We Must Take Heaven by Violence

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Samuel Rutherford (The Letters of Samuel Rutherford, from Letter 181):

And for doubtings, because you are not as you were long since with your Master: consider three things.​

1st, What if Christ had such tottering thoughts of the bargain of the new covenant betwixt you and Him, as you have?​

2ndly, Your heart is not the compass which Christ saileth by. He will give you leave to sing as you please, but He will not dance to your daft spring. It is not referred to you and your thoughts, what Christ will do with the charters betwixt you and Him. Your own misbelief hath torn them; but He hath the principal in heaven with Himself. Your thoughts are no parts of the new covenant; dreams change not Christ.

3rdly, Doubtings are your sins; but they are Christ’s drugs, and ingredients that the Physician maketh use of for the curing of your pride. Is it not suitable for a beggar to say at meat, “God reward the winners”? for then he saith that he knoweth who beareth the charges of the house. It is also meet that ye should know, by experience, that faith is not nature’s ill-gotten bastard, but your Lord’s free gift, that lay in the womb of God’s free grace. Praised be the Winner!

I may add a 4thly, In the passing of your bill and your charters, when they went through the Mediator’s great seal, and were concluded, faith’s advice was not sought. Faith hath not a vote beside Christ’s merits: blood, blood, dear blood, that came from your Cautioner’s holy body, maketh that sure work. The use, then, which ye have of faith now (having already closed with Jesus Christ for justification) is, to take out a copy of your pardon; and so ye have peace with God upon the account of Christ. For, since faith apprehendeth pardon, but never payeth a penny for it, no marvel that salvation doth not die and live, ebb or flow, with the working of faith. But because it is your Lord’s honour to believe His mercy and His fidelity, it is infinite goodness in our Lord, that misbelief giveth a dash to our Lord’s glory, and not to our salvation.
And so, whoever want (yea, howbeit God here bear with the want of what we are obliged to give Him, even the glory of His grace by believing), yet a poor covenanted sinner wanteth not. But if guiltiness were removed, doubtings would find no friend, nor life; and yet faith is to believe the removal of guiltiness in Christ. A reason why ye get less now (as ye think) than before, as I take it, is, because, at our first conversion, our Lord putteth the meat in young bairns’ mouths with His own hand; but when we grow to some further perfection, we must take heaven by violence, and take by violence from Christ what we get. And He can, and doth hold, because He will have us to draw. Remember now that ye must live upon violent plucking. Laziness is a greater fault now than long since. We love always to have the pap put in our mouth.​

Jeri Tanner

Staff member
Thanks for this. I put Rutherford’s Letters in my Amazon cart after someone on the PB recently mentioned it.
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