Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rutherford revised (42)

42. To my Lady Kenmure            From Kirkcudbright Undated 
Madam, - the reason I did not write to your Ladyship was not forgetfulness of you but the lack of convenient carrier, for I am more than obliged to be kind (on paper at least) to your Ladyship. I bless our Lord, through Christ, who has brought you home again to your own country from Edinburgh, where you have see you with your own eyes that which our Lord's truth taught to you before, namely that worldly glory is nothing but an mist, a shadow, the form on the water or something less than that, even nothing; and that it is not without reason that our Lord has said in His word, 'the present form of this world is passing away.'(1Cor 7:31) - where our Lord compares it to an image in a mirror, for it is the mirror of Adams sons. Some come to the mirror, and see in it the picture of honour, - and only picture, for true honour is to be great in the sight of God; and others see image the shadow of riches, - and only a shadow, for lasting riches are one of the means of wisdom at her left-hand (Pro 3:16); another third  see an  image the face of painted pleasures, and those looking I think the image they see in the mirror is a living man, until the Lord come to and break the mirror in pieces and removes the face, and then, like Pharaoh woken up, they say, 'it was only a dream'. I know your Ladyship does not think like the world about these three painted faces; and blessed be our Lord that it is so. It is good for you, madam; for they are not worthy to be your suitors for marriage to your soul, hereto look for no such match going to be married  to such likenesses. Know therefore, Madam, the place where our Lord Jesus comes to woo a bride, is in the fire: for if you are one of Zion's daughter (yes  which I do not doubt, since ever I first had occasion to see in your Ladyship such  evidences of the grace of God), the Lord who has used fire in the church, and his furnace in Jerusalem (Is 31:9) is purifying you in the furnace. Therefore be content to live in the fire, and every day be decorating your wedding dress, that you may be splendid as a bride for Christ, a bride he has fitted  out, made inwardly beautiful. 'forget your people and your father's house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty. (Ps 45:11).  If your Ladership has not changed (as I hope you have not), I believe you consider yourself to be among those whom God has tested for many years and refined as silver. But Madam ,I will show your Ladyship a privilege which lack that you in this case and have. Those who are prosperous, and fat with earthly joys, and the increased ritua with children and friends; and though all the Word of God is written to such people for their instruction, yet to you, who is in trouble (excuse me, Madam, for saying this), from whom the Lord has taken many children, and who he has tested in many ways, there are some chapters, some particular promises in the Word of God, made in a most special manner, which would never have been yours, as they now are, if your life had been as others. And therefore, all the comfor ists, promises and mercies that God offers to sufferers, they are many love letters written to you. Take them to yourself Madam, and claim your right and not be robbed. It is no little comfort that God has written some scriptures to you, which he has not written to others. In this you should be envied and not pitied; and in this you are indeed, like people of another world, and those who are above the ordinary rank of mankind, whom our King and Lord,  our bridegroom Jesus. in his love letter to you His well-beloved bride,  has named above all the rest.  He has written comforts His hearty recommendation to you in Is  54:4,5 Ps 147: 2,3. Read these and similar, and think your God is like a friend who sends a letter to a whole house and family, that speaks in his letter by name to some that are dearest to Him in the house. You are then Madam, among the dearest friends of the Bridegroom. If it was lawful, I would envy you, that  God honoured you above many of His dear children. Therefore Madam, your part is in this case, seeing God takes nothing from you except that which he is to supply by his own presence; desire your Lord to know His own room and take it, even for Him to come in, in the place of dead children, 'Jehovah know your own place and take it', is all you have to say. 
   Madam, I am persuaded that this world is it to you a rough inn,  and that you are like a traveler who has his load upon his back, and his stick in his hand and his feet upon the threshold. Go forward, honourable and elect lady, in the strength of your Lord (let the world stay at home and keep the house) with your faces towards Him who longs  more for a sight of you more than you can do of Him. Before long He will us. I hope to see you as cheerfully laugh afternoon as you have mourned delete before noon. The hand of the Lord, the hand of the Lord be you in your journey. What have you to do her yese? This is not your mountain of rest. Rise, then and set your foot up on the mountain go up out of the desert, leaning upon shoulder of your Beloved  (Son 8:5). If you knew the welcome that awaits you when you come home, you would hasten on for you will see your Lord raise His own holy hand to your face and wipe away all tears from your eyes and I trust then you will have joy in your heart. 
   Madam, I am short of paper but not of affection for you. Remember the state of the church; pray that Jerusalem may be like Isaiah prophesied 'a heavy stone for all the peoples. '  (Zec 12:3), that whoever bows down to roll this stone out of the way,  may hurt and strain the joints of their back and strain their arms yes and put their shoulders out of joints. Praying God that the stone is still in place and keep joined to the cornerstone. I hope it will be so; He is a skilled Masterbuilder who laid it. 
   I will Madam, though very downcast, be refreshed with a couple of lines from your Ladyship which I leave to your own wisdom. I would show you great plea made by the town of Kirkcubright for them to have my poor labours among them. If the Lord calls and his people cry, who am I to resist? But without His seen calling, and until the flock which I now oversee be planted with one to whom I dare entrust Christ's bride, neither would gold nor silver nor favour of men, would not I hope [oose me. I leave your Ladyship praying more earnestly for grace and mercy to be with you and multiplied on you here and afterwards  more than  my pen can write. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
   Your Ladyship's at all obedience in the Lord,    S.R.

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