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O my

and noble Lord, for you who are glass of threescore short years is the little nurse-fathers (under our running out; to look over your sovereign Prince) to put on cour-shoulder, then, to that which ye age for the Lord Jesus, and to take have done, spoken, and suffered for up a fallen orphan, speaking out of Christ, his dear bride, that he ranthe dust, and to embrace in your somed with that blood which is more arms Christ's bride: he hath no precious than gold, and for truth, more in Scotland that is the delight and the freedom of Christ's kingof his eyes, but that one little sis- dom: your accounts shall more ter, whose breasts were once well- sweetly smile and laugh upon you, fashioned; she once ravished her than if you had two worlds of gold Well-beloved with her eyes, and o- to leave to your posterity. vercame him with her beauty ; She dear Lord, consider that our Maslooked forth as the morning, fair aster, eternity, and judgment, and the moon, clear as the sun, terrible the last reckoning, will be upon us as an army with banners: her sta- in the twinkling of an eye; the blast ture was like the palm tree, and her of the last trumpet, now hard at breasts like clusters of grapes, and hand, will cry down all acts' of

parshe held the king in his galleries.' liament, all the determinations of Cant. iv. 9. and vi. 10. and vii. 5, pretended assemblies, against Christ 7. But now the crown is fallen from our law-giver: there will be shortly her head, and her gold waxed dim, a proclamation by one standing in and our white Nazarites are become the clouds, that time shall be no black as the coal. Blessed are more, and that courts with kings of they who will come out and help clay shall be no more; and prisons, Christ against the mighty: The confinements, forfeitures of nobles, shields of the earth and the nobles wrath of kings, hazard of lands, are debtors to Christ for their hon- houses, and name, for Christ, shall our, and should bring their glory be no more.

This world's spanand honour to the new Jerusalem; length of time is drawn now to less Rev. xxi. 24. Alas that great men than half an inch, and to the point should be so far from subjecting of the evening of the day of this old themselves to the sweet yoke of gray-hair'd world: and therefore be Christ, that they burst his bonds a- fixed and fast for Christ and his sunder, and think they dow' not go truth for a time; and fear not him on foot when Christ is on horse- whose life goeth out at his nostrils, back, and that every nod of Christ, who shall die as a man. commanding as a king, is a load like suaded Christ is responsal, and lawa mountain of iron; and therefore biding, to make recompense

for

any they say, This man shall not reign thing that is hazarded or given out over us, we must have another king for him: losses for Christ are but than Christ in his own house. There- our goods given out in bank in fore kneel to Christ, and kiss his Christ's hapd. Kings earthly are Son, and let him have your Lord- well-favoured little clay gods, time's ship's vote, as your alone law-giver. idols; but a sight of our invisible *I am sure, when you leave the old King shall decry and darken all the waste inns, of this perishing life, and glory of this world. At the day of shall reckon with your host, and de- Christ, truth shall be truth, and not part hence, and take shipping, and treason: alas ! it is pitiful, that simake over for eternity, which is the lence, when the thatch of our Lord's yonder side of time, and a sand-house hath taken fire, is now the

I am per

fower and bloom of court and state-perience of suffering for him; but wisdom; and to cast a covering 0- let my judge and witness in heavver a good profession, as if it blush- en lay my soul in the balance of jus. ed at light, is thought a canny and tice, if I find not a young heaven, sure way through this life; but the and a little paradise of glorious comsafest way, I am persuaded, is to forts and soul-delighting love-kisses lose and win with Christ, and to of Christ here beneath the moon, in hazard fairly for him; for heaven is suffering for him and his truth; and but a company of noble venturers that the glory, joy, and peace,

and for Christ. I dare hazard my soul, fire of love, I thought had been kept Christ shall grow green and blossom while supper-time, when we shall get like the Rose of Sharon yet in Scot. leisure to feast our fill upon Christ ; land; howbeit now his leaf seemeth I have felt it in glorious beginnings to wither, and his root to dry up. in my bonds for this princely Lord Your noble ancestors have been in-Jesus. Oh! it is my sorrow, my rolled amongst the worthies of this daily pain, that men will not come nation, as the sure friends of the and see: I would not be ashamed to. Bridegroom, and valiant for Christ: believe that it should be possible for I hope ye will follow on to come to any soul to think that he could be a the streets for the same Lord. The loser for Christ, suppose he should world is still at yea and nay with lend Christ the lordship of Lindsay, Christ. It shall be your glory, and or some such great worldly estate. the sure foundation of your house, Therefore my worthy and dear Lord, (now when houses are tumbling set now your face against the oppodown, and birds building their nests, site of Jesus, and let your soul take and thorns and briars are growing courage to come under his banner, up, where nobles did spread a table) to appear as his soldier for him; and if you engage your estate and nobi- the blessings of a falling kirk, the lity for this noble King Jesus, with prayers of the prisoners of hope who whom the created powers of the wait for Zion's joy, and the good. world are still in tops; all the world will of him who dwelt in the bush, shall fall before him, and, as God and it burned not, shall be with you, liveth, every arm lifted up to take To his saving grace I recommend the crown off bis royal head, or that your Lordship, and your house, and refuseth to hold it on his bead, shall am still Christ's prisoner, and be broken from the shoulder-blade : the

Your Lordship's obliged servant in his eyes that behold Christ

weep

in sackcloth, and wallow in his blood,

sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. and will not help, even these eyes Aberdeen, Sept. 7th, 1637. shall rot away in their eye-holes. O if ye and the nobles of this land saw

cement the beauty of that world's wonder,

LÉTTER XXXIX. Jesus our King, and the glory of

To my Lord BOYD. him who is angels' wonder, and heaven's wonder for excellency! Oh

My very Honourable and good Lord, what would men count of clay e-Grace, mercy and peace be to you: states, of time-eaten life, of worm. I am glad to hear that you, in the eaten and moth-eaten worldly glo- morning of your short day, mind ry, in comparison of that fairesť of Christ; and that you love the honour God's creation, the Son of the Fa. of his crown and kingdom. I beseech ther's delights. I have but small ex- your Lordship, begin now to frame

your love, and to cast it in no mould course prevaileth with it: and therebut one, that it may be for Christ fore, O what a sweet couple, what a only; for when your love is now in glorious yoke are youth and grace, the framing and making; it will take Christ and a young man ! This is a best with Christ; if any other than meeting not to be found in every Jesus get a grip of it, when it is town. None who have been at green

and
young,

Christ will be an Christ can bring back to your Lorduncouth and strange world to you. ship a report answerable to his worth; Promise the lodging of your soul for Christ cannot be spoken of, or first away to Christ, and stand by commended according to his worth: your first covenant, and keep to come and see is the most faithful Jesus, that he may find you honest. messenger to speak of him; little It is easy to master an arrow, and persuasion would prevail where this to set it right, ere the string be were. It is impossible in the setting drawn; but when once it is shot and out of Christ's love, to lie and pass in the air, and the flight begun, then over truth's line: the discourses of ye have no more power at all to angels, or love-books written by the command it; it were a blessed congregation of seraphims (all their thing, if your love could now level wits being conjoined and melted inonly at Christ, that his fair face to one) would for ever be in the were the black of the mark ye shot nether side of truth, and plentifully at; for when your love is loosed, declaring the thing as it is. The and out of your grips, and in its infiniteness, the boundlessness of that motion to fetch liome an idol, and incomparable exellency that is in hath taken a whorish gadding jour. Jesus, is a great word. God send ney, to seek an unknown and strange me, if it were but the relics and lover, ye shall not then have power leavings, or an ounce weight or two, to call home the arrow, or to be mas- of his matchless love ; and suppose ter of you love ; and ye shall hardly I never got another heaven (providgive Christ what ye scarcely have ed this blessed fire was evermore yourself. I speak not this, as if burning) I could not but be happy youth itself could fetch heaven and for ever. Come hither then, and Christ; believe it, my Lord, it is give out your money wisely for hardly credible what a nest of dan- bread; come here, and bestow your gerous temptations youth is; how in love. I have cause to speak this, considerate, foolish, proud, vain, because except ye enjoy and possess heady, rash, profane, and careless of Christ, ye will be a cold friend to God, this piece of your life is; so his spouse; for it is love to the that the devil findeth in that age a husband that causeth kindness to the garnished and well swept house and wife. I dare swear it were a blessseven devils worse than himself, ing to your house, the honour of for then affections are on horseback, your honour, the flower of your lofty and stirring; then the old man credit, now in your place, and as far hath blood, lust, much will, and as ye are able, to lend your

hand to little wit, and hands, feet, wanton your weeping mother, even your eyes, profane ears, as his servants, oppressed and spoiled mother-kirk. and as king's officers at command, If ye love her, and bestir yourself to come and go at his will; then a for her, and hazard the lordship of green conscience is as souple as the Boyd for the recovery of her vail, twig of a young tree; it is for every which the smiting watchmen have way, every religion, every lewd taken from her, then surely her

husband will scorn to sleep in your shall become burning pitch, and the common or reverence. Bits of lord.owl and the raven shall dwell in

your ships are little to him, who hath houses; and where

your

table stood, many crowns on his head, and the there shall grow briars and nettles, kingdoms of the world in the hollow Isa. xxxxiv. 9, 11. The Lord gave of his hand. Court, honour, glory, Christ and his gospel as a pawn to riches, stability of houses, favour of Scotland; the watchmen have fallen princes are all on his finger ends. foul, and lost their part of the pawn; O what glory were it to lend your and who seeth not, that God hath honour to Christ, and to his Jerusa- dried up their right eye, and their lem. Ye are one of Zion's born sons; right arm, and hath broken the shepyour honourable and Christian par- herds’ staves, and men are treading ents would venture you upon Christ's in thèir hearts upon such unsavoury errands : therefore I beseech you, salt, that is good for nothing else : by the mercies of God, by the death If ye, the nobles, put away, the

pawn and wounds of Jesus, by the hope of also, and refuse to plead the contróyour glorious inheritance, and by versy of Zion with the professed ene. the comfort and hope of the joyful mies of Jesus, ye have done with presence ye would have at the water it. Oh! where is the courage and side, when ye are putting your foot zeal now of the ancient nobles of in the dark grave, take courage for this land, who with their swords, Christ's truth, and the honour of his and hazard of life, honour and free kingdom; for, howbeit ye be houses, brought Christ to our hands? a young flower, and green before and now the nobles cannot be but the sun, ye know not how soon death guilty of shouldering out Christ, and will cause you cast your bloom, and murdering of the souls of their poswither root, and branch, and leaves; terity, if they shall hide themselves, and therefore write up what ye have and lurk in the lee-side of the hill, to do for Christ, and make a trea. till the wind blow down the temple sure of good works, and begin in of God. It goeth now under the time. By appearance ye have the name of wisdom, for men to cast advantage of the brae; see what ye their cloke over Christ and their can do for Christ, against these who profession, as if Christ were stolen are waiting while Christ's tabernacle goods and durst not be avouched ; fall, that they may run away with though this be reputed a piece of the boards thereof, and build their policy, yet God esteemeth such men nests on Zion's ruins. They are blind to be but state fools and court gouks, who see not lowns now pulling up whatever they, or other heads of wit the stakes, and breaking the cords, like to them, think of themselves, and rending the curtains of Christ's since their damnable silence is the sometimes beautiful tent in this ruin of Christ's kingdom. O but it land: Antichrist is lifting that tent be true honour and glory to be the up upon his shoulders, and going fast.friends of the Bridegroom, and away with it; and when Christ and to own Christ's bleeding head, and the gospel are out of Scotland, dream his forsaken cause, and to contend dot that your houses shall thrive, legally, and in the wisdom of God, and that it shall go well with the for our sweet Lord Jesus, and his nobles of the land. As the Lord kingly crown. But I will believe liveth, the streams of your waters your Lordship will take Christ's shall become pitch, and the dust of honour to heart, and be a man in your land brimstone, and your land the streets (as the prophet speaketh)

for the Lord and his truth. To his Lord and Lover lives and reigns ; rich grace and sweet presence, and there I should be everlastingly solacthe everlasting consolation of the ed with the sight of his face, and promised Comforter, I recommend satisfied with the surpassing sweetyour Lordship, and am

ness of his matchless love; but truly Your Lordship's in his sweet Lord Jesus,

now I stand in the nether side of my Aberdeen, Sept. 7, 1637.

8. R. desires, and with a drooping head,

and panting heart, I look up to fair Jesus standing afar off from us, while

corruption and death shall scour and LETTER XL.

refine the body of clay, and rot out To my Lady BOYD.

the bones of the old man of sin. In My very Honourable and Christian Lady, the mean time we are blessed in Grace, mercy and peace be to you. sending word to the Beloved, that I received your letter, and am well we love to love him; and till then pleased that your thoughts of Christ there is joy in wooing, suiting, lying stay with you, and that

your purpose about his house, locking in at the still is, by all means, to take the windows, and sending a poor soul's kingdom of heaven by violence, groans and wishes through a hole of which is no small conquest; and it the door to Jesus, till God send a is a degree of watchfulness and glad meeting; and blessed be God, thankfulness also, to observe sleepi. that after a low ebb, and so sad a pess and unthankfulness. We have word, Lord Jesus it is locg since I all good cause to complain of false saw thee; that even then, our wings light, that playeth the thief, and are growing, and the absence of stealeth away the lanthorn; when it sweet Jesus breedeth a new fleece cometh to the practice of constant of desires and longings for him. I walking with God, our journey is know no man hath a velvet cross, ten times a day broken in ten pieces; but the cross is made of that which Christ getteth but only broken, and God will have it. But verily, lowhalf fed, and tired work of us, and beit it be no warrantable market to alas too often against the hair. I buy a cross, yet I dare not say, O have been somewhat nearer the that I had liberty to sell Christ's Bridegroom; but when I draw nigh, cross lest therewith also I should and see my vileness, for shame I sell joy, comfort, sense of love, pawould be out of his presence again ; tience, and the kind visits of a but yet desire of his soul refreshing Bridegroom; and therefore blessed love putteth blushing me under an be God, we get crosses unbought arrest. O what am I, so lothsome and good cheap. Sure I am, it a burden of sin, to stand beside such were better to buy crosses for Christ a beautiful and holy Lord, such an than to sell them; howbeit neith. high and lofty one, who inhabiteth er be allowed to us. And for eternity! But, since it pleaseth Christ's joyful coming and going, Christ to condescend to such an one which your Ladyship speaketh of, I as me, let shamefacedness be laid bear with it, as love can permit; it aside, and lose itself in his conde- should be enough to me, if I were scending love. I would heartily be wise, that Christ will have joy and content to keep a corner of the sorrow halvers of the life of the King's hall; Oh if I were at the saints, and that each of them should yonder end of my weak desires ! have a share of our days: as the then should I be where Christ my night and the day are kindly part

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