be not robbed. It is no small painted clay. Know therefore Ma. comfort, that God hath written some dam, the place whither our Lord scriptures to you which he hath not Jesus cometh to woo a bride, it is written to others ; ye seem rather even in the furnace; for if ye be in this to be envied than pitied; and one of Zion's daughters (which I ye are indeed in this like people of ever put beyond all question, since another world, and those that are I first had occasion to see in your above the ordinary rank of mankind, Ladyship such pregnant evidences whomour Kingand Lord, our Bride of the grace of God) the Lord, who groom Jesus, in his love-letter to hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace his well-beloved spouse, hath name in Jerusalem, Isa, xxxi 9. is puri-ed, beside all the rest, and hath fying you in the furnace : and written comforts and his hearty com. therefore be content to live in it, mendations, in the 56th of Isaiah and every day to be adding and ver. 4, 5. Ps. cxlvii. 2, 3, to you ; sewing to a pasment to your wed- read these and the like, and think ding garment, that ye may be at last your God is like a friend, that send. decorated and trimmed as a bride eth a letter to a whole house and for rist, a bride of his own busk. family, but speaketh in his letter to ing, beautified in the hidden man of some by name, that are dearest to the heart, 'forgetting your father's bim in the house ; ye are then, Mac house, so shall the King greatly de- dam, of the dearest friends of the sire your beauty,' Psal xlv. 11. If Bridegroom ; jf it were lawful, I your Ladyship be not changed, as would envy you, that God honoured I hope ye are not, I believe ye es- you so above many of his dear chil. teem yourselves to be of those, dren. Therefore, Madam, your whom God hath tried these many part is, in this case, (seeing God years, and refined as silver. But, taketh nothing from you, but that Madam, I will shew your Ladyship which he is to supply with his own a privilege that others want, and presence,) to desire your Lord to ye have, in this case : such as are know his own room, and to take it in prosperity, and are fatted with even upon him to come in, in the earthly joys, and increased with room of dead children ; Jehovah children and friends, though the know thy own place, and take it to word of God is indeed written to thee, is all you have to say, Ma. such for their instruction; yet to dam, I persuade myself, that this you who are in trouble, (spare me world is to you an uncouth inps ; and Madam, to say this,) from whom the that ye are like a traveller, who hath Lord hath taken
many children, and his bundle upon his back, and his whom he hath exercised otherwise, staff in his band, and his feet upon there are some chapters, some par- the door-threshold ; go forward, hoticular promises in the word of God, nourable and elect Lady, in the made, in a most special manner, strength of your Lord," (let the
world bide at home and keep the silver, nor favour of men, I hope, house) with your face toward him, shall not lose me. I leave your who longeth more for a sight of you, Ladyship, praying more earnestly than ye can do for him ; ere it be for grace and mercy to be with you, long he will see us. I hope to see and multiplied upon you, here and you laugh as cheerfully after noon, hereafter, than my pen can express. as ye have mourned before noon; The Lord Jesus be with
your spirit. the hand of the Lord, the hand of
Tour Ladyship’s at all obedience in the the Lord be with you in your jour.
Lord, ney. What have ye to do here?
S. R. This is not your mountain of rest ; arise then, and set your foot up the mountain ; go up out of the wilder.
LETTER XIV. ness leaning upon the shoulder of your Beloved, Cant. viii 5. If ye To my Lady KENMURE. knew the welcome that abideth you
Madam, when ye come home, ye would has. Having saluted you, with grace ten your pace ; for ye shall see your and mercy from God our Father, Lord put up his own holy hand to and from our Lord Jesus Christ, I your face, and wipe all tears from long to see your Ladyship, and to your eyes; and I trow, then ye hear how it goeth with
I do shall have some joy of heart. Ma. remember you, and present you and dam, paper willeth me to end be- your necessities to bim, who is able fore affection. Remember the es- to keep you, and present you blame. tate of Zion: pray that Jerusalem less before his face with joy; and may be as Zechariah prophesied my prayer to our Lord is, that ye chap. xii, 13. A burdensome stone may be sick of love for him, who for all, that whosoever boweth down died of love for you; I mean your to roll the stone out of the way, may Saviour, Jesus ; and O sweet were hurt and break the joints of their that sickness, to be soul-sick for back, and strain their arms, and dis- him! and a living death it were, to joint their shoulder blades ; and die in the fire of the love of that pray Jehovah, that the stone may soul-lover, Jesus! And, Madam, lie still in its own place, keep bond if ye love him, ye will keep his comwith the Corner-stone, I hope it mandments; and this is not one of shall be so; he is a skilled Master- the least, to lay your neck cheerbuilder wbo laid it. I would, Ma- fully and willingly under the yoke dam, under great heaviness be re. of Jesus Christ: for, I trust, your freshed with two lines from your Ladyship did first contract and bare Ladyship, which I refer to your own gain with the Son of God, to follow wisdom. Madam, I would seem him upon these terms, that by his undutiful not to shew you, that grace ye should endure hardship, great solicitation is made by the and suffer affliction as the soldier of town of Kirkcudbright, for to have Christ; they are not worthy of Je. the use of my poor labours amongst sus, who will not take a blow for them. If the Lord shall call and their Master's sake. For our glohis people cry, who am I to resist ? rious peace-maker, when he came But without his seen calling, and to make up the friendship betwixt till the flock, whom I now oversee, God and us, God bruised him, and be planted with one, to whom I dare struck him, the sinful world also did intrust Christ's spouse ; gold nor beat him, and crucify him; yet he
took buffets of both the parties : I should honour it with the name of and honour to our Lord Jesus, he an inheritance, it is rather a farm. would not leave the field for all that, room,) and then in the end to be till he had made peace betwixt the casten out of God's house, with this parties. I persuade myself, your word, ye have received your consosufferings are but like your Savi. lation, ye will get po more, Alas! our's, (yea, incomparably less and what get they? The rich glutton's lighter,) which are called but a heaven. O but our Lord, Luke bruising of his heel, Gen, iii. 15. a xvi. maketh it a silly heaven! he · wound far from the heart. Your life fared well, (saith our Lord,) and is hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. delicately every day : Oh! no more? 3. and therefore ye cannot be roba silly heaven! truly no more, exbed of it. Our Lord handleth us, cept that he was clothed in purple, as fathers do their young children: and that is all. I persuade myself, they lay up jewels in a place above Madam, ye have joy, when ye think the reach of the short arms of chil. that our Lord hath dealt more gradren, else children would put up ciously with your soul. Ye have their hands, and take them down, gotten little in this life, it is true, and lose them soon: so hath our indeed: ye have then the more to Lord done with our spiritual life; crave; yea, ye have all to crave; Jesus Christ is the high coffer, in for, except some tastings of the first the which our Lord hath hid our fruits, and some kisses of his mouth, life; we children are not able to whom your soul loveth, ye get no reach up our arm so high as to take more. But I cannot tell
what down that life and lose it ; it is in is to come; yet I may speak as our our Christ's hand: 0, long, long Lord doth of it: the foundation of may Jesus be lord-keeper of our the city is pure gold, clear as crys. life! and happy are they that can, tal; the twelve ports are set with with the apostle, 2 Tim. i. lay their precious stones : if orchards and rie soul in pawn in the hand of Jesus ; vers commend a soil upon earth, for he is able to keep that which is there is a paradise there, wherein committed in pawn to him against groweth the tree of life, that beareth that day. Then, Madam, so long twelve manner of fruits every month, as this life is not hurt, all other which is sevenscore and four harvests troubles are but touches in the in the year; and there is there a heel: I trust ye will soon be cured. pure river of water of life, proceedYe know, Madam, kings have some ing out of the throne of God and of servants in their courts, that receive the Lamb: and the city hath no not present wages in their hand, but need of the light of the sun or live
upon their hopes: the King of moon, or of a candle ; for the Lord kings also hath servants in his court, God Almighty and the Lamb is the that for the present get little or no- light thereof. Madam, believe and thing, but the heavy cross of Christ, hope for this, till ye see and enjoy. troubles without, and terrors with Jesus is saying in the gospel, Come in; but they live upon hope ; when and see; and he is come down in it cometh to the parting of the in- the chariot of truth, wherein he heritance, they remain in the house rideth through the world, to conas heirs: it is better to be so, than quer men's souls, Psal. xlv. 4. and to get present payment, and a por- is now in the world saying, Who tion in this life, an inheritance in will go with me? will ye go? My this world; (God forgive me, that Father will make you welcome, and
give you house-room; for in my Fa- our Lord, who hath his handker. ther's house are many dwelling-pla- chief to wipe the face of the mournces. Madam, consent to go with ers in Zion, shall come to wipe a. him. Thus I rest, commending you way all tears from their eyes, he to God's dearest mercy,
may wipe your's also, in passing Your's in the Lord Jesus,
I am confident, Arwoth.
Madam, that our Lord will yet build a new house to himself, of our rejected and scattered stones ;
for our Bridegroom cannot want a LETTER XV.
wife : 'can he live a widow ? nay, To my Lady KENMURE.
he will embrace both us, the little Madam,
young sister, and the elder sister, I am afraid now, (as many others the church of the Jews; and there are,) that at the sitting down of our will yet be a day of it: and there. parliament, our Lord Jesus bis fore we have cause to rejoice, yea, spouse shall be roughly handled; to sing and shout for joy. The and it must be so, since false and church hath been, since the begindeclining Scotland, whom our Lord ning of the world, ever hanging by took off the dunghill, and out of a small thread, and all the hands of hell, and made a fair bride to him. hell and of the wicked have been self, hath broken her faith to her drawing at the thread; but God be sweet Husband, and hath put on thanked, they only break their arms the forehead of a whore; and there. by pulling, but the thread is not fore he
he will remove broken; for the sweet fingers of Would to God we could stir up Christ our Lord have spun and ourselves to lay hold upon him, twisted it: Lord, hold the thread who, being highly provoked with whole. Madam, stir up your hus. the handling he hath met with, is band, to lay hold upon the cove. ready to depart. Alas, we do not nant, and to do good. What hath importune him, by prayer and sup. he to do with the world? it is not plication, to abide amongst us! If his inheritance: desire him to make we could but weep upon him, and, home over, and put to his hand to in the holy pertinacy of faith, wres- lay one stone or two upon the wall tle with him, and say, We will not of God's house, before he go hence. let thee
may be that then he I have heard also, Madam, that who is easy to be entreated, would your child is removed; but to have yet, notwithstanding of our high or want is best, as he pleaseth. provocations, condescend to stay, Whether she be with you, or in and feed among the lilies, till that God's keeping, think it all one ; fair and desirable day break, and nay, think it the better of the two the shadows flee away. Ah! what by far, that she is with him. I cause of mourning is there, when trust in our Lord, that there is our gold is become dim, and the vi- something laid up and kept for you, sage of our Nazarites, sometimes for our kind Lord, who hath wound whiter than snow, is become black ed you, will not be so cruel, as not er than a coal; and Levi's house, to allay the pain of your green once comparable to fine gold, is wound, and therefore claim Christ now changed, and become like ves still as your own, and own him as sels in whom he hath no pleasure ? your One thing. So resting, I reMadam, think upon this, that when commend your Ladyship, your soul