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up his wares, and the infinite plies To Mr. THOMAS CARVEN. and windings and corners of his soulReverend and Dear Brother,
delighting love; and let me see it, GRACE, mercy,
peace be to you. backside and foreside; and give me I am sorry that what joy and sorrow leave but to stand beside it, like an drew from my imprisoned pen, in my hungry man beside meat, to get my love-fits, hath made you and many of fill of wondering, as a preface to my God's children believe, that there is fill of enjoying! But verily, I think something in a broken reed the like my foul eyes would defile his fair of me; except that Christ's grace hath love to look to it; either
my hunger bought such a sold body, I know is over humble, if that may be said, not what else any may think of me, or else I consider not what honour or expect from me. My stock is less it is to get leave to love Christ. O (my Lord knoweth I speak truth) that he would pity a prisoner, and than many believe; my empty sounds let out a flood upon the dry ground ! have promised too much: I would be It is nothing to him to fill the like of glad to lye under Christ's feet, and me; one of his looks would do me keep and receive the off-fallings, or meikle world's good, and him no ill. the old pieces of any grace, that I know I am not at a point yet with fall from his sweet fingers to forlorn Christ's love, I am not yet fitted for sinners. I lye often uncouth-like, so much as I would have of it; my looking in at the King's windows; hope sitteth neighbour with meikle surely I am unworthy of a seat in the black hunger ; and certainly Í dow King's hall-floor : I but often look not but think, there is more of that afar off, both feared and framed-like, love ordained for me than I yet comto that fairest face, fearing he bid prehend, and I know not the weight me look away from him; my guilti- of the pension the king will give me ; ness riseth up upon me, and I have I shall be glad if my hungry bill get no answer for it. I offered my tongue leave to lye beside Christ, waiting on to Christ, and my pains in his house; an answer. Now I would be full and and what know l what it meaneth, rejoice if I got a poor man's alms of when Christ will not receive my poor that sweetest love; but I confidently propine? When love will not take, believe there is a bed made for Christ we expose, it will neither take nor and me, and that we shall take our give, borrow nor lend. Yet Christ fill of love in it; and I often think hath another sea-compass he saileth when my joy run out, and at the by, than my short and raw thoughts: lowest ebb, that I would seek no I leave this part of it to himself. I more, but my rights past the King's dare not expound his dealing; as great seal, and that these eyes of sorrow and misbelief often dictateth mine could see Christ's hand at the to me: I look often with
to suf and blind eyes to my Lord's cross; fering be not dismayed; there shall and when I look to the wrong side be a new allowance of the King for of his cross, I know I miss a step you when ye come to it: one of the and slide: surely I see I have not softest pillows Christ hath is laid unlegs of my own for carrying me to der his witnesses' head, though often heaven; I must go in at heaven's they must set down their bare feet gates, borrowing strength from among thorns. He hath brought Christ. I am often thinking, O if my poor soul to desire and wish, o he would but give me leave to love that iny ashes, and the powder I shall him, and if Christ would but open be dissolved into, had well tuned
TO JANE BROWN.
tongues to praise him. Thus in men call them; nay, I think patience haste, desiring your prayers and should make Christ's water good praises, I recommend you to my wine, and his dross good metal; and sweet, sweet master, my honourable we have cause to wait on; for, ere Lord, of whom I hold all. Grace it be long, our Master will be at us be with you.
and bring this whole world out be
fore the sun and day-light, in their Your own in his sweet Lord Jesus,
blacks and whites. Happy are they Aberdeen, 1637.
who are found watching ; our sand. glass is not so long as we need to
weary; time will eat away and root LETTER LVII.
out our woes and sorrow; our heaven
is in the bud, and growing up to an Mistress,
harvest; why then should we not Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. follow on, seeing our span-length of I am glad that ye go on at Christ's time will come to an inch? Thereback, in this dark and cloudy time; fore I commend Christ to you as it were good to sell other things for your last living, and longest living him ; for when all these days are husband, and the staff of your old over, we shall find it our advantage, age; let him now bave the rest of that we have taken part with Christ. days; and think not much of a storm I confidently believe, his enemies upon the ship that Christ saileth in; shall be his footstool, and that he there shall no passenger fall overshall make green flowers dead with board, but the crazed ship and the ered hay, when the honour and glo- sea-sick passengers shall come to ry
shall fall off them, like the bloom land safe. I am in as sweet comor flower of a green herb slaken munion with Christ as a poor sinner with the wind. It were not wisdom can be; and am only pained that he for us to think that Christ and the hath much beauty and fairness, and gospel will come and sit down at our I little love; he great power and fire-side ; nay, but we must go out mercy, and I little faith; he much of our warm houses, and seek Christ light, and I bleared eyes. Oh that and his gospel : it is not the sunny I saw him in the sweetness of his side of Christ that we must look to, love, and in his marriage-clothes, and we must not forsake him for want and were over head and ears in love of that; but must set our face against with that princely one, Christ Jesus what may befal us, in following on my Lord! Alas, my riven dish, and till he and we be through the briars running-out vessel can hold little of and bushes on the dry ground. Our Christ Jesus. I have joy in this, soft nature would be borne through that I would not refuse death, be. the troubles of this miserable life, fore I put Christ's lawful heritage in in Christ's arms; and it is his wis- men's trysting; and what know I, if dom, who knoweth our mould, that they would have pleased both Christ his children go wet-shod and cold- and me? Alas, that this land hath footed to heaven. O how sweet a put Christ to open rouping, and to thing were it for us to learn to make an, any man more bids ! Blessed our burdens light, by framing our are they who would hold the crown hearts to the burden, and making on his head, and buy Christ's honour Lord's will a law! I find Christ our with their own losses. I rejoice and his cross not so ill to please, nor to hear your son John is coming to yet such troublesome guests as visit Christ, and taste of his love.
I hope he shall not lose his pains, or cannot forget you. Grace be with rue of that choice. I had always you, (as I said often to you) a great love
Your loving Pastor, to dear Mr. John Brown, because I Aberdeen, 1697.
S. R. thought I saw Christ in him more thap in his brethren; fain would I write to him, to stand by my swest
LETTER LIX. Master; and I wish ye would let him
To the Lady BUSBIE. read my letter, and the joy I have, Mistress, if he will appear for, and side with GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. my Lord Jesus. Grace be with you. I am glad to hear that Christ and
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, ye are one, and that ye have made Aberdeen, March 13th, 1637. S. R.
him your one thing ; where many are painful, toiled in seeking many things, and their many things are no
thing. It is only best, ye set yourLETTER LVIII.
self apart as a thing laid up and out TO JANE MACMILLAN:
of the gait, for Christ alone ; for ye Loving Sister,
are good for no other thing bụt GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. Christ; and he's been going about I cannot come to you, to give you you these many years, by afflictions, my counsel; and howbeit I would to engage you to himself; it were a come, I cannot stay with you: but pity and a loss to say him I beseech you to keep Christ, for I rily I could wish that I could swim did what I could to put you within through hell, and all the ill weather grips of him; I told you Christ's in the world, and Christ in my arms; testament and latter will plainly, and but it is my evil and folly, that ex. I kept nothing back that my Lord cept. Christ come unsent for, I do gave me; and I gave Christ to you not go to seek him ; when he and I with good will: I pray you make fall in reckoning, we are both be- , him your own,
go not from that hind, he in payment, and I in counttruth I taught you in one hair- ing; and so marches lye still unrid, breadth ; that truth shall save you and counts uncleared betwixt us. O if ye
follow it. Salvation is not an that he would take his own blood for easy thing and soon gotten; I often counts and miscounts, that I might told you few are saved and many be a free man, and none had any damned
I pray you make your claim to me but only, only Jesus. I poor soul sure of salvation, and make will think it no bondage to be roupthe seeking of heaven your daily ed, comprised and possessed by task. If
never had a sick night Christ, as his bondman. Think well and a pained soul for sin, ye have of the visitations of your Lord: for not yet lighted upon Christ ; look to I find one thing, I saw not well bethe right marks of having closed with fore, that when the saints are under Christ ; if ye love him better than trials, and well humbled, little sins the world, and would quit all the raise great cries and war.shouts in world for him, then that saith the the conscience ; and in prosperity work is sound. o if ye saw the conscience is a Pope, to give dispenbeauty of Jesus, and felt the smell sations, and let out and in, and give of his love, you would run through latitude and elbow-room to our heart. fire and water to be at him! God O how little care we for pardon at send you him, Pray for me, for 1 Christ's hand, when we make dis
pensations! and all is but childrens'; men and death out of the way, and play, till a cross without beget an to rid the rough way betwixt us and heavier cross within, and then we him, that we may enjoy one another, play no longer with our idols. It is It is strange and wonderful, that he good still to be severe against our would think long in heaven without selves; for we but transform God's us, and that he would have the com. mercy into an idol, and an idol that pany of sinners to solace and delight hath a dispensation to give, for turn-himself withal in heaven; and now ing of the grace of God into wanton- the supper is abiding us ; Christ the ness. Happy are they who take up Bridegroom, with desire, is waiting God, wrath, justice, and sin, as they on, till the bride, the Lamb's wife, are in themselves : for we have mis. be busked for the marriage, and the carrying light, that parteth with great hall be rid for the meeting of child, when we have good resolu- that joyful couple. O fools, what tions : but, God be thanked, that do we here? and why sit we still ? salvation is not rolled upon our why sleep we in the prison ? were it wheels. O but Christ hath a saving not best to make us wings, to flee eye! Salvation is in his eye-lids ; up to our blessed match, our marwhen he first looked on me, I was row, and our fellow friends ? I think, saved; it cost him but a look to Mistress, ye are looking thereaway, make hell quit of me: O merits, free and this is your second or third merits, and the dear blood of God, thought; make forward, your guide was the best gait that ever we could waiteth on you. I cannot but bless have gotten out of hell! O what a you for your care and kindness to sweet, O what a safe and sure way is the saints. God give you to find it, to come out of hell leaning on a mercy in that day of our Lord Jesus, Saviour! That Christ and a sinner to whose grace I recommend you, should be one, and have heaven be Your's in our Lord Jesus, S. R. twixt them, and be halvers of salva. Aberdeen, 1657. tion, is the wonder of salvation. What more humble could love be? and what an excellent smell doth
LETTER LX, Christ cast on his lower garden, where there grow but wild flowers, Much honoured and worthy Sir, if we speak by way of comparison; Your letter, full of complaints, bebut there is nothing but perfect gar. moaning your guiltiness, hath hume den flowers in heaven, and the best bled me; but give me leave to say, plenishing that is there is Christ. Ye seem to be too far upon
the law's We are all obliged to love heaven for side, ye will not gain much to be the Christ's sake: be graceth heaven, law's advocate ; I thought ye had and all his Father's house with his not been the law's, but grace's man; presencc: hé is a Rose that beauti- nevertheless, I am sure ye desire to fieth all the upper garden of God; take God's part against yourself; a leaf of that Rose of God for smell whatever your guiltiness be, yet is worth a world : O that he would when it falleth into the sea of God's blow his smell upon a withereil and mercy, it is but like a drop of blood dead soul! let us then go on to fallen in the great ocean. There is meet with him, and to be filled with nothing here to be done, but let the sweetness of his love. Nothing Christ's doom light on the old man, will hold him from us; he hath de- and let him bear his condemnation, creed to put time, sin, hell, devils, I seeing in Christ he was condemned;
TO WILLIAM RIGG of Athernie.
for the law hath but power over your Christ's love. 2. It pleaseth him of-
any minister in love, and could once be over head the world, or any other, can answer and ears in the believed, apprehendto; and when I had done this, I ed, and seen love of the Son of God, painted a providence of my own, and it were the fulfilling of the desires of wrote ease for myself, and a peace- the only happiness I would be at. able ministry, and the sun shining on But the truth is, I hinder my commume, till I should be in at heaven's nion with him, because of want of both gates ; such green and raw thoughts faith and repentance, and because I had I of God! I thought also of a will make an idol of Christ's kisses: sleeping devil that would pass by the I will neither lead nor drive, except like of me, lying in muirs and out. I see Christ's love run in my chanfields; so I bigged the gouk's nest, and nel, and when I wait and look for dreamed of dying at ease, and living him the upper way, I see his wis, in a fool's paradise : but since I came dom is pleased to play me a slip, hither, I am often so, as they would and come the lower way: so that I have much rhetorick that would per- have not the right art of guiding suade me, that Christ hath not writ- Christ; for there is art and wisdom ten wrath on my dumb and silent required in guiding of Christ's love sabbaths; (which is a persecution of aright when we have gotten it. 0 the latest edition, being used against how far are bis ways above mine! O none in this land, that I can learn of, how little of him do I see! And besides me ;) and often I lye under a when I am as dry as a burn: heatha non-entry, and would gladly sell all in a drouthy summer, and when my my joys to be confirmed King Jesus's root is withered, howbeit, I think free tenant, and to have sealed as then, that I would drink a sea-full Burances; but I see often blank pa- of Christ, ere ever I would let the pers. And my greatest desires are cup go from my head; yet I get nothese two, 1. That Christ would take thing but delays, as if he would me in hand to cure me, and under. make hunger my daily food. I think take for a sick man: I know I should myself also hungered of hunger; the not die under his hand ; and yet in rich Lord Jesus satisfy a famished this, while I still doubt, I believe, man.
Grace be with you. through a cloud, that sorrow, which Your own in his sweet Lord Jesus, hath no eyes, hath but put a veil on Aberdeen, Sept. 10, 1637.