Saturday, March 09, 2019

Rutherford revised (61)

61.To the truly Noble and Elect Lady, my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure From Edinburgh 28 Jul 163

Noble and elect lady,- that honour which I have prayed for the last sixteen years, submitting to my Lord's will, my kind Lord has now given me, even to suffer for my royal and princely King Jesus, and for His kingly crown, and the freedom of His kingdom that His Father has given Him. The forbidden lords have sentenced me to lose my living. and be imprisoned in the town of Aberdeen. I am charged in the King's name to enter there on 20th August, and to remain there at the Kings pleasure, as it has been announced. Though Christ's green cross, newly laid on me, is rather heavy, when I remember the fair, sweet and comfortortable days for my soul and the souls of many others, and how young ones in Christ are taken from the breast, and God's inheritance spoiled; yet that sweet smelling and perfumed cross of Christ is accompanied with sweet refreshing, with the kisses of a King, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, with the faith that the Lord hears the sighs of a prisoner, with an undoubted hope (as sure as my Lord lives) after this night to see daylight, and Christ's sky to be clear above me, and His poor  church; and that in a strange land, among strange faces, He will give favour in the eyes of men to his poor are  oppressed servant, who can only love that Lovely one, that princely One. Jesus, the Comforter of his soul. All would be well, if I was free of the old guilty feelings, about neglecting my calling, and speaking too little for my Well-beloved's crown, honour and kingdom. O for a day in the meeting of the saints to plead for King Jesus! If my Lord now goes on to quarrel, I die, I cannot bear it. But I look for peace from Him, because he knows I can bear men's quarrel, but I cannot bear His. This alone exercises me, that I am afraid I have done little good in my ministry; but I can only say, I loved the children of the wedding room, and prayed for and wanted the marriage to prosper, and the coming of His kingdom.
   I see no other than a judgement on Galloway, and that the Lord will visit this whole nation for the quarrel of the Covenant. But what can be put on me, or anyone like me, is too light for Christ. Christ can bear more, and would bear death and burning, in His living servants, even for this honourable cause for which I now suffer. Yet for all my complaints (and he knows that I dare not now be false), and He was never sweeter and kinder then He is now. One kiss now is sweeter then ten long before; sweet, sweet is His cross; Light, light and easy is it his yoke. O what a sweet step it would be up to my Father's house through ten deaths, for the truth and the cause of that unknown, and not half well loved  enough, Plant of Renown, the Man called the Branch, the Chief among ten thousands, the fairest among the sons of men! O what unseen joys, how many hidden heart-burnings of love, are in  'what is lacking in Christ's afflictions' (Col 1:24). My dear worthy Lady, I write to your Ladyship with my own hand, my heart writing as well as my hand, - welcome, welcome, sweet, sweet and glorious cross of Christ; welcome, sweet Jesus, with your light cross. You have now gained and got all my love from me; keep what you have got! Only woe, woe is me for my deprived flock, for the lambs of Jesus, that I fear  will be fed from dry breasts. But I stop now. Madam I dare not promise to see your Ladyship, because I have been given little time, and I want to obey the King, who has power over my body; and rebellion against kings is not fitting in Christ's ministers. Please tell my Lady Mar about my situation. I expect that your Ladyship and that good lady will speak to God about the Lord's prisoner, not for my sake,  but for the Gospel's. Madam bind me more if it can be, to your Ladyship, and write thanks to your brother, my Lord of Lorn, for what he has done for me, a poor stranger unknown to his Lordship. I will pray for him and his family as long as I live. It is his honour to speak in the streets, on behalf of his wronged and oppressed Master Christ Jesus. Now, Madam commending your Ladyship and the sweet child to the tender mercies of my own Lord Jesus, and His good-will who lives in the Bush.
   I am yours in his own sweetest Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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