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LETTER CXXXIII. flower's, and withering riches and
honour, that shall go away as smoke, My very Honourable and good Lord, and evanish in a night vision, and Grace, mercy and peace be to your shall in one half-hour, after the blast Lordship. Out of the worthy report of the archangel's trumpet, lye in that I hear of your Lordship’s zeal white ashes. Let me beseech your for this borne-down and oppressed Lordship to draw by the lap of time's gospel, I am bold to write to your curtain, and look in through the Lordship, beseeching you, by the window to great and endless eterni. mercies of God, by the honour ot' ty, and consider, if a worldly price, our royal and princely King Jesus, suppose this little round clay globe by the sorrows, tears, and desolation of this ashy and dirty earth, the dy. of your afflicted mother-church, and ing idol of the fools of this world, by the peace of your conscience, were all your own, can be given and your joy in the day of Christ, for one smile of Christ's God-like that your Lordship would go on, in and soul-ravishing countenance, in the strength of your Lord, and in that day, when so many joints and the power of his might, to bestir knees of thousand thousands wailing yourself, for the vindicating of the shall stand before Christ, trembling, fallen honour of your Lord Jesus. shouting, and making their prayers O blessed hands for evermore, that to bills and mountains, to fall upon shall help to put the crown upon the them and hide them from the face of head of Christ again, in Scotland. I the Lamb. O how many would sell dare promise in the name of our lordships and kingdoms that day, Lord, that this shall fasten and fix and buy Christ! But, oh the marka the pillars and the stakes of your et shall be closed and ended ere honourable house upon earth, if you then! Your Lordship hath now a lend, and lay in pledge in Christ's blessed venture of winning court band, upon spiritual hazard, life, with the Prince of the kind of the estate, house, honour, credit, moyen, earth: he himself weeping, truth friends, the favour of men, suppose borne down and fallen in the streets, kings with three crowns, so being ye and an oppressed gospel, Christ's may bear witness, and acquit your bride, with watery eyes, and spoiled self as a man of valour and courage, of her veil, her hair hanging about to the Prince of your salvation, for her eyes, forced to go in ragged the purging of his temple, and sweep- apparel, the banished, silenced and ing out the lordly Diotrephes's, time- imprisoned prophets of God, who courting Demas's, corrupt Hymen- have not the favour of liberty to eus's and Philetus's, and other such prophesy in sackloth; all these I say, oxen, that with their dung defile call for your help. Fear not worms the temple of the Lord. Is not of clay, the moth shall eat them as Christ now crying, Who will help a garment; let the Lord be your me? who will come out with me, to fear, he is with you, and shall fight take part with me, and share in the for you; thus shall ye cause the honour of my victory over these blessing of those, who are ready to mine enemies, who have said, We perish, come upon you; and ye · will not have this man to rule over shall make the heart of this your us? My very honourable and dear mother-church to sing for joy. The Lord, join, join as ye do with Christ; Lamb and his armies are with you, he is more worth to you, and your and the kingdoms of the earth are posterity, than this world's May- the Lord's. I am persuaded, there
is not another gospel, nor another | web with paint and build our rotsaving-truth, than that which ye ten and tottering house upon a lie, now contend for. I dare hazard my and falsehood, and vanity. when heaven and salvation upon it, that will we learn to have thoughts highthis is the only saving way to glory. er than the sun and moon, and learn Grace, grace be with your Lordship. our joy, hope, confidence, and our
Your Lordship's at all respective soul's desires, to look up to our besť
obedience in Christ, Aberdeen, 1657.
S. R. country, and to look down to clay
tents set up for a night's lodging or KEECE zesecas
two in this uncouth land, and laugh
at our childish conceptions and imLETTER CXXXIV. aginations that suck our joy out of To ROBERT GORDON, Baillie of Ayr. creatures, wo, sorrow, losses, and Worthy Sir,
grief ! 'O sweetest Lord Jesus ! O Grace, mercy and peace be to fairest Godhead! O flower of men you. I long to hear from you; our and ar.gels ! why are we such strangLord is with his afflicted kirk so that ers to and far off beholders of thy this burning bush is not consumed glory? O it were our happiness for to ashes. I know, submissive on evermore, that God would cast a waiting for the Lord shall at length pest, a botch, a leprosy, upon our ripen the joy and deliverance of his part of this great whore, a fair and own, who are truly blessed on wait- well-busked world, that clay might ers; what is the dry and miscarry. no longer deceive us! But that God ing hope of all them, who are not in may burn and blast our hope hereChrist, but confusion and wind ? O away, rather than our hope should how pitifully and miserably are the live to burn us! Alas, the wrong children of this world beguiled, side of Christ, to speak so, his black whose wine cometh home to them side, his suffering side, his wounds, water, and their gold brass and tin! his bare coat, his wants, his wrongs, and what wonder, that hopes build- the oppressions of men done to him, ed upon sand should fall and sink ? are turned towards mens'
eyes; and It were good for us all to abandon they see not the best and fairest side the forlorn, and blasted, and wither. of Christ, nor see they his amiable ed hope, we have had in the creat: face and his beauty, that men and ure; and let us henceforth come angels' wonder at. Sir, lend your and drink water out of our own well, thoughts to these things, and learn even the fountain of living waters, to contemn this world, and to turn and build ourselves and our hope your eyes and heart away from beupon Christ our rock.
But alas, holding the masked beauty of all that natural love, that we have to things under time's law and doom. this borrowed home that we were See him who is invisible, and bis inborn in; and that this clay city, the visible things; draw by the curtain, vain earth, should have the largest and look in with liking and longing share of our heart! Our poor, lean to a kingdom undefiled, that fadeth and empty dreams of confidence in not away, reserved for you in the something beside God, are no fur. heaven: this is worthy of your pains, ther travelled, than up and down and worthy of your soul's sweating, the naughty and feckless creatures. and labouring, and seeking after, God may say of us, as he said, night, and day. Fire will Hy over Amos vi. 13. Ye rejoice in a thing the earth, and all that is in it; even of nought, Surely we spin our spider's destruction from the Almighty. Fy,
that shall be dried land. O what could my soul deup by the root ! Fy upon the drunken sire more, next to my Lord Jesus, night bargains, and the drunken and while I am in this Aesh, but that mad covenants, that sinners make Christ and his kingdom might be with death and hell after cups. And great among Jews and Gentiles; and when mens' souls are mad and that the isles (and amongst them, drunken with the love of this lawless overclouded and darkened Britain) life, they think to make a nest for might have the glory of a noontheir hopes, and take quarters and day's sun ! O that I had any thing, conditions of hell and death, that I will not except my part in Christ, they shall have ease, long life, peace; to wadset or lay in pledge, to redeem and in the morning, when the last and buy such glory to my highest trumpet shall awake them, then they and royal Prince, my sweet Lord rue the block.
It is time, and high Jesus ! My poor little heaven were time for you, to think upon death well bestowed, if it could stand a and your accounts, and to remember pawn for ever, to set on high the what ye are, where ye will be before glory of my Lord; but I know, he the year of our Lord 1700: I hope needeth not wages nor hire at my ye are thinking upon this. Pull at hand; yea, I know, if my eternal your soul, and draw it aside from glory could weigh down in weight, the company that it is with, and its alone, all the eternal glory of the round and whisper into it news of blessed angels, and of all the spirits eternity, death, judgment, heaven of just and perfect men, glorified and and hell. Grace, grace be with you. to be glorified ; Oh, alas ! how far
Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, I am engaged to forego it for and Aberdeen, 1637.
S. R. give it over to Christ, so being he
might thereby be set on high above
ten thousand thousand of inillions of LETTER CXXXV.
heavens, in the conquest of many,
many nations to his kingdom! O TO ALEXANDER GORDON of Earlstoun:
that bis kingdom would come ! O Much Honoured Sir,
that all the world would stoop be. GRACE, mercy,
peace be to you. fore him! O blessed hands that shall It is like, if ye, the gentry and no- put the crown upon Christ's head in bility of this nation, be men in the Scotland! But alas! I can scarce streets, as the word speaketh, for the get leave to ware my love on him Lord, that he will now deliver his I can find no ways to out my heart flock, and gather and rescue his scato' upon Christ; and my love, that I tered sheep, from the hands of cruel with my soul bestow on him, is like and rigorous lords, that have ruled to die upon my hand, and I think over them with force. O that mine it no children's play to be hungered eyes might see the moon-light turn with Christ's love: to love him and to the light of the sun! But I still to want him, wanteth little of hell. fear the quarrel of a broken cove. I am sure he knoweth, how my joy nant in Scotland standeth before the would swell upon me, from a little Lord : however it be, I avouch it well to a great sea, to have as much before the world, that the tabernacle of his love, and as wide a soul an. of the Lord shall again be in the swerable to comprehend it, till I crimidst of Scotland, and the glory of ed, Hold, Lord, no more. But I find, the Lord shall dwell in beauty, as he will not bave me to be mine own the light of many days in one, in this steward, nor mine own carver;
Christ keepeth the keys of Christ, sit otherwise; and why is it so, seeing
love sinners, was born for no other end, and longing hath room and liberty, but to breathe, and live and love, amidst my bonds and foes, whereof and dwell in the bosom and betwixt there are not a few here of all ranks, the breasts of Christ. Where is to go visit the borders, and outer there a bed or a lodging for the saint's coasts of my Lord Jesus's country! love, but Christ ? that he would and see, at least afar off and darkly, take ourselves off our hand! for nei- the country which shall be mine inther we nor the creatures can be eiheritance, which is my Lord Jesus's ther due conquest, or lawful heritåge due, both through birth and conto love: Christ, and none but Christ, quest.
I dare avouch to all that is Lord and proprietor of it. O alas, know God, that the saints know not how pitiful is it, that so much of our the length and largeness of the sweet love goeth by him! O but' we be earnest, and of the sweet green wretched wasters of our soul's love ! sheaves before the harvest, that I know, it is the depth of bottomless might be bad on this side of the waand unsearchable providence, that ter, if we would take more pains : the saints are suffered to play the and that we all go to heaven with whore from God, and that their love less earnest, and lighter purses of goeth a-hunting, when God knoweth, the hoped-for summer, than other. it shall cost nothing of that at sup-wise we might do, if we took more per time. The renewed would have pains to win further in upon Christ,
And for mý.
in this pilgrimage of our absence give him leave to break iron locks from him. Grace, grace and glory and come in, and that is all ; and be your portion.
now I know not, whether pain of Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, love for want of possession, or sorAberdeen, 1637.
S. R. row that I cannot thank him, paineth me most ; but both work upon
For the first, О that he would
come and satisfy the longing soul, LETTER CXXXVI,
and fill the hungry with these good TO JOHN LAURIE.
things! I know indeed, my guiltiDear Brother,
ness may be a bar in his way, but he I AM sorry that ye, or so many in is God, and ready to forgive. And this kingdom, should expect so much for the other, wo, wo is me, that I of me, an empty reed: verily I am a cannot find a heart to give back anoughty and poor body ; but if the gain my unworthy little love, for his tinkling of my Lord Jesus's iron great sea-ful of love to me! O that chains on legs and arms could sound he would learn me this piece of grathe high praises of my royal King, titude! O that I could have leave whose prisoner I am, how would to look in, through the hole of the my joy run over! if my Lord would door, to see his face, and sing his bring edification to one soul by my praises ! or could break
of bonds, I am satisfied ; but I know his chamber-windows, to look in upnot what to do to such a princely on his delighting beauty, till my and beautiful Well-beloved; he is Lord send more! Any little comfar behind with me. Little thanks munion with him, one of his love. to me, to say to others his wind looks should be my begun heaven. bloweth on me, who am but wither. I know the Bridegroom is not lorded and dry bones : but since ye de- ly, neither is he love-proud, though sire me to write to you, either help I be black, and unlovely, and unme to set Christ on higli, for his run- worthy of him. I would seek but ning-over love, in that the heat of leave, and withal grace, to spend his sweet breath hath melted a froz- my love upon him. I counsel you en heart, else I think ye do nothing to think highly of Christ, and of for a prisoner. I am fully confirm- free, free grace, more than ye did ed, that it is the honour of our Law. before; for I know that Christ is giver I suffer for now: I am not a- not known amongst us.
I think I shamed to give out letters of recom- see more of Christ than ever I saw ; mendation of Christ's love, to as ma. and yet I see but little of what may ny as will extol the Lord Jesus and be seen. O that he would draw his cross.
If I had not sailed this by the curtains, and that the King Bea-way to heaven, but had taken would come out of his gallery and the land-way, as men do, I should palace, that I might see him ! not have known Christ's sweetness | Christ's love is young glory and in such a measure ; but the truth is, young heaven ; it would soften let no man thank me; for I caused hell's pains to be filled with it. not Christ's wind to blow upon me: What would I refuse to suffer, if his love came upon a withered crea- I could get but a draught of love ture, whether I would or not, and at my heart's desire ? O what price yet by coming it procured for me a can be given for him! Angels canwelcome. A heart of iron, and iron not weigh him ; O his weight, his doors, will not hold Christ out; I worth, his sweetness, his overpas