Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Rutherford revised (102)

102. To Alexander Gordon of Knockgray  From Aberdeen 23 Feb 1637

(Much older than Rutherford. A Covenanter )

Dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear how your soul prospers.
   As for myself, I am here well fed with a great King. When I came here I was bold enough to be jealous of Christ's love. I said that I was thrown over the wall of the Lord's vineyard like a dry tree; but I see if I had been a withered branch the fire would have burned me long before now. Blessed be His high name who kept sap in the dry tree. And now, as if Christ was at fault, he has made amends, and has mistaken my ravings; for a man underwater cannot be in his right mind, far less think rightly about his faith and love. Because it was a fever, my Lord Jesus forgave me it and the rest. He knows that in our troubles we can find a fault even in the fairest face that ever was, even in Christ's face. I would never have believed the depression should have made me so mistaken about my old Master; but sometimes we will be sick. Sickness helps both faith and love. But oh, how greatly is a poor spoilt prisoner obliged to sweet Jesus! My tears are sweeter to me than the laughter of the fourteen bishops is to them. The worst of Christ, even his chaff, is better than the world's corn.
   Dear Brother, I beg you, I charge you in the name and authority of the Son of God; to help me to praise His Highness; and I charge you also to tell all your friends so that my Master may get many thanks. Oh, if all my hairs Oh, all my parts and all my bones were well tuned tongues, to sing the high praises of my great and glorious King! Help me to lift Christ up upon His throne and to lift him up above the thrones of earthly kings, the dying sceptre bearers of this world. The prisoner's blessing, the blessing of the one who is separated from his brothers, be on them and on all who will lend me a hand in this work. Show this to the people with you, to whom I used to preach.
   Brother, my Lord has brought to me to this point that I will not flatter the world for a drink of water. I am not in debt to this world; my Lord has made me dead to that. I am now amazed that I was ever so childish, a long time ago, as to beg from such beggars! Shame on us who court such a dark skinned prostitute when we may get such as fair, fair match in heaven! Oh that I could give up this clay idol, this masked, painted, gilded over  dirt, which Adam's sons worship. We make an idol of our will. So many lusts in us, like so many gods, we are all god makers. We are likely to lose Christ, the true God, in the crowd of those new and false gods. Scotland has thrown her crown off her head; the virgin daughter has lost her necklace. Shame, shame on our prostitute mother. Our day is coming; a time when women will wish they had been childless, and fathers will bless miscarrying wombs and dry breasts; many great and fair houses will be ruined. This church will sit on the ground all night, and tears will run down her cheeks. The sun has gone down on her prophets. Blessed are the prisoners of hope, who can run into their stronghold, and hide themselves for a time, until the anger passes.
   Commend me to your wife, to your daughters, your son-in-law and to A.T. Write to me about the state of your church. Grace be with you.
   I am very concerned for my brother. I beg for your kindness and and advice to him.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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