Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rutherford revised (309)

309. To the Right Honourable, my Lady Boyd   From London 25 May 1644 

(See letters 77,78,107,210,232,245,277,294,303)

Madam, - Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- I received your letter on May 19th.
   We are here debating, with much argument, for the just measures of he Lord's temple. It pleases God that sometimes enemies hinder the building of the Lord's house; but now friends, even gracious men (so I think of them) do now hinder the work a little. Thomas Goodwin, Jeremiah Burroughs, and some others, four or five, who are for the Independent way, stand in our way, and are mightily opposed to presbyterial government. We have carried through some propositions for the Scriptural right of presbytery, especially in the church of Jerusalem, (Ac 2;4-6;15.) And the church of Ephesus and are going on other grounds of truth; and by he way have proved ordination of pastors does no belong to a single congregation but to a college presbyters whose it was o lay hands on Timothy and others (1Tim 4:14,5:17;Ac 12:1-3, 6:5,6:. We are to prove one single congregation does not have power to excommunicate, which is opposed not only by Independent men, but by many others. The truth is we have at times grieved spirit with the work; and for my part I often despair of the reformation of this land, which never saw anything except the high places of their fathers, and the remains of Babyon's pollutions; and unless,' not by by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord,' I would think God has not yet thought it time for England's deliverance. For the truth is, the best of them have almost said,'A half reformation is very fair at first;' which is nothing else than,'It is no yet time to build the house of the Lord.' And for that reason, many families, great in the land are laid desolate.
   Crowds of Anabaptists, Antinomians, Familists, Sepratiss are here. The best of the people are of the Independent way. As for myself, I do not know if there is a sound Christian (putting aside some, yes, not a few educated, some zealous and faithful ministers whom I have met with) at London, (though I do not doubt there are many), than if I was in Spain; which makes me bless God that the communion of sins, however desirable, yet is not the thing, even that great thing, Christ and the forgiveness of sins. If Jesus was as strange as His members are here, I would be in a sad and heavy condition.
   The House of Lords are rotten men, and hate both our Commissioners and our cause. The life is in the House of Commons, and many of them have chosen their religion. The sorrows of a woman in labour have come on the land. Our enemy is surrounding York, and have besieged Newcastle, and six thousand Papists and evil men, with Mr. Thomas Sydserf, and some Scottish bishops ; and if God deliver them into their hands (considering how strong the Parliament's armies are, how many victories God has given them since they entered in covenant with Him, and how weak the king is). It might be thought the land is near to a deliverance. Bu I more desire it than believe it.
   This day we offered the Assembly a part of a directory for worship, to push out he service book. The Assembly is considering it.
   Your son, Lindsay, is well. I receive leers from him almost every week.
  Yours at all obedience in God,  S.R.

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