Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rutherford Revised (353)

353. To my Lady Kenmure    From St. Andrews 26 May 1658

Madam,I am ashamed of my long silence to your Ladyship. Your tossings and wanderings are known to Him upon whom you have been cast from the breasts, and who hath been your God of old. The temporal loss of creatures, dear to you there, may be the more easily endured, that the gain of One who only hath immortality” grows.
   There is a universal complaint of deadness of spirit on all that know God. He that writs to you, Madam, is as deep in this as any, and is afraid of a strong and hot battle, before time be at a close. But no matter, if the Lord crown all with the victorious triumphing of faith. God teach us by terrible things in righteousness. We see many things, but we observe nothing. Our drink is sour. Grey hairs are here and there on us. We change many lords and rulers; but the same bondage of soul and body remains. We live little by faith, but much by sense, according to the times, and by human policy. The watchmen sleep, and the people perish for lack of knowledge. How can we be enlightened when we turn our back on the sun? and must we not be withered when we leave the fountain? It should be my only desire to be a minister, gifted with the white stone, and the new name written on it. I judge it were fit (now when tall professors and when many stars fall from heaven, and God pours the isle of Great Britain from container to container  and yet we sit, and are settled on our lees) to consider (as sometimes I do, but ah! rarely), how irrecoverable a wo it is to be under a mistake in the matter of eternity. And what if I, who can have a subscribed testimonial of many who shall stand at the right hand of the Judge, shall miss Christs approving testimony, and be set upon the left hand among the goats? (Matt. 7:22, 25:812 and 33; Luke 13:2527). There is such a mistake  and it affects many; and what if it befall me, who have but too much art to deceive my own soul and others, with the flourish of ministerial, or country, holiness!page716image3029705920
   Dear lady, I am afraid of prevailing security. We watch little (I have relation mainly to myself), we wrestle little. I am like one travelling in the night, who sees a spirit, and sweats for fear, and does not care to tell it to his fellow, for fear of increasing his own fear. However, I am sure, when the Master is near His coming, it will be safe to write over a double, and a new copy, of our accounts of the sins of nature, childhood, youth, riper years, and old age. What if Christ have another written representation of me than I have of myself? Sure He is right; and if it contradict my mistaken and sinfully erroneous account of myself, ah! where am I then? But, Madam, I discourage none. I know that Christ has made a new marriage- contract of love, and sealed it with His blood, and the trembling believer shall not be confounded.
   Grace be with you.
     Yours, at all obedience, in Christ,  
S. R.

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