Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
of himself that Samuel Rutherford made among the siftings and buffetings of his Aberdeen exile.  Writing to Lady Culross, he says:—­’O my guiltiness, the follies of my youth and the neglects of my calling, they all do stare me in the face here; . . . the world hath sadly mistaken me:  no man knoweth what guiltiness is in me.’  And to Lady Boyd, speaking of some great lessons he had learnt in the school of adversity, he says, ’In the third place, I have seen here my abominable vileness, and it is such that if I were well known no one in all the kingdom would ask me how I do. . . .  I am a deeper hypocrite and a shallower professor than any one could believe.  Madam, pity me, the chief of sinners.’  And, again, to the Laird of Carlton:  ’Woe, woe is me, that men should think there is anything in me.  The house-devils that keep me company and this sink of corruption make me to carry low sails. . . .  But, howbeit I am a wretched captive of sin, yet my Lord can hew heaven out of worse timber than I am, if worse there be.’  And to Lady Kenmure:  ’I am somebody in the books of my friends, . . . but there are armies of thoughts within me, saying the contrary, and laughing at the mistakes of my many friends.  Oh! if my inner side were only seen!’ Ah no, my brethren, no land is so fearful to them that are sent to search it out as their own heart.  ’The land,’ said the ten spies, ’is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; the cities are walled up to heaven, and very great, and the children of Anak dwell in them.  We were in their sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in our own sight.’  Ah, no! no stair is so steep as the stair of sanctification, no bread is so salt as that which is baked for a man of God out of the wild oats of his past sin and his present sinfulness.  Even Joshua and Caleb, who brought back a good report of the land, did not deny that the children of Anak were there, or that their walls went up to heaven, or that they, the spies, were as grasshoppers before their foes:  Caleb and Joshua only said that, in spite of all that, if the Lord delighted in His people, He both could and would give them a land flowing with milk and honey.  And be it recorded and remembered to his credit and his praise that, with all his self-discoveries and self-accusings, Rutherford did not utter one single word of doubt or despair; so far from that was he, that in one of his letters to Hugh M’Kail he tells us that some of his correspondents have written to him that he is possibly too joyful under the cross.  Blunt old Knockbrex, for one, wrote to his old minister to restrain somewhat his ecstasy.  So true was it, what Rutherford said of himself to David Dickson, that he was ’made up of extremes.’  So he was, for I know no man among all my masters in personal religion who unites greater extremes in himself than Samuel Rutherford.  Who weeps like Rutherford over his banishment from Anwoth, while all the time who is so feasted in Christ’s palace in Aberdeen?  Who loathes himself like Rutherford?  Not Bunyan, not Brea, not Boston; and, at the same time, who is so transported and lost to himself in the beauty and sweetness of Christ?  As we read his raptures we almost say with cautious old Knockbrex, that possibly Rutherford is somewhat too full of ecstasy for this fallen, still unsanctified, and still so slippery world.

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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