Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (20)

20. To my Lady Kenmore            from Anwoth  4 Jan 1632

Madam, - I am very sad that your Ladyship should think, or have reason to think, that those who love you in God, in this country do forget you. For myself, madam, I want you to know of my high respect (before my Lord, whose truth I preach, and I boldly say it) for His rich grace in you. 
   My Communion, put off until the end of a long and rainy harvest, and the presbytery (as the bearer can inform your Ladyship), prevented me from seeing you. And for my people's sake (finding them like hot iron, that cools out of the fire, and cannot be forged for any work), I do not travel; nor have I left them at all, since your Ladyship was in this area, except once about two years ago. I dare say it is a fault, but not in my affection; and I trust to make it up again as soon as I can possibly meet you.
   Madam, I have no new reason to write to you, but that which I think (no, which our Lord thinks) needed, that one thing, Mary's good part, which you have chosen (Luke 10:42). Madam, all that God has, both Himself and the creatures, he is dealing and dividing among the sons of Adam. There are none so poor as cannot say to His face, 'He has given them nothing.' But there is no small difference between the gifts given to lawful children and to bastards; and the more greedily you ask, the more willing he is to give, happy to be called open handed. I hope your Ladyship works to get assurance of the surest inheritance, even God Himself. You will find in Christianity, that God in all his dealings with His children, aims to bring them into high contempt of, and deadly battle with the world, and to set a high price on Christ, and to think Him one who cannot be bought for gold, and well worth fighting for. And for no other reason Madam, the Lord takes from you the childish toys and the earthly pleasures and gives them to others, so He may have you solely to Himself. Think therefore of the Lord, as one who comes to you in marriage, when you are in the fire. He seeks His answer from you in pain, to see if you will say, Even so I take Him.Madam, pleasantly give Him this answer, and in your mind do not secretly grumble nor complain.When He strikes you in love, do not strike back: that is dangerous; for those who strike back will receive the last blow.
   If I do not hit the right note, it is because I do not know you Ladyship's present state; but I believe your Ladyship goes on foot, laughing, and showing the world a good face, and yet you carry sorrow with you. You do well Madam, to keep those who cannot cure your grief, being witnesses of it. But think well of your dear Lord. Just as you will not entertain evil thoughts of some worldly friends, far more should you ever believe good of your dear friend, hat lovely fair person Jesus Christ.Thorns are one of the most cursed, angry and disagreeable weeds that the earth yields, and yet from it springs the rose, one of the sweetest smelling flowers, and most delightful to see, that earth has. Your Lord will make joy and gladness out of your troubles; for all His roses have a fragrant smell. Wait for the time when His holy hand will hold them to your nose; and if you would have present comfort under the cross, and pray much, for at that time your faith kisses Christ and He kisses the soul. And oh! if the breath of His mouth is sweet, I dare be sure that some small experience will not lead you astray; for the world (yes, and not a few of God's children) do not know well that which is called a Godhead. But madam, come near to the Godhead, and look down to the bottom of the well; there is much in Him, and it would be a sweet death to drown in such a well. Your grief is free to work on your mind, when you are not busy thinking of the ever delighting and all blessed Godhead. If you compare the price you pay (which is only a few years' pain and trouble) with the things you are to receive; you would see they are not worth putting in the scales together: but your nature makes you look at what you pay, and weak faith stops you seeing what you will receive. Hope still and wait awhile for your faithful Lord. He make Himself your debtor in the new covenant. He is honest; take His word: ' Trouble will not rise up a second time (Nah 1:9) .The one who conquers will have this heritage  (Rev 21:7). Of all the things then, which you want in this life, Madam, I cannot say anything, if you do not believe in Rev 3:5,21: 'The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments. The one who conquersI will grant him to sit with me on my throneas I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.' Think, Madam, are you not high up now in an inner room in the palace of our Lord, and on a throne in white clothing, at lovely Christ's elbow. O three times fools are we who, like new born princes crying in the cradle, not knowing there is a kingdom before them! Then let our Lord's sweet hand square us up and hammer us, and knock off the knot of pride, and self love and worship of the world, and infidelity, that he may make us into stones and pillars in His Father's house (Rev 3:12). Madam, what do you think of being fixed to the fair corner-stone, Jesus? The Lord give you wisdom to hope and believe that your day is coming. I hope to see your joy just as I have seen and heard your sadness. Do you think much of following the heir to the crown, who experienced sorrow and was acquainted with grief? (Is 52:3). It is pride to aim to be above the King's Son: it is more than we deserve that we be in a way equals in glory. Now commending you to the grace and mercy of God, I rest.
   Your Ladyship's at all obedience in Christ,   S.R.

Rutherford Revised - (19)

19. To my Lady Kenmore            from Anwoth  26 Nov 1631

Madam, Having greeted you in the Lord Jesus, I thought it my duty, having the opportunity of this letter carrier, to write again to your ladyship, though I have no new message except that which I wrote of before. But you cannot too often be alerted to go forward to your city, since your way is long, and (for what you know) your time may be short. And your Lord wants from you, as you grow older and unknowingly creep forward to eternity, that your faith grow and ripen for the Lord's harvest. For the great Farmer gives time to His fruits that they may mature, and having been filled from the tree, may be shaken and gathered in for use; whereas the wicked rot on the tree, and their branch will not be green. 'He will shake off his unripe grape like the vineand cast off his blossom like the olive tree.'(Job 15:33) It is God's mercy to you Madam, that he gives you your fill, even to loathe this bitter world, that you may willingly leave it, like a full and satisfied feaster, longing to leave the table. And at last, having trampled beneath your feet all the rotten pleasures under the sun and moon, and having rejoiced as if you did not rejoice, and having bought as if you had nothing. (1Cor 7:30), you may like an old crazy ship, arrive at your Lord's harbour, and be welcomed as one who has always had one foot loose from the earth, longing for that place where your soul will feast and eat for ever and ever on a glorious sight of the incomprehensible Trinity. and where you will see the fair face of the man Christ, even the beautiful face that once was for your sake more marred than any of the faces of the sons of men (Is 52:14, and was all covered with spit and blood. Be content to wade through the waters between you and glory with Him, holding His hand tight, for he knows al the fords. Though you may be drenched, you cannot drown, being in His company; and you may all the way to glory see the path glistening with His blood who is the Forerunner. Therefore, do not be afraid to put your foot in and wade after Him. even when you come to the black and swelling river of death. However strong the current, it cannot carry you down the water to hell: the Son of God, His death and resurrection, are stepping stones and a support to you; put your foot by faith on these stones, as go through as if on dry land. If you knew what He is preparing for you, you would be glad too. It may be that he will not give you a full drink until you come up to the well and drink,, yes, and you drink freely of the pure river of the water of life, that comes out from this throne of God and of the Lang (Rev 22:1). Madam, do not tire nor grow weary. I find for you the Son of God's guarantee, that when you have arrived up there, and have looked to see the golden city, and the fair and never withering Tree of Life, that bears twelve kinds of fruit every month, you will then say, 'A day living here is worth seventy years sorrow on earth'. f you can only say that you sincerely long to be carried up there (and I hope you cannot out of shame deny Him the honour of having put that desire in your soul), then your Lord has given you guarantee. And Madam, do you believe that out Lord Jesus will lose his guarantee, and regret the bargain and change his mind, as if he were a man that can lie, or the son of man that can repent. No, He is unchangeable, and the same this year as He was last year. And His Son Jesus, who on earth ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners, and spoke and mixed with prostitutes, and put out his holy hand and touched the leper's filthy skin, and ever came hear sinners, even now in glory, is the same Lord. His honour and His great court in heaven have not made Him forget His poor friends on earth. In Him honours change not manners, and he wants your company. Take Him for Christ as before, and claim kindness from Him,and say.'O it is so. He has not changed but I have'. No, it is part of his unchangeable love and the new covenant, to keep you so you cannot speak against Him nor sell Him. He has not played fast and loose with us in the covenant of grace, so we might run from him if we want to. His love has made the bargain more sure; for Jesus, the guarantor, is tied to us (Heb 7:22). For honouring the guarantee, he cannot lose you, whom he must give to the Father when he will give up the kingdom to Him. Consent and say 'Amen' to the promises, and you have agreed that God is true, and Christ is yours. This is an easy bargain. You need only look in faith: for Christ suffered all and paid all.
   Madam, lest I be tedious to your Ladyship, I must stop here, wanting always to hear that your Ladyship is well, and you still have your face looking up the mountain. Pray for us, Madam, and for the church, of which you are a part. We expect a trial. God's wheat in this land must go through Satan's sieve, but their faith will not fail. I am still struggling in our Lord's work, and have been tried and tempted with people who look on the Gospel wrongly. Now may He that is able to keep you for that day, keep your soul, body and spirit, and present you spotless and blameless, with His own Bride, before His face. 
   I an your Ladyship's, to be commanded always in the Lord Jesus,   S.R.
   

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (18)

18. To Marion M'Naught  From Anwoth Undated

Mistress, - my love in Christ remembered. Our Communion is on the Sabbath in eight days' time. I will ask you to pray to God for it, and to pray for me in that work. I am more sinful than the last time. So I ask you in Christ, ask God, that the Lord will give me grace to promise and do new obedience. I have reason to ask this of you; and to show it to Thomas Carson, Fergus and Jean Brown, for I have been and am very depressed, and am fighting against a malicious devil, from whom I can win little ground. I would think a plunder taken from him, and his trusted servant sin, a lawful and just victory. Ant it is no sin to take from him , in the name of the Goodman of our house, our King Jesus. I invite you to the feast. He says, you will be dearly welcomed by Him. And I want to believe (though not without great fear) He will be as hearty in His own house as He has been before. It is only a small matter for me; but I would rather our Father and Lord to break the great fair loaf, Christ, and to distribute his slain Son among the children of his house, and that if any are step-children, concerning comfort and feelings, it was rather me than His poor children. So ask our Well-beloved to come to His garden and feed among the lilies.
   And as for the church, I hope our Lord, who sent His angel, (Zec 2:1-2) with measuring line in his hand to measure the length and breadth of Jerusalem, so he would not lose a foot or inch of His own free inheritance, will contest with those who have taken away from Him many acres of His own land. And God will build Jerusalem instead in the place it was before. Rejoice and be glad in this hope. Christ's robe was not dipped in blood for nothing, but for His Bride, whom he bought with blows. I want you to remember my old prayers before God, God's glory and the increase of light so that I do not dry up. Hope for your town that the Lord will gather in His loose sheaves among you, into His barn, and send someone with a well-toothed sharp hook, to reap His harvest.And the Lord Jesus be the farmer, and oversee the growth. Remember my love to your husband and to Samuel.Grace to you and your children. Lord, make them corner-stones in Jerusalem, and give them grace in their youth to be fixed to the fair Chief Corner-stone, who was hewed from the mountain without hands, and was knocked many times by His Father's hammer, enduring all, and the stone did not split or break. Lie your soul on that stone. King Jesus be with your spirit.
   Your friend in his well-beloved Lord Jesus,   S.R.

Rutherford Revised - (17)

17. To Marion M'Naught  From Anwoth Undated


Well beBeloved sister, - My dearest love in Christ remembered to you. You should know I am very depressed about the sad state of our Lord's church. I hear the reason Dr Burton (Church of England minister) is in prison is his writing and preaching against the Arminians. I therefore ask for your prayers for myself, and the Lord's prisoners of hope, and for the church. The Lord has daily let me see clearly, how deep the furrows Arminianism, and its followers, plough on the back of God's Israel (but our Lord cut the cords of the wicked!).'But Zion said,' the
'Th          Lord has forsaken memy Lord has forgotten me.”' (Is 49:14) She weeps bitterly in the nightwith tears on her cheeksamong all her lovers she has none to comfort herall her friends have dealt treacherously with herthey have become her enemies. (Lam 1:2) Your silver has become drossyour best wine mixed with water.  (Is 1:22)  How the gold has grown dimhow the pure gold is changedThe holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.The precious sons of Zionworth their weight in fine goldhow they are regarded as earthen potsthe work of a potter's hands!(Lam 4:1-2) It is now time for the Lord's secret ones, who value the dust of the church, to cry "How long Lard?'and to go up to their watch-tower, and to stay there, and not come down until the vision speak; for it will speak (Hab 2:3). Meanwhile, the just shall live by faith. Let us keep waiting and not tire. I do not have a thread to hang upon and rest, except this one, 'Can a woman forget her nursing childthat she should have no compassion on the son of her wombEven these may forgetyet I will not forget youBehold, I have engraved you on the palms of my handsyour walls are continually before me.' (Is 49:15-16). For all outside props fail; it is time for us to hang ourselves, as our Lord's vessels, upon the nail that is fastened in a sure place. We would fasten our own stakes, but they would break. Our Lord will have the church on His own nail. Edom is busy among us, and Babel outside of us, against the handful of Jacob's offspring. It is best we are on Christ's side of it, for His enemies will get the stalks to keep as the proverb says. Our greatest difficulty will be to win now upon the rock, when the winds and waves of persecution are so high and strong. Let sweet Jesus take us by the hand. We must not think it will be different; for it is told to the souls under the altar, 'the number of their fellowservants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been..' (Rev 6:11).Surely, it cannot be long to the day. No, hear Him say, 'Look I come My dear bride. I shall be with you soon. I hear you and am coming'.Amen; even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly, for the prisoners of hope are looking out of the prison windows, to see if they can see the King's ambassador coming with the King's message and keys. I am not writing by guess work, but have authority to say to you that the clothes of Christ's bride must once again be dyed in blood, as long ago Her husband's were. But our Father sees His bleeding Son. What I write to you, show it to I G. Grace, grace, grace and mercy be with you, your husband and children.
   Yours in the Lord,   S.R.
Y

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (16)

16. To Marion M'Naught From Anwoth Undated

Worthy and dear Mistress, - My dearest love in Christ remembered. As to the business which I know you would want to have happened, my sincere wish is that you stand still. Do not hurry, and you will see the salvation of God. The great Master Gardener, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in wonderful providence, with His own hand (I dare swear it for your strengthening) planted me here in this part of His vineyard, where by grace I grow, - though Satan and the world (or one of his servants he sends to do his will) say otherwise. And here I will stay until the great Master of the Vineyard thinks to transplant me. When He sees it right to loosen my root, and to plant me where I may be more useful, both with fruit and shadow, and when He who planted pulls up so that He may transplant, who dare reach out and hinder Him. If they do, God will break their arm at the shoulder, and do His will. When the Lord goes west, the devil and the world go east; and do you not know it has always been this way between God and the world - God pulling and they holding back, God 'yes' and the world 'no'. But they fall on their backs frustrated, and the Lord keeps His grip.
   Why does the word say, that our Christ, the Goodman of this house, His dear church, has feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace (Rev 1:15)? For no other reason that wherever our Lord sets his brazen feet, He will go forward; and wherever He looks, He will follow His look, and his feet burn all under them, as fire does to stubble and thorns. I think, he has now given the world a proof of his very great power, when He is doing such great things, where the church is concerned, by the sword of the Swedish king, as of a Gideon. (Gustavus Adolphus victorious in the Thirty Years War in Germany) Since you love the glory of the Lord, pray now, (es, get all your praying friends to promise to do the same) for this king, and everyone that the church's King arms, to execute the vengeance written against Babylon (Rome). Our Lord has begun to loosen some of Babylon's corner stones.  Pray to Him to keep on, for that city must fall, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the field must make a feast of Babylon; for he has invited them to eat the flesh of that prostitute, and to drink her blood. And the cup in the Lord's right hand will be tipped over her, shamefully spilling on her glory. He whose word must stand has said, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more,' (Jer 25:27)  Our Jesus is setting Himself up as His Father's flag (Is 11:10), as God's fair white flag, so His soldiers may all rally round Him. Long, long may this flag stand. It is a long time since he displayed a flag against Babylon in the fight of men and angels. Let us rejoice and be victorious in our God. The victory is certain; for when Christ and Babel fight, then angels and saints may prepare themselves to sing, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! ' Though that well known Prince, precious Jesus, now weeps and bleeds in His members, yet Christ will laugh again; and it is time for us to laugh when our Lord Christ laughs, - and that will be soon. For when we hear of wars and rumours of wars, the Judge's feet are by the door, and he must be in heaven ordering the angels to make themselves ready and prepare their hooks and sickles for that great harvest. Christ will come to us quickly; watch a little time, and before long the skies will part, and that fair, lovely person, Jesus, will come in the clouds, heavily loaded with glory. Then all these rogues and foxes that have destroyed the vines, will call to the hills and cry to the mountains, to cover them, and hide them from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb.
   Remember me to your husband, and ask him from me to help Christ, and to take His side, and to always sit beside Him in judgement, and to patiently receive a blow for His sake; for he is worth suffering for, not only blows, but also bloodshed. He will find that innocence and uprightness in judgement will hold his feet and make him happy, when avoidance will not do it. I say this because someone said to me, 'I pray to God that the country not be worse now when the judge and legal officers are in agreement, than before',  - the whom I replied, ' I trust the judge looks at a man's character and not his faults'. I pray for you, with my whole soul and desire, that your children follow the truth, and that the Lord may shine on them, and make their faces shine, when others blush. I dare promise them, in His name, whose truth I preach, if they only try to serve God, they will find Him the sweetest Master they ever served. Ask them from me, to try for a while the service of this blessed master, and then, if His service is not sweet if it does not give pleasure to the soul, change Him and try something better. Christ is an unknown Christ to the young ones; and they do not seek Him because they do not know Him.Tell them to come and see and seek a kiss from His mouth, and then they will find His mouth is so sweet, that they will be forever bound to Him by their own consent. If I have any standing with your children, I beg them in Christ's name to try what is the truth and reality in what I say, and not to leave His service unless they find I lie. I give you, your husband and them, to His keeping, on whom I place myself and my soul, even to our dear Friend Jesus Christ, in whom I am,
   Yours, S.R.

Rutherford Revised - (15)

15. For Marion M'Naught  From Anwoth 2 Jun 1631

Well beloved sister, - my love in Christ remembered. I have received a letter from Edinburgh, informing me for certain that the English service, and the organs, and King James' Psalms, are to be imposed upon our church; and that the bishops are calling for a General Assembly. A R has also confirmed the news, and says he spoke with Sir William Alexander, who has come down with his prince's warrant for it. I am asked in the latter to acquaint those most affected around me concerning that storm; therefore, I ask you and beg you in the Lord's name, pray; but do not tell this to anyone until I see you. My heart is broken remembering it, it was my fear, and answers my last letter but one,  which I wrote to you. Dearly beloved, do not be cast down, but let us, as our Lord's doves, take to our wings (for we have no other armour) and fly into the hole in the rock. A R says it is true that the best men in England have been banished, and silenced, about sixteen or seventeen choice gospel preachers, and persecution has started. Though I do not write this to you with a dry face, yet I am confident in the Lord's strength, Christ and His side will triumph; and you will be sure; the church would not be a church if it were not so. And our dear Husband, in courting His church, received many black blows, so His bride, in courting Him, gets many blows, and in this courting there are blows on both sides. Let it be so. The devil will not make this marriage go back, neither can he tear up the contract; it will end in mercy. Despite all of this, we have no command of God to stop all lawful work. I have been writing to you of the plans and plots of men against the church, but they do not know, as Micah says, the plans of Jehovah. The great men of the world may prepare the fiery furnace for the church; but do you think they can make the fire burn? No. I trust that He who made the fire, will not say amen to their judgements. I trust in my Lord that he has not agreed to their law, and their plans have not received our great King's seal. So, if you think it good, address yourself first to the Lord, and then to A R, concerning the business that you know.
   The presbytery lacked kindness to me; and (as if I was a stranger, and not a member with a seat there, to judge with them)I was summoned by them as a witness against B A. But they have gained no advantage in that regard.  You will, God willing, hear other details when we meet.
   Concerning the matter between you and I E. I remember it before God. I ask you in the Lord, to submit to His will; for the higher their pride climbs, the nearer they are to a fall. The Lord will show up that man more and more. Let your husband, in all judgements, take Christ's side, for the defence of the poor and needy, and the oppressed to maintain fairness and justice in the town. Do not be afraid. He will take your side, and then you will be strong enough. Though you receive insults for your Lord's sake, let it be so. When he will put His holy hand to your face in heaven, and dry your face, and wipe the tears from your eyes, will you not have reason then to rejoice? Concerning other matters, if you want to speak with me, any of the first three days next week in Carletoun, (a town near Anwoth) when Carltoun is at home, you can tell me your wishes. Remember me before God, and my best wishes to your husband; and for the church's sake do not keep silent. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and your husband and children.
   Yours in the Lord,   S.R.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (14)

14. For Marion M'Naught From Anwoth  17 May 1631

Well beloved in the Lord, - You know our Communion day. I ask you, therefore for the help of your prayers, for that great work, which is one of our feast days, in which our well beloved Jesus rejoices, and is merry with his friends. 
   We have good reason to wonder at His love, since to day of His death was such a sad day to Him, even the day when His mother, the church, crowned Him with thorns, and He had many against Him, and presented His case alone in the field against them all; yet he delights with us to remember that day. Let us love Him and be glad and rejoice in His salvation. I am confident that you shall see the Son of God that day, and I dare, in His name, to invite you to His banquet. Many times you have been well entertained in His house; and with his friends he does not change, nor rebukes them for too great kindness. But I do not say this to make you stop praying for me, who have nothing in myself, except what I daily receive from Him, who is made by His Father an overflowing fountain, at which I and others may come thirstily, and fill our jars.This well has long stood open for us. Lord Jesus, do not lock it up against us. I am sorry for our lonely church; yet I can only trust, so long as God has any lost money here, he will not blow out the candle. May the Lord make good candlesticks in His house, and remove the dead lights.
   I have been thinking a lot about the conversion of the Jews. Pray for them. When they were in their Lord's house, at their Father's elbow, they were longing for the coming in of their little sister, the church of the Gentiles,. They said to their Lord, 'We have a little sisterand she has no breasts.What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for?' (Song 8:8). Let us meet with them. What shall we do for our elder sister, the Jews? Lord Jesus, give them breasts. It would be a glad day to see both us and them sit down at one table, and Christ at the head of the table. Then would our Lord come soon with his fair guard to hold His great court.
   Dear sister, for the Lord's sake be patient, under the wrongs you suffer from the wicked.Your Lord will make you see your desire concerning your enemies. Some of them will be cut off; 'He will shake off his unripe grape like the vineand cast off his blossom like the olive tree. (Job 15:33): God will make them like unripe sour grapes, shaken off the tree by the blast of God's wrath; and therefore pity them and pray for them. Others of them must remain to exercise you. God has said of them, Let the weeds grow until harvest (Mat 13:30).  It proves you are the Lord's wheat. Be patient:  Christ went to heaven with many a wrong. His face and expression were marred more than the sons of men. You may not be above your master; innocent Jesus received many a black blow, and he received no amends, but referred them all to the great court day, when all things will be put right. I want to hear from you in a day or two, if Mr Robert still wants to come and help us. God will give you joy from all your children. I bless you from our Lord, your husband and children too. Grace, grace and mercy be multiplied to you.
  Yiyrs in the Lord for ever,     S.R.

Rutherford Revised - (13)

13. For Marion M'Naught From Anwoth 7 May 1631

Well beloved sister, - since I left you, I have been thinking to the pride and malice of your opponents; and (since you have had the book of Psalms so often) you should take heart from this; for David's enemies sniffed at him, and through pride of heart said, You (God) will not call to account”(Ps 10:13).  I ask you, therefore, for Jesus sake, keep in sight the patience of your forerunner Jesus, who, 'When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly' (1 Pet 2:23). And since your Lord and redeemer, with patience took many a black beating on His glorious back, and many a blow from the unbelieving world, and says of Himself, 'I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.'( Is 50:6 ); follow Him, and think it not hard that you receive a blow with your Lord. Take part with Jesus in His sufferings, and glory in the marks of Christ. If this storm was over, you must prepare yourself for a new would; for, five thousand years ago, our Lord proclaimed deadly war between the Seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent. And do not be surprised if one town cannot keep the children of God and the children of the devil, for one belly could not keep Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:22); one house could not keep in peace together Isaac , the son of the promise, and Ishmael the son of the handmaid (Gen 21:10). You be on Christ's side of it and do not care what man can do. Keep tight by your Saviour, and those who follow Him, however you be troubled. In a little while the wicked will be no more. ' We are afflicted inevery waybut not crushedperplexedbut not driven to despair; persecutedbut not forsakenstruck downbut not destroyed;' (2 Cor 4:8-9). If you can patiently keep your soul, their day is coming. Worthy and dear sister, know how to keep yourself in trouble; and when you are hated and criticised, the Lord shows you - ' All this has come upon usthough we have not forgotten youand we have not been false to your covenant.'(Ps 44:17). 'If your law had not been my delightI would have perished in my affliction.' (Ps 119:92). Keep God's covenant in your trials. Hold to His word and do not sin. Keep from anger, wrath, grumbling, envy and worry. Forgive your fellow servant a few pence for the Lord has forgiven you ten thousand talents. For I assure you that your enemies will get no advantage over you, unless you sin and offend the Lord in your sufferings. But the way to overcome is by patience, forgiving and praying for your enemies, for by so doing you heap coals of fire, on their heads; and the Lord will open a door for you out of your troubles. Wait for him as the night watchman waits for the morning. He will not delay. Go to your look out tower, and do not come down but by prayer, faith and hope, keep watching. When the tide is full, it will ebb again; and so as soon as the wicked are at the top of their pride, and grown high and mighty, then their change is near. They who believe do not hurry.

   Remember the church, do not forget her, for her enemies are many; for the nations are gathered together against her. 'But they do not know the thoughts of the LORDthey do not understand his plan,that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floorArise and threshO daughter of Zion,' (Mic  4:12-13). Look, God has gathered his enemies together, like sheaves for threshing. Now again, I trust in our Lord you will by faith  keep yourself, and comfort yourself in your Lord, and be strong in His power; for you are in the well trodden way to heaven when you are under our Lord's crosses. You have reason to rejoice in it, more than a crown of gold; and rejoice and be glad to bear Christ's reproaches. I rest, commending you and yours, forever to the grace and mercy of God.
   Yours in Christ,   S.R.