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of grace had been no art, I thought it would come of will; but I would spill my own heaven yet, if I had not burdened Christ with all. I but lend my bare name to the sweet covenant; Chrift bebiad and before, and on either fide, maketh all sure. God will not take an Arminian cautioner free will, a weather.cock, turning at a serpent's tongue, a tutor that couped our father Adam unro us, and brought down the house, and fold the land ; and sent the father, and mother, and all the bairns through the carth, to beg their bread : nature in the gospel hath cracked credit. O well to my poor soul for evermore, that my Lord called grace to the council, and put Christ Jesus with free merits, and the blood of God, fore molt in the chase, to draw sinners after a ransomer!. what a sweet block was it, by way of buying and selling, to give and tell down a ransom for grace and glory to dyvours ! O would to my Lord I could cause paper and ink speak the worth, and excellency, the high and loud praises of a brother-ransomer! O the ransomer Deeds not my report; but oh, if he would take it, and make use of il! I should be happy, if I had an errand to this world, but for fome few years, to spread proclamations and out cries, and loveletters, of the highness (the highness for evermore) the glory (the glory for evermore) of the Rantomer, whose clothes were wet, and dyed in blood; howbeit, after I had done that, my coul and body fould go back to the mother nothing, that their Creator brought them once out from, as from their beginning. But why should I pine away, and pain myself with wishes, and not believe rather, that Chrift will hire fuch an out-cast as I am, a masterless body, put out of the house by the fons of my mother, and give me employ: ment and a calling, one way or other, to out Christ and his wares to country buyers, and propose Christ unto, and press him upon fome poor fouls, that fainer than their life would receive him? You complain heavily of your short-coming in practice, and ventoring on fuffering for Chrift: you have many marrows. For the firit, I would not put you off sense of wretchedness; hold on, Christ never yet slew a fighting, groaning child; more of that would make you won goods, and a meet prey for Christ. Alas! I have too little of it, for venturing on suffering; I had not so much free gear, when I came to Christ's camp, as to buy a (word; a wonder that Christ hould not laugh at such a soldier : Iam no better yet ; but faith liveth and spendeth upon our Captain's charges, who is able to pay for all: we need not pity him, he is rich és nough. Ye desire me also not to mistake Christ under a mask; I Hess you, and thank God for it; but alas ! masked or bare-faced, kisling or glooming, I mistake him: yea, I mistake him furthert when the mask is off, for then I play me with his fweetness: 'I am like a child chat hath a golden book, that playeth more with ibę ribbons, and the gilding, and the picture in the first page; F

road.

readeth the contents of it. Certainly if my desires to my Wellbeloved were fulfilled, I could provoke devils, and crosses, and the world, and teo tations co the field : but oh, my poor weakness makes me ly behind the bush and hide me. Remember

my

service and my blelling to my Lord; I am mindful of him as I am able; defire him trom a prilonce, to come and visit my good Malter, and feel but the smell of his love : it sets him well, howbeit he be young, to inake Christ his garland; I could not with him in a better cale, than in a fever of love-lickness for Christ. Remember my bonds. The Lord Jelus be with your spirit. Aberdeen.

Tours in his sweet Lord 1637

Jesus, S. R.

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23. To WILLIAM HALIDAY. Loving friend, Received your letter: I with ye take pains for salvation ; mif

taken grace, and somewhat like convertion, which is not conversion, is the saddest and most doleful thing in the world: make fure of falvation, and lay che foundation sure, for many are beguil. ed: put a low price upon the world's clay, put a high price upon Chrilt: ter:ptacions will come, but if they be not made welcome by you, ye have the best of it! be jealous over yourself, and your own heart, and keep touches with God; let him not have a faint and feeble foldier of you; fear not to back Christ, for he will conquer and overcome: let no man skar at Christ, for I have no quarrels at his cross; he and his crofs are two good guests, and worth the lodging: men would fain have Chrift good cheap, but the market will not come down; acquaint yourself with prayer; make Christ your Captain and your armour; make conscience of finding when no eye feeth you. Grace be with you. Aberdeen,

Yours in Chrift fefus, S.R.

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24. To a gentlewoman, after the death of her husband. Dear and loving

fifter, Know ye are minding your sweet country, and not taking your

inns (the place of your banishment) for your home ;{this life is not worthy to be the thatch or out-wall of your Lord Jesus his paradise, that he did sweat for to you, and that he keepeth for you; and filly, and fand blind were our hope, if it could not look over the water to our best heritage, and if it staid only at home about the doors of our clay houfe. I marvel not, my dear sister, that ye complain, that ye come sort of your old wrestlings, you had for a blessing, and that now you find it not so: bairns are but hired to learn their lesson when they first go to school : and it is enough

that

that these who run a race see the gold only at the starting place ; and possibly they see little more of it, or nothing at all, till they win to the ring s end, and get the gold in the loof of their hand. Our Lord maketh delicates and dainties of his sweet presence and love-visits to his own, but Christ's love under a vail is love; if ye get Chrift, howbeit not the sweet and pleasant way you have him, it is enough; for the Well-beloved come pot our way, he must wail his own gate himself. For worldly things, seeing they are meadows and fair flowers in your way to heaven, a smell in the bygoing is fufficient: he that would reckon and tell all the stones in his way, in a journey of three or four hundred miles, and write up in his count-book all the herbs and the flowers growing in his way, might come short of his journey. You cannot stay in your inch of time to lose your day (seeing you are in haste, and the night and your afternoon will not bide you) in setting your heart on this vain world: it were your wisdom to read your count-book, and to have in readiness your businefs against the time you come to death's water-side. I know your lodging is taken ; your fore-runner Christ hath not forgotten that, and therefore you must fet yourself to one thing, which ye cannot well want. In that our Lord took your husband to himself, I know it was that he might make room for himself; he cutteth off your love to the creature, that ye might learn that God only is the right owner of your love, forrow, loss, sadness, death, or the worst things that are, except fin; but Christ kpoweth well what to make of them, and can put his own in the cross's common, that we shall be obliged to affliction, and thank God, who learned us to make our acquaintance with such a rough companion, who can hale us to Christ. You must learn to make your evils your great good, and 10 spin out comforts, peace, joy, communion with Christ, out of your troubles that are Christ's wooers, fent to speak for you to himself. It is easier to get good words, and a comfortable message from our Lord, even from luch rough serjeants, as divers temptations. Thanks to God for crofses. When we count and reckon our losses in seeking God, find godliness is great gain. Great partners of a ship.full of gold are glad to see the ship come to the harbour : surely we and our Lord Jesus together have a ship-full of gold coming home, and our gold is in that ship. Some are so in love (or rather in lust) with this life, that they fell their part of the ship for a little thing: I would counsel you to buy hope, but fell it not, and give not away your crosses for nothing; the inside of Christ's cross is white and joyful, and the far end of the black cross is a fair and glorious heaven of ease: and seeing Christ hath faftened heaven to the far end of the cross, and he will not loose the knot himself, and none else can (for whes Christ calteth a knot, all the world cannot lose it) let us then

count

we

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count it exceeding joy, when we fall into divers temptations. Thus recommending you to the tender mercy and grace of our Lord, I rest, Aberdeen.

Your loving brother, S. R.

25. TO JOHN GORDON of Cardoness younger. Honoured and dear brother, I

am refreshed with your letter. I exhort you in the bowels of Christ, set to work for your soul, and let these bear weight with you, and ponder them seriously ; ift, Weeping and gnashing of teeth in utter darkness or heaven's joy. 2d, Think what ye would for an hour, when ye shall ly like dead, cold, blackened clay. 3d, There is fand in your glass yet, and your sun is not gone dowa, 4th. Consider what joy and peace is in Christ's service. Sth, Think what advantage it will be to have angels, the world, life and death, crosses, yea, and devils all for you, as the King's serjeants and servants, to do your business. . 6th, To have mercy on your feed, and a blessing on your house. 7th, To have true honour, and a name on earth that casts a fweet smell. 8th, How ye

will rejoice when Christ layeth down your head under his chin, and betwixt his breasts, and drieth your face, and welcometh you to glo. ry and happiness. ' 9th, Imagine what pain and torture is a guilty conscience; what slavery to carry the devil's dishonest loads. 10th, Sin's Joys are but night-dreams, thoughts, vapours, imaginations and shadows. Ith, What digoity it is to be à son of God. 12th, Dominion and mastery over tentations, over the world, and sin. 13th, That your enemies should be the tail, and you the head. For your bairns now at rest, I speak to you and your wife (and cause her read this) ift, I am witness of Barbara's glory in heaven. 2d, For the rest, I write it under my hand, there are days coming on Scotland, when barren wombs and dry breafts, and childlefs parents, shall be pronounced blessed: they are then in the lee of the harbour, e'er the storm come on. 3d, They are not lost to you, that are laid up in Chrift's treasury in heaven. 4th, : At the resurrection ye shall meet with them; there they are fent before, but not sent away, 5th, Your Lord loveth you, who is homely to take and give, borrow and lend. 6th, Let not bairns be your idols; for God will be jealous, and take away the idol, because he is greedy of your love wholly. I bless you, your wife and children. Grace for evermore be with you. Aberdeen

rour loving pastor, S. R.

.

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26. TO JOHN GORDON of Cardoness elder, Honourable and dearest in the Lord, Our letter hath refreshed my soul. My joy is fulfilled, if

Christ and ye be fast together : ye are my joy and my crown; yè know I have recommended his love to you. I defy the world, Satan and fin. His love hath neither brim nor bottom in it. Niy dearest in Christ, I write my soul's desire to you; heaven is not at the next door: I find Christianity an hard talk: set to it in your evening; we would all keep both Christ and our right eye, our right hand and foot; but it will not be with us. I beseech you, by the mercies of God, and your compearance before Christ, look Christ's count-book and your own together, and collation them; give the remnant of your time to your soul : this great idol-god, the world, will be lying in white ashes, in the day of your compearance; and why should night-dreams, and day shadows, and water froth, and May.flowers run away with your heart? When we win to the water. side, and black death's river-brink, and put our foot in the boat, we call laugh at our folly. Sır, I recommend unto you the thoughts of death, and how ye could wish your soul to be when ye shall ly cold, blue, ill-smelling clay. For any hireling to be intruded, I, being the king's prisoner, cannot say much; büt, as God's minister, I defire you to read Acts i. 15, 16. to the end, and Acts vi. 2, 3, 4, 5. and ye shall find God's people should have a voice in chusing church-rulers and teachers. I shall be sorry, if willingly ye shall give way to his unlawful intrusion upon my labours: the only wise God direct you. God's grace be with you, Aberdeen.

Your loving pastor, S. R. XX

27. TO EARLSTOUN younger. Much honoured and well-beloved in the Lord, Race, mercy

and

peace to a to my laziness in writing. I must first tell you, there is not such a glassy, icy, and flippery piece of way betwixt you and heaven, as youth: I have experience to say with me here, and feal what I affert; the old ashes of the fins of my youth are now fire of sorrow to me: I have seen the devil, as it were, dead and bu-. tied, and yet rise again, and be a worse devil than ever he was, Therefore, my brother, beware of a green young devil that hath Dever been buried: the devil in his powers (I mean, the hot fiery lufts and passions of youth) is much to be feared: better yoke with an old grey haired, withered, dry devil: for in youth he findeth dry sticks, and dry coals, and an hot hearth stone; and how foon can be with his fiat caft fire, and with his bellows blow

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