Monday, September 23, 2019

Rutherford Revised (343)

343. To the  truly honourable and Colonel Gilbert Ker    From St. Andrews 2 Apr 1654 - (but from what is written the date should be 1657)

(Rutherford was now Principal of St. Marys or the New College of St. Andrews, a situation to which he was elevated about the close of the year 1647; and a vacancy having occurred in the Professorship of Ecclesiastical History, by the translation of Mr. James Wood to be Principal of St. Salvators or the Old College of St. Andrews, in 1657, Rutherford was very desirous of seeing that situation filled by a suitable person. Dr. Alexander Colville, who had been Professor of Divinity in the Protestant University of Sedan, was inducted one of the masters in the New College of St. Andrews in 1642. He conformed to Prelacy in 1662; became Principal of that College upon Rutherfords death; and died in 1666. Sharpe was afterwards Archbishop of St. Andrews.Rutherford was strenuous in his exertions to secure the appointment of Mr. Rait, but without success. His colleague, Dr. Colville, succeeded in obtaining the appointment of Sharp to the vacant office, into which he was inducted on the 22nd of February 1661, about a month before Rutherfords death. Mr. Rait afterwards became minister of Dundee.)

Much Honoured,I bless the Lord for His good hand, who declares that His sovereign presence is the same in England and all places, and sways hearts as pleases Him. The book of holy providence is good marginal notes on His revealed will, in His word, and speaks much to us, could we read and understand what He writes, both in the one and the other. You see He is not wanting to you; houses and lands are His. The Lord led Abraham from his own country to a land he did not know. It would appear He has not opened His mind much to you for leaving this land, though I be am much afraid of a sick state, a sleeping ministry, a covenant-breaking land, a number of dead professors; all these are grey hairs here and there on Ephraim. Sure our ruin is sure if God let us alone; we shall rot in our lies. But what am I to determine conclusions of mercy revealed to none, and thoughts of peace in the heart of the Lord towards an undeserving land? I would be glad to see you, and will desire He may lead you in the matter of your residence whom ye desire to be your Guide and Counsellor. For me, I am, as to my body, most weak and under daily summons; but I sit still and read not the summons: as to my spirit, much out of court, because out of communion with the Lord, and far from what sometime hath been; deadness, security, unbelief, and distance from God in the use of means, prevail more than ever. I shall desire your help for getting a third Professor. I am in this college between wind and weather. Dr. Colville is for Mr. James Sharp; I am for Mr. William Rait, but do not know the event. My wife remembers her respects to you. Grace be with you.
   Yours, at all obedience, in God,   S. R.
      Remember my love in Christ to Mr. Livingstone.

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