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XXVI. To JOHN GORDON OF RUSSO in the parish of Anwoth

MY WORTHY AND DEAR BROTHER, — Misspend not your short sand-glass, which runneth very fast, seek your Lord in time. Let me obtain of you a letter under your hand, for a promise to God, by His grace, to take a new course of walking with God. Heaven is not at the next door; I find it hard to be a Christian. There is no little thrusting and thronging to thrust in at heaven’s gates; it is a castle taken by force; — ‘Many shall strive to enter in, and shall not be able.’

I beseech and obtest you in the Lord, to make conscience of rash and passionate oaths, of raging and sudden avenging anger, of night drinking, of needless companionry, of Sabbath-breaking, of hurting any under you by word or deed, of hating your very enemies. ‘Except ye receive the kingdom of God as a little child,’ and be as meek and sober-minded as a babe, ‘ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ That is a word which should touch you near, and make you stoop and cast yourself down, and make your great spirit fall. I know that this will not be easily done, but I recommend it to you, as you tender your part of the kingdom of heaven.

Brother, I may, from new experience, speak of Christ to you. Oh, if ye saw in Him what I see! A river of God’s unseen joys has flowed from bank to brae over my soul since I parted with you. I wish that I wanted part, so being ye might have; that your soul might be sick of love for Christ, or rather satiated with Him. This clay-idol, the world, would seem to you then not worth a fig; time will eat you out of possession of it. When the eye-strings break, and the breath growth cold, and the imprisoned soul looketh out of the windows at the clay-house, ready to leap out into eternity, what would you then give for a lamp full of oil? Oh seek it now.

I desire you to correct and curb banning, swearing, lying, drinking, Sabbath-breaking, and idle spending of the Lord’s day in absence from the kirk, as far as your authority reacheth in that parish.

I hear that a man is to be thrust into that place, to the which I have God’s right. I know that ye should have a voice by God’s word in that (Acts 1.15, 16, to the end; 6.3-5). Ye would be loath that any prelate should rout you out of your possession earthly; and this is your right. What I write to you, I write to your wife. Grace be with you.

Your loving pastor.

ABERDEEN, March 14, 1637

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