Saturday, March 02, 2019

Rutherford revised (48)

48 To Marion M'Naught             From  Edinburgh Dec 1634

Well-beloved sister, - I know you have heard of the success of our business in Edinburgh. Every day of Presbytery I see the faces of my brothers smiling on me, but their words speak against me and lie about me to one hundred miles away, and I have made me detestable to the Bishop of St Andrews, who said to Mr W Dalgleish that ministers in Galloway were his informers. So no favourable letter could be got from him to action our business; only I am spoken of by men, who otherwise do not know me, and have power (if God will permit) to harm me. So I believe you, for Christ Jesus sake, do not be depressed. I fear that you will be very sad because of this; and I am not so bothered for myself in this as for you. Take courage, - your dearest Lord will light your candle, which the wicked will not blow out; and, as sure as our Lord lives, your soul will find joy and comfort in this business. Though you see all the hounds in hell let loose to spoil it, to our dear and mighty Lord, their iron chains are only straws, which He can easily break. Do not let this temptation stick in your throat; swallow it, and let it go down; near our Lord gave you a drink of the comfort of His Spirit, that you may digest it. You never knew of one in God's book who put their hand to the Lord's work for His church, but the world and Satan barked against them, and bite also where they had power. You will not put one stone on Zion's walls but they will work to throw it down again.
   For myself, the Lord now lets me see greater evidence of a call to Kirkcudbright than ever he did before; and therefore pray, and patiently keep your soul. Those doing the business have good hopes that it will yet progress and prosper. As for the death of the King of Sweden (which is thought to be too true), we can do nothing else except respect our Lord, who does not usually hold the church on her rock by the sword, or the arm of flesh and blood, but by his own mighty and outstretched arm. Her King that reigns in the church lives, and though they go around to pluck and pull Him off His throne;  His Father has crowned Him, and who dares say,'It is badly done'? The Lord's bride will be up and down, swimming above the water and sinking under, until her lovely and mighty Redeemer and Husband, puts his head through the skies, and comes with his fair court to answer all their cases, and give them the hoped for inheritance: and then we shall put down our swords and triumph, and fight it no more. But do not think, for all this, that our Lord and Chief Shepherd will lack one weak sheep  or the silliest dying lamb,  that He has redeemed. He will call his flock, and gather them all together, and give faithful account of them to the Father who gave them to Him. Let us learn to turn our eyes from men, that our unfaithful hearts do not dote on them, but woo our old Husband, and make Him our darling. For, 'Then you shall say to them, Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’ And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, Thus says the LORD of hosts: You must drink!' (Jer 25:27,28) You see our Lord brewing a cup of poison for his enemies, which they must drink, and because of this have sore guts and sick stomachs, yes, bursting. But when the church's captivity is ended,' the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come togetherweeping as they comeand they shall seek the LORD their God. 5They shall ask the way to Zionwith faces turned toward itsaying, ‘Comelet us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’(Jer 50:4,5). This is spoken to us, and for us, who with sad hearts  ask, 'What is the way to Zion?' We  who know how to go to Lord,s door, have the responsibility to knock by prayer, to lift Christ's latch, and shut the bar of His room's door, to complain and tell him how the Lord treats us, and how our King's business is going, so that He may get up and strike them, who are fooling and playing with Christ and His bride. You have also, dear Mistress, home troubles, in the sickness of your husband and children, and in the robbing of your house by thieves; take these blows with patience from your Lord. He still has to pour you from cup to cup, and grind you as our Lord's wheat, to be bread in His house. But when all these blows all over your head, what will you say on seeing your well-beloved Christ's white and red face, even his face who is worthy to carry the flag among ten thousand? (Son 5:10). Hope and believe to the end. Grace forever be multiplied on you, your husband and children. 
   Your own in his dearest Lord Jesus, S.R.

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