Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Rutherford Revised (147)

147. To John Gordon, at Rusco, in the Parish of Anwoth, Galloway   From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(Rusco was two miles from Anwoth)

My worthy and dear brother, - Do not waste your short time for it passes quickly; seek the Lord in good time. Write to me promising to God that by His grace you will make a new way of walking with God. Heaven is not next door; I find it hard to be a Chistian. There is no little thrusting and pushing to push through heaven's gates; it is a castle to be taken by force; - 'Many will try to enter and be unable.'
   I beg and charge you in the Lord, to be careful about foolish and passionate oaths, of rage and sudden avenging anger, of night drinking and bad company, of Sabbath breaking, of hurting anyone under you by word or deed, of hating your very enemies. 'Unless you receive the kingdom of God as a little child,' and be as meek and sober minded as a baby, 'you cannot enter the kingdom of God.' That is a word that should touch you closely, and make you bend down and make your great spirit fall. I know this will not be easy to do, but I recommend it to you, as you pay attention to your part of the kingdom of heaven.
   Brother, I can from new experience speak to you about Christ. Oh, if you saw in Him what I see!A river of God's unseen joys has overflowed from bank side to the hill over my soul since I left you. I wish I had less so you could have some; that your soul could be sick with love for Christ, or rather satiated with Him. This clay idol, the world, would then not seem worth a fig to you; time will rob you its possession. When your eyes fail and the breath grows cold and the imprisoned soul looks out of the windows of the clay house, ready to leap out into eternity, what then would you give for a lamp filled with oil? Oh seek it now.
   I want you to correct and stop cursing, swearing, lying, drinking, sabbath breaking, and idleness on the Lord's day absent from church, as far as you are able to show authority in that parish.
   I hear a man is to be forced into that place which by God's right is mine. I know from God's word that you should have a say in that (Acts 1:15-16 to the end; 6:3-5). You would not want any bishop to deprive you of your earthly possession; and this is your right. What I write to you I write to your wife also. Grace be with you.
   Sir loving pastor,  S.R.

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