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made conscience of, and called in, Christ therein is glad to see a known and kept in awe, are green fuel face. Christ is as full a feast as ye that burn not, and are a water for can have to hunger. Nay, Christ, Satan's coal. Yet I must tell
say, is not a full man's leavings; the whole saints now triumphant in his mercy sends always a letter of heaven, and standing before the defiance to all your sins, if there throne, are nothing but Christ's were ten thousand more of them. forlorn and beggarly dyvours. What I grant you it is a hard matter for are they but a pack of redeemed a poor hungry man to win his meat sinners? but their redemption is upon hidden Christ: for then the not only past the seals, but com- key of his pantry door, and of the pleted; and yours is on the wheels, house of wine is a seeking, and and in doing: all Christ's good cannot be had; but hunger must children go to heaven with a broken break through iron locks. I bebrow, and with a crooked leg. moan them not who can make a Christ hath an advantage of you, din, and all the fields ado, for a and I pray you let him have it, he lost Saviour: ye must let him hear shall find employment for his call- it, to say so, upon both sides of his ing in you: if it were not with you head, when he hideth hiinself; it as you write, grace should find no is not time then to be bird-mouth'd sale nor market in you; but ye must and patient. Christ is rare indeed, be content to give Christ somewhat and a delicate to a sinner; he is a ado; 1 am glad that he is employed miracle, and world's wonder to a that way; let your bleeding soul seeking and a weeping sinner; but and your sores be put in the hand yet such a miracle as will be seen of this expert Physician; let young by them, who will come and see ; and strong corruptions and his free the seeker and sigher is at last a grace be yoked together, and let singer and enjoyer: nay, I have Christ and your sins deal it betwixt seen a dumb man get an alms them. I will be loth to put you off from Christ. He that can tell his your fears, and your sense of dead- tale, and send such a letter to ness; I wish it were more; there be heaven as he hath sent to Abersome wounds of that nature, that their deen, it is very like he will come bleeding should not be soon stop-speed with Christ; it bodeth God's ped: ye must take a house beside mercy to complain heartily for sin. the Physician; it shall be a miracle Let wrestling be with Christ, till if ye be the first sick man he put he say, how is it, Sir, that I cannot away uncured, and worse than he be quit of your bills, and your misfound you. Nay, nay, Christ is learned cries? and then hope for honest, and in that, flyling free Christ's blessing, and his blessing with sinners, Joho vi. 37. And him is better than other ten blessings. that cometh to me I will in no wise Think not shame because of your cast out.' Take ye that; it cannot guiltiness: necessity must not blush be presumption to take that as your to beg: it standeth you hard to own, when ye find your wounds want Christ; and therefore that stound you; presumption is ever which idle on waiting cannot do, whole at the heart, and hath but the misnurtured crying and knocking truant-sickness, and groaneth only will do.' And for doubtings, befor the fashion; faith hath sense of cause you are not as you were long sicknes, and looketh like a friend since with your master consider to the promises ; and looking to three things: Ist. What if Christ
had such tottering thoughts of the misbelief giveth a dash to our bargain of the new covenant be. Lord's glory, and not to our saltwixt you and him, as you have? vation. And so, whoever want, 2d. Your heart is not the compass yea, howbeit God here bear with Christ saileth by; he will give you the want of what we are obliged to leave to sing as you please, but he give him, even the glory of his
grace will not dance to your daft spring. by believing, yet a poor covenanted It is not referred to you and your sinner wanteth not; but if guilthoughts what Christ will do with tiness were removed, doubtings the charters betwixt you and him: would find no friend, por life; and your own misbelief hath torn them; yet faith is to believe the removal but he hath the principal in heaven of guiltiness in Christ. A reason with himself: your thoughts are no why he get less now (as ye think) parts of the new covenant: dreams than before (as I' take it) is, bechange not-Christ. 3d. Doubtings cause, at our first conversion, our are your sins, but they are Christ's Lord putteth the meat in young drugs and ingredients that the children's mouths with his own hand; Physician maketh use of for the but when we grow to some further curing of your pride. Is it not perfection, we must take heaven suitable for a beggar to say at meat, by violence, and take by violence God reward the winners? for then from Christ what we get; and he he saith, he knoweth who beareth can, and doth hold, because he will the charges of the house. It is have us to draw. Remember, now also meet ye should know by ex. ye must live upon violent plucking. perience that faith is not nature's Laziness is a greater fault now than ill-gotten bastard, by your Lord's long since; we love always to have free gift that lay in the womb of the pap in our mouth. Now for God's free grace; praised be the myself; alas! I am not the man I winner. I may add a fourth, In go for in this nation; men have not the passing of your bill and your just weights to weigh me in. Oh, charters, when they went through but I am a silly feckless body, and the Mediator's great seal, and were overgrown with weeds; corruption concluded, faith's advice was not is rank and fat in me.
O if I were sought: faith hath not a vote be answerable to this holy cause, and side Christ's merits; blood, blood, to that honourable Prince's love for dear blood, that. came from your whom I now suffer ! If Christ would cautioner's holy body, maketh that refer the matter to me, fin bis sure work.
The use then which presence I speak it) I might think ye have of faith pow(having already shame to vote my own salvation; I closed with Jesus Christ for justi- think Christ might say, Thinkest fication) is, to take out a copy of thou not shame to claim heaven, your pardon; and 80 ye have peace who dost so little for it! I am with God upon the account of very often so, that I know not Christ: for, since faith apprehendeth whether I sink or swim in the wapardon, but never payeth a penny ter; I find myself a bag of light for it, no marvel that salvation doth froth; I would bear no weight, not die and live, ebb or flow with (but vanity and nothings weigh in the working of faith. But, because Christ's balance) if my Lord cast it is your Lord's bonour to believe vot in borrowed weight and metal, his mercy and his fidelity, it is in-even Christ's righteousness, to finite goodness in our Lord, that weigh for me. The stock I have,
is not mine own; I am but the blessed spirits who now see his merchant that traffics with other face, set him on high! for when ye folks goods; if my creditor Christ have worn your harps in his praises, would take from me what he hath all is too littie, and is nothing, to leut, I would not long keep the cast the smell of the praise of that causeway; but Christ hath made it fair flower, that fragrant rose of mine and his. I think it manhood Sharon, through many worlds ! to play the coward, and jouk in the Sir, take my hearty commendations lee-side of Christ; and thus I am to him, and tell him that I am sick not only saved from my enemies, of love. Grace be with you. but I obtain the victory. I am so Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, empty, that I think it were an alms- Aberdeen, June 16, 1637. S. R. deed in Christ, if he would win a poor prisoner's blessing for evermore, and fill me with his love. I
LETTER XXVIII. complain when Christ cometh, he cometh always to fetch fire, he is To his honoured and dear brother ALEXANDER
GORDON of Knockgray ever in haste, he may not tarry;
Dearest and truly Honoured Brother. and poor I, a beggarly dyvour, get but a standing visit and a standing Grace, mercy and peace be to kiss, and but, How doest thou ? in you. I have seen no letter from the by-going. I dare not say he is you since I came to Aberdeen: I lordly, because he is made a king will not interpret it to be forgetnow at the right hand of God; or is fulness. I am here in a fair prison. grown miskenning and dry to his Christ is my sweet and honourable poor friends; for he cannot make fellow-prisoner, and I his sad and more of his kisses than they are joyful" lord-prisoner, if I may worth; but I think it my happiness speak so. I think this cross beto love the love of Christ: and when cometh me well, and is suitable to he goeth away, the memory of his me in respect of my duty to suffer
presence is like a feast in a fór Christ; howbeit not in regard dear summer.
I have comfort in of my deserving to be thus honourthis, that my soul desireth that ed. However it be, I see Christ is every hour of my imprisonment strong, even lying in the dust, in were a company of heavenly tongues prison, and in banishment. Losses to praise him on my behalf; how and disgraces are the wheels of beit, my bonds were prolonged for Christ's triumphing chariot: in the many hundred years. Othat sufferings of his own saints, as he could be the man who could pro- intendeth their good, so he intendcure my lord's glory to flow like a eth his own glory, and that is the full sea, and blow like a mighty butt his arrows shoot at; and wind upon all the four airths of Christ shooteth not at the rovers, Scotland, England and Ireland ! O he hitteth what he purposeth to hit: if I could write a book of his therefore he doth make his own praises! O fairest among the sons feckless and weak nothings, and of men, why stayest thou so long these who are the contempt of men away? O heavens, move fast! Ő a new sharp threshing instrument time run, run, and hasten the having teeth to thresh the mountmarriage-day! for love is torment- ains, and beat them small, and to ed with delays O angels,
o make the hills as chaff, and to fan seraphims who stand before him, them,' Isa. xli. 15, 16. What
harder stuff, or harder grain for were like to fall down through the threshing out, ihan high and rocky earth for sorrow? If God were mountains but the saints are dead, if I may speak so, with reGod's threshing instruments to beat verence of him who liveth for ever them all in chaff: are we not God's and ever, and Christ buried, and leem vessels! and yet when they rotten among the worms, we might cast us over an house we are not have cause to look like dead folks ; broken in shivers: we creep in but the Lord liveth, and blessed under our Lord's wings in the great be the rock of our salvation." shower, and the water cannot go Psalm xviii. 46. None have right through these wings. It is folly to joy but we; for joy is sown for then for men to say, this is not us, and an ill summer or barvest Christ's plea, he will lose the wed- will not spoil the crop. The child. fee; men are like to beguile him: ren of this world have much robbthat were indeed a strange play. ed joy that is not well come: it is Nay, I dare pledge my soul, and no good sport they laugh at: they lay it in pawn on Christ's side of it, steal joy, as it were, from God; for and be half-loser half-winner with he commandeth them to mourn and my master: let fools laugh the fool's howl; then let us claim our leel laughter and scorn Christ, and bid come and lawfully.conquished joy. the weeping captives in Babylon My dear brother, I cannot but sing us one of the songs of Zion, speak what I have felt; seeing my play a spring to cheer up your sad- Lord Jesus hath broken a box of hearted Ged; we may sing upon spikenard upon the head of his
poor luck's head before-hand, even in prisoner, and it is hard to hide a our winter-storm, in the expecta. sweet smell; it is a pain smother tion of a summer sun at the turn of Christ's love; it will be out whether the year; no created powers in we will or If we did but hell, or out of hell, can mar our speak according to the matter, a Lord Jesus his music, nor spill our cross for Christ should have ansong of joy; let us then be glad other name; yea, a cross especi. and rejoice in the salvation of our ally when he cometh with his arms Lord: for faith had never yet cause full of joys, is the happiest hard to have wet cheeks, and hanging tree that ever was laid upon my down brows, or to droop or die; weak shoulder. Christ and his what can ail faith, seeing Christ cross together are sweet company, suffereth himself, with reverence to and a blessed couple. My prise i him be it spoken, to be commanded is my palace, my sorrow is with by it, and Christ commandeth all child of joy, my losses are rich things? Faith may dance because losses, my pain easy pain, my heavy Christ sings; and we may come in days are holy and happy days. I the choir and lift our hoarse and may tell a new tale of Christ to my rough voices, and chirp and sing, friends. Oh if I could make a and shout for joy with our Lord love-song of him, and could comJesus. We see oxen go to the mend Christ, and tune his praises shambles leaping and startling ; aright! O if I could set all tongues we see God's fed oxen, prepared in Great Britian and Ireland to for the day of slaughter, go dancing work, to help me to sing a new and singing down to the black song of my Well-beloved ! O if I chambers of hell ; and why should could be a bridge over a water for we go to heaven weeping, as if wel my Lord Jesus to walk upon, and
keep his feet dry! O if my poor with Christ for this whorish kirk; bit heaven could go betwixt my I fear lest Christ cast water upon Lord and blasphemy, and dishon- Scotland's coal; nay, I know Christ our ! upon
condition he loved me. and his wife will be heard, he will O that my heart could say this plead for the broken covenant, word and bide by it for ever ! is it Arm you against that time. Grace not great art and incomparable wis- be with you. dom in my Lord, who can bring forth
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, such fair apples out of this crabbed Aberdeen, June 16, 1637. S. R. tree of the cross? Nay, my Father's never-enough admired providence can make a fair feast out of a black devil; nothing can
LETTER XXIX. wrong
Lord in his sweet To the Lady KILCON QUHAIR. working. I would even fall sound Mistress, asleep in Christ's arms, and my Grace, mercy and peace be to you; sinful head on his holy breast, I am glad to hear that you have while he kisseth me; were it, not your face homeward towards your that often the wind turneth to the Father's house, now when so many north, and whiles my sweet Lord are for a home nearer hand; but Jesus is so, that he will neither give your Lord calleth you to another nor take, borrow nor lend with me. life and glory than is to be found I complain he is not social; I half hereaway: and therefore I would call him proud and lordly of his counsel you to make sure the charcompany, and nice of his looks; ters and rights which
have to salwhich yet is not true. It would vation. You came to this life about a content me to give, howbeit he necessary and weighty business, to he should not take; I should be tryst with Christ anent your precious content to want his kisses at such soul, the eternal salvation of it; this is times, providing he would be con- the most necessary business ye
have tent to come near hand, and take in this life; and your other adoes, bemy wersh, dry, feckless kisses; but side this, are but toys, and feathers, at that time he will not be intreat, and dreams, and fancies: this is in ed, but lets a poor soul stand still the greatest haste, and should be and knock, and never let on him done first. Means are used in the that he heareth; and then the old gospel to draw on a meeting betwixt leavings and broken meat, and dry Christ and you: if ye neglect your sighs, are greater cheer than I can part of it, it is as if you
would tear tell; all I have then is, that how the contract before Christ's eyes, beit the law and wrath have gotten and give up the match, that there a decreet against me, I yet lippep shall be no more communing of that meikle good in Christ, as to that business. I know other lovers get a suspension, and to bring my beside Christ are in suit of you, cause in reasoning again before my and your soul wanteth not many Well-beloved. I desire but to be wooers: but I pray you make a heard, and at last he is content to chaste virgin of your soul, and let come and agree the matter with a it love but one; most worthy is fool, and forgive freely, because he Christ alone of all your soul's love; is God. Oh, if men would glorify bowbeit your love were higher than him, and taste of Christ's sweetness he heaven, and deeper than the Brother, ye have need to be busy lowest of this earth, and broader