Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (20)

20. To my Lady Kenmore            from Anwoth  4 Jan 1632

Madam, - I am very sad that your Ladyship should think, or have reason to think, that those who love you in God, in this country do forget you. For myself, madam, I want you to know of my high respect (before my Lord, whose truth I preach, and I boldly say it) for His rich grace in you. 
   My Communion, put off until the end of a long and rainy harvest, and the presbytery (as the bearer can inform your Ladyship), prevented me from seeing you. And for my people's sake (finding them like hot iron, that cools out of the fire, and cannot be forged for any work), I do not travel; nor have I left them at all, since your Ladyship was in this area, except once about two years ago. I dare say it is a fault, but not in my affection; and I trust to make it up again as soon as I can possibly meet you.
   Madam, I have no new reason to write to you, but that which I think (no, which our Lord thinks) needed, that one thing, Mary's good part, which you have chosen (Luke 10:42). Madam, all that God has, both Himself and the creatures, he is dealing and dividing among the sons of Adam. There are none so poor as cannot say to His face, 'He has given them nothing.' But there is no small difference between the gifts given to lawful children and to bastards; and the more greedily you ask, the more willing he is to give, happy to be called open handed. I hope your Ladyship works to get assurance of the surest inheritance, even God Himself. You will find in Christianity, that God in all his dealings with His children, aims to bring them into high contempt of, and deadly battle with the world, and to set a high price on Christ, and to think Him one who cannot be bought for gold, and well worth fighting for. And for no other reason Madam, the Lord takes from you the childish toys and the earthly pleasures and gives them to others, so He may have you solely to Himself. Think therefore of the Lord, as one who comes to you in marriage, when you are in the fire. He seeks His answer from you in pain, to see if you will say, Even so I take Him.Madam, pleasantly give Him this answer, and in your mind do not secretly grumble nor complain.When He strikes you in love, do not strike back: that is dangerous; for those who strike back will receive the last blow.
   If I do not hit the right note, it is because I do not know you Ladyship's present state; but I believe your Ladyship goes on foot, laughing, and showing the world a good face, and yet you carry sorrow with you. You do well Madam, to keep those who cannot cure your grief, being witnesses of it. But think well of your dear Lord. Just as you will not entertain evil thoughts of some worldly friends, far more should you ever believe good of your dear friend, hat lovely fair person Jesus Christ.Thorns are one of the most cursed, angry and disagreeable weeds that the earth yields, and yet from it springs the rose, one of the sweetest smelling flowers, and most delightful to see, that earth has. Your Lord will make joy and gladness out of your troubles; for all His roses have a fragrant smell. Wait for the time when His holy hand will hold them to your nose; and if you would have present comfort under the cross, and pray much, for at that time your faith kisses Christ and He kisses the soul. And oh! if the breath of His mouth is sweet, I dare be sure that some small experience will not lead you astray; for the world (yes, and not a few of God's children) do not know well that which is called a Godhead. But madam, come near to the Godhead, and look down to the bottom of the well; there is much in Him, and it would be a sweet death to drown in such a well. Your grief is free to work on your mind, when you are not busy thinking of the ever delighting and all blessed Godhead. If you compare the price you pay (which is only a few years' pain and trouble) with the things you are to receive; you would see they are not worth putting in the scales together: but your nature makes you look at what you pay, and weak faith stops you seeing what you will receive. Hope still and wait awhile for your faithful Lord. He make Himself your debtor in the new covenant. He is honest; take His word: ' Trouble will not rise up a second time (Nah 1:9) .The one who conquers will have this heritage  (Rev 21:7). Of all the things then, which you want in this life, Madam, I cannot say anything, if you do not believe in Rev 3:5,21: 'The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments. The one who conquersI will grant him to sit with me on my throneas I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.' Think, Madam, are you not high up now in an inner room in the palace of our Lord, and on a throne in white clothing, at lovely Christ's elbow. O three times fools are we who, like new born princes crying in the cradle, not knowing there is a kingdom before them! Then let our Lord's sweet hand square us up and hammer us, and knock off the knot of pride, and self love and worship of the world, and infidelity, that he may make us into stones and pillars in His Father's house (Rev 3:12). Madam, what do you think of being fixed to the fair corner-stone, Jesus? The Lord give you wisdom to hope and believe that your day is coming. I hope to see your joy just as I have seen and heard your sadness. Do you think much of following the heir to the crown, who experienced sorrow and was acquainted with grief? (Is 52:3). It is pride to aim to be above the King's Son: it is more than we deserve that we be in a way equals in glory. Now commending you to the grace and mercy of God, I rest.
   Your Ladyship's at all obedience in Christ,   S.R.

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