Sunday, August 18, 2019

Rutherford Revised (265)

265 To Mr. George Dunbar   From Aberdeen Sep 13 1637 

(Dunbar was minister at Ayr. In 1622 he had been summoned by the High Commission which confined him to Dunfries and ejected hm from ministry. Imprisoned in Blackness, he moved to Ireland when freed, having been banished by the Privy Council. In Ireland he was a Presbyterian minister in Ballymensa but was deposed by the bishop in 1634. In 1638 he became minister in Calder , Lohian where he died.) 

Reverend and dearly beloved in the Lord, Grace, mercy and peace be to you. - Because your words have strengthen many, I was silent, expecting some lines from you in my imprisonment; and this is the reason I did not write to you. But now I am forced to break off and speak. I never believe until now that there was so much to be found in Christ on this side of death and heaven. Oh, the ravishments of heavenly joy that may be had here, in the small gleanings of comforts that fall from Christ! What fools we are who do not know, and do not consider the weight and the reckoning that is in the first penny pledge, and the first fruit of our hoped for harvest. How sweet, how sweet is our inheritance! Oh what then must personal possession be! I find that my Lord Jesus has not spoiled this sweet cross; He has an eye on the fire and melting gold, to separate the metal and the dross. Oh how much time would it take me to read my obligations to Jesus my Lord, who will neither have the faith of His own to be burnt to ashes, nor yet will have a poor believer to be in the fire half raw, like Ephraim's unturned cake! This is the wisdom of Him who has His fire in Zion, and furnace in Jerusalem. I do not need to ether bribe of flatter temptations and crosses, nor bribe to buy the devil or this malicious world, or redeem their kindness with half a hair's breadth of truth.He who is surety for His servant for good does powerfully overule all that. I see my prison has neither lock nor door: and my chains are made of rotten straw; they will not hide one pull of faith. I am sure that here are those in hell who would exchange their torments with our crosses, suppose they should never be delivered, and give twenty thousand years' torment in addition, to be in our chains forever. And therefore we who sigh and fear and doubt and despond, wrong Christ in them. Our sufferings are washed in Chris's blood, as well as our souls; for Chist's merit brought blessing to the crosses of the sons of God. And Jesus has a freedom from all our temptations and the accused will come out free by law and justice, in respect of he infinite great sum hat he redeemer played. Our troubles owe us a free passage through them. Devils and men and crosses, death and all storms  are our debtors, to blow our storm tossed ship over the water with no harm, and to set the travellers on their own known ground. Therefore we will die and yet live. We are already some way over the water. We are married and our dowry is paid. We are already more than conquerors. If the devil and the world knew how our court with the Lord will go, I am sure they would hire death to take us off their hands. Our sufferings are only the wreck and ruin of the black kingdom; and yet a little, and the Antichrist must play with bones and the dead bodies of the Lamb's followers; but we stand with the hundred and forty four thousand, who are with the Lamb on the op of Mount Zion. Antichrist and his followers are down in the valley ground: we have the advantage of the hill; our temptations are always beneath. Our head is high enough above the waters to let us breathe: 'as dying we live.' I never heard before of a living death, or a quick death except ours: our death is not like the common death. Christ's skill, His handiwork, and a new way of Chris's admirable working, may be seen in our quick death. I bless the Lord the all our troubles came through Christ's fingers., and that He grows sugar among them, and throws in some ounce weights of heaven, and of the Spirit of glory that rests on suffering believers, into our cup, in which there is no taste of hell. My dear brother, you know all these better than I. I send water to the sea to speak of these things to you; but it helps me to want you to help me pay my tribute of praise to Jesus. Oh what praise I owe Him! I wish I was in my free inheritance, the I might begin to pay my debts to Jesus. I ask for your prayers and praises. I do not forgo you.
   Your brother and fellow sufferer, in and for Chris,  S,rR

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