Sunday, June 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised (177)

177.  To Marion M'Naught   From  Aberdeen 15 June 1637

(See 39 earlier letters to her)

Worthy and dearest in the Lord, - Ever since I knew you I have loved that little vineyard the Lord planted in Galloway; but more now, since I have heard that He who has His fire in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem, has been pleased to set up a furnace among you with the first in this kingdom. He who makes old things new, sees Scotland as an old, powdery and rusty church, is starting to make a new, clean bride from her, to bring a young, pure wife to Himself, out of the fire. This fire will be put out, as soon as Christ had brought a young, clean bride through the fire! Therefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, do not fear a worm. Fear not, you worm Jacob(Is 41:14). Christ is in that prayer and will win through. Tell an unbelieving heart, under threat of treason against our great and royal King Jesus, to depend by faith, and quietly wait for our Lord. Go to your rooms and shut the doors behind you. Go in, in quickly to your stronghold, you prisoners of hope. You doves, fly in through Christs windows until the anger is over, and the storm passes. Glorify the Lord in your sufferings, and take his flag of love, and spread it over you. Others will follow you if they see you strong in the Lord. Their courage will take life from your Christian way. Look up and see who is coming! Lift up your head, He is coming to save, in clothes dyed in blood, and travelling in the greatness of His strength. I laugh, I smile, I leap for joy to see Christ coming so quickly to save you. Oh Christ takes such big steps! To Him, three or four hills are only one step; He skips over the mountains. Christ has set a battle between His poor weak saints and His enemies. He chooses the weapons for both sides, and says to his enemies, 'Take your sword of steel, law, authority, parliament and kings on your side; that is your armour.' And he says to his saints, 'I give you a weak wooden sword in your hand, and that is suffering, taking blows, theft of your possessions; and with your wooden sword you will get and gain the victory.' Was not Christ dragged though the ditches of deep distresses and great sufferings? And yet, Christ who is your Head, has won through with his life, though not with an unwounded body. You are Christ's members, and he is pulling His members after Him through the thorny hedge and up to heaven. One day Christ will not have so much as a painful toe. But there are pieces and parts of Christ's mystical body, not yet within the gates of the great high city, the New Jerusalem; and the dragon will hit at Christ as long as there is one part or member of Christ's body outside of heaven. I tell you, Christ will make new work out of old, abandoned Scotland.and gather the old, broken planks of His tent, and pin them and nail them together. Our demands and prayers are up in heaven; Christ has boxes full of them. There is mercy on the other side of this cross; a good answer to all our prayers has been agreed. 
   I must tell you what lovely Jesus, fair Jesus, King Jesus has done to my soul. Sometimes he sends out to me a drink, and whispers a word through the wall; and I am well content with his second hand kindness: His offer is welcome to me whatever it is. But at other times he will be the messenger Himself, and I get the cup of salvation from His own hand (He drinks to me) and we cannot find rest until be are in each others arms. Oh how sweet is a fresh kiss from His holy mouth! Before a kiss, His breathing on my poor soul is sweet and has no fault except that it is too short. I am careless and do not rely too much on this, though legs and back and shoulders should be torn in pieces stepping up to my Father's house. I know that my Lord can make long and broad and high and deep glory to His name, out of this small, weak body; for Christ does not consider from what he makes glory.
   My dearly beloved, you have often refreshed me. But this is entered in my Master's accounts; you have put Him in debt to me. But if you will do anything for me (as I know you will) now in my extreme trouble, tell all my friends that a prisoner is bound and chained in Christ's love (Lord never loose the chains!); and you and they together take my hearty recommendations to my Lord Jesus and thank Him for a poor friend.
   I want your husband to read this letter. I send him a prisoner's blessing. I will be indebted to him if he will be willing to suffer for my dear Master. Suffering is the professors golden dress; there will be no losses on Christ's side of it. You have been witnesses of much joy between Christ and me at communion feasts, remembering which (though I am feasting in secret) pierces my heart; for I am put away from the head of the table and the Kings first food is to his side table. And His broken food is sweet to me; I thank my Lord for borrowed crumbs, no less than when I feasted at the communion table at Anwoth and Kirkcudbright. Pray that I might get one day of Christ in public, such as I had long ago, before my eyes close. Oh that my Master would take up residence again, and lend me the keys of His wine cellar again, and God send me borrowed drink until then!
   Remember my love to Christ's brothers with you. I pray for Christ's Fathers blessing to them all. Grace be with you; a prisoner's blessing be with you. I write it and keep by it.God will be glorious in Marin M'Naught, when this stormy wind will be over. O woman beloved of God, believe, rejoice, be strong in the Lord! Grace is your share.
   Your brother in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.R.

No comments: