Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Rutherford revised (70)

70. To the Right Honourable and Christ, my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure  From Aberdeen undated

Madam, -  Grace, mercy and please be to you. I received your Ladyship's letter. It refreshed me in my sadness. The blessing and prayer of a prisoner of Christ come upon you. Since my coming here, Galloway has not written to me, except what my brother, Earlston and his son wrote. I cannot get my letters sent, but Madam, I am not short of kindness from the one who is the source. Christ, (if he had never done more for me since I was born) has taken my heart and gained my blessing in this house of my pilgrimage. It pleases my Well-be loved to dine with a poor prisoner,  and the King's perfume casts a fragrant smell. Nothing saddens me except I eat my feasts alone and I cannot build up His saints. O that this nation knew what is between Him and the me; none would be afraid of the cross of Christ! My silence eats me up, but He has told me He thanks me no less than when I were daily preaching. He sees how gladly I would be at it; and therefore my wages are going to be up in heaven as if I was still preaching Christ. Captains pay bed-ridden soldiers even if they do not march nor carry armour  'that Israel might be gathered to him— for I am honoured in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength'(Is 49:5). I am not ashamed of my title 'the banished minister' ( the term in Aberdeen). I have seen the white side of Christ cross; how lovely He has been to His oppressed servant. as 'who executes justice for the oppressed who gives food to the hungry.The LORD sets the prisoners freeThe LORD watches over the sojournershe upholds the widow and the fatherless' (Ps 146:7,9). If it was about exchanging crosses, I would not exchange my cross for any. I am well pleased with Christ and he with me; I hope no one will hear us. It is true for all this I get my meat with many blows and I am up and down seven times a day; and am often anxious and down because of the case of my oppressed brother; yet I hope the Lord will be guarantor for His servant. But now because of some weak, very weak experience, I have come to love a rumbling and raging devil best. Seeing we must have a devil to keep the saints awake, I want an inefficient devil ,rather than a secure and sleeping one. When I first came here, I sulked at Christ and took up against him; I said He had thrown  me over the wall of the vineyard like a dry tree. But I see it was His mercy that the fire did not burn the dry tree; and now as if my Lord Jesus was at fault,  and not I (who slandered my Lord),   He has made amends, and he has not spoken a word against me, but has come again and and enlived and my soul with His presence. No, now I think the tax and casualties of the cross of Christ Jesus my Lord and these comforts that acccompany it, are better than the world's rent. O how many rich droppings are in my King's house! I am persuaded and dare risk my salvation on it, that it is Christ's truth for which I now suffer. I know His comforts are no dreams; He would not put His seal on blank paper, nor deceive His afflicted ones that trust in Him. 
   Your Ladyship wrote to me that you are still a poor pupil. Madam, you must enter heaven's gates with your book in your hand, still learning. You have had your own large share of troubles, and a double share; but that means your Father does not count you a bastard; legitimate children are nurtured (Heb 12:8). I long to hear about the child. I write the blessings of Christ's prisoner and the mercies of God to him. Let him be Christ's and yours between you; but let Christ be in charge let him; be the leader and you the borrower not an owner.
   Madam, it is not long since I wrote to your Ladyship that Christ keeps mercy for you, and I still keep to it and am writing it myself. Love Him dearly. Win in to see Him; there is in Him that which you never saw. He is near; he is a tree of life, green and blossoming in both summer and winter. There is a place in Christianity to which whoever comes, sees and feels more than others can do. I invites you again to come to Him. 'Come and see,' will speak better things of Him that I can. Garden never thought that this world was a share worthy of you. He would not give you a gift of dirt and clay, He will not give you a Esau's share, but reserves the inheritance of Jacob for you. Are you not well married now? Have you not now a good husband? 
   My heart cannot tell what sad nights I have had for the virgin daughter of my people. Woe is in me, for my time is coming. ' Behold the day, behold the day has come; the morning has gone; for the rod has blossomed, pride has budded, the violence has risen up in a rod of wickedness; the sun has gone down on our prophets.' Are dry wind on Scotland but neither to fan nor to clean; but beyond question, when the Lord has cut down the forest the aftergrowth of Lebanon will flourish; they will planned vines in our mountains and a cloud will yet fill the temple. Now blessing of our dearest Lord Jesus, and the blessing of him that is separate from his brothers, come upon you.

    Yours at Aberdeen, the prisoner of Christ,  S.R. 

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