Monday, June 13, 2005

A Work In Progress

Creation of this blog was a bit of a happy accident, but I'll see what sort of value I can provide. Meanwhile, here is an extract from a letter written by Samuel Rutherford (1660-1661) to a lady friend in Scotland.

This letter has been a great encouragement and challenge to me, to focus on the eternal splendour of our Lord and our final Home.

Tom

Mistress-

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you. You are not a little obliged to
His rich grace, who has separated you for Himself, and for the
promised inheritance with the saints in light, from this condemned and
guilty world.

Hold fast to Christ, content for Him; it is a lawful plea to go to
holding and having for Christ; and it is not possible to keep Christ
peaceably, having once gotten Him, except the devil were dead. It
must be your resolution to set your face against Satan's northern
tempests and storms, for salvation. Nature would have heaven to come
to us while sleeping in our beds. We would all buy Christ, as if we
could any of us pay the price ourselves. But Christ is worth more
blood and lives than either you or I have to give Him. When we shall
come home, and enter into the possession of our Brother's fair
kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown
of glory, then we shall look back to pains and sufferings and then we
will see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a
prison to glory. Our little inch of time -- suffering is not worthy
of our first night's welcome-home to heaven. Oh, what then shall be
the weight of every one of Christ's kisses! Oh, how weighty, and of
what worth shall be every one of Christ's love-smiles be! Oh, when
once He shall thrust a wearied traveler's head between His blessed
breasts, the poor soul will think one kiss of Christ has fully paid
him back for forty or fifty years' wet feet, and all its sore hearts,
and light (2 Cor. 4:17) sufferings it had in following after Christ!

Oh, thrice blinded souls, whose hearts are charmed and bewitched with
dreams, shadows, feckless things, night-vanities, and night-fancies
of a miserable life of sin! Shame on us who sit still, fettered with
the love and fondness of a loan of a piece of dead clay! Oh, poor
fools, who are beguiled with painted things, and this world's fair
weather, and smooth promises, and rotten, worm-eaten hopes! May not
the devil laugh to see us give out our souls, and get in but corrupt
and counterfeit pleasures of sin? O for a sight of eternity's glory,
and a little tasting of the Lamb's marriage supper! Half a swallow,
even a drop of the wine of consolation, that is up at our
banqueting-house, out of Christ's own hand, would make our stomachs
loath the brown bread and the sour drink of a miserable life. Oh, how
witless we are, to grow restless, and chase, and run, till our souls
be out of breath, after a condemned happiness of our own making! And
do we not think far too much of ourselves when we make it a matter of
child's play, and drink a toast over paradise? We trifle with the
heaven that Christ did sweat for, in return for a blast of smoke, and
for Esau's morning breakfast. O that we were out of ourselves, and
dead to this world, and this world dead and crucified to us!

If we would fall out of love with all our masked and painted lovers,
then Christ would win and conquer to Himself a lodging in the inmost
chamber of our heart. Then Christ would be our night-song and
morning-song; then the very whisper of our Well-beloved's feet, when
He comes, and His first knock or rap at the door, would be as news of
two heavens to us. O that our eyes and our soul's smelling should go
after a blasted and sunburnt flower, even this plastered, fair (on the
outside) world; and as a result we have neither eye nor smell for the
Flower of Jesse, for that Plant of renown, for Christ, the choicest,
the fairest, the sweetest rose that ever God planted! Oh, let some of
us die to smell the fragrance of Him; and let my part of this rotten
world be forfeited and sold for ever, provided I may anchor my
tottering soul upon Christ! I know that sometimes I murmur, "Lord,
what will you have for Christ?" But, O Lord, can you be trifled with
and propined with any gift for Christ? O Lord, can Christ be sold?
Or rather, may not a poor needy sinner have Him for nothing? If I can
get no more, oh, let me be pained to all eternity, with longing for
Him! The joy of hungering for Christ should be my heaven for
evermore. Alas, that I cannot draw souls and Christ together! But I
desire the coming of His kingdom, and that Christ, as I assuredly hope
He will, would come upon withered Scotland, as rain upon the new-mown grass.

1 comment:

tomgee said...

A short test.