Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

sometimes near to God; and I wish quicken. O what of our hid life is the Lord have not more to say and without us, and how little and poor to do against the land. Ye have, a stock is in the hand of some! The Madam, in your accounts, mercies, only wise God supply what is want. deliverances, rods, warnings, plenty ing; the more ye want, and the more of means, consolations when refuge your joy hath run on, the more is failed, when ye looked on the right owing to you by the promise of hand, and behold no man would grace: bygones of waterings from know you, nor care for your soul, heaven, which your Ladyship wantwhen young and weak, manifes- ed in Kenmure, Rusco, the West, tations of God, the out-goings Glasgow, Edinburgh, England, &c. of the Lord for you, experiences, shall all come in a great sum togeanswers from the Lord; by all ther; the marriage-supper of the which, ye may be comforted now, Lamb must not be marred with too and confirmed in the certain hope, large a four hours' refreshment. that grace, free grace, in a fixed Know, Madam, he who hath tutor. and established

per-
ed
you

from the breasts, knoweth fect that good work in you; hap-how to time his own day-shinings py they who see not and yet be and love-visits. Grace that runs on, lieve ! Grace, grace eternally in be with you. our Lord Jesus be with you.

Your's in the Lord, at all observunce,
Your's in the Lord Jesus,
St. Andrews.

S. R. Edin. May 27, 1645.

S. R.

surety, shall

LETTER LXV.
LETTER LXIV.

To my Lady KENMURE.

Madam,
To my Lady KENMURE.

I CONFESS I have cause to be grievMadam,

ed at my long silence, or laziness in I have been so long silent, that I writing : I am also afflicted to hear, am almost ashamed now to speak. that such, who were debtors to your I hear of your weakly condition of Ladyship for better dealing, have body which speaketh some warning served you with such prevarication: to you, to look for a longer life, ye know crookedness is neither where ye shall have more leisure to strong nor long enduring; and ye praise than time can give you here: know likewise, that these things it shall be loss to many; but sure, spring not out of the dust: it is yourself, Madam, shall be only free sweet to look upon the lawless and of any loss. And truly, considering sinful stirrings of the creatures, as what days we are now fallen into, if ordered by a most holy Hand in sailing were not serving of the Lord, heaven. O if some could make (which I can hardly attain) a calm peace with God! It would be our harbour were very good, when storms wisdom, and afford us much sweet are so high: the Fore.

runner, who

peace,

if

oppressors were looked hath landed first, must help to bring upon as passive instruments, like the sea-beaten vessel safe to the port, the saw or ax in the carpenter's and the sick passengers who are fol- hand; they are bidden (if such a lowing the Fore-runner, safe ashore. distinction may be admitted) but Much deadness prevaileth over some; pot commanded of God (as Shimei but there is much life in Him, who was, 2 Sam. xvi. 10.) to do what is the resurrection and the life, to they do. Madam, these

many years

the Lord hath been teaching you to and ninety days; and yet so astonishread and study well the book of holy, ing is our stupidity, that we moan holy and spotless Sovereignty, in not our sore-side: our gold is besuffering from some nigh hand and come dim, the visage of our Nasome far off. Whoever be the in- zarites is become black, the sun is struments, the replying of clay to gone down on our seers, the crown the Potter, the Former of all, is un- is fallen from our head, we roar like beseeming the nothing creature: I bears. Lord save us from that, He hope he shall clear you : but when that made them will not have mercy Zion's public evils lie not nigh some on them. The heart of the scribe of us, and leave no impression upon meditates terror. Oh, Madam, if our hearts, it is no wonder that we the Lord would help us to more be exercised with domestic troubles; self-judging, and to make sure an but I know ye are taught of God to interest in Christ! Ah, we forget prefer Jerusalem to your chiefest eternity, and it approacheth quickly. joy. Madam, there is no cause of Grace be with you. fainting ; wait upon the not-tarrying Your Ladyship's at all obedience in vision, for it will speak. The only

the Lord, wise God be with you, and God St. Andrews, Nov. 20, 1657. S. R. even your own God bless you.

@Cecca
Your's at all observance in God,
St. Andrews, June 1657.

$. R.

LETTER LXVII.

To my Lady KENMURE.

Madam,
LETTER LXVI.

I AM ashamed of my long silence
To my Lady KENMURE.

to your Ladyship. Your tossings Madam,

and wanderings are known to him, I SHOULD not forget you; but my upon whom ye have been cast from deadness under a threatening stroke, the breasts, and who hath been your both of a falling church, a broken God of old. The temporal loss of covenant, a despised remnant, and creatures, dear to you there, may craziness of body (that I cannot get be the more easily endured, that the a piece sickly clay carried about gain of One, who only hath immorfrom one house or town to another) tality, groweth. There is an vnilies most heavy on me: the Lord versal complaint of deadness of spihath removed Scotland's crown, for rit on all that know God: he that we owned not his crown; we fretted writes to you, Madam, is as deep in at his catholic government of the this as any, and is afraid of a strong world, and fretted that he would not and hot battle, before time be at a be ruled and led by us, in breaking close; but no matter if the Lord our adversaries; and he makes us crown all with the victorious trisuffer and pine away in our iniquities, umphing of faith. God teachech under the broken government of bis us by terrible things in righteous. house. It is like it would be our ness. We see many things, but snare, to be tried with the honour we observe nothing. Our drink is of a peaceable reformation; we might sour, grey hairs are here and there mar the carved work of his house, on us, and we change many Lords worse than those against whom we and Rulers ; but the same bondage cry out. It is like he hath bidden us of soul and body remains. We live lie on our left-side three hundred sittle by faith, but much by sense,

according to the times, and by human, Madam, I discourage none; I know policy. The watchmen sleep, and Christ hath made a new marriageth people perish for lack of know- contract of love, and sealed it with ledge. How can we be enlighten- his blood, and the trembling believer ed, when we turn our back on the shall not be confounded. Grace be Sun? And must we not be wither- be with you. ed when we leave the Fountain ? It Your's at all obedience in Christ, should be my only desire to be a St. Andrew's, May 26, 1659. S. R. minister, gifted with the white stone, and the new name written on it. I judge it were fit (now when tall professors, and when many stars fall

LETTER LXVIII. from heaven, and God poureth the

To my Lady KENMURE. isle of Great Britain from vessel to Madam; vessel, and yet we sit and are settled I SHOULD be glad that the Lord on our lees) to consider (as some would be pleased to lengthen out times I do; but, ah, rarely) how more time to you, that ye might, irrecoverable a woe it is, to be un. before your eyes be shut, see more der a beguile in the matter of eter- of the work of the right-hand of nity: and what if I, who can have the Lord, in reviving a now swoona subscribed testimony of many, who ing and crushed land and church. sball stand at the right-hand of the Though I was lately knocking at Judge, shall miss Christ's approving death's gate, yet could not get testimony, and be set upon the left in, but was sent back for a time. hand among the goats? There is It is well, if I could yet do any such a beguile, Matth. vii. 22. service to himn; but ah, what deadMatth. xxv. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Luke ness lieth upon the spirit! and xiii, 25, 26, and it befals many, and deadness breedeth distance from what if it befal me, who have but God. Madam, these many years too much art to cozen my own soul the Lord hath let you see a clear and others, with the flourish of difference betwixt those who serve ministerial or country holiness.- God, and love his name, and those Dear Lady, I am afraid of pre- who serve him not; and I judge vailing security; we watch little,

ye
look
upon

the
way

of Christ as (1 have mainly relation to myself) the only best way, and that ye we wrestie litrie : I am like one would not exchange Christ for the travelling in the night, who sees a world's god, or their mammon, and spirit, and sweats for fear, and dare that ye can give Christ a testinot tell it to his fellow for fear of mony of Chief among ten thousand; encreasing his own fear ; however, true it is, that many of us have I am sure, when the Master is nigh fallen from our first love ; but Christ his coming it were safe to write hath renewed his first love of our over a double and a new copy of our espousals to himself, and multiplied accounts of the sins of nature, child- the seekers of God, all the country hood, youth, riper years, and old over, even where Christ was scarce age. What if Christ have another named, east and west, south and written representation of me, than I north, above the number that our have of myself? sure he is right ; fathers ever knew. But ah ! Ma and if it contradict my mistaking dam, what shall be done or said and sinfully erroneous account of of many

fallen stars, and

many myself, ah! where am I then ? But,'near to God complying wofully,

th so

RIE, Mr. TRAIL, and the rest of their Breth

and sailing to the nearest shore ? | draws straight lines, though we Yea, and we are consumed in the think and say they are crooked ; furnace, but not melted; burnt, but it is right that some should die not purged; our drøss is not re- and their breasts full of milk; and moved, but our scum remains in yet we are angry that God deal. us; and in the furnace we fret, we

ith them. Oh, if I could faint, and (which is more strange) adore him in his hidden ways, when we slumber : the fire burneth round there is darkness under his feet, about us, and we lay it not to and darkness in his pavilion, and lieart: grey-hairs are upon us, and clouds are about his throne! Ma. we know it not. It were now a dam, hoping, believing, patient desirable life to send away our love praying is our life; he loses no to heaven; and well becometh it time. The Lord Jesus be with us to wait for our appointed change, your spirit. yet so as we should be meditating Your's at all obliged observance in Christ thus : Is there a new world above St. Andrews, Sept. 12, 1659.

S. R the sun and moon ? and is there such a blessed company harping and singing Hallelujahs to the

LETTER LXIX. Lamb up above? Why then are we taken with a vain life of sigh- To his reverend and dear Brethren, Mr. GUTH ing and sinning? Oh, where is our ren imprisoned in the castle of Edinburgh. wisdom, that we sit still laughing, Reverend, very dear, and now much honour. eating, sleeping prisoners, and do

ed prisoners for Christ. not pack up all our best things I AM, as to the point of light, at for the journey, desiring alway's to the utmost of perquasion in that be clothed with our house from kind, that this is the cause of Christ above not made with hands! Ah, ye now suffer for, and not men's in. we favour not the things that are terest: if it be for men, let us leave above, nor do we smell of glory it; but if we plead for God, our ere we come thither; but we trans- own personal safety and man's deact and agree with time, for a new liverance will not be peace. There lease of clay-mansions : behold he is a salvation called the salvation of cometh, we sleep, and turn all the God, which is cleanly, pure, spiritwork of duties into dispute of events ual, unmixed, near to the holy word for deliverance; but the greatest of God; it is that which we would haste to be humbled for a broken seek, even the favour of God that and a buried covenant, is first and he bears to his people not simple last forgotten : and all our grief is, gladness, but the gladness and goodthe Lord lingers, enemies triumph, ness of the Lord's chosen. And godly ones suffer, alheists blas- sure (though I be the weakest of pheme. Ah! we pray not, but his witnesses, and unworthy to be wonder that Christ cometh not the among the meanest of them, and higher way, by might, by power, am afraid the cause be hurt (but it by garments rolled in blood; what cannot be lost) by my unbelieving if he come the lower way? sure faintness) I should not desire a dewe sin in putting the book in his liverance, separated from the de. hand, as if we could teach the liverance of the Lord's cause and Almighty knowledge ; we make people: it is enough to me to sing, haste, we believe not : let the only when Zion sings; and to triumph, wise God alone, he stirs well, he when Christ triumpheth : I should

judge it an unhappy joy, to rejoice

LETTER LXX. when Zion sigheth. Not one hoof To Mr. ROBERT CAMPBELL. will be your peace. If Christ doth Reverend and dear brother, own me, let me be in the grave in Ye know this is a time in which all a bloody winding sheet, and go men almost seek their own things, from the scaffold in four quarters, and not the things of Jesus Christ: to grave or no grave, I am his ye are your alone, as a beacon on debtor, to seal with sufferings this the top of a mountain; but faint precious truth: but oh! when it not, Christ is a numerous multitude comes to the pusli, I dare say no- himself, yea, millions : though all thing, considering my weakness, the nations were convened against wickedness and faintness. But fear him round about, yet doubt not, not ye, ye are not, ye shall not be but he will, at last arise for the cry alone, the Father is with you; it of the poor and needy. For me, I was not an unseasonable, but a sea- am now near to eternity, and for sonable and necessary duty we were ten thousand worlds I dare not ad. about. Fear him who is sovereign, venture to pass from the protesta. Christ is Captain of the castle and tion against the corruptions of the Lord of the keys. The cooling time, nor go alongst with the shame. well-spring, and refreshment from less apostasy of the many silent and the promises, is more than the dumb watchmen of Scotland; but I frownings of the furnace. I see think it my last duty, to enter a snares and temptations in capitulat - protestation in heaven before the ing, composing, ceding, mincing righteous Judge, against the pracwich distinctions of circumstances, tical and legal breach of covenant, formalities, compliments and ex. and all oaths imposed on the contenuations in the cause of Christ : sciences of the Lord's people, and a long spoon, the broth is hell's all Popish supersticious and idolahot. Hold a distance from carnal trous mandates of men. Know that compositions, and much nearness to the overthrow of the sworn reformathe Fountain, to the favour and tion, the introducing of Popery and refreshing light from the Father of the mystery of iniquity, is now set lights, speaking in his oracles ; this on foot in the three kingdoms; and is sound health and salvation, An- whosoever would keep their

gargels, men, Zion's elders eye us; ments clean are under that com. but what of all these ? Christ is by mand, Touch not, taste not, hanus, and looks on us, and writes up dle not. The Lord calls you, dear all. Let us pray more, and look brother, to be still stedfast, upless to men, Remember me to Mr. moveable and abounding in the Scott, and all the rest. Blessings work of the Lord. Our royal kingbe upon the head of such as are se- ly Master is upon his journey, and parated from their brethren: Joseph will come and will not tarry ; ard is a fruitful bough by a well. Grace blessed is the servant, who shall be

found watching when he cometh : Your loving brother and companion in the fear not men, for the Lord is your

kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, light and salvation. It is true, it is St. Andrews, 1660.

S. R: somewhat sad and comfortless that

ye are your alone; but so it was with our precious Master: nor are ye your alone, for the Father is with you. It is possible, I shall not

be with you.

« VorigeDoorgaan »