Letter 88
To Janet Kennedy

Christ to be Kept at Every Sacrifice—The Worth of Christ


Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you. You are not a little obliged to His rich grace, who has separated you for Himself**, and for the promised inheritance with the saints in light **, from this condemned and guilty world.

Hold fast to Christ, contend for Him; it is a lawful plea to go to holding and drawing for Christ; and it is not possible to keep Christ peaceably, having once gotten Him, except the devil were dead.** It must be your resolution to set your face against Satan's northern tempests and storms, for salvation. Nature would have heaven to come to us while sleeping in our beds.** We would all buy Christ, as if we could any of us pay the price ourselves. But Christ is worth more blood and lives than either you or I have to give Him. When we shall come home, and enter into the possession of our Brother's fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, then we shall look back to pains and sufferings and then we will see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory. Our little inch of time-suffering is not worthy of our first night's welcome-home to heaven.** Oh, what then shall be the weight of every one of Christ's kisses! Oh, how weighty, and of what worth shall every one of Christ's love-smiles be! Oh, when once He shall thrust a wearied traveller's head between His blessed breasts **, the poor soul will think one kiss of Christ has fully paid him back for forty or fifty years' wet feet, and all its sore hearts, and light (2 Cor. 4:17)** sufferings it had in following after Christ!

Oh, thrice blinded souls, whose hearts are charmed and bewitched with dreams, shadows, feckless things, night-vanities, and night-fancies of a miserable life of sin! Shame on us who sit still, fettered with the love and fondness of the loan of a piece of dead clay! Oh, poor fools, who are beguiled with painted things, and this world's fair weather, and smooth promises, and rotten, worm-eaten hopes! May not the devil laugh to see us give out our souls, and get in but corrupt and counterfeit pleasures of sin? O for a sight of eternity's glory, and a little tasting of the Lamb's marriage supper! Half a swallow, even a drop of the wine of consolation, that is up at our banqueting-house, out of Christ's own hand, would make our stomachs loathe the brown bread and the sour drink of a miserable life. Oh, how witless we are, to grow restless, and chase, and run, till our souls be out of breath, after a condemned happiness of our own making! And do we not think far too much of ourselves when we make it a matter of child's play, and drink a toast over paradise? We trifle with the heaven that Christ did sweat for, in return for a blast of smoke, and for Esau's morning breakfast. O that we were out of ourselves, and dead to this world, and this world dead and crucified to us! **

If we would fall out of love with all of our masked and painted lovers, then Christ would win and conquer to Himself a lodging in the inmost chamber of our heart. Then Christ would be our night-song and morning-song; then the very whisper of our Well-beloved's feet, when He comes, and His first knock or rap at the door, would be as news of two heavens to us. O that our eyes and our soul's smelling should go after a blasted and sunburnt flower, even this plastered, fair (on the outside) world: and as a result we have neither eye nor smell for the Flower of Jesse, for that Plant of renown, for Christ, the choicest, the fairest, the sweetest rose that ever God planted! Oh, let some of us die to smell the fragrance of Him; and let my part of this rotten world be forfeited and sold for ever, provided I may anchor my tottering soul upon Christ! I know that sometimes I murmur, "Lord, what will you have for Christ?" But, O Lord, can you be trifled with and propined**) with any gift for Christ? O Lord, can Christ be sold?** Or rather, may not a poor needy sinner have Him for nothing?** If I can get no more, oh, let me be pained to all eternity, with longing for Him! The joy of hungering for Christ should be my heaven for evermore. Alas, that I cannot draw souls and Christ together! But I desire the coming of His kingdom, and that Christ, as I assuredly hope He will, would come upon withered Scotland, as rain upon the new-mown grass. Oh, let the King come! Oh, let His kingdom come! Oh, let their eyes rot in their sockets (Zech. 14:12)**, who will not receive Him home again to reign and rule in Scotland.** Grace, grace be with you.

Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,

S. R.

Aberdeen, 1637.

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