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ners and halvers of time, and take it commend your Ladyship, and house up betwixt them: but if sorrow be the and children, and in whom I am, greediest halver of our days here, I
Madam, know joy's day shall dawn, and do
Your Ladyship's in Christ, more than recompence all our sad Aberdeen, Sept. 8, 1637.
S. R. hours. Let my Lord Jesus (since he will do so) weave my bit and span. length of time with white and black,
LETTER XLI. well and wo, with the bridegroom's coming and his sad departure, as
? To the Lady CULROSS. warp and woof in one web; and let Madam, the rose be neighboured with the Grace, mercy and peace be to you. thorn; yet hope, that maketh not I dare not say I wonder that
ye have ashamed, hath written a letter and never written to me in my bonds, lines of hope to the mourners in because I am not ignorant of the Zion, that it shall not be long so: cause; yet I could not but write to when we are over the water, Christ (you. I know not whether joy or shall cry down crosses, and upheaviness in my soul carrieth it heaven for evermore; and down hell, away: sorrow, without any mixture and down death, and down sin, and of sweetness, hath not often lovedown sorrow; and up glory, up life, thoughts of Christ; but I see the up joy for evermore, In this lope devil can insinuate himself, and I sleep quietly in Christ's bosom till ride his errands upon the thoughts he come, who is not slack; and of a poor distressed prisoner. I am would sleep so, were it not the noise wo that I am making Christ my unof the devil, and sin's feet, and the friend, by seeking pleas against him, cries of an unbelieving heart awaken because I am the first in the kingme; - but, for the present, I have dom put to utter silence, and benothing whereof I can accuse Christ's cause I cannot preach my Lord's cross. Oh if I could please myself righteousness in the great congregain Christ only! I hope, Madam, tion. I am, notwithstanding, the your sons will improve their power less solicitous how it go, if there for Jesus; for there is no danger, be not wrath in my cup. But I neither is there any question or just know, I but claw my wounds when ling betwixt Christ and authority, my Physician hath forbidden me: though our enemies falsely state the I would believe in the dark upon question, as if Christ and authority luck's head, and take my hazard of could not abide under one roof; the Christ's good-will, and rest on this, question only is betwixt Christ and that in my fever my Physician is at men in authority. Authority is for my bed-side, and that he symand from Christ, and sib to him; how pathizeth with me when I sigh. My then can he make a plea with it? borrowed house, and another man's Nay, the truth is, worms and gods bed and fire-side, and other losses, of clay are risen up against Christ. have no room in my sorrow; a greatIf the fruit of your Ladyship’s womb er heat to eat out a less fire, is a be helpers of Christ, ye have good good remedy for some burning. I ground to rejoice in God. All your believe, when Christ draweth blood, Ladyship can expect for your good- he hath skill to cut the right vein; will to me and my brother (a wrong, and that he hath taken the whole ord. ed stranger for Christ) is the prayers ering and disposing of my sufferings. of a prisoner of Jesus, to whom I re. Let him tutor me, and tutor my
crosses, as he thinketh good ; there upon me for it; for I still misbelieve, is no danger nor hazard in following though I have seen that my Lord such a guide, howbeit he should lead hath made my cross -as if it were all me through hell, if I could put faith crystal, so as I can see thorough it foremost, and fill the field with a Christ's fair face and heaven, and quiet on-waiting, and believing to that God hath honoured a lump of see the salvation of God. I know sinful flesh and blood, the like of Christ is not obliged to let me see me, to be Christ's honourable Lord both the sides of my cross, and turn prisoner. I ought to esteem the it over and over that I may see all: walls of the thieves-hole, (if I were my faith is richer to live upon credit, shut up in it) or any stinking dunand Christ's borrowed money, than geon, all hung with tapestry, and to have much on my hand. Alas! most beautiful, for my Lord Jesus: I have forgotten that faith in times and yet I am not so shut up but past hath stopped a leak in my that the sun-shineth upon my prison, crazed bark, and hath filled my sails and the fair wide heaven is the covwith a fair wind. I see it a work of ering of it. But my Lord in his God that experiences are all lost, sweet visits hath done more; for he when summons of improbation, to makes me find that he will be a con. prove our charters of Christ to be fined prisoner with me: he lyeth counterfeit, are raised against poor down and riseth up with me: when souls in their heavy trials; but let I sigh he sigheth; when I weep he me be a sinner, and worse than the suffereth with me, and I confess chief of sinners, yea, a guilty devil, here is the blessed issue of my sufferI am sure my Well-beloved is God; ings already begun, that my
heart and when I say Christ God, and is filled with hunger and desire to my Christ is God, I have said all have him glorified in my sufferings. things; I can say no more. I Blessed ye of the Lord, Madam, if would I could build as much on this, ye would help a poor dyvour, and my Christ is God, as it would bear; cause others of your acquaintance in I might lay all the world upon it. I Christ help me to pay my debt of am sure, Christ untried, and un- love, even real praises to Christ my taken up in the power of his love, Lord. Madam, let me charge you kindness, mercies, goodness, wis- in the Lord, as ye will answer to dom, long-suffering and greatness, is him, help me in this duty which he the rock that dim-sighted travellers hath tied about my neck with a dash their foot against, and so chain of such singular expressions stumble fearfully. . But my wounds of his loving kindness, to set un high are sorest, and pain me most, when Christ, to hold in my honesty at his -sin against his love and mercy: hands; for I have nothing to give and if he would set me and my con- to him. O that he would arrest and science by the ears together, and re- comprise my love and my heart for solve not to rid the plea, but let us all! I am a dyvour, who have no deal it betwixt us, my spitting upon more free goods in the world for the fair face of Christ's love and Christ, save that; it is both the mercies, by my jealousies, unbelief whole heritage I have, and all my and doubting, would be enough to moveables besides. Lord, give the
Oh, I am convinced; 0 thirsty man a drink. Oh to be over Lord, I stand dumb before thee for the ears in the well! Oh to be swatthis: let me be mine own judge in tering, and swimming over head and this, and I take a dreadful doom lears in Christ's love! I would not
have Christ's love entering in me, and Christian report I hear of your but I would 'enter into it, and be Lordship, having no other thing to swallowed up of that love. But I say, but that which concerneth the see not myself here; for I fear I honourable cause which the Lord inake more of his love than of him, hath enabled your Lordship to self; whereas himself is far beyond profess, to write this, that it is your and much better than his love. Oh Lordship's crown, your glory, and if I had my sinful arms filled with your honour, to set your shoulder that lovely one, Christ! Blessed be under the Lord's glory, now falling my rich Lord Jesus, who sendeth to the ground, and to back Christ not away beggars from his house now, when so many think it wisdom with a toom dish; he filleth the to let him fend for himself. The vessels of such as will come and shields of the earth ever did, and do seek; we might beg ourselves rich, still believe that Christ is a cumberif
we were wise, if we could but hold some neighbour, and that it is a out our withered hands to Christ, pain to hold up
nays; and learn to suit and seek, ask and they fear he take their chariots, and knock. I owe my salvation for their crowns, and their honour from Christ's glory, I owe it to Christ; them; but my Lord standeth in and desire that my hell, yea, a new need of none of them all; but it is hell, seven times hotter by far than your glory to own Christ and his the old hell, might buy praises be- buried truth; for let men say what fore men and angels to my Lord they please the plea with Zion's Jesus ; providing always I were free enemies, in this day of Jacob's trouof Christ's hatred and displeasure.ble, is, If Christ should be King, and What am I, to be forfeited and sold no mouth speak laws but his? It in soul and body, to have my great concerneth the apple of Christ's eye, and royal King set on high and ex. and his royal privileges, what is now tolled above all? O if I knew how debated; and Christ's kingly honour high to have him set, and all the is come to yea and nay. But let world far, far beneath the soles of me be pardoned, my dear and noble his feet! Nay, I deserve not to be the Lord, to beseech you by the mercies matter of his praises, far less to be of God, by the comfort of the Spirit, an agent in praising of him; but he by the wounds of your dear Saviour, can win his own glory out of me, by your compearance before the and out of worse than I, if any such Judge of quick and dead, to stand be, if it please his holy majesty 89 to for Christ, and to back him. Oh, do; he knoweth that I am not now if the nobles had done their part, flattering him. Madam, let me have and been zealous for the Lord ! it your prayers, as ye have the prayers had not been as it is now; but men and blessing of him that is separated think it wisdom to stand beside from his brethren. Grace, grace be Christ till his head be broken, and
sing dumb. There is a tiine coming Your oron in his sweet Lord Jesus, when Christ will have a thick court, Aberdeen, June 15, 1637. S. R. and he will be the glory of
and he will make a diadem, a gar-, LETTER XLII.
land, a seal upon his heart, and a
ring upon his finger, of these who To the Earl of CASSILS.
have avouched him before this faithMy very roble and Honourable Lord. less generation; howbeit, ere that MAKE bold, out of the honourable come, wrath is ordained for this
land. My Lord, I have cause to Christ, back him, let his cause be write this to your Lordship, for I your cause; give not an hair-breadth dare not conceal his kindness to the of truth away; for it is not yours, soul of an afflicted, exiled prisoner: but God's. Then, since ye are who hath more cause to boast in going, take Christ's testificate with the Lord, than such a sinner as I, you out of this life, Well done, good who am feasted with the consolations and faithful servant. His well done of Christ, and have no pain in my is worth a shipful of good days and sufferings, but the pain of soul-sick- earthly honours. I have cause to ness of love for Christ, and sorrow say this, because I find him Truth that I cannot belp to sound aloud itself. In my sad days Christ laughthe praises of him who hath heard eth cheerfully, and saith. All will the sighing of the prisoner, and is be well. Would to God, all this content to lay the head of his op. kingdom, and all that know God, pressed servant in his bosom, under knew what is betwixt Christ and me his chin, and let him feel the smell in this prison; what kisses, embraceof his garments ? This I behoved to ments, and love communions: I take write, that your Lordship might his cross in my arms with joy, I bless know Christ is as good as he is it, I rejoice in it; suffering fór called; and to testify to your Lord- Christ is my garland; I would not ship the cause, your Lordship now exchange Christ for ten thousand professeth before the faithless world, worlds! nay, if the comparison could is Christ's, and your Lordship shall stand, I would not exchange Christ have no shame of it. Grace be with heaven. Sir, pray and
the prayers and blessing of a priYour Lordship's obliged servant,
soner of Christ meet you in all your Aberdeen, March 13, 1637.
S. R. Straits. Grace be with you.
Yours in Christ Jesus his Lord,
Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. S. R.
TO ROBERT GORDON, Baillie of Ayt.
Be not court in your soul, and that court afraid of men ; your Master can will bear down the love of other mow down his enemies, and make things ; Christ seeketh your help withered hay of fair flowers; your in your place, give him your hand. time will not be long; after your Who hath more cause to encourage afternoon will come your evening, others to own Christ than I have ? and after evening, night. Serve for he hath made me sick of love,
be to you.
and left me in pain to wrestle with could smoke out and cast out coale, his love, and love is like to fall a to make a fire in many breasts of swoon through his absence: I mean this land ! O! it is a pity that there not that he deferreth me, or that I were not many imprisoned for Christ, am ebb of comforts; but this is an for no other purpose, but to write uncouth pain. Oh that I had an books and love-songs of the love of heart and a love to render to him Christ. This love would keep all back again ! O if principalities and created tongues of men and angels powers, thrones and dominions, and in exercise, and busy night and all the world, would help me to day, to speak of it. Alas! I can praise. Praise him in my behalf. speak nothing of it, but wonder at Remember my love to your wife. I three things in his love; First, freethank you most kindly for your love dom. O that lumps of sin should to my brother.
Grace be with get such love for nothing ! Secondly, you.
The sweetness of his love. I give Yours in his sweet Lord Jeous, over either to speak or write of it; Aberdeen, March 13, 1697. S. R. but these that feel it, may better
bear witness what it is: but it is so
sweet, that, next to Christ himself, LETTER XLV.
nothing can match it. Nay, I think
a soul could live eternally blessed TO JOHN KENNEDY, Baillie of Ayr. only on Christ's love, and feed upon Worthy Sir,
no other thing; yea, when Christ in Grace, mercy and peace be to you. love giveth a blow, it doth a soul Your not writing to me cannot bind good; and it is a kind of comfort me up from remembering you now and joy to it, to get a cuff with the and then, that at least ye may be a lovely, sweet, and soft hand of Jesus, witness and a third man to behold And, thirdly, What power and in paper
what is betwixt Christ and strength is in his love! I am perme. I was in his eyes like a young suaded it can climb a steep hill, and orphan, wanting known parents, hell upon its back ; and swim casten out in the open fields; either through water and not drown; and Christ behoved to take me up, and sing in the fire, and find no pain; to bring me home to his house and and triumph in losses, prisons, sorfire-side, else I had died in the rows, exile, disgrace, and laugh and fields; and now I am homely with rejoice in death. O for a year's Christ's love, so that I think the lease of the sense of his love withhouse mine own, and the master of out a cloud to try what Christ is ! the house mine also. Christ en-Oh for the coming of the Bridequired not, when he began to love groom! Oh when will I see the me,, whether I was fair, or black, or Bridegroom and the Bride meet in sun-burnt! love taketh what it may the clouds, and kiss each other! Oh bave. He loved me before this when will we get our day and our time, I know; but now I have the hearts-fill of that love ! Oh if it were flower of his love: his love is come lawful to complain of the famine to a fair bloom, like a young rose and want of the immediate vision opened up out of the green leaves, of God! O time, time, how dost and it casteth a strong and fragrant thou torment the souls of those that smell. I want nothing but ways of would be swallowed up of Christ's expressing Christ's love; a full love, because thou movest so slowvessel would have a vent. O if Illy! Oh if he would pity a poor