Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Rutherford Revised (221)

221. For Marion M'Naught      From Aberdeen July 8 1637

(See 41 earlier letters to her.)

Worthy and dearest in the Lord, - I rejoice that you take part in the sufferings of Christ. Do not faint, keep breathing, believe; though men and husband and friends prove weak, yet your strength does nor fail. It is not pride for a drownng man to grip the rock. It is your glory to hold onto your Rock. O woman greatly beloved! I testify and affirm in my Lord, that the prayers that you have for many past years sent to heaven, have come up before the Lord and will not be forgotten. I cannot tell what is to happen; but I know that as the Lord lives these cries will bring down mercy. I encourage you and those people with you to go on without fainting or fear, and still believe and take no denial. If you give up the battle will be lost, if you continue our enemies will be a tottering wall. and a bowing fence. I write it (and keep this letter), utter, utter desertion will be to your enemies, and to the haters of the Virgin daughter of Scotland. The bride will yet sing as in the days of her youth. Salvation will be her walls and strongholds. The dry olive tree will again bud, and dry bones will live.; for the Lord will prophecy to the dry bones, and the Spirit will come on them, and we will live,
   I rejoice to hear of John Carson! I will not forget him. Remember me to Grizel and Jean Brown.Your husband had depressed me,; but be courageous in the Lord. I send blessings to Samuel and William. Show them I want them to seek God in their youth.
   Grace is your.
     Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.\.R.

Rutherford Revised (220)

220.  To my Lord Craighall    From Aberdeen July 8 1637

(See letters 86, 174)

My Lord, - I am persuaded that despite the greatness of this temptation, you will not let Christ lack a witness from you to confess Him before this evil generation. And if you side with God's truth (the perfect witness of  which forbids all human additions to His worship), and with the truly educated, and with all the sanctified in this land, and with that warner within you (which in God's time will not fail to speak against you, if you are not nor fast and fixed for Christ), I hope your Lordship will show yourself a man of courage for Christ, and refuse to bow your knee spurstitiously or idolatry to wood or stone or any creature whatsoever. I am persuaded that when you say goodnight to this world, you will think I now write God's truth.
   Some think that your Lordship has bound yourself to his Majesty, by promising to satisfy his desires. If it is so, my dear and worthy Lord, hear me for your soul's good. Think about swimming ashore after this shipwreck, and be pleased to write your humble apology to his Majesty; it may be that God will give you favour in his eye. However it be, let it be far from you tnink a promise made out of weakness and drawn out by the terror of a king, should bind you to wrong your Lord Jesus. But for myself, I do not believe that report, but I believe you will stick fast to Christ. I recommend you to his grace.
   Your Lordship's, at all obedience in Christ,   S.R. 

Rutherford Revised (219)

219. To John Row    From Aberdeen July 8 1637 

(John Row (1568-1646), minister of Carnock from 1592. The son of a reformer colleague of Knox. Opposed the Articles of Perth and Prelacy. Wrote a history of the Church of Scotland.)

Reverend and dear brother, - I received your. I bless His high and great name, that I like my sweet master the longer the better; a sight of His cross is more awesome than the weight of it. I think the worst things of Christ, even His reproaches and His cross (when I do not look on these with blurred eyes), far rather to be chosen, that the laughter and worm eaten joys of my enemies. Oh that they were as I am except for my imprisonment! My witness is above, that my ministry next to Christ, is dearer to me the anything; but I lay it down at Christ's feet for His glory and his honour as supreme Lawgiver, which is dearer to me. 
   My dear brother, it you will receive the witness of a poor prisoner of Christ, who dare not now conceal, I certainly believe and expect thanks from the Prince of the kings of the earth, for my poor efforts (such as they are) for His honourable cause, who I can never praise enough for His running over love to my sad soul since I came here. Oh that I could get Him set on high and praised! I seek no more as the top and bottom of my desires, that Christ may make glory to himself and building up to the weaker (Phil 1:14) out of my sufferings. I want youth help me both to pray and praise. 
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford's correspondents (16) John Row

He was the third surviving son of John Row (1525?–1580), a Scottish reformer, and Margaret Beaton of Balfour; he was born at Perth about the end of December 1568, and baptised on 6 January 1569. He received early instruction from his father, and at the age of seven was reading Hebrew. Sent to the grammar school of Perth, he instructed the master in Hebrew, who on this account was accustomed to call him Magister John Row.

On the death of his father in 1580, Row, then about twelve years of age, received, as did his brother William Row, a friar's pension from the King's hospital at Perth. Subsequently he obtained an appointment as schoolmaster at Kennoway, and tutor to his nephews, the sons of Beaton of Balfour. He accompanied them in 1586 to Edinburgh, enrolling himself as student in the university. After taking his M.A. degree in August 1590, he became schoolmaster of Aberdour in Fife; he was towards the close of December 1592 ordained minister of Carnock, in the presbytery of Dunfermline.[1]
Row signed on 1 July 1606 the protest of the Scottish Parliament against the introduction of episcopacy; and he was also one of those who in the same year met at Linlithgow with the ministers who were to be tried for holding an assembly at Aberdeen, contrary to the royal command. In 1619, and again in 1622, he was summoned before the court of high commission for nonconformity to the Articles of Perth, and required to confine himself within the bounds of his parish.[1]
He was a member of the general assembly of 1638, when he was named one of a committee of ministers to inquire—from personal knowledge of the handwriting of the clerks and their own memory of events—into the authenticity of certain registers of the general assembly that had been missing for some time. He was able to establish their authenticity. By the same general assembly, he was also named to a committee to construct such constitutions and laws as might prevent corruptions like those that had troubled the kirk in the past.
He died on 26 June 1646, and was buried in the family burial-place at the east end of the church of Carnock, where there was a monument to his memory.

In his later years Row compiled a memorial of on the government of the Church of Scotland since the Reformation. For the earlier years of his Memorial he made use of the papers of his father-in-law David Ferguson. The work found its way into circulation in manuscript, and copies of it were made. In 1842 it was printed for the Wodrow Society, chiefly from a manuscript in the university of Edinburgh, under the title ‘Historie of the Kirk of Scotland, from the year 1558 to August 1637, by John Row, Minister of Carnock, with a Continuation to July 1639, by his son, John Row, Principal of King's College, Aberdeen.’ An edition was also printed in the same year by the Maitland Club.[1]

By his wife Grisel, daughter of David Ferguson, he had, with three daughters, four sons: David, a minister in Ireland; John; Robert, minister of Abercorn; and William, minister of Ceres.

Rutherford Revised (218)

 218. To John Bell, Elder.     From Aberdeen  1637

(Maybe an Anwoth elder who later petitioned unsuccessfully for SR to stay in Anwoth)

My very loving friend, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I have very often and long expected your letter; but if you are well in soul and body my concerns are less.
   I beg you in the Lord Jesus, to be mindful of your country above; and now, when old age (the twilight preceding the darkness of the grave, and the lowering of your sun before the night) is come on you, be right with Christ, put your foot in the ship and turn your back on this life. Many are fooled with this, that they are free of scandalous ad public evils; but the tree that does not produce good fruit is for the fire. The man that is not born again cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Mere honesty will not take men to heaven. Alas that men who have never had a sick night through the terrors of God in their souls or a sore heart for sin should think they have met with Christ.! I know that the Lord has given you light, and the knowledge of His will; but that is not all, nor will it be sufficient for you. I wish you  awakened soul, and you do not fool yourself in the matter of your salvation. My dear brother, search yourself with the candle of God, and test if the life of God and Christ is in you. Salvation is not thrown at every man's door. Many are carried in a ship over sea and land to a far country while they sleep almost all of the way; but men do not land asleep at heaven. The righteous are barely saved; and many who run as fast as you or I miss the prize and the crown. God, send me salvation and save me from a disappointment and I look for nothing more. Men think it is only a stride or a step over to heaven,; but when so few are saved (even of a number 'like the sand of the sea, - only a handful and a remnant,' as God's word says). what reason have we too shake ourselves, and to ask our poor soul, 'Where are you going?' Where will you stay at night? Where are your charters and deeds of your heavenly inheritance?' I have know many who thought they had locked the door. Many junp over as they will and leap in. Oh see, see that you do not give your salvation a wrong turn, and think everything well and leave your soul loose and uncertain. Look to your building and to your foundation, and what signs of Christ are in you, and set this world behind your back. Now in the evening it is time to stop your ordinary work and high time to know where you will stay at night. Your salvation depends on it; and that is a great and weighty matter though many make light of it.
 Now may the Lord by His grace enable you to work it out. 
   Your lawful and loving pastor,  S.R.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Rutherford Revised (217)

217.  To Alexander Gordon of Garloch   From Aberdeen  1637

(Brother of Robert Gordon of Knockbreck, see letters 65, 66, 76, 92 and 170. Landwner in Galloway. Had two covenanter grandsons executed fr their part in the 1666 Pentland uprising.)

Dear brother, - Grace , mercy and peace be to you. If Christ as as I am, if time could work on him to alter Him, or that tomorrow could bring a new day to Him, or bring a new mind to Him, as it is a new day to me, then I could not keep a house or a covenant with Him. But I find Christ to be Christ, and that he is far, far, even infinite heavens height above men; and that is all our happiness. Sinners can only make wounds that Christ can heal; and make debts that He can pay them; and make falls the He may raise them; and make deaths that He may bring them to life; and spin out and dig hells for themselves that he may ransom them. Now I will bless the Lord that there was ever such a thing as the free grace of God, and a free ransom given for sold souls: only alas, guiltiness makes me ashamed to apply to Christ, and to think it pride for me to put out my unclean and withered hand to such a Saviour. But it is neither shame nor pride for a drowning man to swim to a rock, not for a shipwrecked soul to run himself ashore on Christ. Suppose for once I were guilty, I dare not pass by Christ. We accept the pride that beggars beg from the rich; and who is as poor as us or as rich as He who sells fine gold (Rev 3:!8)? I see then, it is best (no matter what guiltiness says) that we have no resource under heaven, except to creep lowly and submissively to Christ with our wants. I also have reason to give His cross a good name and reputation. Oh, how worthy is Christ of my useless and light suffering! And how at my hands He has deserved that for His honour and glory, I should put my back under seven hells' pains in one, if He calls me to that! But alas, my soul is like a ship run aground through shallowness of water. I am driven on the sands and my love is stranded and I do not know how to float it again. It is so cold and dead that I do not see how to bring it to flame. Fy, fy on the meeting my love has given Christ!. Wo, wo is me! I have a lover, Christ, and yet I lack love for Him! I have a lovely and desirable Lord, who is worth love, and who begs for my love and heart, and I have nothing to give Him! Dear brother, advance in Christ, and see a new treasure in Him. Come in and look down, and see angels wonder, and heaven and earth's wonder of love, sweetness, majesty and excellence in Him. 
   I do not forget you; pray for me, that out Lord would be pleased tossed me among you again, free and full of Christ.
   Grace, grace be with you.
     Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

; only alas, my guiltiness makes me ashamed to apply to Christ, and to think myself proud to putout my unclean and withered hand to such a Saviour. Butitis neither shame nor pride for a downing man t swim to a rose, nor for a shipwrecked soul to tun himself ashore on Christ. Suppose for once that I was guilty, I dare not pass by Christ. We take in god prtthat pride, namely that beggars beg from the rich ; and whois a spoor as uu? And who is as rich as he who sells fine gold (Rev 3:18)? I see then t is for our best (let guiltiness say what it wills)

Rutherford Revised (216)

216 . To Hugh Mackail      From Aberdeen July 8 1637

(See letters 71 and 118)

Reverend and dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter. I bless you for it. 
   My dry root would take more dew and summer rain than it gets if it were not that Christ wants to work on the deadness and dryness in us. If there was no wood to work on, carving would die and never be seen. I see that grace has a field to play on and to run u and down in our wants; so I often thank God, not for guiltiness, but for guiltiness on which Christ will sharpen and whet His grace. For the sake of the plasters from my Lord Jesus, I am half content to have boils. The benefit of sickness is that it pulls our sweet Doctot's hand, and His holy and soft fingers, to touch our withered and leprous skins. It is a blessed fever that brings Christ to the bedside. I think my Lord saying, ' How are you doing with the sick body?' is worth all my nights of pain. Surely I have no more to give Christ tan emptiness and want; take me or leave me he will get me no other way. I must sell to Him myself and my wants; but I have no price to give for Him. If He would put a good and real guarantee on His love to me, and give me a larger share of Christ's love (which I would of all things be most glad to have; not excepting heaven itself), I would go on singing and sighing under His cross. But the worst thing is that many think I am somebody because the wind blows on a withered prisoner; but the truth is, where many believe I abound, I am both lean and thin.  I had power to barter, I would exchange joy for Christ's love and faith, and instead of hot sunshine, be content to walk under a cloudy shadow with more grief and sadness, to have more faith and recommending Christ, to have that lovely One, that fair One, that sweetest and dearest Lord Jesus, desirable to many ears and hearts in Scotland. And if it was in my power to sell Christ to the three kingdoms, and to persuade buyers to come an take such sweet goods as Christ, I would expect to have many sweet bargains between Christ and the sons of men. I wish I could be humble and go with a low sail; I wish I had desires with wings and running on wheels, quick and active and speedy in longing for Christ's honour. But I know that y Lord is wise here as I and able to be thirsty; and infinitely more zealous for His honour than I can be hungry for showing to men and angels. But, oh that my Lord would take my desires out of my hands, adding a thousand fold more to them. and sow spiritual inclinations on them, for the coming of Christ's kingdom to the sons of men, that they would be higher and deeper and longer and broader! For my longest measures are too short for Christ, my depth is shadow, and the breadth of my affection for Christ, narrow and restricted. Oh for a devise and intelligence to show ways to men how Christ might be everything in all the world! Intelligence lags behind feeling and feeling behind obligation. Oh, how little I am able to give Christ and how much He has given me.! Oh that I could sing graces praises and loves praises! Seeing that I was like a fool invoking the Law, and asking the Law's court for mercy, and found that way difficult. I do not hold the Law or any Lord to be worth a drink of water, only Jesus: and until I thought about this I was killed by doubtings and fears and terrors. I praise the new court and the new landlord and the new salvation purchased in the name of Jesus and at His command. If it pleases the Old Man, let him make his moan to the Law, and seek friendship with it, because he is condemned in that court; I hope that the New Man (I and Christ together), will not be heard talking up in that court of the Law; and there is the softer and easier way for me and my cross together. Seeing that Christ sings my welcome home, and takes me in and makes short accounts and quick work of reckoning between me and my Judge, I must be Christ's man, and His tenant and under His court. I am sure that suffering for Christ could not be taken any other way; but I give my hand and my faith to all who would suffer for Christ, that they will be well handled and do well in the same way that I have found the cross easy and light.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Borno at present

          While some in Molai are returning  gradually, many are still pessimistic and afraid of going  back. This is so considering the many villages and towns that have been overran by either BH or the army. This is the situation along the roads from Maiduguri to Limankara, Maiduguri to Gamboru Ngala and to Damboa/Chibok. The situation is the same to Baga. However, we continue to pray that Maiduguri and its surroundings will withstand the attempts of the attacks of the enemy.
          Meanwhile,  some refugees from Cameroun are returning to Gwoza, many to Maiduguri itself. As they settle down, they need our prayers and support. Most of these people are our Christian brothers and sisters, many are  widows who have lost even their children to BH.

I had one unconfirmed report that Leah Shaibu has bee murdered.

Diary w/e Jul 27 th

Sun 21st Jul

I got to sleep a happy man after 2am in Ealing Hospital's Medical Emergency Unit. The procedure to stop bleeding in the right kidney seemed to have worked and as bleeding in the kidney stopped, so did the acute abdominal pain. The only problem was little sleep as BP etc was monitored every 15 minutes. In the afternoon I was told of an ambulance to take me
 to Northwick Park. It came after 10pm. Loading two more patient took until after 11pm then an hour's drive to Harrow and in a new ward at 2AM. Lot of pain on my right side X-ray and CT scans. Nil by mouth until theatre at 6pm for a hour long procedure. It lasted 5 1/2 hours very painful across my back at kidney level after I was moved on to the operating table. I was in to much pain to keep still for local anaesthetic. The anaesthetist said I was not fit enough for general anaesthesia or opiates He wanted consent to resuscitate and put me on a ventilator. With no procedure the prognosis was aslow bleed to death. I consented. The op was angioplasty via the groin and embolisation to the breeding kidney. It took a hour and the bleed stopped. Immediate reduction of pain.

Mon 22nd

I was on  BP etc observation every 15 minute so no real sleep. I was on complete bed rest so no relief of pressure point pain. I could eat but no appetite so food returned uneaten. Before family visitors went home, 9pm. pain started in chest. It moved up to my left shoulder and was agony. Eventually I was given oxycodone liquid every two hours and the agony abated. Doctors said it was infection and/or more internal bleeding. I was then moved from Evelyn Ward to a higher level staffing in Sheridan ward. . Without warning I vomited. Awful mess. The new ward is for observation. I was totally frustrated by monitors forever bleeping.Was it for me or someone else? What was its cause?Sleep apnoea, ECG or something else? Kept me awake with three ultrasounds on my badder. The catheter shows minimal urine,  But I am very sweaty.

Tu 23rd

Nurses let me sit on chair after they cleaned up all the blood on bed and clothes after I involuntarily pulled out a cannula in my sleep. Consultant and visitors say I  look better. Next bed geriatric with dementia discharged. Five elders visited. One phoned. Seven relatives visited.

Wed 24 Jul

Sweaty night tangled up in wires. Urology referring me to renology and hopeful of discharge in two days. I think the consultant is an optimist. I am to be seen by physiotherapy and OT too. Physio has had me walking with a zimmer. I am to be moved a quieter ward. Family from Cambridge and church friends visited.

Th 25 Jul
Woken at 4am by noisy patent. Found why the fan is not cooling.Visits from Katy, Rachel, Elissa, Derek Little, Kefas Ta'angan. Urologist sat my bloods good. Physiotherapist helpful. I am eating a little more. Shortly before 11pm told I was to be moved to a different ward. Should have been to second day of Test against Ireland at Lords. Lofty had my ticket but too hot to use it!

Fr 26 Jul
At 1am moved to Gray Ward. Much quieter. No buzzing, clicking, ringing monitors but neither are there fans nor air mattresses. Awake 3:30 bathed in sweat and I asked to sit in bedside chair.One blessing -the internet has resumed connection. Pain only really at site of catheter. Urology doctors say I have a chest infection plus a bleed into the kidneys The latter has knocked out one kidney and damaged the other. I wait he renal team's assessment later today. My brother visited by train from Harrogate. Ultrasound scan was agony with any movement with the catheter too painful. But I was told it flows good. Home early next week? Encouraged by evening visit from grandson Ethan and his dad, my favourite son in law.

Sat 27 Jul

Good in the morning until one of my physio exercises started the pain where my catheter emerges. Rest and oxycodone settled it and I managed quite a walk with the zimmer supervised ny a physio. Improvement seems slow but sure. I am due to go the the urology ward when a bed is available. More transfers than a football player! Maybe home early next week? This is my 9th day in hospital as now my 6th ward. This is the best so far, Dowland, urology department. two bed side ward and I am on my own and a fan provided.. Surprise visit from grandson Ethan and his mum. Also David Jones, MTW worker with our church.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Diary w/e Jul 20th

Sun 14 Jul

Excellent Joint Sunday Schools. We now have five classes for children and one for adults. Paul Levy excellent of Mat 18, becoming like a little child. Five guests to lunch including one of the original IPC members we had not seen for 49 years. We had a Korean American guest and a couple with child who are from Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. I had eight men for my exposition of Ps 84 at Harmondsworth, men from Algeria, Ghana and Nigeria.

Tues 16 Jul

Six of us at early morning IPC prayers. Led U3A World religions meeting in life after death so was able to witness to my sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead because Christ is risen.

Wed 17 Jul

Our U3A history group continued on the history of Spain in the era of Napoleon and Wellington. At IPC in the evening Paul Levy spoke on From Faith not Fear - raising covenant children.

Thu 18 Jul

I waited over half an hour. Two buses were missed from the schedule so I ver got to Ealing Lunchtime Talks.

THURSDAY 4:30 pm incapacitating abdominal pain.9pm arrived at hospital by ambulance. Friday 2am bed in Medical Emergency ward. Pain not relieved by morphine IV but lessened by hyoscine. Initial diagnosis, kidney infection - pyelonephrits.

Fri 19th

Pain all day in Ealing hospital. CT scan reveals a bleeding kidney.  Friday told I am to be transferred to urology at Northwick Park for sugary on kidney. Ambulance came after 10pm. Arrive midnight. Bed in ward 2pm. Nil by youth for second day.

Sat 20th
My trouble is from a kidney cyst bursting and bleeding. No treatment but complete bed rest. I an not allowed even to sit in a chair. The good news is I can eat and drink. So it is wait and see and pray. Then in afternoon I was put on nil by mouth. Consultant radiologist did haemoglobin going down. 6pm to operating theatre for an hour long procure. It did not progress well.The ward nurse has sent a note and when asked for them twice went to the wrong theatre. When transferred to the operating table my back was very bad. They could not get a vein for Fenatanyl. I was merely on paracetamol. Conference with consultant anaesthetist who said I was not fit enough for general, only local. And I was not for enough for high dose opiates. My choice was to lock. Stronger drugs and I could die.No operation and I would die slowly of internal bleeding. I agreed to go ahead granting permission to resuscitate and a ventilator if need.I was given oral morphine. An angioplasty through the groin did not reveal a bleeding cyst but bleeding into the kidney which was a side effect of the anticoagulant that i was taking. The bleeding was stopped. After 5 and a half hours with pain already somewhat abated. I am thankful to be alive.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Rutherford Revised (215)

215. To Mistress Stuart  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letter 161 to her husband, the Provost of Ayr)

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am sorry that you are so unhappy that I have not written to you.
   I am thought of as that which I am not. I am afraid that if I was put in the fire, I would melt away and fall down like shreds of a painting; for I have little at home that is work a look from God's servants. If there is anything of Christ in me (and I dare not deny there is some of His work) it is only a spark of borrowed fire that can barely warm myself and has little heat for those standing nearby. I would be glad to have that which you and others believe I have; but you only witness my outside, and some words I have written. Oh that He would give me more than paper grace or tongue grace! If it was not that want gives me pain I would have had an empty house and gone begging long since. But Christ had left me with some hunger that is more hot than wise, and is often ready to say, 'If Christ longed fr me as I long for Him we would soon meet; and if He loved my company as I do His, even when i am writing this letter, we would fly into each others arms.' But I know there is more desire than wisdom in this inactivity and pining love for Christ; and no surprise for Christ's love desires full harvest before midsummer. But if I have any love for Him, Christ has both love to me and wisdom to guide His love. And I see that the best thing I have has so much dross in it that it might curse me and it; and if for no other reason, we need a Saviour to pardon the very faults and diseases and weakness of the new man, and to take away (to say so) our guilty sins, or the sins of our sanctification, and the dross and scum of our spiritual love. Wo, wo is me! Oh, what need there is then for Christ's calling to scrub and cleanse and wash away an ugly old body of sin, the very image of Satan! I know of nothing surer than there is a place for Christ among us. I wish for no other heaven on this side of the last sea that I must cross, than this service of Christ, to make my blackness beauty, my deadness life, and my guiltiness sanctification. I greatly long for that day when I will be holy. Oh, what spots are yet unwashed! Oh that I could change the skin of the leopard and the Moor and exchange it with some of Christ's fairness! If my blackness and Christ's beauty were blended together (as we used to say) , His beauty and holiness would eat up my filthiness. But, oh, I have not yet thrown off old Adam's shade and colour. I believe that the best of us still has a smell of the old loathsome body of sin and guiltiness. They are happy for evermore who can employ Christ and set His blood and death to work to make foul souls clean work for God. I know our sin would have sanctification on the sunny side of the hill and holiness with nothing but summer and no crosses at all. Sin has made us so delicate as if we were made of paper or glass. I ofter think what would I think of Christ and burning together! Of Christ and torturing and hot melted lead poured in at mouth and navel! Yet I have some weak experience (but very weak indeed), that if Christ and hell's torments were married together, and I could not find Christ at all unless I went to hell's fire, so that there and in no other place I could meet with Him, I believe, that (if it was like I have been since I was Christ's prisoner) I would beg to live for God's sake in hell's hottest fire that I might be close to Christ. But God be thanked I will find Him in a better place. We get a bargain of Christ when he is sold to us, we get Him with only a shower of summer troubles in this life, as sweet and soft to believers as May dew.
   I would want you and me to help the mystical Christ to weep for His wife. And oh that we could mourn for Christ buried in Scotland, and for his two killed witnesses, killed because they prophesied! I we could come so persistently and ask God, our buried Lord and his two buried witnesses would rise again. Earth and clay and stone will not keep Christ and the Gospel down in Scotland. I do not know it I will see the second temple and its glory; but the Lord has deceived me if it is nor to be erected again. I want to again give Christ His welcome home. My blessing, my joy, my glory and love be on the One coming home.
   I find no better use of suffering than that Christ's winnowing separates chaff and corn in the saints to different places, and He finds our dross from His gold, so that corruption and grace are seen and that Christ says in the fire, 'That is Mine, and this is yours. The scum and the dregs, your stomach against the persecutors, your impatience, your unbelief, your quarrelling, these are yours; and faith, service, love, joy, courage are Mine.' Oh let me die one of Christ's servants, and one of His attendants!
   I know your heart and Christ are married together; and divorce would not be good. Do not regret that meeting and marriage with such a Husband. Pray for me, His prisoner. Grace, grace be with you. 
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

Rutherford Revised (214)

214. To Mr. James Hamilton    From Aberdeen 7 July 1637

Reverend and dearly beloved in our Lord, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. We do not know one anther personally nor in correspondence; but we are sons of the same Father and sufferers for the same truth. 
   Let no man doubt that the question we face in that we are now forced to endure by suffering exile and imprisonment, is, whether Jesus should reign over His church of not. Oh, if my sinful arm could hold the crown on His head, though it might be cut off at the shoulder! Concerning your forthcoming and feared trial, my very dearest in our Lord Jesus, alas, who am I to speak comfort to a soldier of Christ, who has done a hundred times more for that honourable cause than I can do? I know that those of whom the world was not worthy wandered up and down in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth; and while there is one member of the mystical body of Christ out of heaven, that member has to suffer blows until our Lord Jesus pulls that member within the gates of the New Jerusalem, which He will not fail at last to do; for there is not one toe or finger that will not be taken into the city. What can be out part in this pitched battle between the Lamb and the Dragon except to in patience suffer the arrows that rebound off our sweet Master onto us, or rather, hit Him first and then rebound off Him onto his servants.? I think it is a sweet north wind that first blows on the fair face of the Chief among ten thousand and then comes on our sinful and black faces. When the wind once blows off Him onto me I think it has a sweet smell of Christ; and so be more than a single cross. I know you have a guard on you, and your attendants and train for your safety is beyond the force of mischief of your pursuers. It is good in conflict to be near our guardhouse and stronghold. We can do little to resist those who persecute us and oppose Him except to  keep our injuries and wound until the next day in court when our complaints will be heard. If today is not Christ's, I am sure tomorrow will be.
   As for anything I do in my imprisonment, when now and then I can say something, it is very little. I am very sad that anyone would think there is anything in such a broken and empty plant. Let no-one say of me that the free and unsought wind (for I gave nothing for it) blows on an empty plant. I am his overwhelmed debtor. I cry, 'Down with me, down, down with all the excellency of the world,; and up, up with Christ!' Long, long may that fair One, that holy One, be on high! My curse be on those who do not love Him. Oh, how glad would I be if His glory would grow out and spring up out of my imprisonment and sufferings! Certainly, since I became His prisoner, He has won the centre and heart of my soul. Christ has even become a new Christ to me and I long for Christ more than before. And now I make no more effort with Him: His love will carry it away. I surrender myself to His love. I want to sing and cry and to say I am even underwater eternally indebted to His kindness. I will not offer to be out of His debt for that will not happen. All, all for evermore to be Christ's! I do not know what further tests are ahead of me, bu I know Christ will save my soul over on the other side of the water. on the far side of crosses and beyond men's wrongs.
   I had only one eye and they have put it out. My one joy, next to the best of my joys, Christ, was preach my sweetest, sweetest Master, and the glory of His kingdom; and they thought it not cruelty to put out the poor man's one eye. And now I am looking around to see if suffering will speak my fair One's praises, and I an trying to hear if a dumb man's tongue can raise one note or one of Zion's springs, to advance my Well-beloved's glory Himself out of a dumb prisoner! Oh, if He would make some glory for I am pregnant with His word and cannot be delivered. No-one here will have my Master: alas, what is the matter with them about Him?
   I bless you for your prayers. Add to them praises: as I am able I repay you. I commend you for studying Christ's Testament; I wish I could set out the dead man's good will to His friends in His sweet Testament. Tell Christ a prisoner's heart commendations. Do not fear for your ten days will pass (Rev 2:10). Those gathered against Mount Zion, their eyes will melt away in their sockets, and their tongues rot in their mouths, and Christ's withered garden will grow green, again in Scotland. My Lord Jesus has not yet brought out the word hidden in heaven for Scotland.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rutherford's correspondents (15) James Hamilton

James Hamilton (died 10 March 1666) was a Scottish minister of presbyterian views, active in Ireland until deposed from his living. He was second son of Gawen Hamilton, third son of Hans Hamilton, vicar of Dunlop. After receiving a liberal education at Glasgow he was appointed by his uncle, James Hamilton, 1st Viscount Claneboye, overseer and general manager of his estates in Ireland. He attracted the attention of Robert Blair, at that time minister of the church at Bangor, County Down, who persuaded him to enter the ministry. In 1626, despite heterodox views which resembled Blair's own in regard to episcopacy, he was ordained by Bishop  Robert Echlin, and presented by Lord Claneboye to the church at Ballywalter in co. Down.
He was there for ten years until Thomas Wentworth and John Bramhall set new terms of church communion to be sworn to in the Church of Ireland. Hamilton did not submit, and his example was followed by other ministers including Edward Brice and John Ridge. Henry Leslie, Echlin's successor, was urged by Bramhall to proceed to their deposition; Leslie challenged them to a public disputation. His challenge was accepted, and Hamilton was chosen to conduct the defence on their behalf. The conference opened on 11 August 1636, in the presence of a large assembly. Bramhall called a halt, and, having obtained an adjournment, persuaded Leslie not to resume it, but to pass sentence on the recalcitrant ministers. On the following day they were deposed. Warrants were issued for their arrest, and Hamilton left for Scotland, where he was appointed minister of the church at Dumfries.
In September 1642 he revisited Ireland, in order to minister to the Ulster Scots, but returning to Scotland he was in March 1644 appointed by the general assembly to superintend the administration of the solemn league and covenant in Ulster. On his return to Scotland the ship in which he and several others, including his father-in-law, had taken their passage, was captured by the "Harp", a Wexford frigate, commanded by Alaster MacDonnell, who was bringing reinforcements to James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose in the Highlands. MacDonnell, who hoped by an exchange of prisoners to secure the release of his father, Colkittagh, then in the hands of Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, landed his prisoners at Ardnamurchan, and confined them in Mingary Castle. There Hamilton remained for ten months; several of his companions were released, but his father-in-law, the Rev. David Watson, and another minister, Mr. Weir, both died. Exertions of the general assembly and Scottish parliament set him free on 2 May 1645.
He returned to his charge at Dumfries, and was afterwards moved to Edinburgh. Being appointed a chaplain to Charles II by the general assembly, he was taken prisoner at Alyth in Forfarshire by Colonel Matthew Alured and Colonel Morgan, and taken to London, where he was confined for a short time in the Tower of London. Released by Oliver Cromwell's order, he returned to Edinburgh, where he preached till the restoration of the episcopacy in Scotland drove him from his pulpit. He retired to Inveresk, and died at Edinburgh on 10 March 1666.

By his wife, Elizabeth Watson, daughter of David Watson, minister of Killeavy, near Newry, he had fifteen children, all of whom died in their infancy except one son, Archibald, who was a leading minister in the presbyterian church in Ireland, and three daughters, Jane, Mary, and Elizabeth.

Rutherford Revised (213)

213. To Robert Lennox of Disdove  From Aberdeen 1637

Dear brother,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I beg you in the Lord Jesus to make fast and sure work of eternal life. Do not sow rotten seed: every man's work will speak for itself as to what seed has been. Oh, how many I see who sow to the flesh! Alas, what a crop will that be when the Lord will put in his hook to reap this world that is white and ripe for judgement!
   I recommend to you holiness and sanctification, and that you keep yourself clean from this present evil world. We delight to tell our own dreams and to flatter our own flesh with the hope that we have. It would be wise of us to be free, plain, honest and sharp with our own souls, and to instruct them to brew better.that they may drink well when time melts away like snow in a hot summer. Oh, how hard a thing it is to get a soul to give up all things on this side of death and doomsday. We say that we are moving and going from this world; but our heart does not move one foot from its place. Alas, I see few heavenly hungered souls, that have nothing on the earth except their body of clay going upend down this earth because their soul and the powers of it are up in heaven and there their hearts live, desire, enjoy, rejoice. Oh, men's souls have no wings; and therefore, night and day they keep to their nest, and do not know Christ. Sir, take yourself to your one thing, to Christ, that you may know the taste of His sweetness and excellency; and tell your love not to long for this world, for it will not do your business on that day when nothing will do you good except God's favour. Build on Christ some good choice and sure work; for when your soul has been active many years, and has sent and wandered through the creatures you will come home again before the wind. They are not good, at least not the soul's good. It is the infinite Godhead who must deal with the sharpness of your hunger for happiness, otherwise your desires will not be satisfied.: and if He should throw ten worlds into your desires, all would fall through, and your soul would still cry, 'Red hunger! Black hunger!' But I am sure there is enough for you in Christ even if you had seven souls and seven desires in you. 
   Oh, if I could make my Lord Jesus suitable for sale, lovely, desirable and fair to all the world, to both Jew and Gentile. Oh, I would give up my part of heaven if He would take my tongue to be His instrument, to proclaim Christ in His whole qualities of love, virtue, grace, sweetness and matchless glory to the hearts of Jews and Gentiles! But who is sufficient for these things? Oh, for the help of angels' tongues to make Christ sweet to see and pleasant o many thousands! Oh, how little does the world see of Him and how far they are from loving Him seeing there is so much loveliness, beauty and sweetness in Christ that no created eve did ever yet see! I wish that all me knew His glory and that I should put many to enter in at the Bridegroom's room door to see His beauty and to take a part of His high and deep and broad and boundless love. Oh, let all the world come near and see Christ and they will see more than I can tell abut Him! Oh if I had a pledge to put down for a seafull of His love! That I could have so much of Christ as would satisfy a longing for Him, or rather increase it until it was in full possession! I know that we will meet and I rejoice in that.
   Sir, stand secure in the truth that Christ you have received. Do not give in to any winds but ride then out and let Christ be your anchor and the only One you will look to see in peace. Pray for me His prisoner that the Lord would send me among you to feed His people.
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rutherford Revised (212)

212. To William Glendinning    From Aberdeen 6 July 1637
(See letter 137)

Dear brother, - You are heartily welcome to the honour which Christ has made common to us both, which is to suffer for His name. Truly I think it is my wreath and crown; and if the Lord should ask me for my blood and life for this cause, I would gladly, in His strength, pay in that kind the debt due to His honour and glory. Get to know Christ's love, and you will not fail to find new gold mines and treasures in Christ. No, truly we only stand alongside Christ, we do not go in to Him and take our fill of Him. But if He would do two things, - (1) Draw back the curtains and show His holy face; and then (2) Clear our dim and bleary eyes, to see His beauty and glory. He would find many lovers. I would look for no other happiness than a sight of Him nearby, so as to see, hear, smell and touch and embrace Him. But oh closed doors and veils and curtains and thick clouds keep me in pain until I find the sweet burning of His love which many waters cannot quench! Oh, what sad hours I have when I think that the love of Christ takes fright at me and blows past me! If my Lord Jesus would come and bargain for His love, I think He might make the price Himself. I would not refuse ten thousand years in hell, to have a wide soul enlarged and made wider, that I might be exceedingly filled with love, even running over. Oh, what am I to love such a One, to be loved by that high and lofty One! I think angels may blush to look on Him; and what am I to defile such infinite brightness with my sinful eyes! Oh that Christ would come near and stand still and let me look on Him! For to look seems to be the poor mans privilege, since he may for nothing and without payment see the sun. I would have a king's life if I had nothing to do except for evermore to behold and see my fair Lord Jesus: no, if I was kept at heaven's fair entrance, I would be happy for evermore to look through a hole in the door and see my dearest and fairest Lord's face. O royal King, why do you stand at a distance? Why do you stay beyond the mountains? O Well-Beloved, why do you give a poor soul pain with delays? A long time out f your glorious presence is two deaths and two hells to me. We must meet, I must see Him, I am not able to lack Him. Hunger and longing for Christ has brought on my need to enjoy Christ, that cost me what it may, I can only assure Christ that I will not, I am not able not to want Him; for I cannot master nor command Christ's love. No, hell (as I now think) and all its pains put on me alone, would not put me off from loving. Yes, if my Lord Jesus would not love me, it is beyond my strength and power to keep back or imprison the love which I have, but it must go out to Christ. I would set aside heaven's joy and live on Christ's love alone. Let me have no joy except the warmth and fire of Christs love; God knows I look for nothing else. If this love is taken from me the bottom falls out of all my happiness and joy; and therefore. I believe that Christ will never do such harm to me as to deprive a poor prisoner of His love. It would be cruel to take it from me; and He who's kindness itself cannot be cruel.
   Dear brother, do not be weary of my Master's sweet chains; we are so closely related to Christ that we suffer. Do not entertain a hard thought about my royal King. Rejoice in His cross. Your deliverance does not sleep. He who will come is not slack about His promise. Keep waiting for God's early salvation: do not ask when or how long? I hope that in the fire He will lose nothing of you but dross. Commit your cause in meekness (forgiving your oppressors) to God, and your sentence will come back from Him laughing. Our Bridegroom's day is coming on fast; and this world that seems to go with a long and a short foot will be divided into two ranks. Wait until your ten days (Rev 2:10) are ended and hope for the crown. In the end, Christ will not disappoint you.
   Commend me to your wife and father and to Baillie M.A; and send this letter to him. 
   Te prayers of Christ's prisoner be upon you, and the Lord's presence accompany you.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (211)

To a Christian gentlewoman    From  Aberdeen 6 July 1637

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. Though we are not acquainted at the wish of a Christian brother, I think it good to write to you, asking you in the Lord Jesus, in your troubles, to keep an ear open to Christ who can speak for Himself though your suffering and your own feelings dream hard things about His love and favour. Our Lord never gets so kind a look from us, nor so much of our love, nor our faith in such steadfastness, as He gets from the fire of our tempting fears and sharp tests. I truly believe ( and two sad proofs in me say no less), that if our Lord would bring our prostitute lusts into powder, the very old ashes of our corruption would take life again, and live and hold us enslaved, that  it may humble us, and make us sad, until are in that country where we shall need no medicine at all. Oh, what violent means does our Lord use to win us to Him, as if indeed we were a prize worth fighting for! And be sure, if leading was sufficient, He would not pull the hair and tug: but the best of us will wait for a strong pull by our Lord's right arm before we follow Him. Yet I do not say this as if our Lord always measured sufferings by so many once weights according to the grain weights of our guiltiness. I know that he does in many (and possibly in you) seek nothing so much as faith, that can endure summer and winter in their extremes. Oh, how precious to the Lord are faith and love, that when threshed, beaten and chased away, and driven as it were by God Himself, does still look warm like, love like, kind like and life like, homewards toward Christ, and would be in at Him, whether for ill or good. 
   Do not think it important that your husband, or the nearest to you in the world, proved to have the feelings and mercy of the ostrich, hard and rigorous and cruel; for the Lord takes up such fallen one as these (Ps 27:10). I could not wish for a sweeter life, or more satisfying expressions of kindness, until I be up with that Prince of kindness, than the Lords saints find when the Lord takes up men's rubbish, and takes in this world's outlaws, whom no man wants. His breath is never as hot, His love never produces such a flame, as when this world and those who should help our joy, pore water on our fire. It is a sweet thing to see them thrown out and God taken in; and to see them throw us away as the rubbish of men, and God take us up as His jewels and treasure. He often makes gold from dross, as once he made the castaway stone, 'the stone rejected by the builders,' to be the cornerstone. The princes of this world would not have our Lord Jesus for a pinning of the wall, or to have any place in the building; but the Lord made Him to be the most important stone of power and place. God be thanked that this world does not have the power to devalue us so many pounds as rulers devalue light gold or light silver. We will be valued as much as our master minter Christ, whose coin, arms and stamp we bear, will have us be. Christ has no false scales. Thank your Lord who chases your love through two kingdoms and follows you and it over sea to have you for Himself, as he says (Hos 3:3). For God lays up His saints for Himself as the selection and choice of all the world. Oh, what in heaven or out of heaven is comparable to the smell of Christ's clothes! No, if our Lord would show His ability, and make ten thousand heavens of good and glorious things, and of new joys devised out of the depths of infinite wisdom, He could not make anything like Christ; for Christ is God, and God cannot be made. And therefore let us hold to Christ, though we might have our choice and will for an army of lovers, as many as three heavens could contain.
   Oh that He and we were together! Oh, when Christ and you will meet on the farthest limit and borders of time, and the entrance into eternity, you will see heaven in His face at the first look, and see salvation and glory sitting in His looks and between His eyes. Do not faint; the miles to heaven are only few and short. He is making a longed for bed (as the word says, Son 1:16) of love for Himself and you. There are many heads resting on Christs chest, but there is room for yours among the rest; and therefore, go on and let hope proceed you. Do not sin in your testings, and the victory is yours. Pray, wrestle and believe and you will overcome and be victorious with God as Jacob did. No trifling straws, no bits if clay, no temptations which live no longer than an hour, will then be able to stand against you, when you have once had victory with God.
   Help me with your prayers that God would be pleased to give me freedom again to speak of His righteousness in the great congregation, if it seems good in His sight. 
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rutherford Revised (210)

210. To my Lady Boyd   From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 77,78,107, 167)

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I believe few know the pain and torment of Christ's postponed love: postponing Christ's presence is a torment. I know a poor soul who would put all oars in the water for a banquet or feast of Christ's love. I can only think it must be uplifting and sweet to see the white and red of Christ's fair face; for he is white and ruddy and the chief among ten thousand (Son 5:10). I am sure that His must be a well made face: heaven must be in His looks; glory, glory for evermore must show in His face. I dare not curse the mask and covering that are over His face; but oh, if there was a hole in it!  Oh, if God would tear the mask! Fy,fy on us! Until now we were never ashamed that we do not speak of our pining and longing for Him. I am sure no tongue ever spoke of Christ as He is. I still think and will continue to think that we wrong and undervalue that holy, holy One, in having such short and shallow thoughts about His weight and worth. Oh if we could only have permission to stand alongside and see the Father weigh Christ the Son! But we who have eyes of clay cannot understand how each one of them understands another. But it is a pity for evermore and more than shame that such a one as Christ should sit alone in heaven for us. It would not be a little glory to go up there once on purpose to see. Oh that He would make windows and fair and great lights in this old house, this fallen down soul, and then put the soul near to Christ, that the rays and beams of light, and the soul delighting glances of the fair, fair Godhead might shine in at the windows and fill the house! A fairer and nearer and more direct sight of Christ would make room for His love; for we are only constricted and narrow in His love. Alas, it is easy to measure and weight all the love we have for Christ by inches and ounces! Alas, that we love by measure and weight, and do not prefer to have floods and feasts of Christ's love! Oh that Christ would break the old and narrow containers of diminishing souls and make fair. deep, wide and broad souls to hold a sea and a full tide (overflowing its banks) of Christ's love. 
   Oh that the Almighty would grant me my request! That I could see Christ come to His temple again, as he is intending and is minded to do. And if the land was humbled the judgement threatened I know is, with this condition, "If you will turn and repent,' Oh, what a heaven we would have on earth to see Scotland's moon like the light of the sun, and Scotland's sunlight sevenfold, like the light of seven days in the day that the Lord binds up the tear in His people, and heals the blow of their wound! (Is 30:26). Alas, that we will not pull and tug Christ to His old tents again, to come and feed among the lilies, until the day dawns, and the shadows fly away! Oh that the nobility would go on in the strength and courage of the Lord, to bring our lawful King Jesus home again! I am sure He will again return in glory to this land; but happy will be those who help to take Him to His sanctuary, and set Him again on that mercy seat between the cherubim. O sun, return to darkened Britain! O fairest among all the sons of men, O most excellent One come home again! Come home and win the praises and blessings of the mourners in Zion, the prisoners of hope who wait for you! I know that He can also triumph in suffering, and weep and reign, and die and triumph, and remain in prison and yet defeat His enemies; but how happy would I be to see the coronation day of Christ, to see His mother who bore Him, put the crown on His head again and cry shouting until the earth rings. ' Let Jesus our King live and reign for evermore!'
   Grace, grace be with your Ladyship.
      Your Ladyship's, at all obedience in Christ.  S.R. 

Rutherford Revised (209)

209. To Mr. John Nevay    From  Aberdeen 5 July 1637

(See letter 179)

My reverend and dear brother, - Grace , mercy and peace be to you. I have a great number to whom I write or else I would be kinder in writing. 
   I rejoice that my sweet Master has any supporters. May my royal King's court be crowded! I would be joyful to have His house full of guests.
   Apart from the fact hat I have some cloudy days, most of the time I have a king's life with Christ. He is all perfumed with the trader's powders; He looks and smells like a king. He carries His poor prisoner in a chariot made of wood from Lebanon; it is coated with love. Is it not soft ground on which to tread or lie? I think better of Christ than ever I did; my thoughts of His love grow and swell in me. I never write to anyone about Him telling as much as I feel. Oh, if I could write a book about Christ and His love!. Suppose I was burned into white ashes for the same truth than me think is only knots of straw, it would be my gain if my ashes could proclaim the worth, excellency and love of my Lord Jesus. There is much to measure in Christ; I give up weighing Him; heaven would not be a sufficient beam for a balance to weigh Him. I do not care who sees me, or what is said about me: let  me appear like a fool on a stage and act a fool's part to the rest of the nation. It I can set my Well-beloved on high and have a good witness for Him, I do not care about their praises. If I can roll myself in a fold of Christ's clothing I shall lie there and laugh at the thoughts of dying bits of clay.
   Brother, we have reason to weep about our prostitute mother; her Husband is sending her to Rome's brothel, which is the door she well likes. But I persuade you there will yet come good growth for Christ in Scotland, and that this church will again sing the Bridegroom's welcome home to His own house. The worms will eat them first before they cause Christ to say goodbye to Scotland. I am here assaulted with the Aberdeen academic' arguments, , but I bless the Father of lights that they do not make truth bleed. I do not find a home in the hearts of natural men who are cold friends to my Master.
   I pray you to remember my love to that gentleman, A.C. My heart is joined to him because we have one Master. Remember my imprisonment and present my service to my Lord, the Earl of Loudon and his Lady. I wish that Christ be dearer to them than He is to many in their situation.   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (208)

208. To Mr Alevander Colville of Blair      From Aberdeen 23 Jun 1637

(See letter 98)

Much honoured sir, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I want to know how my Lord received my letter I sent him and how he is. I want nothing but that he be close and honest to my royal master and King.

   I am well in every way with all praise to Him in whose books I must ever stand as a debtor! Only my silence gives me pain. Out of heaven I had no joy next to Christ my Lord, but to preach him to their faithless generation; and they have taken that from me. It was like the poor man's one eye to me and they have put out that eye. I know that the violence done to me and His poor deprived bride is come up before the Lord; and supposing I do not see the other side of my cross, or what the Lord will bring out of it, yet I believe that the vision will not delay, and Christ is on his way for my deliverance. He does not go slowly, but passes over ten mountains in one stride. In the meantime I have pains with His love, because I want real possession. When Christ comes, he does not stay long; but certainly His blowing breathe on a poor soul is heaven on earth; and when the wind turns to the north and He goes away, I die until the wind changes to the west and he visits His prisoner. But he does not often keep me at His door. I am richly repaid for suffering for Him. Oh, if all Scotland was like me except for my imprisonment! Oh, how I am in pain because I cannot get Him praised by my sufferings! Oh that heaven (inside and out) and the earth was paper, and all the rivers, fountains and seas were ink, and I was able to write on all the paper, front and back, full of His praises and love, and excellency, to be read by man and angel! No.this is little; I owe my heaven to Christ; and want, even if I never enter in at the gate of the New Jerusalem, to send my love and my praises over the wall to Christ. Alas, that time and days are between Him and me, and stop our meeting! It is my part to cry, 'Oh when will the night be over, and that day dawn that we will see one another!'
   Be pleased to remember to my Lord my service, to whom I wrote; and show him that because of his affection to me I must pray for him, and seriously want Christ not to miss him out of the record of those who are his witnesses, now when His kingly honoured is questioned. His honour is to hold up Christ's royal train, and to be an instrument to hold the crown on Christ's head. Because I love his true honour and position, show him that this is my sincere wish for him. 
   Now I bless you and the prayer's of Christ's prisoner come upon you; and His sweetest presence, whom you serve in the Spirit, be with you.
   Yours, at all deserved obedience in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (207)

207. To John Henderson, in Rusco      From Aberdeen 1637

(See letter 150)

Loving friend, - I sincerely want your salvation.Know the Lord and seek Christ. You have a soul that cannot die: look for a home for your poor soul; for the house of clay will fall. Heaven of nothing! Either Christ or nothing! Pray in your family and think often about death and judgement. It is dangerous to be slack in your salvation. Few are saved; man go to heaven in ones and twos, and the whole world lies in sin. Love your enemies and stand by the truth in all things which I have taught you . Do not fear men but let God be your fear. Your time will not be long: make seeking Christ your daily work. You can speak to God when you are in the fields. Seek a broken heart for sin; for without that there is no meeting with Christ. I say this to your wife as well as yourself. I want your sister in her fears and doubting to take hold of Christ's love. I forbid her to debt; for Christ loves her and has written her name in His book. Her salvation comes quickly. Christ he lord is not slow in coming nor slack in His promise.
   Grace be with you.
      Your loving pastor,  S.RE.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Rutherford Revised (206)

206. To the Right Honourable my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure     From Aberdeen 17 June 1637

(See letters  4,5,7,11,19-21,23,27,28,30,31,35,37,39,40,42,56,58,61,69,70,93-96,104, 106 and 205.)

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to your Ladyship. I long to hear fro you and that dear child and for that reason I trouble you with letters.
   I am at present thinking that the sparrows and the swallows that build their nests in Anwoth are blessed birds. The Lord has made all my congregation lonely. Alas, I am often saying, 'Show me why You fight with me.' O earth, earth do not conceal the violence done to me. I know it is this my faithless jealousy in this my dark night to mistake a friend for an enemy; yet my Lord has made no argument against me. I argue with Him yet He gives me good words.  As my sins and the sins of my youth deserved blows, I am grateful to my Lord who among many crosses has given me a special and chosen cross to suffer for the name of my Lord Jesus! Since I must have chains, He would put golden chains on me, sprinkled over with many comforts. Seeing I must have sorrow (for I have sinned, O Preserver of mankind!), He has chosen out for me, joyful sorrow, - honest, spiritual and glorious sorrow. My crosses come through mercy and love's fingers, from the kind hand of a Brother, Christ my Lord; and therefore, they must be sweet and sugared. Oh, what am I! Such a lump, such a rotten mass of sin, to be counted a child worthy to be nurtured and hit with the best and most honourable stick in my Father's house, the golden stick, by which, my elder Brother, the Lord, Heir to the inheritance, and his faithful witnesses were also hit.
   It would be thought that I should be thankful and rejoice. But those who see me and lovers in Christ, have human eyes and have made my one to be ten and I am somebody in their books. My witness is above, that there are armies of thoughts within me saying the contrary, and laughing at their big mistake. If my inside was seen, my corruption would appear: I would lose and forfeit love and respect at the hands of any that love God: pity would come in their place. Oh, if they would only set me lower and my well-beloved Christ higher! I wish I had grace and strength from my Lord to be joyful, and contentedly glad and cheerful with my pain and sufferings, that God's glory high openly ride and triumph in the sight of men, angels, devils, earth heaven, hell, sun , moon and all of God's creatures; always providing that I did not feel the Lord's hatred and displeasure.
   But I fear that His fair glory is only fouled by coming through such creature as I am. If I could be the sinless cause of glorifying Christ, though to my loss, pains, sufferings and extreme wretchedness, how my soul would rejoice! But I am far from this. He knows that His love has made me a prisoner, and tied me hand and foot; but my pain is that I cannot get loose, nor get loose hands or a freed heart to do service to my Lord Jesus and speak His love. I confess I have neither tongue nor pen to do it. Christ's love is more than my praises, and above the thoughts of the angle Gabriel, and all the mighty armies that stand before the throne of God. I am ashamed, I am sad and depressed to think that my foul tongue and polluted heart should come in to help others to sing aloud the praises of the love of Christ: all I can do is to wish the choir becomes a crowd and to grow in praising Christ. Woe, woe is me for my guiltiness seen by few! My hidden wounds and bleeding within are seen by no-one; but if my sweet Lord Jesus was not still bathing, washing, medicating, healing and binding them up, they would rot and break out to my shame.
   I do not know how my suffering will end. I have only seen the one side of my cross; He knows, who has His fire in Zion, what the other side will be. Let Him lead me though it be through hell. I thank my Lord, that my waiting and keeping quiet as I do, (to see what more Christ will do to me), is my joy. Oh, if my leisure, joy, pleasure for evermore were put in pledge to buy praises for Christ! But I am far from this. It is easy for a poor soul in deep debt to Christ's love to wish for more than he can accomplish and to feed on big wishes that Christ would be honoured; but in doing, I am absolutely nothing. I have nothing, nothing to give Christ except poverty. Unless he would arrest my soul and my love (oh, oh if He would do that!), I have nothing for Him. He may indeed seize a debtor's person, soul and body, but he has no possessions for Christ to take. But how glad my soul would be if He would take my love and never give it to me again!
   Madam, I would be glad to hear that Christ's claim on you is still growing and that you were still going forward and you are nearer to Him. I do not honour Christ myself; but I want others to go on to Christ's house. I wish I could invite you to go into your Well-beloved's house of wine, and that receiving my word you would then see a new mystery of love in Christ that you never saw before.
   I am somewhat encouraged in that your Ladyship is not dry and cold to Christ's prisoner as some are. I hope it is recorded in my Master's account book. I am not very sad that my jealous Husband breaks in pieces my idols, so that they dare not nor will not suit me. My Master does not need their help, but they need to be serviceable to help him. Madam, I have been so bold as to have you and that sweet child remembered in the prayers of Mr. Andrew Cant, Mr. James Martin, the Lady Leyes, and some others in this country who truly love Christ. Let me know how is the child. The blessings that came 'on the head of Joseph, and on the top of the head of him who was separated from his brothers.' and the 'good-will of Him who lived in The Busr' be on him and you. Madam, I can by some little experience, more now than before, speak of Christ to you. I am still saying this, that if you seek there is a store, a hidden treasure and a gold mine in Christ that you have not as yet seen. Then come and see. 
   Thus recommending you to God's dearest mercy, I rest, your own, in his sweet Lord Jesus, at all obedience.  S.R.
My Lady Marischall  is very kind to me and her son also

( Lady Marischall Margaret Erskine, wife of William, was now a widow. The son mentioned was probably William, now Earl Marischall. He became a supporter of Charles II and commanded a cavalry regiment at the Battle of Preston  He was for a long time imprisoned in the Tower of London.)