Monday, April 29, 2019

Rutherford Revised (120)

120. To Mr Matthew Mowat     From Aberdeen

(Minster of Kilmarnock who at the restoration of Charles II was imprisoned for refusing the establishment of bishops.) 

 Reverend and dear Brother, - People get me wrong. If people knew how low I am they would look upon such as I with sympathy. I am like one kept under a strict tutor; I want more than my tutor allows. But it is good that a child's choice is not the rule in control of my Lord Jesus. Let Him give me what he wishes and it will be more than I deserve or can earn. I do not wish a better prosperity while heaven is my prosperity than to live on Christ's credit, borrowing daily. Surely, running-over love (that vast, huge boundless love of Christ which is greater than the estimate of man or angels!) is the only thing with which I most want to join.He knows I have little except for love of that love; and that I will be happy if I get no other heaven but only an eternal, lasting feast of that love. But even if my wishes were poor, He is not poor: Christ drops sweetness all year round. If I had containers I would fill them; but my old, damaged and leaking dish, can bring little away from the Well. Only glory can seal tight leaking cracked containers. Alas! I have spilled more of Christ's grace, love, faith, humility and godly sorrow, than I have brought with me. How little to the sea can a child carry in his hand! As little as I can take away from my great Sea, my boundless and running-over Christ Jesus.
   I have not found the right way to bank with Christ and enrich myself with Him. I have suffered great loss by misguided and childish trading for that matchless Pearl, that heaven's Jewel, the Jewel of the Father's delights. O that He would take a loan from me and my possessions, and put his name on all my contracts, and make Himself heir to the poor, mean share which I have, and be accountable for my one talent Himself! I would gladly put Christ in my place to guide everything; and let me be a mere servant to run errands, and act at his direction. Let me be His appointed heir.  Lord Jesus, work on my youthfulness , and win a pupil's blessing! Oh how I would rejoice to have this work of my salvation depend on Christ! Happiness to the orphan would be a promise from my Lord Jesus Christ. Depending on Christ is my surest way; it Christ is my foundation, I am sure enough. I thought it would be easy to be guided by grace; I though it a matter of my will; but I would miss my own heaven if I had not put it all on Christ. I only put my bare name to the sweet covenant; Christ behind and before and on both sides makes everything sure. God will not take an Arminian as trustworthy. Freewill is like a weather vane, turning at a snake's tongue, a teacher that upset our father Adam, all the way to us; and brought down the family,  and sold the land, and sent the father and mother and all the children through the earth to beg their food. The Gospel shows our nature is not to be trusted. Oh, it is evermore good for my poor soul that my Lord called grace for advice and put Christ Jesus with his free merit and the blood of God to the fore to draw sinners to follow a Ransomer! Oh, what a sweet scheme it was, buy-in and selling, to provide for beggars a ransom for grace and glory. Oh, I wish to my Lord that I could make paper and ink speak the worth and excellency, the high low praises of a Brother-ransomer! The Ransomer does not need mt witness, but oh, if he would take and make use of it! I would be happy to run an errand to this world, for a few years to speed proclamations, noises and love letters to the highness, the everlasting highness, the glory, the everlasting glory, of the Ransomer whose clothes were wet and dyed in blood, though even if after I had done that, I should go back with nothing to what my Creator brought me out from in the beginning! But why should I pine away and be pained with wishes and not rather believe that Christ will hire an outcast like me, a body with no master, put out of the house by my mother's sons, and give me a job and a calling one way or another to display Christ and his goods to country buyers, and to propose Christ to and press Him on some poor souls that would rather die than receive Him.
   You strongly complain of 'your shortcomings in life and your not daring to suffer for Christ.' You have many like you. First I urge you not to feel wretched. Hold on!  Christ never killed a sighing, groaning child: more of that would make you a suitable one for Christ. Alas, I have too little daring in suffering for Christ. When I came to Christ's camp I did not have enough spare cash to buy a sword. I am amazed that Christ did not laugh at such a soldier. I am no better now; but faith lives and spends on our Captian's account, who can pay for everything. We need not pity Him. He is rich enough.
   You also want me 'not to see Christ dimly'. I bless you and thank God for it. But alas, dim or clear, kissing or frowning, I get Him wrong; yet I get Him wrong most when it is clear, for then I toy with His sweetness. I am like a child whose book has gold covers, and plays with the ribbons and gold, and the picture on the first page, but does not read what is inside. Certainly, if my desires for my Well-beloved were fulfilled, I could challenge devils and crosses and the world and temptations to fight: but oh, my poor weakeness makes me hide behind a bush.
   Remember my work and my blessing to my Lord. I think of him when I can. Urge him, from a prisoner, to come and visit my good Master; and just feel the smell of His love. Though he is young it is right for him to make Christ his adornment. I could not wish him better than to be in a fever of love-sickness for Christ. 
   Remember my imprisonment. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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