Friday, September 20, 2019

Rutherford revised (314)

314.  To Barbara Hamilton  on her son in law killed in battle.  From London 16 Oct 1645 

(See letter 311)
Loving sister,- Grace, mercy and peace be to you.- I have heard with grief that Newcastle has taken one more than before in a bloody account, even your son in law and my friend. But I hope you have learned enough of Christ as not to look to wheels rolled round about on earth. Clay pots are not to dispute with their Former. Pieces of shining clay, may by reasoning and contending with His power, spoil the work of Him'who has Hid fire in Zion and His furnace in Jerusalem; 'as bullocks sweating and wrestling in the furrow make their yoke heavier. In quietness and rest you will be saved. If men do anything contrary to your heart we may ask both, "Who did it?' 'What is done?' and 'Why?' When He Has done any such thing we are to enquire,'Who has done it?' and to know this come from the Lord who is 'wonderful in counsel;' but we are not to ask,'What'' or 'Why?' If it is from the Lord (as certainly there is no evil in the city without Him (Am 2:6) the fairest face of His spotless way is coming, and we are to believe His works as well as His word. Violent death is a sharer with Christ in His death, which was violent. It does not matter much which way we go to heaven: the happy home is all, where the roughness of the way will be forgotten. He is gone home to a Friend's house and made welcome, and the race has ended: time is repaid with eterniy, and copper with gold. God's order is in wisdom; the husband goes home before he wife. And the crowd in he market will be over before long, and another generation be where we are now, and at last an empty house, and not one of mankind will be on earth, within the sixth part of an hour after the earth and is works will be burnt up with fire. I fear more that Chris is about to leave when He removes so much of His furnishings beforehand.
   We cannot teach the Almighty knowledge. That He was directing the bullet against His servant to fetch out the soul: no wise man could cry to God,'Wrong, wrong Lord, for he is Your own!' There is no mist over His eyes who 'is wonderful in counsel.' If Zion is built with your son in law's blood, the Lord (deep in counsel) can glue together he stones of Zion with blood, and with that blood that is precious in His sight. Christ has fewer labourers in His vineyard than He had, but more witnesses for His cause and the Lord's covenant with the three nations. Christ's gain is not your loss. Do no let His holy and wise will, be your unbelieving sorrow. Though I really judge I had an interest in His dead servant. yet, because he now lives to Christ, I stop the hopes I had of his successful work in the ministry. I know he now praises the grace he was to preach; and if there was a better thing now in heaven on his head than a crown, or anything more excellent than heaven, he would throw it down before the feet of Him who sits on the throne. So give glory to Christ as he now does, and at, 'Your will be done.'
   The grace and consolation of Christ be with you.
      Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus,  S.R.

No comments: