Samuel Rutherford eBook

Alexander Whyte
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Samuel Rutherford.
what appears to me, after carefully studying his life and his character, a far likelier if a far less creditable reason.  After the Restoration Brodie’s life, if life it could be called, was spent in a constant terror lest he should lose his estates, his liberty, and his life in the prelatic persecution; but, with his sleepless management of men, if not with the blessing of God and the peace of a good conscience, Alexander Brodie died in his own bed, in Brodie Castle, on the 17th of April, 1680.

There were some things in which Alexander Brodie ran well, to employ the apostle’s expression; in some things, indeed, no man of his day ran better.  To begin with, Brodie had an excellent intellect.  If he did not always run well it was not for want of a sound head or a sharp eye.  In reading Brodie’s diary you all along feel that you are under the hand of a very able man, and a man who all his days does excellent justice to his excellent mind, at least on its intellectual side.  The books he enters as having read on such and such a date, the catalogues of books he buys on his visits to Edinburgh and London, and the high planes of thought on which his mind dwells when he is at his best, all bespeak a very able man doing full justice to his great ability.  The very examinations he puts himself under as to his motives and mainsprings in this and that action of his life; the defences and exculpations he puts forward for this and that part of his indefensible conduct; the debate he holds now with the presbyterian party and now with the prelatist; the very way he puts his finger down on the weak and unsound places in both of the opposing parties; and, not least, his power of aphoristic thought and expression in the running diary of his spiritual life, all combine to leave the conviction on his reader’s mind that Lord Brodie was one of the very ablest men of a very able day in Scotland.  I open his voluminous diary at random, and I at once come on such passages as these:  ’If substantial duties are neglected or slighted it is a shrewd suspicion, be the repentance what it will, that all is not right.  Lord, discover Thyself in the duties of the time, and in every substantial duty.  At the same time, hang not the weight of our wellbeing on our duties, but on Christ by faith.  I am a reeling, unstable, staggering, unsettled, lukewarm creature.  For Thy compassion’s sake forgive and heal, warm, establish, enlighten, draw me and I will follow.  I am full of self-love, darkness in my judgment, fear to confess Thee, or hazard myself, or my estate, or my peace. . . .  We poor creatures are commanded by our affections and our passions; they are not at our command; but the Holy One doth exercise all His attributes at His own will; they are all at His command; they are not passions or perturbations in His mind, though they transport us.  When I would hate, I cannot.  When I would love, I cannot.  When I would grieve, I cannot.  When I would desire, I cannot.  But it is the

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Samuel Rutherford from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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