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úll he burn the botch-house of heaven and earth, that mens fin hath subjected unto vanity. They are bleffed whe suffer and fin not, for suffering is the badge that Chrift hath put upon his followers: take what way we can to heaven, the way is hedged up with crosses, there is no way but to break through them; wit and wiles, fhift and laws, will not find out a way about the cross of Christ, but we must through: one thing by experience my Lord hath taught me, that the waters betwixi this and heaven may all be ridden, if we be well hors'd, I mean, if we be in Christ; and not one shall drowo by the way, but such as love their own destruction. Oh, if we could wait on for a time, and believe in the dark the salvation of God! At least we are to believe good of Christ, till he give us the Nip, (which is impossible) and to take his word for caution, that he shall fill up all the blanks in his promises, and give us what we want: but to the unbeliever, Chrift's teftament is white, blank, unwritten paper. Worthy and dear Sir, fer your face to heaven, and make you to stoop at all the low entries in the way; that ye may receive the kingdom as a child: without this, he that knew the way faid, there is no entry in. O but Christ be willing to lead a poor finner ! O what love my poor foul hath found in him, in the houfe of my pilgrimage! Suppose love in heaven and earth were lost, I dare fwear, it may be found in Christ. Now the very God of peace establish you, till the day of the glorious appearance of Christ. Aberd Sept. 7.
rours in his sweet Lord 1637
Jefus, S. R.
76. To the Lady GAITGIRTH. Much honoured and Christian Lady.
I goeth with you and your children : lexhort you, not to lofe breath, nor to faint in your journey: the way is not so lung to your home, as it was; it will wear to one step or an inch at length, and ye shall come ere long to be within your arm-length of the glorious crown.
Your Lord Jesus did sweat and pant, ere He got up that mount; he was at, "Father, save me, with it; it was he who, Psal. xxii. 14. faid I am poured out like water : all my bones are out of joint, (Christ was as if they had broken him upon the wheel) my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels. ver. 15. My strength is dried up like a potferd. I am fure, ye love the way the better, his holy feet trod it before you.
Crosses have a smell of crossed and pained Christ. I believe your Lord will not leave you to die your alone in the way. I know ye have fad hours, when the Comforter is hid under a vail, and when ye enquire for him, and find but a toom Q
neli; this, I grant, is but a cold good day, when the seeker misfeth him whom the soul loveth: but even his unkindness is kind, his absence lovely, his mask a sweet fight, till God send Christ himfelt in his own sweet presence : make his sweet comforts your own, and be not strange and shame faced with Christ; homely dealing is best for him, it is his l-king. When your winter storms are over, the summer of your Lord shall come: your fadDess is with child of joy, he will do you good in the latter-end. Take no heavier lift of your children than your Lord alloweth; give them room beside your heart, but not in the yolk of your heart, where Christ should be; for then they are your idols, not your bairns : if your Lord take any of them home to his house, before the storin come on, take it well; the owner of the orchard may také down two or three apples off his own trces, before mid-fummer, and ere they get the harvest fun; and it would not be seemly that his servant, the gardener, should chide him for it: let our Lord pluck his own fruit at any season he pleaseth; they are not lost to you, they are laid up so well, as that they are cof. fered in heaven, where our Lord's best jewels ly: they are all free goods that are there, death can have no law to arrest any thing that is within the walls of new Jerusalem. All the saints, because of sin, are like old rusty horologies, that must be taken down, and the wheels scoured and mended, and set up again, in beta tcr cafe than before; fin hath rusted both foul and body: dear Lord, by death, raketh as down to scour the wheels of both, and to purge us perfectly from the root and remainder of sin; and we shall be fet ap in better case than before. Then pluck up your heart, heaven is yours, and that is a word few can fay. Now, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and the very God of peace, confirm and establish you, to the day of the appearance of Christ
Aberdeen, Sept. 7.
Yours in his sweet Lord
Jesus, S. R.
77: To his reverend and very dear brother, Mr. GEORGE
done that which I thought impossible once: Christ keepeth tryst in the fire and water with his own, and cometh ere our breath goeth out, and ere our blood grow cold. Blessed are they, whose feet escape the great golden net that is now spread: it is happiness to take the crabbed, rough, and poor side of Christ's world, which is a lease of crosses and losses for him: for Chrift's incomes and casualties that follow him are many, and it is not a lit
tle one, that a good conscience may be had in following him. This is true again, and most to be laboured for, and loved. Many give Christ for a shadow, because Christ was rather beside their conscience, in a dead and reprobate light, than in their conscence. Let us therefore be blasted with grace, that we be not blowo oo ver, and that we stagger not. Yet a little while, and Christ and his redemed ones shall fill the field, and come out victorious; Christ's glory of triumphing in Scotland is yet in the bud, and in the birth, but the birth cannot prove an abortive. He fall not faint oor be discouraged, till he hath brought forth judgment unto victory. Let us still mind our covenant. And the very God of peace be with you. Aberd. Sept. 9. 1637.
Your brother in Chrift, S. R. Curssiana
78. TO Mr. MATTHEW MOWAT. Reverend and dear brother,
I I .
my Lord's hands that he had done, if I knew I could do my Lord any service in my suffering; suppose my Lord would make a stop-hole of me, to fill a hole in the wall of his house, or a pinning in Zion's new work: for any place of trust in my Lord's house, as steward, or chamberlain, or the like, surely I think myself (my very dear brother, I speak not by any proud figure or trope) unworthy of it; nay, I am not worthy to stand behind the door; if my head, and feet, and body were half out, half in, in Christ's house, so I saw the fair face of the Lord of the house, it would fill my griening and love-lick desires. When I hear that the men of God are at work, and speaking in our Lord Jesus his name, I think myself but an out-caft or out-law, chased from the city, to ly on the hills, and live amongst the rocks and out-fields. O that I might but stand in Christ's outhouse, or hold a candle in any low vault of his house! But I know this is but the vapours that arise out of a quarrellous and’unbelieving heart to darken the wisdom of God. And your fault is just mine, that I cannot believe my Lord's bare and naked word. I must either have an apple to play me with, and shake hands with Chrift, and have feal, caution, and witness to his word, or else I count myself loose; howbeit, I have the word and faith of a King. Oh, I am made of unbeliéf, and cannot swim but where my feet may touch the ground! Alas, Christ under my temptations is presented to me as lying waters, as a dyvour and a coufener! We can make such a Christ, as temptations (casting us in a night dream) do feign and devise, (and temptations represent Christ ever unlike himself) and we in our folly listen to the tempter. If I could minister one saving word to any, how glad would my soul be! But I myself (which is my greatest evil) often mi22
Itake the cross of Chrift: : for I know if we had wit, and knew well that ease Nayeth us fools, we would defire a market where we might barter or niffer our lazy ease with a profitable cross; howbeit there be an outcast natural betwixt our desires and triby. ation: but some give a dear price and gold for phyfic, which they love not; and buy sickness, howbeit they with rather to have been whole than to be sick. But surely, brother, ye fhall not have my advice (howbeit, alas ! I cannot follow it myself) to contend with the honest and faithful Lord of the house; for, go he or come he, he is ay gracious in his departure: there are grace, and mercy, and loving kindness upon Christ's back parts: and when he goeth away the proportion of his face, the image of that fair Son that stayeth in his eyes, seoses and heart, after he is gone leaveth a mass of love behind it in the heart. The sound of his knock at the door of his beloved after he is
gone and past, leaveth a share of joy and sorrow both: fo we have something to feed upon till he return; and he is more loved in his departure, and after he is gone, than before; as the day in the declining of the fun, and towards the evening, is often molt defired. And as for Christ's cross I never received evil of it, but what was mine owo making: when I miscooked Christ's phyfic, no marvel that it hurt me; for since it was on Christ's back, it hath always a sweet smell, and these 1600 years it keepeth the smell of Christ : nay, it is el. der than that too, for it is a long time since Abel first hanfelled the cross, and had it laid upon his shoulder; and down from him, all alongst to this very day, all the saints have known what it is. I am glad that Christ hath such a relation to this cross, and that it is called the cross of our Lord Jesus, Gal, vi. 14. his reproach, Heb. xiii. 13. as if Christ would claim it as his proper goods, and so it comcth in the reckoning among Christ's own property: if it were simple evil, as sin is, Christ, who is not the author nor own. er of sin, would not own it. I wonder at the enemies of Christ (in whom malice hath run away with wit, and will is up, and wit down) that they would essay to lift up the stone laid in Zion; surely it is not laid in such sinking ground as that they can raise it, or remove it; for when we are in their belly, and they have swallowed us down, they will be fick, and spue us out again. - I know Zion and her husband cannot both sleep at once : I believe our Lord once again shall water with his dew the withered hill of mount Zion in Scotland, and come down, and make a new mar, riage again, as he did long since. Remember our covenant. Your excuse for your advice to me is needless: alas, many fit beside light, as sick folks beside meat, and cannot make use of it. Grace bc with you, Aberd, Sept. 7. 1673,
Your brother in Chrift, S.R.
79. To Mr. JOHN MEINE. Dear brother, Received your
letter. I cannot but testify under mine owa hand, that Christ is still the longer the better, and that this time is the time of loves. When I have said all I can, others may begin and say I have said nothing of him; I never knew Chrifto ebb or flow, wax or wane : his winds turn aot; when he seem, eth to change it is but we who turn our wrong side to him, I never had a plea with him, in my hardest conflicts, but of mine own making. Oh that I could live in peace and good neighbour. hood with such a second, and let him alone! My unbelief made many black lies, but my recantation to Christ is not worth the hearing. Surely he hath born with strange gades in me: he knoweth my heart hath not natural wit to keep quarters with fuch a Saviour. Ye do well to fear your backsliding. I had food fure, if I had in my youth borrowed Christ to be my bot. tom: ut he that beareth his own weight to heaven, shall not fail to slip and fink. Ye had no need to be barefooted among the thorns of this apoftate generation, left a stob stick up in your foot, and cause you to halt all your days. And think not, Christ will do with you in the matter of suffering, as the pope doth in the matter of fin; ye shall not find that Christ will fell . dispensation or give a dyvour's protection against crosses ; crosses are proclaim. ed as common accidents to all the saints, and in them (tandeth a part of our communion with Christ: but there lieth a sweet cafu. alty to the cross, even Christ's presence and his comforts, when they are fanctified, Remember my love to your father and mother. Grace be with you, Aberdeen, Sept. 7.
rours in his sweet Lord 1637
Jesus, S. R.
80. TO JOHN FLEEMING Baillie of Leith, Much honoured in the Lord. G to
with Chris : however my Lord's wind blow, I have the advantage of the calm and sunny-side of Christ. Devils, and hell, and devils servants, are all blown blind, in pursuing the Lord's little bride: they shall be as a night-dream,who fight against mount Zion. Worthy Sir, I hope ye take to heart the worth of your calling: this great fair and meeting of the people will scail, and the port is open
as fast as time weareth out, we flee ą. way: eternity is at our elbow. O how blessed are they, who, in time make Christ sure for themselves! Salvation is a great errand, I find it hard to fetch heaven, . Oh that we could take pains of
for us :