Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rutherford Revised (211)

To a Christian gentlewoman    From  Aberdeen 6 July 1637

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. Though we are not acquainted at the wish of a Christian brother, I think it good to write to you, asking you in the Lord Jesus, in your troubles, to keep an ear open to Christ who can speak for Himself though your suffering and your own feelings dream hard things about His love and favour. Our Lord never gets so kind a look from us, nor so much of our love, nor our faith in such steadfastness, as He gets from the fire of our tempting fears and sharp tests. I truly believe ( and two sad proofs in me say no less), that if our Lord would bring our prostitute lusts into powder, the very old ashes of our corruption would take life again, and live and hold us enslaved, that  it may humble us, and make us sad, until are in that country where we shall need no medicine at all. Oh, what violent means does our Lord use to win us to Him, as if indeed we were a prize worth fighting for! And be sure, if leading was sufficient, He would not pull the hair and tug: but the best of us will wait for a strong pull by our Lord's right arm before we follow Him. Yet I do not say this as if our Lord always measured sufferings by so many once weights according to the grain weights of our guiltiness. I know that he does in many (and possibly in you) seek nothing so much as faith, that can endure summer and winter in their extremes. Oh, how precious to the Lord are faith and love, that when threshed, beaten and chased away, and driven as it were by God Himself, does still look warm like, love like, kind like and life like, homewards toward Christ, and would be in at Him, whether for ill or good. 
   Do not think it important that your husband, or the nearest to you in the world, proved to have the feelings and mercy of the ostrich, hard and rigorous and cruel; for the Lord takes up such fallen one as these (Ps 27:10). I could not wish for a sweeter life, or more satisfying expressions of kindness, until I be up with that Prince of kindness, than the Lords saints find when the Lord takes up men's rubbish, and takes in this world's outlaws, whom no man wants. His breath is never as hot, His love never produces such a flame, as when this world and those who should help our joy, pore water on our fire. It is a sweet thing to see them thrown out and God taken in; and to see them throw us away as the rubbish of men, and God take us up as His jewels and treasure. He often makes gold from dross, as once he made the castaway stone, 'the stone rejected by the builders,' to be the cornerstone. The princes of this world would not have our Lord Jesus for a pinning of the wall, or to have any place in the building; but the Lord made Him to be the most important stone of power and place. God be thanked that this world does not have the power to devalue us so many pounds as rulers devalue light gold or light silver. We will be valued as much as our master minter Christ, whose coin, arms and stamp we bear, will have us be. Christ has no false scales. Thank your Lord who chases your love through two kingdoms and follows you and it over sea to have you for Himself, as he says (Hos 3:3). For God lays up His saints for Himself as the selection and choice of all the world. Oh, what in heaven or out of heaven is comparable to the smell of Christ's clothes! No, if our Lord would show His ability, and make ten thousand heavens of good and glorious things, and of new joys devised out of the depths of infinite wisdom, He could not make anything like Christ; for Christ is God, and God cannot be made. And therefore let us hold to Christ, though we might have our choice and will for an army of lovers, as many as three heavens could contain.
   Oh that He and we were together! Oh, when Christ and you will meet on the farthest limit and borders of time, and the entrance into eternity, you will see heaven in His face at the first look, and see salvation and glory sitting in His looks and between His eyes. Do not faint; the miles to heaven are only few and short. He is making a longed for bed (as the word says, Son 1:16) of love for Himself and you. There are many heads resting on Christs chest, but there is room for yours among the rest; and therefore, go on and let hope proceed you. Do not sin in your testings, and the victory is yours. Pray, wrestle and believe and you will overcome and be victorious with God as Jacob did. No trifling straws, no bits if clay, no temptations which live no longer than an hour, will then be able to stand against you, when you have once had victory with God.
   Help me with your prayers that God would be pleased to give me freedom again to speak of His righteousness in the great congregation, if it seems good in His sight. 
   Grace, grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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