Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.

Transcribed from the 1894 Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier edition by David Price, email

Samuel Rutherford
and some of
his correspondents

Lectures delivered in
st. George’s free church
Alexander Whyte, D.D.

Author ofBunyan characters

Published by
Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier

30 St. Mary street, Edinburgh, and 24 old Bailey, London 1894


   ‘He sent me as a spy to see the land and to try the ford.’

Samuel Rutherford, the author of the seraphic Letters, was born in the south of Scotland in the year of our Lord 1600.  Thomas Goodwin was born in England in the same year, Robert Leighton in 1611, Richard Baxter in 1615, John Owen in 1616, John Bunyan in 1628, and John Howe in 1630.  A little vellum-covered volume now lies open before me, the title-page of which runs thus:—­’Joshua Redivivus, or Mr. Rutherford’s Letters, now published for the use of the people of God:  but more particularly for those who now are, or may afterwards be, put to suffering for Christ and His cause.  By a well-wisher to the work and to the people of God.  Printed in the year 1664.’  That is all.  It would not have been safe in 1664 to say more.  There is no editor’s name on the title-page, no publisher’s name, and no place of printing or of publication.  Only two texts of forewarning and reassuring Scripture, and then the year of grace 1664.

Joshua Redivivus:  That is to say, Moses’ spy and pioneer, Moses’ successor and the captain of the Lord’s covenanted host come back again.  A second Joshua sent to Scotland to go before God’s people in that land and in that day; a spy who would both by his experience and by his testimony cheer and encourage the suffering people of God.  For all this Samuel Rutherford truly was.  As he said of himself in one of his letters to Hugh Mackail, he was indeed a spy sent out to make experiment upon the life of silence and separation, banishment and martyrdom, and to bring back a report of that life for the vindication of Christ and for the support and encouragement of His people.  It was a happy thought of Rutherford’s first editor, Robert M’Ward, his old Westminster Assembly secretary, to put at the top of his title-page, Joshua risen again from the dead, or, Mr. Rutherford’s Letters written from his place of banishment in Aberdeen.

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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