Thursday, April 11, 2019

Rutherford revised (106)

106. To the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my Lady Kenmure   From Aberdeen 

Madam, - Having the opportunity of this worthy bearer, I could not fail to answer the points in your letter,
   Firstly, I think it is easy for me to write some good things about Christ, (that sealed and holy thing [Luk1:35]), and to feed my soul with raw wishes to be one with Christ; for a wish is only broken half love. But truly to obey this, 'Come and see,' is a harder matter! Oh, I have smoke rather than fire, and questions rather than assurances of Him. I have little or nothing to say about being one who has found favour in His sight; but there is some pining and bad mannered hunger, that makes me mistake and nickname Christ as a changed lord. Alas, it is scolding. I cannot believe without a pledge. I cannot take God's word without a security, as if Christ had lost and sold His credit, and were not in my books as responsible and law abiding. But this is my way, for his way is, 'In him you also, when you heard theword of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit'  (Eph 1:13).
   Secondly, You write 'that I am full of knowledge and do not need any of these warnings.' Certainly my light is dim when it comes to close combat. And how many have full stores but empty bellies! Light, and the saving use of light are very different. Oh, how I need to have the ashes blow away from my dying fire! I may be learned, yet an idiot and stark fool following Christ! Learning will not fool Christ. The Bible fooled the Pharisees, and so I may be led astray. So as night watchmen keep one another awake by speaking to one another, so we need to keep one another in the way: sleep steals any the light when we should watch, the light which condemns sleeping. I do not doubt that many more would reach heaven if they believed that heaven was next door. The world's negativity about holiness - 'no adulterer, no murderer, no thief, no deceiver' - makes men believe they are already glorified saints. But the sixth chapter to the Hebrews mat frighten us all, when we hear that men may taste of the gift of the common graces of the Holy Spirit, and a taste of the power of the life to come, and go to hell with them. Here is false silver which seems to have on it the King's image and writing!
   Thirdly, I find you complain about yourself. And it is fitting for a sinner to do so. I am not against you in that. The sense of death is related to, is kin and blood to life; the more sense, the more life; the more sense of sin, the less sin.I would love my pain and soreness and wounds though they deprive me of a night's sleep, better than  my woulds without pain. Oh, how sweet a thing it is to give Christ His handful of broken arms and legs, and out of joint bones!
   Fourthly, Do not be afraid about little grace. Christ sows His living seed and He will not lose it. If he is guiding my flock and situation, it will not go wrong. The good Farmer works on the ground of our failed works, loses, deadness, coldness, and wretchedness.
   Fifthly, You write, 'that His compassions do not fail despite your service to Christ going wrong.' To which I answer:
   God forbid that there should be buying, selling and blocking between Christ and us; for then free grace might go away and play, and a Saviour sing dumb, and Christ go to sleep. But we go to heaven with light shoulders, with all the family, and the vessels great and small that we have, are fastened on the sure Nail (Is 22:23,24). The only danger is that we give grace more to do than God gives it; that is by turning his grace into license.
   Sixthly, You write that, 'few see your guiltiness and you cannot be open with many as you are with me.' I answer; Blessed be God that our case is not heard before men's courts. It is at home, between Him and us, that matters are settled.
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R. 

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