Monday, June 10, 2019

Rutherford Revised (165)

165. To Mr Thomas Garven   From Aberdeen 1637

(See letter 152)

Reverend and dear brother, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I am sorry that writing about my joy and sorrow in love fits during my imprisonment, has made you and many of God's children believe that there is something in a broken reed like me. Apart from the fact that God's grace has given me a sound body, I do not know what anyone can think of me or expect from me. My standing is less (the Lord knows I speak the truth) than many believe. My empty sounds have promised too much. I should be glad to lie under Christ's feet, and catch and receive the crumbs or the old pieces of any grace that fall from His sweet fingers to lonely sinners. I often lie like a stranger looking at the King's windows. Surely I am not worthy of a seat in the King's dining hall, but I often look from afar, afraid and distant from that fairest face, afraid He will tell me to look away from Him. My guiltiness rises up against me and I have no answer for it. I offered my tongue to Christ, and my work in His house: and what does it mean when Christ will not accept my poor gift? When love will not take we understand that it will neither take nor give, borrow nor lend. Yet Christ has another compass by which He sails, than my short and raw thoughts. I leave His part to Him. I dare not interpret His ways as how sorrow and misunderstanding speak to me. I often look to my Lord's cross with blurred and blind eyes; and when I look to the wrong side of his cross, I know I must stumble and slide. Surely I see that my own legs will not carry me to heaven I must borrow strength from Christ to enter heaven's gates. 
   I often think, 'Oh, if only He would give me permission to love Him, and if Christ would only open up His riches, and the folds and twists and corners of His soul pleasing love, and let me see it, front and back; and let me stand beside it, like a hungry man near food, to get my fill of wondering, as something before my fill of enjoyment.!' But truly I think my foul eyes would spoilt His fair love by looking at it. Either my hunger is too humble (if one can say that), or else I do not consider what an honour it is to be permitted to love Christ. Oh, that he would pity a prisoner, and release a flood on the dry ground! To Him, filling the like of me is nothing; one of His looks would do me much good in the world, and not harm Him. I know I have not yet arrived at Chris's love: I am not yet fit for as much as I want of it. My hope sits next to much black hunger; and certainly I can only think that there is more of that love planned for me than I yet understand, and I do not know how large a pension the King will give me. I will be glad if my hungry demand has permission to stay with Christ awaiting an answer. If I got a poor beggar's share of that sweeter love. I would be full and rejoice; but I confidently believe what a bed is ready for Christ and me, and we shall have our fill of love in it. And when my joy is run down and at the lowest ebb, that I would seek nothing more that my rights affirmed with the King's great seal and that I would see Christ's hand holding the pen.
   Do not be downcast if your Lord calls you to suffer; the King will have a new reward for you in time. Christ lays one of His softest pillows under His witnesses head, though often they must tread among thorns. He has brought my poor soul to desire and wish, 'Oh that my ashes and the powder I will be turned into had well tuned tongues to praise Him.!'
   So writing quickly and wanting your prayers and praises, I recommend youth my sweet, sweet master, my honourable Lord, for whom I hold everything. Grace be with you.
   Your own in His sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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