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. 

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