Monday, May 06, 2019

Rutherford Revised (130)

130. To John Kennedy,Baillie of Ayr   From Aberdeen

Grace, mercy and peace be to you. Your not writing to me cannot stop me from remembering you now and then, that at least you may be a witness and a third man to see in writing what is between Christ and me. I was like a young orphan in His eyes, in want of known parents, thrown out in the open fields; if Christ had not taken me up and brought me home to His house and fireside, I would have died in the fields. And now I am familiar with Christ's love, so I think the house is my own, and the Master of the house is also mine. When Christ began to love me he did not ask whether I was fair or black or sunburned; love takes what it can get. I know He loved me before this time; but now I have the flower of his love; His love has come into a fair bloom, like a young rose opened up out of green leaves; and it gives such a strong and fragrant smell. I only want ways to express Christ's love. A full container needs a vent. Oh if I could find and throw out coals to make fire in many people in this land! Oh it is a pity that not many more are imprisoned for Christ in order to write books and love songs about the love of Christ! This love would keep all the created tongues of me and angels exercised and busy day and night speaking of it. Alas I can say nothing about it except for three things in His love:- First. freedom. O that lumps of sin should get such love for free! Secondly, the sweetness of His love. I give up speaking or writing about it; but this who feel it, can better tell what it is. But it is so sweet that except for Christ Himself, nothing can match it. No, I think a soul could live eternally blessed on Christ's love alone, and feed on nothing else. Yes, when Christ in love gives a slap it does one good and it is a kind of comfort and joy to be hit by the lovely soft and sweet hand of Jesus. And, thirdly, what power and strength are in His love! I am sure it can climb steep hill with hell on its back; and swim through water without drowning; and sing in the fire finding no pain; and triumph in losses, prisons, sorrows, exile, disgrace, and laugh and rejoice in death. O for a year's lease of the sense of His love without a cloud, to experience what Christ is! O for the coming of the Bridegroom! Oh when shall  I see the Bridegroom and the Bride meet in the clouds and kiss one another! Oh, when will we get our day and our heart's filled of that love! Oh, if it was right to complain of the famine of that love and lack of the immediate sight of God! O time, time, how you torment the souls of those who want to be swallowed up in Christ's love, because you move so slowly! Oh, if only he would pity a poor prisoner and blow love on me and give a prisoner a taste or a drink of that sweetness which is like glory begun and confirm that Christ and I will for ever have our fill of each other! Come near O love of Christ, that I may kiss you once before I die! I would give anything to have the time that lies between me and Christ taken out of the way so that we could once meet! I can only think that at first sight of that fair and lovely face, love will come out from His two eyes and fill me with amazement. I only want to stand at the outside of the gates of the New Jerusalem and look through a hole in the door and see Christ's face. A borrowed sight in this life would be my borrowed heaven begun until the long, long looked for day dawns, Not for nothing is it said,Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col 1:27). I will not be content wit la loan of heaven, only Christ Himself; for Christ, possessed by faith here, is a young heaven and glory in the bud. If I had that loan I would endure both summons and hell before I gave it back. Al that we have here is barley a picture of the glory. Should we your children long and look for our coming of age? It would be good to daily beg presents, love gifts, and the Bridegroom's favours; and if we can do no more to see crumbs and make hungry dinners of Chist's love; one to keep the taste of heaven in our mouths until supper time.I know it is well past afternoon and near the marriage supper of the Lamb: the table is already set. Run O Well-beloved, run fast! O fair day, when will you dawn? O shadows flee away! I think hope and love make our absence from Christ into a spiritual torment. Waiting is painful; but hope that does not make us ashamed swallows up the pain. It is not unkindness that keeps us so long apart from Christ. What else can I say about Christ's love. I think more than I can say. Considering that when my Lord Jesus travels (If I may say so), and goes about, yet he will stay in prison with me? But in all this sweet communion with Him, for what am I to be thanked? I am only a sufferer. Whether I want it or not He will be kind to me; He carries His love in on me as if He defied my guiltiness to make Him unkind. Here I die wondering that justice does not hinder love; for no-one is in hell nor out of it more unworthy of Christ's love. Shame may confound and frighten me to one hold out my black mouth to receive one of Christ's undeserved kisses. It I was turned inside out and all men saw my vileness, they would say to me,'It is a shame for you to stand still while Christ kisses and embraces you.' It would seem to be fitting for me to run away from His love as I am ashamed of my own unworthiness.;no, I may be ashamed to take heaven for I have so highly provoked my Lord Jesus.But seeing Christ's love will shame me, I am content to be ashamed. I want my Lord to give me broader and deeper thoughts, to feed myself with wondering at His love. I wish I could weight it but Have no scales for it.When I have worn my tongue to a stump praising Christ, I will have done nothing to Him. I must let Him be, for my withered arms will not go round his high, wide, long and broad love. There is nothing left but that my debt to the love of Christ remains unpaid for all eternity. All in heaven are utterly ashamed with His love as I am. We must all be debtors together; and blessing from that houseful or heavenful of debtors will rest on Him forever. Oh, if this land and nation would come and stand beside His inconceivable and glorious perfections, and look in and over and adore! I wish to God I could bring many lovers into Christ's house! But the nation has forsaken the Fountain of living waters. Lord, do not pour water on Scotland's fire. Sad, sad will be this land because f the day of the Lord's fierce anger which so fast approaches.
   Grace be with you.
      Your affectionate brother in our Lord Jesus, S.R.

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