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XXIII. To JOHN EWART, Bailie of Kirkcudbright

Me VERY WORTHY AND DEAR FRIEND, — I cannot but most kindly thank you for the expressions of your love. Your love and respect to me is a great comfort to me.

I bless His high and glorious name, that the terrors of great men have not affrighted me from openly avouching the Son of God. Nay, His cross is the sweetest burden that ever I bare; it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, or sails are to a ship, to carry me forward to my harbor. I have not much cause to fall in love with the world; but rather to wish that He who sitteth upon the floods would bring my broken ship to land, and keep my conscience safe in these dangerous times; for wrath from the Lord is coming on this sinful land.

It were good that we prisoners of hope know of our stronghold to run to, before the storm come on; therefore, Sir, I beseech you by the mercies of God and comforts of His spirit, by the blood of your Savior, and by your compearance before the sin-revenging Judge of the world, keep your garments clean, and stand for the truth of Christ, which ye profess. When the time shall come that your eye strings shall break, your face wax pale, your breath grow cold, and this house of clay shall totter, and your one foot shall be over the march, in eternity, it will be your comfort and joy that ye gave your name to Christ. The greatest part of the world think heaven at the next door, and that Christianity is an easy task; but they will be beguiled. Worthy sir, I beseech you, make sure work of salvation. I have found my experience, that all I could do has had much ado in the day of my trial; and, therefore, lay up a sure foundation for the time to come.

I cannot requite you for your undeserved favors to me and my now afflicted brother. But I trust to remember you to God. Remember me heartily to your kind wife.

Yours, in his only Lord Jesus.

ABERDEEN, March 13, 1637

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