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XLIV. To CASSIN CARRIE

MUCH HONORED SIR, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. I have been too long in writing to you. I am confident that ye have learned to prize Christ, and His love and favor, more than ordinary professors who scarce see Christ with half an eye, because their sight is taken up with eyeing and liking the beauty of this over-gilded world, that promiseth fair to all its lovers, but in the push of a trial, when need is, can give nothing but a fair beguile.

I know that ye are not ignorant that men come not to this world, as some do to a market, to see and to be seen; or as some come to behold a May-game, and only to behold, and to go home again. Ye come hither to treat with God, and to tryst with Him in His Christ for salvation to your soul, and to seek reconciliation with an angry, wrathful God, in a covenant of peace made to you in Christ; and this is more than ordinary sport, or the play that the greatest part of the world give their heart unto. And, therefore, worthy Sir, I pray you, by the salvation of your soul, and by the mercy of God, and your compearance before Christ, do this in sad earnest, and let not salvation be your by-work or your holy-day’s talk only, or a work by the way. For men think that this may be done on three days’ space on a feather bed, when death and they are fallen in hands together, and that with a word or two they shall make their soul-matters right. Alas! This is to sit loose and unsure in the matters of our salvation. Know and try in time your holding of Him, and the rights and charters of heaven, and upon what terms ye have Christ and the Gospel, and what Christ is worth in your estimation, and how lightly ye esteem of other things, and how dearly of Christ. I am sure, if you see Him in his beauty and glory, you will see Him to be that incomparable jewel which you should seek, howbeit you should sell, wadset and forfeit your few years’ portion of this life’s joys. Oh happy soul for evermore, who can rightly compare this life with that long-lasting life to come, and can balance the weighty glory of the one, with the light golden vanity of the other! The day of the Lord is at hand, and all men shall come out in their blacks and whites as they are; there shall be no borrowed colors in that day. Men now borrow the lustre of Christianity, but how many counterfeit masks will be burnt in the day of God, in the fire that shall consume the earth and the works that are on it! And howbeit Christ have the hardest part of it now, yet, in the presence of my Lord, whom I serve in the Spirit, I would not differ or exchange Christ’s prison, bonds, and chains, with the golden chains and lordly rents of the men of this world. Worthy, worthy for evermore is Christ, for whom the saints of God suffer the short pains of this life!

Sir, I wish your soul may be more acquainted with the sweetness of Christ. Grace, grace be with you.

ABERDEEN, 1637

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