Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rutherford Revised (122)

122.To a Gentlewoman, after the death of her husband.
                                                                                   From Aberdeen
Dear and loving Sister, - I know you are looking to your own sweet country and not taking your inn, the place of exile, as your home. This life is not worthy to be the roof or outer wall of the paradise of your Lord Jesus, which for you He sweated and now keeps for you. If our hope could not look over the water to our best inheritance it would be short, silly and half blind. And also f it only stayed at home near the doors of out clay house.
   My dear sister, I am not surprised that you are short of your old struggles which were a blessing but now you find it is not so. Children are only to learn there lesson when they first go to school. It is enough for those running a race if they only see the gold at the start and they may possibly see title more of it to nothing at all until  they get to the end of the race and get the gold in the palm of their hands. Our Lord makes delicacies and dainties of His sweet presents and love-visits to His own; but Christ's love under a veil is still love. It is enough if you get Christ though not in the sweet and pleasant way you would have Him; for the Well-beloved does not come in our way; He must Himself choose His own gate. There are meadows and fair flowers on your way to heaven, and a smell going by is enough of this world. Whoever would count up all the stones on his way in a three or four hundred mile journey, and write in his record book all the herbs and flowers growing on the way, might not finish his journey. You cannot stay in your inch of time and lose your light (seeing you are in a rush and the afternoon and night are not for you) setting you heart on this vain world. You would be wise to reckon your account book and have your business in order for the time you come to the waterside of death. I know your place is prepared; your forerunner Christ has not forgotten that, and so you must concentrate on your 'one thing' which you must not lack. 
   I know your Lord took your husband to Himself to make room for Himself. He cuts of your love for a person so that you might learn that God alone is the right owner of your love. Sorrow, loss, sadness, death are the worst of things apart from sin. But Christ well knows what to make of them and put His own in the company of the cross so we will be grateful to suffering and thank God. You must learn to make your evils your great good and to spin comforts, peace, joy, communion with Christ our of your troubles, who acquainted us with such a rough companion who can draw us to Christ. It is easy to get good words and a comfortable message from our Lord, even from such rough servants as various temptations.Thank God for crosses! When we reckon and count up out losses from seeking God, we find that godliness is great gain. Investors in a ship full of gold are glad to see the ship come to the harbour; - surely we and our Lord Jesus together have a shipfull of gold coming home, and our gold is in that ship. Some are so in love, or rather in lust with this life that they sell part of the ship for a little thing. I advise you to buy hope and not to sell it and not to give away crosses for nothing. The inside of Christ's cross is white and joyful and the far end of the black cross is a fair and glorious heaven of ease. And seeing that Christ has fastened heaven to the far end of the cross, and He Himself will not untie the knot, and no-one else can (for when Christ makes a not all the world cannot untie it), let us count it great joy when we fall into various temptations.
   So recommending you to the tender mercy and grace of our Lord, I remain your loving brother, S.R.




Monday, April 29, 2019

Rutherford Revised (121)

121 To William Halliday         From Aberdeen 

Loving Friend, - I received your letter. I want you to take salvation seriously. The saddest and most miserable thing in the world is mistakes about grace, like conversion which is not real conversion.Make salvation sure and lay a sure foundation, for many are mistaken. Put a low price on this world's goods, but a high price on Christ. Temptations will come but if you do not welcome them you go the best way. Be jealous of yourself and your own heart and keep close to God. Let Him not find you a weak and feeble soldier. Do not be afraid to be on Christ's side for He will conquer and be victorious. Let no-one be frightened of Christ, for I have no quarrels with His cross; He and His cross are two good guests worth accommodating. Men would rather have Christ on the cheap but the price will not come down. Get used to prayer. Make Christ your Captain and your armour. Be conscientious about sinning when no-one sees. Grace be with you.
   Your, in Christ Jesus,     S.R.


Rutherford Revised (120)

120. To Mr Matthew Mowat     From Aberdeen 

Reverend and dear Brother, - People get me wrong. If people knew how low I am they would look upon such as I with sympathy. I am like one kept under a strict tutor; I want more than my tutor allows. But it is good that a child's choice is not the rule in control of my Lord Jesus. Let Him give me what he wishes and it will be more than I deserve or can earn. I do not wish a better prosperity while heaven is my prosperity than to live on Christ's credit, borrowing daily. Surely, running-over love (that vast, huge boundless love of Christ which is greater than the estimate of man or angels!) is the only thing with which I most want to join.He knows I have little except for love of that love; and that I will be happy if I get no other heaven but only an eternal, lasting feast of that love. But even if my wishes were poor, He is not poor: Christ drops sweetness all year round. If I had containers I would fill them; but my old, damaged and leaking dish, can bring little away from the Well. Only glory can seal tight leaking cracked containers. Alas! I have spilled more of Christ's grace, love, faith, humility and godly sorrow, than I have brought with me. How little to the sea can a child carry in his hand! As little as I can take away from my great Sea, my boundless and running-over Christ Jesus.
   I have not found the right way to bank with Christ and enrich myself with Him. I have suffered great loss by misguided and childish trading for that matchless Pearl, that heaven's Jewel, the Jewel of the Father's delights. O that He would take a loan from me and my possessions, and put his name on all my contracts, and make Himself heir to the poor, mean share which I have, and be accountable for my one talent Himself! I would gladly put Christ in my place to guide everything; and let me be a mere servant to run errands, and act at his direction. Let me be His appointed heir.  Lord Jesus, work on my youthfulness , and win a pupil's blessing! Oh how I would rejoice to have this work of my salvation depend on Christ! Happiness to the orphan would be a promise from my Lord Jesus Christ. Depending on Christ is my surest way; it Christ is my foundation, I am sure enough. I thought it would be easy to be guided by grace; I though it a matter of my will; but I would miss my own heaven if I had not put it all on Christ. I only put my bare name to the sweet covenant; Christ behind and before and on both sides makes everything sure. God will not take an Arminian as trustworthy. Freewill is like a weather vane, turning at a snake's tongue, a teacher that upset our father Adam, all the way to us; and brought down the family,  and sold the land, and sent the father and mother and all the children through the earth to beg their food. The Gospel shows our nature is not to be trusted. Oh, it is evermore good for my poor soul that my Lord called grace for advice and put Christ Jesus with his free merit and the blood of God to the fore to draw sinners to follow a Ransomer! Oh, what a sweet scheme it was, buy-in and selling, to provide for beggars a ransom for grace and glory. Oh, I wish to my Lord that I could make paper and ink speak the worth and excellency, the high low praises of a Brother-ransomer! The Ransomer does not need mt witness, but oh, if he would take and make use of it! I would be happy to run an errand to this world, for a few years to speed proclamations, noises and love letters to the highness, the everlasting highness, the glory, the everlasting glory, of the Ransomer whose clothes were wet and dyed in blood, though even if after I had done that, I should go back with nothing to what my Creator brought me out from in the beginning! But why should I pine away and be pained with wishes and not rather believe that Christ will hire an outcast like me, a body with no master, put out of the house by my mother's sons, and give me a job and a calling one way or another to display Christ and his goods to country buyers, and to propose Christ to and press Him on some poor souls that would rather die than receive Him.
   You strongly complain of 'your shortcomings in life and your not daring to suffer for Christ.' You have many like you. First I urge you not to feel wretched. Hold on!  Christ never killed a sighing, groaning child: more of that would make you a suitable one for Christ. Alas, I have too little daring in suffering for Christ. When I came to Christ's camp I did not have enough spare cash to buy a sword. I am amazed that Christ did not laugh at such a soldier. I am no better now; but faith lives and spends on our Captian's account, who can pay for everything. We need not pity Him. He is rich enough.
   You also want me 'not to see Christ dimly'. I bless you and thank God for it. But alas, dim or clear, kissing or frowning, I get Him wrong; yet I get Him wrong most when it is clear, for then I toy with His sweetness. I am like a child whose book has gold covers, and plays with the ribbons and gold, and the picture on the first page, but does not read what is inside. Certainly, if my desires for my Well-beloved were fulfilled, I could challenge devils and crosses and the world and temptations to fight: but oh, my poor weakeness makes me hide behind a bush.
   Remember my work and my blessing to my Lord. I think of him when I can. Urge him, from a prisoner, to come and visit my good Master; and just feel the smell of His love. Though he is young it is right for him to make Christ his adornment. I could not wish him better than to be in a fever of love-sickness for Christ. 
   Remember my imprisonment. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.
   

Foreign aid

It has been called a tax on our poor to help the rich overseas and I have seen money water on big agricultural projects in Nigeria which provided no real employment only expensive equipment which was left to rust when it broke down. By contrast a charity with minimal resources gave poor farmers loans to buy oxen and ploughs or day old chicks. This really did help real communities.
   I asked under FOIA to be told how our aid was spent in Nigeria. It is secret and will not be disclosed. Why?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Diary w/e Apr 27

Easter Day.
Levy excellent on resurrection from John. Lamb roast at the Littles and a game on the verandah as the weather is the hottest ever for Easter. Chris Roberts excellent on Caiphas and pragmatism. Weals to us after church and we gave them the musical clock we have had for them for about three years but not managed to give them.

Easter Monday.
I did tandoor chicken for the family - 11 out of the 15 of us. Then a walk in Osterley Park which was overflowing with visitors on such a sunny day. I went to Brentford 2 Leeds 0. We have not won there in 70 years! The Leeds supporters seemed quiet.

Tue 23
Much cooler. Back to long sleeves and trousers. Chris Roberts good as ever on resurrection at ELT. Usual pastoral visit.

Wed 24
ECG and consultant cardiologist in Hanwell. Good report but referred to have ECHO cardiogram at Hammersmith. Fist replacement of my watch battery given to me by my good friend Dennis 15 months ago -£3 in Sikh Vape shop.

Th 25th
Booked caterers to provide lunch for 50 guests at our Golden Wedding lunch on September 7th.

Fr 26th
Debbie to A&E after work with tonsillitis and then off to near Ipswich for an IPC ladies birthday weekend. Overjoyed to hear my best man is coming to our Golden Wedding lunch.

Sat 27th
At the Evangelical Library among many books printed over 400 years ago, some even 16th century editions.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Rutherford revised (119)

119. To Mr David Dickson   From Aberdeen 

Reverend and dear Brother, - Grace, mercy and peace to you.  I find that great men, especially old friends are afraid to speak up for me. But my kingly and royal Master tells me to persevere in His way and I will find a friend nearby. I still depend on Him; His judgement is still as it was; He welcomes the prisoner. The black twisted tree of my Lord's cross has united my soul to Christ. He is my song in the night. I am ofter brought low with challenges and worries about His anger; and then, even if a mountain of iron were put on me I could not be heavier; but with much effort I win my way into the King's house of wine.And the major part of my life is joy, and such joy through his comforts, that I fear I would be ashamed and cry out, for I can hardly bear what I get. Christ gives me a measure that is heaped up, pressed down and overflowing; and, believe it, His love gives more pain than prison and exile. I cannot understand Christ's love. If I had known what he was keeping for me I would never have been so timid. In my heaviest times, when all seems lost, the memory of His love makes me think that Christ's frowns are only for appearances sake. I only seek an outlet; I am covered over and ready to burst for lack of relief. Do not think too much about persecution. My sweetened cross forces me to say the to you; you will have choice food. The sick child is often the pampered one; he will be in charge of the house. I hope you can help a tired prisoner to praise and pray. If I only had the smallest thing to give to my Lord Jesus it would relieve my pain. But alas, I have nothing to pay, He will get nothing from poor me; but I am sorry that I do not have enough room in my heart for such a stranger. I am not depressed at the prospect of moving further north. I have good reason to work for my Master for he paid me well beforehand.;  I am not behind even if I did not get one more smile before I sit in the King's dining room.
   I have read all you wrote on the Covenant; it has edified my should and refreshed a hungry man. I judge it sharp, sweet, quick and profound. Take my word for it: I am afraid it will get no welcome in Scotland.
   The brothers in Ireland have not written to me; rebuke them for that. I am sure that I can give you and them a commission (and I will stick to it), that you tell my Beloved that I am sick with love. I hope in God to leave some things of mine in Aberdeen. I cannot find a house in this town where I can leave a gift in my Master's name except for one place. Christ cannot be sold in the north; He is likely to be a long time on my hands before any accept Him. Grace be with you.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.
   

Quotes from Jordan B Peterson's 12 Rules for Life

Compared yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. --Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p111

Parents should come in pairs.-Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p142

Solzhenitsyn's writing utterly and finally demolished the intellectual credibility of communism as ideology or society, - Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p155

It is the greatest temptation of the rational faculty to glorify its own capacity and its own productions and to claim that in the face of its theories, nothing transcendent or outside its domain need exist. - -Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life p.218

Life is suffering. That's clear.There is no more basic, irrefutable truth, - - Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p 161

The Word that produced order from Chaos sacrifices everything, even itself to God. That single sentence, wise beyond comprehension, sums up Christianity, - Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,  (surely Himself not itself- GJW)

Things fall apart. This is one of the great discoveries of humanity. -Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p 228

Your inaction, inertia and cynicism removes fro the word that part of you that could learn to quell suffering and make peace..  -Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p 367

At the beginning of time ... the Word of God transformed chaos into Being through the act of speech.   We also transform chaos into Being through speech. - Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p 230

Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't.Things fall apart. This is one of the great discoveries of humanity. -Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life,p 228

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Rutherford revised (118)

118. To Mr Hugh Mackail, Minister of the Gospel at Irvine  From Aberdeen

Reverend and dear Brother, - Bless you for your letter.. He has come down like rain on the mown grass; He has revived my withered root; and He is the dew on herbs. In this prison I am most secure: salvation is its walls; and what do you think of these walls?
 He makes the dry plant bud like the lily, and to blossom like the trees of Lebanon: - the great Gardener's blessing descends on the plants of righteousness. Who may say this, my dear brother, if not me His poor exiled stranger and prisoner? Oh how many full accounts have Christ and I reckoned together in the house of my pilgrimage! How fat a portion he has given to a hungry soul! I would rather have Christ's snack at four in the afternoon than than dinner and supper all together with anyone else. His working and the way of his judgements are beyond understanding. No preaching, no book, no education, could give me the like of which it was fitting for me to come and get in this town. But what does this matter if I am unclear, confounded and astonished how to be thankful, and how to get Him praised for evermore! And what is more; he has been pleased to give me the pain of His love, and my pain grows for lack of full possession.
   Some have written to me that am possibly too joyful about the cross; but my joy leaps over the cross, it is measured and fixed on Christ. I know the sun will be clouded over and eclipsed, and I will have to walk in the shadow again; but Christ must be welcome to come and go as He sees fit. Yet I believe he is more welcome to me coming rather than going. And I hope he pities and pardons me, throwing apples to me at this time of fainting. Holy and blessed is His name! A kiss from his mouth did not come by flattery. But He sent me as a spy into this desert of suffering, to see the land and try out the ford; and I cannot lie about Christ's cross. I can report nothing but good both of Him and it, lest others should faint. I hope that when a change comes I will cast anchor at midnight on the Rock which He has taught me to know in daylight; where I must run and where where I may learn my lesson without a book, and believe in the dark. I am sure it is a sin to be averse at Christ's good table, and not to eat when He says, 'Eat, O well-beloved and drink plenty.' If He carries me on His back or in His arms over the water, I hope for grace to put my feet down on dry ground when the path is better. But this is slippery ground and my Lord though it good that I should hold on and lean on my Well-beloved's shoulder. It is good to always be taking from Him. I want him to get the fruit of praises, for spoiling me and dangling me on His knee: and I may give my payment of thankfulness, as long as I have Christ's deed guaranteeing I will be relieved and strengthened by His powerful grace to keep my promises to Him. But truly, I find we have the advantage of the hill's height over our enemies: we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us; and they do not know where our strength lies.
   Pray for me. Grace be with you,
      Your brother n Christ,  S.R. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rutherford revised (117)


117. To Mr William Dalgleish. Minister of the Gospel  From Aberdeen

Reverend and dear Brother, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I am well. My Lord Jesus is kinder to me than ever before. He is pleased to eat and drink with his afflicted prisoner. A King feasts me and his perfume spreads a sweet smell. Put Christ's love to the test, and put our loads on it and then it will indeed seem to be love. Because we do not use His love we do not know it. I truly reckon that sufferings for my Lord are worth more than this world's shining gilded glory. I can only say that my Lord Jesus has fully repaid my sadness with His joys, my losses with His own presence. I find it a sweet and rich thing to exchange my sorrows with Christ's joy, my afflictions with that sweet peace I have with Him.
   Brother, this is His own truth for which I now suffer. He has sealed my suffering with his own comforts, and I know he does not put his seal on blank paper. His seals are not meaningless and deceptive, confirming fabrications and lies. Go on my dear brother in the strength of the Lord, not fearing man who is only a worm, or the son of man who will die. Providence has a thousand keys to open a thousand different doors to deliver His own, even when it seems all is lost. Let us be faithful and look to our responsibility which is to work and suffer for Him, and lay Christ's work on Him and leave it there. Duties are ours, events are the Lord's. When our faith tries to manipulate events, and so to speak sits in judgement on God's providence, and starts to say, 'How will you do this and that?' we lose ground. We have nothing to do with it. Our job is to let the Almighty do His work and steer His own ship. All we have to do is to see how we may win His approval, and how we may roll the weight of our week souls in doing good on Him who is God Omnipotent; and then if what we attempt does wrong, it will not be sin nor our cross. 
   Brother, remember the Lord's word to Peter; 'Simon do you love me? Feed my sheep.' There is no greater evidence of our love for Christ than carefully and faithfully feeding His lambs. 
   I am in no better shape with the ministers here than before:  they cannot stand people speaking about me nor to me. So I am silent which is my greatest grief. Dr Barron has often debated with me., especially about Arminianism and ceremonies. Since three encounters with him I have been troubled no more. Now he plans a debate with witnesses. I trust that Christ and truth will fend for themselves.
   Brother, I hope you will help my people; and write to me when you hear what the Bishop is to do with them. Grace be with you.
   Your imprisoned brother,   S.R.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Rutherford revised (116)

116. To the Right Honourable my Lord Loudon  From Aberdeen 9 Mar 1637

My very noble and honourable Lord, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I am bold to write to your Lordship, so you may know that the honourable cause which you are graced to profess is Christ's own truth. You are in many ways blessed by God, who has taken it upon yourself to come out in public with Christ on your forehead, when many are ashamed of Him, and hide as it were under their coat as if He were a stolen Christ. If this faithless generation, and especially the nobility of this kingdom, did not think Christ dear goods and religion expensive, hazardous and dangerous, they would not desert His cause as they do, and stand looking on with hands behind their backs when louts are running off carrying the spoils of the church, and the boards from the Son of God's house. Law and justice are to be had by any, especially for money and means; but Christ can get no law, cheap or dear. It would be the glory and honour of you who are the nobility in this land, to plead for your wronged Bridegroom and His persecuted bride, as far as zeal and standing laws will go with you. Your logic concerning this' that it will do no good for the cause, and therefore, silence is best until the Lord takes it in hand,'
is not, with respect to your Lordship's learning with a straw. Event's are God's. Let us act and not argue against God's work. Let Him who controls sit in charge. It is not a good idea to complain we cannot get a way to riches when our laziness, cold zeal, temporising and faithless fearfulness spoils a good providence.
   I will be confident of your Lordship going on in the strength of the Lord, and keep Christ, and confess Him, that He will publicly read your name before men and angels. I will beg your Lordship to speak and encourage your noble chief (The Earl of Argyle), to do the same. For I am sad that so many of you find a new wisdom, undeserving of such a name. It would be better if men would see that their wisdom be holy and their holiness wise.
   I will be bold as to ask your Lordship to give me more than your former help (for which your Lordship has a prisoner's blessing and prayers) this, that you would help my brother who now suffers for the same cause; for as he is living near your Lordship; your Lordship's word and meeting may help him.
   So, recommending your Lordship to the saving grace and tender mercy of Christ Jesus our Lord, I remain your Lordship's indebted servant in Christ,   S.R.
   
   
   
   
   
   

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rutherford revised (115)

115. To Mr Alexander Henderson From Aberdeen 9 Mar 1637

My reverend and dear Brother, - I received your letters. To me they are like apples of gold; for with my sweet feasts (and they are high and immeasurably more than such a sinner deserves),I have ballast of sadness, that weighs on me a little. It is only His boundless wisdom which is teaching His stupid child; and he knows that it is not safe for our stomachs to be drunk with comforts. Whatever happens, the sound, noise and frowns of Christ's cross are weightier than the cross itself. My witness is in heaven as I tell you I could wish many pound weights added to my cross, to know that by my sufferings Christ is promoted in His kingly work in this land. Oh what is my skin compared to His glory, or my losses or sad heart, to the apple of the eye of the Lord and his beloved Bride, His precious truth, His royal privileges, the glory of His justice giving His foes a blow, the witness of His faithful servants who glorify Him when He rides upon poor weak worms and triumphs in them! I want you to pray that I may come out of this fire with honesty, and that I may leave Christ's truth no worse than I found it; and that this honourable cause be neither stained nor weakened.
   As for your case, my reverend and dearest brother, you are the talk of north and south; and looked to as if you were made of glass crystal. Your specks and dust would soon be shouted and trumpets blown when you fail. But I know you have sought help from the mighty One. Do not trust in the comfort of men's light and frothy applause, nor your depressions on the words of those who mock and scorn godliness.  'We are treated as impostors, and yet are trueas unknown, and yet well known' (2Cor 6:8,9). God has called you to Christ's side and the wind is now in His pace in this land; and seeing you are with Him; you cannot expect the sheltered or sunny side of the hill. But I know you are determined to take Christ whatever the terms. I hope you will not regret it though your cause is hated, and people prejudiced against it. The powers of this world think our master a heavy load, that he makes too much noise, and that his reins and yokes injuries and deep wounds in their necks. So they kick and say, 'This man will not reign over us.'
   Let us pray for one another. May He who has made you a chosen arrow in His quiver, his you in the palm of his hand!
   I am your, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.

Rutherford revised (114)

114.  To the much honoured William Rigg, of Athernie, in Fife near Leven  From Aberdeen 9 Mar 1637

Much honoured Sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your long anticipated short letter. I wish you had written more for I am needy. As you write I find Christ, so the longer the better; and I can only rejoice in His salvation, who has made my chains into wings, and has made me a King over my crosses and my opponents. Glory, glory, glory to His high, high and fly name! On me is not laid an ounce or a grain weight more than He has enabled me to bear; and I am not as tired from suffering as the church's haters are from persecuting. Oh, if I could find a way by any means to try to get even with Christ's love! But that I must give up. Oh, who will help a debtor pay praise to the King of saints, who triumphs in His weak servants!
   I see that if Christ rides on only a worm or a feather, His horse will not stumble nor fall. He makes the worm Jacob into a new sharp threshing tool, with teeth to thresh the mountains and grind them small, and to make the hills as chaff, and to fan them so the wind carries them away and that whirlwind will scatter them (Is 41:14-16). Christ's enemies only break their own heads in pieces, on the Rock laid on Zion; and the stone is not removed out of its place. There is reason for faith to take courage from our very sufferings,; the devil is only a whetstone to sharpen the faith and patience of the saints. I know that all this time he is only cutting and polishing stones for the new Jerusalem.
   But in all this three things have affected me a lot since my Lord has been pleased to turn my moonlight into daylight. First, he has put me to work to wrestle with Christ's love; for which I am sick with longing, pained, fainting and like to die because I cannot get Himself; which seem a strange sort of desertion. For I do not have Himself, whom if I had, would cool my love-sickness, and remove my fever; at least I would know the heat of the fire of complacency, which would cool the scorching heat of the fire of desire. (And yet I know no poverty of His love!). And so I wither and die, but He does not seem to regret having me. I have it in writing that I should have Him, but I cannot get Him; and black hunger is my best food. I bless Him for that feast.
   Secondly, old thought revive now and then and depress. I go limping and sighing, fearing there is something yet to come, heavier than I can deal with. I cannot clearly read my surety's guarantee for me in particular and my discharge; rather faith assures me of what I have but I cannot grip it. Revering my Lord, I could forgive Christ if He gave me as much faith as I have hunger for Him. I hope I am pardoned, but I do not have peace as sure as I want. Yet, I know one thing; there is no other way to heaven than the one He has given me grace to profess and suffer for. 
   Thirdly, Woe, woe is me for the virgin daughter of Scotland, and for the fearful desolation and wrath appointed for this land! And yet everyone is sleeping, eating and drinking, laughing and playing as if all is well. Oh our gold is tarnished! Our pastors are dumb and blind! The sun has set on them, and our nobility tells Christ to look after Himself, if He is Christ. We need to learn in good time the way to our stronghold.
   Sir, though I do not know her, remember my love to your wife. I pray that God establishes you.
    Yours in his sweet Lord, Jesus,   S.R.
   

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame on fire

Reaction has been varied. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this is a national icon for the French. I mean they glory in their secularism so to find that a Christian church is their national icon was a pleasant surprise.
   Internet social media had two immediate negative reactions. First it was suspected Muslim terrorism. This seems not to be the case though the desecration of churches in Europe since the advent of widespread Muslim immigration is hardly ever reported.
   Secondly the hard line Protestant reaction at no tears for a shrine of Roman idolatry. Yes it is such a place with regular masses, images etc. To say the most terrible loss is a relic of the true cross is of course Roman folly. The organ is far more important!
   I hold no candle for cathedrals. I am a Presbyterian. Cathedrals are the seats of episcopal bishops, an unwarranted form of church government.
   But this is the epitome of Gothic architecture. A building built to the glory of God and an amazing monument to the dominance of medieval Christian faith and the incredible shills of this architects and masons, carpenters an others. So I mourn with the French the loss of an international treasure which I have never visited.
   I saw Windsor Castle on fire. That was terrible but if it had been Westminster Abbet or St Pail's in flames that would be worse. Ironically the most famous image of St Paul's is of the cathedral surrounds by the flames of the blitz, courtesy of the Luftwaffe. It survived as did the Dom in Cologne when all the city perished in a fire storm from the RAF. I think God loves great buildings done in His name and He keeps them. No I do not believe in holy places. But I treasure special buildings. What Yorkshire man does not boast about t'Minster?
   Perhaps the EU will help them rebuild?

Diary w/e Apr 20

Sun 14 Apr
Adrian led morning worship for the first time and did well. Excellent sermon on cursing the fig tree from Dr Harrison Perkins, assistant minister at London City Presbyterian Church. Our friends, Braithwaites came to worship and to lunch with us. No  detainees turned up for evening service. There are 499 detainees there.

Mon 15th
At home starting to sort caterers for out Golden Wedding celebration - probably a sit down buffet with service for 50 guests. So far 25 acceptances of preliminary invite, 7 declines. So far invited are family and those there 50years ago and four friends of 50 years standing. and our pastor and family. We will fill up the 50 with church friends probably. 8/10 elders at special prayer for the 11th, Chuck, who has struggled with undiagnosed infection since September heart surgery. Elders day of parade and fating for Chuck. I am, to my surprise, getting used to church fasts. 20 hours no problem. No food and only water. Transplanted my first vegetable seedlings. Are they peppers, courgettes, or tomatoes?

Tues 16th
Encouraging early morning prayer at IPC. Five of us praying for well over an hour together.Lunchtime talk by Chris Roberts on Gethsemane. He suffered like us as a man. Our suffering is unlike His with the cup he had to drink. He suffered for us because there was norther way to pay the price for our sins. Excellent. Pastoral visit to my 91 year old, the temperature of whose flat I said was like he native Myanmar.

Wed 17th
I hosted five of us from five different countries at our U3A history group discussing the history of salt and spices. First day of the year warm enough for short sleeves outside. Prepared house group on Amos 1-3:2. Motyer's exposition very helpful. Only three of us met at our's.

Th 18th
Cooked Rogan Josh Chicken for dinner. Planning our Golden Wedding lunch. Tax return completed for my friend

Fri 19th
Good Friday at London City Presbyterian Church (Free Church of Scotland) - combined service with five London International Presbyterian congregations invited too. Afternoon in Postman's Park for after church picnic. Then walking in the City of London from Aldersgate to Fenchurch Street and up to Sky Garden for great  views.

Sat 20th
Breakfast and Bible Study with the two brothers who were on the book table. Good conversations with our Muslim neighbours there about arranging meetings for mutual understanding. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Rutherford revised (113)

13. To the Reverend and dear Brother, Mr Robert Douglas  From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

My very reverend and dear Brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to see your letter. I can only write that this for which I suffer is Christ's truth; because He has been pleased to seal my sufferings with glorious unspeakable joy. I know he will not put His seal on blank paper; His seals are not worthless nor will he be witness to a lie. I beg you my dear brother, to help me to praise and lift Christ up on His throne above the heraldry of the earth. I am astonished and confounded at the greatness of His kindness to such a sinner. I know that Christ and I will never be even; I will die in His debt. He has left an arrow in my heart which pains me for lack of real possession; and hell cannot quench this fire that God has lit. I do not want anyone to slander Christ or His cross because of me; for I have many reasons to speak much good of Him. He has brought me to a place of communion with Himself that I did not know before. The sound and dread of our Lord's cross is more fearful and hard than the cross itself. When His children come to deep water, he takes them in His arms: when they lose their footing and have to swim, His hand is under their chin.
   Help me by your prayers; and remember my love to your kind wife. Grace be with you.
   Your brother, and Christ's prisoner,       S.R.

Rutherford revised (112)

112. To Mr John Fergushill    From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Reverend and well-beloved in the Lord, - I was refreshed by your letter. I am sorry for that prolonged suffering of your wife; but I know you see it as the evidence of being a lawful child, and not a bastard; being under your Father's rod. It will be foul weather until you reach heaven; one shower after another. The lintels and pillars of the New Jerusalem get more blows from God's hammer and tools than do ordinary side-wall stones. And if in God's book twenty crosses are written for you, they will reduce to nineteen, and then at last to one and then to nothing, but your head will for ever lie between Christ's breasts, and His own soft hand will dry your face, and wipe away your tears. As for publicly suffering for his truth, your Master will also see to it. Let us put Him to his own work of comforting and delivering. The dread of Christ's cross is worse than the cross itself.
   I cannot keep up with what he has done to my soul. My dear brother, will I not have help from you to praise, and to lift Christ upon high? I am pained with His love, and he had left a love-arrow in my heart that has made a wound, and swollen up with desires so that I am to be pitied for lacking real possession. Love wants the company of the beloved; and lack of him is my greatest pain, not His joys and comforts, but a close union and communion.
   I am fully persuaded that I now suffer for His truth; for Christ witnesses it by His sweet comforts to my soul; and do I think Him a false witness or speaking to no purpose? I thank His high and awesome name for what he has given. I hope to keep His seal and His pawned goods until He comes and claims them Himself. I defy hell to put me off it. But he is Christ and has met with His prisoner; and I took testimony from His own hand that it was He, not another in His place. When the devil summons an unauthorised court on my Lord's behalf, and gives me a forged summons, I would be ashamed to be taken in, having had a fair, broad seal. And yet Satan and my fears sometimes make Christ a liar as if He hated me. But I dare not believe evil of Christ. I would be rich if he would cool my love-fever for Himself with real presence and possession. but I dare not go wrong and seek more of that though I am not ashamed to beg at Christ's door. I pity my enemies and do not grudge them that my Lord keeps them at their own fireside, and has given me a borrowed fireside: why should I take offence if the Goodman of the house trows a dog a bone? I rejoice that the damaged ship will come to land, and that Christ will welcome the seasick passenger ashore. We have need to be well prepared for this coming great day of trial. Sooner or later, all the chaff or corn in Scotland must pass through God's sieve. Praise, praise and pray for me; for I cannot forget you. I know you will be friendly to my troubled brother who now shares the same cause with me. Let him have your advice and comforts.
    Remember my love in Christ to your wife; she will be well and her salvation is active. You have the prayers and blessing of a prisoner of Christ. Sow fast, distribute plenty of bread. The pantry door will soon seem locked to the children. Grace, grace be with you.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,    S.R.   
   


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Diary w/e Apr 13

Sun 7 Apr
Adult Sunday School and morning service with Dariusz Brycko of First Presbyterian Church, Warsaw (ARPC). Excellent exposition of Ps 103. Evening Paul Levy started on Spiritual Warfare from Eph 6 - Taking the whole armour go God. An outstanding sermon

Mon 8 Apr
Did a lot on Ancestry; genealogy of Katy's mother's family, one of whom George Worth served throughout WWI only to die on 4 Nov !918 on the Somme.  His family received the telegram on Armistice day. How cruel!

Tue 9th
Chris Roberts his usual excellent address at Ealing Lunchtime Talks. On Gal.3 - the law keeping that leads to a lack of guilty feelings if you think you have done enough and which leads to real guilt if you do not rely on Christ's obedience.

Wed 10th
This morning a magpie was in the garden, feeding but not flying away. This afternoon we had the patio door open and found the magpie had entered out ground floor bedroom. I called the RSPCA and they asked us to open a window and it managed to fly out. But it merely hopped around outside. Another magpie flew down to it but there was no fighting. It hopped over the road. So if you come across a distressed magpie you may wish to contact the RSPCA. It seemed to have blue colour, not the usual black and white.

Thu 11th
Reverted to typing my Rutherford revised as the Mac dictation program sometimes does not work, then it will double every phase and make silly mistakes. So easier to go back to my two fingered typing.

Fri 12th
Morning coffee and birthday cake at the Littles celebrating Elissa'a 12th birthday. The fashion is for all sort of unicorn things and we gave her s sequinned unicorn cushion.

Sat 13th
Excellent cafe breakfast and Bible study on Gen 17. Visited a member recently discharged from hospital and suffering with parkinsons. Took my 91 year old friend to be assessed for her second cataract operation.

Rutherford revised (111)

111. To Jean Brown  From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Well-beloved and dear sister, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter, which I treasure as evidence of your Christian affection for me, and of your love to me honourable Lord and Master. My desire is for your communion with Christ to grow, and your good works stored up with your Lord until you come to the waterside.
   Oh, who knows how sweet are Christs kisses! Who has been more kindly hugged and kissed than I, his banished prisoner? I would not exchange Christ for heaven itself. He has left a dart and arrow of love in my soul, and I am in pain until he comes and removes it. I find the wounds painful for I want possession. I now know that this worm-eaten apple, the plastered, rotten world, which the silly children of this world are beating and hitting and pulling one another's ears for, is a good enough part for bastards, and that is all they have to look for. I am not offended by my enemies staying at home by their own firesides, with greater rent per anuum than I. Should I be angry that the Goodman of this world's house throws a dog a bone to hurt his teeth? He has taught me to be content with a borrowed fireside, and a strange bed; and I think I have lost nothing for the income is so great. Oh, who can tell what is in Christ! Oh , how weighty is my jewel, my crown, my fair dining-room in glory, where I will be above the blows and harm of the bishops. Desire this and let your thoughts dwell on the blessedness that awaits you in the other world. When you see the crown the fair side of the world will be quickly turned to you. I hope you are near your lodging. On, but I would think myself blessed, for my part to get home before the shower comes; for God has a quiver full of arrows to shoot at and shower down on Scotland. 
   You have the prayers of a prisoner of Christ. I want Patrick to give Christ his young love,  yes the flower of it; and to put it before all else. It is good to start soon in the way; and by this he should have the advantage in the evil day. Grace be with you,
   Yours only in his Lord Jesus,   S.R.

Rutherford revised (110)

110. To the Reverend and dear Brother, Mr David Dickson  From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Reverend and dearest Brother, - I have no other joy this side of heaven, except that my Lord Jesus may be glorified in my imprisonment. Blessed be the Lord's people who help with the praises I owe. Dear brother, help me, a poor debtor, to pay the interest; because I cannot come anywhere close to repaying the capital sum. It is not joking or playing games to write as I do: never before did I come close to that place of communion with Christ to which I have now attained. To confirm this, I have been in private these last two or three Sabbaths, taking documents in the name of God, showing that my Lord Jesus and I have kissed one another in Aberdeen, the house of my pilgrimage. I do not want to play with an apple (He knows whom I serve in the spirit!) but I seek a seal. I only beg a down payment and extend credit for glory until supper time. I know I will not last in this world; my moonlight is like noonday light, and my four hours greater that my feasts when I was a preacher; at that time also I was often embraced in His arms. But who can blame Christ for seating me behind Him (if I may say so) on His white horse, or in His chariot covered with love, going through waters? Will not a father take his little spoiled son in his arms, and carry him over a ditch or a swamp? My short legs could not step over this place or sinking bog; and therefore, my Lord Jesus will carry me through. If a change comes, and a dark day (providing he will keep my faith unblemished and whole), I dare not blame Him, thought I get no more before heaven.But you know it is fitting if the medicine is sweet: my faith had fainted, and did had up a fainting man's head. He knows I would take Christ, sour or sweet, - anyway as long as it is indeed Christ. I do not now depend on prepared apples or sugary sweets, but I do not find fault with His gifts, and I must look and open my mouth wide. Since Christ will not hide away joys, he welcomes those who will not stay away. I look for no other fruit than that He be glorified. He knows I would take a poor diet to have His name set on high.
   I bless you for your advice. I hope to live by faith, and to swim without a load of joyful sensations round my neck; and to risk it though I should be drenched.
   As to my situation: I think the council should be tested with the matter referred to God; - duties are our, and event's are god's.
   I shall take time to go through your writing on the Covenant, and write to you my thoughts on it; and concerning the Arminian view of the contract between the Father and the Son. I beg you to proceed on commentaries on all Scripture. Your work on Hebrews is in great demand from all who want to know Christ's will. God willing I intent to start on Hosea and to try and get it printed here.
    I am so pleased to hear you have been kind to my brother. I hope your advice will benefit him. I commend him to you since i am so far away from him. I am glad that the dying servant of God, the famous and faith full Mr Cunningham, approved your work before he fell asleep.
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet lord Jesus,   S.R.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Rutherford revised (109)

109  To the Lady Earlston     From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear how your soul prospers. I urge you to go on in your journey; your time is short, and your afternoon sun will soon go down. Make an end of your accounts with your Lord; for death and judgement are tides that wait for no-one. Salvation is supposed to be at the door, and Christianity thought to be easy work; but I find it hard, and the way narrow and tight, if my Guide was not content to serve me and care for a tired traveller. Do not let any known sin hurt your conscience. Let your children be like so many flowers borrowed from God: if the flower dies or withers, thank God for a summer's loan of them, And be a good neighbour to borrow and be on good terms with Him. Set your heart on heaven, and do not trouble your spirit with the passing idol of this world, which is only vanity, and only shines like a rainbow in the air, which comes and goes with a fleeting March shower. Clay is the bastards' idol, not the children's inheritance.
   My Lord has been pleased to make many strangers smile on me, and has made me well contented with a borrowed fireside and bed. I am feasted with the joys of the Holy Spirit, and my royal King honourably carries my burdens. I love the smell of Christ's sweet breath better than the world's gold. I wish I had help to praise Him.
    The great Messenger of the Covenant, the Son of God, establish you on your rock, and keep you until the day of His coming.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

Rutherford revised (108)

108  To Lady Kaskeberry    From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Madam, - Grace, mercy nd peace be to you. I long to hear how your Ladyship is. I do not know how to repay your Ladyship's kindness; but your love to the saints, Madam, is stored up in heaven. I know it is for the sake of your well-beloved Christ that you make His friends so dear to you, and concern yourself so much for them.
   I am in a good situation in every way in this house of pilgrimage: Christ is most kind and loving to my soul. It pleases Him to feast a stranger and an exiled prisoner with his unseen comforts; and I would not exchange my Lord Jesus for all the comforts this side of heaven. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
   This is His truth for which I now suffer; for he has confirmed it with his blessed presence. I know that Christ will yet win the day and gain the victory in Scotland. Grace be with you.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (107)

107. To the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my Lady Boyd   From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
   I can only think your ladyship for your letter which has refreshed my soul. I am in many ways obliged to your Ladyship for your love to my suffering brother who shares with me in this same cause. His Lord has been pleased to put him on the side of truth. I hope that your ladyship will befriend him with your advice and presence in that country where he is a stranger. And your Ladyship can be sure that your kindness to His own will be credited to your account.
   Now Madam, for your Ladyship's situation. I am very glad that the Father of Lights has made you see that there is a place in Christianity which you strive to reach; and that is to lose your right eye and right hand , and to help the Son of God. I hope your desire is to make Him your jewel, and that your eye looks up the mountain, which is only the new creature. Fear not, Christ will not throw water on your smoking fire: who else dare do that which  He forbids? Be sorry for corruption and do not rest secure. That friend lay with you in your mother's womb, and was as early a friend to you as the breath of life itself. And God will have it no other way, for He delights to take up fallen children and soothe their troubled brows. His work is binding up wounds (Is 61:1).
   First, I am glad that Christ will work His calling in you. Many a healed soul is in heaven who used to be sicker than your are. He is content for you to lay broken arms and legs on His knee that He may put them in splints. Secondly, hiding His face is wise love. His love is not naive, uncritical or irrational; giving you any other pillow before you reach the gates of heaven, except to lie between His breasts and lean on His chest. No, His children often must have the frosty cold side of the hill, and put down their bare feet among thorns. His love has eyes and in the meantime looks on. Our pride needs winter weather to rot it. But I know no-one will hear what goes on between you and Christ; you will whisper between yourselves and make up. For the anchor rope stays fast within the veil; the end of it is secure in Christs hands: who dare pull if He holds it?  'For I, the LORD your God.hold your right handit is I who say to you, “Fear notI am the one who helps youFear not, you worm Jacob' (Is 41:13,14). The seasick passenger will come to land; Christ will be the first to meet you on the shore. I hope your Ladyship will keep to the King's highway. Go on (in the strength of the Lord).quickly as it you had not time to speak to the innkeeper on the way. He who long thinks about you, is beyond time on the other side of the water. 
    Madam, I must write a word about my unfaithful self. When I first came here, the devil told many black lies about my Lord Jesus and said the case was changed, He was angry and would dismiss an evil servant before his tome was up. But He gave me grace not to go. I decided to wait and see though it was said, 'What should be done with a withered tree but to throw it over the wall?' But now (I dare not, I do not keep it up!) who is feasted like His poor exiled prisoner? Now I was ashamed of the table place, serving and the King's dining room, and that my black hand should touch such a Ruler's table. But I cannot put it right; Christ must have His way,: only He so pains my soul sometimes with His love, that I have been near to immodestly crying out. He has left a smoking, burning fire in my heart, and gone to the door Himself, and left me and it together. But it is not desertion; I do  not know what it is, but I was never so sick for Him before. I dare not challenge my Lord if I get no greater heaven; it is an affectionate cross. I know he has other things to do than to play with me, and to roll an apple with me, and that this feast will end. O for confirmations in God's name that this is Him and that I may make use of it, when it may be a close friend within me will say, and when it will be said by a challenging devil,
'Where is you God?' As it will not last, I only want to have leftovers. But let no more men slander Christ because of His cross.
   The great Lord of the Covenant, who brought from the dead the great Shepherd of his sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant establish you, and keep you and yours until he appears.
   Your in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.  
   

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Progress in writing

I am progressing with modernising Rutherford's Letters on my blog. 105 out of 365 done so far. I did this at the encouragement of our pastor who said I should write more. My next project will be to update my quotations pages http://www.christiansquoting.org.uk. It is 14 years since I did them and they remain a good resource. Bit I have collected daily since then and may be able to retrieve perhaps 20,000 more quotes to add to my 10,201 on my old pages indexed by subject and author.

Rutherford revised (106)

106. To the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my Lady Kenmure   From Aberdeen 

Madam, - Having the opportunity of this worthy bearer, I could not fail to answer the points in your letter,
   Firstly, I think it is easy for me to write some good things about Christ, (that sealed and holy thing [Luk1:35]), and to feed my soul with raw wishes to be one with Christ; for a wish is only broken half love. But truly to obey this, 'Come and see,' is a harder matter! Oh, I have smoke rather than fire, and questions rather than assurances of Him. I have little or nothing to say about being one who has found favour in His sight; but there is some pining and bad mannered hunger, that makes me mistake and nickname Christ as a changed lord. Alas, it is scolding. I cannot believe without a pledge. I cannot take God's word without a security, as if Christ had lost and sold His credit, and were not in my books as responsible and law abiding. But this is my way, for his way is, 'In him you also, when you heard theword of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit'  (Eph 1:13).
   Secondly, You write 'that I am full of knowledge and do not need any of these warnings.' Certainly my light is dim when it comes to close combat. And how many have full stores but empty bellies! Light, and the saving use of light are very different. Oh, how I need to have the ashes blow away from my dying fire! I may be learned, yet an idiot and stark fool following Christ! Learning will not fool Christ. The Bible fooled the Pharisees, and so I may be led astray. So as night watchmen keep one another awake by speaking to one another, so we need to keep one another in the way: sleep steals any the light when we should watch, the light which condemns sleeping. I do not doubt that many more would reach heaven if they believed that heaven was next door. The world's negativity about holiness - 'no adulterer, no murderer, no thief, no deceiver' - makes men believe they are already glorified saints. But the sixth chapter to the Hebrews mat frighten us all, when we hear that men may taste of the gift of the common graces of the Holy Spirit, and a taste of the power of the life to come, and go to hell with them. Here is false silver which seems to have on it the King's image and writing!
   Thirdly, I find you complain about yourself. And it is fitting for a sinner to do so. I am not against you in that. The sense of death is related to, is kin and blood to life; the more sense, the more life; the more sense of sin, the less sin.I would love my pain and soreness and wounds though they deprive me of a night's sleep, better than  my woulds without pain. Oh, how sweet a thing it is to give Christ His handful of broken arms and legs, and out of joint bones!
   Fourthly, Do not be afraid about little grace. Christ sows His living seed and He will not lose it. If he is guiding my flock and situation, it will not go wrong. The good Farmer works on the ground of our failed works, loses, deadness, coldness, and wretchedness.
   Fifthly, You write, 'that His compassions do not fail despite your service to Christ going wrong.' To which I answer:
   God forbid that there should be buying, selling and blocking between Christ and us; for then free grace might go away and play, and a Saviour sing dumb, and Christ go to sleep. But we go to heaven with light shoulders, with all the family, and the vessels great and small that we have, are fastened on the sure Nail (Is 22:23,24). The only danger is that we give grace more to do than God gives it; that is by turning his grace into license.
   Sixthly, You write that, 'few see your guiltiness and you cannot be open with many as you are with me.' I answer; Blessed be God that our case is not heard before men's courts. It is at home, between Him and us, that matters are settled.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R. 

Rutherford revised (105)

105. To a Gentlewoman, on the death of her husband. From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Mistress, -  Grace, mercy and peace be to you.
   I can only rejoice and also be sad  at your situation. The Lord has been pleased to remove your husband early to his rest, (my friend and this church's faithful  member); but shall we be sorry that our loss is his gain, seeing his Lord wants his company? Do not be too concerned about his short life; for since he walked his Lord in his life, and wanted Christ to be magnified in him at his death, you should be silent and satisfied. When Christ comes for his own, He runs fast: mercy, mercy to the saints does not come slowly. Love, love in our Redeemer is not slow; and he is tender with you, who comes personally to your house, and deals as a friend with anything that is yours. I think He would be pleased to borrow and lend with you. Now he will meet with the joyful company, the fair flock, the blessed full family of the firstborn, feasting at the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is a mercy that the poor wandering sheep get the shelter of a wall in this stormy day, and a leaking ship gets a safe harbour, and seasick passenger gets as soft bed ashore. Wrath, wrath, wrath from the Lord is coming up on this land that he has left behind him. Know therefore that the wounds of your Lord Jesus are the wounds of a lover,and that he will have compassion on a sad hearted servant; and Christ has said, He will have your husband's place in your heart. He loved you in the time of your first husband, and he still courts you. Give Him your heart, place, house and all. He will not share with another. His love is full of jealousy: He will have all your love; and who but He should get it?I know you will allow Him this. Sweet and satisfying comforts are in store for you:wait patiently. Trust Christ. He is an honest debtor.
   Now as to my own situation.I think some poor person would be glad of a spoiled prisoner's leftovers. I am not short of Christ's love. He has wasted more comforts on His poor banished servant than would have refreshed many souls. My load was once so heavy that an ounce weight would have tipped the scales and broken my back; but Christ said, 'Hold, hold!' to my sorrow, and has wiped a crying face which was foul with tears. I may joyfully go on my Lord's errands, with my wages in hand. Deferred hopes need not make me lazy: my cross is both my cross and reward. O that men would sound His high praise! I love Christ's worst reproaches, His frowns, His cross better than all the world's plastered glory. My heart does not long to return from Christ's country; I am come to a sweet land.  If anyone in the world has reason to speak much good about Him, it is I. To buy Him at the price of hell would be a cheap bargain! Oh, if only all the three kingdoms could witness my pained, pained soul, overcome with Christ's love.!
   I thank you most kindly; my dear sister, for your love to, and tender care of my brother. I shall be obliged to you if you keep on as his friend. He is now more to me than a brother, because he suffers for such an honourable Master and cause. 
   Pray for Christ's prisoner; and grace, grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Same old blog - New Name

I have decided to rename my main blog. I have kept Grumpy Old Chemist but renamed Christian Quoter as Graham's Uncommon Place . From even before the Reformation, Christians kept commonplace books of their spiritual pilgrimages, blessed thoughts, recipes, even jokes I suspect. These are great sources of historic information written by hand, Milton's intellectual development can be charted via entries in his commonplace book (now in the British Library).  but famous people had theirs printed usually posthumously, like "Milton’s Commonplace Book," in John Milton: Complete Prose Works, gen. ed. Don M. Wolfe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953). 

So as I love the historic, I thought I would rename my blog as it is after all the modern electronic equivalent of that ancient custom the commonplace book. But it is not a book but a blog. So an Uncommon Place seems to me an appropriate title linking present to past. The old urls will I hope still be the same.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

NO-FAULT DIVORCE IS A MARRIAGE WRECKERS’ CHARTER: SPEAK OUT TODAY

NO-FAULT DIVORCE IS A MARRIAGE WRECKERS’ CHARTER: SPEAK OUT TODAY

Dear marriage supporter,
Yesterday the Government trumpeted its ‘no-fault’ divorce plan – and kept quiet about the overwhelming opposition in its own consultation.
The plans may be well intentioned. They are loved by lawyers whose workload will be cut, but they are a marriage wreckers’ charter.
Inevitably the number of divorces will rocket. The cost to society will be enormous.
No-fault divorce on demand means spouses will be unable to contest a divorce and the whole process could be speeded up to as little as six months. Philanderers will be delighted.
A husband or wife whose spouse has been unfaithful – will no longer be able to get a divorce on the grounds of adultery. Only ‘no-fault’ divorce will be available to them, and to victims of domestic violence. This is plain wrong.
The Coalition for Marriage is at the forefront of opposition to the plans. Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation. With the publication of responses today we know that 83 per cent of respondents oppose unilateral no-fault divorce.
It’s important to speak out as the plans are talked about. You might want to raise some of the points below in conversation or in a letter to a newspaper or on one of the many radio phone-ins that are taking place.
Here are some talking points:
  • Marriage vows matter. These plans trivialise marriage promises. They also create instability and uncertainty in marriage.
  • Cheating spouses can much more easily walk away from their solemn, lifelong commitment whenever they choose. Aided and abetted by the state.
  • Research overwhelmingly shows that children normally fare better in married households compared to those in broken homes. Easy divorce is not in the interests of children.
  • Divorce proceedings are dropped every year as couples decide to stick together – no-fault divorce makes the chance of reconciliation much harder.
These plans are not yet law. Parliament will have to scrutinise and debate them. Before then, we must speak out. The state should be doing what it can to help married couples stay together, not helping them break up.
Thank you for your support. If you would like to donate to our work, please do so using the button below.
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Yours sincerely,
Colin Hart
Colin Hart
Chairman
Coalition for Marriage (C4M)

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