Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rutherford Revised (297)

297. To  the Lady Fingask  From St. Andrews 27 Mar 1640

(Though to be Lady Anne Moncrieff of Fingass, Perthsire, near St Andrews.)

Madam, -Grace mercy and peace be to you. - Though we are not acquainted, yet at the request of a Christian, I am bold to write a line of two to you, by way to advice, though I am most unfit for that.
   I hear, and I bless the Father of light for it, that you have a spirit set to seek God, and the posture of your hearts is to look to heaven, which is a work and cast of the Mediator Christ's right hand,  who puts the heart on a new frame. For which I would have your Ladyship see a tie and a bond of obedience laid on you, that all may be done, not so much from obligation of law, as from the tie of free love; that the law of ransom paying by Christ may be the chief ground of all our obedience, seeing you are not under he law, but under grace. Know unbelief is a spiritual sin, and so not seen by nature's light; and not all that conscience says is Scripture. Suppose your heart bears witness against you for sins done long ago; yet any who have pardon with God do not have peace with themselves, you are to stand and fall by Christ's esteem and verdict of you and not by what your heart says. Suppose it may by accident, be a good sign to be jealous of your heavenly Husband's love, yet it is a sinful sign; as here are some happy sins (if I may say so), not of themselves, but because they are neighbours of faith and love. And so worthy Lady, I would have you to hold by this, that the ancient love of an old husband stands firm and sure. And faith hangs by this small thread, that He loved you before He laid the cornerstone of he world, and so He cannot change His mind,; for he is God and rests in His love. Neither is sin in you a good reason you should doubt Him, or think because sin has put you in the fear and reverence of justice, that He is therefore angry with you: neither is it presumption in you to lay your salvation on the One mighty to save, providing you lay aside all confidence in yourself, your worth and righteousness. True faith is humble and seeks no way to escape but only in Christ. And I believe you have put a respect and high price on Christ: and they can only believe, and so be saved, who love Christ, and to whom He is precious; for the love of Christ has chosen Christ as a lover. And it would not be like God, if you would chose Him as your liking, and He did not chose you again. No, He has prevented you in that  for you have no chosen Him, but He has chosen you.
   O consider His lovelies and beauty, and here is thing that can commend and make fair heaven, or earth, or the creature, that is not in Him in infinite perfection; for fair sun and fair moon are black, and think it shame to shine before His fairness (Is 24:23,; Job 25:5). Base heaven and excellent Jesus! Weak angels and strong and mighty Jesus! Foolish angel wisdom and only wise Jesus! Short living creature and long living and ever living Ancient of days! Miserable and sickly wretched are those things that are in times circle, and only, only blessed Jesus! If you can wind in into His love (and He gives you permission to love Him, and attractions also) what a second heaven's paradise, a young heaven's glory, is it to be hot and burned with fevers of love sickness for Him! And the more your Ladyship drinks of his love, there is more room, and the greater delight and desire for His love. Be homely and hunger for a feast and fill of His love; for that is the borders and limits of heaven. Nothing has a nearer resemblance to the colour and hue, and lustre of heaven than Christ loved, and to breath out love words and love sighs for Him. Remember what He is. When ten thousand millions of heaven's lovers have worn their hearts threadbare of love, all is nothing, yes, less than nothing to His matchless work and excellency. Oh so broad and so deep as the sea of His desirable loveliness is! Glorified spirits, triumphing angels, the crowned and exalted lovers of heaven, stand outside of His loveliness (Ps 16:2), and cannot put a circle on it. Oh, if sin and time were not between us and that royal King's love! That high Majesty (eternity's Bloom and Flower of high lustred beauty) might shine on created spirit, and might bedew and overflow us who are prieces of endless misery and lumps of redeemed sin.
   Alas! What do I? I only spoil and lose words in speaking highly of Him who stay and be above the music and songs of heaven, and never be enough praised by us all; to whose boundless and bottomless love I recommend your Ladyship, and am
   Your Ladyship's, in Christ Jesus,  S.R.

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