Friday, July 12, 2019

Rutherford Revised (201)

201. To Alexander Gordon of Earlston   From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 64,73 and 160)

Much honoured sir, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. It is likely that if you the gentry and nobility of this nation be, 'men in the streets' (Jer 5:1) for the Lord, then He will now deliver His flock, and gather and rescue His scattered sheep, from the hands of cruel and strict  lords who have ruled over them by force. Oh that my eyes might see the moonlight turn into the light of the sun. But I still fear that the quarrel about a broken covenant in Scotland stands before the Lord.
   Whatever happens, I affirm it before the world, that the tent of the Lord will again be in Scotland, and the glory of the Lord will live in beauty, as the light of many days in one in this land. Oh, what could my soul desire more,(apart from my Lord Jesus), while I live in this body, except that Christ and His kingdom may be great among Jews and Gentiles; and that the islands, and among them closed over and darkened Britain, may have the glory of a midday sun! Oh that I had anything (my part in Christ not excepted) to give as a pledge to redeem and buy such glory for my highest and royal Prince, my sweet Lord Jesus! My poor little heaven would be well given, if it could be a pledge to for ever set on high the glory of my Lord. But I know he does not need wages or hire from me; I know that if my eternal glory could weigh down itself, all the eternal glory of the blessed angels, and of all the spirits of just and perfect men, glorified and to be glorified, but alas, how much am I prepared to give it up, and give it over to Christ, so that he might be set on high above ten thousand thousand millions of heavens, in the conquest of many, many nations for His kingdom! Oh that His kingdom would come! Oh that all the world would bow before Him! O blessed hands that will put the crown on His head in Scotland! But alas, I can hardly get permission to use my love for Him. I can find no ways to lay my heart on Christ; and my love that with my soul I give to Him, is likely to die in my hand. And I think it is not child's play to be hungry for Christ's love. To love Him and to want Him is no hell. I am sure he knows how my joy would swell in me from a little well to a great sea, to have as much of His love and to have as wide a soul to understand it until I cry, 'Hold it Lord! No more.' But I find he will not have me to be in charge nor to cut my own share. Christ keep His own keys (so to speak) and of His own love; and he distributes more wisely than I can receive. I know there is more in Him than would make me overflow like a sea that goes to the farthest shore. I would evermore be happy to only have permission to stand near Christ and His love, and to look in; as if I was forbidden by God come near, touch, hug or kiss or put to my sinful lips and drink myself drunk with that lovely thing. God send me what I want to have! For now, I truly see more clearly than before, our foolishness in drinking dead waters, and in playing the prostitute with our soul's love drinking from failing wells, and broken pieces of yesterday's creatures, which time will disqualify and penalise them with losing their being and natural attractions. Oh, when a soul's love is itching (so to speak) for God; and when Christ, is his unlimited and bottomless love, beauty and excellency, comes and rubs and excites that love, what can be heaven if this is not it? I am sure that this small, worthless, narrow and short love of regenerate sinners was born for no other purpose than to breath, and live and love and and stay on the chest between the breasts of Christ. Where except in Christ is there a bed or house for the saint's love? Oh that He would stop us thinking of ourselves for love does not conquer nor inherit us nor other creatures. Christ and only Christ is Lord and Owner of love. Oh, yet, it is pitiful that so much of our love bypasses Him! Oh, we are wretched masters of our soul's love. I know it is the depth of bottomless and inscrutable providence that the saints are allowed to play the prostitute away from God, and that their love goes out hunting when God knows it will have nothing to roast at suppertime (Pro 12:27).Those renewed want otherwise; and why is it so since our Lord can keep us without nodding off, swaying, reeling or any fall at all? I hope our desires will attain to perfection, but God will have our sins serve as an office place for God's grace, and has made sin a matter of transgression and penalty for the Son of God's blood. And though we sorrow over sin, yet we must recognise God's way with us, that there is sin in us, so mercy, forgiveness, healing; curing from our sweet Doctor finds a field to work on. Oh, how deep this is beyond our understanding! Whatever happens it is our happiness to daily win new ground in Christ's love, and to buy a new piece of it daily, and to add conquest to conquest, until our Lord Jesus and us be so close together, that Satan cannot put a straw or thread between us.
   As for me, I have no greater joy in my well favoured imprisonment for Christ, than I know that time will join Him and me together; and that my love and longing has room and freedom among my chains and enemies (of which there are many here of all kinds), to go and visit the borders and far coasts of the country of my Lord Jesus, and see, at least far off and darkly, the country which is to be my inheritance, which is due to my Lord Jesus both by birth and conquest. I dare affirm to all who know God, that the saints do not know the length and size of the sweet down payment, and the sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that could be had on this side of the water, if we would make more effort; and that we all go to heaven with less of the down payment, and lighter purses with the hoped for sum, than we might otherwise do if we made more effort to win further in on Christ, in this our pilgrimage of absence from Him.
   Grace, grace and glory be your share.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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