Sunday, August 04, 2019

Rutherford Revised (226)

226. To Lady Kilconquhar   From Aberdeen 8 August 1637

(Lady Kilconquhar, nee Helen Murray, wife of Sir John Carstairs in Fife.)

Mistress, - Grace , mercy and peace be to you. I am glad to hear that you have your face homewards towards your Father's house, now when so many are for a home closer to hand. But your Lord calls you to another life and glory than is to be found here; and therefore, I would advise you to make sure he charters and rights you have to salvation. You came to this life for a necessary and weighty business, tmeet with Christ concerning your precious soul, and its eternal salvation.This is the most necessary business you have in this life; and beside this your other matters are only toys and feathers and dreams and fancies, what a fair and excellent thing that would be! This is in the greats urgency, and should be done first. The Gospel uses means to arrange a meeting been Christ and you. If you neglect your part of it, it is as if you would tear the contract before Christ's eyes, and give up the match, thathere may be no more dealing abouthat business. I know thaothers lovers beside Christ are persuing you, and your soul has many suitors; but I beg you to make a chaste virgin of your soul, and let it love only one. Christ is mosworthy of all your soul's love, though your love was higher than the heaven, and deeper than the lowest of this earth, and broader than his world. Many alas, too many make a common protitute of their souls for every lover that comes tthe house. Marriage with Christ would put your love and your heart by the entrance, out of the way, and outof the eye of all other unlawful suitors; and then you have a ready answer for all others, "I am already promised away to Christthe match is concluded, my soul already has a husband, and it cannot have two husbands.' Oh, if the world only knew what a a smell the ointments of Christ give, and how ravishing His beauty(even the beauty of the fairest of the sons of men) is, and how sweet and powerful His voice is, the voice of that Well-beloved. Certainly where Christ comes He runs away with the soul's love, so it cannot be commanded. I would far rather only look though  the hole in Christ's door, to see one half of his fairest and most pleasant face, (for he looks like heaven!) , supposing I might never win in to see His excellency and glory of the full, o enjoy the flower, the bloom, and he chiefest excellency of the glory and riches of ten worlds. Lord, send me, for my share, only the meanest share of Christ that can be given any of the inhabits of Jerusalem. But I know my Lord is no miser,: He can, and it well suits Him o give more than my narrow soul can receive. If there were the thousand thousand millions of worlds and as many heavens full of men and of angels, Christ would no be restricted in supplying all our wants, and to fill us all. Christ is a well of life; but who knows how deep it is tthe bottom? This soul of ours has love and must love some fair one. And oh, what fair One, what an only One, what an excellent lovely ravishing One is Jesus! Puthe beauty of ten thousand thousand worlds of paradises like the garden of Eden in one; puall trees, all flowers, all smells all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one, oh what a fair and excellentthing that would be! And it would be less to that fair and dearest Well-beloved Christthan one drop of rain to the whole rivers, seas, lakes and fountains of ten thousand earths. Oh, but Christ is heaven's wonder, and earths wonder! How amazed that His bride says (Son 5:16), 'He is altogether lovely!' Oh that black souls will not fetch all their love tthis fair one! Oh, if I could invite and persuade thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand  of Adam's sons, to crowd around my Lord Jesus and to come and take their fill of love! Oh pity for evermore thathere should be such a one as Christ Jesus, so boundless, so bottomless, and so incomparable in infinite excellency and sweetness, and so few to take Him! Oh, oh you poor dry and dead souls, why will you not come here with your empty containers, and you empty souls, to this huge, and fair and deep sweetest well of love and fill all your empty containers? Oh that Christ should be so large in sweetness and worth, and we so narrow, constricted, slow and so empty of all happiness. And yet men will notake Him! Those who will not give their love to this lovely one, lose their love miserably. Alas, these five thousand years,t hese Adam's fools, His  waster (Pro 18:9) heirs, have been wasting and lavishing outheir love, and their affections on black lovers and black prostitutes, upon bits of dead creatures, and broken idols, upon this and that worthless creature,; and have nobrought their love and their hearto Jesus. Oh, pity that Fairness has so few lovers! Oh, wo, wo to the fools of this world, who run past Christo other lovers! Oh, misery, misery, misery, that beauty can hardly gethree of four hearts in a town or country! Oh thathere is so much spoken and so much written and so much thougt of creature vanity and so like spoken, so little written and so little though of my great and incomprehensible, and never enough wondered at Lord Jesus!  Why should I not curse this forsaken and wretched world that lets my Lord Jesus to be alone? O damned souls! O misunderstanding world! O blind, O beggarly and poor souls! O wretched fools! What is iabout Christhat you so run from Him? I dare not challenge providence thathere are so few buyers, and so little sale for such an excellent one as Christ. (O the depth and the height of my Lord's ways that are past finding out!) But oh, if men would once be wise, and not so fall in love with their own hell as to pass by Christ and to overlook Him! But let us come near and fill ourselves with Christ, and let His friends drink, and be drunk, and satisfy our deep and hollow desires with Jesus,. Oh, come all, drink of His living well; come and drink and live for evermore; come, drink and welcome! "Welcome,' says our fairest Bridegroom. No man gets Christ with ill will; no man comes and is not welcome. No man comes and regrets his journey; all men speak well of Christ who meet Him: man and angels who know Him will say more than I am able to do, and think more of Him than they can say. Oh, if I was confused and bewildered in my Lord's love! Oh if I was bound and chained to it! Oh, sweet pain to fell pain for a sight of Him! Oh, living dead, oh, good death, oh, lovely deth to die for love of Jesus! Oh that I should have a sore heart and painful soul, for the lack of this or that idol: Wo, wo, to the misunderstandings of my mistaken heart, that gasps and cries for creatures, and is not pained and cut and tortured and in sorrow for the lack of a soul's fill of the love of Christ! Oh that you would come near, my Beloved! O my fairest One, why do you stand afar off! Come near so I can be satisfied with your excellent love. Oh for a union! Oh for a fellowship with Jesus! Oh that I could wiith a price buy the lovely One, even supposing for a while hell's torments were the price! I can only believe Christ will take pity on His pained lovers,and come and ease sick hearts, who sigh and faint for lack of Christ. Who is able to abide Christ's love, so nice. What heaven can there be like hell, than lust and long and pine and faint for Christ's love, and to lack it? Is this not heaven and hell woven through each other? Is this not pain and joy, sweetness and sadness, to be in one web, the one the weft, the other the warp? Therefore I wish Christo let us meet and join together, the soul and Christ in each other's arms. Oh what meeting is like this, to see blackness and beauty, contemptibleness and glory, highness and baseness, even a soul and Christ, kiss each other.! No, but when all is done, I may be tired of speaking and writing; but oh, how far I am from he right expression of Christ or His love? I can neither speak nor write feeling, nor tasting nor smelling: come feel and taste and smell Christ and His love, and you will call it more than can be spoken. To write how sweet is the honeycomb, is not so lovely as to eat and suck the honeycomb. One night's rest in a bed of love with Christ will say more than heart can think, or tongue can say. Neither need we fear crosses, nor sigh nor be sad for anything that is on this side of heaven, if we have Christ. Our crosses will never draw blood from the joy of the Holy Spirit, and peace of conscience. Our joy is laid up in such a high place, thatemptations cannot climb up and take it down. This world may threaten Christ, buthey dare not hit, or, if they hit they break their arm by hitting a rock. Oh that we could put our treasures in Christ's hand, and give Him our gold to keep and our crown. Work, Mistress, to push through the thorns of this life, to be with Christ. Do not lose sight of Him in this cloudy and dark day. Sleep at nighwith Him in your heart. Do not learn in the world to serve Christ, but search at Himself the way; the world is a false copy, and a lying guide to follow.
   Remember my love o your husband. I wish all to him that I have written here. The sweet presence, the long lasting good will of our God, the warmly and lovely comfort of our Lord Jesus, be with you. Help me His prisoner in your prayers, for I remember you.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

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