صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

not: but I think, my reckonings on the one page written in great letters, and his mercy to such a forlorn and wretched dyvour on the other, more than a miracle. If I could get my finger-ends upon a full assurance, I trow, I should grip fast; but my cup wanteth'not gall; and, upon my part, despair might be almolt excufed, if every one in this land saw my inner fide: but I know am one of them who have made great sale and a free market to free grace: if I could be saved, as I would fain believe, sure I am, I have given Christ's blood, his free grace, and the bowels of his mercy, a large field to work upon, and Christ hath manifested his art (I dare not say, to the uttermost; for he can, if he would, forgive all the devils and damned reprobates, in respect of the wideness of his mercy: but I fay) to an admirable degree. 4. I am stricken with fear of unthankfulness. This a. postate kirk hath played the harlot with many lovers; they are spitting in the face of my lovely King, and mocking him, and I dow not mend it; and they are running away from Christ in troops, and I dow not mourn and be grieved for it. I think Christ lyeth like an old forecasten castle, forsaken of the inhabitants; all men run away now from him: truth, innocent truth goeth mourning and wringing her hands in fackcloth and alhes. Wo, wo, wo is me, for the virgio daughter of Scotland ! wo, wo to the inhabitants of this land! for they are gone back with a perpetual backsliding. These things take me so up, that a borrowed bed, another man's fire-side, the wind upon my face, (I' being driven from my lovers, and dear acquaintance, and my poor flock) find no room in my sorrow; I have no spare or odd forrow for these: only I think, the sparrows and swallows, that build their nests in the kirk of Anwoth, blessed birds. Nothing hath given my faith a harder back-set till it crack again, than my closed mouth. But let me be miserable myself alone, God keep my dear brethren from it; but ftill I keep breath: and when my royal, and never, never-enough praised King returneth to his sinful prisoner, I ride upon the high places of Jacob, I divide Shechem, i triumph in his strength. If this kingdom would glorify the Lord, in my behalf, I desire to be weighed in God's even balance in this point, if I think not my wages paid to the full; I shall crave no more hire of Christ. Madam, pity me in this, and help me to praise him: for, whatever I be, the chief of finners, a devil, and a most guilty devil; yet it is the apple of Christ's eye, his honour and glory, as the head of the church, that I suffer for now, and that I will go to eternity with. I am greatly in love with Mr. M. M. I see him ftamped with the image of God. I hope well of your son, my Lord Boyd. Your Ladyship and your children have a prisoner's prayers. Grace, grace be with you. Aberd. May I.

Your Ladybip's at all obedience 1637

in Chrift, S. P.

187. To Mr. THOMAS GARVEN. Dear brother, Race, mercy and peace be to you : I rejoice, that ye cannot be

quit of Christ, (if I may speak so) but he must, he will have you. Betake yourself to Christ, my dear brother. It is a great business to make quit of superfluities, and of those things which Christ cannot dwell with. I am content with my own cross, that Christ hath made mine by an eternal lot, because it is Christ's and mine together. I marvel got, that winter is without heaven; for there is no winter within it: all the saints therefore have their own measure of winter, before their eternal summer. Oh for the long. day, and the high sun, and the fair garden, and the King's great city up above these visible heavens! What God layeth on, let me suffer : for some have one cross, some seven, fome ten, fome half a cross; yet all the saints have whole and full joy, and seven crosses have seven joys. Christ is cumbered with me (to speak so) and my cross, but he falleth not off me, we are not at variance. I find the very glooms of Christ's wooing a foul, sweet and lovely: I had ra. ther have Christ's buffet and love stroke, than another king's kifs : speak evil of Christ who will, I hope to die with love thoughts of him. Oh that there are so few tongues in heaven and earth to extol him! I with his praises go not down amongst us : let not Christ be low and lightly esteemed, in the midst of us; but let all hearts and all tongues cast in their portion, and contribute something, to make him great in mount Zion. Thus recommend. ing you to his grace, and remembering my love to your wife and mother, and your kind brother R. B. and entreating you to remember my bonds, I rest

Aberd, Sept. 8. 1637. Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R.

[ocr errors]

188. To the Laird of MONCRIEF. Mucb honoured Sir,

Race, mercy and peace be to you: although not acquaint,

yet at the desire of your worthy sister, the Lady Leys, and upon

the report of your kindness to Christ, and his oppressed truth, I am bold to write to you, earnestly desiring you to join with us (so many as in these bounds profess Christ) to wrestle with God, one day of the week, especially the Wednesdays, for mercy to this fallen and decayed kirk, and to such as suffer for Christ's name, and for your own necessities, and the necessities of others, who are by covenant engaged in that business : for we have no other armour in these evil times but prayers, now when wrath from the Lord is gone out against this back-liding land; for ye know, we

сар

[ocr errors]

can have ao true public fasts, neither are the true causes of our humiliation ever laid before the people. Now, very worthy Sir, I am glad in the Lord, that the Lord reserveth any of your place, or of nore, in this time of common apostacy, to come forth in public, to bear Christ's name before men, when the great men think Chrift'a cumbersome neighbour, and that religion carrieth hazards, trials and perfecutions with it. I persuade myself, it is your glosy and your garland, and shall be your joy in the day of Christ, and the standing of your house aod seed to inherit 'the earth, that you truly and sincerely profefs Christ : neither is our King, whom the Father hath crowned in mount Zion, so weak, that he cannot do for himself, and his own cause. I verily believe, they are blessed who can hold the crown upon his head, and carry up the train of his robe-royal, and that he shall yet be victorious and triumph in this land. It is our part to back our royal King, howbeit there were

fixin all the land to follow him. It is our wisdom.now to take up, and discern the devil, and the Antichrist, coming out in their whites, and the apostasy and idolatry of this land, washen with foul water : I confefs it is art to wash the devil, till his ikin be white. For my. felf, Sir, I have bought a plea against Christ, since I came hither, in judging my princely Master angry at me, because I was cast out of the vineyard, as a withered tree, my dumb fabbaths working me much forrow : but I see now, forrow hath not eyes to read love written upon the cross of Christ; and therefore I pass from my rash plea: wo, wo is me, that I should have received a Nander of Christ's love to my soul. And for all this, my Lord Jesus hath forgiven all, as not willing to be heard with such a fool, and is contéar to be, as it were, confined with me, and to bear me company; and to feast a poor oppressed prisoner. And now I write it under my head, worthy Şir, that I think well and honourably of this cross of Christ: I wonder, that he will take any glory froin the like 'of me; I find when he but sendeth his hearty commendations to me, and bat bloweth a kiss afar off, I am confounded with wondering what the supper of the Lamb will be, up in our Father's diningpalace of glory, since the four-hours in his dismal wildernefs, and when in prisons, and in our fad days, a kiss of Christ is so comfortable. how sweet and glorious shall our case be, when that fairest among the fons of men shall lay his fair face to our now sinful faces, and wipe away all tears from our eyes! (time, time, rua {wiftly, and hasten this day! O sweet Lord Jesus, come Aying like z roe; or a young hart! Alas! that wé, blind fools, are fallen in love with moon-fhine and shadows. How sweet is the wind that bloweth out of the airth where Christ is ! Every day we may see fome new thing in Chrift; his love hath neither brim gor bottom. Oh if I had help to praise him! He knoweth, if my fufferings glorify his name, and encourage others to fand faft for the honour of Mm

QUE

[ocr errors]

our supreme Law-giver, Christ, my wages then are paid to the full. Sir, help me to love that never-enough praifed Lord. I find now, that the faith of the saints, under suffering for Christ, is fair before the wiod, and with full fails carried upon Christ; and I hope to lose nothing in this furnace but dross ; for Christ can tri. umph in a weaker man than I am, if there be any such: and when all is done, his love paineth me, and leaveth me under such debt to Christ, as I can neither pay principal por interest. Oh if he would comprize myself, and if I were sold to him as a bond man, and that he would take me home to his house and fire-lide ; for I have nothing to render to him! Then, after me, let no man think hard of Christ's fiveet cross; for I would not change my sigh's with the painted laughter of all my adversaries. I desire grace and patience to wait on, and to ly upon the brink, till the water fill and flow, I know he is fast coming. Sir, ye will excuse my boldness; and, till it please God I fee you, ye have the prayers of a prisoner of Christ, to whom I recommend you, and in whom I rest Aberd. May 14. 1637.

Yours at all obedience

in Chrift, S. R

[ocr errors]

189. TO JOHN CLAR K. Loving brother, Old fast Christ without wavering, and contend for the faith,

because Christ is not easily gotten or kept. The lazy professor hath put heaven (as it were) at the very next door, and thinketh to fly up to heaven in his bed, and in a night-dream; but truly, that is not so eafy a thing, as most men believe: Christ himself, did sweat, ere he won this city, howbeit he was the free-born Heir.

It is Christianity, my heart, to be fincere, unfeigoed, honeft and upright hearted before God; and to live and ferve God, suppose there were not one man or woman in all the world dwel. ling beside you, to eye you. Any little grace that ye have, see that it be found and true: ye may put a difference betwixt you and reprobates, if ye have these marks : 1. If ye prize Christ and his truth so, as ye will sell all and buy him, and suffer for it. 2. If the love of Christ keepeth you back from finning, more than the law or fear of hell. 3. If ye be humble, and deny your own will, wit, credit, ease, honour, the world, and the vanity and glory of it. 4. Your profession must not be barren, and void of good works. 5. Ye muft in all things aim at God's honour; ye must eat, drink, seep, buy, sell, fit, stand, speak, pray, read, and hear the word with a heart-purpose that God may be honoured. 6. Ye must thew yourself an enemy to sin, and reprove the works of darkDess, such as drunkenness, swearing, and lying, albeit the company should hate you for so doing. 7. Keep in mind the truth of God,

that

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that ye heard me teach, and have nothing to do with the corrup-
tions, and new guises entered into the house of God. 8. Make
conscience of your calling, in covenants, in buying and selling.
9. Acquaint yourself with daily praying ; commit all your ways
and actions to God by prayer, fupplication and thanksgiving; and
count not much of being mocked, for Christ Jesus was mocked be.
fore you. Persuade yourself, that this is the way of peace and
comfort, I now suffer for : I dare go to death and into eternity
with it, though men may possibly seek another way. Remember
me in your prayers, and the state of this oppressed church.
Grace be with you.
Aberd. 1637.

Your soul's

well-wisher, S. R. cavan anananananananananananananan nasa

190. TO CARDONESS elder.
Much honoured Sir,
I

Long to hear how your soul profpereth : I wonder that ye
write not to me;

for the Holy Ghost beareth me witness, I cannot, I dare not, I dow not forget you, nor the souls of those with you, who are redeemed by the blood of the great Shepherd : ye are in my heart in the night-watches, ye are my joy and crown in the day of Christ. O Lord, bear me witness, it my soul thirstech for any thing out of heaven, more than for your salvation : let God lay me in an eyen balance, and try me in this. Love heaven, let your heart be on it: up, up, and visit the new land, and vicw the fair city, and the white throne, and the Lamb, the bride's Hufband, in his Bridegroom's clothes fitting on it: it were time, your soul cast itself and

all your burdens upon Christ. I beseech you by the wounds of your Redeemer, and by your compearance before him, and by the falvation of your soul, lose no more time ; run fast, for it is late : God hath sworn by himself, who made the world and time, That time fball be no more, Rev. x. Ye are now. upon very

border of the other life; your Lord cannot be blamed for not giving you warning: I have taught the truth of Christ to you, and delivered unto you the whole counsel of God, and I have stood before the Lord for you, and I shall yet still stand. Awake, awake to do righteously. Think not to be eased of the burdens and debts, that are on your house, by oppressing any, or being rigorous to those that are under you: remember how I endeavour. ed to walk before you in this matter, as an example. “Behold, bere am I, witness against me, before the Lord, and his anointed, whose ox or whose ass have I taken? whom have I defrauded? whom have I'oppressed?' Who knoweth how my soul feedeth upon a good conscience, when I remember how I spent this body in feeding the lambs of Christ? At my first entry hither, I grant, I Im 2

took

the

« السابقةمتابعة »