Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Rutherford revised (85)

85. To John Kennedy,  Bailie (magistrate) of Ayr  From Aberdeen 6 Jan 1637

Worthy and well beloved brother, - Grace, mercy and peace to you. I am still waiting for what our Lord will do for His afflicted church and for my return to my Lords house. O that I could hear the loss of Christ (now thrown out of his inheritance) restored and openly proclaim Christ restored to his freehold and its ownership of land in Scotland; and the courts, opened in the name of the bastard bishops (the magistrates and officers of their godfather the Pope) were suppressed. Oh how sweet a sight it would be to see all the people of the Lord in this land bringing home again our banished King Christ to His own palace, His sanctuary and His throne! I would think it's a mercy to my soul if my faith would watch all this winter night and do not nod or sleep until my Lords summer day dawned upon me. It is no small matter if in this sad night of our heavy testing,  faith and hope escape unharmed, whole and straight. I confess that the origin of unbelief is not reason for unbelief is always an irrational thing,  for it must be when such  eyes as ours  run in a great smoke or that weak head would not be giddy when the water runs deep and strong? But God be thanked that Christ is in his children and can endure stress and storm though soft nature would fall down in pieces. O that I had the confidence to rest on this though he should grind to me into small powder and beat me into dust and scatter the dust to the four winds of heaven, that my Lord will gather up the powder and make me a new vessel again to carry Christ's name to the world! I am sure that love fastened and seated upon the faith of His love to me would desire and enjoy this and would even claim and assert kindliness in Christ's blows and kiss his love frowns and will sense and read salvation in the wounds made by Christ's sweet hands. O that I had a promise made from Christ of his love to me and then though my faith was as fragile as paper I think longing and pining and ripening of sick desires would make it last out the siege until the Lord came to fill the soul with His love. And I also know that in that case faith would ripen and be nourished at the root even in midwinter, and stand against all storms. Whatever happens I know Christ wins heaven despite hell. 
   I 0we as much praise and thanks to free grace as would live between me and the farthest border of the highest heaven if ten thousand heavens were laid one above another.
   But oh! I have nothing that can hire or grow grace; for is grace could be hired, it is in no grace. But all our stability and the strength of our salvation is anchored and fastened upon free grace; and I am sure, by his death and blood, Christ has fastened the knot so well that the fingers of devils and hell full of sins cannot loose it. And that tie is, and never before, nor ever shall be recorded, is surer than heaven or the days of heaven,  as that sweet pillar of the covenant on which we all hang. Christ, with all His little ones underneath His two wings and encircled by His arms,  is so sure, that if He and they are thrown into the sea, He will come up again and not lose one. Not as single one can, nor will be lost in the counting.
  This was always God's plan ever since Christ came into the game between Him and us; to make men dependent creatures and in the work of our salvation,  to put created strength and limbs of clay out of place and out of of service and out of court. And now in our place, God has substituted and accepted His Son, the Mediator for us and all that we can do. If this had not been so, I would have given up and foregone my part of paradise and salvation for a breakfast of dead moth-eaten earth, but now I would not give it nor let it go for more than I can tell. And truly they are silly fools and ignorant of Christ's worth and badly trained and taught, who let Christ and heaven go for two  feathers or two straws of the devil's painted pleasures decorated only on the outside. This is our happiness now is that we cannot tell the extent of our benefits in that night when eternity will come upon us. We shall be such great gainers and so far from being out of pocket (as the poor fools of this world are who give out their money and get only black hunger) now the angels cannot do the counting to add up our advantages and incomes. Who knows how far it is to the depths of our Christ's fullness and to the ground of o all that glory which is in him and kept for us in heaven? Who ever weighed to Christ in scales? Who has seen the thickness and layers and the heights and depths of that glory which is in Him and checked for us? O for such a heaven to stand far off and see and love and long  for Him until time's thread is cut and this great work of creation dissolved at the coming of our Lord.!
   Now I commend you to His grace. I ask you also to pray for me to re-enter the Lord's house, if it be His good will.
    Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,    S.R.

No comments: