Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Rutherford revised (103)

103. To the Lady Cardoness , Elder.    From Aberdeen 6 Mar  1637 

Worthy and well-beloved in the Lord, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear your news in writing, that I may know how are your soul prospers. My desire and longing is to hear that you walk in the truth, and that you are content to follow the despised but most lovely Son of God.
   I can only recommend Him to you, as your Husband, your Well-beloved, your Portion, your Comfort and your Joy. I  speak this of that lovely one because I praise and commended the ford  (as we used to speak) as I find it. He has watered an oppressed prisoner with His sweet comforts. He was always kind to my soul; but never so kind as now, in my greatest troubles. I eat and drink with Christ. He visits my soul with visits of love in the night.
   I persuade my soul that this is the way to Heaven and I now suffer for his own truth. I encourage you in the name of Christ to continue in the truth which I delivered to you. Make your soul sure of Christ; for your day draws near to an end. Many now slide back who seemed to be Christ's friends, and prove dishonest to him, but  be faithful to death and you will have the crown of life. This lifespan of your days (of which the spirit of God speaks, Ps 39:5) shall in a short time, come to a finger's breadth, and at length to nothing. Oh, how sweet and comfortable will be the feast of a good conscience to you, when your sight will go, your face grow pale, your breath turn cold, and your poor soul comes sighing to the windows of this house of clay which is your dying body, and will long to be out, and to have the jailer open the door, that the prisoner may be set free! You come close to the water's edge: look to your accounts; ask for your Guide to take you to the other side. Do not let the world be your share; what do you have to do with dead clay? You are not bastard, but a lawful child; so set your heart on the inheritance. Go up beforehand and see your lodging. Look through all your father's rooms in heaven: in your Father's house are many places. Men look at lands before they buy them. I know that Christ has already made the bargain; be kind to their house to which you are going and often see it. Set your heart on things that are above, where Christ is at the right hand of God.
   Encourage your husband to look after his own country at home. Advise him to be merciful to the poor people of God who are under him. They are Christ's not his; so I want him to show them mercy and kindness, and to be good to their souls. I want you to write to me. My parish may forget me; but my witness is in heaven that I dare not, I do not forget them. I sigh for them in the night and the weep for them in the day. I think of myself as a husband snatched from the wife of his youth. O Lord, be my Judge: what joy it would be to my soul to hear that my ministry has left the son of God among them, and that they are walking in Christ! Remember my love to your son and daughter. Encourage them from me to seek the Lord in their youth, and to give Him the morning of their days. Let them be familiar with the word of God and prayer.
   Grace be with you. Pray for the prisoner of Christ; in my heart I do not forget you.
   Your lawful and loving pastor, in his only Lord Jesus, S.R.

No comments: