To Lady Kenmure On the Eve of Banishment to Aberdeen
Noble and Elect Lady,
That honor that I have prayed for these sixteen years, with submission to my Lord’s will, my kind Lord has now bestowed upon me, even to suffer for my royal and princely King Jesus, and for His kingly crown, and the freedom of His kingdom that His Father has given Him. The forbidden lords have sentenced me with deprivation, and confinement within the town of Aberdeen. I am charged in the King’s name to enter against the 20th day of August next, and there to remain during the Kings pleasure, as they have given it out.
Howbeit Christ’s green cross, newly laid upon me, be somewhat heavy, while I call to mind the many fair days sweet and comfortable to my soul and to the souls of many others, and how young ones in Christ are plucked from the breast, and the inheritance of God laid waste; yet that cross of Christ is accompanied with sweet refreshments, with the joy of the Holy Ghost, with faith that the Lord hears the sighing of a prisoner, with undoubted hope (as sure as my Lord liveth) after this night to see daylight, and Christ’s sky to clear up again upon me, and His poor kirk; and that in a strange land, among strange faces, He will give favor in the eyes of men to His poor oppressed servant, who dow not but love that lovely One, that princely One, Jesus, the Comforter of his soul.
All would be well, if I were free of old challenges for guiltiness, and for neglect in my calling, and for speaking too little for my Well-beloved’s crown, honor, and kingdom. This is my only exercise, that I fear I have done little good in my ministry.
I apprehend no less than a judgment upon Galloway, and that the Lord shall visit this whole nation for the quarrel of the Covenant. But what can be laid upon me, or any the like of me, is too light for Christ. Christ dow bear more, and would bear death and burning quick, in His quick servants, even for this honorable cause that I now suffer for. Yet for all my complaints (and He knoweth that I dare not now dissemble), He was never sweeter and kinder than He is now.
My dear worthy Lady, I give it to your Ladyship, under my own hand, my heart writing as well as my hand welcome, welcome, sweet, sweet and glorious cross of Christ; welcome, sweet Jesus, with Thy light cross. Thou hast now gained and gotten all my love from me; keep what Thou hast gotten! Only woe, woe is me, for my bereft flock, for the lambs of Jesus, that I fear shall be fed with dry breasts. But I spare now.
Madam, I dare not promise to see your Ladyship, because of the little time I have allotted me; and I purpose to obey the King, who has power of my body; and rebellion to kings is unbeseeming Christ’s ministers. Madam, bind me more (if more can be) to your Ladyship; and write thanks to your brother, my Lord of Lorn, for what he has done for me, a poor and unknown stranger to his Lordship. I shall pray for him and his house, while I live. Now, Madam, commending your Ladyship, and the sweet child, to the tender mercies of the Lord Jesus, and His good-will who dwelt in the Bush.
Edinburgh, July 28, 1636
About “Rutherford Thursdays”
- See my introduction.
- Selection from His Letters is a public domain text hosted by CCEL. I have arranged and formatted Rutherford’s text and Hugh Martin’s editorial comments, added headings, paragraph separations, etc., for presentation on this blog.
- For a brief biographical sketch of Rutherford’s life, see Hugh Martin’s forward to Selections. And see Martin’s glossary for help with outdated vocabulary.
- Rutherford Resources: