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be forgotten. And my forrow shall want nothing to compleat it, and to make me fay, What availeth it me to live? If ye
follow the voice of a stranger, of one that cometh into the sheep fold not by Christ the door, but climbeth up another way. If the man build his hay and stubble upon the golden foundation, Christ Jesus, already laid among you, and ye follow him, I assure you, the man's work shall burn, and pever bide God's fire, and ye and he both shall be in danger of everlasting burning, except ye repent. O if any pain, any sorrow, any loss that I can suffer for Christ, and for you, were laid in pledge to buy Christ's love to you, and that I could lay my dearest joys next to Christ my Lord in the gap, beiwixt you and eternal destruction ! O if I had paper as broad as heaven and earth, and ink as the sea, and all the rivers and fountains of the earth, and were able to write the love, the worth, the excellency, the sweetness, and due praises of our dearest and faireft Well-beloved; and then if ye could read and understand it! What could I want, if my ministry among you should make a marriage between the little bride in that bounds and the Bridegroom? O how rich a prisoner were I, if I could obtain of my Lord (before whom I stand for you) the falvation of you all! O what a prey had I gotten, to have you catched in Christ's net! O then I had caft out my Lord's lines and his net with a rich gain ! O then, well-wared pained breast and fore back, and crazed body, in speaking early and late to you! My witness is above, your heaven would be two heavens to me, and the salvation of you all as two falvations to me; I would subscribe a suspension, and a fristing of my heaven, for many hundred years, (according to God's good pleasure) if you were sure in the upper lodging, in our Father's house, before me. I take to witness heaven and earth against you, I take instruments in the hands of that sun and daylight that beheld us, and in the hands of the timber and walls of that kirk, if I drew not up a fair contract of marriage betwixt you and Christ, if I went not with offers betwixt the Bridegroom and you; and your conscience did bear you witness, your mouths confeffed, that there were many fair trysts and meetings drawn on be twixt Christ and you at communion feasts, and other occasions ; there were bracelets, jewels, rings, and love-letters, sent to you by the Bridegroom; it was told you what a fair dowry ye should have, and what a house your husband and ye should dwell in, and what was the Bridegroom's excellency, sweetness, might, power ; the eternity and glory of his kingdom, the exceeding dcepness of his love, who fought his black wife through pain, fires, thame, death, and the grave, and swimmed the falt sea for her, undergoing the curse of the law, and then was made a curse for you; and ye then consented and said, Even so I take him., I counsel you, beware of the new and frange leaven of mens inventions, beside
and against the word of God, contrair to the oath of this kirk, now coming among you: I instructed you of the superstition and idolatry of kneeling in the instant of receiving the Lord's fupper, and crossing in baptism, and the observing of mens days, without any warrant of Christ our perfect lawgiver: countenance not the surplice, the attire of the mafs-priest, the garment of Baal's priests; the abominable bowing to altars of tree is coming upon you; hate, and keep yourselves from idols: forbear in any case to hear the reading of the new fatherless service book, full of gross heresies, popish and fuperftitious errors, without any warrant of Christ, tending to the overthrow of preaching: you owe no obedience. to the bastard canons; they are unlawful, blasphemous and superftitious: all the ceremonies that ly in the Antichrift's foul womb, the wares of that great mother of fornications, the kirk of Rome, are to be refused; ye fee whither they lead you: continue still in the doctrine which ye have received: ye heard of me the whole counsel of God, sew po clouts upon Christ's robe; take Christ in bis rags and losses, and as persecuted by men, and be content to figh, and pant up the mountain, with Christ's crofs on your back; let me be reputed a false prophet (and your conscience once said the contrair) if your Lord Jesus shall not stand by you, and maintain you, and maintain your cause against your enemies. I have heard (and my soul is grieved for it) that since my departure from you, many among you are turned back from the good old way, to the dogs vomit again; let me fpeak to these men: it was not without God's special direction, that the first sentence that ever my mouth uttered to you was that of Joh. chap. ix. 39. 'And Je. fus faid, For judgment came I into the world, that they which see not might see, and they which see might be made blind.' It is possible, my first meeting and yours be, when we shall both stand before the dreadful judge of the world : and in the name and authority of the Son of God, my great King and Master, I write, by these presents, summons to these men, I arrest their souls and bodies to the day of our compearance; their eternal damnation stands fubfcribed, and sealed in heaven, by the hand writing of the great judge of quick and dead; and I am ready to stand up, as a preaching witness against such to their face, that day, and to fay Amen to their condemnation, except they repent. The vengeance of the gospel is heavier nor the vengeance of the law; the Mediator's malediction and vengeance is twice vengeance, and that vengeance is the due portion of such men'; and there I leave them as bound men, ay, and while they repent and amend. You were witnesses how the Lord's day was spent while I was among you: O sacrilegious robber of God's day, what wilt thou answer the Almighty, when he seeketh so many sabbaths back again from thee? What will the curser, swearer, and blasphemer do, when
deur of velvet kirk men; Chrift hath the yolk and heart of my love, I am my Beloved's, and my Well beloved is mine.' o that ye were all hand-fastened to Christ! O my dearly beloved in the Lord, I would I could change my voice, aod had a tongue tuned with the hand of my Lord, and had the art of speaking of Christ, that I might paint out uoto you the worth, and highness, and greatness, and excellency of that fairest and renowned Bridegroom! I beseech you by the mercies of the Lord, by the fighs, tears, and heart's-blood of our Lord Jesus, by the falvation of your poor and precious fouls, set up the mountain, that ye and I may meet before the Lamb's throne, amongft the congregation of the first born. Lord, grant that that may be the trysting place, that ye and I may put up our hands together, and pluck, and eat the apples off the tree of life, and we may feast together, and drink together of that pure river of the water of life, that cometh out from under the throne of God, and from the Lamb. O how little is your hand-breadth and span-length of days here ! Your inch of time is less than when ye and I parted : eternity, eternity is coming, posting on with wings; then shall every man's blacks and whites be brought to light. O how light will your thoughts be of this fair skinned but heart rotten apple, the vain, vain, teckless world, when the worms shall make their houses in your eye holes, and shall eat off the flesh from the ball of your cheeks, and fhall make that body a number of dry bones? Think not the common gate of serving God, `as neighbour and others do, will bring you to heaven ; few, few are saved; the devil's court is thick and many; he hath the greatest number of mankind for his vassals, I know this world is a great forest of thorns in your way to hea. ven; but you must through it ; acquaint yourselves with the Lord, hold fast Christ, hear his voice only, bless his name, fanc. tify and keep his day; keep the new commandment, Love one another;' let the holy Spirit dwell in your bodies, and be clean and holy; love not the world, lie not, love and follow truth; learn to know God: keep in mind what I taught you; for God will seek an account of it, when I am far from you: abstain from all evil, and all appearance of evil; follow good carefully, and seek peace, and follow after it; honour your king, and pray for him; remember me to God in your prayers, I do not forget you. I told you often, while I was with you, and now I write it again, Heavy, sad and fore, is that stroke of the Lord's wrath that is coming upon Scotland: wo, wo, wo to this harlot land; for they mall take the cup of God's wrath from his hand, and drink, and spue, and full, and not rise again. In, in, in with speed, to your strong hold, ye prisoners of hope, and hide you there, while the anger of the Lord pass: follow not the pastors of this land, for the sun is gone down upon them; as the Lord liveth, they lead
you from Christ, and from the good old way; get the Lord will keep the holy city, and make this withered kirk to bud again, like a role, and a field blessed of the Lord. The grace of the Lord Jesus Chrift be with you all. The prayers and blessings of a prisoner of Christ, in bonds for him, and for you, be with you all, Amen. Aberdeen, July 14,
Your lawful and loving 1637.
. 3. To the Honourable, Reverend, and Well-beloved Profesors of
Christ and his Truth in Sincerity, in l&ELAND.
calling, Grace, mercy and peace be to you, from God our Father, and from our Lord. Jesus Christ: I always, but most of all now in my bonds, (moft sweet bonds for Christ my Lord) rejoice to hear of your faith and love, and to hear that our King, our Well-beloved, our Bridegroom, without tiring, stayeth still to woo you, as his wife; and that persecutions, and mockings of finners have not chased away the wooer from the house. I persuade you in the Lord, the men of God, now scattered and driven from you, put you upon the right scent and pursuit of Christ; and my fal. vation on it, (if ten heavens were mine) if this way, this way that I now suffer for, this way that the world nicknameth and reproacheth, and no other way, be not the King's gate to heaven; and I fhall never see God's face, and, alas, I were a beguiled wretch if it were fo!) if this be not the only saving way to heaven.
that you would take a prisoner of Christ's word for it, day, I know you have the greateft King's word for it, that it shall not be
your wisdom to spier out another Christ, another way thipping him, than is now favingly revealed to you. Therefore, though I never saw your faces, let me be pardoned to write to you, ye honourable perfons, ye faithful pastors yet amongst the Rocks, and ye sincere professors of Christ's truth, or any weak, tired ftrayers, who cast but half an eye after the Bridegroom, if poffibly I could, by any weak experience, confirm and strengthen you in this good way, every where spoken against. I can with greatest assurance (to the honour of our highest, and greatest, and dearest Lard, let it be spoken) affert (though I be but a child in Christ, and scarce able to walk, but by a hold, and the meanest, and less than the leaft of faints) that we do not come nigh by twenty degrees, to the due love and estimation of that fairelt amongst the lons of men; for if it were possible that heaven, yea, ten heavens, were laid in the ballance with Christ, I would think the smell of his breath above them all : sure I am, he is the far best half of heaven ; yea, he is all heayen, and more than alt heaven and my testimony of him is, that ten lives of black sorrow, ten
deaths, ten hells of pain, ten furnaces of brimstone, aod all exquisite torments, were all too little for Christ, if our suffering could be a hire to buy him; and therefore faint not in your fuffer. ings and hazards for him. I proclaim and cry, hell, forrow, and Thame upon all lufts, upon all by-lovers, that would take Christ's room over his head, in this little inch of love, of these parrow fouls of ours, that is due to sweetest Jesus. O highest, О fairest, O dearest Lord Jesus, take thine own from all beffard lovers. O that we could wadset and sell all our part of time's glory, and time's good things, for a lease and tack of Christ for all eternity! O how are we misled and mired with the love of things that are on this side of time, and on this side of death's water! Where can we find a match to Christ, or an equal, or a better than he, among created things? Oh, this world is out of all conceit, and all love with our beloved! O that I could fell my laughter, joy, ease, and all for him! and be content of a straw bed, and bread by weight, and water by measure, in the camp of our weeping Chrift! I know his fackcloth and ashes are better than the fool's Jaughter, which is like the crackling of thorns under a pot. But alas! we do not harden our faces against the cold north storms, which blow upon Christ's fair face; we love well summer religion, and to be that which Gin hath made us, even as thin-skinned as if we were made of white paper, and would fain be carried to heaven in a close covered chariot, withing from our hearts that Christ would give us surety, and his hand-write, and his feal for nothing but a fair fummer, until we be landed in at heaven's gates : how many of us have been here deceived, and fainted in the day of trial ? amongst you there are some of this stamp. I shall be forry if my acquaintance A. T. hath left you; I will not believe. he dare stay from Christ's side. I desire that ye shew him this from me; for I loved him once in Christ, neither can I change my mind suddenly of him. But the truth is, that many of you, and too many also of your neighbour church of Scotland, have been like a tenant that fitreth meal.free, and knoweth not his holding while his rights be questioned : and now I am persuaded, it will be alk. ed at every one of us, on what terms we brook Christs for we have fitten long meal-free; we found Christ without a wet foot; and he, and his gospel, came upon small charges to our doors: but now we must wet our feet to seek him : our evil manners, and the bad fafhions of a people at ease from our youth, and like Mcab, not caften from vessel to vessel, Jer. 48. 11. hath made us like standing waters, to gather a foul scum, and when we are jumbled our dregs come up, and are seen : many take but half a grip of Christ, and the wind bloweth them and Christ asunder ; indeed when the mast is broken and blown in the sea, it is an art then to swim upon Christ to dry land; it is even possible that the children