Friday, September 20, 2019

Rutherford Revised (319)

319. To Mr. J.G.    From London 30 Jan 1646

(Perhaps Mr. James Guthrie, minister of Stirling; afterwards beheaded in 1661, at the Cross of Edinburgh, and his head fixed on the Nether Bow.)

Reverend and Dear Brother,I shall with my soul desire the peace of these kingdoms, and I do believe it will at last come, as a river and as the mighty waves of the sea; but oh that we were ripe and in readiness to receive it! The preserving of two or three, or four or five berries, in the topmost branches of the olive-tree, after the harvest, is likely to be a great matter bofore all is done; yet I know that a cluster in both kingdoms shall be saved, for a blessing is in it. But it is not, I fear, so near to the dawning of the day of salvation bexcept the clouds must send down more showers of blood to water the vineyard of the Lord, and to cause it to blossom. Scotlands scum is not yet removed; nor is Englands dross and tin taken away; nor the filth of our blood purged by the spirit of judgment, and the spirit of burning.” But I am too much on this sad subject.
   As for myself, I do prize nothing out of heaven, and next to a communion with Jesus Christ, more than to be in the hearts and prayers of the saints. I know that He feeds there among the lilies, until the day breaks; but I am at low ebb, as to any sensible communion with Christ; yes, as low as any soul can be, and do hardly know where I am; and do now make it a question, if any can go to Him, who dwells in light inaccessible, through nothing but darkness. Sure, all that come to heaven have a share in Christ; but I do not know where mine is. It cannot be enough for me to believe the salvation of others, and to know Christ to be the Honeycomb, the Rose of Sharon, the Paradise and Eden of the saints, and First-born written in heaven, and not to see  from far the borders of that good land.
   But what shall I say? Either this is the Lord, making grace a new cre-ation, where there is pure nothing and sinful nothing to work upon, or I am gone. I should count my soul engaged to yourself, and others there with you, if ye would but carry to Christ for me a letter of stmbols and nonsense (for I know not how to make language about my condition), only showing that I have need of His love; for I know many fair and washed ones stand now in white before the throne, who were once as black as I am. If Christ pass His word to wash a sinner, it is less to Him than a word to make fair angels of black devils! Only let the art of free grace be engaged. I have not a guarantor to give surety, nor does a Mediator, such as He is in all perfection, need a mediator. But what I need, only He knows; it is His depth of wisdom to let some pass millions of miles over score in debt, that they may stand between the winning and the losing, in need of more than ordinary free grace.
    Christ hath been multiplying grace by mercy above these five thousand years; and the later born heirs have so much greater guiltiness, that Christ hath passed more experiments and multiplied essays of heart-love on others, by misbelieving (after it is past all question, many hundreds of ages), that Christ is the undeniable and now uncontroverted treasurer of multiplied redemptions. So now He is saying, The more of the disease there is, the more of the physicians art of grace and tenderness there must be.” Only, I know that no sinner can put infinite grace to it, so as the Mediator will have difficulty, or much ado, to save this or that man. Millions of hells of sinners cannot come near to exhaust infinite grace.
   I pray you (remembering my love to your wife, and friends there), let me find that I have hose who care there among your acquaintances; and do not forget Scotland.
   Your brother in Jesus Christ,  S. R.

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