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reign King. At my first coming hither, I was in great heaviness, wrestling with challenges, being burdened in heart (as I am yet) for my filent sabbaths, and for a bereft people, young ones, new. born, plucked from the breasts, and the childrens table drawn. I thought I was a dry tree cast over the dike of the vineyard: but my fecret conceptions of Christ's love, at his sweet and long-desired return to my soul, were found to be a lie of Christ's love, forged by the tempter, and my own heart; and I am perfuaded it was so. Now there is greater peace and security within than before; the court is raised and dismissed, for it was not fenced in God's name. I was far mistaken who should have fummoned Chrift for unkind. Defs; mifted faith, and my fever conceived amiss of him : now, Dow, he is pleased to feast a poor prisoner, and to refresh me with unspeakable and glorious; so as the Holy Spirit is witness, that my sufferings are for Christ's truth; and God forbid I should deny the teftimony of the Holy Spirit, and make him a false witnefs. Now I testify under my hand, out of some small experience, that Chrift's cause (even with the cross) is better than the king's crown; and that his reproaches are sweet, his crofs perfumed, the walls of my prison fair and large, my losses gain. I desire you, my dear brother, help me to praise, and remember me in your prayer to God. Grace, grace be with you. Aberdeen, March 14.
Tours in his sweet Lord 1637.
Jefus, S. R.
33. To the Lady EARLSTOUN. Mistres, Race, mercy and peace be to you : I long to hear how your
foul profpereth. ! exhort you to go on in your journey:. your day is short, and your afternoon fun will foon go down : make an end of your accounts with your Lord; for death and judgment are tides that bide no man: salvation is supposed to be at the door, and Christianity is thought an ealy talk; but I find it hard, and the way strait and narrow, were it dot that my guide is content to wait on me, and to care for a tired traveller. Hurt not your con. science with any known fin. Let your children be as so many flowers, borrowed from God: if the flowers die or wither, thank God for a summer's loan of them, and keep good neighbourhood, to borrow and lend with him. Set your heart upon heaven, and trouble not your spirit with this clay-idol of the world, which is but vanity, and hath but the lustre of the rainbow in the air, which cometh and goeth with a flying March-flower: clay is the idol of bastards, not the inheritance of the children. My Lord hath been pleafed to make many unknown faces laugh upon me, and hath made me well content of a borrowed fire-side, and a bor.
rowed bed: I am feasted with the joys of the Holy Ghoft, and my
Yours in his sweet Lord
Jesus, S. R. tenir Raron as an anona
my brother, to the which I now answer particularly. I confels two things of myfelf: ist, Wo, wo is me that men should think there is any thing in me! He is my witness, before whom I am as chryftal, that the secret hoofe-devils, that bear me too often company, that this link of corruption which I find within, maketh me go with low sails; and if others faw what I fee, they would look by me, but not to me. 2d. I know this shower of his free grace behoved to be on me, otherways I would-have withereda I know also that I have need of a buffeting tempter, that grace may be put to exercise, and I kept low. Worthy and dear brother in our Lord Jesus, I write that from
my heart which ye now read: it, I vouch that Christ, and sweating and sighing under his cross, Is sweeter to me by far than all the kingdoms in the world could possibly be. 2d, If you, and my dearest acquaintance in Christ, reap any fruit by my suffering. let me be weighed in God's even balance, if my joy be not fulfilled. What am I to carry the marks of such a great King? But howbeit I am a fiok and linful mals, a wretched captive of lio, my Lord Jesus can hew heaven out of worse timber than I am (if worse can be.) 3d, I now rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious, that I never purposed to bring Christ, not the least hoof or hair.breadth of truth under trysting: I desired to have and keep Christ all alone, and that he should never rub clothes with that black-skinned harlot of Rome. I am now fully paid home, so that nothing aileth me for the present, but loveSickness for a real possession of my fairest Well-beloved. I would give him my bond under my faith and hand, to frist heaven an hundred years longer, fo being he would lay his holy face to my sometimes wet cheeks., Oh, who would not pity me, to know how fain I would have the King shaking the tree of of life upon me, or letting me into the well of life with my old dish, that I might be drunken with the fountain here in the house of my pil. grimage! I cannot, nay, I would not be quit of Christ's love. He bath left the mark behind where he gripped: he goeth away, and H
leareth me and his burning love to wrestle together, and I can fcarce win my meat of his love, becaufe of absence: my Lord giveth me but hungry half-kisses, which ferve to feed pain, and in
crease hunger, bat do not satisfy my desires; his dieting of my soul for this race maketh me lean. I have gotten the wail and choice of Christ's crosses, even the tithe and the flower of the gold of all croffes, to bear witness to the truth; and herein find I liberty, joy, access, lite, comfort, love, faith, fubmiffion, patience, and resolution to take delight in op-waiting; and withal in my race he hatha come near me, and let me see the gold and crown: what then want 1, but fruition and real enjoyment, which is referved to my country? Let no man think he hall lofe at Christ's hands in fuffering for him. 4th, for these present trials, they are most dangerous; for people shall be stolen off their feet with well wafhen and white-skinned pretences of indifferency; but it is the power of s the great Antichrift working in this land. Wo, wo, wo to be apo state Scotland; there is wrath, and a cup of the red wine of the wrath of God Almighty in the Lord's hand, that they shall drink and (pue, and fall and not rise again. The star called wormwood and gall, is fallen in the fountains, and rivers, and hath made them bitter : the sword of the Lord is furnilhed against the idol-lhepherds of the land; women shall bless the barren womb and mit carrying breasts; all hearts shall be faint, and all knees shall tremble: an end is coming; the Leopard and the Lion shall watch over our cities; houses great and fair (hall be defolate without an inhabitant : the Lord hath said, Pray not for this people, for I have taken my peace from them :' yet the Lord's third
Thall come through the fire, as refined gold for the treasure of the Lord, and the out-cafts of Scotland fhall be gathered together again, and the wildernefs shall blossom as the flower, and bud, and grom as the rofe of Sharon, and grear fhall be the glory of the Lord upon Scot. land, 5th, I am here assaulted with the learned and pregnant wits of this kingdom; but, all honour be to my Lord, truth but laughs at bemifted and blind scribes, and disputers of this world ; and God's wisdom confoundeth them, and Christ triumpheth in his own Itrong truth, that speaketh for itself. 6th, I doubt not but my Lord is preparing me for heavier trials : I am moft ready at the good pleasure of my Lord, in the strength of his grace, for any thing he shall be pleased to call me to : neither shall the last blackfaced messenger, death, be holden at the door, when it shall knock. If my Lord will take honour of the like of me, how glad and joyful shall
soul be! Let Christ come out with me to an hotter battle than this, and I shall fear no flesh. I know that my Master will win the day, and that he hath taken the ordering of my sufferings in his own hand. 7th. As for my deliverance, that miscarrieth; I am here, by my Lord's grace, to lay my hand on
my mouth, to be filent and wait on : my Lord Jesus is on his journey for my deliverance; I will not grudge that he runneth not so fast as I would have him: on waiting till the swelling rivers fall, and till my Lord arise as a mighty man after strong wine, fhall be my best: I have not yet refifted to blood. 8th. O how of ten am I laid in the dust, and urged by the tempter, (who can ride his own errands upon our lying apprehensions) to lin against the unchangeable love of my Lord: when I think upon the sparrows and swallows, that build their nests in the kirk of Anwoth, and of my dumb sabbaths, my sorrowful bleard eyes look asquint upon Chrift, and present him as angry. But in this trial, all honour to our priocely and royal king : faith faileth fair before the wind, with top-lail up, and carrieth the poor passenger through. I lay inhibitions upon my thoughts, that they receive no llanders of my only, only beloved : let him even say out of his own mouth, There is no hope; yet I will die in that sweet beguile, It is not so: I hall see the salvation of God. Let me be deceived really, and never win to dry land; it is my joy to believe under the water, and to die with faith in my hand gripping Chrift: let my conceptions of Chrift's love go to the grave with me, and to hell with me, I may not, I dare not quit them. I hope to keep Christ's pawn : if he never come to loose it, let him fee to his own promise. I koow, presumption, howbeit it be made of stoutness, will got thus be wilful in heavy trials. Now, my dearest in Christ, the great messenger of the covenant, the only wise and all-fuffici. ent Jehovah established you to the end. I bear the Lord hath been at your house, and hath called home your wife to her rest, I know, Sir, ye fee the Lord loosing the pins of your tabernacle, and wooing your love from this plaistered and over gilded world, and calling upon you to be making yourself ready to go to your Father's country, which shall be a sweet fruit of that visitation. Ye know, to send the comforter, was a King's word when he asa. cended on high: ye have claim to, and interest in that promise, Remember
love in Christ to your father; shew him it is late and black night with him ; his long lying at the water side is, that he may look his papers ere he take shipping, and be at a point for his last answer before his Judge and Lord. All love, all mercy, all grace, and peace, all multiplied faving consolations, all joy and faith in Chrift, all stability and confirming strength of grace, and the good will of him that dwelt in the bush be
Aberdeen, June 15,
35. TO MARION M'NAUGHT. Worthy and dearest in the Lord, ]
Ever loved (since I knew you) that little vineyard of the Lord's
planting in Galloway, but now much more, since I have heard that he, who hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem, hath been pleased to set up a furnace amongst you with the first in this kingdom: he who maketh old things new, feeing Scotland an old drofly and rusted kirk, is beginning to make a new clean bride of her, and to bring a young chaste wife to himself out of the firę. This fire shall be quenched, so soon as Christ hach brought a clean spouse thorough the fire : therefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, fear not a worm ; fear not, worm Jacob : Christ is in that plea, and shall win the plea: charge un unbelieving heart, under the pain of treason against our great and royal King Jesus, to dependence by faith, and quiet op waiting on our Lord i get you into your chambers, and shut the doors about you; in, in with speed to your strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: ye doies, fee unto Christ's windows till the indignation be over, and the storm bę past: glorify the Lord in your sufferings, and take his banner of love and spread over you; others will follow you if they lee you strong in the Lord; their courage shall take life from your Christian carriage: look up and see who is coming, lift up your head, he is coming to save, in garments dyed in blood, and travelling in the greatnefs of his strength. I laugh, I (mile, I leap for joy, to fee Christ coming to fave you so quickly. O such wide steps Christ taketh! three or four hills are but a step to him; he skippeth over the mountains, Christ hath set a battle betwixt his poor weak saints and his enemies, he wealeth the weapons for both parties, and faith to the enemies, take you a sword of steel, law, authority, parliaments, and kings upon your side, that is your armour: and he faith to his saints, I give you a feckleis tree sword in your hand, and that is, suffering, receiving of strokes, 1poiling of your goods; and with your tree-sword ye thall get and gain the victory, Was not Christ dragged through the ditches of deep distresses, and great ftraits ? and yet Christ, who is your head, hath win through with his life, howbeit not with a whole skin. Ye are Christ's members, and he is drawing his members thorough the thorny hedge up to heaven after him ; Christ one day will not have so much as a pained toe; . but there are great pieces and portions of Christ's myftical body, nor yet within the gates of the great high city, the new Jerusalem: and the dragon will strike at Christ, so long as there is one bit or member of Christ's body out of heaven I tell you, Christ will make new work out of old forecasten Scotland, and gather the