Friday, April 12, 2019

Rutherford revised (107)

107. To the Right Honourable and Christian Lady, my Lady Boyd   From Aberdeen 7 Mar 1637

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
   I can only think your ladyship for your letter which has refreshed my soul. I am in many ways obliged to your Ladyship for your love to my suffering brother who shares with me in this same cause. His Lord has been pleased to put him on the side of truth. I hope that your ladyship will befriend him with your advice and presence in that country where he is a stranger. And your Ladyship can be sure that your kindness to His own will be credited to your account.
   Now Madam, for your Ladyship's situation. I am very glad that the Father of Lights has made you see that there is a place in Christianity which you strive to reach; and that is to lose your right eye and right hand , and to help the Son of God. I hope your desire is to make Him your jewel, and that your eye looks up the mountain, which is only the new creature. Fear not, Christ will not throw water on your smoking fire: who else dare do that which  He forbids? Be sorry for corruption and do not rest secure. That friend lay with you in your mother's womb, and was as early a friend to you as the breath of life itself. And God will have it no other way, for He delights to take up fallen children and soothe their troubled brows. His work is binding up wounds (Is 61:1).
   First, I am glad that Christ will work His calling in you. Many a healed soul is in heaven who used to be sicker than your are. He is content for you to lay broken arms and legs on His knee that He may put them in splints. Secondly, hiding His face is wise love. His love is not naive, uncritical or irrational; giving you any other pillow before you reach the gates of heaven, except to lie between His breasts and lean on His chest. No, His children often must have the frosty cold side of the hill, and put down their bare feet among thorns. His love has eyes and in the meantime looks on. Our pride needs winter weather to rot it. But I know no-one will hear what goes on between you and Christ; you will whisper between yourselves and make up. For the anchor rope stays fast within the veil; the end of it is secure in Christs hands: who dare pull if He holds it?  'For I, the LORD your God.hold your right handit is I who say to you, “Fear notI am the one who helps youFear not, you worm Jacob' (Is 41:13,14). The seasick passenger will come to land; Christ will be the first to meet you on the shore. I hope your Ladyship will keep to the King's highway. Go on (in the strength of the Lord).quickly as it you had not time to speak to the innkeeper on the way. He who long thinks about you, is beyond time on the other side of the water. 
    Madam, I must write a word about my unfaithful self. When I first came here, the devil told many black lies about my Lord Jesus and said the case was changed, He was angry and would dismiss an evil servant before his tome was up. But He gave me grace not to go. I decided to wait and see though it was said, 'What should be done with a withered tree but to throw it over the wall?' But now (I dare not, I do not keep it up!) who is feasted like His poor exiled prisoner? Now I was ashamed of the table place, serving and the King's dining room, and that my black hand should touch such a Ruler's table. But I cannot put it right; Christ must have His way,: only He so pains my soul sometimes with His love, that I have been near to immodestly crying out. He has left a smoking, burning fire in my heart, and gone to the door Himself, and left me and it together. But it is not desertion; I do  not know what it is, but I was never so sick for Him before. I dare not challenge my Lord if I get no greater heaven; it is an affectionate cross. I know he has other things to do than to play with me, and to roll an apple with me, and that this feast will end. O for confirmations in God's name that this is Him and that I may make use of it, when it may be a close friend within me will say, and when it will be said by a challenging devil,
'Where is you God?' As it will not last, I only want to have leftovers. But let no more men slander Christ because of His cross.
   The great Lord of the Covenant, who brought from the dead the great Shepherd of his sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant establish you, and keep you and yours until he appears.
   Your in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.  

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