Saturday, September 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised (323)

323. To Earlston, Elder    From London 15 May1646  

(See letters 59, 63,74,97,99,101,160,260)

Sir,I know that you have learned long ago, before I knew anything of Christ, that if we had the cross at our own election, we would either have law-surety for freedom from it, or then we would have it honeyed and sugared with comforts, so as the sweet should overcome the bitterness and wormwood. Christ knows how to breed the sons of His house, and you will give Him permission to take His own way of doing with you; and, though it is rough, forgive Him. He defies you to have as much patience to Him as He has borne to you. I am sure that there cannot be a dram- weight of bitterness less in your drink; and you would not desire He would both trouble you and hurt your soul. When His people cannot have a providence of silk and roses, they must be content with such a one as He carves for them. You would not go to heaven except with company; and you may see that the way of those who went before you was through blood, sufferings, and many troubles. No, Christ, the Captain, went in over the door- threshold of Paradise bleeding to death. I do not think you have learned to stoop (though you, as others, be naturally stiff), and that ye have found that the apples and sweet fruits, which grow on that crabbed tree of the cross, are as sweet as it is sour to bear it; especially considering that Christ hats carried the whole complete cross, and that His saints carry only bits and chips; as the Apostle saith, the remnants,” or leavings,” of the cross (Col. i. 24).
   I judge you ten thousand times happy, that you were ever graces debtor; for certainly Christ has engaged you over head and ears to free grace. And take the debt with you to eternity, Immanuels highest land, where you find before you a houseful of Christs everlasting debtors; the less shame to you. Yes, and this lower kingdom of grace is but Christs hospital, and guest-house of sick folks, whom the brave and noble Doctor, Christ, has cured, on a risk of life and death. And, if you are near the water- side (as I know you are), all that I can say is this, Sir, that I feel by the smell of that land which is before you, that it is a goodly country, and it is well paid for to your hand. And He is before you who will heartily welcome you. Oh, to suck those breasts of full consolation above, and to drink Christs new wine up in His Fathers house, is some greater matter than is believed; since it was brewed from eternity for the Head of the house, and so many thousand crowned kings.      Abrasions in the way, where the lodging is so good, are not much.
He who brought again from the dead the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, establish you to the end.
   Your friend and servant in Christ Jesus,  S. R.

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