REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER, — The reason ye give for not writing to me affecteth me much, and giveth me a dash, when such an one as ye conceive an opinion of me, or of anything in me. The truth is, when I come home to myself, oh, what penury do I find, and how feckless is my supposed stock, and how little have I! He to whom I am as crystal, and who seeth through me, and perceiveth the least mote that is in me, knoweth that I speak of what I think and am convinced of: but men cast me through a gross and wide sieve. My very dear brother, the room of the least of all saints is too great for the like of me. But lest this should seem art to fetch home reputation, I speak no more of it. It is my worth to be Christ’s ransomed sinner and sick one. His relation to me is, that I am sick, and He is the Physician of whom I stand in need. Alas! How often play I fast and loose with Christ! He bindeth, I loose; He buildeth, I cast down; He trimmeth up a salvation for me, and I mar it; I cast out with Christ, and He agreeth with me again, twenty times a-day; I forfeit my kingdom and heritage, I lose what I had; but Christ is at my back, and following on, to stoop and take up what falleth from me. For my faith and reputation with Christ is, that I am a creature that God will not put any trust into. I was, and am, bewildered with temptations, and wanted a guide to heaven. Oh what have I to say of that excellent, surpassing, and supereminent thing, they call, The Grace of God, the way of free redemption in Christ! And when poor, poor I, dead in law, was sold, fettered, and imprisoned in justice’s closet-ward, which is hell and damnation; when I, a wretched one, lighted upon noble Jesus, eternally kind Jesus, tender-hearted Jesus (nay, when He lighted upon me first, and knew me), I found that He scorned to take a price, or anything like hire, of angels, or seraphim, or any of his creatures. And, therefore, I would praise Him for this, that the whole army of the redeemed ones sit rent-free in heaven. Our holding is better than blench: we are all freeholders. And seeing that our eternal feu-duty is but thanks, oh woeful me! That I have but spilled thanks, lame, and broken, and miscarried praises, to give Him.

My dear brother, I shall think it comfort, if ye speak my name to our Well-beloved. Wherever ye are, I am mindful of you. Oh that the Lord would yet make the light of the moon in Scotland as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun sevenfold brighter. For myself, as yet I have received no answer whither to go. I wait on. Oh that Jesus had my love! Let matters frame as they list, I have some more to do with Christ; yet I would fain we were nearer.

Now the great Shepherd of the sheep, the very God of peace, establish and confirm you till the day of His coming.

ABERDEEN, Sept. 9, 1637



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