Friday, February 08, 2019

Rutherford Revised - (1)

Samuel Rutherford ( c. 1600 – 29 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.
  • Samuel Rutherford was from 1617 educated at Edinburgh University, where he became Professor of Lati) in 1623. In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire, Galloway, where it was said of him 'he was always praying, always preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying. His first years in Anwoth, though, were touched with sadness. His wife was ill for a year and a month, before she died and two children also died during this period. In 1636 Rutherford published a book in Latin defending the doctrines of grace (Calvinism) against Armininiasm. This put him in conflict with the Church authorities, which were dominated by the English Episcopacy. He was called before the High Court, deprived of his ministerial office, and exiled to Aberdeen. where
     Samuel Rutherford
    Source: Wikipedia 
     'his writing desk' was said to be 'perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom'.On the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in 1638, he escaped Aberdeen, Presbyterianism was re-established, was made Professor of Divinity at St. AndrewsAfter 5 months at St Andrews, having been a widower for nearly 10 years he remarried.  Rutherford in 1443 was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647. While he was in London two infant children by his second wife died. She was to bear him five more four of whom predeceased Rutherford. So he was a man acquainted with grief and so well able to counsel the bereaved. I previously revised his Letter 310 in modern English. It appears that the recipient of this letter from London, a mother of three sons,  was unknown to Rutherford but known to Blair his fellow minister who has pastored he son who died young. It is remarkable for the tender comfort given but also for the richness of his metaphors which he is not beyond the odd mixing.

    I have been encouraged to modernise more from this the greatest letter writer of the Reformed tradition. I am working from the 1891 edition published by Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier. I have retained the original use of capitals and punctuation including the Oxford commas but changed the quotations to the ESV.

    1. For Marion M'Naught on the return home of her daughter - written from Anwoth June 6, 1627

    My love in Christ remembered. I have sent  to you your daughter Grizel with Robert Gordon who came to fetch her. I am in good hopes that the seed of God is in her as in one born of God; and God's seed will come to God's harvest I have her promise she shall be Christ's. For I have told her she may promise much in His worthy name; for he becomes protector to His Father for all such as resolve and promise to serve Him. I will remember her to God. I trust you keep her with good companions and to know with whom she loves to dwell. Remember the church and our needs. I bless your daughter from our Lord and pray Lord to give you joy and comfort from her. Remember my love to your husband,. to William and Samuel your sons. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
       Yours at all power in the lord Jesus,
                                                      S.R.

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