by Samuel Rutherford
Grace, Mercy, and peace be to you. I am glad that you follow closely after Christ in this dark and cloudy time. It is a good thing to sell the things of this world in order to buy Him,** for when all these days are over we will find that it was a good investment to have a part in Christ. I confidently believe that His enemies will be His footstool,** ** and what are now growing flowers will be dead, withered grass.** The honour and the glory will fall off many things that for a time appear beautiful.
It would be foolish to think that Christ and the Gospel would come and sit down at our fireside.** No, we must leave our comfortable warm houses and seek after Christ and His Gospel. It is not the sunny side of Christ** that we must expect, and we must not forsake him if we lack it. Let us set our faces against whatever we find in life, until He and we are though the briers and prickly bushes and on dry ground. Our soft nature would prefer to be carried through the troubles of this life in Christ's arms.** But it is His wisdom, who knows what we're made of, that His bairns** go with wet and cold feet to heaven. Oh, how sweet a thing it would be for us, if we would learn how to make our burdens light, by preparing our hearts for the burden, which requires us to make our Lord's will the law of our hearts.
I find Christ and His cross** not unpleasant or troublesome guests, as men would call them. No, I think patience makes the water Christ gives us good wine, and His dross silver and gold. We have a good reason for continuing to wait: before long our Master will be back for us and shine His light into the whole world, making visible the blacks and whites.** Happy are those who will be found ready. Our hour-glass doesn't have long enough to run for us to become weary. In fact, time itself will dissolve our cares and sorrow. Our heaven is in the bud and growing up until the harvest.** Why shouldn't we persevere, seeing that our whole life time is a few grains of sand? Therefore I commend Christ to you, as your last-living and longest-living Husband, the staff of your old age.** Let Him now have the rest of your days. Don't worry about the storm when you're sailing in Christ's ship: no passenger will ever fall overboard. Even the most sea-sick passenger is sure to come to land safely.
I myself am in as sweet communion with Christ as a poor sinner can be. I am only pained that He has much beauty and loveliness, and I little love. He has great power and mercy, and I little faith. He has much light, and I poor eyesight. O that I would see Him in the sweetness of His love, and in His marriage-clothes,** and were over head and ears in love with that princely one, Christ Jesus my Lord! Alas, my broken dish, my leaky bottle, can hold so little of Christ Jesus!
I have joy in this, that I would gladly die before I put Christ's property at the disposal of men who choose to follow their own wills.** Alas, this land has put Christ up for bid in a public auction. Blessed are they who would hold the crown on His head and buy Christ's honour with their own losses.
I rejoice to hear that your son John is coming to visit Christ and taste of His love. I hope that he will not become careless** or regret his choice. I have always (as I often told you in person) a great love to Mr. John Brown because I thought I saw more of Christ in him than in his brothers. I wish I could write to him, to encourage him to stand by my sweet Master. Please have him read this letter, and tell him of the joy I will have if he will stand for my Lord Jesus.
Grace be with you, yours, in his sweet Jesus,
Aberdeen, Scotland March 13, 1637