Monday, June 03, 2019

Rutherford Revised (157)

157. To Carleton    From Aberdeen 14 March 1637

(John Fullerton of Carleton in the parish of Borgue near Anwoth who wrote the acrostic tribute to Marion M'Naught and other verses supporting the League and Covenant.)

Much honoured sir, - I will not say you have forgotten to write to me. However, I have One above who does not forget me - no, he grows in kindness. It has pleased His holy Majesty to take me from the pulpit and teach me many things, in my exile and prison, which were mysteries to me before.
   I see his bottomless and boundless love and kindness, and my jealousies and ranting which when I first came into this fire were so foolish and bad, as to say to Christ who is truth itself, to say to His face, 'You lie.' I had nearly lost my grip. I wondered if it was Christ or not; for the mist and smoke of my disturbed heart made me not recognise my Master, Jesus. My faith was dim, my hope frozen and cold; and my love which caused jealousy had some warmth, heat and smoke but no flame at all. I was looking for some good from Christ's old claim on me though I had lost all my rights. But the tempter played too much on my mind and was still blowing the fire. Alas, I did not know earlier the good will of my Intercessor and Advocate , Christ, in pleading my case and pardoning my foolishness. He has now returned to my soul with healing under His wings; and Christ has paid all for me now; for by His presence, He has more than compensated for the pain I had by waiting, and any little loss I had from my witness against the wrongs done to Him. I think it was painful for my Lord to hide Himself any longer. He was in a way challenging his own unkindness, and regretting His frowns. And now what do I want Christ to give to a poor prisoner on earth? Oh, how sweet and lovely he is now. Alas I cannot get anyone to help me lift up my Lord Jesus on His throne above all the earth.
   2ndly, I am now broght to some sort of submission, and I am determined to wait and see what my Lord Jesus will do with me. I dare not now speak badly one word against the all seeing and over watching providence of my Lord. I see providence does not run on broken wheels. But I like a fool thought providence would give me an easy time, to die in my nest, and to sleep until my hair was grey, and to lie on the sunny side of the mountain in my Anwoth ministry. But now I do not complain about a borrowed fireside, and another man's house, nor Kedar's tents where I live, far from my acquaintances, my lovers and my friends. I see that God has the world on His wheels, and throws it as a potter does on the wheel. I dare not say there is a wrong or irregular motion in providence. The Lord has done it. I will not go to law against Christ for I would gain nothing by it.  
   3rdly, I have learned to put to death and not to mourn the loss of seeking or sucking the world's dry breasts. No, the Lord has filled me with such delicacies that I am like a full man after a feast, not satisfied with regular food. Why should I fall down on my knees and worship man's great idol the world? I have a better God than any clay god: no, at present I would not think to give this world my life's hire for bread and water. I know it is neither my home nor my Father's house; it is only His foot stool, the outskirts of His house, his fields and waste lands. Let bastards have it. I never want to think myself in its favour for honour or riches. No, now I say to laughter, 'You are madness.'
   4thly, I now find it to be very true that the greatest temptation out of hell is to live without temptations. If my water stood still it would become foul. Faith is better for free air, and the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withers without adversity. The devil is only God's master swordsman to teach us to handle our weapons.
   5thly, I never knew how weak I was until now when He hides Himself, and when I have to seek Him seven times a day. I am a dry and withered branch, and a dead carcass, dry bones unable to step over a straw. The memory of my old sins is a summons of death to me and my late brother's situation has hit my heart. When my woulds are healing, a little brush makes them bleed again; my soul is so thin skinned that I think it is like a tender man's skin that dare touch nothing. You see how far I would fall short of the prize if His grace was not sufficient for me.
   Woe is me for the state of Scotland! Woe, woe is me for my prostitute mother; for the law has done out! Women of this land will call barren and miscarrying wombs blessed. The anger of the Lord has gone out and will not return until he accomplish his heart's purpose against Scotland. Yet He will make Scotland into a new, sharp tool with teeth to thrash the mountains and fan the hills like chaff.   The prisoner's blessing be upon you.
   Your, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

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