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ther, I am often fo, as that they would have much rhetoric that would persuade me, that Christ hath not written wrath on my dumb and silent sabbaths; (which is a perfecution of the latest edition, being used against none in this land, that I can learn of, besides me) and often I lie under a non-entry, and would gladly fell all my joys to be confirmed King Jesus's free tenant, and to have sealed assurances; but I fee often blank papers. And my greatest desires are these two, 1. That Christ would take me in hand to cure me, and undertake for a sick mạn: I know I should not die under his hand; and yet in this, while I still doubt, I believe, through a cloud, that sorrow which hath no eyes hath but put a veil on Christ's love. 2. It pleaseth him often fince I caine hither, to come with some short blinks of his'sweet love; and then, because I liave none to help me to praise his love, and can do him no service in my own person, (as I thought once I did in his temple) I die with wishes and desire to take up house, and dwell at the well-fide, and to have him praised and set on high : but alas! what can the like of me do, to get a good name raised upon my Well-beloved Lord Jesus, fuppose I could defire to be {uspended for ever of my part of heaven, for his glory? I am sure if I could get my will of Christ's love, and could be once over head and ears in the believed, apprehended, and feen love of the Son of God, it were the fulfilling of the desires of the only happiness I would be at. But the truth is, I hinder my communion with him, because of waat of both faith and repentance, and because I will make an idol of Christ's kisses : I will neither lead nor drive, except I fee Christ's love run in my channel; and when I wait and look for him the upper-way, I see his wisdom is pleased to play me a slip, and come the lower way: so that I have not the right art of guiding Christ; for there is art and wisdom required in guiding of Christ's love aright when we have gotten it. O kow far are his ways above mine! O how little of him do I see! And when I am as dry as a burnt heath in a drouthy summer, and when my root is withered, howbeit I think then, that I would drink a fea-full of Christ, ere ever I would let the cup go from my head; yet I get nothing but delays, as if he would make hunger my daily food : I think myself also hungered of hunger; the rich Lord Jesus satisfy a famished man. Grace be with you. Aberdeen, Sept. 10.

Yours own in his sweet 1637.

Lord Jesus, S. R.

61. To his worthy and much honoured friend FULK ELIES.

Worthy and much honoured in our Lord, G , to : am of than paper-acquaintance: feeing we have one Father, it



reckoneth the less though we never saw one another's face. I profess myself most unworthy to follow the camp of such a worthy and renowned Captain as Chrift. Oh alas! I have cause to be grieved; that men expect any thing of such a wretched man as I am : it is a wonder to me, if Christ can make any thing of my naughty, short and narrow love to him; furely it is not worth the up-taking. - 2. As for our lovely and beloved church in Ireland, my heart bleedeth for her defolation ; but I believe our Lord is only lopping the vine-trees, but not intending to cut them down, or root them out. It is true, seeing we are heart-atheists by nature, and cannot take providence aright, (because we halt and crook, ever since we fell) we dream of an halting providence as if God's yard, whereby he measureth joy and forrow to the fons of men, were crooked and unjust, because servants are on horseback, and princes go on foot : but our Lord dealeth good and evil

, and some one portion or other to both, by ounceweights; and measureth them in a juft and even ballance. It is but folly to measure the gospel by summer or winter weather : the summer sun of the saints shineth not on them id this life. · How should we have complained, if the Lord had turned the same providence that we now stomach át, upside down, and had ordered matters thus, that first the saints should have enjoyed heaven, glory, and ease, and then Methusalem's days of sorrow and daily miseries? We would think a short heaven no heaven; certainly his ways past finding out. 3. Ye complain of the evil of heartatheism; but it is to a greater atheist than any man can be, that ye write of that: Oh, light findeth not that reverence and fear as a plant of God's setting should find in our foul ! How do we by nature, as others, detain and captivate the truth of God in unrighteousness, and so make God's light a bound prisoner ? and even when the prisoner breaketh the jail, and cometh out, in belief of a godhead, and in some practice of holy obedience, how often do we, of new, lay hands on the prisoner, and put our light again in fetters ? Certainly there cometh a great milt and clouds from the lower part of our soul, our earthly affections, to the higher part, which is our conscience, either natural or renewed ; a smoke in a lower house breaketh up, and defileth the house above: if we had more practice of obedience we should have more found light, I think, -lay aside all other guiltiness, this one, the violence done to God's candle in our foul, were a sufficient dittay against us; for there is no helping of this but by striving to stand in awe of God's light; lest light tell tales of us, we desire little to hear: but since it is not without God, that light fitteth neighbour to will, (a lawless lord) no marvel that such a neighbour Mould leaven our judgment, and darken our light. I see there is a necessity that we protest against the doings of the old man,


and raise up a party against our worst half to accuse, condemn, fentence, and with sorrow bemoan the dominion of fin's kingdom; and withal, make law, in the new covenant, against our guiltiness; for Christ once condemned sin in the flesh, and we are to condemn it over again: and if there had not been such a thing as the grace of Jetus, I should have long since given up with hea. ven, and with the expectation to see God: bur grace, grace, free-grace, the merits of Christ for nothing, white and fair, and large Saviour-mercy (which is another fort of thing than creatbres mercy, or law mercy, yea, a thousand degrees above angel-mercy) hath been, and must be, the rock that we, drowned souls, must swim to, New walhing, renewed application of purchased redemption, by that sacred blood that fealeth the free covenant, is a thing of daily and hourly use to a poor finner. Till we be in heaven our issue of blood will not be quite dried up; and therefore we must resolve to app'y peace to our souls from the new and living way; and Jesus, who cleanseth and cureth the leprous foul, lovely Jesus, must be our song on this side of heaven's gates; and even when we have won the castle, then must we eternally fing, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb, who hath saved us, and washed 'us in his own blood. I would counsel all the ransomed ones to learn this song, and to drink and be drunk with the love of Jesus. O fairest, o highest, O loveliest one, open the well! O wilter the burnt and withered travellers with this love of thine! I think it is possible on earth to build a young new Jerusalem, a little new heaven of this surpassing love. God, either send me more of this love, or take me quickly over the water, where I may be filled with his love: my softness cannot take with want; I profefs, 'I bear not hunger of Christ's love, fair: I know not if I play foul play with Christ

, but I would have a link of that chain of his providence mended, in pining and delaying the hungry on-waiters. For myself, I could wish that Christ would let out upon me more of that love; yet to say Christ is a niggard to me, I dare not ; and if I say, I have abundance of his love, I should lie: I am half Atraitned to complain, and cry, Lord Jesus, hold thy hand no longer. Worthy Sir, let me have your prayers in my bonds. Grace be with you.

Yours in his sweet Lord 1637.

Jesus, S. R.

Aberd Sept. 7.

62. TO JAMES LINDSAY. Dear brother, TH

HE constant and daily observing of God's goiog alongst with

you, in his coming, going, ebbing, flowing, embracing and kissing, glooming and triking, giveth me (a witless and lazy


observer of the Lord's way and working) an heavy stroke: could I keep fight of him, and know when I want, and carry as became me in that condition, I would bless my case. But, i. For desertions, I think them like lying.lee of lean and weak land for some years, while it gather fap for a better crop. It is pofsible to gather gold, where it may be had, with moon-light. Oh if I could but creep one foot, or half a foot, nearer in to Jesus in such a dismal night as that, when he is away! I should think it an happy absence. 2. If I knew the Beloved were only gone away for trial, and for further humiliation, and not smoked out of the house with new provocations, I would forgive desertions, and hold my peace at his absence; but Christ's bought-absence (that I bought with my fin) is two running boils at once, one upon either fide; and what fide then can I lay on? 3. I know, as night and shadows are good for flowers, and moon light and dews are better than a continual fun; so is Christ's absence of special use, and it hath fome nourifing virtue in it, and giveth sap to humility, and putteth an edge on hunger, and furnisheth a fair field to faith to put forth itself, and to exercise its fingers in gripping it seeth not what. 4. It is mercy's wonder and grace's wonder, that Christ will lend a piece of the lodging, and a back-chamber beside himself, to our lusts; and that he and fuch swine should keep house together in our foul: for, suppose they couch and contract themselves into little room when Christ cometh in, and feem to ly as dead under his feet, yet they often break out again : and that a foot of the old man, or a leg or arm nailed to Christ's cross, looseth the nail, or breaketh out a. gain; and yet Christ, beside this unruly and mis-nurtered neighbour, can still be making heaven in the faints, one way or other. May not I say, Lord Jesus, what doft thou here? Yet here he must be; but I will not lose my feet to go on into this depth and wonder; for free mercy, and infinite merits, took a lodging to Christ and us, beside such a loathsome guest as fin. 5. Sanctification, and mortification of our lufts, are the hardest part of Christianity. It is, in a manner, as natural to us to leap when we see the New Jerusalem, as to laugh when we are tickled : joy is not under command, or at our nod, when Christ kisseth; bur O how many of us would have Chrift divided in two halves, that we might take the half of him only, and take his office, Jesus and falvation! but Lord is a cumbersom e word, and to obey, and work out our own salvation, and to perfect holiness, is the combersome and stormy north side of Christ, and that we fhew and fhift. 6. For your question, The access that reprobates have to Christ (which is none at all, for to the Father in Chrift neither can they, nor will they come, because Christ died not for them; ani yet by law, God and justice overtaketh them). I say, firfi,


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There are with you more worthy and learned than I am, Messrs. Dickson, Blair, and Hamilton, who can more fully fatisfy you; but I thall fpeak in brief what I think of it, in these aflertions. First, all God's justice toward man and angels floweth from an at of absolute, sovereign free-will of God, who is our Former and Potrer, and we are but clay; for if he had forbidden to eas of the rest of the trees of the garden of Eden, and commanded A. data to tear of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that command no doubt had been as just as this, Eat of all the trees, but not at all of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The reason is, becaufe his will is his justice, and he willeth not things with out himfelf, because they are just: God stedeth not hunt fanctity, holiness or righteousness from things without himself, and fo hot from the actions of men and angels; because his will is essentially holy and just, and the prime rule of holioess and justice : as the fire is naturally light, and inclineth upward, and the earth heavy, and inclineth downward. The second assertion then is, that God faith to reprobates, Believe in Christ (who hath not died for your falvation) and ye Mall be saved, is just and right; because Histerernal and essentially just will hach so enacted and decreed: fuppofe natural reason speak against this, this is the deep and special mystery of the gospel. God hath obliged hard and fast, all the reprobates of the visible church to believe this promise, He "that believeth Thall be saved; and yet, in God's decree and fedet intention, there is no salvation at all decreed and intended to Teprobates; and yet the obligation of God, being from his loveTeign free-will, is most just, as is said in the first assertion. Third affertion, The righteous Lord hath right over the reprobates and all reasonable creatures, that violate his commandments; this is eafy. Fourth assertion, The faith that God seeketh of reprobates, is, that they rely upon Christ, as despairing of their own Tighteoufqess, Jeaning wholly, and withal humbly, as weáry and loaded, upon Christ, as on the resting stone laid in Zion; but he feeketh not that. without being weary of their fin, they rely on 'Christ, mankind's Sáviour; for to rely on Christ, and noc, "to be weary of fin, is presumption, not faith: faith is ever neighbour to a contrite spirit; and it is impossible that faith can be, where there is not a casten down and contrité heart, in some meafore, for sin: now it is certain, God commandeth no man to prefume. "Fifth assertion, Then reprobates are not absolutely obliged to believe Christ died for them in particular; for neither reo probates nor others are obliged to believe a lie: only they're oblig'd to believe Christ, if they be first weary, burdened, sick, and condemed in their own consciences, and stricken dead and killed with tha, law's fentence, and have indeed embraced him as offered, which is a second and fubfequent act of faith, following after a comiog



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