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went fo high in their persecution, and drave so hard, that it was thought scarce posible for any to out-do them in perfecuting; for they run themselves out of breath, and never drew bridle till they fell in the ditch, and we thought they had died there without facceffion; but alas ! the church finds this day, that in respect of their successors, they were meer novices, and had scarce served their apprentifhip in the Black Art, and this puts me to think, whether the people of God should not rather submit to be chastifed even with the fcourge of scorpions, than to wish that he would throw the rod in the fire, least if they were gone, and we not fit for a delivery (as indeed we are not) it should fall out with us, according to the story of the old wife of 'Syracuse, who was afraid of Dionysius' death, left the devil should fucceed him: butifany should say to me, What and he be already come. For if the Holy Ghost call these men such, who did but caft in prison, and did but caft fome in prison, may he not be faid to be already come down now, having great wrath; when deposition, imprifonment, banishment, yea any thing less then declared worthy to die, is thought a favour : if any hould urge me with this, I say, I confess he would pose me into an absolute filence; or force an acknowledgment from me: if the prelates themselves, who are of age, be in cafe to make a reply, let them anfwer it: for the truth is, they are so hot upon their work, that if it be a herefy to think so of them, they who plead the neceslity of their office, for preventing of kchism and heresy, are like to turn the better part of the world heretics; but to my purpose, I say, there is fome reason to fear, that this be thought very fit fewel, to make a fire in Caiaphas's hall : however, though it should be fo, yet this is not the first time, that some of the worthy author's works, have got fuch entertainment': and truly there is so much zeal to the interests of Christ, fo much love to God, and the falvation of men, burning in these lines; that, that fpirit, whose element is fire, will endeavour to blow the bellows, and feek this as a facrifice at their hands, whofe once profeffed fincerity, and personal zeal for God and interests, is now broken out, in such high acts of rebellion a. gainst him, and hatred against his fervants; whereby the proverb is become plain Scottish, or English, or both if ye will : omnis apostata sectæ fuce ofer: but if the prelates would take a goor presbyter's advice, they would even let it alone, left the smoke of that fire, wherein they burn this, kindle a flame of juft indignation against them, in the hearts of all the lovers of God, as men who have a very perfect hatred against piety: but if they care not to be folooked upon, I have no more to say, be it so: it is like nothing that I can say, will kinder them, from putting this piece in his hands, to whom, as I hear, they have committed the revising of learned and worthy Mr. Wood's testimony, &c, and who it seems, is made choice of by them, as fecretary in chief, for revising all such pieces, viz. Joannes Durmureus, cum fratibus, da collegis fuis, and therefore I must leave them to their on liberty, which I only do, because I cannot help it: and I am afraid besides, left I should' work too hard, in carrying water to cool them, I over-heat myself, and leave them at last nothing cooler than I found them: but as for thee, Chriftian reader, it will be a fullicient imprimatur, to tell thee, that thefe are Mr. RUTHERFOORD'S LETTERS: wherein he gives thee an account, of many a good day, and joyful hour, he had in his Master's company; while his fellow-fervants did beat and thruft him out of the vineyard : and he invites thee to take a share of his feaft; and truly, I wilh that both of us would go try and taste, fince neither of us are like to have very good entertainment any where else.
I have but one word more to say; for I know it is long since thou ex pected I should have made an end, and it is only to crave the pardon that I have not done it sooner: when I wrote the first lines, I thought to have made the end and the beginning fo contiguous, that I should neither have put thee to this trouble, nor myself to the necessity of an apology: and in order to that, I did really forbear what (as I told thee) at first I intended, and am carried this length besides my design; but if the length of what is here offend thee, thou art in case without doing me any wrong, to give thyself the fame fatisfaction, as if I had said nothing, by passing it, as so much waste paper, and turning over to the epistles themselves : if thy foul be profited by these) as I hope it shall) I have my design; and all I seek of thee besides, is, that thou wouldest with his soul's welfare, who was at this little pains, in order to thine, and who desires to be reckoned by thee, amongst the meanest and most unworthy of
The favourers of the dust of Zion,
And thy well-wisher.
IN each of these Epiftles thou mayest
perceive, how the
writers bears is enflamed with a holy fire; and how his foul ascends in the smoke (as snatched up to heaven and caught up above all that is below God:) O how much drops from his pen above the ordinary attainments and experience, even of such who seem to have out-run others! So that in respect of us, this angel of the church
speaks as one standing already in the Quire of angels, or as an angel come down from heaven among men, to give us some account of what they are doing above. And thus leaving thee to peruse what is made public for thy edification; and to press this pomegranate and squeeze this grape; and to fuck till thou find thy foul refreshed with its Spiced wine ; and wishing-thee an experimental knowlege of that surpassing and inconceivable fweetness which is in the fruition of God, and to be enjoyed in a fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, and a full draught of these pure streams of Solid joy and confolation, wherein the soul of this Saint Swimed, and which run through these lines ; without which, while he Speaks as coming forth out of the King's banqueting-house, to perfuade thee to go in thither, and feast and bath thy soul in the saine pure deo lights, and
permanent pleasures, whereon he fed, and which flow in upon the foul, and overflow it, while the saint finds himself, with his Beloved's left-hand under his head, and his right-hand embracing him, he will be to thee a barbarian. I fall only wish and beg, that thout wouldest seriously seek of God, the same thing for him, who seeks this for thee, and hath his design in the pains taken in publishing these Letters, if thou be thereby provoked to seek till thou find : this is that adequate recompence, which he seeks, earnestly intreats, and expects, who is
• Thy fouls well wisher,
and fervant in Christ Jesus.
EPIST. I. T. Mr. ROBERT CUNNINGHAME, Minister of
the Gospel at Holywood in Ireland. Well-beloved and reverend brother, Race, mercy
peace, be Christ, I thought good to take the opportunity of writing to you: seeing it hath seemed good to our Lord of the harvest, to take the hooks out of our hands for a time, and so lay upon us 2 more honourable service, even to suffer for his name, it were good to comfort one another in writing. I have had a desire to see you in the face, yet now being the prisoner of Christ, it is taken away. I am greatly comforted to hear of
foldiers stately spirit, for your princely and royal Captain Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the grace of God in the rest of our dear brethren with you. You have heard of my trouble, I suppose. It hath pleased our sweet Lord Jesus to let loose the malice of these interdicted lords in his house, to deprive me of my ministry at Anwoth, and to confine me eightscore miles from thence to Aberdeen : and also (which was not done to any before) to inhibite me to speak at all in Jesus his name, within this kingdom, under the pain of rebellion. The cause that ripened their hatred was my book against the Arminians, whereof they accused me those three days I appeared before them; but let our crowned King in Zion reign ; by his grace the loss is theirs, the advantage is Christ's and truth's. Albeit this honest cross gained fome ground on me by my heaviness, and inward challenges of conscience for a time were sharp, yer now for the encouragement of you all, I dare say it, and write it under my hand, Welcome, welcome, sweet, sweet cross of Chrift. I verily think the chains of my Lord Jesus are all overlaid with pare gold, and that his cross is perfumed, and that it smelleth of Chrift; and that the victory shall be by the blood of the Lamb, aod by the word of his truth; and that Christ lying on his back, in his weak servants, and oppressed truth, fhall ride over his enemies bellies, and shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. It is time to laugh when he laugheth; and seeing he is Dow pleased to sit with wrongs for a time, it becometh us to be filent, until the Lord hath let the enemies enjor their hungry, luan, and feckiefs paradise: blessed are they who are content
to take strokes with weeping Christ; faith will trust the Lord, and is not hasty, nor head-strong; neither is faith so timorous, as to flatter a tentation, or to bud and bribe the cross. It is little up or little down that the Lamb and his followers can get pọ law-surety, nor truce with crosses; it must be fo, till we be up in our Father's house. My heart is woe indeed for my mo. ther church, that hath played the harlot with many lovers; for her hulband hath a mind to sell her for her horrible transgressions, and heavy will the hand of the Lord be upon this backlliding'nation. The ways of our Zion mourn, her gold is become dim, her white Nazarites are black like a coal; how fhall not the children weep, when the husband and the mother cannot agree? Yet I believe Scotland's skies shall clear again, and that Christ shall build again the old waste places of Jacob, and that our dead and dry bones shall become an army of living men; and that our Wellbeloved may yet feed among the lillies, until the day-break, and the fliadows flee away. My dear brother, let us help one another with our prayers. Our King shall mow down his enemies, and fhall come from Božra, with his garments all dyed in blood, and for our confolation shall he appear, and call his wife Hephzibah, and his land Beula; for he will rejoice over us and marry us, and Scotland shall say, What have I to do any more with idols ? Only let us be faithful to him that can ride through hell and death up. on a windleftrae, and his horse never stumble; and let him make of me a bridge over a water, so that his high and holy name may be glorified in me: strokes with the sweet Mediator's hand are very sweet; he has always been sweet to my soul; but since I suffered for him, his breath hath a sweeter smell than before. Oh that every hair of my head, and every member, and every bone in my body, were a man to witness a fair confession for him, I would think all too little for him. When I look over beyond the line, and beyond death, to the laughing lide of the world, I triumph, and ride upon the high places of Jacob, how beit otherwise I am a faint dead-hearted cowardly man, oft born down, and hungry in waiting for the marriage fupper of the Lamb: nevertheless I think it the Lord's wise love that feeds us with hunger, and makes us fat with wants and desertions: I know not, my dear brother, if our worthy brethren be gone to lea, or not; they are on my heart, and in my prayers: if they be yet with you, falute my dear friend John Stuart; my well beloved brethren in the Lord, Mr. Blair, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Livingston, and Mr. M'Cleland, and 'acquaint them with my troubles, and in treat them to pray for the
poor afficted prifoner of Chrift: they are dear to my soul; I feek your prayers and theirs for my flock; their remembrance breaks my heart: I desire to love that people, and others my dear acquaintance in Christ with love in God, and as God loveth them:
I know that he who sent me to the West and South sends me also to the North : I will charge my soul to believe and to wait for bim, and will follow his providence, and not go before it, nor ftay behind it. Now, my dear brother, taking farewel in paper, I commend you all to the word of his grace, and to the work of his Spirit, to him who hoideth the seven stars in his right hand, that you may be kept spotless till the day of Jesus our Lord. I am, . From Irvine, being on my journey Your brother in affliction
to Christ's palace in Aberdeen, in our sweet Lord Jesus, August 4, 1636.
my joy in the day of Chrift: grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I long exceedingly to know, if the oft-spoken of match betwixt you and Christ holdeth; and if you follow on to know the Lord. My day thoughts and my night thoughts are of you; while ye Neep I am afraid of your souls, that they be off the rock: next to my Lord Jesus, and this fallen kirk, ye have the greatest thare of my forrow, and also of my joy; ye are the matter of the tears, care, fear, and daily prayers of an oppressed prisoner of Christ. As I am in bonds for my high and lofty One, my royal and princely Master, my Lord Jesus; so I am in bonds for you: for I should have seeped in my warm pest,and kept the fat world in my arms, and the cords of my tabernacle should have been fastened more ftrongly, I might have sung an evangel of ease to my soul and you for a time, with my brethren, the fons of my mother, that were angry at me, and have thrust me out of the vineyard, if I should have been broken, and drawn on to mire you the Lord's fock, and to cause you eat pastures troden upon with mens feet, and to drink foul and muddy waters: but truly the Almighty was a terror to me, and his fear made me afraid. O my Lord, judge if my ministry be not dear to me, but not so dear by many degrees as Christ Jesus my Lord, God knoweth the heavy and fad fabbaths I have had; since I laid down at my Master's feet my two shepherd's staves, I have been often saying, as it is written, Lam. iii. 52,53. 'My enemies chased me fore like a bird, without caufe: they have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me:' for, next to Christ, I had but one joy, the apple of the eye of my delights, to preach Christ my Lord, and they have violently plucked that away from me, and it was to me like the
man's one eye, and they have put out that eye, and quenched my light in the inheritance of the Lord; but my eye is toward the Lord. I know I Thall see the salvation of God, and that my hope shall not always