Letter 14: To Mr. and Mrs. Samurai (From Brian and Jenny)

Brother and sister,

Concerned to write to you upon being filled with the Holy Spirit and, specifically, that evidence of such a spiritual fullness which is a gospel-reflecting marriage.  Thus, to encouragements in the order of the Author Himself,

Dear sister, even as we know you would submit to the Lord in all things, entrust yourself to your husband; and this we would exhort you to on various accounts, —

First, though he is not Christ, yet he is as Christ unto you, — so, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church,” etc.  God has ordained him as head, and called him to our glorious salvation, and indwelled him with His own being, giving him His Word to follow, and gifts to give to you; so receive them kindly with all gentleness, and him with a zealous love.

Second, he is a godly man; the Word calls the wife to submit herself even unto unbelieving husbands that they might be won by your good behavior; but you have a godly head, and should therefore all the more entrust yourself to him without fear or regret.

Third, your submission is to him who is called to die for your joy; the Lord submitted Himself to sinful men who hated Him and crucified Him, and this was, we may imagine, almost intolerable; yet, His submission, ultimately, was to His Father who loved Him supremely such that He might say “I delight to do Your will.”  So, it would be a hard thing to submit to an ogre, but it is a sweet thing to submit to him who loves your soul, even as your husband does.

Fourth, he is a laver for you in the hands of God, but of this we reserve for him, to which we now go.

Dear brother, love your wife, and this on one great account and in many ways, —

First, the one great account, — Christ Jesus loved you! such that He died for you, gave Himself up for you, that is, willing laid down His infinitely valuable life for you [and you also sister], and that not without ends, and glorious ends at that, —

[1].  That He might apply His purchase for you to you in the way of a new birth, viz., “having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,” etc.  By the word, that is, the gospel, and the gift of the Spirit [Himself part of His purchase], you might be brought from death to life, from darkness to light, from blindness to sight, from deafness to a hearing, from an imperceptibility to perception, from filthiness to purity, from a heart of a stone to that of a sensitive flesh, from corruption to the ever increasing principle of a divine and supernatural life, etc.

[2]. And this that [first] He might sanctify you, viz., as an acorn becomes a mighty oak, as a newborn becomes a valiant man, so you should be set apart, distinguished, made holy unto God for His glorious ends, and having been made distinct, so that you should sprout and grow and have deep roots and high reaching branches, that you should look [as an evidence of the inward reality] more and more like Christ, and this unto glory.  And, [second] that He might present you to Himself in splendor, viz., in eternal glory.  What a word is that “splendor”?  Do we have any proper notion of it?  Can we until we are there?  I do not know?  “Splendor!”  There, He says, you will see Him face to face, you will see God, you will have your great reward, your portion, — in splendor!  And further [third], that He will do such a work in you that your transport into this estate shall eradicate any and all remaining filth!  So, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,” etc.  How frustrating are these?  Spots and wrinkles?  These are the effects of sin; but alas, by His love, by His purchase, by His work, by His presentation, in His splendor, there you shall be spotless, wrinkle-less, and not “any such thing” will stand against you.  He will make you and present you white, pressed, holy, righteous, lovely and perfectly pleasing to God.  Indeed, you will be holy and without blemish.

[3.] Moreover, His love for you is said to be “nourishing” and a “cherishing.”  Oh, how He holds you as the apple of His eye!  Oh, how He tends to you, shepherds you, feeds you, watches over your soul as a thing most precious to Him.  This is how they go together, “nourishing” and “cherishing”, we attend with all love to the healthiness [nourish] of that which we most prize [cherish].  And Christ does prize His church, and you as an individual member, more than all, save the Godhead, but even these are not at odds but do go together.  For His insatiable love for the Father and His glory did coincide with His insatiable love for us, that is, His passion for the reparation of the Father’s honor did go hand in hand with our salvation, or again, God’s glory and our goodness are indivisible and both indissolubly advanced in Christ alone.  So, then, even as He would without cessation attend to the glory of God, so He without cessation attends to your nourishment.

Now, this one great account being slightly opened, it is the whole foundation of your love towards your sister, and now we move to those brief ways or expressions of this love to her, —

Preeminently or summarily it may be said [first], as Christ has thus loved you and the church [so you should love your wife], which we have expressed all to briefly above.

And, thus, —

[2]. Willingly lay down your life for her, and this with a six-fold purpose, —

[First], that she might be washed with the water of the word, — take her again and again to the origin of her birth, to the word of God’s love for her, the Holy Scripture.  It is a laver for her heart, and you must love her purity.

[Second], that she might be sanctified thereby, — so pray as Christ, “Sanctify her by the truth, Your word is truth.”

[Third], consider well and aim at her presentation before Christ in splendor, — by His grace, He will keep her and bring her to Himself in splendor; you have only to labor with Him for this day, for her presentation.

[Fourth], have an eye to her holiness, — take comfort in this, that Christ will perfect her, but as He has covenanted to do so with an absolute certainty, and as you can then rest assured of this, so be zealous for her improvement in walking now as living already in heaven.  Be not like Adam who took no pains to stomp out the serpent, but as Christ, preach to the serpent until his head is flattened, his body maimed, his presence dissolved, and your wife safe from all sin and folly, strolling in the garden with God in the cool of the day and fearing not [for she strides in all happy holiness].

[Fifth], prize her, cherish her, — let her be the apple of your eye, the subsidiary treasure of your heart.  Lay all else aside for her [save God]; glorify God by making her the secondary priority of your life.  Delight yourself in her as she is your wife, a gift given to you from God.  And therefore,

[Sixth], nourish her, — pray with her, pray for her, read with her, shepherd her heart, keep watch over her soul, redeem the time with her, be thankful for her and towards her, give her time to minister the gospel and do not fail to remember that all of the time that you have for those same labors come as a direct result of her own sacrifices, etc.

In these ways, your marriage shall be a beam of the gospel, a reflection of divine and supernatural love; keep this up, do not let it swoon, but hold fast to one another, to God and to the Son of His love.  We love you also,

Seeking to practice the same,

Yours,

Brian and Jenny

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: