A few years ago a friend and dear brother in the Lord gave me what I consider a treasure, a rare jewel of a book. It is a hardback version of Letters of Samuel Rutherford put together by the Rev. Andrew A. Bonar, D.D. It was published by Oliphants LTD., London & Edinburgh. It contains 365 letters written by this dear saint of God. I treat it as a devotional book, I don’t read it daily but when I do I try to read the letter corresponding to whatever day of the year it happens to be.
I’d like to share letter number CL (150).
A side note for some of you, Mr. Rutherford was banished from his church in Anwoth Scotland in July 1636 because of non-conformity to the acts of Episcopacy. He was sent to Aberdeen. This letter was written approximately eight months into his period of exile. Prior to his banishment he had served the church in Anwoth for nine years. He was able to return approximately two years later.
To his loving Friend, John Henderson.
Loving Friend, -Continue in the love of Christ, and the doctrine which I taught you faithfully and painfully, according to my measure. I am free of your blood. Fear the dreadful name of God. Keep in mind the examinations which I taught you, and love the truth of God. Death, as fast as time fleeth, chaseth you out of this life; it is possible that ye may make your reckoning with your Judge before I see you. Let salvation be your care, night and day, and set aside hours and times of day for prayer. I rejoice to hear that there is prayer in your house. See that your servants keep the Lord’s day. This dirt and god of clay (I mean the vain world) is not worth the seeking.
An hireling pastor is to be thrust in upon you, in the room to which I have Christ’s warrant and right. Stand to your liberties, for the word of God alloweth you a vote in choosing your pastor.
What I write to you, I write to your wife. Commend me heartily to her. The grace of God be with you.
Your loving Friend and Pastor,
Aberdeen, March 14, 1637