Monday, July 29, 2019

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.

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