Monday, September 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised (335)

335. To my Lady Kenmore   From St. Andrews 25 Sep 1651

Madam,Grace, mercy, and peace be to you.We are fallen in winnowing and trying times. I am glad that your breath serves you to run conveyed to him first verbally, by his brother James, then an officer in a regiment lying at Grave in Brabant; and next formally in writing,to the end, in the same condition and way in which you have walked these twenty years past. It is either the way of peace, or we are yet in our sins, and have missed the way. The Lord, it is true, has stained the pride of all our glory; and now, last of all, the sun has gone down upon many of the prophets. But do not stumble ; men are but men, and God appears more and more to be God, and Christ is still Christ.
  Madam, a stronger than I am had almost tripped me and thrown me down. But oh what mercy is it to discern between what is Christs and what is mans, and what way the hue, colour, and lustre of gifts of grace dazzle and deceive our weak eyes! Oh to be dead to all things that are below Christ, were it even a created heaven and created grace! Holiness is not Christ; nor are the blossoms and flowers of the Tree of Life the tree itself. Men and creatures may wind themselves between us and Christ; and, therefore, the Lord hath done much to take out of the way all between Him and us. There are not in our way now, kings, nor armies, nor nobles, nor judges, nor strongholds, nor watchmen, nor godly professors. The fairest things, and most eminent in Britain, are stained, and have lost their lustre; only, only Christ keeps His greenness and beauty, and remains what He was. Oh, if He were more and more excellent to our apprehen-sions than ever He was (whose excellency is above all apprehensions), and still more and more sweet to our taste! I care for nothing, if so be that I were nearer to Him. And yet He does not fly from me: I fly from Him, but He pursues.
   I hear that your Ladyship has the same opinion of the despised cause and covenant of our Lord that ye had before. Madam, hold it there. I dare and would gladly breathe out my spirit in that way, with a nearer communion and fellowship with the Father and the Son, and would seek no more but that I might die believing. And also I would hope, that the earth should not cover the blood of the godly, slain in Scotland, but that the Lord will make inquisition for their blood when the sufferings of the saints in these lands shall be fulfilled.
   The good-will of Him that lived in The Bush be with you. Your Ladyships, at all observance, in the Lord Jesus,   S. R.

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