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Sir, ye may help me and pity me in this, and bow your knee, and bless his name, and desire others to do it,' that he hath been pleased in my lufferings to make Atheists, Papists, and enemies about me, say, It is like, God is with this prisoner. Let hell and the powers of hell (I care not) be let loose against me to do their wort, so being Christ, and myFather and his father be magoified in my fofferings. 6. Christ's love hath pained me; for howbeit his presence hath fhamed me, and drowned me in debt, yet he often goeth away when my love to him is burning; he seemeth to look like a proud wooer, who will not look upon a poor match, who is dying of love: I will not say he is lordly; but I know he is wise, in hiding himself from a child and a fool, who maketh an idol and a god of one of Christ's kisses, which is idolatry. I fear I adore his comforts more than himself, and that I love the apples of life better than the tree of life. Sir, write to me : mend me to your wife, mercy be her portion. Grace be with you. Aberdeen, 1637

Yours in his dearest Lord Jesus, S. R.

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53. TO JOHN STEWART Provost of Air. Worthy and dearly beloved in our Lord, Race, mercy and peace be to you: I was refreshed and com

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fort, I do not remember ; but I believe, love will prophesy home-ward, as it would have it. I wish I could help you to praise his great and holy name, who keepeth the feet of his saints, and hath numbered all your goings. I know our dearest Lord will pardon and pass by our honest errors and mistakes, when we mind his honour; yet I know, none of you have seen the other half and the hidden side of your wonderful return home to us again. I am confident ye shall yet say, That God's mercy blew your fails back to Ireland again. Worthy and dear Sir, I cannot but give you an account of my present estate, that ye may go an errand for me to my high and royal Master, of whom I boast all the day. I am as proud of his love, (nay, I bless myself, and boast more of my present lot) as any poor man can be of an earthly king's court, or of a kingdom. First, I am very often turning both the sides of my cross, especially my dumb and filent fabbaths ; not because I desire to find a cross or defect in my Lord's love, but because love is fick with fancies, and fear: whether or not the Lord hath a process leading against my guiltiness, that I have not yet well seen, I know not; my desire is to ride fair, and not to spark dirt (if, with reverence to him, I may be permitted to make use of such a word) in the face of my M 2

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only. Well-beloved; but fear of guiltiness is a tale-bearer betwixt me and Christ, and is still whispering ill tales of my Lord, to weaken my faith; I had rather a cloud went over my comforts by these messages, than that my faith should be hurt; for, if my Lord get no wrong by me, verily I desire grace, not to care what become of me. I desire. to give no faith, nor credit to my forrow, that can make a lie of my friend Christ; wo, wo be to them all, who speak ill of Christ. Hence these thoughts awake with me in the morning, and go to bed with me; Oh what service can a dumb body do in Christ's house! Oh I think the word of God is imprisoned also! Oh I am a dry tree! Alas I can neither plant, nor water! Oh if my Lord would make but dung for me, to fatteo and make fertile his own coro ridges in mount Zion! Oh if I might but speak to three or four herd-boys, of my wora thy Master, I would be satisfied to be the meanest and most ob{cure of all he pastors in this land, and to live in any place, in any of Christ's baseft out-houses! but he saith, Sirra, I will not fend you, I have no errands for you there away: my desire to serve him is sick of jealousy, lest he be unwilling to employ me. Secondly, This is seconded with another; Oh, what I have done in Anwoth ? the fair work that my Master began there, is like a bird dying in the shell: and what will I then have to thew of all my labour, in the day of my compearance before him, when the master of the vineyard calleth the labourers,and giveththemtheir hire? Thirdly, But truly, when Christ's sweet wind is in the right airth, I repent, and I pray Christ to take law-burroughs of my quarrellous and unbelieving sadness and sorrow, (Lord rebuke them that put ill betwixt a poor servant like me, and his good maIter:) then I say, whether the black cross will or not, I must climb on hands and feet up to my Lord, I am now rueing from my heart, that I plealured the law (my old dead husband)-fo far as to apprehend wrath in my sweet Lord Jesus ; I had far rather take an hire to plead for the grace of God, for I think myself Christ's sworn debtor. And the truth is, to speak of my Lord what I cannot deny, I am over head and ears drowned in many obligations to his love and mercy; he handleth me sometimes for that I am ashamed almast to seek more for a four-hours, but to live content, till the marriage-fupper of the Lamb, with that which he giveth: but I koow not how greedy, and how ill to please love is; for either my Lord Jesus hath taught me ill manners, not to be content with a feat, except my head ly in his bofom, and except I be fed with the fatness of his house; or else I am growo impatiently daioty, and ill to please, as if Christ were obliged, under this cross, to do po other thing but bear me in his arms, and as if I had claim by his merit for my suffering for him: but I wilh he could give me grace to learn to go on my own feet, and to learn to want his com

forts,

forts, and to give thanks and believe, when the sun is not in my firmament, and when my Well-beloved is from home, and gone another errand. O what fweet peace have I, when I find Chrift holdeth and I draw, when I climb up and he shutteth me down, when I grip him and embrace him, and he seemeth to loose the grips, and Alee away from me! I think there is even a sweet joy of faith and contentedness and peace, in his very tempting unkindness, because my faith faith, Christ is not in sad earnest with me, but trying if I can be kind to his mask and cloud that covereth him, as well as to his fair face. I bless his great name, that I love his vail that goeth over his face, while God fend better: fos faith can kiss. God's tempting reproaches when he nick-nameth a Gnner, a dog, not worthy to eat bread with the bairns. I think it an honour that Chrift mifcalleth me, and reproacheth me; I will take that well of him, howbeit I would pot bear it well, if another would be that homely; but because I am his owo (God be thanked) he may use me as he pleafech: I must say, the saints have a sweet life betwixt them and Christ; there is much sweet solace of love betwixt him and them, when he 'feedeth among the lillies, and cometh into his garden, and maketh a feast of hoDey.combs, and drinketh his wine and his milk, and crieth, Eat, o friends, drink, be ye drunken, O Well beloved.' One hour of this labour is worth a fhip-full of world's drunken and muddy joy: gay, even the gate of heaven is the funny side of the brae, and the very garden of the world; for the men of this world have their own unchristened and profane crosses: and wo be to them and their curled crosses both; for their ills are falted with God's vengeance, and our ills seasoned with our Father's blefling: fo they are no fools who chuse Christ, and sell all things for him; it is no bairns market, nor a blind block; we know well what we get and what we give. Now, for any resolution to go to any other kingdom, I dare not speak one word: my hopes of enlargement are cold, my hopes of re-entry to my master's ill-dressed vineyard again are far colder : I have no feat for my faith to fit on but bare omnipotency, and God's holy arm and good will; here I desire to stay, and ride at anchor, and wioter, while God fend fair weather again, and be pleased to take home to his house my harlot-mother : Oh if her husband would be that kind, as to go and fetch her out of the brothel. house, and chase her lovers to the hills! but there will be sad days ere it come to that. Rememe ber my bonds. Grace be with you, Aberd. 1637

Tours in our Lord Jesus, S. R.

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54. To the Lady B USBIE. Mistress,

Lthough not acquaint, yet because we are Father's children,

I thought good to write unto you: howbeit my first dif. course and communing with you of Christ, be in paper ; yet I have cause since I came hither, to have no paper thoughts of him i for in my fad days he is become the flower of my joys, and I but lie here living upon his love; but cannot get so much of it as fain I would have; not because Christ's love is lordly, and looketh too high; but because I have a parrow vessel to receive his love, and I look too low: but I give under my own hand write to your teftimonial of Christ and his cross, that they are a sweet couple, and that Christ hath never yet been set in his own due chair of honour amongst us all. Oh, I know not where to set him ! O for a high seat to that royal princely one ! O that my poor wither. ed soul had once a running over Aood of that love to put fap in my dry root, and that that food would spring out to the tongue and pen, to útter great things to the high and due commendation of such a fair one! O holy, holy, holy one! Alas there are too many dumb tongues in the world, and dry hearts, feeing there is employment in Christ for them all, and ten thousand worlds of men and angels more, to set on high, and exalt the greatest Prince of the kings of the earth. Woes me, that bits of living clay dare come out, to rush hard-heads with him; and that my unkind mother, this harlot-kirk, hath given her sweet half-marrow foch a meeting; for this land hath given up with Christ, and the Lord is cutting Scotland in two halves, and sending the worst half, the harlot sister, over to Rome's brothel-house, to get her fill of Egypt's love. I would my sufferings (nay, suppose I were barat quick to alhes) might buy an agreement betwixt his fairest and sweetest love, and his gaudy lewd wife; fain would I give Christ his welcome home to Scotland again, if he would return. This is a black day, a day of clouds and darkness; for the roof-tree of my Lord Jesus his fair temple is fallen, and Christ's back is toward Scotland. O thrice blessed are they who would hold Chrift with their tears and prayers! I know ye will help to deal with him, for he shall return again to this land: the next day shall be Christ's, and there shall be a fair green young garden for Christ in this land, and God's summer-dew (hall ly on it all the night, and we shall fing again our new marriage song to our Bridegroom, concerning his vineyard: but who knoweth whether we shall live and fee it? I hear the Lord hath taken pains to afflict and dress you, as a fruitful vine for himself; grow and be green, and cast out your branches, and bring forth fruit: fat and green and frnitful may ye be, in the true and fappy root. Grace, grace, free

grace

grace be your portion.' Remember my bonds with

prayers

and praises, Aberd. 1637.

Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R.

55. To NINIAN MURE. Loving Friend, Received your letter: I intrear

you, now in the morning of your life, seek the Lord and his face: beware of the folly of dangerous youth, a perilous time for your soul: love not the world; keep faith and truth with all men, in your covenants and bargains; walk with God, for he seeth you: do nothiøg but that which ye may and would do, if your eye-Strings were breaking, and your breath growing cold. Ye heard the truth of God from me; my dear heart, follow it, and forsake it not; prize Chrift and salvation above all the world : to live after the guise and course of the rest of the world, will not bring you to heaven; without faith in Christ, and repentance, ye cannot fee God: take pains for salvation; press forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling: if ye watch not against evils night and day, which beset you, ye will come behind : beware of lying, swearing, uneleanness, and the rest of the works of the flesh; because for these things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedieace: how sweet foever they may seem for the present, yet the end of these courses is the eternal wrath of God, and utter darkness, where there is weeping and goalhing of teeth, Grace be

with you.

Aberd. 1637.

Tour loving pastor, S. R.

56. TO Mr. THOMAS CARVEN. Reverend and dear brother, Race, mercy and peace be unto you. I am forry that what

in
my

lovefits, hath made you and many of God's children believe, that there is something in a broken reed the like of me; except that Christ's grace hath bought such a sold body, I know not what else

aoy may think of me, or expect from me. My stock is less (my Lord knoweth I speak truth) than many believe; my empty lounds have promised too much: I would be glad to ly under Christ's feet, and keep and receive the off fallings, or any old pie. ces of any grace, that fall from his sweet fingers to forlorn fiaDers. I ly often uncouth-like, looking in at the King's windows; surely I am unworthy of a seat in the King's hall. Moor: I but of ten look afar off, both feared and framed-like, to that faireft face, fearing he bid me look away from him; my guiltiness riseth up

upon

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