Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Rutherford revised (37)

37. To Lady Kenmure                  From Anwoth  14 Sep 1634
My very noble and worthy Lady, -As often as I recall to mind the comforts that I myself, a poor friendless stranger , received from your Ladyship here in a strange part of the country when my Lord took from me the delight of my eyes (Eze 24:16),  as the Word speaks (which wound is not yet fully cured nor healed) I trust your Lord will remember that and give you comfort now at such a time as this in which your dearest Lord has made you a widow; that you may be a free woman for Christ who is now suitor for your marriage love. And therefore since you live alone in your bed, let Christ be as a bundle of myrrh to sleep and live all the night between your breasts (Sol 1:13) and then your bed is better than before. And seeing among all crosses spoken of in our Lord's Word; this gives you a particular right to make Christ your husband which was not so yours when your husband was alive; read God's mercy in this visit though I must out of some experience say, the mourning for the husband of your youth, is by God's own mouth, the heaviest worldly sorrow (Joel 1:8). And though this be the heaviest burden that ever played upon your back, yet you know when the fields are empty and your husband now asleep in the Lord, if you will wait upon Him who hides His face for a while, it is according to God's honour and truth to fill the field to be a husband to the widow. See and consider then what  you have lost and how little it is. Therefore Madam, let me beg you in the heart of Christ Jesus, and by the comforts of His Spirit, and your appearance before Him; let God and men and angels now see what is in you. God has pierced the vessel; it will be known whether there is wine or water. Let your faith and patience be known, that it may seen, your only first and last beloved  has been Christ. And is therefore now, place your whole love on Him; He alone is a suitable object for your love and all the affections of your soul. God has dried up one channel of your love by the removal of your husband. Let it now run to Christ. Your Lord and lover has graciously taken out your husband's name, and your name out of the summonses that are given at the command of that terrible sin revenging Judge of the world against the house of the Kenmures. And I dare say God's hammering of you since your youth is only to make you a fair carved stone in the high upper temple of the New Jerusalem. Your Lord never saw this world's vain painted glory a worthy gift for you, and therefore would not give it to you because he is favouring you with a better portion. Let the things of this world go; the inheritance is yours. You are child in the house and joy is stored up for you; it is long in coming but none the worse for that. I'm now expecting to see with joy and comfort, that  which I hope of you, since I knew you fully, even that you have laid such strength on the Holy One of Israel, that you defy troubles and your soul is a castle that may be besieged but cannot be taken. What have you to do here? This world never looked upon you as a friend. You owe it little love. It always looked upon you sourly. However you would court it, it would not match you; and therefore never see warm fire under cool ice. This is not a field where your happiness grows; it is up above where there is a great crowd which no man can count from all nations and families and people and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white clothes and palms in their hands (Rev 7:9). What you can never get here you will find there. And consider how in all these trials (and truly they have been many), your Lord has been loosening you at the root from perishing things and hunting after you to grip your soul. Madam, for the Son of God's sake, let him not miss His grip but stay and abide in the love of God, as Jude says (Jude 21).
   Now Madam, I hope your Ladyship will accept my words and where I have fallen short and failed your Ladyship, not showing how I was obliged to your more than undeserved love and respect, I ask for a full pardon for it. Again my dear and noble lady, let me ask you to lift up your head for the day of your redemption comes near. And remember that star that shone in Galloway is now shining in another world. Now I pray that God may answer in his own way to your soul, and that he may be to you the God of all comfort. So I remain,
   Your Ladyship's at all dutiful obedience in the Lord,    S.R.

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