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LETTER 'XLI. pass finding out.
3. Ye complain
of the evil of heart-atheism ; but it is To his worthy and much honoured Friend, FULK ELIES.
to a greater atheist than any man Worthy and much honoured in our Lord, can be, that ye write of that: Oh, GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. light findeth not that reverence and I am glad of our more than paper fear as a plant of God's setting should acquaintance: seeing we have one find in our soul! How do we by naFather, it reckoneth the less though ture, as others detain and captivate we never saw one another's face. I the truth of God in unrighteousness, profess myself most unworthy to fol. and so make God's light a bound low the camp of such a worthy and prisoner? and even when the prirenowned captain as Christ. Oh soner breaketh the jail, and cometh alas! I have cause to be grieved, out, in belief of a godhead, and in that men expect any thing of such a some practice of holy obedience, wretched man as I am: it is a won. how often do we, of new, lay hands der to me, if Christ can make any on the prisoner, and put our light thing of my naughty, short, and nar- again in fetters ? Certainly there row love to him; surely it is not cometh a great mist and clouds from worth the up-taking. 2. As for our the lower part of our soul, our earthJovely and beloved church in Irely affections, to the higher part, land, my heart bleedeth for her de- which is our conscience, either nasolation, but I believe our Lord is tural or renewed; a smoke in a lowonly lopping the vine trees, but not er house breaketh up, and defileth intending to cut them down, or root the house above: if we had more them out. It is true, seeing we are practice of obedience we should have heart-atheists by nature, nd cannot more sound light. think, lay aside take providence aright, because we all other guiltiness, this one, the vio. halt and crook ever since we fell, we lence done to God's candle in our dream of an halting providence, as soul, were a sufficient dittay against if God's yard, whereby he measureth us ; for there is no helping of this joy and sorrow to the sons of men, but by striving to stand in awe of were crooked and unjust, becauseser. God's light ; lest light tell tales of vants ride on borseback, and princes us, we desire little to hear ; but since go on foot: but our Lord dealeth it is not without God, that light sitgood and evil, and some one portion teth neighbour to will, (a lawless or other to both, by ounce-weights : lord) no marvel that such a neiglaand measureth them in a just and bour should leaven our judgment, even balance.
It is but folly to and darken our light. I see there measure the gospel by summer or is a necessity that we protest against winter weather : the summer sun of the doings of the old man, and raise the saints shineth not on them in this up a party against our worst half to life. How should we have com- accuse, condemn, sentence, and with plained, if the Lord had turned the sorrow bemoan the dominion of sin's same providence that we now sto. kingdom; and withal, make law, in mach at, upside down, and had or the new covenant, against our guildered matters thus, that first the tiness ; for Christ once condenined saints should have enjoyed heaven, sin in the flesh, and we are to conglory, and ease, and then Methuse- demn it over again: and if there had lah's days of sorrow and daily mi- not been such a thing as the grace series? We would think a short hea of Jesus, I should have long since ven no heaven; certainly his ways given up with heaven, and with the
expectation to see God; but grace, straitned to complain, and cry, Lord grace,
free grace, the merits of Jesus hold thy hand no longer. Wor. Christ for nothing, white and fair, thy Sir, let me have your prayers in and large Saviour-mercy (which is my bonds. Grace be with you. another sort of thing than creatures
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, mercy, or law mercy, yea, a thou
Aberdeen, Sept. 7, 1637.
S. R. sand degrees. above angel mercy) hath been, and must be, the rock that we drowned souls must swim to. New washing, renewed application
LETTER LXII. of purchased redemption, by that
TO JAMES LINDSAY. sacred blood that sealeth the free Dear Brother, covenant, is a thing of daily and The constant and daily observing of hourly use to a poor sinner. Till God's going alongst with you, in his we be in heaven our issue of blood coming, going, ebbing, flowing, emwill not be quite dried up; and bracing, and kissing, glooming and therefore we must resolve to apply striking, giveth me (a witless and peace to our souls from the new and lazy observer of the Lord's way and living way; and Jesus who cleans- working) an heavy stroke; could I eth and cureth the leprous soul, keep sight of him, and know when Jovely Jesus, must be our song on I want, and carry as became me in this side of heaven's gates; and even that condition, I would bless my case. when we have won the castle, then But, 1. For desertions, I think them must we eternally sing, Worthy, like lying lea of lean and weak land worthy is the Lamb, who hath saved for some years, while it gather sap us and washed us in his own blood. for a better crop. It is possible to I would counsel all the ransomed gather gold, where it may be had, ones to learn this song, and to drink with moon light. Oh if I could but and be drunk with the love of Jesus. creep one foot, or half a foot nearer O fairest, 0 highest, O loveliest One, iu to Jesus in such a dismal night as open the well! O water the burnt that, when he is away! I should think and withered travellers with this it an happy absence. 2. If I knew love of thine! I think it is possible the Beloved were only gone away on earth to build a young new Je. for trial, and further humiliation, and rusalem, a little new heaven of this not smoked out of the house with surpassing love. God, either send new provocations, I would forgive me more of this love, or take me desertions, and hold my peace at his quickly over the water, where I may absence; but Christ's bought ab. be filled with his love; my softness sence (that I bought with my sin) is cannot take with want ; I profess, 1 two running boils at once, one upon bear not hunger of Christ's love either side ; and what side then can fair ; I know not if I play foul play I lye on? 3. I know as night and with Christ, but I would have a link shadows are good for flowers, and of that chain of his providence mend. moon light and dews are better than ed, io pining and delaying the hun. a continual sun; so is Christ's abgry on-waiters. For myself, I could sence of special use, and it bath some wish that Christ would let out upon nourishing viritue in it, and giveth me more of that love; yet to say sap to humility, and putteth an edge Christ is a niggard to me, I dare on hunger, and furnisheth a fair field and if I
say, I have abundance to faith to put forth itself, and to of his love, I should lie. I am half'exercise its fingers in gripping it
seeth not what. 4. It is mercy's (can more fully satisfy you; but I shall wonder, and grace's wonder, that speak in brief what I think of it, in Christ will lend a piece of the lodg- these assertions. First, All God's ing, and a back chamber beside him. justice toward man and angels flowself, to our lusts; and that he and eth from an act of absolute, sovesuch swine should keep house to- reign free will of God, who is our gether in our soul; for suppose they Former and Potter, and we are but couch and contract themselves into clay; for if he had forbidden to eat little room when Christ cometh in; of the rest of the trees of the garden and seem to lye as dead under his feet, of Eden, and commanded Adam to yet they often break out again; and eat of the tree of knowledge of good that a foot of the old man, or a leg and evil, that command no doubt or arm nailed to Christ's cross, looseth had been as just as this. Eat of all the nail or breaketh out again ; and the trees, but not at all of the tree yet Christ, beside this unruly and of knowledge of good and evil. The disnurtured neighbour, can still be reason is, because his will is his jusmaking heaven in the saints, one way tice, and he willeth not things with. or other. May I not say, Lord Jesus, out himself, because they are just: what dost thou here? Yet here he must God needeth not hunt sanctity, holi. be; but I will not lose my feet to ness, or righteousness from things go on into this depth and wonder; without himself, and so not from for free mercy and infinite merits, the actions of men and angels; betook a lodging to Christ and us, because his will is essentially holy and side such a loathsome guest as sin. just, and the prime rule of holiness 5. Sanctification and mortification and justice; as the fire is naturally of our lusts, are the hardest part of light, and inclineth upward, and the Christianity. It is, in a manner, as earth heavy and inclineth downward. natural to us to leap when we see the The second assertion then is, that new Jerusalem, as to laugh when God saith to reprobates, Believe in we are tickled: joy is not under com- Christ (who hath not died for your mand, or at our nod, when Christ salvation) and ye shall be saved, is kisseth; but O how many of us just and right; because his eternal would have Christ divided in two and essentially just will hath so eno halves, that we might take the half acted and decreed; suppose natural of him only, and take his office, Jesus reason speak against this, this is the and salvation! but Lord is a cum. deep and special mystery of the gosbersome word, and to obey and pel. God hath obliged, hard and work out our own salvation, and to fast, all the reprobates of the visible perfect holiness, is the cumbersome church to believe this promise. He and stormy north side of Christ, and that believeth shall be saved; and yet, that we shew and shift. 6. For in God's decree and secret intention, your question, The access that re- there is no salvation at all decreed probates have to Christ (which is and intended to reprobates; and none at all, for to the Father in yet the obligation of God, being from Christ neither can they, nor will his sovereign free will, is most just, they come, because Christ died not as is said in the first assertion. Third for them; and yet by law, God and assertion, The righteous Lord hath justice overtaketh them) I say, first, right over the reprobates and all There are with you more worthy reasonable creatures, that violate his and learned than I am, Messrs. commandments; this is easy. Fourth Dickson, Blair, and Hamilton, who assertion, The faith that God seeketh
of reprobates, is, that they rely upon them to Christ, in whom their is Christ, as despairing of their own righteousness for wearied sinners. righteousness, leaning wholly, and Eighth assertion, It is one thing to withal humbly, as weary and loaded, rely, lean, and rest upon Christ, in upon Christ, as on the resting-stone humility and weariness of spirit, and laid in Zion; but he seeketh not that, denying our own righteousness, bewithout being weary of their sin, they lieving him to be the only righteous. rely upon Christ, as mankind's Sav- ness of wearied sinners; and it is iour; for to rely on Christ, and not another thing to believe that Christ to be weary of sin, is presumption, died for me, John, Thomas, Anna, not faith: faith is ever neighbour to upon an intention and decree to save a contrite spirit; and it is impossible us by name. For, 1st, The first gothat faith can be, where there is eth first, the latter is always after in not a casten down and contrite due order. 2d, The first is faith, heart, in some measure,
sin: the second is a fruit of faith, and now it is certain, God command-3d, The first obligeth reprobates and erh no man to presume. Fifth as. all men in the visible kirk, the latter sertion, Then reprobates are not obligeth only the weary and laden, absolutely obliged to believe that and so only the elect and effectually Christ died for them in particular; for called of God. Ninth assertion, It neither reprobates nor others are is a vain order, I know not if Christ obliged to believe a lie; only they died for me, John, Thomas, Anna are obliged to believe Christ, if they by name; and therefore I dare not be first weary, burdened, sick, and rely on him. The reason is, because condeinned in their own consciences, it is not faith, to believe God's in. and stricken dead and killed with the tention and decree of election at the law's sentence, and have indeed em- first, ere ye be wearied: look first to braced him as offered, which is a your own intention and soul; if you second and subsequent act of faith, find sin a burden, and can and do following after a coming to him, and rest under that burden, upon Christ: closing with him. Sixth assertion, if this be once, now come and be Reprobates are not formally guilty lieve in particular, or apply by sense of contempt of God, and misbelief, (for in my judgment it is a fruit of because they apply not Christ and belief, not belief) and feeling the the promises of the gospel to them- good-will, intention, and gracious selves in particular; for so they purpose of God anent your salvation: should be guilty because they be- hence, because there is malice in relieve not a lie, which God 'never probates, and contempt of Christ, obliged them to believe. Seventh guilty they are, and justice hath assertion, Justice hath a right to law against them: and, which is the punish reprobates, because out of mystery, they cannot come up to pride of heart, confiding in their own Christ, because he died not for them; righteousness, they rely not upon but their sin is, that they may love Christ, as a Saviour of all them their inability to come to Christ; and that come to him; this God may he who loveth his chains, deserveth justly oblige. them unto; because in chains. And thus in short, remem. Adam they had perfect ability to do; ber my bonds. and men are guilty because they
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, love their own inability, and rest
S. R, upon themselves, and refuse to deny
Aberdeen, 1637. their own righteousness, and to take
born-down truth want a witness of To the Earl of CASSILS.
you, against the apostasy of this land. My very Noble and Honourable Lord, Ye hold your lands of Christ, your Grace, mercy and peace be to your charters are under his seal, and he Lordship. Pardon me to express who hath many crowns on his head, my earnest desire to your Lordship dealeth, cutteth, and carveth pieces of for Zion's sake, for whom we should this clay heritage to men at his not hold our peace. I know your pleasure. It is little your Lordship Lordship will take my pleading on hath to give him; he will not sleep his behalf in the better part, because long in your common, but shall surely the necessity of a falling and weak pay home your losses for his cause. church is urgent.
I believe your It is but our bleared eyes that look Lordship is one of Zion's friends, through a false glass to this idol.god and that by obligation ; for when of clay, and think something of it; the Lord shall count and write up they who are with their last the people, it shall be written, This sentence to heaven or hell, and have man was born there. Therefore be made their reckoning, and departed cause your Lordship is a born son of out of this smoky inn, have now no the house, I hope your desire is, that other conceit of this world, but as a the beauty and glory of the Lord may piece of beguiling well-lustered clay; dwell in the midst of the city, where- and how fast doth' time, like a flood of your Lordship is a son. It must in motion, carry your Lordship out be without all doubt, the greatest of it? and is not eternity coming with honour of your place and house, to wings! court goeth not in heaven kiss the Son of God, and for his sake as it doth here, Our Lord, who hath to be kind to his oppressed and all you, the nobles, lying in the shell wronged Bride, who, now in the day of his balance, esteemeth you ac. of her desolation, beggeth help of cordingly as you are the bridegroom's you, that are shields of the earth. friends or foes; your honourable I am sure many kings, princes, and ancestors, with the hazard of their nobles, in the day of Christ's second lives, brought Christ to our hands ; coming, would be glad to run errands and it shall be cruelty to the posterity, for Christ, even bare footed through if ye lose him to them. One of fire and water; but in that day he our tribes, Levi's son, the watchmen will have none of their service. Now are fallen from the Lord, and have he is asking, if your Lordship will sold their mother and their father help him against the mighty of the also, and the Lord's truth, for their earth, when men are setting their new velvet wor!d, and their sattin shoulders to Christ's fair and beautiful church. If ye, the nobles, play tent in this land, to loose its stakes, Christ a slip, now when his back and break it down; and certainly is at the wall, if I may so speak, such as are not with Christ, are then may we say, that the Lord hath against him: aud blessed shall your casten water upon Scotland's smoke Lordship be of the Lord, blessed ing coal; but we hope better things shall your house and seed be, and of you. It is no wisdom, however blessed shall your honour be, if ye it be the state-wisdom now in request, empawned and lay in Christ's hand, to be silent, when they are casting the earldom of Cassils (and it is but lots for a better thing than Christ's a shadow in comparison of the city coat. All this land, and every man's made without hands) and lay it even part of the play for Christ, and tears at the stake, rather than Christ, and of poor and friendless Zion, now