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I charge you to write to me here at once, and be plain with me, and tell me whether your salvation is sure. I hope for the best; but I know that your reckonings with the righteous Judge are both many and deep. That was a hard task to set to a tyrannical old landlord who had been used to call no man master, or God either, to take such commands from a poor banished minister! But Cardoness did it.

Lady Cardoness is told, in kindest and sweetest but most unmistakable language, that she has to work out a not easy salvation in Cardoness Castle, and that, if her husband fails in his hard task, no small part of his blood will lie at her door.

My tears will then be wiped away, my groans be turned to another tune, my cottage of clay be changed to this palace, my prison rags to these splendid robes'; 'for the former things are passed away." I can not think that Samuel Rutherford impoverished his spirit or deadened his affections, or diminished his labors by mental pilgrimages such as he counsels to Lady Cardoness: "Go up beforehand and see your lodging.

What if I were given over to God's sergeants to-night, to the devil and to the second death? And with the same post Rutherford wrote to William Dalgleish telling him that if young Cardoness came to see him he was to do his very best to direct and guide him in his new religious life.

But Rutherford could not roll the care of young Cardoness over upon any other minister's shoulders; and thus it is that we have the long practical and powerful letter from which the text is taken: 'Put off a sin or a piece of a sin every day.

And he never rode past Kirkdale Church without sinning again as he plunged the rowels into his mare's unoffending sides. Cardoness did not read Dante, else he would have said to himself that his anger often filled his heart with hell's dunnest gloom. The old Castle was never well lighted; but, with a father and a son in it like Cardoness and his heir, it was sometimes like the Stygian pool itself.

I saw that it was as possible for a rock to raise itself as it was for me to raise my heart from sin to holiness. But the study of divinity is not a close profession: a profession for men only, and from which women are shut out; nor is the method of it shut off from any woman or any man. 'I counsel you to study sanctification, wrote Rutherford, the same year to the Lady Cardoness.

Such boldness in the Day of Judgment will a good conscience give a man, as when old Cardoness actually stood up before the parishioners in the kirk of Anwoth and read to them, after the elders had conducted the exercises, a letter he had received last week from their silenced minister. It is one of Rutherford's longest and most passionate letters.

Rutherford was not writing religious commonplaces when he wrote to Cardoness Castle; if he had, we would not have been reading his letters here to-night. He wrote with his eye and his heart set on his correspondents. And thus it is that 'night-drinking' occurs again and again in his letters to young Gordon.

The tough old pagan did not know how much he loved the little fair man with the high-set voice and the unearthly smile till he had lost him; and if force of arms could have kept Rutherford in Anwoth, Cardoness would soon have buckled on his sword. He was ashamed to be seen reading the letters that came to the Castle from Aberdeen; he denied having read them even after he had them all by heart.