صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

not be fold, Christ cannot be weighed: where would angels, or all the world find a ballance to weigh him in ? All lovers blush when ye stand beside Christ; wo upon all love but the love of Cbrift; hunger, hunger for evermore, be upon all heaven but Chrift; shame, shame for evermore, be upon all glory. I cry death upon all lives but the life of Christ. O what is it that holdeth us asunder! O that once we could have a fair meeting. Thus recommending Christ to you, and you to him for evermore, I reft, (Grace be with you) Aberd 1637.

Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R.

48. TO JANET KENNEDY. Loving and dear fister. G

Race, mercy and peace be unto you: I received your letter :

I know, the favour of Christ in you (that the virgins love to follow) cannot be blown away with winds, either from hell, or the evil-smelled air of this polluted world : fit far a-back from the walls of this post-house, even the pollutions of this defiling world. Keep your taste, your love and hope in heaven; it is not good, your love and your Lord should be in two sundry countries. Up, up after your Lover, that ye and he may be together. A King from heaven hath sent for you; by faith he sheweth you the New Jerusalem, and taketh you alongst, in the spirit, through all the ease rooms, and dwelling-houses in heaven, and faith, All these are thine, this palace is for thee and Christ; and if ye only had been the chosen of God, Christ would have built that one house for you and himfelf; now it is for you and many others allo: take with you in your journey what ye may carry

with

you, your conscience, faith, hope, patience, meekness, goodness, brotherly kindness; for such wares as these are of great price in the high and new country whither ye go: as for other things, that are but the world's vanity and trash, since they are but the housesweepings, ye shall do best not to carry them with you; ye found them here, leave them here, and let them keep the house. Your son is well turned, and low; bę nigh your lodging against night. We

go one and one out of this great market till the town be empty, and the two lodgings, heaven and hell, be filled : at length there will be nothing in the earth but toom-walls and burat ashes, and therefore it is best to make away, Antichrist and his master are busy to plenish hell, and to seduce many: and stars, great church lights are falling from heaven, and many are milled and seduced, and make up with their faith, and felt their birtlarights, by their hangry hunting for I know not what. Falten your grips fast upon Christ.' I verily esteem him the best aught that I have: he is my second in prison ; having him, though my L

crcfs

[ocr errors]

1

cross were as heavy as ten mountains of iron, when he putteth his sweet shoulder under me and it, my cross is but a feather. I please myself in the choice of Christ; he is my waile in heaven and earth: I rejoice that he is in heaven before me; God fend a joyful meeting: and in the mean time, the travellers charges for the way, I mean, a burden of Christ's love to swesten the journey, and to encourage a breathless runner; for when I lofe breath, climbing up the mountain, he maketh new breath. Now the very God of peace establish you to the day of his appearance. Aberdeen, Sept. 9.

Yours in his only Lord 1637.

Jefus, S. R. nionano 49. TO MARGARET REID. My very dear, and wrothy sister,

Race, mercy and peace be to you: ye are truly blessed of

the Lord, however a four world gloom upon you, if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel. It is good, there is a heaven, and it is not a night-dream, or a fancy: it is a wonder that men deny not that there is a heaven, as they deny there is a way to it but of mens making. You have learned of Christ that there is a heaven; contend for it, and contend for Christ; bear well and submissively the hard cross of this step mother world, that God will not have to be yours. I confess it is hard, and I would I were able to ease you of your burden; but believe me, this world (which the Lord will not have to be yours) is but the dross, the refuse and scorn of God's creation, the portion of the Lord's poor hired servants; the moveables, not the heritage; a hard bone ca. Iten to the dogs, holden out of the New Jerusalem, whereupou they rather break their teeth than fatisfy their appetite : it is your father's blessing, and Christ's birth right, that our Lord is keeping for you; and I persuade you, your feed also shall inherit the earth, (if that be good for them) for that is promised to them i and God's bond is as good, and better, than if men would give every one of them a bond for a thousand thousands. Ere you was born, crosses in number, measure and weight were written for you, and your Lord will lead you thorough them: make Chrift sure, and the blessings of the earth shall be at Christ's back. see many professors for the fashion followeth on; but they are profeffors of glass : I would cause a little knock of perfecution ding them in twenty pieces, and so the world should laugh at the sheards, Therefore make fast work, see that Christ lay the ground stone of your profeffion; for wind and rain, and speats will not wash a. way his building; his works have no shorter date than to stand for evermore. I should twedry times have perished in my afflic

tion, if I had not leaned my weak back, and laid my pressing bür. den both upon the stone, the foundation stone, the corner stone laid in Zion: and I desire never to rise off this stone. Now, the very God of peace confirm and establish you unto the day of the blessed appearance

of Christ Jefus. God be with you. Aberd.

Yours in his dearest Lord Jesus, S. R.

50. TO JAMES BAUTIE. Loving brother,

Race, mercy and peace be unto you: I received your letter,

[ocr errors]

1.

to answer all the heads of it, as the bearer can inform you. Ye do well to take yourself at the right ftot, when ye wrong Chrift by doubting and misbelief; for this is to pick-name Christ, and term him a liar, which being spoken to our prince, would be hanging or heading; but Christ hangeth not always for treason: it is good that he may registrate a believer's bond a hundred times and more than seven times a day have law against us, and yet he {pareth us as a man doth his son that serveth him ; no tenderhearted mother, who may have law to kill her sucking child, would

put

in execution that law. 2dlv, For your failings, even when ye have a set tryst with Christ, and when ye have a fair seen advantage, by keeping your appointment with him, and falvation cometh to the very passing of the seals, I would say two things ; ist

, Concluded and sealed salvation may go through and be ended, suppose ye write your name to the tail of the covenant with ink that can hardly be read: neither think I ever any man's faltation passed the seals, but there was an odd trick or Nip, in less or more, upon the fool's part, who is infested in heaven.

In the most grave and serious work of our salvation, I think Christ had Dever good cause to laugh at our filliness, and to put on us his merits that we might bear weight. 2. It is a sweet law of the Dew covenant, and a privilege of ihe new burgh, that citizens pay accordiog to their means; for the new covenant faith not, fo much obedience by ounce weights, and no less, under the pain of damnation : Christ taketh as poor men may give ; where there is a mean portion he is content with the less, if there be sincerity : broken lums and little feckless obedience will be pardoned, and hold the foot with him: know ye not that our kindly Lord retaineth his good old heart yet? He breaketh not a bruised reed, Dor quencheth the smoaking flax: but if the wind blow he hold eth his hand about it till it rise to a flame. The law cometh on with three O yes's, with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the whole strength: and when would poor folks, like you and me, furnish all these sums? It fcareth me, (nay it is most certain) L2

that

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'that if the payment were to come out of our purse, when we Tould put our hand in our bag we would bring out the wind or worse : but the covenant seeketh not heap-mete, nor ftented obedience, as the condition of it, because forgiveness hath always place. Hence I draw this conclusion; to think matters betwixt Christ and us go back for want of heaped measure, is a piece of old Adam's pride, who would either be at legal payment or nothing: we would still have God in our common, and buy his kindness with our merits; for beggarly pride is devil's honesty, and blusheth to be in Christ's common, and scarce giveth God à grammercy, and a lifted cap, (except it be the Pharisee's unlucky God I thank thee) or a bowed knee to Christ: it will only give a good day for a good day again, and if he dissemble his kindness, as it were, in jest, and seem to misken it, it in earneft spurneth with the heels, and fouffeth in the wind, and careth nor much for Christ's kindness: if he will not be friends let him go, faith pride; beware of this thief, when Christ offereth himself. 3. No marvel then of whisperings, whether you be in the covenant or not: for pride maketh loose work of the covenant of grace, and will not let Christ be full bargain-maker. To speak to you particularly and shortly; 1. All the truly regenerated cannot determinately tell you the measure of their dejections, because Chrift beginneth young with many, and stealeth into their heart, ere they wit of themselves, and becometh homely with them, with little din or noise. I grant many are blinded, in rejoicing in a good cheap conversion, that never coft them a fick night; Christ's physic wrought in a dream upon them; but for that I would say if other marks be found, that Christ is indeed come in, never make plea with him, because he will not answer, Lord Jesus how camelt thou in? whether in at door or window? Make him wel. come since he is come. The wind bloweth where it listeth; all the world's wit cannot perfectly render a reason, why the winds fhould be a month in the east, six weeks possibly in the west, and the space only of an afternoon in the south or north. Ye will not find out all the nicks and steps of Christ's way with a soul do what ye can; for sometimes he will come in stepping softly, like one walking beside a feepy person. and Nip to the door, and let none know he was there. 2. Ye object, The truly regenerate should love God for himself; and ye fear that ye love him more for his benefits (as incitements and motives to love him) than for him. self. I answer, To love God for himself as the last end, and also for his benefits, as incitements and motives to love him, may Tand well together; as a son loveth his mother, because he is his mother, howbeit she be poor; and he loveth her for an apple also. I hope ye will not say, that benefits are the only reason and bottom of your love; it seemeth there is a better foundation for

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

it: always, if a hole be in it, sew it up shortly. 3. Ye feel not
fuch mourning in Christ's absence as ye would. I answer, That
the regenerate mourn at all times, and all in a like measure for his
absence. I deny, there are different degrees of mourning, less
or more, as they have less or more love to him, and less or more
sense of his absence: But, 1. Some they must have. 2. Some-
times they miss not the Lord, and then they cannot mourn; how-
beit, it is not long so; at least, it is not always so. 3. Ye chal-
lenge yourself, that some truths find more credit with you than
others. Ye do well, for God is true in the least, as well as in
the greatest, and he must be fo to you : ye must not call him true
in the one page of the leaf, and falfe in the other; for our Lord
in all his writings never contradicted himself yet; although the
best of the regenerate have lipped here, always labour ye to hold
your feet. 4. Comparing the estate of one truly regenerate
(whose heart is a temple of the Holy Ghost) and yours (which is
full of uncleanness and corruption) ye stand dumb and discoura-
ged, and dare not sometimes call Christ heartsomely your own. I .
answer, The best regenerate have their defilements, and (if I may
{peak fo) their draff poke, that will clog behind them all their
days; and walh as they will, there will be filth in their bofom ;
but let not this put you from the well. 2. I answer, Albeit there
be some ounce weights of carnality, and some squint-look, or eye
in our neck to an idol, yet love in its own measure

may

be found; for glory must purify and perfect our love, it will never till then be absolutely pure : yet if the idol reign, and have the yolk of the heart, and the keys of the house, and Christ only be made an underling to run errands, all is not right, therefore examine well. 3. There is a two fold discouragement; one of unbelief, to conclude, and make doubt of the conclusion, for a mote in our eye, and a by-look to an idol; this is ill. There is another discouragement of sorrow for fin, when ye find a by.look to an idol; this is good, and matter of thanksgiving; therefore examine here also. 5. The assurance of Jesus his love, ye say, would be the most comfortable news that ever ye heard. Answer, That may stop twenty holes, and loose many objections : that love hath telling in it, I trow. Oh that ye knew and felt it, as I have done! I wish you a share of my feast; sweet, sweet hath it been to me. If my Lord had not given me this love, I would have fallen thro! the causeway of Aberdeen ere now? but for you, hing on, your feast is not far off; ye shall be filled ere ye go; there is as much in our Lord's pantry, as will satisfy all his bairns, and as much wine in his cellar as will quench all their thirst: hunger on, for there is meat in hunger for Christ: go never from him, but fash him (who yet is pleased with the importunity of hungry fouls) with a dish-full of hungry desires, till he fill you; and if he delay

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »