Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Rutherford revised (104)

104. To the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure  From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am refreshed by your letter. The right hand of Him to whom belong matters of death has been gracious to that sweet child. I dare, I do not forget him and your Ladyship in my prayers.
   Madam, about your own situation. I love careful and doing complaints of lack of activity; for I see many who think it is enough to complain to be holy, and do nothing; as if saying 'I am sick' could cure them. They think complaints charm away guiltiness. I hope that you are wrestling and are struggling on, in this dead time, in which people have lacked tongue, and legs and arms for Christ. I urge upon you Madam, a closer and growing communion with Christ. There are curtains to be drawn open in Christ which we never saw and new depths of love in Him. I despair of ever winning to the far end of that love, there are so many layers in it. So dig deep, sweat and work and make efforts for Him; and keep aside for Him as much time in the day as you can. By work He will be won.
   I, His exiled prisoner looked for Him, and he has pitied me, and groaned for me as he does for his own, and I do not know what to do with Christ. His love surrounds and and overcomes me. I am laden with it but how sweet and lovely is that load! I dare not  keep it within me. I am so in love with His love that if His love was not in heaven I would not want to go there. Oh what weighing and telling is in Christ's love! The only thing I now fear is the loss of Christ's cross and the love showers that come with it. I wonder what he means by putting such a slave at the head of the table by his own elbow. Oh that I should put my black mouth just such a fair, fair, fair, face as Christ's! But I dare not refuse to be loved. There is no reason in me why He should look upon me for he got neither bribe nor work from me. It cost me nothing, it is love at good bargain. Oh, I am sweetly pressed beneath the many pound weights of his love! 
   Now, Madam, I have shown you that most people only play with Christianity; they easily put it aside. I had thought that it was an easy thing to be a Christian, and God could be found nearby; but oh the twists and turns, the ups and downs that he has led me through! And I see it is still a long way to the ford. He speaks to me in the night; and in the morning when I awake I find his love arrows that He shot at me, sticking in my heart. Who will help me to praise? Who will come with me to lift up and set on high His great love? And yet I find a lightning flash will come at mid-summer and question me. But it is only to keep a sinner in order.
   As for friends, I do not think the world would be the world if that will did not dry up. I trust in God to use the world as a shrewd or coming master does with am untrustworthy servant (at least God give me grace to do it!): he does not trust him with any great work nor credit, only trusting him with common tasks in which he cannot be irresponsible. I pray to God that I may not give this world the credit of my joys and comforts and confidence. That would be to put Christ out of his office. No, I advise you Madam from a little experience, to let Christ keep the great seal  and trust him to hang your vessels, great and small, and pin your loads on the nail fastened in David's house (Is 22:23). Let me be sick if they ever get to teaching my comforts. Away, away with the irresponsible tutors who would trick me and then Christ would laugh at me and say, 'Be warned. Look carefully before you trust.' Now shame is with me because of my prostitute mother the Church of Scotland. Oh, who will cry for her!
   Now the presence of the great Angel of the Covenant be with you and that sweet child.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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