Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rutherford Revised (212)

212. To William Glendinning    From Aberdeen 6 July 1637
(See letter 137)

Dear brother, - You are heartily welcome to the honour which Christ has made common to us both, which is to suffer for His name. Truly I think it is my wreath and crown; and if the Lord should ask me for my blood and life for this cause, I would gladly, in His strength, pay in that kind the debt due to His honour and glory. Get to know Christ's love, and you will not fail to find new gold mines and treasures in Christ. No, truly we only stand alongside Christ, we do not go in to Him and take our fill of Him. But if He would do two things, - (1) Draw back the curtains and show His holy face; and then (2) Clear our dim and bleary eyes, to see His beauty and glory. He would find many lovers. I would look for no other happiness than a sight of Him nearby, so as to see, hear, smell and touch and embrace Him. But oh closed doors and veils and curtains and thick clouds keep me in pain until I find the sweet burning of His love which many waters cannot quench! Oh, what sad hours I have when I think that the love of Christ takes fright at me and blows past me! If my Lord Jesus would come and bargain for His love, I think He might make the price Himself. I would not refuse ten thousand years in hell, to have a wide soul enlarged and made wider, that I might be exceedingly filled with love, even running over. Oh, what am I to love such a One, to be loved by that high and lofty One! I think angels may blush to look on Him; and what am I to defile such infinite brightness with my sinful eyes! Oh that Christ would come near and stand still and let me look on Him! For to look seems to be the poor mans privilege, since he may for nothing and without payment see the sun. I would have a king's life if I had nothing to do except for evermore to behold and see my fair Lord Jesus: no, if I was kept at heaven's fair entrance, I would be happy for evermore to look through a hole in the door and see my dearest and fairest Lord's face. O royal King, why do you stand at a distance? Why do you stay beyond the mountains? O Well-Beloved, why do you give a poor soul pain with delays? A long time out f your glorious presence is two deaths and two hells to me. We must meet, I must see Him, I am not able to lack Him. Hunger and longing for Christ has brought on my need to enjoy Christ, that cost me what it may, I can only assure Christ that I will not, I am not able not to want Him; for I cannot master nor command Christ's love. No, hell (as I now think) and all its pains put on me alone, would not put me off from loving. Yes, if my Lord Jesus would not love me, it is beyond my strength and power to keep back or imprison the love which I have, but it must go out to Christ. I would set aside heaven's joy and live on Christ's love alone. Let me have no joy except the warmth and fire of Christs love; God knows I look for nothing else. If this love is taken from me the bottom falls out of all my happiness and joy; and therefore. I believe that Christ will never do such harm to me as to deprive a poor prisoner of His love. It would be cruel to take it from me; and He who's kindness itself cannot be cruel.
   Dear brother, do not be weary of my Master's sweet chains; we are so closely related to Christ that we suffer. Do not entertain a hard thought about my royal King. Rejoice in His cross. Your deliverance does not sleep. He who will come is not slack about His promise. Keep waiting for God's early salvation: do not ask when or how long? I hope that in the fire He will lose nothing of you but dross. Commit your cause in meekness (forgiving your oppressors) to God, and your sentence will come back from Him laughing. Our Bridegroom's day is coming on fast; and this world that seems to go with a long and a short foot will be divided into two ranks. Wait until your ten days (Rev 2:10) are ended and hope for the crown. In the end, Christ will not disappoint you.
   Commend me to your wife and father and to Baillie M.A; and send this letter to him. 
   Te prayers of Christ's prisoner be upon you, and the Lord's presence accompany you.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

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