Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rutherford Revised (166)

166.To Cardoness the Elder  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 82 and 124)

Much honoured sir, - I long to hear how your soul prospers. I am surprised that you have not written to me; for the Holy Spirit is my witness that I cannot, I dare not, I must not forget you, nor the souls of those with you, who are redeemed by the blood of the great Shepherd. You are in my heart at night; you are my joy and crown in the day of Christ. O Lord, be my witness if my soul thirsts for anything outside of heaven,  more than for your salvation. Let God put me in the scales and test me about this.
   Love heaven; let your heart be on it. Up, up and view the new Land, the fair City, and the white Throne, and the Lamb, the bride's Husband in His Bridegroom's clothes, sitting on it. It is time that your soul throws itself and all its burdens on Christ. I beg you by the wounds of your Redeemer, and by your appearance before Him, and by the salvation of your souls, to lose no more time; run fast for it is late. God has sworn by Himself who made the world and time, that time will be no more (Rev 10:6). You are now at the very border of the new life. You cannot blame your Lord for not warning you. I have taught you the truth of Christ, and delivered to you the whole counsel of God,; and I have stood before the Lord for you, and I will still yet stand. Awake, awake and do righteousness. Do not think that you can lessen the debts and burdens on your house by oppressing others, or being strict with those under you. Remember how I tried to live before you as an example in this.  'Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before rhis anointed.Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have defrauded? Whom have I oppressed(1Sam 12:3). Who knows how my soul feeds on a good conscience, when I remember how I spent my body feeding the lambs of Christ.
   When I first came here, I admit I felt contrary to my Lord, because he had thrown me over the wall of the vineyard, like a dry tree, and would have no more of my service. My dumb Sabbaths broke my heart, and I would not be comforted. But now He whom my soul loves has come again, and he is pleased to feed me with the kisses of His love.A King eats with me and His perfume gives off a sweet smell. The Lord is my witness above, that I write my heart to you.  In my nine years' preaching, I never knew so much of Christ's love as He has taught me in Aberdeen by six months' imrisonment. I charge you in Christ's name to help me to praise; and to show the lovingkindness of the Lord to my soul to that people and country, so that my sufferings may somehow preach to them when I am silent. He has made me to know now, better than before, what it s to be crucified to the world. Now I would not give a drink of cold water for all the world's kindness. I owe it no service: I am not indebted to the flesh. My Lord Jesus has spoiled His prisoner, and has thoughts of love about me. I would not exchange my sighs for the laughter on enemies. Sir, I write this to tell you, so you may know it is the truth of Christ. for which I now suffer, and he has sealed my suffering with the comforts of His Spirit on my soul; and I know the does not put His seal on blank paper.
   Now, sir, my earthly comfort is to know that I have engaged and will present a bride toChrist in that congregation. The Lord has given you much and therefore will require much from you again. Count your talents and see what you will have to pay back. You cannot be reminded enough about the shortest of your time. I charge you to write to me, and in the fear of God to be straightforward with me, as to whether or not you have made your salvation sure. I am confident and hope for the best; but I know that your reckonings with your Judge are many and deep.Sir, do not be led astray, do not neglect your one thing (Phil 3:13), your one necessary thing (Luk 10:42), the good part that will not be taken from you. Look beyond time: things here are only moonlight. Those who are delighted with shadows and deluded by feathers flying in the air have only children's understanding.
   Desire that your children in the morning of their lives do begin to seek the Lord and remember their creator in the days of their youth (Ecc 12:1),nee cleanse their way by taking thought according to God's word (Ps 119:9). Youth is an age for play. In the time of youth Satan usually finds a swept room,  a furnished lodging fr himself and his followers. Let the Lord have the flower of their age,  He is due the best sacrifice. Teach them that they have a soul, and this life is nothing compared with eternity. They will have great need of God's instruction in the work to guide them past those rocks on which men are wrecked; but need it far more when it comes to the time of death, and their appearance before Christ. Oh, that they had such a heart in them as to fear the name of the great and dreadful God, who has stored up great things for those that love and fear Him! I pray that God may be their portion, Show others of my parishioners that I write to them my best wishes and the blessing of their lawful pastor.                                                                                                                                    Say to them from me that I beg them by Christ to keep in mind the doctrine of our Lord and Savour Jesus Christ, which I taught them; so that they may lay hold on eternal life, working together for the faith of the gospel, and making sure of salvation for themselves. Walk in love and do what is right; seek peace; love one anther. Wait for the coming of our Master and Judge. Do not receive any doctrine contrary to that which I delivered to you. If you fall away and forget it, and that Catechism which I taught you, and so forsake your own mercy, the Lord Judge between you and me. I take seven and earth as witness, that such people will perish eternally.  But if they serve the Lord their reward will be great the when they and I will stand before the Lord our Judge. Set out up the mountain, to meet with God; climb up for your Saviour calls you.God may call you to your rest when I am far from you; but you have my love ad my heart's desire for your soul's welfare. May He that is holy keep you from falling and establish you until His own glorious appearing  
   You affectionate and lawful pastor,   S.R.

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