Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rutherford Revised (170)

170.To Robert Gordon of Knockbrex  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 65,66,76 and 92)

Dear brother, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter from Edinburgh.
   Until I get to my own heaven, I do not want to see another heaven except a new moon like the light of the sun, and a new sun like the light of seven days shining on my poor soul, and on the Church of the Jews and Gentiles, and on my withered and sun burnt mother, the Church of Scotland, and on her sister churches England and Ireland: and to have this done for the setting n high of our great King! If this happened it would not matter if I was separated from Christ and had the feeling of ten thousand years in hell. O blessed nobility! O glorious renowned gentry! Oh blessed would be the peoples in this land to wipe my Lord Jesus' weeping face, and to take the sackcloth off his waist, and to put on Him His kingly robes! Oh, if the Almighty would let me bet my heaven against having it done! But I fear wrath once to come on Scotland. But I know her day will clear up, and glory will be on top of the mountains, and joy hearing the voice of the married wife again. Oh that our Lord would make us to fight, and plead and wrestle by prayers and tears for our Husband to restore His lost inheritance n Scotland.
   Dear brother, I am at present in a considerable battle between false guiltiness and pining longings and high fevers for my Well-beloved's love.! Alas! I think that Christ's love plays the miser with me, and I know it is not because of scarcity of love. There is enough in Him, but my hunger tells of Christ holding in and being sparing; for I have little of Him and little of His sweetness. It is a sad summer with me; yet there is such joy in the eagerness and working of hunger for Christ, that I am often saying, that if I had no heaven but a continual hunger for Christ, such a heaven of ever working hunger would still be heaven to me. I am sure that Christ's love cannot be cruel; it must be a regretting, a pitying, a melting hearted love; but I think the suspension of that love is half a hell, and the lack of it more than a whole hell. When I consider my guiltiness I see that my salvation is one of our Lord's greatest miracles, either in heaven or on earth. I am sure I can defy any man to show me a greater wonder. But seeing I have no goods, no wages, no money for Christ, He must either take me with want , misery, corruption to them or want me still. Oh , if he would be happy to be compassionate with a pitying heart for my pining fevers of longing for Him; or then give me a real loan to keep, from His own hand, until God sends a meeting between him and me! But as yet I find neither thing. Though He who is absent is neither cruel and unkind, yet His absence is cruel and unkind. His love is like itself; His love is His love; but the covering and the cloud, the veil and the mask of His love is more wise than kind, if I dare speak my fears. I do not now lead a process against the suspension and delay of God's love; with all my heart I would postpone for a day, ten heavens and the sweet manifestations of His love. I certainly think I could trust the word of Christ; but my pleading is for felt and inborn assurance of His love. Oh, if He would convince me that He intends to gratify my heart's desire for His love at all. He may have the day for His payment as He chooses. But I know that raving unbelief speaks as it pleases when it looks on guiltiness and this body of corruption. Oh how loathsome and heavy it is to carry around a dead corpse, the old carrion of corruption! Oh how firm a thing is a Saviour, to make a sinner free of his chains and shackles! 
   I now have a new question, whether Christ is more to be loved for giving Sanctification of for free Justification. Ant I hold that He is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It is in some respects a grater love in Him to sanctify, than to justify; for he makes us most like Himself in His own essential likeness and image, in sanctifying us. Justification only makes us happy, which is only to be like angels. It is not such a misery to lie like a condemned man , and under unforgiven guiltiness, as it is to serve sin and to do the works of the devil; and therefore I think sanctification cannot be bought; it is above any price. God be thanked for ever that Christ was a set price for sanctification. If He makes a sinner truly holy, let him possibly lie in hell for ever; and let him lie there burning with love to God, rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, hanging on Christ by faith and hope, - that is heaven in the heart and bottom of hell!
   Alas! I find a very thin harvest here, and few to be saved.
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours, in his lovely and longed for Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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