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XXVII. To LADY HALHILL

DEAR AND CHRISTIAN LADY, — I longed much to write to your Ladyship; but now the Lord offering a fit occasion I would not omit to do it. I cannot but acquaint your Ladyship with the kind dealing of Christ to my soul, in this house of my pilgrimage, that your Ladyship may know that He is as good as He is called. For at my first entry into this trial (being cast down and troubled with challenges and jealousies of His love, whose name and testimony I now bear in my bonds), I feared nothing more than that I was casten over the dyke of the vineyard, as a dry tree. But, blessed be His dear name, the dry tree was in the fire, and was not burnt; His dew came down and quickened the root of a withered plant. And now He is come again with joy, and has been pleased to feast His exiled and amicted prisoner with the joy of His consolations. Now I weep, but am not sad; I am chastened, but I die not; I have loss, but I want nothing; this water cannot drown me, this fire cannot burn me, because of the good-will of Him that dwelt in the Bush. The worst things of Christ, His reproaches, His cross, are better than Egypt’s treasures. I would not give, nor exchange, my bonds for the prelates’ velvets; nor my prison for their coaches; nor my sighs for all the world’s laughter. This clay-idol, the world, has no great court in my soul. Christ has come and run away to heaven with my heart and my love, so that neither heart nor love is mine: I pray God, that Christ may keep both without reversion.

Remember my service to the laird, your husband, and to your son, my acquaintance. I wish that Christ had his young love, and that in the morning he would start to the gate, to seek that which the world knoweth not and therefore does not seek it. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

ABERDEEN, March 14, 1637

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