Friday, February 22, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (23)

23. To my Lady Kenmore          from Anwoth  13 Feb 1632

Madam, - Your Ladyship will not I know, not tire nor be offended though I trouble you with many letters. The cause is the memory of my debt to your Ladyship. 
   I am possibly impertinent in what I write, for I am ignorant of your present situation; but despite what is said, I have learned from Mr Willam Dalgleish that you have not changed concerning your sweet master Christ, nor tired in His service; nor do you change from Him who is constant in His love. You are among honourable and noble company. But Madam, thinking about your situation, I see  an untimely suitor coming to seek a bride , for she is already engaged, and promised to another; and so the suitor's preparation and bravery are in vain. The outward show of this busy suitor, a tempting world, is now coming too late for your soul, for you promised your soul to Christ many years ago. And I know Madam, what answer you may rightly give to this late suitor, even this, 'You are too late coming; my soul, the bride, has already gone, and the contract with Christ signed, and I cannot choose except to be honest and faithful to Him. ' Honourable lady, keep your first love, and hold the first match with that soul delighting, lovely Bridegroom, our sweet Saviour Jesus, fairer than all the children of men, 'the Rose of Sharon', and the fairest and sweetest smelling rose in all His father's garden. There is none like him; I would not exchange one smile of His lovely face for kingdoms. Madam, let others take their silly, irresponsible heaven in this life. Do not envy them, but let your soul, like a fussy and poorly educated child, take the bad mood; throw off and reject all things, except only one; either Christ or nothing. Your well beloved Jesus, will be well content, that you be strongly proud and hard to please, like one who condemns all husbands except Himself. Either the King's Son or no husband at all; this is a humble and worthy ambition. What have you to do playing with an immoral and foolish world? Your jealous Husband will not be content if you look past Him to another: He will indeed be jealous and offended if you kiss another than Himself. I do not know what weighs you down, Madam, but think it a great mercy that from your youth, your Lord has been hedging you in when your desires strayed, that you not be unfaithful to Himself. If you were His bastard he would not so nurture you. If you were to be slaughtered, you would be fattened up. But be content; you are His wheat, growing in our Lord's field (Mat 13:25,38); and if wheat, you mist go through our Lord's thrashing on His barn floor, and through His sieve (Am 9:9), and through His mill to be bruised, (as the Prince of your salvation, Jesus was) (Is 53:10), that you may become good bread in your Lord's house. Lord Jesus bless the spiritual cultivation, and separate you from the chaff that cannot stand the wind. I am sure your time goes by bit by bit; and if you know who is in front of you, your would rejoice in your sufferings. Do you think it is a small honour to stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, and to be dressed in white, and to be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and to be led to the fountain of living waters, and to come to the well head, even God Himself, and and get your fill of the clear, cold, sweet refreshing water of life, the King's own well, and to put up you own sinful hand to the tree of life and take down and eat the sweetest apple in all God's heavenly paradise, Jesus Christ, your life and your Lord? Lift up your heart! Shout for joy! Your King is coming to fetch you to His Father's house.
   Madam, I am in very great sadness, God thinking it best, for my own soul to test me in this way, for it may truly, be His way to fit me to be His mouth to others. I see and hear, at home and abroad, nothing but natters of sadness and discouragement, which indeed make my life bitter, And I hope in God, never to get my own way in this world. And I expect before long, a fiery trial on the church; for many men in England and Scotland are false friends to Christ, pulling the crown off His holy head, and fearing our Beloved stay among us (as if His place was more desirable than Himself) men are telling Him to go and seek His place. Madam, if you have a part in the silly, friendless church (as I know you have) speak a word over behalf to God and man. If you can do nothing else, speak for Jesus, and so you will be a witness against this declining age. Now from my very soul, laying and leaving you on the Lord, and wanting a part in your prayers (as my Lord knows, I remember you), I deliver you body and spirit, and all your needs, to the hands of our Lord and remain for ever
   Your Ladyship's in your sweet Lord Jesus and mine,     S.R.

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