Samuel Rutherford's Lasting Legacy

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"Duties are ours, and events are the Lord's." It wasn't easy in coming, but that was the conclusion reached by a discouraged preacher who felt abandoned by God and useless. And small wonder: He had been removed from his church, forbidden to preach anywhere in his land, and confined to the town of Aberdeen.

Little did he expect at first that his exile would provide the occasion for him to write a volume of letters that nearly four hundred years later would still be acclaimed as masterpieces. In fact, one of the greatest wordsmiths ever, Charles Haddon Spurgeon said of his letters: "When we are dead and gone, let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford's letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere man."

Spurgeon spoke of Scotsman Samuel Rutherford who was born in 1600. He would bless the world with spiritual literature that endures, a monumental legal classic, a major role in the formation of one of Christendom's finest confessions of faith and foundational concepts later developed in the US Constitution. Yes, Samuel took up his duties. God saw to the events!

Rutherford attended the University of Edinburgh, served as a professor for two years, studied theology, and was licensed as a preacher at age 27. He was assigned the rural county parish of Anwoth in Scotland. There was no village near the small church; the congregation was scattered among the surrounding farms. Though his congregation was small, Rutherford was devoted to his flock. He was known to rise as early as 3 A.M. to begin praying, studying, and caring for the spiritual needs of his congregation.


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