Saturday, June 15, 2019

Rutherford Revised (173)

173. To Cardoness, the Younger   From Aberdeen 1637

(See letter 123)

Much honoured sir, - I long to hear whether or not your soul is married to Christ. Lose no more of your time: flee the foolishness of youth: think clearly and make ready to meet the Lord. I have often called you, and now I call you again, to appear before your Judge, to give an account of your life. While you have time, look at your record and consider your ways. Oh that you had such a heart in you to think what a bad conscience will be to you when you are at the edge of eternity and one foot is out of time! Oh then, ten thousand thousand floods of tears cannot extinguish these flames, or purchase for you one hour's release from that pain! Oh how sweet a time you have had! But this is a fair day that soon runs fast away. See how you have spent it and consider the necessity of salvation! Tell me in the fear of God if you have made it sure. I am persuaded that you have a conscience that will speak some things to you. Why will you die and destroy yourself? I charge you in Christ's name to stir up your conscience, and begin to sign up and contract with Christ in time, when salvation is offered to you. This is the acceptable time, this is the day of salvation. Play the trader for you cannot expect another market day when this one is done. Therefore, let me again beg you to 'consider in this your day the things that belong to your peace, before they are hidden from your eyes.' Dear brother, complete my joy, and begin to seek the Lord while he may be found. Leave the foolishness of a deceiving and vain youth: lay hold on eternal life. Prostitutes, night drinking, and not keeping the Sabbath, and neglecting prayer in your household, and refusing an offered salvation, will burn up your soul with the terrors of the Almighty, when your awakened conscience flies in your face. Be kind and loving to your wife: conscientiously cherish her and do not be rigidly austere. Sir, I cannot express the glory that is stored up for you in your Father's house, if you preform your deeds and turn your heart to return to the Lord. You know that this world is only a shadow, a short lived creature under the sway of time. When you look back to it within less than fifty years, you will laugh at its vanishing vanities like feathers flying in the air, and as the sandcastles the children of men build on the beach. Give up courting this vain world: do not seek the bastard's possessions, but the son's inheritance in heaven. Make a test of Christ. Look to Him and His love will so change you that you will be taken with Him and never choose to leave Him. I have experienced His sweetness in this my house of pilgrimage here. My Witness, who is above, knows I would not exchange my sighs and tears with the laughter of the Fourteen Bishops. The only thing that will make you a real Christian is a taste of the sweetness of Christ. 'Come and see' will best speak to your soul. I would gladly hope good of you. Do not be discouraged by broken and failed resolutions; but keep on and on again! Court Christ until your soul is engaged to Him as a pure virgin. have your conscience instructed by the means of grace; pray with your family and read the word. Remember how the Lord's day was spent when I was among you. You will be greatly challenged before God if you forget the good that was done in the walls of your house on the Lord's day; and if you turn away following the fashions of the world, and if you do not go to the church at the set times, to participate in the public worship of God, and if you do not stay for all the service. Give God some of your time both morning and evening and afternoon; and doing this you will rejoice the heart of a poor oppressed prisoner. Take pity on your own soul, and from your heart, fear the Lord.
   Now He that brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of His sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, establish your heart with His grace, and present you before His presence with joy.
   Your affectionate and loving pastor,  S.R.

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