I am still making slow progress through Rutherford’s Letters. In the quotation today he addresses man’s willingness to be “happy,” relegated to be like angels, instead of being like Christ. If you were posed with this hypothetical choice, that he sets forth, which would you choose?
“I have now made a new question, whether Christ be more to be loved for giving Sanctification or for free Justification. And I hold that He is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It is in some respect greater love in Him to sanctify, than to justify; for He maketh us most like Himself in His own essential portraiture and image in sanctifying us. Justification doth but make us happy, which is to be like angels only. Neither is it such a misery to lie a condemned man, and under unforgiven guiltiness, as to serve sin, and work the works of the devil; and, therefore, I think sanctification cannot be bought: it is above price. God be thanked forever that Christ was a told-down price for sanctification. Let a sinner, if possible, lie in hell forever, if He make him truly holy; and let him lie there burning in love to God, rejoicing in the Holy Ghost, hanging upon Christ by faith and hope,–that is heaven in the heart and bottom of hell!”
(Rutherford 1951, 235-236)