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honoured; I allow you not to hide Christ's bounty to me, when ỹe meet with such as know Christ. Ye write nothing to me, what are the cruel mercies of the prelates toward me. The ministers of this town, as I hear, intend that I shall be more strictly confined, or else transported, because they find some people affect me. Grace
be with you.
Aberd. Nov. 21.
Yours in the Lord.
Jefus, S. R.
163. TO JOHN FLEMING Baily of Leith. My very worthy friend, Race, mercy, and peace be to you ; I received your letter: 1
. xlviii. 10. I have chosen thee in the furnace of afliction, and Pfal. xci. 15, I will be with him in trouble. I never expected other at Christ's hand, but much good and comfort; and I am not disappointed : I find my Lord's cross over-gilded and oiled with comforts. My Lord hath now shown me the white side of his cross : I would not exchange my weeping in prison with the fourteen prelates laughter, amidst their hungry and lean joys. This world knoweth not the sweetness of Chrilt's love, it is a mystery to them. At my first coming here, I found great heaviness, especially because it had pleased the prelates to add this gentle cruelty to my former suffer. îngs (for it is gentle to them) to inhibite the ministers of the town to give me the liberty of a pulpit: I said, What aileth Christ at my service ? but I was a fool, he hath chid himself friends with me: if ye and others of God's children shal praise his great name, who maketh worthless men witnesses for him, my silence and sufferings shall preach more than my tongue could do: if bis glory be seen in me, I am fatisfied; for I want no kindness of Christ. And, Sir, I dare not smother his liberality : I write it to you, that ye may praise, and desire your brother and others to join with me in this work. This land shall be made defolate; our iniquities are full: the Lord faith, we shall dripk, and spue, and fall. Remember my love to your good kind wife. Grace be with you.
Aberd, Nov. 13. 1636. Tours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R
164. TO EARLST OUN Elder. Rev. xii. 11. And they overcame the dragon by the blood of the
Lamb, and the word of their teftimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Much honoured Sir,
charge you to help me to praise him, who feedeth a poor prifoner with the fatnefs of his house. O how weighty is his love! O but there is much telling in Christ's kindness The Amen, the faithful and true Witness hath paid me my hundred fold, well told, and one to the hundred : I complained of him, but he is owing me nothiog now. Sir, I charge you to help me to praise his good. ness, and to proclaim to others my Bridegroom's kindness, whose love is better than wine. I took up an action against Chrift my Lord; and I faid, This is my death, he hath forgotten me: but my meek Lord held his peace, and beheld me, and would not contend for the laft word of flyting ; and now he hath chided himself friends with me: and now I fee, he must be God, and I must be flesh. I pass from my summons, I acknowledge he might have given me my fill of it, and never troubled himself: but now he hath taken away the malk; I have been comforted: he could not smother his love any longer to a prisoner and a stranger. God grant that I may never buy a plea against Christ again, but may keep good quarters with him. I want no kindness, no love-tokens: but oh, wife is his love! for notwithstanding of this hot fummer-blink, I am kept low with the grief of my filence; for his word is in me as a fire in my bowels; and I fee the Lord's vineyard laid waste, and the heathen entered into the fanctuary; and my belly is pained, and my soul in heaviness, because the Lord's people are gone into captivity, and because of the fury of the Lord, and that wind (but neither to fan nor to purge) that is coming upon apostate Scotland. Also I am kept awake with the late wrong done to my brother ; but I trust ye will counsel and comfort him. Yet in this mift, í fee, and believe, the Lord will heal this halting kirk, and will lay her ftones with fair colours, and her foundations with fapphires, and will make her windows of agates, and her gates carbuncles, Ila. liv. 11, 12. And for brass he will bring gold: he hath created the smith that formed the sword, no weapon in war fhall prosper a. gainst us. Let us be glad and rejoice in the Lord, for his falvation
Remember me to your wife and your fon John : and I entreat you to write to me. Grace, grace be with you. Aberd. Dec. 30.
Tours in his only, only Lord 1636
Jefus, S. R. browseoraneo conhecithion annanion ononasia
165. To Mr. JOHN FERGUS-HILL. Reverend and well-beloved in our Lord Jesus, Muft ftill provoke you to write by my lines, whereat ye need
not wonder; for the cross is full of talk, and speak it must, either good or bad: neither can grief be filent. I have no dittay por inditement to bring against Christ's cross, seeing he hath made a friendly agreement betwixt me and it, and we are in terms of
is near to come.
love together. If my former miscarriages, and my now silent fabbaths, seem to me to speak wrath from the Lord, I dare say, it is but Satan borrowing the use and loan of my cowardly and feeble apprehensions, which start at straws. I know faith is not so faint and foolish as to tremble at every false alarm : yet I gather this out of it, Blessed are they who are graced of God to guide a cross well, and that there is some art required therein.' I pray God I may not be fo ill friend-stead, as that Christ my Lord should leave me to be my own tutor, and my own physician. Shall I not think, but my Lord Jesus, who deserveth his own place very well, will take his own place upon him, as it becometh him, and that he will fill his own chair! for in this is his office, to comfort us, and those that are caften down, in all their tribulations, 2 Cor. i. 4. Alas ! I know I am a fool to seek an hole or defect in Christ's way with my soul. If I have not a stock to present to Christ at his appearance, yet I pray God I may be able, with joy, faith, and constancy, to thew the Captain of my falvation, in that day, a bloody-head, that I received in his service. Howbeit my faith hang by a small tack and threed, I hope the tack shall not break; and howbeit my Lord get do service of me but broken wilhes, yet I trust these shall be accepted upon Christ's account. I have nothing to comfort me, but that I say, Oh ! will the Lord disappoint an hungry on-waiter? The smell of Christ's wine and apples, which surpass the up-taking of dull sense, bloweth upon my foul, and I get no more for the mean time. I am sure, to let a familhing body fee meat, and give him aone of it, is a double pain: our Lord's love is not so cruel, as to let a poor mao see Christ and heaven, and never give him more, for want of money to buy: nay, I rather think Christ such fair market-wares, as buyers may have without money and without price : and thus I know, it shall not stand upon my want of money; for Christ, upon his own charges, must buy my weddinggarment, and redeem the inheritance, which I have forfeited, and give his word for one the like of me, who am not law-biding of myself: poor folks muft either borrow or beg from the rich; and the only thing that commendeth sinners to Christ, is extreme necessity and want : Christ's love is ready to make and provide a ran.. som and money for a poor body, who hath lost his purse : Ho ye that have no money, come and buy, Isa. lv. 1. that is the poor man's market. Now, brother, I see old crosses would have done nothing at me, and therefore Christ hath taken a new fresh rod to me, that seemcth to talk with my soul, and make me tremble. I have often more ado now with faith, when I lose my compass, and am blown on a . rock, than those who are my beholders, standing upon the shore, are aware of. A counsel to a sick man is sooner given than takėn. Lord send the wearied man a borrowed bed from Chrift: I think often it is after supper with me, and I am heavy: O but I would Hh 2
sleep foundly, with Christ's left hand under my head, and his right hand embracing me; the devil could not spill that bed. When I consider how tenderly Christ hath cared for me in this prison, I think he hath handled me as the bairn that is pitied and bemoan ed: I desire no more till I be in heaven, but such a feast and fill of Christ's love as I would have; this love would be fair and adorning passments, which would beautify and set forth my black unpleasant cross. I cannot tell, my dear brother, what a great Joad I would bear, if I had a hearty fill of the love of that lovely One, Christ Jesus : oh if ye would seek and pray for that to me! I would give Christ all his love-styles and titles of honour, if he would give me but this; nay, I would sell myself (if I could) for that love. I have been waiting to see what friends of place and
power would do for us : but when the Lord looseth the pins of his own tabernacle, he will have himself to be acknowledged as the only builder up thereof; and therefore I would take back again my hope, that I lent and laid in pawn in mens hands, and give it wholly to Christ. It is no time for me now to set up idols of my own : it were a pity to give an ounce weight of hope to any besides Christ; I think him well worthy of all my hope, tho' it were as weighty as both heaven and earth. Happy were I, if I had any thing that Christ would seekor accept of: but now alas, I see not what service I can do to him, except it be to talk a little, and babble, upon a piece of paper, concerning the love of Christ. I am often as if my faith were wadset, fo that I cannot command it; and then, when he hideth himself, I run to the other extreme, in making each wing and toe of my cafe as big as a mountain of iron : and then misbelief can spin out an hell of heavy and defponding thoughts; then Christ seeketh law-borrows of my unbelieving apprehensions, and chargeth me to believe his day-light at midnight. But I make pleas with Christ, though it be ill my common so to do: it were my happiness, when I am in his house of wine, and when I find a feast-day, if I could hearken and hear for the time to come, Ifà. xlii. 23. But I see, we must be off our feet in wading a deep water; and then Christ's love findeth timeous employment, at such a dead lift as that: and besides, after broken brows, bairns'learn to walk more circumspectly. If I come to heaven any way, howbeit, like a tired traveller, upon my Guide's shoulder, it is good enough for those who have no legs of their own for such a journey. I never thought there had been need of so much wrestling to win to the top of that steep mountain as now I find. Wo is me for this broken and back-sliding church; it is like an old bowing wall, Jeaning to the one fide, and there are none of all her sons who will fet a prop under her. I know, I need not bemoan Christ; for he careth for his own honour, more than I can do: buz who can blame me to be wo (if I had grace
fo to do) to see my Well-beloved's fir face spitted upon, and his own crown plucked off his head, and the ark of God taken, and carried in the Philistines cart, and the kine put to carry it, who will let it fall to the ground? The Lord put to his own helping hand. I would desire you to prepare yourself for a fight with beasts: ye will not get leave to steal quietly to heaven, in Christ's company, without a conflict and a crofs. Remember my bonds, and praise my second and fellow-prisoner, Christ. Grace be with you. Aberd. 1637.
Yours in Christ Jesus his Lord, S.R.
166. TO WILLIAM GLENDINNING. Dear brother, GR
Race, mercy and peace be to you. Your case is unknown to
me, whether ye be yet our Lord's prisoner at Wigtoun, or not: however it be, I know our Lord Jesus hath been inquiring for you ; and that he hath honoured you to bear his chains, which is the golden end of his cross; and so hath wailed out a chofen and honourable cross for you: I wilh you much joy and comfort of it; for I have nothing to say of Christ's cross but much good : I hope my ill word shall never meet either Christ, or his sweet and eafy cross. I know he seeketh of us an out-cast with this house of clay, this mother-prison, this earth, that we love full well; and verily, when Christ snuffeth my candle, and causeth my light to shine upward, it is one of my greatest wonders, that dirt and clay hath so much court with a foul not made with clay: and that our soul gocth out of kind so far, as to made an idol of this earth, fuch a deformed harlot, as that it should wrong Christ of our love. How fast, how fast doth our ship fail! And how fair a wind hath time, to blow us off these coasts, and this land of dying and perilh. ing things! and alas, our ship saileth one way, and fleeth many miles in one hour, to hasten us upon eternity; and our love and hearts are failing close back over, and swimming towards ease, lawless pleasure, vain honour, perishing riches, and to build a fool's-nest, I know not where, and to lay our eggs within the sea-mark, and faften our bits of broken anchors upon the worst ground in the world, this fleeting and perishing life; and in the mean while, time and tide carry us upon another life, and there is daily less and less oil in our lamps, and less and less fand in our watch.glass. Owhat a wise course were it for us, to look away from the false beauty of our borrowed prison, and to mind, and eye, and lust for our coun. try ! Lord, Lord, take us home. And for myself, I think, if a poor, weak, dying sheep, seek for an old dike, and the lee side of an hill, in a storm, I have cause to long for a covert from this storm in heaven: I know gone will take my room over my head there. But certainly, sleepy bodies would be at rest and a well-made bed, and