Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (363)

363. To Mr. Robert Campbell

[Mr. Robert Campbell was minister of a parish in the Presbytery of Dunkeld. He was a Protester, and after the restoration of Charles II. was ejected for nonconformity to Bishops. Rutherford died on the 20th of March 1661, shortly after this letter was written.]

Reverend and Dear Brother,You know that this is a time in which all men almost seek their own things, and not the things of Jesus Christ. You are alone, as a beacon on the top of a mountain; but do not faint : Christ is a numerous crowd Himself, yes, millions. Though all the nations were convened against Him round about, yet  do not doubt He will, at last, arise for the cry of the poor and needy.
For me, I am now near to eternity; and, for ten thousand worlds I dare not venture to pass from the protestation against the corruptions of the time, nor go along with the shameless apostasy of the many silent and dumb watchmen of Scotland. But I think it my last duty to enter a protest in heaven, before the righteous Judge, against the practical and legal breach of Covenant, and all oaths imposed on the consciences of the Lords people, and all popish, superstitious, and idolatrous mandates of men. Know that the overthrow of the sworn Reformation, the introducing of Popery and the mystery of iniquity, is now set on foot in the three kingdoms; and whosoever would keep their clothes clean are under that command, Touch not, taste not, handle not.
   The Lord calls you, dear brother, to be still steadfast, unmoveable, and abounding in the work of the Lord.” Our royal kingly Master is upon His journey, and will come, and will not delayy; and blessed is the servant who will be found watching when He comes. Do not fear men, for the Lord is your light and salvation. It is true, it is somewhat sad and comfortless that you are alone; but so it was with our precious Master: nor are you alone, for the Father is with you. It is possible that I shall not be an eyewitness to it in the flesh, but I believe He comes quickly who will remove our darkness, and shine gloriously in the Isle of Britain, as a crowned King, either in a formally sworn covenant, or in His own glorious way; which I leave to the determination of His infinite wisdom and goodness. And this is the hope and confidence of a dying man, who is longing and fainting for the salvation of God.
   Beware of the ensnaring ties and obligations, by any handwriting or otherwise, to give unlimited obedience to any authority, but only in the Lord. For all innocent self-defence (which is according to the Covenant, the Word of God, and the laudable example of the reformed churches) is now intended to be utterly subverted and condemned: and what is taken from Christ, as the flower of His prerogative-royal, is now put upon the head of a mortal power; which must be that great idol of indignation that provokes the eyes of His glory. Dear brother, let us mind the rich promises that are made to those that overcome, knowing that those that endure to the end shall be saved.
   Thus recommending you to the rich grace of God, I remain,
Your affectionate brother in Christ,  S.R.

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