Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
and there a farmer, here a cloth-merchant and there a handloom weaver, here a blacksmith’s wife and there a working housekeeper, who kept life in the whole place.  It is not station that does it, nor talent, though both station and talent greatly help; it is character, it is true and genuine godliness.  True and genuine godliness—­especially when it is purged of pride, and harsh judgment, and too much talk, and is adorned with humility and meekness, and all the other fruits of holy love—­true and pure godliness in a most obscure man or woman will find its way to a thousand consciences, and will impress and overawe a whole town, as Marion M’Naught’s rare godliness impressed and overawed all Kirkcudbright.  Just as, on the other hand, the ignorance, the censoriousness, the bitterness, the intolerance, that too often accompany what would otherwise be true godliness, work as widespread mischief as true godliness works good.  ’One little deed done for God’s sake, and against our natural inclination, though in itself only of a conceding or passive character, to brook an insult, to face a danger, or to resign an advantage, has in it a power outbalancing all the dust and chaff of mere profession—­the profession whether of enlightened benevolence or candour, or, on the other hand, of high religious faith and fervent zeal;’ or, as Rutherford could write to Marion M’Naught’s daughter:  ’There is a wide and deep difference between a name of godliness and the power of godliness.’  Even the schoolboys of Kirkcudbright could quite well distinguish the name from the reality; and long after they were Christian men they would tell with reverence and with love when, and from whom, they took their first and never-to-be-forgotten impressions.  It was, they would say to their children, from that woman of such rare godliness as well as public spirit, Marion M’Naught.

It was all this, and nothing other and nothing less than all this, that made Marion M’Naught Rutherford’s favourite correspondent.  Her mind and her heart together early and often drew her across the country to Rutherford’s preaching.  Marion M’Naught had a good minister of her own at home; but Rutherford was Rutherford, and he made Anwoth Anwoth.  I think I can understand something of her delight on Communion forenoons, when his text was Christ Dying, in John xii. 32, or the Syro-Phoenician woman, in Matt. xv. 28.  And then the feasts on the fast-days at Kirkcudbright, over the cloud of witnesses, in Heb. xii. 1, and all tears wiped away, in Rev. xxi. 4, and the marriage of the Lamb, in xix. 7.  And then, on the other hand, Rutherford is not surely to be blamed for loving such a hearer.  His Master loved a Mary also of His day, for that also among other good reasons.  If a good hearer likes a good preacher, why should a good preacher not like a good hearer?  Take a holiday, and give us another day soon of such and such a preacher, our people sometimes say to us.  And why should that preacher not

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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