Monday, March 18, 2019

Rutherford revised (84)

84. To  Jean Brown                 From Aberdeen 1637

Mistress, -  Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear how your soul prospers. I want you to be going forward to your country. I know you see your time passing away little by little,  and in short time you will be beyond time, for life is a message that does not stand still ,and our joys here come from weeping rather than laughter and they die weeping. Sin, sin, this body of sin and corruption, makes  bitter and poisons all our joys. O I wish I were where I shall sin no more! O to be free from these chains and irons which we carry about with us! Lord, free the sad prisoners! Who of the children of God have no reason to say that they have had their fill all this vain life, and like a full and sick stomach, to wish in the middle of the meal, that the meal was over and the table removed that the sick man might get to bed and enjoy rest? We have a reason to tire in the middle of the meal of the best food that this world can serve up for us, and to cry to God that he would take away the table and put the sin-sick souls to rest with Himself. O for a long day playing with  Christ and our long lasting vacation of rest! Happy are those safely over the ferry, Christ having paid the fare. Happy are they who have completed their hard and weary time of apprenticeship and are now freemen and citizens in that joyful, high city, the New Jerusalem. 
  Alas that we should be glad at and rejoice in our chains and our prison and this precious inn, a life of sin where we are absent from our Lord and so far from our home. O that we could get hold and guarantee our love, that we should not fasten onto dreams of this world, these shadows and foolishness; we should more often look at what they are doing in heaven with our hearts on our sweet treasure above. We smell of this smoke of this low house of earth because our hearts and our thoughts are here. If we could engage with God we would smell of heaven and of our country above and we would look like our country and like strangers; people not born or brought up here. Our crosses would not leave a mark upon us if we were heavenly minded. I do not know of any obligation which the saints have to this world, seeing as we live only on the smoke of it and if there is any smoke in the house it blows in our eyes. Our share of the food is barely a drink of water and when we suffer we hide our grief away between our Lord and us, our content ourselves with stolen sorrow behind our backs. Thank God that we have so many things that rub us up the wrong way that we may pray, 'God preserve our better home; God bless our Father's house and not this smoke that blows us to see our better lodging'. I am sure that this is the best fruit of the cross when we are free from the hard menu of this dear inn and cry all the more that God would send a good wind to bring us to land, hungry and oppressed strangers, at the door of our Fathers house which is now made in Christ, our kind inheritance. Oh let us pull up the stakes and pillars of our tent and put it on our back and go to our best home, for here we have no continuing city. 
   I am here waiting with hope to see what my Lord will do with me. Let him make of me what He will providing He glorifies himself out of me; I am not bothered.
 I hope, yes I am now sure,  I am for Christ and all that I can do all may make is for Him. I am his everlasting debtor and still will be; for I have nothing for Him and He gets only little service from me! Pray for me that our Lord will be pleased to give me room in his house; that I may serve him in the calling to which she has called me.  Grace be with you. 
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,    S.R.

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