Friday, June 28, 2019

Rutherford Revised (183)

183. To Mr. J.R.     From Aberdeen 16 June 1637 

(Thought to be John Row)

Dear brother,- Grace , mercy and peace be unto you. I thought it good to write to you according to what I hear of you though we do not know one another except for our close ties in our Lord Jesus, for I heard you are in danger of being pushed out of the Lord's house for His name's sake. Therefore, my sincere and humble desire before God is, that you may be strengthened in the grace of God, and , by the power of His might, to go on for Christ, not fearing a worm that will die. I hope you will not give a push to the ark of God and overturn it, as many do now when the archers shoot a lot at Joseph, whose bow will remain strong. We owe a witness to our royal King and princely master. Oh, how blessed are those who can fend a blow off Christ, and his suppressed truth! Men now think Christ is a defeated man, and he will never again lift up His head; and they believe His case has failed, because he lets men break their spears and swords on Him, and the enemies to plough Zion, and make their long and deep furrows on her back. But it would not be so if the Lord did not have a sowing ready after His ploughing. What can he do except melt an old impure church to bring a new bride out of her fire again? I think that Christ is at present repairing His house, and exchanging his old containers with new containers, and is going through this land, and making an inventory and a list of so many of Levi's sons, and good professors, so that he may make them new work for the Second Temple,; and whatever is found not to be for this work, will be thrown over the wall. When the house is built, He will lay aside His hammers, as having no more use for them. It is possible he will do worse with them than lay them aside; and I think the vengeance of the Lord, and the vengeance of His temple, will be on them.
   I want nothing more than to stay whole when I have gone through the fire; and I can now, in a little way, give a testimony that Christ is a lovely and loving companion for whom I have suffered. I saw Him before, but it was from a distance. A fig, a straw for ten world's decorated glory, and for childish shadows, the idol clay (this god, the world) for which fools fight! If I could arrange my own lease from Christ (for whoever once comes near, and takes a good look at Christ's inner side, will never twist or wrestle themselves out of Christ's love grips again), I would rest content in my prison, yes, in my prison with no light from sun nor candle, providing Christ and I had a love bed, not of my making but of Christ's own making, and that we might be together among the lilies, until the day dawns and the shadows fly away.Who knows how sweet is a drink of Christ;'s love! Oh but to live on Christ's love is a king's life! The worst things of Christ, even that which seems to be the refuse of Christ, His hard cross, His black cross, is white and fair; and the cross gets a beautiful shine and a perfumed smell from Jesus. My dear brother, do not be frightened of it.
   While you have time to stand on the watch tower and speak, fight with this land. Plead with your prostitute mother, who has been a treacherous marriage partner to her husband Jesus. For I would think it freedom to one day preach the top and bottom of my desires; and would seek no more of the blessings to be obtained this side of time, until I am over the water, than to use this my crazy clay house in His service, and saving souls. But I am quiet because He has done it. Christ does not sail by the compass of my shallow, receding thoughts.
   I leave his ways to himself, for they are far, far, above me: only I would fight with Christ for His love, and be bold to make a request from Jesus, my Lord, for a heart full of his love; for there is nothing more left for me. He knows what remains beyond the far end of my sufferings, and what will happen, and I hope for my joy, that He will make me know when God will disclose His purposes concerning me. For there are turns, and tos and fros in His ways which blind bodies like us cannot see.
   This until I know you more; so recommending you and what lies before you, to the grace of God, I rest,
   Your very loving brother in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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