Thursday, July 18, 2019

Rutherford Revised (215)

215. To Mistress Stuart  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letter 161 to her husband, the Provost of Ayr)

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am sorry that you are so unhappy that I have not written to you.
   I am thought of as that which I am not. I am afraid that if I was put in the fire, I would melt away and fall down like shreds of a painting; for I have little at home that is work a look from God's servants. If there is anything of Christ in me (and I dare not deny there is some of His work) it is only a spark of borrowed fire that can barely warm myself and has little heat for those standing nearby. I would be glad to have that which you and others believe I have; but you only witness my outside, and some words I have written. Oh that He would give me more than paper grace or tongue grace! If it was not that want gives me pain I would have had an empty house and gone begging long since. But Christ had left me with some hunger that is more hot than wise, and is often ready to say, 'If Christ longed fr me as I long for Him we would soon meet; and if He loved my company as I do His, even when i am writing this letter, we would fly into each others arms.' But I know there is more desire than wisdom in this inactivity and pining love for Christ; and no surprise for Christ's love desires full harvest before midsummer. But if I have any love for Him, Christ has both love to me and wisdom to guide His love. And I see that the best thing I have has so much dross in it that it might curse me and it; and if for no other reason, we need a Saviour to pardon the very faults and diseases and weakness of the new man, and to take away (to say so) our guilty sins, or the sins of our sanctification, and the dross and scum of our spiritual love. Wo, wo is me! Oh, what need there is then for Christ's calling to scrub and cleanse and wash away an ugly old body of sin, the very image of Satan! I know of nothing surer than there is a place for Christ among us. I wish for no other heaven on this side of the last sea that I must cross, than this service of Christ, to make my blackness beauty, my deadness life, and my guiltiness sanctification. I greatly long for that day when I will be holy. Oh, what spots are yet unwashed! Oh that I could change the skin of the leopard and the Moor and exchange it with some of Christ's fairness! If my blackness and Christ's beauty were blended together (as we used to say) , His beauty and holiness would eat up my filthiness. But, oh, I have not yet thrown off old Adam's shade and colour. I believe that the best of us still has a smell of the old loathsome body of sin and guiltiness. They are happy for evermore who can employ Christ and set His blood and death to work to make foul souls clean work for God. I know our sin would have sanctification on the sunny side of the hill and holiness with nothing but summer and no crosses at all. Sin has made us so delicate as if we were made of paper or glass. I ofter think what would I think of Christ and burning together! Of Christ and torturing and hot melted lead poured in at mouth and navel! Yet I have some weak experience (but very weak indeed), that if Christ and hell's torments were married together, and I could not find Christ at all unless I went to hell's fire, so that there and in no other place I could meet with Him, I believe, that (if it was like I have been since I was Christ's prisoner) I would beg to live for God's sake in hell's hottest fire that I might be close to Christ. But God be thanked I will find Him in a better place. We get a bargain of Christ when he is sold to us, we get Him with only a shower of summer troubles in this life, as sweet and soft to believers as May dew.
   I would want you and me to help the mystical Christ to weep for His wife. And oh that we could mourn for Christ buried in Scotland, and for his two killed witnesses, killed because they prophesied! I we could come so persistently and ask God, our buried Lord and his two buried witnesses would rise again. Earth and clay and stone will not keep Christ and the Gospel down in Scotland. I do not know it I will see the second temple and its glory; but the Lord has deceived me if it is nor to be erected again. I want to again give Christ His welcome home. My blessing, my joy, my glory and love be on the One coming home.
   I find no better use of suffering than that Christ's winnowing separates chaff and corn in the saints to different places, and He finds our dross from His gold, so that corruption and grace are seen and that Christ says in the fire, 'That is Mine, and this is yours. The scum and the dregs, your stomach against the persecutors, your impatience, your unbelief, your quarrelling, these are yours; and faith, service, love, joy, courage are Mine.' Oh let me die one of Christ's servants, and one of His attendants!
   I know your heart and Christ are married together; and divorce would not be good. Do not regret that meeting and marriage with such a Husband. Pray for me, His prisoner. Grace, grace be with you. 
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R. 

No comments: