Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rutherford Revised (169)

169.  To the Laird of Carleton    From Aberdeen 10 May 1637

(See letter 157)

Worthy sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter and I am heartily glad that our Lord has begun to work for the apparent delivery of this poor oppressed church. Oh that salvation would come for the church!
   I am at present hanging on in hope, waiting for what my Lord will do with me, and if it will please my Master to send me among you again, and keep a hireling out from my poor people and flock. Until I come home it would be heaven for me to gather some in to Christ. I am still greatly depressed because of my silence, and being forced to stand idle in the market, when there is such a plentiful, thick harvest in the land. But I know that the judgements of Him who has done it are beyond our understanding. I do not know how to reason with the Lord about all His strange ways and passages of deep and unsearchable providences. For the Lord goes before me and I cannot see how to follow Him; He is benind me and following at my heels, and I am not aware of Him; He is above me, but His glory so dazzles my twilight of little understanding, that I cannot look up to Him. He is at my right hand but I do not see Him; He is on my left hand and within me, and comes and goes, and his coming and going are like dreams to me.; He is around me and encompasses all my goings and still I have to seek Him. He is in every way higher and deeper and broader than the shallow hand breadth that my short and dim light can see; and therefore, I wish my heart could be silent, and sit down in educated ignorance wondering at the Lord whom men and angels cannot understand. I know that the highest angels who in the noon time light see Him face to face, do not see the edges of His infinity. They know God is nearby but they cannot understand Him. And therefore, I am happy to look from afar, and to come near behind the Lord, and to light my dark candle form His brightness, and to have permission to sit and be content with a traveller's light, without being able to clearly see and enjoy it. Until I am in my country, I seek nothing more than a little watering and sprinkling on a withered soul, with some half measures of the beams and ravishing smiles of the fairest face of a revealed and believed in Godhead. A little of God would fill my soul.  Oh, that I had a few things dropped by Christ; that he would let the smallest of his love rays and love beams fall from Him so I could gather them and carry them with me! I would not be hard to be pleased by Christ, even obscure visions of Christ; nor would I be fussy seeing and enjoying Him: a kiss blown over Christ's shoulder, the scraps and crumbs that fall under His table in heaven, a shower of His love like thin May mist, would make me grow and be nourished and joyful until the summer sun of eternal glory breaks through (Son 2:17). Oh that I had anything of Christ! Oh that I had a sip or half a drop from the palm of His hand, of the sweetness and excellency of the lovely One! Oh that my Lord Jesus would be sorry for me and give me even the smallest gifts of felt and believed salvation! Oh how small a thing it would be for that infinite sea, that infinite fountain of love and joy, to fill many thousand thousand little vessels (like me) as there are minutes of hours since God's work of creation! I find it true, that a poor soul, finding half a scent of the Godhead of Christ, desires (with heart in pain and wounded with longings to be with Him) that make it sometimes think, 'Would it not be better never to have felt anything of Christ than to be dying twenty deaths under these felt wounds for the lack of Him?' Oh where is he? Oh Fairest, where are you? O never enough admired Godhead, how can mortals win up to you? Oh how painful it is that time and sin should put so many thousand miles between a loved and longed for Lord and a pining and love sick soul, who would rather stay with Christ than with all the world! Oh, let this little bit of love of ours, this inch and half hand width of heavenly longing, meet with Your infinite love! Oh, if the little I have was swallowed up in the infiniteness of the excellency that is in Christ! Oh that we little ones were in with the greatest Lord Jesus! His fullness would soon swallow up our wants.
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweetest Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

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