Saturday, August 10, 2019

Rutherford Revised (239)

239. To Mr Matthew Mowat   From Aberdeen Sept 7 1637

(See letter 120)

Reverend and very dear brother, - I am refreshed by your let
ters. What my Lord has done I would take it all well, from His hands if I knew that I could do my Lord any service in my suffering; suppose my Lord would make a stop out of me, to fill a hole in the wall of His house, or a pinning up of Zion'a new work. For any place of trust in my Lord's house, administrator or manager or similar, surely I think myself (my very dear brother, I do not speak from pride) unworthy of it; no, I am not worthy to stand behind the door. If my head and feet and body were half in, half out of Christ's house so that I saw the fair face of the Lord in the house, it would still my longing and love sick desires. Then I hear thathe men of God are at work and speaking in the name of our Lord Jesus, I think myself only an outcast or outlaw, chased from the city to lie in the hills, and live among he rocks and fields. Oh that I might stand in Christ's ou
touse, or hold a candle in any low cellar of His house! But I know this is only the vapours that arise our of a quarrelsome and unbeliever heart to dark the wisdom of God; and your fault is mine too, that I cannot believe my Lord's bare and naked word. I must either have an apple to play with, and shake hands with Christ, and have seal, security and witness  to His word, or else I count myself loose; though I have the faith and word of a King! Oh, I am made of unbelief and cannot swim except where my feet touch the ground! Alas, Christ in my temptations is presented as stagnant waters, as a debtor and a deceiver! We can make such a Christ as temptations, casting us into a dream, do feign and devise; and temptations represent Christ unlike Himself, and we in our folly listen to the tempter. 

   If we could minister one saving word to any, how glad would my soul be! But I myself often mistake the cross of Christ which is the greatest evil. For I know, if we had wisdom, and knew well thainactivity kills us fools, we would desire a market where we could barter or auction our laziness with a profitable cross; though there is  a natural quarrel between our desires and suffering. But some give a dear price and gold for medicine which they do not love, and buy sickness, though they wish to be whole rather than sick. But surely brother, you will have my advice (though alas I cannot follow it myself), noto argue with the honest and faithful Lord of The house; for whether He comes or goes, He is gracious in His going. There are grace and mercy and lovingkindness on Christ's ball; and when He goes away. There are grace and lovinkindness on Christ's back parts; and when He goes away, the proportion of His face, the image of that fair Sun thastays in the eyes, senses, and heart after He has gone, leaves a mass if love behind in in the heart. The sound of His knock athe door of His beloved, after he has gone and passed, leaves a share both of joy and sorrow. So we have something to feed upon until He returns: and he is more loved in His departure and after he Has gone, than before, as the saying is, atthe going down of the sun, and towards the evening, is is moswanted.
   And as for Christ's cross, I never received evil from it, but what I made myself, when I wrongly prepared Christ's medicine it was no surprise that it hurt me. For since it was on Christs back it always has a sweet smell, and there 1600 years it keeps the smell of Christ. No, it is older than that too; for it is a long time since Abel first used the cross and had it laid on his shoulders; and down from him, all along to this very day, the saints have known what it is. I am glad that Christ Jesus has such a relation to this cross, and that it is called 'the cross of our Lord Jesus' (Gal 6:14), His reproach (Heb 13:13), as if Christ would claim it as His proper goods, and so it comes into the reckoning as Christ's own property. If it was simple evil as sin is, Christ, who is nothe author nor owner of sin, would not own it. 
   I winder at the enemies of Christ (in whom malice has run away with intelligence,and will is up and thinking is down), that they would try to lift up the stone laid in Zion.Surely it is not laid in such stinking ground as they can raise or remove it; for when we are in their belly, and they have swallowed us down, they will be sick and vomit us our again. I know Zion and her Husband cannot both sleep once.; I believe our Lord will once again water with His dew the withered hill of Mount Zion in Scotland., and come down and make a new marriage again as he did long ago. Remember our Covenant.
   You need not excuse your advice to me. Alas, many sin beside light, as sick folks beside food, and cannot make use of it. Grace be wicth you.
   Your brother in Christ,  S.R.

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