by Samuel Rutherford
Letter 247 to Janet Kennedy,
Loving and Dear Sister, Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. I received your letter. I know that the favour of Christ which is in you (whom the virgins** love to follow) cannot be blown away with winds, either from hell, or the foul-smelling air of this defiled world. Sit far aback from the walls of this house of disease, even the pollutions of this defiled world. Keep your taste,** your love, and hope in heaven; it is not good that your love and your Lord should be in two different countries. Up, up after your lover,** that you and He may be together. A King from heaven has sent for you: by faith he is showing you the New Jerusalem, and is taking you along in the Spirit, and showing you all the rooms for rest and dwelling in heaven.** He says, "All these are yours, this palace is for you and Christ." Indeed, if you alone were the only person chosen by God for salvation, Christ would have built that one house for you and Himself: now it is for you and many others also.
Take with you on your journey** what you may carry with you. You can take your conscience, faith, hope, patience, meekness, goodness, and brotherly kindness, for these products are valuable in the high and new country you are travelling to. But the other things, which are the world's vanity and trash, since they are the house-sweepings, you would do best not to carry them with you. You found them here, so leave them here in the house. Your sun is well-turned and low; be sure you are close to the lodging-place before night comes. We go one at a time** out of this great market, until the whole town will be empty, and the two lodging-places will be filled, heaven and Hell. At length there will be nothing in the earth except empty walls and burnt ashes;** therefore it is better to leave.
Antichrist and his master** are working hard to fill up Hell and to seduce many. Many stars, great lights in the church are falling from heaven, causing many to be misled and seduced. They leave their faith, and sell their birthright by their hungry rooting for I know not what.** Hold onto Christ hard! Truly I esteem Christ is the best property I have. He is my companion in prison.** Having Him, even though my cross might be as heavy as ten mountains of iron, when He puts His sweet shoulder under me and it, my cross** is but a feather. I please myself in the choice of Christ; He is all my desire in heaven and earth. I rejoice that He is in heaven before me.**
God send a joyful meeting** In the meantime God is sending the price of our tickets, by which I mean the taste of Christ's love, to sweeten the journey and to encourage a breathless runner. When I lose my breath, climbing up the mountain, He makes new breath.
Now the very God of peace establish you to the day of His appearing,
Yours, in the only Lord Jesus,
from Aberdeen, Sept. 9, 1637