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LVIII. To LADY ROBERT LAND

Like many other of the great ladies of the Covenant, some of whom we have already met in these letters, and others of whom are in the full collection, Lady Robertland was a woman of deep personal faith and of devoted service to the cause of Christ. She was noted, too, for her witty and fascinating conversation and her way of illustrating spiritual truth by most vivid and homely similes and parables.

MISTRESS, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I shall be glad to hear that your soul prospereth, and that fruit growth upon you, after the Lord’s husbandry and pains, in His rod that has not been a stranger to you from your youth. It is the Lord’s kindness that He will take the scum off us in the fire. Who knoweth how needful winnowing is to us, and what dross we must want ere we enter into the kingdom of God? So narrow is the entry to heaven, that our knots, our bunches and lumps of pride, and self-love, and idol-love, and world-love, must be hammered off us, that we may thring in, stooping low, and creeping through that narrow and thorny entry.

And now for myself, I find it the most sweet and heavenly life to take up house and dwelling at Christ’s fireside, and set down my tent upon Christ, that Foundationstone, who is sure and faithful ground and hard under foot. I thank God that God is God, and Christ is Christ, and the earth the earth, and the devil the devil, and the world the world, and that sin is sin, and that everything is what it is; because He has taught me in my wilderness not to shuffle my Lord Jesus, nor to intermix Him with creature-vanities, nor to spin or twine Christ or His sweet love in one web, or in one thread, with the world and the things thereof. Oh, if I could hold and keep Christ all alone, and mix Him with nothing! Oh, if I could cry down the price and weight of my cursed self, and cry up the price of Christ, and double, and triple, and augment, and heighten to millions the price and worth of Christ. But we are still ill scholars, and will go in at heaven’s gates wanting the half of our lesson; and shall still be bairns, so long as we are under time’s hands, and till eternity cause a sun to arise in our souls that shall give us wit. We may see how we spill and mar our own fair heaven and our salvation, and how Christ is every day putting in one bone or other, in these fallen souls of ours, in the right place again; and that on this side of the New Jerusalem, we shall still have need of forgiving and healing grace. I find crosses Christ’s carved work that He markets out for us, and that with crosses He figureth and portrayeth us to His own image, cutting away pieces of our ill and corruption. Lord cut, Lord carve, Lord wound, Lord do anything that may perfect Thy Father’s image in us, and make us meet for glory.

Pray for me (I forget you not) that our Lord would be pleased to lend me house-room to preach His righteousness, and tell what I have heard and seen of Him. Forget not Zion that is now in Christ’s caums, and in His forge. God bring her out new work. Grace, grace be with you.

ABERDEEN, Jan 4, 1638

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