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PAGE 204

worthy servants, especially in these dayes, when the kingly and royall office of Jesus Christ is called in question.1

Now this is a small thing, you will say; it is but a matter of discipline and government, a matter anent what offices should be in the house of the Lord, whether may we acknowledge such a lordly dominion, yea or not? A gardiner is appointed to keep his master's ground. Then2 cometh one, and saith, I shall not meddle with your fruit-trees, your flowers, nor your herbs. I wiU but only cast down your walls, and cut up your hedges, and that is but a small thing. Is it so, (saith the other,) you will even undoe all in so doing; for the wild beasts and boars of the forests will come in? Our blessed Lord Jesus was of another minde when he said, the servant that was faithfull to me (it was faithfull in a little) I will make him ruler over much. If it be a small thing, the more that man testifies respect to his master. There's a tennant, liis neigh- bour begins and takes a butt, or half a ridge, and sayes it is a very small thing. Is it soe ? What vnh his master say to him, should you have suffered the other to have changed3 the marchstone? I appointed you to doe4 soe and so, and to tell me of my harm. Master, sayes he, it was but a small thing, and you have ground enough besides. Will any nobleman or master take that well off his hand? Satan shapes5 a tryall, puts6 it to such ane frame, he can draw it to a small point, and set it (as ye use to say) in aciem novaculi, like ane razor's edge, that although there seem little between the two, the one side is a denying of Christ, and the other a confessing of him. [Nahasse might have said, I will thrust out your ryt eye, you will see weell enough with the left, (1 Sam. xi.;) what great matter the men of Jabesh-gilead to want their ryt eyes? Such a part of their priviledge, it is trew. Christians dow not go to controll alwayes in such a way, but they will tak from them such



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1    And many of the worthy servants of the Lord, it hes beene then- judgment in these dayes especially, the Idngly and royall office of Jesus Christ is called in question.

2    "There."

3    "Take away."

4    "To have done."

5    "Can shape."

6    "He can put."

PAGE 205

a part of their patrimony and liberty, and they will say this is but a small thing.1] It may be you that are the people think the ministers in Scotland too peremptory in these dayes, and think, should ye not have more respect to us that are your people? May you not come some length that you and we may abide together; may you not doe so? It seems you care little for us when you will not goe so little a length, why but it may be done? The Apostle saith, (and some may make use of the word,) the Lord knows whether or not we have love to you, and coidd desyre to doe any thing that lay in our power for your welfare, and, it may be, are as sensible as some of yourselves what your condition will be when you and we are seperate. But I give you this parable. A man gets his master's flock to keep, and gets such instructions, Abide by your flock, and goe not to acknowledge any judicator beyond the border, if any call you to such a court. He gets summonds to a forreign barron's court, and they say, if you refuse to goe they will drive the flock and spoil your master's goods. Sayes the man, I am in a strait; I will betray my master's liberty if I goe, and the flock may be abused if I goe not. But my Master hath given me assureance his flock shall not want: nothing shall ail them: he hath given them (as ye say) in steelbow: all the elect he will make answer for them: it shall not be skin and birn, but a fair and comely flock weell washen in his own blood. The Father's justice shall not find spot or wrinkle in any of them. Now they will have his servants goe; will ye but doe this, goe and book yourselves in that court, although an unlawfull court and an unlawfull office; but rather then expose your master's flock to hazard, doe so. Nay, saith he, my master hath other servants to put to his flock, and he hath given me that assureance, doe as I will, and others as they will, let them drive and poynd, and cause them to stand, as they say, till their chafts fall, my Master hath assured me



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1    The lines enclosed in brackets are not in the MS. from which this edition is taken, nor in Mr M'Crie's MS. They are supplied from MS. vol. xxvii. in Adv. Lib.






        
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