Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rutherford revised (313)

313.  To the Viscountess Kenmure  From London 16 Oct 1645

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to your Ladyship. - Though Christ loses no time, yet when sinful men drive His chariot, the wheels of His chariot move slowly. The woman, Zion, as soon as she went into labour, brought forth her children.' Before she was in labour she gave birthbefore her pain came upon her she delivered a son.': (Is 66:7): yet the deliverance of the people was with the woman going with child seven years. That is more than nine months. There are many oppositions o carrying on the work; but I hope he Lord will build His own Zion, and show us it is done,'not nay might, not by power but by the Spirit of the Lord.'
   Madam I have heard of your weaknesses of body and sickness. I know the outcome will be mercy to you, and God's purpose, which lies hidden underground to  you, is to commend the sweetness of His love and care to you from your youth. And if all the sad losses, trials, sicknesses, illnesses, griefs, depression, and the inconstancy of the creature, be explained (as I am sure they are) by he sticks of the jealousy of a Husband in heaven, fighting with all your lovers on earth, though there were millions of them, for your love to fetch more of your love home to heaven, to make it single, unmixed and chaste, to the Fairest in heaven and earth, to Jesus the Prince of ages, you will forgive (to borrow the word) every stick of God, and 'not let the sun go down on your anger' against any messenger of your troubling and correcting Father. Since your Ladyship can only see the target at which Christ has aimed at here, these twenty four years and more, is to have the company and fellowship of such a sinful creature in heaven with Him for all eternity; and because He will not (such is the power of His love) enjoy His Father's glory, and the crown due to Him by eternal generation, without you, by name (Joh 17:14,14:3), so Madam, believe no evil of Chris: listen to no hard reports His sticks make of Him to you. He has loved you and washed you from your sins; and what more would you have? Is that too little unless He postpones all crosses, until you be where you will be out of all ability to sigh or be crossed? I hope you can desire no more, no greater, nor more excellent partnership than Christ and the fellowship of the Lamb for evermore. And if at desire is answered in heaven (as I am sure it is, and you cannot deny it is made sure to you), the lack of these poor things, of a living husband, of many children, of a healthy body, of a leisurely life in the world, without one kno in he wood, are nobly made up and can be comfortably endured.
   Grace, grace be with your Ladyship.
      Your Ladyship's at all obedience in Christ.

Rutherford revised (312)

312. To Mistress Hume, on her Husband's death.   From London 15 Oct 1645

(Probably to Barbara Mein. daughter of Barbara Hamilton, recipient of letter 311, and wife of  minister William Hume who had come to England with the Covenanter army and died of wounds received at Newcastle.)

Loving sister,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. - If you have anything better than the husband of your youth, you are in debt to Jesus Christ for it. Then do not pay your debts grudgingly. Sorrow lessens the sweet fruit of righteousness; but quietness, silence, submission and faith, put a crown on your sad losses. You know whose voice is that of a crying stick (Mic 6:9). The name and majesty of the Lord is written on the stick; read and learn. Let Christ have the place of the husband. He now does not need you, or your love; for he enjoys as much of the love of Christ as his heart can take. I confess it is an expensive experience, to each you to undervalue the creature; yet it is nto too dear if Christ thinks so. I know the conflicts of your thoughts against his going away way and manner of his death, the instruments, the place, the time, will not give you relief; unless you rise above second causes, and be silent for the Lord has done it. If we measure the goings of the Almighty and His ways (he bottom of which we cannot see), we get God wrong. Oh how little of God do we see! He is far above our receeding and narrow thoughts.He ruled the world in wisdom, before we, creatures of yesterday were born; and will rule it when we lay beside the worm and corruption. Learn heavenly wisdom, self denial, death of sin by this sad loss. I know it is not for nothing (unless you deny God is wise in all He does) that you have lost one on earth. There has been too little of your love and heart in heaven, and so the jealousy of Christ has done this. It is a mercy He does not argue with you and all your lovers. I would desire no greater favour for myself than Chis made a necessity and bind Himself saying,' Such a one I must have.and I cannot live in heaven without such a soul' (Joh 10:16). And, believe it incomprehensible love that Christ says, 'If I enjoy the glory of my Father far above the crown of heaven, far above men and angels, I must use all means, though ever so violent, to have the company of such a one for ever and ever.' If with the eyes of wisdom as a child of wisdom, you justify your mother, the Wisdom of God )whose child you are), you will kiss and embrace this loss, and see much of Christ in it. Believe and submit; and refer the income of the consolations of Jesus, and the event of the testing, to your heavenly Father, who count all your hairs. And put Christ into His own room in your love; it may be he has been either out of His own place, or in a place of love inferior to his worth. Restore Christ in all wrongs done to Him, and love Him for a Husband,; and he who is a Husband to the widow will be to you what He has taken from you.
   Grace be with you.
      Your sympathising brother,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (311)

311. To Barbara Hamilton    From London 15 Oct 1645 

(Wife of John Mein, letter 151, and sister of Robert Blair's first wife. She  successfully presented the Treasurer of he Privy Council with a petition from women asking for liberty for Presbyterian ministers expelled from Ireland. Written when her minister son in law died.)

Worthy friend, Grace be to you. I do unwillingly write to you about what God has done concerning your son in law; only, I believe you do not look below Christ and the higher and most supreme act of providence, which moves all wheels. And certainly what came down enacted and concluded in the great Book before the throne, and signed and subscribed with the hand which never did wrong, should be kissed and adored by us.
   We see God's decrees when they bring forth their fruits, all action, good and ill, sweet and sour, in their time; we we do not see at present the afterbirth of God's decree, namely, His blessed end, and the good he brings out of the womb of His holy and spotless counsel. We see His working, and we sorrow; the end of His counsel and working lies hidden, and underneath the ground, and so we cannot believe. Even among men, we see cut stones, timber, and a hundred scattered parcels and pieces of a house, all tools, hammers, axes, saws; yet the house, the beauty and ease of so many lodgings and rooms, we neither see nor understand for the present: These are only in the mind and head of the builder as yet. We see red earth, unbroken clods, furrows and stones; but we do not see summer lilies , roses, the beauty of a garden.
   If you give the Lord time to work (as often believers make haste not speed), His end is underground, and you will see it was for your good, your son has changed places, but not His Master. Christ thought it good to have no more of his service here, yet, 'His servants will worship him' (Rev22:3). He does no need us nor our service, either on earth or in heaven. But you are to look to Him who gives the hired man both his leave and his wages, for his naked aim and purpose of serving Christ, as well as for his work. It is laid down in Christ's accounts, that such a labourer did sweat forty years in Christ's vineyard; though he did not get permission to work as long, because He who accepts the will for he deed counts so. No-one can teach the Lord how to keep accounts.
   He counts the drops of rain, and knows the stars by their names; it would take us much study to name every star in the sky, great or small.
   See Lev 10:3 'And Aaron held his peace.'(Mic 6:9). Hear the stick, what it preaches, and see the name of God . You know his two sons were killed, when hey offered strange fire to the Lord. Tell your thoughts to be silent. If the soldiers of Newcastle had done this, you might have survived it; but the weapon was in another hand. and know there is something of God and heaven in the stick. The majesty of the unsearchable and bottomless ways and judgement of God is not seen in the stick,; and seeing them needs the eyes of the man of wisdom. If the sufferings of some other in that loss could help you, you do not lack them. But He can do no wrong. He cannot stop; His goings are equal who has done it. I know our Lord aims at more killing of sin; do not let Him come uselessly to your house, and lose the effort of a merciful visit. God, the Founder, never  melts to no purpose; however to us He often seems to lose both fire and metal. But I know you are further into his work than I can be. There is no reason to faint or tire. 
   Grace be with you; and the rich consolations of Jesus Christ, sweeten your cross and support you under it. I rest,
   Yours in His Lord and Master,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (310)

310. To Mistress Taylor on her son's death.

(The son was a parishioner of Mr.Blair)

Mistress - Grace, mercy and peace to you. Though I do not know you personally, hearing the concerned words of your elder son who is now also in London, and reckoning Jesus Christ to be your closest relative, I am bold in Christ to give you my poor thoughts about your son who recently fell asleep in the Lord, who has been under the ministry of the worthy servant of Christ, my fellow worker Mr Blair from whose ministry he reaped blessing. I know grace does not root out the emotions of a mother but puts them on the potter's wheel of Him who renews everything, that the emotions be refined*. So sorrow for a dead child is permitted but in proper limits.The Lord's redeemed do not have sovereign control over sorrow and other emotions to know Christ's goodness as they please. "For you are not your own but bought with a price;" and your sorrow is not your own. He has not redeemed you by halves: and you are therefore not to call Christ's cross no cross.He commands you to weep: and the Princely one who has taken a man's heart to heaven in order to be a compassionate High Priest, became your like and companion on earthly weeping for the dead (John 11:35). So you are to love that cross for it was once at Christ's shoulders before yours:so by what he did he has gilded over and covered the cross with the Mediator's lustre. The cup you drink was at the lip of sweet Jesus, and He drank from it; and so it a the smell of his breath and I think you love it no less for this sweetness.So drink and believe the resurrection of your son's body. If one ember of hell could fall off the exalted head, Jesus (Jesus the Prince of the kings of earth!) and burn me to ashes, knowing I am a partner with Christ, and a sharer with Him (though the most unworthy) , I think I would die a lovely death in the fire with Him. The worst things of Christ , even his cross, have much of heaven from Himself; and sodas your Christian sorrow , being like Christ's. If your sorrow was illegitimate and not from Christ's family for you are related to Him, like him in His death and sufferings) I would pity your condition; but the kind and compassionate Jesus, at every sigh you give for the loss of you now glorified child (for so it is fitting to believe he is) with human heart cries, "Half your sorrow is mine."
   I was not present at his death having been called out of Scotland; but if you believe those whom I believe ( and I dare not lie), he died in comfort.True he died before he could do much for Christ on earth, as I hope and heartily want your son Hugh ( who is very dear to me in Jesus Christ) will do. He has changed his place of service not his service or Master, and that should counter some sorrow. "No longer will there be anything accursedbut ethe throne of God and of the Lamb will be in itand his servants will worship him. " (Rev 22:3) What he could have done here below, he is now engaged in that same service above; and it is all one, it is the same service and the same Master, only in a different condition. And you shouldn't think of it as a bad bargain for your beloved son, where he has gold instead of copper and brass eternity instead of time.
   I believe Christ has taught you (for I believe what your son Hugh says of you) not to sorrow because of the death of your son. Yo will think, "He died too soon, he died too young, he died in the morning of his life." But God's sovereignty must silence these thoughts. I was like you; I had only two children, and both are dead since I came to England.The supreme and absolute maker of all things renders no accounts in these matters the good gardener may pluck his roses and gather in his lilies in mid-summer, and I dare say at the beginning of the first summer month: and he may transplant young trees from lower ground to higher, where they may get more sun, and better air at any time of year. hat does that matter to you or me. These plants are His own. The Creator of time and winds gave a mercy (if I may use that word) to nature , in landing the traveller safely. If you complain about a fair wind, a good tide and a quick landing ashore, in that land where all have everlasting joy upon their hearts, then you love the sea too much. He cannot be in heaven too early. His twelve hours were not short hours. And think, if you had been at his bed-side, and seen Christ coming to him, you wouldn't, couldn't have put off Christ's free love for your son who would want Christ no more. 
   Dying in another land where his mother could not close his eyes is no great trouble. Who closed Moses' eyes? Who put on his burial sheet? For all I know neither father, nor mother nor friend but God alone. And there is a suitable, fair and easy road between Scotland and heaven, as if he had died in the very bed where he was born. The whole earth is his Father's,; any corner of his Father's house is good enough to die in. 
   It may be your other living child(not Hugh) is more of a grief to you than the one you have lost. You are to be patient that in time God give him repentance. Christ possibly waited as long for you and me, certainly longer on me, and even if he were denied repentance, I could say something about that. But I hope for better of him.
   It seems Christ will have this world as your stepmother, I love you no less for it. It may be a proof that you are not a child of this lower house but a stranger in it. Christ sees it not good only, but only only good to be so led to heaven. And consider this a favour that he has given you free, free grace that is, unearned mercy,: you paid nothing for it. And who can put a price on anything from royal and princely Jesus Christ? God has given you to suffer the loss of possessions for Him. Consider this an act of free grace too. You are no loser for you have Him; and I am sure that if you esteem Christ, nothing could be bitter to you.
   Grace, grace be with you.
   Your brother and well-wisher' SR

Rutherford revised (309)

309. To the Right Honourable, my Lady Boyd   From London 25 May 1644 

(See letters 77,78,107,210,232,245,277,294,303)

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- I received your letter on May 19th.
   We are here debating, with much argument, for the just measures of he Lord's temple. It pleases God that sometimes enemies hinder the building of the Lord's house; but now friends, even gracious men (so I think of them) do now hinder the work a little. Thomas Goodwin, Jeremiah Burroughs, and some others, four or five, who are for the Independent way, stand in our way, and are mightily opposed to presbyterial government. We have carried through some propositions for the Scriptural right of presbytery, especially in the church of Jerusalem, (Ac 2;4-6;15.) And the church of Ephesus and are going on other grounds of truth; and by he way have proved ordination of pastors does no belong to a single congregation but to a college presbyters whose it was o lay hands on Timothy and others (1Tim 4:14,5:17;Ac 12:1-3, 6:5,6:. We are to prove one single congregation does not have power to excommunicate, which is opposed not only by Independent men, but by many others. The truth is we have at times grieved spirit with the work; and for my part I often despair of the reformation of this land, which never saw anything except the high places of their fathers, and the remains of Babyon's pollutions; and unless,' not by by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord,' I would think God has not yet thought it time for England's deliverance. For the truth is, the best of them have almost said,'A half reformation is very fair at first;' which is nothing else than,'It is no yet time to build the house of the Lord.' And for that reason, many families, great in the land are laid desolate.
   Crowds of Anabaptists, Antinomians, Familists, Sepratiss are here. The best of the people are of the Independent way. As for myself, I do not know if there is a sound Christian (putting aside some, yes, not a few educated, some zealous and faithful ministers whom I have met with) at London, (though I do not doubt there are many), than if I was in Spain; which makes me bless God that the communion of sins, however desirable, yet is not the thing, even that great thing, Christ and the forgiveness of sins. If Jesus was as strange as His members are here, I would be in a sad and heavy condition.
   The House of Lords are rotten men, and hate both our Commissioners and our cause. The life is in the House of Commons, and many of them have chosen their religion. The sorrows of a woman in labour have come on the land. Our enemy is surrounding York, and have besieged Newcastle, and six thousand Papists and evil men, with Mr. Thomas Sydserf, and some Scottish bishops ; and if God deliver them into their hands (considering how strong the Parliament's armies are, how many victories God has given them since they entered in covenant with Him, and how weak the king is). It might be thought the land is near to a deliverance. Bu I more desire it than believe it.
   This day we offered the Assembly a part of a directory for worship, to push out he service book. The Assembly is considering it.
   Your son, Lindsay, is well. I receive leers from him almost every week.
  Yours at all obedience in God,  S.R.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Rutherford revised (308)

308. To the Right Honourable my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure,  From London 4 Mar 1644

  Madam, Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am glad to hear your Ladyship is in any tolerable health; and will pray that the Lord be your Strength and Rock. I am sure that He took you out of the womb; and you have been thrown on Him from the breasts, I am confident He will not leave you until He crowns the work begun in you. 
   There is nothing here except divisions in the Church and Assembly; for besides Brownists and Independents (who of all that differ from us come nearer to walkers with God), there are many other sects here of Anabaptists, Libertines who are for all opinions in religion, fleshly and abominable Antinomians, and Seekers who are for no church ordinances, but expect apostles to come and reform churches; and a world of others, all against he government of presbyteries. Luther observed, when he studied to reform, that two and thirty different sects arose; all of which I have named a part, except those called Seekers who had not then arisen. He said God would crush them, and that they would rise again: both which we see happening. In the Assembly. we have well near ended the government, and are on the power of Synods, and I hope near an end with them; and so I trust to delivered from this prison shortly. The King has dissolved he treaty of peace at Uxbridge, and keeps to his sweet bishops, and would change nothing except a little of the rigour of their courts, and a suspending of laws against the ceremonies, not the removal of them. Our armies not prospering in Scotland is attributed here to the sins of the land, and particularly to the divisions and backsliding of many from the cause, and executing judgment against the bloody evil doers.
   My wife here, under the doctors, remembers her service to your Ladyship. So recommending you to the rich grace of Christ, I rest, your Ladyship's, at all obedience in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (307)

Worthy sir,- I am heartily glad hat you care about me or my ministry when I was with you. I wish you the fruits of it. I trust that you work for the power of godliness, that has been preached in the land; for salvation does not come to every man's door; and the way to heaven is a more restricted and narrower passage than each man thinks. And you are now in the most glassy part of your life, when it is easy to follow, and when the lusts of youth are foul and strong. And you are happy if you can pass through these dangers with a good conscience. So my real advice is, get to know yourself with prayer, and with searching the Scriptures of God, so He may show you the good way that brings rest to the soul. The ordinary faith and the country godliness will not save you. There must be more than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees before a man ever enters the kingdom of God. And I will want you to take to heart the worth and price of an immortal soul, and the necessity of dying, and he fearful account of judgement at the back of death, the you may be saved.
   As for my ministry among you again, I can easier desire it than see it happening. The Lord of the harvest take care for you, and send you a pastor according to God's heart; and tha is as rare as ever despite our reformation.
   Remember my heart's love and respect to your mother and sister. Grace be with you.
      Your sometime pastor and still friend in God,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (306)

306. To Mt. Thomas Wylie, Minister of Borgue  From St. Andrews 20 Oct 1643

(Thomas Wylie was a minister iin Borgue, Kirkcudbright. Later he was in Mauchline, Ayrshire and then Kirkcudbright. At the restoration of Charles II the Privy Council ejected him and with his family he was banished north of he Tay. In 1670 he became minister in Coleraine for three years before returning to Scotland at Fenwick, Irvine. He died in 1676.) 

Reverend and dear brother,- I neither can nor am able to write to you concerning the business, as it is my affair more than yours, and you write to me what I should write to you. If grace does not pay our debts and stand surety for us, I do no see how I will make a reckoning for one soul, far less for many; only it is God's will we put grace to the test and engage Chris for His own work. If He refused charges to His own servants, he lost bankruptcy will fall on Him. But He must not be a loser nor can His glory suffer. But I must beg you for the help of your prayers, as you will do for me anything out of heaven, and possible to you. I am now called to England; the government of the Lord's house in England and Ireland is to be settled. My heart witnesses, and the Lord who is greater knows, my faith was never prouder than to be a common rough country labourer in Anwoth; and I could not look at the honour of being a mason to lay the foundation for many generations, and to build the waste places of Zion in another kingdom, or to have a hand or finger in that carved work in the cedar and alum trees in that new temple. I only want to lend a shout and cry,'Grace, grace in the building.' I hope you will help my weakness in this; and seek help for me from others as if I had named them, and pray for the favour of my Father's seas, winds and tides and for the victory of strong and prevailing truth.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (305)

305. To the Right Honourable Lady, my Lady Kenmure   From St. Andrews 24 July

Madam,- I am a little moved at your infirmity of body and health; and hope it is a real warning to you. 'And if in this life only we have hope, we would be of all men most miserable.' Surely many generations must even here be in possession of a life far superior to the things that at present are with us; such as, to see the sun, to enjoy this life in health, and some good wordly accomodaions too. If we are making this living above the world sure, it is our wisdom. The times would make any who love the Lord sick and faint, to consider how sin abounds, and how dull we are at observing sins in ourselves, and how quick sighted to find them out in others, and what bondage we are in. And yet very often, when we complain of times, we are secretly slandering the Lord's work and wise government of the world and raising a hard report of Him. 'He is good and does good,' and all His ways are equal.
   Madam, I have been holding out to some others (oh, if I could do to myself!) some more of this, to read and study God well, and make the serious thought of a Godhead, and a Godhead in Christ, the work, and the only work all the day. Oh, we are little with God! And do all without God! We sleep and wake whithout Him; we eat, we speak, we journey, we go about worldly business and our calling without God!  And consider what deadness is on the hearts of many, if it was good that some did not pray without God, and preach and praise and read and confer of God without God! It is universally complained of that here is a strange deadness on the land, and on he hearts of His people. Oh, if we could help it!  Bu He who waters every moment His garden of red wine must help it. I believe He will burn the briers and thorns that come against Him.
   I want remember your Ladyship to God; but I can do little in that way. His everlasting goodness will be with you.
   Yours in the Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford revised (304)

My dear and worthy sister,- You are truly blessed in the Lord, however a sour world frowns on you, if you continue in he faith settled and grounded, and do not be moved away from tne hope of the Gospel. It is good that there is a heaven, and it is not a night dream or a fancy. It is amazing men do not deny there is a heaven, as they deny there is any way to it except what men make. You have learned from Christ that there is a heaven; fight for it and for Christ. Bear well and submissively the hard thrust of this stepmother world, which God will not let you have. I confess it is hard, and would to God I was able to lighten you of your burden; but believe me, this world which the Lord will not let you have, is only the dross, refuse, and scum of God's creation, the part of the Lord's poor hired servants, the moveables, not he inheritance  a hard bone thrown to the dogs outside the New Jerusalem, on which they rather break their teeth than satisfy their appetite. It is your Father's blessing and Christ's birthright that our Lord is keeping for you; and persuade yourself also that (if it is good for them and you) your descendants will also inherit the earth; for that is promised to them, and God's promise is as good as if he would give every one of them a promise for thousand thousands.
   Before you were born, crosses in number, measure and weight were written for you; and your Lord will lead you through them. Make Christ sure, and the world and the blessings of the earth will be a Christ's back and call. I see many professors, for the fashion, professors of glass. I would make a little knock of persecution hit hem into twenty pieces, and the world would laugh at the shreds. So make sure work; see that Christ is the foundation of your profession. The sore wind and rain will not wash away His building; His work has no lesser time than o stand for evermore. I would have perished in my trouble twenty times, if I had not laid my weak back and pressing load, both upon the Stone, the Cornerstone laid in Zion. I am not twice (as he proverb is) but once and for ever of his Stone. Now the God of peace establish you to the day of the appearance of Jesus Christ. Yours,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (303)

303. To he Right Honourable, my Lady Boyd From St. Andrews

(See letters 77,78,107,210,232,245,277,294)

Madam, - I do not doubt that the debt of many more than ordinary favours to his land lays guiltiness on this nation. The Lord as put us in His books as favoured people in the sight of the nations, but we do not pay Him he rent of the vineyard. And we might have had a gospel at an easier rate than this Gospel; but it would have had as much life as ink and paper have. We stand in debt to Him who has in a manner forced His love on us, and would love us against our will.
   Concerning read prayers. Madam I could never see rule, promise or practice for them, in God's word. Our church never allowed them, but men took them up as their own choice. The word of God makes reading (1Tim 4:13) and prayer (1Th 5:17) two different worships. In reading God speaks to us (Kin 22:10,11)); in praying, we speak to God (Ps 22:2,28:1). I never had faith to think well of them. In my weak judgement, it is good if they are out of the service of God. I cannot think them a fruit or effects of the Spirit of adoption, seeing the user cannot say such prayers, 'Let the words of my mouth, and the mediations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strengh and my Redeemer.' which he servants of God aught to say of their prayers (Ps 19:14). For such prayers are meditations set down in paper and ink, and cannot be his heart meditations who uses them. The saints never used them, and God never commanded them; and a promise to hear any prayers, except the pouring out of he soul to God, we can never read.
   As to separation from worship for some errors of a church, the independency of single congregations, a church of visible saint, and other beliefs of the Brownists, they are contrary to God's word. I have a book at the press in London against these conceits, as things which lack God's word to allow them. The Lord lay it not to their charge who depart from the covenant of God with this land to follow such lying vanities. 
   I did recently see your daughter, Lady Andross. The Lord has given her a child and deliverance.
   Now, recommending your Ladyship to the rich grace of Christ, I rest, yours at all respecful observance in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (302)

302. To Lady Kenmore on her husband's death   From St. Andrews

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you Ladyship. -I am heartily sorry your Ladyship is deprived of such a husband, and the Lord's church of so active and faithful friend. I know your Ladyship, long ago, got to know Christ would have you joined in fellowship with Himself (even with His own cross) and has taught you to rest your soul on the Lord's goodwill who does not tell any of us what He is doing. When He has led through this water that was in your way to glory, there are fewer behind: and His order is dismissing us and sending us out of the market before another is to be reverenced. One year's time in heaven will swallow up all sorrows even beyond comparison. What then, will not a duration of blessedness as long as God will live, fully and abundantly recompense! It is good our Lord has given a debtor, obliged by gracious promises, far more in eternity than time can make from you. And I believe your Ladyship has now been many years, advising and thinking what that glory will be which stays with the pilgrims and strangers on the earth when they come home, and which we may think of them loving and thirsting for. But we cannot comprehend it nor conceive of it as it is; far less can we over think or over love it. Oh, so long a Chapter, or rather so large a Volume. as Christ is, in the Diviniy of Glory! There is no more of Him let down and now to be seen and enjoyed by His children, than as much as may feel hunger in this life, but not satisfy it. Your Ladyship is a debtor to the Son of God's cross, that is wearing out love and engagement in the creature out of your heart by degrees. Or rather the obligation stands to His free grace who cares for your Ladyship in his gracious dispensation; and who is preparing and making ready the clothes of salvation for you; and who calls you with a new name, that the mouth of the Lord has named; and intends to make your crown of glory, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God (Is 62"2,3). You are required to postpone more than one heaven,; and yet He does not want a long day; it is fast coming and is sure payment. Though you do not pay for Him, he He has given a great price and ransom for you; and if the bargain were to be made again, Christ would give no less for you than what He has already given. He is far from regretting. I shall wish you no more (until time has gone out of the way), than the down payment of what He has purchased and prepared for you, which can never be fully preached, written, of thoght of, since it has not entered into the heart to consider it.
   So recommending your Ladyship to he rich grace of our Lord Jesus, I am, and rest, your Ladyship's at all respectful observance in Christ Jesus,  S.R.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Rutherford Revised (301)

301. To Mr Matthew Mowat   From St. Andrews 1640

(See letters 120 and 239)

Reverend and dear brother,-What am I to answer you? All my books are all bare and show me little of God. I would rather go beyond books into His house of love to Himself. Dear brother, neither you nor I are parties worthy of His love or knowledge. And how has sin misted and blinded us so we cannot see Him. But for my poor self; I am pained and likely to burst, because He will no take down the wall, and fetch His increased beauty, and bring His matchless, white and ruddy face. out of heaven for once. So I may have heaven meeting me before I go to it, in such a wonderful sight. You know majesty and love do humble; for holy love to sinners lives in Him with majesty. You should give Him all His own court styles, His high and heaven names. Who am I to shape conceptions of my highest Lord? How broad and how high and how deep He is above and beyond what these conceptions are, I cannot tell; but for my own weak practice (which alas can be no rule to one so deep in love sickness with Chris as you are) I would rather add to my thoughts and esteem of Him, and make Him more high, and would wish a heart and love ten thousand times wider  than he utmost circle and curtain that goes around the heaven of heavens, to entertain Him in that heart, and with that love. But that which is your pain my dear Brother, is also mine. I am confounded with the thought of Him. I know that God is thrown (if I may so so) in a sweet mould, and lovely image, in the person of that Heaven's Jewel, the Man Christ; and the steps of the steep ascent and stairs to the Godhead is in the flesh of Christ, the New and Living Way; and here is footing for faith in that curious Ark of the humanly, in which he Godhead lives, married on our humanity. I would be in heaven, if I had another work than to see that dainty golden Ark, and God personally looking out on ears and eyes and a body such as sinners have, so I might wear my sinful mouth on kisses on Him for evermore. And I know all the Three blessed Persons would be well pleased my piece of faint and created love should first coast on the Man Christ. I would see them all through Him.
   I am called from writing by my great work in this town, and have sad nothing. But what can I say of Him? Let us go and see.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (300)

300. ToAgnes Macmath, on the death of a child  From St. Andrews 15 Oct 1640

(The sister of SR's second wife)

Dear Sister, -If the Lord has take away your child, your lease on him has expired; and seeing Christ would want him no longer, it is your part to be silent, and worship and adore the sovereignty and liberty that the Potter has over the clay, and pieces of clay nothings, to which He gave life.And what is man to summon the Almighty to his lower court down here? 'for he does not give account of any of His doings.' And if you will take the loan of a child, and give him back again to our Lord laughing (as His borrowed goods should return to Him). believe he has not gone way, but sent before; and the change of the country should make you think, he is not lost to you who is found to Chris, and he is now before you; and the dead in Christ will be raised again. A going down star is not annihilated, but will appear again. If He has thrown His bloom and flower, the bloom has fallen in heaven, into Christ's lap. And as he was lent a while to time, so he is now given to eternity, which will take you. The difference of your shipping and his to heaven  and Christ's shore, the land of life. is only in some years, which were shorter every day; and some short and soon reckoned summers will give you a meeting with him. But what! With him? No, but with a better company; with the Chief and Leader of our heavenly troops, which are riding on white horses. They are triumphing in glory.
   If death was a sleep that has no waking, we might sorrow: but our Husband will be quickly at the bedsides of all who lie sleeping in the grave, and will raise their mortal bodies. Christ was death's Surety, who gave His word to come and loose all he clay pawns, and set them all at His own right hand; and our Surety, Christ, has an act of law surely on death. to give back His captives. And that Lord Jesus, who knows the turnings and windings that are in the black race of death, has numbered all the steps of he stairs up to heaven.He knows how long the road is, or how many pairs of stairs high it is; for He ascended the way Himself: 'I died, and behold I am alive forevermore'.(Rev 1:18) And now He lives at the right hand of God, and His clothes do no have even the smell of death.
   Your troubles smell of the children's case; the children of the house are so nurtured (Heb 12:6-8). And suffering is no new life, it is only he rent of the sons; bastards do no have so much of the rent. Take kindly and heartily with His cross, who never yet killed a child with the cross. He brews your cup: so drink it patiently and with good will. Stay and wait on, until Christ looses the knot which fastens His cross on your back; for He is coming to deliver. And I pray you sister, learn to be worthy of His pains who correct. And let Him wring, and be washed; for He has a Father's heart, and a Father's hand, who is trying you, and making you fit for His high hall, His school of suffering is a preparation for the King's higher house; and let all your visions speak all the letters of your Lord's summons. They cry -
1.'O vain world!'
2.'O bitter sin!'
3. 'O short and uncertain time!'
4. 'O fair eternity that is above sickness and death!'
5. 'O  kingly and princely Bridegroom, speed glory's marriage, shorten time's short spun and soon broken thread, and conquer sin!'
6. 'O happy and blessed death, that golden bridge laid now by Christ my Lord, between time's clay banks and heaven's shore!' And the Spirit and the Bride say,'Come!' and you answer with them,'Even so come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!'
   Grace be with you.
      Your Brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.

Rutherford Revised (299)

299. To my Lady Boyd , on the loss of several friends     From St. Andrews 15 Oct 1640 

(See letters  (77,78,107,210,232,245,277,294)

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- Do no consider it a disrespectful forgetfulness of your Ladyship, who ministered to me in my imprisonment, that I have not written o you.
   I wish I could speak or write what might do good to your Ladyship,; especially now when  I think we can only have deep thoughts of the deep and boundless ways of our Lord in taking  away, with a sudden and wonderful stroke, your brethren and friends. You may know that all who die for sin do not die in sin; and the 'none can teach the Almighty knowledge.' When we summon Him into our court to explain, no-one can say,'What are you doing?'. It is true your brethren did not see many summers; but adore and fear the sovereignty of the great Potter, who makes and spoils His clay containers when and how it pleases Him. The under garden is absolutely His own, and all the growth in it. His absolute liberty is law abiding. The flowers are His own. If some are only summer apples, He may pluck them down before others. O what wisdom it is to believe, and not to dispute; to subject he thoughts to His court, and not to be discontented with any act of His justice? He has done it: all flesh be silent! It is impossible to be submissive and religiously paitient, if you keep your thoughs down among the confused rollings and wheelings of second causes; as,'Oh the space!' 'Oh he time!' Oh if this had been, this had not followed!' Oh the linking of this accident with his time and place! Look up to the master moon and first wheel. See and read the decree of Heaven and the Creator of Man, who brews death to His children, and the manner of it. And they see far into a millstone, and have eyes to make a hole to see through the one side of a montain to the other, who can take up His ways. 'How unsearchable are His judgement, and His ways past finding out!' His providence does not stop, but goes with even and equal legs. Yet are they not the greatest sinners on whom the tower of Siloam fell. Was not time's lease expired? And the sand of heaven's hourglass, set by our Lord, run out? Is not he an unjust debate who pays due deb with complaint?
   I believe Christian lady, your faith leaves that much love to our Lord's judgement as to believe (ttough you are in blood related to the cross) yet you are exempted and freed from that bitterness and wrath that is in it. I dare not deny but ' In his tent dwells that which is none of hissulfur is scattered over his habitation' (Job 18:15); yet Madam, it is safe for you to live on the faith of His love whose arrows are over painted with love and mercy to His own, and who knows how take you and yours out of the roll and book of the dead. Our Lord has not the eyes of man in distributing wrath to the thousandth generation without exceptions. Seeing you are not under the law, but under grace' and married to another Husband, wrath is no he court to which you are liable.
   As I would not wish, neither do I believe your Ladyship does despise, so neither faint (Pro 3:11). Read and spell correctly all he words and syllables in the visitation, and wrongly call neither letter nor syllable in it. Come along with the Lord and see; and put no more weight on the law than your Christ has put on it. If the law's bill gets an answer from Christ, the curses of it can do more. And I hope you have resolved that, if He would grind you to powder, your dust and powder will believe His salvation. 
   And who can tell what thought of love and peace our Lord has to your children? I trust He will make them famous in executing the written judgement on the enemies of the Lord ('This is honour for all his godly ones,' Ps 149:9), and they will carry stones on their shoulders for building a fair city which is called 'The LORD Is There' (Eze 48:35). And those who have a hand in the sacking of Babel will be happy, and come out in the year of vengeance for the controversy of Zion, against the land of graven images. So, Madam, let he Lord make any work out of your father's family, any work, even of judgement, which He pleases. What is wrath to others is mercy to you and to your family. It is fair work to claim and challenge lovingkindess out of all the rough blows of God. Do for the Lord what you will do for time: it will calm your heart what God has done, and let our Lord have it now. What love you bore to friends now dead, seeing they now have no need of it, let it fall as just legacy to Christ. Oh how sweet tp put out many strange lovers, and to put in Christ! It is much for our half killed emotions to part with what we believe we have a right to; but the servant's will should be our will, and he is the best servant who keeps least his own will and most of His Master's. That much wisdom must be attributed to our Lord, that He knows how to lead His own, in through and out through the little time hells and the pieces of time of wrath in this life; and yet keeps safe His love without any blur on the old and great seal of free election. And seeing His mountains of brass, the mighty and strong  desires of free grace in Christ stand sure, and the covenant stands fast for ever as the days of heaven, let Him strike and nurture. His striking must be a very act of saving, seeing blows on His secret ones come from the soft and heavenly hand of the Mediator, and His sticks are steeped and watered in that flooded river of love the comes from the God man's heart of our ever loving and soul redeeming Jesus.
   I hope you are content to postpone the Surety of mankind His own conquest, heaven, until He pays you, and brings you to a state of glory, where He will never twist a finger on, not lift a hand to you again. And be content and also greedily covetous of grace, the interest and pledge of glory. If I did not believe your crop to be on the ground, and (your part of the heaven of the saint's heaven) where white and ruddy, fair, fair and beautiful Jesus was come to the bloom and flower; and near your sickle, I would not write this. But seeing times thread is short, and you are near the entry of heaven's harvest, and Christ the field of heaven's glory's where and ripe like, the losses I wrote of to your Ladyship are only summer showers that willingly wet your clothes for an hour or two, and the sun of this New Jerusalem will quickly dry your wet coat: especially seeing rains of trouble cannot stain the image of God, or make grace lose colour. And since you will not alter on Him who will not change on you. I dare in my weakness think myself no spiritual prophet if I did no prophesy that daylight is near, when such a morning darkness is on you; and this best of your Christian mind towards Him, (whom you dare not leave, though He should kill you) will close with a double mercy. It is hime for faith to hold fast as much of Christ as ever you had, and to make the grip stronger and to cleave closer to Him, seeing Christ loves to be believed in and trusted. The glory of laying strength on one who is mighty to saver more than we can think. That piece of service, believing in a smiing Redeemer, is a precious part of obedience. Oh what glory to Him to lay over the burden of our heaven on Him who purchased for us an eternal kingdom! O blessed soul who can adore and kiss His lovely free grace.
   The rich grace of Christ be with your spirit.
      Yours, at all obedience in Christ Jesus, S.R. 

Diary w/e 14 Sep

Sun 8 Sep

In laws the Leapers returned home before our morning service. Paul Levy o Mat 18. Iranian Syed preached in the evening.

Tue 10 Sep

OPD Ealing for Nephrology. Consultant angry with Ealing A&E last week for suspecting a pulmonary embolism but reusing a CT scan because of risk to the kindneys. He said hy should have been consuted as the risk is minimal. Had me admitted. Chest assessment ward and was all wired up.

Wed 11 Sep

Cardiology ward. Echo cardiogram and CT scan promised.

Thu 12 Sep

CT scan at last.

Fri 13 Sep

Home from hospital in afternoon.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rutherford Revised (298)

298. To the Reverend and dear Brother, Mr David Dickson on the death of his son From St. Andrews 28 May 1640

(See letters 110,116,168,259)

Reverend and dear brother,- You look like the house of which you are a branch: the cross is a part of even that lies different on all the sons of the house. I want to suffer with you, if I could take a liftt of your house trial off you; but you have preached it before I knew anything of God. Your Lord may gather His roses, and shake His apples, at what season of the year he pleases. Each gardener cannot make harvest when He pleases, as He can do. You are taught to know and adore His sovereignty, which he exercises over you, which yet is lustred with mercy. The child has only changed a bed in the garden, and is planted up higher nearer the sun, where he will thrive better than in the outfield moor ground. You must think your Lord must not want  him an hour longer; and since the day of your loss of him has expired (as it is if you read the lease), let Him have His own with gain, as good reason is. I read on it an exaltation and a richer measure of grace, as the sweet fruit of your cross; and I am bold to say, the the college where  your Master has set you now will find it. 
   I am content Christ is so homely with my friend David Dickson., as to borrow and lend, and take and give with Him. And you know what are called the visitations of such a friend: it is, come to the house and be homely with what is yours. I persuade myself on His credit, that He has left drink money, and He has made the house the better with Him. I do not envy His wakened love, who said this water was to be passed through, and that now the number of crosses lying in your way to glory are fewer by one than when I saw you. They must decrease. It is better than any ancient or modern commentary on your text, that you preach on in Glasgow. Read and spell right, for He knows what He does. He is only lopping and pruning a fruitful tree, so it may be more fruitful. I heartily congratulate with you His new welcome to your new charge.
   Dearest brother, go on and do not faint. Something of yours is in heaven, alongside the flesh of your exalted Saviour; and you go on after your own. Time's thread is shorter by one inch than it was. An oath has been sworn and passed the seals, where troubles will or not, you must grow and swell out of your shell, and live, and triumph, and reign, and be more than a conqueror. For your Captain, who leads you on, is more than conqueror, and He makes you partaker of His conquest and victory. If love to you did not compel me, I would no take water to the well, and speak to one who knows better than I can do what God is doing with him.
   Remember my love to your wife, to Mr. John, and all friends there. Let us be helped by your prayers, for I do not stop mentioning you to the Lord as I can.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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.

Rutherford Revised (296)

296. To the much honoured Peter Stirling   From St. Andrews 6 Mar 1640

Much honoured and worthy sir,- I received yours, and can only be ashamed mistaken love has brought me into favour and account in the heart of God's children, especially of another nation. I should not make a lie of the grace of God, if I should think I have little share of it myself. Oh, how much better it would be for me to stand in the counting table of many for a halfpenny, and to be counted a liker, rather than a lover of Christ! If I was weighed, vanity would bear down the scale, as having weight in he balance above me, unless my lovely Saviour should throw in beside me some of His borrowed worth. Alas, oh, if I were sincerely writing down this explanation, which may be (and I fear  is) subtle and deceiving pride! I wish I could love something of heaven's worth, in you and all your kind. Oh how happy would I be, if I could regain and conquer back from the creature my sold and lost love, that I might lay it on heaven's Jewel, ever, ever looking Flower of the highest garden, even my soul redeeming and never enough prized Lord Jesus! Oh that He would wash my love, and put it on the Mediator's wheel, and refine from its dross and tin, that I might give to that Lord, so love worthy, with all my love! Oh, if I could set a lease of thousands of years, and a suspension of my part of heaven's glory, and postpone until a far day, my desired salvation, so being that I could, in his lower kitchen and undervault of His creation, be feasted with His love, and I might be a footstool to His glory before men and angels! Oh, if He would let out heaven's fountain on withered me, dry and sapless me! If I was only sick of love for His love. And oh, how would the sickness delight me! How sweet would that easing and refreshing pain be to my soul!
   I will be glad to be a witness to see the kingdom's of the world become Christ's. I would stay out of heaven many years to see the victorious triumphing Lord act the prophesied part of His soul conquering love, in taking into His kingdom the greater sister, the church of he Jews, who sometime courted our Well-Beloved for her little sister (Sol 8:8); to see Him set up as a flag and banner of love, to the ends of the world.And truly we are to believe His wrath is ripe for the land of graven images, and for the falling of that millstone into the middle of the sea. Grace be with you.
    Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (295)

295. To his very dear Friend, John Fenwick   From St. Andrews 13 Feb 1640

( Fenwick was an English puritan who suffered for nonconformity but was made by Cromwell, a commissioners sent to the universities.)

Much hundred and dear friend, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- he necessary hindrances of my calling have until now kept me from replying to your letter, the headings of which I will now briefly answer.
   I approve you going to the Fountain, when your own cistern is dry. There must be a difference between Christ's well and your own borrowed water; and why other than you have need from emptiness and drying up, as well as you have need of the well? There must be a lack and a hole in our container to leave room for Christ's work. His well needs thirsty drinkers, to commend infinite love, which for eternity brewed such a cellar of living water for us.
   You commend his free love, and it is well done. Oh, if I could help you! And if I could be master convenor to gather in earth full and heaven full of tongues, dipped and steeped in my Lords well of love, or His wine of love, even tongues drunk win His love, to raise a song of praises to Him, between the east and west end, and furthest points of the broad heavens! If I was in your situation (as alas my dry and dead heart is not in that garden), I would ask permission to come and stand on he banks and coasts of the sea of love and be a feasted soul to see love's fair tide, free love's high and lofty waves, each of them higher than ten earth's, flowing in on pieces of lost clay. Oh, welcome, welcome, great sea! Oh, if I had as much love, for wideness and breadth, as ten outmost shells and spheres of the heaven of heavens, that I might receive a little flood of free love! Come, come dear friend, and be pained that the King's wine cellar of free love, and His banqueting house (oh so wide so stately, oh so God like, so glory like! 0 should be so abundant, so overflowing, and your shallow container so little to take in part of that love. But since it cannot come in to you for lack of room, enter yourself into this sea of love, and breathe under the waters, and die of love; and live as one drowned and dead in his love.
   But why do you claim of waters going over your soul, and the smoke of he terrors of a wrathful Lord do almost suffocate you, and bring you to the edge of death? I know the fault is in your eyes, not in Him. It is not the rock that flees and moves but the green sailor. If your sense and concerns are made judge of His love, there is a graven image made, even a changed god, and an enemy god, who was once (when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil! Job 29:6) a friend God. Either now or never, let God work. You never had, since you were a man, such a fair field for faith; for a painted hell, and a worry of wrath in your Father, is faiths opportunity to try what strength is in it. Now give God as large a measure of love as you have of sorrow. Now see faith to be faith indeed, if you can make your grave between Christ's feet, and say, ' Though he should kill me, I will trust in Him. His believed love will be my winding sheet, and all my grave clothes; I will roll and sew my soul, my killed soul, in that web, His sweet and free love; and let Him write on my grave,"Here lies a believing dead man, breathing out and making a hole in death's broadside, and the breath of faith comes out through the hole."' See now if you can overcome and prevail with God, and wrestle God's tempting to death, quite out of breath, as that renowned wrestler did; 'and in his manhood he strove with God.He strove with the angel and prevailed'(Hos 12:3,4). He is indeed a strong man who out played heaven's strength, and the Holy One of Israel, the strong Lord: which is done by a secret supply of divine strength within, by which, the weakest being strengthened, overcomes and conquers. It will be a great victory, to blow out the flame of the fire you are now in, with the breath of faith. And when hell, men, malice, cruelty, falsehood, devils, the seeming frowns of a sweet Lord, meet you in the teeth, if then, as a captive of hope,  as you are chained in hope's prison, run to your stronghold, even from God's frowns to God's frowns, and believe the salvation of the Lord in the dark, which is your only victory, your enemies(who are only piece of malicious clay) will die as men and be confounded. But your troubles are many at once, and arrows come in from every direction, from country, friends, wife, children, enemies, land and right down from God who is the hope and stay of your soul, I confess is more and very heavy to be borne.  Yet all here are not more than grace;  all these bits of fire thrown into your sea of mercy, cannot dry it up. Your troubles are many and great; yet not an ounce weight beyond the measure of infinite wisdom, I hope, nor beyond the measure of grace He is to give. For our Lord never yet broke the back of His child, nor spoiled His own work. He often breaks in shreds and puts out a candle not lit at the Sun of righteousness; but He must cherish His own reeds (Is 42:30, and handle them softly (a reed never get a thrust from the Mediator's hand!), to lay together the two ends of the reed. Oh, what bandages and ligaments our Surgeon of broken spirits has, with which to bind up all His lame and bruised ones! Throw your disjointed spirit into His lap; and lay your burden on One who is so willing to take your cares and your fears off you, and to exchange and barter your crosses, and give you new for old, and gold for iron; even to give you clothes of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It is true in great part what you write of his church, only the letter of religion is reformed and scarcely that. I do not believe our Lord will build His Zion in this land on this skin of reformation. So long as our scum remains, and our heart idols are kept, His work must stand still; and so our Lord must yet sift his land, and search us with candles, And I know He will give us and not sell His kingdom. His grace and our remaining guiltiness must be compared; and the one must be seen in its glory, and the other in its sinfulness. But I want to believe, and would gladly hope to see, that the glancing and shining lustre of glory coming from the diamonds and stones set in the crown of our Lord Jesus will shine rays and beams many thousand miles around. I hope Christ is upon a great marriage; and His wooing and courting of His excellent Bride, does take its start from us, the ends of the earth. Oh, what joy and what glory would I judge it, if my heaven should be suspended until I might have permission to run on foot to be a witness of the marriage glory, and see Christ put on the glory of His last married bride,  and His last marriage love on earth; when He will enlarge his love bed, and set it on the top of he mountains, and take in the Elder Sister, the Jews, and the fullness of the Gentiles! It is heaven's glory on earth to be His servant, to run at His horse's foot and hold up train of His marriage robe royal, in the day of our royal Solomon's marriage. But oh, what glory  to have a seat or bed in the chariot of King Jesus, that is bottomed with gold, and paved and lined over and floored within with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem (Son 3:10). To lie on such King's love, in a bed next to the flower of heaven's glory.   I am sorry to hear you speak in your letter of 'God angry at you,' and of  'the sense of His indignation;' which only comes for suffering for Jesus all the has now come on you. Indeed 'apprehended wrath flames out of such ashes as 'apprehended sin,' but not from 'suffering for Christ.' But suppose you were in hell for past things and for old debt, I hope you owe Christ a great sum of love, to believe the sweetness of His love. I know what it is to sin in the way. It is to sin (if it was possible) the unchangeableness of a Godhead out of Christ, and to sin away a lovely and unchangeable God. Put more honest fears on Christ. Pu His own mask on His face, and not your veil made of unbelief, which speaks as if he borrowed love to you, from you and your fault and sinful deservings. Oh, no! Christ is man, but He is not like man. He has man's love in heaven, but it is lustred wih God's love, and it is with God's love you have to do. When your wheels go around, he stands still. Let God be God. And you be a man, and you have the deserving of man, and the sin of one who has suffered your Well-beloved to slip away, no, has refused Him entry when he was knocking, until His head and locks were frozen: yet what is that to Him? His book keeps your name, and is not printed and reprinted, and changed and corrected. And why except He should go to His place and hide Himself? Though His departure is His own good work, yet the belief of it, in that manner is your sin. But wait on until He returns with salvation, and makes you rejoice in the latter end. It is not much to complain; but rather believe than complain, and sit in the dust and close your mouth, until He makes your sown light grow again. For your troubles are not eternal; time will end then, and so you will at length see the Lord's salvation. His love does not sleep, but is still working for you. His salvation will not be slow nor linger; and suffering for Him is the noblest cross that is out of heaven. Your Lord had the choice of ten thousand other crosses beside his, to exercise you; but His love and His wisdom chose this out for you, beside them all. And take it as a choice one, and make use of it as you look to this world as your stepmother, in your borrowed prison. For it is a love look to heaven and the other side of the water that God seeks; and this is the fruit, the flower and bloom growing out of your cross, that you be a dead man to time, to clay, to gold, to county, to friends, wife, children and all pieces of created nothings; for in them there is not a seat nor bottom for soul's love. Oh, what room is there for your love (if it was as broad as he sea) up in heaven, and in God! And what would Christ not give for your love? God gave so much for your soul; and blessed are you if you have a love for Him, and can call in your soul's love from all idols, and make a God of God, a God of Christ, and draw a line between your heart and Him. If your deliverance did not come, Christ's presence and His believed love, must stand as security and surely for your deliverance, until your Lord sends it in His blessed time. For Christ has many salvations, if we could see them; and I would him it beter born comfort and joy that comes from deliverance, and the faith of His love, than that which comes from deliverance itself. I does not matter much, if your afflicted soul is eased, whatever the means, either your own wish of God's choosing. The latter I an sure is best, and the comfort strongest and sweetest. Let the Lord absolutely have he ordering of your evils and troubles; and put them off you by recommending your cross and your fire to Him skilled in melting his own metal, and who well knows what to do with His fire. Let your heart be willing for God's fire to have your tin, and brass and dross. To consent to lack corruption is a greater mercy than many professors know well  and to refer the manner of Gd's medicine to His own wisdom, whether by drawing blood or giving sugary drinks. That he cures sick people without pain is a great point of faith; and to believe Christ's cross to be a friend, as He Himself is a Friend, is also a special act of faith. But when you are over the water, his case will be a yesterday over a hundred ears before you were born; and the cup of glory will wash the memory of all this away; and make it as nothing. Only now take Christ in with you under your yoke, and let patience have her perfect work; for this impatience is your infirmity. The Lord is rising to do you good in the latter end; put on the faith of His salvation, and see Him speeding towards you.
   Sir, my work (being so great) hinders me from writing at more length. Excuse me: I hope to be mindful of you. I will, be indebted to you if you help me with your prayers for this people, this college and my own poor soul.
   Grace be with you. Remember my love o your wife.
      Yours, in Christ Jesus,  S.R.