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till he make your sown light grow means, either of your own wishing again ; for your afflictions are not or of God's choosing ; the latter, I eternal, time will end them, and so am sure, is best, and the comfort shall ye at length see the Lord's strongest and sweetest; let the Lord salvation ; his love sleepeth not, but absolutely have the ordering of your is still in working for you ; his salva- evils and troubles, and put them off cion will not tarry nor linger; and you, by recommending your cross suffering for him is the noblest cross and your furnace to him, who hath that is out of heaven. Your Lord skill to melt his own metal, and hath the wail and choice of ten knoweth well what to do with his thousand other crosses, beside this, furnace ; let your heart be willing, to exercise you withal; but his wis that God's fire have your tin, and dom and his love wailed and choosed brass, and dross; to consent to want out this for you, beside them all; corruption, is a greater mercy than and take it as a choice one, and many professors do well know; and make use of it, so as ye look to this to refer the manner of God's physic world as your step-mother, in your to his own wisdom, whether it be by borrowed prison; for it is a love drawing blood, or giving sugared look to heaven, and the other side of drinks; that he cureth sick folks the water, that God seeketh; and without pain, it is a great point of this is the fruit, the flower and bloom faith; and to believe Christ's cross growing out of your cross, that ye to be a friend, as he himself is a be a dead man to time, to clay, to Friend, is also a special act of faith; gold, to country, to friends, wife, but when ye are over the water, this children, and all pieces of created case shall be a yesterday, past an nothings; for in them there is not a hundred years ere ye were born ; seat nor bottom for soul's love, and the cup of glory shall wash the what room is for your love (if it were memory of all this away, and make as broad as the sea) up in heaven it as nothing ; only now take Christ and in God! and what would not in with you under your yoke, and Christ give for your love? God let patience have her perfect work; gave so much for your soul ; and for this haste is your infirmity. The blessed are ye if ye
have a love for Lord is rising up to do you good in him, and can call in your soul's love the latter end ; put on the faith of from all idols, and can make a God his salvation, and see him posting of God, a God of Christ, and draw and hasting towards you. Sir, my a line betwixt your heart and him. employments being so great, hinder If your deliverance come not, Christ's me to write at more length; excuse presence and his believed love must me; I hope to be mindful of
you. stand as caution and surety for your I shall be obliged to you, if ye help deliverance, till your Lord send it is me with your prayers for this peohis blessed time ; for Christ hath ple, this college, and my own poor many salvations, if we could see soul. Grace be with you. Remem. them; and I would think it better ber
love to your wife. born comfort and joy, that cometh Your's in Christ Jesus. from the faith of deliverance, and St. Andrew's, Feb. 13, 1640. S. R. the faith of his love, than that which cometh from deliverance itself. It is not much matter, if ye
find te your afflicted soul, what be the
LETTER XXXIII. ness delight me!) how sweet would To the much honoured PETER STIRLING. that easing and refreshing pain be
Much honoured and worthy Sir, to my soul ? I shall be glad to be I RECEIVED yours, and cannot but a witness to behold the kingdoms be ashamed that mistaking love hath of the world become Christ's : I brought me in court and account in could stay out of heaven many years, the heart of God's children, espec. to see that victorious triumphing ially of another nation. I should Lord act that prophesied part of his not make a lie of the grace of God, soul conquering love, in taking inif I should think I have little share to his kingdom the greater sister, of it myself; O how much better that kirk of the Jews, who somewere it for me, to stand in the count. times courted our well-beloved for ing-table of many for a halfpenny. her little sister, Cant. viii. 8. to beand to be esteemed a liker, rather hold him set up as an ensign and than a lover of Christ ! If I were banner of love, to the ends of the weighed, vanity should bear down world. And truly, we are to bethe scale, as having weight in the lieve that his wrath is ripe for the balance above me, except my lovely land of graven images, and for the Saviour should cast in beside me falling of that millstone in the midat some of his borrowed worth. And, of the sea. Grace be with you. oh, if I were writing now sincerely Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, in this extenuation, which may be, St. Andrews, March 6th, 1640. S. R. and I fear is, subtile and cozening pride! I would I could love some.
00009 thing of heaven's worth, in you and all of your metal. O how hap
LETTER XXXIV. py were I, if I could regain and
To the Lady FINGASK. conquer back from the creature my Madam, sold and lost love, that I might lay GRACE, mercy and peace be to you: it upon heaven's Jewel, that ever, though not acquainted, yet, at the ever blooming Flower of the highest desire of a Christian, I make bold garden, even my soul-redeeming and to write a line or two unto you by never-enough prized Lord Jesus ! way of counsel. (howbeit I be most O that he would wash my love, and uufit for that.) I hear, and I bless put it on the Mediator's wheel, and the Father of lights for it, that ye refine it from its dross and tin, that have a spirit set to seek God, and I might propine and gift that Lord, that the posture of your heart is to so love-worthy, with all my love ! Look heaven-ward , which is a work O if I could set a lease of thousands and cast of the Mediator Christ's of years, and a suspension of my part right-hand, who putteth on the of heaven's glory, and frist till a long heart a new frame, for the which I . day my desired salvation, so being I would have your Ladyship, to see a could in this lower kitchen and un tye and bone of obedience laid upon der-vault of his creation, be feasted you, that all may be done, not so with his love, and that I might be much from obligation of law, as a foot-stool to his glory, before men from he tye of free love; that tlie and angels! Oh it be would let out law of ransom-paying by Christ may heaven's fountain upon wither be the chief ground of all your obe. ed me, dry and sapless me! If dience, seeing that ye are not un. I were but sick of love for his der the law, but under grace. With. love, (and oh, how would that sick-lal, know that unbelief is a spiritual
sin, and so not seen by nature's (commend and make fair heaven or light; and that all conscience saith earth, or, the creature, that is not is not scripture : suppose your heart in him, in infinite perfection; for bear witness against you, for sins fair sun and fair moon are black, and done long ago; yet, because many think shame to shine before his fairhave pardon with God, that have not ness, Isa. xxiv. 23. Base heavens peace with themselves, ye are to and excellent Jesus ; weak angels, stand and fall by Christ's esteem and strong and mighty Jesus ; fooland verdict of you, and not by that ish angel-wisdom, and only wise which your heart saith. Suppose it Jesus ; short living creature, and may by accident be a good sign, to long living, and ever-living Ancient be jealous of your heavenly Hus- of days : miserable and sickly, and band's love, yet it is a sinful sign; wretched are those things that are as there be some happy sins (if I within time's circle, and only, only may speak so) not of themselves, blessed Jesus! if ye can wind in his but because they are neighboured love (and he giveth you leave to with faith and love. And so, wor- love him, and allurements also) what thy Lady, I would have you hold by a second heaven's paradise, a young this, that the ancient love of an old heaven's glory is it to be hot and husband standeth firm and sure; and burned with fevers of love-sickness let faith hang by this small thread, for him ? and the more your Lady. that he loved you before he laid the ship drinks of this love, there is the corner-stone of the world ; and more room, and the greater delight therefore he cannot change his and desire for this love. Be home mind, because he is God, and rests ly and hunger for a feast and fill of in his love. Neither is sin in you a his love; for that is the borders and good reason, wherefore ye should march of heaven ; nothing hath a doubt of him, or think, because sin nearer resemblance to the colour hath put you in the courtesy and and hue and lustre of heaven than reverence of justice, that therefore Christ loved, and to breathe out he is wroth with you; neither is it love-words, and love-sighs for him. presumption in you to lay the bur- Remember what he is; when twen den of your salvation upon One ty thousand millions of heaven's love mighty to save; 80 being ye lay a- ers have worn their hearts thread. side all confidence in yourself, your bare of love, all is nothing, yea, less worth and righteousness. True than nothing to his matchless worth faith is humble, and seeth no way to and excellency: 0 so broad and so escape but only in Christ ; and I be- deep as the sea of his desirable lovelieve ye have put an esteem and high liness is ! glorified spirits, triumphprice upon Christ; and they cannot ing angels, the crowned and exalted but believe, and so be saved who love lovers of heaven, stand without his Christ, and to whom he is precious; loveliness, and cannot put a circle for the love of Christ hath chosen on it. Oh, if sin and time were Christ as a Lover ; and it were not from betwixt us and that royal and like God, if ye should choose him as King's love, that high Majesty, e. your liking, and he not choose you ternity's Bloom, and Flower of high again ; nay, he hath prevented you lustered beauty, might shine upon in that ; for ye have not chosen pieces of created spirits, and might him, but he hath chosen you.
o bedew and overflow us, who are porconsider his loveliness and beauty, tions of endles misery, and lumps of and that there is nothing which can redeemed sin! Alas, what do I?
I but spill and lose words in speak. and give with him ; and ye know, ing highly of him, who will bide and what are called the visitations of be above the music and songs of such a friend; it is to come to the heaven, and never be enough praised house, and be homely with what is by us all; to whose boundless and yours. I persuade myself upon his bottomless love I recommend your credit, he hath left drink-money, Ladyship, and am
and that he hath made the house
the better of him : I envy not his Your Ladyship's in Christ Jesus,
waking love, who saw that this St. Andrews, March, 27th, 1640. S. R. water was to be past through, and
that now the number of crosses ly
ing in our way to glory are fewer LETTER XXXV.
by one than when I saw you; they
must decrease. It is better than To his reverend and dear brother, Mr. DAVID
any ancient or modern commentary Reverend and dear Brother,
on your text, that ye preach upon, Ye look like the house whereof ye for he knoweth what he doth; he is
in Glasgow : read and spell right, are a branch; the cross is a part of the life-rent, that lieth to all the only lopping and snedding a fruit
ful sons of the house. I desire to suf.
tree, that it may be more fruitfer with you, if I could take a lift ful. I congratulate heartily with of your house-trial off you ; but you his new welcome to your new ye have preached it, ere I knew charge. Dearest brother, go on and
any thing of God: your Lord may gath- faint not ; something of yours is in er his roses, and shake his apples, exalted Saviour, and ye go on after
heaven, beside the flesh of your at what season of the year he pleas
Time's thread is shorter each husbandman cannot make your own. harvest when he pleaseth, as he can
by one inch than it was : an oath do: ye are taught to know and a.
is sworn and past the seals, whether dore his sovereignty, which he ex.
afflictions will or not, ye must grow erciseth over you, which yet is lus. and swell out of your shell, and live, tred with mercy. The child hath and triumph, and reign, and be more but changed a bed in the garden, than a conqueror: for your Capand is planted up higher nearer the tain, who leadeth you on, is more sun, where he shall thrive better than than Conqueror, and he makes you in this out-field moor-ground; ye Did not love to you compel me, I in this out-field moor-ground; ye partaker of his conquest and victory. must think your Lord would not want him one hour longer; and would not fetch' water to the well, since the date of your loan of him and speak to one who knoweth bet was expired (as it is if ye read the ter than I can do what God is dolease) let him have his own with gain, ing with him. Remember my love as good reason were. I read on it
to your wife, to Mr. John, and all an exaltation and a richer measure
friends there. Let us be helped by of grace, as the sweet fruit of your your prayers, for I cease not to cross; and I am bold to say, that make mention of you to the Lord as
I that college where your Master hath
Grace be with you. set you now, shall find it. I am Your's, in his sweet Lord Jesus, content, that Christ is so homely St, Andrews, May, 28th, 1640. S. R. with my dear brother, David Dick. son, as to borrow and lend, and take
through the one side of a mountain
to the other, who can take up his To my Lady BOYD.
ways; how unsearchable are his Madam,
judgments, and his ways past findGrace, mercy, and peace be to ing out ! his providence halteth not, you. Impute it not to a disrespec. but goeth with even and equal legs ; tive forgetfulness of your Ladyship; yet are they, not the greatest sinners who ministered to me in my bonds, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell. that I write not to you: I wish I was not time's lease expired, and could speak or write what might do the sand of heaven's sand-glass, set good to your Ladyship; especially by our Lord, run out? Is not he an now, when I think we cannot but unjust debitor, who payeth due debt have deep thoughts of the deep and with chiding? I believe, Christian bottomless ways of our Lord, in Lady, your faith leaveth that much taking away with a sudden and won charity to our Lord's judgments, as, derful stroke, your brethren and to believe, howbeit ye be in blood friends. Ye may kaow, all that die for sib to that cross, that yet ye are sin, die not in sin: and that none can exempted and freed from the gall teach the Almighty knowledge : he and wrath that is in it. I dare not answereth none of our courts, and deny but (Job xviii. 15.) The king no man can say, What doest thou ? of terrors dwelleth in the wicked It is true, your brethren saw not man's tabernacle; brimstone shall be many summers, but adore and fear scattered on his habitation ; yet, Mathe sovereignty of the great Potter, dam, it is safe for you to live upon the who maketh and marreth his clay faith of his love, whose arrows are vessels, when and how it pleaseth over-watered and pointed with love him. The under-garden is absolute- and mercy to his own, and who ly his own, and all that groweth knoweth how to take you
yours in it: his absolute liberty is law- out of the roll and book of the dead. biding; the flowers are his own; Our Lord hath not the eyes of flesh, if some be but summer-apples, he in distributing wrath to the thou. may pluck them down before others. sandth generation without exception.. O what wisdom is it to believe, and Seeing ye are not under the law, but, not to dispute; to subject the under grace, and married to another thoughts to his court, and not to re. ' Husband; wrath is not the court pine at any act of his justice ? he that you are liable to. As I would hath done it, all flesh be silent. It not wish, neither do I believe, your is impossible to be submissive and Ladyship doth despise, so neither religiously patient, if ye stay your faint. Read and spell aright all the thoughts down among the confused words and syllables in the visitation, rollings and wheels of second causes; and miscall neither letter nor sylla. as, Oh, the place ! Oh, the time ! ble in it. Come along with the Lord; Oh, if this had been, this had not and see, and lay no more weight followed! Oh, the linking of this upon the law than your Christ hath accident with this time and place ! laid upon it. If the law's bill get Look up to the master-motion and an answer from Christ, the curses of the first wheel ; see and read the it can do no more; and I hope you decree of heaven and the Creator have resolved; that if he should of man, who breweth death to his grind you to powder, your dust and children and the manner of it; and powder shall believe his salvation. they see far in a mill-stone, and And who can tell what thoughts of have
eyes that make a hole to seellove and peace our Lord hath tæ