Apparently Lady's Kenmure's son had been seriously ill, but his life was spared in answer to prayer.

Imagine, Rutherford wrote this before instant coffee and instant sanctification!

"No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Cor 9:27 (NIV)

In other words, many people retreated into formalism, rather than stand up for the Gospel, either privately or publicly. Notice how Rutherford sees a close connection between the two.

"Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall." 2 Pet 1:10 (NIV)

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Phil 2:12,13 (NIV)

"Cross" means his suffering for the cause of Christ. He sees that suffering for the cross, and the blessings that accompany the cross, are inseparable.

An allusion to the Song of Solomon, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine." Song 1:2 (NIV). The Song of Solomon was a favourite book of many of the Puritans, which they interpreted as an allegory of Christ and His Church.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Eph 3:18 (NIV)

This might be a pun by Rutherford. God's love didn't cost him anything (he couldn't pay for it), so it could not be valued in money (pounds sterling, £). Nevertheless God's love constrains him to live according to that love, a weight (i.e. pounds) he feels acutely.

"Shore" is a common image for death. Here Rutherford thinks of death as the culmination of God's purposes for him. When he is with Christ in heaven, all the turnings of his life will be shown to be meaningful.

"He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long." Lam 3:12-14 (NIV)

Rutherford is saying that although he is conscious of God's love at night, he awakes to see that in God's providence he is being persecuted. He sees himself alone in the struggle for the purity of Christ's church. (Although in fact powerful forces were gathering that would soon set him free.)

Certain powerful men had recently taken even greater powers to themselves. In all probability, during the next summer Rutherford would be tried and sentenced to death. However, God would bring confusion to their plans, and Rutherford would return to his beloved congregation in Anwoth.

That is to say, a Christian's greatest joys, comforts, and confidence are to be found in Christ alone. All other joys, etc., are to be put in a lower priority.

"I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honour for the house of his father." Isa 22:23 (NIV)

He sorrows for the Church of Scotland, which had been so recently blessed with Revival, but now threatens to be accommodated to English alterations. Specifically Rutherford sees the changes introduced by the English as the beginning of a return to Roman Catholicism. In Rutherford's mind, a church that is faithful to the Bible cannot be associated with Catholicism.

"'See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,' says the LORD Almighty." Mal 3:1 (NIV) (Apparently the version of the Bible Rutherford used, the Geneva Bible, used the word "Angel" in this verse.)

That is, the son mentioned in the first paragraph.