Thursday, August 01, 2019

Rutherford Revised (222)

222, To my Lady Culross  From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 62, 74, 178)

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I am much refreshed by your letter which has at last reached me. I find my Lord Jesus does not come in the precise way I lie in wait for Him; He has His own entrance. Oh how high are His ways above my ways! I only see a little of Him. It is best not to offer to teach him a lesson, but to give Him absolutely His own will, in coming, going, ebbing, flowing, and in the manner of His gracious working. I only have a load of Christ's love on my back. I would go through hell and the thick of the damned devils to have a hearty feast of Christ's love; for he has chained me with His love, and run away and left me a chained man.
   Wo is me that I was so loose, rash , vain and graceless, in my unbelieving thoughts of Christ's love! But what can a soul, under an arrangement (where my rights were pledged and lost) do except make a false libel against Christs love! I know that yourself, Madam, and many more will be witnesses against me if I do not repent of my unbelief; for I have been seeking the Pope's goods, his wages for grace within myself. I have not learned as I should do to put all I have, all my treasure in Christ's hands; but I would have something of my own; and before I knew it, I was taking employment as the Law's advocate to seek justification by works. I forgot that grace is the only decoration worn in heaven on the heads of the glorified. And now I half rejoice that I have sickness for Christ to work on. My soul is well for I must have wounds for a day's work from my Doctor, Christ. I hope to give Christ His own work, it suits Him well to cure diseases.
   My going out is very low, and the tide is far out when my Beloved goes away; and then I cry ,'Oh cruelty to put out the poor man's one eye! And this was my joy next to Christ to preach my Well-beloved. Then I make a noise around Christ's house. looking in like a stranger at His window, and throwing my love and desires over the wall, until God sends something better.  I am often content that my account stay in heaven until the day of my departure, providing I have assurance that mercy will be written on it. I would not be bothered about waiting; but when I take in a tired arm and empty hand, it is hard for me to order my thoughts. But I will not fix the way Christ is to show His love. When I have done all I can, I would be able to yield to His stream and row with Christ, not against Him. But while I live I see that Christ's kingdom in me will not be peaceable, so many thoughts in me rise up against His honour and kingly power. Surely I have not expressed all His sweet kindness to me. I do not do it lest I am thought of as seeking myself; but His breath has smelled of the powders of the trader, and of the King's ointment. I think I conceive new thoughts of heaven, because the description and map of heaven which he now lets me see is so fair and sweet. I am sure we are misers and mean people in seeking. I truly judge we do not know how much may be had in this life; there is yet something beyond all that we see, that selling would find. Oh that my love sickness would put me to work to cry and knock when all the world is found sleeping! But the truth is that since I came here, I have been wondering that after my persistence to have my fill of Christ's love, I have not received a real sign, but have come from Him crying, 'Hunger! Hunger!!' I think that Christ lets me see meat in my extreme hunger but gives me one of it. When I am near the apple, he draws back his hand, and goes away making me follow,; and again, when I am within an arm's length of the apple, He rushes off again towards the road, and I have to seek Him anew. He seems not to pity my fainting and swooning fr His love. I sometimes dare to put my hunger for Him to be judged, if I would would not buy Him with a thousand years in the hottest fire in hell, so that I might enjoy Him. But my hunger is fed by want and absence. I hunger and I have not; but my comfort is to lie and keep on waiting and so put my poor soul and my suffering into Christ's hand. Let Him make anything out of me, if he is glorified in my salvation; for I know that I am made for Him. Oh that my Lord should win His own gracious purpose in me! I will not be at ease while I stand so far back. Oh, if I were near Him, and with Him, that this poor soul might be satisfied with Himself!
   Your son in law, W.G., is now truly honoured for his Lord and Master's cause. When the Lord is fanning Zion, it is a good sign that he is a true branch of the vine, that the Lord trirms him first. He is strong in his Lord, as he wrote to me, and his wife is his encourager, which should make you rejoice.
   As for your son who is your grief, your Lord waited for you and me until we were ripe and brought us in. It is your part to pray and wait for Him. When he is due he will be spoken for. Who can command our Lord's wind to blow? I know it will be for your good in the end. That is one of the rivers you could not avoid having to cross to heaven, and now there are fewer behind you. I remember you and him and yours as I am able, but alas! I am believed to be something but am nothing but an empty straw. Wants are my best riches, because I have these supplied by Christ.
   Remember my dearest love to your brother. (He became Sir James Melville in 1638) I know he pleads with his prostitute mother about her apostasy. I know that you are kind to my worthy Lady Kenmure, a woman beloved of the Lord, who has been very concerned about my imprisonment. The Lord give he and her child to find mercy in the day of Christ! Great men are dry and cold in helping me; the tinkling of the chains for Christ frightens then: but let my Lord break all my idols, I will still bless Him. I am indebted to my Lord Lorn: I wish him mercy.
   Remember my imprisonment with praises; and pray for me, that my Lord may leaven the north by my imprisonment and sufferings.
   Grace be with you.
      Yr in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S.R.

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