Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.

The Lady Robertland ranks in the Rutherford sisterhood with Lady Kenmure, Lady Culross, Lady Boyd, Lady Cardoness, Lady Earlston, Marion M’Naught and Grizel Fullarton.  Lady Robertland, like so many of the other ladies of the Covenant, was not only a woman of deep personal piety and great patriotism, she was also, like Lady Kenmure, Lady Boyd, and Marion M’Naught, a woman of remarkable powers of mind.  For one thing, she had a fascinating gift of conversation, and, like John Bunyan, it was her habit to speak of spiritual things with wonderful power under the similitude and parable of outward and worldly things.  At the time of the famous ‘Stewarton sickness’ Lady Robertland was of immense service, both to the ministers and to the people.  Robert Fleming tells us that the profane rabble of that time gave the nickname of the Stewarton sickness to that ‘extraordinary outletting of the Spirit’ that was experienced in those days over the whole of the west of Scotland, but which fell in perfect Pentecostal power on both sides of the Stewarton Water.  ’I preached often to them in the time of the College vacation,’ says Robert Blair, ’residing at the house of that famous saint, the Lady Robertland, and I had much conference with the people, and profited more by them than I think they did by me; though ignorant people and proud and secure livers called them “the daft people of Stewarton."’ The Stewarton sickness was as like as possible, both in its manifestations and in its results, to the Irish Revival of 1859, in which, when it came over and awakened Scotland, the Duchess of Gordon, another lady of the Covenant, acted much the same part in the North that Lady Robertland acted in her day in the West.  Many of our ministers still living can say of Huntly Lodge, ’I resided often there, and preached to the people, profiting more by them than they could have done by me.’

Outgate is an old and an almost obsolete word, but it is a word of great expressiveness and point.  It bears on the face of it what it means.  An outgate is just a gate out, a way of redemption, deliverance and escape.  And her rare outgates does not imply that Lady Robertland’s outgates were few, but that they were extraordinary, seldom matched, and above all expectation and praise.  Lady Robertland’s outgates were not rare in the sense of coming seldom and being few; for, the fact is, they filled her remarkable life full; but they were rare in the sense that she, like the Psalmist in Mr. James Guthrie’s psalm, was a wonder unto many, and most of all unto herself.  But a gate out, and especially such a gate as the Lady Robertland so often came out at, needs a key, needs many keys, and many keys of no common kind, and it needs a janitor also, or rather a redeemer and a deliverer of a kind corresponding to the kind of gate and the kind of confinement on which the gate shuts and opens.  And when Lady Robertland thought of her rare outgates—­and

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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