Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reviving Rutherford

It's been a while since I posted on Samuel Rutherford, so let me take the time right now to commend to you again The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

Charles Spurgeon said of them, "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 men."
Richard Baxter also said that apart from the Bible, "such a book as Mr. Rutherford’s Letters the world never saw the like."

On November 22, 1636, writing from his exile in Aberdeen, Rutherford declares, "[Men] talk of Christ by the book and the tongue and no more; but to come nigh Christ and [clasp] him and embrace him is another thing." Rutherford knew what it meant to come near to Christ and to embrace him, and his letters show that reality.

Rutherford was radically out of step with 21st century American Christianity when he said, "I would fain learn not to idolize comfort, sense, joy, and sweet felt presence. All these are but creatures and nothing but the kingly robe, the gold ring, and the bracelets of the Bridegroom. The Bridegroom himself is better than all the ornaments that are about him."

Oh that we might learn from Samuel Rutherford to embrace the Bridegroom himself and not settle for the mere bracelets of comfort! For anyone who wants an intimate communion with "sweet, lovely Christ" I wholeheartedly commend to you The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

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