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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.
When any misfortune falls upon a Hebrew household, when any Jewish man or woman’s sin finds them out, they say that there is an ounce of the golden calf on it.  They open their Exodus and they read there in their bitterness of how Moses in his hot anger took the calf, which the children of Israel had polluted themselves with, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel to drink of it.  And, though God turned the poisoned, dust-laden waters of Samuel Rutherford’s life into very milk and wine, yet to Rutherford’s subtle and detective taste there was always a certain tang of the unclean and accursed thing in it.  The best waled and most tenderly substituted cross in Rutherford’s chastised life had always a certain galling corner in it that recalled to him, as he bled inwardly under it, the lack of complete purity and strict regularity in his youth.  And it is to be feared that there are but too few men or women either who have not some Rutherford-like memory behind them that still clouds their now sheltered life and secretly poisons their good conscience.  Some disingenuity, some simulation or dissimulation of affection, some downright or constructive dishonesty, some lack towards some one of open and entire integrity, some breach of good faith in spirit if not in letter, some still stinging tresspass of the golden rule, some horn or hoof of the golden calf, the bitter dust of which they taste to this day in their sweetest cup and at their most grace-spread table.  There are more men and women in the Church of Christ than any one would believe who sing with a broken heart at every communion table:  ’He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.’

And even after such men and women might have learned a lesson, how soon we see all that lesson forgotten.  Even after God’s own hand has so conspicuously cut the bars of iron in sunder; after He has made the solitary to dwell in families; we still see sin continuing in new shapes and in other forms to poison the sweetest things in human life.  What selfishness we see in family life, and that, too, after the vow and the intention of what self-suppression and self-denial.  What impatience with one another, what bad temper, what cruel and cutting words, what coldness and rudeness and neglect, in how many ways our abiding sinfulness continues to poison the sweetest springs of life!  And, then, how soon such unhappy men begin to see themselves reproduced and multiplied in their children.  How many fathers see, with a secret bitterness of spirit that never can be told, their own worst vices of character and conduct reproduced and perpetuated in their children!  One father sees his constitutional and unextirpated sensuality coming out in the gluttony, the drunkenness, and the lust of his son; while another

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