No One Will Understand Like Jesus

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, 
and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me, 
O Lord, you son of David; 
my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 
             —Matthew 15:22

9309865_origIN the disciples we see little tenderness: no more but “send her away, she troubleth us with crying.”

Forsooth, they were sore slain, that their dainty ears were pained with the crying of a poor woman! Why, they say not, ‘Dear Master, her little daughter is tormented with the devil, and thou, her Saviour, answereth her not one word; she cannot but break her heart; we pray thee, Master, heal her daughter.’

Natural men, or Christ’s disciples, in so far as there is flesh in them, understand not the mystery of sorrow…

…and fervour of affliction in the saints, crying to God in desertion, and not heard, Natural men jeer at Christ deserted: “He trusted in the Lord, let him deliver him.” (Psalm 22:8.) Heavy was the spirit of the weeping Church, a captive woman at the rivers of Babylon; yet, see, they mock them: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Sion.’ 

Even the saints, in so far as they are unrenewed, are strangers to inward conflicts of souls praying, and not answered of God.

The fainting and swooning Church is pained; “O dear watchmen, saw you my husband?” (Cant. 5:6, 7) Heavy was her spirit, but what then? “The watchmen, that went about the city, found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” (verse 7.) Instead of binding up her wounds, they returned to her buffets, and pulled her hair down about her ears. And the daughters of Jerusalem say to the sick sighing Church pained for the want of her Lord, “What is thy beloved more than another beloved?” etc. (verse 9.) Whereof is thy Christ made? of gold? or is thy beloved more precious than all beloveds in the world? Troubled Hannah grieved in spirit, to Eli, is a drunken woman. The angels find Mary Magdalene weeping, they leave her weeping, they give her a doctrinal comfort; “Woman, why weepest thou? He is not here, He is risen again.”

If a string in the conscience be broken, the apostles that were with Magdalene cannot tie a knot on it again.

If there be a rent in the heart, so as the two sides of the soul of the woman rend asunder, she, poor woman, still weepeth: “Oh, why speak you, O angels, to comfort me? They have taken away my Lord: Angels, what are you to me?” And, indeed, they cannot sew up the woman’s rent heart. This is the Lord’s prerogative, “I create the fruit of the lips, peace.” (Isa. 57:19.) I know no creator but one, and I know no peace-creator but one. Peace of conscience is grace; grace is made of pure nothing, and not made of nature. Pastors may speak of peace, but God speaketh peace to his people. (Psalm 85:8.)

There be some acts of nature, in which men have no hand: to bring bread out of the earth, and vines, men have a hand; but in raising winds, in giving rain, neither king, armies of men, nor acts of Parliament have any influence. The tempering of the wheels and motions of a distempered conscience is so high and supernatural a work, that Christ behoved to have the Spirit of the Lord on him above his fellows, and must be sent with a special commission to apply the sweet hands, the soft merciful fingers of the Mediator, with the art of heaven, that I (saith he) should, as a chirurgeon [surgeon], bind up with splints and bands the broken in heart, and comfort the mourners in Sion. (Isa. 61:1.) There must, 3rd, be some immediate action of Omnipotency, especially when he sets a host of terrors in battle array against the soul, as is evident in Saul, in Job, “His archers compass me round about;” (16:13,) that is, no less than the soul is like a man, beset by enemies round about, so as there is no help in the creature, but he must die in the midst of them. “The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.” (Job 6:4.) Only, the Lord of Hosts, by an immediate action, raiseth these soldiers, the terrors of God; he only can calm them.

What wonder, then, that ministers, the Word, comforts, promises, angels, prophets, apostles, cannot bind up a broken heart?

Friends cannot, till a good word come from God. It is easy for us on the shore, to cry to those tossed on the sea between death and life, “Sail thus and thus.” It is nothing to speak good words to the sick; yet angels have not skill of experience in this.

The afflicted in mind are like infants that cannot tell their disease…

…they apprehend hell, and it is real hell to them. Many ministers are but horse-physicians in this disease; wine and music are vain remedies, there is need of a Creator of peace. “She is frantic (say they), and it is but a fit of a natural melancholy and distraction.”

The disciples are physicians of no value to a soul crying…

...and not heard of Christ. Oh! Moses is a meek man, David a sweet singer, Job and his experience profitable, the apostles God’s instruments, the Virgin Mary is full of grace, the glorified desire the church to be delivered; but they are all nothing to Jesus Christ.

There is more in a piece of a corner of Christ’s heart (to speak so) than in millions of worlds of angels and created comforts, when the conscience hath gotten a back-throw with the hand of the Almighty.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

The Importance of the Davidic Covenant, and the Mediatorial Work of Christ Made Manifest, Part 2

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

“O LORD, thou Son of David.”

The one word “O Lord,” holdeth forth Christ’s Godhead; the other, “Son of David,” holdeth forth his manhood.

 

KingDavidHere is the perfection of our Mediator, in that he is the substantial covenant, and Emmanuel, God with us, or God with us, in a personal union; the substantial marriage and alliance between the two houses of heaven and earth; God and clay.  “He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” (Heb. 2:11). And why would he take part of flesh and blood, but because he would be a child of our house? (Verse 14.)  He would be of blood to us: not only come to the sick, and to our bed-side, but would lie down and be sick, taking on him sick clay, and be, in that condition of clay, a worm and not a man, that he might pay our debts; and would borrow a man’s heart and bowels to sigh for us, man’s eyes to weep for us, his spouse’s body, legs, and arms, to be pierced for us; our earth, our breath, our life, and soul, that he might breathe out his life for us; a man’s tongue and soul to pray for us: and yet, he would remain God, that he might perfume the obedience of a High Priest with heaven, and give to justice blood that chambered in the veins and body of God, in whom God had a personal lodging.

Oh, what love!

Christ would not intrust our redemption to angels, to millions of angels; but he would come himself, and in person suffer; he would not give a low and a base price for us clay. He would buy us with a great ransom, so as he might over-buy us, and none could over-bid him in his market for souls. If there had been millions of more believers, and many heavens, without any new bargain his blood should have bought them all, and all these many heavens should have smelled one rose of life; Christ should have been one and the same tree of life in them all. Oh, we under-bid, and undervalue that Prince of love, who did overvalue us; we will not sell all we have to buy him; he sold all he had, and himself too, to buy us.

What an incomparable thing must the Mediator God-man be?

There is no rose, but it hath a briar growing out of it, except the rose of Sharon, that flower of the field, not planted with hands.  The flower that sprang out of the root of Jesse, spreads his beauty, and the odours of his myrrh through heaven and earth. Could the darkness of hell stand and look on the face of the sun, blackness of darkness should be better seen.

What wonder, then, that this same Lord Jesus be the delight, and heaven of all in it?

The Lamb hath his throne in the midst thereof. (Rev. 7:17). “And they shall see his face,” (Rev. 22:4.) They do nothing else, but stare, gaze, and behold his face for ages, and are never satisfied with beholding: suppose they could wear out their eyes at the eye-holes in beholding God, they should still desire to see more. To see Him face to face, hath a great deal more in it, than is expressed; words are short garments to the thing itself.  The heavens do indeed “declare the glory of God,” (Psalm 19:1,) but they are but dumb musicians; they are the harp, which of itself can make no music: the creatures borrow man’s mouth and tongue, to speak what they have been thinking of God, and his excellency, these five thousand years. Now, all the glory of God, and the glory of the creatures, are made new by Christ, (Rev. 21:5,) and made friends with God. (Col. 1:20,) and are in a special manner in the Mediator Christ; he is, Apaugasma tes doxes, “the irradiation or brightness of the glory, and the character or express image of his person,” (Heb. 1:3). All creatures, by Adam’s sin, lost their golden lustre, and are now vanity-sick, like a woman travailing in birth, (Rom. 8:22). All the creatures by sin, did less objectively glorify God, than they should have done, if sin had never been in the world; and so, they were at a sort of variance and division with God.

If Christ the Mediator be so excellent a person, we are to seek our life the gospel-way in Christ.

We often conceive legal or law thoughts of Christ, when we conceive the Father as just and severe, and Christ his Son to be more meek and merciful; but the text calleth him Lord, and so, that same God with the Father; nor hath Christ more of law, by dying to satisfy the law, nor is he more merciful than the Father, because he and the Father are one. There are not two infinite wills, two infinite mercies, one in the Father, another in the Son; but one will, one mercy in both; and we owe alike love and honour to both, though there be an order in loving God, and serving him through Christ.

Infinite love, and infinite majesty, concur both in Christ.

Love and majesty in men, are often contrary to one another, and the one lesseneth the other; in Christ, the infinite God breatheth love in our flesh. (1.) If we see but little of Christ, we know not well the gospel spirit. We rest much on duties, to go civil saints to heaven; but the truth is, there be no moral men and civilians in heaven, they be all deep in Christ who are there. We are strangers to Christ and believing. (2.) The spirit of a redeemed one can hardly hate a redeemed one, or be bitter against them; Christ in one saint, cannot be cruel to Christ in another saint. (3.) Christ cannot lose his love, or cast it away: the love of Christ is much for conquering hearts; “his chariot is bottomed and paved with love.” Duties bottomed on Christ’s love, are spiritual. As the Father accepteth not duties, but in Christ, so cannot we perform them aright, when the principal and fountain-cause is not the love of Christ. (John 21:15.)

“Son of David, have mercy upon me.”

The second article of her prayer is conceived under the name of mercy.—Why? God’s mercy is a spiritual favour: deliverance to her daughter is but a temporary favour that may befall a reprobate. The devil may be cast out of the daughter’s body, and not out of the mother’s soul. Yea, but to the believer, all temporal favours are spiritualised, and watered with mercy.

They are given as dipped in Christ’s bowels, and mercy, wrapt about the temporary favour. Jesus cured the leper. (Mark 1:41.) But how? “Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand and touched him.” So is the building of the temple given, but oiled with mercies, “Therefore, thus saith the Lord, I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be builded in it.” (Zach. 1:16.) Epaphroditus recovered health, but with it some of God’s heart and bowels also, “For indeed he was sick, near to death, but God had mercy on him.” (Phil. 2:27.)

The ground of it is God’s mercy; the two blind men, put this in their bill: they cry, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.” (Matt. 20:30.) They will not have seeing eyes, but under the notion of mercy. David, pained with sore sickness, as some think, or under some other rod of God, desireth to be healed upon this ground, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak.” (Psalm 6:2.)

Faith looketh to temporal favours, as faith, with a spiritual eye, as Christ and his merits goeth about them. “By faith, Joseph, when he died, made mention of the children of Israel’s departure:” (Heb. 11:22,) “By faith, Moses, come to age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” (verse 24.)—Why? and that was but a civil honour: Moses’ faith looked at it in a spiritual manner.

That same ground that moveth God to give Christ…

…is enough to move him to give all other things with Christ. As by what right? even by the right of a son. A father giveth the inheritance to his son; by that same, he giveth him food, raiment, protection, physic. There are not two patents here, but by one and the same covenant. The Lord giveth to his people remission of sins. (Ezek. 36:25, 26.) And “He multiplieth the fruit of the trees, and removeth the famine.” (verse 30.) In the same spiritual capacity of sons, we pray, that our Father would forgive us our sins, and give us our daily bread.

If all that a saint hath be blessed, and every thing (to speak so), mercied and christianed, even his basket and his dough, (Deut. 28:5,) his inheritance must be blessed: much more, all Christ’s inheritance must be blessed; because he is the seed, the spring, and abstract of blessings. Now, Christ “is appointed the heir of all things.” (Heb. 1:2.) Then he is the heir of a draught of water, of brown bread, of a straw bed on the earth, and hard stones to be the pillow. To the saints, to the children of God, hell (to speak so), is heavened, sorrow joyed, poverty riched, death enlivened, dust and the grave animated and quickened with life and resurrection. God save me from a draught of water without Christ! Peace and deliverance from the sword, without Christ and the gospel, are linked and chained to the curse of God. devil in his heart. The creature wanteth life and blood without Christ.

But all mercy—that is, graced mercy, is to be sought in Jesus Christ.

Every mercy is mercy, because it is in Christ; every stream is water, because it is of the element of water. Every thing in its own element and nature is most copious. Water is nowhere so abundant as in the sea; so in Christ the great treasure of heaven, there is fullness, (John 1:16). 

————————————
Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

Our Broken Prayers, Even When We Speak Nonsense, Make Perfict Sense to God, He Listens Intently, and He Washes Them.

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

Every part of a supplication to a prince, is not a supplication…

…a poor man out of fear may speak nonsense, and broken words that cannot be understood by the prince.  But nonsense in prayer, when sorrow, blackness, and a dark overwhelmed spirit dictates’ words, are well known in, and have a good sense to God.

Therefore, to speak morally, prayer being God’s fire, as every part of fire is fire; so here, every broken parcel of prayer is prayer.

prodigal-sonSo the forlorn son forgot the half of his prayers; he resolved to say, “Make me as one of thy hired servants;” (Luke 15:19,) but (verse 21,) he prayed no such thing; and yet, “his father fell on his neck, and kissed him.” A plant is a tree in the potency; an infant, a man; seeds of saving grace are saving grace; prayer is often in the bowels and womb of a sigh; though it come not out, yet God heareth it as a prayer. “And he that searches the hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:27.) “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble.” (Psalm 10:17.)

Desires have no sound with men, so as they come to the ear; but with God, they have a sound, as prayers have.

Then when others cannot know what a groan meant, God knows what is under the lap of a sigh, because his Spirit made the sigh: he first made the prayer, as an intercessor, and then, as God he heard it; he is within praying, and without hearing.

But, are all my cryings in prayer, works of the Spirit? Answer. The flesh may come in and join in prayer, and some things may be said in haste, not in faith; as in that prayer, “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?” (Psalm 77:9.) Nor is that of Jeremiah to be put in Christ’s golden censer, to be presented to the Father: “Wilt thou be altogether to me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” (Jer. 15:18.) Nor that of Job, (13:24,) “Wherefore holdest thou me for thine enemy?” Christ washes sinners in his blood, but he washes not sin: he advocates for the man that prays to have him accepted, but not for the upstarts and boilings of corruption and the flesh that are mixed with our prayer, to have them made white.

Christ rejects these things in prayer that are essentially ill; but he washes the prayer, and causes the Father accept it.

There be so many other things that are a-pouring out of the soul in prayer; as groaning, sighing, looking up to heaven, breathing, weeping; that it cannot be imagined, how far short printed and read prayers come of vehement praying: for you cannot put sighs, groans, tears, breathing, and such heart-messengers down in a printed book; nor can paper and ink lay your heart, in all its sweet affections, out before God. 

———————————— 
Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

Understanding the Immense Importance of the Davidic Covenant

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

 “O Lord, thou Son of David!

 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,
and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me,
O Lord, you son of David;
my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
             —Matthew 15:22

wpid-jesus_canaanite_womanIn this compellation, consider why Christ is called the Son of David, never the son of Adam, never the son of Abraham.

It is true he is called frequently the Son of man; but never when any prayeth to him: and he is reckoned, in his genealogy, David’s son. Abraham’s son, the Son of Adam; but the Son of David is his ordinary style, when prayers are directed to him in the days of his flesh.

 The reasons are:

1st. Christ had a special relation to Abraham, being his seed; but more special to David, because the covenant was in a special manner established with David…

…as a king, and the first king in whose hand the Church, the feeding thereof as God’s own flock, was, as God’s deposit and pawn laid down. The Lord established the Covenant of Grace with David, and his son Solomon, who was to build him an house; and promised to him an eternal kingdom, and grace, and perseverance in grace, and that by a sure covenant, “the sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:32 Sam. 7:8-161 Chron. 22:9, 102 Sam. 23:5.) “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, for [this is] all my salvation and all my desire.” “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant.” (Psalm 89:3, 4.) “Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” (verses 21-37.) Gabriel the angel speaketh the same to Zacharias. (Luke 1:32, 33; so, 5:68,69Acts 13:34-37; and 2:30.)

Now, it was necessary, that Christ the Messiah should lineally descend of a king:  Abraham was not a king; Adam was not formally a king by covenant, as David was.

2nd, Christ changeth names with David, as he never did with any man.

 Christ is never called Abraham; but, “David my servant shall be a prince among them.” (Ezek. 34:23, 24.) “They shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king.” (Hos. 3:5.) 3rd, David entered to a typical throne against the heart of Jew and Gentile, (Psalm 2:1, 2,) and so did Christ, (Acts 4:25, 26) and did feed the people of God in the midst of many enemies; (Psalm 110:1, 2) and so did Christ. (Acts 2:34-36) Not so Abraham; he was a befriended man in a strange land. 

That which I aim at is this:  Christ was a King by the covenant of grace… 

…and the special party of the new covenant, as was David. The covenant is here a joint and mutual bargain between two, according to which, they promise freely such and such things each to other: hence God and man made up a solemn bargain in Christ.

They both consent.

Christ forced not his spouse to marry against her will, nor was God forced to make a covenant. Love and grace was that which led Christ’s hand at the pen, in signing the covenant with his blood.

As a cluster of stars maketh a constellation, a body of branches a tree, so a mass of promises concurreth in this covenant. 

Wherever Christ is, clusters of divine promises grow out of him, as the motes, rays, and beams from the sun, and a family (as it were), and a society of branches out of a tree.

There is here giving and receiving. 

Christ offereth and giveth such and such favours; we receive all by believing, except the grace of faith, which cannot be received by faith, but by free favour and grace, without us, in God. Grace, first and last, was all our happiness. If there had not been a Saviour (to borrow that expression), made all of grace, grace itself, we could never have had dealing with God.

The parties of the covenant are God and man.

Oh, how sweet! that such a potter, and such a former of all things, should come in terms of bargaining with such clay, as is guilty before him! Now, the parties here, on the one part, is GOD; on the other, the Mediator, Christ, and the children that the Lord gave him.

Observe: In the covenant of nature and works…

…God and his friend Adam were parties contracting; and in the second covenant, God, and his fellow, Christ, and all his, are parties. A covenant of peace cannot be between an enemy and an enemy, as they are such; those who were enemies, must lay down wrath, ere they can enter into covenant. Contraries, as contraries, cannot be united.

 God being the sole author of this covenant, did lay aside enmity first.

Love must first send out love, as fire must cast out heat. It is true, this covenant is made with sinners, (as God made the covenant of nature with Adam, yet righteous,) but an union covenant-wise could never have been, except God had in a manner bowed to us, and grace proved out of measure gracious.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

In Love with Your Own Dungeon of Sin? Thoughts on the Essence of Misplaced Love.

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

Observe, that all that came to Christ, have been forced through some one necessity or other…

…either a leprous body, blind eyes, a palsy, a bloody issue, a withered arm, or a dying son; and that some have been brought to Christ, at least, their parents or friends have come to Christ, through reason of bodily possession by the devil: but we read of none who came through reason of the devil’s spiritual possessing of them, either by themselves or others.

There is much flesh and much nature in us, and so much sense and little spirit, and little of God: a blind eye will chase thee to Christ, a soul under the prince of darkness will not.  We are all body, and life, and time; but we are not all soul, and spirit, and eternity: heaven is far from being the master element in us. 

Misplaced love is much. “Ye are of your father the devil,” saith Christ to the Jews,

k-bigpicEvery child loveth the father. Why? And men love not the devil: doth not every wretch through nature’s instinct abhor the devil? Is not this the mother-devotion of any wretch that knoweth nothing of God from the womb? “God save me from the devil and all his works; I have nothing to do with that foul spirit.” It is true, there is a physical hatred of the devil, as he is a spirit, an angel, and a future recipient of divine justice, inflicting evil of punishment on all men naturally; but there is in all men an inbred moral love of the devil, as he is a fallen spirit, tempting to sin: here every prisoner loveth this keeper; like loveth like; broken men and bankrupts flee together to woods and mountains; an outlaw loveth an outlaw; fowls of a feather flock together.

The devil and sinful men are both broken men, and outlaws of heaven, and of one blood…

…wicked men are the “children of the devil,” (1 John 3:10); they have that natural relation of father and son; there is of the devil’s seed in sinners. There is a spiritual concupiscence in devils to lust against God’s image and glory; and Satan findeth his own seed in us by nature, to wit, concupiscence, a stem, a sprouting and child of the house of hell. It were good we knew our own misery: the man resolveth a prisoner has a sweet life, who loveth his own chains, because made of gold, and hateth them not because chains; and falleth to paint the walls of his dungeon, and to put up hangings in his prison, and will but over-gild with gold his iron fetters.

Oh! are we not in love with our own dungeon of sin?

And do we not bear a kind love to our father, the devil? We bring in provision for the flesh, and nourish the old man, as old as since Adam first sinned. Alas! we never saw our father in the face: we love the devil, as the devil fallen in sin; but we see him not as a devil, but only under the embroideries of golden and silken temptations: we sow to the flesh; we bring in our crop to the devil, but we know not our landlord; and because sense and flesh are nearer to us than God, we desire more the liberties of state, free commerce, and peace with the king, than Christ’s liberties, the power and purity of the gospel, that we may negotiate with Heaven and have peace with God.

In Satan’s fools the right principle of wisdom is extinguished.

The prophet spoke it of statesmen, or rather state-fools, “Lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in them?” (Jer. 8:9.) As there be pollutions of the flesh, so are there pollutions of the mind and spirit, (2 Tim. 3:8.) Men of corrupt minds are men of rotten minds; false opinions of God are rottenness in the understanding. “The spirit of a sound mind.” (1 Tim. 1:7.) “Hold fast the form of sound words.” (verse 13.) There are some words that come from a sick mind, as Titus 1:13. The apostle holdeth forth, that there be some sick of the faith, as there be some sound of the faith, (Prov. 10:7.) The Lord giveth sound wisdom its essence and being.

Wisdom and the law of God is an abiding and a living thing that endureth to eternity…

…whereas indeed human wisdom, and false opinions of God, are passing away things; the lie liveth not a long age. Wisdom is a tree of life. “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes,” (Psalm 119:80,) perfect, wanting nothing. A fool wanteth the best part of his heart. State wisdom, not lying level to Christ’s ends, but commensurate with carnal projects, is but folly. None can come to Christ, except they hear a good report of him. How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  Those who come aright to Christ, must have noble, high, long, deep, and broad thoughts of Jesus, and know the gospel.

Now, what is the gospel? It is nothing but a good report of Christ. 

You must hear a gospel-report of Christ, ere you come to him: ill principled thoughts of Christ keep many from him. “Strangers shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand.” (1 Kings 8:42.) Christ was to be heard by the deaf Gentiles: “In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book.” (Isa. 29:18.) We hear, and we hear not, because the Lord wakeneth not the ear, morning by morning, that we may hear as the learned. Many hear, but they have not the learned ear, nor the ear of such as have heard and learned of the Father. Many hear of Christ, a voice, and no more but a voice; they know not that prophecy, “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isa. 30:21,) There is another voice in our hearing; men do not hear, that they may hear. “Hear, ye deaf, and behold, ye blind, that ye may see:” (Isa. 42:18,) that is, hear that ye may hear, see that ye may see. The Lord giveth grace that he may give grace, and we are to receive grace that we may receive grace; grace is the only reward of grace.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

But what am I…?

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

Jan_Boeckhorst_-_Mary_Magdalene_-_Walters_37372What were they all, who are now glorified?

The fairest face that standeth before the throne of redeemed ones, was once inked and blackened with sin. You should not know Paul now, with a crown of a king on his head: he looketh not now like a “blasphemer, a persecutor, an injurious person.” The woman that had once seven devils in her, is a Mary Magdalene far changed, and grace made the change.

But what am I…

….a lump of unrepenting guiltiness and sin? Am I as such a vessel of mercy, as holy Paul, and repenting Mary Magdalene?

6771e999a0d528f6bc3cd8d2f9177064Grace, as it is in God, and fitness to receive grace in us, is just alike to all. There was no more reason why Paul should obtain mercy, than why thou, or any other sinner like thee, should obtain mercy. There is a like reason for me to have noble and broad thoughts of the rich grace of Christ, as for Abraham, Moses, David, all the prophets and apostles to believe. There was no greater ransom given by Christ to buy faith and free grace for Noah, Job, and Daniel, to Moses and Samuel, than to poor and sinful me: it is one cause, one ransom, one free love.

If there had a nobler and worthier Redeemer died for Moses and Paul, than for you and me; and another heaven, and a freer grace purchased to them, than to me, I should have been discouraged: grace is grace to thee, as to meek Moses: Christ is Christ to thee, as to believing Abraham. And further,

The same grace that is here, is in heaven.

1. As faith that is freely given us, is the conquest of the new heir, Jesus Christ, (John 6:44; Phil. 1:29; Eph. 1:3,) so are all Christ’s bracelets about our neck in heaven, and the garland of glory, the free grace of God. It is the same day-light when the sun breaketh forth out of the east, and at noon-day in the highestmeridian. Though we change places when we die, we change not husbands.

2. We stand here by free grace. (Rom. 5:2.) Repentance and remission of sins are freely given here to Israel, by the exalted Prince Christ Jesus. (Acts 5:31.) Our tears are bought with that common ransom; so the high inns of the royal court of heaven is a free and open house, and no bill put upon the inhabitants; neither fine, nor stent, nor excise, nor assessment, nor taxation; all is upon the royal charges of the Prince of the kings of the earth. There is no more hire, merit, wages, or fees there than here; the income of glory for eternity, and the life-rent of ages of blessedness, is all the goodwill of Him who sitteth on the throne.

apple-tree (1)Every apple of the tree of life is grace…

…every sip, every drop of the sea and river of life, is the purchase of the blood of the Lamb that is in the midst of them.

(3.) They be as poor without Christ who are there [in heaven], as we are [here on earth]. Glory is grace, and their dependency for ages of ages is, that the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, does feed them, and lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God wipeth away all tears from their eyes. (Rev. 7:17.) Then they cannot walk there alone, but as the Lamb leadeth them; and if Christ were not there, or if he should take grace, glory, and all his own jewels and ornaments from Moses and Enoch, there should remain no more there but poor nature.

As good angels do therefore not fall, because in Christ, the Head of angels, they are confirmed…

…and if they lacked this confirming grace, they might yet fall, and become apostate devils, so the glorified in heaven do therefore stand, and are confirmed in the inheritance, not by free-will there, more than here; but by immediate dependence of grace on the Lamb, whom they follow whithersoever he goeth.

Grace, then, for his children, is as good as heaven. Glory, glory to our ransom-payer!

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rutherfordMeet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.

Why we cannot and should not come to a conclusion about the cause of an affliction.

Written by Samuel Rutherford.
Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.

It is a part of tenderness of conscience in the regenerate, to be too applicatory of the law and of wrath: “I am afflicted above all others, therefore God is angry with me, and I am cast off by God.”

There be some rules to be observed in affliction:

Thinker-600x420.
We are not either to over-argue or to under-argue, neither to faint nor despise. Conscience is too quick-sighted after illumination, and too dull-sighted before.

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The reasons why we argue from afflictions to God’s hatred are…

A.     There is a conscience of a conscience in the believer; that is, even in an enlightened conscience, there is some ill conscience to deem ill of God. “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes.” (Psalm 31:22.) This is a hasty conscience; as we say, Such a one is a hasty man, and soon saddled, easily provoked to anger. This is a conscience soon provoked to anger.

B.     We have not that love and charity to God, that we have to some friend. We have such a love to some dear friend, that all his blacks are white; his seeming injuries to us do not provoke us. We say, I can believe no evil of such a man; and we over-shoot ourselves in an over-charge and surfeit of charity, which proceedeth from an over-plus and dominion of love, to a creature. We are in the other extremity to God and Jesus Christ. Sense of affliction cooleth our love, and we cannot extend charity so far to our Lord, as when we see he dealeth hardly with us, to keep the other ear without prejudice, free from the report that affliction, and the sense of affliction, maketh.

C.     The flesh joineth with affliction against God: affliction whispereth wrath, justice, sin, and the flesh saith, That is very true; for flesh hateth God, and so, must slander his dispensation. Ahab could not but slander Micaiah: “He never prophesieth good (saith he) to me.” Is not God’s truth good? Surely, every word of prophecy is like gold seven times tried. The reason of the slander is given by himself—“I hate him.” The other extremity is, that we under-argue in affliction; as

[1.] we say, It is not the Lord. The Philistines doubted whether God had sent the emerods on them, for keeping the ark captive, or if chance had done it. It is grace to father the cross right.

[2.] We look seldom spiritually on the cross: a carnal eye upon a cross is a plague. “God’s anger set him on fire round about, and he knew it not; and it burned him, and he laid it not to heart.” (Isa. 42:25.) It is strange, that God’s fire should burn a man, and yet, he neither seeth nor feeleth fire. Why? There is something of God in the cross, that the carnal eye cannot see.

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rutherfordMeet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600 – 30 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.

Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University, where he became Regent of Humanity (Professor of Latin) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire,Galloway, where it was said of him ‘he was always praying, always,preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying’, and from where he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity, ‘being very powerful on the side of the Reformed faith and of God living’, there in Aberdeen, ‘his writing desk’, was said to be, ‘perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’. His patron in Galloway was John Gordon, 1st Viscount of Kenmure. On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638 he was made Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.

Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647, and after his return to Scotland he became Rector of St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews in 1651. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s, and at the Restoration of Charles II his Lex Rex was burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and the “Drunken Parliament” deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college.

His epitaph on his tombstone concluded ‘Acquainted with Immanuel’s song’.

Rutherford’s has been described as ‘Prince of Letter writers’ and C. H. Spurgeon described Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men, continuing in an 1891 review of Rutherford’s (posthumously published Letters (1664) ‘when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men’. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish minister, in a 19th-century biography observed ‘the letters flash upon the reader with original thoughts and abound in lofty feeling clothed in the radiant garb of imagination in which there is everything of poetry but the form. Individual sentences that supplied the germ-thought of some of the most beautiful spiritual in modern poetry’ continuing ‘a bundle of myrrh whose ointment and perfume would revive and gladden the hearts of many generations, each letter full of hope and yet of heartbreak, full of tender pathos of the here and the hereafter.’  Rutherford was also known for other spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, “The Trial and Triumph of Faith”.