Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.

And then, as to his fear of man, his time-serving, and vacillation in the day of difficult duty, hear his own humiliating confessions:  ’Jan. 20, 1662.—­My perplexity continues as to whether I shall move now or not, stay or return, hold by Lauderdale, or make use of the Bishop.  I desired to reflect on giving titles, speaking fair, and complying.  I found Lauderdale changed to me, and I desired to spread this out before God.  I went to Sir George Mushet’s funeral, where I was looked at, as I thought, like a speckled bird.  I apprehend much trouble to myself, my family, and my affairs, from the ill-will of those who govern.  May God keep me under the shadow of His wings. Oct. 16.—­Did see the Bishop, and in my discourse with him did go far in fair words and the like.  The 31.—­James Urquhart was with me.  Oh that I could attain to his steadfastness and firmness!  But, alas!  I am soon overcome; I soon yield to the least difficulty.  The 26.—­Duncan Cuming was here, and I desired him to tell the honest men in the south that though I did not come up their length, I hoped they would not stumble at me.’  In other words, ’Tell the prisoners in the Bass and in Blackness, and the martyrs of the Grass-market and the Tolbooth, that Lord Brodie is a Presbyterian at heart, and ought to be a Covenanter and a sufferer with his fellows; but that he loves Brodie Castle and a whole skin better than he loves the Covenant and the Covenanters, or even the Surety of the better covenant.’  And having despatched his sympathetic message to the honest men in the South, he takes up his pen again to carry on his diary, which he carries on in these actual terms.  Believe me, I copy literally and scrupulously from the humiliating book.  ’Die Dom.—­I find great averseness in myself to suffering.  I am afraid to lose life or estate.  I hold it a duty not to abandon those honest ministers that have stuck to the Reformation.  And if the Lord would strengthen me, I would desire to confess the truth like them. . . .  I questioned whether I might not safely use means to decline the cross and to ward off the wrath of the Lords and the Magistrates.  Shall I begin to hear Mr. William Falconer?  Shall I write to Seaforth and Argyll to ask them to clear and vindicate me?  Shall I forbear to hear that honest minister, James Urquhart, for a time, seeing the storm is like to fall on me if I do so?  What counsel shall I give my son?  Shall I expose myself and my family to danger at this time?  What is Thy will?  What is my duty?’ And then this able and honest hypocrite has the grace to add:  ’A grain of sound faith would easily answer all these questions.’  I have a sheaf of such passages.  It is sickening work to speak and hear such things.  But they must sometimes be spoken and heard, if only to afford a reply to Paul’s question in the text:  ’Ye did run well:  what did hinder you?’ How well Alexander Brodie ran for a time, and how well he might have run to the end but for those two sins that did so easily beset him—­the love of money and the fear of man!  But under the arrest and overthrow that those two so mean and so contemptible vices brought on Brodie, we see his spiritual life, or what might have ripened into spiritual life, gradually but surely decaying, even in his diary, till we read this last entry on the day of his death:  ’My darkness has not taken an end, nor my confusions.’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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