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tion mar not) the art of mercy in corn is not lost, (for there is more correcting. We cannot of ourselves hope of that which is sown than of take away the tin, the lead, and the that which is eaten, 1 Cor. scum that remaineth in us; and if 42.) so also is it in the resurrecChrist be not Master-of-work, and if tion of the dead; the body is sown the furnace go its alone, be not stand-in corruption, it is raised in incor. ing nigh the melting of his own ves . ruption; it is sown in dishonour it sel, the labour were lost, and the is raised in glory. I hope ye wait founder should melt in vain: God for the crop and harvest, 1 Thess. knoweth, some of us have lost much iv. 14. For if we believe that Jesus fire, sweating and pains to our Lord died and rose again, even so also Jesus; and the vessel is almost mar. them that sleep in Jesus will God red, the furnace and rod of God bring with him. Then they are not split, and day-light burnt, and the lost, who are gathered into that conreprobate metal not taken away, so gregation of the first born, and the as some are to answer to the Majes, general assembly of the saints. ty of God for the abuse of many Though we cannot out-run nor good crosses, and rich afflictions lost overtake them that are gone before, without the quiet fruit of righteous. yet we shall quickly follow them; ness : and it is a sad thing, when the and the difference is, that she hath rod is cursed, that never fruit shall the advantage of some months or grow on it: and, except Christ's years of the crown, before
and dew fall down, and his summer-sun her mother : and we do not take it shine, and his grace follow afflictions, ill, if our children out-run in the to cause them bring forth fruit to life of grace; why then are we sad, God, they are so fruitless to us, that if they outstrip us in the attainment our evil ground (rank and fat enough of the life of glory? It would seem, for briars) casteth up a crop of noi. that there is more reason to grieve some weeds. The rod, (as the pro- that children live behind us, than phet saith, Ezek. vii. 10, 11.) blos- that they are glorified and die besometh, pride buddeth forth, violence fore: all the difference is in some riseth up into a rod of wickedness : poor hungry accidents of time, less and all this hath been my case under or more, sooner or later; so the my rods since I saw you. Grace be godiy child, though young, died an
hundred years old; and ye could Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus,
not now have bestowed her better, London, 1645.
S. R. though the choice was Christ's, not
yours. and I am sure, Sir, ye canLETTER XLVI.
not now say, she is married against
the will of her parents; she might To a Christian Brother.
more readily, if alive, fall into the Reverend and beloved in the Lord,
hands of a worse husband: but can Іт
may be I have been too long si- ye think that she could have fallen lent, but I hope ye will not impute it into the hands of a better? And if to forgetfulness of you. As I have Christ marry with your houre, it is heard of the death of your daughter, your honour, not any cause of grief, with beaviness of mind on your be- that Jesus should portion any of half; so am 1 much comforted, that yours, ere she enjoy your portion; she hath evidenced to yourself and is it not great love? The patrimony other witnesses the hope of the re- is more than any other could give ; surrection of the dead. As sown 'as good a husband is impossible; to
say a better, is blasphemy. The Friend ; and since ye have had a King and Prince of ages can keep communion with him in this life, and them better than ye can do. While he hath a pawn or pledge of yours, she was alive, ye could intrust her even the largest share of your love to Christ, and recommend her to his and heart, ye may look death in the keeping : now by an after-faith, ye face with joy. If the heart be in have resigned her unto him, in heaven, the remnant of you cannot whose bosom do sleep all that are be kept the prisoner of the second dead in the Lord : ye would have death ; but though he be the same lent her to glorify the Lord upon Christ in the other life, ye found hins earth, and he hath borrowed her to be here, yet he is so far in his ex. (with promise to restore her again, cellency, beauty, sweetness, irradiai Cor. xv. 53. 1. Thess. iv. 15, 16.) |tions and beams of majesty, above to be an organ of the immediate what he appeared here, when he is glorifying of himself in heaven. seen as he is, that ye shall misken Sinless glorifying of God is better him, and he shall appear a tlian sinful glorifying of him. And Christ; and his kisses, breathings, sure your prayers concerning her are embracements, the perfume, the fulfilled. I shall desire, if the Lord ointment of his name poured out on shall be pleased the same way to dis- you, shall appear to have more of pose of her mother, that ye have God, and a stronger smell of heaven, the same mind. Christ cannot mul- of eternity, of a God-head, of matiply injuries upon you; if the foun- jesty and glory there than here; as tain be the love of God, (as I hope water at the fountain, apples in the it is) ye are enriched with losses. orchard and beside the tree, have Ye knew all I can say better, before more of their native sweetness, taste I was in Christ, than i can express and beauty, than when transported it. Grace be with you.
to us some hundred miles. I mean Your's in Christ Jesus.
not that Christ can lose any of his London, Jan. 6. 1646.
& R. sweetness in the carrying, or that he
in his God-head and loveliness of presence can be changed to the worse, betwixt the little
spot of the LETTER XLVII. earth ye are in, and the right hand
of the Father, far above all heavens ; Mistress,
but the change will be in you, when GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. ye shall have new senses, and the If death, which is before you and soul shall be a more deep and more us all, were any other thing but a capacious vessel, to take in more of friendly dissolution, and a change, Christ; and when means, the charinot a destruction of life, it would ot, the gospel, that he is now carried seem a hard voyage, to go through in, and ordinances that convey him, such a sad and dark trance, so thor. shall be removed. Sure ye cannot ny a valley, as is the wages of sin; now be said to see him face to face, but I am confident, the way ye or to drink of the wine of the highknow, though your foot never trod est fountain, or to take in seas and in that black shadow; the loss of tides of fresh love immediately, life is gain to you : If Christ Jesus without vessels, midses or messen. be the Period, the End and Lodg. gers, at the Fountain itself, as ye ing-home, at the end of your jour. shall do a few days hence, when ye ney, there is no fear, ye go to a shall be so near as to be with
To a Christian Gentlewoman.
Cirist, Luke xxiii. 43. John xvii. sweet Jesus Christ, who knew and 24. Phil. i. 29. 1 Thess. iv. 17. felt the worst of death; for death's Ye would (no doubt) bestow a day's teeth hurt him: we know death journey, yea, many days' journey on hath no teeth now, no jaws, for earth, to go up to heaven, and fetch they are broken; it is a free prison, down any thing of Christ ; how much citizens pay nothing for the grave; more may ye be willing to make a the gaoler, who had the power of journey to go in person to heaven, death, is destroyed: praise and glo. (it is not lost time, but gained eter- ry be to the First begotten of the nity) to enjoy the full God-head ? dead. The worst possibly that may and then in such a manner, as he is be, is, that ye leave behind you not there in his week days' apparel, children, husband, and the church as he is here with us, in a drop or of God in miseries; but ye cannot the tenth part of a night's dewing get them to heaven with you for of grace and sweetness ; but he is thc present; ye shall not miss them, there in his marriage-robe of glory, and Christ cannot miscount one of richer, more costly, more precious, the poorest of his lambs: no lad, no in one hem or button of that gar- girl, no poor one shall be amissing, ment of Fountain-majesty than a ere ye see them again in the day million of worlds. Oh the well is that the Son shall render up the deep! ye shall then think that kingdom to his Father. The evenpreachers, and sinful ambassadors on ing and the shadow of every poor earth, did but spill and mar his hireling is coming; the church of praises, when they spoke of him and Christ's sun in this life is declining preached his beauty. Alas! we but low: not a soul of the militant commake Christ black, and less lovely, pany will be here within few genee in making such insignificant, and rations; our Husband will send for dry, and cold, and low expressions them all. It is a rich mercy, we are of his highest and transcendent su- not married to time, longer than the per-excellency, to the daughters of course be finished. Ye may rejoice Jerusalem. Sure, I have often, for that ye got not to heaven, till ye my own part, sinned in this thing: knew that Jesus is there before you, no doubt, angels do not fulfil their that when ye come thither, at your task according to their obligation, first entry, ye may find the smell of in that Christ kept their feet from his ointments, his myrrh, aloes, and falling with the lost devils; though cassia. And this first salutation of I know, they are not behind in go-his will make you find it is no uning to the utmost of created power: comfortable thing to die. Go and but there is sin in our praising, and enjoy your gain; live on Christ's sin in the quantity, besides other love while ye are here, and all the sins.
But I must leave this ; it is way. As for the church ye leave too deep for me. Go and see, and behind
the government is upon we desire to go with you; but we Christ's shoulders, and he will are not masters of our own diet. If plead for the blood of his saints ; in that last journey ye tread on a the bush hath been burning above serpent in the way, and thereby five thousand years, and we never wound your heel, as Jesus Christ yet saw the ashes of this fire: yet a did before you, the print of the little while, and the vision shall not wound shall not be known at the re- tarry; it shall speak and not lie. I surrection of the just. Death is but am more afraid of my duty, than of an awsome step over time and sin to the Head, Christ's government: he
cannot fail to bring judgment to vic. more than thousand thousands of tory. Othat we could wait for ages, even the weighty income of a our hidden life! O that Christ would rich kingdom, not every summer remove the covering, draw aside once, but every moment! That sum the curtain of time, and rend the of glory will take you and all the heavens aod.come down! O that ngels telling. To be a tenant to shadows and night were gone, that such a Landlord, where every berry the day would break, and he that and grape of the large field beareth feedeth among tlie lilies would cry no worse fruit than glory, fulness of to his heavenly trumpeters, Make joy, and pleasures that endure for ready, let us go down and fold to evermore; I leave it to yourself to gether the four corners of the world, think what a summer, what a soil, and marry
the bride! His grace be what a garden must be there ; and with you. Now, if I have found what must be the commodities of favour with you, and if ye judge me that highest land, where the sun faithful, my last suit to you is, that and the moon are under the feet of ye would leave me a legacy, and the inhabitants. Surely the land canthat is, that my name may be at the not be bought with gold, blood, banvery last in your prayers;-as I de- ishment, loss of father and mother, sire also it may be in the prayers of husband, wife, children. We but those of your Christian acquaint- dwell here, because we can do no ance with whom ye have been inti- better ; it is need, not virtue, to be 'mate.
sojourners in a prison ; to weep, and Your brother in his own Lord Jesus, sigh, and alas ! to sin sixty or sevenLondon, Jan. 9th, 1646.
S. R. ty years in a land of tears; the fruits
that grow here are ail seasoned and salted with sin. Ohow sweet is it, that
the company of the Firsi born should LETTER XLVIII.
be divided in two great bodies of an To my Lady KENMURE.
army, and some in their country, and Madam,
some in the way to their country ! Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. If it were no more but to see once It is the least of the princely and the face of the Prince of this good royal bounty of Jesus Christ, to pay | land, and to be feasted for eternity a king's debts, and not to have his with the fatness, sweetness, dainties servants at a loss. His gold is bet- of the rays and beams of matchless ter than yours, and his hundred-glory, and incomparable fountainfold is the income and rent of hea- love, it were a well-spent journey to ven and 'far above your revenues : creep hands and feet, through seven ye are not the first who have casten deaths and seven hells, to enjoy him up your accounts that way. Better up at the well-head. Only let us have Christ your Factor than any cot weary, the miles to that land are other;
for he tradeth to the advan. fewer and shorter than when we first tage of his poor servants. But if believed; strangers are not wise to the hundred-fold in this life be su quarrel with their host, and complain well told, as Christ cannot pay you of their lodging; it is a foul way, but with miscounting or deferred hope, a fair home. O that I had but such O what must the rent of that land grapes and clusters out of the land as be, which rendereth every day and I have sometimes seen and tasted in hour of the years of long eternity, the place whereof your Ladyship the whole rent of a year, yea, of maketh mention! but the hope of it
To Mr. J. G.
in the end is an heartsome convoy in if any can go to him, who dwelleth the way. If I see little more of the in light inaccessible, through nothing gold till the race be ended, I dare not but darkness ? Sure, all that come quarrel; it is the Lord: I hope his to heaven, have a stock in Christ ; chariot shall go through these three but I know not where mine is. It kingdoms, after our suffering shall cannot be enough for me to believe be accomplished. Grace be with the salvation of others, and to know you.
Christ to be the honey.comb, the Pour Ladyship's in Jesus Christ, rose of Sharon, the paradise and London, Jan. 26, 1646.
S. R. Eden of the saints and first-born
written in heaven, and not to see @sa
after the borders of that good land.
But what shall i say ? either this is LETTER XLIX.
the Lord making grace a new crea
tion, where there is pure bothing Reverend and dear brother,
and sinful nothing to work upon, I SHALL with my soul desire the or I am gone. I should count my peace of these kingdoms, and I do soul engaged to yourself, and others believe it sliall at last come, as a there with you, if ye would but carry river and as the mighty waves of to Christ for me a letter of cyphers the sea; but o that we were ripe and nonsense; (for I know not now and in readiness to receive it! The to make language of my condition) preserving of two or three of four only shewing that I have need of or five berries, in the outmost his love: for I know many fair and boughs of the olive-tree, after the washen ores stand now in white vintage, is like to be a great matter before the throne, who were once ere all be dones yet I know a as black as I am.
If Christ pass cluster in both kingdoms shall be his word to wash a sinner, it is less saved, for a blessing is in it; but it to him than a word to make fair is not (I fear) so near to the dawn. angels of black devils ; only let the ing of the day of salvation, but ari of free grace be engaged.
I the clouds must send down more have not a cautioner to give surety, showers of blood to water the vine, nor doth a Mediator, such as he is yard of the Lord, and to cause it to in ail perfection, need a mediator : blossom. Scotland's scum is not but what I need, he knoweth ; only, yet removed; nor is England's dross it is his depth of wisdom, to let and tin taken away ; nor the filth of some pass millions of miles over our blood purged by the spirit of score in debt, that they may stand judgment, and the spirit of burning: between the winning and the losing, but I am too much on this sad sub- in need of more than ordinary free ject. As for myself, I do esteem grace. Christ hath been multiply. nothing out of heaven, and next to ing grace by mercy above these a communion with Jesus Christ, five thousand years; and the lattermore than to be in the hearts and born heirs have so much greater prayers of the saints; I know he guiltiness, that Christ bath passed feedeth there among the lilies, till more experiments and multiplied esthe day break: but I am at a low says of heart-love on others, by misebb, as to any sensible communion believing, after it is past all question, with Christ; yea as low as any soul many hundred of ages, that Christ is can be, and do scarce know where I the undeniable and now uncontroam: and do now make it a question, verted Treasurer of multiplied se