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afar off; truth is fallen in the me, as the man able by letters to anstreets, and equity cannot enter,' swer doubts of this kind, while there Isa. lix. 14. Lo, the prophet, as if are in your bounds men of such he had seen us and our kirk, re- great parts, most able for this work. sembleth justice to be handled as an I know the best are unable; yet it enemy, bolden out at the ports of pleaseth that Spirit of Jesus, to blow our city, so is she banished : and his sweet wind through a piece of truth to a person sickly and diseas- dry stick, that the empty
may ed, fallen down in a deadly swoon. keep no glory to itself; but a minising fit, in the streets, before he can ter can make no such wind as this come to an house. The priests to blow, he is scarce able to lend it have caused many to stumble at the a passage to blow through him. 2. law, and have corrupted the cove. Know that the wind of this Spirit nant of Levi, Mal. ii. 8. But what hath a time, when it bloweth sharp, will they do in the end ? Jer. v. 31. and pierceth so strongly, that it Therefore give the Lord no rest for uld blow through an iron door; Zion. Stir up your husband, your and this is commonly rather under brother, and all with whom ye are suffering for Christ, than at any in favour and credit, to stand upon other time. Sick children get of the Lord's side, against Baal. I have Christ's pleasant" things, to play good hope, your husband loveth the them withal, because Jesus is most peace and prosperity of Zion: the tender of the sufferer, for he was a peace of God be upon him, for his sufferer himself. O if I had but the intended courses, anent the establish. leavings and the drawing of the byment of a powerful ministry in this board of a sufferer's table! But I land. Thus, not willing to weary leave this to answer yours. 1. Ye your Ladyship farther, I commend write, That God's vows are lying you, now and always, to the grace on you; and security strong, and and mercy of that God, who is able sib to nature, stealing on you who to keep you, that ye fall not. The are weak. I answer, 1. Till we be Lord Jesus be with your spirit. in heaven," the best have heavy Your Ladyship's servant at all dutiful heads, as is evident, Cant. v. i. obedience in Christ,
Psal. xxx. 6. Job xxix. 18. Anwoth, July 27, 1628.
S. R. Matth. xxvi. 33. Nature is a slug.
gard, and loveth not the labour of religion : therefore rest should not
be taken, till we know the disease LETTER II.
be over, and in the way of turning,
and that it is like a fever past the Worthy and well-beloved in Christ Jesus cool : and the quietness and calms our Lord,
of the faith of victory over corrupt. GRACE, mercy and peace be to you. tion, would be entertained in the Your letters could not come to my place of security; so that if I sleep, hand in a greater throng of business, I would desire to sleep faith's sleep than I am now pressed with at this in Christ's bosom. 2. Know also, time, when our kirk requireth the none that sleep sound can seriously public help of us all; yet I cannot complain of sleepiness : sorrow for a but answer the heads of both your slumbering soul, is a token of some letters, with provision that ye choose, watchfulness of spirit; but this is after this, a fitter time for writing soon turned into wantonness as 1. I would not have you pitch upon grace in us too often is abused there.
To the Parishoners of KILMACOLME.
fore our waking must be watched that we may employ Christ's strength over, else sleep will even grow out because of our weakness: weakness of watching; and there is as much is to make us the strongest things; need to watch over grace, as to that is, when having no strength of watch over sin : full men will soon our
are carried upon sleep, and sooner than hungry men. Christ's shoulders, and walk as it 3. For your weakness to keep off were upon his legs : if our sinful security, that like a thief stealeth weakness swell up to the clouds, upon you, I would say two things : Christ's strength will swell up to 1. To want complaints of weakness, the sun, and far above the heaven is for heaven, and angels that never of heavens, 2. Ye tell me, that sinned, not for Christians in Christ's there is need of counsel for strengthcamp on earth ; I think our weak- ening of new beginners. · I can say ness maketh us the church of the little to that, who am not well be. redeemed ones, and Christ's field gun myself: but I know, honest that the Mediator should labour in. beginnings are nourished by him, If there were no diseases on earth, even by lovely Jesus, who never yet there needed no physicians on earth. put out a poor man's dim candle, If Christ had cried down weakness, who is wrestling betwixt light and he might have cried down his own darkness. I am sure, if new begin. calling ; but weakness is our Medi- ners would urge themselves upon ator's world: sin is Christ's only, Christ, and press their souls upon only fair and market. No man him, and importune him for a should rejoice at weakness and dis- draught of his sweet love, they eases ; but I think, we may have a could not come wrong to Christ; sort of gladness at boils and sores, come once in upon the right nick because, without them, Christ's fin and step of his lovely love, and I gers, as a slain Lord, should never defy you to get free of him again: have touched our skin. I dare not if any beginners fall off Christ again, thank myself, but I dare thank and miss him, they never lighted God's depth of wise providence, that upon Christ as Christ ; it was but I have an errand in me, while I ive, an idol, like Jesus, they took for for Christ to come and visit me, and him. 3. Whereas ye complain of bring with him his drugs and his a dead ministry in your bounds; ye balm. O how sweet is it for a sin-are to remember that the Bible a. ner to put his weakness in Christ's mong you is the contract of mar. strengthening hand, and to father a riage; and the manner of Christ's sick soul upon such a Physician, conveying his love to your heart is and to lay weakness before him, to not so absolutely dependent upon weep upon him, and to plead and even lively preaching, as that there pray! Weakness can speak and cry, is no conversion at all, no life of when we have not a tongue, Ezek. God, but that, that is tied to a man's xvi. 6. And when I passed by thee, lips; the daughters of Jerusalem and saw thee poiluted in thine own have done often that which the blood, I said unto thee, when thou watchmen could not do. Make wast in thy blood, live.' The kirk Christ your minister, he can woo a could not speak one word to Christ soul at a dyke-side in the field; he then ; but blood and guiltiness out needeth not us, howbeit the flock of measure spake, and drew out of be obliged to seek him in the shep. Christ pity, and a word of life and herds' tents. Hunger of Christ's love. 2. For weakness, we have it, making may thrive, even unto stew.
ards who mind not the feeding of short of performance in what we the flock. O blessed soul, that know and see ought to be performcan leap over a man, and look above ed, then that sorrow for not doing a pulpit up to Christ, who can is accepted of our Lord for doing; preach home to the heart, howbeit our honest sorrow and sincere aims, we are all dead and rotten! 4. So together with Christ's intercession, to complain of yourself, as to justify pleading that God would welcome God, is right; providing ye justify that which we have, and forgive his Spirit in yourself : for men sel- what we have not, must be our life, dom advocate against Satan's work till we be over the bound-road, and and sin in themselves, but against in the other country, where the law God's work in themselves: some of will get a perfect soul.
6. In the people of God slander God's Christ's absence, there is (as ye grace in their souls, as some wretch write) a willingness to use means, es use to do, who complain and but heaviness after the use of them, murmur of want : I have nothing because of the formal and slight say they, all is gone, the ground performance. In Christ's absence, yieldeth but weeds and windle. I confess, the work lyeth behind straws ; when as their fat harvest, but if ye mean absence of comfort, and their money in bank maketh and absence of sense of his sweet them liars. But for myself, alas ! I presence, I think that absence is think it is not my sin, I have scarce Christ's trying of us, not simply our wit to sin this sin; but I advise you sin against him; therefore, howbeit to speak good of Christ for his beau. our obedience be not sugared and ty and sweetness, and speak good sweetened with joy ; (which is the of him for his grace to yourselves. sweet-meat children would still be 5. Light remaineth, ye say, but ye at';) yet the less sense, and the more cannot attain to painfulness: See willingness in obeying, the less for. if this complaint be not booked in mality in our obedience, howbeit the New Testament; and the place we think not so ; for I believe, many Rom. vii. 18. is like this, "To will think obedience formal and lifeless, is present with
me, but how to per- except the wind be fair in the west, form that which is good I know not.' and sails filled with joy and sense, But everyone hath not Paul's till souls, like a ship, fair before the spirit in complaining; for often in wind, can spread no more sail: but us complaining is but an hum. I am not of their mind, who think ble back-biting and traducing of so. But if ye mean, by absence Christ's new work in the soul. But of Christ, the withdrawing of his for the matter of the complaint, I working grace, I see not how willwould say, the light of glory is per. ingness to use means can be at all fectly obeyed in loving, and prais- under such an absence: therefore, ing, and rejoicing, and resting in a be humbled for heaviness in that seen and known Lord: but that obedience, and thankful for willinglight is not hereaway in any clay- ness; for the Bridegroom is busking body; for, while we are here, light his spouse oftentimes, while she is is in the most part broader and half sleeping; and your Lord is longer than our narrow and feckless working and helping more than ye obedience; but if there be light, see. Also I recommend to you with a fair train and a great back, heaviness for formality, and for lifeI mean, armies of challenging less deadness in obedience: be casthoughts, and sorrow for coming en down, as much as ye will or can,
for deadness; and challenge that your souls, and made ourselves loath. slow and dull carcase of sin, that some, and seek still the blood of will neither lead nor drive, in your atonement for faults little or meikle. spiritual obedience. O how sweet Know the gate to the well, and lye to lovely Jesus are bills and griev- about it. 3. Make meikle of assur. ances, given in against corruption ance, for it keepeth your anchor and the body of sin! I would have fixed. 9. Out-breakings, ye say, Christ, in such a case ! fashed, if I discourage you, so that ye know may speak so, and deaved with our not, if ever ye shall win again to cries, as ye see the apostle doth, such overjoying consolations of the Rom. vii. 24. O wretched man that Spirit in this life, as formerly ye I am, who shall deliver me from the had; and therefore a question may body of this death?' Protestations be, If, after assurance and mortifi. against the law of sin in you, are cation, the children of God be ore law grounds why sin can have no law dinarily fed with sense and joy? I against you: seek to have your answer, I see no inconvenience to protestation discussed and judged, think it is enough, in a race, to see and then shall ye find Christ on the gold at the starting place, howyour side of it. 7. Ye hold, that beit the runners never get a view of Christ must either have hearty ser. it, till they come to the rink's end ; vice, or no service at all. If ye and that our wise Lord thinketh it mean, he will not half a heart, or fittest we should not always be fin. have feigned service, such as the gering and playing with Christ's hypocrites give him, I grant you apples. Our well-beloved, I know, that; Christ must have honesty or will sport and play with his bride, nothing; but if ye mean, he will as much as he thinketh will allure have no service at all, where the her to the rink's end: yet I judge heart draweth back in any measure; it not unlawful to seek renewed I would not that were true, for my consolations, providing; 1. The heart part of heaven, and all that I am be submissive, and content to leave worth in the world. If ye mind to the measure and timeing of them to walk to heaven, without a cramp or him. 2. Providing they be sought, a crook, I fear you must go your to exite us to praise, and strengthen alone: he knoweth our dross and our assurance, and sharpen our dedefects; and sweet Jesus pitieth us, sires after himself, 3. Let them when weakness and deadness in our be sought, not for our humours or obedience is our cross, and not swelling of nature, but as the earn. our darling. 8. The liar, as ye est of heaven; and I think many write, challengeth the work as for- do attain to greater consolations mal; yet ye bless your Cautioner after mortification, than ever they for the ground work he hath laid, had formerly. But I know, our and dare not say, but ye have as- Lord walketh here still by a soyer. surance in some measure. To this eign latitude, and keepeth not the I say, 1. It shall be no fault to save same way, as to one hạir-breadth, Satan's labour, and challenge it without a miss, toward all his chilyourself, or at least examine and dren. As for the Lord's people censure; but beware of Satan's ends with you, I am not the maa fit to in challenging, for he mindeth to speak to them. I rejoice exceed. put Christ and you at odds. 2. ingly, that Christ is engaging souls Welcome home faith in Jesus, who amongst you: but I know, in conwasheth still, when we have defiled version all the winning is in the first
buying, as we use to say, for many you: I was indeed sorrowful at my lay false and bastard foundations, departure from you, especially since and take up conversion at their ye were in such heaviness after your foot, and get Christ for as good as daughter's death; yet I do per. half nothing, and had never a sick suade myself, ye know, that the night for sin, and this maketh loose weightiest end of the cross of Christ, work: I pray you dig deep; Christ's that is laid upon you, lyeth 'upon palace-work, and his new dwelling, your strony Saviour; for Isaiah laid upon hell felt and feared, is saith, chap. Ixiii. 9. • In all your most firm: and heaven, grounded afflictions he is afflicted.' O blesand laid upon such a hell, is surest sed Second, who suffereth with you! work, and will not wash away with and glad may your soul be, even winter storms. It were good that to walk in the fiery furnace, with professors were not like young heir's one like unto the Son of Man, who that come to their rich estate, long is also the Son of God. Courage, ere they come to their wit ; and so is up your heart; when ye do tire, he seen on it; the tavern, and the cards, will bear both you and your burand the harlots steal their ridges from den, Psal. lv. 22. Yet a little them, ere ever they be aware what while, and ye shall see the salvation they are doing. I know a Christ of God. Remember of what age bought with strokes is sweetest. your daughter was, so long was 4. I recommend to you conference your lease of her; if she was eightprayers at private meetings: for een, nineteen, or twenty years old, warrant whereof, see Isa. ii. 3. Jer. I know not ; sure I am, seeing her 1. 4, 5. Hos. ii. 1, 2. Ezek, viii. 20. term was come, and your lease run 21, 22, 23. Mal, iii. 16. Luke xxiv. out, ye can no more justly quarrel 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. John xx. 19. your great Superior for taking his Acts xii. 12. Col. iii. 16. and iv. 6. own, at his just term-day, than a Ephes. iv. 29. 1 Pet. iv. 10. 1 Thes. poor farmer can complain, that his v. 14. Heb. iii. 13. and x. 25 master taketh a portion of his own Many coals make a good fire, and land to himself, when his lease is exthat is a part of the communion of pired. Good Mistress, if
I must entreat you, and not be content that Christ would your Christian acquaintances in the hold from you the heavenly inheritparish, to remember me to God in ance, which is made your's by his your prayers, and my flock and death, shall not that same Christ ministry, and my transportation and think hardly of you, if you refuse to removal from this place, which I give him your daughter willingly, fear at this assembly; and be ear- who is a part of his inheritance and nest with God for our mother-kirk. conquest? I pray the Lord to give For want of time, I have put you you all your own, and to grace you all in one letter. The rich grace of with patience, to give God his also: our Lord Jesus Christ be with you he is an ill debtor, who payeth that all.
which he hath borrowed with a Your's in his sweet Lord Jesus, grudge; indeed that long loan of Anwoth, Aug. 15, 1629.
S. R. such a good daughter, an heir of @@@#@@y
grace, a member of Christ, as I be
lieve, deserveth more thanks at your LETTER III. Creditor's hand, than that
gloom and murmur, when he crav. Mistress,
eth but his own; I believe ye
would My love in Christ remembered to judge them to be but thankless
To a Christian Gentlewoman.