Sunday, August 25, 2019

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, -

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