Monday, May 27, 2019

Rutherford Revised (143)

143. To William Gordon of Whitepark                                                      From Aberdeen 13 Mar 1637

Worthy sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I long to hear from you. I am here as the Lord's prisoner and patient, cared for by my Doctor as if I were a patient needing a cure. I was in difficulties with my Lord and pleaded with Him but I had taken it badly. It is amazing that He should have allowed the likes of me to have nicknamed the Son of His love, Christ, and to say he was a changed Lord who had left me. But wrong belief is never a good way to speak of Christ. The dross from my cross gathered a scum of fears in the fire - doubts, impatience, unbelief, thinking that Providence slept and did not care about my sorrow; but Christ, my goldsmith, was happy to remove the scum and burn it in the fire. And, blessed be my Refiner, he has made the metal better, and given new supplies of grace to make me richer; and I hope he has not lost one grain of weight in burning His servant. Now His love in my heart makes a mighty heat; He knows my desire to be with Him, pains me. I have sick nights and frequent fits of love fever for my Well-beloved. The only thing that pains me now is wanting His presence. It seems a long time to daybreak. I find time is too slow for it holds from me my only fair one, my love, my Well-beloved. Oh to be once together! I am like an old battered ship that has endured many storms, and wants to be in the shelter of the shore, and fears fresh storms; I want to be so near to heaven that its shadow might break the force of the storm and the battered ship reach land. My Lord's sun sheds a heat of love and a beam of light on my soul. Three times a day I bless the cross of Christ! I am not ashamed of my title, 'the exiled minister.' which is my name in Aberdeen. Love, love defies insults. The love of Christ is a strong armour and arrows cannot draw blood through it. We are more than conquerors through the blood of Him who loved us (Rom 8:37). The devil and the world cannot wound the love of Christ. I am farther away from yielding and leaving Christ than when I came here. Sufferings do not blunt the fiery edge of love. Throw love into the floods of hell and it will swim. It does not care about the world's trumpeted and showy offres. It has pleased my Lord to so align my heart with the love of my Lord Jesus, that it is as if the battle was already won, and I am on the other side of time, laughing at the world's golden pleasures, and at this dirty idol worshipped by Adam's sons. My soul has fallen our of love with this worm eaten god.
   Sir, at one time you heard me: I now want to hear from you and your wife. I greet her and your children with blessings. I am glad you still hold fast to Christ. Go on with your journey and take the city by force, Keep your clothes clean. Be clean virgins for your husband, the Lamb. The world will follow you to heaven's gates: and you would not want it to enter with you. Hold fast to Christ's love. Pray for me as I do for you.
   The Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.

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