That the Bird May Fly Out


Today, a sick day home from the factory, I found the following in a random opening of the Letters of Samuel Rutherford (to William Glendinning from Aberdeen, 1637).

And for myself: I think if a poor, weak, dying sheep seek for an old dyke and the lee-side of an hill in a storm, I have cause to long for a covert from this storm, in heaven. I know none will take my room over my head there. But certainly sleepy bodies will be at rest and a well-made bed, and an old crazed bark at a shore, amd a wearied traveller at home, and a breathless horse at the rink's end. I see nothing in this life but sin and the sour fruits of sin. And , oh, what a burden is sin! And what a slavery and miserable bondage is it , to be at the nod, and yeas and nays, of such a lord-master as a body of sin! Truly, when I think of it, it is a wonder that Christ maketh not fire and ashes of such a dry branch as I am. I would often lie down under Christ's feet and bid him trample upon me, when I consider my guiltiness. But seeing he hath sworn that sin shall not loose his unchangeable covenant, I keep house-room among the rest of the ill-learned bairns, and must cumber the Lord of the house with the rest, till my Lord take the fetters off legs and arms, and destroy this body of sin, and make a hole or breach in this cage of earth, that the bird may fly out and the imprisoned soul be at liberty. In the meantime, the least intimation of Christ's love is sweet, and the hope of marriage with the Bridegroom holdeth me in some joyful on-waiting, that, when Christ's summer -birds shall sing upon the branches of the Tree of Life, I shall be tuned by God himself to help them to sing the home-coming of our Well-beloved and his bride to their house together. When I think of this, I think winters and summers , and years and days, and time, do me a pleasure that they shorten this untwisted and weak thread of my life, and that they put sin and miseries by-hand, and that they shall carry me to my Bridegroom in a clap.

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