Friday, May 24, 2019

Rutherford Revised (139)

139.To my Lord Belmerinoch  From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

(John Elphinston, second Lord Belmerinoch. In 1633 he opposed the Stuart promotion of prelacy. He was libelled and condemned to death for treason. Following a long imprisonment he received the king's pardon. He did not change his principles and continued with opposition to the imposition of the Anglican prayer book. An elder in the Edinburgh presbytery he was a member of the Glasgow Assembly in 1638. He was a leading supporter of the Covenanters with argument and finance. He died in 1649. when he was to be sent to negotiate with Charles II in Holland.)

My very noble and truly honourable Lord, - I am bold in writing news to your Lordship from my prison, though your Lordship had more experience than I can have. At my first coming here I was rather depressed with challenges, because of old unrepented of sins; and Satan and my fears made Christ a liar, that he had thrown a dry withered tree over the wall of the vineyard. But it was my foolishness (blessed be His great name), the fire cannot burn the dry tree. Now he is pleased to feast the exiled prisoner with His lovely presence; for Christ is kind, and he eats and drinks with a sinner such as I. I am Christ's pupil here. He has made me content with a borrowed fireside, and it gives as much warmth as my own. I only want a real possession of Christ.; and he has also given me a loan of that, which I hope to keep until he comes to settle the debt. He has made me king over my losses, imprisonment, exile; and only my silent Sabbaths stick in my throat. But I forgive Christ's wisdom for that. I cannot say one word; He had done it and I will put my hand over my mouth. If any other person had done it to me I could not have taken it.
   Now my Lord, I must tell your Lordship, I would not give a drink of cold water for this clay idol, this decorated world. I testify and write it myself that Christ is worthy of this suffering. Our lazy flesh which would want Christ to reduce crosses with clear words, has only slandered the cross of Christ. My Lord, I hope you will not forget what he has done for your soul.I think that you are in Christ's account book as one indebted to him.
   Grace, grace be with your spirit.
      Your Lordships indebted servant,   S.R.

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