Monday, June 03, 2019

Rutherford Revised (158)

158.  To the Lady Busbie     From Aberdeen 1637

Mistress, - I know you sometimes think about what Christ is doing in the church, and that the haters of the church may get to the bottom of our cup, and the burning fire of our furnace in which we have been tested in those many past years. Oh, that this nation would be awakened to mightily cry to God for the setting up of a new work of Christ in Scotland. Oh, it this kingdom knew how worthy is Christ of His place. He was always worth more than man's estimation of Him. 
   As for myself, my heart is in pain that I cannot leave myself and wholly enter into Christ. All that there should be one part of me out of Him, and that we leave too much liberty and latitude for ourselves and our own ease, credit and pleasures and so little room for the all love worthy Christ. Oh what pain and charges it costs Christ to get us! And when all is done we are not worth having. It is amazing that He should seek our kind. But love overlooks the blackness and carelessness; for if it were not so, Christ would never have made so fair and blessed a bargain with us as is the covenant of grace. I find that in all our sufferings Christ is only settling disputes, so everyone may say, 'Mine and yours;' and men through their crosses may know how unstable human nature is under trial; the the Lord's purpose in all our sufferings is to bring grace to us. If I only had my own strength to support me, I would fail and fall short of heaven; and if Christ were to say to me, 'Do or die,' it is easy to say what would happen to me. The choice would be easy, I would rather die than have Christ go by without caring for me. I know we may say Christ is kindest in love when we are weakest; and if Christ was not before us, the waters would have gone over our soul in our sad days. His mercy has a set time and appointed place, as far and not beyond where the sea of affliction flows, and where the waves to it will be stopped. He prescribes by weight and measure how much pain and sorrow must have. You then have good reason to withdraw your love from all lovers and give it to Christ. He who is afflicted in all your afflictions does not look on you in your sad hours with an insensitive heart or dry eyes. 
   All the Lord's saints can see that it is lost love that is given to the perishing world. Death and judgment will make men regret that their mistaken hearts led then to place and lavish their love on false appearances and dreams in the night. Alas that Christ should fare the worst for His own goodness, joined together peace and the Gospel; and that we have never yet understood the weight of Christ in His ministrations, and we are likely to lose the well before we have tasted the sweetness of the water. It may be that we seek Christ with watering eyes, a wet face and weary feet, and will not find Him. Oh, that this land would be humbled in time, and would by prayers, cries and humiliation bring Christ in by the church door again now when His back is turned towards us and He has stepped to the threshold and Hs one foot is, as it were, out of the door! I am sure we deserve him to leave; we have bought it with ur sins; for even the Lord's own children have fallen asleep; and alas, professors are following appearances and fashions, and are not making pains to recover themselves again. Everyone one has his own standards of faith and holiness, and contents himself with only a limited measure of godliness, as it that was enough to bring him to heaven. We forget that as our gifts and understanding grows, so God's gain and interest from His talents should also sow; and we cannot repay God with the things we gave Him seven years ago; for this would mock the Lord and make a price with Him as we bargain. Oh how difficult is our Christian journey, and hw often we fail in many thousand things due to Christ! We do not consider how far our Lord is behind in payment from us.
   Mistress, I cannot thank you as I would want to for your kindness to my brother, a persecuted stranger; but I remember you before the Lord as I can do. I beg you to think of me, His prisoner, and pray that the Lord would be pleased to give me opportunity to speak to his people in His name. 
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours in his sweet Lord and Master,  S.R.

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