Friday, May 31, 2019

Rutherford Revised (154)

154. To Alexander Gordon of Knockgray, near Carsphairn        From Aberdeen 1637

Dear brother,- I have no time to write to you. You knew Christ's ways long before I, who am only a child, knew anything of Him. I do not know what wrong and violence the bishops may, by God's permission, do to you for your trial, but this I do know, that your ten days of trouble will end. Contend for Christ to the last breath. I hear I am to be exiled out of these kingdoms; this land cannot bear me. I pray you to inform my brothers and sisters with you about my situation and imprisonment. I entrust more of my spiritual comfort to you' and them that way, my dear brother, than to many others in this kingdom. I hope you will not let Christ's prisoner down.
   Fear nothing, for I assure you that Alexander Gordon of Knockgray will win and get his soul for a prisoner. And what else can he want that is worth having? You write that your friends are cold; and so are those in whom I greatly trusted. Our Husband does well to smash our idols. Dry wells send us to the fountain. 'My life is not precious to me if I can complete my course with joy.' I am afraid you must move away; your new hireling will not tolerate your disapproval of him, for the bishop is afraid that Christ will get you; and the bishop cannot stop it. 
   Grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord and Master,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (153)

53. To Bethaia Aird       From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(Maybe an Anwoth parishioner)

Worthy sister, - Grace, mercy and peace be unto you. I know you want news from my prison and I will give you some. When I first came here, Christ and I were not well agreed on it. The devil made an argument and I laid the blame on Christ for my heart was troubled with challenges, and I feared I was an outcast, and I was only a withered tree in the vineyard, and kept the sun off the good plants with my idle shadow, and that my Master had given the evil servant the fields to tend. Old guiltiness witnessed saying, 'It is all true.' My worries were pregnant with faultless fans, and unbelief sealed and said 'man' to it all. I thought  i was a hard case. Some said I should rejoice that Christ had honoured me to be a witness for Him; and I said in my heart, 'This is the talk of people who see me on the outside, but cannot tell whether or not I am a false witness.'
   If, in this matter, Christ had been as wilful and abrupt as I was, my faith would have gone over the hill and broken its neck. But we were well suited, - a hasty fool and a wise, patient, and meek Saviour. He did not take advantage of my foolishness, but waited until I cooled down, and my muddy and troubled well began to clear. He was never the slightest bit angry at the fevered ravings of a poor tempted sinner; but he mercifully forgave, and came (as is fitting for Him), with grace and new comfort to a sinner who deserved the opposite. And now he is content to kiss my black mouth, to put His hand into mine, and to feed me with as many comforts as would feed ten souls. Yet I dare not say that he wastes comforts, for nothing less would have lifted me up; one grain weight less would have tipped the scales. 
   Now who is like that royal King, crowned in Zion! Where will I get a place for real Majesty to set Him? If I could put Him as far above the heaven as millions of heights made by men and angels, I would only think Him too low. I pray you, for God's sake, dear sister, help me to praise. His love has neither top nor bottom; His love, like Himself passes all human understanding. I go to measure it with my arms; but it is like a child trying to encompass the globe, sea and land, in his two short arms. Blessed and holy is His name! That for which I now suffer must be His truth; for he would not laugh at a lie, nor confirm a dream in the night with His comforts.
   I beg for your prayers; and may the prayers and blessing of a prisoner of Christ be upon you. Grace be with you.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rutherford Revised (152)

152 To Mr Thomas Garven    From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(An Edinburgh minister banished in 1662 for adherence to presbyery)

Reverend and dear Brother, - I bless you for your letter; it was a shower on the newly mown grass. The Lord has given you the tongue of the educated. Be fruitful and humble.
   It is possible that you will come to the situation I am in, or its like; but the water is not so deep, nor the stream so strong, as they say. I think my fire is not so hot; my water is dry and, my loss rich loss. What will you say if I tell you that the walls of my prison are high, wide and large, and the place sweet! No-one knows it, no-one I say knows it so well, my brother, as He and I; no-one can write it down in black and white; the Lord has sealed it in my heart. My poor stock has grown since I came to Aberdeen; and if anyone knew the wrong I did, in being jealous of such an honest lover as Christ, who did not keep His love from me; they would think more of it. But I see He is more merciful than me. I will never fight with Him; to think of repaying Him is foolishness. If I had as many angel's tongues as the number of raindrops that have fallen since creation, or as many leaves as there are in the trees in all the rest of the earth, or stars in the heavens, to praise, yet my Lord Jesus would always never get His due from me. We will never get our accounts balanced. A pardon must close the books; for His comforts to me in this honourable cause have almost put me beyond the limits of modesty; though I will not let everyone know what is between us. Love, love (I mean Christ's love), is the hottest fire I ever felt. Oh but the smoke of it hot! If you pour all the salt sea on it, it will flame; hell cannot quench it; many waters will not quench love. Christ is turned over to His poor prisoner in a mass and globe of love. I am amazed that he should waste so much love on a waster like me; but he is no wastrel but full of mercy. He is not stingy when he wants to give. Oh that I could invite all the nations to love Him! Free grace is an unknown quantity. This world has heard only the bare name of Christ, no more. There are infinite folds in His love that the saints will never unfold; I wish it was better known, and Christ get more of his due than He does.
   Brother, you have chosen the good part with Christ. You will see Him win the battle, and you will get part of the spoil when he divides it. They are only fools who laugh at us; for they only see the dark side of the moon, yet our moonlight is better than their twelve hours of sun. We have got the New Heavens and as a pledge of that, the Bridegroom's engagement ring. The children of the wedding room have reason to skip and dance for joy; for the wedding super is near, and we find the afternoon meal sweet and comfortable. O time do not be slow; O sun move quickly and speed our feast! O bridegroom, be like a roe or young deer on the mountains! O Well-beloved run fast so we can meet!
   Brother , I restrain myself for lack of time. Pray for me; I hope t remember you. The good will of Him who lived in the bush, the tender mercies of God in Christ, enrich you. Grace be with you.
   Your, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.
   
   

Rutherford Revised (151)

151. To John Meine, Senior   From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

Dear brother, - Grace , mercy and peace be to you. I am surprised that you did not send me an answer to my last letter, for I am in need of it. I am in some favour with our great King, whose love would make a dead man speak and live. Whether my favour will last or not I cannot well say; but He often hears me, and (to His glory only I say it) no shortage of the love kisses of the Son of God. He thinks it good to throw me apples to play with in prison lest I should think too long and faint. I must give up all attempts to fathom the depth of His love. All I can do is to stand beside His great love and look and wonder. I am frightened by my debts of thankfulness; I fear my creditor will get a beggar's bill and poor accounts.
   I would do better with help. Oh for help, and that you would take notice of my situation! Your not writing to me makes me think you suppose that because He sends comfort, I am not to be pitied. But I am pained in my lack of thanksgiving, and in feeling His love, while I am sick again for the real presence and possession of Christ.  Yet there is no foolishness (if I may say so) nor affectionate love in Christ. Sometimes he knocks me down for old faults,; and I know He well knows that sweet comforts are swelling, and therefore sorrow must be let out in the wind.
   My dumb Sabbaths are festering wounds. The state of this oppressed church, and my brothers situation (I thank you and your wife for kindness to him), keep my sores smarting, and my wounds bleeding. But the foundation stands sure. Pray for m. Grace be with you.Remember me to you wife.   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rutherford's correspondents - 8. John Meine

Meine was an Edinburgh merchant and strong Presbyterian.  He was censured for encouraging non-conforming ministers who appeared before the High Commission. In 1624 he refused to comply with the instruction to kneel when receiving the Lord'ssupper and was sentence by the Privy Council to banishment to Elgin. When King James died in 1625 he was released. He rose daily about 3am and was in prayer and reading until family devotions at 6am. Then he went to his work.

Rutherford Revised (150)

150. To his loving Friend, John Henderson                                           From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

Loving friend, - Continue in the love of Christ, and the doctrine which I faithfully and painstakingly taught you according to my ability. I am free of your blood. Fear the dreaded name of God. Keep in mind the answers I taught you, and love God's truth. Death, as fast as time flies, chases you out of this life; it is possible you will make your reckoning with your Judge before I see you. Let salvation be your care, night and day, and set aside hours and times of the day for prayer. I rejoice hearing that your house prays. Make sure your servants keep the Lord's day. This dirt and god of clay (I mean this vain world) is not worth seeking.
   A hireling pastor is to be pushed in on you, in the place to which I have Christ;s authority and right. Stand for your freedom for the word of God allows you a vote in choosing your pastor.
   What I write to you I write to your wife. Commend me heartily to her. The grace of God be with you.
   Your loving Friend and Pastor,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (149)

149. To the much honoured John Osburn, provost of Ayr.           From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

Much honoured sir, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. From the little I know and hear of you, I have to write to you. I have nothing to say except that Christ, in that honourable place where he has put you, has entrusted you with a valuable pledge which is His own glory; and has armed you with his sword to keep the pledge and make a good report of it to Gd. Do not be afraid of men. Your Master can cut down his enemies, and from withered hay make fair flowers. Your time will not be long; after your afternoon will come your evening, and after evening night. Serve Christ. Back Him; let His cause be your cause; do not give away a hair's  breadth of truth; for it is not yours but God's. Then, since you are going, take Christ's certificate with you out of this life - 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' His 'well done' is worth a ship full of 'good days' and earthly honours. I have reason to say this for I find Him truth itself. In my sad days, Christ laughs cheerfully and says, 'All will be well!' Would to God that all this kingdom, and all that know God, knew what is between Christ and me in this prison, - what kisses, embracing and communion of love! I take his crosses in my arms with joy; I bless it, I rejoice in it. Suffering for Christ is my crown. I would not exchange Christ fo ten thousand worlds, no, if I could compare it, I would not exchange Christ for heaven. 
   Sir, pray for me, and the prayers and blessing of a prisoner of chest are with you in all your troubles. Grace be with you.
   Yours in Christ Jesus, his Lord,   S.R.

Rutherford Revised (148)

148. To the Lady Hallhill        From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(Wife of Sir James Melville of Hallhill in Fife)

Dear and Christian Lady, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I wanted very much to write to your ladyship; bu now that the Lord has given me a suitable occasion I will not fail to do it.
   I must tell your Ladyship about Christ's kind dealing with my soul, in this house of my pilgrimage, that your Ladyship may know He is as good as is said. At my start in this trial, (being depressed and troubled with challenges and jealousy about His love, whose name and witness I now carry in my prison), I was afraid of nothing more than I was thrown over the vineyard wall like a dry tree. But, blessed be His great name, the dry tree was in the fire and not burnt; His dew came down and enlivened the root of a withered plant. And now He has come again with joy, and has been pleased to feast His exiled and afflicted prisoner with the joy of His comforts. I now weep but am not sad; I am chastened but do not die; I have loss but want nothing; this water cannot drown me, this fire cannot burn me, because of the good will of Him who lived in The Bush. The worst things of Christ, His rebukes, His cross are better than Egypt's treasures. He has opened His door, and taken a poor sinner into His house of wine, and has left me so sick of love for my Lord Jesus, that if heaven was in my power, I would give it up for Christ, and would be content not to go to heaven, unless I was persuaded that Christ was there. I would not give up nor exchange my chains for the bishops' velvet robes; not my prison for their coaches; nor my sighs for all the world's laughter. This clay idol, the world, has no influence on my soul. Christ has come and run away to heaven with my heart and my love, so neither heart nor love are mine: I pray God that Christ may keep both without any change. To my present way of thinking, if my part of this world's clay was auctioned and sold, I would think it worth less than a drink of water. I see Christ's love is so kingly, that there is no comparison; it alone must have a throne in the soul. And I see that apples, though worm eaten, tempt children.The moth eaten pleasures of this world make children think that ten is a hundred, and yet everything here is only shadows. If they drew back the curtain that is hung between them and Christ, they would see themselves as having so long wrongly valued the Son of God. Apart from heaven I seek nothing more than that He be glorified in a prisoner of Christ, and that on my behalf many would praise His high and glorious name who hears the sighs of His prisoner 
   Remember my service to the Lord, your husband; and to your son who I know. I wish that Christ had his young love, and that in the morning he would set out for the gate, to seek that which the world does not know, and therefore, does not seek it. 
  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Rutherford Revised (147)

147. To John Gordon, at Rusco, in the Parish of Anwoth, Galloway   From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(Rusco was two miles from Anwoth)

My worthy and dear brother, - Do not waste your short time for it passes quickly; seek the Lord in good time. Write to me promising to God that by His grace you will make a new way of walking with God. Heaven is not next door; I find it hard to be a Chistian. There is no little thrusting and pushing to push through heaven's gates; it is a castle to be taken by force; - 'Many will try to enter and be unable.'
   I beg and charge you in the Lord, to be careful about foolish and passionate oaths, of rage and sudden avenging anger, of night drinking and bad company, of Sabbath breaking, of hurting anyone under you by word or deed, of hating your very enemies. 'Unless you receive the kingdom of God as a little child,' and be as meek and sober minded as a baby, 'you cannot enter the kingdom of God.' That is a word that should touch you closely, and make you bend down and make your great spirit fall. I know this will not be easy to do, but I recommend it to you, as you pay attention to your part of the kingdom of heaven.
   Brother, I can from new experience speak to you about Christ. Oh, if you saw in Him what I see!A river of God's unseen joys has overflowed from bank side to the hill over my soul since I left you. I wish I had less so you could have some; that your soul could be sick with love for Christ, or rather satiated with Him. This clay idol, the world, would then not seem worth a fig to you; time will rob you its possession. When your eyes fail and the breath grows cold and the imprisoned soul looks out of the windows of the clay house, ready to leap out into eternity, what then would you give for a lamp filled with oil? Oh seek it now.
   I want you to correct and stop cursing, swearing, lying, drinking, sabbath breaking, and idleness on the Lord's day absent from church, as far as you are able to show authority in that parish.
   I hear a man is to be forced into that place which by God's right is mine. I know from God's word that you should have a say in that (Acts 1:15-16 to the end; 6:3-5). You would not want any bishop to deprive you of your earthly possession; and this is your right. What I write to you I write to your wife also. Grace be with you.
   Sir loving pastor,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (146)

146. To Mr James Bruce, Minister of the Gospel  from Aberdeen, 14 March 1637

(Minister from 1630 in Kingsbarns, St Andrews presbytery. Refused to conform to episcopal ceremonies and the Anglican liturgy but was not removed. Member of the Glasgow Assembly. Died 1662)

Reverend and well-beloved brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. Knowing only that we are children of one Father I think it good to write to you. My situation, being imprisoned for the honour of my royal Prince and King, Jesus, is a fitting witness for such a sovereign King. When I first came here I was very sad, struggling with challenges: troubled in my spirit (as I still am), because of my silent Sabbaths, and for a bereaved people, young ones newly weaned from the breast and taken from the children's table. I thought I was a dry tree thrown over the vineyard wall. But my secret thoughts about Christ's love, at His sweet and long desired return to my soul, were found to be a lie about Christ's love, formed by the tempter and my own heart. And I am sure it was so. Now there is in me greater peace and security than before; the court has been summoned and dismissed for it was not done in Christ's name. I was wrong to have called Christ unkind, in hazy mind and my fever, I thought wrongly of Him. Now, now he is pleased to feast a poor prisoner, and to refresh me with unspeakable and glorious joy so that the Holy Spirit witnesses that my sufferings are for Christ's truth; and God forbid that I should deny the testimony of the Holy Spirit and make Him a false witness. Now, I myself write out of some small experience, that Christ's cause, even with the cross, as better than the king's crown; and that His rebukes are sweet, His cross scented, the walls of my prison fair and large, my losses gain.
   I want you dear brother, to help me to praise, and to remember me in your prayer to God. Grace, grace be with you.
   Yours in out Lord Jesus.  S. R.

Rutherford Revised (145)

145. To Jean Gordon         From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637 

(She seems to have been recently widowed)

My very dear and loving sister, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you.  I long to hear from you. I encourage you to start climbing the hill to the King's city, which must be conquered by force. Your afternoon sun is going down. Time will eat up your frail life, like a worm eats the root of a mayflower. Lend your heart to Christ. Put Him there as a seal. Take Him in and let the world and children wait at the door. They are not yours; prepare them for Christ your proper owner. It is good that He is your Husband and their Father. Who can miss a dead man when God fills his place? Give times of the day to prayer.  Persist in prayer to Christ, pleading with Him; frequent His door; give it no rest. I can tell you he will be found. Oh what sweet fellowship is between Him and me! I am imprisoned but He is not. His kindness shames me. He has come to my prison and run away with my heart and all my love. May he completely possess it! I do not want anyone to have my love, only Christ. I scorn those old loves that held us apart. Now we will not part. We will hear one another before I lose hold of Him. I am determined to wrestle with Christ before I leave Him. But my love to Him has given my soul a fever and there is no cooling of my fever until I really possess Christ. O, strong, strong love of Jesus, you have wounded my heart with your arrows.! Oh pain! Oh pain of love for Christ! Who will help me to praise?
   Let me have your prayers. Grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Rutherford Revised (144)

144. To Mr George Gillespie         From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

Reverend and dear brother, - I received your letter. As for my case, brother, I bless His glorious name, that my losses are my gain, my prison a palace, and my sadness is joy. When I first came here, my fears so worked on my cross, that I became jealous of the love of Christ, as if He had thrown me out of His vineyard, and I was greatly challenged, as melted gold often casts a scum of dross, and Satan and out corruption form the first words that our heavy cross speaks, and say, 'God is angry, He does nt love you.' But our fears are not Scripture, they tell lies of God and Christ's love. But since my spirit is settled, and the clay has fallen to the bottom of the well, I can now see better what Christ was doing.. And now my Lord has returned with salvation under his wings. Now I almost have half of a heaven, and every day I find Chis so sweet, comfortable, lovely and kind, that only three things trouble me: 1st, I do not see how to be thankful, or how to get help to praise that Royal King, who raises up those who are bowed down. 2nd, His love pains me and wounds my soul, so I have a fever wanting His real presence. 3rd, Too much desire to take proofs in God's name, that I now suffer for Christ and His truth; yes, the apple of the eye of Christ's honour, even the sovereignty and royal rights of out King and Lawgiver Christ. And therefore, let no-one be afraid of Christ's cross, or make a bad report about Him or it; for he carries it and the sufferer too. 
   I am troubled with disputes with the great doctors (especially with Robert Barron)in controversies about ceremonies and Arminianism, for everyone is corrupt here; but I thank God there is no vanquishing the truth or discrediting of my witness. So then. I see Christ can triumph in a weaker man than me; and who can be weaker? But His grace is sufficient for me.
   Brother remember our old covenant and pray for me, and write to me about your situation. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
   Yours in his sweet lord Jesus,  S.R.



Rutherford's correspondents - 8. George Gillespie

Gillespie's father was John, minister in Kirkcaldy. George, born 1618, studied at St Andrews University, He became chaplain to John, Viscount Kenmure; to John, Earl of Cassilis, and tutor to his son, James, Lord Kennedy. He was ordained to Wemyss on 26th April 1638. He had calls to Aberdeen and St Andrews. He was translated to Greyfriars, Edinburgh, 23rd Sept. 1642. 
He was a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, 1643, and though the youngest member, by his learning, zeal, and sound judgment, gave essential assistance in the preparation of the Directory and Confession of Faith. He distinguished himself with an extempore refutation of the Erastian, Selden. He took final leave of Westminster 10th July 1647, and presented the Confession of Faith to the General Assembly on 4th August, obtaining its ratification. He was elected Moderator of Assembly 12th July 1648. He died of tuberculosis at Kirkcaldy 16th December 1648.

Rutherford Revised (143)

143. To William Gordon of Whitepark                                                      From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

Worthy sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear from you. I am here as the Lord's prisoner and patient, cared for by my Doctor as if I were a patient needing a cure. I was in difficulties with my Lord and pleaded with Him but I had taken it badly. It is amazing that He should have allowed the likes of me to have nicknamed the Son of His love, Christ, and to say he was a changed Lord who had left me. But wrong belief is never a good way to speak of Christ. The dross from my cross gathered a scum of fears in the fire - doubts, impatience, unbelief, thinking that Providence slept and did not care about my sorrow; but Christ, my goldsmith, was happy to remove the scum and burn it in the fire. And, blessed be my Refiner, he has made the metal better, and given new supplies of grace to make me richer; and I hope he has not lost one grain of weight in burning His servant. Now His love in my heart makes a mighty heat; He knows my desire to be with Him, pains me. I have sick nights and frequent fits of love fever for my Well-beloved. The only thing that pains me now is wanting His presence. It seems a long time to daybreak. I find time is too slow for it holds from me my only fair one, my love, my Well-beloved. Oh to be once together! I am like an old battered ship that has endured many storms, and wants to be in the shelter of the shore, and fears fresh storms; I want to be so near to heaven that its shadow might break the force of the storm and the battered ship reach land. My Lord's sun sheds a heat of love and a beam of light on my soul. Three times a day I bless the cross of Christ! I am not ashamed of my title, 'the exiled minister.' which is my name in Aberdeen. Love, love defies insults. The love of Christ is a strong armour and arrows cannot draw blood through it. We are more than conquerors through the blood of Him who loved us (Rom 8:37). The devil and the world cannot wound the love of Christ. I am farther away from yielding and leaving Christ than when I came here. Sufferings do not blunt the fiery edge of love. Throw love into the floods of hell and it will swim. It does not care about the world's trumpeted and showy offres. It has pleased my Lord to so align my heart with the love of my Lord Jesus, that it is as if the battle was already won, and I am on the other side of time, laughing at the world's golden pleasures, and at this dirty idol worshipped by Adam's sons. My soul has fallen our of love with this worm eaten god.
   Sir, at one time you heard me: I now want to hear from you and your wife. I greet her and your children with blessings. I am glad you still hold fast to Christ. Go on with your journey and take the city by force, Keep your clothes clean. Be clean virgins for your husband, the Lamb. The world will follow you to heaven's gates: and you would not want it to enter with you. Hold fast to Christ's love. Pray for me as I do for you.
   The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rutherford Revised (142)

142. To my very dear brother, William Livingstone                       From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(Probably an Anwoth parishioner)

My very dear brother, - I rejoice on hearing that Christ has run away with your young love, and that you meet early in the morning with such a Lord; for a young man is often a furnished house for the devil to live in. Be humble and thankful for grace; and measure it by the one standard, truth. Christ will not pour water on your smoking fire; He never yet put out a flickering candle lit by the Sun of Righteousness. I recommend you pray and watch for the sins of your youth; for I know there is much communication between the devil and the young. Satan has a friend at court in the heart of youth; and there pride, comforts, lust, revenge, forgetting God, are his hired workers. Your soul will be happy if Christ occupies the house, and takes the keys Himself, and take charge, for He is well suited to take charge wherever He is. Keep Christ and entertain Him well. Cherish His grace; blow on your own fire and let Christ teach you.
   Now for myself, know that I am in full agreement with my Lord. Christ has put the Father and me into each other's arms. He made many sweet bargains before and this among the rest. I reign as king over my crosses. I will not flatter a temptation nor say a good word about the devil: I defy the iron gates of hell. God has ignored my quarrelling with Him when I came here, and now he feeds and feasts with me. 
   Praise, praise with me, and let us together lift up his mane.
      Your brother in Christ.  S. R.


Rutherford Revised (141)

141. To James Macadam      From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

( Presumed to be one of a family of eminent Christians from whom much later descended Macadam the road engineer)

My very dear and worthy friend, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear of your growing in grace, and of your progress on your journey to heaven. It would be my heart's joy to hear that you keep your face looking uphill, and wade through temptations not fearing what men can do, When Christ rises he will cut down his enemies, and lay the dead on the grass, and fill the holes with dead bodies (Ps 110:6; 'filling them with corpses'). They will be like handfuls of withered hay when he rises to fight. Salvation, salvation is the one necessary thing. This clay idol, the world, is not to be sought; it is not a mouthful for you, but for hungry bastards. Fight for salvation. Your Master, Christ, took heaven by force: it is a castle besieged; it must be taken by violence. Oh, this world thinks heaven is right next door; and that godliness can sleep in a feather bed until it gets to heaven! But that will not do.
   For myself, I am as well as Christ's prisoner can be; for through Him I am master and king over all my crosses. I am beyond prison and the harm from men's tongues; Christ triumphs in me. I have been depressed and heavy with worries and haunted by temptations. I was swimming in deep water , but Christ had his hand under my chin all the time, and was careful that I should not drown; and now I have found my feet again, and there are love feasts of joy, and spring tides of comfort between Christ and me. We get on well; I am in His favour; I am still welcome in His house. Oh, my short arms cannot reach the depths of His love! I beg you, I charge you to help me to praise. You have a prisoner's prayers, so do not forget me. 
   I want Sibylla to remember me dearly to everyone in that parish who knows Christ, just as if I had named them all.
   Grace, grace be with you,
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (140)

140. To my Lady Mar, Younger.         From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(Christina Hay before she married the eighth Earl of Mar)

My very noble and dear Lady, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your Ladyship's letter which has comforted my soul. May you find God's mercy in the day of Christ.
   I am in as good a relationship and favour with Christ as an exiled and persecuted prisoner can be. I am still welcomed in His house; He recognises my knock and lets a poor friend in. Beneath this black, rough tree of the cross of Christ, He has ravished me with His love, and taken my heart to heaven with Him. May He enjoy it well and long. I would not exchange Christ for all the joys that an or angel can invent beside Him. Who has such a reason to speak well of Christ as I have? Christ is King of all crosses, and He has made His saints little kings under Him; and He can ride and triumph over weaker bodies than mine (if anyone can be weaker), and his horse will neither fall nor stumble.
   Madam, your Ladyship has much to do with Christ, for your soul, husband , children and household. Let Him find much to do when He meets with you; for He is such a friend as is pleased to take on cases and works; and the more you give Him to do, and the more familiar you are with Him, the more welcome. O the depth of Christ's love! It has neither top nor bottom. Oh, if this blind world saw His beauty! When with Him I count up all His mercies to me, I must stand still and wonder, and go away like a poor debtor who can pay nothing. Free forgiveness is payment. I want to have Him set on high; for His love has made me sick, and I am dying unless i get real possession. 
   Grace, grace, be with you.

      Your Ladyship's, with all obedience in Christ,  S.R.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Diary w/e May 25

Sun 19 May

IPC Liss as visiting elder. Excellent service led by James Buchanan who gave a masterful sermon from Gen 25 - the significance of Abraham was in his son Isaac, not his other sons, and in his inheritance which was the cave of his grave. Isaac pointed to the one significant son, Christ, in whom all the praises are fulfilled and the cave pointed to the land and an eternal inheritance of life in Christ. IPC Ealing evening service Chris Roberts on Life in Middle Age from Proverbs. Chis is wise beyond his years as he is not yet middle aged.

Mon 20 May

Elders and Deacons budget planning meeting. 18 of us, 8 deacons, 8/11 elders and two church workers. Finances are healthy but the bulk of the giving is from very few people. With 70 giving units (families and singles) only 43 give regular through standing order etc. Chasing up members to encourage better stewardship is a task for elders as they visit members.

Tue 21 May

Six of us at early morning prayer, I took our two American visitors to Richmond Park. No deer seen.

Wed 22 May

I took our visitors to Oxford then we had house group on Amos 5.

Thu 23 May

6/11 elders at early morning prayer. Said farewell to our two American visitors. Took my 91 year old lady to vote. Next time I will get her a postal vote which is what I have.

Fri 24 May

 Two grandchildren visited for their piano lessons.

Sat 25 May

To Lords for one day final saw Somerset beat Hampshire. Excellent view from Compton Upper and sunburned.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rutherford Revised (139)

139.To my Lord Belmerinoch  From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(John Elphinston, second Lord Belmerinoch. In 1633 he opposed the Stuart promotion of prelacy. He was libelled and condemned to death for treason. Following a long imprisonment he received the king's pardon. He did not change his principles and continued with opposition to the imposition of the Anglican prayer book. An elder in the Edinburgh presbytery he was a member of the Glasgow Assembly in 1638. He was a leading supporter of the Covenanters with argument and finance. He died in 1649. when he was to be sent to negotiate with Charles II in Holland.)

My very noble and truly honourable Lord, - I am bold in writing news to your Lordship from my prison, though your Lordship had more experience than I can have. At my first coming here I was rather depressed with challenges, because of old unrepented of sins; and Satan and my fears made Christ a liar, that he had thrown a dry withered tree over the wall of the vineyard. But it was my foolishness (blessed be His great name), the fire cannot burn the dry tree. Now he is pleased to feast the exiled prisoner with His lovely presence; for Christ is kind, and he eats and drinks with a sinner such as I. I am Christ's pupil here. He has made me content with a borrowed fireside, and it gives as much warmth as my own. I only want a real possession of Christ.; and he has also given me a loan of that, which I hope to keep until he comes to settle the debt. He has made me king over my losses, imprisonment, exile; and only my silent Sabbaths stick in my throat. But I forgive Christ's wisdom for that. I cannot say one word; He had done it and I will put my hand over my mouth. If any other person had done it to me I could not have taken it.
   Now my Lord, I must tell your Lordship, I would not give a drink of cold water for this clay idol, this decorated world. I testify and write it myself that Christ is worthy of this suffering. Our lazy flesh which would want Christ to reduce crosses with clear words, has only slandered the cross of Christ. My Lord, I hope you will not forget what he has done for your soul.I think that you are in Christ's account book as one indebted to him.
   Grace, grace be with your spirit.
      Your Lordships indebted servant,   S.R.


Rutherford Revised (138)

138. Mr Hugh Henderson             From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

( Minister of Dalry. In 1643 he was one of the ministers sent by the General Assembly to visit Ireland to support Presbyterians who had been deprived of ministers by the bishops. In 1648 he was minister in Dumfries but he and all the ministers of that presbytery were taken to Edinburgh charged with refusing to preach in commemoration of Charles II's restoration. He was ejected from his pastorate in 1662 for refusing to conform to episcopacy.)

My reverend and dear brother, - I hear you carry the mark's of Christ's dying, and your brothers have thrown you out for your Master's sake. Let us wait until the evening, until our reckoning in black and white comes before our Master. Brother, since we must have a devil to trouble us, I love a raging devil best. Out Lord knows what kind of a devil we need: it is best that Satan be in his own skin and look like himself. Christ weeping looks like Himself too, to whom Scribes and Pharisees were saying yes and no, full of sharp contradictions.
   You have heard of the patience of Job. When he lay in the ashes, God was with him, touching and curing his scabs, and lancing his boils, comforting his soul; and He took him up in the end. That God is not yet dead; He will bend down and take up his fallen children. He has splinted many broken legs since Adam's time, and He has refreshed many weary hearts. Why? No-one comes away thirsty from David's well. Let us go with the others, and lower down our empty buckets into Christ's ocean, and suck comforts from Him. We are not so badly troubled that we cannot fill Chrit's hall with weeping. We have not yet received our answer from Him. Let us store our broken requests until the day Christ comes. We will not until then be even with this world: they would take our clothes from us; but let us hold though they pull.
   Brother, it is a strange world if we cannot laugh. I never saw anything like the contempt shown to the Son of God, saying, 'the man has been soundly beaten'. We must be like those who show a blood stained cloth to the Magistrate and let him see blood;we must take our wrongs to our Judge, and let Him see our bloody wounded faces. Prisoners of hope must run to Christ with the marks the tears have made in their cheeks.
   Brother, as to myself, I am for the present Christ's favoured one; and I do not live on empty nut shells as we used to say. He has opened for me fountains in the desert. Go and look to my Lord Jesus: His love to me is such that I defy the world to find either top nor bottom to it. Grace be with you.
   Your brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised (137)

137. To William Glendinning            From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(The son of the Kirkudbright minister Robert Glendinning. Just before this letter was written Bishop Sydserrf had him imprisoned because he refused to lock up his father whom the bishop had suspended form office for refusing episcopacy and declining to have an assistant of the bishop's appointing. A member of the 1638 General Assembly when he was provost of Kirkubright. He became MP for the town) 

Well-beloved and dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I thank you most kindly for your care and love to me, and in particular to my brother in his trouble in Edinburgh. Go on through your waters without weariness; your Guide knows the way; follow Him, and throw your cares and temptations on Him. Do not let worms, the sons of men, frighten you; they will die and the moth eat them. Keep your reward, for what is at stake in this game between us and the world, is our conscience and salvation. We need to be careful in the game and not give in to them. Let them take other things from us: but here, in matters of conscience, we must be steadfast in parting from kings, and set ourselves in opposition to the powers of the earth. Oh, the sweet communion that is for evermore between Christ and His prisoner! He does not fail to be kind. He is the fairest sight I see in Aberdeen, or in every place where I have been.
   Remember my hearty kindness to your wife. I want her to believe and put her cares on God, and make a sure work of salvation. Grace be with you.
   Yours in his only old Jesus, S.R.


Rutherford Revised (136)

136. To Robert Glendinning, Minister of Kirkcudbright             From Aberdeen  13 Mar 1637

My dear friend, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I most kindly thank you for your care for me, and your love and kindness to my brother in his trouble. I pray to the Lord that you find mercy in the day of Christ; and I beg you Sir, to consider the times in which you live, that your soul is worth more to you than the whole world, which on the day when the Last Trumpet blows, will lie as white ashes like an old castle burned to nothing. Remember that judgement and eternity are before you. My dear and worthy friend, let me beg you in Christ's name. and by the salvation of your soul, and by your appearance before the dreadful and sin avenging Judge of the world, to make your accounts ready. Settle them before you come to the waterside; for your afternoon will grow short, and your sun fall low and set; and you know your Lord has waited a long time for you. Oh, how comfortable it will be for you when time is no more, and your soul will leave this house of clay, for vast and endless eternity, that your soul be dressed and prepared for your Bridegroom! There is no loss like the loss of the soul; there is no hope of regaining that loss. Oh, how joyful my soul would be to hear that you would start for the gate, and fight for the crown, and leave all trifles and make Christ your prize.! Let your soul put away old loves and let Christ have your whole love.
   I have some experience in writing to you about this. My witness is in heaven that I would not exchange my chains and fetters for Christ, and my sighs for the glory of ten worlds. My judgement is that this clay idol, for which Adam's sons are auctioning and selling their souls, is not worth a drink of cold water. Oh, if your soul was in my soul's place, how sick would you be with love for that Fairest among the sons of men! Mayflowers and morning and summer mists do not depart as fast as these worm eaten pleasures which we follow. We build castles in the air, and dreams in the night are the idols we think about. Salvation, salvation is our only necessary thing. Sir, attend your thoughts to the work, to enquire after your Well-beloved. This earth is the bastard's share; seek the Son's inheritance, and let Christs truth be precious to you.
   I stake my salvation on it, that I now suffer for the honour of Christ's kingdom (and I hope this world will not come between me and my reward); and that is the way to life. When you and I will lie as lumps of pale clay on the ground, our pleasures which we now naturally love, will be less than nothing on that day. Dear brother, complete my joy, and take yourself to Christ with no more delay. You will be glad at length to seek Him, or do infinitely worse. Remember my love to your wife. Grace be with you.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rutherford Revised (135)

135. To William Fullerton, Provost of Kirkcudbright                  From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

Much honour Sir, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I am very grateful for your love in God.
   I beg you, Sir, let nothing be so dear to you as Christ's truth, for salvation is worth all the world, and therefore, do not be afraid of men who will die. The Lord will provide for you in your suffering for Him, and will bless your family and children; and you have God's promise, that you will have His presence in fire, water and seven troubles. Your day will wear out and your sun set. In death your joy will be that you have staked all on Christ; and heaven is only promised to those willing to suffer for it. It is a castle to be taken by force, This earth is only the clay share of bastards; and therefore, it is no surprise that the world smiles on its own; but better things are in store for His legitimate children, whom the world hates.
   I speak this from experience; for I would not exchange my prison and sad nights for the favour, honour and easiness of my enemies. It pleases my Lord to make many strangers to smile on me, and to provide a lodging for me; and He Himself visits my soul with feasts of spiritual comforts. Oh, how sweet a Master in Christ! Blessed are those who give all for Him.
   I kindly thank you for your love to my trouble brother. You have the blessing and prayers of the prisoner of Christ to you, your wife and your children.
   Remember my love and blessing to William and Samuel. I want them to seek the Lord while young, and to fear His great name; topiary go God twice a day at least, and to read God's word; and to keep themselves away form cursing, lying and filthy talk.
   Now, the only wise God, and the presence of the Son of God, be with you all.
   Your, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Rutherford Revised (134)

134. To John Ewart, Baillie of Kirkcudbright        From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(Magistrate and father of John Stewart who in 1663 was banished for refusing to suppress a disturbance when a new minister was forced on Kirkcudbright  after the former minister was ejected by the bishop.)

My very worthy and dear friend, - I can only most kindly thank you for the expressions of your love. Your love and respect for me is a great comfort.
   I bless His high and glorious name, that the terror of great men has not frightened me from openly professing the Son of God. No, His cross is the sweetest load I ever carried; it is such a weight as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry me onward to my harbour. I do not have much cause to fall in love with the world; but rather I would wish that He who sits over the floods would bring my broken ship to land, and keep mu conscience safe in these dangerous times; for wrath from the Lord is coming on this sinful land.
   It is good for us prisoners of hope to know our stronghold to run to before the storm comes on; therefore Sir, I beg you by the mercies of God, and the comforts of His spirit, by the blood of your Saviour, and by your appearance before the sin avenging Judge of the world, keep your clothes clean, and stand for the truth of Christ which you profess. When the time comes for your eyes to close, your face to grow pale, and your breath grow cold, and this house of clay tremble, and your one foot will be over the step into eternity, it will be your comfort and joy that you gave your name to Christ. Most people think heaven is next door, and that Christianity is easy,; but they are mistaken. Worthy Sir, I beg to to make sure work of salvation. I have found by experience that all I have done was a preparation for the day of my testing; so make a sure foundation for the coming time.
   I cannot repay you for your undeserved help to me and my troubled brother. But I trust to remember you before God. Remember me heavily to you kingd wife. \
  Yours, in his only Lord Jesus,  S.R.


Rutherford Revised (133)

133. To the Lady Busbie         From Aberdeen 1637

(Probably the mother in  law of Rutherford's friend Robert Blair)

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am pleased to hear that you are one with Christ, and you have made Him your 'one thing' while many work hard seeking many things, and their many things are as nothings. It is best you set yourself apart, like something put aside and out of the way, for Christ alone, for you are good for nothing except Christ, and He has these many years been surrounding you with troubles, to join you to Himself. It would be a pity and a loss to say no to Him. I truly could wish to swim through hell and all the bad weather in the world, with Christ in my arms. But it is my evil and foolishness, that unless Christ comes to me unbidden, I am not able to go and seek Him: when He and I draw up our accounts we are both behind, He in paying and I in counting: and so its are still not fixed and accounts not settled between us. O that He would take His own blood for settlement, so I might be a free man, and no-one had any claim on me. but only, only Jesus. I would not count it slavery to be auctioned, seized and possessed by Christ as His slave.
   Think highly of your Lord's visits; for I find one thing which I did not see well before, that when the saints are under trials, and well humbled, little sins produce great cries and war shouts in the conscience; and in prosperity conscience is a pope giving dispensations, letting out and in, and giving our heart latitude and elbow room. Oh how little we care for pardon from Christ when we receive dispensations. And all is only child's play until an external cross breeds a heavier internal cross, and then we no longer play with our idols. It is good to still be severe with ourselves; for we only transform God's mercy into an idol, and an idol that has a dispensation to give, in order to turn God's grace into  license. Those are happy who take up God, wrath, justice, and sin, as they are in themselves, for we have misdirecting light the goes from the child when we only have good intentions. But thank God that salvation does not move on our wheels.
   Oh, but Christ has a saving eye! Salvation is in His eyelids! I was saved when He first looked on me; it only cost Him a look to make hell leave me! Oh, but merits, free merits, and the dear blood of God were to best door we ever could have to get out of hell! Oh, what a sweet, oh, what a safe and sure way it is, to come out of hell leaning on a Saviour.! That Christ and a sinner could be one, and have heaven between them, and share salvation, is the wonder of salvation. How could love be so humble? And what an excellent scent does Christ shed on His lower garden, where only wild flowers grow, if we speak comparatively. But there is nothing except perfect garden flowers in heaven, and the best possession there is Christ. We are all required to love heaven for Christ's sake. He graces heaven and all His Father's house with His presence. He is a Rose which beatifies all of God's upper garden; the scent of a leaf of that Rose of God is worth a world. O that He would blow His scent on a withered and dead soul! Let us then, go on to meet with Him,and to be filled with the sweetness of His love. Nothing will hold Him from us. He has decreed to put time, sin, hell, devils, men, and death out of the way  and clear the rough way between us and Him, so we may enjoy one anther. It is strange and wonderful that he thinks long in heaven without us; and that He would have the company of sinners comfort and delight Himself in heaven. And how the supper awaits us. Christ, the Bridegroom, waits with desire until the bride, the Lamb's wife be adorned for the marriage, and the great hall be ready for the meeting of that joyful couple. Oh folks, what are we doing here? Why do we sit still? Why are we asleep in prison? Is it not best for us to make wings, to fly up to our blessed Match, our Peerless One and our fellow Friend.
   I think Mistress, that you are looking there, and this is your second to third thought. Go on; your Guide waits for you.
   I can only bless you for your care and kindness to the saints. God give you mercy in that day of our Lord Jesus., to whose saving grace I commend you'
   Yours, in our Lord Jesus,  S.R. 


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Diary w/e May 18

Sun 12 May

A great 73rd birthday. Laphroig from Katy and four good books from the family as well as a new watch bracelet. Gorsley Baptist - very contemporary songs which are not my cup of tea at all especially when female lead but the pastor gave a good expository sermon on Daniel's prayer and the after chichi coffee was a treat with the gift of a mug to welcome visitors. Lunch in the garden of a pub with a cider shop - the best I have ever visited for generous sampling and a bargain second hand book stall. A walk in the Forest of Dean and a visit to the local stem railway but unfortunately the steam engine for the day had broken down and one did not stay to see a mere diesel.

Mon 13 May

Gloucester Cathedral - magnificent. Tomb of the wretched Edward II. Visited the memorial to Bishop Hooper, burned by Bloody Mary. Lunch at Painswick, the only Rococo gardens in England.Then an arduous ascent up Niblet Hill to the Tyndale Memorial. A worthwhile pilgrimage to the tower built near his birthplace.

Tues 14 May

Tintern Abbey in glorious sunshine. Thank God for Thomas Cromwell! It has been a run for longer than it was a RC temple. Picnic in the sun on top of a hill overlooking Monmouth. Failed to find a mechanical organ museum. Peter out farmer host showed John and I the silage making with machine collection of hay which was new to me and John got to drive it.

Wed 15 May

To Gloucester on a Whitefield pilgrimage but all I found was his birthplace, The Bell Inn, now a Costa coffee shop and the church where he first preached and had been baptised. It has his pupil and a memorial chapel to Robert raises, founder of Sunday School's whose house is opposite the church.Visited Higham the church built by the father of Parry who composed the tune for' And did those feet' but it was locked. Nearby the tower of an 11th century church, the only surviving structure and on the farm pond a pair of swans with six cygnets Dinner with the Clarks and shared many memories of Nigeria.

Thu 16 May


Symonds Yat Rock to see the view than Symonds Yat East for a cruise on the Wye. Tea room lunch then back through the Forest of dean to the Awre Severn Cider farm shop and our holiday cottage. Bought local fish and chips but when we opened them back at the cottage we were a fish short. Huge plaice but too much batter.


Fri 17 May


The Braithwaite's left us after we visited Westbury on Severn Water gardens together. We went on to the Forest of Dean heritage Centre. In the evening our hosts treated us to village supper in Awre village hall. Good home cooked food and very hospitable. A real sense of community so lacing in London.


Sat 18 May

Home safe and sound in two and a half hours.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Diary w/e May 11

Sun 5 May
Chis Roberts had over 20 at adult Sunday School for the second in his excellent series on How to read the Bible. Paul Levy outstanding in the morning on feeding the 5000 and walking on the water. Met David a Polish chef and keen Christian. Chris Roberts in the evening spoke on children being royalty from Proverbs - original and excellent.

Mon 6 May
A Bank Holiday too cold to sit outside at 12C. Not fit enough to goon the church walk.

Tues 7 May
Led U3A World Religions on marriage customs. Very lively discussion on the history of marriage law in England and Wales.

Wed 8 May
Hosted U3A History group on Spain and the Thirty Years War - the ruin of Spain as a world power.

Thur 9
72 times over 10 minutes calling the GP's surgery before I got through. Given an appointment and only had to wait 10 minutes for Dr Patel who prescribed for infected dermatitis behind my ears. The pharmacy cannot get supplies of Daktacort cream. Supply problems have become far worse since I retired seven years ago. Lunch with the big Littles at Franky and Benny's Ruislip. Grass cut.

Fri 10
Judy took Seaber's and I to Kingston Korean Church for funeral of Kim who founded our Korean IPC. Packed church - 300+. Beautiful bilingual srvice. Mark Harvey's sermon would I think have gone over the heads of many. 100= at Kingston Cemetery and 30+ at Kim's daughter's home in Epsom for the wake.

Sat 11
Packed then Katy drove to Poulton Farm, on the south bank of the Severn, our friend's farm holiday cottage, a barn conversion. Joined by the Braithwates. I was very tired and slept after dinner while they walked. No wifi.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Rutherford Revised (132)

132. To Jean MacMillan   From Aberdeen 1637

(She was probably a parishioner in Anwoth)

Loving Sister, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I cannot some to you and advise you; and though I would come I could not stay. But I urge you yo keep Christ for I did what I could to put you close to Him. I plainly told you Christ's instructions and held back nothing that my Lord gave me; and I was pleased to give Christ to you. I ask you to make Him your own, and not to leave that truth which in a short time I taught you. If you follow that truth it will save you. Salvation is not an easy thing quickly obtained. I often told you that few are sad and many damned: I ask you to make your poor soul sure of salvation, and you make seeking heaven your daily task. If you never had a sick night and a soul pained with sin, you have not yet found Christ. Look for the right evidence of having found Christ. If you love Him more than the world, you would leave the world for Him and that would show your salvation is real. Oh, if you saw the beauty of Jesus and smelled the scent of his love, you would run through fire and water to be with Him.! God send you Him.
   Pray for me for I cannot forget you. Grace be with you.
      Your loving pastor,  S.R.

Rutherford's correspondents - 7. Jean Brown

Little is known of Jean Brown except from Rutherford's letters - 84, 111 and 131. She was a godly woman and a friend of Rutherford and the mother of a famous son, John Brown of Wamphray (c. 1610-1679) a prominent Scottish Covenanter and minister in the village of Wamphray, Annandale, who, after the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne (1660) and the Act of Uniformity (1662), was forced by the authorities to flee his native Scotland due to his outspoken opposition to prelacy - church ruled by bishops appointed by the king. He went into exile for the rest of his life in the Netherlands (described by one author as “the asylum of the banished” at the time), where he settled in Rotterdam, industriously wrote in favour of the Covenanter cause, and produced a number of noteworthy theological works. One of Brown’s major works is his The Life of Justification Opened, published posthumously in 1695 with a preface written by the Utrecht professor Melchior Leydekker. 
   Letter 111 advises her younger son Patrick too.

Rutherford Revised (131)

131. To Jean Brown                   From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637 

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am glad that you continue behind Christ in this dark and cloudy time. It is good to sell other things for Him, for when all these things are over, it will be found to our advantage to have taken Christ's part. I confidently believe that His enemies will be His footstool, and he will make green flowers into dead, withered hay when their honour and glory will fall, like the bloom or flower of a green herb shaken by the wind. It is not wise for us to think that Christ and the Gospel will come and sit down at our fireside; no, for we must go out of our warm houses and seek Christ and His Gospel. We must not look for the sunny side of Christ, then forsake Him for lack of it; but we must set our face against whatever may happen to us in following until He and we are through the thorns and bushes and reach dry ground. Our soft nature wants to be carried in Christs arms through the troubles of this miserable life, but in His wisdom, who knows our character, that His children get to heaven with wet, cold feet. Oh it would be a sweet thing to lighten our burdens by fitting our hearts to the burden and making our Lord's will our law!
   I find that Christ and His cross are not so hard to please, nor such troublesome guests as men say; no, I think patience can make the water Christ gives us into good wine, and his dross into good metal. And we have a reason to keep on waiting; for before too long our Master will be with us and expose this whole world black and white before the sun in the daylight. Our time is not so long that we need to be tired; time will eat away and root out out sadness and sorrow. Our heaven is budding and growing to harvest. Why then should we not follow on as our hand breadth of time will reduce to an inch? So I promote Christ to you as your last and longest living Husband, and the support of your old age. Let Him now have the rest of your days. And do not be concerned about the storm in the ship where Christ sails: no passenger will fall overboard, but the crazy ship and the sea sick passenger will come safely to land. .
   I am in as sweet a communion with Christ as a poor sinner can be, and my only pain is that He has such fair beauty and I so little love; He great power and mercy, and I have little faith; He has much light and I have bleary . O that I could see Him in the sweetness of His love, and in His wedding clothes, and I was head over heels in love with that princely one, Christ Jesus my Lord. Alas, my cracked dish and leaking vessel can only hold a little of Christ Jesus.
   This gives me joy, that I would die before I put Christ's property at the disposal of men who may chose to set their own times, and do I know if they would please Christ and me? Alas that this land has put Christ up for open auction, and to an ' Any higher bid?' Blessed are those who would hold the crown on His head, and with their losses buy Christ's honour.
   I am pleased to hear that your son John is coming to visit Christ, and taste His love. I hope his efforts will not be in vain and he will not regret that choice. I have always (as I often said to you) had a great love for dear Mr. John Brown, because I thought I saw Christ in  him more than in his brothers. I would like to write to him that he stand by my sweet Master; and I want you to let him read my letter, and know the joy I will have if he will appear for and take the side of my Lord Jesus. Grace be with you.
     Yours only in his sweet Jesus,    S.R.


Baxter on depression

It seems to me that the depressed person lacks hope of improvement and so is inactive and stays down in the sloth of despond.

 "They are still thinking that the day of grace is past and that it is now too late to repent or to find mercy. If you tell them of the tenor of the gospel and offers of free pardon to every penitent believer, they cry out still, Too late, too late, my day is past; not considering that every soul that truly repenteth in this life is certainly forgiven. 8. They are oft tempted to gather despairing thoughts from the doctrine of predestination, and to think that if God has reprobated them, or have not elected them, all that they can do, or that all the world can do, cannot save them; and next they strongly conceit that they are not elected, and so that they are past help or hope: not knowing that God electeth not any man separately or simply to be saved, but conjunctly to believe, repent, and to be saved; and so to the end and means together; and that all that will repent and choose Christ and a holy life, are elected to salvation, because they are elected to the means and condition of salvation, which, if they persevere, they shall enjoy. To repent is the best way to prove that I am elected to repent. 9. They never read or hear of any miserable instance, but they are thinking that this is their case. If they hear of Cain, of Pharaoh given up to hardness of heart, or do but read that some are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, or that they have eyes and see not, ears and hear not, hearts and understand not, they think, This is all spoken of me; or, This is just my case. If they hear of any terrible example of God's judgments on any, they think it will be so with them. If any die suddenly, or a house be burnt, or any be distracted, or die in despair, they think it will be so with them. The reading of Spira's case causeth or increaseth melancholy in many; the ignorant author having described a plain melancholy, contracted by the trouble of sinning against conscience as if it were a damnable despair of a sound understanding. And yet they think that never anyone was as they are. - Directions to the Melancholy About Their Thoughts - Richard Baxter

The last sentence is so true.'I alone am left and they seek to take away my life' said an exhausted and therefore depressed Elijah.

For Spira see this link.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Rutherford's Correspondents - 5.John Maxwell

John Maxwell was not a correspondent of Rutherford but is mentioned in Letter 6. He died 14 February 1647, Archbishop of Tuam, son of John Maxwell of Cavens, Kirkcudbrightshire, he was born in or before 1586.He was educated at the University of St Andrews, where he was laureated M. A. on 29 July 1611.

  • In 1615 he was presented to the crown living of Mortlach, Banffshire. He removed in 1622 to Edinburgh, where he successively held four charges. On 18 July 1622, he was elected by the town council to the charge of the New or High Church; he was transferred on 25 November 1625 to the Trinity College Church; on 14 December he was elected by the town council to the second charge in the Old Church, or St Giles' Church, and admitted on 27 January 1626; he was promoted in the same year (after 14 August) to the first charge.
John was able to achieve influence at court through his cousin, James Maxwell of Innerwick (afterwards Earl of Dirleton). In 1629, by command of Charles I, he waited on William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, to explain the views of the Scottish hierarchy in reference to a Book of Common Prayer. Archbishop Laud and King Charles were in favour of bringing the Anglican prayer-book into use throughout the three kingdoms. Maxwell reported that the Scottish bishops believed there would be less opposition to a service-book framed in Scotland, though on the English model.
In 1630 Maxwell was in correspondence with Henry Leslie, then dean of Down, about the presbyterian irregularities of Robert Blair, and other Scottish clergymen who had migrated to the north of Ireland. He carried to the court an account, derived from Leslie, of Blair's alleged teaching respecting physical convulsions as requisites of religious revival. In consequence of this report, Robert Echlin, Bishop of Down and Connor, suspended Blair in 1631, and deposed him and his friends in 1632.

Maxwell, according to Blair's sarcasm, "was then gaping for a bishopric". He was raised to the bishopric of Ross on 26 April 1633, and consecrated between 15 June and 18 July following, while Charles was in Scotland. The king granted him on, 19 March 1634, a yearly pension of 166l., adding on 20 October 1634, a grant of the priory of Beauly, Inverness-shire, and on 26 July 1636, a mortification of certain kirks and chaplaincies. He was also made a privy councillor, and in 1636 an extraordinary lord of session.
It is conjectured that Maxwell took part in the compilation of the "canons and constitutions ecclesiastical", authorised by the king in 1635 and published in 1636. In conjunction with James Wedderburn, Bishop of Dunblane, he certainly had a chief hand in drawing up the new service-book for Scotland, subsequently revised by Laud, Juxon, and Wren. On its introduction by order (13 June 1637) of the Scottish privy council, Maxwell at once brought it into use in his cathedral at Fortrose. In December 1637, in consequence of the opposition to the service-book, the privy council sent the lord high treasurer (John Stewart, 1st Earl of Traquair) to London for instructions. Traquair urged that the service-book be withdrawn. Laud would have had him superseded as Lord High Treasurer by Maxwell.
The service-book was in use at Fortrose till 11 March 1638, when Maxwell preached a short sermon without common prayer, took horse, rode south in disguise, and went straight to London to the king.
In November 1638, on the eve of the meeting of the General Assembly at Glasgow, he was at Hamilton, with Walter Whiteford, Bishop of Brechin. He was one of the six prelates who signed the declinature addressed to the general assembly, and on this and other grounds was deposed and excommunicated (13 December) by the assembly, the same assembly which abolished Episcopacy in the Kingdom of Scotland. Maxwell was charged with bowing to the altar, wearing cope and rochet, using "the English liturgy" for the past two years in his house and cathedral, ordaining deacons, giving absolution, fasting on Friday, and travelling and card-playing on Sunday. His accusers described him as "a perfect pattern of a proud prelate".

In August 1639 Maxwell and five other bishops signed a protestation against the General Assembly as unlawful, and appealing to an assembly of the clergy lawfully convened, though it did not lead to the return of Scottish bishoprics. Charles proposed to confer on Maxwell the bishopric of Elphin, but Wentworth had promised it to Henry Tilson. The day after the death (26 November 1639) of Archbishop John Spottiswood, Maxwell, in terms of the deceased primate's will, gave the manuscript of his history into the king's own hand at Whitehall. Spottiswood had made Maxwell his executor, and recommended him as his successor in the Primacy (i.e. as Archbishop of St Andrews).
In 1640 Maxwell went over to Ireland, where he was made D. D. by Trinity College, Dublin, and appointed on 12 October 1640, Bishop of Killala and Achonry by royal patent, in room of Archibald Adair, deprived 18 May for favouring the covenant. According to Patrick Adair, Maxwell came "in a disguised habit" to Raphoe, co. Donegal, "about a fortnight before the rebellion" of 1641. Here, with Bishops Henry Leslie and John Leslie, he conferred with John O'Cullenan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Raphoe. On the outbreak of the rebellion he was driven by the rebels from his palace at Killala, co. Mayo. Fleeing with his wife, three children, and neighbours, the company, numbering about a hundred, was attacked at the bridge of Shruel, co. Mayo, when several were killed and the bishop stripped, wounded, and left for dead.
Rescued by Barnabas O'Brien, 6th Earl of Thomond, he took refuge in the town of Galway, but the townsmen rose against the garrison, and his life was again in peril. He removed to Dublin, where he encouraged his friends by his zealous preaching. Ultimately he made his way to the king at Oxford and acted as royal chaplain. On 30 August 1645 he was appointed to the archbishopric of Tuam, in succession to Richard Boyle. He returned to Dublin, and in August 1646 signed the address of thanks by eighty Dublin divines to Ormonde, the Lord-Lieutenant, for the protection he had accorded them in the use of the prayer-book. In the meantime, Samuel Rutherford published his 1644 Lex, Rex, which argued against the bishop's conception of royal authority.

When the news reached him at Dublin of the surrender of Charles by the Scottish army (30 January 1647), he retired to his closet and was found dead on his knees on 14 February 1647. His age was about 55. He was buried in Christ Church Cathedral. He married Elizabeth Innes, by whom he had four sons, John, David, James, and Robert, and five daughters, Anne, Janet, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Bethia.

From Wikipedia (edited)

Rutherford's Correspondents - 4,The Viscountess of Kenmure

The Viscountess of Kenmure  (d. 1675)was Lady Jane Campbell, third daughter of Archibald Campbell, seventh Earl of Argyle  (c. 1575–1638) and sister to the Marquis of Argyle beheaded in 1661. In 1594 her father had commanded royal troops in the Battle of Glenlivet against Catholic Rebels, especially the Gordons of Huntly. In 1618 Archibald Campbell converted to Roman Catholicism, religion of his wife, Anne (Cornwallis), from Presbyterianism.By 1619, he had surrendered his estates to his son, Archibald Campbell.He announced his new religion from the Netherlands and as a consequence he was declared a traitor in Edinburgh on 16 February 1619 and banned from his country. He was allowed back in 1621. He and his wife returned to Britain and lived at Drury Lane in London having abandoned everything apart from his title to his heir.
   Jane [Jean], Viscountess Kenmure's mother was Lady Agnes Douglas (1574–1607), daughter of William Douglas, fsixth Earl of Morton, of the house of Lochlevin. 
   The precise date Jane Campbell's birth is uncertain, but her parents were married before October, 1594. Descended both on the father’s and the mother’s side from ancient and noble families of great distinction, she was particularly honoured in her paternal ancestors, who were renowned for the zeal with which they maintained the cause of the Reformation. Her great grandfather, Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyll, who in extreme old age espoused, among the first of his rank, Protestant principles, was one of the Lords of the Congregation who subscribed the “Band,” dated Edinburgh, 3d December, 1557, the first covenant or engagement of the Scottish Reformers for their mutual defence; and on his death bed,towards the close of the year 1558] he left it as his dying charge to his son Archibald Lord Lorn, afterwards fifth Earl of Argyll, “that he should study to set forward the public and true preaching of the Evangell of Jesus Christ, and to suppress all superstition and idolatry to the uttermost of his power.”     
    In her early years Lady Jane was of a delicate constitution, and she suffered much from bodily affliction. Between 1624 and 1626 she married Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar, afterwards Viscount of Kenmure. The exact date of this union we have not ascertained; but we find her mentioned as his wife early in 1626. Mr. John Livingstone, who had visited Galloway in the beginning of the summer of that year upon the invitation of Sir John Gordon, informs us in his Life, that during the short period of his sojourn in that district, he “got acquaintance with Lord Kenmure and his religious lady.” 
   Sir John was a man of accomplishment and piety, and, like his lady; a warm friend to the Presbyterian interest. As Rosco, the place of his residence, was situated in the parish of Anwoth, he succeeded in obtaining for Anwoth Mr. Samuel Rutherford; Lady Gordon and her husband were thus placed under the ministry of Mr. Samuel Rutherford. 
   From the beginning, Lady Gordon formed a very high opinion of Rutherford's talents and piety; and, as the course of his ministry advanced, she appreciated in an increasing degree his pastoral diligence and faithfulness. Rutherford, on the other hand, highly esteemed her for the amiableness of her disposition, the humility of her demeanour, and the sanctity of her deportment, as well as for her enlightened and warm attachment to the Presbyterian cause. An intimate Christian friendship was thus soon formed between them; and, they maintained frequent epistolary intercourse on religious subjects till the death of Rutherford, the last of whose letters to her, dated July 24, 1660, scarcely eight months before his own death, was written on his hearing that her brother, the marquis of Argyll, was imprisoned by Charles II in the Tower of London.
   None of her letters to Rutherford have been preserved; but, from the allusions to them in his letters, we gather that they were characterized by a strain of sincere and humble piety; by the confidence of genuine friendship, the warmth of Christian sympathy, and a spirit of active benevolence. She complained that, notwithstanding all the methods adopted by her Saviour to teach her, she was yet an ill scholar, lamented her deficiencies in the practice of holiness, and expressed her fears that she had little grace, but encouraged herself from the consideration that God’s compassions failed not, although her service to him mis- carried. [Rutherford’s Letters, pp. 123, 183, 200, 203-205.] In all her difficulties, doubts, and trials, she applied to him for advice and comfort, in the happy art of communicating which he was equalled by few. And such was the confidence she reposed in his piety, wisdom, and prudence, that she could communicate the state of her mind to him with more freedom than to almost any other individual with whom she was acquainted. Of all his friends, none took a deeper interest in his welfare than she took. Tender in her feelings, she warmly sympathized with him under his domestic afflictions, under the loss of his children and his wife. Her influence she was ever ready to exert in his behalf when he was subjected to public suffering in the cause of truth; and instances are not wanting of persons in high places befriending him from a knowledge of the Christian intimacy which subsisted between him and this excellent Lady. When he was summoned to appear before the court of high commission in 1630, Mr. Alexander Colville, one of the judges, “for respect to your Ladyship,” says Rutherford to her, “was my great friend, and wrote a most kind letter to me. I entreat your Ladyship to thank Mr. Alexander Colville with two lines of a letter.” [Rutherford's Letters, p. 21.] When he was before the same court in 1636, “the Lord,” says he, writing to Marion M'Naught, “has brought me a friend from the Highlands of Argyll, my Lord of Lorn, [Brother to Lady Kenmure, and afterwards the Marquis of Argyll, who suffered in 1661.] who has done as much as was within the compass of his power;” an act of generosity which he doubt- less owed to his friendship with Lady Gordon; for he was “a poor unknown stranger to his Lordship.” And when her influence was insufficient to shield him from persecution, he could calculate upon being a sharer in her sympathies and prayers, as his numerous letters to her from Aberdeen, when confined a prisoner there by the high commission court, fully testify. Writing to her from his place of confinement, June 17, 1637, he says, “I am somewhat encouraged in that your Ladyship is not dry and cold to Christ’s prisoner, as some are.” And in a letter to Lady Culross, from the same place and in the same year, he thus writes: - “I know also that ye are kind to my worthy Lady Kenmure, a woman beloved of the Lord, who hath been very mindful of my bonds. The Lord give her and her child to find mercy in the day of Christ!” 
   Lady Gordon, who had suffered much from ill health in the previous part of her life, was, in July, 1628, visited with sickness. Under this affliction Rutherford reminded her, that He who “knew the frame and constitution of her nature, and what was most healthful for her soul, held every cup of affliction to her head with his own gracious hand;” and, that her “tender-hearted Saviour, who knew the strength of her stomach, would not mix that cup with one drachm weight of poison.” About the close of the same year, or the beginning of the year 1629, she was bereaved of an infant daughter. On this occasion Rutherford visited her, to administer Christian comfort, and afterwards kindly addressed to her a consolatory letter. Among other things, he wrote “Ye have lost a child; nay, she is not lost to you who is found to Christ; she is not sent away, but only sent before, like unto a star, which going out of our sight doth not die and vanish, but shineth in another hemisphere. Ye see her not, yet she doth shine in another country. If her glass was but a short hour, what she wanteth of time, that she hath gotten of eternity; and ye have to rejoice that ye have now some plenishing up in heaven. Show yourself a Christian by suffering without murmuring. In patience possess your soul.”
   In the autumn of the year 1629, she and her husband removed from Rosco to London, where they intended to reside for some time. Rutherford lord writes, “Ye are going to a country where the Sun of Righteousness in the gospel shineth not so clearly as in this kingdom.”  The design of Sir John in going to London probably was to prosecute his views of worldly honour and ambition. By right of his mother, who was Lady Isabel Ruthven, daughter of William, first Earl of Gowrie, he expected that the honours of the house of Gowrie, attainted for high treason in 1600, would be revived in his person. 
   Lady Gordon’s change of residence, brought about by these circumstances, in less than two years after Rutherford’s induction, was no small loss both to him and to his people; and he lamented her departure as one of the heaviest trials he had met with since the Lord had called him to the ministry; “but,” says he, “I perceive God will have us to be deprived of whatsoever we idolize, that he may have his own room.” During her absence, she and Rutherford maintained a regular epistolary correspondence. He assured her how exceedingly he longed to hear of her spiritual welfare, and that it was his constant prayer at the throne of grace, that while “deprived,” as she then was, “of the comfort of a lively ministry,” God might be to her as a little sanctuary; and that as she “advanced in years and stealed forward insensibly towards eternity; her faith might grow and ripen for the Lord’s harvest.” In her communications to him, she complained of bodily infirmity and weakness; but Rutherford reminds her that “it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bed-side and draw by (aside) the curtains, and say, ‘Courage, I am thy salvation,’ than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong, and never to be visited of God.” He also regrets her absence for the sake of the interests of religion in her native country. “We would think it a blessing,” says he, “to our kirk to see you here.”She and her husband appear to have remained in England till about the close of the year 1631, when they returned to Scotland, and settled at Kenmure Castle, a place about twenty miles distant from Anwoth. During her stay in England, notwithstanding reports to the contrary, she “had not changed upon nor wearied of her sweet master Christ and his service;” and Rutherford still “expected that whatever she could do by work or deed for the Lord'’ friendless Zion, she would do it.”
   Early in the year 1633, she was bereaved of another daughter, who died in infancy, as we learn from a letter written to her by Rutherford on the 1st of April that year. “I have heard also, madam, that your child is removed; but to have or want is best as He pleaseth. Whether she be with you or in God’s keeping, think it all one; nay, think it the better of the two by far that she is with him.” 
   By letters patent, dated 8th May, 1633, her husband was created Viscount of Kenmure and Lord of Lochinvar, Jane was with him in Edinburgh when he attended King Charles I at the parliament in June that year; but after staying only a few days they retired home to their country seat, the Castle of Kenmure. The reason of their early departure was this: In that parliament Charles intended to pass two acts, the one, ratifying the acts of Perth assembly and other acts made for settling and advancing the estate of bishops; and the other, asserting the king’s prerogative to impose the surplice and other Popish apparel upon ministers. For neither of these acts could Lord Kenmure, according to his convictions of duty; give his vote; but instead of attending the parliament, and honestly opposing the passing of these acts, as others nobly did, at a juncture when the safety of the Presbyterian cause demanded the most decided and energetic measures on the part of its friends, he pusillanimously deserted the parliament, under pretence of indisposition, for fear of incurring the displeasure of his prince, who had already elevated him to the peerage, and from whom he expected additional honours, - a dereliction of duty for which at the time, as he afterwards declared, he felt “fearful wrestlings of conscience,” and which caused him the most bitter remorse in his dying moments. When in Edinburgh, Lady Kenmure had an opportunity of witnessing the imposing splendour and gaiety of a court; but scenes which have so often dazzled and intoxicated others, only served the more deeply to impress upon her mind, what she had long before learned by the teaching of the Spirit of God, the empty and evanescent nature of all the glitter and pageantry of the world. “I bless the Lord Jesus Christ,” says Rutherford to her on her return, “who hath brought you home again to your country from that place where ye have seen with your eyes, that which our Lord’s truth taught you before, to wit, that worldly glory is nothing but a vapour, a shadow, the foam of the water, or something less and lighter, even nothing; and that our Lord hath not without cause said in his word, The countenance or fashion of this world passeth away.’
   Worldly honour and splendour had however more attractions for her husband. So great an influence had they of late acquired over his mind, that though there is every reason to believe he was a converted man, yet he had fallen into a state of comparative indifference both as to personal religion and the public interests of the church. Rutherford, it would seem, perceived this, and with his characteristic fidelity urges it upon Lady Kenmure as “a part of the truth of her profession, to drop words in the ears of her noble husband continually, of eternity, judgment, death, hell, heaven, the honourable profession, the sins of his father’s house.” “I know,” says he, “he looketh homeward and loveth the truth, but I pity him with my soul, because of his many temptations.” With this counsel, from her eminently religious character, we need not doubt that she would comply. In the spring of 1634 she lost another daughter, who had become dangerously ill towards the close of the preceding year, and who was only about a year old. Writing to Marion M'Naught, April 25, 1634, Rutherford says, “know that I have been visiting Lady Kenmure. Her child is with the Lord; I entreat you visit her, and desire the goodwife of Barcapple to visit her, and Knockbreck, [Robert Gordon of Knockbreck.] if you see him in the town. My lord her husband is absent, and I think she will be heavy.” And in a consolatory letter addressed to herself on that occasion he thus writes: “I believe faith will teach you to kiss a striking Lord, and so acknowledge the sovereignty of God in the death of a child, to be above the power of us mortal men, who may pluck up a flower in the bud, and not be blamed for it. If our dear Lord pluck up one of his roses and pull down sour and green fruit before harvest, who can challenge him ?”
   In the autumn of 1634, she met with a still more severe trial in the death of Lord Kenmure. His lordship left Kenmure castle for Edinburgh in the month of August that year, probably on business connected with the earldom of Gowrie, to which he was so desirous of being elevated. But it was the ordination of Providence that his hopes of this preferment should never be realized. After staying some days in Edinburgh, he came home towards the end of August under much indisposition. It turned out to be a fever, of which, after enduring much suffering, he died on the 12th of September, at the early age of thirtyfive. Having, as we have just now said, been for some time past less careful in cultivating personal piety, and less zealous in promoting the public interests of the church than in former days, he was painfully conscious of his want of preparation for death; and at first the most poignant remorse took possession of his conscience, causing many a pang of anguish and many a bitter tear to flow. Among the sins which at that solemn period came crowding into his memory, that which occasioned him the greatest agony was his deserting the parliament the preceding year. “Since I did lie down on this bed,” said he to Mr. Andrew Lamb, the bishop of Galloway, who visited him, “the sin that lay heaviest on my soul and hath burdened my conscience most, was my withdrawing of myself from the parliament, and not giving my voice for the truth against those things which they call indifferent; for in so doing I have denied the Lord my God.” But by the judicious counsels of Rutherford, who continued with him at the Castle, almost from the commencement of his illness to his death, he was led to improve the peace-speaking blood of Christ; and thus attaining to the full assurance that God in his abounding mercy had pardoned his sins, he enjoyed much comfort in passing through the dark valley of the shadow of death. A few minutes before its departure, Rutherford engaged in prayer, and “in the time of that last prayer, his lordship was observed joyfully smiling, and looking up with glorious looks, as was observed by the beholders, and with a certain beauty his vis- age was beautified, as beautiful as ever he was in his life. And the expiry of his breath, the ceasing of the motion of his pulse (which the physician was still holding), corresponded exactly with the Amen of the prayer, - and so he died sweetly and holily, and his end was peace.” [The Last and Heavenly Speeches and Glorious Departure of John Viscount of Kenmure, by Samuel Rutherford.]
During the whole of his illness, Lady Kenmure watched over him with affectionate tenderness and care. Of her kind and unwearied attentions, as well as of her high Christian excellence, he was deeply sensible. “He gave her, diverse times, and that openly, an honourable and ample testimony of holiness and goodness, and of all respectful kindness to him, earnestly craved her forgiveness wherein he had offended her, desired her to make the Lord her comforter, and observed that he was gone before, and that it was but fifteen or sixteen years up or down.” She felt, in a special manner, deeply anxious about the state of his soul. When, on the first night of Rutherford’s arrival at Kenmure Castle, his lordship expressed to him his fears of death, and desired him to stay with him and show him the marks of a child of God, “for,” said he, “you must be my second in this combat;” she judiciously observed, “You must have Jesus Christ to be your second;” an observation in which he cordially concurred. At another time, when, from the hopes of recovery, inspired by the temporary abating of the fever, he became much less concerned about the salvation of his soul than before, it is particularly mentioned in his Last and Heavenly Speeches, that this was to her a source of no small distress. 
   Under this painful bereavement, Lady Kenmure was enabled to exercise a pious resignation to the will of her heavenly Father, all whose dispensations towards her she believed to be in wisdom and love, a consideration which proved her chief support and surest consolation under all her afflictions. In attaining to this desirable state of mind, she was greatly aided by Rutherford, who, while he remained at the Castle, allayed her sorrow by his prayers and counsels, and who, on his return home, still addressing himself to the task of soothing her grief, wrote her a very comforting letter two days after the fatal event. “And, albeit,” says he, “I must, out of some experience, say the mourning for the husband of your youth be by God’s own mouth the heaviest worldly sorrow (Joel i. 8); and though this be the weightiest burden that ever lay upon your back, yet ye know, (when the fields are emptied, and your husband now asleep in the Lord,) if ye shall wait upon him who hideth his face for a while, that it lieth upon God’s honour and truth to fill the field, and to be a husband to the widow.” Speaking of Lord Kenmure, he says, “Remember, that star that shined in Galloway is now shining in another world.” And, in reference to the past trials of her life, as well as to the present, he observes: - “I dare say that God’s hammering of you from your youth, is only to make you a fair carved stone in the high upper temple of the New Jerusalem. Your Lord never thought this world’s vain painted glory a gift worthy of you; and therefore would not bestow it on you, because he is to present you with a better portion. I am now expecting to see, and that with joy and comfort, that which I hoped of you since I knew you fully; even that ye have laid such strength upon the Holy One of Israel that ye defy troubles, and that your soul is a castle that may be besieged, but cannot be taken. What have ye to do here ? This world never looked like a friend upon you. Ye owe it little love. It looked ever sourlike upon you.” 
   In another letter he thus writes, in reference to the same subject: - “In this late visitation that hath befallen your ladyship, ye have seen God’s love and care in such a measure that I thought our Lord broke the sharp point off the cross, and made us and your ladyship see Christ take possession and infeftment upon earth of him who is now reigning and triumphing with the hundred forty and four thousand who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.”
   To this nobleman, besides the three daughters, who, as we have already seen, died in infancy, she had a son, John, second Viscount of Kenmure, who was served heir to his father in his large estates in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 17th March, 1635   
   Besides these children, it is not unlikely she had some others who also died in infancy. Rutherford, writing to her in 1634, says, that the Lord had taken away from her many children. This son was born after his father’s death, about the close of the year 1634, or early in the year 1635; [In one of Rutherford’s Letters to her, dated Nov. 29, 1634, obvious allusions are made to her being near the time of her confinement, and the child born was evidently this son; for Rutherford reminds her, after his death, that she had got a four years’ loan of him. He would be some months more than four years of age.] and died in infancy in August, 1689, at the age of four years and some months. He had long before been in so delicate health, as to excite the apprehensions of his mother, whose maternal solicitudes were all concentrated in her tender watchfulness over her infant boy. His death therefore could not be said to have come unexpected, nor could she be altogether unprepared for the stroke. But still the removal of this much loved and caressed child, inflicted a deep wound on the affectionate mother’s heart. He was her only son and her only remaining child, the heir of his father’s wealth and honours, and by his death the honour and estates of the noble house of Kenmure would pass into another family. All these circumstances would naturally intwine her affections around him, and increase the pangs of maternal agony when he was taken from her and laid in the grave. “I confess,” writes Rutherford to her, “it seemed strange to me that your Lord should have done that which seemed to ding out the bottom of your worldly comforts; but we see not the ground of the Almighty’s sovereignty; ‘he goeth by on our right hand, and on our left hand, and we see him not.’ We see but pieces of the broken links of the chains of his providence; and he coggeth the wheels of his own providence that we see not. Oh, let the Former work his own clay into what frame he pleaseth! ‘Shall any teach the Almighty knowledge?’ If he pursue the dry stubble, who dare say, ‘What doest thou?’ Do not wonder to see the Judge of the world weave into one web your mercies and the judgments of the house of Kenmure. He can make one web of contraries.” “But,” adds Rutherford in the same letter, “my weak advice, with reverence and correction, were for you, dear and worthy lady, to see how far mortification goeth on, and what scum the Lord’s fire casteth out of you. . . . . . I do not say, that heavier afflictions prophesy heavier guiltiness; a cross is often but a false prophet in this kind; but I am sure that our Lord would have the tin and the bastard metal in you removed; lest the Lord say, ‘The bellows are burnt, the lead is consumed in the fire, the Founder melteth in vain,’” (Jer. vi. 29.) And in the conclusion, he thus counsels her, “It is a Christian art to comfort yourself in the Lord; to say, ‘I was obliged to render back again this child to the Giver; and if I have had four years’ loan of him, and Christ eternity’s possession of him, the Lord hath kept condition with me.’”
   Lady Kenmure, on the 21st of September, 1640, nearly a year after the death of her son, married for her second husband the Honourable Sir Henry Montgomery of Giffen, second son of Alexander, sixth Earl of Eglinton. This new relation proved a source of happiness to both. Sir Henry was an excellent man. His sentiments on religious and ecclesiastical questions corresponded with her own; and he is described as an “active and faithful friend of the Lords kirk.” But the union, which was without issue, did not last long; she was soon left a widow a second time; in which state she lived till a very venerable age. The exact time of Sir Henry’s death we have not discovered. Rutherford addressed a letter to her on that occasion, from St. Andrews, but it wants the date of the year. 
   Though by this second marriage she became Lady Montgomery, we shall take the liberty still to designate her “Lady Kenmure,” as this is the name by which she is most generally known.
Subsequently to this, Rutherford’s letters to her furnish few additional facts respecting her history. They contain repeated allusions to her bodily infirmities; and from their tone, it is manifest that she had attained to much maturity in grace, and that “all the sad losses, trials, sicknesses, infirmities, griefs, heaviness, and inconstancy of the creature,” had been ripening her for heaven. There is also evidence that she continued steadfast in the principles of the second reformation, and adhered in her judgment to the Presbyterian party called the Protesters, regarding the policy of the Resolutioners, what it really was, as inconsistent with the obligations of the Solemn League and Covenant, of which, if she did not enter into it, she cordially approved. “I am glad,” says Rutherford, writing to her from Glasgow, Sept. 28, 1651, “that your breath serveth you to run to the end, in the same condition and way wherein ye have walked these twenty years past. The Lord, it is true, hath stained the pride of all our glory, and now, last of all, the sun hath gone down upon many of the prophets. . . . I hear that your ladyship hath the same esteem of the despised cause and covenant of our Lord that ye had before. Madam, hold you there.”
   Much would it have gratified both these eminent saints to have lived to see “the despised cause and covenant of the Lord” honoured and prospering in the land; but this neither of them was privileged to witness. Writing to her in the autumn of 1659, Rutherford tells her of the satisfaction it would award him should God be pleased to lengthen out more time to her, that she might, before her eyes were shut, “see more of the work of the right hand of the Lord in reviving a swooning and crushed land and church.”       More time was indeed lengthened out to her, but it was to see, not the work of God in reviving the church, but the work of man in laying it waste, and in persecuting even to the death its ministers and members. Her highly esteemed correspondent was removed by death on the eve of these calamities, having died on the 20th of March, 1661, just in time to escape being put to an ignominious death for the testimony of Jesus. He was taken away from the evil to come. She survived him above eleven years, witnessing the desolations of the church, and though personally preserved from the fury of persecution, she suffered bitterly in some of her nearest relations.
   After Rutherford was laid in the dust, she cherished his memory with affectionate veneration, and in token of her remembrance, liberally extended her beneficence and kindness to his widow and only surviving daughter. This we find adverted to in a letter addressed to her by Mr. Robert M'Ward, from Rotterdam, October 2, but without the date of the year. “Madam,” says he, “Mrs. Rutherford gives me often an account of the singular testimonies
which she meets with of your ladyship’s affection to her and her daughter. If I could (though I had never had those personal obligations to your ladyship which I have, and under which I must die undischarged,) I would look on myself as obliged upon this account to pray that God may remember and reward your labour of love shown to the dead and continued to the living.” [Wodrow, MSS. Vol. lviii. Folio, no. 52.] The letters Rutherford had written to her she carefully preserved; and when, after his death, the publication of a collection of his letters was resolved upon, very desirous that those of them in her possession should be included in the volume, she transmitted them to Holland, to Mr. M'Ward, under whose superintendence the work was published at Rotterdam, in 1664. When it was published, M'Ward sent to her a copy in common binding, and some time after a copy bound in morocco, which, however, never reached her; on learning which, he sent her another copy in the same binding. [Wodrow, MSS. Vol. lviii. Folio, no. 56.]
   Soon after the restoration of Charles II, a deep wound was inflicted on the heart of Lady Kenmure by the cruel manner in which the government treated her brother, the Marquis of Argyll, who, immediately on his arrival at Whitehall, whither he had proceeded from Scotland to offer his respectful congratulations to his Majesty, was by his orders thrown into the Tower of London, and afterwards brought to trial before the Scottish Parliament, by which he was condemned to be beheaded.
   In those days it would appear that, like astrologers,who professed to foretell the fortunes of men from the aspect of the heavens, and the influence of the stars, physiognomists, with equal absurdity, pretended to read men’s future destiny in their countenances. The following instance of this may be quoted as an illustration of the foolish superstition which, at that period, existed in the best educated and most enlightened circles of society: - “Alexander Colville, justice depute, an old servant of the house, told me that my Lady Kenmure, a gracious lady, my lord’s (Marquis of Argyll’s) sister, from some little skill of physiognomy, which Sir Alexander had taught her, had told him some years ago that her brother would die in blood.” - Baillie's Letters, quoted in Kirkton's History, p. 107.
she received kind letters of condolence from several of her friends. Rutherford, on hearing of the imprisonment of her brother in the Tower, wrote to her from St. Andrews, July 24, 1660, saying, among other things, “It is not my part to be unmindful of you. Be not afflicted for your brother, the Marquis of Argyll. As to the main, in my weak apprehension, the seed of God being in him, and love to the people of God and his cause, it shall be well.”
   Another of her relatives who suffered from the iniquity of the times was Lord Lorn, the eldest son of her broth- er, the Marquis of Argyll. Lorn, naturally indignant at the cruel treatment which his father and family had received at the hands of the Parliament, gave free expression to his sentiments in a confidential letter he sent to his friend Lord Duffus. This letter being intercepted and carried to Middleton, that unprincipled statesman resolved to make it the foundation of a capital charge against him. Disappointed in his hope of obtaining the estate of the Marquis of Argyll, which through the intercession of Lauderdale was gifted to Lord Lorn, who had married Lauderdale’s lady’s niece, Middleton thought he had now found a favourable opportunity of getting into his rapacious grasp the spoils of the Argyll family. Accordingly, he laid the letter before the estates of Parliament, which voted it treasonable, and sent information to his Majesty, with a desire that Lorn, who was then in London, should be secured and sent down to Scotland to stand trial before the Parliament. Lorn was ordered to return to Scotland, though, at the intercession of Lauderdale, who personally became bail for his appearance, he was not sent down as a prisoner; and arriving in Edinburgh on the 17th of July, 1662, he was immediately charged to appear at the bar of the house on the afternoon of that day; which be did. That same night he was committed prisoner to the Castle, and on the 26th of August was sentenced to be beheaded, and his lands, goods, and estate forfeited, for treasonable speeches and writings against the Parliament; the time of the execution of the sentence being remitted to the king. He lay in prison in the Castle till Middleton’s fall, when he was liberated, in June 1663, and was soon after restored to his grandfather’s estate, with the title of Earl of Argyll. [Wodrow’s History, vol. i. pp. 297, 388; Aikman’s History, vol, iv. p. 500; Row’s Life of Robert Blair, p. 469.] During the time of Lorn’s imprisonment, M'Ward wrote to Lady Kenmure a letter, in which, among other things, he particularly animadverts upon this
additional instance of the injustice and cruelty exercised towards the noble house of Argyll. The portion of it relating to Lorn’s imprisonment may be quoted, as, besides containing a vindication of the prisoner’s father, the Marquis of Argyll, and describing the true character of the proceedings of that unprincipled government, it illustrates the pious and patriotic spirit of this noble lady. “The men,” says he, “who have sold themselves to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, have stretched forth their hand against your ladyship’s honourable and truly noble family. They made that worthy whose name is savoury amongst his people, the butt of their malice, and as if that had not been enough, they persecute with deadly malice his honourable and hopeful posterity, that their name may be no more in remembrance. But have they slain and also taken possession? and will he not bring evil upon them and their posterity for this, and for the provocation wherewith they have provoked him to anger and made Israel to sin? But what wonder that they have stretched forth their hand against his worthies, who have been honoured to be singularly useful and instrumental in his work, when it is come to this, that in a land solemn- ly sworn away to God, the Son of Man hath not so much left him, even by law, as whereupon to lay his head, except it be upon a cold stone in a prison! We have laws now framed by the throne of iniquity and in force, and by these laws he must die or be driven away. The men who have taken first the life and then the lands of him whom God hath taken off the stage with so much true honour; they have spoiled Christ also of his prerogative, and say, by what they do, ‘This man shall not reign over us, we have no king but Caesar,’and his people of their privilege, saying to them, ‘Bow down that we may go over you.’I believe, while your ladyship remembers these last, ye forget the first: however, your ladyship, and all the rest of his honourable relations, may be confident and comforted in the hope of it, when he comes to count with these men and cause them answer for that laese-majesty whereof they are guilty against God, he will make inquisition for blood, yea, that blood, and make them sensible how sadly he resents the injuries done to that house, and will, if ever he builds up Zion and appear in his glory in the land, (as I desire to believe he will,) restore the honour of that family with such a considerable over- plus of splendour, as shall make them who see it say, ‘Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, he is a God that judgeth in the earth.’But, madam, I know, since God hath learned you to prefer Jerusalem to your chief joy, (a rare mercy amidst a generation who are crying, ‘Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation,’) that ye forget to sorrow for your father's house, and weep when ye remember Zion; it no doubt makes your sighing come before ye eat to see the ruins of that so lately beautiful fabric wherein ye, with the rest of his people, worshipped. Who can be but sad that hath the heart of a child to consider how the songs of the sanctuary are turned into howling?”[Wodrow MSS., vol. lviii., folio, no. 59.]
    From the allusion in the last sentence quoted, the reader will perceive that, at the time when this letter was written, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland had been overthrown. Charles II had got it into his head that Presbytery was not a religion for a gentleman, - an opinion of which the foundation no doubt was, what a young monarch of licentious morals could not easily brook, the strict surveillance which the Presbyterian Church exercised over the manners of all her members without respect of persons; - and no sooner was he restored to his throne than he and the base men selected by him for his counsellors, were determined not to suffer the offence and reproach of such an ill-bred religion to remain in the land, no, not even in the form of a dissenting body. Nor was it by gradual encroachments that they resolved to sap the foundations of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. Too impatient to wait the operation of slow and insidious measures, they proceeded openly, summarily, and by violence. Such ministers as did not conform against a certain day were to be unceremoniously ejected. No soft words were to be employed; no gentle acts of persuasion were to be resorted to with the view of bringing them to submission. The law, with its severe penalties, which were deemed a sufficient argument, was promulgated, and, stern and unbending, it was to take its course on all the disobedient. The majority of the ministers conformed, though they had sworn against prelacy; but a noble army of nearly four hundred of them refused compliance, preferring to suffer rather than to part with their integrity. They were in consequence driven from their people, who were thus deprived of the ordinances of the gospel, and who mourned the loss of their faithful pastors as a family bereavement.
   To this calamitous state of things M'Ward, in the same letter, proceeds to advert more particularly. He dwells upon the sorrow which he knew Lady Kenmure felt because her ear did not hear the joyful sound, nor her eyes see her teachers, and that she was not now made glad in the sanctuary, as in former days, when she had been abundantly satisfied with the fatness of God’s house, and made to drink with delight of the rivers of his pleasure, his banner over her being love. “You have now known of a long time,” says he, “what it is to live and almost languish in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, where all the streams of creature contentments have been dried up, and diverted by the scorching heat of fiery trials. But this, I know, is the hardest and heaviest of all, that the streams of the sanctuary which did refresh the city of God are dried up, and that these ordinances of life in the use whereof God doth ordinarily set forth and impart much of his loving kindness, which is better than life, are taken away from you.” And he concludes by observing that, “though he knew it to be grieving to her to see the faithful feeders put from their work, and God’s house of prayer turned into a den of thieves, who come not in by the door, and how the valley of vision was become a dungeon of Egyptian darkness,” yet that it would comfort her in a great measure, notwithstanding all that had happened, if she saw “the ministers of the Lord zealous and carrying like men of understanding who knew the times and what Israel ought to do, and not as asses crouching between the burdens.” [Wodrow MSS., vol. lviii., folio, no. 59.]
   In the welfare and happiness of the ministers ejected from their charges for nonconformity, Lady Kenmure took a deep interest, being warmly attached to the cause in which they suffered. Their integrity and conscientiousness in renouncing their livings rather than do violence to their conscience, excited both her approval and admiration; and if she could not restore them to the places from which they were extruded, she was willing, according to her ability, to mitigate the privations and hardships of their lot. After the death of her son, Lord Viscount Kenmure, and of her second husband, the Honourable Sir Henry Montgomery of Giffen, her pecuniary means were indeed much reduced, but having devoted herself and her all to the Saviour who redeemed her, she was liberal in communicating even beyond her ability to the necessities of the suffering Presbyterian ministers; and these acts of benevolence and generosity, which she felt to be sacred duties, she performed with a readiness and an alacrity corresponding to the deep sense she had of a Saviour’s love. Mr. Robert M'Ward, among others, was a sharer of her bounty. She frequently sent remittances to him in his straits when he was in Holland, of which he makes grateful mention in most of his letters to her, as well as refers to her profuse beneficence towards others who suf-fered for righteousness’sake, and who were in needy circumstances. In one of his letters to her, without date, but which, as appears from internal evidence, was written subsequently to the martyrdom of the Marquis of Argyll, and from Holland, after apologizing for taking the liberty of writing to her, he says, “It flows from an affection- ate respect which your ladyship’s undeserved kindness and bounty towards me in my strait (whereof I hope to cease to be sensible and cease to be together), hath made a debt which I can never forbear to acknowledge (though I am not in ease to requite it) without the imputation of baseness and ingratitude.” [Wodrow MSS., vol lviii., folio, no. 53.] In another letter to her from Rotterdam, in 1668, he writes, “Your ladyship hath put me oft to seek what to say, but, never more than by your last. I am truly at a loss for words to express myself about it; and I can assure you, madam, that it was a trouble to me to think how prodigal ye have been towards me at such a time. When I know well what the riches of your liberality are to others, and how much they who should give you what God hath made your own pinch you in withholding what they ought to give, what shall I say? but I see I must be among the rest, and with the first of them, who bear record of your doing even beyond power; and to make it appear that ye have, in the first place, given your ownself unto the Lord, ye give, in the second place, yourself and whatever God hath given you, to those whom ye suppose to have given themselves to God. Madam, when I can neither requite these high favours nor deserve them, I desire to have a complacency in the thoughts of what a rich reward abides you from him who is faithful and will never forget your work and labour of love showed towards his name. If he will not forget a cup of cold water, which is given by the hand of him who boiled it before he gave it, in the fire of love to God which burns in his bosom, how much more must these great givings be an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing unto God!” [Wodrow MSS., vol. lviii., folio, no. 54.] Mr. John Carstairs, minister of the High Church of Glasgow at the restoration, had also received substantial tokens of her good will. In a letter to his wife, May 27, 1664, from Ireland, whether he had fled to escape persecution, he says, “Present my humble service and tenderest respects to my noble Lady Kenmure. The Lord remember and graciously reward all her labour of love!” [Letters of Sir. John Carstairs, &c., edited by the Rev. William Ferrie, Anstruther Easter, p. 120.]
   Mr. M'Ward having come to London about the year 1669, resolved to visit some of his friends in Scotland, and among others Lady Kenmure. In a letter to her, without date, but which was probably written from Edinburgh. On receiving this communication, Lady Kenmure lost no time in intimating to her old friend and valued correspondent when he might wait upon her, and in giving him to understand how welcome would be the sight and converse of one who had suffered for his Master, and by whose letters she had been instructed and comforted. Their meeting was agreeable and refreshing to them both. In M'Ward she found one who had the tongue of the learned, and who could speak a word in season to them that were weary. In her he found a Christian, who, trained in the school of affliction, had attained to no ordinary degree of eminence in the christian graces, and who seemed to feel more deeply the distressed state of the church than the bodily infirmities which were pressing her down to the dust. To this visit he seems to refer in a letter which he addressed to her from Rotterdam, March 5, 1672, in which he mentions it as one thing “which did often refresh and comfort him concerning the reality and greenness of the grace of God in her, when he had occasion to see her upon her bed of languishing, namely; his finding that notwithstanding of all these weights and pressures of bodily infirmities under which her outward man was wasting, yet Zion and the concerns of our Lord Jesus Christ had a chief place in her thoughts, she resolving to prefer his interests to her chief joy and greatest sorrows.” [Wodrow MSS. vol. lviii., folio, no. 62.] Lady Kenmure was now far advanced in years, and during her lengthened life she had seen many changes in the beloved church of her native land. She had beheld the triumph of its liberties, after a protracted struggle of many years, over the arbitrary power of princes, and had seen the banner of the covenant unfurled and floating through- out the length and breadth of Scotland. She had again witnessed these liberties prostrated and trampled in the dust by a monarch who was sworn to maintain them, and a grinding persecution carried on against such as, faith- ful to their covenant engagement, scorned to surrender them. But time with its many changes, so far from altering, had only served to confirm her original sentiments on ecclesiastical questions. The good old cause was still the good old cause for her. “Madam,” says M'Ward, in the letter last quoted, “as it hath been observed by many
of your intimate Christian acquaintance that this hath been a piece of his gracious kindness to you to keep you still upon his side in an evil time, and to warm your soul into a good degree of holy heat and jealousy for God, his concerns, crown, and kingdom; so he continues to be gracious to you in this matter still, and to make you a comfort to such who take pleasure in the dust of Zion. How great a mercy is this when the breath of most men, the breath of most professors, nay, alas, the breath of most ministers, who by their fervour should warm the souls of others, is so cold that it doth plainly discover a falling from first love, and a want of divine zeal for him, and fervent desire for the coming of his kingdom in the world! This which he hath given you is a pearl of great price, a jewel of more value than the whole universe, nay, this is something above the reality of grace, and beyond every exercise of real grace. This is to carry like your father’s child, when the coming of his kingdom is the inward echo of your soul.” [Wodrow MMS., folio, lviii. no. 62.]
   The precise date of Lady Kenmure’s death we have not been able to ascertain. She was alive in August, 1672; for when Mr. John Livingstone, who died on the 19th of August that year, was giving some of his friends an account of God’s goodness to him during the course of his earthly pilgrimage the day before his death, and recounting it as one of the divine mercies conferred upon him that he had been acquainted with many eminent Christians in his youth, he named two, the tutor of Bonnington, and Lady Kenmure, “who is,” said he, “the old- est Christian acquaintance I have now alive.” But she was at that time in so very weak and infirm a state of health that M'Ward, in a letter to her, dated August 30, 1672, expresses his fears that it might possibly be his last letter to her, and whether it might come to her or find her in the land of the living. [Wodrow MMS., folio, lviii. no. 63.]
   It would no doubt be interesting to know the circumstances connected with the last sickness and death of a lady so eminent for piety; but these have not been transmitted to posterity. We have, however, traced her from early life to advanced age, and we have seen throughout that whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, on these things she thought, and these things she practised. Although, then, we lose sight of her at the closing scene, we may be sure that the light of heaven rested upon it, dispelling the darkness of death and the grave; and whether she gave utterance to the triumphant exclamation of the Apostle Paul, in the prospect of his departure, or no, that exclamation from her dying lips would have been an appropriate close to a life which so eminently exemplified the Christian graces, - faith, purity, humility, charity, - “I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Largely taken from https://www.electricscotland.com/history/ladies/ladies05.pdf