Thursday, March 14, 2019

Rutherford revised (77)

77. To my Lady Boyd  From Aberdeen 1637

( Christine Hamilton was the eldest daughter of the first Earl of Haddington. She worried Lord Lindsay who die in 1616. Her second husband, Lord Boyd died in 1628.She was a pious Presbyterian.)

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace speak to you. The Lord has brought me to Aberdeen, where are I see God in few people. This town has been chosen on purpose for me; it is either Papists or men of Gallio's is naughty faith. Most think it best not to tolerate an imprisoned minister; but I find Christ is neither strange not unkind; for I have found many to smile on me since I came here. I am down and sad, considering what is between the Lord and my soul, which only He sees. I find men have misunderstood me; it would not be difficult (as I now see) to spin fine, and make a good web of hypocrisy, and to go through life as a saint among men, and yet steal quietly to hell, without being seen: for it is it easy to deceive men. I have wondered whether or not and I ever knew anything of Christianity, except how to spell the word. Men only see as men, and they called ten twenty, and twenty a hundred; but O to have one's heart and sincerity approved by God is not an ordinary mercy. I am ashamed to speak of my neglect when I had a pulpit, and of other things, that trouble me now; so God makes an honest cross daily sorrow. And I am afraid of scandal and stumbling; I must be patient concerning the law's sentence: I do not know if this court was arranged in Christ's name. If one could buy certain salvation, God knows, if I had ten worlds I would not fight with God. Like a fool, I believed that suffering for Christ, I would keep the key of Christ's treasures, and take comfort when I wanted, and eat and be fat: but I see you now that a sufferer for Christ will get to know himself, and be held at the door as would another poor sinner, and it would be fortunate to eat with the children, and to take it from the side table, and be glad to do so. I bless the cross of Christ which has made me see this. O if we could take pains in the kingdom of heaven! But we sit down with some ordinary evidence of being God's children, thinking we have enough to distinguish us from the reprobate; and so we celebrate and cry.'Holiday!' and so the devil throws water on our fire, and blunts our zeal and the carefulness. But I see heaven is not at the door; and I see, that though my challenges are many, I suffer for Christ, and dare risk my salvation on it; sometimes my Lord comes with a good period, and O but his love is sweet, delightful and comfortable. Half a kiss is sweet; but our adoring love is not content with an entry to Christ, until it gets possession; like the man who will not be content with the rights to bought land, unless he gets the ridges and acres put on his back to carry home with him! However it is, Christ is wise; and we are fools to be content and fond of a little in the palm of our hands. Living on trust by faith may well contents us. Madam, I know your Ladyship knows this, and that has made me bold to write about it, so others may benefit from my imprisonment for the truth; for I want, and aim at this, to have my Lord spoken well of and honoured, though he should make me nothing but a bridge over water. So recommending your Ladyship, your son and children to His grace who has honoured you with the name and room among the living in Jerusalem; and wishing grace to be with your Ladyship, I rest your Ladyship's.
   In his sweetest Lord Jesus,    S.R.

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