"Listen" to this rich pastoral direction the Rev. Samuel Rutherford doles out like the balm of Gilead to a man fearing his seeming deadness of faith. He does not discourage the man from thinking on it, yet masterfully and pastorally points the man in the only direction of hope (Letters of Samuel Rutherford, pp. 557-558):
I will not put you off your sense of darkness; but let me say this, “Who gave you proctor-fee, to speak for the law, which can speak for itself better than ye can do?” I would not have you to bring your [indictment/charge] in your own bosom with you to Christ. Let the “old man” and the “new man” be summoned before Christ’s white throne, and let them be confronted before Christ, and let each of them speak for themselves. I hope, howbeit the new man complain of his lying among pots, which maketh the believer look black, yet he can also say, “I am comely as the tents of Kedar.”
Ye shall not have my advice not to bemoan your deadness; but I find by some experience (which ye knew before I knew Christ), that it suiteth not a ransomed man, of Christ’s buying, to go and plea for the sour law, our old forcasten husband; for we are not now under the law (as a covenant), but under grace. Ye are in no man’s common, but Christ’s. I know that He bemoaneth you more than you do yourself. I say this, because I am wearied of complaining . . . . [L]et us die in grace’s hall-floor, pleading before Christ. I deny nothing that the Mediator will challenge me of; but I turn it all back upon Himself. Let Him look His own old accounts, if He be angry; for He will get no more of me. When Christ saith, “I want repentance,” I meet Him with this: “True, Lord, but Thou art made a King and a Prince to give me repentance” (Acts 5:34). When Christ bindeth a challenge upon us, we must bind a promise back upon Him. Be woe, and lay yourself in the dust before God (which is suitable), but withal let Christ take the payment in His own hand, and pay Himself off the first end of His own merits; else He will come behind for anything that we can do.
I am every way in your case, as hard-hearted and dead as any man; but yet I speak to Christ through my sleep. Let us then proclaim a free market for Christ, and swear ourselves bare, and cry on Him to come without money and buy us, and take us home to our Ransom-payer’s fireside, and let us be Christ’s free-boarders. Because we dow not pay the old, we may not refuse to take on Christ’s new debt of mercy; let us do our best, Christ will still be behind with us, and many terms will run together.