Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (362)

362. For my Reverend and dear Brother, Chris's soldier in bonds, Mr. James Guthrie, Minister of he Gospel at Stirling   From St. Andrew 15 Feb 1661

Dear Brother,We are very often comforted with the word of promise; though we stumble not a little at the work of holy providence, some earthly men flourishing as a green herb, and the people of God counted as sheep for the slaughter, and killed all the day long. And yet both word of promise, and work of providence, are from Him whose ways are equal, straight, holy, and spotless.
As for me, when I think of Gods dispensations, He might justly have brought to the market-cross, and to the light, my unseen and secret abominations; which would have been no small reproach to the holy name and precious truths of Christ. But in mercy He has covered these, and shaped and carved out more honourable causes of suffering, of which we are unworthy.
   And now, dear brother, much depends upon the way and manner of suffering, especially that His precious truths be owned with all heavenly boldness, and a reason of our hope given in meekness and fear; and the royal crown, and absolute supremacy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of the kings of the earth, affirmed as is becoming. For certain it is that Christ will reign, the Fathers King in Mount Zion, and His sworn covenant will not be buried. It is not denied that our practical breach of covenant first, and then, our legal breach of it  by enacting the same mischief and framing it into a law, may heavily provoke our sweetest Lord. Yet there are a few names in the land that have not defiled their clothess, and holy chidden on whom the Lord will have mercy, like the four or five olive- berries on the top of the shaken olive-tree (Isa. xvii. 6): and their eye will be toward the Lord their Maker. Do not think it that men plot against you; whether it be to exile, the earth is the Lords; or perpetual imprisonment, the Lord is your light and liberty; or a violent and public death,for the kingdom of heaven consists of a fair company of glorified martyrs and witnesses; of whom Jesus Christ is the chief witness, who for that cause was born, and came into the world. You are happy if you give testimony to the world of your preferring Jesus Christ to all powers. And the Lord will make the innocency and Christian loyalty of His defamed and despised witnesses in this land to shine to after-generations, and will take The Man-Child up to God and to His throne, and prepare a hiding- place in the wilderness for the mother, and cause the earth to help the Woman. Do not be terrified; do no fret. Forgive your enemies; bless, and do not curse; for, though both you and I should be silent, sad and heavy is the judgment and indignation of the Lord, that is on the unfaithful watchmen of the Church of Scotland. The souls under the altar are crying for justice, and there is an answer returned already. The Lords salvation will not delay.
   Put the burden of wife and children on the Lord Christ; He cares for you and them. Your blood is precious in His sight. The everlasting consolations of the Lord bear you up and give you hope; for your salvation (if not deliverance) is concluded.
   Your own brother, S. R.

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