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Selection from his Letters
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XLVII. To WILLIAM GORDON

DEAR BROTHER, — Ye complain that ye want a mark of the sound work of grace and love in your soul. For answer, consider for your satisfaction (till God send more) I John 3.14. And as for your complaint of deadnes.~ and doubting. Christ will, I hope, take your deadness and you together. They are bodies full of holes, running boils, and broken bones which need mending, that Christ the Physician taketh up: whole vessels are not for the Mediator Christ’s art. Publicans, sinners, whores, harlots, are ready market-wares for Christ. The only thing that will bring sinners within a cast of Christ’s drawing arm is that which ye write of, some feeling of death and sin. That bringeth forth complaints; and, therefore, out of sense complain more, and be more acquaint with all the cramps, stitches, and soulswoonings that trouble you. The more pain, and the more night-watching, and the more fevers, the better. A soul bleeding to death, till Christ were sent for, and cried for in all haste, to come and stem the blood, and close up the hole in the wound with His own heart and balm, were a very good disease, when many are dying of a whole heart. We have all too little of hell-pain and terrors that way; nay, God send me such a hell as Christ has promised to make a heaven of. Alas! I am not come that far on the way, as to say in sad earnest, ‘Lord Jesus, great and sovereign Physician, here is a pained patient for Thee.’ But the thing that we mistake is the want of victory. We hold that to be the mark of one that has no grace. Nay, say I, the want of fighting were a mark of no grace; but I shall not say the want of victory is such a mark. If my fire and the devil’s water make crackling like thunder in the air, I am the less feared; for where there is fire, it is Christ’s part, which I lay and bind upon Him, to keep in the coal, and to pray the Father that my faith fail not, if I in the meantime be wrestling, and doing, and fighting, and mourning.

Pray for me, that the Lord would give me house-room again, to hold a candle to this dark world. — Grace, grace be with you.

ABERDEEN, 1637

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