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OR,

Three Hundred and Fifty-two
RELIGIOUS LETTERS,

BY THE LATE EMINENTLY- PIOUS

Mr, S AMU EL RUTHERFORD,

PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY AT ST. ANDREWS.

DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS.

THE FIRST,

SECOND AND THIRD.
Containing those which were writ-Containing some which were writ.

ten from ABERDEEN, where he ten from AnwOTH, before he
was confined by a sentence of was by the Prelates persecution
the High Commission drawn thrust out of his Ministry ; and
forth against him, partly upon others upon divers Occasions af-
the account of declining them, terward, from ST, ANDREWS,
partly upon the account of his

LONDON, &c.
Nonconformity.

TO WHICH IS ADDED,
The Author's Testimony to the covenanted Work of Reformation,

between 1638 and 1649 And also his DYING WORDS, contain:
ing several Advices to some Ministers and near Relations.

THE ELEVENTH EDITION.

GLASGOW:

PRINTED BY WILLIAM BELL,
FOR JOHN KIRK, THE PUBLISHER, CALTON.

MDCCXCVI.

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Mr. RUTHERFOORD'S LIFE.

A

R. SAMUEL RUTHERFOORD, a gentleman by extrac

tion, having spent some time at the grammar-school, went to the university of Edinburgh, where he was so much admired for his pregnancy of parts, and deservedly looked upon as one from whom great things might be expected, that in a short time (tho' but then very young) he was made profeffor of philosophy in that university.

Some time after this he was called to be minister at Anwoth in the shire of Galloway, unto which charge he entered by means of the then viscount of Kenmuir, without any acknowledgment or engagement to the bishops. There he laboured with great diligence and success, both night and day, riling usually by three o'clock in the morning, spending the whole time in reading, praying, writing, catechising, visiting, and other duties belonging to the ministerial profession and employment.

Here he wrote his exercitationes de gratia, &c. for which he was summoned (as early as June 1630) before the high commission court, but the weather was fo tempestuous as to obstruct the palfage of the arch-bishop of St. Andrews hither, and Mr Colvil one of the judges having befriended him, the diet was deferted. About the same time his first wife died after a fore sickness of thirteen months, and he himself being so ill of a tertian fever for thirteen weeks, that then he could not preach on the Sabbath day, without great difficulty.

Again in April 1634, he was threatened with another prosecution at the instance of the bishop of Galloway, before the high commission court, and neither were these threatenings all the reasons Mr Rutherfoord had to lay his account with suffering, and as the Lord would not hide from his faithful fervant Abraham things he was about to do, neither would he conceal from this fon of Abraham what his purposes were concerning him ; for in a letter to the provoft's wife of Kirkcudbright, dated April 20; 1633, he says, " That upon the 17th and 18th of Auguit he got. a full answer of his Lord to be a graced minister, and a chosen arrow hid in his quiver *.” Accordingly the thing he looked for came upon him, for he was again summoned before the high commission court for his non-conformity, his preaching against the five articles of Perth, and the fore-mentioned book exercita: tiones apologetice pro divina gratia, which book they alledged did

* See bis letters, part iii, let. 27,

A a

reflect upon the church of Scotland, but the truth was, says a late historian t, the argument of that book did cut the finews of arminianism, and galled the episcopal clergy to the very quick, and fo* bishop Sydreseif could endure him no longer. When he came before the commission court he altogether declined them as a lawful judicatory, and would not give the chancellor (being a clergyman) and the bishops their titles by lording of them, yet some had the courage to befriend him, particularly the lord Lorn (afterwards the famous marquis of Argyle), who did as much for him as was within his power to do; but the bishop of Galloway, threatening that if he got not his will of him, he would write to the king; it was carried against him, and upon the 27th of July 1636. he was ditcharged to exercise any part of his ministry within the kingdom of Scotland under pain of rebellion, and ordered within six months to confine himself within the city of Aberdeen, &c. during the king's pleasure, which tentence he obeyed, and forth with went toward the place of his confinement.

From Aberdeen he wrote many of his famous letters, from which it is evident that the confolation of the Holy Spirit did greatly abound with him in his sufferings, yea, in one of these Jetters, he expreffes it in the strongest terms when he says, " I never knew before, that his love was in such a mealure. If he leave me, he leaves me in pain, and sick of love, and yet my fickness is my life and health. I have a fire within me, I defy all the devils in hell, and all the prelates in Scotland to cast water on it.” Here he remained upwards of a year and a half, by which time he made the doctors of Aberdeen kriow that the puritans (as they called them) were clergymen as well as they. But upon notice that the private council had received in a declinature against the high commission court in the year 1638. he adventured to return back again to his flock at Anwoth, where he again took great pains, both in public and in private, amongst that people, who from all quarters resorted to his ministry, so that that whole country fide might account themselves as his particular flock, and, it being then at the dawning of the reformation, found no small benefit by the gospel, that part of the ancient prophecy being farther accomplithed, for in the wilderness ball waters break out, and Jirecims in the defert, Ifa. xxxv. 6.

He was before that venerable assembly held at Glasgow in 1638. and gave an account of all these his former proceedings with res fpect to his confinement, and the causes thereof. By them he was appointed to be profeffor of divinity at St. Andrews, and colleague in the ministry with the worthy Mr Blair, who was trans

+ See Stevenson's history, vol. I. page 249. Rowe's history, page 295

lated 'hither about the same time. And here God did again fo sem cond this bis eminent and faithful tervant, that by his indefatigable pains both in teaching in the schools and preaching in the congregation, that St. Andrews, the seat of the arch-bishop (and by that means the nursery of all fuperftition, error and profane, messi foon became forthwith a Lebanon out of which were taken cedars, fof building the house of the Lord, almost through the whole land, many of whom he guided to heaven before himself (who received the spiritual life by his ministry), and many others did walk in that light after him.

And as he was mighty in the public parts of religion, so he was a great practiser and encourager of the private duties thereof. Thus in the year 1650. when a charge was foisted in before the general afsembly at the instance of Mr Henry Guthrie minister at Stirling (atterward bithop of Dunkeld), against private fociety meetings which were then abounding in the land), on which ensued much reasoning, the one fide yielding that a paper before drawn up by Mr Henderson thould be agreed unto concerning the order to be kept in thefe meetings, &c. but Guthrie and his ad-, herents opposing this. Mr Rutherfoord, who was never much disposed to speak in judicatories, threw in this fyllogifm, “ What the fcriptures do warrant no affembly may discharge; but private meetings for religious exercises the scriptures do warranc, Mal. v. 16. Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, &c. James v. jo. Confess your fault one to another, and pray one for an+ other, &c. These things could not be done in public meetings, &c.” And although the earl of Seaforth there present, and those of Guthrie's faction upbraided this good man for this, yet it had influence upon the majority of the members that all the opposite party got done, was an act anent the ordering of family-worship.

He was also one of the Scots com mislioners appointed anno 1643 to the Westminster affembly, and was very much beloved there for his unparalleled faithfulness and zeal in going about his Ma ster's business. It was during this time that he published lex rexi and several.other learned pieces against the eraitians, anabaptifts, independents, and other sectaries that began to prevail and increase at that time, and none ever had the courage to take up the gauntlet of defiance thrown down by this champion *.

When the principal business of this affembly was pretty well settled, Mr Rutherfoord, on O&tober 24. 1547. moved that it might be recorded in the scribe's book, that the assembly had enjoyed the allistance of the commissioners of the church of Scotland, all

* It is reported, that when king Charles faw lex rex he said, It® would scarcely ever get an answer; nor did it ever get any, except what the parliament in 1661 gave it, when they caused it to be burnt at the cross of Edinburgh, by the hands of the hangman,

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