Monday, August 12, 2019

Rutherford Revised (245)

245. To my Lady Boyd      From Aberdeen Sept 8 1637

(See 77, 107, 167, 210)

My very honourable and Christian Lady, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you. I received your letter, and am well pleased that your thoughts of Christ stay with you, and your purpose is still by all means, to take the kingdom of heaven by violence; which is no small conquest. And it is a degree of watchfulness and thankfulness, also, to observe sleepiness and unthankfulness.We all have good cause to complain of false light, that plays the theif and steals away the lamp, when it comes to the practice of constant walking with God. Ten times a day our journey is broken into ten pieces. Christ only gets broken, halved and tired work from us and alas, too often against the grain.
   I have been some nearer the Bridegroom; but when I come near, and see my vileness, I would for shame be out of His presence again. But yet, desire for His soul refreshing love arrests blushing me. Oh, what am I, such a loathsome burden of sin, to stand beside such a beautiful and holy Lord, such a high and lofty One who lives in eternity! But since it please Christ to condescend to such a one as I, let shamelessness be put aside, and lose itself in His condescending love. I would be heartily contento keep a corner of the King's hall. Oh, if I was athe far end of my weak desires, then I would be where Chist my Lord and lover lives and reigns; there I would know everlasting peace with the sight of His face, and satisfied with the surpassing sweetness of His matchless love. But I now truly say and athe near side of my desires; and with a drooping head and panting heart, I look up to fair Jesus, standing far off from us, while corruption and death will clean and refine the body of clay, and rot outhe bones of the old man of sin. In the meantime we are blessed in sending word to the Beloved that we love Him; and until then, there is joy in wooing, courting and lying about in His house, looking in athe windows, and sending a poor soul's groans and wishes trough a hole in the door to Jesus, until God sends a glad meeting. And blessed be God, that after a low tide and so sad a word, 'Lord Jesus, it is a long time since I saw you,'
.' that even then our wings are growing, and the absence of sweet Jesus breeds a new fleece of desires and longings for Him. Know no man has a velvet cross, buthe cross is made of what God will have it. Butruly no-one is sertified in God's market, to buy such a thing as a trial; we must not bring trials on urselves yet I dare not say, 'Oh, that I was free to sell Christ's cross,' lest with it also, I would sell joy, comfort, sense of love, patience, and the kind visits of a Bridegroom and therefore, blessed be God, we buy crosses free and cheap. I am sure it would be better to buy crosses for Christ, than to sell them though neither is allowed us.
   And for Christ's joyful coming and going, of which your Ladyship speaks, I bear with it as love can permit. If I was wise, it would be enough to me, that Christ will have joy and sorrow sharing the life of the saints, and that each of them have a share in our days; as the night and day are kindly partners and sharers of time, and take it up between them. But if sorrow is the greedier sharer of our days here, I know that joy's day will dawn, and do more than recompence all our sad hours. Let my Lord Jesus, (since he chooses to do so) weave my small span length of time with white and black, good and ill, with the Bridegroom's coming and His sad departure, as warp and woof in one web; and lethe rose be neighbour to the thorn; yet hope that does not make ashamed has written a letter and lines of hope to the mourners in Zion, that it will not continue long. When we are over the water Christ will stop crosses and uo heaven for evermore! And down hell and down death and down sin down sorrow! And up glory, up life , up joy for overbore! In this hope I quietly sleep in Christ's embrace until He comes who is not slow; and I would so sleep, if it were nofor the noise of the devil and sin's feet, and the cries of an unbelieving heart awakening me. But, for the present, I have nothing to say against Christ's cross.Oh, if I could please myself in Christ alone!
   I hope Madam, that your sons will improve their power for Jesus.For there is no danger, neither is there any question or struggling between Christ and authority (tough our enemies falsely state the question), as if Christ and  authority could not live under onerous. The question is between Christ and men in authority. Authority is for and from Chist and related to Him; how then can He argue with it? No, truth is, worms and gods of clay have risen against Christ. If the fruit of your Ladyship's womb are helpers of Christ, you have good grounds to rejoice in God. 
   All that your Ladyship can expect for your goodwill to me and my brother (a wronged stranger for Christ), is the prayers of a prisoner of Jesus, to whom I recommend you Ladyship, and your family and children; and in whom I am, Madam,
   Your Ladyship's in Chris,  S.R.

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