Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (361)

361. To Mistress Craig, on the death of her hopeful Son, who was drowned while washing himself ia river in France.   From St. Andrew 4 Aug 1660

Mistress,You have so learned Christ as now (in the fire) what dross, what shining of faith may appear, must come out. I heard of the removal of your son, Mr. Thomas. Though I be dull enough in discerning, yet I was witness to some spiritual evidences of the new birth and hope of the resurrection, which I saw in the hopeful youth, when he was, as was feared, dying in this city. And, since it was written and advisedly appointed, in the spotless and holy decree of the Lord, where, and before what witnesses, and in what manner, whether by a fever, the mother being at the bed, or by some other way in a far country (dear patriarchs died in Egypt, precious to the Lord, and have wanted burials) (Ps. 79:3), your safest way will be, to be silent, and command the heart to utter no discontented and fretting thoughts of the holy dispensation of God.
1. The man is beyond the risk of argument; the precious youth is perfected and glorified.
2. Had the youth laid, year and day, pained beside a witnessing mother, it had been pain and grief lengthened out to you in many portions, and every parcel would have been a little death. Now His holy Majesty has, in one lump and mass, brought to your ears the news, and has not divided the grief into many portions.
3. It was not yesterdays thought, nor the other years statute, but a counsel of the Lord of old; and who can teach the Almighty knowledge?4. There is no way of quieting the mind, and of silencing the heart of a mother, but godly submission. The readiest way for peace and consolation to clay pots is, that it is a stroke of the Potter and Former of all things. And since the holy Lord hath loosened the grip, when it was fastened sure on your part, I know that your light, and I hope that your heart, also, will yield. It is not safe to be at pulling and drawing with the omnipotent Lord. Let the pull go with Him, for He is strong; and say, “Your will be done on
earth as it is in heaven.5. His holy method and order is to be adored. Sometimes the husband before the wife, and sometimes the son before the mother. So has the only wise God ordered; and when he is sent before, and not lost, in all things give thanks.
6. Do not meditate too much on the sad circumstances, the mother was not witness to the last sigh; possibly, cannot get leave to bury the son, nor to weep over his grave;” and, he was in a strange land!” There is a like nearness to heaven of all the countries of the earth.
7. This did not spring out of the dust. Feed and grow fat by this medicine and fare of the only wise Lord. It is the art and the skill of faith to read what the Lord writes upon the cross, and to spell and construct right His sense. Often we misunderstand words and sentences of the cross, and either put nonsense on His sticks, or burden His Majesty with slanders and mistakes, when He intends for us thoughts of peace and love, even to do us good in the latter end.
8. It is but a private stroke on a family, and little to the public arrows shot against grieved Joseph, and the afflicted, but ah! dead, senseless, and guilty people of God. This is the day of Jacobs trouble!
9. There is a bad way of wilful swallowing of a temptation, and not digesting it, or laying it out of memory without any victoriousness of faith. The Lord, who forbidds fainting, forbidds also despising.But it is easier to advise than to suffer: the only wise Lord furnish patience.
   It were not amiss to call home the other youth. I am not a little afflicted for my Lady Kenmures condition. I desire you, when you see her, to remember my humble respects to her. My wife heartily remembereth her to you; and is wounded much in mind with your present condition, and suffers with you.
   Grace be with you. Yours in the Lord,  S. R.

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