Monday, September 16, 2019

Rutherford Revised (299)

299. To my Lady Boyd , on the loss of several friends     From St. Andrews 15 Oct 1640 

(See letters  (77,78,107,210,232,245,277,294)

Madam,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- Do no consider it a disrespectful forgetfulness of your Ladyship, who ministered to me in my imprisonment, that I have not written o you.
   I wish I could speak or write what might do good to your Ladyship,; especially now when  I think we can only have deep thoughts of the deep and boundless ways of our Lord in taking  away, with a sudden and wonderful stroke, your brethren and friends. You may know that all who die for sin do not die in sin; and the 'none can teach the Almighty knowledge.' When we summon Him into our court to explain, no-one can say,'What are you doing?'. It is true your brethren did not see many summers; but adore and fear the sovereignty of the great Potter, who makes and spoils His clay containers when and how it pleases Him. The under garden is absolutely His own, and all the growth in it. His absolute liberty is law abiding. The flowers are His own. If some are only summer apples, He may pluck them down before others. O what wisdom it is to believe, and not to dispute; to subject he thoughts to His court, and not to be discontented with any act of His justice? He has done it: all flesh be silent! It is impossible to be submissive and religiously paitient, if you keep your thoughs down among the confused rollings and wheelings of second causes; as,'Oh the space!' 'Oh he time!' Oh if this had been, this had not followed!' Oh the linking of this accident with his time and place! Look up to the master moon and first wheel. See and read the decree of Heaven and the Creator of Man, who brews death to His children, and the manner of it. And they see far into a millstone, and have eyes to make a hole to see through the one side of a montain to the other, who can take up His ways. 'How unsearchable are His judgement, and His ways past finding out!' His providence does not stop, but goes with even and equal legs. Yet are they not the greatest sinners on whom the tower of Siloam fell. Was not time's lease expired? And the sand of heaven's hourglass, set by our Lord, run out? Is not he an unjust debate who pays due deb with complaint?
   I believe Christian lady, your faith leaves that much love to our Lord's judgement as to believe (ttough you are in blood related to the cross) yet you are exempted and freed from that bitterness and wrath that is in it. I dare not deny but ' In his tent dwells that which is none of hissulfur is scattered over his habitation' (Job 18:15); yet Madam, it is safe for you to live on the faith of His love whose arrows are over painted with love and mercy to His own, and who knows how take you and yours out of the roll and book of the dead. Our Lord has not the eyes of man in distributing wrath to the thousandth generation without exceptions. Seeing you are not under the law, but under grace' and married to another Husband, wrath is no he court to which you are liable.
   As I would not wish, neither do I believe your Ladyship does despise, so neither faint (Pro 3:11). Read and spell correctly all he words and syllables in the visitation, and wrongly call neither letter nor syllable in it. Come along with the Lord and see; and put no more weight on the law than your Christ has put on it. If the law's bill gets an answer from Christ, the curses of it can do more. And I hope you have resolved that, if He would grind you to powder, your dust and powder will believe His salvation. 
   And who can tell what thought of love and peace our Lord has to your children? I trust He will make them famous in executing the written judgement on the enemies of the Lord ('This is honour for all his godly ones,' Ps 149:9), and they will carry stones on their shoulders for building a fair city which is called 'The LORD Is There' (Eze 48:35). And those who have a hand in the sacking of Babel will be happy, and come out in the year of vengeance for the controversy of Zion, against the land of graven images. So, Madam, let he Lord make any work out of your father's family, any work, even of judgement, which He pleases. What is wrath to others is mercy to you and to your family. It is fair work to claim and challenge lovingkindess out of all the rough blows of God. Do for the Lord what you will do for time: it will calm your heart what God has done, and let our Lord have it now. What love you bore to friends now dead, seeing they now have no need of it, let it fall as just legacy to Christ. Oh how sweet tp put out many strange lovers, and to put in Christ! It is much for our half killed emotions to part with what we believe we have a right to; but the servant's will should be our will, and he is the best servant who keeps least his own will and most of His Master's. That much wisdom must be attributed to our Lord, that He knows how to lead His own, in through and out through the little time hells and the pieces of time of wrath in this life; and yet keeps safe His love without any blur on the old and great seal of free election. And seeing His mountains of brass, the mighty and strong  desires of free grace in Christ stand sure, and the covenant stands fast for ever as the days of heaven, let Him strike and nurture. His striking must be a very act of saving, seeing blows on His secret ones come from the soft and heavenly hand of the Mediator, and His sticks are steeped and watered in that flooded river of love the comes from the God man's heart of our ever loving and soul redeeming Jesus.
   I hope you are content to postpone the Surety of mankind His own conquest, heaven, until He pays you, and brings you to a state of glory, where He will never twist a finger on, not lift a hand to you again. And be content and also greedily covetous of grace, the interest and pledge of glory. If I did not believe your crop to be on the ground, and (your part of the heaven of the saint's heaven) where white and ruddy, fair, fair and beautiful Jesus was come to the bloom and flower; and near your sickle, I would not write this. But seeing times thread is short, and you are near the entry of heaven's harvest, and Christ the field of heaven's glory's where and ripe like, the losses I wrote of to your Ladyship are only summer showers that willingly wet your clothes for an hour or two, and the sun of this New Jerusalem will quickly dry your wet coat: especially seeing rains of trouble cannot stain the image of God, or make grace lose colour. And since you will not alter on Him who will not change on you. I dare in my weakness think myself no spiritual prophet if I did no prophesy that daylight is near, when such a morning darkness is on you; and this best of your Christian mind towards Him, (whom you dare not leave, though He should kill you) will close with a double mercy. It is hime for faith to hold fast as much of Christ as ever you had, and to make the grip stronger and to cleave closer to Him, seeing Christ loves to be believed in and trusted. The glory of laying strength on one who is mighty to saver more than we can think. That piece of service, believing in a smiing Redeemer, is a precious part of obedience. Oh what glory to Him to lay over the burden of our heaven on Him who purchased for us an eternal kingdom! O blessed soul who can adore and kiss His lovely free grace.
   The rich grace of Christ be with your spirit.
      Yours, at all obedience in Christ Jesus, S.R. 

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