Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Rutherford Revised (168)

168. To his reverend and dear Brother, Mr David Dickson                   From Aberdeen 1 May 1637

(See letters 110 and 119)

My reverend and dear brother, - I am afraid you have never known me well. If you saw my inner self, it is possible you would pity me, but you would hardly give me love or respect: men mistake me all the time. My sins have victory over me and the terrors of their guiltiness too. I often ask whether Christ and I ever shook hands sincerely. I do not mean that my feast days are all gone, but I am made of extremes. I pray to God that you never have the woeful and dreary experience of a closed mouth; for then you may reckon as blessed birds the sparrows that sing on the church at Irvine. But my soul has been refreshed and watered when I hear of your courage and zeal for your never enough praised, praised Master, for you have put the men of God to work who were chased out of Ireland. Oh, if I could encourage you! I dare say in God's presence, that this will never speed your suffering, but David Dickson's feast and speaking joy, that while he had time and opportunity, he put many to work to lift up Jesus, his sweet master, high in the skies. O man of God, go on, go on; be valiant for that Plant of renown, for that Chief among ten thousands, for that Prince of the kings of the earth. I only know little about God; yet I dare write this, that Christ will be glorified in David Dickson, even if Scotland is not gathered.
   I am pained, pained that I do not have more to give my sweet Bridegroom. His comforts to me come from a generous hand; but I want to learn not to idolise comfort, sense, joy and sweet, felt presence. All these are only things, and nothing except the kingly robe and gold ring and the bracelets of the Bridegroom; the Bridegroom Himself is better than all the ornaments accompanying Him. Now I would rather have God Himself than these and be swallowed up in love for Christ. I see that in taking delight in communion with Christ we may make more gods than one. But however, everything was child's play between Chris and me until now. If anyone had sworn it to me I would not have believed what is to be found in Christ. I hope you pity my pain in prison enough, as to help me yourself, and get others to help me, a debtor, a wretched debtor, to pay some of my debts of praise to my great King. Let my God be judge and witness, if my soul would not have sweet rest and comfort, to have many hearts confirmed in Christ, and enlarged with His love, and many tongues set to work to set on high my royal and princely Well-beloved. Oh that my sufferings would pay tribute to such a King! I have given up wondering at his love; for Christ has done a piece of work in me. that I have never told anyone. He has obtained fair and rich employment, and a sweet purchase and good market for His honourable calling of showing mercy to me the chief of sinners , No-one knows as well as I my woefully often broken covenants. My sins against light which was at work even when I was in the act of sinning  have been met with admirable mercy: but alas He will get nothing in return but ingratitude. I am sure that if Christ pities anything in me apart fro my sin, it is the pain f love for a handful nd soulful of Himself, it faith , love and begun fruit baring. My sorrow is that I cannot get Christ lifted up from the dust in Scotland, and set on high above all the skies, and heavern of heavens.
   Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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