A Publication of divers Petitions preſented by
Miſtris Love to the Parliament, in behalf of
Severall Letters that interchangeably paſs’d
between them a little before his death.
One Letter written to Mr Love by
Mr. Jaquel, one of the Witneſſes againſt him.
Seven ſeverall Letters and Notes ſent to him, from
Dr. Drake, Mr. Jenkyn, Mr. Caſe, and Mr. Robinſon,
his then fellow-Sufferers.
All publiſhed for Publick Good.
London, Printed in the Yeer 1651.
To the Reader.
Reader, take notice,
There are ſeverall Letters published, intituled Love’s Letters, pretended to have paſt between Maſter Love and his wife: which Letters are not printed by true and exact copies, having in them both more and leſſe than they ſhould have. Now to prevent the like inconvenience for the future, theſe Letters and Petitions are here publiſhed. The publiſhing of which, will (I hope) give no offence; I am ſure, can give no juſt offence to any: and if any ſhall take offence thereat, certain I am, they’ll take that which is not given them; and that they cannot do, unleſſe they will be injurious both to themſelves and others. But whether offended, or not offended, I am not, need not be ſolicitous; the rather, for that I can truly ſay, it is at as great a diſtance from my intention in the leaſt to give offence, as’tis from my apprehenſion to imagin that the publiſhing of theſe ſhould give just offence to any.
The Petitions are ſome of thoſe (and thoſe very affectionate ones) which Miſtris Love preſented to the Parliament in the behalfe of that blessed Saint and Miniſter of Chriſt, her dear husband, Maſter Love; and that either for the taking off the ſentence of death, which he then lay under, and ſo wholly to remit it; or if not that, for his baniſhment; and if neither of them, for his reprieve till her delivery (ſhe being then big with child) that ſo ſhee might with the greater hope and probability of ſafety, both to her ſelfe and unborn babe, undergo ſo ſad and ſore an affliction.
The Letters are ſome from Miſtris Love to her husband, which again occaſioned others from him to her. Now Maſter Love having his wife frequently with him in priſon, after his tryall was ordered, had thereby opportunity, as to open his very heart unto her, in reference to his own eſtate and condition, and the apprehenſions which he had, both of it, and of his ſufferings, (which accordingly he did, to her exceeding great ſatisfaction and comfort) ſo alſo to speak that to her, that might bee, and that afterwards did prove to be, a great meanes of her ſupport, under thoſe trying and preſſing afflictions with which ſhe did encounter: and upon that account, did not, and indeed did not need to write unto her ſo fully and largely, as otherwiſe hee would have done: And yet theſe breif Notes of his (for ſo they would rather be called then Letters) which were not by him intended to be publiſhed, do clearly and abundantly evidence, what, and how indeared his affections were both to his wife and children: and will (I doubt not) be an anſwer ſufficient to that charge of unnaturalneſs that is in print againſt him: Though, I may ſay, as to thoſe that knew him, or have but the leaſt degree of that charity that is called common, remaining in them; that unchriſtian charge, and moſt malicious ſlander (invented by the father of lies himſelf, with many more of the A2 ſame iv A2v ſame Satanicall production) of that foul mouth’d, falſe-mouth’d Animadverter and impudent detractour, needs no anſwer. And not withſtanding all that hath been ſaid by that Doctor of the Chair of ſScorners, (who uſually frights men more with the rabble of his words, then with the reason of them; the former being not more formidble then the later feeble,) Maſter Love, though dead, yet is not dead; for His Good Name Lives, and the remembrance of it to the godly, is, and will never ceaſe to be, even to perpetuall generations, as a box of moſt precious and coſtly oyntment, broken or poured forth, the pleaſant ſavour and ſweet perfume whereof, ſpreads it ſelfe every way, even to the ſcattering and overcoming of all that noiſome and unſavoury breath of reproach & calumny, that by the ſons, yea and daughters too, of ſlander with great indeavour would be, but by no means whatſoever can be caſt upon it, and to the refreshing and reviving of every one who is within the reach of its fragrant and perfuming odour.
The other Letters, are, one from Maſter Jaquel to Maſter Love, which Jacquel was one of the witneſſes against him. The reſt, from ſeverall of thoſe Miniſters, who (as to impriſonment) were his fellow ſufferers; which Letters do ſufficiently demonſtrate what their thoughts and apprehenſions were of MrLoves ſufferings, and do all contain in them very precious and spiritual matter, that may be of conſiderable uſe, as in generall to any that ſhall peruſe them, ſo eſpecially to thoſe who are, or hereafter may be in a ſuffering condition.
Reader, They are intended for thy benefit, which that thou maiſt reap by them, is the deſire of
To the Supreme Authority, the Parliament of the Common-Wealth of England,
The humble Petition of Mary, the diſtreſſed Wife of Christopher Love,
That whereas the high Court of Juſtice hath lately ſentenced to death her deer and tender Husband, in whoſe life, the life of your Petitioner is bound up; in the execution of which ſentence, your poor hand-maid ſhould become an unhappy widow, and the miſerable Mother of two young fatherleſſe children: And ſhe being ſo neer to her appointed hour, having ſorrow upon ſorrow, be forced, through unexpreſſable grief, to bow down in travell; and give up the ghoſt; and ſo with one blow, there be deſtroyed both Father, and Mother, and Babe in one day.
Yet her ſpirit is ſomewhat revived with the thought that there is hope in Iſrael concerning this thing, when ſhe conſiders, that her humble Petition is this day preſented before ſo many profeſſing godlineſſe, who have taſted abundantly how gracious the Lord is, and who through mercy are called of God to inherit a bleſſing, and to be a bleſſing to the afflicted in the midſt of the Land.
Therefore your diſtreſſed hand-maid, throwing her ſelf in all humility at your feet, beſeecheth you by the womb that bare you, and breſts that gave you ſuck, in the bowels of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, mercifully to interpoſe, that this fatall blow may be prevented: which act of compaſſion in you, will be to your poor hand-maid as reſurrection from the dead; and not onely all the tender-hearted Mothers in England, but even the babe yet unborn ſhall riſe up and call you blessed; and this will be to you a Glory, and crown of rejoycing in the ſight of the Nation, when the bleſſing of them that are ready to periſh ſhall come upon you. And your poor hand-maid humbly conceives, That your mercy herein will be no danger to the State, for that your poor Petitioners Friends are willing to give all ſufficient ſecurity, that her Huſband ſhall live peaceably and quietly for the time to come, and never act any thing to the prejudice of this Common-wealth, and preſent Government.
Now the God of heaven bow your hearts to ſhew mercy: And your Petitioner ſhall pray, &c.
To the Supreme Authority, the Parliament of the Common- wealth of England.
The humble Petition of Mary, the Wife of Chriſtopher Love, Condemned to die,
That whereas your distreſſed handmaid hath in all humility, in the exceeding great bitterneſſe of her ſpirit, powred out very ſoul to this Honourable Houſe, for the life of her condemned Huſband: Which Petition was mercifully received and read in Parliament (as your Petitioner is informed.) B For 2 B1v 2 For which high favour ſhe deſireth to bleſſe God, and be thankful to your Honours. And although ſhe hath great cauſe to be very ſenſible of your High diſpleaſure againſt her Husband, for which ſhe is heartily ſorry; Nevertheleſſe ſhe hoping that your bowels yearn towards her in this her ſad condition, adventers once more to make her humble ſupplication, and doth pray,
That if your poor Petitioners Husband hath provoked you ſo far, as to render him utterly uncapable of your full pardon; yet you would graciouſly be pleaſed to let your hand-maid finde ſo much favour in your eyes, as that you will ſay of your Petitioners dear Husband as Solomon ſaid of Abiathar, though thou art worthy of death, we will not at this Time put thee to death. Oh pardon your perplexed hand-maid, if ſhe again beſeech you by the wombs that bare you, and the breſts that gave you ſuck, in the bowels of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, reprieve him for a time, till ſhe may recover her ſtrength, before he depart hence and be ſeen no more; leſt at one terrible ſtroke in his execution, the lives of him, her and the tender babe in her womb be cut off, and two poor innocent Orphans be left behind to begin and end their dayes in miſery. And though he may not be thought worthy to breathe in Engliſh aire (which God forbid) yet give him, Oh give him leave to ſigh out his ſorrows under your diſpleaſure in the utmoſt parts of the Earth, whereſoever you ſhall think fit to baniſh him: Which although it be a very great puniſhment in it ſelf; Yet your hand-maid and her dying Husband ſhall acknowledge even this to be a great mercy, and ſhall thankfully receive it at your hands.
And ſhall pray, &c.
To the Supreme Authority, the Parliament of the Common-wealth of England,
The humble Petition of Mary, the wife of Christopher Love,
That your poor Petitioner hath great couſe to ſay, bleſſed be God, and bleſſed be you, for your mercifull Vote of the 1651-07-1515th of July (a day never to be forgotten) in adding a month to the life of her dear Husband, which hath opened a door of hope to her in the midſt of the valley of Achor, and made her glad, though ſhe be a woman of a ſorrowful ſpirit; yet your diſtreſſed hand-maide is overwhelmed with grief and anguish of ſoul, and cannot be comforted, when ſhe remembers the doleful day, the 1651-08-1515th of August ſo near approaching, her heart doth almoſt dye within her, and ſhe is as one giving up the ghoſt before ſhe is delivered of the fruit of her womb,
Wherefore your greatly diſtreſſed hand-maid doth again pour out her ſoul with renewed and importunate requeſts, beſeeching your Honours to commiſerate her deplorable condition, by putting on bowels of pitty and compaſſion towards her dear condemned Husband, that ſhe may not grapple with the intollerable paines of Travel, and the unſupportable thoughts of her Husbands death in one day. Oh that the life of your hand-maid and her babe might be a ranſome for the life of her condemned Husband: ſhe had rather chuſe out of love to dye for him, then for ſorrow of heart to dye with him. Now the good Lord incline your hearts to give him his life for a prey, whereſoever it ſhall pleaſe your Honours to caſt him,
And your Petitioner ſhall ever pray, &c.
To the Supreme Authority, the Parliament of the Common Wealth of England,
The humble Petition of Mary, the diſtreſſed Wife of Christopher Love.
That your ſad and ſorrowfull Petitioner, in the multitude of her feares, wherewith her ſpirit is overwhelmed within her; After ſundry applications and grevious diſappointments, more bitter then death, cannot ceaſe to follow your Honours with ſtrong cryes and ſupplications, as the importunate Canaanitish-woman did the Lord Christ. And O that now at laſt, you would ſuffer your ſelves to be intreated, and let your bowels yearn within you, that ſo root and branch may not be cut off in one day. The great God hears the cryes of Ravens! O that, that God would open your hearts to hear the cryes and heart-breaking grones of the Mother with the tender Babes, that cannot keep ſilence whileſt there is any hope.
Your deſolate Hand-maid waiteth with all humility and earneſt expectation (at your doors) beſeeching you not to forget to ſhew mercy to your poor Petitioner and her tender Babes; Oh make not your Hand-maid a widdow, and her children fatherleſſe; but graciouſly pleaſed to prevent this dreadfull blow, which your Petitioner trembleth to think upon, and earneſtly beſeeches you, to change the ſentence of death into a ſentence of baniſhement; and whileſt you are propagating the Goſpel in New-England, let her dying husband, (as a Prophet from the dead) be ſent to endeavour the converſion of the poor Indians, that ſo many ſoules may bleſſe God in your behalf; and ſhee ſhall receive it from your hands as a ſignall favour.
And your Petitioner ſhall pray, &c.
Mr. Jaquel his Letter to Mr. Love.
My dear Friend, and beloved in the Lord,
My bowels are troubled within me, I am pained, I am pained, even at the very heart, The Lord knows, I want words to expreſſe the thoughts of my heart B2 to 4 B2v 4 to you, to you, I ſay, right Chriſtian Friend, and true ſouldier of Jeſus Chriſt. I was thinking to have been ſilent, being even aſhamed to ſend you a line written by that hand, which is very much ſlackened and taken off from the plough; which I thought, not many weeks agoe, had been very faſt ſettled. Give mee leave to breathe forth my heart to you in ſuch rude words and language as I can utter, and I pray you, receive them, and ſpell out my heart towards you, which at this time is ſo full, that I know not how to empty it, but in tears before the Lord for you night and day. And oh, that the remembrance of the 1651-06-17ſeventh and one and 1651-06-20twentieth of June might often come into my thoughts, to keepe my heart humble for my folly, in taking my own, and carnall friends counſell and not the counſell of thoſe that are right godly; which (as I now perceive) did help to bring forth that ſad, and never to be forgotten day, and Sentence on the 1651-07-05fifth of July, againſt my deer friend. Truly, could not I appeal to God, who knoweth all things, what the intention of my heart was, thinking I might rather do you good than hurt, knowing one had gone before me, and fearing he had much wronged you, made me willing to teſtifie what I did, being told and informed, it would do you good and not hurt, being but Miſpriſion at the most. I ſay, were it not for the teſtification in mine own conſcience, I were not able to bear up my ſpirit, but ſhould (I fear) even ſink under the burden. But when I conſider to whom I now write, who, I know, is full of charity, and doth beleeve what I ſay, and will forgive what wrong I have done him, and, I hope, will pray for me to your God and my God, to your Father and my Father, that he will not lay this to my charge: for you may charge me to be as one of thoſe Paul chargeth in 2 Tim 4. 16. And deer Sir, If the Lord will be pleaſed to let me ſee your face once more, that I may open my ſelfe to you, I hope I ſhall ſtand right in your affections. Some promiſes I have met withall in the word, that do (me thinks) add wings to my faith, that God will not ſuffer you to fall by the hands of violence; as in Pſalm 79.Pſalm 91.Pſalm 94.Pſalm 3.Iſa. 41.10.Iſa. 66.5. and many others, that I know you are better acquainted with then I am, and can beat them out, and lay them by you, as a glaſſe of cordiall water for fainting times. But, Dear Sir, let me earneſtly beg of you, that you will uſe what means you can for your own preſervation, and go as farre as you can in your Petitition to them , in whoſe power your life is, for many reaſons: As firſt, Because if you ſhall fall, O! how would the enemies rejoyce? Malignants and others would make ſongs at your death, and ſay, Where is all his Faſting and prayers? His God will not help him: oh Sir, it would be a day of reproach and blaſphemy. And ſecondly, conſider, How would it ſadden the hearts of Gods people, and make them wring their hands, if they ſhould miſſe the fruit of their prayers in your deliverance; which (I am confident) have been poured out in an extraordinary way for you? And thirdly, Conſider the ſervice you may yet doe in the Church of Christ: How many ſouls may God make you inſtrumentall to bring home to Christ? And what ſervice may yet this poor bleeding Nation have by your life? And fourthly, I need not remember you of your deer and precious Conſort, who, I am confident, is deer in the heart of God, and alſo to you; and her life even bound up in yours, and her condition being as it is. And then I humbly 5 B3r 5 I humblie beg, you wil conſider my condition; for ſurely, in that day I ſhould hear of your life being violently taken away, mine would be but little comfort to me, being inſtrumental in taking yours away, although (the Lord knows) not intentionally, but accidentally. Therefore for theſe reaſons, I humbly beg of you again and againe, that you will do what you dare, and go as far as you can for your preſervation; and the Lord will make you inſtrumentall for his glory, if not here, yet in ſome other place; and (me thinkes) where-ever the Lord caſt you, I could willingly make that promiſe, and perform it, that Ruth made to Naomi; and ſo, I am confident, could my deer Wife, whoſe heart (I know) bleeds for you, and her eyes run down with tears to God for you. Good Sir, in your addreſſes, remember me to God, that I may lean upon him more firmlie, and relie upon the Rock of Ages, and not upon broken reeds: And (I hope) through the ſtrength of Chriſt, and the ſupplie of your prayers, I ſhall be better fortified for the time to come, as Peter was after his fall.
I would fain be rememembred to my good friend Do. Dr. I hope I have got better armour of proof than I had before; but I hope there will be no need of ſhewing it about him. For poor Po. he hath wronged himſelf more than any man can, for I hear, he hath ſent more papers of his confeſſion ſince he was there.
Good Sir, I have many things more to ſay, but will not preſume to be more burdenſome to you at this time. Will the Lord let me ſee your face once more here? I hope he will. However, it will not be long before we ſhall enjoy one another in that place, where violent hands ſhall not touch us; and then Eternitie ſhall be little enough to praiſe and magnifie the Lord for his riches of mercie he ſhewes to us.
The Lord ſtand by you, the Lord preſerve you, and put his everlaſting Arms under you, and deliver you: Which ſhall be the earneſt groanes and ſighs of him, who is (he hopes) a deer, yet a moſt unworthie Friend, not worthie to be look’d upon by you.
Dr Drake’s Letter to Mr Love.
Dear and precious Friend,
I cannot but congratulate your liberty, and the ſingular honour God hath laid upon you. The Captain of our ſalvation is wiſe, and knows whom to call out for his champion. Hee hath pleaſed to call you to the forelorn hope, wee are leading up the Van; our brethren in the black bill, are like to bring up the Body; and for our Rear ( bleſſed be God) wee have armies of prayers and teares; yea, through mercy, wee may ſay, Our righteousſneſſe goes before us, and the glory of the Lord ſhall bee our rereward. Iſai. 58.8.Well might we fear, had we not a good God, a good cauſe, and a good concience; but where God juſtifies, who ſhall condemne? Certainly, that God who hath done us ſo much good by a priſon, (bleſſed bee his name) can do us much more good by our tryall. Hee bids us not fear them who at worſt can but kill the body: and why ſhould wee be afraid of man that ſhall dye, &c. and forgo the Lord our Maker, yea our Redeemer? Its too much honour God laies upon us, to ſuffer any thing for his Name and Covenants ſake; that hereby wee are ſo indeared in the hearts of his Faithfull people, and have been occaſions to blow up the ſpirit of prayer, that was almoſt exſtinct. Will not God incline his ear when he hath prepared the heart? Did hee ever ſet his children a begging, but he had a boon for them? I need not ſtirre up your Chriſtian reſolution, but deſire rather to light my candle at your Lamp. Yet, when lately I looked upon Revel. 2 and 3 I eſpied no leſſe then ſeven rare Cordialls to perſons in our condition, Revel. 2. v. 7, 10, 17, 27. and chap. 3. v. 5, 12, 21.
- 1. A tree of life.
- 2. Freedome from hurt by the ſecond death.
- 3. The hidden Mannah and white ſtone.
- 4. The morning ſtar and weilding the rod of iron.
- 5. The white garments the Book of life, and owning us before his Father.
- 6. That wee ſhall be pillars in his houſe, having his new name graven upon us.
- 7. That wee ſhall ſit in his throne, &c. and all this made over, not τω νιχήσανι, or τω ν∊νιχηχοτι, but τω νιχώνι, to him that is overcoming.
A Chriſtian is ſure to conquer, if hee dare but fight, and no ſouldier but hee can glory when he puts on his harneſſe. The Lord arme you with ſuch courage and wiſedome, that you may avoyd the ſnares, and be above the fury of your Adverſaries. God, Angels, and Men looke upon you; and while you are fighting, Chriſt is weaving your crown: Hee by your example, ſo 6 B3v 6 ſo hearten his people, and damp the Adverſary, as they may rejoice (and bleſſe God) who favour your righteous dealing, and all inquiry may ſtop her mouth. So prayes
1651-06-01June 1. ――51.
Your unworthy Brother and Companion in Tribulation, and in the kingdome and patience of Jeſus Chriſt.
I prae, ſequar.
I beg your prayers, and preſent my beſt affections to your ſelf and Miſtris L. I’d rather dye with grace, then live with blame; Farre better dye with Love, then live with ſhame For my moſt honoured Friend Mr L.
Another of Dr Drak’s to Mr Love.
1651-06-17June 17. 1651.
I Cannot be unmindfull of your perſon and condition, as being not only in the body, but alſo in an eſpeciall manner bound with you, Heb. 13.3. And certainly, if habituall and active grace bee ſuch motives of Chriſtian love, is not paſſive grace much more? To ſuffer for Chriſt is a grace, as well as to beleeve in him, Philip. 1.29. ύμϊνέχαείωη, &c. Chriſt and his people are never more lovely then upon the croſſe. May wee not under God, thank our priſon, that wee are ſo gracious this day in the eyes of Gods people, yea, and I am perſwaded in the eyes of ſome enemies? Muſt not we by ſuffering enter into glory, as our bleſſed Saviour? Luk. 24.26. Doth not Chriſt by this meanes ſet a higher rate upon reformation, the Miniſtry, and the Government? How do the Northern people prize the Sunne, who ſee it but once in three or ſix months; and do not our dunghill hearts ordinarily value bleſſings, more by their want, then injoyment?
In particular, Sir, how are you indeared to God and man in this call, to be the Proto-Confeſſour or Proto-Martyr; the Lord inable you by grace, to bear the honour, as well as the burthen. I bleſſe God for your chearfulneſſe and conſtancy, whoſe flame contributes much to the keeping of my poor ſparke alive.
But my errand is, if it may bee, to prevent the later: and may it ſtand with Gods will, I would not have you yet to be a Martyr. Haply you will ſay, I wiſh you worſe then your Adverſaries do; if ſo yet I am ſure it is with an honeſter heart, &c.—
Sir, I have onely one thing to adde, which I apprehend as a providence not to be ſlighted; Namely, that your day of tryall is your day of Jubilee, and your day of Pentecoſt, it being preciſely the fiftieth day from your apprehenſion: ordered ſo, I am confident, by eſpeciall providence, not by the intention of the Adverſary: The Lord make it a jubilee to you, for liberty of ſpirit, and a day of Pentecoſt for effuſion of the Spirit of grace, wiſedome and utterance. I ſhall ſay Amen to the Omen, and follow it with what poor intereſt I have in heaven, ſtill chooſing rather to dye with Love, then to rule with the Luſt, which is the Magna charta of theſe apoſtatizing times. My beſt affections to your ſelfe and deareſt conſort, I beg your prayers, and reſt,
Another of Dr Drakes to Mr Love.
My moſt dear and precious friend in the Lord, in whom I obſerved great reaſon, both of love and honour from the firſt day that God bleſſed me with the knowledge of you; but never more then at this time, when you are aſcending your triumphant chariot, and mounting into the cloud of witneſſes, Heb. 12.1. to guide and encourage us who are left yet behind, to run with readineſſe the race that is ſet before us. Sweet Sr, I wonder not you are ſo chearful, being ſo neer your journies end, ſteered by our great Pilot out of a dangerous and troubleſome ſea, and entring into the harbour; putting off your pilgrims weeds, that you may be cloathed with the white robes, as a free deniſon of the Heavenly Jeruſalem I miſtook in dreaming of an earthly Pentecoſt and Jubilee; that 50th day I now perceive was an hint and ſummons to call you to the everlaſting Jubilee above, Heb. 12 v. 22. 24. a Paraſceve to the eternal Sabbath, Heb. 4. verſ 9.10. How much are we beholding to our very enemies (rather to God for them) who never do us more good, then when they think to do us the ſhrewdeſt turne. I wonder not now at that Epinicium of the Apoſtles, Rom. 8. ver. 28, & 33. to the end, and 1 Cor. 3. v. 21, 22, 23. Death is ſo far from ſeparating, that it brings us immediately to Chriſt, Phil. p. 1. 23. and that by a ſtroke ſo honourable, ſo eaſie, ſo comfortable, ſo ſpeedy, that you need but wink and go to Heaven. The Lord is pleaſed to give you a writ of eaſe, and to pay you your penny at the 6th hour. Bleſſed be God, we ſerve a good Maſter, who puts us only upon honeſt and honourable imployments, makes our taske eaſie and ſhort, doth all our works for us and in us; and after all, rewards us freely and richly as if we had earned our wages. Better be Gods hireling then the worlds darling, Luke 15. v. 17, 19. Dear Sr, I bleſſe God for your faithfulnſſe, patience, courage, wiſdome, whereby you have both tryed and diſcovered the policy and ſtrength of your Antagoniſts, and ſhewed to your poor unworthy fellow-ſufferers, that by grace they are conquerable. The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour; go in this thy might, and ſmite the hoſt of Midian as one man, Judg. 6. v. 12, 14, 16. The Lord make you a true Samſon, that you may do the Devils kingdom more miſchief at your death, then ever you did in all your life. God is now but in his old method, to make the blood of the Martyrs the ſeed of his Church, Col. 1. 24. Hiel deſerved a curſe upon for building Jericho, (Josh. 6. 26.) but God deſerves bleſſing for building the new Jeruſalem, though he lay the foundation thereof in Abiram his firſt-born (ſo is Chriſt, our high Father, compare Gen. 17. 5: with Iſa. 9. 6.) and ſet up the gates thereof in his younger Son Segub (1 King. 16. laſt.) ſuch are we poor contemptible creatures, exalted and ſtrengthned by God not only to do, but alſo to ſuffer for his Name, (Acts 5. 41. Phil. 1. 29.) Cauſe, Church and Covenant. The Lord is making you ſuch a bleſſed Segub: making that to be your honour, ſtrength and ſafety, which many judged to be your ſhame, weakneſſe and danger. Dear Sr, God honours you to be the Eliſa, and firſt to aſcend the fiery chariot; May I, without preſumption, be the Eliſha, and make two or three bold requeſts unto you: and firſt let me beg your prayers for a double portion of your Spirit: Secondly, let me ſee you (if poſſible) before you aſcend, though it be but through the latteſſe, on your Nuptial morning: Thirdly, let fall your mantle, that I may by means of it be inabled to divide Jordan, yea, the Red ſea, if God call me through it, and not ſinke like an Egyptian in the mighty waters, Pſal. 32. 6. Fourthly, if there be any remembrance of things below, in heaven (Luke 16. v. 24, 25, 28.) will you when you are in the bleſſed Haven, think of your poor friend, and the reſt of your fellow Souldiers left behind, and labouring in the ſtorme, till Chriſt come to them as he doth to you, Surely the Church triumphant doth not forget the Church militant: and prayer is no paradox in heaven, (Rev 6. v. 9, 10.) till the body of Chriſt be perfected: If juſtice makes them pray againſt Enemies; why ſhould not charity draw out ſupplications for their friends: Surely, there is a communion of Saints between the Church militant and triumphant; we may bleſſe God for them, and cannot they pray for us? The Martyrs would not pray to dead Saints, but ſome of them deſired living Saints to pray for them, both on Earth and in Heaven: and I think therein they were not ſuperſtitious. Sweet Sr, I know to whom I ſpeak, and am aſſured that Love will not be puffed up with that which would ſoon burſt a bladder of pride: None higher in Gods eyes than thoſe who are loweſt in their own. I ſee your time is ſhort, and therefore though any affliction be like Jordan at the time of Harveſt, I muſt ſet bounds and bankes to my 8 B4v 8 my words, leſt I divert and trouble you in your paſſage. I doubt not but you remember that you muſt paſſe through the Jordan to the fiery Chariot. Jordan was not more effectual to cleanſe Naaman’s Leproſie, then the river of repentant tears is to purge the leproſie of ſin (Pſal. 119 ver. 136.) next after the immenſe ocean of the bloud of Chriſt. It’s not Abanah and Parphar will waſh away the Leproſie, but Jordan; nor will every tear waſh away ſin, but penitent tears. You have but little time to mourn, Chriſt ſtands by with his towel and handkerchief, Pſalm. 56. 8. Revel. 7. laſt. and 21.4. Iſa. 25. 8. Spiritual ſorrow and joy are inſeparable companions in this life; and the Dove-like ſpirit of comfort loves theſe ſtreams. Cant. 3. 12. Matth. 3. 16. Every true Chriſtian hath this Baptiſmus fluminis joined with the Baptiſm. flaminis: And now God honours you with Baptiſ. Sanguinis ſuperadded. The cup of tears and cup of comfort may wel go together, and happy he who can mingle this drink with weeping, Pſalm. 102. 9. ſuch need not fear to pledg Chriſt in his cup of bloud; and undoubtedly ſhall ſit at Chriſts right hand in his Kingdom, Matth. 20. ver. 22, 23. though not in the ſenſe of the two ambitious Brethren. If we could weep or repent for any thing in heaven, ſure it would be, becauſe wee wept and repented no more nor no better on earth. The Lord enable you and us all to do much work in a little time. If I ſee you no more, I muſt be forced here to take my long leave; yet why ſay I ſo? it may prove but a ſhort leave, ſince in likelihood (as things ſtand) few weeks, yea dayes, may bring me to a ſight of your bleſſed ſoul in the arms of Chriſt: and ſurely, the communion of Saints in heaven is cumulative to their eſſential Happineſſe. The Lord enable me to imitate your graces, and then I ſhall not doubt to inherit your happineſſe, which is onely God, the higheſt end, and the chiefeſt good. The Lord be neerer to you then your danger, and ſupport you in the moſt needful hour; and when men have done their worſt, receive your ſoul to his mercy. Act. 7. v. 55, 56, 59. Luk. 2. 29, 30. and 2 Timoth. 4. ver. 7, 8. So prayes
1651-07-12July 12. 1651.
Your poor unworthy Friend, and Companion in the Kingdome and tribulations of Jeſus Chriſt.
Mr Robinſon’s letter to M. Love.
The loſſe which the church of God will ſuſtaine by your death, is a very great trouble to me, and I doubt not but a far greater to others, whoſe hearts God hath made more ſenſible to feel his hand. This ſtroke I am confident will be your happineſſe but a great miſery, a ſad puniſhment to many: when God hath a purpoſe to puniſh many at once, he uſeth to take this courſe. The extinguiſhing ſuch a fear (I do not flatter you, God knowes) cannot but greatly afflict the whole world. I wiſh heartily God would grant me the favour to ſee you before your wedding day, for I dare not call it a dying day. I hope I ſhall bee in your thoughts when you are at the throne of Grace. Good Sir, heap up as many prayers as you can for the poor Church of God before you leave us, it ſhall be the beſt legacy you can bequeath; what you ſhall ſow, ſome will live to reap, and you will not be unrewarded. Jeſus Chriſt had his thoughts on the Church even to his dying hour, good Sir, imitate your Maſter, I need not ſay any thing to ſtrengthen you againſt the fear of your approaching day, I doubt not but you have often overcome that fear through Jeſus Chriſt. Profectio eſt quam put es mortem: ’Tis but the taking of a journey, and though the way be deep, yet its but ſhort: God brings you the neereſt way. A ſhorter cut never had any to reſt. I know you have been often upon Mount Nebo, where you have ſeen Canaan, whither you are going. The Myſticall head cannot be cut off; you have finiſhed your teſtimony, and fear not to receive your recompense. Chriſt hath transformed this blacke Meſſenger to you into an Angel of Light. How ſoon others may follow you is known only to God; if we ſtay longer, ’tis but to row in a ſtormy ſea. Moſes was very willing to Die, God ſaid, Go up and die; and he went up and died. Let not the care of your Relations afflict you, The earth is the Lords and the fulneſſe thereof; Leave your fatherleſſe children, God will provide for them; Let your widdow truſt in God. Your dear yoke-fellow is a partaker of the ſame grace with you; how rich are they that are heirs to the promiſes? You can commend your ſpirit into Gods hands, much more your wife and children; Remember that promiſe; I wil 9 C1r 9 will be thy God, and the God of thy ſeed; Sir, it is a richer portion then the Mines of India. You were but a ciſtern to them, the fountain lives, and will live when you are dead: God can provide without you, you cannot without God. Good Sir, Cheer up; I hear how full of joy you are, bleſſed bee God; all theſe are but little drops to the Ocean. I have writ this to fill you more and more. An Ax, and a feaver are all one; you ſhall die without ſickneſſe. When you think of the preſent ignominy, look on the future glory; you ſhall be with God, Chriſt, Angels, the ſouls of juſt men made perfect in a ſhort time. What a happineſſe is it to have grace in perfection! to ſee God face to face, to be freed from the being of ſin, Temptations of Divels, ſociety of wicked men! You have fought a good fight, you have finiſhed your courſe, you have kept the faith, &c. and you are going to receive your Crown, a crown of glory, that fadeth not away. You are now going to that place, where the voyce of the oppreſſor ſhall never be heard: You are going to your bed, the beſt and ſafeſt you ever ſlept on. The ſteps of the ſcaffold will be a Jacob’s Ladder, upon which you ſhall aſcend to your loving Father. The Scaffold wil be as mount Nebo; the Ax of the Executioner will cut off the head of ſinne, and put an end to all miſery. Be ſure, Sir, Not onely the Angels of God, but the God of the Angels himſelf will mightily ſtrengthen you. If your death, and this kinde of death, were not moſt for the glorie of God, and the benefit of the Church, I am confidente, God would have ſaved you from this hour.
I have writ thus, not becauſe you want advice, but to teſtifie my love, my deer love to you, and to give you remembrance of me and mine, before your departure hence. Good Sir, accept of it as my laſt farewel; farewel, farewel, deer Friend. God, that hath bound up your ſoul in the bundle of life, be your comfort, joy, hope, peace, confidence in life and death to all eternitie: Yea, he wil be your guide unto death; He wil be an Husband and head to your deereſt Wife; He will be a tender Father to your little Babes. This is the confidence, this ſhall be the prayer of
1651-08-19Aug. 19. 1651.
Sir, Your deer Friend.
A brief Nonte from Mr Jenkyn to Mr Love.
My deer, deer Heart,
Thou art very neer to my ſoul. The Lord Jeſus Chriſt ſmile with the pleaſanteſt face upon thee, that ever he did upon Sufferer. ―― I here ſend thee a book that I have been much relieved by, in my Impriſonment. What are ten thouſand Deaths, where Chriſt is apprehended by faith! Theſe conſiderations where the leaf is turn’d down (pag. 335.) do ſweetly ſupport faith. ―― I am afraid almoſt to ſend theſe thoughts, for fear over-many notions may diſturb thee. ―― I judge theſe more profitable then ſpeculative diſcourſes of death. The great God, that hangs the Earth upon nothing but his word, bear up thy ſoul on his promiſes. Oh ſweet, moſt ſure, ſure, ſure (oh remember ſure!) promiſes; as ſtable as the very Eſſence of God; for the performances whereof God hath pawn’d his Being: As I live, &c.
My Heart, I love thee, I kiſſe thee, I weep upon thee, I rejoice for thee. I ſhall ſee thee in glory. The Lord Jeſus ſtrengthen thee. He will.
MrJenkyn his Letter to MrLove.
My deer Heart,
Blame me not of this backwardneſſe to caſt in this mite. I was hardly perſwaded of the fitneſſe thereof: your greater danger is in the plentie of theſe tokens, conſidering your own ſtore. Though your appetite be never ſo good, it’s impoſſible you ſhould concoct all the food diſh’d up in books, Friends Papers, and your own Meditations by and for you. I ſhall deſire to make up my paper de defects by fervent prayer: and oh that I could pray ſo this once, as if I were not to do it a ſecond time. My onely counſell muſt be, that which I know hath been your onely care, and wil be your C onely 10 C1v 10 onely comfort; namely, that you ſleep in Jeſus. Thou ſhalt not ſleep (though that were much) in the lap, boſome, and armes of Jeſus; but in this ſleep he looks upon thee as a peice of himſelf, 1 Cor. 15. 18, 20. Coloſſ. 1. 18. even as a member, a dear limb. In dying thou ſhalt not dye. They who are fallen aſleep in Chriſt, periſh not. Chriſt the firſt fruits (a moſt ſweet reſemblance) the happy hanſell of the grave, the firſt born from the dead, the Head of the body, did riſe from the dead as ſuch, and not a as a private perſon: So that our reſurrection is (even now) in its cauſe. The union ’twixt Chriſt and thee (and this union is not onely ’twixt Chriſt and thy ſoul, but thy body alſo; and therefore hee is the firſt fruits of the dead) cannot be broken off by death. Chriſt ſhould rebell againſt the will of his Father, (which were blaſphemie to think) if hee ſhould loſe any thing which his Father hath given him; as hee ſhould, were it not to be raiſed up at the laſt day. Chriſt is the very resurrection, and hee that beleeveth in him, though dead, yet ſhall live. Oh, how hath Chriſt perfumed the grave, and beautified the griſly face of Death! Death is (now) a priviledge, our beſt friend next to Chriſt, and the truth is, all our moanes and ſorrowes in this life, are for want of that which wee ſo much feare, death; as the child that cries for want of ſleep, and yet cannot endure to undreſſe and goe to bed. My dear heart! thou haſt better cloathes to put on in the morning of the Reſurrection: This mortal ſhall put on immortality. Thy garment of grace hath had Epheſ 5. 27. Jude 24. vid. many ſpots, perhaps; this day thou ſhalt take they leave of mourning for them, and therefore the Lord help thee to mourn more holily and meltingly than ever; but the garment of glory ſhall not have one. Lord, is there a condition wherein I ſhall never ſinne more, wherein I ſhall have as much grace as I can hold, and wiſh, and will deſire; wherein I ſhall no more waſh the feet of Jeſus Chriſt, and now and then be ſuffered to give them a kiſſe, but ſhall lie in his bleſſed boſome, and be claſped in his glorious armes to eternity! This is thy approaching happineſſe; and every comfort, by how much the nearer, is the ſweeter. Now is thy ſalvation neerer then when thou firſt beleevdſt.
Oh dear heart! Now for a ſtrong faith! oh wreſtle mightily with the great God, for ſtrength to overcome him; cling about the promiſes, precious promiſes, not only for their fulneſſe, but infallibility; adventure thy ſoul upon them. The faithfulneſſe of God is a foundation which beares the heavieſt ſtructure, and the greateſt load of ſinne and expectation. Jeſus Chriſt cals, beſeeches, commands, threatens, and all to make thee beleeve. The Lord increaſe thy faith: thou art to go through a very great work, but Chriſthath laboured, and thou art but to enter into his labours. Death is but a nominall enemy when Chriſt hath diſ-armed it; There is more terrour in the pomp of it (as Seuneca ſaid) the Scaffold, the Axe, ſpectatours, reports, then in the thing it ſelfe. Oh how may a Chriſtian inſult over it! Oh Death, Where Is Thy Sting! Chriſt hath ſpoiled principalities and powers, diſ-armed, diſ-robed them. His death is the death of Death; all its ſtings are left in his ſide. Say not therefore (Dear heart) who ſhall role away the ſtone from the mouth of the ſepulchre? when thou comest thither, thou ſhalt find it roll’d away to thy hand. Its difficulties and diſtreſſes are taken away in Chriſt. ―― To this dear Lord Jeſus I commit thee, who in his due time will wipe away all teares from the eyes, and ſinne from the ſoules of his poor ſervants; and out of all our ſtormes, bring us to that haven where we would be. I know not where to break off, and yet not where to leave thee ſo well as there.
Thine in the bowels of this Saviour.
Mr Caſe to Mr Love
Thou art now awaked out of thy laſt naturall reſt, to go to thy eternall reſt: the night is paſt, thou ſhalt never know night any more, but God ſhall give thee light, and thou ſhalt reign for ever and ever, Rev. 22. 3, 4, 5. Thou art now going where thou ſhalt be in a true ſenſe above ordinances, and above Scripture, I Cor. 13. 12, 13 where God in Chriſt ſhall be thy all in all. Thy priſon ſhall be turned into a Palace, and thy filthy garments ſhall be taken away, and thou ſhalt be cloathed with long white robes, and in the moment when thy bodie and head ſhall be ſevered, thou ſhalt be united to Chriſt thy Head; in him thou ſhalt be crowned, and with him thou ſhalt reign to eternitie. It is finiſhed. John 17. 1, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 24.
Let me ſee that face once more, which I ſhall ſee no more till the laſt day. Send up one ſigh before thee for thy following brother and Companion in tribulation, and in the Kingdome and Patience of Jeſus Chriſt.
Another of Mr Caſe’s to Mr Love.
Thou art now going to heaven: to quicken thy deſires, put it into theſe notions, that are moſt ſutable to thy condition.
- To the weary it is reſt, Iſai. 57. 2. Rev. 14. 13.
- To the baniſhed home, 2 Cor. 5. 6.
- To the reproached glory, Rom. 5. 2.
- To the moleſted and captived with corruption, it is the glorious liberty of the ſons of God, Rom. 8. 21.
- To the reſiſter to blood, it is conqueſt, Rom. 8. 37.
- To the vexed with ſin and ſorrow, it is the exſtinction of both.
- To the hungry ſoul, it is the hidden Manna, Rev. 22. 17.
- To the thirſty, rivers of pleaſure, water of life, fountain of life, Rev. 22. 17 Pſal. 36. 8, 9,.
- To the greived ſoul, it is fulneſs of joy, and to the ſorrowfull heart pleaſures for evermore, Pſal. 16. 8.
In a word, To them that have lien upon the dunghill here, and kept their integrity, it is a throne upon which they ſhall ſit and reign with Chriſt for ever and ever, Rev. 3. 31. and 22. 5.
Dear heart chear up, a ſharp breakfaſt, but a blſſed ſupper, the ſupper of the Lamb. The Bridegroom ſaith, Loe I come quickly: Let thy rejoiced ſoul eccho back again, Even ſo, come Lord Jeſus.
There is but a little time for prayer left, in that remember me, and then everlaſting halelujahs wil be thy work, and reſt. Live for ever with thy God. Amen.
I ſhall accompany thee with my prayers, though I cannot with my perſon.
Miſtreſſe Love’s Letter to Mr Love.
My dear heart,
Before I write a word further, I beſeech thee think not that it is thy wife, but a freind now that writes to thee. I hope thou haſt freely given up thy wife and children to that God, who hath ſaid in the 49 of Jer. and ver. 11. Leave thy fatherleſſe children, I will preſerve them alive, and let thy Widow truſt C2 in 12 C2v 12 in me: thy Maker will be my husband, and a father to thy children. O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations. I deſire freely to give thee up into thy Fathers hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Chriſt, but as an honour to me, that I ſhould have an husband to leave for Chriſt. I dare not ſpeak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart, of my unſpeakable loſſe, but wholly keep my eye fixed upon thy unexpreſſable and unconceiveable gain. Thou leaveſt but a ſinfull, morall wife, to be everlaſtingly marryed to the Lord of glory: Thou leaveſt but children, brothers, and ſiſters, to go to the Lord Jeſus thy eldeſt Brother: Thou leaveſt friends on earth, to go to the enjoyment of Saints and Angels, and the ſpirits of juſt men made perfect in glory; Thou doſt but leave earth for heaven, and changeſt a priſon for a palace. And if naturall affections ſhould begin to ariſe, I hope that ſpirit of grace that is within thee, will quell them; knowing that all things here below are but dung and droſſe in compariſon of thoſe things that are above. I know thou keepeſt thine eye fixed on the hope of glorie, which makes thy feet trample on the loſſe of earth. My Deer, I know God hath not onely prepared glory for thee, and thee for it; but I am perſwaded he will ſweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it. When thou art putting on thy cloaths that morning, O think, I am now putting on my wedding garments, to go to be everlaſtingly married to my Redeemer. And when the meſſenger of death comes to thee, let him not ſeem dreadfull to thee; but look on him as a meſſenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life. When thou goeſt up the ſcaffold, think, (as thou ſaidst to me) It is but thy fiery chariot, to carrie thee up to thy Fathers houſe. And when thou layeſt down thy precious head to receive thy Fathers ſtroak, remember what thou ſaidſt to me, Though thy head was ſevered from thy bodie, yet in a moment thy ſoul ſhould be united to thy Head the Lord Jeſus in heaven. And though it may ſeem ſomething bitter, that by the hands of men we are parted a little ſooner then otherwiſe we might have been; yet let us conſider, It is the decree and will of our Father; and it will not be long ere we ſhall enjoy one another in heaven again. Let us comfort one another with theſe ſayings. Be comforted, my dear Heart, It is but a little ſtroak, and thou ſhalt be there where the weary ſhall be at reſt, and where the wicked ſhall ceaſe from troubling. Remember, though thou maiſt eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou ſhalt have a ſweet ſupper with Chriſt that night. My Deer, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for theſe comforts I have received from the Lord by thee. I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the armes of that God, with whom ere long thee and I ſhall be. Farewell, my Deer, I ſhall never ſee thy face more, till we both behold the face of the Lord Jeſus at the great Day.
1651-07-14July 14. 1651.
Another of Miſtreſſe Love’s to Maſter Love.
My heavenly Dear,
I call thee ſo; becauſe God hath put heaven into thee, before he hath taken thee to heaven. Thou now beholdeſt God, Chriſt and Glory as in a glaſſe; but tomorrow, heaven gates will be opened, and thou ſhalt be in the full enjoyment of all thoſe glories, which eye hath not ſeen, nor eare heard, neither can the heart of man underſtand. God hath now ſwallowed up thy heart in the thoughts of heaven; but ere long thou ſhalt be ſwallowed up in the enjoyment of heaven: And no marvel there ſhould be ſuch quietneſſe and calmneſſe in thy ſpirit, whileſt thou art ſailing in this tempeſtuous ſea; becauſe thou perceiveſt by the eye of Faith a haven of reſt, where thou ſhalt be richly laden with all the glories of heaven. O lift up thy heart with Joy, when thou layeſt thy dear head on the block, in the thought of this, that thou art laying thy head to reſt in the fathers boſome; which when thou doſt awake, ſhall be crowned, not with an earthly fading crowne, but with an heavenly eternal crown of glory. And be not diſcouraged when thou ſhalt ſee a guard of ſouldiers triumphing with their trumpets about thee; but lift up thy head, and thou ſhalt behold God with a guard of his holy Angels, triumphing to receive thee to glory. Be not diſmaied at the ſcoffs and reproaches that thou mayſt meet with in thy ſhort way to heaven; for be aſſured, 13 C3r 13 aſſured, God will not only glorifie thy body and ſoul in heaven, but he will alſo make the memory of thee to be glorious on the earth! O let not one troubled thought for thy wife and babes ariſe within thee; thy God will be our God, and our portion; he will be a husband to thy widow, and a father to thy children, the grace of thy God will be ſo ſufficient for us. Now, my Dear, I deſire willingly and chearfully to reſigne my right in thee to thy Father and my Father, who hath the greateſt intereſt in thee. And confident I am, though men have ſeparated us for a time; yet our God will ere long bring us together again, where we ſhall eternally enjoy one another, never to part more. O let me hear, how God bears up thy heart, and let me taſte of thoſe comforts that ſupport thee, that they may be as pillars of marble to bear up my ſinking ſpirit. I can write no more, Farewel, farewel my Dear, till we meet there where we ſhall never bid farewel more; till which time I leave thee in the boſome of a loving tender hearted Father, and ſo I reſt,
1651-08-21Auguſt 21 1651.
Till I ſhall for ever reſt in Heaven,
Maſter Love to his Wife, when he ſhould have firſt ſuffered.
My dearest Beloved,
I Am now going to my long home, yet I muſt write thee a word before I go hence, and ſhall be ſeen no more; It is to beg thee to be comforted in my gaine, and not to be troubled in thy loſſe; Labour to ſuppreſſe thy inward fears, now thou art under outward ſorrowes; as thy outward ſufferings abound, let thy conſolations in Chriſt abound alſo. I know thou are a woman of a ſorrowful ſpirit. My time is ſhort, I have but a few words of counſel to give thee, and then I ſhall leave thee to God, who careth for thee and thine.
- 1. Whiles thou are under deſertions, labour rather to ſtrengthen and clear up thy evidences for heaven, then queſtion them.
- 2. Remember a faith of adherence, or reliance on the Lord Jeſus, brings thee to heaven, though thou want the faith of Evidence or Aſſurance.
- 3. Labour to finde that (and more alſo) in God, which thou haſt loſt in the creature.
- 4. Spend not thy days in heavineſſe for my death; if there were knowledge of things below, or ſorrow in heaven; I ſhould grieve to think my beloved ſhould mourn on earth.
- 5. Lye under a ſoul ſearching Miniſtry; I know thou art not a ſpungy hearer, to ſuck in foul water as well as faire. God hath given thee a good underſtanding, to be able to diſcerne things that differ; as the mouth taſts meat, thy eare tryeth words
- 6. Be converſant in Chriſtian meetings, and much in the exerciſes of the duties of mortification, in faſting and prayers; yet have reſpect to the weakneſſe of thy body and thy preſent condition.
- 7. Have a care of thy ſelf and babes, God will take care of thee and them.
I can write no more; farewel my Dear, farewel, farewel. Theſe are the laſt words written by
From the Tower, 1651-07-15July 15th 1651.
Thy dying, yet comforted Huſband,
My Deare, I beg thee to be ſatiſfied: my heart is greatly comforted in God; I can quietly ſubmit to the good pleaſure of his will, and I hope thou doſt ſo alſo, I am delivered by the determinate counsel of God, the will of the Lord be done. Read for thy comfort when I am dead and gone, Jer. 49. 11 and the beginning of the 12. Iſa. 9 verſ. 6, 7, 8.54—5—6—7 Pſam. deleted1 letter verſ. 6. & 146. ver. 9. 2 Cor. 4. verſ. 17, 18. Heb. 12. verſ. 6, 7.10 Mark 29-30An 14 C3v 14
Another of Maſter Loves to his Wife.
More deare to me then ever,
It addes to my rejoycing, that I have ſo good and gracious a wife to part with for the Lord Jeſus: In thy grief, I have been grieved; but in thy joy, I have been comforted. Surely, nature could never help thee to bear ſo heavy a ſtroke, with ſo much ſilence and ſubmiſſion to the hand of God! Oh dearest, every line thou writeſt, gladdeth my heart. I dare not think that there is ſuch a creature as Mary Love in the world, for Kis and Mall, I can think of them without trouble, leaving them to ſo good a God, and ſo good a Mother. Be comforted concerning thy husband, who may more honour God in his death then in his life; the will of the Lord be done, he is fully ſatisfied with the hand of God. Though there but little between him and death, he knows, there is but little between him and heaven; and that raviſheth his heart. The Lord bleſſe and requite thee for thy wiſe and good counſel; thou haſt prevented me, the very things I thought to have written to thee, thou haſt written to me: I have had more comfort from thy gracious letter, then from all the counſel I have had from any elſe in the world; well, be aſſured, we ſhall meet in heaven. I reſt, till I reſt in heaven,
Thy dying, but comforted Friend, From the Tower, the Lord’s Day.
Another of Mr Love’s to his Wife
I Was faſt aſleep when thy Note came. I bleſſe God, I break not an hours ſleep for all my ſufferings; I know they worke for me a more exceeding and eternall weight of glory. I ſlept this night from ten at night, till ſeven in the morning, and never waked. My Dear, I am ſo comforted in the gracious ſupports God gives thee, that my burdens are the lighter on my ſhoulders, becauſe they are not ſo heavie on thine, or if they be heavie, yet that God helps thee to bear them. The Lord keep it in the purpoſe of our hearts forever, to ſubmit to the good pleaſure of God. I bleſſe God I do finde my heart in as quiet and compoſed a temper as ever I did in all my life. I am till I die,
From the Tower, 1651-08-18Auguſt 18th 1651.
Thy tender hearted Husband,
MrLove’s laſt Letter to his Wife, on the day He ſuffered.
My moſt gracious Beloved,
I Am now going from a Priſon to a Palace; I have finiſhed my worke, I am now to receive my wages; I am going to heaven, where are two of my children, and leaving thee on the earth where are three of my Babes; thoſe two above need not my care, but the three below need thine. It comforts me to think tw 15 C4r 15 two of my children are in the boſome of Abraham, and three of them will be in the Armes and care of ſo tender and godly a Mother: I know thou art a woman of a ſorrowful ſpirit, yet to be comforted: though thy ſorrow be great for thy Husbands going out of the world; yet thy paines ſhall be the leſſe in bringing thy child into the world; thou ſhalt be a joyfull Mother, though thou beeſt a ſad Widow. God hath many mercies in ſtore for thee; the prayers of a dying Husband for thee will not be loſt. To my ſhame I ſpeak it; I never pray’d ſo much for thee at libertie, as I have done in priſon. I cannot write more, but I have a few practical councels to leave with thee, viz.
- 1. Keep under a ſound, Orthodox, and ſoul ſearching Miniſtry; Oh there are many deceivers gone out into the world, but Chriſts ſheep know his voice, and a ſtranger will they not follow. Attend on that Miniſtry that teaches the way of God in truth, and follow Solomons advice, Pro. 19.27. Ceaſe to hear inſtruction that cauſes to erre from the ways of knowledg.
- 2. Bring up thy children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord: the mother ought to be a teacher in the fathers abſence, Pro. 19. 27. The words which his mother taught him; and Timothy was inſtructed by his Grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, 2 Tim. 1. 5.
- 3. Pray in thy family daily, that thy dwelling may be in the number of the families that do call on God.
- 4. Labour for a meek and quiet ſpirit, which is in the ſight of God of great price, 1. Pet. 3. 4.
- 5. Pore not on the comforts thou wanteſt, but on the mercies thou haſt.
- 6. Look rather at Gods end in afflicting, then at the meaſure and degree of thy afflictions.
- 7. Labour to cleer up thy evidences for heaven, when God takes from thee the comforts of earth, that as thy ſufferings do abound, ſo thy conſolations in Chriſt may abound much more, 2 Cor. 1 4.
- 8. Though it is good to maintain a holy jealouſie of the deceitfulneſſe of thy heart, yet it is evill for thee to cheriſh fears and doubts, about the truth of thy graces; If ever I had confidence touching the grace of another, I have confidence of grace in thee; I can ſay of thee as Peter did of Silvanus, I am perſwaded that this is the grace of God wherein thou ſtandeſt, 1 Pet. 5. 12. Oh my dear ſoul, wherfore doſt thou doubt, whoſe heart hath been upright, whoſe walkings have been holy, &c. I could venture my ſoul in thy ſoules ſtead, ſuch a confidence have I of thee.
- 9. When thou findeſt thy heart ſecure, preſumptuous and proud, then pore upon corruption, more then upon grace; but when thou findeſt thy heart doubting illegible3 letters unbeleeving, then look on thy graces, not on thy infirmities.
- 10. Study the covenant of grace and merits of Chriſt, and then be troubled if thou canſt. Thou art intereſted in ſuch a covenant that accepts purpoſes for performances, deſires for deeds, ſincerity for perfection, the righteouſneſſe of another, viz. that of Jeſus Chriſt as if it were thine own. Oh my Love! reſt, reſt then in the love of God, in the boſome of Chriſt.
- 11. Swallow up thy will in the will of God; it is a bitter cup wee are to drink, but it is the cup our Father hath put into our hands. When Paul was to go to ſuffer at Jeruſalem, the Chriſtians could ſay, The will of the Lord be done; Oh, ſay thou, when I go to Tower-hill, The will of the Lord be done.
- 12. Rejoyce in my joy; to mourn for me inordinately, argues that either thou envieſt, or ſuſpecteſt my hapineſſe. The joy of the Lord is my ſtrength, oh let it be thine alſo. Dear wife, farwell; I will call thee wife no more, I ſhall see thy face no more: yet I am not much troubled, for now I am going to meet the Bridegroome the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, to whome I ſhall be eternally marryed.
From the Tower of London, 1651-08-2222 Auguſt. 1651. The day of my glorification.
Thy Dying, yet moſt Affectionate Friend till death,