Samuel Rutherford eBook

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

1.  Remember, in the first place, my dear brother, those most solemn and too much forgotten words of our Lord, that there are but few that be saved.  Is that really so? said a liberal-minded listener to our Lord one day.  Is that really so, that there are but few that be saved?  Mind your own business, was our Lord’s answer.  For there are many lost by making their own and other men’s salvation a matter of dialectic and debate in the study and in the workshop rather than of silence, and godly fear, and a holy life.  Yes, there are few that be saved, said Samuel Rutherford, writing again the same year to Farmer Henderson, who occupied the home-steading of Rusco.  Men go to heaven in ones and twos.  And that you may go there, even if it has to be alone, love your enemies and stand to the truth I taught you.  Fear no man, fear God only.  Seek Christ every day.  You will find Him alone in the fields of Rusco.  Seek a broken heart for sin, for, otherwise, you may seek Him all your days, but you will never find Him.  And it is not in our New Testament only, and in such books as Rutherford’s Letters only, that we are reminded of the loneliness of our road to heaven; in a hundred places in the wisest and deepest books of the heathen world we read the same warning; notably in the Greek Tablet of Cebes, which reads almost as if it had been cut out of the Sermon on the Mount.  ‘Do you not see,’ says the old man, ’a little door, and beyond the door a way which is not much crowded, for very few are going along it, it is so difficult of access, so rough, and so stony?’ ‘Yes,’ answers the stranger.  ‘And does there not seem,’ subjoins the old man, ’to be a high hill and the road up it very narrow, with precipices on each side?  Well, that is the way that leads to the true instruction.’  ‘A cause is not good,’ says Rutherford in another of his pungent books, ’because it is followed by many.  Men come to Zion in ones and twos out of a whole tribe, but they go to hell in their thousands.  The way to heaven is overgrown with grass; there are the traces of but few feet on that way, only you may see here and there on it the footprints of Christ’s bloody feet to let you know that you are not gone wrong but are still on the right way.’

2.  Remember also that other word of our Lord,—­that heaven is like a fortress in this, that it must be taken by force.  Only our Lord means that the force must not be done to the gates or the walls of heaven, but to our own hard hearts and evil lives.  ’I find it hard to be a Christian,’ writes Rutherford to Rusco.  ’There is no little thrusting and thringing to get in at heaven’s gates.  Heaven is a strong castle that has to be taken by force.’  ’Oh to have one day more in my pulpit in Aberdeen!’ cried a great preacher of that day when he was dying.  ’What would you do?’ asked another minister who sat at his bedside.  ’I would preach to the people the difficulty of salvation,’ said the dying man.  ‘Remember,’ wrote Rutherford to Rusco from the same city, ’Remember that it is violent sweating and striving that alone taketh heaven.’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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