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fields; either Christ behoved to take me up, and to bring me home to his house and fire-side, else I had died in the fields : and now I am homely with Christ's love, so that I think the house mine own, and the master of the house mine also. Christ enquired not, when he began to love me, whether I was fair, or black, or fun burnt! love taketh wkat it may have. He lov. ed me before this time, I know, but now I have the flower of his,love: his love is come to a fair bloom, like a young

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opened up of the green leaves, and it cafteth a strong and fragrant {mell. I want nothing but ways of expressing Christ's love: full vessel would have a vent. O if I could smoke out and cast out coals, to make a fire in many breasts of this land! O! it is a pity that there were not many imprisoned for Christ, for no other purpose, but to write books and love songs of the love of Christ

. This love would keep all created tongues of men and angels in exercise, and busy night and day, to speak of it. Alas ! I can speak nothing of it, but wonder at three things in his love; First, Freedom. O that lumps of fin should get such love for nothing! Secondly, The tweetness of his love. I give over either to speak or write of it; but these that feel it, may better bear witness what it is : but it is so sweet, that, next to Christ himself, nothing can match it. Nay, I think a soul could live eternally blessed only on Christ's love, and feed upon no other thing; yea, when Christ in love giveth a blow, it doth a soul good; and it is a kind of comfort and joy to it, to get a cuff with the lovely, sweet, and soft hand of Jesus. And, thirdly, What power and strength is in his love! I am persuaded it can climb a steep hill, and hell upon its back; and swim through water, and not drown, and sing in the fire, and find no pain; and triumph in losses, prisons, sorrows, exile, disgrace; and laugh and rejoice in death. Oh for a year's lease of the sense of his love without a cloud, to try what Christ is! Oh for the coming of the Bridegrcom! Oh when will I see the Bridegroom and the bride meet in the clouds, and kiss each other! Oh when will we get our day and our hearts-fill of that love! Oh if it were lawful to com. plain of the famine and want of the immediate vision of God! O time, time, how dost thou torment the souls of those that would be swallowed up of Christ's love, because thou movest so slowly! Oh if he would pity a poor prisoner, and blow love upon me, and give a prisoner a taste or draught of that sweetness, (which is glory as it were begun) to be a confirmation, that Christ and I shall have our fill of other for ever : come hither, O love of Christ, that I may once kiss thee before I die: what would I not give to have time, that lieth betwixt Christ and me, taken out of the way, that we might once meet? I cannot think but at the first sight I shall see of that most lovely and faireft face, love shall

come

come out of his two eyes, and fill me with astonishment: I would but desire to hand at the outer side of the gates' of the New Je-, - rusalem, and look through a hole of the door, and fee Christ's face : a borrowed vision in this life would be my borrowed and begun heaven, while the long, long looked for day dawn. It is Dot for aothing that it is said, Col. i 27. Christ in you the hope of glory, I will be content of no pawn of heaven, but Chrift himself, for Chrift, poffefled by faith here, is young heaven and glory in the bud: if I had that pawn, I would bide horning and hell both, ere I gave it again. All we have here, is scarce the picture of glory: should not we young bairns, long and look for the expiring of our minority? It were good to be daily beg. ging, propines and love gifts, and the bridegroom's favours; and, if we can do more, seek crumbs, and hungry dinners of Christ's love, to keep the taste of heaven in our mouth, while supper-time. I know it is a far afternoon, and nigh the marriage supper of the Lamb; the table is covered already. O Well-beloved, run, run fast! O fair day, when wilt thou dawn! O shadows, Ree away! I think hope and love woven through other make our ab. fence from Christ spiritual torment; it is a pain to wait on, but hope that maketh not ashamed swalloweth up that pain. It is not unkindness that keepeth Christ and us so long asunder. What can I say to Christ's love? I think more than I can say: to consider, that when my Lord Jesus may take the air (if I may to speak) and go abroad, yet he will be confined and keep the prison with me; but in all this sweet communion with him, what am I to be thanked for? I am but a sufferer ; whether I will or not, he will be kind to me, as if he had defied my guiltiness to make him unkind; fo he beareth his love on me. Here I die with wondering, that justice hindreth not love; for there are none in hell, aor out of hell, more worthy of Christ's love. Shame

may confound and fear me, once to hold up my black mouth, to receive one of Christ's undeserved killes : if my inner-side were turned out, and all men faw my vileness, they would say to me, It is a lame for thee to stand still, whileChrist kiss thee and embrace thee: it would seem to become me rather to run away from his love, as alhamed at my own unworthiness; nay, I may think shame to take heaven, who bave so highly provoked my Lord Jefus : but seeing Christ's love will shame me, I am content to be ashamed. My desire is, that my Lord would give me broader and deeper thoughts, to feed myself with wondring at his love : I would I could weigh it, but I have no balance for it. When I have worn my tongue to the stump, in praising of Christ, I have done nothing to him; I must let him alone, for

my

withered arms will Dot go about his high, wide, long and broad love. What remaineth then, but that my debt to the love of Christ ly unpaid for all

eternity?

eternity? All that are in heaven are black shamed with his love as well as 'I; we must all be dyvours together; and the blessings of that house-full, or heaven-full of dyvours, shall rest for ever upon him. O if this land and nation would come and stand beside his inconceivable and glorious perfections, and look in, and love, and wonder, and adore! Would to God I could bring in many lovers to Christ's house! But this nation hath forsaken the foun. tain of living waters. Lord, cast not water on Scotland's coale Wo, wo will be to this land, because of the day of the Lord's fierce anger, that is so fast coming. Grace be with you. Aberdeen.

Your affectionate brother in our

Lord Jesus, S. R. ancarancanananananananan oranca

46. TO JOHN KENNEDY, Baillie of Air. Worthy and dear brother,

and

peace northern world, in paper; I know it not forgetfulness that ye write not. I am every way in good case, both in soul and body; all honour and glory be to my Lord: I want nothing but a further revelation of the beauty of the unknown Son of God. Ei. ther I know not what Christianity is, or we have ftinted a measure of so many ounce weights and no more, upon holiness; and there we are at a Itay, drawing our breath all our life: a moderation to God's way, now, is much in request. I profess I have never taken pains to find out him whom my soul loverh; there is a gait yet of finding out Christ, that I have never lighted upon. O if I could find it out! Alas, how soon are we pleased with our own shadow in a glass! It were good to be beginning in fad earneft to find out God, and to seek the right tread of Christ. Time, custom, and a good opinion of ourselves, our good meaning, and our lazy desires, our fair shows, and the world's glistering luftres, and these broad passments and buskings of religion, that bear bulk in the kirk, is that wherewith most satisfy themselves : but a wa. tered bed with tears, a dry throat with praying, eyes as a fountain of tears for the sins of the land, is rare to be found among us. Oh if we could koow the power of godlioess! This is one part of

my case; and another is, that I, like a fool, once fummoned Chrift for unkindness, and complained of his fickleness and unconstancy, because he would have no more of my service nor preaching, and had caften me out of the inheritance of the Lord : and I now confess this was but a bought plea, and I was a fool; yet he hath born with me. I gave him a fair advantage against me, but love and

mercy would not let him take it; and the truth is now he hath chided himself friends with me, and hath taken away the mask, and hath renewed his wonted favour in such a manner, that he hath paid mc my hundred fold in this life, and one to the

hundred

hundred. This prison is my banqueting house; I am handled as foftly and delicately as a dauted child; I am nothing behind, I fee, with Christ; he can in a month make up a year's losses: and I write this to you that I may intreat, nay, adjare and charge you by the love of our Well-beloved, to help me to praise, and to tell all your Christian acquaintance to help me; for I am as deeply drowned in his debt as any dyvour can be: and yet in this fair fan-blink, I have something to keep me from startling, on being exalted above measure; his word is as fire shut up in my bowels, and I am weary with forbearing. The ministers in this towo are saying, they Thall have my prison changed into less bounds, because they fee God with me; my mother hath bora me a man of contention, one that striveth with the whole earth. The late wrongs and oppressions done to my brother keep my fails low; yet I defy crosses to einbark me in such a plea against Christ as I was troubled with of late. I hope to over. hope and over-believe my troubles: I have cause now to trust Christ's promise, more than his gloom. Remember my hearty affections to your wife. My soul is grieved for the success of our brethrens journey to New England; but God hath somewhat to reveal that we see not. Grace be with you. Pray for the prisoner, Aberdeen, Jan. 1,

Yours in his only Lord 1637

Jesus, S.R.

47. TO MARGARET BALLANTINE. Mistress, Race, mercy and peace be unto you: it is more than time

, , if I could help your soul to mend your pace, and to go more swiftly to your heavenly country; for truly ye have need to make all haste, because the inch of your day that remaineth will quickly Dip away; for whether we sleep or wake our glass rupneth, the tide bideth no man.

Beware of a beguile in the matter of your salvation:

: wo, wo for evermore to them that lose that prize; for what is behind, when the soul is once lost, but that sinners warm their bits of clay-houses at a fire of their own kindling, for a day or two, which doch rather suffocate with its smoke than warm them; and at length they ly down in forrow, and are clothed with everlasting shame? I would seek no further measure of faith to begin withal, than to believe really and stedfastly the doctrine of God's juftice, bis all devouring wrath and everlasting burning, where finners are burnt, foul and body, in a river and of fire and brimstone: then they would wish no more goods, but the thousandth part of a cold fountain well to cool their tongue; they would then buy death, with enduring of pain and torment

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for as many years as God hath created drops of rain since the creation ; but there is no market of buying or telling life or death there : Oh! alas the greatest part of the world run to the place of that torment rejoicing and dancing, eating, drinking and sleeping. My counsel to you is, that ye start in time to be after Christ; for if ye go quickly, Christ is not far before you, ye shall overtake him. O Lord God, what is so needful as this, Salvation, salvation? Fy upon this condemned and foolish world, that would give so little for salvation ! Oh, if there were a free market of salvation proclaimed, in that day, when the trumpet of God shall awake the dead; how many buyers would be then? God send me no more happiness but that falvation which the blind world (to their eternal wo) letteth slip through their fingers; therefore look if ye can give out your money (as Ifaiah speaketh, chap. lv. 2.) for bread, and lay Christ and his blood in Wadset for heaven: it is a dry and hungry bairn's part of goods, that Efaus are hunting for here : I see thousands following the chase, and in the pursuit of such things, while in the mean time they lose the blessing: and when all is done, they have caught nothing to roast for supper, but ly down hungry; and besides, they go to bed, when they die, without a candle; for God faith to them, “This shall ye have at my hand, ye shall ly down in forrow.' And truly this is as ill made a bed to ly upon as one could wish; for he cannot sleep foundly, Bor reft sweetly, who hath forrow for his pil. low. Rouze, rouze up therefore your soul, and ask how Chrift and your foul met together : I am sure they never got Christ, who were not once fick at the yolk of the heart for him : too, too many whole fouls think they have met with Christ, who had never a wearied night for the want of him: ; but alas, what richer are men, that they dreamed the last night they had much gold, and when they awoke in the morning they found it was but a dream? What are all the fingers in the world, in that day when heaven and earth shall go up in a fame of fire, but a number of beguilcd dreamers? Every one shall say of his hunting and his conquest Behold it was a dream: every man in that day will tell his dream. I beseech you in the Lord Jesus, beware, beware of unfound work, in the matter of your salvation : ye may not, ye cannot, ye do not want Chrift: then after this day conveen all your lovers before your soul, and give them their leave; and Atrike hands with Christ, that thereafter there may be no happiness to you but Chrift, no hunting for any thing but Christ, no bed at night (when death cometh) but Christ, Christ, Christ; who had but Chrift? I know this much of Christ, he is not ill to be found, nor lordly of his love; wo had been my part of it for evermore, if Christ had made a daipry of himself to me : but, God be thanked, I gave nothing for Christ; and now, I protest before men and angels, Christ can

not

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