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my soul, so as I am in a fever for want of real presence. 3. AD excessive desire to take instruments in God's name, that this is Christ and his truth I now suffer for, yea, the apple of the eye of Christ's honour, even the sovereignty and royal privileges of our King and Lay-giver, Chrift: and therefore let no man fear at Christ's cross, or raise an ill report upon him, or it; for he, beareth the sufferer and it both. I am here troubled with the disputes of the great doctors (especially with D. B. in ceremonial and Arminian controversies, for all are corrupt here) but, I thank God, with no detriment to the truth, or discredit to my profession. So then, I see that Christ can triumph in a weaker man than I; and who can be more weak? but his grace is sufficient for me. Brother, remember our old covenant, and pray for me, and write to me your case. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Aberdeen, March 13.

Tours in his sweet Lord 1637.

Jefus, S. R.

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115. TO JOHN MEINE. Dear brother,

, . ye

not answer to my last letter, for I stand in need of it: I am in some piece of court with our great King, whose love would cause a dead man speak and live: whether

my court will continue or not, I cannot well fay; but I have his ear frequently, and to his glory only I speak it) no penury of the love-kisses of the Son of God. He thinketh good to cast apples to me in my prison to play withal, left I should think long and faint; I must give over all attempts to fathom the depth of his love : all I can do is, but to stand beside his great love, and look and wonder. My debts of thankfulness affright me; I fear my

creditor get a dyvour bill and ragged account. I would be much the better of help; for help! and that ye would take notice of my cafe. Your not writing to me maketh me think, ye suppose that I am not to be bemoaned, because he iscomfortable ; but I have pain in my unthankfulness, and pain in the feeling of his love, while I am sick again for real presence, and real possession of Chrift; yet there is no gouked (if I may fo speak) nor fond love in Christ: he casteth me down sometimes for old faults; and I know he knoweth well, that sweet comforts are swelling; and therefore forrow must make a vent to the wind. My dumb Sabbaths are undercuttingwounds. The condition ofthis oppressed kirk and my brother's cale (I thank you and your wife for your kindnefs to him) hold my fore smarting, and keep my wounds bleeding: but the ground-work. sandeth fure. Pray for me. Grace

be

be with you. Remember me to your wife. Aberdeen, March 14.

Tours in his fweet Lord 1637

Jesus, S. R.

116. To Mr. THOMAS GARVEN. Reverend and dear brother,

Bless I you for your let ter : it was a shower to the new mowa

grass. . The Lord hath given you the tongue of the learned, be fruitful and hamble. It is possible ye come to my case, or the like; but the water is neither fo deep, nor the stream so strong, as it is called. I think my fire is not so hot, my water dry land, my loss rich loss. O but the walls of my prison be high, wide and large, and the place sweet! no man knoweth it, no man, I say, knoweth it, (my dear brother) so well as he and I: no man can put

it down in black and white as my Lord hath sealed it in iny heart. My poor stock is grown since I came to Aberdeen: and if any had known the wrong I did, in being jealous of such an honest love as Christ, who with-held not his love from me, they would think the more of it; but I fee, he must be above me in mercy: I will never strive with him: to think to recompense him is folly. If I had as many angels tongues, as there have falleo drops of rain since the creation, or as there are leaves of trees in all the forests of the earth, or stars in the heaven, to praise; yet my Lord Jesus would ever be behind with me: we will never get our accompts fitted; a pardon must close the reckoning : for his comforts to me in this honourable cause have almost půt me beyond the bounds of modesty; howbeit I will not let every one know what is betwixt us. Love, love (I mean Christ's love) is the hottest coal that ever I felt: O but the smoke of it be hot ! Caft all the falt sea on it, it will flame; hell cannot quench it : many, many waters will not quench love. Christ is turned over to his poor prisoner in a mass and globe of love: I wonder he Tould waste so much love upon such a waster as I am: but he is no wafter, but abundant in mercy: he hath no niggard's alms, when he is pleased to give. O that I could invite all the nation to love him! Free grace is an unknown' thing: this world hath heard but a bare name of Christ, and no more: there are infinite plyes in his love, that the saints will never win to unfold; I would it were better known, and that Christ got more of his own due than he doth. Brother, ye have chosen the good part, who have taken part with Chrift:ye will see him win the field, and ye shall get part of the spoil when he divideth it. They are but fools who laugh at us: for they fee but the backside of the moon; yet our moon-light is better than their twelve hours sua: we have gotten the new heavens, and, as a pledge of that, the.

Bridegroom's

Bridegroom's love ring: the children of the wedding-chamber have cause to skip, and leap for joy; for the marriage fupper is drawing nigh, and we find the four-hours sweet and comfortable, o time, be not slow ? 'O sun, move fpeedily and halten our banquet! O Bridegroom, be like a roe, or a young hart upon the mountains!, O Well-beloved, run fast, that we may once meet ! Brother, I contain myself, for want' of time. Pray for me : I hope to remember you. The good will of him who dwelt in the bush, the tender mercies of God in Christ, enrich you. Grace be with you. Aberdeen, March 14.

Yours in his sweet Lord 1636.

Jefus, S. R.

be unto you.

117. TO BETHAIA AIRD.
Worthy sister,
Race, mercy

and
peace

I know

ye

desire news from my prison, and I shall shew you news. At my first en. try hither, Christ and I agreed not well upon it: the devil made a plea in the house, and I laid the blame upon Christ; for my heart was fraught challenges, and I feared that I was an outcaft, and that I was but a withered tree in the vineyard, and but held the fun of the good plants, with my idle shadow, and therefore my Master hath given the evil servant the fields to fend him. Old guiltiness (as witness) said, all is true: my apprehensions were with child of faithless fears, and unbelief put a feal and amen to all. I thought myself in a hard case: fome said, I had cause to rejoice, that Christ had honoured me to be a witness for him ; and I said in my heart, These are words of men, who see but mine out. side, and cannot tell if I be a false witness or not, If Christ had in this matter been as wilful and short as I was, my faith had gone over the brae, and broken its neck; but we were well met, a hafty fool, and a wife, patient and meek Saviour: he took no law.advantage of my folly, but waited on till my ill blood was fallen, and my drumbled and troubled well began to clear ; he was never a whit angry at the fever-ravings of a poor tempted finner : but he mercifully forgave, and came (as it well becometh him) with grace and new comfort, to a fioner who deferveth the contrary. And now he is content to kiss my black mouth, to put his hand in mine, and to feed me with as many confolations, as would feed ten hungry fouls ! yet I dare not say, he is a waster of comforts, for no less would have born me up; one grain weight less would have casten the balance. Now, who is like to that royal King, crowned in Zion! Where will i get a seat for royal Majesty, to set him on? If I could set him as far above the heaven as thousand thousands of heights devised

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by men and angels, I would think him but too low. I pray you, for God's fake, my dear sister, help me to praise: his love hath neither brim nor bottom; his love is like himself, it paffeth all natural understanding : I go to fathom it with my arms, but it is as if a child would take the globe of fea and land in his two hort arms: blessed and holy'is his name! This must be his truth I now suffer for; for he would not laugh upon a lie, nor be witness with his comforts to a night dream. I iatreat for your prayers; and the prayer and blessing of a prisoner of Christ be upon you. Grace be with you. Aberd. March 14.

Yours in his sweet Lord 1637.

Jesus, S. R. 118. T. ALEXANDER GORDON of Knockgray.

Dear brother, I

Have not leisure to write to you: Christ's ways were known

to you, long before I (who am but a child) knew any thing of him. What wrong and violence the prelates may, by God's permission, do unto you, for your trial, I know not; but this I know, that your ten days tribulation will end: contend to the last breath for Chrif.' Banishment out of thele kingdoms is des termined against me, as I hear; this land do not bear me: I pray you, recommend my case and bonds to my brethren and fifters, with you ; and I intrust more of my spiritual comfort to you and them, that way, my dear brother, than to many in this kingdom besides. I hope ye will not be wanting to Christ's prisoner. Fear nothing, for I affure you, Alexander Gordon of Knockgray shall win away, and get his foul for a prey: and what can he then want that is worth the having? Your friends are cold (as ye write) and so are these, in whom I trusted much : our husband doth well in breaking our idols in pieces: dry wells fend us to the fountain. My life is not dear to me, so being I may fulfil my course with joy. I fear you must remove, if your new hireling will not bear your discountenancing of him; "for the prelate is afraid Christ get you, and that he hath no will of. Grace be with you. Aberd. 1647

Yours in his sweet Lord and Muller, S. R.

119. TO JOHN FLEMING, Bailie of Leith. Worthy and dearly beloved in our Lord, Race, mercy and peace be unto you. I received your letter :

I wish I could satisfy your desires, in drawing up, and framing for you a Christian direction : but the learned have done it before me, more judiciously than I can; especially Mr. Rodg. ers, Greenham, and Perkins: notwithltanding, I shall Mew you

Y

whar

2.

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what I would have been at myself (howbeit I came always short
of my purpose.) 1. That hours of the day, less or more time,
for the word and prayer, be given to God, not sparing the twelfth
hour or mid-day, howbeit it should then be the shorter time.
In the midst of worldly employments, there would be some
thoughts of fin, judgment, death and eternity, with a word or
two of ejaculatory prayer (at least) to God. 3. To beware of wan,
dering of heart, in private prayers. 4. Not to grudge, howbeit ye.
come from prayer without fease of joy: down-casting, sense of
guiltiness, and hunger is often best for us. 5. That the Lord's
day, from morning to night, be spent always, either in private
or publick worship. 6. That words be observed, wandering
and idle thoughts be avoided, sudden anger and desire of re-
venge, even of such as persecute the truth, be guarded against;
for we often mix our zeal with our wild fire. 7. That known,
discovered and revealed fins, that are against the conscience be
issued, as most dangerous preparatives to hardness of heart. 8.
That in dealing with men, faith and truth in covenants and traf-
ficking be regarded, that we deal with all men in fincerity, that
conscience be made of idle and lying words; and that our carriage
be such, as that they who see it may speak honourably of our
fweet Master and profession. 9. I have been much challenged,
1. For not referring all to God, as the last end; that I do
not eat, drink, sleep, journey, speak and think for God. 2.
That I have not benefited by good company; and that I left not
fome word of conviction, even upon natural and wicked men, as
by reproving swearing in them, or because of being a filent wit-
ness to their loose carriage, and because I intended not in all com-
panies to do good. 3. That the woes and calamities of the kirk,
and particular professors, have not moved me. 4. That at the read
ing of the life of David, Paul, and the like, when it humbled me,
I (coming so far sort of their holiness) laboured not to imitate
them, afar off at least, according to the measure of God's grace,
5. That unrepented sins of youth were not looked to, and la-
mented for. 6. That sudden stirrings of pride, luft, revenge,
love of honours, were not resisted and mourned for. 7. That
my charity was cold. 8. That the experiences I had, of God's
hearing me in this and the other particular, being gathered, yet
in a new trouble I had always (once at least) my faith to seek, as
if I were to begin at A, B, C. again.' 9, That I have not more
boldly contradicted the enemies, speaking ag..inst the truth, ci-
ther in public church-meetings, or at tables, or ordinary confer-
ence. 10. That is great troubles, I have received false reports
of Christ's love, and misbelieved him in his chastening; where-
as the event hath said, All was in mercy. Ii. Nothing more

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