16 July, 2011

Words of Samuel Rutherford - To Believers Struggling with Weakness

Samuel Rutherford, “To the Parishioners of Kilmacolm,” 5 August 1639, in Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

Here Rutherford addresses some who struggle under their sense of weakness due to affliction and sin. If you sense and even are overcome with the reality of your sins and weakness in spiritual things, here is counsel for you for your encouragement in Christ.

"…I would say two things: 1. To want [lack] complaints of weakness, is for heaven, and angels that never sinned, not for Christians in Christ’s camp on earth. I think our weakness maketh us the church of the redeemed ones, and Christ’s field that the Mediator should labour in. If there were no diseases on earth, there needed no physicians on earth. If Christ had cried down weakness, he might have cried down his own calling. But weakness is our Mediator’s world: sin is Christ’s only fair and market. No man should rejoice at weakness and diseases; but I think we may have a sort of gladness at boils and sores, because without them, Christ’s fingers (as a slain Lord) should never have touched our skin. I dare not thank myself, but I dare thank God’s depth of wise providence, that I have an errand in me, while I live, for Christ to come and visit me, and bring with him his drugs and balm. O how sweet is it for a sinner to put his weakness in Christ’s strengthening hand, and to take a sick soul to such a Physician, and to lay weakness before him, to weep upon him, and to plead and pray! Weakness can speak and cry, when we have not a tongue. ‘And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live’ [Ezek 16:6].The kirk could not speak one word to Christ then; but blood and guiltiness out of measure spake, and drew out of Christ Pity, and a word of life and love. 2. As for weakness, we have it that we may employ Christ’s strength because of our weakness. Weakness is to make us the strongest things; that is, when, having no strength of our own, we are carried upon Christ’s shoulders, and walk, as it were, upon his legs. If our sinful weakness swell up to the clouds, Christ’s strength will swell up to the sun, and far above the heaven of heavens."

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