صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

lufive, to confirm imaginations and lies. Go on, my dear brother, in the strength of the Lord, not fearing man that is a worm, nor the son of man that will die. Providence hath a thousand keys to open a thousand fundry doors, for the deliverance of his own, when it is even come to a conclamatum eft. Let us be faithful, and care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for him, and lay Christ's part on himfelf, and leave it there. Duties are ours, e, yents are the Lord's : when our faith goeth to meddle with events, and to hold a court (if I may fo speak) upon God's providence, and beginneth to fay, How wilt thou do this and that? we lose ground: we have nothing to do there, it is our part to let the Al. mighty exercise his own office, and stir his own helm; there is pothing left us, but to see how we may be approved of him, and how we may roll the weight of our weak souls (io well doing) up: on him who is God omnipotent: and when, what we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall neither be our fin por cross, Brother, remem ber the Lord's word to Peter, “Simon, lovest thou me? feed my Sheep' no greater testimony of our love to Christ can be, than to feed painfully and faithfully his lambs. I am in no better peighbourhood with the ministers here than before; they cannot endure that any speak of me, or to me. Thus I am, in the mean time, silent (which is my greatest grief.) Dr. Barron kath disputed with me, especially about Arminian controversies, and for the ceremonies; three yokings laid him by: and I have not been troubled with him since. Now he hath appointed a dispute before witnesses; I trust Christ and truth shall do for themselves. I hope, brother, ye will help my people, and write to me what ye hear the bishop is to do to them. Grace be with you. Aberdeen

Your brother in bonds, S. R.

[ocr errors]

19. 70 Mr. HUGH M'KAIL, Minister of the Gospel.
Reverend and dear brother,

you your letter : he is come down as rain upon the

dew of herbs. I am most secure in this prison : falvation is for walls in it, and what think ye of these walls ? he maketh the dry plant to bud as the lilly, and to blossom as Lebanon : the great Husbandman's blessing cometh down upon the plants of righteoufnefs. Who may say this (my dear brother) if I, his poor exiled stranger and prisoner, may not fay it? Howbeit all the world fhould be silent, I cannot hold my peace. O how many black covnts hath Christ and I rounded over together in the house of my pilgrimage ! and how fat a portion hath he given to a hungry foul ! í had ra, ther have Christ's four-hours, than have dinner and supper both in one from any other : his dealing, and the way of his judgments are


pat finding out. No preaching, no book, no learning could give me that, which I behoved to come and get in this town. But what of all this, if I were not misted and confounded, and astonihed how to be thankful, and how to get him praised for evermore? And which is more, he hath been pleased to pain me with his love, and my pain groweth through want of real possession. Some have written to me, that I am possibly too joyful of the crols, but my joy over leapeth the cross, it is bounded and terminate upon Christ, I know the sun will over-cloud and ecliple, and I thail again be put to walk in the shadow : but Christ must be welcome to come and go as he thinketh meet ; yet he would be more welcome to me, I trow, to come than go : and, I hope, he pitieth and pardoneth me, in casting apples to me, at such a faioting time as this ; holy and blessed is his name. It was not my flatttering of Christ, thay drew a kiss from his mouth ; but he would send me as a spy into this wilderness of suffering, to see the land, and to try the ford: and I cannot make a lie of Christ's cross; I can report nothing but good both of him and it, left others should faint. I hope, when a change cometh, to cast anchor at mid-night upon the Rock (which he hath taught me to know in this day light) whither I may run, wheo I must say my lesson without book, and believe in the dark. I am sure it is fin to tarrow of Christ's good meat, and not to eat when he faith,' Eat, О well-beloved, and drink abun. dantly. If he bear me on his back, or carry me in his arms over this water, I hope for grace to set down both my feet on dry ground, when the way is better : but this is slippery ground; my Lord thought good I should go by an hold, and lean on my Well-beloved's shoulder: it is good to be ever taking from him. I desire he may get the fruit of praises for doasing and thus dandling me upon his knee: and I may give my bond of thankfulness, so being I have Christ's back-bond again for my relief, that I shall be strengtheaed by his powerful grace, to pay my vows to him. But truly I find we have the advantage of the brae upon our enemies : we are more than conquerors, through him who hath loved us; and they know not wherein our strength lieth. Pray for me; grace be

with you.


Your brother in Chrift, S. R.


20. To my Lady BOYD. Madam, Race, mercy and peace be unto you. The Lord hath brought

me to Aberdeen, where I see God in few. This town hath been advised upon of purpose for me: it consisteth of Papists, or men of Gallio's naughty faith; it is counted wisdom in the most, Hot to countenance a confined minister! but I fad Christ neither


Strange nor unkind; for I have found many faces smile upon me Since I came hither. I am heavy and sad, considering what is betwixt the Lord and my soul, which one feeth but he. , I find men have mistaken me: it would be no art (as I now see) to spin small, and make hypocrisy seem a goodly web, and to go through the market as a faint among men, and yet steal quietly to hell, without observation; so easy is it to deceive men. I have disputed whether or no I ever knew arty thing of Christianity, fave the letters of that name. Men see but as men, and they call ten twenty, and twenty an hundred; but, O! to be approved of God in the heart, and in sincerity, is not an ordinary mercy. My neglects while I had a pulpit, and other things whereof I am afhanted to speak, meet me now, so as God maketh an honest cross my daily forrow; and for fear of scandal and stumbling. I must hide this day of the law's pleading: I know not, if this court, kept within my soul, be fenced in Christ's name. If certainty of salvation were to be bought, God knoweth if I had ten earths, I would not prig with God like a fool. I believed, under sufferings for Christ, that I myself should keep the key of Christ's treasures, and take out comforts, when I listed, and eat, and be fat; but I see now a suf. ferer for Christ will be made to know himfelf, and will be holden at the door, as well as another poor finner; and will be fain to eat with the bairns, and take the by board, and glad fo. My blessing on the cross of Christ, that hath made me fee this. Oh if we could take pains for the kingdom of heaven! but we sit down upon fome ordinary marks of God's children, thinking we have done as much as will separate us from a reprobate, and thereupon we take the play, and cry, Holy-day: and thus the devil casteth water on our fire, and blunteth our zeal and care : but I see heaven is not at the next door; and I fee, howbeit my challenges be many, I fuffer for Christ, and dare hazard my salvation upon it; for fometimes

my Lord cometh with a fair hour, and O but his love be fweet, delightful, and comfortable! Half a kiss is sweet: but our doaring love will not be content of a right to Christ, unless we get poffeffion; like the man who will nor be content of rights to bought land, except he get also the ridges and acres laid upon his back, to carry home with him. However it be, Christ is wise; and we are fools to be browden and fond of a pawn in the loof of our hand: living on trust by faith may well content us. Madam, I know your Ladyship knoweth this, and that made me bold to write of it, that others might rcap fomewhat by my bonds for the truth; for I Mould desire, and aim at this, to have my Lord well spoken of and honoured, howbeit he should make nothing of me, bridge over a water. Thus recommending your Ladyship, your fon, and children to his grace, who hath honoured you with a name

but a

and room among the living in Jerusalem, and wishing grace to be with your Ladyship, I rest, Aberdeen,

Your Lady/bip's in his fweet Lord

Jefus, S. R. corianasononcoronararanananananananana

21. To Mr: DAVID DICKSON. Reverend and dear brother,

cially old friends, skar to speak for me; but my kingly and royal Master biddeth me try his moyen to the uttermost, and I fall find a friend at hand : I still depend on him; his court is as before; the prisoner is welcome to him; the black crabbed tree of my Lord's cross hath made Christ and my soul very cotire; he is my song in the night. I am often laid in the duft with challenges, and apprehensions of his anger; and then, if a mountain of iron were laid upon me, I cannot be heavier: and with much wrestling I win into the King's house of wine, and for the most part, my life is joy, and such joy through his comforts, as I have been afraid to hame myself, and to cry out, for I can scarce bear what I get: Christ hiveth me a measured heap up, pressed down, and running over. And, believe it, his love paineth me more than prison and brihment. I cannot get a gate of Christ's love. Had I knową what he was keeping for me I would never have been so fainthearted. In my harvest times, when all is loft, the memory of his love makech me think Christ's glooms are but for the fashion : I seek no more but a vent to my wine; I am fmothered and ready to burst for want of vent. Think not much of persecution : it is before you ; but it is not as men conceive of it; my sugаred cross forceth me to say this to you, ye shall have wailed meat; the sick bairn is oftentimes the spilt bairn : ye shall command all the house. I hope ye help a tired prisoner to pray and praise : had I but the anual of annual to give to my Lord Jesus, it should case my pain; but, alas, I have nothing to pay, he will get nothing of poor me: but I am wo, I have not room enough in my heart for such a stranger. I am not cast down to go further North, I have good cause to work for my Master, for I am well paid before the hand; I an not behind, howbeit I should not get one smile more till my feet be up within the King's dining hall. I have gone through fours upon the covenant; it hath edified my soul, and“ refreshed an hungry man: I judge it sharp, sweet, quick and profound : take me at my word, I fear it get' no lodging in Scotland. The brethren of Ireland write not to me; chide with them for that: I am sure that I may give you and them a commission (and I will bide by it) that you tell my beloved, I am sick of love. I hope in God to leave fome of my rust and superQuitics in Aberdeen; I


cannot get an houfe in this town wherein to leave drink.silver id my Master's name, fave one only: there is no sale for Christ in the North; he is like to lie long on my hand ere any accept him. Grace be with you, Aberdeen,

Tours in his fweet Lord Jefus, S. R. oronararanaroronoiosciano , ansitra ancora

22. To Mr. MATTHEW MOWAT. Reverend and dear Brother, Am a very far mistaken man; if others knew how poor my


with compassion; for I am as one kept under a strict tutor: I would have more than my tutor alloweth upon me, but it is good that a bairn's wit is not the rule which regulateth my Lord Jesus : Let him give what he will, it shall ay be above merit, and my ability to gain therewith. I would not with a better stock (while heaven be my lock) than to live upon credit at Chrift's hands, daily borrowing: surely running over love that vaft, huge, boundless love of Christ (that there is telling in for man and angel) is the only thing I fainest would be in hands with : he knoweth I have little but the love of that love; and that I shall be happy, suppose I never get another heaven, but only an eternal lasting feart of that love: but suppose my wishes were poor, he is not poor : Christ all the seasons of the year is dropping sweetness: if I had vessels I might fill them, but my old riven, and running out dith, even when I am at the well can bring little away: nothing but glory will make tight and fast our lecking and rifty vessels. Alas, I have skailed more of Christ's grace, love, faith, humility, and godly sorrow, than I have brought with me. How little of the sea can a child carry in his hand ? as little do I take away of my great fea, my boundless and running over Christ Jesus. I have not lighted upon the right gate of putting Christ to the bank, and making myself rich with him: my misguiding and childish trafficking with that matchless pearl, that heaven's jewel, the jewel of the Father's delights hath put me to a great loss. Othat he would take a loan of me, and my stock, and put his name in all my bonds, and serve himself heir to the poor mean portion I have, and be countable for the talent himself! Gladly would I put Christ in my room, to guide all; and let me be but a serváot to rưa errands, and do by his direction, let me be his interdicted heir. Lord Jesus work upon my minority, and let him win a pupil's blessing. Oh how would I rejoice to have this work of my falvation legally fastened upon Chrift! A back-bond of my Lord Je fus, that it should be forthcoming to the o!'an, should be my happiness : dependency on Christ, were my forest way; if Christ were my bottom I were fure enough. I thought guiding


« السابقةمتابعة »