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XXXV. To JOHN FULLERTON of Carleton in Galloway

WORTHY AND MUCH HONORED, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter from my brother, to which I now answer particularly.

I confess two things of myself: First, woe is me, that men should think there is anything in me. He is my witness, before whom I am as crystal, that the secret house-devils that bear me too often company, and that this sink of corruption which I find within, make me go with low sails. And if others saw what I see, they would look by me, but not to me.

Secondly, I know that this shower of free grace behaved to be on me, otherwise I should have withered. I know, also, that I have need of a buffeting tempter, that grace may be put to exercise, and I kept low.

Worthy and dear brother in the Lord Jesus, I write that from my heart which ye now read. I avouch that Christ, and sweating and sighing under His cross, is sweeter to me by far, than all the kingdoms in the world could possibly be. If you, and my dearest acquaintance in Christ, reap any fruit by my suffering, let me be weighed in God’s even balance, if my joy be not fulfilled. What am I, to carry the marks of such a great King! I have gotten the wale and choice of Christ’s crosses, even the tithe and the flower of the gold of all crosses, to bear witness to the truth; and herein find I liberty, joy, access, life, comfort, love, faith, submission, patience and resolution to take delight in on waiting. And, withal, in my race He has come near me and let me see the gold and crown. Let no man think he shall lose at Christ’s hands in suffering for Him.

I doubt not but my Lord is preparing me for heavier trials. I am most ready at the good pleasure of my Lord, in the strength of His grace, for anything He will be pleased to call me to; neither shall the black faced messenger, Death, be holden at the door when it shall knock. If my Lord will take honor of the like of me, how glad and joyful will my soul be. Let Christ come out with me to a hotter battle than this, and I will fear no flesh. I know that my Master shall win the day, and that He has taken the order of my suffering into His own hand. I have not yet resisted to blood.

Oh, how often am I laid in the dust, and urged by the tempter (who can ride his own errands upon our lying apprehensions) to sin against the unchangeable love of my Lord! When I think upon the sparrows and swallows that build their nests in the kirk of Anwoth, and of my dumb Sabbaths, my sorrowful, bleated eyes look asquint upon Christ, and present Him as angry. But in this trial (all honor to our princely and royal King!) faith saileth fair before the wind, with topsail up, and carrieth the passenger through. I lay inhibitions upon my thoughts, that they receive no slanders of my only, only Beloved.

Now my dearest in Christ, the great Messenger of the Covenant, the only wise and all-sufficient Jehovah, establish you to the end. I hear that the Lord has been at your house, and has called home your wife to her rest. I know, Sir, that ye see the Lord loosing the pins of your tabernacle, and wooing your love from this plastered and over-gilded world, and calling upon you to be making yourself ready to go to your father’s country, which shall be a sweet fruit of that visitation. Ye know ‘to send the Comforter’ was the King’s word when He ascended on high. Ye have claim to, and interest in, that promise.

All love, all mercy, all grace and peace, all multiplied saving consolations, all joy and faith in Christ, all stability and confirming strength of grace, and the goodwill of Him that dwelt in the Bush be with you.

Your unworthy brother.

ABERDEEN, June 15, 1637

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