« السابقةمتابعة »
the gifts and common graces of the Holy Spirit, and a taste of the powers of the life to come, to hell with them : here is reprobate filver, which yet seemeth to have the King's image and superscription upon it. 3d, I find you complaining of yourself, and it becometh a sioner fo to do, I am not against that ; fense of death is a fib friend, and of kin and blood to life; the more sense, the more life; the more sense of sin, the less fin. I would love my pain, and foreness, and my wounds, howbeit these should bereave me of my night's sleep, better than my wounds without pain. O how sweet a thing it is, to give Christ his handful of broken arms, and legs, and disjointed bones! 4th, Be not afraid for little grace, Chrift foweth his living feed, and he will not lose his feed; if he have the guiding of my stock and state, it shall not miscarry. Our spilt works, losses, deadness
, coldness, wretchedness, are the ground which the good husbandman laboureth. 5th, Ye write that his compaslijns fail not, notwithstanding that your service to Christ miscarrieth: to the which I answer, God forbid that there were buying and felling, and blocking for as good again, betwixt Chrift and us; for then free grace might go play it, and a Saviour fing dumb, and Christ go and sleep; but we go to heaven with light shoulders, and all the bairn-time; and the vessels great and small that we have, are faftened upon the sure nail, Ifa. xxii, 24. The only danger is, that we give grace more ado than God giveth it, that is, by turning his grace into wantonness. 6th, Ye write, few see your guiltiness, and ye cannot be free with many, as with me: I answer, blessed be God, Christ and we are not heard before mens courts; it is at home betwixt him and us, that pleas are taken away.
Grace be with you. Aherdeen.
Yours in his fweet Lord
Jefus, S. R.
13. To the Right Honour able and Christian Lady, my Lady KEN:
to ed, ye are yet in possession of Christ and that sweet child. I pray God the former may be sure heritage, and the latter a loan for your comfort, while ye do good to his poor afflicted, withered mount Sion: and who knoweth, but our Lord hath comforts laid up in store for her and you? I am persuaded Christ hath bought you by the devil, and hell, and fin, that they have no claim to you; and that is a rich and unvaluable mercy. Long since, ye were half challenging death's cold kindness, in being to flow and swier to come loose a tired prisoner: but ye stand in need of all the crosses, losses, changes, and fad hcarts that befell you since that time.
Chrift knoweth the body of sin unsubdued will take them all and more: we know that Paul had need of the devil's service, to buf. fet him; and far more we. But, my dear and honourable Lady, spend your fand-glass well: I am sure ye have law to raise a súa spension against all that devils, men, friends, world, losses, hell or fin, can decree against you. It is good your crosses will but convey you to heaven's gates : in can they not go, the gates shall be closed on them, when ye shall be admitted to the throne. Time standeth not ftill, eternity is hard at our door, O what is laid up for you! Therefore harden your face against the wind ; and the Lamb your Husband is making ready for you ; the Bridegroom would faio have that day, as gladly as your honour would with to have it; he hath not forgotten you. I have heard a rumour of the P's purpose to banish me; but let it come, if God so will; the other side of the sea is my Father's ground, as well as this side: I owe bowing to God, but no servile bowing to crosses ; I have been but too soft in that: I am comforted that I am persuaded fully, that Christ is halver with me in this well born and honest cross : and if he claim right to the best half of my troubles (as I know he doth to the whole) I shall remit it over to Christ, what I shall do in this case : I know certainly my Lord Jesus will not mar nor fpill my fufferings, he hath use for them in his house. O what it worketh on me, to remember that a stranger, who cometh not in by the door, shall build hay and stubble upon the golden foundation Ilaid amongst that people at Anwoth! But I know providence looketh not asquaint, but looketh straight out, and thorow all mens darkness: O that I could wait upon the Lord : I had but one eye, one joy, one delight, even to preach Chrift; and my mother's sons were angry at me, and have put
poor man's one eye, and what have I behind ? I am sure this four world hath lost my heart defervedly, but oh that there were a days-man to lay his hand upon us both, and determine upon ny part of it. Alas! that innocent and lovely truth should be sold ! My tears are little worth, but yet this thing I weep, I weep, alas ! that my fair and lovely Lord Jesus should be miskent in his own house? It reckoneth little of five hundred the like of me : yet the water goeth not over faith's breadth, yet our King liveth. I write the prisoner's blei fings; the good-will, and long-lasting kindness, with the comforts of the very God of peace be to your Ladyship, and to you sweet child : grace, grace be with you. Aberdeen Sept. 7
Tour Honour's at all obedience, in his 1637
sweet' Lord Jesus, S. R.
14. To the much honoured JOHN GORDON of Cardonefs
peace be to you. My soul longeth exceedingly to hear how matters go betwixt you and Christ; and whether or not there be any work of Christ in that parish, that will bide the trial of fire and water : let me be weighed of my Lord in a just balance, if your fouls ly not weighty upon me: you go to bed and you rise with me: thoughts of your soul (my dearest in our Lord) depart not from me in my sleep; ye have a great part of my tears, fighs, fupplications, and prayers: O if I could buy your soul's salvation with any tuffering whatsoever, and that ye and I might meet with joy up in the rainbow, when we shall stand before our Judge ! O my Lord forbid, I have any hard thing to depone against you in that day! O that he who quickeneth the dead, would give life to my sowing among you! What joy is there (next to Chrift) that standeth on this side of death, would comfort me more, than that the fouls of that poor people were in safety, and beyond all hazard of 1 ling? Sir, shew the people this : for when I write to you, I think I write to you all old and young : fulfil my joy, and seek the Lord: sure I am, once I discovered my lovely royal, princely Lord Jesus to you all: wo, wo, wo shall be your part of it for evermore, if the gospel be not the favour of life unto life to you: as many fermons as I preached, as many sentences as I uttered, as many points of dittay shall they be, when the Lord shall plead with the world, for the evil of their doings. Believe me, I find heaven a city hard to be won; The righteous will scarcely be saved :' O what violence of thronging will heaven take ! Alas! I see many deceiving themselves; for we will all to heaven; oow every foul dog with his foul feet will in at the nearest, to the new and clean Jerusalem : all say they have faith, and the greatest part in the world know not, and will not consider, that a nip in the matter of their falvation is the most piteous slip that can be ; and that no loss is comparable to this loss. O then see that there be not a loose pin in the work of your falvation ! for ye will not believe how quickly the Judge will come: and for yourself, į koow thai death is waiting and hovering, and lingring ai God's command, that ye may be prepared. Then ye hed need to stir your time, and to take eternity, and death, to your riper advisement; a wrong step in going out of this life, in one property, is like the sia against the Holy Ghost, and can never be forgiven, because ye cannot come back again thorow the last water, to mourn for it. I know your counts are many, and will take telling, and laying, and reckoning betwixt you and your Lord; fit your counts, and order them;
lose not the last play whatever ye do, for in that play with death your precious soul is the prize : for the Lord's fake spill not the play, and lose not such a treasure. Ye koow, out of love I had to your soul, and out of desire I had to make an honest count for you, I testified my displeasure and disliking of your ways very oftea, both in private and public: I am not now a witness of your doings, but your Judge is always your witness. I befeech you by the mercies of God, by the falvation of your soul, by your comforts when your eyestrings shall break, and the face wax pale, and the soul shall tremble to be out of the lodging of clay, and by your compearance before your lawful judge, after the light of this letter, take a new course with your ways; and now in the end of your day make sure of heaven. Examine yourself if ye be in good earneft in Chrift ; for fome, Heb. vi. 4. are partakers of the Holy Ghost, and taste of the good word of God, and of the powers of the life to come;' and yet have no part in Christ at all. Many thiok they believe, but never tremble; the devils are further on than these. Jam. ii. 10. Make sure to yourself that ye are above ordioary professors; the sixth part of your span-length and handbreadth of your days is scarcely before you: haste, haste, for the tide will not bide. Put Cbrift upon all your accounts, and your secrets. Better it is that ye give him your counts, in this life, out of your own hand, than that, after this life he take them from you. I never knew so well what sin was as since I came to Aber. deen, howbeit I was preaching of it to you. Tu feel the smoke of hell's fire in the throat for half an hour; to stand before a river of fire and brimstone broader than the earth; and to think to be bound hand and foot, and caften in the midst of it quick, and then to have God locking the prison door, never to be opened for all eternity; O how will it shake a conscience that hath any
life in it? I find the fruits of my pains to have Christ and that people once fairly met, now meet my soul in my fad hours; and I rejoice that I gave fair warning of all the corruptions now entering in Christ's house; and now many a sweet, sweet, foft kiss, many perfumed, well-smelled kisses, and embracements, have I received of my royal master. He and I have had much love together. I have for the present a fick dwioing life, with much pain, and much love-sickness for Christ: O what I would give to have a bed made to my wearied soul, in his bosom! I would frift heaven for many years, to have my fill of Jesus in this life, and to have occafion to offer Christ to my people; and to woo many people to Chrift. I cannot tell you what sweet pain, and delightfome torments are in Christ's love? I often challenge time that holdeth us lundry. I profess to you I have no rest, I have no ease, while I be over head and ears in love's ocean. If Christ's love, that fountain of delight) were laid as open to me as I would wil, o
how would I drink, and drink abundantly! O how' drunken would this my soul be! I half call his absence cruel, and the mask and vail on Christ's face a cruel covering, that hideth such a fair face from a sick soul. I dare not challenge himself, but his abfence is a mountain of iron upon my heavy heart. O when will we meet? O how long is it to be dawning of the marriage day? O sweet Lord Jesus, take wide steps : O my Lord, come over mountains at one Itride! O my Beloved, flee like a roe, or young hart, upon the mountains of separation : O if he would told the heavens together like an old cloke, and shovel time and days out of the way, and make ready in haste the lamb's wife for her hosband ! Since he looked upon me, my heart is not mine own, he hath run away to heaven with it; I know it was not for nothing, that I fpake so meikle good of Christ to you in public. O if the heaven, and the heaven of heavens were paper, and sea ink, and the multitude of mountains pens of brass, and I were able to write that paper, within and without, full of the praises of my fairest, my deareft, my loveliest, my sweetest, my matchless, and my most marrowlefs, and marvellous Well-beloved ! Wo is me, I cannot fet him out to men and angels. Othere are few tongues to sing love songs of his incomparable excellency! What can I poor prisoner do to exhalt him? or what course can I take to extol my lofty, and lovely Lord Jesus? I am put to my wit's end, how to gec his name made great. Blessed they who would help me in this ! How sweet are Christ's back-parts? O what then is in his face! These that fee his face, how do they get their eye plucked off him again? Look up to him and love him: O love and live. It were life to me, if ye would read this letter to that people, and if they did profit by it. O if I could cause these to die of love for Jesus ! I charge them by the falvation of their souls, to hang about Christ's neck, and take their fill of his love, and follow him, as I taught them. Part by no means with Christ; hold fast what
have received ; keep the truth once delivered ; if ye or that people quit it in an hair, or in an hoof, ye break your conscience in twain; and who then can mend it, and cast a knot on it! My dearest in the Lord, ftand fast in Christ : keep the faith; contend for Christ; wrestle for him, and take mens feud for God's favour ; there is no comparifon betwixt these. O that my Lord would fulfil my joy, and keep the young bride to Christ, that is at Anwoth. And now, whoever they be, that have returned to the old vomit fiace my departure, I bind upon their back, in my Master's name and authority, the long-lasting, weighty vengeance and cui fe of God; in my Lord's name, I give them a black, unmixed, pure wrath, which my
Master shall ratify and make good, when we stand together before !im, except they timeously repent and turn to the Lord. And I write to thce, poor mourning and broken hearted believer, be