An Interesting Find

While reading The Letters of Samuel Rutherford,[1] I came across this quotation.

In the meantime, I am pained with his love, because I want real possession. When Christ cometh, he stayeth not long. But certainly the blowing of his breath upon a poor soul is heaven upon earth; and when the wind turneth into the north, and he goeth away, I die, till the wind change into the west, and he visit his prisoner. But he holdeth me not often at his door. I am richly repaid for suffering for him. O if all Scotland were as I am, except my bonds! O what pain I have because I cannot get him praised by my sufferings! O that heaven within and without, and the earth, were paper, and all the rivers, fountains, and seas were ink, and I able to write all the paper within and without, full of his praises, and love, and excellency, to be read by man and angel! Nay, this is little; I owe my heaven to Christ, and do desire, although I should never enter in at the gates of the New Jerusalem, to send my love and my praises over the wall to Christ. Alas, that time and days lie betwixt him and me, and adjourn our meeting! It is my part to cry, ‘Oh when will the night be past and the day dawn, that we shall see one another!’

I couldn’t help but notice the connection to the lyrics of the hymn, “The Love of God,” by Frederick Lehman, of 1917.[2]

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

  1. Samuel Rutherford, “38/To Alexander Colvill [of Blair],” in Letters of Samuel Rutherford: A Selection of Puritan Paperbacks (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2015), 105-106. Emphasis added. ↩︎

  2. This site suggests otherwise, but the use of the same imagery is intriguing. ↩︎