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Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
the most eminent ministers of the Church of Scotland.  We find such men as Robert Bruce, Robert Blair, John Livingstone, and Samuel Rutherford continually referring to her in the loftiest terms.  But it was not so much her high rank, or her great ability, or her fearless devotion to the Presbyterian and Evangelical cause that so drew those men around her; it was rather the inwardness and the intensity of her personal religion.  You may be a determined upholder of a Church, of Presbytery against Prelacy, of Protestantism against Popery, or even of Evangelical religion against Erastianism and Moderatism, and yet know nothing of true religion in your own heart.  But men like Livingstone and Rutherford would never have written of Lady Boyd as they did had she not been a rare pattern of inward and spiritual Christianity.

I have spoken of Lady Boyd’s diary.  ‘She used every night,’ says Livingstone, ’to write what had been the state of her soul all day, and what she had observed of the Lord’s doing.’  When all her neighbours were lying down without fear, her candle went not out till she had taken pen and ink and had called herself to a strict account for the past day.  Her duties and her behaviour to her husband, to her children, to her servants, and to her many dependants; the things that had tried her temper, her humility, her patience, her power of self-denial; any strength and wisdom she had attained to in the government of her tongue and in shutting her ears from the hearing of evil; as, also, every ordinary as well as extraordinary providence that had visited her that day, and how she had been able to recognise it and accept it and take good out of it.  Thus the Lady Boyd prevented the night-watches.  When the women of her own rank sat down to write their promised letters of gossip and scandal and amusement she sat down to write her diary.  ’We see many things, but we observe nothing,’ said Rutherford in a letter to Lady Kenmure.  All around her God had been dealing all that day with Lady Boyd’s neighbours as well as with her, only they had not observed it.  But she had not only an eye to see but a mind and a heart to observe also.  She had a heart that, like the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, turned all it touched and all that touched it immediately to fine gold.  Riding home late one night from a hunting supper-party, young Lord Boyd saw his mother’s candle still burning, and he made bold to knock at her door to ask why she was not asleep.  Without saying a word, she took her son by the hand and set him down at her table and pointed him to the wet sheet she had just written.  When he had read it he rose, without speaking a word, and went to his own room, and though that night was never all their days spoken of to one another, yet all his days Lord Boyd looked back on that night of the hunt as being the night when his soul escaped from the snare of the fowler.  I much fear the diary is lost, but it would be well worth the trouble of the owner of Ardross Castle to cause a careful search to be made for it in the old charter chests of the family.

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