Thursday, April 11, 2019

Rutherford revised (105)

105. To a Gentlewoman, on the death of her husband. From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Mistress, -  Grace, mercy and peace be to you.
   I can only rejoice and also be sad  at your situation. The Lord has been pleased to remove your husband early to his rest, (my friend and this church's faithful  member); but shall we be sorry that our loss is his gain, seeing his Lord wants his company? Do not be too concerned about his short life; for since he walked his Lord in his life, and wanted Christ to be magnified in him at his death, you should be silent and satisfied. When Christ comes for his own, He runs fast: mercy, mercy to the saints does not come slowly. Love, love in our Redeemer is not slow; and he is tender with you, who comes personally to your house, and deals as a friend with anything that is yours. I think He would be pleased to borrow and lend with you. Now he will meet with the joyful company, the fair flock, the blessed full family of the firstborn, feasting at the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is a mercy that the poor wandering sheep get the shelter of a wall in this stormy day, and a leaking ship gets a safe harbour, and seasick passenger gets as soft bed ashore. Wrath, wrath, wrath from the Lord is coming up on this land that he has left behind him. Know therefore that the wounds of your Lord Jesus are the wounds of a lover,and that he will have compassion on a sad hearted servant; and Christ has said, He will have your husband's place in your heart. He loved you in the time of your first husband, and he still courts you. Give Him your heart, place, house and all. He will not share with another. His love is full of jealousy: He will have all your love; and who but He should get it?I know you will allow Him this. Sweet and satisfying comforts are in store for you:wait patiently. Trust Christ. He is an honest debtor.
   Now as to my own situation.I think some poor person would be glad of a spoiled prisoner's leftovers. I am not short of Christ's love. He has wasted more comforts on His poor banished servant than would have refreshed many souls. My load was once so heavy that an ounce weight would have tipped the scales and broken my back; but Christ said, 'Hold, hold!' to my sorrow, and has wiped a crying face which was foul with tears. I may joyfully go on my Lord's errands, with my wages in hand. Deferred hopes need not make me lazy: my cross is both my cross and reward. O that men would sound His high praise! I love Christ's worst reproaches, His frowns, His cross better than all the world's plastered glory. My heart does not long to return from Christ's country; I am come to a sweet land.  If anyone in the world has reason to speak much good about Him, it is I. To buy Him at the price of hell would be a cheap bargain! Oh, if only all the three kingdoms could witness my pained, pained soul, overcome with Christ's love.!
   I thank you most kindly; my dear sister, for your love to, and tender care of my brother. I shall be obliged to you if you keep on as his friend. He is now more to me than a brother, because he suffers for such an honourable Master and cause. 
   Pray for Christ's prisoner; and grace, grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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