Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Rutherford revised (56)

56. To my Lady Kenmure           From Anwoth 18 Jan 1636

Madam, -  I received your Ladyship's letter from J Gordon. I thank our Lord that you are well at least as one who has not returned home. It is a mercy in this stormy sea to get a second wind; for none of the saints get a first wind except they take the winds as the Lord of the seas causes them to blow; and find the inn as the Lord and Master of the inns has ordered it best.  If we found contentment here, heaven would not be heaven. And whoever seeks the world as their bed, here will find it at best, short and badly made,  and the stone under their side to keep them all awake, rather than a soft pillow to sleep on. You should bless your Lord that it is not worse. We live in a sea where men have been shipwrecked, and we need Christ at the helm of the ship. It is a mercy to get to heaven with  much hard work and  heavy labour and to take it by violence however good or bad that may be. Better to go swimming and get wet than to drown in the way,  especially now when truth suffers and great men tell Christ to sit lower down and take less space for himself as if he took too much room.
   I expect our new Bishop will try to move me. I hang by a thread; but it is (if I may say) spun by Christ. There is no quarrel more honest or honourable than to suffer for the truth. But the worse is that this church is likely to sink, and all her lovers and friends stand for off; none mourn with her and none mourn for her. But the Lord Jesus will not be put out of his conquest so soon in Scotland. It will be seen that the church and the truth will rise again in three days, and Christ will again ride upon His white horse, though His horse seems now to stumble, but he cannot fall. Christ's full harvest to the ends of the earth has not yet come in. I do not say this because I want it so; but speak on better grounds than my mere liking. But enough of this sad subject.
   I  long to be fully assured of your Ladyship's welfare and that your soul prospers, especiallynow in your life alone, when your outward comforts are few and Christ is there to take you up. I know His love to you is still running over and His love has not such a bad memory as to forget you and your dear child who has two fathers in heaven, one being the Ancient of Days. I trust in His mercy that He has something stored up to him above however things may go with him here. I know it is a long time since your Ladyship saw that this world has turned into your stepmother and has forsaken you. Madam, you have reason to be content with lean dinner and sparse diet in this life, seeing that your large supper which the Lamb is preparing ill recompense everything. Let go of that which was never yours, but only in view; not your property. The time of your loan will get shorter and shorter, and time is measured to you in minutes, and then I know your hope will be a full ear of corn, not one  blasted by the wind. It may be your joy that your anchor is within the sanctuary and it is cast on ground that is firm not false. 
   God has done his part: I hope you will not refuse to fish and fetch home all your love to himself; and it even if it is more; it is too narrow and too short for Him. If you were pouring all your love (if it had been many gallons more) on your Lord and drops spilled; He forgives you . He has done now all that can be done to win more than it all, and has left little to woo your love from Himself except for only one child. He knows best what is his purpose in that, He  who has taken to teach your soul. There your faith may boldly love Christ so that whatever happens, the worst would-be a tired traveller and a joyful and sweet welcome home. The back of your winter night is broken. Look to the east; the day sky is dawning. Do not think that Christ loses time or unsuitably delays. O fair, fair and sweet morning! We are like passengers at sea. If we look we are near our country's coast; our Redeemer is coming fast to take this old worm eaten world, like an old moth eaten cloth in his two hands and will roll it up and lay it by Him. These are the last days, and God Himself has given an oath that time will be no more (Rev 10:6); And when time itself is old and grey haired, it is good for us to be away. So Madam, you see I am as usual long winded in my writing. Your Ladyship will pardon it. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
    Your Ladyship's at well all obedience in Christ.    S.R.

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