(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

Full text of "A new epistle : being the wise and beautiful counsel of that saintly man, Samuel Rutherford, to all those in doubt, in affliction, and in peril of their souls"









Copyright N' 








Cincinnati: Jennings and Graham 
New York: Eaton and Mains 






BORN in the year 1600, educated at the 
Edinburgh University, where he was 
distinguished for his mental abilities; ap- 
pointed, after his graduation, one of the 
regents of that institution — this in brief, is 
the story of Samuel Rutherford 's early life. 

Rutherford did not hasten to enter the 
ministry ; for a short season he had experi- 
ence with the vanities of the world. ' Like 
a fool," he said in later years, " I suffered 
my sun to be high in the heaven before ever 
I took the gate." A false step and a bitter 
lesson brought him to the feet of Christ. 
He became a student of theology, and in 
the twenty-seventh year of his age was 
called to the pastorate at Anworth, a se- 
cluded little parish beside the broad Sol- 

Of his devotion to his chosen work there 
is much testimony. It is said of him that 
he was always praying, always preaching, 
always visiting the sick, always catechising, 
always writing and studying. It was his 



habit to rise at three o'clock every morn- 
1 ing, and after spending the early hours in 
meditation and prayer he completed the 
day with the more active duties of his ear- 
nest pastorate. His unwearied zeal and 
loving spirit endeared him to the people; 
many came from far to listen to his inspir- 
ing sermons, and he was spoken of as a 
great strengthener of Christians in all that 

We get an intimate glimpse of Ruther- 
ford as a preacher in the lines of an English 
merchant, who wrote, "I heard a little, 
fair man, and he showed me the loveliness 
of Christ." Wodrow tells us he was "one 
of the most moving and affectionate preach- 
ers of his time/' while Doctor Thomson 
says, "His sermons were usually radiant 
with Christ." And again the same writer, 
"He rejoiced in preaching as the lark or the 
nightingale may be supposed to delight in 
its song." 

Nearly a decade passed in loving, and 
successful service at Anwoth ; but this was 
not to continue. Scotland at this period 
was in a state of religious turbulence. King 
James, through his bishops, was endeavor- 
ing to force upon the Scottish people epis- 



copal doctrines. Rutherford was a rigid 
Calvinist. The Five Articles of Perth, 
passed in 1618, enjoined certain religious 
practices which were abhorrent to him as 
a Presbyterian. These had to do with 
forms and ceremonies at baptism and holy 
communion, with the observance of the 
chief festivals of the Church, and like mat- 
ters. Upright and fearless, Rutherford pro- 
tested against these innovations from his 
pulpit with all the energy and eloquence of 
his perfervid nature. This antagonism to 
their cherished plans brought upon him the 
hostility of the prelates, which increased, 
until in 1636, after his further offense of 
publishing a treatise against Arminianism 
then in favor with the bishops, he was 
summoned before the High Commission 
Court at Edinburgh, and by that body 
deposed from his pastorate and forbidden, 
" under pain of rebellion," to officiate as 
minister in any part of Scotland. Further- 
more, he was ordered to Aberdeen, there 
to be confined during the King's pleasure. 
Rutherford received his sentence with 
the joy of a martyr. He gloried in the fact 
that he was "counted worthy to suffer 
shame for Christ's name." Aberdeen was 



the stronghold of his religious enemies; on 
his arrival there he was denounced from the 
pulpits and jeered at in the streets. 

Of the two volumes of " Letters of 
Samuel Rutherford' ' edited by Doctor 
Bonar — letters three hundred and sixty- 
five in number — nearly two-thirds were 
written during his eighteen months' exile 
at Aberdeen. It is from these celebrated 
letters that I have drawn, mainly, in com- 
piling this little work, though I have in- 
corporated certain beautiful and helpful 
passages from his published sermons. It 
is perhaps needless to say that the original 
letters are not in the chapter and verse 
form that I have here employed. 

Though Rutherford gloried in his trials 
for Christ and for conscience, it was a 
tremendous privation to him not to be al- 
lowed to preach. "My closed mouth, " he 
I wrote, "my silent Sabbaths, the memory 
of my communion with Christ in the many 
fair, fair days in Anwoth have almost 
broken my faith in two halves/ 7 He 
yearned towards his beloved brethren, his 
flock left without a shepherd ; he was much 
exercised for that they were surrounded by 
teachers of false doctrine; he constantly 



feared for them lest their souls were "off 
the Rock." And how pathetic is his letter 
in which he envies the sparrows and swal- 
lows that build their nests in the kirk of 
his little parish, calling them "blessed 
birds ;" and that other where he exclaims, 
"O what service can a dumb body do in 
Christ's house! O if I might but speak to 
three or four herdboys of my worthy Mas- 
ter I would be satisfied to be the meanest 
and most obscure of all the pastors of this 

It was out of this turmoil of spirit that 
there came what has been called "the \ 
most seraphic book in our literature/ ' An- 
other has spoken of these ardent and touch- 
ing letters as "a bundle of myrrh whose 
ointment and perfume will revive and 
gladden the heart of many generations." 
While the great nonconformist, Richard 
Baxter, said, "Hold off the Bible, and such 
a book as this the world never saw." 

When permitted to leave Aberdeen, 
Rutherford returned to his beloved An- 
woth and took up his labors again with 
joy. Soon, however, he was called to a 
larger service as Professor of Divinity at 
St. Andrews, a post which he accepted 



with much reluctance. In later life he 
wrote and published a number of religious 
treatises, some of which aroused great con- 
troversy. One of these, his "Lex Rex," 
was burnt by the common hangman in a 
public place, and for its publication he was 
cited to appear before Parliament on the 
charge of treason. But a higher summons 
had forestalled this citation — Rutherford 
was on his deathbed. 

He died as he lived, loving Christ with 
a fervor that few have known upon this 
earth. In his last hours he was possessed 
of a singular rapture and elevation of 
spirit. Once, near the end, he cried aloud, 
"O for a well- tuned harp!" as though, says 
Thomson, "he already heard the sound of 
the radiant worshipers and yearned with a 
holy impatience to join in their heavenly 

He passed away on the morning of 
March 20, 1661, his last words being, 
"Glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel's 
land!" He was buried at St. Andrews. 

— G. H. W, 


A New Epistle 

Chapter I 

The poorness of Christ's flock. 5 Worldly 
possessions not to be desired. 8 Exhorta- 
tion to hold Christ and the winning of souls 
dear. 15 The world like a great fire. 

AS the morning watch waiteth for the 
** morning, so we see the saints holding 
out their tired arms to God and longing 
and looking over the mountains. And they 
have little or nothing in hand but hope. 

2 Worldlings say: What have ye that 
we have not? Ye are a sick, poor, op- 
pressed, and mocked people, and where is 
your happiness? 

3 We have an answer to such; we are 
on waiters on God. Know ye not that 
some are very rich and have thousands in 
this man's hand and thousands in that 
man's hand. If ye ask them where their 
riches is and bid them let you see what 



they are worth, they can let you see noth- 
ing but a number of papers and bonds — 
even so heaven is the land of promise and 
the land of hope to believers. 

4 We are the poor of the flock, the noth- 
ings of the world. We are nothing, that is, 
but little less than a straw, a feather. But 
stay, I pray you, our stock is in God's 
hand ; fire or water can not destroy it, nor 
can turn of the market lessen our store. 

5 Brethren, what a trifling loss it is for 
you to go through this wilderness and never 
taste sin's sugared pleasures! 

6 What poorer is a soul to want pride, 
lust, and the gauds of this vain and worth- 
less world? Nature hath no cause to weep 
at the want of such toys as these. O es- 
teem it your gain to be a child of God, an 
heir of glory. 

7 The very hope of heaven, under 
troubles, is like wind and sails to the soul, 
and like wings when the feet come out of 
the snare. 

8 I beseech you, let Christ be dearer and 
dearer unto you. 

9 Let the winning of souls be top and 
root, flower and blossom of your joys and 
desires on this side of the sun and moon. 



10 In the day when the Lord shall pull 
up the four stakes of this clay tent of the 
earth, and the last grain of sand shall be 
at the point of falling down in your time- 
glass, and the Master shall call the servants 
of the vineyard to give them their hire, ye 
will esteem the blossom of this world's 
glory but like the colors of the rainbow 
that no man can put into his purse. 

11 Then your labor and pains will smile 
upon you and ye shall rejoice and be glad 
in the favor of your Lord. 

12 Beloved, my Lord hath given me ex- 
perience that our best fare here is hunger. 

13 We are but at God's by-board in the 
lower house; we have cause to long for 
supper time and the full table up in the 
King's palace. 

14 The world deserveth nothing but the 
outer court of our souls. 

15 I see that this world is like a great 
fire: if a cold man stand at a reasonable 
distance it warms and comforts him; but 
if he go into the midst of it it burns him. 

16 Men who have an indifferent hold of 
the world and stand at a proper distance 
from it are benefited thereby; but those 
who cast themselves into the midst of it 



are thereby swallowed up and forever lost. 
O but poor worldlings get but a paltry 
heaven ! 

17 Mark the fool's words: "Soul, take 
thine ease, thou hast much goods laid up 
for many years/ ' Every word here is like 
the fool who speaks them. Blind liar! they 
are not laid up for the soul; for all his full 
barns and gold could never fill the soul. 
The poor soul did but look out at the two 
windows — the eyes — and behold them. 

18 Then I counsel you, since you must 
go to the market and buy, spend not your 
money on an illusion; buy something that 
can be seen and heard and felt; buy Jesus 
Christ; Him ye may see and hear and 
touch; He is the True Possession, the 
Great and Everlasting Gain. 

19 Ye can never make the world your 
own, but you must leave it all at the 
mouth of the grave and creep therein like 
a naked worm into its hole. 

20 Christ you may take into the grave 
with you; ye may take Him up to heaven 
with you; ye may take Him to back you 
and speak for you in the last day of Judg- 


Chapter II 

Of youth and its dangers. 6 Watch to be 
kept over thoughts and desires. 10 Youth 
a nest of temptations. 14 Warning against 
the deceitfulness of sin. 22 The gospel 
God's candle. 26 Guides for daily con- 

O YOUNG MEN, I counsel you to 
prayer and watching over your sins 
and the lusts of your body continually, for 
I know that acting orders go between the 
devil and your young blood. 

2 Satan hath a friend at court in the 
heart of youth, and there pride, luxury, 
lust, revenge, and forgetfulness of God are 
his hired agents. 

3 I warn you there is not such a glassy, 
icy, slippery piece of way betwixt you and 
heaven as youth, and I have experience to 
say with me here and to seal what I assert. 

4 The ashes of the old sins of my youth 
are new fire of sorrow to me. I have seen 
the devil, as it were, dead and buried, and 
yet rise again and be a worse devil than 



ever he was; therefore, my brother, beware 
of a green young devil that hath never 
been overcome. 

5 In youth Satan findeth dry sticks and 
dry coals and a hot hearthstone; and how 
can he with his flint strike fire, and with 
his bellows blow it up and fire the house. 

6 Sanctified thoughts, thoughts made 
conscience of and called in and kept in awe, 
these are green fuel that burn not, and are 
water for Satan's coal. 

7 Ye know that it is easy to master an 
arrow and to set it right ere the string be 
drawn ; but when once it is shot and in the 
air and the flight begun, then have ye no 
more power to command it. 

8 It were a blessed thing if your love 
could now level only at Christ, that He 
were the center of your aim and your de- 

9 For when your affection is loosed and 
out of hold, ye shall not then have power 
to call home the arrow, or to be master 
of your love ; and ye will hardly give Christ 
what ye scarcely have yourself. 

10 It is hard for you to conceive what a 
nest of dangerous temptations youth is, 
how inconsiderate, foolish, proud, vain, 



heady, rash, profane, and careless of God 
this piece of your life is; so that the devil 
findeth in you at this age a swept chamber 
and a garnished lodging for himself, and 
seven devils worse than himself. 

11 For then the affections are, as it were, 
on horseback, lofty and stirring; then the 
old Adam hath blood-lust, much will and 
little wit, and hands and feet and wanton 
eyes and profane lips as servants to do his 

12 Then a green conscience is as supple 
as the twig of a young tree. It is for every 
way, every fancy; every temptation mov- 
eth it and prevaileth with it. 

13 Sinning will stupify the conscience 
and bring upon it more coverings and 
skin and less feeling and sense of guiltness ; 
and when that is done the devil is like a 
mad horse that hath broken his bridle and 
runneth away with his rider whither he 

14 O learn to know that which the 
apostle knew, the deceitfulness of sin. 
Give now in the morning of your life, I 
pray you, your wit, your will, and the 
green desires of youth's pleasures offhand 
to Christ. 



15 If He be not in you, ye will have 
guests and servants that do you ill and 
waste your substance riotously, and bring 
you at last into ruin and bankruptcy. But 
happy is your soul if Christ enter and take 
the keys of the house, and Himself com- 
mand all your deeds and thoughts, your 
will and your desires. 

16 Therefore I entreat you, young men, 
to begin now to frame your love and to 
cast it in no mold but one, that it may be 
for Christ only; for when your love is now 
in its framing and molding it will best take 
with Christ. 

17 If any other get a hold of it when it 
is green and young, Christ will be an unco 
and strange world to you. Promise the 
lodging of your soul first away to Christ, 
and stand by your first covenant and keep 
to Jesus that He may find you faithful. 

18 I entreat you, set forward, while yet 
your years are few, to climb the mountain 
of God. 

19 O take pains for your salvation. For- 
sake the follies of vain and deceiving youth. 

20 Acquaint yourselves with the Lord; 
hold fast Christ; hear His voice only. 

21 The gospel is God's candle to let you 



see the way to heaven; study it with dili- 

22 Love not the world, neither the things 
of the world. Give God some of your 
thoughts both morning and evening, and 
forget Him not at any time. 

23 Beware of lying, swearing, unclean- 
ness, and all the rest of the works of the 
flesh, because "for these things the wrath 
of God cometh upon the children of dis- 

24 If ye watch not night and day against 
the evils that beset you, ye will fall short, 
ye will be found wanting in the balance. 

25 Strive to make prayer and reading 
and study your delight. Seek good com- 
panionship ; avoid late hours ; be wise in 
your affections. 

26 Keep faith and truth with all men in 
bargains and covenants; fail not to give 
due respect to women ; honor your parents ; 
forget not the poor and needy. 

27 Young men, I would that there were 

such hearts in you as to fear God and give 

your souls and bodies wholly to His service. 

O what a sweet couple, what a glorious 

yoke are youth and grace, Christ and a 

young man ! 

2 17 


28 May God open your young eyes to be- 
hold the beauty of righteousness, and guide 
your young feet that run with eagerness 
and guard them from the snares that are 
set about you, for His name and mercy 
sake. Amen. 


Chapter III 

Warning against selfishness. 8 Self the 
root of all sin. 

BRETHREN, unless ye slay the body of 
sin in you by sanctified self-denial, ye 
can not be Christ's martyrs and faithful 

2 If I could be master of that house-idol, 
Myself, my own mind, my own will, my 
own credit, my own ease, how blessed 
were I ! 

3 O how loath we are to forego our own 
packs and burdens that hinder us to run 
the race with patience. How hard it is to 
win one foot or one inch out of our own 
will, out of our own wit, out of our own ease 
and worldly lusts. 

4 Alas that Self is the master idol to 
which we all bow. What made Eve sin, 
and what hurried her headlong upon the 
forbidden fruit but that wretched thing 

5 What drew that brother murderer to 
kill Abel? That wild, unruly Self. What 



was the cause of Solomon's falling into 
idolatry and multiplying strange wives? 
What but Self, whom he would rather pleas- 
ure than God. 

6 What led Peter to deny his Lord? 
Was it not Self, the love of a whole skin? 
What made Judas sell his Master for thirty 
pieces of silver? The idolizing of avari- 
cious Self. 

7 What made Demas to go off of the 
way of the gospel to embrace the present 
world? Even self-love, the love of gain for 
his own selfish delights. 

8 Every man blameth the devil for his 
sins; but the great devil, the house-devil 
of every man, the house-devil that eateth 
and lieth in every man's bosom, is that 
idol that killeth all, Self. 

9 O blessed are they who can deny Self 
and put Christ in the room thereof! 

10 Would God that I had not myself, 
but Christ; not my lust, but Christ; not 
my ease, but Christ; not my honor, but 
Christ! O sweet to say, "I live no more, 
but Christ liveth in me." 

11 Brethren, beware how ye set up an 
idol against Christ. If we are redeemed 
from ourselves the world and the devil 



have no share in us. Be mindful of this, 
therefore, that ye put out yourselves and 
have none other to dwell within you but 
Christ Jesus. 

12 Then ye shall be able to say, "Not I, 
but Christ; not my will, but Christ's; not 
my pleasure or my gain, but Christ, only 
Christ/ ' 

13 May God help you, then, to crucify 
Self for your soul's sake. Amen. 


Chapter IV 

Comfort for loss of loved ones. 5 Tribula- 
tion the portion of God's people; they 
must conform to Christ, their model. 
15 Why their way is hedged about with 
thorns. 19 Benefits of trial. 

YE have lost a child ; nay, she is not lost 
to you who is found in Christ. 

2 She is not sent away but only sent be- 
fore, like unto a star which, going out of 
our sight, doth not die but shineth in an- 
other hemisphere. 

3 Ye see her not, yet she shineth in an- 
other country. If her glass were but a 
short hour, what she wanteth of time she 
hath gotten of eternity; and ye have to 
rejoice that ye have now some plenishing 
in heaven. 

4 Build your nest upon no tree here; 
for ye see that God hath sold the forest to 
destruction; and every tree whereupon ye 
would rest is ready to be cut down, to the 
end that ye may fly and mount up and 



build upon the Rock, and dwell in the 
holes of the Rock. 

5 I entreat you, beloved, faint not in 
the day of your adversity. Trust in Him 
though He should slay you. Faith is ex- 
ceeding charitable and believeth no evil of 

6 Men do lop the branches of their trees 
round about, to the end that they may 
grow up high and tall. The Lord hath 
this way lopped your branch in taking 
from you your child, to the end you should 
grow upward like one of God's cedars, set- 
ting your heart above where Christ is at 
the right hand of the Father. 

7 Prepare yourself; you are nearer your 
child this day than you were yesterday. 
While ye prodigally spend your time in 
mourning for her, ye are speedily posting 
after her. Resist not the will of your 
Heavenly Father. Let God have His own ; 
and ask of Him instead of your daughter 
whom He hath taken from you the daughter 
of faith, which is patience, and in calm and 
holy fear possess your spirit. 

8 Ye would be sorry either to be or to 
be esteemed an atheist, and yet doth not 
the apostle think those to be hopeless 



atheists who mourn excessively for the 

9 God forbid that I should speak thus 
to you in rebuke, but only fearing your 
weakness; for your child was a part of 
yourself and therefore nature in you, being, 
as it were, cut and halved, will indeed be 

10 But ye have to rejoice that while a 
part of you is on earth, a great part of you 
is glorified in heaven. 

11 Follow her, but envy not; for indeed 
it is self-love in us that maketh us mourn 
for them that die in the Lord. 

12 Take heed, therefore, that in showing 
your affection in mourning for your loved 
one ye be not, out of self -affection, mourn- 
ing for yourself. Consider what the Lord is 
doing therein. Your child is plucked from 
the burning; she resteth from her labors, 
and your Lord, in that, is trying you and 
casting you in His purging fire. 

13 Verily I should be grieved if I were 
not assured that ye have One with you in 
the furnace of your trial whose visage is 
like unto the Son of God. 

14 I am convinced that if your health 
did not require it, God would not spend so 



much medicine upon you. All the brethren 
and sisters of Christ must conform to His 
image and copy in suffering. 

15 Think ye how great your glory to be 
enrolled among those of whom it is said, 
These are they who came out of great trib- 
ulation and have washed their robes and 
made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

16 God buildeth a hedge of thorns in 
your way to hinder you from straying — a 
thorny hedge of daily grief, loss of children, 
of uncertainty of estate, of lack of worldly 
comforts, of fear of His anger for old, un- 
repented-of sins. 

17 What lose ye if your Lord twist and 
plait the hedge daily thicker? Blessed be 
God that He will not let you find your 
paths ! 

18 Show yourselves His true followers 
by suffering without murmur, and be as- 
sured that they lose nothing who gain and 
hold fast Christ Jesus. 

19 O what I owe to the file and the ham- 
mer and the furnace of my Lord Jesus! 
Grace tried is better than grace; and it is 
more than grace, it is glory in its infancy. 

20 I now see that godliness is more than 
the outside and the ornaments and the 



deckings of this world. Who knoweth the 
truth of grace without a trial? Not one! 

21 O how little Christ getteth of us but 
that which He winneth with much toil and 
pains! And how soon faith would freeze 
without a cross! 

22 Why should I start at the plough of 
my Lord that maketh deep furrows on my 
soul? I know that He is no idle husband- 
man; He purposeth a fair harvest. 

23 O that this white, withered ground 
were made fertile to bear a rich crop for 
Christ, by whom it is so painfully dressed; 
and that this fallow ground were broken up ! 

24 Beloved, ye do well not to make 
them witnesses of your grief who can not 
be curers of it. To whom ye may turn ye 

25 I entreat you be exceeding generous 
with your Lord, who loveth while He 
chasteneth. I pray that the Comforter 
may bind up your wounds, and that His 
grace may be with you more and more 


Chapter V 

The world to be lightly regarded. 6 The 
fleeting vanities thereof. 12 What to keep 
and what to cast aside. 18 Lay hold 
firmly upon Christ. 

OTHAT our souls would so fall at odds 
with the love of this world as to think 
of it as a traveler doth of a drink of water, 
which is not any part of his treasure, but 
is only a help on his journeying. 

2 For as a child can not hold two apples 
in his little hand, but one putteth the 
other out of its room, so neither can we be 
masters and lords of two loves, the world 
and Christ. 

3 Many there be who settle down in this 
inn of the world as though they were per- 
manent lodgers thereat, and make no prep- 
aration of scrip and baggage for the great 
journey that is no near at hand. 

4 They eat and drink, but time standeth 
not still; they laugh, but the day fleeth 
away; they sleep, but their hours are reck- 
oned and put by as finished. 

5 As a flood is carried back to the sea, 



so doth time carry us with wings to the 
grave. What then will be the short-born 
pleasures of our yesterdays, but as a snow- 
ball melted quite away? 

6 We know that this world is but a 
shadow, a short-living creature under the 
law of time. Within less than threescore 
years, when we look back on it, we shall 
laugh at the fleeting vanities thereof as 
feathers flying in the air, and as the houses 
of sand within the sea-mark which the 
children of men are building. 

7 "Ye which rejoice in a thing of 
naught," God said of Israel, and so may 
He also say of us. Surely we spin our 
spider's web with pain, and build our 
rotten and tottering house upon a lie and 
falsehood and vanity. 

8 For when the day is ended, and this 
life's lease expired, what have men of this 
world's glory but a fancied treasure, an 
unenduring fabric, a dream that vanisheth 

9 Beloved, I entreat you, give up with 
the courting of this vain world ; seek not 
the alien's movables, but the Son's heritage 
in heaven. 

10 I rejoice that the favor of Christ in 



you can not be blown away with winds, 
either from hell or the foul blasts from this 
corrupted world. 

11 O sit far back from the walls of this 
pesthouse, even the pollutions of this defil- 
ing world. 

12 Keep your taste, your love, your hope 
of heaven; it is not good that your love 
and your Lord should be in two separate 

13 Take in your journey what you may 
carry with you — your conscience, faith, 
hope, patience, meekness, goodness, broth- 
erly kindness — for such wares as these are of 
great price in that new country whither ye go. 

14 As for other things, which are but the 
world's vanity and trash, since they are 
but the house-sweepings, ye will be wise to 
make them none of your burden. Ye found 
them here, leave them here and let them 
keep the house. 

15 Your sun is well-turned and low; be 
nigh your lodging against night. We go 
one and one out of this great market till 
the town be empty and the two lodgings, 
heaven and hell, be filled. 

16 At length there will be nothing in the 
earth but bare walls and burnt ashes, and 



therefore it is best to make away towards 

17 Antichrist and his master are busy to 
plenish hell and to seduce many, and stars, 
great Church lights, are falling from 
heaven ; they fall from their birthrights by 
going after strange doctrines. 

18 Fasten your hold firmly upon Christ. 
I verily esteem Him my richest possession; 
He is my helper and strength in these my 

19 Having Him, though my cross were 
as heavy as ten mountains of iron, when 
He putteth His sweet shoulder under me 
and it my cross is but a feather. 

20 I please myself in the choice of 
Christ; He is my choice portion in heaven 
and earth. I rejoice that I have such a 
Friend waiting for me in that fair country. 

21 God, send a joyful meeting; and in 
the meantime, the traveler's charges for the 
way — I mean a burden of Christ's love to 
sweeten the journey and to encourage a 
breathless runner; for when I lose breath 
climbing the mountain, He reneweth breath 
within me. 

22 Now the very God of peace establish 
you to the day of His appearance. 

Chapter VI 

To his flock at Anwoth after his banishment. 
5 He envies the birds that build in the 
church there. 10 Sorrowing yet always 
rejoicing. 16 The saints' refuge. 18 Ex- 
hortation to stand fast in the truth. 

BRETHREN in Christ, I write unto you 
from Aberdeen, where I am a prisoner 
by order of the authorities. 

2 For it hath been adjudged that in my 
eagerness for the truth I have uttered 
treason against the king, for which cause I 
am banished from you and condemned to 
silence for a term that is in the king's 

3 My closed mouth, my silent Sabbaths, 
the memory of my communion with Christ 
in many fair, fair days in Anwoth have 
almost broken my faith in halves. 

4 I had one joy out of heaven, next to 
Christ my Lord, and that was to preach 
Him to this faithless generation; and that 
they have taken from me. It was to me 
as the poor man's one eye; and they have 
put out that eye. 



5 When I think upon the sparrows and 
swallows that build their nests in the kirk 
at Anwoth, and of my dumb Sabbaths, my 
sorrowful eyes make me look upon Christ 
as angry with me ; but I forbid my thoughts 
to receive slanders of my Preserver. 

6 I desire to give no faith, no credit to 
my sorrow when it suggests hard thoughts 
of Christ; yet these thoughts awake with 
me in the morning: what service can a 
silenced man do in Christ's house? Alas, 
I am a dry tree! I can neither plant nor 
water. O if I might but speak to three 
or four herdboys of my Master, I would 
be satisfied to be the meanest and most 
obscure of all the pastors in the land. 

7 But He saith, "I will not send you; I 
have no errands for you." My desire to 
serve Him is sick of jealousy, lest He be 
unwilling to employ me. 

8 This thought is seconded with another, 
What have I done in Anwoth? The fair 
work that my Master began there is like a 
bird dying in the shell; and what, then, 
shall I have to show of all my labor in the 
day of my appearance before Him, when 
the Master of the vineyard calleth the la- 
borers to give them their hire? 



9 Yet, thirdly, I truly repent and pray 
Christ to pardon my querulous, unbeliev- 
ing sadness and sorrow. 

10 I rue from my heart that I yielded 
so far to the law as to apprehend wrath 
in my Lord Jesus, for truly I am a debtor 
to His love; but I wish He would give me 
grace to learn to do without His comforts, 
and to give thanks and believe when the 
sun is not in the firmament. 

11 I look often with bleared and blind 
eyes to my Lord's cross, and when I look 
to the wrong side of His cross, I know I 
miss a step and stumble. Surely I see that 
I have not strength of my own for carrying 
me to heaven; I must go in at heaven's 
gate borrowing strength from Christ. 

12 It was good for me to come to Aber- 
deen, to learn a new mystery of Christ: 
That His promise is to be believed against 
all appearance. 

13 It is true my silent Sabbaths have 
been and still are glassy ice whereon my 
faith can scarce hold its feet, and I am 
often blown back with a storm of doubting; 
yet truly my bonds all this time are per- 
fumed with the deep love of Christ. 

14 God hath made many flowers, but 
3 33 


the fairest of them all is heaven, and the 
Flower of all flowers is Christ. 

15 O why do we not flee up to that 
Lovely One! O for as much love as would 
go round about the earth and over the 
heaven — yea, the heaven of heavens and 
ten thousand worlds — that I might let it 
all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ! 
But alas! I have nothing for Him, yet He 
hath much for me. 

16 I creep under my Lord's wing in the 
great shower, and the water can not reach 
me. We may sing even in our winter's 
storm, in expectation of a summer sun at 
the turn of the year. 

17 For no created power in hell or out 
of hell can mar our Lord Jesus His music, 
or spoil our song of joy. In that hope we 

18 Beloved, stand fast in the truth of 
Christ which ye have received. Yield to 
no winds, but ride out the storm, Christ 
being your firm anchor. 

19 We expect tribulation here. God's 
wheat in this land must go through Satan's 
sieve; but their souls shall not faint, 
neither shall their faith fail in the day of 



20 I beseech you, pray for me, God's 
prisoner, that He would send me again 
among you to preach and to minister unto 
the needs of His people. His grace be with 


Chapter VII 

Of sin and the world. 5 None can have two 
heavens. 9 Sacrifice demanded of the 
Christian. 14 Earthly things doomed to 

FOR he that counteth little of sin count- 
eth little of God. Those who take sin 
into their bosom are cruel to their Re- 
deemer, for they love their lusts that pur- 
sued Christ to His death and nailed Him 
to the cross. 

2 Beware, then, by going on in sin, of 
saying "Amen" to the shedding of Christ's 

3 When the workers of iniquity are taken 
out of this life, it is said to be a cutting off ; 
but it is not said so of the godly. " Merci- 
ful men," saith the Prophet Isaiah, "are 
taken away." God taketh away merciful 
men in His arms as children; but the 
wicked He cuts off like the trees of the 
field, and pulls them up by the roots. 
"Ekron shall be rooted up." (Zeph. 2:4.) 

4 Set not your hearts upon the world, 



since God hath not made it your portion; 
for it will not fall to you to get two por- 
tions and to rejoice twice, and to be happy 
twice, and to have an upper heaven and an 
under heaven also. 

5 Christ our Lord and His saints were 
not so, and therefore let go your grip of 
this life and of the good things thereof. 
Set not your affections upon them nor 
desire them. 

6 Where many mourn, wherefore should 
ye have joy; where many lack comforts, 
wherefore should ye have abundance and 

7 Have ye great possessions, how can ye 
fight the good fight with this hampering 
burden upon your back? O cast it from 
you. Divide with your neighbor who hath 
need and it shall be as treasure put by in 

8 Ye know this, that ease and fullness 
of bread and meat provoketh lusts and de- 
sires of the flesh. "This was the iniquity 
of thy sister Sodom,' ' saith the Prophet 
Ezekiel; "pride, fullness of bread and 
abundance of idleness was in her and in 
her daughters.' ' 

9 It is not the part of God's children to 



make a treasure here. Anything under the 
covering of heaven which we can build 
upon is but ill ground and a sandy founda- 

10 There is naught created that we can 
lean upon that shall not fail us, and there- 
fore it is better to rest upon God than to 
sink or fall ; and our weak souls must have 
a bottom and a building place, for they 
can not stand of themselves. 

11 Brethren, I beseech you lend your 
thoughts earnestly to these things and 
learn to contemn this world and to turn 
your eyes and your heart away from be- 
holding the masked beauty of all things 
under Time's law and doom. 

12 Look beyond these passing things 
and behold Him who is invisible and ever- 
lasting, and the exceeding riches and glory 
of His everlasting Kingdom, which shall 
be your abundant reward. 

13 Fire will fly over this earth and all 
that is in it; even lightnings of destruction 
from the Almighty Hand. And all the 
treasures thereof shall crumble away and 
become as nothing. 

14 Woe that men's souls should be mad 
and drunken with the love of this passing, 



lawless life! They think to make a nest 
for their hopes, and to take quarters and 
conditions of hell and death, that they may 
have ease, long life, and peace; but in the 
morning they shall awake from their dream 
and bitterness shall be their portion. 

15 Their hope shall fail like a tree that 
is withered at the root; their treasure 
shall become a vain thing. Dismay shall 
seize upon them and they shall mourn and 
there shall be none to comfort them. 

16 For the estates of the wicked, if they 
do not repent, shall consume away, and 
the ravens shall dwell in their houses, and 
their glory shall be shame. 


Chapter VIII 

Of the way to heaven. 5 The Christian must 
have trials. 13 He desires not a flowery 

DEAR ones in Christ, I know the way 
to heaven is judged a harsh way, a 
low-lifed, sad, and melancholy way, full of 
tears and mourning. 

2 It is known to all divines that in every 
regenerated man there is, as it were, two 
men, the new and the old, the spirit and 
the flesh; and these two have contrary 
ways, contrary hearts, and contrary judg- 

3 When the children of God think the 
way to heaven unpleasant and full of sor- 
row, then the old nature bears rule in the 
soul, and that is but the opinion of your 
carnal man. 

4 But ask the opinion of the new man 
within you what he thinks of the way to 
heaven. O he will say God is dearer to 
him than thousands of gold and silver, 



sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. 
"Whom have I on earth but Thee, and 
there is none upon earth that I desire be- 
side Thee." 

5 If then ye ask what is the reason of 
their mourning, tears, wrestling, agonies, 
and terrors of a guilty conscience, I answer, 
We may not think the child of God, in his 
way to heaven, will never get a shower. 
Nay, ye have seen that sometimes near 
midsummer there will fall a blast of hail; 
but nature and the season of the year will 
soon dry it up, and it will clear in the west, 
and the birds will renew their songs, and 
the roses will spread their leaves again 
when the sun shines. 

6 So, even whilst it is summer, the Sun 
of Righteousness will hide His face from 
the poor believer ; Christ will seem to with- 
draw Himself and the [conscience will 
quake and tremble. It was so with Heze- 
kiah when he mourned to God as a dove 
and chattered like a crane. It was not 
fear of death, but because when he was so 
near death God, in his feeling, was so far 
from him. 

7 For these withdrawings, I look upon 
them as like unto leaving fields of lean and 



weak land to lie for a time unploughed, 
until they gather sap for a better crop. 

8 We know that as night and shadow are 
good for flowers, and the moonlight and 
dews are better than continual sun, so is 
Christ's absence of special use, and that it 
hath some nourishing virtue in it, and giv- 
eth sap to humility, and putteth an edge 
on hunger, and furnisheth a fair field to 
faith to put forth itself and to exercise its 
fingers in gripping it seeth not what. 

9 A soul may be in as thriving a state 
when thirsting, seeking, and mourning 
after the Lord as when actually rejoicing 
in Him, as much in earnest when fighting 
in the valley as when singing on the moun- 

10 It should be enough for us, if we were 
wise, that Christ will have joy and sorrow 
halvers of the life of the saints, and that 
each of them should have a share of our 
days, as the night and the day are kindly 
partners and halvers of time and take it 
up between them. 

11 But if sorrow be the greedier halver 
of our days here, I know that joy's day 
will dawn and do more than recompense all 
our sad hours. 



12 Let my Lord Jesus, since He willeth 
so to do, weave my bit and span-length of 
time with white and black, weal and woe, 
with the Bridegroom's coming and His sad 
departure as warp and woof in one web; 
and let the rose be neighbored with the 
thorn, yet hope that maketh not ashamed 
hath written a letter and lines of cheer to 
the mourners in Zion that it shall not be 
long so. 

13 I desire not to go on the lee-side or 
sunny side of religion, or to put truth be- 
twixt me and the storm; my Savior did 
not so for me, who in His suffering took 
the windy side of the hill. 

14 When we are over the water, Christ 
shall cry down crosses and up heaven for 
evermore; and down hell and down earth 
and down sin and down sorrow, and up 
glory, up life, up joy for evermore. 

15 In this hope I rest quietly in Christ's 
bosom, until He come. Amen. 


Chapter IX 

The sin that remains in our nature. 9 Its 
dominion broken by grace. 11 The guard 
that is to be set. 

THERE is a body of sin that remains in 
our nature ; the apostle speaks of it as 
if it had us clasped in its arms, "the sin 
that doth so easily beset us," or goes round 
about us. 

2 For original sin has us in fetters as 
captives; it is a thing we can not win from, 
go where we may. 

3 It is like a ghost, ever in our eye; be- 
hind us pulling us back, before us standing 
in our way, at our right hand hindering us 
to hear, pray, believe, hope. 

4 It is like the wind in our face, or in 
the face of a weak traveler that blows him, 
some steps back where he goes one forward. 

5 It is as a man going round about us. 
It is in the mind, darkening the judgment; 
in the will, turning it in the contrary way. 
God bids us walk in the lowest room down 
in the affections, but we do the contrary. 



And this sin, as weedbind goes about a 
tree, wraps about us in every way. 

6 It is a serpent biting our heel, and 
cries, "A lion in the way!" When God 
draws, sin holds back, at meat, drink, and 

7 It is a mocker; it promises us much, 
but gives us the wind; and yet we believe 

8 How, now, may we shake off this sin 
which dwells in us and goes round about 
us, even unto the grave. 

9 The dominion of it we break by grace. 
Every sore heart we have for this indwell- 
ing sin breaks, as it were, a bone of old 
Adam, weakens his strength, and makes 
him cry out in pain. 

10 As we repent and advance in holiness, 
we conquer this indwelling sin. 

1 1 Now, if ye shall ask a guard to watch 
your soul, take these following. The first 
soldier is "the fear of God." See that ye 
set Him in the very entry of your souls. 

12 The second soldier to set there is 
"sobriety and temperance." Noah and Lot 
forgot these, and therefore they fell into a 
nap or sleep. This sobriety is a modest and 
wise carriage in the enjoying of the pleas- 



ures of this life. "Be sober, be vigilant," 
says the Apostle Peter, "for thine adver- 
sary goeth about like a roaring lion, seek- 
ing whom he may devour." 

13 The third soldier is that virtue which 
Solomon calls "discretion;" let it be before 
the door to try what guests come into the 
soul, what thoughts enter in. As it is 
written, "Try the spirits whether they be 
of God or not." One devil is like another 
devil, and when we are thinking we are 
holding out one, another rushes in. 

14 The fourth soldier is " suspicion and 
fear of our own ways" which should hold 
us waking. "Blessed is the man that 
feareth always." Paul said to Timothy, 
"In all things watch." Even in the things 
of this life, in the setting of a cup to our 
head, in the putting a bite to our mouth 
at table we should watch, for did not the 
devil enter into Judas with the meat? 
Therefore, I entreat you, let no man believe 
too well of himself or be caution for his 
own heart, "for the heart is deceitful above 
all things and desperately wicked; who 
can know it?" 

15 The fifth soldier to stand is "medita- 
tion on death;" let the meditation of death 



stand in the threshold of the door. It is 
written in Lamentations, " Wherefore doth 
Jerusalem come down wonderfully, but be- 
cause she remembered not her last end." 
If men would remember Christ and that 
death and judgment come in the night as a 
thief, they would have their hand ever at 
the door-bar and stand behind the door, 
watching till the Lord should knock. 
" Blessed is the man whom his Lord shall 
find so doing. " 

16 The sixth soldier, that keeps the soul 
ever on foot, is "a continual practice of 
good y and walking with God." Moving, 
walking, and serious business keep men 
from slumbering. Only be even-down 
honest with God, walking with Him in 
sincerity and truth and looking unto His 
mercy, justice, kindness, and power. 

17 The seventh soldier, and the last man 
of the guard that I shall now mention, is 
"Faith." These seven be valiant soldiers, 
and strong in the service of Christ. These 
are the graces of God that keep Christ in 
the soul. 


Chapter X 

Danger of trusting to a name. 7 Conversion 
no superficial work. 13 Exhortation to 
make sure of Christ. 

I BESEECH you, in the Lord Jesus, to 
mind your country above, and now when 
old age, the twilight going before the dark- 
ness of the grave, is come upon you, advise 
with Christ ere you put foot into the ship 
and turn your back on this life. 

2 Many are beguiled with this, that they 
are free of scandalous and crying abomina- 
tions; but the tree that bringeth not forth 
good fruit is for the fire. 

3 The man that is not born again can 
not enter into the Kingdom of God. Com- 
mon honesty will not take men to heaven. 

4 Alas, that men should think that ever 
they met with Christ who never had a sore 
heart for sin ! 

5 I know that God hath given you light 
and a knowledge of His will; but that is 
not all, neither will that do your turn. I 



wish you an awakened soul, that ye may 
not beguile yourself in the matter of your 

6 My beloved brethren, search your 
hearts diligently and try if the life of God 
and Christ be truly in you. 

7 Many are carried over sea to a far 
country in a ship whileas they sleep much 
of all the way; but men are not landed at 
heaven sleeping. 

8 I say unto you scarce are the righteous 
saved ; and many run as fast as either you 
or I who miss the prize and the crown. 

9 Men think it but a stride or a step over 
to heaven, but have w r e not cause to 
tremble and ask our poor souls, " Whither 
goest thou? Where shalt thou lodge at 
night? Where are the charters and writs of 
thy heavenly inheritance ?" 

10 O see, see that ye give not your salva- 
tion a wrong cast, and think all is well, 
and leave your soul loose and uncertain 
until the door is shut upon you. 

11 I entreat you, look to your building 

and your groundstone, and what signs of 

Christ are in you, for your sun is low in the 

heavens. Be watchful, be swift; strive to 

go a step above and beyond ordinary pro- 
4 49 


fessors; resolve to sweat more and run 
faster than they do for salvation. 

12 A slack, cold pace to heaven will cause 
many a man to want his lodgings at night 
and to lie in the fields. Therefore, while 
the light remaineth, O hasten your steps, 
delay not! 

13 It is time now in the evening to cease 
from your ordinary employ, and high time 
to be assured of your lodging when night 
falleth upon you. It is your salvation that 
is in dependence, and that is a great and 
weighty business, howbeit many make 
light of the matter. 

14 May the Lord Jesus enable you, by 
His grace, to work it out, to be firm-fixed 
in Him, and to be ready, so that ye come 
safely into His Heavenly Kingdom. 


Chapter XI 

To one who suffered for the faith. 8 Ye 
are the King's gold, stamped with His 
image. 14 Forgive as you have been for- 

DEARLY beloved in Christ Jesus, I fear 
that you are moved and cast down 
because of the harshness of evil men against 

2 But I pray you be comforted, for a 
just cause bides under the water only as 
long as wicked men hold their hand above 
it; their arm will weary, and then the just 
cause shall swim above; and the light that 
is sown for the righteous shall spring and 
grow up. 

3 If ye were not strangers here, the dogs 
of the world would not bark at you. 

4 Ye shall see all the windings and turn- 
ings that are in your path to heaven out 
of God's Word; for He will not lead you 
to the Kingdom by the nearest way, but 
you must go through "honor and dis- 
honor, by evil and good report, as de- 
ceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet 



well known, as dying, and, behold we live, 
as chastened and not killed, as sorrowful 
and yet always rejoicing/' 

5 The world is one of the enemies that 
we have to fight with, but a vanquished 
and overcome enemy, a beaten soldier; 
for hath not Christ, our Captain, said, 
"Be of good courage, for I have overcome 
the world ?" 

6 You shall neither be free of the scourge 
of the tongue nor of disgraces, if you follow 

7 I beseech you, by the blood of the 
Redeemer, keep a good conscience, as I 
trust you do. 

8 You live not upon men's opinion; 
gold may be gold and have the king's 
stamp upon it, when it is trampled upon 
by men. 

9 Happy are you if, when the world 
trampleth upon you in your credit and 
good name, yet you are the Lord's gold, 
stamped with our King's image, and sealed 
by the Spirit unto the day of your re- 

10 This is your glory, that Christ hath 
put you in the roll with Himself, and with 
the rest of the witnesses who are come out 



of great tribulation. Blessed are they who 
are content to take strokes with weeping 

11 Open your hearts, I beseech you, to 
the Spirit of love; for love beareth all 
things, believeth all things, hopeth all 
things, endureth all things. 

12 Love hath strong, broad shoulders; 
the high mountains and the heavy burdens 
will not tire love. Love will never sweat, 
faint, nor fall in a swoon, for God helpeth 

13 Get love and no burden Christ will 
lay on you will be heavy. Lay all hell upon 
a soul that has love to Christ and he will 
run with the burden. 

14 Pray for your adversaries; remem- 
ber how many thousands of talents of sins 
your Master hath forgiven you. Forgive 
ye, therefore, your fellow-servant's one 

15 It is a benefit to you that the wicked 
are God's fan to purge you; and I hope 
they shall blow away no wheat, or spir- 
itual graces, but only your chaff. 

16 May the Lord Jesus help you and 
lead you to see the beauty of His way of 
forgiveness and mercy and loving kindness. 


Chapter XII 

Comfort concerning the Church. 6 Christ 
shall lead her again unto triumph. 11 
Rules for Christian conduct. 

DEARLY beloved, yet a little while and 
ve shall see the salvation of the Lord. 

2 Fear not for Mount Zion, for they 
shall be sore disappointed who thirst for 
her destruction. 

3 They shall be as when a hungry man 
dreameth that he eateth, but behold! he 
awaketh and his soul is empty. Or like 
when a thirsty man dreameth that he 
drinketh, but behold! he awaketh and is 
faint, and his soul is not satisfied ; so shall it 
be with those who fight against Mount Zion. 

4 Therefore let not the enemies of the 
Lord affright you; they shall not make 
Mount Zion their heritage, neither shall 
they dwell within her walls. 

5 For the enemies of Zion shall be found 
out; He hath vengeance laid up in store 
for them, and the poor and needy shall 
not always be forgotten. 



6 Howbeit this day be not Chrises, the 
morrow shall be His. He will repair the 
old waste places, and His ruined houses 
shall again be made the dwelling place of 

7 The dry olive tree shall bud again, and 
the dry bones shall live; the Spirit shall 
come upon them and they shall live. 

8 The Bride will yet sing as in the days of 
her youth; yea, she will rejoice as in times 
past, and her joy none shall take from her. 

9 Wait ye patiently, therefore, upon the 
Bridegroom's coming, and ye shall behold 
His triumph and rejoice again in His glory 
and His strength. 

10 Our fair day is coming, and the court 
will change and wicked men will weep 
after noon, and sorer than the sons of God 
who weep in the morning. Let us believe 
and hope for God's salvation. 

11 Some among you urgently desire of 
me rules for your guidance, that ye may 
be faithful in your godly service. 

12 Take these things to heart, therefore, 
and follow them diligently. First, that 
hours of the day, less or more time, for the 
Word and prayer, be given to God, and 
not grudgingly. 



13 That in the midst of your worldly 
employments there should be some 
thoughts of sin, death, judgment, and 
eternity, with at least a word of ejaculatory 
prayer to God. 

14 That ye beware of wandering of heart 
in private prayers. 

15 That ye grudge not, howbeit ye come 
from prayer without a sense of joy. Down- 
casting, sense of guiltiness, and hunger are 
often best for us. 

16 There be two herbs that grow quickly 
in our souls in summer weather — security 
and pride. Humility is a strong flower 
that grows best in winter weather and 
under storms and afflictions. 

17 That the Lord's day, from morning to 
night, be spent always in private and 
public worship. 

18 That the tongue be guarded, wan- 
dering and idle thoughts avoided, and 
sudden anger and desire for revenge, even 
of such as persecute the truth, be shut out 
of your hearts, for often we mix our wild- 
fire with our zeal. 

19 That in dealing with men, faith and 
truth in covenants and trafficking be 
scrupulously regarded; that ye deal with 



all men in sincerity, and that your conduct 
in all things, before the world, may speak 
favorably of Christ, whom ye profess to 

20 There are many minor things, also, 
whereby I have been helped, albeit the de- 
mands of the world upon you set some of 
these beyond your doing. I have been 
benefited by riding alone a long journey 
in giving that time to meditation. By 
abstinence and giving days to God. By 
praying for others; for by making an 
errand to God for them I have gotten a 
blessing for myself. 

21 I charge you, beware of pride. 
Amongst all sins, pride takes the most 
room; it is a cumbersome neighbor to God, 
and would be upon His bounds. 

22 Beware also of covetousness. The 
covetous man can not enter into heaven; 
there are strange tatters of clay hanging on 
him. He can not enter till the bunch be 
driven off his back. 

23 Beware of worldliness. Worldy men 
are too great to win through the strait door. 
O how big worldliness doth make men! 

24 Beware of impatience, repining, and 
peevishness, which are the sins of sick 



people. Wrong tempers indulged grieve, 
if they do not quench the Spirit. 

25 Take heed to all these things, observe 
and deny them, that ye may glorify God 
before men. 

26 Finally, brethren, acquit yourselves 
in all things good soldiers of Christ, who 
is the Captain of your salvation. 


Chapter XIII 

Afflictions of God's chosen. 7 Christ and 
His cross not separable here. 16 A glo- 
rious company of martyrs. 21 Our soft 
natures would choose ease and comfort. 

I HAVE heard of your heaviness, and of 
the temptations and trials that press 
sore upon you. 

2 Fear not, I entreat you, nor turn -aside 
from Christ because of your afflictions. 

3 So it was with the Lord's apostle when 
he was come with the gospel to Macedonia; 
his flesh had no rest; he was troubled on 
every side and knew not what side to turn 
him unto, without were fightings and 
within were doubts and fears. 

4 Your troubles also are many and 
great, yet not an ounce weight beyond 
the measure of Infinite Wisdom, nor be- 
yond the measure of grace that He can 

5 Our blessed Lord never yet brake the 
back of His child, nor marred the work of 
His own hands. 



6 I know that no man hath a velvet 
cross, but the cross is made of that of 
which God will have it. 

7 Take His cross with Him cheerfully. 
Christ and His cross are not separable in 
this life; howbeit Christ and His cross 
part at heaven's door, for there is no house- 
room for crosses in heaven. 

8 One tear, one sigh, one sad heart, one 
fear, one loss, one thought of trouble can 
not find lodging there; they are but the 
marks of our Lord Jesus down in this wide 
inn and stormy country, on this side of 

9 Sorrow and the saints are not married 
together; or suppose it were so, heaven 
would make a divorce. In me my Lord's 
sweet presence eateth the bitterness out of 
all sorrow and suffering. Love hath given 
my cup a pleasant savor. 

10 I think it is a sweet thing that Christ 
saith of my cross, "Half mine," and that 
He divideth these sufferings with me and 
taketh the larger share to Himself — nay, 
that I and my cross are wholly Christ's. 

11 My cross hath become, as it were, all 
crystal, so that I can see through it Christ's 
fair face and heaven. 



12 Beloved, ere we knew aught of Christ, 
it was so that if we had the cross at our 
own election, we would either have law- 
surety for freedom from it, or else we 
would have it honeyed and sugared with 
comforts so as the sweet should over- 
master the gall and wormwood. 

13 But we have learned that Christ 
knoweth how to breed the sons of His 
house; let us then give Him leave to take 
His own way of dispensation with us, and, 
though it be rough and hard to endure, yet 
we will trust His all-seeing wisdom and 
loving kindness. 

14 We can never have as much sweet 
patience with our Lord as He hath borne 
to us. I know that for our good there 
can not be a dram-weight less of gall in 
our cup. 

15 When God's people can not have a 
providence of silk and roses, they must be 
content with such an one as He bestoweth 
upon them. 

16 We would not go to heaven but with 
company, and we perceive that the way 
of those who went before us was through 
blood, through fire, and through many 
afflictions. Nay, Christ Himself went in 



over the door-threshold of Paradise bleed- 
ing to death. 

17 Heaven is but a company of noble 
venturers for Christ. They are not worthy 
of Him who will not take a blow for the 
Master's sake. 

18 Brethren, I entertain no other 
thought than that ye have learned to 
stoop, and that ye have found that the 
fruits which grow upon that crabbed tree 
of the cross are as sweet as it is sour to 
bear, especially since Christ hath borne 
the entire cross, while His saints must bear 
but the fragments, as the apostle says, 
"the remnants" or "leavings" of the 

19 What is this lower kingdom of grace 
but Christ's hospital, the guest-house of 
sick folks whom the Great Physician hath 
cured upon a venture of life and death? 

20 We know it is not the sunny side of 
Christ that we must look to here, and we 
must not forsake Him because of that, but 
must set our faces against what may befall 
us in following on till He and we be through 
the briars and bushes on fair ground. 

21 Our soft natures would be borne 
through the troubles of this miserable life 



in Christ's arms, and it is His wisdom who 
knoweth our mold, that His children go 
wet-shod and sore-footed to heaven. 

22 O how sweet a thing were it for us to 
make our burdens easy by framing our 
hearts to the burden and making our Lord's 
will to be our law and our guide. 

23 Verily I find Christ and His cross not 
so ill to please, nor yet such troublesome 
guests as many declare ; nay, with patience 
the cup of water which Christ giveth us 
becomes wine, and His dry bread turns 
sweet and pleasant to the taste. 

24 Blessed are they who hold the 
crown upon His Kingly head and buy 
Christ's honor with their own losses and 
their own pains. 


Chapter XIV 

Invocation to praise the Almighty. 7 Who 
can lay rule upon God? 19 Christ's love 
is as the sea. 

OINDWELLERS of earth and heaven, 
sea and air, and all created beings 
within the utmost circle of the great world, 
O come help to set on high the praises of 
our Lord. 

2 O fairness of creatures, blush before 
His uncreated beauty! 

3 O created strength, be amazed to stand 
before your strong Lord of Hosts ! 

4 O created love, think shame of thy- 
self before this unparalleled love of heaven ! 

5 O angel wisdom, hide thyself before 
our Lord whose understanding passeth 
finding out! 

6 O sun in thy shining beauty, for shame 
put up the web of darkness and cover thy- 
self before thy brightest Master and 

7 Who can lay rule upon God; who can 
measure Him whom we serve? 



8 Who can weigh Him; who can put 
the Almighty in the balance? 

9 Ten thousand heavens would not be 
one scale, or half the scale of the balance 
to contain Him. 

10 O black angels in comparison of Him! 
110 dim and dark and lightless sun in 

regard of that fair Sun of Righteousness! 

12 unsubstantial and worthless heaven 
of heavens when they stand beside my 
worthy and lofty and high and excellent 

13 weak and infirm clay-kings! O 
soft and feeble mountains of brass and 
weak created strength in regard of our 
mighty and strong Lord of armies! 

14 O foolish wisdom of men and angels 
when it is laid in the balance beside the 
spotless, substantial wisdom of the Father! 

15 If heaven and earth, and ten thou- 
sand heavens even round about these 
heavens that now are, were all in one 
garden of Paradise, decked with the fairest 
roses, flowers, and trees that can come 
forth from the art of the Almighty Him- 
self; yet set but our one Flower that 
groweth out of the root of Jesse beside 
that orchard of pleasure, one look of Him, 

5 65 


one view, one glimpse would infinitely 
exceed and go beyond the color, beauty, 
and loveliness of that Paradise. 

16 O worthy, worthy, worthy Loveli- 
ness! O incomparable Jewel and Flower 
of heaven! 

17 O less of the creatures and more of 
Thee* sweet Lord Jesus! 

18 Open the passage of the well of love 
and glory on us, dry pits and withered 

19 What can quench the love of Christ? 
Nothing, nothing, for His love is as the 
sea. O to be a thousand fathoms deep in 
this sea of love! 

20 O cruel time that tormenteth us and 
suspendeth our dearest enjoyments, when 
shall we be bathed and steeped, soul and 
body, down in the depths of this Love of 

21 O time, I say, run fast! O motions, 
mend your pace! 

22 O Well-Beloved, be like a young roe 
on the mountains of separation! Post, 
post, and hasten our desired and hungered- 
for meeting! Love is sick to hear tell of 

23 Who can find it in his heart to sin 



against love, and such a love as He beareth 
for us who is our Shepherd and our Re- 
deemer, even the Son of the Living God? 

24 O that I had a river of love, a sea of 
love that would never go dry, to bestow 
upon Christ! 

25 O all ye who know His voice, enjoy 
your Beloved, and dwell upon His bound- 
less love till Eternity come in Time's room 
and possess you of your everlasting happi- 
ness. Amen. 


Chapter XV 

He writes again from exile. 5 Yearns to 
preach again the beauty and glory of 
Christ. 9 Divine comfort. 15 Would 
not exchange his sadness for the world's 

I AM at strange ups and downs here, and 
seven times a day do I lose ground. I 
am often put to swimming, and again my 
feet are set upon the Rock that is higher 
than myself. 

2 My unfilled hours have given me to 
look within, and what do I behold there 
but abomination. Rebellion and anger 
against God possess me, and impatience 
maketh sour my spirit. 

3 I sometimes think that Christ hath 
casten me over the dyke of the vineyard 
as a dry and withered tree and that He 
would have no more of my service. My 
dumb Sabbaths are like a stone tied to a 
bird's foot, that wanteth not wings to fly 

4 O when shall this black night of my 



banishment be overpast and the day-star 
of my deliverance shine in the heavens? 

5 that I might preach His beauty and 
glory as once I did before my clay-tent be 
removed to darkness. 

6 Nothing has given my faith a harder 
back-set till it crack again than my closed 
mouth. It is a painful battle for a soul 
sick of love to fight with absence and 
delays. Christ's "Not yet" is trying all 
the joints and fastenings of my armor. 

7 I upbraided Christ and cried out that 
He was tired of me; my soul refused to be 

8 Yea, I upbraided my Lord and said, 
"What aileth, Lord, that Thou shouldst 
cast me off and bring my soul to shame, for I 
have desired to be faithful in Thy house ?" 

9 But He laid His hand upon me and 
lifted me up; He hath poured balm upon 
my wounds and healed them; He hath 
opened my eyes to behold the grace be- 
neath His gloom. 

10 I see now that duties are ours, events 
are the Lord's. 

11 When our faith goeth to meddle with 
events and to hold a court, as it were, 
upon God's providence, and beginneth to 



say, "How wilt Thou do this and that?" 
we lose ground. 

12 We have nothing to do there. It is 
our part to let the Almighty exercise His 
own office and steer His own helm. And 
He steereth well. 

13 Now I rest in confidence upon my 
Lord ; daily He giveth me feasts of His love. 

14 Mine adversaries know not what a 
courtier I am now with my royal Master, 
in whose cause I suffer. Sweet, sweet is 
His yoke, and His chains are of pure gold; 
sufferings for Him are perfumed. 

15 I would not give my weeping for the 
laughing of all the fourteen prelates of 
Scotland. I would not exchange my sad- 
ness with the world's joy. 

16 What further trials are before me I 
know not; but I know that Christ will 
have a saved soul of me over on the other 
side of the water, on the yonder side of 
crosses and beyond men's wrongs. 

17 Beloved in Christ, thoughts of your 
souls depart not from me even in my 
sleep. Until it please God that I see you 
and be permitted to minister unto you, ye 
have the prayers of a prisoner of Christ, 
to whom I recommend you in all things. 


Chapter XVI 

Truth worth suffering for. 7 Joy sown, but 
evil prevails in the world till Christ come. 
12 A call to faith. 

I BLESS the Lord that the cause for 
which I suffer needeth not to blush be- 
fore kings. 

2 Christ's white, honest, and fair truth 
needeth neither to wax pale for fear nor to 
blush for shame. 

3 I bless the Lord who hath given you 
grace to owtl Christ now when so many 
are afraid to profess Him and hide Him 
for fear they suffer loss by avouching Him. 

4 Alas! that so many in these days are 
carried with the times; as if their con- 
sciences rolled upon oiled wheels, so they 
go any way the wind bloweth them. 

5 And because Christ is not market 
sweet men put Him away from them. 

6 As for ye, I entreat you to go on the 
strong upholders of Christ and His op- 
pressed truth: the end of sufferings for 
Him is rest and gladness. 



7 Light and joy are sown for the mourn- 
ers in Zion, and the harvest which is of 
God's own making, for time and manner, 
is not far off. 

8 There will be rain and hail and storms 
in the saints' clouds ever, till God cleanse 
with fire the works of creation, and till He 
burn this botch-house of earth that men's 
sins have subjected unto vanity. 

9 Blessed are they who suffer and sin 
not, for suffering is the badge that Christ 
hath put upon His followers. 

10 Take what way we can to heaven, 
the way is hedged up with crosses; there 
is no way but to break through them. Wit 
and wiles, shifts and laws will not find out 
a way round the cross of Christ, but we 
must go through. 

11 One thing by experience my Lord 
hath taught me, that the waters betwixt 
this and heaven may all be ridden if we 
be well horsed ; that is, if we be in Christ ; 
and not one shall drown by the way but 
such as love their own destruction. 

12 O if we could wait on for a long time 
and believe in the salvation of God ! 

13 At least we are to believe good of 
Christ till He gives us the slip (which is 



impossible) and to take His Word for 
surety that He shall fill up the blanks in 
His promises, and open our blind eyes to 
read the mysteries beyond the veil. 

14 Now the very peace of God establish 
you till the day of His glorious appearance. 



Chapter XVII 

The emptiness of earthly glory. 7 We are 
in an alien country. 13 Our attitude 
towards the world. 

IT has been told you that worldly glory 
is but a vapor, a shadow, a foam of the 
water; nay, less than this — even nothing. 

2 Our Lord hath said in His Word, "The 
fashion of this world passeth away," and 
compared it to an image in a looking-glass, 
for it is the looking-glass of Adam's sons. 

3 Some come to the glass and see in it 
the picture of Honor — and but a picture 
indeed, for true honor is to be great in the 
sight of God. 

4 Others see in it the shadow of Riches — 
and but a shadow, indeed, for durable 
riches stand as one of the maids of Wis- 
dom, upon her left hand. (Prov. 3:16.) 

5 Again, a third sort see in it the face 
of painted Pleasure; and the beholders will 
not believe but the image they see in the 
glass is a living creature till the Lord come 
and break the glass in pieces. 



6 Then, like Pharoah awakened, they 
will say, "And behold it was all a dream !" 

7 I persuade myself, brethren, that this 
world is to you an alien country, and that 
ye are like a traveler who has his bundle 
upon his back and his staff in his hand and 
his feet upon the highway. 

8 There is an instinct in new-born chil- 
dren of Christ like the instinct of nature 
that leads birds to love certain places, as 
woods and forests, better than other places. 

9 The instinct of nature makes a man 
love his mother country above all coun- 
tries; the instinct of renewed nature and 
supernatural grace will lead you to love 
your country above and to call this world 
but a borrowed prison — to look upon it as 
a pilgrim journeying through to your own 
dear country. 

10 This earth is but the clay portion of 
the ungodly, and therefore no wonder that 
the world should smile upon its own. 

11 Ye know the mother will not let her 
own children want. Better be sons of God 
than the world's darlings. 

12 I think it not ill that God's children 
get a hard bed and poor cheer in this 
world. Christ had not a house amongst 




them; they would not give Him a drink 
of water in His thirst. 

13 I think God's children may call the 
world a strange inn and not their own home. 
Let us carry ourselves like the good-natured 
stranger who resolves never to quarrel 
with his host, howbeit his meat be ill, and 
his reckoning dear, and he have to sleep 
on a straw bed. 


Chapter XVIII 

State of the Church. 5 Believers purified by 
affliction. 10 Folly of seeking joy in a 
doomed world. 16 Should esteem the 
world a crucified idol. 22 Beauty of our 
Father's House. 

BRETHREN in Christ, my spirit is tor- 
mented with excessive grief for our 
present provocations and the rendings of 
our beloved Church. 

2 I find it hard work to believe when 
the course of providence goeth crosswise to 
our faith, and when misted souls in a dark 
night can not know east by west, and our 
sea-compass seemeth to fail us. 

3 Every man is a believer in daylight; 
a fair day seemeth to be made all of faith 
and hope. 

4 What a trial of gold is it to smoke it a 
little above the fire? 

5 But to keep gold of its fair color amidst 
the flames, and to be turned from vessel to 
vessel and yet to cause our furnace to 
sound and speak and cry the praises of the 
Lord is another matter. 



6 I know that my Lord made me not 
for fire, howbeit He hath fitted me in some 
measure for the fire. 

7 I bless His high name that I wax not 
paler, neither have I lost the color of gold, 
and that His fire hath made me ready so 
that He may pour me into any vessel He 

8 For a small wager I may justly quit 
my part of this world's laughter and give 
up with time and count the pleasures of 
this life as nothing. 

9 I see, above all things, that we who 
have chosen the better part may sit down 
with folded arms and stretch ourselves 
upon Christ and laugh at the feathers that 
children are chasing here. 

10 For I think the men of this world are 
like children in a dangerous storm in the 
sea, that play and make sport with the 
white foam of the waves thereof coming in 
to sink and drown them. 

11 So are men making fool's sports with 
the white pleasures of a stormy world that 
will overwhelm and destroy them. 

12 But what have we to do with their 
sports which they make? 

13 If Solomon said of laughter that it 



was madness, what may we say of this 
world's laughing and sporting themselves 
with gold and silver, and honors and court, 
and broad, large conquests but that they 
are poor souls in the height and rage of a 
fever gone mad? 

14 Then a straw and a fig for all created 
sports and rejoicing out of Christ! 

15 Nay, I think that this world at its 
prime and perfection, when it is come to 
the top of its excellency and to the bloom, 
might be bought with an halfpenny, and 
that it would scarce weigh the worth of a 
drink of water. 

16 There is nothing better than to es- 
teem it our dead and slain idol, as did the 
Apostle Paul: "But God forbid that I 
should glory, save in the cross of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is cruci- 
fied unto me and I unto the world." 

17 Then let pleasures be crucified, and 
riches be crucified, and court and worldly 
honor be crucified. 

18 And since the apostle saith that the 
world is crucified unto him, we may put 
this world to a hanged man's doom and 
to the gallows; and who will give much 
for a hanged man? 



19 Yet what a fair odor hath this dead 
carrion to many fools in the world! and 
how many wooers and suitors hath this 
hanged and festering body! 

20 Fools are pulling it off the gallows 
and contending for it. 

21 O when will we learn to be mortified 
men, and to have our fill of those things 
that have but their short summer quarter 
of this life! 

22 If we saw our Father's house, and that 
great and fair city which is above the sun 
and the moon, how should we scorn the 
sham delights of this dying and decaying 

23 Fix not your affections, therefore, on 
the things of this life, but on the things to 
come. Send forward your furnishings and 
set your faces toward the New Jerusalem, 
that beautiful city not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens. 

24 May Christ be your guide and your 
strength, and keep your feet from straying 
into strange and fatal paths! His grace 
be with you. 


Chapter XIX 

Grace wither eth without adversity. 6 God's 
workings incomprehensible. 13 Longing 
after a drop of God's fullness. 

GRACE withereth without adversity. 
Dry wells send us to the fountain. 

2 Faith is the better of the free air and 
the sharp winter storm in its face. 

3 If contentment were here, heaven 
would not be heaven. 

4 Beloved, I have still great heaviness 
for my silence and my enforced standing 
idle in the field when there needeth sowers 
and reapers to make a great harvest for 

5 If any but He had put this burden 
upon me, I could not have borne it. But 
my Lord hath done it, and I will lay my 
hand upon my mouth. 

6 I know that His judgments, who hath 
done this, are past finding out. I have no 
knowledge to take up the Almighty in all 
His strange ways and passages of deep and 
unsearchable providences. 

6 81 


7 For the Lord is before me, and I am 
so beclouded that I can not follow Him; 
He is behind me and following at my heels, 
and I am not aware of Him; He is above 
me, but His glory so dazzleth my twilight 
of short knowledge that I can not look up 
to Him. 

8 He is upon my right hand, and I see 
Him not; He is upon my left hand, and 
within me, and goeth and cometh, and His 
going and coming are a dream to me; He 
is round about me and compasseth all my 
goings, and still I have Him to seek. 

9 He is in every way higher and deeper 
and broader than the shallow and ebb 
hand-breadth of my short and dim light 
can take up, and therefore I would that 
my heart could be silent and resigned 
before Him who is above the understand- 
ing of men and of angels. 

10 For the noonday light of the highest 
angels who see Him face to face seeth 
not the borders of His infiniteness and 

11 And therefore I would have it my 
happiness to look afar off, and to light my 
dark candle at the brightness of His glory, 
and to have leave to sit and content my- 



self with a traveler's light without the 
clear vision of an en j oyer. 

12 1 would see no more till I were in my 
country than a little watering and sprink- 
ling of a withered soul, with some half- 
outbreakings and outlookings of the beams 
and small ravishing smiles of my Lord's 
dear face. 

13 A little of God would make my soul 
to overflow as a river in the time of spring 

14 Beloved, remember my bonds and 
help me with your thoughts and your 


Chapter XX 

Warns against backsliding. 8 Rejoices in 
his bonds for Christ. 17 Be free with the 
grace of God. 

IT will be my joy that ye follow after 
Christ till ye find Him. 

2 My conscience is a feast of joy to me 
that I sought in singleness of heart, for 
Christ's love, to put you upon the King's 
highway, on the road which leads to our 
Father's house. Thrice blessed are ye if 
ye hold the way. 

3 If ye depart from what I taught you, 
for fear or favor of men, or for desire of 
ease in this world, it can not be well with 
you in the end. 

4 Build not your nest here; this is a 
hard, ill-made bed— no rest is in it for 
your soul. 

5 Awake, awake and make haste to see 
that Pearl, Christ, that this world seeth 

6 Time posteth away. Your night and 
your Master will be upon you within a 



clap; your hand-breadth of time will not 
bide you. 

7 Take Christ, although a storm follow 
Him. Howbeit this day be not yours and 
Christ's, the morrow will be yours and His. 

8 I would not exchange the joy of my 
bonds and imprisonment for Christ for all 
the joy of this miserable and foul-skinned 

9 I rest joyfully on Christ and am filled 
with His love. The smell of Christ's wine 
and apples bloweth upon my soul. His 
cross is the sweetest 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. 

10 I charge you, brethren, be constant 
in watching and in prayer. Love not the 
world nor the vanities thereof; be humble 
and esteem little of yourselves. 

1 1 Love your enemies and pray for them. 

12 Make conscience of speaking the 
truth when none knoweth but God. 

13 Keep your garments clean, as ye 
would walk with the Lamb clothed in 

14 Strive to be dead to the world and 
to your own will and lusts; let Christ have 



a commanding power and a King's throne 
in you. 

15 Desire the beauty of Christ; give out 
all your love to Him and let none fall by; 
learn in prayer to speak with Him. 

16 Follow on; cling to your Savior and 
stray not from Him, who is the Rock of 
your salvation. 

17 Take as many to heaven with you as 
ye are able to draw. The more ye draw 
with you, ye will be the welcomer yourself. 
Be no niggard or sparing churl of the 
grace of God. 

18 Praise Him and glorify His name be- 
fore men at all times and in all places. 

19 I send water to the sea to speak of 
these things to you; but it easeth me to 
desire you to help me pay tribute of praise 
and honor to our loving Lord and King. 

20 O for a soul as wide as the utmost 
circle of the highest heaven, that contain- 
eth all, to contain His love, which passeth 
all human understanding. 

21 I beseech you to remember me in 
your prayers, as I remember you always. 


Chapter XXI 

To his brethren at Anwoth, exhorting them 
to abide in the truth. 5 Rules for Chris- 
tian conduct. 16 Free, though in prison. 
21 The exceeding loveliness of Christ. 

DEARLY beloved in Christ, my only 
joy out of heaven is to hear that the 
seed of God sown among you is growing 
and coming to a harvest. 

2 For I ceased not while I was among 
you, in season and out of season, according 
to the measure of grace given unto me, to 
warn and stir up your souls to seek Christ, 
and I did communicate unto you the whole 
counsel of God. 

3 And now again I charge and warn you, 
in the great and dreadful name and in the 
sovereign authority of the King of kings 
and Lord of lords, and I beseech you also 
by the mercies of God and by your hope 
of eternal salvation that ye keep the truth 
of God as I delivered it unto you before 
many witnesses, in the sight of God and 
His holy angels. 



4 Remember that I counseled you in 
many things, and not least in these: That 
ye should forbear the dishonoring of the 
Lord's blessed name in swearing, blasphem- 
ing, cursing, and profaning the Lord's 

5 That ye should give that day, from 
morning to night, to praying, praising, and 
hearing of the Word, conferring and speak- 
ing not on your own things, but on the 
things of God, thinking and meditating on 
God's nature, Word, and work. 

6 That ye should be humble, sober, and 
modest, forbearing pride, envy, malice, 
wrath, hatred, contention, lying, slander- 
ing, stealing, and defrauding your neighbor 
in grass, corn, cattle, in buying or selling, 
borrowing or lending, taking or giving, in 
bargains or in covenants. 

7 That ye should work with your own 
hands and be content with that which God 
hath given you. 

8 That ye remember that of all the 
created comforts God is the Lender ; ye are 
but the borrower, not the owner; that ye 
may consider the poor and the needy. 

9 That ye should study to know God and 
His will, and keep in mind the doctrine 



which I expounded unto you and speak of 
it in your houses and forget it not in the 
hours of your labor, nor when ye lie down 
at night, nor when ye arise in the morning. 

10 And that ye should believe in the 
Son of God and obey His commandments, 
and to make your accounts in time with 
your Judge, because death and judgment 
are before you. 

1 1 And if ye now have penury and want 
of that Word which I delivered unto you 
in abundance while I was among you, 
mourn for your loss of time and repent. 

12 My soul pitieth you that ye should 
suck at dry breasts and be put to draw at 
dry wells. O that ye would esteem above 
everything else the Sun of Righteousness, 
the Lamb of God, and our well-beloved 
Jesus Christ, whose virtues and praises I 
have preached unto you with joy whi'e I 
dwelt with you at Anwoth. 

13 And that ye should call to mind the 
many glorious feasts in our Lord's house 
that ye and I had in Christ Jesus. 

14 Dearly beloved brethren, fulfill my 
joy by keeping all these things in all dili- 
gence and sincerity. 

15 I pray you also, beloved, be not an- 



gered against those in authority for that I 
am not free to come unto you. I am filled 
with joy and with the comforts of God. 
And howbeit this town be my prison, yet 
Christ hath made it my palace — a garden 
of pleasure, a field and orchard of delights. 

16 I know likewise, though I be in bonds 
yet the Word of God is not in bonds. My 
spirit also is in free ward and beyond man's 
power to bind. 

17 Sweet, sweet have His comforts been 
to my soul; my pen, my tongue, and my 
heart have not words to express the kind- 
ness, love, and mercy of my Well-Beloved 
to me in this house of my pilgrimage. 

18 I charge you to fear and love Christ 
and to seek a house not made with hands, 
but your Father's house above. 

19 This laughing and white - skinned 
world beguileth you like a harlot, and if ye 
seek more than God it shall give you the 
slip, to the endless sorrow of your heart. 

20 Yet once again suffer me to exhort, 
beseech, and obtest you in the Lord, to 
think of His love and to rejoice in Him 
who is to be desired above and over all. 
I give you the word of a King that ye 
shall not repent your choice. 



21 O the exceeding loveliness of Christ! 
Angels' pens, angels' tongues — nay, as 
many worlds of angels as there are drops 
of water in the seas and fountains and 
rivers of the earth can not paint Him out 
to you. I think His sweetness, since I 
was a prisoner, has swelled upon me to the 
greatness of two heavens. 

22 for a soul as wide as the utmost 
circle of the highest heaven that containeth 
all to contain His great, immeasurable love! 

23 I beseech you to love Christ, who is 
worthy of your love, and to rejoice that ye 
are privileged to suffer here for so kind and 
tender a Master. 

24 Beloved, ye are in my prayers night 
and day. I can not forget you. I do not 
eat, I do not drink but I pray for you all. 
Fail not to remember me in your supplica- 
tions to the Most High. 

25 Grace and peace be with you, now 
and forever. 


Chapter XXII 

Win Christ at all hazards. 8 Many run 
far but fall by the way. 16 A violence to 
corrupt nature to be holy. 

I BESEECH you, brethren, by the 
mercies of God, to make good and sure 
work of your salvation, and try upon what 
foundation ye have builded. 

2 If ye be upon sinking ground, a storm 
of death and a blast will loose Christ and 
you and wash you away off the Rock. 

3 I entreat you, read over your life with 
the light of God's daylight and sun. 

4 It is good to look to your compass 
and all that ye have need of ere you take 
shipping, for no wind can blow you back 

5 O how fair have many ships been 
plying before the wind that, in an hour's 
space, have been lying in the sea bottom. 

6 How many professors cast a golden 
luster, as if they were pure gold, and yet 
are under the skin and cover but base and 
reprobate metal? 




7 How many would shape the law like 
a wide coat, to take in both God and their 
own lusts? 

8 And how many keep breath in their 
race many miles and yet come short of the 
garland and the prize. 

9 My soul would mourn in secret for you 
if I knew your case with God to be but 
false work. Desire to have you anchored 
upon Christ maketh me fear your tottering 
and slips. 

10 False underwater, not seen in the 
ground of an enlightened conscience, is 
dangerous; so is often falling and sinning 
against light. 

11 O how fearfully are thousands be- 
guiled with false skin grown over old sins 
as if the soul were cured and healed. 

12 Beloved, I know the nature of some 
of you to be lofty, heady, and strong in 
you, and that it is more for you to be morti- 
fied and dead to the world than for others 
cf less pride. 

13 Ye will take a low ebb and a deep cut 
and a long lance to go to the bottom of 
your wounds in saving humiliation and to 
make you a won prey for Christ. 

14 O be humbled, I pray you; walk 



softly! Down, down, for God's sake, with 
your top-sail! Stoop, stoop! it is a low 
entry to go in at heaven's gate. 

15 There is infinite justice in the party 
ye have to do with; it is His nature not 
to acquit the guilty and the sinner; every 
man must pay either in his person or in 
bis surety, Christ. 

16 It is a struggle, a violence to corrupt 
nature for a man to be holy, to lie down 
under Christ's feet, to quit will, pleasure, 
worldly love, earthly hopes, and an itching 
of the heart after this gaudy and over- 
gilded world, and to be content that Christ 
trample upon all. 

17 Come in, come in to Christ and see 
what ye want and find it in Him. He is 
the straight path, the nearest way of escape 
from all your burdens. I dare avouch that 
ye shall be dearly welcome to Him; my 
soul would be glad to take even the smallest 
part of the joy ye shall have in your 

18 Grace, grace and peace be with you, 
from your pastor and prisoner in Christ. 


Chapter XXIII 

Comforting the brethren. 6 Christ kindest 
in His love when we are at our weakest. 
9 We would have a cross of our own 
choosing. 14 God's way with His chil- 

DEARLY beloved in Christ, I have 
heard of your troubles, how that men 
despise and afflict you; and the heaviness 
of your trials is sore upon me. 

2 There are many heads lying in Christ's 
bosom, but there is room for yours among 
the rest; therefore, I entreat you, recline 
upon your dear Lord whose heart is all 
love and tenderness for His afflicted chil- 

3 Be comforted to know that the darkest 
path was walked by your Lord and Master. 
Trust Him and He will lead you through. 

4 Often we employ not His love, and 
therefore we know it not. Put Christ's 
love to the trial and put upon it your 
burdens, and then it will appear love in- 



5 I should twenty times have perished 
in my affliction if I had not leaned my weak 
back and laid my pressing burden both 
upon the Stone, the Foundation Stone, the 
Corner-stone laid in Zion. And I desire 
never to remove from this safe and holy 

6 Beloved, I know that Christ is kindest 
in His love when we are at our weakest. 
His mercy hath a set period and appointed 
place how far and no farther the sea of 
affliction shall flow, and where the waves 
thereof shall be stayed. 

7 He prescribeth how much pain and 
sorrow, both for weight and measure, we 
must endure. Ye have then good cause to 
give your love to Christ; He who is 
afflicted in all your afflictions looketh not 
on you in your sad hours with an insensible 
heart or dry eyes. 

8 God aimeth in all His dealings with 
His children to bring them to a high con- 
tempt of and deadly feud with the world. 
He withholdeth from them the childish 
toys and the earthly delights that He 
giveth unto others, but that He may have 
all their affections centered upon Himself. 

9 Ah, we would have a cross of our own 



choosing, and would have our gall and 
wormwood sugared, our fire cold, and our 
death and grave warmed with the heat of 
life; but He who has brought many chil- 
dren to glory and lost none is our best 

10 Blessed be His name that the wheels 
of this confused world are rolled and cogged, 
driven according as the wise God willeth. 
I rejoice that His sovereignty is lustered 
with loving kindness and mercy. 

1 1 Rebuke your soul as doth the Psalm- 
ist, saying, "Why art thou cast down, O 
my soul; why art thou disquieted within 

12 That was the cry of one who was at 
the very overgoing of the precipice; but 
God held a grip on him. 

13 In your tribulations, I entreat you, 
cling to the promises; they are our Lord's 
branches overhanging the dark waters that 
His poor, half-drowned children may grasp 
and save themselves from sinking. 

14 I rejoice that He hath chosen you in 
the furnace. This is an old way of Christ's; 
He keepeth the good old fashion with you 
that was in Hosea's days, "Therefore, 
behold, I will allure her and bring her into 



the wilderness and speak to her heart/ ' 
There was no talking to her heart while He 
and she were in the fair and flourishing 
city and at ease; but out in the cold, 
hungry, waste wilderness there could He 
speak unto her so that she might hear and 

15 Even so He brought you into the 
wilderness that He might win you unto 

16 Beloved, sin not in your trials and 
the victory is yours. Pray, wrestle, and 
believe and ye shall overcome and prevail 
with God, as did Jacob. " Rejoice/' says 
the apostle, " inasmuch as ye are par- 
takers of Christ's sufferings/ ' 

17 I know that His sackcloth and ashes 
are better than the fool's laughter, which 
is like "the crackling of thorns under a 

18 Now the very God of peace confirm 
and establish you unto the day of the 
blessed appearance of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 


Chapter XXIV 

Heaven not easily won. 5 Many are lured 
from the path. 10 Small value of earthly 

GRACE, mercy, and peace be with you. 
2 Dearly beloved in the Lord, I 
earnestly desire to know the case of your 
souls and to understand that ye have made 
sure work of heaven and salvation. 

3 Remember that it is by siege heaven 
is taken, and not by ease and supineness. 
The prize is free, but the race is not lightly 

4 Many there be who start towards 
heaven who fall on their back and win not 
up to the top of the mount. It plucketh 
heart and legs from them and they sit 
down and give it over because the devil 
setteth a sweet smelling flower (this vain 
world) to their nose, wherewith they are 
beguiled and so forget or refuse to go 

5 Many again go far on and reform 
many things, and can find tears, as did 
Esau; and suffer hunger for truth, as did 



Judas; and wish and desire the end of the 
righteous, as did Balaam; and profess fair 
and fight for the Lord, as did Saul; and 
desire the saints of God to pray for them, 
as did Pharaoh. 

6 Many prophesy and speak of Christ, 
as Caiaphas did; and walk softly and 
mourn for fear of judgments, as Ahab did; 
and put away gross sins and idolatry, as 
Jehu did; and hear the Word of God 
gladly and reform their life in many 
things, as Herod did; and say to Christ, 
"Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever 
Thou goest," as did the man who offered 
to be Christ's servant. 

7 And yet all these are but like gold in 
outward color and appearance, being within 
naught but plated brass and base metal. 

8 Take note, then, to try your hearts 
that ye be like none of these who, having 
gone far, yet fail of the heavenly goal. 

9 Brethren, I recommend Christ to you 
in all things. Let Him have the flower of 
your heart and your love. 

10 Set a low price upon all things but 
Christ, and cry down in your hearts the 
vain possessions of this world that will not 
comfort you when ye get summons to re- 



move and appear before your God and 
your Judge. 

11 Remember that when the race is 
ended, and the play either won or lost, and 
ye are at the utmost circle and border of 
time, and shall put your foot within the 
march of Eternity, and all the good things 
of this short night-dream shall seem to 
you like the ashes of a bleeze of thorns or 
straw, and your poor soul shall be crying, 
u Lodging! lodging, for God's sake!" then 
shall your soul be more glad at one of your 
Lord's lovely and homely smiles than if 
ye had the charters of three worlds for all 

12 O let pleasures and gain, will and de- 
sires of this world be put over into God's 
hand as arrested and guarded goods that 
ye can not meddle with. 

13 Blessed were we if we could make 
ourselves master of that invaluable treas- 
ure, the love of Christ, or rather suffer our- 
selves to be mastered and subdued to 
Christ's love so as Christ were our "all 
things," and all other things our nothings 
and the refuse of our delights. 

14 To God, who can direct, quicken, and 
strengthen you. I commend you. Amen. 


Chapter XXV 

To his parishioners. 3 Protestation of 
anxiety for their souls. 9 Delight in his 
ministry and in his Lord. 18 Warning 
against errors of the day. 22 Woe unto 
the hypocrite and the slumber er. 28 In- 
tense admiration of Christ. 33 Wise 

DEARLY beloved and longed-for in the 
Lord, my crown and my joy in the 
day of Christ. Grace be unto you and 
peace from God the Father, and from our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

2 I long exceedingly to know if the tie 
betwixt you and Christ holdeth, and if ye 
follow on to know the Lord. 

3 My day thoughts and my night 
thoughts are of you: while ye sleep I am 
afraid for your souls that they be off the 

4 Next to my Lord Jesus and His broken 
Church ye have the greatest share of my 
sorrow and of my joy; ye are the subject 
of my tears and the daily prayers of an 
oppressed prisoner of Christ. 



5 As I am in bonds for my high and 
lofty One, my royal and princely Master, 
my Lord Jesus, so I am in bonds for you. 

6 For I could have slept in my warm 
nest and kept the fat world in my arms; 
I could have sung an evangel of ease to 
my soul and you for a time with my 
brethren, the sons of my mother, that were 
angry at me and have thrust me out of 
the vineyard. 

7 If I could have been broken and 
drawn on to mire you, the Lord's flock, 
and to cause you to eat at pastures trodden 
upon with men's feet, and to drink foul 
and muddy waters. 

8 But I could not, for the Almighty was 
a terror unto me, and His fear made me 
afraid. Therefore they drave me out from 
among you and made me to dwell, as it 
were, in the desert, where I mourn and am 

9 For next to Christ I had but one joy, 
the apple of the eye of my delights — to 
preach Christ my Lord; and they have 
violently plucked that from me. It was to 
me like the poor man's one eye; and they 
have put out that eye and quenched my 
light in the inheritance of the Lord. 



10 But my faith looketh towards my 
Redeemer ; I know that I shall see the 
salvation of God, and that my hope shall 
not always be cut off. 

11 I charge you, brethren, beware of 
false doctrines that spring up and flourish 
about you. The breath of God's anger shall 
blow upon them and they shall wither 
away. They shall pass as a dream; they 
shall vanish utterly. 

12 My sorrow shall want nothing to 
complete it if ye follow the voice of a 
stranger, one that cometh into the fold not 
by Christ, the door, but climbeth up 
another way. 

13 If a man build his hay and stubble 
upon the golden foundation, Christ Jesus 
(already laid among you), and ye follow 
him, be assured that man's work shall not 
stand. The fire of God shall utterly con- 
sume it, and ye and he both, except ye 
repent, shall come under sure condemna- 

14 O if any pain, any sorrow, any loss 
I can suffer for Christ and for you were 
laid in pledge to buy Christ's love to you! 

15 If I could obtain of my Lord, before 
whom I stand for you, the salvation of 



you all, how rich a prisoner were I! My 
witness is above, your heaven would be 
two heavens to me, and the salvation of 
you all as two salvations. 

16 O that I could make you possess the 
unspeakable riches of Christ; that I could 
set your feet upon the one sure path to 
the Kingdom; and that I could lay my 
dearest joys, next to Christ my Lord, in 
the gap betwixt you and eternal destruc- 
tion ! 

17 Dearly beloved, ye have heard of me 
the whole counsel of God. I charge you, 
by the blood of Christ, continue still in the 
truth which ye have received. 

18 Beware of the new and strange 
leaven of men's invention now coming 
among you, and having no warrant from 
Christ, our Captain and our Lawgiver. 
I adjure you, open not your hearts to new 
doctrines born of the flesh and the lusts of 
the flesh that appeal to your softness and 
your love of ease. 

19 Ye know that this is not your coun- 
try; ye are in a rough and alien land that 
rejected your dear Lord and would have 
naught of Him: and shall the servant be 
treated better than his Master? 



20 O then take Christ in His rags and 
losses, and as persecuted by men, and be 
content to sigh and pant up the mountain 
with Christ's cross on your back. 

21 Woe unto him that hath one God and 
one faith for summer, and another God and 
another faith for winter; that hath a con- 
science for every fair and market, and the 
soul of him runneth upon these oiled wheels, 
time, custom, the world, and command of 

22 Woe unto him that shifteth his bur- 
den upon another, that saith, "God forgive 
our pastors if they lead us wrong — we 
must do as they command,' ' and layeth 
down his head upon Time's bosom, and 
giveth his conscience to a deputy, and 
sleepeth so till the smoke of hell-fire fly up 
in his throat and cause him to start out of 
his doleful bed. O that such a man would 
awake ! 

23 Woe unto them that slumber, their 
souls being drugged with a false sense of 
security. All men say they have faith: 
as many men and women now, as many 
saints in heaven. They had never a sick 
night for sin ; conversion came to them in 
a dream. 



24 Alas! it is neither easy nor ordinary 
to believe and to be saved. 

25 Many must stand, in the end, at 
heaven's gates. (Luke 13:25.) When they 
go to take out their faith they take out a 
fair nothing, a mockery, an illusion. O 
lamentable disappointment! I pray you, I 
charge you in the name of Christ, make 
fast work of Christ and salvation. 

26 I know there are some believers 
among you, and I write to you, O poor, 
broken-hearted believers, all the comforts 
of Christ in the Old and New Testaments 
are yours. O what a Father and loving 
Savior ye have! 

27 Ten thousand worlds, as many worlds 
as angels can number, would not be a 
grain in the balance to weigh Christ's ex- 
cellency, sweetness, and love. His beauty 
is above all imaginable and created glory. 

28 I would esteem myself blessed if I 
could make open proclamation and gather 
all the world that are living upon this 
earth, Jew and Gentile, and all that shall 
be born till the blowing of the last trumpet, 
to flock round about Christ and to stand 
gazing, wondering, and adoring His beauty 
and His sweetness. 



29 For His fire is hotter than any other 
fire, His love sweeter than common love, 
his beauty surpasseth all other beauty. 
O if ye would fall in love with my Master, 
how blessed were I! How glad would my 
soul be to help you to love Him only! 

30 But amongst us all how small is the 
best of our love against His great deserts! 

31 O invite Him and take Him into 
your houses in the exercise of prayer morn- 
ing and evening, as I often desired you; 
especially now let Him not want lodging in 
your houses, nor lie in the fields when He 
is shut out of pulpits and churches. 

32 I pray you, think not that the com- 
mon way of serving God, as neighbors and 
others do, will bring you to heaven. I 
know this world is a forest of thorns in 
your path, but ye must go through it. 

33 Acquaint yourselves with the Lord; 
hold fast Christ; hear His voice only. 

34 Bless His name; sanctify and keep 
holy His day; keep the new command- 
ment, namely, "Love one another ;" let 
the Holy Spirit dwell in your bodies, and 
be ye clean and holy. 

35 Love not the world; lie not, love and 
follow truth; learn to know God. 



36 Bear in mind the things I taught 
unto you, for God will seek an account 
thereof when I am far from you. 

37 Abstain from all evil and all appear- 
ance of evil; follow good carefully, and 
seek peace and follow after it; honor your 
king and pray that strength and wisdom 
may sit at his right hand. 

38 Remember me in your daily supplica- 
tions; I can not forget you, my beloved 
flock robbed of its shepherd. Ye are in 
my thoughts continually. 

39 Let us abound in faith and wait 
patiently upon Him who knoweth all 
things. The prayers and blessings of a 
prisoner of Christ, in bonds for Him and 
for you, be with you all. Amen. 


Chapter XXVI 

This world's vain glory. 6 Heaven a be- 
sieged castle to be taken by force. 13 
Christ's true servants known by these 


MY witness is in heaven that I would 
not exchange my chains and bonds 
for Christ, and my sighs, for ten worlds' 
glory. I esteem suffering for Him a king's 

2 I judge this earthly idol which Adam's 
sons are setting up at auction and selling 
their souls for not worth a drink of cold 

3 May flowers, and morning vapor, and 
summer mists post not away so fast as these 
worm-eaten pleasures which we follow. 
Lo, we build castles of cloud that pass 
away, and as night dreams that vanish are 
the vain treasures that our hearts desire. 

4 O contend for salvation, which is 
precious above all the things of earth. 

5 I say, Contend, for heaven is not to be 
lightly won. There is not a promise of 



heaven made but to such as are willing to 
suffer for it. 

6 Your Master, even Christ, won heaven 
with strokes; it is a besieged castle, it 
must be taken with violence. 

7 It is a woeful thing to die and miss 
heaven, and to lose house-room with 
Christ when the night cometh. 

8 Alas that all come not home at night 
who suppose that they have set their faces 
heavenward ! 

9 I see that ordinary profession, and to 
be ranked amongst the children of God, 
and to have a name among men, and to 
give liberally of one's substance, without 
sacrifice, is counted sufficient to carry 
professors to heaven. 

10 O beware of this delusion ; Christ will 
not mistake you, man may! 

Ill persuade myself, with sorrow, that 
thousands shall be deceived and ashamed 
of their hope in that great day; because 
they cast their anchor in sinking sands 
they must lose it. 

12 I entreat you, beloved, give not your 
soul or Christ rest, nor your eyes sleep 
till ye have gotten something that will 
endure the fire and stand out the storm, 



13 If ye have these marks, then are ye 
Christ's true servants — that ye prize Him 
and His truth so as ye will sell all and buy 
Him, and suffer for it — that the love of 
Christ keepeth you back from sinning 
more than the law or fear of hell, that ye 
be humble and deny your own will, credit, 
ease, honor, the world, and the vanity and 
glory of the world. 

14 Moreover, your profession must not 
be barren and void of good works; ye 
must in all things aim at God's honor; ye 
must in all your goings and comings, your 
dealings and tradings, remember God. 

15 Ye must show yourselves without 
ceasing an enemy to sin and reprove the 
works of darkness, such as drunkenness, 
swearing, and lying, albeit those whom ye 
reprove should hate you for so doing. 

16 By these things shall ye know that 
ye are the children of God and not hypo- 
crites and sinners. 

17 To your Lord Jesus and His love I 
commend you. Amen. 


Chapter XXVII 

Of self-denial. 4 Our treasure in heaven. 
8 Waiting on the Lord. 

UNDERSTANDING of the going of 
the bearer, I would not omit the op- 
portunity of writing to you, still harping 
upon that string which can never be too 
often touched upon, nor is our lesson ever 
well enough learned — that there is a neces- 
sity of advancing in the way to the King- 
dom of God, of the contempt of the world, 
of denying ourselves and bearing our Lord's 
cross, which is no less needful for us than 
our daily food. 

2 And among the many marks that we 
are on this journey and under sail towards 
heaven, this is one: When the love of God 
so filleth our hearts that we forget to love 
and care not much for the having or want- 
ing of other things, as one extreme heat 
burneth out another. 

3 By this ye know that ye have be- 
trothed your soul in marriage to Christ, 
when ye do make small reckoning of all 
other suitors or wooers; and when ye can, 

8 113 


having little in hand but much in hope, 
live as a young heir in the time of his 
minority, being content to be hardly 
handled and under as precise a reckoning as 
servants, beciause his hope is upon his 

4 For this cause God's children take well 
to the spoiling of their goods, knowing that 
they have in heaven a better and an en- 
during substance. 

5 That day that the earth and the works 
therein shall be burned with fire your hid- 
den hope and your life shall appear. And, 
therefore, since ye have not now many 
years to your endless eternity, what better 
course can ye take than to think that your 
one foot is here and your other foot in the 
life to come, and to leave off loving, desir- 
ing, or grieving for the wants that shall be 
made up when your Lord and ye shall 
meet and when ye shall give in your bill, 
that day, of all your wants here. 

6 If your losses be not made up, ye have 
place to challenge the Almighty; but it 
shall not be so. 

7 Ye shall then rejoice with joy un- 
speakable, and your joy none shall take 
from you. 



8 It is enough that the Lord hath prom- 
ised you great things, only let the time of 
bestowing them be in His own carving. It 
is not for us to set an hour-glass to the 
Creator of time. 

9 We will put that in His own will; we 
will bide His harvest and wait upon His 

10 For His day is better than our day; 
He putteth not His sickle into the corn till 
it be ripe and full-eared. 

1 1 The great Angel of the Covenant bear 
you company till the trumpet shall sound 
and the voice of the Archangel awaken the 


Chapter XXVIII 

Of faith required. 7 Many would have 
Christ divided. 15 The subtlety of sin. 

THE faith that God requireth of sinners 
is that they rely upon Christ, as de- 
spairing of their own righteousness, leaning 
wholly and withal humbly, as weary and 
laden, upon Christ as on the resting stone 
laid in Zion. 

2 But He seeketh not that without being 
weary of their sin they rely on Christ as 
mankind's Savior, for to rely on Christ and 
not be weary of sin is presumption, not 

3 Faith is ever neighbor to a contrite 
spirit, and it is impossible that faith can 
be where there is not a cast-down and 
contrite heart in some measure for sin. 

4 O beloved, search your hearts and 
try if your lusts be dead and sin mortified. 
If the world and you are as great friends as 
ever you were, I shall not believe that you 
are joined with Christ. 

5 If ye and the world are hand-fastened 



together, that marriage must be divorced, 
or else He will not look on that side of the 
house that ye are in. 

6 Sad it is that Christ getteth but only 
broken and halved work of us, and, alas! 
too often against the grain. Sanctification 
and mortification of our natural desires are 
the hardest part of Christianity. 

7 How many of us would have Christ 
divided into two halves, that we might take 
a portion of Him only. 

8 We take His office, Friend, and Medi- 
ator, but "Lord" is a cumbersome word, 
and to obey and work out our own salva- 
tion, and to perfect holiness, is the wintry 
and stormy north side of Christ and that 
which we eschew and shift. 

9 I see this, that nature is a sluggard 
and loveth not the labor of religion. Can 
a man come to heaven lying on his back? 
Not so. Paul says, "Let us run the race." 
Running shows there is need for haste. 
The way is long and we have far to go. 

10 Luke admonishes us, "Strive to en- 
ter in." That is, Fight and throng in by 
force. When God by faith lets a man see 
heaven, He resolves that in he must, come 
what will. 



11 "I press forward towards the mark," 
says the apostle. That is, he ran so that 
his head and breast pressed forward before 
his feet, and his two arms reached out to 
catch hold of Christ. 

12 To speak so, he pursues Christ and 
heaven, and they seem to flee from him, 
and he follows: so should we do. 

13 So speed on; the prize seems to flee 
from us, but it can not flee further than to 
heaven's gates, and there we will get hold 
of it. 

14 I see this also, that in prosperity 
men's consciences will not start at small 
sins. In ease lieth danger; luxury and 
lust dwell in the same house. 

15 Sin lieth ever in wait for us. Some 
it tricks out of the way and lays asleep in 
security like a drunken traveler who sleeps 
in a moor till the sun be down; then he 
awakes and is terrified. 

16 Alas! that the world hath many who 
sell their souls for sin; and what a pitiful 
thing, for what can the world give in 
exchange for their souls? Be ye not of 

17 I recommend to you, brethren, that 
ye daily set about to mend your nature, 



to reform your failings, one or the other, 
every week; and to put off a sin, or a piece 
of it, as anger, wrath, slothfulness, intem- 
perance, lying, every day, that ye may the 
more easily master the remnant of your 

18 May God in His mercy help you so 
to do! 


Chapter XXIX 

Comforting the saints in their temporary 
afflictions. 6 Christ suffered before us. 
10 The shallow mirth of the ungodly; 
their fleeting joys. 15 Exhortation to re- 
joice in the unfailing promises of God. 

I ENTREAT you, brethren, be not dis- 
couraged nor dismayed under the chas- 
tening hand of your God. 

2 Strokes of a loving father are not 
given in wantonness; take them as evi- 
dences of your Heavenly Father's kindness 
and care. 

3 If ye were not Christ's wheat, ap- 
pointed to be bread in His house, He would 
not grind you. 

4 His most loved are often His most 
tried. The lintel-stone and pillars of His 
New Jerusalem suffer more knocks of 
God's hammer than the common side-wall 
stones. They must be carven and shaped 
to His divine purpose. 

5 Losses and disgraces are the wheels of 
Christ's triumphant chariot. 



6 The cup of sorrow that ye drink was 
at the lip of our Lord Jesus, and He drank 
of it. Let the cross be dear to you, for it 
was borne by your Redeemer before you. 

7 It is one and the same cross, albeit 
there be sundry faces and diverse circum- 
stances behind the sufferings of Christ and 
yours. And the grave, because He did lie 
in it, is so much softer and more refreshful 
a bed of rest. 

8 I see that in the sufferings of His 
saints, as He intendeth their good, so He 
intendeth His own glory, and that is the 
butt His arrows shoot at. 

9 The children of this world have much 
joy that is ill-gotten; they steal joy, as it 
were, from God, for He commandeth them 
to weep and howl for the miseries that 
shall come upon them. 

10 It is no good sport that they laugh 
at; the sound of their mirth is the sound 
of fever and of raging. 

11 But faith may dance because Christ 
singe th. None have a right to joy but the 
redeemed, for joy is sown for us, and an 
ill summer will not spoil the harvest. 

12 Let fools laugh the fool's laughter, 
and scorn Christ, and bid the weeping cap- 



tives in Babylon, "Sing us one of the songs 
of Zion, play a sprightly air to cheer up 
your sad-hearted God." 

13 We may sing upon luck's head before- 
hand, even in our winter storm, in the hope 
and expectation of a summer sun at the 
turn of the year. 

14 For no created power in hell, or out 
of hell, can mar the music of our Lord 
Jesus, nor spoil our song of joy. 

15 Let us then be glad and rejoice in 
the salvation of our Lord, for faith had 
never yet cause to have wet cheeks and 
hanging-down brows, or to droop or die. 

16 The only wise God strengthen you 
with all might, according to His glorious 
power, unto all patience and long-suffering 
with joyfulness. Amen. 


Chapter XXX 

Christ's way of showing Himself the best. 
8 Our need of humility and faith. 16 
Shall we teach the All-wise God? 20 The 
believer's course. 

GRACE, mercy, and peace be unto you. 
I am constrained to write unto you 
concerning the mystery of Christ's deal- 
ings with us His servants. 

2 I find that my Lord cometh not in that 
precise way that I mark out for Him; He 
hath a way of His own, higher than the 
highest above my way or your way. 

3 It is best not to offer to teach Him a 
lesson, but to give Him absolutely His own 
way in coming, going, ebbing, flowing, and 
in the manner of His gracious working. 
At present I see but little of my dear Lord ; 
He hath hidden His face from me. 

4 He hath fettered me with His love 
and run away and left me a chained man. 

5 Woe is me that I was so loose, rash, 
vain, and graceless in my unbelieving 
thoughts of Christ's love! 



6 I had not learned, as I should, to put 
my stock and all my treasure into Christ's 
hand, but I would have stock and treasure 
of my own. I forgot that grace is the only 
garland that is worn in heaven upon the 
heads of the glorified. 

7 And now I half rejoice that I have 
sickness of spirit for Christ to work upon. 
Since I must have wounds, well it is for my 
soul; my wounds cry aloud for the Great 

8 Brethren, our greatest need here is 
humility and faith, for out of faith cometh 
patience and out of a chastened spirit per- 
fect trust. 

9 Faith should be long-headed and not 
soon tired, and should lie believing and 
praying till the gray hairs. 

10 Believers often seek in themselves 
what they should seek in Christ. There is 
as much need to watch over grace as to 
watch over sin. 

11 It is best for us, in the obedience of 
faith and in holy submission, to give that to 
God which the law of His almighty and 
just power will have of us. 

12 Your Lord willeth you in all states of 
life to say, "Thy will be done in earth as it 



is in heaven,' ' and herein shall ye have 
comfort, that He who seeth perfectly 
through all your evils and knoweth the 
frame and constitution of your nature, and 
what is most healthful for your soul, hold- 
eth every cup of affliction to your lips with 
His own gracious hand. 

13 Never believe that your tender- 
hearted Savior who knoweth the strength 
of your being will mix that cup with one 
dram-weight of poison. 

14 When the Lord's blessed will bloweth 
across your desires, do ye strike sail to 
Him in humbleness and trust. Christ 
hath another sea-compass He saileth by 
than our short and raw thoughts; learn 
to believe Christ better than His strokes, 
Himself and His promises better than His 

15 We are prone to grieve that the 
Lord lingereth, enemies triumph, goodly 
ones suffer, atheists blaspheme. 

16 Ah, we pray not, but wonder that 
Christ cometh not the higher way — by 
might, by power, by garments rolled in 
blood. What if He come the lower way? 
Sure we sin in putting the book in His 
hand. Shall we teach the Almighty knowl- 



edge? Shall we lay out the courses of the 

17 We make haste; we believe not. 
Let the wise God alone; He steereth well. 

18 He draweth straight lines, though we 
think and say they are crooked. 

19 It is right that some should die and 
their breasts full of milk; and yet we are 
angry that God dealeth so with them. O 
that we could adore Him in all His hidden 
ways, when there is darkness under His 
feet and darkness in His pavilion, and 
black clouds are about His throne! 

20 Beloved, hoping, believing, patient 
praying is our life. He loseth no time. 

21 Let us charge our souls to believe and 
to wait for Him, and to follow His Provi- 
dence, and not go before nor stay behind it. 

22 The Lord Jesus be with you and di- 
rect you, and minister unto the needs of 
your souls. Pray for your servant that he 
may be patient in his bonds. 


Chapter XXXI 

The devil a deceitful merchant. 13 A good 
conscience is like a glass. 21 He warns 
against covetousness. 

BLESSED are they who are weaned 
from the love of the world. 

2 Alas, how many Esaus there be in the 
world who sell their heavenly inheritance 
for a mess of pottage! 

3 The devil is a deceitful merchant; he 
causeth us to buy sin before we see our 

4 Pleasure is the devil's common bait 
that he puts upon all his hooks. 

5 Woe is me that the holy profession of 
Christ is made a stage garment by many 
to bring home a vain fame, and that Christ 
is made to serve men's ends. This is, as 
it were, to stop an oven with a king's robes. 

6 Woe is me that we run our souls out 
of breath and tire them in coursing and 
galloping after our night dreams to get 
some created good thing in this life and on 
this side of death. 



7 We would fain stay and spin out a 
heaven to ourselves on this side of the 
water; but sorrow, want, change, crosses, 
and sin are both the woof and the warp in 
that ill-spun web. 

8 Bind a ship to a rush-bush to hold her 
by; that is but a slim anchor — it can not 
hold her when she begins to be moved. 

9 He who thinks he has little need of 
Christ is ready to fall. 

10 He who loveth his chains deserve th 

11 Beloved, regard your conscience. See 
that ye keep it void of offense toward God 
and man. 

12 Conscience is like an earthen vessel 
when ye break it — ye will not mend it again. 

13 That which is called a good conscience 
is like a glass wherein a man may see his 
face. Whereas the wicked have a con- 
science like a foul, muddy fountain, where 
the bottom can not be seen. 

14 Nay, he dare not in a heavy tempta- 
tion, or in death, go into his conscience; 
his thefts, his covetousness, his backbit- 
ings, and wrongs done to this man and to 
that man are such nauseous things he dare 
not stir them up lest they cause him to 
vomit. 128 


15 Woe is me to see so many men land- 
masters of their consciences: as if their 
conscience was so great that they might 
sell part of it in fairs and markets to the 
highest bidder. 

16 Some count little of their conscience; 
they will take an edge thereoff to augment 
their house. 

17 Another will dispense with a part of 
it to enlarge his possessions. 

18 Yet another will yield up half his 
conscience to enhance his credit. 

19 Many pay little respect to their con- 
science in buying and selling, if they can 
get gain. The merchant wastes his con- 
science; for, before he quit an inch of his 
credit, he would rather quit an ell of his 

20 The proud man wastes his conscience 
to carry on his pride. 

21 O beware of the devil's and the 
world's hammer of covetousness lest it 
light on your conscience and break it all 
to pieces. Keep your conscience sound 
and pure, for a sound, clear conscience in a 
dying hour will give more satisfaction than 
all this world can afford. 

22 To the only wise God be praise. 
Amen. 129 


OCT 11 1913 

Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: Nov. 2005 



1 1 1 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranberry Township, PA 16066 
(724) 779-21 1t 


017 077 306 8