To an able woman building on such a weighty basis as that on which Lady Boyd had for long been building, Rutherford was quite safe to lay weighty and unusual comforts on her mind and on her heart. ’Christ has a use for all your corruptions,’ he says to her, to her surprise and to her comfort. ‘Beata culpa,’ cried Augustine; and ‘Felix culpa,’ cried Gregory. ‘My sins have in a manner done me more good than my graces,’ said holy Mr. Fox. ‘I find advantages of my sins,’ said that most spiritually-minded of men, James Fraser of Brea. Those who are willing and able to read a splendid passage for themselves on this paradoxical-sounding subject will find it on page xii. of the Address to the Godly and Judicious Reader in Samuel Rutherford’s Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself.
What Rutherford was bold to say to Lady Boyd about her corruptions she was able herself to say to Trochrig about her crosses. ’Right Honourable Sir,—It is common to God’s children and to the wicked to be under crosses, but their crosses chase God’s children to God. O that anything would chase me to my God!’ There speaks a woman of mind and of heart who knows what she is speaking about. And, like her and her correspondents, when all our other crosses have chased us to God, then our master cross, the corruption of our heart, will chase us closer up to God than all our other crosses taken together. We have no cross to be compared with our corruptions, and when they have chased us close enough and deep enough into the secret place of God, then we will begin to understand and adorn the dangerous doxologies of Augustine and Gregory, Fraser and Fox. Yes; anything and everything is good that chases us up to God: crosses and corruptions, sin and death and hell. ’O that anything would chase me to my God!’ cried saintly Lady Boyd. And that leads her ladyship in another letter to Trochrig to tell him the kind of preaching she needs and that she must have at any cost. ’It will not neither be philosophy nor eloquence that will draw me from the broad road of perdition: I must have a trumpet to tell me of my sins.’ That was a well-said word to the then Principal of Glasgow University who had so many of the future ministers of Scotland under his hands, all vying with one another as to who should be the best philosopher and the most eloquent preacher. Trochrig was both an eloquent preacher and a philosophic principal and a spiritually-minded