Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
too honourable for me, and I have many dear friends among the godly both in Leith and in Edinburgh.  But I feel bitterly that I have no business to mix myself among them, and to be counted one of them.  For, what with the burdensome affairs of this great seaport, and my own growing business, my days and my nights are like a weaver’s shuttle.  I intend and I begin well, but another year and another year comes to an end and I am just where I was.  I have had some success, by God’s blessing, in making money, but I am a bankrupt before Him in my soul.  My inward life is a ravelled hesp, and I need guidance and direction if I am ever to come out of this confusion and to come to any good.  Protestant and Presbyterian as I am,’ he goes on, ’if I could only find a director who would take trouble with me and command me as I take trouble with and command my servants, I vow to you that I would put the reins without reserve into his hands.  Will you not take me in hand?  You know me of old.  We used to talk in dear old John Meine’s back-shop on week-nights and upstairs on Sabbath nights about these things.  And long as it is since we saw much of one another, I feel that you know me out and in, and through and through, as no one else knows me.  Tell me, then, what I am to do with myself.  I will try to do what you tell me, for I am wearied and worn out with my stagnant and miserable life.  Pity me, Mr. Samuel, my honoured and dear friend, for my pirn is almost run out, and I am not near saved.’

‘My worthy and dearly beloved brother in the Lord,’ replied Rutherford to Fleming, ’I dare not take it upon me to lay down rules and directions for your inner life.  I have not the judiciousness, nor the experience, nor the success in the inner life myself that would justify me.  And, besides, there is no lack of such Directories as you ask me for.  Search the Scriptures.  Buy Daniel Rogers, and Richard Greenham, and especially William Perkins.  My own wall is too much broken down, my own garden is too much overrun with weeds; I dare not attempt to lay down the law to you.  But I will do this since you are so importunate; I will tell you, as you have told me, some of my own mistakes and failings and shipwrecks, and the rocks on which I have foundered may thus, be made to carry a lantern to light your ship safely past them.’

   ’Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart and write;

and, like Sir Philip Sydney, Samuel Rutherford looked into his own heart, and drew a Directory out of it for the better Christian conduct of his friend John Fleming.

1.  Now—­would you believe it?—­the first thing Samuel Rutherford found his own heart accusing him in before God was, of all things, the way he had wasted his time.  Would you believe it that the student who was summer and winter in his study at three o’clock in the morning, and the minister who, as his people boasted, was always preparing his sermons, always visiting his people, always writing

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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