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Selection from his Letters
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LXIV. To MR DAVID DICKSON, on the death of his son

REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER, — Ye look like the house whereof ye are a branch: the cross is a part of the life rent that lieth to all the sons of the house. I desire to suffer with you, if I could take a lift of your house-trial off you; but ye have preached it ere I knew anything of God. Your Lord may gather His roses, and shake His apples, at what season of the year He pleaseth. Each husbandman cannot make harvest when he pleaseth, as He can do. Ye are taught to know and adore His sovereignty, which He exerciseth over you, which yet is lustred with mercy. The child has but changed a bed in the garden, and is planted up higher, nearer the sun, where he shall thrive better than in this outfield muir-ground. Ye must think your Lord would not want him one hour longer; and since the date of your loan of him was expired (as it is, if ye read the lease), let Him have His own with gain, as good reason were. I read on it an exaltation and a richer measure of grace, as the sweet fruit of your cross; and I am bold to say, that that college where your Master has set you now shall find it.

Dearest brother, go on and faint not. Something of yours is in heaven, beside the flesh of your exalted Savior; and ye go on after your own. Time’s thread is shorter by one inch than it was. An oath is sworn and past the seals, whether afflictions will or not, ye must grow and live and triumph and reign and be more than a conqueror. For your Captain who leadeth you on, is more than conqueror, and He maketh you partaker of His conquest and victory. Did not love to you compel me, I would not fetch water to the well, and speak to one who knoweth better than I can do what God is doing with him.

Remember my love to your wife, to Mr John and all friends there. Let us be helped by your prayers, for I cease not to make mention of you to the Lord, as I can.

ST ANDREW, May 28, 1640

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