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.

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