Sunday, September 22, 2019

Rutherford Revised (331)

331. To the worthy and much honoured Colonel Gilbert Ker  From Perh 23 Nov 1650

Much Honoured and Worthy Sir,It is significant that the Lord may, and often does call to a work and yet hide Himself, and try the faith of His own. If I conceive rightly, the Lord has called you to act against that enemy; and the withdrawers of their sword (in my weak apprhension) add their zeal to, and take on themselves the guilt of that unjust invasion of this land made by Cromwells army, and of the blood of the Lords people in this kingdom; since the sword, put into the hand of His children, is to execute wrath and vengeance upon evil-doers. The Lords time of appearing for His broken land is reserved to the breathings of the Spirit of the Lord, such as came upon Gideon and Samson; and that is an act of princely and royal sovereignty in God. You are, Sir, to lay hold on opportunities of Providence, and to wait for Him.
   As for your particular treating by yourselves with the invaders of our land, I have no mind to it, and do look upon their way as a carrying on of the mystery of iniquity; for Babylon is a seat of many names. Sir, let this controversy stand undecided till the Second Appearance of Jesus Christ, and our appeal lie before the throne undiscussed till that day, I hope to lie down in the grave in the faith of the justness of our cause. I speak nothing
of the maintaining the greatness of men, not subordinate to the Prince of the kings of the earth. I judge that the blood of the witnesses of Jesus is found upon the skirts of this society, as well as in Babylons skirts. I believe that the way of the Lord is Colonel Gilbert Kers strength and glory; and I should be content to lack my part of him (which is, I confess, precious and dear in Christ), so that he be spent in the service of Him who will in time make inquisition for the blood of the truly godly; which these men have shed, after fair warning that they were the godly of Scotland.page682image3527333600page682image3527333920
Worthy Sir, believe; do not faint. Set your shoulder under the glory of Jesus that is underesimated in Scotland, and give a testimony for Him. He has many names in Scotland, who will walk with Him in white. This despised Covenant will ruin evil men, Sectaries, and Atheists. Yet a little while, and behold He comes, and walks in the greatness of His strength, and His clothes dyed with blood. Oh, for the sad and terrible day of the Lord upon England, their ships of Tarshish, their fenced cities, etc., because of a broken covenant!
A conference with the enemy, not to hinder acting (Oh that the Lord would thereby, or by some other way, remove the cloud that is over you!), if authority should concur, were to be desired; but it can hardly be expected. However, in the way of duty, and in the silence of faith, go on. If you die, you are the first of the creation with whom the Lord hath taken that dispensation. I should humbly desire you, Sir, to look to that: Dying, and, behold, we live; killed all the day long, and yet more than conquerors.There shall be the heat and warmness of life in your graves and buried bones. But do not look for the Lords coming the higher way only, for He may come the lower way. Oh, how little of God do we see, and how mysterious is He! Christ known is amongst the greatest secrets of God. Keep yourself in the love of God; and, in order to that, as far in obedience and subjection to the King (whose salvation and true happiness my soul wants), and to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake, and to the fundamental laws of this kingdom, as your Lord requires. Sir, you are in the hearts and prayers of the Lords people in this kingdom, and in the other two. The Lord has said, There is blessing in the cluster of grapes; destroy it not.
The Hebrew of Isa. lxiii. 1 is alluded to (צעה): marching on in the greatness of His strength.” Rutherford, in the latter part of his life, studied Isaiah very closely. .
   Grace, grace be upon the head of him that is separated from his brothers; and the good-will of Him that lived in The Bush be with you.
   Your servant, in his sweet Lord Jesus,   S. R.

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