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« apples, for I am sick, and my soul is wounded with « love. Behold thou art fair, my love ; behold thou art « fair, thou hast doves eyes : Behold thou art fair,
my « beloved ; yea pleasant : Also our bed is green; the « beams of our house are cedars, and our rafters are of « fir : How fair and how pleasant art thou, O full of all
delights ! my heart is ravished with thee! O when « shall I see thy face ! how long wilt thou delay to be " with me as 'a 'roe, or a young hart, leaping upon the " mountains, and skipping upon the hills : As a bundle of “ myrrh be thou to me, and lye all night betwixt my « breasts : Because of the favour of thy good ointments : “ Thy name is as ointment poured forth: Therefore desire « I to go out of this desart, and to come to the place 6s where thou sittest at thy repast, and where thou makese " thy flocks to rest at noon.
When shall I be filled with « his love ? Surely, if a man knew how precious it were, « he would count all things dross and dung to gain it : “ Truly I would long for that scaffold, or that ax, or so that cord, that might be to me that last step of this my " wearisome journey, to go to thee, my Lord. Thou « who knowest the meaning of the spirit, give answer to " the speaking, sighing, and groaning of the spirit : Thou s who hast enflamed my heart to speak unto thee in this “ silent yet lovely language of ardent and fervent desires; “ speak again unt my heart, and answer my desires of which thou hast made me speak to thee, 1 Cor. xv. 55. * O death, where is thy sting ? O grave where is thy victory? “ the sting of death is sin ; the strengh of sin is the law: But. " thanks be to God, who giveth to me the vict »ry through Jesus 66 Christ. “ What can be troublesome unto me, since
Lord « looks upon me with so loving and amiable a coun«'tenance ? And how greatly do I long for these em« bracements of my Lord ?' O that he would kiss me “ with the kisses' of his mouth, Cant. i. 2. for his love
is better than wine! O that my soul were the throne o wherein he might dwell eternally! O that my heart “ were the temple wherein he might be magnified, and #dwell for ever? All glory be unto my God; angels s6 and saints, praise ye him ; 0 thou earth, yea hills as and mountains, be glad ; you shall not be wearied any “ more with the burden of corruption, whereunto you « have been subject through the wickeduess of mankind. “ Lift up your heads and be glad, for a fire shall make
you clean from all your corruprion and vanity, wherewith for many years you have been infected. Let the VOL. II.
« bride rejoice, let all the saints rejoice, for the day of “ the marriage with the bridegroom (even the Lamb of
God) is at hand, and his fair white robes shall be gie “ ven her; she shall be arrayed with the golden vestry « and needle-work of his manifold graces, that shall be « put upon her : He, who is her life, shall quickly ap“ pear, and she shall quickly appear with him in the “ glory and happiness of a consummate marriage. But “ I must remember myself ; I know I have been greatly « strengthened and sustained by your prayers, (honour« able lady, and dearly beloved in our Lord Jesus) cona tinue, I pray you, as you have begun, in wrestling “ with the Lord for me, that Christ may be magnified in “ my mortal body, whether living or dead, that my soul « may be lifted up to the third heavens, that I may taste u of these joys that are at the right-hand of my heavenly " Father, and that with gladness I may let my spirit go “ thither where my body shall shortly follow. Who am« I, that he should first have called me, and then consti“ tute me a minister of the glad tidings of the gospel of “ salvation these years already, and now last of all, to be “ a sufferer for his cause and kingdom ? Now let it be so, « that I have fought my fight and run my race, and now « from henceforth is laid up for me that crown of rightes ousness, which the Lord, that righteous God, will “ give; and not to me only, but to all that love his ap« pearance; and chuse to witness this, that Jesus Christ is “ the king of saints, and that his church is a most free “ kingdom, yea, as free as any kingdom under heaven, “ not only to convocate, hold, and keep her meetings, and “ conventions, and assemblies, but also to judge of all her « affairs, in all her meetings and conventions amongst « her members and subjects.
“ These two points, first, That Christ is the head “ of his church; secondly, That she is free in her “ government from all other jurisdiction except Christ's : « These two points, I say, are special causes of our “ imprisonment, being now convicted as traitors for “ maintaining thereof: We have been ever waiting “ with joyfulness to give the last testimony of our « blood in confirmation thereof, if it should please our “ God to be so favourable as to honour us with this dig
nity: Yea, I do affirm, that these two points above “ written, and all other things which belong to Christ's
crown, sceptre, and kingdom, are not subject, nor “ cannot be, to any other authority, but to his own al. " together. So that I would be most glad to be offered
“ up a sacrifice for so glorious a truth : But, alas ! I fear " that my sins, and the abuse of so glorious things as I " have found, deprive me of so fair a crown ; yet my “ Lord doth know, if he would call me to it, and
strengthen me in it, it would be to me the most glori« ous day and gladdest hour, I ever saw in this life; but “ I am in his hand, to do with me whatsoever shall please “ his majesty. It may suffice me, I have had so long a « time in the knowledge of the gospel; and that I have “ seen the things that I have seen, and heard the things “ that I have heard, and through the grace of God I have “ been so long a witness of these glorious and good news « in my weak ministry, and that my witnessing hath not • been altogether without fruit and blessing ; so that I " hope at that day, I shall have him to be my crown, my “ glory, my joy, and reward, and therefore, boldly, I say 66 with Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in “ peace, (not in a peaceable dying in my body) but by “ rendering up to him my spirit, and the sealing and “ stamping this truth with my blood. I desire not to « have it remedied; but let my Lord's will be done.
« Now that prophecy is at hand, which these two wor“ thy servants of the Lord Mr George Wishart, and Mr “ John Knox, my father-in-law, spake ; which was, “ That Christ should be crucified in this kingdom, but glori
ous should be his resurrection, as Mr Knox with his own 6 hand upon the margin of Calvin’s Harmony upon the « Passion did write, which is yet extant: But alas ! for " this kingdom. My testimony now doth not differ from “ that of many before this time, who said, that the kings dom of Scotland should be blood, the kingdom shall be 56 drenched in blood, a fourbished and glittering sword is « already drawn out of the scabbard, which shall not re66 turn until it be made drunk with the blood of the men ss of this land ; first the heavy intestine sword, and then « the sword of the stranger.
o doleful Scotland! well “ were he that were removed from thee, that his
eyes “ might not see, nor his ears hear all the evils that are to « come upon thee ; neither the strong man by his strength, “ nor the rich man by his riches, nor the nobleman by « blood, shall be delivered from the judgments. There " is a great sacrifice to be made in Bozrah, in thee, O “ Scotland, of the blood of all sorts in the land ; Ephraim « shall consume Manasseh, and Manasseh Ephraim : Brc“ther against brother, and every man in the judgment " of the Lord shall be armed, to thrust his sword in the
6 side of his neighbour, and all for the contempt of the
glorious gospel : And that blood which was offered to " thee, O Scotland, in so plenteous a manner, that the « like thereof hath not been offered to any nation'; there“ fore thy judgment shall be greater :. But the sanctuary 'must be begun at, and the measure is not fulfilled, till 56 the blood of the saints be shed; then the cries will be “ great, and will not stay, tili they bring the Lord down " from heaven his throne, to see if the sins of Scotland be “ according to the cry thereof; neither shall there be any
subject in the land from the greatest to the meanest “ guiltless. The guilt of our blood shall not only lye
upon our prince, but also upon our own brethren, bis shops, councellors, and commissioners; it is they, “ even they that have stirred up our prince against us : 6 We must therefore lay the blame, and burden of our " blood upon them especially, however the rest above166 written be partakers of their sins with them : And as to " the rest of our brethren, who either by silence approve, " or by crying, Peace, peace, strengthen the arm of the “ wicked, that they cannot return; in the mean time " make the hearts of the righteous sad ; they shall all in “ like manner be guilty of high treason against the King « of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, his crown and 'kinga dom.
- Next unto them, all our commissioners, chancellor, " president, comptroller, advocate ; and next unto themy « all that first or last sat in the council, and did not bear “ plain testimony for Jesus Christ and his kingdom, for " which we do suffer : And next unto them, all those “ who should have at present, and who should at such s times have come, and made open testimony of Christ “ faithfully, although it had been contrary to plain law, " and with the hazard of their lives. When the poor “ Jews were in such danger, that nothing was expected “ but utter destruction, Q. Esther, after three slays fast“ ing, concluded thus with herself, I will, said she, go “ in to the king, thongh it be not according to law; and if I “ perish, I perish, Esther iv. 16. With this resolution
such as are born councellors should have said, Christ's “ kingdom is now at hand, and I am bound also, and
sworn, by a special covenant, to maintain the doctrine “' and discipline thereof, according to my vocation and
power, all the days of my life; under all the pains o contained in the book of God, and danger of body and 6 soul, in the day of God's fearful judgment : And there
** fore, though I should perish in the cause, yet will I 1st speak for it, and to my power defend it, according to my
vocation. Finally, All those that council, com“ mand, consent, and allow, are guilty in the sight of our .66 God : But the mourners for these evils, and the faithful « of the land, and those who are unfeignedly grieved in « heart for all these abominations, those shall be marked “ as not guilty, Ezek. ix.
« I know not, whether I shall have occasion to write 6. again ; and therefore, by this letter, as my latter will " and testament, I give testimony, warning, and know66 ledge of these things to all men, according to the Lord's “ direction to the prophet, Son of man, I have made thee " a watchman, Ezek. xxxiii. 7, &c. Therefore I give “ warning to all men hereby, that no man's blood be re“ quired at my hands. Thus desiring the help of your “ prayers, with my humble commendations, and service • in Christ, to my lord, your husband, and all the saints 66 there : The messenger
all for everAmen.
“ Yours, to my full power, for Blackness,
165 the time Christ's prisoner, January 6, 1606.
" JOHN WELCH."
Several very extraordinary circumstances are related of Mr Welch by his biographer, which, because they are extraordinary and must depend upon the veracity of the relater, we will transcribe and leave to the judgment of our Readers.
Mr Welch was sometime prisoner in the castle of Edinburgh before his banishment, where, one night, sitting at supper with Lord Ochiltree, Mrs Welch's uncle, he entertained the company with his usual religious and edifying conversation, which was well received by all the company except one debauched, popish, yourig gentleman, who sometimes laughed, and sometimes mocked and made faces : Upon which Mr Welch demanded silence of the company, and that they would observe the work of the Lord upon that profane mocker, which they should presently behold : Immediately the poor wicked wretch fell down under the table, and died, to the great astonishment of all present.
About the same time another remarkable circumstance happened. Lord Ochiltree, the captain of the castle, and son to the above-mentioned good lord Ochiltree, was very civil to Mr Welch ; but had not been able for some time,