Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (278)

278. To the Earl of Cassillis    From Aberdeen 1637

(See letters 128,168)

Right honourable and very good Lord, - Grace, mercy and peace be to your Lordship. - I hope that your Lordship will pardon my boldness, if hearing report of your zealous and forward mind, which I hear our Lord had given you in his His honourable cause, when Christ and his Gospel are so foully wronged, I speak to your Lordship on paper asking your Lordship to go on in the strength of the Lord, towards and against a antichristian wind, that blows on the face our your poor mother church, Christ's lily among the thorns. It is your Lordship's glory and happiness, when you see such a blow coming on Christ, to hold up your arm to prevent it. Neither is it a cause that needs to blush before the sun, or to run from the sentence or censure of impartial lookers on, seeing the question, indeed (if it was rightly put)  is about the royal prerogative of  our princely and royal Lawgiver, our Lord Jesus, whose ancient limits and boundaries, our bastard lords and earthly generation of tyrannising bishops have boldly and shamefully removed. And they who have only half an eye may see, that it is the greedy desired of time idling Demases, and the itching scab of ambitious and climbing Diotroheses (who love the goat's life, to climb until they cannot find a way to set their soles on ground again), that has made such a wide split in our Zion's beautiful walls. And these are the men who seek no wages for crucifying Christ, except for His coat. 
   phew to how sad and desolate is the bride of Christ made to appear to  passers by! Who does not see Christ buried in this land, His prophets are hidden in caves, silenced, banished and imprisoned? Truth weeping in sackcloth before the judges, Parliament and he rulers of he Land? But her charge is made by them, and holiness holds itself, fearing in the streets the reproaches and persecution of men. Justice has swooned in the gate and the long shadows of the evening are stretched out on us. Wo, wo to us for our day flies away. What remains except that Antichrist sets down his tent among us, unless your Lordship and others with you read Christ's request, and give Him that which he most lewd and scandalous wretches in the land may have before a judge, even the poor man's due, law and justice for God's sake? Oh therefore , my nobel and dear Lord, as you have begun, go on, in the mighty power and strength of he Lord, in His Gospel, and afflicted members to laugh, and to cause the Christian churches (whose eyes are all now on you) to sing for joy when Scotland's moon will shine like the light of the sun, and the sun like the light of seven days in one. You can do no less than run and hold up the head of your swooning and dying mother church and plead for the production of her ancient charters. They hold out and put out, they hold in and bring in, at their pleasure, men in God's house. They stole the keys from Christ and His church, and came in like the thief and the ribber, not by the door, Christ; and now their song is, 'Authority, authority! Obedience to church governors!' When such a bastard and lawless stepmothers as our Bishops have gone mad, it is your place, who are the nobles, to rise and bind them. At least law should chain such wild bulls as they are, who push all those opposing their domination. Alas, what have we lost, since bishops were made master coiners, to change our gold into brass, and to mix the Lords wine with water. Blessed forever will you be by he Lord, if you help Christ against the mighty, and will deliver he flock of God,  scattered on the mountains, in their dark and cloudy day, out of he hands of their idol shepherds. Do not fear men who be men of clay, that will be rolled up in a chest, and thrown under the earth: let the Holy One of Israel be your fear,  and be courageous for the Lord and His truth. Remember, your acconts are coming on you with wings, as fast as time speeds. Remember, what 'peace with God' in Christ, and the presence of the Son of God (the revealed and felt sweetness of His love), will be to you, when eternity will put time out of the door, and you will say goodnight to time, and this little shepherd's tent of clay, this inn of a borrowed earth. I hope your Lordship is sending out thoughts to view this world's nothingness, and vanity, and the hoped for glory of the life to come; and you resolve that Christ will have yourself, and all yours, for His command, His honour  and Gospel.
   So trusting your Lordship will pardon my boldness, I pray that the only wise God, the very God of peace, may preserve, strengthen and establish you to the end.
   At Lordship's at all command and obedience in Christ,  S.R.

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