(Letter III.). On the death of her infant daughter, Rutherford writes to the elect lady: ’She is only sent on before, like unto a star, which, going out of our sight, doth not die and vanish, but still shineth in another hemisphere. What she wanted of time she hath gotten of eternity, and you have now some plenishing up in heaven. Build your nest upon no tree here, for God hath sold the whole forest to death’ (Letter IV.). ’Madam, when you are come to the other side of the water and have set down your foot on the shore of glorious eternity, and look back to the water and to your wearisome journey, and shall see in that clear glass of endless glory nearer to the bottom of God’s wisdom, you shall then be forced to say, “If God had done otherwise with me than He hath done, I had never come to the enjoying of this crown of glory"’ (Letter XL). ’Madam, tire not, weary not; for I dare find you the Son of God caution that when you are got up thither and have cast your eyes to view the golden city and the fair and never-withering Tree of Life that beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, you shall then say, “Four-and-twenty hours’ abode in this place is worth threescore and ten years’ sorrow upon earth"’ (Letter XIX.). ’Your ladyship goeth on laughing and putting on a good countenance before the world, and yet you carry heaviness about with you. You do well, madam, not to make them witnesses of your grief who cannot be curers of it’ (Letter XX.). ’Those who can take the crabbed tree of the cross handsomely upon their backs and fasten it on cannily shall find it such a burden as its wings are to a bird or its sails to a ship’ (Letter LXIX.). ’I thought it had been an easy thing to be a Christian, and that to seek God had been at the next door; but, oh, the windings, the turnings, the ups and downs He hath led me through!’ (Letter CIV.) ’I may be a book-man and yet be an idiot and a stark fool in Christ’s way! The Bible beguiled the Pharisees, and so may I be misled’ (Letter CVI.). ’I find you complaining of yourself, and it becometh a sinner so to do. I am not against you in that. The more sense the more life. The more sense of sin the less sin’ (Letter CVI.). ’Seeing my sins and the sins of my youth deserved strokes, how am I obliged to my Lord who hath given me a waled and chosen cross! Since I must have chains, He would put golden chains on me, watered over with many consolations. Seeing I must have sorrow (for I have sinned, O Preserver of men!), He hath waled out for me joyful sorrow—honest, spiritual, glorious sorrow’ (Letter CCVI.). There are hundreds of passages as good as these scattered up and down the forty-seven letters we have had preserved to us out of the large and intimate correspondence that passed between Samuel Rutherford and Lady Kenmure.
V. LADY CARDONESS
’Think it not easy.’—Rutherford.