A selection from a letter by Samuel Rutherford, imprisoned at Aberdeen for nonconformist views, and no longer permitted to preach from his pulpit in Anwoth. The letter was written to Thomas Corbet, a member of the parish church in Anwoth. It was written in 1637.
If you depart from what I taught you in a hair-breadth, for fear or favour of men, or desire of ease in this world, I take heaven and earth to witness that ill shall come upon you in the end. Build not your nest here. This world is a hard, ill-made bed; no rest is in it for your soul. Awake, awake, and make haste to seek that Pearl, Christ, that this world seeth not. Your night and your Master Christ will be upon you within a clap; your hand-breadth of time will not bide you. Take Christ, howbeit a storm follow him. Howbeit this day be not yours and Christ’s, the morrow will be yours and his. I would not exchange the joy of my bonds and imprisonment for Christ with all the joy of this dirty and foul-skinned world, I am filled with Christ’s love.
Letters of Samuel Rutherford: A Selection, The Banner of Truth Trust, the first edition of letters was published in 1664, this selection was published in 1973, p. 147.