Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Rutherford Revised (218)

 218. To John Bell, Elder.     From Aberdeen  1637

(Maybe an Anwoth elder who later petitioned unsuccessfully for SR to stay in Anwoth)

My very loving friend, - Grace mercy and peace be to you. I have very often and long expected your letter; but if you are well in soul and body my concerns are less.
   I beg you in the Lord Jesus, to be mindful of your country above; and now, when old age (the twilight preceding the darkness of the grave, and the lowering of your sun before the night) is come on you, be right with Christ, put your foot in the ship and turn your back on this life. Many are fooled with this, that they are free of scandalous ad public evils; but the tree that does not produce good fruit is for the fire. The man that is not born again cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Mere honesty will not take men to heaven. Alas that men who have never had a sick night through the terrors of God in their souls or a sore heart for sin should think they have met with Christ.! I know that the Lord has given you light, and the knowledge of His will; but that is not all, nor will it be sufficient for you. I wish you  awakened soul, and you do not fool yourself in the matter of your salvation. My dear brother, search yourself with the candle of God, and test if the life of God and Christ is in you. Salvation is not thrown at every man's door. Many are carried in a ship over sea and land to a far country while they sleep almost all of the way; but men do not land asleep at heaven. The righteous are barely saved; and many who run as fast as you or I miss the prize and the crown. God, send me salvation and save me from a disappointment and I look for nothing more. Men think it is only a stride or a step over to heaven,; but when so few are saved (even of a number 'like the sand of the sea, - only a handful and a remnant,' as God's word says). what reason have we too shake ourselves, and to ask our poor soul, 'Where are you going?' Where will you stay at night? Where are your charters and deeds of your heavenly inheritance?' I have know many who thought they had locked the door. Many junp over as they will and leap in. Oh see, see that you do not give your salvation a wrong turn, and think everything well and leave your soul loose and uncertain. Look to your building and to your foundation, and what signs of Christ are in you, and set this world behind your back. Now in the evening it is time to stop your ordinary work and high time to know where you will stay at night. Your salvation depends on it; and that is a great and weighty matter though many make light of it.
 Now may the Lord by His grace enable you to work it out. 
   Your lawful and loving pastor,  S.R.

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