Saturday, September 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised (324)

324.  To his Reverend and worthy Brother, Mr George Gillespie   From St. Andrews 27 Sep 1648

(See letters 144,253. Gillespie was lying on his deathbed when this letter was written to him by Rutherford, who had heard of the dangerous illness of his friend. He died on the 17th of December following.)

Reverend and Dear Brother,I cannot speak to you. The way you know; the passage is free and not stopped; the print of the footsteps of the Forerunner is clear and obvious; many have gone before you. You will not sleep long in the dust, before The Daybreak. It is a far shorter piece of the back end of the night to you than to Abraham and Moses. Beside all the time of their bodies resting under corruption, it is as long yet to their day as to your morning-light of awaking to glory, though their spirits, having the advantage of yours, have had now the fore-start of the shore before you.
I dare say nothing against His working. I hope to follow quickly. The heirs that are not there before you are coming with speed after you, and none shall take your lodging over your head. Be not heavy. The life of faith is now called for; doing was never reckoned in your accounts, though Christ in and by you hath done more than by twenty, yes, an hundred grey-haired and godly pastors. Believing now is your last. Look to that word, Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. ii. 20). You know the that lives, and the that lives not; it is not single You that live. Christ by law lives in the broken debtor; it is not a life by doing or holy walking, but the living of Christ in you. If you look to yourself as divided from Christ, you must be more than heavy. All your wants, dear brother, are on Him: you are His debtors; grace must total and subscribe your accounts as paid. Do no stand on items, and small or little sanctification. You know that inherent holiness must stand by, when imputed is all. I fear the clay house is coming down and undermining: but it is near the dawning. Look to the east, the dawning of the glory is near. Your Guide is good company, and knows all the miles, and the ups and downs in the way. The nearer the morning, the darker. Some travellers see the city twenty miles off, and at a distance; and yet within the eighth part of a mile they cannot see it. It is all keeping that you would now have, till you need it; and if sense and fruition come both at once, it is not your loss. Let Christ teach you as He thinks good; you cannot be spoilt  nor go wrong, in His hand. Want is an excellent qualification; and no money, no price,” to you (who, I know, dare not glory in your own righteousness) is fitness reliable enough to throw yourself on Him who justifies the ungodly. Some see the gold once, and never again until the races end. It is coming all in a bundle together, when you are in a more gracious capacity to tell it than now.You have not come to the mountain that burns with fire, or to blackness, darkness, and storm; but you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling,” etc.
   You must leave the wife to a more choice Husband, and the children to a better Father.
      If ye leave any testimony to the Lords work and Covenant, against both evil doers and Sectaries (which I suppose may be needed), let it be under your hand, and subscribed before faithful witnesses.
    Your loving and troubled brother,   S. R.

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