Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.

Then all the rest of your life on this prison-house of an earth will be a history in you and to you of all kinds of rare outgates.  For, once He who has the keys has taken your case in hand, He will not let either rust or dust gather on His keys till He has opened every door for you and set you free from every snare.  There are many evil affections, evil habits, and evil practices that are still closely padlocked both on your outward and your inward life that you must be wholly delivered from.  And He who has all the keys of your body and your soul too at His girdle, will not consider that you have got your full outgate, or that He has at all discharged His duty by you, till, as Rutherford says, your sinful habits and practices are all loosened off from your life and are driven back into the inner world of your inclinations; and then, after that, He will only take up still more skilful and still more intricate keys wherewith to turn the locks of delight, desire, and inclination.  O blessed keys of hell and of death, of habit and inclination and evil affection!  O blessed people who are under such a Redeemer from sin and death and hell!  O truly famous saint, the Lady Robertland, who got so many and so rare outgates from the Amen with the keys!  Who shall give me an outgate from this body? cries the great apostle, not chafing in his chains for death, but for the true life that lies beyond death.  Paul, with all his intense love of life and service—­nay, because of that intense love—­felt sometimes that this present life at its very best was but a life of relaxed imprisonment rather than of true liberty.  Paul was, as we say, a kind of first-class misdemeanant, as Samuel Rutherford also was in his prison-palace in Aberdeen, and the Lady Robertland in Stewarton House; they had a liberty that was not to be despised; they had light and air and exercise; they were not in chains in the dungeon; they had pen and ink; they had books and papers, and their friends might on occasion visit them.  They might have better food also if they paid for it; and, best of all, they could, till their full release came, beguile and occupy the time in work for Christ and His Church.  But still they were present in this body of sin and death, and absent from the Lord, and they pined, and, I fear, sinfully murmured sometimes, for the last and the greatest and the best outgate of all.  ‘As for myself,’ writes Rutherford, ’I think that if a poor, weak, dying sheep seeks for an old dyke, and the lee-side of a hill in a storm, I surely may be allowed to long for heaven.  I see little in this life but sin, and the sour fruits of sin; and oh! what a burden and what a bitterness is sin!  What a miserable bondage it is to be at the nod of such a master as Sin!  But He who hath the keys hath sworn that our sin shall not loose the covenant bond, and therefore I wait in hope and in patience till His time shall come to take off all my fetters and make a hole in this cage of death that the imprisoned bird may find its long-promised liberty.’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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