Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
God, Gillespie was led to Kenmure Castle to be tutor in the family of Lord and Lady Kenmure, and that threw Rutherford and Gillespie continually together.  Gillespie was still a probationer.  He was ready for ordination, and many congregations were eager to have him, but the patriotic and pure-minded youth could not submit to receive ordination at the hands of the bishops of that day, and this kept him out of a church of his own long after he was ready to begin his ministry.  But the time was not lost to Gillespie himself, or to the Church of Christ in Scotland,—­the time that threw Rutherford and Gillespie into the same near neighbourhood, and into intimate and affectionate friendship.  The mere scholarship of the two men would at once draw them together.  They read the same deep books; they reasoned out the same constitutional, ecclesiastical, doctrinal, and experimental problems; till one day, rising off their knees in the woods of Kenmure Castle, the two men took one another by the hand and swore a covenant that all their days, and amid all the trials they saw were coming to Scotland and her Church, they would remain fast friends, would often think of one another, would often name one another before God in prayer, and would regularly write to one another, and that not on church questions only and on the books they were reading, but more especially on the life of God in their own souls.  Of the correspondence of those two remarkable men we have only three letters preserved to us, but they are enough to let us see the kind of letters that must have frequently passed between Kenmure Castle and Aberdeen, and between St. Andrews and Edinburgh during the next ten years.

Gillespie was born in the parish manse of Kirkcaldy in 1613; he was ordained to the charge of the neighbouring congregation of Wemyss in 1638, was translated thence to Edinburgh in 1642, and then became one of the four famous deputies who were sent up from the Church of Scotland to sit and represent her in the Westminster Assembly in 1643.  Gillespie’s great ability was well known, his wide learning and his remarkable controversial powers had been already well proved, else such a young man would never have been sent on such a mission; but his appearance in the debates at Westminster astonished those who knew him best, and won for him a name second to none of the oldest and ablest statesmen and scholars who sat in that famous house.  ‘That noble youth,’ Baillie is continually exclaiming, after each new display of Gillespie’s learning and power of argument; ‘That singular ornament of our Church’; ’He is one of the best wits of this isle,’ and so on.  And good John Livingstone, in his wise and sober Characteristics, says that, being sent as a Commissioner from the Church of Scotland to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, Gillespie, ’promoted much the work of reformation, and attained to a gift of clear, strong, pressing, and calm debating above any man of his time.’

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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