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in his lillies at mid-summer, and, step.dame; I love not your condition for ought I dare say, in the begin. the worse; it may be a proof that ning of the first summer month, and ye are not a child of this lower he may transplant young trees out house, but a stranger; Christ seeth of the lower ground to the higher, it not good only, but your only good where they may have more of the to be led thus to heaven; and think sun, and a more free air, at any this a favour, that he hath bestowed season of the year : what is that to on you free, free grace, that is, mera you or me! The goods are his cy without hire; ye paid nothing
The Creator of time and for it; and who can put a price upo: winds did a merciful injury (if I any thing of royal and princely dare borrow the word) to nature, in Jesus Christ? And God hath given landing the passenger so early. to you to suffer for him the spoiling They love the sea too well, who of your goods; esteem it as an act complain of a fair wind and a desira. of free grace also; ye are no loser, ble tide, and a speedy coming a. having himself ; and I persuade myshore, especially a coming a-shore in self, if ye could prize Christ, nothat land where all the inhabitants thing could be bitter to you. Grace have everlasting joy upon their heads.grace be with you. He cannot be too early in heaven ;
Your brother and well wisher, his twelve hours were not short hours ; and withal, if ye consider
S. R. this had
been at his bed-side; and should have seen Christ coming to him, ye would not, ye could not
LETTER XLI. have adjourned Christ's free love, who would want bim no longer And dying in another land, where
Worthy Friend, his mother could not close his eyes, GRACE be to you. I do unwillingly is not much : Who closed Moses' write unto you of that which God eyes ? and who put on his windinath done concerning your son-insheet? for ought I know, neither law; only I believe, ye look not befather nor mother, nor friend, but low Christ, and the highest and most God only; and there is as expedite, -upreme act of providence, which fair and easy a way betwixt Scotoveth all wheels. And certainly, land and heaven, as if he had died in what came down enacted and conthe very bed he was born in. The cluded in the great book before the whole earth is his Father's; any cor- throne, and signed and subscribed ner of his Father's house is good with the Hand which never did enough to die in. It may be, the wrong, should be kissed and adored living child, (I speak not of Mr. by us. We see God's decrees, when Hugh) is more grief to you than they bring forth their fruits, all acthe dead: you are to wait on, if at tions, good and ill, sweet and sour, any time God shall give him repen- in their time ; but we see not pres. tance; Christ waited as long pos- ently the after-birth of God's desibly on you and me, certainly long. cree, viz. his blessed end, and the er on me; and if he should deny good that he bringeth out of the repentance to him, I could say some womb of his holy and spotless coun. thing to that; but I hope better sel; we see his working, and sorrow; things of him. It seemeth that the end of his counsel and working Christ will have this world your lieth hidden and underneath the
TO BARBARA HAMILTON.
ground, and therefore we cannot the rod what it preacheth, and set believe. Even amongst men, we the name of God, Micah, vi. 9. and see hewn stones, timber, and an know that there is somewhat of God hundred scattered parcels and piec- and heaven in the rod. The majeses of an house, all under tools, ty of the uusearchable and bottom. hammers, and axes, and saws ; yet less ways and judgments of God is the house, the beauty and ease of so not seen in the rod, and the seeing many lodgings and ease rooms, we of them requireth the eyes of the neither see nor understand for the man of wisdom. If the sufferings of present ; these are but in the mind some other with you in that loss and head of the builder, as yet. We could ease you, ye want them not. see red earth, unbroken clods, fur- But he can do no wrong, he canrows and stones ; but we see not not halt ; his goings are equal, who summer lilies, roses, and the beauty hath done it. I know our Lord of a garden. If ye give the Lord aimeth at mortification ; let him not time to work (as often he that be- come in vain to your house, and lose lieveth not maketh haste, but not the pains of a merciful visit. God, speed) his end is under ground; and the Founder, never melteth io vain, ye shall see it was your good, that howbeit to us he seemeth often to your son bath changed dwelling- lose both fire and metal : but I places, but not his Master : Christ know ye are more in this work than thought good to have no more of his I can be ; there is no cause to faint service here ; yet Rev. xxii. 3. His or weary. Grace be with you,
and servants shall serve him : he need- the rich consolations of Jesus Christ eth not us nor our service, either in sweeten your cross, and support you earth or in heaven : but ye are to under it. I rest look to him, who giveth the hire.
Your's in his Lord and Master, Jing both his leave and his wages, for his naked aim and purpose to
London, Oct. 15th, 1645. S. R. serve Christ, as well as for his labours ; it is put up in Christ's account, such a labourer did sweat
LETTER XLII. forty years in Christ's vineyard ; howbeit he got not leave to labour so long, because he who accepteth
Loving Sister, of the will for the deed counteth Grace, mercy and peace be to you so : none can teach the Lord to lay if ye have any thing better than the an account ; he numbereth the drops husband of your youth, ye are Jesus of rain, and knoweth the stars by Christ's debtor for it ; pay not then their names : it would take as much your debts with grudging. Sorrow studying, to give a name to every may diminish from the sweet fruit of star in the firmament, great or small. righteousness; but quietness, silence, See Lev, X. 3. And Aaron held submission, and faith, put, a crown his peace ; ye know his two sons upon your sad losses : ye know were slain, whilst they offered whose voice the voice of crying rod strange fire to the Lord. Command is, Micah vi. 9. The name and mayour thoughts to be silent : if the jesty of the Lord is written on the soldiers of Newcastle had done this, rod; read and be instructed. Let ye might have stomached; but the Christ have the room of the husweapon was in another hand : hear band: he hath now no need of you,
To MRS. HUME.
or of your love ; for he enjoyeth as and embrace this loss, and see much much of the love of Christ, as his of Christ in it. Believe and submit, heart can be capable of. I confess, and refer the income of the consolait is a dear-bought experience, to tions of Jesus, and the event of the teach you to undervalue the crea- trial, to your heavenly Father, who ture; yet it is not too dear if Christ numbereth all your hairs : and put think it so. I know, that the disput-Christ in his own room in your love; ing of your thoughts against his go- it may be he hath either been out of ing thither, the way and manner of his own place, or in a place of love his death, the instruments, the place, inferior to his worth. Repair Christ the time, will not ease your spirits, in all his wrongs done to him, and except ye rise higher than second love him for a Husband ; and he causes, and be silent because the that is a Husband to the widow, Lord hath done it; if we measure shall be that to you which he hath the goings of the Almighty and his taken from you. Grace be with
vou. ways, the bottom whereof we see
Your sympathizing brother, not, we quite mistake God. O how
London, Oct. 15th, 1645 S. R. little a portion of God do we see! He is far above our ebb and narrow thoughts : he ruled the world in wisdom, ere we, creatures of yes
LETTER XLIII. terday, were born, and shall rule it
TO BARBARA HAMILTON, when we shall be lodging beside the worms and corruption. Only
Loving Sister, learn heavenly wisdom, self-denial, GRACE, mercy and peace be to and mortification by this sad loss ; I you: I have heard with grief, that know that it is not for nothing (ex- Newcastle hath taken one more in cept ye deny God to be wise in all a bloody account, than before, even he doth) that ye have lost one in your son-in-law, and
my friend; but earth. There hath been too little of I hope ye have learned that much of your love and heart in heaven, and Christ as not to look to wheels rolled therefore the jealousy of Christ hath round about on earth : earthen vesdone this ; it is a mercy that he sels are not to dispute with their contendeth with you and all your Former: pieces of sinning clay may, lovers : I should desire no greater by reasoning and contending with favour for myself than that Christ the Potter, mar the work of him who laid a necessity, and took on such hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace bonds upon himself; such an one I in Jerusalem; as bullocks sweating must have, and such a soul I can- and wrestling in the furrow, make not live in heaven without, John X. their yoke more heavy: in quietness 16. And believe it, it is incompre- and rest ye shall be saved, if men hensible love, that Christ saith, If do any thing contrary to your heart, I enjoy the glory of my Father, and we may ask both who did it? and, the crown of heaven far above men what is done ? and why? When God and angels, I must use all means, hath done any such thing, we are to though never so violent, to have the inquire, who hath done it? and to company of such an one for ever know that this cometh from the and ever. If with the eyes of wis- Lord, who is wonderful in counsel ; dom, as a child of wisdom, ye jus- but we are not to ask what or why? tify your mother, the wisdom of God If it be from the Lord (as certain(whose child ye are) ye shall kissly there is no evil in the city without
To the Viscountess KENMURE.
him, Amos iji. 6.) it is enough; the eth the grace that he was to preach; fairest face of his spotless way is but and if there were a better thing on coming, and ye are to believe bis his head now in heaven than a works as well as his word. Violent crown, or any thing more excellent death is a sharer with Christ in his than heaven; he would cast it down death, which was violent; it maketh before his feet who sitteth on the not much what way we go to heaven; throne. Give glory therefore, to the happy home is alì, where the Christ, as he now doth, and say, Thy roughness of the way shall be for will be done. The grace and consola. gotten He is gone home to a Friend's tiun of Christ be with you. house, and made welcome, and the
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, race is ended; time is recompensed London, Nov. 15, 1645.
S. R. with eternity, and copper with gold.
Bocor God's order is in wisdom, the husband home before the wife, and
LETTER XLIV.. goes the throng of the market shall be over ere it be long, and another Madam, generation where we now are ; and GRACE, mercy and peace be to your at length, an empty house and not Ladyship. Though Christ lose no one of mankind shall be upon the time, yet when sinful men drive earth, within the sixth part of an his chariot, the wheels of his chariot hour, after the earth and the works move slowly: the woman, Zion, as that are therein shall be burnt up soon as she travailed, brought forth with fire. I fear more that Christ is her children; yea, Isa lxvi. 7. about to remove, when he carrieth · Before she travailed, she brought home so much of his plenishing beforth; before her pain came she was forehand. We cannot teach the delivered of a man-child; yet the Almighty knowledge; when he was deliverance of the people was with directing the bullet against his ser- the woman's going with child seven. vant, to fetch out the soul, no wise ty years, that is more than nine man could cry to God, Wrong, months. There be many oppositions wrong, Lord, for he is thine own. in carrying on the work; but I hope There is no mist over his eyes, who the Lord will build his own Zion, is wonderful in counsel ; if Zion be and evidence to us that it is done, builded with your son-in-law's blood, not by might nor by power, but by the Lord (deep in counsel) can the Spirit of the Lord. Madam, I glue together the stones of Zion with lave heard of your infirmities of boblood, and with that blood which is dy and sickness : I know the issue precious in his eyes, Christ hath shall be mercy to you ; and that fewer labourers in his vineyard than God's purpose, which lyeth hidhe had, but some more witnesses for den under ground to you, is, to com: his cause, and the Lord's covenant mend the sweetness of his love and with the three nations. What is care to you from your youth. And Christ's gain is not your loss ; let if all the sad losses, trials, sicknesses, not that which is his holy and wise infirmities, griefs, heaviness, and inwill be your unbelieving sorrow. constancy of the creature be exThough I really judge I had interest pounded (as sure I am they are,) in his dead servant, yet, because he lihe rods of the jealousy of an Husnow liveth to Christ, 1 quit the hopes band in heaven, contending with all I had of his successful labouring in your lovers on earth (though there the ministry; I know he now prais-were millions of them for your love,
to fetch more of your love home to
LETTER XLV. heaven to make it single, unmixt, To a Christian Friend upon the death of his Wife. and chaste to tlie fairest in heaven
Worthy Friend. and earth, to Jesus the Prince of ages; ye will forgive (to borrow loss of a loving and good wife, now
I DESIRE to suffer with you, in the that word) every rod of God, and not let the sun go down on your thod and order of Him, of whose
gone before (according to the mewrath, against any messenger of understanding there is no searching your afflicting and correcting Father, out) whither ye are to follow. He Since your Ladyship cannot but see that made yesterday to go before that the mark at which Christ hath this day, and the former generation aimed, these twenty-four years and
in birth and life, to have been be. above, is, to have the
fore this present generation, and fellowship of such a sinful creature, hath made som fowers to grow, in heaven with him, for all eternity; and die, and wither in the month of and because he will not (such is the
May, and others in June, cannot be power of his love) enjoy his Fa. challenged in the order he hath ther's glory, and that crown due to
made of things without souls; and him by eternal generation, without you by name, John xvii. 24. John that one might bury another; there
some order he must keep also here, x. 16. John xiv. 3. Therefore,
fore, I hope, ye shall be dumb and Madam, believe no evil of Christ:
silent, because the Lord hath done listen to no hard reports that his
it : what creatures, or under-causes rods make of him to you: he hath
do in sinful mistakes, are ordered in loved you, and washed you
wisdom by your Father, at whose your sins; and what would
your heaven more? Is that too little, except he
lieth, and so the days of your wife. adjourn all crosses,
be where ye shall be out of all capacity other than a prison of sir, and the
If the place she hath ieft were any to sigh, or be crossed? I hope ye heme she is
other than can desire no more, no greater, nor where her Head and Saviour is King more excellent suit
, than Christ, and of the land, your grief had been the fellowship of the Lamb for ever
more rational; bu: i trust your faith more ; and if that desire be answer.
of the resurrection of the dead in ed in heaven (as I am sure it is, and
Christ to glory and immortality, will ye cannot deny but it is made sure
lead to you) the want of these poor ac her, till the morning and dawning
you to suspend your longing for cidents, of a living husband, of many children, of an heaithful body, shall descend with a shout, to gather
of that day, when the archangel of a life of page in the world, with.
all the prisoners out of the grave up out one knot in the rush, are nobly
to himself. To believe this is best made up, and may be comfortably
you, and to be silent, because he borne. Grace, grace be with your hath done it is your wisdom. It is Ladyship.
much to come out of the Lord's Your Ladyship's at all obedience in school of trial wiser and more expeChrist,
rienced in the ways of God. and London Oct. 16, 1645,
it is our happiness when Christ openeth a vein, he taketh nothing but ill blood from his sick ones. Christ hath skill to do, and (if our corrup