Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
says Rutherford in his Covenant of Grace, ’it becomes to him a seat of sound mortification and of humble walking.’  And that was the happy result of all William Guthrie’s melancholy; it was always alleviated and relieved by great outbursts of good-humour; but both his melancholy and his hilarity always ended in a humbler walk.  Samuel Rutherford confides in a letter to his old friend, Alexander Gordon, that he knows a man who sometimes wonders to see any one laugh or sport in this so sinful and sad life.  But that was because he had embittered the springs of laughter in himself by the wormwood sins of his youth.  William Guthrie had no such remorseful memories continually taking him by the throat as his divinity professor had, and thus it was that with all his melancholy he was known as the greatest humorist and the greatest sportsman in the Scottish Kirk of his day.  No doubt he sometimes felt and confessed that his love of fun and frolic was a temptation that he had to watch well against.  In his Saving Interest he speaks of some sins that are wrought up into a man’s natural humour and constitution, and are thus as a right hand and a right eye to him.  ‘My merriment!’ he confessed to one who had rebuked him for it, ’I know all you would say, and my merriment costs me many a salt tear in secret.’  At the same time this was often remarked with wonder in Guthrie, that however boisterous his fun was, in one moment he could turn from it to the most serious things.  ‘It was often observed,’ says Wodrow, ’that, let Mr. Guthrie be never so merry, he was presently in a frame for the most spiritual duty, and the only account I can give of it,’ says wise Wodrow, ’is, that he acted from spiritual principles in all he did, and even in his relaxations.’  Poor Guthrie had a terrible malady that preyed on his most vital part continually—­a malady that at last carried him off in the mid-time of his days, and, like Solomon in the proverb, he took to a merry heart as an alleviating medicine.

Like our own Thomas Guthrie, too, William Guthrie was a great angler.  He could gaff out a salmon in as few minutes as the deftest-handed gamekeeper in all the country, and he could stalk down a deer in as few hours as my lord himself who did nothing else.  When he was composing his Saving Interest, he somehow heard of a poor countryman near Haddington who had come through some extraordinary experiences in his spiritual life, and he set out from Fenwick all the way to Haddington to see and converse with the much-experienced man.  All that night and all the next day Guthrie could not tear himself away from the conversation of the man and his wife.  But at last, looking up and down the country, his angling eye caught sight of a trout-stream, and, as if he had in a moment forgotten all about his book at home and all that this saintly man had contributed to it, Guthrie asked him if he had a fishing-rod, and if he would give him a loan of it.  The old man

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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