Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Rutherford revised (69)

 To the Noble and Christian Lady the Viscountess of Kenmure  From Aberdeen 22 Nov 1636 

My very honourable and dear lady, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I cannot forget your Ladyship and that sweet child. I want to hear what the Lord is doing to you and him. Please write to me. I can only write to my friends that Christ has met with me in Aberdeen; and my enemies have sent me here to feast at love banquets with my royal, high, high and priestly King Jesus. Madam why should I conceal Christ's honesty? I cannot conceal his goodness to my soul; he looked strange and unfamiliar when I first came here; but I believe He is better than His looks. I will not quarrel again with Christ because of a frown, for he has now taken the mask from his face and says, 'Kiss your fill;' and what more can I have when I get great heaven in my little arms. O how sweet are the sufferings of Christ for Christ. God forgive those who raise a bad report about the sweet cross of Christ. It is only our weak and dim eyes and our looking only to the black side that makes us mistaken. Those who can easily take that twisted tree upon their back, and fasten it on securely, will find it a burden such as wings for a bird all sails on a ship. Madam do not regret having chosen the better part. On my salvation, this is Christ's truth for which I now suffer. If I found only cold comfort in my sufferings, I would not misdirect others; I would have told you plainly. But the truth is, Christ's crown, His sceptre and the freedom of His kingdom is that which is now questioned because we will not let Christ pay tribute and be subject on this earth; so the sons of our mother are angry at us. But it is not fitting for Christ to hold any man's stirrup. It would be a sweet and honourable death to die for the honour of that royal and princely King Jesus. His love is a mystery to the world. I would not believ there is so much in Christ as there is. 'Come and see' makes Christ to be known in his excellency and glory. I wish this nation knew how sweet is his breath. It means little to see Christ in a book as men do see the world in a picture. They talk of Christ according to the book and speech and no more; but to come near Christ and hug and embrace him is another matter. Madam, I write to you to encourage you in that honourable profession with which Christ has honoured you. You have got the sunny side of the hill and the best of Christ's good things. He has not given you the bastard's share; and though you get blows and sour looks from your Lord, yet believe His love more than your own feeling, for this world can take from you nothing that is truly yours; and death can do you no you wrong. Yours sea ebbs and flows, not your rock. Christ will keep to what He has said. He will be your teacher. You will not get a choice of ways to heaven. Lord Free-will will not be your teacher. Christ will not entrust the taking of you to heaven to yourself, nor to any substitute, but only to Himself. Blessed be your teacher. When your Head will appear ,your Bridegroom and Lord, your day will dawn and it will never have an afternoon nor evening shadow. Let your child be Christ's; let him stay with you as your guarantee which you will willingly give up again if God wills. 
   Madam, I find people kind to me here, but in the night and secretly. My Master's cause may not come to the crown of the road. Others are kind after their fashion. Many think me a strange man and my cause not good; but I do not care about man's thoughts or his approval. I am not ashamed of the cross. The preachers of the town pretended to show great love but the bishops have added to the rest this gentle cruelty (for so they think of it), to keep me out of the pulpits of this town. The people complain and cry against it; and to speak truly (though Christ is very kind to me otherwise), my silence on the Lord's day keeps me from being high beyond bounds,  and from fainting in the heat of my Lord's love. Some people come to me here and for this reason the preachers here want to have my imprisonment changed to another place; so cold is northern love; but Christ and I will bear it. I have long struggled with this sad silence. I asked why Christ has been unhappy with my service and I have been pleading with Christ to and fro. But I will yield to Him if my suffering may preach more than my speech did, for if I give Christ an inch he will give me twice as much again. In a word, I am a fool and He is God. I will say no more.
   Let me hear from your Ladyship and your dear child. Pray for the prisoner of Christ who remembers your Ladyship. Remember my due obedience to my good Lady Marr. Grace, grace be with you. I write and pray blessings to your sweet child.
    Yours in all dutiful obedience in His only Lord Jesus, S..R

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