Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (19)

19. To my Lady Kenmore            from Anwoth  26 Nov 1631

Madam, Having greeted you in the Lord Jesus, I thought it my duty, having the opportunity of this letter carrier, to write again to your ladyship, though I have no new message except that which I wrote of before. But you cannot too often be alerted to go forward to your city, since your way is long, and (for what you know) your time may be short. And your Lord wants from you, as you grow older and unknowingly creep forward to eternity, that your faith grow and ripen for the Lord's harvest. For the great Farmer gives time to His fruits that they may mature, and having been filled from the tree, may be shaken and gathered in for use; whereas the wicked rot on the tree, and their branch will not be green. 'He will shake off his unripe grape like the vineand cast off his blossom like the olive tree.'(Job 15:33) It is God's mercy to you Madam, that he gives you your fill, even to loathe this bitter world, that you may willingly leave it, like a full and satisfied feaster, longing to leave the table. And at last, having trampled beneath your feet all the rotten pleasures under the sun and moon, and having rejoiced as if you did not rejoice, and having bought as if you had nothing. (1Cor 7:30), you may like an old crazy ship, arrive at your Lord's harbour, and be welcomed as one who has always had one foot loose from the earth, longing for that place where your soul will feast and eat for ever and ever on a glorious sight of the incomprehensible Trinity. and where you will see the fair face of the man Christ, even the beautiful face that once was for your sake more marred than any of the faces of the sons of men (Is 52:14, and was all covered with spit and blood. Be content to wade through the waters between you and glory with Him, holding His hand tight, for he knows al the fords. Though you may be drenched, you cannot drown, being in His company; and you may all the way to glory see the path glistening with His blood who is the Forerunner. Therefore, do not be afraid to put your foot in and wade after Him. even when you come to the black and swelling river of death. However strong the current, it cannot carry you down the water to hell: the Son of God, His death and resurrection, are stepping stones and a support to you; put your foot by faith on these stones, as go through as if on dry land. If you knew what He is preparing for you, you would be glad too. It may be that he will not give you a full drink until you come up to the well and drink,, yes, and you drink freely of the pure river of the water of life, that comes out from this throne of God and of the Lang (Rev 22:1). Madam, do not tire nor grow weary. I find for you the Son of God's guarantee, that when you have arrived up there, and have looked to see the golden city, and the fair and never withering Tree of Life, that bears twelve kinds of fruit every month, you will then say, 'A day living here is worth seventy years sorrow on earth'. f you can only say that you sincerely long to be carried up there (and I hope you cannot out of shame deny Him the honour of having put that desire in your soul), then your Lord has given you guarantee. And Madam, do you believe that out Lord Jesus will lose his guarantee, and regret the bargain and change his mind, as if he were a man that can lie, or the son of man that can repent. No, He is unchangeable, and the same this year as He was last year. And His Son Jesus, who on earth ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners, and spoke and mixed with prostitutes, and put out his holy hand and touched the leper's filthy skin, and ever came hear sinners, even now in glory, is the same Lord. His honour and His great court in heaven have not made Him forget His poor friends on earth. In Him honours change not manners, and he wants your company. Take Him for Christ as before, and claim kindness from Him,and say.'O it is so. He has not changed but I have'. No, it is part of his unchangeable love and the new covenant, to keep you so you cannot speak against Him nor sell Him. He has not played fast and loose with us in the covenant of grace, so we might run from him if we want to. His love has made the bargain more sure; for Jesus, the guarantor, is tied to us (Heb 7:22). For honouring the guarantee, he cannot lose you, whom he must give to the Father when he will give up the kingdom to Him. Consent and say 'Amen' to the promises, and you have agreed that God is true, and Christ is yours. This is an easy bargain. You need only look in faith: for Christ suffered all and paid all.
   Madam, lest I be tedious to your Ladyship, I must stop here, wanting always to hear that your Ladyship is well, and you still have your face looking up the mountain. Pray for us, Madam, and for the church, of which you are a part. We expect a trial. God's wheat in this land must go through Satan's sieve, but their faith will not fail. I am still struggling in our Lord's work, and have been tried and tempted with people who look on the Gospel wrongly. Now may He that is able to keep you for that day, keep your soul, body and spirit, and present you spotless and blameless, with His own Bride, before His face. 
   I an your Ladyship's, to be commanded always in the Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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