Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Rutherford revised (98)

98. To the worthy and much honoured Mr Alexander Colville of Blair From Aberdeen 19 Feb 1637

(A judge fro Fife who had helped Rutherford in 1630 in this trial before the High Commission. [letter 11]. He was kind to Rutherford's brother facing High Commission proceedings for nonconformity in 1636. A church elder and member of four General Assemblies.)

Much honoured sir,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. The bearer of this, Mr R.F., is very kind to me; I want you to thank him. But no-one is as kind as my only royal King and Master, whose cross is my garland. The King dines with his prisoner and His perfume gives a smell. He has a led me up to such a state of joyful communion with Himself, like I never knew before. When I look back into the past, I judge myself to be a child learning the alphabet with Christ. Worthy Sir, pardon me, I dare not hide it from you; it is like a fire inside me, (I say it in the presence of Him who sees me!) I am pained, pained with the love of Christ; He has made me sick and wounded me. Hunger for Christ outpaces faith; I miss faith more than love. Oh, it the three kingdoms would come and see! Oh, if they knew His kindness to my soul! I would not salute this world, nor flatter it, nor adore this clay idol that fools worship. In my present state, I think that I shall have no dealings with it, for I get my nourishing meat from Christ; for seven times a day I am lifted  up and thrown down. My dumb Sabbaths weigh on my heart and make it bleed. I do not lack fearful challenges and sometimes jealousies concerning Christ's love that He is throwing me over the wall of the vineyard like a dry tree. By His grace  I control myself in this madness. It is good that faith and love both are sick, and fevers good for most joyful communion with Christ.
   You are blessed who witness Christ openly before the Prince of this kingdom whose eyes are on you. It is your glory to lift him up on his throne to carry His train and lift up the hem of His royal robe. He has for Alexander Colville a hiding place in the storm: go on and do not fear what man can do. The saints seem to have the worst of it, (but fear can make a lie about Christ and His love) but it is not so . Providence does not roll on unequal and crooked wheels; all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Before long we shall see the white side of God's providence.
   I have been more than a little moved by my brother's situation. He wrote to me about your care and kindness. Sir, the prisoner's blessings and prayers will I trust rest on you. He that is able to keep you and to present you before the presence of His face with joy, establish your heart in the love of Christ.
    Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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