Thursday, March 07, 2019

Rutherford revised (59)

59. To Alexander Gordon of Earlston, Elder  From Anwoth 6 Jul 1636

Honoured sir, - I have heard of the thoughts and malice of your enemies against you. It is likely that they will extend the law they have, in length and breadth according to their thinking. But it is a great part of your glory that the cause is not yours, but your Lord's whom you serve. I do not doubt Christ will count it His honour to back his weak servant and it were a shame for Him (with reference to His holy name), that he would suffer Himself to be together with such a poor man as you are, and that you would give out for Him and not get in return. Write up your expenses for your Master, Christ, and keep the account of what you give out, whether name, credit, goods or life; and postpone your reckoning until nearer the evening; and remember that a poor, weak servant of Christ, wrote it to you, that you will have Christ, a King, guarantee your income and all your losses. Do not count from the morning. Take the word of God for your guarantee and for Christ's promise of protection; though body, life, and goods go for Christ your Lord, and though you should lose your head for Him, yet not one hair of your head will perish. With patience therefore, keep your soul. And because you are the first man in Galloway to be called out and questioned for the name of Jesus; his eye has been on you as upon one he planned to be among his witnesses. Christ has said, 'Alexander Gordon shall lead the people in witnessing a good confession,' and therefore he has put the wreath  of suffering for Himself on your head. Think yourself so much the more obliged to him and do not fear, for He puts His right hand on your head. He who was dead and is alive will plead your cause and will look attentively upon the process from the beginning to the end; and the Spirit of glory will rest upon you. 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold,the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.'  (Rev 2:10). This lovely one Jesus, who also became the Son of man so that he might take blows for you, will write the cross-sweetening and soul-supporting sense of these words in your heart!

   These rumbling wheels of Scotland's ten days suffering are under His gaze who has seven eyes. Take a house over your head and put yourself by faith under Christ's wings until the storm is over. And remember when they have swallowed us down, Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling and of poison. They will be glad to vomit out the saints, 'for Judah will be a hearth of fire in a sheaf, and they will swallow up all the people around on the right hand and the left' Woe to the church's enemies; they have the worst of it for we have the writing promising victory! Sir, you were never honourable until now. This is your glory; Christ has put you in the list with himself and with the rest of the witnesses who have come out of great suffering and have washed their clothes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Do not be sad because of what the servants of Antichrist throws in your teeth, that you are a head of, and in thefavour of the Puritans, a leader of that sect. If your conscience says, Alas, 'here is much noise and little action' (as the proverb says); because you have not done as much service to Christ in that way as you might and should; take courage from that same temptation. For your Lord Christ looks on that very challenge as in that regard, a hungry desire in you to have done more then you did, and that fills up the space and he will accept what you have done. If great men are kind to you, I beg you to disregard them; if they smile on you Christ is only borrowing their face to smile through them on his suffering servant. Know the wellhead and from that learn the way to the well itself. Thank God that Christ came to your house when you were away and took with him some of your children. He presumed that much of your love and that you would not be offended, and though he should take the rest, he cannot come on your wrong side. I do not doubt that if they were golden children you would think them well given to Him. 
   Learn well from these two rods on you; one in your house at home and another on you away. Love thinks no evil. If you were not Christ's wheat, appointed to be bread in His house, He would not grind you. But keep in the middle line; do not despise nor faint (Heb 12:5). You see your Father is friendly with you. Blows from a father show kindness and care; take them as such. I hope your  Lord has shown Himself to you and suggested these or more precious thoughts about His dealing with you. We are using our weak influence and credit for you, up at our own court as we are able. We ask the King to hear us, and the Son of Man to go side-by-side with you, and hand in hand in the fiery furnace, and to enliven and encourage your unbelieving heart when you droop and despair. Sir, to the honour of Christ let it be  said that my faith goes with my writing now. I believe now that Christ will bring you out. Truth in Scotland will yet keep to the crown of the road. The saints will see religion go naked at noon, free from shame and fear of men. We will divide Shechem and ride upon the high places of Jacob. Remember my due respect and love to Lady Kenmore and her sweet child.
   Yours ever in his sweet Lord Jesus,    S.R.

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