Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rutherford revised (87)

87. To Elizabeth Kennedy  From Aberdeen 1637

Mistress,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I have for a long time intended to write to you, but have been prevented. I really want you to consider your country and in what direction you are facing; for not all come home at night who think they have set their face towards heaven. It is a sad thing to die and miss heaven and to lose your room with Christ at night: it is an evil journey where travellers are left in the dark in the fields. I myself am persuaded that thousands will be deceived and ashamed in their hopes. Because they drop their anchor in sinking sands; they will lose it. I did not know until now the pain, work or difficulty that there is to win  home: nor did I well understand before this what it means, 'The righteous will barely be saved.' Oh, how many a poor professor's candle is blown out and never lit again! I see that ordinary faith and to be put among the children of God and to have a name among men is now thought good enough to carry professors to heaven. But a name is only a name and will never survive a blast of God's storm. I advise you to give no rest to your soul or to Christ, no sleep to your eyes until you have got something that it will survive the fire and withstand the storm. I am sure if I had one foot in heaven and He then should say, 'Look after yourself. I will hold my grip on you no longer.' I will go no further but fall down into many pieces of a dead nature. 
   They are happy for evermore who are over head and ears in the love of Christ and know no sickness but love-sickness for Christ, and feel no pain but the pain of an absent and hidden Well-beloved. We run our souls out of breath and tire them in chasing and galloping after our night-dreams (such are the ravings of  our miscarrying hearts) to get some created good thing in this life and on this side of death. We would want to stay and spin out that heaven for ourselves on this side of the water; but sorrow, want,  changes,  crosses and sin are  both woof and warp of that badly spun web. Oh, how sweet and dear are those thoughts that are still on the things which are above and how happy are they who are longing to have little time left, to have their thread cut and can cry to Christ. 'Lord Jesus come over; come and fetch the sorrowful passenger'. I wish our thoughts were more frequently upon our country than they are. Oh, but heaven spreads a sweet smell to those who have spiritual smelling! God has made many fair flowers; but the fairest of them all is heaven, and the Flower of all flowers is Christ. Oh why do we not fly up to that lovely One? Alas that love is scarce and there are few lovers of Christ among us all! Shame on those who love fair things, like fair gold, fair houses, fair lands, fair pleasures, fair honours, and fair persons, and do not pine and melt away with love to Christ! Oh would to God I had more love for His sake! Oh for as much as would lie between me and heaven for His sake. O for as much as would go round about the earth, and over the heaven, yes, the heaven of heavens and get ten thousand worlds, that I might give all to that fair, fair only fair Christ! But alas, I have nothing for Him, yet He has much for me. Christ gains nothing when he gets my little, irresponsible span-length and and hand-breadth of love.
   If men had something to do with their hearts and thoughts, that are always bobbing up and down (like men with oars in a boat), going after sinful trivialities, they might find great and is sweet use of their thoughts on Christ. If those frothy, fluctuating and restless hearts of ours would come to Christ, and look into his love, to bottomless love, to the depths of mercy, to the unsearchable riches of His grace, to enquire after and search into the beauty of God in Christ, they would be swallowed up in the depth and height, length and breadth of His goodness. Oh if men would pull back the curtains and look inside the ark and see how the fullness of the Godhead lives in Him bodily! Oh who not say, 'Let me die, let me die  ten times to see a sight of Him?'Ten thousand deaths are not a great price to give for Him. I am sure that weak. fainting love would push up the market and raise the price, doubling it for Him. But alas, is men and angels were offered and sold at the dearest price they would not all of them buy a night's  love or a four and twenty hours sight of Christ! Oh how happy are those who get Christ for nothing! God send me no more for my part of paradise than Christ, and surely I will be rich enough and have as much of heaven as the best of them, if Christ were my heaven.
   I write nothing better to you than to want you, if you ever reckoned Christ, to take Him up and count all over again and weight Him again and again and after that, having no other to court your love and to woo your soul's delight but Christ. He will be found worthy of all your love, though it swell on you from the earth to the uppermost circle of the heaven of heavens. To our Lord Jesus and His love I commend you.
   Yours in his sweet lord Jesus,  S.R.


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