Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (26)

26.To Marion M'Naught from Anwoth 19 Sep 1632

Dearly beloved mistress, - My love in Christ remembered. You know what our Lord in his love visit has been doing with your soul, even giving you a little sight of that dark time you must go through before you come to glory. Your life has been near death; you were at the door, and found the door shut and firm: your dear Christ thinking it was not time to open these gates to you until you had fought some longer on His side. And therefore, He wants you to put in your armour again, and to make no truce with  the devil or this present world. You have little obligation to either of the two; but I rejoice in this; that when any of the two comes to make suit to your soul in marriage, you have a ready answer to tell them, - 'You are too late; I have for many years promised my soul to another, even to my dearest Lord Jesus, to whom I must be true.' And therefore, you have returned to us again to help us pray for Christ's fair bride, a matter dear to Him. 
   Do not be sad to hear that the world barks at Christ's strangers, both in Ireland and in this land; they do it because their Lord has chosen them out of this world. And this is one of our Lord's slurs, to be hated and badly used by men. The silly stranger, in an uncivil country, must put up with a smokey inn and coarse food, a hard bed, and a barking foul mouthed host. It is not long until he take his way the next day, and leave them all. Indeed our fair morning is at hand, the day star is near rising, and we are not many miles from home. What does it matter if we are badly accommodated in the smoky inns of this miserable life? We are not to stay here, and we will be dearly welcomed by Him to whom we go. And I hope and that when I will see you clothed in white, washed in the blood of the Lamb, and will see you even at the elbow on your dearest Lord and Redeemer, and a crown upon your head, and following our Lamb and the lovely Lord where ever he goes, - you will think nothing of all these days; and then you will rejoice, and no man will take your joy from you. It is certain there is not much time left, and that day is near; and until then in this life your Lord gives you some small feasts.
   It is true, you do not see Him now as you will see Him then. Your well  beloved now stands behind the wall looking out of the window (Sol 2:9) , and you only see a little of his face. Then, you will see all his face and all the Saviour, - a long and high and broad Lord Jesus; the loveliest person among the children of men. Oh joy of joys that we know there is even such a great supper being prepared for us. Though we only part hunger for Christ here, and many times dine early; yet the supper of the 
Lamb will come in time, and will be set before us before we starve and  lose our appetites. You have a reason to be heartened, in memory and hope of that fair long summer day; for in this night of your life, where you are absent in the body from the Lord, Christ's fair moonlight in His word and sacraments, in prayer, feeling and holy fellowship, has shone on you to let you see the way to the city. I confess here our diet is but sparse; we get only tastes of our Lord's comforts; but the reason for that is not because our Steward Jesus is stingy and tight minded, but because our stomachs are weak and we are tight minded. But the great feast is coming and their rooms made and wide to take in the great 
Lord Jesus. Come in then, Lord Jesus to hungry souls gaping for you! In this journey take the Bridegroom as you may have him and  be greedy for his smallest crumbs; but dear Mistress buy none of Christ's spiritual delicacies with sin, or fasting in your weak body. Remember you are in the body and it is the lodging house; and you may not without offending the Lord let the old walls of that house to fall down through lack of necessary food. Your body is the dwelling place of the Spirit, and therefore for your love of the sweet Guest give proper attention to His house of clay. When he weakens the wall, why not? Welcome Lord Jesus! But it is a fearful sin in us, by hurting the body through fasting, to loosen one stone or the smallest piece of timber in it; for the house is not our own. The Bridegroom is with you still, so fast that you may feast and rejoice in Him. I think about your magistrates;  but he who has linen clothes and has the writer's inkwell at his side; has already written up their names in heaven. Pray and be content with his will. God has a court house in heaven and the end will be mercy for you. To plant your town with a godly minister, look to the Lord of the harvest. I dare promise you, in this life, God will fill your soul with the fatness of His house, caring for you to see Christ's children fed. and your posterity will know it, in regard to whom I prayed for mercy and that they may get a name among those living in Jerusalem; and  if God places them with his children, then they will pay a fair rent and I hope it will be so. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit
   Yours ever in Christ,  S.R.                  

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