Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Rutherford Revised (160)

160. To Alexander Gordon of Earlston  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 64,73)

Much honoured and worthy sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be unto you. I long to hear from you. Since I came here I have received few letters; I need a word. A dry plant should be watered.
   The situation between Christ my Lord and me goes between love and jealousy, faith and suspicion of His love; it is amazing that he stays with me. I make many requests of Christ and He makes as many agreements with me. I think His unchangeable love has said, 'I defy you to break me and change Me.' If Christ had such changeable and new thoughts about my salvation as I do, I think I would then be at a sad loss,.He does not humour a fool like me in my unbelief, but rebukes me and is kind to me as a father. Christ is more like a poor friend and needy prisoner begging me than I am. For shame, I cannot get Christ to say 'no' to my whole love, for he seeks out His work. Thank God my Bridegroom does not tire of courting. Honour to Him! He is a determined suitor of my soul. But as love is His, I am pained that I have nothing to give Him. His account book is full of my debts of mercy, kindness and free love to me. Oh that I might read with watering eyes! Oh that he would give me the interest on interest to repay! Or rather my soul's desire is that He would seize my person, soul and body, love, joy, confidence, fear, sorrow, and desire and seize all, and let me be auctioned and sold to Christ, and taken home to my creditor's house and fireside.
   The Lord knows that if I could I would sell myself without reservation to Christ. O sweet Lord Jesus, make a market and outbid all my buyers! I dare swear that there is a mystery in Christ that I never saw; a mystery of love. Oh if he would turn over the covering that is over it, and let my longing soul see it! I would break down the door, and be in to Him to get a wombfull of love; for I am a hungry and starving soul. Oh sir, if you or anyone would tell Him how sick my soul is, dying for lack of a hearty drink of Christ's love! Oh if I could dote (if I may use that word in this case) as much upon Himself as I do upon His love! It is a pity that Christ Himself is not my heart's choice but rather His manifested love.It would satisfy me in some way if I had any bribe to give for His love. Shall I offer Him my praises? All He is more than praise! I would give it to get Him exalted to His worth which is above what can be known.
   Yet all this time I am tempting Him, to see if there is both love and anger in Him against me. I have been plucked from His flock (dear to me!), and from feeding His lambs; I therefore go in sackcloth, like one who has lost his young wife. I am suspicious with grief and sorrow, and spit out against Him the smoke of jealousy; and I often say, ' Show me why You fight with me. Tell me O Lord: read the charge against me.' But I know I cannot answer his allegations; I will lose the case when it comes to open court. Oh, if I could force my heart to believe that dreams are only dreams! Yet when Christ shows my fears to be false, and says to me, 'You are a lie,' then I am glad. I am determined to hope to be quiet, and to lie on my side at the edge until the water falls and the ford can be crossed.And although I am pained in longing for deliverance so that I may speak of Him before the great congregation, yet I think there is joy in that pain; and I even rejoice that he puts me off for a time and yes me. Oh if I could wait on for all eternity, though I might never get my soul's desire, if He was glorified. I would wish my pain and my ministry could be prolonged to serve Him; for I know I am a clay vessel, and made for His use. Oh, if my very broken shards would serve to glorify Him! I want Christ's grace so that I may be willingly content, that my hell (with the exception of His hatred and displeasure, which I put out of the reckoning as not called for)was I preaching of His glory to men and angels for ever and ever. The all is done, what can I add to Him, or what can such a clay shadow as I do? I know He does not need me. I have reason to be sad and melt away in tears, if I had grace to do it (Lord, grant it to me!), to see my Well-beloved's fair face spat upon by those dogs, to see fools pulling the crown off my royal King's head; to see my prostitute mother and my sweet Father in such disagreement, that they are going to part and give up the house. My Lord's palace is now a nest for unclean birds. Oh if prostitute, prostitute Scotland would have regret for her provoked Lord , and pity her good Husband who is broken by her prostitute heart! But these things are hidden fro her sight.
   I have recently heard of your new trial by the Bishop of Galloway. Do not be afraid of clay, of worm's meat.Do not let truth and Christ be wronged at your hand. If Christ is glorified, it is your gain; and your glory to be Christ's witness. I am persuading you that your sufferings are to Christ's advantage and victory; for He is pleased to so count them. Let me hear from you. Christ is only winning a clean church out of the fire; He will win this contest. He will not be in your debt for any charges you face in His service. He is not so poor as to be in your debt; He will repay a hundred times more , maybe even in this life.
   The prayers and blessings of Christ's prisoner be with you.
      Your brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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