Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
his vote for a persecuted church.  Think of having to wear the title and decoration your husband had purchased for you at the cost of his truth and honour and manhood.  Lady Kenmure needed Samuel Rutherford’s very best letters to help to keep her in bare life all the time the county dames were green with envy at the dear-bought honours.  And Kenmure himself had to be brought to his death-bed before he became a husband worthy of his wife.  We still read in his Last Speeches how God made Lord Gordon’s sins to find him out, and with what firmness and with what tenderness Rutherford handled the soul of the dying man till all his cowardice, title-hunting, and truth-betraying life came back to his death-bed with a sharper sting in them than even his grossest sins.  Whoredom and wine after all are but the lusts of a man, whereas time-serving and truth-selling are the lusts of a devil.  ‘Dig deeper,’ said Rutherford to the dying courtier, and Kenmure did dig deeper, till he came down to the seals and the titles and the ribbons for which he had sold his soul.  But he that confesses and forsakes his sins even at the eleventh hour shall always find mercy, and so it was with Lord Kenmure.

   ’Between the stirrup and the ground
   Mercy I sought and mercy found.’

We do not grudge Viscount Kenmure all the grace he got from God; we shall need as much grace and more ourselves; but we do somewhat grudge such a man a place of honour among the Scots worthies.  We are tempted to throw down the book and to demand what right John Gordon has to stand beside such men as Patrick Hamilton, and John Knox, and John Wishart, and Archibald Campbell, and Hugh M’Kail, and Richard Cameron, and Alexander Shields?  But Lochgoin answers us that God sometimes accepts the late will for the whole timeous deed, and the bravery and loyalty of the wife for the meanness and poltroonery of the husband.  ’Have you a present sense of God’s love?’ ‘I have, I have,’ said the dying Viscount.  As Rutherford continued in prayer, Kenmure was observed to smile and look upwards.  About sunset Lord Kenmure died, at the same instant that Rutherford said Amen to his prayer. The Last and Heavenly Speeches is a rare pamphlet that will well repay its price to him who will seek it out and read it.

This was the correspondent, then, to whom Samuel Rutherford wrote such counsels and encouragements as these:  ’Therefore, madam, herein have comfort, that He who seeth perfectly through all your evils, and who knoweth the frame and constitution of your nature, and what is most healthful for your soul, holdeth every cup of affliction to your head with his own gracious hand.  Never believe that your tender-hearted Saviour will mix your cup with one drachm-weight of poison.  Drink, then, with the patience of the saints:  wrestle, fight, go forward, watch, fear, believe, pray, and then you have all the infallible symptoms of one of the elect of Christ within you’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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