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Samuel Rutherford’s Riches

Category Articles
Date December 7, 2007

Some selections by Mack Tomlinson of Texas from Rutherford’s The Loveliness of Christ.1

The great Master Gardener, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in a wonderful providence, with his own hand, planted me here in this part of his vineyard; here I grow and here I will abide till the great Master of the vineyard thinks it fit to transplant me.

If your Lord calls you to suffering, be not dismayed; there shall be a new allowance of the King for you when you come to it. One of the softest pillows Christ has is laid under his witnesses’ head, though often they must set down their bare feet among thorns.

God has called you to Christ’s side and the wind is now in Christ’s face in this land [Scotland]; and seeing you are with him, you cannot expect always the sunny side.

Needs are my best riches, for I have these supplied by Christ. I think the sense of our needs, when we have a restlessness and a sort of spiritual impatience under them, because we need him whom our soul loves, is that which makes an open door for Christ; and when we think we are going backward, because we feel deadness, we are actually going forward; for the more sense of need we have, the more life there actually is, and when there is no sense of need, it argues that there is no life.

There is no sweeter fellowship with Christ than to bring our wounds and our sores to him.

There is as much in our Lord’s pantry as will satisfy all his children and as much wine in his cellar as will quench all their thirst. Hunger on, for there is meat in hungering for Christ; go never from him, but seek him who is yet pleased with the importunity of hungry souls until he fills you; if he delays, yet do not go away, even if you faint at his feet.

I find it most true that the greatest temptation outside of hell is to live without temptations; if water stands, it rots; faith is the better for the sharp winter storm in its face and grace withers without adversity. The devil is but God’s master fencer to teach us to handle our weapons.

O, mercy for evermore, that there should be such a one as Christ Jesus – so boundless, so bottomless, so incomparable in infinite excellency and sweetness, and yet so few to take him! O, you poor dry and dead souls, why will you not come here with your vessels and your empty souls to this huge well of life and fill all your vessels? O, that Christ should be so large in sweetness and worth and we so narrow and void of happiness, and yet men will not take him! They lose their love miserably who will not bestow it upon this lovely One.

You will not get to steal quietly into heaven, into Christ’s company, without a conflict and a cross. I find crosses to be Christ’s carved work that he marks out for us and that with crosses he portraits us to his own image, cutting away pieces of our ill and corruption. Lord cut – Lord carve – Lord wound – Lord do anything that may perfect thy Father’s image in us and make us ready for glory.

It is the Lord’s kindness that he will take the scum off us in the fire. Who know how needful winnowing is to us and what dross we have before we enter the kingdom of God? So narrow is the entry to heaven that our knots, lumps of pride, self-love, idol-love, and world-love must be hammered off us, that we may stoop low and creep through into that narrow entry.

O, what I owe to the file, the hammer, and the furnace of the Lord Jesus! I know that he is no idle husbandman – he purposes a crop.

How sweet a thing is it for us to learn to make our burdens light by framing our hearts to the burden and making our Lord’s will a law.

He takes his children in his arms when they come into deep waters; when they lose ground and are having to swim, then his hand is under their chin. I do see that grace grows best in winter.

Let him make anything out of me, if so that he be glorified in my salvation; for I know that I was made for him.

Every day we may see some new thing in Christ. His love has neither brim nor bottom.

I find that our needs qualify us for Christ.

I urge upon you a nearer communion with Christ and a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn in Christ that we never saw and new foldings of love in him. Therefore dig deep and sweat, labour, and take pains toward him; set by so much time in the day for him as you can, for he will be won to you by spiritual labour.

We need fear neither crosses or pain or be sad for anything that is on this side of heaven if we have Christ.

Notes

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      Some selections by Mack Tomlinson of Texas from Rutherford’s The Loveliness of Christ.1 The great Master Gardener, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in a wonderful providence, with his own hand, planted me here in this part of his vineyard; here I grow and here I will abide till the great Master of the […]

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