Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rutherford Revised (148)

148. To the Lady Hallhill        From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(Wife of Sir James Melville of Hallhill in Fife)

Dear and Christian Lady, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I wanted very much to write to your ladyship; bu now that the Lord has given me a suitable occasion I will not fail to do it.
   I must tell your Ladyship about Christ's kind dealing with my soul, in this house of my pilgrimage, that your Ladyship may know He is as good as is said. At my start in this trial, (being depressed and troubled with challenges and jealousy about His love, whose name and witness I now carry in my prison), I was afraid of nothing more than I was thrown over the vineyard wall like a dry tree. But, blessed be His great name, the dry tree was in the fire and not burnt; His dew came down and enlivened the root of a withered plant. And now He has come again with joy, and has been pleased to feast His exiled and afflicted prisoner with the joy of His comforts. I now weep but am not sad; I am chastened but do not die; I have loss but want nothing; this water cannot drown me, this fire cannot burn me, because of the good will of Him who lived in The Bush. The worst things of Christ, His rebukes, His cross are better than Egypt's treasures. He has opened His door, and taken a poor sinner into His house of wine, and has left me so sick of love for my Lord Jesus, that if heaven was in my power, I would give it up for Christ, and would be content not to go to heaven, unless I was persuaded that Christ was there. I would not give up nor exchange my chains for the bishops' velvet robes; not my prison for their coaches; nor my sighs for all the world's laughter. This clay idol, the world, has no influence on my soul. Christ has come and run away to heaven with my heart and my love, so neither heart nor love are mine: I pray God that Christ may keep both without any change. To my present way of thinking, if my part of this world's clay was auctioned and sold, I would think it worth less than a drink of water. I see Christ's love is so kingly, that there is no comparison; it alone must have a throne in the soul. And I see that apples, though worm eaten, tempt children.The moth eaten pleasures of this world make children think that ten is a hundred, and yet everything here is only shadows. If they drew back the curtain that is hung between them and Christ, they would see themselves as having so long wrongly valued the Son of God. Apart from heaven I seek nothing more than that He be glorified in a prisoner of Christ, and that on my behalf many would praise His high and glorious name who hears the sighs of His prisoner 
   Remember my service to the Lord, your husband; and to your son who I know. I wish that Christ had his young love, and that in the morning he would set out for the gate, to seek that which the world does not know, and therefore, does not seek it. 
  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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