Spiritual Dryness

(From the Letters of Samuel Rutherford)

To Lady Boyd

MADAM, -- I would have written to your Ladyship ere now, but people's believing there is in me that which I know there is not, has put me out of love with writing to any. My Lord seeth me a tired man, far behind. I have gotten much love from Christ, but I give Him little or none again. My white side cometh out on paper to men; but at home and within I find much black work, and great cause of a low sail, and of little boasting. I wish all professors to fall in love with grace. All our songs should be of His free grace. We are but too lazy and careless in seeking of it; it is all our riches we have here, and glory in the bud. I wish that I could set out free grace. I was the law's man, and under the law, and under a curse; but grace brought me from under that hard lord, and I rejoice that I am grace's freeholder. I pay tribute to none for heaven, seeing my land and heritage holdeth of Christ, my new King. Infinite wisdom has devised this excellent way of free-holding for sinners. It is a better way to heaven than the old way that was in Adam's days. It has this fair advantage, that no man's emptiness and want layeth an inhibition upon Christ, or hindereth His salvation; and that is far best for me. But our new Landlord putteth the names of devours, and Adam's forlorn heirs, and beggars, and the crooked and blind, in the free charters. Heaven and angels may wonder that we have got such a gate of sin and hell. Such a back-entry out of hell as Christ made, and brought out the captives by, is more than my poor shallow thoughts can comprehend. I hear that the prelates are intending banishment for me; but, for more grace, and no other hire, I would make it welcome. The bits of this clay house, the earth, and the other side of the sea, are my Father's. If my sweet Lord Jesus would bud my sufferings with a new measure of grace, I were a rich man. But I have not now, of a long time, found such high spring-tides as formerly. The sea is out, the wind of His Spirit calm; and I cannot buy a wind, or, by requesting the sea, cause it to flow again; only I wait on upon the banks and shore-side, till the Lord send a full sea, that with upsails I may lift up Christ. Yet sorrow for His absence is sweet; and sighs, with 'Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth?' have their own delights. Oh that I may gather hunger against His long-looked-for return! Well were my soul, if Christ were the element (mine own element), and that I loved and breathed in Him, and if I could not live without Him. Remember my service to my lord your son, who was kind to me in my bonds, and was not ashamed to own me. I would be glad that Christ got the morning service of his life, now in his young years. It would suit him well to give Christ his young and green love. Christ's stamp and seal would go far down in a young soul, if he would receive the thrust of Christ's stamp. I would desire him to make search for Christ; for nobles are now but dry friends to Christ. The grace of God our Father, and the goodwill of Him who dwelt in the Bush, be with your Ladyship.



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