Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rutherford revised (90)

90. To Mr John Livingstone                   From Aberdeen 7 Feb 1637

My Reverend and dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear from you and be refreshed with the comforts of the Bride of our Lord Jesus in Ireland. I suffer grief with you for the setback that your plans to be in New England have received lately; but if our Lord who is skilled in raising His children had not seen it  the best for you, it would not have happened. Keep quiet and rest yourselves on the Holy One of Israel. Listen to what He has said by frustrating your desires; He will speak peace to His people.
   I am here removed from my flock and silenced and imprisoned in Aberdeen for the testimony of Jesus. And I have been restricted in spirit also with desertions and and challenges. I submitted a list of quarrels and complaints of unkindness against Christ who seemed to throw me over the fence of the vineyard like a dry tree and separated me from the Lord's inheritance; but high, high and loud praises be to our royal crowned King in the church; for He has not burnt the dry branch. I will yet live and see His glory.
   Your mother-Church, because of her prostitution, is likely to be thrown off. The children may break  their hearts to see such arguing between the husband and the wife. Our clergy want to reconcile with the Lutherans and the scholars are writing books and drawing up a common confession at the Council.s command. Our Service Book is proclaimed with the sound of the trumpet. Night has come down on the prophets! Scotland's day of visitation has come. It is time for the bride to weep when Christ is saying he will choose another wife. But our sky will clear again the dry branch of our cut down Lebanon will sprout again and be glorious; and they will yet plant vines again on our mountains.
   Now, my dear brother I write to you with purpose that you may help me to praise and seek the help of others with you that God may be glorified in my imprisonment. My Lord Jesus has taken the withered stranger, His heart-broken prisoner into his house of wine. Oh, Oh if you and all Scotland and all our brothers with you knew how I feast! Christ's honeycombs drop comforts. He is with His prisoner and the King's perfume casts a smell. The devil cannot deny that we suffer as the apple of Christ's eye, His royal rights as King and Lawgiver. Let us not fear nor faint. He will have His Gospel once again sold in Scotland and have voices raised to see who will say 'Let Christ be crowned King in Scotland'. Is it true the Antichrist stirs his tail; but I love a rumbling and raging  devil in the church (since the church militant cannot or may not lack a devil to trouble her) rather than a subtle  or sleeping devil. Christ never yet got a bride without sword strokes. It is now near the Bridegroom's entry into his room; let us wake and go in with Him.
   I carry your name to Christ's door; I pray you, dear brother, do not forget me. Let me have a letter from you, and I charge you, do not hide Christ's generosity to me. I write about what I have found from Him in the house of my pilgrimage. Remember my love to all our brothers and sisters there.
   The keeper of the vineyard watch for His besieged city and you.                      Your brother and fellow sufferer,  S.R.

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