Sunday, June 30, 2019

Rutherford Revised (185)

185.  To Marion M'Naught   From  Aberdeen  1637  

(See 40 earlier letters to her.)

Dearly beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. Few know the heart of a stranger and prisoner. I am in my enemies' hands. I want honest and lawful ways found to bring me home to me parish now when Mr,A.R. and Mr.H.R. have been restored. It affects you in Galloway the most so use petitions and letters to this end, and try if by proper ways I can be brought back again. Freedom means little to me unless I am restored to my flock; for my silence is my greatest prison. Whatever happens, I wait for the Lord; I hope I do not decay in my sufferings: Lord give me submission to keep on waiting. My heart is sad, that time flies and I do nor serve my Lord in His house, now when His harvest and the souls of perishing people need it. But His ways are not like my ways, neither can I find Him out. Oh that he would shine upon my darkness, and bring out my morning light from under the thick cloud that men have spread over me!Oh that the Almighty would put my cause in scales and weigh me, if my soul was not taken up, when others were sleeping, how to have Christ engaged with a bride in that part of the land! But that day my mouth was unjustly closed, the blossom fell off my branches, and the flower fell from my joy.Though I have been throwing myself under God's feet and wrestling to believe a hidden and concealed Lord; yet my fainting comes before I eat and my faith has bowed with the hard blow, and under this almost unsupportable weight! Oh that it does not break! I dare not say that the Lord has extinguished my candle, and has thrown water on my poor fire, and broken the posts of my tent; but I have tasted bitterness, and eaten gall and wormwood, since that day my Master prevents me from speaking any more. I do not say this because my Lord is a stranger to me, but because bystanders on dry land do not see my storm at sea. Those who witness my sad cross do not know my sad days and nights. Oh, if Christ would leave me alone and speak love to me, and come home to me and bring summer with Him! Oh that I could preach his beauty and glory as once I did, before my clay tent is removed to darkness! And that I might lift Christ off the ground! And that my brothers might be watered with the dew of  God, and my joy in His work might grow green again, and bud and flower! But I am only a short sighted creature, and my light does not shine afar off. He knows everything done to me; how that when I had only one joy and no more, and one flower that I thought to be my necklace. He came in one hour and dried up my flower at the root, and took away my only eye, and my one and only crown and necklace. What can I say? Surely my guiltiness has been remembered before Him, and He was wanting to lower my sails, and to bring the flower of my delights to land, and to let it stay on the coast, like an old wrecked ship, that is no longer to go to sea. But I praise Him for this chosen blow. I welcome this fire, God's wisdom chose it for me, and it must be best because it was His choice. Oh that I may wait for Him until the morning of this pitiful church dawns! This poor, afflicted church had a fair morning, but her night came upon her before her noon, and she was like a traveller forced to take lodging before the morning of his journey. And now her enemies are the great men in the land; she mourn; she languishes and her children sigh for bread; and there is no-one to pray to the Lord, that He would again come to His house, and dry the tears of His weeping bride, and comfort Zion's mourners, who wait for Him. I know that he will again make corn grow on the top of his withered Mount Zion.
   Remember my imprisonment and do not forget me. Oh that the Lord would again bring me among you with plenty of the gospel of Christ! But oh, that I might rest my desire where the Lord tells me! Remember my love in the Lord to your husband: God make him faithfull to Christ! And my blessing to your three children. Do not leave off prayer for this church. Urge my people not to accept a stranger and intruder into my ministry. Let me keep that right and position which my Lord gave me. 
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, on his sweet Lord and master,  S.R.

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