Monday, March 11, 2019

Rutherford revised (68)

68. To John Fleming, Bailie (magistrate) of Leith  From Aberdeen 13 Nov 1636

(A godly Edinburgh merchant)

My very worthy friend, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter. I bless the Lord through Jesus Christ, I find His word good, ' I have tried you in the furnace of affliction' (Is 48:10). 'I will be with him in trouble' (Ps 91:15). I never expected anything else at Christ's hand except much good and comfort, and I am not disappointed. I find my Lord's cross gilded over and oiled with comforts. My Lord has now shown me the white side of His cross. I would not exchange my weeping in prison with the laughter of the fourteen Bishops in their hungry and lean joys. This world does not know the sweetness of Christ's love; it is a mystery to them.
   When I first came here I found a great sadness especially because it had pleased the bishops to add this  gentle cruelty, to my former sufferings (for it is gentle to them) to prohibit the ministers of the town to give me the freedom of a pulpit. I asked why Christ refused my service. But I was a fool. He has shown Himself friends with me. If you and others of God's children will praise His great name who makes worthless men witnesses to him; my silence and sufferings will preach more than my tongue could. If His glory can be seen in me I am satisfied, for I lack no kindness from Christ. I dare not smother his generosity. I write this to you so that you may praise and get to your brother and others to join with me in this work.
   This land will be made desolate; our sins are full; the Lord says we will drink and vomit and  fall.  Remember my love to your good kind wife. Grace be with you.
    Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,    S.R. 

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