Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (15)

15. For Marion M'Naught  From Anwoth 2 Jun 1631

Well beloved sister, - my love in Christ remembered. I have received a letter from Edinburgh, informing me for certain that the English service, and the organs, and King James' Psalms, are to be imposed upon our church; and that the bishops are calling for a General Assembly. A R has also confirmed the news, and says he spoke with Sir William Alexander, who has come down with his prince's warrant for it. I am asked in the latter to acquaint those most affected around me concerning that storm; therefore, I ask you and beg you in the Lord's name, pray; but do not tell this to anyone until I see you. My heart is broken remembering it, it was my fear, and answers my last letter but one,  which I wrote to you. Dearly beloved, do not be cast down, but let us, as our Lord's doves, take to our wings (for we have no other armour) and fly into the hole in the rock. A R says it is true that the best men in England have been banished, and silenced, about sixteen or seventeen choice gospel preachers, and persecution has started. Though I do not write this to you with a dry face, yet I am confident in the Lord's strength, Christ and His side will triumph; and you will be sure; the church would not be a church if it were not so. And our dear Husband, in courting His church, received many black blows, so His bride, in courting Him, gets many blows, and in this courting there are blows on both sides. Let it be so. The devil will not make this marriage go back, neither can he tear up the contract; it will end in mercy. Despite all of this, we have no command of God to stop all lawful work. I have been writing to you of the plans and plots of men against the church, but they do not know, as Micah says, the plans of Jehovah. The great men of the world may prepare the fiery furnace for the church; but do you think they can make the fire burn? No. I trust that He who made the fire, will not say amen to their judgements. I trust in my Lord that he has not agreed to their law, and their plans have not received our great King's seal. So, if you think it good, address yourself first to the Lord, and then to A R, concerning the business that you know.
   The presbytery lacked kindness to me; and (as if I was a stranger, and not a member with a seat there, to judge with them)I was summoned by them as a witness against B A. But they have gained no advantage in that regard.  You will, God willing, hear other details when we meet.
   Concerning the matter between you and I E. I remember it before God. I ask you in the Lord, to submit to His will; for the higher their pride climbs, the nearer they are to a fall. The Lord will show up that man more and more. Let your husband, in all judgements, take Christ's side, for the defence of the poor and needy, and the oppressed to maintain fairness and justice in the town. Do not be afraid. He will take your side, and then you will be strong enough. Though you receive insults for your Lord's sake, let it be so. When he will put His holy hand to your face in heaven, and dry your face, and wipe the tears from your eyes, will you not have reason then to rejoice? Concerning other matters, if you want to speak with me, any of the first three days next week in Carletoun, (a town near Anwoth) when Carltoun is at home, you can tell me your wishes. Remember me before God, and my best wishes to your husband; and for the church's sake do not keep silent. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and your husband and children.
   Yours in the Lord,   S.R.

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