Monday, February 25, 2019

Rutherford revised (31)

31. To Lady Kenmure                  From Anwoth  23 Jan 1634

Madam, - Having received a letter from some of the most worthy ministers in this kingdom, I want to pass on the contents to those in these parts as I know love the beauty of the church and are troubled to see the Lords vineyard trampled underfoot by the wild boars out of the wood who lay it waste; I also desire your Ladyship's help to join with others; so you pass it on to your husband; and if you think it necessary I will write to his Lordship as Mr George Gillespie advises me. 
   Know therefore, that the best men in the ministry think it convenient and  necessary at such a time as this, that all who love the truth should join their prayers together and cry God with humiliation and fasting. The times which are agreed upon are the first two Sabbaths of February next, and six days intervening between these Sabbaths as they may conveniently be had and the first Sabbath of every quarter. And the reasons as they are written to me are these:
   1. Apart from the distresses of the Reformed churches abroad, the many remaining sins of uncleanness, ungodliness, and unrighteousness in this land, the present judgements on the land and many more hanging over, of which few are aware, or as yet know the right and true cause of them.
   2. The lamentable and pitiful state of a glorious church which is in so short a time, suffering so many restrictions in doctrine, sacraments and discipline; sorely persecuted in the persons of faithful pastors and members and the door of God's house kept so narrow by bastard door keepers; so that those who are worthy and able for the work, are stopped at the door; the rulers  having changed religion by law and the majority ready to receive any religion given by the authorities.
   3. In our humiliation we have been told to tone down God's wrath and sincerely promise to God new obedience, so there is weakness, coolness, silence and no warmness on the part of some of the best of the ministry and the deadness of Christians who have let the truth be secretly taken away and openly stolen from us.
   4. Atheism, idolatry, profanity and vanity should be confessed and our king's heart recommended to God, and God entreated that he would stir up the nobles and the people to turn from their evil ways.
   So Madam, hoping that your Ladyship will join with others that such work be not disregarded at such a needed time when our church is nearly overturned; and I promise to myself your help as the Lord will secretly and prudently enable you, so your Ladyship may rejoice with the Lord's people when deliverance will come for true and sincere humiliation always come speedily from God. And when authorities, king, court and churchman oppose the truth; what other armour have we but prayer and faith; by which if we wrestle with Him, there is ground to hope, that those who would remove the heavy stone (Zec 12:3) out of its place will only hurt their backs and the stone will not be moved, at least not removed.
   Grace, grace be with you, from him who has called you to the inheritance of the saints in light.
   Your Ladyship's at all submissive obedience in his sweet Lord Jesu.         S.R.


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