Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rutherford revised (75)

75. To John Kennedy,  Bailie (magistrate) of Ayr  From Aberdeen 1 Jan 1637

Worthy and dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. In this northern world I long to see your letter; I know that it is not because of forgetfulness that you have not written. I am good in soul and body; all honour and glory to my Lord. I want for nothing but a further revelation of the beauty of the unknown Son of God. Either I do not know what Christianity is, or have fixed a measure of so many ounce weights and no more on holiness and there we stand breathing the same all our life. A moderation in God's way is now much sought. I confess I have not made an effort to find Him whom my soul loves;  there is yet a way of finding out Christ that I have not found. O I could find it out! Alas how soon we are content without our own reflection in a mirror. It would be good to start seriously to find out God and to seek Christ's right way. Time, habit and a good opinion of ourselves, our good intentions and  lazy desires, our fair appearance and the world's glistening attractions, and these shows and  adornments of religion that are big in the church, is that with which most satisfy themselves. But a bed watered with tears, a  throat dry from praying, eyes as a fountain of tears for the sins of the land, are rarely found among us. O if we could know the power of godliness!
   This is part of my situation and another is, that I like a fool, once summoned Christ for unkindness and His changing and inconstancy because He would have no more of my service nor preaching and had thrown me out from the inheritance of the Lord. And I now confess that this was only a false charge and I was a fool. Yet He has been patient with me. I gave Him a fair advantage against me, but His love and mercy would not let him take it; and now the truth is that He has made himself friends with me, and has taken away the mask  and and has renewed his favour that I want,  in such a way that he has paid me one hundred fold in, this life, and one to the hundred. This prison is my banqueting house; I am treated as softly and delicately as an indulged child. I am not behind with Christ; He can in a month make up a year's losses. I write this to you so that I may beg, no, urge and charge you, by the love of our Well-beloved, for you to help me to praise and to tell all your Christian friends to help me, for I am as deeply in his debt as any bankrupt can be. And yet in this fair sunshine I have something to keep me from fainting or being too high; His word is like a fire shut up in my belly and I am weary of waiting. The ministers in this town are saying that they want my prison changed with further restrictions, because they see God is with me. My mother has made me an arguing man who quarrels with the whole world. The recent wrongs and oppression done to my brother keep in my sails low, yes I defy crosses to make me angry with Christ like I was formerly troubled. I look for hope and faith to overcome my troubles. I now have reason to trust Christ's promise more than his frown. 
   Remember my hearty affection to your wife. I am troubled about the success of our brothers' journey to New England; but we do not see what God has to show us. Grace be with you. Pray for the prisoner.
   Yours in his only Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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