Sunday, July 14, 2019

Rutherford Revised (206)

206. To the Right Honourable my Lady Viscountess of Kenmure     From Aberdeen 17 June 1637

(See letters  4,5,7,11,19-21,23,27,28,30,31,35,37,39,40,42,56,58,61,69,70,93-96,104, 106 and 205.)

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to your Ladyship. I long to hear fro you and that dear child and for that reason I trouble you with letters.
   I am at present thinking that the sparrows and the swallows that build their nests in Anwoth are blessed birds. The Lord has made all my congregation lonely. Alas, I am often saying, 'Show me why You fight with me.' O earth, earth do not conceal the violence done to me. I know it is this my faithless jealousy in this my dark night to mistake a friend for an enemy; yet my Lord has made no argument against me. I argue with Him yet He gives me good words.  As my sins and the sins of my youth deserved blows, I am grateful to my Lord who among many crosses has given me a special and chosen cross to suffer for the name of my Lord Jesus! Since I must have chains, He would put golden chains on me, sprinkled over with many comforts. Seeing I must have sorrow (for I have sinned, O Preserver of mankind!), He has chosen out for me, joyful sorrow, - honest, spiritual and glorious sorrow. My crosses come through mercy and love's fingers, from the kind hand of a Brother, Christ my Lord; and therefore, they must be sweet and sugared. Oh, what am I! Such a lump, such a rotten mass of sin, to be counted a child worthy to be nurtured and hit with the best and most honourable stick in my Father's house, the golden stick, by which, my elder Brother, the Lord, Heir to the inheritance, and his faithful witnesses were also hit.
   It would be thought that I should be thankful and rejoice. But those who see me and lovers in Christ, have human eyes and have made my one to be ten and I am somebody in their books. My witness is above, that there are armies of thoughts within me saying the contrary, and laughing at their big mistake. If my inside was seen, my corruption would appear: I would lose and forfeit love and respect at the hands of any that love God: pity would come in their place. Oh, if they would only set me lower and my well-beloved Christ higher! I wish I had grace and strength from my Lord to be joyful, and contentedly glad and cheerful with my pain and sufferings, that God's glory high openly ride and triumph in the sight of men, angels, devils, earth heaven, hell, sun , moon and all of God's creatures; always providing that I did not feel the Lord's hatred and displeasure.
   But I fear that His fair glory is only fouled by coming through such creature as I am. If I could be the sinless cause of glorifying Christ, though to my loss, pains, sufferings and extreme wretchedness, how my soul would rejoice! But I am far from this. He knows that His love has made me a prisoner, and tied me hand and foot; but my pain is that I cannot get loose, nor get loose hands or a freed heart to do service to my Lord Jesus and speak His love. I confess I have neither tongue nor pen to do it. Christ's love is more than my praises, and above the thoughts of the angle Gabriel, and all the mighty armies that stand before the throne of God. I am ashamed, I am sad and depressed to think that my foul tongue and polluted heart should come in to help others to sing aloud the praises of the love of Christ: all I can do is to wish the choir becomes a crowd and to grow in praising Christ. Woe, woe is me for my guiltiness seen by few! My hidden wounds and bleeding within are seen by no-one; but if my sweet Lord Jesus was not still bathing, washing, medicating, healing and binding them up, they would rot and break out to my shame.
   I do not know how my suffering will end. I have only seen the one side of my cross; He knows, who has His fire in Zion, what the other side will be. Let Him lead me though it be through hell. I thank my Lord, that my waiting and keeping quiet as I do, (to see what more Christ will do to me), is my joy. Oh, if my leisure, joy, pleasure for evermore were put in pledge to buy praises for Christ! But I am far from this. It is easy for a poor soul in deep debt to Christ's love to wish for more than he can accomplish and to feed on big wishes that Christ would be honoured; but in doing, I am absolutely nothing. I have nothing, nothing to give Christ except poverty. Unless he would arrest my soul and my love (oh, oh if He would do that!), I have nothing for Him. He may indeed seize a debtor's person, soul and body, but he has no possessions for Christ to take. But how glad my soul would be if He would take my love and never give it to me again!
   Madam, I would be glad to hear that Christ's claim on you is still growing and that you were still going forward and you are nearer to Him. I do not honour Christ myself; but I want others to go on to Christ's house. I wish I could invite you to go into your Well-beloved's house of wine, and that receiving my word you would then see a new mystery of love in Christ that you never saw before.
   I am somewhat encouraged in that your Ladyship is not dry and cold to Christ's prisoner as some are. I hope it is recorded in my Master's account book. I am not very sad that my jealous Husband breaks in pieces my idols, so that they dare not nor will not suit me. My Master does not need their help, but they need to be serviceable to help him. Madam, I have been so bold as to have you and that sweet child remembered in the prayers of Mr. Andrew Cant, Mr. James Martin, the Lady Leyes, and some others in this country who truly love Christ. Let me know how is the child. The blessings that came 'on the head of Joseph, and on the top of the head of him who was separated from his brothers.' and the 'good-will of Him who lived in The Busr' be on him and you. Madam, I can by some little experience, more now than before, speak of Christ to you. I am still saying this, that if you seek there is a store, a hidden treasure and a gold mine in Christ that you have not as yet seen. Then come and see. 
   Thus recommending you to God's dearest mercy, I rest, your own, in his sweet Lord Jesus, at all obedience.  S.R.
My Lady Marischall  is very kind to me and her son also

( Lady Marischall Margaret Erskine, wife of William, was now a widow. The son mentioned was probably William, now Earl Marischall. He became a supporter of Charles II and commanded a cavalry regiment at the Battle of Preston  He was for a long time imprisoned in the Tower of London.)

No comments: