In its style William Guthrie’s one little book is clear, spare, crisp, and curt. Indeed, in some places it is almost too spare and too curt in its bald simplicity. True students will not be deterred from it when I say that it is scientifically and experimentally exact in its treatment of the things of the soul. They will best understand and appreciate this statement of Guthrie’s biographer that ’when he was working at his Saving Interest he endeavoured to inform himself of all the Christians in the country who had been under great depths of exercise, or were still under such depths, and endeavoured to converse with them.’ Guthrie is almost as dry as Euclid himself, and almost as severe, but, then, he demonstrates almost with mathematical demonstration the all-important things he sets out to prove. There is no room for rhetoric on a finger-post; in a word, and, sometimes without a word, a finger-post tells you the right way to take to get to your journey’s end. And many who have wandered into a far country have found their way home again under William Guthrie’s exact marks, clear evidences, and curt directions. You open the little book, and there is a sentence of the plainest, directest, and least entertaining or attractive prose, followed up with a text of Scripture to prove the plain and indisputable prose. Then there is another sentence of the same prose, supported by two texts, and thus the little treatise goes on till, if you are happy enough to be interested in the author’s subject-matter, the eternal interests of your own soul, a strong, strange fascination begins to come off the little book and into your understanding, imagination, and heart, till you look up again what Dr. Owen and Dr. Chalmers said about your favourite author, and feel fortified in your valuation of, and in your affection for, William Guthrie and his golden little book.
XVIII. GEORGE GILLESPIE
’Our apprehensions are not canonical.’—Rutherford.
George Gillespie was one of that remarkable band of statesmanlike ministers that God gave to Scotland in the seventeenth century. Gillespie died while yet a young man, but before he died, as Rutherford wrote to him on his deathbed, he had done more work for his Master than many a hundred grey-headed and godly ministers. Gillespie and Rutherford got acquainted with one another when Rutherford was beginning his work at Anwoth. In the good providence of