Letter # 10: “the God of all consolations”
My very noble and worthy Lady,
So oft as I call to mind the comforts that I myself, a poor friendless stranger, received from your Ladyship here in a strange part of the country, when my Lord took from me the delight of mine eyes (Ezek. 24.1), as the Word speaketh (which wound is not yet fully healed and cured), I trust your Lord shall remember that, and give you comfort now at such a time as this, wherein your dearest Lord has made you a widow, albeit I must out of some experience say, the mourning for the husband of your youth be, by God’s own mouth, the heaviest worldly sorrow (Joel 1.8). And though this be the weightiest burden that ever lay upon your back; yet ye know (when the fields are emptied and your husband now asleep in the Lord), if ye shall wait upon Him who hideth His face for a while, that it lieth upon God’s honor and truth to fill the field, and to be a Husband to the widow.
Let your faith and patience be seen, that it may be known your only beloved first and last has been Christ. And, therefore, now ware your whole love upon Him; He alone is a suitable object for your love and all the affections of your soul. God has dried up one channel of your love by the removal of your husband. Let now that speat run upon Christ.
And I dare say that God’s hammering of you from your youth is only to make you a fair carved stone in the high upper temple of the New Jerusalem. Your Lord never thought this world’s vain painted glory a gift worthy of you; and therefore would not bestow it on you, because He is to propane you with a better portion. Let the movable go; the inheritance is yours. Ye are a child of the house, and joy is laid up for you, it is long in coming, but not the worse for that.
I am now expecting to see, and that with joy and comfort, that which I hoped of you since I knew you fully; even that ye have laid such strength upon the Holy One of Israel, that ye defy troubles, and that your soul is a castle that may be besieged, but cannot be taken. And withal consider how in all these trials (and truly they have been many) your Lord has been loosing you at the root from perishing things, and hunting after you to grip your soul. Madam, for the Son of God’s sake, let Him not miss His grip, but stay and abide in the love of God, as Jude saith (Jude 21).
Now. Madam, I hope your Ladyship will take these lines in good part; and wherein I have fallen short and failed to your Ladyship, in not evidencing what I was obliged to your more-than-undeserved love and respect, I request for a full pardon for it. Again, my dear and noble lady, let me beseech you to lift up your head, for the day of your redemption draweth near. And remember, that star that shined in Galloway is now shining in another world.
Now I pray that God may answer, in His own style, to your soul, and that He may be to you the God of all consolations.
ANWOTH, Sept. 14, 1634
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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.
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