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entry to my Lord's house. O that I could bear the forfeiture of Christ (now out of his inheritance) recalled and taken off by open proclamation; and that Christ were restored to be a freehol. der and a landed heritor in Scotland; and that the courts, fenced in the name of the bastard prelates, (their god-fathers the pope's bailiffs and seriffs) were cried down ! O how sweet a fight were it, to see all the tribes of the Lord in this land fetching home again our banished king, Christ, to his own palace, his fanctuary and throne ! I shall think it mercy to my soul, it my faith shall out. watch all this winter night. and not nod or slumber till my Lord's fummer-day dawn upon me. It is much if faith and hope, in the sad nights of our heavy trial, escape with a whole skin, and without crack or crook. I confess, unbelief hath not reason to be either father or mother to it: (for unbelief is always an irrational thing) but how can it be, but such weak eyes as ours must cast water in a great smoke; or that a weak head should not turn gida dy when the water rudneth deep and strong ? but, God be thaak. ed, that Christ in his children can endure a stress and storm, how. beit soft nature would fall down in pieces. Oh that I had that confidence as to rest on this, though he should grind me into small powder, and bray me into dust, and scatter the duft to the four winds of heaven; that my Lord would gather up the pow
: der, and make me up a dew vessel again, to bear Christ's name to the world! I am sure that love, bottomed and feated upon the faith of his love to me, would desire and endure this, and would even claim and thriep kindness upon Christ's strokes, and kiss his love-glooms; and both spell and read falvation upon the wounds made by Christ's sweet hands. O that I had bur a promise from the mouth of Christ, of his love to me! and then, howbeit my faith were as tender as paper, I think longing, and dwining, and griening of fick desires would cause it bide out the fiege, till the Lord came to fill the soul with his love ; and I know also, in that case, faith should bide green and fappy at the root, even at midwinter, and stand out against all storms. However it be, I know Christ winneth heaven in despite of hell ; but I owe as many praises and thanks to free grace as would ly betwixt me and the utmost border of the highest heaven, fuppofe ten thousand heavens were all laid above other. But oh! I have nothing that can hire of bud grace ;
would take hire, it were no more grace : but all our stability, and the strength of our falvation, is anchbred and fastened upon free-grace; and I am sure Christ hath, by his death and blood, casten the knot so fast, that the fingers of the devils, and hell-fulls of lins cannot loose it: and that bond of Christ (that never yet was, nor dever shall, nor can be registra.. ted) standeth forer than heaven, or the days of heaven, as that sweet pillar of the covenant, whereupon we all hang. Christ,
and all his little ones under his two wings, and in the compass or circle of his arms, is so sure, that cast him and them in the ground of the sea, he fhall come up again, and not lofe one; an odd one cannot, nor shall not be lost in the telling. This was always God's aim, fince Christ came in the play betwixt him and us, to make men dependent creatures, and in the work of our salvation to put created strength and arms, and legs of clay, quite out of play, and out of office and court : and now God hath substituted in our room, and accepted his Son the Mediator for us, and all that we can make. If this had not been, . I would have skinked over and foregone my part of paradise and falvation, for a breakfaft of dead moth-eaten earth; but now I would not give it, nor let it go, for more than I can tell; and truly they are filly fools, and ignorant of Christ's worth, (and fo full ill trained and tutored) who tell heaven and Christ over the board, for two feathers or two straws of the devil's painted pleasures, only lustered in the outer fide. This is our happiness now, that our reckonings at night, when eternity shall come upon us, cannot be told; we shall be fo far gainers, and so far from being superexpended (as the poor fools of this world are, who give out their money, and get in but black hunger) that angels cannot lay our counts, nor sum our advantage and incomes. Who knoweth how far it is to the bottom of our Christ, and to the ground of our heaven? who ever weighed Christ in a pair of ballances ? who hath seen ihe foldings and plyes, and the heights and depths of that glory which is in him, and kept for us ? Oh for such a heaven as to stand afar off, and fee, and love, and long for him, while time's thread be cut, and this great work of creation dissolved at the coming of our Lord ! Now to his grace I recommend you. I beseech you allo, pray for a re-entry to me into the Lord's house, if it be his good will. Aberdeen, fan. 6.
Yours in his fweet Lord 1637.
Jefus, S. R.
89. TO ELIZABETH KENNEDY. Mistress, G
Race, mercy and peace Þe unto you. I have long had a pura
pose of writing unto you, but I have been hindered. I heartily desire that ye would mind your country, and consider to what airth
foul setteth its face; for all come not home at night, who suppose they have set their face heavenward : it is a woful thing to die and miss heaven, and to lofe house-room with Christ at night; it is an evil journey where travellers are benighted in the fields. I persuade myself, that thousands shall be deceived and ashamed of their hope; because they cast their anchor in fiokS
ing sands, they must lose it. Till now, I knew not the pain, la bour, nor difficulty that there is to win at home; nor did I understand so well, before this, what it meancth, The righteous shall scarcely be saved. Oh how many a poor professor's candle is blows out, and never lighted agaiu ! I see ordinary profession, and to be ranked amongst the children of God, and to have a game among men, is now thought good enough to carry professors to heaven; but certainly a game is but a name, and will never bide a blast of God's storm: I counsel you, not to give your foul or Christ rest, nor your eyes fleep, till ye have gotten something that will bide the fire, and stand out the storm. I am fure if my one foot were in heaven, and then he would say, Fend thyself, I will hold my grips of thee no longer ; I should go no further, but presently fall down in as many pieces of dead nature. They are happy for e. vermore who are over head and ears in the love of Christ, and know no sickness but love-sickness for Christ, and feel no pain but the pain of an absent and hidden Well-beloved. We run our souls out of breath, and tire them in coursing and gallopping after our own night dreams (such are the roving of our miscarrying hearts) to get some created good thing in this life, and on this side of death: we would fain stay and spin out a heaven to ourselves in this side of the water ; but forrow, want, changes, crofles and fin, are both woof and warp in that ill-fpun web. 0 how sweet and dear are these thoughts that are fill upon the things which are above! and how happy are they who are longing to have little fand in their glass, and to have time's thread cut, and can cry to Christ, Lord Jesus, have over, come and fetch the drie. ry passenger ? I wish our thoughts were more frequently than they arc upon our country. O but heaven casteth a sweet smell afar off, to those who have spiritual smelling! God hath made many fair flowers, but the fairest of them all is heaven, and the flower of all flowers is Christ. O why do we not fee up to that lovely one? Alas, that there is such scarcity of love, and lovers of Chrift amongst us all! Fy, fy upon us, who love fair things, as fair gold, fair houses, fair lands, fair pleasures, fair honours, and fair perfons, and do not pine and melt away with love to Christ! Owould to God I had more love for his fake! O for as much love as would fie bei wixt me and heaven for his fake! O for as much as would go round about the earth, and over the heaven, yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thouíand worlds, that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Chrift! But alas, I have nothing for him, yet he hath much for me. It is no gain to Christ, that he getteth my little feckless span-length and hand-breadth of love. If men would have something to do with their hearts and their thoughts, that are always rolling up and down like men with oars in a boat, after finful vapitics, they may find great and sweet employment to their
thoughts upon Christ: if those frothy, fluctuating, and restless hearts of ours would come all about Christ, and look into his love, to bottomless love, to the depth of mercy, to the unsearch. able riches of his grace, to enquire after, and search into the beauty of God in Christ, they would be swallowed up in the depth and heighth, length and breadth of his goodness. Oh if men would draw the curtains, and look into the inner side of the ark, and behold how the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in him bodily! O who would not say, Let me die, let me die ten times to see a sight of him? Ten thousand deaths were no great price to give for him; I am sure, sick, fainting love would heighten the market, and raise the price to the double for him. But alas, if men and angels were rouped, and fold at the dearest price, they would not all buy a night's love, or a four and twenty hours fight of Christ. O how happy are they who get Christ for nothing! God send me no more for my part of paradise but Christ; and surely I were rich enough, and as well heaven'd as the best of them, if Christ were my heaven. I can write no better thing to you than to desire you, if ever ye laid Christ in a count to take 'him
up, and count over again ; and weigh him again and again: and after this, have no other to court your love, and to woo your foul's delight, but Chrift; he will be found worthy of all your love, howbeit it should swell upon you from the earth to the uppermost circle of the heaven of heavens. To our Lord Jesus and his love I command you. Aberd. 1637.
Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, $. R.
90. TO JANET KENNEDY. Mistress. Race, mercy
peace be unto you. Ye are not a little on I bliged to his rich grace, who hath separate you for bimfelf, and for the promised inheritance, with the faints in light; from this condemned and guilty world. Hold fast Christ, contend for him: it is a lawful plea to go to holding and drawing for Christ
t; and it is not possible to keep Chrilt peaceably, having once gotten him, except the devil were dead. It must be your resolution to set your face against Satan's northern tempests and storms for salvation : nature would have heaven come to us while Neeping in our beds. We would all buy Christ, so being we might make price ourselves; but Christ is worth more blood and lives than either you or I have to give him. When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our brother's fair kingdom, and when our heads fhall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings, then thall ve see life, and forrow, to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time suffering is not Santa
worthy of our first night's welcome home to heaven. O what then will be the weight of every one of Christ's kisses ! O how weighty, and of what worth shall every one of Christ's love smiles be! Oh when once he shall chrust a wearied traveller's head.be. twixt his blessed breasts, the poor foul shall think one kiss of Christ hath fully paid home forty or fifty years wet feet, and all its fore hearts and light sufferings, it had in following after Christ! O thrice blinded fouls, whose hearts are charmed and bewitched with dreams, shadows, feckless things, night-Fanities and nightfancies of a miserable life of fin. Shame on us, who sit still fettered with the love and liking of the loan of a piece of dead clay. O poor fools, who are beguiled with painted things, and this world's fair weather and smooth promises, and rotted worm-eaten hopes ! May not the devil laugh to fee us give out our fouls, and get in but corrupt and counterfeit pleasures of fin? O for a fight of eternity's glory,' and a little tasting of the Lamb's marriagesupper! Half a draught or a drop of the wine of consolations, that is up at our banquetinghouse, out of Christ's own hand, would make our stomachs lothe the brown bread and the four drink of a miserable life. O how far are we bereft of wit to chase and hunt and run till our souls be out of breath, after a condemned happiness of our own making! And do we not fit far in our own light, to make it a matter of bairns-play to skin and drink over paradne, and the heaven that Christ did sweat for, even for a blaft of smoke, and for Elau's moroing breakfast? O that we were out of ourselves and dead to this world, and this world dead and crucified to us! and when we should be close out of love and conceit of any malk. ed and fairded lover whatsoever ; then Christ would win and conquer to himself a lodging in the inmost yolk of our heart; then Christ should be our night song and our morning-song; then the very noise and din of our Well-beloved's feet when he cometh, and his first knock or rap at the door should be as the news of two heavens to us. Oh that our eyes and our foul's smelling should go after a blasted and fun burnt flower, even this fair plaistered out. sided world; and then we have neither eye nor smell for the Flower of Jeffe, for that Plant of Renown, for Christ, the choiceft, the fairelt, the sweetest Rose that ever God planted! Olet some of us die to feel the smell of him! and let my part of this rotten world be forfeited and fold for evermore, providing I may anchor my tottering foul upon Chrift! I know it is sometimes at this, Lord, what wilt thou have for Christ? but, O Lord, canft thou be budded or propined with any gift for Christ? O Lord, can Christ be fold? or rather, may not a poor finner have bini for nothing? If I can get no more, O let me be pained to all eternity, with longing for him! the joy of hungeriog for Christ should be my heaven for evermore. Alas, that I cannot draw souls