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desired to be faithful in his house.
LETTER LII. Thas, in my rovings and mistakings, To JOHN STEWART, Provost of Ayr. my Lord Jesus bestowed mercy on Much Honoured and Dearest in Christ, me, who am less than the least of GRACE, mercy and peace from God all saints. I lay upon the dust, and our Father, and from our Lord Jesus bought a plea from Satan against Christ, be upon you. I expected Christ, and he was content to sell it: the comfort of a letter to a prisoner but at length Christ did shew him- from you, ere now. I am here, Sir, self friends with me, and in mercy putting off a part of my inch of time; pardoned and past my part of it, and when I awake first in the morna and only complained that a court ing, which is always with great should be holden in his bounds, heaviness and sadness, this question without his own allowance. Now I is brought to my mind; Am I serving pass
from my compearance; and as God or not? Not that I doubt of if Christ had done the fault, he hath the truth of this honourable cause made the mends, and returned to wherein I am engaged, my soul; so that now his poor pris- ture into eternity, and before my oner feedeth on the feasts of love. judge, that I now suffer for the My adversaries know not what a truth: because that I cannot endure courtier I am now with my royal that my master, who is a free born King, for whose crown I now suffer, it King, should pay tribute to any of is but our soft and lazy flesh that hath the shields or pot-sherds of the raised an ill report of the cross of crown earth : O that I could hold the Christ; O sweet, sweet is his yoke! upon my princely King's head with Christ's chains are of pure gold; my sinful arm, howbeit it should be sufferings for him are perfumed; I struck from me in that service from would not give my weeping for the the shoulder blade! but my closed laughing of all the fourteen prelates, mouth, uny dumb sabbaths, the memI would not exchange my sadness ory of my communion with Christ, with the world's joy. O lovely, in many fair, fair days in Anwoth, lovely Jesus,' how sweet must thy whereas now my master getteth no kisses be, when thy cross smelleth service of my tongue as then, hath so sweetly! O if all the three king- almost broken my faith in two halves: doms had part of my love-feast, and yet in my deepest apprehensions of of the comfort of a dawted prisoner! his anger, I see through a cloud Dear brother, I charge you to praise that I am wrong: and he, in love to for me, and seek help of our aquaint- my soul, hath taken up the contro. ance there, to help me to praise. versy betwix, faith and apprehen. Why should I smother Christ's hon- sions, and a decreet is past on esty to me? My heart is taken up Christ's side of it, and I subscribe with this, that my silence and suffer- the decreet. The Lord is equal in ings may preach. I beseech you in his ways, but my guiltiness often the bowels of Christ, to help me to over-mastereth my believing. I have praise. Remember my love to your not been well known; for, except as wife, to Mr. Blair, and Mr. Living. to open out-breakings, I want nothston, and Mr. Cunningham. Let ing of what Judas and Cain had; only me hear from you, for I am anxious he hath been pleased to prevent me in what to do: if I saw a call for New mercy, and to cast me into a fever England, I would follow it. Grace of love for himself, and his absence be with you. Your's in our Lord Jesus, maketh my fever most painful; and Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. 'beside, he hath visited my soul and
watered it with his comforts: but in my sufferings. 6. Christ's love yet I have not what I would, the hath pained me; for howbeit his want of real and felt possession is presence hath shamed me, and drown. my only death; I know Christ pitiethed me in debt, yet he often goeth me in this. The great men my away when my love to him is burnfriends, that did for me, are dried ing; he seemeth to look like a proud up, like winter brooks of water: all wooer, who will not look upon a say, No dealing for that man; his poor match, who is dying of love : best will be, to be gone out of the I will not say he is lordly; but I know kingdom. So I see they tire of me; he is wise, in hiding himself from a but, believe me, I am most gladly child and a fool, who maketh an content that Christ breaketh all my idol and a god of one of Christ's idols in pieces : it hath put a new kisses, which is idolatory. I fear edge upon my blunted love to Christ; I adore his comforts more than himI see he is jealous of my love, and self, and that I love the apples of will have all to himself. In a word, life better than the tree of life. Sir, these six things are my burden: write to me: commend me to your 1. I am not in the vineyard as others wife, mercy be her portion. Grace are, it may be, because Christ think- be with you, eth me a withered tree, not worth Your's in his Dearest Lord Jesus, its room; but God forbid. 2. Wo,
S. R. wo, wo is coming upon my
harlot mother, this apostate kirk: the time is coming, when we shall wish for
LETTER LIII. doves wings, to fly and hide us:
Oh for the desolation of this land! 3.
To JOHN STEWART, Provost of Ayr. I see my dear master, Christ going
Worthy and dearly beloved in our Lord, as alone, as it were, mourning in Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. sackcloth: his fainting friends fear I was refreshed and comforted with that King Jesus shall lose the field; your letter; what I wrote you for but he must carry the day. 4. My your comfort I do not remember; guiltiness and the sins of youth are but I believe, love will prophecy come up against me, and they would homeward, as it would have it. I come in the plea in my sufferings, as wish I could help you to praise his deserving causes in God's justice; but great and holy name, who keepeth I pray God, for Christ's sake, he the feet of his saints, and hath num. never gave them that room. Wo’s bered all your goings. I know our me that I cannot get my royal, dearest Lord will pardon and pass dreadful, mighty, and glorious Prince by our honest errors and mistakes, of the kings of the earth set on high. when we mind his honour; yet I Sir, ye may help me and pity me in know, none of you have seen the othis, and bow your knee, and bless ther half and the hidden side of
your his name, and desire others to do it, wonderful return home to us again. I that he hath been pleased in my suf-am confident ye shall yet say, that ferings to make Atheists, Papists, God's mercy blew your sails back to and enemies about me, say, It is like, Ireland again. Worthy and dear God is with this prisoner. Let hell Sir, I cannot but give you an ac. and the powers of hell, I care not, count of my present estate, that ye be let loose against me to do their may go an errand for me to my bigh worst, so being Christ, and my and royal Master, of whom I boast Father and his Father be magnified all the day. I am as proud of his
love, nay, I bless myself, and boast employ me. Secondly, This is se. more of my present lot, as any conded by another; Oh! what have poor man can be of an earthly I done in Anwoth? The fair work king's court, or of a kingdom. First, that my Master began there, is like I am very often turning both the a bird dying in the shell; and what sides of my cross, especially my will I then have to shew of all my dumb and silent sabbaths; not be- labour, in the day of my compearcause I desire to find a cross or de-ance before him, when the master of fect in my Lord's love, but because the vineyard calleth the labourers, love is sick with fancies, and fear : and giveth them their hire? Thirdwhether or not the Lord hath a pro- ly, But truly, when Christ's sweet cess leading against my guiltiness, wind is in the right airth, I repent, that I have not yet well seen, I know and I pray Christ to take law-burnot; my desire is to ride fair, and roughs of my quarrellous unbelieving not to spark dirt (if with reverence to sadness and sorrow; Lord rebuke him, I may be permitted to make them that put ill betwixt a poor seruse of such a word,) in the face of vant like me and his good master: then my only Well-beloved; but fear of I say, whether the black cross will or guiltiness is a tale bearer betwixt me not, I must climb on hands and feet and Christ, and is still whispering ill up to my Lord. I am now rueing tales of my Lord, to weaken my from my heart, that I pleasured the faith: I had rather a cloud went o- law, my old dead husband, so far as ver my comforts by these messages, to apprehend wrath in my sweet than that my faith should be hurt; Lord Jesus; I had far rather take a for, if my Lord get no wrong by hire to plead for the grace of God, me, verily I desire grace, not to care for I think myself Christ's sworn what become of me. I desire to debtor. And the truth is, to speak give no faith, nor credit to my sor- of my Lord what I cannot deny, I row, that can make a lie of my am over head and ears drowned in friend Christ; wo, wo be to them many obligations to his love and all, who speak ill of Christ. Hence mercy; he handleth me sometimes these thoughts awake with me in the so, that I am ashamed almost to morning, and go to bed with me; seek more for a four-hours, but to Oh what sweet service can a dumb live content, till the marriage-supbody do in Christ's house! Oh I per of the Lamb, with that which he think the word of God is imprisoned giveth: but I know not how greedy also! Oh I am a dry tree! Alas and how ill to please love is ;
for eiI can neither plant nor water! Oh ther my Lord Jesus hath taught me
my Lord would make but dung of fill manners, not to be content with me, to fatten and make fertile his a seat, except my head lye in his boown corn ridges in mount Zion! Oh som, and except I be fed with the if I might but speak to three or four fatness of his house; or else I am herd-boys, of my worthy Master, 1 grown impatiently dainty, and ill to would be satisfied to be the meanest please, as if Christ were obliged, unand most obscure of all the pastors der this cross, to do no other thing in this laud, and to live in any place, but bear me in his arms, and as if I in any of Christ's basest out-houses! had claim by his merit for my sufbut he saith, Sirrah, I will not send fering for him : but I wish he could you, I have no errands for you there give me grace to learn to go on my away: my desire to serve him is sick own feet, and to learn to want bis of jealousy, lest he be unwilling to comforts, and to give thanks and be.
lieve, when the sun is not in my fir- all things for him ; it is no child's mament, and when my Well-beloved market, nor a blind block; we know is from home, and gone another er- well what we get and what we give. rand. O what sweet peace have I, Now, for any resolution to go to any when I find Christ holdeth and 1 other kingdom, I dare not speak one draw, when I climb up, and he shut word: my hopes of enlargement are teth me down, when I embrace him cold, my hopes of re-entry to my and he seemeth to loose the grips and Master's ill-dressed vineyard again flee away
from me! I think there is is far colder: I have no seat for even a sweet joy of faith and con. faith to sit on, but bare omnipotententedness and peace, in his very cy, and God's hcly arm and good. tempting unkindness, because my will; here I desire to stay, and ride faith saith, Christ is not in sad ear- at anchor, and winter, till God send nest with me, but trying if I can be fair weather again, and be pleased to kind to his mask and cloud that cov. take home to his house my harlotereth him, as well as to his fair face. mother: Oh if her husband would I bless his great name that I love his be that kind, as to go and fetch her vail that goeth over his face, while out of the brothel.house, and chase God send better; for faith can kiss her lovers to the hills! but there God's tempting reproaches when he will be sad days ere it come to that. nick.nameth a sinner, a dog, not Remember my bonds. Grace be worthy to eat bread with the chil- with you. dren. I think it an honour that
Your's in our Lord Jesus, Christ miscalleth me, and reproach- Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R, eth me; I will take that well of him, howbeit I would not bear it well, if another would be that homely ; but
LETTER LIV. because I am his own (God be thanked) he may use me as he pleas
To the Lady BUSBIE. eth: I must say, the saints have a Mistress, sweet life between them and Christ;| ALTHOUGH not acquaint, yet be. there is much sweet solace of love cause we are Father's children, i between him and them, when he thought good to write unto you: · feedeth
among the lilies, and com. howbeit my first discourse and com. eth into his garden, and maketh a muning with you of Christ be on pafeast of honey-combs, and drinketh per; yet I have cause since I came his wine and his milk, and crieth, Eat, hither, to have no paper thoughts of O friends, drink, yea drink abundant- him; for in my sad days he has bely O Well-beloved. One hour of this come the flower of my joys, and I labour is worth a shipful of world's but lye here living upon his love; but drunken and muddy joy: nay, even cannot get so much of it as I fain the gate of heaven is the sunny side would have; not because Christ's of the brae, and the very garden of love is lordly, and looketh too high; the world; for the men of this world but because I have a narrow vessel have their own unchristened and to receive his love, and I look too profane crosses ; and wo be to them low: but I give under my own hand and their cursed crosses both; for write to your testimonial of Christ their ills are salted with God's ven. and his crogs, that they are a sweet geance, and our ills seasoned with couple, and that Christ hath never our Father's blessing: so they are yet been set in his own due chair of no fools who chuse Christ, and sell honour amongst us all. Oh, I know
To NINIAN MURE:
not where to set him! O for a high pains to affilict and dress you, as a seat to that royal princely one! O fruitful vine for himself; grow and that
my poor withered soul had once be green, and cast out your branches, a running-over flood of that love to and bring forth fruit: fat and great put sap
in my dry root, and that that and fruitful may ye be, in the true flood would spring out to the tongue and sappy root. Grace, grace, free and pen, to utter great tliings to the grace be your portion. Remember high and due commendation of such my bonds with prayers and praises. a fair one! O holy, holy, holy one !
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, Alas there are too
S.R. tongues in the world, and dry hearts, seeing there is employment in Christ for them all, and ten thousand worlds
LETTER LV. of men and angels more, to set on high, and exalt the greatest Prince Loving Friend, of the kings of the earth. Woes me, I RECEIVED your letter : I entreat that bits of living clay dare come you, now in the morning of your out, to rush hard-heads with him; life, seek the Lord and his face : and that my unkind mother, this beware of the folly of dangerous harlot-kirk, hath given her sweet youth, a perilous time for your soul : half-marrow such a meeting, for this love not the world; keep faith and land hath given up with Christ, and truth with all men, in your covenants the Lord is cutting Scotland in two and bargains; walk with God, for halves, and sending the worst half, he seeth you: do nothing but that the harlot sister, over to Rome's which ye may and would do if your brothel-house, to get her fill of eye-strings were breaking, and your Egypt's love. I would my suffer- breath growing cold. Ye heard the ing8 (nay, suppose I were burnt truth of God from me; my dear quick to ashes) might buy an agree- heart, follow it, and forsake it not ; ment betwixt his fairest and sweetest prize Christ and salvation above all love, and his gawdy lewd wife; fain the world: to live after the guise and would I give Christ his welcome course of the rest of the world, will home to Scotland again if he would not bring you to heaven; without return. This is a black day, a day faith in Christ, and repentance, ye of clouds and darkness; for the roof. cannot see God: take pains for saltree of my Lord Jesus his fair temple vation; press forward toward the has fallen, and Christ's back is to mark for the prize of the high call. ward Scotland. O thrice blessed ing: if ye watch not against evils are they who would hold Christ with night and day, which beset you their tears and prayers! I know ye ye will come behind; beware of lywill help to deal with him, for he ing, swearing, uncleanness, and the shall return again to this land: the rest of the works of the flesh; be next day shall be Christ's, and there cause for these things the wrath of shall be a fair green young garden God cometh upon the children of for Christ in this land, and God's disobedience: how sweet soever they summer-dew shall lye on it all the may seem for the present, yet the night, and we shall sing again our end of these courses is the eternal new marriage-song to our Bride-wrath of God, and utter darkness, groom, concerning his vineyard: but where there is weeping and gnashwho knoweth whether we shall live ing of teeth. Grace be with you. and see it? I hear the Lord is taking
Your Loving Pastor, S. R. Aberdeen, 1637.