Saturday, August 31, 2019

Rutherford Revised (284)

284. To the Honourable, Reverend and Well-beloved Professors of Christ and His truth in sincerity in Ireland   From Aberdeen  4 Feb 1638

(In 1634 Robert Blair and some other ministers were deposed foe nonconformity. In 1636, five more so suffered and had to leave Ireland. So the Presbyterians lacked minister of the Word)

Dearly beloved of our Lord, and partakers of the heavenly calling, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you, and from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. 

   I always, utmost of all now in my imprisonment (most sweet imprisonment for Christ my Lord), rejoice to hear of your faith and love, and to hear that our King, our Well-beloved, our Bridegroom, without tiring, still stays to court you as His wife, and persecutions, and mocking of sinners, have not chased away the suitor from the house. I persuade you in the Lord, the men of God, now scattered and driven from you, put you on the right scent and pursuit of Christ: and my salvation on it (if ten heavens were mine), if his way, the way I now suffer for, this way the world nicknames and reproaches and no other way, is not he King's gate to heaven! And I will never see God's face (and alas, I am a misled wretch if I was so!) if this is not the only saving way to heaven. Oh that you would take a prisoner of Christ's word for it (no, I know you have the greatest King's word for it), that it will not be your wisdom to search out another Christ, or another way of worshipping Him, than is now savingly revealed to you. Therefore, though I never saw your faces, let me be pardoned for writing to you (you honourable persons, you faithful pastors, still among the flocks, and you sincere professors of Christ's truth, or any weak, tired strangers, who look with only half and eye for the Bridegroom), if possibly I could, by any weak experience, confirm and strengthen you in the good way, everywhere spoke against.
   I can with the greatest assurance (to the honour of our highest and greatest and dearest Lord, let it be said!) assure (though I am only a child in Christ, and barely able to walk while holding on, and the smallest and less than the least of all the pains), that we do not come near, by twenty degrees, to the due love and estimation of that fairest among sons of men. For if it was possible that heaven, yes, ten heavens, were put in the scales with Christ, I would think the smell of His breath above them all. I am sure He is the far best half of heaven, yes, He is all heaven, and more than all heaven; and my testimony of Him is, ten lives of black sorrow, ten deaths, ten hells of pain, in furnaces of brimstone. and all exquisite torments, were all too little for Christ, if our suffering could be money to buy Him. Therefore, do not faint in your sufferings and risks for Him. I proclaim and cry, hell, sorrow and shame on all loss, upon all past lovers, that would take Christ's room over His head, in this life inch of love of these narrow souls of ours, that is due to sweetest Jesus. O highest, O dearest, O fairest Lord Jesus, are your own from all bastard lovers. oh that we could mortgage and sell all our part of tim'e glory, and time's good things for a lease and a part of Christ for all eternity! Oh how we are blurred and bogged down with the love of things on this side of time, and on his side of death's water! Where can we find one to match Christ, or an equal, or a better than He, among created things? Oh, this world is out of all conceit, and out of all love with our Well-beloved. Oh, that I could sell my laughter, joy, ease, all for Him; and be content with a straw bed, and bread by weight, and water by measure, in the camp our weeping Christ! I know His sackcloth and ashes are better than the fool's laughter, which is like the crackling of thorns under a pot. But as, we do not harden our faces against the cold north storms which blow on Christ's fair face.We well love summer religion, and to be what sin has made us, even as thin skinned as if we were made of white paper.; and would be glad to be carried to heaven in a close covered chariot, wishing from our hearts that Christ would give us a guarantee, and His handwriting and His seal or nothing but a far summer until we are landed at Heaven's gates.
   How many of us have been deceived here and fainted in the day of trial! There are some of the stamp among you. I will be sorry if my friend A.T. has left you: I will not believe that he dares to stay away from Christ's side. I want you to show him this from me; for I loved him once in Christ, neither can I suddenly change my mind about him. But the truth is, many of you, and too many also of your neighbouring Church of Scotland, have been like a tent sitting rent free, and does not know his holding when his right's are questioned. And now I am persuaded, it will be asked of everyone of us, on what terms we possess Christ; for we have sat long rent free.We found Christ without a wet foot; and He and His Gospel came to our doors on small charges: and now we must wet our feet to seek Him. Our evil manners, and the bad passions of a people at ease  from our youth, and like Moab not poured from container to container (Jer 48:11) have made us (like the standing waters), to gather a foul scum, and, when we are stirred, our dregs come up, and are seen. Many take only half a grip on Christ, and the wind blows them and Christ apart. Indeed, when the mast is broken and blown into the sea, it then requires skill to swim on Christ to dry land. It is even possible that in a hard trial, the children of God, lay themselves down as in the sheltered side of a bush, while Christ their maser is taken, as Peter did; and lurk there until he storm is passed. All of us know the way to a whole skin; and the single heart here has a side purse that will contain the denial of Christ, when He has a controversy with the shields of the earth! I wish all of you would consider that this trial is from Christ; it has come on you unprovoked. (Indeed, when we buy a temptation with our own money, it is no surprise the we are not easily freed from it, and that God is not at our elbow to take it off our hands.) This is Christ's ordinary house fire, that he uses to try all the containers of His house. And Christ is now about to bring His treasure out before the sun and moon, and to count His money, and in the counting to see what weigh of gold, and what weight of adulterated copper is in His house. Do not now compromise, or bow, or yield to your enemies a hair's breadth. Christ and His truth will not divide; and His truth does not have latitude nor breadth, that you may take some of it and leave some of it. No. the Gospel is like a small hair, that has no breadth and will not split in two. It is not possible to twist and mix a matter between Christ and Antichrist; and, therefore, you must either be for Christ, or you must be against Him. It was only man's wit, and the wit of bishops, and they godfather the Pope (that man without law) to put Christ and His royal prerogatives, and His truth, or the smallest nail breadth of His latter will, in the new calendar of indifferences, and to make a blank of pristine paper in Christ's testament for men to fill up; and to shuffle truth and matters they call indifferent, through each other, and spin both together, so Antichrist's goods may sell the better. This is only the device and forged dream of men whose consciences are stout, and who have a throat that a graven image, greater in size than the church door, would freely pass into. I am sure that when Christ will bring us all out in our blacks and whites, at the day when he will cry down time and the world, and when the glory of it will lie in white ashes, like a May flower cut down which has lost the blossom, there will be few, yes, none, who dare make any point, which touches the worship and honour of out King and Lawgiver, to be indifferent. Oh that this misled and blindfolded world would see that Christ does not rise and fall, stand or lie according to men's thoughts! Is Christ any he lighter for what men do with Him, by open proclamation, as men do with clipped and light money? They are now crying down Christ some grain weights, and some pounds or shillings; and they will have him stand for a penny or a pound, for one or for a hundred according as to whether the wind bows from east or west. But the Lord has weighed Him and balanced Him already, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!' His worth and weight still stand. It is our part to cry, 'Up,up with Christ, and down, down with all created glory before Him. Oh that I could heighten Him, and heighten His name, and heighten His throne! I know and am persuaded that Christ will again be high and great in this poor, withered and sunburn Church of Scotland; and that the sparks of our fire will fly over the sea, and round about, to warm you and other sister churches; and this tabernacle of David's house, that has fallen, even the Son of David's waste places, will be built again. And I know the prison, crosses and persecution, and trials of the two killed witnesses, that are now dead and buried (Rev 6:9), and of the faithful professors have a back door, and back way of escape; and that death and hell, and the world and the tortures, will all tear and be split in two, and give us free passage and liberty to go through toll free: and we will bring all God's good metal out of the furnace again, and leave behind us only our dross and scum. We may hen beforehand proclaim Christ to be victorious. He is crowned King of Mount Zion: God did put the crown on His head (Ps 2:6, 21:3)and who dares take it off again? No doubt, He has sore and grievous quarrels against His church: and therefore, He is called, 'the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,and whose furnace is in Jerusalem' (Is 31:9). But when He has performed His work on  Mount Zion, all Zion's haters will be like the hungry and thirsty man, who dreams he is eating and drinking. and see, when he wakes, he is faint and his soul empty. And we also have this advantage, that He will not bring before sun and moon all the failings of His wife. It is the modesty of marriage anger or husband wrath, that our Lord Jesus will not come to the streets with complaints, to let all the world hear what is between Him and us. His sweet frowns stay under the roof , and that because He is God.
   Think about two special things:
   1. Try and make sure your profession; that you do not carry empty lamps. Alas, security, security, is the poison and ruin of the most part of the world. Oh, how many professors go with a golden glow, and are like gold before men (who are only witnesses of our white skin), and yet only bastards and base metal! Consider how fair before the wind some go with sails up and white, even called 'illuminated', and 'tasing of the heavenly gift;' and 'a share and part of the Holy Spirit;' and ' he tasting of the good word of God, and the powers of he world to come; Heb 6:4,5). And yet this is only a false sign of renovation, , and, in a short time, such are quickly broken on the rocks, and never reach the harbour, but are stranded in the bottom of hell. Oh, make your heaven sure, and test how you come to be converted; that it is not stolen goods, in a white and polished profession! A white skin over old wounds makes an under coating conscience. But under water, unseen, is dangerous, and that is a leak and split in the bottom of an enlightened conscience; often falling and sinning against light. We, wo is me, the the holy profession of Christ is made stage clothes by many, to bring home a vain fame, and Christ is made to serve man's ends! This is as were to stop an oven with a king's robes.
   Know,2. Unless men martyr and kill the body of sin in sacrificial self denial, they will never be Christ's martyrs and faithful witnesses. Oh,if I could be Master of that house idol myself, my own mind, will, wit, credit and ease, how blessed would I be! Oh, but we have need to be redeemed from ourselves, rather than from the devil and the world! Learn to put out yourselves, and put in Christ for yourselves. I would make a sweet bartering and exchange, and give old for new, if I could shuffle out self, and substitute Christ my Lord, in place of myself; to say 'Not I, but Christ; not my will but Christ's; not my ease, not my lust, not my useless credit, but Christ,  Christ.' But alas, in leaving ourselves, in setting Christ before our idol self, we yet have a light look back to our old idol . O wretched idol, myself! When will I see you wholly removed, and Christ wholly put up in your place? Oh, if Christ, Christ had the full place and room in myself, that all my aims, purposes, thoughts and desires would coast and land on Christ, and not on myself: but alas, I think I will die attempting and aiming to be a Christian.  Is it not our comfort, that Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant, has come between us and God in the business, so green and young heirs, like sinners, now have a teacher who is God! And now, God be thanked, our salvation is based on Christ. I am sure the bottom will never fall out of heaven and happiness to us. Would give up the bargain a thousand times, if it were not the Christ's free grace has taken our salvation in hand.
   Pray, pray and fight with the Lord for your sister church; for it would appear the Lord is about to search out His scattered sheep. , in the dark and cloudy day. Oh that it would please our Lord to set up again David's old wasted and fallen tent in Scotland, so we might see the glory of the second temple in his land! Oh that my little heaven was mortgaged, to redeem the honour of my Lord Jesus among Jews and Gentiles! Do not let dew ever lie on my branches, and let my poor flower wither at he root, so Chris is enthroned, and His glory advanced in all he world, and especially in these three kingdoms.But I know He has no need of me; what can I add to Him? But oh that He would cause His high and pure glory to run through such a foul channel as I am! And though he has made the flower fall from my one poor joy, that was on this side of heaven, even my freedom to preach Christ to His people, yet I am dead to the now, so he would cut and carve glory, glory for evermore to my royal King out of my silence and sufferings. Oh that I had my fill of His love! But I know bad manners make a strange bridegroom.  
   I sincerely beg you for the help your prayers, for I do not forget you; and I greet with my soul in Christ, the faithful pastors and honourable and worthy professors in that land.Now the God of peace, who brought again our Lord Jesus from the dead, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight. Grace, grace be with you.
   Yours, in his sweetest Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Diary w/e Aug 31

Sun 25

At 33c the hottest ever for this time of year. Levy on Ps 133 the Laures our new church worker on Mic 3-4. Amazing Ashes win at Headingley.

Mon 26

After a night when I had a pain on my hear I dialled 111 and an ambulance was sent. Five hours in Ealing Hospital and heir diagnosis was a probable post surgical pulmonary embolism. I was discharged on a very hot 33C day. Holiday Bible Club started with good numbers, my ladies helping.

Tu 27

Over 60 at our Holiday Bible Club

Wed 28

21 at IPC prayer meeting.

Sat 31

Final session of HBC. Went well with about 70 children. Good picnic.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Rutherford Revised (283)

283,  To Reverend and Respected Friend, Thomas Macculloch of Nether Ardwell     From Aberdeen  5 Jan 1638

Reverend and much respected,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. - I long other how your soul prospers,  and I expected you would have written to me. My strong desire for you, is that you seek the Lord and His face. I know you are not ignorant that your daylight is fast going away, and your sun declining. I beg you by the mercies of God, and by he wounds of your redeeming Lord, and your dreadful appearance before the awful Judge of living and dead, make your account clear and plain with your Judge and Lord, while you have fair daylight, for your night is coming on. Therefore, I pray you, judge more of the worth of your soul. and know that you are in Christ, and secure in your own soul, you are blessed forever. Few, few, yes very few are saved. Grace is not put down at every man's door; so speed yourself and others on seeing Christ and salvation; and learn to overcome, in the bitterness of your soul, your sins in time. It is no easy to take heaven, as the word says, 'by violence.' Keep your tongue from cursing and swearing; keep from wrath and malice; forgive all men for Christ's sake, as you would have your Lord forgive your. I pray you, seeing your time is short, be quick in your journey to heaven, that you may secure a lodging for your soul against night.

   Remember my love to your wife, to William your son, and the rest of your children.
      Gave be with you.
         Yours, at all hours, in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (282)

282. To the Lady Robertland  From Aberdeen 4 Jan 1638

(A pious Fleming living in Stewarton)

Mistress, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. - I will be glad to hear your soul prospers, and fruit grows on you, after the Lord's cultivation and pains from His rod which has not been a stranger to you from your youth. It is the Lord's kindness that He takes the scum from us in the fire. Who knows how much we need winnowing, and how much dross to lose before we enter the kingdom of God? The entry to heaven is so narrow, that our knots, our bunches and lumps of pride, and self love, and idol love, and world love, must be hammered off us, so we may throng in, stooping low, and creeping through that narrow and thorny entrance.

   And now for myself, I find it the most sweet and heavenly life, to take up house and live at Christ's fireside, and set down my tent on Christ, that Foundation stone, who is sure and faithful ground and firm under foot. Oh, if I could win to it, and proclaim myself not the world's debtor, nor a lover indebted to it, and I did not want to pay for or start this world's love any longer, but deny the kindness and hared of God's creation totally, especially the lower part and clay vaunt of God's creatures, this vain earth! For what do I hold of His world? A borrowed lodging and some years' house room, and bread and water, and fire, and bed and candle, are all a part of the pension of my King and Lord; to whom I owe thanks and not to a creature. I thank God that God is God, and Christ is Christ, and the earth the earth, and the devil the devil, and the world the world, and the sin is sin, and that everything is what it is; because He has taught me in my wilderness not to shuffle my Lord Jesus, nor to mix Him with creature vanities, nor to twist or spin Christ in one web, or in one thread, with the world or things in it. Oh, if I could see Christ all alone, and mix Him with nothing! Oh, if I could cry down the price and weight of my cursed self, and cry up the price of Christ, and double, and triple, and augment, and heighten to millions the price and worth of Christ. I am (if I dare say so, and might lawfully complain) so hungrily taught by Christ Jesus my liberal Lord, that His nice love, which my soul would he in hand with, flies from me; and yet I am trained on to love Him, and lust, and long, and die for His love whom I cannot see. It is amazing to pine away for a hidden and covered lover, and to be hungry for His love, so a poor soul cannot get his fill of hunger for Christ. It is hard not even to get enough of hunger for Christ, when there are plenty for other things in the world. But sure, if we were teachers, and servants, and masers, and lord carvers of Christ's love. we would be more lean and worse fed than we are. Our food does us more good, for Christ keeps the keys, and the wind and the air of Christ's sweet breathing, and of the influence of His Spirit, is locked up in the hands of the good pleasure of Him who 'blows where he wills.'
   I see there is a sort of impatient impatience required in the lack of Christ as to His showing Himself, and waiting. They thrive who wait for His love, and its blowing, and the turning of His gracious wind; and they thrive who, in the waiting, are quick and make a noise for their hidden and lost Lord Jesus. Whatever happens, God feed me with Him in any way. If He would come in, I would not argue, where He gets a hole, of how He opened the lock. I would be content if Christ and I meet, suppose He would stand on the other side of hell's lake and cry to me, 'Either put in your foot and come through or you will not have me at all.' But what fools we are in taking up Him and His dealing! He has an entrance of His own beyond he thought of men, that no foot has skill o follow Him. But we are poor scholars, and would enter heaven's gates not knowing half our lesson; and will still be children, as long as we are in time's hands, and unil eternity makes a sun rise in our souls to give us understanding.We may see how we spoil our own fair heaven and our salvation, and how every day Christ is putting in one bone or other, in these fallen souls of ours, in the right place again; and on this side of the New Jerusalem, we still have need of forgiving and healing grace. I find crosses Christ's carved work He marks out for us, and with crosses He shapes and likeness us to His own image, cutting away pieces of our evil and corruption. Lord cut, Lord carve, Lord wound, Lord do anything that may perfect your Father's image in us, and make us fit for glory.
   Pray for me (I do not forget you) that our Lord would be pleased to lend me house room to preach His righteousness, and tell what I have heard and seen of Him. Do not forget Zion which is now in Christ's mould, and in His forge. Got bring her out as new work. Grace, grace be with you.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Mama Tabitha

I met his lady in 1970 when she supervised the midwives' hostel at Vom Christian Hospital. She had come to Vom in 1936. In 1911 she had been freed by soldiers from slave raiders. Her first memory was of a village in he Mandara Hills and her mother telling her to run. She and her elder brother were taken by slave raiders and she never saw her mother again. She was forced to march with the slavers but after some days they were liberated by soldiers who took the freed slaves to Zungeru where they were housed in railway sheds. A school was started. Tabitha contracted smallpox but survived. From Zungeru she was moved to  the SUM Freed Slaves Home at Rumasha. From there she came to Vom where she served for over 35 years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rutherford Revised (281)

281. To my Lord Loudon    From Aberdeen 4 Jan 1638

(Se letters 116,258)

Right honourable and very worthy Lord, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- Hearing of your Lordship's zeal and courage for Christ our Lord, in His honourable cause, I am bold (and plead pardon for it) to write a line to two to your Lordship, since I have no other way of access, begging your Lordship by the mercies of God, and by the everlasting peace of your soul, and by the tears and prayers of our mother church, to go on as you have worthily begun, in purging of the Lord's house in this land, and plucking down the stick's of Antichrist's fifty nest, this wretched Prelacy, and the black kingdom whose aims have ever been, and still are, to make this fair world the only compass they would have Christ and religion sail by, and mount up the Man of Sin, their godfather the Pope of Rome, on the highest stair of Christ's throne, and to a velvet church(in regard of Parliament grandeur and worldly pomp, of which their stinking breath always smells), and put Christ and truth in sackcloth and prison, and to eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of suffering. Half an eye of anyone, no clouded with the darkness of anti christian smoke, may see it so in this land. And now our Lord has begun to awaken the nobles and others to plead for suppressed Christ and His weeping Gospel.
   My dear and noble Lord,the eye of Christ is on you; the eyes of many noble, many holy, many educated and worthy ones, in our neighbouring churches around, are on you. This poor church, your mother and Christ's spouse, is holding up her hands and heart to God for you, and begs you with ears to plead for her Husband, His kingly sceptre, and for the liberties her Lord King has given her, as a free kingdom that owes spiritual tribute to no-one on earth, as being the freeborn princess and daughter to the King of kings. This is a cause then before God, His angels, the world, before sun and moon need not blush. Oh, what true honour and glory it is to lend Christ you had and your service, and to be among the repairers of he holes in Zion's walls, and to help build the old waste places, and stretch out the curtains, and strengthen the poles of Christ's tent in this land! Oh, blessed are they, who when Christ is driven away, will bring Him back again and lend Him a house! And you are blessed by the Lord! Your name and honour will never rot or wither (in heaven at least), if you deliver the Lord's sheep that have been scattered in the dark and cloudy day, out of the hands of strange lords and hirelings, who with rigour and cruelty have made then eat the pastures trodden on with their foul feet, and to drink muddy water; and who have spun out such a world of yards of indifferences in God's worship, to make and weave a web for the Antichrist (which will not keep any from the cold) as they mind nothing else, except that by bringing in the Pope's foul tail first on us (their wretched and beggarly ceremonies), they may push in after them the Antichrist's legs and thighs, and his belly, head and shoulders; and then cry down Christ and the Gospel, and up the goods and merchandise of he great whore. Do no fear my worthy Lord, to give yourself and all you have, out for Christ and His gospel. No man dare say (who did ever so risk for Christ) that Christ did not pay him his hundredfold due in this life, and in the life to come, life everlasting. This is His own truth for which you now plead; for God and man can only commend you to beg justice from a just prince for oppressed Christ, and to plead the Christ, who is the King's Lord, may be heard in a free court to speak for Himself, when the standing and established laws of our nation can strongly plead for Christ's crown in the pulpits, and his chair as Lawgiver in the free government of His own house. Bu Christ will never be content and pleased with this land, neither will His hot, fiery indignation be turned away, as long as the bishop (the man who laying Antichrist's foul womb, and the Antichrist's lord bailiff) will, sit lord carver in the courts of the Lord Jesus. The bishop is both egg and the nest to cluck and bring out Popery. Plead therefore on Christ's behalf for the plucking down of the nest, and the crushing of he egg; and let Christ's kingly office suffer no more unworthy indignities. Be valiant for you royal King Jesus; fight for Him: your enemies will be moth eaten worms, and die as men. Christ and His honour now lie on your shoulders, do not let Him fall to the ground. Put your eye on Him who is quickly coming, to decide all the controversies in Zion. And remember the sand in your hourglass will run out; time will fly away with wings. Eternity is close to you, and what will Christ's love smiles, and the light of His soul delighting face, be to you in that day, when God will take up in His high hand this little house of heaven,  (like a shepherd lets up his little tent). and fold together the two sides of His tent, and put the earth and all its contents into afire, and turn his clay idol, the god of Adam's sons, and smoke and white ashes! Oh, what pay and how many worlds would many of them give to have a favourable decision from the Judge! Oh, what money would they not give, to buy a mountain to be a grave above both soul and body, to take them from the awesome looks of an angry Lord and Judge! I hope your Lordship thinks on this, and you give loyalty to Christ, and to the King both.
   Now the very God of peace, the only wise God, establish and strengthen you on the rock laid in Zion.
   Your Lordship's, at all obedience in Christ, S R.

Rutherford Revised (280)

280. To John Gordon, at Rusco   From Aberdeen 

(See letter 207)

Dear brother, - I really want to know how it is with your soul, and to understand you have made sure work of heaven and salvation.
   1. Remember salvation is one of Christ's dainties He gives to only a few.
   2. It is violent sweating and driving that takes heaven.
   3. It cost Christ's blood to buy the house for sinners, and to set mankind down as the King's free tenants and freeholders.
   4. Many make a start towards heaven who fall on their backs, and do not win up to the top of the mount. It plucks heart and legs from them, and they go down and give it over, because the devil sets a sweet smelling flower to their nose (that fair decorated world) by which they are bewitched, and so forget or refuse to go forward.
   5, Remember, many go far on and reform many things, and can find tears as Esau did,; and suffer hunger for truth, as Judas did; and wish and desire the end of righteousness, as Balaam did; and profess well and fight for the Lord, as Saul did; and want the saints of God to pray for them, as Pharaoh and Simon Magus did; and prophesy and speak for Christ as Caiaphas did; and walk softly and mourn for fear of judgements as Ahab did; and put away gross sins and idolatry as Jehu did; and heard the word of Gd gladly and reform their life as in many things according to he word as Herod did; and say to Christ, 'Master I will follow you wherever you,' as the man who offered to be Christ's servant (Mat 7:19); and may taste of the virtues of the life to come and be a partaker of the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit, and taste of the good word of God, as the apostates who sin against the Holy Spirit (Heb 6). And yet ll these are only like gold in chink and colour, and adulterated brass and base metal. These are widen so we should try ourselves, and not rest until we are a step nearer Christ than sunburned and withering professors can come.
   6. Consider it is impossible for you and your idol to go together to heaven, and those who will indeed not part with these, can indeed love Christ at the bottom, but only in speech and appearance, which will not do the business.
   7. Remember how quickly God's time flies away; and your morning is already spent, your afternoon will come, , and then your evening, and at last night, when you cannot see to work. Let you heart be set on finishing your journey, and summing up and seeing your accounts before your Lord. Oh how blessed you will be to have a joyful welcome from your Lord at night! How blessed are they who in time, make a sure way with their souls! Bless His great name for what you possess in goods and children, leisure and worldly contentment, which He has given you; and seek to be like Christ in humility and lowly mind. And be not great and devoted to the world. Do not make it your God, nor your lover which you trust in, for it will deceive you.
   I recommend to you Christ and His love,  in all things; let Him have the flower of your heart and our love. Set a low price on all things except Christ, and cry down in your thoughts clay and dirt, which will not comfort you when summoned to go, and to appear before your judge and answer for all the deeds done in the body. The Lord give you wisdom in all things. I beg you to sanctify God in all your speaking, for holy and reverend is His name; and be temperate and sober. Bad companions lead to sin which holds many out of heaven.
   I will not believe you will receive the ministry of a stranger, who will preach a new and strange doctrine to you. Let my salvation stand for it, if I did not deliver to you the plain and whole counsel of God in His word. Read the letter to your wife and remember my love to her, and ask her to be careful to do what I write to you. I pray for you and yours. Remember me in your prayers to our Lord, that He would be pleased to send me among you again. Grace be with you.
   Your lawful and loving pastor, S.R.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Rutherford Revised (279)

279. To Marion M'Naught   From Aberdeen Nov 22 1637

My dear and well-beloved sister,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- I am well; honour to God. I have been before a court set up within me with errors and challenges; but my sweet Lord Jesus has taken the mask off His face, and said, 'Kiss your fill!' and I will not smother nor conceal the kindness of my King Jesus. He has broken in on the poor prisoner's soul like the swelling of the Jordan. I am brim full to the banks; a great spring tide of he consolations of Christ have overflowed me. I would not exchange my weeping for the fourteen bishops' laughter. They have sent me here to feast with my King. His perfume gives a sweet smell. The Bridegroom's love has run away wih my heart. O love, love, love! Oh, my royal King's chains are sweet! I do not care about fire or torture. It would be sweet to me to swim the salt see for my new Lover, my second Husband, my first Lord! I charge you in the name of God, do not fear he wild beast that entered the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts. The false prophet is the tail. God will cut the tail from Scotland. Take your comfort and do not droop nor despond.
   Pray for my poor flock: I would do penance for their salvation. I fear a hireling entering into my work will with sorrow cut off my life. I wrestled with the Angel there and won. Wood, trees, meadows are my witnesses that I promoted a fair meeting between Chist and Anwoth.
   My love to your husband and to dear Carleton, to my beloved brother Knockbrex. Do not forget Chist's prisoner. I long for a letter written by you.
   Your friend and Christ's prisoner,  S.R.

Diary w/e Aug 24

Sun 18

Only morning service. Littles to lunch.

Tu 20

I have progressed well enough to be discharged by the physio. .I have also cut the lawn.

Wed 21

Started regular walk daily and back to prayer meetings. 19 present.

Th 22

Enjoyed having Rachel and the grandchildren for most of the day.

Sat 23

A great Lebanese dinner with the Littles, 11 of us.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (278)

278. To the Earl of Cassillis    From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 128,168)

Right honourable and very good Lord, - Grace, mercy and peace be to your Lordship. - I hope that your Lordship will pardon my boldness, if hearing report of your zealous and forward mind, which I hear our Lord had given you in his His honourable cause, when Christ and his Gospel are so foully wronged, I speak to your Lordship on paper asking your Lordship to go on in the strength of the Lord, towards and against a antichristian wind, that blows on the face our your poor mother church, Christ's lily among the thorns. It is your Lordship's glory and happiness, when you see such a blow coming on Christ, to hold up your arm to prevent it. Neither is it a cause that needs to blush before the sun, or to run from the sentence or censure of impartial lookers on, seeing the question, indeed (if it was rightly put)  is about the royal prerogative of  our princely and royal Lawgiver, our Lord Jesus, whose ancient limits and boundaries, our bastard lords and earthly generation of tyrannising bishops have boldly and shamefully removed. And they who have only half an eye may see, that it is the greedy desired of time idling Demases, and the itching scab of ambitious and climbing Diotroheses (who love the goat's life, to climb until they cannot find a way to set their soles on ground again), that has made such a wide split in our Zion's beautiful walls. And these are the men who seek no wages for crucifying Christ, except for His coat. 
   phew to how sad and desolate is the bride of Christ made to appear to  passers by! Who does not see Christ buried in this land, His prophets are hidden in caves, silenced, banished and imprisoned? Truth weeping in sackcloth before the judges, Parliament and he rulers of he Land? But her charge is made by them, and holiness holds itself, fearing in the streets the reproaches and persecution of men. Justice has swooned in the gate and the long shadows of the evening are stretched out on us. Wo, wo to us for our day flies away. What remains except that Antichrist sets down his tent among us, unless your Lordship and others with you read Christ's request, and give Him that which he most lewd and scandalous wretches in the land may have before a judge, even the poor man's due, law and justice for God's sake? Oh therefore , my nobel and dear Lord, as you have begun, go on, in the mighty power and strength of he Lord, in His Gospel, and afflicted members to laugh, and to cause the Christian churches (whose eyes are all now on you) to sing for joy when Scotland's moon will shine like the light of the sun, and the sun like the light of seven days in one. You can do no less than run and hold up the head of your swooning and dying mother church and plead for the production of her ancient charters. They hold out and put out, they hold in and bring in, at their pleasure, men in God's house. They stole the keys from Christ and His church, and came in like the thief and the ribber, not by the door, Christ; and now their song is, 'Authority, authority! Obedience to church governors!' When such a bastard and lawless stepmothers as our Bishops have gone mad, it is your place, who are the nobles, to rise and bind them. At least law should chain such wild bulls as they are, who push all those opposing their domination. Alas, what have we lost, since bishops were made master coiners, to change our gold into brass, and to mix the Lords wine with water. Blessed forever will you be by he Lord, if you help Christ against the mighty, and will deliver he flock of God,  scattered on the mountains, in their dark and cloudy day, out of he hands of their idol shepherds. Do not fear men who be men of clay, that will be rolled up in a chest, and thrown under the earth: let the Holy One of Israel be your fear,  and be courageous for the Lord and His truth. Remember, your acconts are coming on you with wings, as fast as time speeds. Remember, what 'peace with God' in Christ, and the presence of the Son of God (the revealed and felt sweetness of His love), will be to you, when eternity will put time out of the door, and you will say goodnight to time, and this little shepherd's tent of clay, this inn of a borrowed earth. I hope your Lordship is sending out thoughts to view this world's nothingness, and vanity, and the hoped for glory of the life to come; and you resolve that Christ will have yourself, and all yours, for His command, His honour  and Gospel.
   So trusting your Lordship will pardon my boldness, I pray that the only wise God, the very God of peace, may preserve, strengthen and establish you to the end.
   At Lordship's at all command and obedience in Christ,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (277)

277. To my Lady Boyd  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 77,107,210, 232, 245)

Madam, - I would have written to your Ladyship before now, but people believing there is in me something I know there is not, has put me out of sorts with writing. For it is easy to take religion to market; but alas, it is not easy to make it attractive for Christ.
   My Lord sees me tired man, far behind. I have received much love from Christ, but I give Him little of none again.My white side comes out to men on paper; but at home and within I find much black work, and great reason for a low sail, and little boasting. And yet, though I see challenges to be true, the way the tempter presses them is dishonest, and in my thoughts, unscrupulous. My peace is, that Christ may find market and sale for His goods, in the like of me; I mean for saving grace,    I wish all professors to fall in love with grace. All our songs should be of His free grace,. We are too lazy and careless seeking it; it is all the riches we have here, and glory in the bud. I wish I could set out free grace. I was the law's man, and under the law, and under a curse; but grace brought me from under that hard lord, and I rejoice I am grace's freeholder. I pay tribute to no-one for heaven, seeing my land and inheritance are held by Christ, my new King. Infinite wisdom had devised this way of freeholding, for sinners. It is a better way to heaven than the old way in Adam's days. It has this fair advantage, that no man's emptiness and want lays an inhibition on Christ, or hinders His salvation; and that is far best for me. But our new Landlord puts the names of debtors, and Adam's poor heirs, and beggars and the crooked and blind in free documents. Heaven and earth may wonder that we have got such a way from sin and hell. Such a back door out of hell as Christ made, and by it brought out the captives, is more than my poor shallow thought can understand. I would think sufferings glory (and I am sometimes not far from it) if my Lord would give me a new gift of free grace.
   I hear the bishops intend banishment for me; but for more grace, and no other wages, I would welcome it. The bits of this clay house, the earth, and the other side of the sea are my Father's. If my sweet Lord Jesus would bud my sufferings, with a new measure of grace, I would be a rich man. But now, I have not for a long time, found such high spring tides as before. The sea is out, the wind of His Spirit calm; and I cannot buy a wind, or, by asking the sea, make it flow again; only I wait on the banks and shore until the Lord send a full sea, so that with sails up I may lift up Christ. Yet sorrow for His absence is sweet; and sighs with 'Did you see Him whom my soul loves?' have their own delights. Oh that I may gather hunger against His longed for return! My soul would be well if Christ was the element (my own element) and that loved and breathed in Him, and if I could not live without Him. When He is away I allow myself no laughter; yet He never leaves the house, except He leaves behind a gift and a promise that He will return. Wo, wo is me if he would go away and take all his goods with Him!  Even to dream of Him is sweet. To build a house of pining wishes for His return, to spin out a web of sorrow, and care, and languishing, and sighs, either dry or wet, as they may be (because He has no leisure , if I may say so, to make a visit, or see a poor friend), sweetness and refreshes the thoughts of the heart. A misty dew will be in place of rain, and do some good, and keep some green in the herbs, until our Lord's clouds are sorry for the earth, and send down a watering of rain. I truly think Christ's misty dew a welcome message from heaven until my Lord's rain falls.
   Wo, wo is me for the Lord's vineyard in Scotland! Though the Father of the House embrace a child and feed him, and kiss him; yet it is sorrow and sadness to the children that our poor mother has left, and our Father has given up the family. But it is a heartbreaking thing to see our father and mother get along so badly; yet if the bastards are fed, they do not care. O Lord do not put water on Scotland's smoking fire. It is a strange way the saints go to heaven. Our enemies often eat and drink us, and we go to heaven though their bellies and stomachs, and they vomit the church of God undigested at their hands. And even while we are shut up by them in prisons, we go on in our journey.
   Remember my service o my lord your son, who was kind to me in my imprisonment, and was not ashamed to acknowledge me. I would be glad if Christ got the morning service of His life, now in his young years. It would suit him well to give Christ his young and longed for love. Christ's stamp and seal would go down well in a young soul, if he would receive the thrust of Christ's stamp. I would want him to search for Christ; for nobles are now only dry friends to Christ.
   The grace of God our Father, and the good will of Him who lived in the bush, be with your Ladyship.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Madam, -

Saturday, August 24, 2019

A sad day

August 24: The Great Ejection (1662)

by Wayne Sparkman
When Two Thousand Obeyed God, Rather Than Manby Rev. David T. Myers
Suppose . . . just suppose now . . . that you as a minister had a requirement set upon you—a certain time period in which to decide whether to renounce the ordination vows made at ordination, subscribe to a different set of doctrinal standards, promise to arrange the worship according to a different standard of worship, agree to be re-ordained by another ecclesiastical body, and do all this by a certain day, or else be deposed by the spiritual authorities which had been approved by the government. Talk about change! And yet this was the way it was on this day in Presbyterian history, August 24, 1662 in the British Isles.
It was officially called The Act of Uniformity, and it was enacted in England in 1662. Its longer title was “An Act for the Uniformity of Public Prayers and Administration of Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies and for the Establishing the Form of making, ordaining, and consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons in the Church of England.”
It was broken up into five actions:
(1) to give a complete and unqualified assent to the newly published Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England.  (Keep in mind that, at this point, most preachers and people had not even seen this newly published book.)
(2) to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine articles of the Church of England;
(3) to renounce the Solemn League and Covenant;
(4) To renounce any attempt to alter the government of the church or state;
(5) to receive ordination at the hands of a bishop in the Church of England.
Combined with other acts of this Church, it excluded anyone who was not in compliance with the above from holding civil or military office. Students at Cambridge or Oxford would not receive any degrees from these schools, if they refused this act.
And all this was to take place before August 24, which date was the celebration of St. Bartholomew Day. Students of church history remember, as they did then, that this was the day of the massacre in France when Huguenots were slaughtered by the Roman Catholics. So, this was a day remembered as “Black” St. Bartholomew”s Day.
It is estimated that some 2000 ministers were ejected from their pulpits and parishes, including their manses, with Anglican priests put in their place. The majority were Presbyterian (1,816), along with Independents (194), and Baptists (19). A similar procedure was enacted in Scotland, with 400 ministers ejected from their pulpits and parishes.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised (276)

Dear brother, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you- I do not know your situation, whether of not you are our Lord's prisoner in Wigtown. Whatever has happened, I know our Lord Jesus has been enquiring for you,; and He has honoured you to bear His chains, which is the golden end of the cross; and so has chosen a choice and honourable cross for you. I wish you much joy and comfort from it; for I have nothing to say of Christ's cross but much good. I hope that my bad words will never meet Chis or His sweet and easy cross.I know He seeks we argue with this house of clay, this mother prison, this earth, that we love full well.And truly when Christ snuffs out my candle, and makes my light shine upwards, it is one of my greatest wonders, that dirt and clay has so much entry to a soul not made out of clay; and that our soul goes so far out of character as to make an idol of this earth, such a deformed prostitute, as to rob Christ of our love. How fast, how fast does our ship sail! And how fair a wind has time to blow us off these coasts and this land of dying and perishing things! Alas, our ship sails one way, and flees many miles in one hour, to speed us to eternity, and our love and hearts are staying close to backwards, and swimming to leisure, lawless pleasure, vain honour, perishing riches; and to build a fool's nest I know not where, and to lay our eggs on the shore, and fasten our bits of broken anchors on he worst ground in the work, this fleeting and perishing life.! And in the meantime, time and tide carry us to another life, and daily there is less and less oil in our lamps, and less and less sand in our hour glasses. It would be a wise course for us to look away from the beauty of our borrowed prison, and to mind and eye and lust for our country! Lord, Lord, take us home!
   And for myself, Think, if a poor, weak dying sheep looks for an old dyke, and the sheltered side of he hill, in a storm, Have reason to long for a shelter from this storm, in heaven. I know no-one will take my room in front of me there. But certainly sleepy bodies want be at res, a well made bed, and an old damaged ship at a shore, and a wearied traveller at home, and a breathless horse at the race's end. I see nothing in this life but sin and the sour fruits of sin: and oh. what a burden sin is! And what slavery and miserable I bondage it is, to be at the summons of yesses and noes, of such a hard lord master as a body of sin. Truly when I think of it, it is amazing that Chris does not make fire and ashes from such a dry branch as I am. I would often lie down under Christ's feet, and tell Him to trample on me. when I consider my guiltiness. Bur seeing He has sworn that sin will not loose His unchangeable covenant, I am allowed room in the house with the rest of the untaught children, and must bother the Lord of he house with the rest, until the Lord takes the chains off my legs and arms, and destroys this body of sin, and makes a hole or split in the cage of earth, that the bird may fly out, and the imprisoned soul be free. In the meantime , the least receiving of Christ's love is sweet, and the hope of marriage with the Bridegroom holds me in some joyful waiting, that when Christ's summer birds will sing on the branches of the Tree of Life, I will be tuned by God Himself to help them sing of the homecoming of our Well-beloved and His bride to their house together. Then think of this, I think winters and summers, years and days, and time do me a pleasure that they shorten this untwisted and weak thread of my life, and they put it and miseries aside, and that they will marry me to my Bridegroom in an instant.
   Dear brother, pray for me, that it would please the Lord of the vineyard, to give me room to preach His righteousness again to he great congregation.
   Grace, grace be with you. Remember me to your wife.
        Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rutherford Revised (275)

275. To Mr John Fergushill      From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 112,188)

Reverend and well-beloved in our Lord Jesus, -I must by my letter still provoke you to write. You need not be surprised for the cross is full of talk, and it must speak, either good or bad, n0r can grief be silent. 

   I have no accusation to bring against Christ's cross, seeing He has made a friendly agreement between me an it , and we are in terms of love together. If my former mistakes, and now my silent Sabbaths, seem to men to speak wrath from the Lord, I dare say it is only Satan borrowing the use and loan of my cowardly and feeble fears, which jump at trifles. I know faith is not so faint and foolish as to tremble at false alarms. Yet I gather this out of it: blessed are they who have God's grace to guide a cross well. and there is some skill needed in it. I pray God I may not be so badly unfriendly, that Christ my Lord would leave me to be my own teacher and doctor. Will I not think that my Lord Jesus, who very well deserves His own place, will take His own place on Him as it suits him, and He will fill is own chair? For in this is His office, to comfort us, and those who are depressed in all their trials (2 Cor 1:4). Alas, I know I am a fool to seek a hole or defect in Christ's way with my soul. If I have nothing to present to Christ at His appearance, yet I pray I may be able with joy and peace and constancy, to show the Captain of my salvation, in that day, any wound I received in His service. Though my faith hangs by a small nail and thread; and though my Lord got no service from me except  my broken wishes, yet I trust those will be accepted on Christ's account. I have nothing to comfort me, but I say but, 'Will the Lord disappoint a hungry waiter?' The smell of Christ's wine and apples (which excel our appreciation) blows on my soul, and in the meantime I get no more. I am sure, that to let a starving body see food and give him none of it, is a double pain. Our Lord's love is not so cruel as to let a poor man see Christ and heaven, and never give him more, for lack of money to buy: no, I rather think Christ is such good value, that buyers may have without money and without price. And so I know it will not stand on my lack of money; for Christ at His own expense will buy my wedding dress, and redeem the inheritance I have lost, and give His word for one the like of me, who myself am not law abiding. Poor people must either beg or borrow from the rich; and the only thing commanding sinners to Christ is extreme necessity and want. Christ's love is ready to make and provide a ransom, and money for a poor man who has lost his purse. ' he who has no moneycome, buy and eat!'  (Is 55:1), that is the poor man's market.
   Now brother I see old crosses would have done nothing to me; and therefore, Christ has taken a new fresh stick to me, that seems to talk to my soul and make me tremble. I now often have more trouble with faith, when I lose my compass and am blown upon a rock, than those who look on from the shore are aware of. Advice to a sick man is sooner given than taken. Lord send the weary man a borrowed bed from Christ! I often think I am heavy after supper. Oh, but I would sleep soundly with Christ's left hand under my head, and his right hand hugging me. The devil could not spoil that bed. When I condor how tenderly Christ has cared or me in this prison, I think he has handled me like the child who is pitied and moaned over. I want no more until I am in heaven, but such a feast and fill of Christ's love as I would have; this love would be fair and adorning decorations which would beautify and set forth my black, unpleasant cross. I cannot tell my brother what I great load I would bear if I had a hearty fill of the love of that lovely One, Christ Jesus. Oh if you would seek and pray for that to me1 I would give Christ all his love styles and titles of honour, if he would only give me this; no, I would sell myself, for that love if I could.
   I have been waiting to see what friends in high place and in power will do for us. But when the Lord loosens the pegs of His own tent, He will have Himself acknowledged as its only builder,; and therefore, I would take back again my hope that I lent and pledged in men's hands, and give it all to Christ. It is now no time for me to set up idols of my own. It would be a pity to give any an ounce weight of hope outside of Christ. I think Him well worthy of all my hope, though it was as weighty as heaven and earth. I would be happy if I had anything Christ would seek or accept; but now alas, I do not see what service I can do for Him, except to talk a little, and babble on a piece of paper about the love of Christ. I am one as if my faith was mortgaged so I cannot commend it; and then, when He hides Himself, I run to the other extreme, in making each wing and toe of my situation as big as a mountain of iron; and then wrong belief can spin out a hell of heavy and desponding thoughts, and charge me to believe His daylight at midnight. But I argue with Christ, though it ill becomes me to do so. I would be happy in this house of wine and when I find a feast day, if I could '  attend and listen for the time to come?'(Is 42:23). But I see we must be off our feet wading in deep water; and then Christ's love finds seasonable employment in such a difficulty like that, and besides after broken brows, children learn to walk more carefully.  If I come o heaven any way, though like a tired traveller on my Guide's shoulder, it is good enough those who have no legs of their own for such a journey. I never thought there was need of so much wrestling to get to the top of the steep mountains I now find.
   Woe is me for this broken and backsliding church! It is like an old bowed wall, leaning to one side, and none of her sons will prop her up. I know I need not bemoan Christ; for He cares for His own honour more than I can do; bu who can blame me to be wo (if I had grace to be so) to see my Well-beloved's face spat on, and His own crown plucked off His head, and the ark of God taken and carried in the Philistine's cart, and the oxen put to carry it, which will let it fall to the ground. The Lord put His own helping hand! I want you to prepare yourself for a fight with beasts (1 Cor 15:32): you will not get permission to steal quietly to heaven, in Christ's company, without a conflict and a cross.
   Remember nay imprisonment, and praise my Helper, and fellow prisoner, Christ. Grace be with you.
   Yours, in Christ Jesus his Lord, S.r.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Rutherford Revised (274

274. To James Murray                                                                         From Aberdeen Nov 21 1637

(A writer in Edinburgh)

Dear brother, - I received your letter. I am in good health of body but far better in my soul. I find my Lord no worse than His word. 'I will be with him in trouble,' is made good to me now. He hears the sighing of the prisoner. Brother, I am comforted in my royal Prince and King. The world does not know our life; It is a mystery to them. We have the sunny side of the world, and our paradise is far above theirs; yes, our weeping is above their laughing, which is only like the crackling of thorns her a pot. And therefore we have good reason to fight it out, for the day of our honours is approaching. My Lord Jesus is kind to me, and has taken the mask off His face, and is content to forget what is past. I dare not complain of Him. And for my silence, I lay it before Christ: I hope it will be a speaking silence. He who knows what I would, knows that my soul desires no more than that King Jesus be great in the north of Scotland, in the south and in the east and west, through my sufferings for the freedom of my Lord's house and kingdom. If I could keep good relations, in the future, with Christ, I would fear nothing. But oh, oh, I complain of my fearful out breaking! I tremble remembering a new separation between Him and me; and I have reason, what sickness and sad days I have had for his absence who has now come! I find Christ cannot long be unkind: our emotions yearn within Him; He cannot long smother love; it must eventually break out. Praise, praise with me, brother, and get my friends to help me. I dare not conceal His love to my soul. I wish you all a part of my feast, so my Lord  Jesus may be honoured. I do not allow you to hide Christ's abundance  to me, when you meet with the who know Christ.
   You have not written to me. What are the cruel mercies of the bishops to me? I hear the ministers of this town intend I should be more strictly confined, or else transported because they find some people come to me. Grace be with you.
   Yours, in the sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (273)

273. To Willian Rigge of Atherie  From Aberdeen Sep 30 1637

(See letters 114,256)

Worthy and much honoured sir,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- How sad a prisoner would I be, if I did not know that my Lord Jesus had the keys to the prison Himself. and that His death and blood have brought a blessing to our crosses, as well as to ourselves! I am sure that trubles have no prevailing right over us, for they are only our Lord's sergeants to keep us in His place this side off heaven. I am also persuaded they will not go over the boundary, nor enter into heaven with us. For they find welcome there, 'where, there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain,' and, therefore, we will leave them behind us. Oh if only we could get a way of dealing with sin, even this woeful and wretched body of sin, as I get  of Chris's cross. No, indeed I think the cross bears both me and itself, rather than I, in comparison with the tyranny of the lawless flesh, and wicked neighbour, that lives besides Christ's new creature. But oh, this is what presses me down and pains me. Jesus Christ in His saints is neighbour to a bad second, corruption, deadness, coldness, pride, lust, worldiness, self love, security, falsehood and a world of similar, which I find in me, that are daily doing violence to the new man. Oh, but we have reason to carry low sails, and to hold fast to free grace, free, free grace! Blessed be our Lord that way was ever found out. If my one foot was in heaven and my soul half in, if free will and corruption were absolute lords of me, I would never wholly win in. Oh, but the sweet, new and living way, Christ has made up to our home, is a safe way! I now find presence and access a greater dainty than before; but the Bridegroom still looks through he lattice, and though the hole in the for. Oh, if he and I were on fair, dry land together, on the other side of the water!
   Grace be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (272)

272. To John Gordon    From Aberdeen 

(See letters 82,124,147,180)

Worthy and dear brother,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- I have been too long in writing to you, but many letters take much of my time.   
   I bless His great name whom I serve in the spirit, that if it came to voting, among angels and men, how excellent and how sweet Christ is, even in His reproaches and in His cross,I could only vote for all that is in Him. both cross and crown, kisses and sullen, hugs and frowns, and blows, is sweet and glorious. God send me no more happiness in heaven, or out of heaven, than Christ! For I  find this world, when I have looked on it on both sides, inside and outside, and when I have seen even the laughing and lovely side of it, to be but a fool's idol, a clay prison. Lord, let  not be the nest my hope builds in. I now have reason to judge my part of this earth as not worth a blast of smoke, or a mouthful of brown bread. I wish my hope could make a running leap, and skip over time's pleasure, sin's pleasuring and gold foil, this vain earth, and rest on my Lord. Oh how great is our night darkness in this wilderness! To be conceited at all about this world is as if a man should hold a handful of water, and holding his hand in the river, say all the water in the flood is his as it were, indeed everything was in his hand. Who would not laugh at the thoughts of such a fool. Truly they only have a handful of water, and are only like a child clasping his hands on a dream, who idolise any hope apart from God. I now lightly, and put the price of a dream, or fall, or black nothing, on all things except God, and that desirable and love worthy one, my Lord Jesus. Let all the world be nothing (for nothing was their seed and mother), and let God be all things.
   My very dear brother, know you are as near heaven as you  are far from yourself, and far from the love of a bewitching and immoral world For his world, in its gain and glory, is only the great and notable common prostitute, that all the sons of men have fancied and lusted after these 5000 years. The children they have had with this uncouth and lustful lover are only vanity, dreams, gold imaginations, and night thoughts. There is no good ground here, under the covering of heaven, for men and poor wearied souls to put their foot on. Oh, He who is called God, that One whom they term Jesus Christ, is indeed worth having, indeed, even if I had given away all I could see, my soul and myself, for sweet Jesus my Lord! Oh let the claim be cancelled that the creatures have on me, - except that claim the Lord Jesus has on me! Oh that He would claim poor me, my silly light, and worthless soul! Oh that He would press His claim to the utmost point, and not want me! For it is my pain and means sorrow to lack Him. I see nothing in this life except sinks and swamps and dreams and misleading ditches and bad ground for us to build on. 
   I am fully persuaded of Crist's victory in Scotland; but I fear that this land is not yet ripe and white (Joh 4:35) for mercy. Yet I dare go halves (on my salvation) with the losses of the Church of Scotland, that her enemies, after noon, will sing in mourning and sorrow for evermore, and the her joy will once again be cried up, and her sky will clear. But vengeance and burning will be to her enemies, and the sinners of this land. Oh if we could be awakened to prayers and humiliation! Then our sun would shine like seven seas in the heaven! Then would the temple of Christ be built on he mountain tops, and the land from coast to coast, will be filled with the glory of the Lord.
   Brother, your day job is wearing short,; your hourglass of this span length and hand width of life will quickly pass, and therefore, put matters in order between you and Christ before it comes to open court. Chris gives no quarter in open judgement. I know you see your thread wearing short, and there are not many inches to the thread's end; and therefore, lose no time.
   Remember me, His prisoner, that it would please he Lord to bring me among you again with he abundance of the Gospel. 
   Grace, grace woe with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Rutherford Revised (271)

271. To Earlston, Younger  From Aberdeen Sep 22 1637

(See letters 99,196)

Much honoured sir,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. - I am well. Christ triumphs in me, blessed be His name. I have all things. I trouble no man. I see the this earth and is fullness are my Father's. Sweet, sweet is the cross of my Lord. The blessing of God on the cross of my Lord Jesus! My enemies have contributed (not on purpose) to make me blessed. This is my palace, not my prison; especially when my Lord shines and smiles on His poor afflicted and sold Joseph, who is separated from his brethren. But He often hides Himself; and there is a day of law, and a court of challenges with me; I do not know if it is fenced in God's name. But oh, my neglects! My unseen guiltiness! I imagined a sufferer for Christ kept the keys of Christ's treasure, and might take out his heart full of comforts when he pleased; but I see a sufferer and witness will be held at the door, as well as another poor sinner, and be glad to eat with the children, and to take the side table.  
   The cross has let me see heaven is not next door, and it is castle not quickly taken. I see also, it is neither pain nor clever to play the hypocrite. We have all learn to sell ourselves for double price; and to make the people (who call ten twenty and twenty a hundred) think us half gods, or men who fell out of the clouds. But oh, sincerity, sincerity, if I knew what sincerity meant!
   Sir, lay the foundation this way, and you will not soon shrink or be shaken. Make tight work at the bottom, and your ship will ride all storms, if your anchor is fastened on good ground; I mean within the veil. And truly I think this is all to gain Christ. All other things are shadows, dreams, fancies and nothing.
   Sir, remember my love to your mother. I pray for mercy and grace to her; I wish her to go on towards heaven. As I promised to write, show her that I lack nothing in my Lord's service. Christ will not be indeed to such a poor man as I. Grace, grace, be with you.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

Rutherford Revised (270)

270. To the Lady Busbie   From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 133, 158)

Mistress, Although we do not know one another, yet because we are Father's children, I thought it good to write to you. Though my first writing and fellowship with you concerning Christ is in writing, yet I have cause, since I came here, to have no paper thoughts of Him. For in my sad days He has become the flower of my joys,; and I only lie here living on His love, but cannot get much of it as I would be glad to have; not because Christ's love is lordly, and looks too high, but because I have a narrow container to receive His love, and I look too low. But under my own hand I give you a testimonial of Christ and His cross, taat they are a sweet couple, and that Christ has never yet been set in His own due fair  honour among us all. Oh I do not know where to set Him! Oh, for a high seat for the royal, princely One! Oh that my poor withered soul once had a running over flood of that love to put sap into my dry root, and that flood would spring out to the tongue and pen, to utter great things, to the high and due commendation of such a fair One!Alas, there are too many dumb tongues in the world, and dry hears, seeing ere is employment in Christ for them all, and ten houses worlds of men and angels more, you set on high and exalt the greatest Prince of he kings of the earth! Woe is me that bits of living clay dare come out to rush hard heads with Him; and that my unkind mother, this prostitute church, has given her married partner such a meeting. For this land has given up with Christ, and the Lord is cutting Scotland into halves, and sending the worst half, the prostitute sister, over to Rome's brothel house, to get her fill of Egypt's love. I wish my sufferings (no, suppose I was burnt alive to ashes) might buy an agreement between His fairest and sweetest love, and is gadding (Jer 2:36) lewd wife. I would be glad to give Christ His welcome home to Scotland again, if He would return. This is a black day, a day of clouds and darkness; for the beam of the fair temple of the Lord Jesus has fallen, and Christ's back is towards Scotland. Oh thrice blessed are those who would hold Christ with their tears and prayers! I know you will help to deal with Him; for He will return again to this land. The next day will be Christ's, and there will be fair, green young garden for Christ in this land, and God's summer dew will lie on it all the night, and we will sing again our new marriage song to our Bridegroom, concerning His vineyard. Burt who knows whether we will live and see it!
   I hear the Lord has made an effort to affilict and prune you as a fruitful vine for Himself. Grow and be green, and put out your benches and bring forth fruit. May you be fat and green and fruitful, in the true and sappy root. Grace, grace, free grace to your part. Remember my imprisonment with prayers and praises.
   Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.