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than this world. Many, alas! too beauty of ten thousand thousand many, 'make a common strumpet of worlds of paradises like the garden their soul, for every lover that com of Eden in one; put all trees, all eth to the house. Marriage with flowers, all smells, all colours, all Christ would put your love and tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all your heart by the gate out of the loveliness in one: O what a fair way, and out of the eye of all other and excellent thing would that be? unlawful suitors; and then you had And yet it should be less to that fair a ready answer for all others, I am and dearest Well-beloved Christ, already promised away to Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole the match is concluded, my soul seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of hath a husband already, and it can. ten thousand earths, O but Christ not have two husbands. Oh, if the is heaven's wonder, and earth's world did but koow what a smell wonder! What marvel that his bride the ointments of Christ cast, and saith, Cant. v. 16. He is altogether how ravishing his beauty, even the lovely? Oh that black souls will not beauty of the fairest of the sons of come and fetch all their love to men is, and how sweet and power this fair ore! O if I could invite ful his voice is, the voice of that and persuade thousands, and ten one Well-beloved; certainly where thousand times ten thousand of Christ cometh he runneth away Adam's sons, to flock about my with the soul's love, so that they Lord Jesus, and to come and take cannot command it. I would far their fill of love! O pity for everrather look but through the hole of more, that there should be such a Christ's door, to see but the one one as Christ Jesus, so boundless, half of his fairest and most comely so bottomless, and so incomparable, face, (for he looketh like heaven) in infinite excellency and sweetness, suppose I should never win in to and so few to take him! Oh, oh, ye see his excellency and glory to the poor dry and dead souls, why will full, than to enjoy the flower, the ye not come hither with your toom bloom, and chiefest excellency of the vessels, and your empty souls, to glory and riches of ten worlds. this buge, and fair, and deep, and Lord send me, for my part, but sweet well of life; and fill all your the meanest share of Christ that can toom vessels? O hat Christ should be given to any of the in-dwellers be so large in sweetness and worth, of the new Jerusalem. But I know and we so narrow, so pinched, so my Lord is no niggard; he can, ebb, and so void of all happiness, and it becometh him well to give and yet men will not take him! more than my narrow soul can re- they lose their love miserably, who ceive. If there were ten thousand will not bestow it upon this lovely thousand millions of worlds, and as One. Alas! these five thousand many heavens full of men and angels, years, Adam's fools, his waster Christ would not be pinched to heirs, have been wasting and lavish. supply all our wants, and to fill us ing out their love and their affecall. Christ is a well of life, but tions upon black lovers, and black who knoweth how deep it is to the harlots, upon bits of dead creatures, bottom? This soul of ours hath and broken idols, upon this and that love, and cannot but love some fair feckless creature; and have not one: and ( what a fair one, what brought their love and their heart an only one, what an excellent, love to Jesus. O pity, that Fairness ly, ravishing one is Jesus! Put the hath so few lovers! O w, wo to
the fools of this world, who run by for the wanting of the love of this Christ to other lovers! Oh misery, and that idol! Wo, wo to the mis. misery, misery, that Comeliness can taking of my miscarrying lieart, scarce get three or four hearts in a that gapeth and crieth for creatures, town or country? O that there is and is not pained, and cutted, and so much spoken, and so much tortured, and in sorrow for the written, and so much thought of want of a soul fill of Christ! Oh creature-vanity; and so little spok- that thou wouldst come near, my en, so little written, so little thought Beloved! O my fairest One, why of my great, and incomprehensible, standest thou afar! come hither, and never-enough-wondered at Lord that I may be satiated with thy exJesus! Why should I not curse cellent love: O forn union! O for this forlorn, and wretched world, a fellowship with Jesus! O that I that suffereth my Lord Jesus to lye could buy with a price that lovehis alone? O damned souls! O mis- ly One, suppose hell's torments for kenning world! Oblind! O beg. a while were the price! I cannot garly, and poor souls! O bewitched believe but Christ will rue upon fools! what aileth you at Christ, his pained lovers, and come and that you run so from him? I dare ease sick hearts who sigh and swoon not challenge providence, that there for want of Christ; who dow bide are so few buyers, and so little sale Christ's love to be nice? What heavfor such an excellent One as Christ. en can there be liker to hell, than to O the depih, and O the height of my lust, and grein and dwine, and fall Lord's ways, that's past finding out! aswoon for Christ's love, and to but O if men would once be wise, want it? is not this hell, and heavand not fall so in love with their en woven through other? is not own hell, as to pass by Christ and this pain and joy, sweetness and misken him! but let us come near, sadness to be in one web, the one and fill ourselves with Christ, and the weft, the other the warp? let his friends drink, and be drunk therefore I would Christ would let en, and satisfy our hollow and deep us meet and join together, the soul desires with Jesus. Oh come all and Christ in others arms, O and drink at this living well; come what meeting is like this, to see drink and live for evermore, come blackness and beauty, contemptibledrink and welcome; welcome, saith ness and glory, highness and baseour fairest Bridegrooin : no man ness, even a soul and Christ kiss getteth Christ with ill will, no man one anciher! Nay, but when all is cometh and is not welcome; no done'l may be wearied in speaking man cometh and rueth his voyage: and writing; but O how far am I all men speak well of Christ, who from the right expression of Christ have been at him; men and angels or his love? I can neither speak, who know him, will say more than nor write feeling, nor tasting, nor I do, and think more of him than smelling; come feel, and smell, and they can say. O if I were misted taste Christ and his love, and ye and bewildered in my Lord's love! shall call it more than can be spokO if I were fettered and chained to en; to write how sweet the honeyit! O sweet pain, to be pained for comb is, is not so lovely as to eat a sight of him; O living death! O and suck the honey-comb; one good death! O lovely death, to die night's rest in a bed of love with for love of Jesus! O that I should Christ, will say more than heart have a sore heart and a pained soul, can think, or tongue can utter.
Neither need we fear crosses, or beside our Lord, and therefore our sigh, or be sad for any thing that is Lord hunteth for our love more ways on this side of heaven, if we have than one or two. Oh that Christ Christ: our crosses will never draw had his own of us! I know he will blood of the joy of the Holy Ghost, not want you, and that is a sweet and peace
of conscience; our joy is wilfulness in his love; and ye have Jaid up in such a high place, as as good cause on the other part to temptations cannot climb up to take be headstrong and peremptory in it down; this world may boast Christ, your love to Christ, and not to part but they dare not strike; or if they or divide your love betwixt him and strike, they break their arm in fetch- the world: if it were more, it is liting a stroke upon a rock. O that tle enough, yea, too little for Christ. we could put our treasure in Christ's I am now every way in good terms hand, and give him our gold to keep, with Christ, he hath set a banished and our crown. Strive, Mistress, prisoner as a seal on his heart, and as to throng through the thorns of this a bracelet on his arm; that crabbed life, to be at Christ; lose not sight and black tree of the cross laugheth of him in this cloudy and dark day; upon me now; the alarming noise of sleep with him in your heart in the the cross is worse than itself. I love night; learn not at the world to Christ's glooms better than the serve Christ, but ask himself the world's worm-eaten joys. Oh if all way; the world is a false copy, and the kingdom were as I am, except a lying guide to follow. Remember these bonde! My loss is gain; my sad. my love to your husband; I wish neas joyful; my bonds liberty; my all to him I have written here. The tears comfortable: this world is not sweet presence, the long-lasting worth a drink of cold water. Oh good-will of our God, the warmly but Christ's love casteth a great heat; and lovely comforts of our Lord hell, and all the salt sea, and the riJesus be with you. Help me his vers of the earth, cannot quench it prisoner in your prayers; for I re. I remember you to God; ye have member you.
prayers of a prisoner of Christ Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus,
Grace, grace be with you. Aberdeen, Aug. 8, 1637.
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, Aberdeen, March 9, 1637.
To the LADY FORRET.
To the Laky KASKIBERRY.
Madam, you. I long to hear from you; I hear Grace, mercy and peace be to you: Christ hath been that kind as to visit I long to hear how your Ladyship is. you
with sickness, and to bring you I know not how to requite your La. to the door of the grave: but ye dysbip's kindness: but your love to found the door shut (blessed be his the saints, Madam, is laid up
in heaglorious name) while ye be riper for ven: I know it is for
Well-beeternity: he will have more service loved Christ's sake, that ye make his of your and therefore he seeketh of friends so dear to you, and concern you, that henceforth
be honest to yourself so much in them I am in your new Husband, the Son of God. this house of pilgrimage, every way We have all idol-love, and are whor in good case; Christ is most kind ishly inclined to love other things and loving to my soul. It pleaseth
be to you:
him to feast with his unseen conso-sufferings are for Christ's truth; and lations, a stranger and an exiled God forbid I should deny the testiprisoner: and I would not exchange mony of the Holy Spirit, and make my Lord Jesus, with all the com- him a false witness. Now I testify fort out of heaven: his yoke is easy, under my hand, out of some small and his burden is light. This is his experience, that Christ's cause (even truth I now suffer for; for he hath with the cross,) is better than the sealed it with his blessed presence : king's crown; and that his reproachI know Christ shall yet win the day, es are sweet, his cross perfumed, the and gain the battle in Scotland. walls of my prison fair and large, my Grace be with you.
losses gain. I desire you, my
dear Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, brother, help me to praise, and reAberdeen, March 7, 1637. S. R. member me in your prayer to God.
Grace, grace be with you.
Your's in his sweet. Lord Jesus,
S. R. To Mr. JAMES BRUCE, Minister of the Gospel.
Reverend and well-beloved Brother, GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. LETTER XXXIII. Upon the nearest acquaintance, that To the Lady EARLSTOUN. we are Father's children, I thought Mistress, good to write to you. My case in Grace, mercy and
peace my bonds, for the honour of my roy- I long to hear how your soul prose al Prince and King Jesus, is as good pereth. I exhort you to go on in as becometh the witness of such a your journey; your day is short, and Sovereign King. At my first com- your afternoon sun will soon go down; ing hither, I was in great heaviness, make an end of your accounts with wrestling with challenges, being bur- your Lord; for death and judgment dened in heart (as I am yet) for my are tides that bide no man; salvation silent sabbaths, and for a bereft peo- is supposed to be at the door and ple, young ones, new-born, plucked Christianity is thought an easy task; from the breasts, and the children's but I find it hard, and the way strait table drawn. I thought I was a dry and narrow, were it not that my tree cast over the dyke of the vine- guide is content to wait on me, and yard: but my secret conceptions of to care for a tired traveller. Hurt Christ's love, at his sweet and long. not your conscience with any known desired return to my soul, were found sin. Let your children be as so many to be a lie of Christ's love, forged by flowers, borrowed from God: if the the tempter, and my own heart, and Powers die or wither, thank God for I am persuaded it was so. Now there a summer's loan of them, and keep is greater peace and security within good neighbourhood, to borrow and than before, the court is raised and lend with him. Set
your dismissed, for it was not fenced in heaven, and trouble not your spirit God's name. I was far mistaken, with this clay-idol of the world, who should have summoned Christ which is but vanity, and hath but the for unkindness;, misted faith, and lustre of the rain-bow in the air, my fever conceived amiss of him : which cometh and goeth with a flyDow, now, he is pleased to feast aing March shower : clay is the idol poor prisoner, and to refresh me with of bastards, not the inheritance of joy unspeakable and glorious; so as the children. My Lord hath been the Holy Spirit is witness, that my pleased to make many unknown faces
laugh upon me, and bath made me marks of such a great King? But well content of a borrowed fire-side, howbeit I am a sink and sinful mass, and a borrowed bed; I am feasted a wretched captive of sin, my Lord with the joys of the Holy Ghost, and Jesus cap hew heaven out of worse my royal King beareth my charges timber than I am, if worse can be, honourably, I love the smell of 3d, I now rejoice with joy unspeakChrist's sweet breath better than the able and glorious, that I never pur. world's.gold. I would I had help to posed to bring Christ, por the least praise him. The great messenger hoof or hair breadth of truth under of the covenant, the Son of God, es- trysting: I desired to have and keep tablish
you an your Rock, and keep Christ all alone, and that he should you to the day of his coming. never rub clothes with that black Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus,
skinned harlot of Rome. I am now
fully paid home, so that nothirg ailAberdeen, March 7, 1637.
eth me for the present but lovesickness for a real possession of my
fairest Well-beloved : I would give LETTER XXXIV. him my bond under my faith and
hand, to frist heaven an hundred Worthy and much honoured,
years longer, so being he would lay GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. his holy face to my sometimes wet I received your let'er from my bro- cheeks. Oh who would not pity me, ther, to which I now answer particu- to know how fain I would have the Jarly. I confess two things of my- King shaking the tree of life upon self: Ist, Wo, wo is me that men me, or letting me into the well of should think there is any thing in life with my old dish, that I might me! He is my witness, before whom be drunken with the fountain here in I am as crystal, that the secret house the house of my pilgrimage! I can. devils, that bear me too often com not, nay, I would not be quit of pany, that this sink of corruption Christ's love. He hath left the mark which I find within, maketh me go behind where he gripped: he goeth. with low sails ; and if others saw away, and leaveth me and his burn. what I see, they would look by me, ing love to wrestle together, and I but not to me. 20. I know this show- can scarce win my meat of his love, er of his free grace behoved to be on because of absence: my Lord giveth me, otherways I would have wither-me but hungry half kisses, which ed I know also that I have need of serve feed pain, and increase hun. a buffeting tempter, that grace may ger. 'out do not satisfy my desires ; be put to exercise, and I kept low his dieting of my soul for this race Worthy and dear brother in our Lord maketh mę lean. I have gotten the Jesus, I write that from my heart wail and choice of Christ's crosses, which ye now read. Ist, I vouch even the tythe and the flower of the that Christ, and sweating and sigh- gold of all crosses, to bear witness to ing under bis cross, is sweeter to me the truth; and herein find I liberty, by far than all the kingdoms in the joy, access, life, comfort, love, faith, world could possibly be. 2d, If you submission, patience, and resolution and my dearest acquaintance in to take delight in on-waiting; and Christ, reap any fruit by my suffer- withal in my race he hath come near ing, let me be weighed in God's me, and let me see the gold and even balance, if my joy be not ful. crown; what then waot I, but frui. filled. What am I to carry the tion and real enjoyment, which is re