Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
the children.  And after some generations of true religion, inwardly and deeply exercising the Gordon heart, it almost came as a second nature to our Gordon to take to heart all that happened to him, and to exercise his large and deep heart yet more thoroughly with it.  The affairs of the family, the affairs of the estate, the affairs of the Church, his duties as a landlord, a farmer, a heritor, and a factor, and the persecutions and sufferings that all these things brought upon him, some of which we know—­all that found its way into Earlston’s wide and deep and still unsanctified heart.  And then, there is a law and a provision in the life of grace that all those men come to discover who live before God as Earlston lived, a provision that secures to such men’s souls a depth, and an inwardness, and an increasing exercise that carries them on to reaches of inward sanctification that the ruck and run of so-called Christians know nothing about, and are incapable of knowing.

Such men as Earlston, while the daily rush of outward things is let in deeply into their hearts, are not restricted to these things for the fulness of their inward exercise; their own hearts, though there were no outward world at all, would sufficiently exercise them to all the gifts and graces and attainments of the profoundest spiritual life.  For one thing, when once Earlston had begun to keep watch over his own heart in the matter of its motives—­it was David Dickson, one fast-day at Irvine, on 1 Sam. ii., who first taught Gordon to watch his motives—­from that day Rutherford and Livingstone, and all his family, and all his fellow-elders saw a change in their friend that almost frightened them.  There was after that such a far-off tone in his letters, and such a far-off look in his eyes, and such a far-off sound in his voice as they all felt must have come from some great, and, to them, mysterious advance in his spiritual life; but he never told even his son William what it was that had of late so softened and quieted his proud and stormy heart.  But, all the time, it was his motives.  The baseness of his motives even when he did what it was but his duty and his praise to do, that quite killed Earlston every day.  The loathsomeness of a heart that hid such motives in its unguessed depths made him often weep in the woods which his grandfather had sanctified by his Bible readings a century before.  Rutherford saw with the glance of genius what was going on in his friend’s heart, when, in one letter, not referring to himself at all, Earlston suddenly said, ’If Lucifer himself would but look deep enough and long enough into his own heart, the sight of it would make him a little child.’  ‘Did not I say,’ burst out Rutherford, as he read, ’that Alexander Gordon would lead the ring in Galloway?’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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