Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rutherford Revised (354)

354.  To my Lady Kenmure                                                                   From St. Andrews 12 Sep 1658

Madam,I should be glad that the Lord would be pleased to lengthen out more time to you, that you might, before your eyes be shut, see more of the work of the right hand of the Lord, in reviving a now swooning and crushed land and church. Though I was lately knocking at deaths gate, yet could I not get in, but was sent back for a time. It is well if I could yet do any service to Him; but, ah! what deadness lies upon the spirit! And deadness breeds distance from God. Madam, these many years the Lord has let you see a clear difference between those who serve God and love His name, and those who do not serve Him. And I judge that you look on the way of Christ as the only best way, and that you would not exchange Christ for the worlds god, or their mammon, and that you can give Christ a testimony of Chief among ten thousand.” True it is that many of us have fallen from our first love; but Christ has renewed His first love of our betrothal to Himself, and multiplied the seekers of God all the country over, even where Christ was scarce named, east and west, south and north, above the number that our fathers ever knew.But, ah! Madam, what shall be done or said of many fallen stars, and many near to God complying wofully, and sailing to the nearest shore? Yes, and we are consumed in the fire, but not melted; burned, but not purged. Our dross is not removed, but our scum remains in us; and in the fire we fret, we faint, and (which is more strange) we slumber. The fire burns round about us, and we do not lay it to heart. Grey hairs are upon us, and we do no know it .page717image3029969072page717image3029969392
   It would now be a desirable life to send away our love to heaven. And well it becomes us to wait for our appointed change, yet so as we should be meditating thus: Is there a new world above the sun and moon? And is there such a blessed company harping and singing hallelujahs to the Lamb up above? Why, then, are we taken with a vain life of sighing and sinning? Oh, where is our wisdom, that we sit still, laughing, eating, sleeping prisoners, and do not pack up all our best things for the journey, desiring always to be clothed with our house from above, not made with hands!” Ah! we do no appreciate the things that are above, nor do we smell of glory before we come there; but we transact and agree with time, for a new lease of clay mansions. Behold, He comes! We sleep, and turn all the work of duties into dispute of events for deliverance. But the greatest haste, to be humbled for a broken and buried covenant, is first and last forgotten; and all our grief is, the Lord lingers, enemies triumph, godly ones suffer, atheists blaspheme. Ah! we do not pray ; but wonder that Christ does not come the higher way, by might, by power, by clothes rolled in blood. What if He comes the lower way? Sure we sin, in putting the book in His hand, as if we could teach the Almighty knowledge. We rush; we do no believe n. Let the only wise God alone; He steers well. He draws straight lines, though we think and say they are crooked. It is right that some should die and their breasts full of milk; and yet we are angry that God deals so with them. Oh, if I could adore Him in His hidden ways, when there is darkness under His feet and darkness in His pavilion, and clouds are about His throne! Madam, hoping, believing, patient praying, is our life. He loss no time.
   The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
       Yours, at all obliged observance in Christ,  S. R.

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