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upon me, and I have no answer for it. I offered my tongue to Christ, and my pains in his house; and what know I what it meaneth, when Christ will not receive my poor propine.? When love will not take, we expone, it will neither take nor give, bor. row nor lend. Yet Christ hath another sea-compass he faileth by, than my short and raw thoughts: I leave his part of it to himself. I dare not expound his dealing, as forrow and misbelief often dictateth to me: I look often with my bleared and blind eyes to my Lord's cross; and when I look to the wrong side of his cross, I know I miss a step and a Nide: surely I see l have not legs of my own for carrying me to heaven; I must go in at heaven's gates, borrowing Arength from Christ. I am often thinking, o if he would but give me leave to love him, and if Christ would but open up his wares, and the infinite plyes and windings and corners of his foul-delighting love, and let me fee it, like an hungry man beside meat, to get my fill of wondering, as a preface to my fill of enjoying! But verily, I think my foul eyes would defile bis fair love to look to ir: either my hunger is over humble, (if that
may be faid) or elfe I consider not what honour it is to get leave to love Christ
. O that he would pity a prisoner, and let out a flood upon the dry ground! It is nothing to him to fill the like of me; one of his looks would do me meikle world's good, and him no ill. I know I am not at a point yet with Christ's love, I am not yet fitted for so much as I would have of it; my hope fitteth neighbour with meikle black hunger : and certainly I do not but think, there is more of that love ordained for me than I yet comprehend; and I know not the weight of the pension the king will give me; I Mall be glad, if my hungry bill get leave to ly befide Christ, waiting on an answer. Now I would be full and rejoice if I got a poor man's alms of that sweetest love: but I confi. dently believe there is a bed made for Christ and me, and that we shall take our fill of love in it; and I often think when my joy is run out, and at the lowest ebb, that I would seek no more, but my rights past the King's great feal, and that these eyes of mine could see Christ's hand at the pen. If your Lord call you to fuffering be not dismayed; there shall be a new allowance of the king for you when ye come to it: one of the softest pillows Chrift hath is laid under his witnesses head, tho' often they must fet down their bare feet among thorns. He hath brought my poor foul to defire and with, O that my alhes, and the powder 1 shall be dissolved into, had well tuned tongues to praise him. Thus in haste, desiring your prayers and praises, I recommend you to my fweet, sweet master, my honourable Lord, of whom I hold all. Grace be with you. Aberdeen,
rour own in his fweet Lord 1637
Jefus, S. R,
57. TO JANE BROWN. Mistress, Race, mercy and peace be to you. I am glad that ye go on
at Christ's back, in this dark and cloudy time; it were good to fell other things for him; for when all these days are over, we fall find it our advantage, that we have taken part with Christ. I confidently believe, bis enemies shall be his footstool, and that he hall make green flowers dead withered hay, when the honour and glory shall fall off them, like the bloom or flower of a green berb shaken with the wind. It were not wisdom for us to think that Christ and the gospel will come and sit down at our fire-side; Day, but we must go out of our warm houses, and seek Christ and his gospel : it is not the funny side of Christ that we must look to, and we must not forsake him for want of that; but must let our face against what may befall us, in following on, till he and we be through the briars and bushes on the dry ground. Our soft nature would be born through the troubles of this miserable life, in Christ's arms; and it is his wisdom who knoweth our mould, that his bairns go wet-hod and cold-footed to heaven. O how sweet a thing were it for us to learn to make our burdens light, by framing our hearts to the burden, and making our Lord's will a law! I find Christ and his cross not so ill to please, nor yet such troublesome guests as men call them; nay, I think patience should make Christ's water good wine, and this dross good
metal: and we have cause to wait on; for, ere it be long, our | Master will be at us, and bring this whole world out before the
fun and daylight in their blacks and whites. Happy are they who are found watching: our sand-glass is not so long as we need to weary; time will eat away and root out our woes and forrow; our heaven is in the bud, and growing up to an harvest; why then should we not follow on, seeing our span-length of time will come to an inch? Therefore I commend Christ to you as your last living, and longest living husband, and the staff of
your let him have now the rest of your days: and think not much of a storm upon the ship that Chrift faileth in; there shall no passenger fall over-board, but the crazed ship and the sea-sick passengers fhall come to land safe. I am in as sweet communion with Christ as a poor finner can be; and am only pained that he hath much beauty and fairness, and I little love; he great power and mercy, and I little faith; he much light, and I bleared eyes. Oh that I faw him in the sweetnefs of his love, jod in his marriage cloaths, and were over head and ears in love with that princely one, Christ Jesus my Lord ! 'Alas, my riven dish, and running out veffel can bold little of Christ Jesus. I have joy in this, that I would not refuse death, before I put Christ's lawful heritage in men's tryst
ing; and what know I, if they would have pleased both Christ and me ? Alas, that this land hath put Christ to open rooping, and to an, any man more bids! Blessed are they who would hold the crown on his head, and buy Christ's honour with their own lofles. I rejoice to hear your son John is coming to visit Chrift, and taste of his love: I hope he fall not lose his pains, or rue of that choice. I had always (as I said often to you) a great love to dear Mr. John Brown, because I thought I saw Christ in him more than in his brethren: fain would I write to him, to stand by my sweet Master; and I wish yer would let him read my letter, and the joy I have, if he will appear for, and side with my Lord Jesus. Grace
be with you,
Aberdeen, March 13.
Yours in his sweet
Lord Jesus, S. R.
58. TO JANE MACMILLA N. Loving fifter, Race, mercy peace be to you.
be to you. I cannot come to you, to
stay with you : 'but I beseech you to keep Christ, for I did what I could to put you within grips of him; I told you Christ's teftament and latter will plainly, and I kept nothing back that my Lord gave me; and I gave Chrift to you with good will : I pray you make him your own, and go not from that truth I taught you, in one hair-breadth; that truth shall save you if ye follow it. Salvation is not an easy thing and foon goiten ; I often told you few are saved and many damned; I pray you make your poor soul sure of salvation, and make the seeking of heaven your daily task. If ye never had a sick night and a pained soul for fin, ye have not yet lighted upon Christ; look to the right marks of having closed with Christ; if ye love him better than the world, and would quit all the world for him, then that saith the work is found, O if ye faw the beauty of Jesus, and felt the smell of his love, you would run through fire and water to be at him! God send you him. Pray for me, for I cannot forget you, Grace be with you, Aberdeen, 1637.
Your loving paftor, S. R.
59. To the Lady BUSBIE. Mistress,
Race, mercy and peace be to you. I am glad to hear that
thing; where many are painful, toiled in seeking many things, and their many things are nothing. It is only best, ye fet yourself apart, as a thing laid up and out of the gait, for Chrift alone; for ycare good for ng other thing but Christ; and he's beso going
about you these many years, by afflictions, to engage you to himfelf; it were a pity and a lofs to say him nay. Verily I could wish that I could swim through hell, and all the ill weather in the world, and Christ in my arms; but it is my evil and folly, that except Christ come upfeat for, I do not go to seek him; when he and I fall in reckoning, we are both behind, he in payment, and I in counting; and so marches ly still uprid, and counts uncleared betwixt us. O that he would take his own blood for counts and miscounts, that I might be a free man, and none had any claim to me but only, only Jesus. I will think it no bondage to be rouped, comprised and possessed by Christ, as his bond.
Think well of the visitations of your Lord: for I find one thing, I saw not well before, that when the saints are under trials, and well humbled, little sias raise great cries and war Mouts in the conscience; and in prosperity, conscience is a Pope, to give dispensations, and let out and in, and give latitude and elbowroom to our heart. O how little care we for pardon at Christ's hand, when we make dispensations ! and all is but bairns play, till a cross without beget an heavier cross within, and then we play no longer with our idols. It is good ftill to be severe against ourselves; for we but transform God's mercy into an idd, and an idol that hath a dispensation to give, for turning of the grace of God into wantonness. Happy are they who take up God, wrath, justice, and sin, as they are in themselves; for we have miscarry. ing light, that parted with child, when we have good resolutions: but, God be thanked, that salvation is not rolled upon our wheels. O but Christ hath a faving eye! Salvation is in his eye-lids; when he first looked on me, I was saved;
it cost him but a look, to make hell quit of me: O merits, free merits, and the dear blood of God, was the best gait that ever we could have gotten of hell ! O what a sweet, O what a safe and sure way is it, to come out of hell, leaning on a Saviour! That Christ and a sinner should be one, and have heaven betwixt them, and be halvers of salvation, is the wonder of salvation. What more humble could love be? and what an excellent smell.doth Christ cast on his lower garden, where there grow but wild flowers, if we speak by way of comparison; but there is nothing but perfect garden flowers in heaven, and the beft plenishing that is there is Christ. We are all obliged to love heaven for Christ's fake; he graceth heaven, and all his Father's house with his presence: he is a Rose that beautifieth all the upper garden of God; a leaf of that Role of God for smell is worth a world: Othat he would blow his smell upon a withered and dead foul! let us then go on to meet with him, and to be filled with the sweetness of his love. Nothing will hold him from us; he hath decreed to put time, fin, hell, devils, men and death out of the way, and to rid the rough way betwixt us and him,
that we may enjoy one another. It is strange and wonderful, that he would think loog in heaven without us, and that he would have the company of finners to solace and delight himself withal in heaven; and now the fupper is abiding us; Christ the Bridegroom with desire is waiting on, till the bride, the Lamb's wife, be bufked for the marriage, and the great hall be rid for the meeting of that joyful couple. O fools, what do we here and why sir we still ? why sleep we in the prison ? were it not best to make us wings, to flee up to our blessed match, our marrow, and our fellow friends ? I think, Mistress, ye are looking thereaway, and this is your second or third thought; make forward, your guide wait. eth on you, I cannot but bless you for your care and kindness to the faints. God give you to find mercy in that day of our Lord Jesus, to whose faving grace I recommend you, Aberd. 1637.
Yours in our Lord Jesus, S. R.
60. TO WILLIAM RIGG of Athernie. Much honoured and worthy Sir,
Our letter, full of complaints, bemoaning your guiltiness,
upon the law's side, ye will not gain much to be the law's advocate ; I thought ye had not been the law's, but grace's man; nevertheless, I am sure ye desire to take God's part against yourself; whatever your guiltiness be, yet when it falleth into the sea of God's mercy, it is but like a drop of blood fallen in the great
There is nothing here to be done, but let Christ's doom light on the old man, and let him bear his condemnation, seeing in Christ he was condemned; for the law hath but power over your worst half : let the blame therefore ly where the blame should be; and let the new man be sure to say, 'I am comely as the tents of Kedar, howbeit I be black and fun-burnt, by sitting neighbour beside a body of sin. I fcek no more here but room for grace's defence, and Christ's white throne, whereto a foger, condemned by the law, may appeal: but the use that I make of it is, I am sorry that I am not so tender and thin-skinned, though I am fure Christ may find enployment for his calling in me, if in any living, seeing from my youth upward I have been making up the blackest process that any minister in the world, or any other, can answer to; and when I had done this, I painted a providence of my own, and wrote ease for myself, and a peaceable ministry, and the sun shining on me, til I should be in at heaven's gates ; fuch green and raw thoughts had l of God! I thought allo of a sleeping devil that would pass by the like of me, lying in muirs and out-fields; fo I begged the goukos, nest, and dreamed of dying at ease, and living in a fool's paradise: but since I came hi.