Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rutherford Revised (357)

357. To his Reverend and dear Brethren, Mr. Guhrie, Mr. Traill, and he rest of heir brethren inprisoned in the castle of Edinburgh    From St. Andrews 1660

[The circumstances of the case to which this letter refers are these:On the 23rd of August 1660, the following ministers, Mr. James Guthrie of Stirling, Mr. John Stirling and Mr. Robert Traill of Edinburgh, Mr. Alexander Moncrieff of Scoonie, Mr. John Semple of Carsfairn, Mr. Thomas Ramsay of Mordington, Mr. John Scot of Oxnam, Mr. Gilbert Hall of Kirkliston, Mr. John Murray of Methven, Mr. George Nairn of Burntisland, with two gentlemen, ruling elders, met in a private house in Edinburgh, to draw up an humble address to Charles II., congratulating his return, and expressing their entire and unfeigned loyalty, but at the same time reminding him of the obligation of the Covenant which he and the nation had sworn. Whilst thus employed, their papers were secured, by the order of the Committee of Estates; and they themselves were arrested, and committed close prisoners to the Castle of Edinburgh.]

Reverend, now Very Dear, and Much Honoured Prisoners for Christ,I am, as to the point of light, at the utmost of persuasion in that kind that it is the cause of Christ which you now suffer for, and not mens interest. If it be for men, let us leave it; but if we plead for God, our own personal safety and mans deliverance will not be peace.
   There is a salvation called the salvation of God,” which is cleanly, pure, spiritual, unmixed, near to the holy word of God. It is that which 

we would seek, even the favour of God that He bears to His people; not simple gladness, but the gladness and goodness of the Lords chosen. And sure, though I be the weakest of His witnesses, and unworthy to be among the meanest of them, and am afraid that the Cause be hurt (but it cannot be lost) by my unbelieving faintness, I would not desire a deliverance separated from the deliverance of the Lords cause and people. It is enough to me to sing when Zion singeth, and to triumph when Christ triumphs. I should judge it an unhappy joy to rejoice when Zion sighs. Not one hoof” will be your peace. (Exod. x. 26.)
   If Christ does own me, let me be in the grave in a bloody winding- sheet, and go from the scaffold in four quarters, to grave or no grave. I am His debtor, to seal with sufferings this precious truth; but, oh! when it comes to the push, I dare say nothing, considering my weakness, wickedness, and faintness. But do not fear. You are not, you will not be, alone: the Father is with you. It was not an unseasonable, but a seasonable and a necessary duty you were about. Fear Him who is Sovereign. Christ is captain of the castle and Lord of the keys. The cooling well-spring, and refreshment from the promises, are more than the frownings of the fire. I see snares and temptations in capitulating, composing, ceding, comproming with distinctions of circumstances, formalities, compliments, and extenuations, in the cause of Christ. A long spoon: the broth is hell-hot. Hold a distance from carnal compositions, and much nearness to the fountain, to the favour and refreshing light from the Father of lights speaking in
His oracles. This is sound health and salvation. Angels, men, Zions elders, eye us; but what of all these? Christ is by us, and looks on us, and writes up all. Let us pray more, and look less to men.
   Remember me to Mr. Scott, and to all the rest. Blessings be upon the head of such as are separated from their brethren. Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well.
   Grace be with you.
      Your loving brother and companion in the kingdom and patience
of Jesus Christ,  S. R.

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