Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (24)

24. To Marion M'Naught          from Anwoth  9 Mar 1632

Beloved mistress, - My dearest love in Christ remembered to yo. Know that Mr Abraham showed me there is to be a meeting of the bishops in Edinburgh shortly. The reasons are known to them. Our part is to hold up our hands for the church. It is reported that they came sad from court. It is our Lord's will that his church should ever hand by a thread; and yet the thread does not break, being hung on Him who is the sure Nail in David's house (Is 23:23) upon whom all the great and small vessels hang, and the Nail (God be thanked) is not crooked nor can be broken. Jesus, that flower of Jesse, planted without hands, gets many blasts, but does not wither for he is His Father's noble Rose, casting a sweet smell through heaven and earth, and must grow; and the saints grow in the same garden, God's fair and beautiful lilies, in wine and rain, and all sunburnt, and yet he remains rooted. Keep in His garden and you will grow with them, until the great Gardener, our dear Master Gardener, comes and transplants you from the lower part of his vineyard to the higher, to the very heart of His garden, above the wrongs of the rain, sun or wind. And then wait for the times of the blowing of the sweet south and north wind of His gracious spirit, that may make you waft a sweet smell in your Beloved's nostrils; and bid your Beloved come down to His garden, and eat of His pleasant fruits (Son 4:26). And He will come. You will get no more than this until you come up to the well head, where you will put up your hand and take down apples from the tree of life, and eat under the shadow of that tree. These apples are sweeter up by the tree than they are down here in this clay prison house. I have no joy but in the thoughts of these times. Do not doubt your Lord's part, and the bride's part; she will do well. That word will stand.' I will be like the dew to Israelhe shall blossom like the lilyhe shall take root like the trees zof Lebanonhis shoots shall spread outhis beauty shall be like the oliveand his fragrance like Lebanon.(Hos 14:5,6) Christ will set up His colours and His flag for the nations, and will gather together the outcasts of Israel (Is 11:12). ' Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house ofIsrael. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost;we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GODBehold, uI will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.(Eze 37:11,12) These promises are not wind, but the breast of our beloved Christ, which we must suck and draw comfort from. You have reason to pity those poor creatures who stand out against Christ, and the building of His house. Silly men! They have only a worthless and silly heaven; nothing but food and clothing, and laugh a day or two in the world, and then in a moment they go down to the grave; and they will not be able to slow Christ's building. He that is Master of work, will bring stones to the wall over their bodies. 
   And concerning that present uproar raised by the children of this world about a pastor being planted in your town; believe and trust in God, for you still shame us all with your faith. Go forward in the strength of the Lord; and I say from my Lord, before whom I stand, look only to the Lord of armies, and the Lord will either let you see what you want to see, or fulfil your joy some other way. You and yours, and the children of God whom you care for in this town, shall have as much of the Son of God's supper carved and put on your plates, and be fed to eternal life, no matter who carves. And do not be depressed about all that has happened: your reward is kept with God. I hope to see you laugh and jump for joy. Will the temple be built without noise and disturbance? No God's stones in his house in Germany are being laid with blood (The Thirty Years War); and the Son of God no sooner begins to  hew and cut stones with His hammer, than the sword is drawn. If it was men's work, the world would help you; two or three must fight against a Presbytery (though His own court) and a city. This proves it is Christ's work, and therefore will prosper. Let them lay iron chains to seal the door,- stay and believe, and wait until the Lion of the tribe of Judah comes. And He that comes from heaven, clothed with the rainbow, has the little book in His hand, when He takes hold of their chains. He will take off the door, come in and go up to the pulpit, and take the man with Him whom He has chosen for this work. Therefore, let me hear from you whether you re down or rejoicing with hope, so that I may share in your grief, and bear it with you, and get part of your joy, which is to me as part of my own joy.
   And as to your fears about the health and life of your dear children, lay it on Christ's shoulders: let Him bear all. Loosen your grip on all of them; and when your dear Lord pulls, let them go with faith and joy. It is a test of faith to kiss a Lord who is taking from you. Let them be careful during the short time they are here, to run and get a grip on the prize. Christ stands at the end of their way, holding up the wreath of endless glory in their sight, and is crying, 'Run fast and come and receive.' Happy are they (if not breathless) to run and not tire, while their Lord, with His own dear hand, puts the crown on their head. It is not long days but good ones that make life glorious and happy; and our dear Lord is gracious to us, who shortens and has made the path to glory shorter than it was; so that the crown that Noah fought for five hundred years, the children may get in fifteen. And heaven is in some ways better for us now than it was for Noah, for the man Christ is there now, who had not come as man in Noah's day. Show this to your children whom I bless in Christ, and ask them by the mercies of God, and the love of Jesus Christ, to covenant with Jesus Christ and be His, and to make up the ties of friendship between them and their Christ, that they may have a friend in heaven, at God's right hand. Such a friend at court is worth a lot.
   Now I leave you, praying that my Christ, and your Christ, will fulfil your joy; and more graces and blessings from our sweet Lord Jesus to your souls and to your husband's and children, than ever I wrote in letters A,B,C to you. Grace, grace be with you.
   Yours in my sweet Master, Jesus Christ,    S.S.

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