Monday, July 01, 2019

Rutherford Revised (186)

186. To Robert Stuart   From Aberdeen 17 June 1637

(Probably the son of Provost Stuart of Ayr - see letters 161,162,163)

My very dear brother, - Grace , mercy and peace be to you. You are heartily welcome to my world of suffering, and heartily welcome to my Master's house. If I have been in the house before you, I would be unfaithful if I gave the house a bad name, or spoke evil about the Lord of the family. Rather I want God's Holy Spirit (O Lord, breathe on me with that Spirit!), to tell you the ways of the house Exe 43:11). One think I can say, by waiting you will grow into a great man with the Lord of the house. Hang on until you get some good from Christ. By faith put all your loads and your weights on Christ; rest yourself and let Him carry it all. He can, He does, He will carry you, though hell was on your back. I rejoice that he has come and chosen you in the fire; it was even there where you and He made a meeting. That is an old way of Christ's. He keeps with you the good old fashion that was in Hosea's time, Therefore, behold, I will allure herand bring her into the wildernessand speak tenderly to her' (Hos 2:14). There was no speaking to her tenderly while He and she were in the fair, flourishing city.; but in the hungry, waste desert, He attracted her, He whispered news into her ear there, and said, 'You are Mine.' What would you think of such a place? You may soon do worse than to say, 'Lord, keep to it all; let it be a bargain. Lord Jesus, on my side I will not go back on it.'
   You have gained a great advantage in the way to heaven for you have entered the gate in the morning. Like the fool I was, I let my sun be high in the heavens, and it was near afternoon before I entered the gate in the end. I pray that you now keep the advantage you have. My heart, do not be lazy; start quickly up the hill on hands and feet, as if the last grain of sand was running out of your hourglass, and death was coming to turn over the glass. And be very careful to watch your feet, in that slippery and dangerous path of youth in which you walk. The devil and temptation have the advantage of the hill above you, and are on to your whip hand and controlling hand. Dry wood soon catches fire. Be covetous and greedy for the grace of God, and beware that it is not a holiness that only comes from the cross; for too many think that way. ' When he killed them, they sought himthey repented and sought God earnestly.But they flattered him with their mouths;they lied to him with their tongues, (Ps 78:34,36). It is part of our hypocrisy to give God plausible speeches, when He has hold of us (if I may say so), and to flatter Him until he brings us to good pastures again. Try well young godliness and examine what it is you love in Christ. If you only love Christ's sunny side, and only want summer weather, and a land route not a sea passage to heaven, your profession will trick you, and the winter well will again go dry in summer.
   Do not make a game or child's play of Christ; but work for a sound and lively sight of sin, so you may judge yourself an undone man, a damned slave of hell and of sin, one dying in your own blood, unless Christ comes and is sorry for you, and takes you up. And therefore, make sure and fast work of conversion. Throw the earth deep down; and down, down with the old work.the confused building that was there before; and let Chris lay new work and make a new creation in you. Look if Christ's rain goes down to the root of your withered plants, and if His love wounds your heart while if bleeds with sorrow for sin, and if you can plant and fall in a faint, and be likely to die for that lovely one, Jesus. I know Christ will not be hidden where he is; grace will always speak for itself, and be fruitful in doing good. The sanctified cross is a fruitful tree; it produces many apples.
   If I were to tell you by my weak experiences what I have found in Christ, you or others would hardly believe me. Long since I thought not the hundredth part of Christ that I do now, though, also, my thoughts are infinitely below His worth! I have a pining, sickly and painful life for a real possession of Him; and I am troubled with love sickness and love fevers; but it is a sweet pain. I would not refuse any requirements, not even hell, (except for God's hatred), to buy possession of Jesus. But alas I am not a trader who has any money to give for Him! I must either come to a very cheap market, where goods are to be had for nothing, or go home empty handed. But I have thrown this work on Christ to give me Himself. I have His truth and faith and promise as a loan from Him, all engaged so I will obtain what my hungry desires would have; and I prize that as the choice for my happiness. And for Christ's cross, especially the necklace and flower of all crosses, I prize it more than I can write or speak to you, to suffer for His name. And I will write it with my own hand to you, that it is one of the steps of the ladder up to our country; and Christ is still at the heavy end of this black tree, and so it is only a feather to me. I need not run slowly because of a load only back; my back never carried its like; the more heavily the cross for Christ, the soul is still the lighter for the journey.
   Now, I wish that all the cold blooded, faint hearted soldiers of Christ would look again to Jesus,  and to His love; and when they look, I want them to look again and again, and fill themselves with seeing Christ's beauty; and I dare say Christ would come to judgement and demands from many. The virgins would quickly crowd the Bridegroom; they would hug and take hold of Him, and not let Him go. But when I have spoken of Him until my head splits, I have said only nothing. I may start again. A Godhead, a Godhead is a world's wonder. Set the thousand thousand newly made worlds of angels and elect men, and double them in number, ten thousand, thousand, thousand times; let their heart and tongues be ten thousand, thousand times more agile and large, than the heart and tongues of the seraphim that stand with six wings before Him (Is 6:2), when they have said everything for the glorifying and praising of the Lord Jesus, they have only spoken little nothing,; His love exceeds all possible praise from creatures.  Oh, if I could wear this tongue down to a stump in extolling His highness! But it is my daily growing sorrow that I am overcome with His incomparable love, and that he does such great things for my soul and has never had anything from me worth speaking about. Sir, I charge you, help me to praise Him; it is a shame to speak of what he has done for me and what I do to Him again. I am sure that alongside Him in heaven, Christ has many debtors drowned head over heels in debt; and when we, men and angels are brought together on the great day in the fair and last meeting, we are all only His drowned debtors; it is hard to say who owes Him most. If men can do no more I would have them wondering; if you cannot be filled with Christ's love, we may be filled with wonder.
   Sir, I wish I could persuade you to grow sick for Christ, and to long for Him, and have pain with love for Himself. But the tongue of Him who can do it is in heaven. To Him and His rich grace I recommend you.    I ask you to pray for me and do not forget to praise.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R. 

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