Letters of Samuel Rutherford: A Selection (Puritan Paperbacks) Rutherford, Samuel cover image
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Product Details
  • Cover Type:
  • 208 Pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • Publication Date: May 1973
  • ISBN: SRUTHESALETTERSOFSAMUELRUTHE9780851511634

Letters of Samuel Rutherford: A Selection (Puritan Paperbacks)

Rutherford, Samuel

Pricing details

$8.10
$9.00 MSRP

Like John Bunyan in Bedford gaol, Samuel Rutherford did his best work while suffering imprisonment for the gospel.

His opponents had meant to silence him but instead they perpetuated his ministry through the centuries for it was out of this period that most of his famous Letters came. Addressed to high and low they were so prized by the recipients that the first collection by Robert McWard appeared in 1664 just three years after Rutherford’s death. the successive editions contained more letters until they grew to the 365 in Andrew Bonar’s classic edition.

From this, ‘the most remarkable series of devotional letters that the literature of the Reformed churches can show’, the great leaders in the Church as well as the humblest Christians have drawn strength. It is said of Robert Murray M’Cheyne that ‘the Letters of Samuel Rutherford were often in his hand.’ This abridged edition contains sixty-nine of these letters.

About the Author

Samuel Rutherford (1600–61) was born in the village of Nisbet, Roxburghshire, and educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University (MA, 1621). From 1623 he acted as Regent of Humanity at the University, with responsibilities as a Latin tutor. There is a strong suggestion that 1624 was the date of his conversion, and he began reading theology at Edinburgh under Andrew Ramsay.

In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire, and so began a ministry lasting only nine years, yet one ‘whose fragrance and power has left the name of Anwoth forever stamped on the hearts of Christian people’. In July 1636 the High Commission brought his ministry in Anwoth to an end because of his nonconformity, barring him from preaching in Scotland and exiling him to Aberdeen for the duration of the King’s pleasure. It was during his two years in Aberdeen that many of his much-loved Letters were written.

After the Covenanters’ revolution in 1638 Rutherford returned to Anwoth and was a commissioner to the Glasgow Assembly. The commission of that Assembly designated him Professor of Divinity at St Mary’s College, St Andrews. He consented to the office with the stipulation that he be permitted to preach regularly, and was made a colleague of Robert Blair in the city pulpit.

In 1643 Rutherford left for London as one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. He remained in the city four years, preached before the Long Parliament, took a prominent part in the Assembly’s debates on theology and Church polity, and published five major books. In his Lex, Rex (1644) Rutherford denied that a limitless sovereignty belonged to the King, and contended that the Crown is bestowed by the voluntary consent of the people, who are at liberty to resist a tyrant. In 1647 he resumed his duties at St Andrews and was soon made Principal of St Mary’s. In 1651 he became Rector of the University.

At the Restoration of Charles II in 1661 the Committee of Estates ordered the burning of Lex, Rex, deprived Rutherford of his offices, and cited him to come before Parliament to answer a charge of treason. Rutherford was already terminally ill and replied, ‘I have got summons already before a Superior Judge and Judicatory, and I behove to answer to my first summons, and ere your day come, I will be where few kings and great folks come.’ Death indeed intervened before the charge could be tried.

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Like John Bunyan in Bedford gaol, Samuel Rutherford did his best work while suffering imprisonment for the gospel.

His opponents had meant to silence him but instead they perpetuated his ministry through the centuries for it was out of this period that most of his famous Letters came. Addressed to high and low they were so prized by the recipients that the first collection by Robert McWard appeared in 1664 just three years after Rutherford’s death. the successive editions contained more letters until they grew to the 365 in Andrew Bonar’s classic edition.

From this, ‘the most remarkable series of devotional letters that the literature of the Reformed churches can show’, the great leaders in the Church as well as the humblest Christians have drawn strength. It is said of Robert Murray M’Cheyne that ‘the Letters of Samuel Rutherford were often in his hand.’ This abridged edition contains sixty-nine of these letters.

About the Author

Samuel Rutherford (1600–61) was born in the village of Nisbet, Roxburghshire, and educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and Edinburgh University (MA, 1621). From 1623 he acted as Regent of Humanity at the University, with responsibilities as a Latin tutor. There is a strong suggestion that 1624 was the date of his conversion, and he began reading theology at Edinburgh under Andrew Ramsay.

In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire, and so began a ministry lasting only nine years, yet one ‘whose fragrance and power has left the name of Anwoth forever stamped on the hearts of Christian people’. In July 1636 the High Commission brought his ministry in Anwoth to an end because of his nonconformity, barring him from preaching in Scotland and exiling him to Aberdeen for the duration of the King’s pleasure. It was during his two years in Aberdeen that many of his much-loved Letters were written.

After the Covenanters’ revolution in 1638 Rutherford returned to Anwoth and was a commissioner to the Glasgow Assembly. The commission of that Assembly designated him Professor of Divinity at St Mary’s College, St Andrews. He consented to the office with the stipulation that he be permitted to preach regularly, and was made a colleague of Robert Blair in the city pulpit.

In 1643 Rutherford left for London as one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. He remained in the city four years, preached before the Long Parliament, took a prominent part in the Assembly’s debates on theology and Church polity, and published five major books. In his Lex, Rex (1644) Rutherford denied that a limitless sovereignty belonged to the King, and contended that the Crown is bestowed by the voluntary consent of the people, who are at liberty to resist a tyrant. In 1647 he resumed his duties at St Andrews and was soon made Principal of St Mary’s. In 1651 he became Rector of the University.

At the Restoration of Charles II in 1661 the Committee of Estates ordered the burning of Lex, Rex, deprived Rutherford of his offices, and cited him to come before Parliament to answer a charge of treason. Rutherford was already terminally ill and replied, ‘I have got summons already before a Superior Judge and Judicatory, and I behove to answer to my first summons, and ere your day come, I will be where few kings and great folks come.’ Death indeed intervened before the charge could be tried.

  • Cover Type:
  • 208 Pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • Publication Date: May 1973
  • ISBN: SRUTHESALETTERSOFSAMUELRUTHE9780851511634