Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rutherford revised (117)

117. To Mr William Dalgleish. Minister of the Gospel  From Aberdeen

(Dalgleish had been minister of three joined parishes, Kirkdale, Kirkmabreck and Anwoth but he surrendered Anwoth to Rutherford. In 1635 he was deprived of his two parishes but returned in 1637. He was a member of the Glasgow General Assembly of 1638 and in 1639 appointed to be minister of Cramond. In 1662 he was ejected from his parish)

Reverend and dear Brother, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I am well. My Lord Jesus is kinder to me than ever before. He is pleased to eat and drink with his afflicted prisoner. A King feasts me and his perfume spreads a sweet smell. Put Christ's love to the test, and put our loads on it and then it will indeed seem to be love. Because we do not use His love we do not know it. I truly reckon that sufferings for my Lord are worth more than this world's shining gilded glory. I can only say that my Lord Jesus has fully repaid my sadness with His joys, my losses with His own presence. I find it a sweet and rich thing to exchange my sorrows with Christ's joy, my afflictions with that sweet peace I have with Him.
   Brother, this is His own truth for which I now suffer. He has sealed my suffering with his own comforts, and I know he does not put his seal on blank paper. His seals are not meaningless and deceptive, confirming fabrications and lies. Go on my dear brother in the strength of the Lord, not fearing man who is only a worm, or the son of man who will die. Providence has a thousand keys to open a thousand different doors to deliver His own, even when it seems all is lost. Let us be faithful and look to our responsibility which is to work and suffer for Him, and lay Christ's work on Him and leave it there. Duties are ours, events are the Lord's. When our faith tries to manipulate events, and so to speak sits in judgement on God's providence, and starts to say, 'How will you do this and that?' we lose ground. We have nothing to do with it. Our job is to let the Almighty do His work and steer His own ship. All we have to do is to see how we may win His approval, and how we may roll the weight of our week souls in doing good on Him who is God Omnipotent; and then if what we attempt does wrong, it will not be sin nor our cross. 
   Brother, remember the Lord's word to Peter; 'Simon do you love me? Feed my sheep.' There is no greater evidence of our love for Christ than carefully and faithfully feeding His lambs. 
   I am in no better shape with the ministers here than before:  they cannot stand people speaking about me nor to me. So I am silent which is my greatest grief. Dr Barron has often debated with me., especially about Arminianism and ceremonies. Since three encounters with him I have been troubled no more. Now he plans a debate with witnesses. I trust that Christ and truth will fend for themselves.
   Brother, I hope you will help my people; and write to me when you hear what the Bishop is to do with them. Grace be with you.
   Your imprisoned brother,   S.R.

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