The New Testament as a path of sight into Christ is such a precious gift. If one reads the gospels correctly, the Lord Jesus truly is quite shocking. I often wonder as I read the New Testament, and afterward, turn to the letters of the Scottish Puritan Samuel Rutherford, whether I am simply dull of heart because I am not as astonished at the majesty of Christ as Rutherford so often seemed to be. In fact, the ecstatic wonder into which he periodically bursts during his letters is so vivid I sometimes wonder whether I even love the same Jesus he did.
A minister who was contemporary to Rutherford once remarked about his life,
“He seemed to be always praying, always visiting the sick, always catechizing, always writing and studying. Many times I thought he would have flown out of the pulpit when he came to speak of Jesus Christ. He was never in his right element but when he was commending him.”
Below is Samuel Rutherford in that element.
“I find Christ to be Christ, and that he is far, far, even infinite heaven’s height about man. And that is all our happiness. Sinners can do nothing but make wounds that Christ may heal them; and make debts, that he may pay them; and make falls, that he may raise them; and make deaths, that he may quicken them; and spin out and dig hells to themselves, that he may ransom them.”
“Be not cast down: if you saw him, who is standing on the shore, holding out his arms to welcome you to land, you would not only wade through a sea of wrongs, but through hell itself, to be at him: and I trust in God you see him sometimes. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit, and all yours.”
“Were there ten thousand millions of heavens created above these highest heavens, and again as many above them, and as many above them, till angels were wearied with counting, it were but too low a seat to fix the princely throne of that Lord Jesus above them all.”
“Whether God come to his children with a rod or a crown, if he come himself with it, it is well. Welcome, welcome Jesus, what may so ever thou come, if we can get a sight of thee: and sure I am, it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bedside and draw the curtains, and say, Courage I am thy salvation, than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong and never need to be visited of God.”
“If there were ten thousand thousand millions of worlds, and as many heavens full of men and angels, Christ would not be pinched to supply all our wants, and to fill us all. Christ is a well of life, but who knoweth how deep it is to the bottom?”
“O, what a fair One, what an only One, what an excellent, lovely, ravishing One is Jesus! Put the beauty of ten thousand thousand worlds of paradises like the garden of Eden in one…and yet it would be less to me than that fair and dearest well-beloved, Christ.”
“O sweet, sweet is His yoke! Christ’s chains are of pure gold; sufferings for Him are perfumed. I would not give my weeping for the laughing of all fourteen prelates; I would not exchange my sadness with the world’s joy. O lovely, lovely Jesus, how sweet must Thy kisses be, when Thy cross smelleth so sweetly!”
“Put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one. O, what a fair and excellent thing that would be! And yet it would be less to that fair and dearest Well-Beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths.”
“O, but Christ is heaven’s wonder and earth’s wonder! What marvel that His bride saith, ‘He is altogether lovely’? (Cant. 5:16) O, that black souls will not come and fetch all their love to this fair One!”
“There are curtains to be drawn by in Christ, that we never saw, and new foldings of love in Him. I despair that ever I shall win to the far end of that love, there are so many plies in it. His love surroundeth and surchargeth me. I am burdened with it; but oh, how sweet and lovely is that burden!”
“O, O, you poor dry and dead souls, why will you not come here with your empty vessels, and your empty souls to this huge, and fair, and deep, and sweet well of life and fill all your empty vessels.
O, that Christ should be so large in sweetness and worth, and we so narrow, lacking, so weak, and so void of all happiness, and yet men will not take Him. They lose their love miserably, who will not bestow it upon this lovely One.”
“O, if I could invite and persuade thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand of Adam’s sons, to flock about my Lord Jesus, and to come and take their fill of love! O, pity for evermore that there should be such a one as Christ Jesus, so boundless, so bottomless, and so incomparable in infinite excellency and sweetness, and so few to take Him.”