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Full text of "Letters of Samuel Rutherford: With a Sketch of His Life"

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Adreititeiiieiit ••..••• ., « vii 

Sketch of Samael Rotherfiyid and hb Letlen .». ^ is 









To Marion Macknanglit 31 

To a Oentlewoman 31 

To a Christian Oentlewoman ... 32 

Td LadjT Kenmnie 34 

Tothetame. 36 

Tothetame. 38 

To Marion HacknanglU 39 

To Lady Kenmure. 40 

Tothetame 42 

To Marion Macknaoght 44 

To the fame 47 

Tothetame 48 

Tothetame 49 

Tothetame 51 

To Lady Kenmure 51 

Tothetame 53 

Tothetame 56 

Tothetame 58 

To Marion Macknau^t 59 

Tothetame 62 

Tothetame 64 

Tothetame 65 

Tothetame 66 

To Lady Kenmnre 67 

Tothetame 70 

Tothetame 71 

To Marion Maeknaught 73 

To Lady Kenmore. 74 

Tothetame , 75 

To Marion Macknaoght 77 

To the tame 78 

Tothetame 79 

To Lady Kenmure 80 

To Manon Macknaoght 82 

To Lady Kenmure 82 

To Manon Maeknaught 84 

To Lady Kenmure 85 

Tothetame 87 

To Marion Maeknaught 87 

Tothetame 89 











To the 1 
To the I 
To the tame . 
To the tame . 
To the tame 
To the tame . 
To the tame . 
To the tame . 
Td the tame . 
Tothetame . 

51. To Marion Maeknaught 102 

52. Tothetame 102 

53. To Earltton, Ekier. 103 

54. To Marion Maeknaught 105 

55. To Lady Kenmure 106 

56. Tothetame 107 

57. To Marion Maeknaught 106 

58. Tothetame Ill 

59. Tothetame 112 

60. Tothetame 113 

61. To Lady Kenmure 114 

62. To Lady Cuboit 115 

63. T6 Mr. Robert Cunningham ... 117 

64. To Alexander Gkwdon 119 

65. To Robert Gordon 120 

66. Tothetame 120 

67. To WiUiam PuUerton 121 

68. To hit Parithionert at Anwoth. 199 

69. To Lady Kenmure. 124 

70. Tothetame 126 

71. To Hugh Mackail 128 

72. To John Fleming 129 

73. To Earltton, Elder. 130 

74. To Lady Culroit l3l 

75. To Wilham Gordon 132 

76. To John Kennedy 134 

77. To Lord Boyd 135 

78. To Margaret Ballantyne 136 

79. To Robert Gordon 138 

80. To Marion Maeknaught 140 

81. To Mr. John Meine 140 

82. ToCardoneta, Elder 141 

83. To the Earl of Lothian 144 

84. To Jean Brown. 146 

85. To John Kennedy ^. 148 

86. To Elizabeth Kennedy 150 

87. To Jonet Kennedy 152 

88. To a Chrittian Gentlewoman... 153 

89. To Lord CraighaU 155 

90. To John Kennedy 157 

91. To Mr. Robert Blair 159 

92. To Mr. John LiTintgton 161 

93. To Mr. Ephraim Mjsmn 162 

94. To Robert Gordon 163 

95. To Lady Kenmure 166 

96. Tothetame 167 

97. Tothetame 168 

9a Tothetame 169 

99. To Alexander Gordon 170 

100. To Mr. Alexander Coif rile 178 




101. To Earlfton, Younger. 173 

102. To Lady Cardoness 175 

103. To Jonet MaccuUoch 176 

104. To Alexander Gordon 177 

105. To Lady CardoneM 178 

106. To^Lady Kenmure 179 

107. To a Gentlewoman 181 

108. To Lady Kenmare 182 

109. To Lady Boyd 184 

110. To Lady Kaskibeny 185 

111. ToLady Earbton 186 

1 12. To Mr. David Dickion 187 

113. To Jean Brown 188 

1 14. To Mr. John Ferguthill 189 

115. To Mr. Robert Douglas 190 

116. To William RigM 191 

117. To Mr. Alexander HenderM>n .. 192 

118. To Lord Loudon 193 

119. To Mr. WUUam Dalgleish 195 

120. To Mr. Hugh Mackail 196 

121. To Lady Boyd 197 

122. To Mr. David Dickion 199 

123. To Mr. Matthew Mowat 200 

124. To WilUam HalUday 202 

125. To a Gentlewoman 203 

126. To John Gordon, Younger. 204 

127. To John Gordon, Elder 205 

128. ToLady Forrct 206 

129. To Manon Hacknaught 207 

130. To JohnCarsen 207 

131. ToLady Boyd 208 

132. To the Earl of CaatilHfl 210 

133. To Robert Gordon 211 

134. To John Kennedy 212 

135. To Jean Brown 214 

136. To Jean Macmillan 216 

137. To Lady Busbie 216 

138. To John Ewart 218 

139. To WilUam Fullerton 219 

140. To Robert Glendinning 219 

141. To William Glendinning 221 

142. To Mr. Hugh Henderson 221 

143. To the Earl of CassUlis. 222 

144. To Lord Babnerino 224 

145. To Lady Mar, Younger 225 

146. To James Macadam 225 

147. To William Livingston 226 

148. To WilUam Gordon 227 

149. To Mr. George GiUespie 228 

150. To Jean Gordon 229 

151. To Mr. James Bruce 230 

152. To John Goidon 230 

153. To Lady HaUhUl 231 

154. To John Osbum 232 

155. To John Henderson 233 

156. To John Meine 234 

157. To Mr. Thomas Garven 234 

158. To Bethaia Aird 236 

159. To Alexander Gordon 237 

160. To Grizzel Fullerton 237 

161. To Patrick Garsen 238 

162. ToCarhon 238 

163. To Lady Busbie 240 

164. To John Fleming 242 

166. To Alexander Gordon 244 


166. ToLady Boyd 246 

167. To Mr. David Dickson 248 

168. To the Laird of Carlton 249 

169. To Robert Gordon 251 

170. To the Laird of Moncrieff. 253 

171. To John Clark 255 

172. To Cardoness, EUer 256 

173. To Cardoness, Younger 258 

174. To Lord CraighaU 259 

175. To John Laurie 262 

176. To Carlton 264 

177. To Marion Macknaught 267 

178. To Lady Culross 269 

179. To Mr. John Nevay 271 

180. To John Gordon, Elder. 274 

181. To Earlston, Younger 278 

182. To Alexander Gordon 281 

183. To Mr. J. R 284 

184. To Mr. William Dalgleish 296 

185. To Marion Macknaught 289 

186. To John Gordon 290 

187. To Mr. Hugh Henderson 292 

188. To Lady Larffirie 293 

189. To Earlston, Younger 294 

190. To Mr. WilUam Dalgleish 296 

191. To the Laiid of Cally 298 

192. To John Gordon, Younger 299 

193. To Robert Gordon 301 

194. To Alexander Gordon 303 

195. To Robert Stuart 305 

196. To Lady Gaitgirth 308 

197. To Mr. John Pergushill 309 

198. ToJohn Stuart 311 

199. ToCaisluth 313 

200. To Cassincarrie 315 

201. To Lady Cardoness 317 

202. To Sibylla Macadam 318 

203. To the Laird of Cally 319 

204. To WiUiam Gordon 321 

205. To Margaret Fullerton 323 

206. To Lady Kenmure 324 

207. To the same 325 

208. ToJohn Henderson 328 

209. To Mr. Alexander Colville 328 

210. To Mr. John Nevay 329 

211. ToLady Boyd 330 

212. To Wilham Glendinning 332 

213. To Robert Lennox 333 

214. To Mr. James HamUton 335 

215. To Mistress Stuart 337 

216. To Mr. Hugh Mackail 338 

217. To Alexander Gordon 340 

218. ToJohn Bell Ekier 341 

219. To Mr. John Row 342 

220. To Lord CraighaU 343 

221 . To Marion Macknaught 343 

222. To Lady Cuhross 344 

223. To Alexander Gordon 346 

224. To Fulwood, Younger. 348 

225. To his Parishioners 349 

226. To Lady Kilconquhair 355 

227. To Lord Craighall 359 

228. To Mr. James Fleming 361 

229. To Mr. Hugh Mackail 363 

830. To Lady Kenmure 364 


Lrmm taqz 

231. To Lord Lindsay 366 

235J. To Lord Boyd 368 

233. ToPulkEliea 371 

234. To James Lindsay 373 

235. To Lord Craighall 376 

236. To Mr James Hamilton 377 

237. To ihe Laird of Oaitgirth 378 

238. To Lady Gaitgirth 379 

239. To Mr. MaUhcw Mowat 380 

240. To Mr. John Meine 382 

241. To John Fleming 382 

942. To Lady lUwalUin 383 

^13. To Manon Macknaught 384 

a44. To the same 385 

«5. To Lady Boyd 387 

246. To Mr. Thomas Garren 389 

'2i'i. To Jonct Kennedy 389 

248. To Margaret Reid. 391 

249. To James Baatie 392 

250. To John Stuart 396 

251. To the same 399 

252. To the same 400 

253. To Lady Busbie 403 

254. To Ninian Mure 404 

255. To Mr. Thomas Garven 405 

956. Tothe EarlofCassiUis 406 

257. To Lady Largirie. 408 

258. To Lady Dungueigh 409 

26B, To Jonet Macculloch 410 

960. To Mr George Gillespie 41 1 

96L To Mr. Robert Blair. . . ., 411 

962. To Lady Carlton 413 

263. To William Rigge 414 

264. To Lady Craighall 416 

965. To Lord Loudon. 417 

266. To Mr. David Dickson 420 

267. To Alexander Gordon 421 

268. To Lady Kilconquhair 422 

969. To Robert Lennox 423 

270. To Marion Macknaught 425 

271. To Thomas Corbet 425 

272. To Mr. George Dunbar 426 

273. To John Fleming 428 

274. To William Glendinning 428 

275. To Earlston, Younger 429 

27r». To John Gordon 430 

977. To William Rigge 432 

278. To James Murray. . ; 433 

979. To Mr John Fergushill 433 

2H0. To William Glendinning 436 

281. To Marion Macknaught 438 

2R2. To Ladv Robertland 438 

983. To Lord Loudon 440 

284. To ProfeMorsofChrist in Ireland 442 

2H5. To Robert Gordon 448 

28ii. To Parishioners of Kilmalcolm. 451 

3H7. To Lady Kenmure 456 

99S. To Persecuted Church in Ireland 458 

9H9. To Dr. Alexander Leighton 464 

290 To Mr. Henry Stuart, etc 466 

2IH. To Mn.. Ponl 471 


292. To Mr. James Wilson 473 

293. To Lady Boyd 475 

294. To John Fenwick 477 

295. To Peter Stirling 481 

296. To Lady Fingask 482 

297. To Mr. David Dickson 484 

298. To Lady Boyd 485 

299. To Agnes Macmath 488 

300. To Mr. X atthew Mowat 489 

301. To Lady Kenmure 490 

302. To Lady Boyd 491 

303. To James Murray's Wife 492 

304. To Lady Kenmure 493 

305 To the same 494 

306. To Lady Boyd 495 

307. To Mistress Taylor 496 

308. To Barbara Hamilton 498 

309. To Mistress Hume 500 

310. To Lady Kenmure. 501 

311. To Barbara Hamilton 502 

312 To a Christian Friend 503 

313. To a Christian Brother 504 

314. To a Christian Gentlewoman... 505 

315. To Lady Kenmure 508 

316.ToMr.J.G 509 

317. To Lady Kenmure 510 

318. To Lady Ardross 511 

319. To MO 612 

3*20. To Earlston, Elder 514 

321. To Mr. George Gillespie 515 

322. To Mistress Gillespie 516 

323. To Col. Gilbert Ker 517 

324. To the same 519 

325. To Mr. William Guthrie 520 

326. To Col. Gilbert Ker 521 

327. To the same 522 

328. To the same 524 

329. To the same 527 

330. To Lady Kenmure 528 

331. To the same 529 

332. To Grizzel Fullerton 530 

333. To Lady Kenmure 531 

334. To Col. Gilbert Ker 632 

335. To Mr. John Scott 534 

336. To Lady Kenmure 535 

337. To the same 536 

338. To the same 536 

339. To Mr. John Scott 537 

340. To the same 537 

341. To Mr. James Durham 538 

342. To Mr. John Scott 539 

343. To Lady Kenmure 539 

344. To the same 540 

345. To Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Traill, etc. 542 

346. To some Brethren 543 

347. On Petitioning Charles II 544 

348. To Lady Kenmure 546 

349. To Mistress Craig 547 

350. To Mr. James Guthrie 549 

351. To Mr Robert Campbell 550 

352. To Aberdeen 551 


Ik thb Bdition of "The Letten" of that exmnently holy mbbter of th# 
Gospel, who suffered so much persecution for the Word of God» and for 
ScoUand's Covenanted Work of Reformation, the Bey. Samuel Ruther* 
ford, the text — ^which, in later editions, had, through cajrelesuiefle of print- 
ing, unacquamtance with the Scotdsh dialect, and attempts to substitute 
Ec^lish words and phrases for Scotch ones, become very corrupt — has, 
by a careful collation of the earliest editions, been corrected and restored ; 
while the Scottish words, allusions, and idiomatic phrases are explained in 
notes at the bottom of the page ; and the Letters, which, in some of the 
former editions, had been very much mutilated, and had, in all of them, 
been printed without any r^ard to arrangement, have been arranged 
accomung to the dates, in as lar as these could be ascertained, at* which 
they were written, and are given without omission, abridgment, suppres- 
sion, or mutilation. 

It is not anticipated that any apology needs to be made for this 
endeavor to offer to the Christian Public ''The Letters" of Rutherford, 
in a form somewhat worthy of their author's reputation, and of their own 
intrinsic excellence. It may, perhaps, indeed, be thought by some per- 
sons, that it would have been better nad English words and phrases been 
substituted, m the text, for those peculiar to the Scottish dialect ; but, 
had this been attempted, much of the spirit of Rutherford wodd, in 
many instances, have evaporated, and the energy of his diction been 
impaired ; while the style, naving ceased to be S^tch without becoming 
English, would have been ereatly debased, enfeebled, and vulgarized. By 
the plan which has been adopted, it b hoped that the languaffe, idlowed 
to remain as Rutherford wrote it, will be rendered at once, and perfecUy, 
intelligible to the southern reader, even though he never before may have 
seen or heard a word of the northern speech. No Scotchman can find 
the slightest difficulty m the diction. 

Other persons may, perhaps, think that some of the Letters might 
have been omitted, some of the sentences suppressed, and certain " homely 
and familiar expressions, which," Wodrow observes, " have been jested 
oo b^ profane wits of his affe," might have been altered^ with advantage 
to this edition. It is true that there are some of the Letters not so valu- 
able to the Christian reader as others ; but, perhaps there is not one of 
them which does not present some useful, if not important instruction, 
respectii^ other doctrme or duty. There are, indeed, not a few repeti- 
tions, as was to be expected in familiar letters, written to friends and 
acquaintances, without the remotest anticipation of their ever b«ng pub- 
lithed ; bttt» Uiose repetitions are generally statements of facts or feelings 
reganling matters or absorbing interest to the Christian; and by those; 


therefore, who peruse these Letters with the view of spiritually profiting 
therehj, will not he complained of: and it must he confessed that there 
are some expressions which " profane wits" miffht, perhaps, succeed in 
turning into ridicule ; hut, as there is no danger Uiat they will be so dealt 
with hj any one who can appreciate the poetic and evangelical beauty of 
the Song of Solomon, and as it is not very likely that any " profane wit" 
of this age will ever condescend to look into the Letters of the Rev. 
Samuel Rutherford, they have been allowed to stand as they came from 
thepen of that eminently pure and heavenly minded man. 

This edition, then, is thus offered respectfully to the Church of God, 
with humble but fervent supplication, that the Holy Ghost, who so fully 
dwelt in the venerable Author of these Letters, would bless it, to the 
promotion of His own glory, by rendering it the means of arousing some 
thoughtless sinners to consider the things which concern their evenasting 
peace, before they be forever hid from their eyes, and of building up 
some of the sabts and edifying them m their most holy Faith. 



In the history of the Reformation we read of Brother Martin, 
a poor monk at Basle, whose hope of salvation rested solely on 
the Lord Jesus, long before Luther arose. Having written out 
his confession of reliance on the righteousness of Christ alone, 
the monk placed the parchment in a wooden box, and shut up the 
wooden box in a hole of the wall of his cell. It was not till last 
century that this box with its interesting contents was discovered ; 
bat it was brought to light when the old wall of the monastery 
was taken down. And is it not an incident fitted to suggest to 
us that Basle may have been made a focus of light in its day 
very much in answer to the prayers, and in acknowledgment of 
the faith of this << hidden one," and others like him, who cried day 
and night to the Lord ? 

Now, there is a fact not unlike this in the history of the district 
where Samuel Rutherford labored so lovingly. The people of 
that shire tell that there was found, some generations ago, in the 
wall of the old chapel of Earlston, in Kirkcudbrightshire, a copy 
of Wickliffe^s Bible. It seems to have been shut into that recep- 
tacle in order to be hid from the view of enemies, but no doubt it 
was the lamp of light to some godly souls — who, perhaps in the 
silence of night, found opportunity in that chapel to draw it out 
of its ark and peruse its pages. It seems that the Lollards of 
Kyle (which is the adjoining district,) had brought it to Earlston ; 
and there were friends or members of the family of Earlston who 
embraced the gospel even in those days.^ May we not believe that 
the Gordons of Earlston, in Rutherford's days, were not a little 
indebted to the faith and prayers of these ancient witnesses who 
hid the sacred treasure in the chapel wall ? Like the monk of 

I Some of the anoeston of Yiscomit Kenmori embraced the principles of Wickliflt 
tetbe lethcuotory. 


Basle, their faith and patience were acknowledged in after days 
by the blessing sent down on that quarter, when the Lord, in re- 
membrance of his '' hidden ones," ' both raised up the Gordons of 
Eariston, with many others of a like spirit, and also sent thither 
his servant Samuel Rutherford, to sound the silver trumpet and 
make the lamp of truth, blaze like a torch all over that, region. 

Samuel Rutherford was born about the year 1600. His 
father is supposed to have been a respectable farmer, and he had 
two brothers, James and George. The place of his birth was not 
near the scene of his after labors. It is almost certain that Nisbet, 
a village of Roxburghshire, close to the Teviot, in the parish of 
Crailing, was his birth-place ; not long ago, there were some old 
people in the parish who remembered the gable-end of the house 
in which he was born, and which, from respect to his memory, 
was permitted to stand as long as it could keep together. Some 
one may yet light upon the well where, when very young, Samuel 
nearly lost his life. He had been amusing himself with some 
companions when he fell in, and was left there till they ran aiid 
procured assistance ; but on reaching the spot, they found him 
seated on a knoll, cold and dripping, yet uninjured. He told them 
that " A bonnie white man came and drew him out of the well !" 
Whether or not he really fancied that an angel had delivered him 
we cannot tell, but it is plain that at all events his boyish thoughts 
were already wandering in the region of the sky. 

He owed little to his native place. There was not so much of 
Christ known in that parish then as there is now. For in after 
days he writes, <' My soul's desire is, that the place to which I 
owe my first birth — in which I fear Christ was scarcdy named as 
touching any reality of the power of godliness, — may blossom as 
the rose." We have no account of his revisiting these scenes of 
his early life, though he thus wrote to his firiend, Mr. Scott, min- 
ister of the adjoining parish of Oxnam. Like Donald GargiU, 
bom in Perthshire, yet never known to preach there even once, — 
Rutherford's labors were all in other parts of the land. In this 
arrangement we see the Master's Sovereignty the better; the 
sphere thus appears evidently to be one of God's choosing for the 
man, and not the man's gratifying his natural predilections. It 
accords, too, with the Master's own example. He having never 
returned to Bethlehem, where he was bom, to do any of his 

Jedburgh is a town three or four mUes distant from Nbbet, and 

1 Gkazix.89. 


thither Samuel m ent for his education ; either walking to it and 
returning home at evening, — as a school-boy would scarcely 
grudge to do, — or residing in the town for a season. The school 
at that time met in a part of the ancient abbey, called from this 
drcumstance the Latiners* Abbey. In the year 1617, we find 
him &rther from home — removed to Edinburgh, which, forty 
years befbre, had become the seat of a College, though not as yet 
a University. There he obtained, in 1621, the degree of A.M. 
Soon after, he was appointed Regent or Professor of Humanity, 
Uiough there were three other competitors ; for his talents had 
attracted the notice of many. But, on occasion of a rumor that 
charged him with some irregularity, — whether with or without 
foundation, it is now difficult to ascertain, — he demitted his office 
in 1625, and led a private life, attending prelections on theology, 
and devoting himself to that study. 

It is not unlikely that this may have been the time of which 
be says in a lettler, '' I knew a man who wondered to see any in 
this life laugh or sport." It may have been then that he was led 
by the Spirit to know the things that are freely given us of God. 
We have no proof that he was converted at an earlier period, but 
rather the opposite. He writes, <^ Like a fool as I was, I suffisred 
my sun to be high in the heaven and near afternoon, before ever 
I took the gate by the end." And again, " I had stood sure, if in 
my youth I had borrowed Christ for my bottom." Affliction fol- 
low^ ; the clouds returned after the rain ; family trials seemed 
to have been used by the Lord to promote the better growth of 
the plant of grace. All these dealings of Providence combined 
to form his character as a man of God and as a pastor. 

In 1627 he was settled at Anwoth, a parish situated in Kircud- 
brightshire, and though at this period Episcopacy had been ob- 
truded upon Scotland, and many faithful ministers were suffering 
on account of their resistance to its ceremonies and services, yet 
be appears to have been allowed to enter on his charge without 
any compliance being demanded, and '^ without giving any en- 
gagement to the Bishop." — He began his ministry from the text 
John ix. 99. The same Lord that would not let Paul and Timo- 
thy preach in Asia,' nor in Bithynia, and yet sent to the one 
region the beloved John," and to the other the scarcely less be- 
loved Peter," in this instance prevented John Livingstone going to 
Anw>th, (though the patron had designed it for him,) and sent 
Rutherford instead. This was the more remarkable, because 

>Aeli,ZTl<,l «BeT.LlL *lPet6r,Ll. 


Livingstone was sent to Ancium, the parish that borders on Nis* 
bet, while he who was by birth related to that place was dis- 
patched to another spot. This is the Lord's doing. Ministers 
must not choose according to the flesh. 

During the first years of his labors here the sore illness of his 
wife was a bitter grief to him. Her distress was very severe. 
He writes of it: — "She is sore tormented night and day. — My 
life is bitter unto me. — She sleeps none, and cries as a woman 
travailing in birth ; my life was never so wearisome." She con- 
tinued in this state for no less than a year and a month, ere she 
died. Besides ail this, his two children had been taken from him. 
Such was the discipline by which he was trained for the duties 
of a pastor, and by which a shepherd's heart of true sympathy 
was imparted to him. 

Anwolh had no large village near the church. The people 
were scattered over a hilly district, and were quite a rural flock. 
But their shepherd found their souls worth the caring for, and did 
not feel that his learning and talents would be ill spent if laid 
out in seeking souls, obscure and unknown. See him setting out 
to visit ! passing along yonder field, or climbing that hill in his 
way to some cottage, his " quick eyes" occasionally glancing on 
the objects around, but his " face upward" for the most part, as if 
he were gazing into heaven. He has time to visit, for he rises at 
three in the morning, and then meets his God in prayer and 
meditation, and has space for study besides. He takes some days 
for catechizing. He never fails to be found at the sick-beds of his 
people. Men said of him, "He ia always praving, always preach- 
ing, always visiting the sick, always catechiizng, cUways writing 
and studying." He was known to fall asleep at night speaking 
of Christ, and even to speak of him during his sleep. Indeed, 
himself speaks of his dreams being of Christ. 

His preaching could not but arrest attention, though his elocu- 
tion was not good, and his voice rather shrill. He was, — accord- 
ing to Wodrow, — "one of the most .moving and aflfectionate 
preachers in his time, or perhaps in any age of the Church."* 
Especially when he came to dwell upon the subject he so de- 
lighted in, Jesus Christ, his manner grew so animated that it 
seemed as if he would have flown out of the pulpit. An English 
merchant said of him in days when controversy might have 
turned him to other themes, "I went to St. Andrew's, where I 
heard a sweet, nmjestic looking man (R. Blair,) and he sliowed 

> Wodrow 8 Church Hisi I 206. 


me the majesty of God. After him I heard a little fair man, 
(Rutheiford,) and he showed me the loveliness of Christ J^^ 

Anwoth was dear to him ' as the sphere appointed him by his 
Master, more than because of the fruits of his labors. Two years 
after being settled there, he writes, " I see exceedingly small fruit 
of my ministry. I would be glad of one soul, to be a crown of 
joy and rejoicing in the day of Christ." His people were " like 
hot iron, which cooleth when out of the fire." Still he labored in 
hope, and labored often almost beyond his strength. Once he 
says, '< I have a grieved heart daily in my calling." He speaks 
of his pained breast, at another time, on the evening of the Lord's 
Day, when his work was done. But he had seasons of refreshing 
to his own soul at least — especially when the Lord's Supper was 
dispensed. Of these seasons he frequently speaks. He asks his 
friend, Marion Macknaught, to help with her prayers on such aa 
occasion, " that being one of the days wherein Christ was wont 
to make merry with his friends." It was often then that with 
special earnestness he besought the Father to distribute '^ the great 
Loaf, Christ, to the children of his family." 

Anwoth church was filled, but not altogether by parishioners. 
Many came from great distances ; among others, several that 
were converted, seventeen years before, under John Welsh, at 
Ayr. These all helped him by their prayers, as did also a goodly 
number of godly people in the parish itself, who were the fruit of 
the ministry of his predecessor. Yet over the unsaved he yearned 
most tenderly. At one time we hear him say, " I would lay my 
dearest joys in the gap between you and eternal destruction." At 
another, " My witness is in heaven, your heaven would be two 
heavens to me, and your salvation two salvations." He could ap- 
peal to his people, "My day-thoughts and my night-thoughts are 
of you ;" — and he could appeal to God, " O my Lord, judge if my 
ministry be not dear to me ; but not so dear by many degrees as 
Christ ray Lord." 

AU classes of people of Anwoth were objects of his care. He 
maintained a friendly intercourse with people of high rank, and 

1 irCrM*t Sketdies. 

* The oak pulpit out of which he preached is still preserred The old church is in 
die shape of a bam, and could hold only 250 sitters. The years 1681 and 1688 are 
cmrrad oo some of the seats,— perhaps the seats of the Gkirdoos, or other heritors. We 
may add,— whili speaking of this old edifice where " the swallows building their nest," 
teemed to the exiled pastor " blessed birds," — ^that the rusty key of that kirk door is 
now in the keeping of Mr. Rowan, Librarian to the New College, Edinburgh, sent U 
tbe ooQflge as a predoos reHc three years ago by a friend through Dr. Welsh. 


many of his letters are addressed to such persons. — But the herd 
boys were not beneath hb special attention. He writes of them 
when at Aberdeen, and exclaims, " Oh if 1 might but speak to thee 
or your herd boys, of my worthy Master." He had a heart for the 
young of all classes, so that he would say of two children of one 
of his friends, "I pray for them by name," and could thus take 
time to notice one, " Your daughter desires a Bible and a gown. 
I hope she shall use the Bible well, which if she do the gown is 
the better bestowed." He lamented over the few that cry " Ho-j 
sanna" in their youth. '^ Christ is an unknown Christ to young 
ones, and therefore they seek him not because they know him 
not." He dealt with individual parishioners so closely and so per- 
sonally as to be able to appeal to them that he had so done. He 
addresses one of them, Jean McMillan : " I did what I could to 
put you within grips of Christ; I told you Christ's testament and 
latter-will plainly." He so carried them about with him (like the 
priest with the twelve tribes on his breast-plate,) that he could 
declare to Gordon of Cardoness, " Thoughts of your soul depart 
not from me in my sleep." *^My soul was taken up when others 
were sleeping, how to have Christ betrothed with a bride in that 
^ part of the land," viz. Anwoth. He so prayed over them and for 
] them, that he fears not to say, " There I wrestled with the angel 
and prevailed. Woods, trees, meadows, and hills, are my wit- 
nesses that I drew on a fair match betwixt Christ and Anwoth." 
It is related that on first coming to the parish, there was a piece 
of ground on Mossrobin farm, where on Sabbath afternoon the 
people used to play at foot-ball. On one occasion he repaired to 
the spot and pointed out their sin, calling on the objects round to 
be witness against them if they persevered, especially three large 
stones,* two of which still remain, and are called ^< RuiherfonPs 

Once in Anwoth his labors were interrupted by a tertian fever 
which laid him aside for thirteen weeks. Even when well re- 
covered, he could only preach on the Sabbaths ; visiting and cate- 
chizing were at a stand. This was just before his wife's death in 
/ 1630, and he writes in the midst of it, '^ Welcome, welcome, cross 
of Christ, if Christ be with it." " An afflicted life looks very like 
the way that leads to the kingdom." And some years thereafter, 
when his mother, who resided with him six years after his first 
wife's death, was in a dangerous illness, he touchingly informs 
one of bb correspondents, to whom he writes from Anwoth, '^ Mjf 

> Josh. zziT. 27. 


mother is weak, and I think shall leave me alone, but I am not 
alone, because Chrisfs Faiher is with me." 

' The manse of Anwoth had many visits of kind friends, who in 
Rutherford's fellowship felt that saying verified, *' They that dwell 
Under hisshadow shall return ; they shall revive as the corn." ^ The 
righteous compassed him about, because the Lord had dealt boun- 
tifully with him. His letters would be enough of themselves to 
show thai his company was sought by the godly on all sides. 
But besides this evidence, we have notices of such visitors as his 
own brother George, at Kirkcudbright This good man was a 
teacher in that town, and often repaired to Anwoth to take sweet 
counsel with Samuel ; and then together, they often talked of 
and prayed for their only other brother James, an officer in the 
Dutch service, who had sympathy wiCh their views, and in after 
days conveyed to Samuel the invitation to become Professor at 
Utrecht. Visits of those friends who resided near were not un- 
frequent, such as the Gordons, Yiscount Kenmure and his lady, 
and in humbler life, Marion Macknaught. But at times Anwoth 
manse was lighted up by the glad visit of unexpected guests. 
There is a tradition that Archbishop Usher, passing through Gal- v^ 
loway, turned aside on a Saturday to enjoy the congenial society 
of Rutherford. He came, however, in disguise, and being wel- 
comed as a guest, took his place with the rest of the family when 
they were catecbiased, as was usual that evening. The strangei 
was asked, " How many commandments are there ?' His reply 
was ^^ Eleven?^ The pastor corrected him; but the stranger 
maintained his position, quoting our Lord's words, '^ A new com- 
mandment / give unto you, ihcU you love one another J^ They 
retired to rest, all interested in the stranger. Sabbath morning 
dawned, Rutherford arose and repaired for meditation to a walk 
that bordered on a thicket,* but was startled by hearing the voice 
of prayer, — prayer too, from the heart, and in behalf of the souls 
of the people that day to assemble. It was no other than the 
holy Archbishop Usher ; and soon they came to an explanation, 
for Rutherford had beg^n to suspect he had *^ entertained angels 
unawares." With great mutual love they conversed together, and 
at the request of Rutherford, the Archbishop went up to the pulpit, 
conducted the usual service of the presbyterian pastor, and 
preached on '' the New Commandment." 

Scarcely less interesting is the record of one of those incidental 

« HiML zir 7. 

• ThB plaee k rtfll pointed oat bj tnditioD, at ** RutherfanTs WaUl" 


meetings that are often so refreshing to the saints in their pilgri- 
mage. Rutherford had one day left home to go to the neighbor 
ing town of Kirkcudbright, the next day being a day of humilia* 
tion in that place. Having no doubt spent some time with his like- 
minded brother, he had turned his steps to the house of another 
friend, Provost Fullerton, whose wife was Marion Macknaught. 
While silting with them a knock at the door was heard, and then 
a step on the threshold. It was worthy Mr. Blair, who, on bis 
way from London to Port Patrick, had sought out some of his 
godly friends, that with them he might be refreshed ere he returned 
to Ireland. He told them, when seated, that '<he had a desire to 
visit both Mr. Rutherford at Anwoth, and Marion Macknaught at 
Kirkcudbright, but not knowing how to accomplish both, he had 
prayed for direction at the parting of the road, and laid the bridle 
on the horse's neck. The horse took the way to Kirkcudbright, 
and there he found both the friends he so longed to see.'' It was 
a joyful and refreshing meeting on all sides. 

In 1634 he attended the remarkable death-bed of Lord Ken- 
mure, a narrative of which he published fifteen years after, in 
"The last heavenly speeches and glorious departure of John 
Viscount Kenmure."" The inroads of Episcopacy were at this 
time threatening to disquiet Anwoth. His own domestic afflic- 
tions were still aflecting him ; for he writes that same year, in re- 
ferring to his wife's death many years before, '< which wound is 
not yet fully healed and cured." About that time, too, there was 
a proposal never carried into eflect to call him to Cramond, near 

Meanwhile he persevered in study as well as in labors, and 
with no common success. He had himself a metaphysical turn, 
as well as a great readiness in using the accumulated learning of 
other days. It might be instructive to inquire why it is that 
wherever GodUness is healthy and progressive we jalmost invari- 
ably find Learning in the Church of Chrbt attendant on it; while 
on the other hand, an illiterate state is attended sooner or later 
by decay of vital godliness. Not that all are learned in such 

i Referring to tho prerioas tempest that swept through Lord Kefimiire*8 soul, the 
prefiMe says that we may be taught that, " the wound of a wounded conscience i^ a 
most inexpressible terror ; none can describe it but he who has tried and tasted the 
■ame. It impaireih the health, drieth op the blood, wasteth away the marrow, pineth 
away the flesh, oonsumeth away the bones, maketh pleasure pamful, and shorteoeth 
life. No wiMldm can counsel it, no counsel can adrise it, no advice can persuade i^ 
DO assuagement can cure it, no eloquence can more it^ no power caa oreroorae it» no 
■pectrc affray it. no enchanter charm if 


times; but there is always an ingredient of the kind among some 
of those whom the Lord is using. It may be that the energy of 
soul created by a revival leads on to ihe study of whatever is 
likely to be useful in the defence or propagation of the truth, 
whereas, when decay is progressing in a church, sloth and ease 
prevail, and are causes why theological learning is thought too 
heavy to be plodded through. With Samuel Rutherford and his 
contemporaries we find learning side by side with vital, and singu- 
larly deep godliness. Gillespie, Henderson, Blair, Dickson, and 
others, are well-known proofs. Circumstances led Rutherford in 
1636 to publish his elaborate defences of grace against the Arniin- 
uois, in Latin. Its title is " Exercitationes de Gratia.'^ So highly 
was it esteemed at Amsterdam, where it was published, that a 
second edition was printed that very year ; and invitations were 
addressed soon after to the author to come over and occupy the 
chair of Professor of Divinity in Utrecht. The university of 
Hardewyi;k bad already offered him both its chair of Divinity and 

The contest for Chrises Kingly office had become hot and 
keen. To Rutherford it appeared no small matter. "I could 
wish many pounds added to my cross to know that by my suffer- 
ing Christ was set forward in his Kingly office in this land." 
July 27, 1636, was a day that put his principles to the test. He 
was called before the High Commission Court, because of non-con- 
formity to the acts of Episcopacy, and because of his work against 
the Arrainians. The issue was not doubtful, though Lord Lorn 
made every exertion in his behalf, — they deprived him of his min- 
isterial office, which he had exercised at Anwoth for a period of 
nine years, and banished him to Aberdeen. The next day, writ- 
ing at evening on the subject, he tells of his sentence, and sub- 
joins, '^ The honor that I have prayed for these sixteen years." 
He made up his mind to leave Anwoth at once, observing, with a 
submissiveness which we cannot help wondering at in the author 
of Lex Rex, " I purpose to obey the king, who has power over my 
body." ^ His only regret was lest this separation from his flock 

> The foUowing it his nwn aeooant of thit whole matter, as given in a speech <!•• 
firered heibre the General Assembly of 29th Nor. 1638. When asked by the Mod- 
erator, " Were joa not sent to Aberdeen by the High Commis-vioo f" his reply wai, 
* Most tma. I was sent in and summoned by the High Commission for diverse poitits 
the Bisbop of Galloway libelled against me, and there was nothing at all provivi 
against me, notwithstanding three several days I was before them ; and the third day 
ihmj had do other qoestion to propose, but those wherewith they attempted me the 
irst two days,— only the matter of non-conformity, which I stand by; and upon this 



was a chastisement on him from the Lord, <' Because I have not 
been so faithful in the end as I was in the two first years of my 
ministry, when deep departed from mine eyes through care for 
Christ's iambs:' 

On leaving Anwoth he directed his steps by Irvine, spending a 
night there with his beloved friend David Dickson. What a night 
it would be ! To hear these two in solemn converse ! The one 
could not handle the harp so well as the other ; for David Dick- 
son could express his soul's weary longings and its consoling hopes 
in such strains as that which has made his name familiar in Scot- 
land, " O mother dear Jemsalem^^^ &c. But Rutherford, never- 
theless, had so much of poetry and sublime enthusiasm in his soul, 
that any poet could sympathize with him to the full. Many of 
his let^ters '< from Christ s palace in Aberdeen" have strains of 
true poetry. What else is such an effusion as this, when rising on 
eagles' wltigs, he exclaims, "A land that has more than four 
summers :n the year ! What a singing life is there ! There is 
i^ot a dumb bird in all that large field, but all sing and breathe 
lut heaven, joy, glory, dominion, to the High Prince of that new- 
ound land. And verily the land is sweeter that He is the glory 
>f that land." ''O how sweet to be wholly Christ's, and wholly 
n Christ — to dwell in Immanuel's high and blessed land, and 
iive in that sweetest air, where no wind bloweth but the breath- 
nigs of the Holy Ohoet — no sea nor floods flow but the pure water 
of life that floweth from under the throne and from the Lamb — 
no planting, but the tree of life that yieldeth twelve manner of 
fruits every month ! What do we here but sin and suffer? O 
when shaH the night be gone, the shadows flee away, and the 
morning of the long, long day, without cloud or night, dawn ? 

thej Mnt«Med mt, afUr I dedared by writ, the mikwfbliMM ot ihaii act, and thai I 
dant not be antwerabU to tha Jdng to acknowledge thai Judioatory, beeanae it waa 
against the standing Uw of the kingdom. Kotwithstanding of this, thej proceeded 
against me, depriTed me of mj ministry in Anwoth, and confined me in Aberdeen. 
I watdied oo in Edinboigfa, deidring the derk to gire me an extract of the aentence, 
bat coold not get it; and tha reason why he shifted me was, becaoae the Bishop of 
Oalloway caused him to add a point to mj sentence thai I was not senieDoed for, tie. 
that I should exercise no ministerial fonctians within the king^s dominiona. The derk 
denied it was a point of my sentence, notwithstanding the Bishop of Oalloway caosed 
to add that point, and I coold nerer have tha extract of it, only I got a copy.** — lU^ 
tofdtoftktOmrekof SeoOm^^lW, Baillie says, ** He was silenced and confined 
to Aberdeen for preaching aganisi tha Artides of Perth, and soch things. It la tnM 
he reftwed to gire tha Chancellor or any of tha Bishops their styles. They wera 
aofanaialso agahisi turn for taxing Oameron m his book, and mora for his 
rafliiV at J icksoa**— Baa(. L p. 8. 


The Spirit and the bride say ^ Come !' O when shall the Lamb's 
wife be ready, and the Bridegroom say, Come ?" Whoever com- 
pares such breathings as this with David Dickson's hymn, will at 
once see how very congenial were their feelings and their hopes, 
and even their mode of expressing what they felt and hoped, 
though the one used prose and the other tried more memorable 

We follow Rutherford to Aberdeen, the capital of the North, 
whither he was accompanied by a deputation of his affectionate 
parishioners from Anwoth, in whose company he would forget the 
length and tediousness of the way. He arrived here in Septem- 
ber, 1636. This town was at that time the stronghold of Episco- 
pacy and Arminianism, and in it the state of religion was very 
low. ^ It consisted of Papists, and men of Gallio's naughty faith." > 
The clergy and doctors took the opportunity of Rutherford's arrival, 
to commence a series of attacks on the doctrines he held. But in 
disputation he foiled them ; and when many began to feel drawn 
to his earnest dealings or private exhortations, there was a proposal 
made to remove him from the town. '< So cold," writes he, ^' is 
northern love I But (added he) Christ and I wUl bear itf^ deeply 
feeling his union to him who said to Saul, *' why persecutest thou 
me 7" Often on the streets,* he was pointed out as ''the Ban^ 
ished Minisierf and hearing of this, he remarked, ^ I am not 
ashamed of my garland." He had visitors from Orkney, and from 
Caithness, to the great annoyance of his persecutors. Some 
blamed him for not being ^^ prudent enough" as we have seen 
men ready to do in the case of Dr. Kalley at Madeira in our day ; 
but he replies, '' It is ordinary thcU that should be part of the cross 
^ those who suffer for him." Still he enjoyed, in his sditude, 
occasional intercourse with some of the godly ones, among whom 
were Lady Pitsligo, Lady Burnet of Largs, Andrew Cant, and 
James Martin. His deepest affliction was separation from his 
flock at Anwoth. Nothing can exceed his tender sorrow over this 

It was a saying of his own, " Oold may be gold and bear the 
king's stamp upon it, when it is trampled upon by men." And 

> Dr. Jamet Sibbald, Mid to hare been a mao of great learning, was minister in one 
of the cfaorclies of what was then called New Aberdeen, and Rutherford was a hearer 
of Ui ; he tai^fai Arminianism, and Rutherford afterwards testified against him on 
Ihfa point tnok irtiat he had himself listened to^-^OordaiCs 8eoU Affttir, iil 280. 

• The impression ci some readers might be that he was mprtsoM. But he never 
WM8& He was til «*i^; hot the wfa(de town was his prison, like Shiniei ooofioed to 


this was true of himself. But he came out of his trial unhnrt ; 
or rather, as his many letters from Aberdeen show, greatly io- 
creased in every grace. 

He was part of two years closely confined to that town ; but ia 
1638 public events had taken another turn. The Lord bad 
stirred up the spirit of the people of Scotland, and the Covenant 
was again triumphant in the land. Rutherford hastened biuJe to 
Anwoth. During his absence, '* for six quarters of a year," say 
his parishioners, '' no sound of the word of Ood was heard in our 
kirk." The swallows had made their nests undisturbed for two 

His letters do not refer to the proceedings of the Glasgow As- 
sembly of 1638 ; still it is well known that he was no mere indif- 
ferent spectator to what then took place, but was member of sev- 
eral committees which at that time sat on the affairs of the 
Church ; and Presbytery being fully restored by that Assembly, 
it was thought right that one so gifted should now be brought 
forward to a more important sphere. He was sent by the Church 
to several districts to promote the cause of reformation and the 
covenant : and at length, in spite of his reluctance, arising chiefly 
from love to his flock, — his rural flock at Anwoth, — he was con- 
strained by the united opinion of his brethren to remove to the 
Professor's Chair in Si. Andrew's, in '1639. He baigained to bo 
allowed to preach regularly every Sabbath in his new sphere ; for 
he could not endure silence when he might speak a word for his 
Lord. He seems to have preached, as occasion offered, in the 
parishes around, especially at Scoonie, where the village of Leven 
stands. His hands were necessarily filled with work in his new 
sphere ; yet still he relaxed nothing of his diligence in study. 
Nor did he lose anything of former blessing. It was here the 
English merchant heard him preach so affectingly on the loveli- 
uess of Christ while such was his success as a Professor that " the 
university became a Lebanon out of which were taken cedars for 
building the house of God throughout the land." 

In the year 1640, he married his second wife, << a woman," says 
one, " of such worth, that I never knew any among men exceed 
him, nor any among women exceed her. He who heard either 
of them pray or speak might have learnt to bemoan his owa 
ignorance. Oh how many times I have been convinced by ob- 
serving them, of the evil of unseriousness unto God, and unsa- 
TorinesB in discourse." They had seven children ; bat only oao 


survived the father, a little daughter Agnes, who does not seem 
to have been a comfort to her godly mother. 

In July, 1643, the Westminster Assembly sat ; and to it he was 
sent up as one of the Commissioners from Scotland. There exists 
in MS. in the Ubrary of the Edinburgh University, a sketch of 
the Shorter Catechism, in Rutherford's handwriting, very much 
resembling the Catechism as it now stands, as if he had had the 
principal hand in drawing it up for the Assembly. He continued 
four years attending the sittings of this famous synod, and was of 
much use in their deliberations. So prominent a part did he take, 
that the great Milton has singled him out for attack* in his lines, 
" On the new forcers of conscience, under the Long Parliament." 
Miltoo knew him only as an opponent of his sectarism and Inde- 
pendent principles, and so could scorn measures proposed by '' Mere 
A. S. and Rutherford." But had^e known the soul of the man, 
would not even Milton have found that there was a sublimity of 
thought and feeling in his adversary, that at times might ap- 
proach his own lofty poesy ? Yet how interesting, in any point of 
view, to find the devoted Pastor of Anwoth, on the streets of Lon- 
don, crossing the path of the greatest poet of modern times ! 

During his residence in London, several of his family died ; yet 
amid the trials and bustle of that time be wrote *' the Due Right 
of Presbytery," '^Lex Rex," and "Trial and Triumph of Faith." 

Returning home to St. Andrew's he resumed his labors both 
in the college and in the pulpit with all his former zeaL' He 

1 * 1651, Jolj ISw — ^The oomm. wa/i given at Sooonie. Mr. Alex. Moncrief!^ m. 
there, did preach the Preparation Sermon, and on Monday morning, Mr. Sa. Ruther- 
ford did preach ; his text at both occasions was Luke vii. 36 till 89 v. At ^lis time 
was preseat, beiides Mr. Sa. Rutherford, Mr. Ja. Guthrie, and Mr. David Bennet, Mr. 
Ephraim Melven, and Mr. William OUphant, m. in Dumfermlia Thither did resort 
many strangera, so that the throng was great Mr. Ephraim, and Mr. D. Bennet both 
did ftit within the pulpit while the minister had his sermon.** ** 1654, Jan. 4. — Being 
Saturday, there was a Preparation Sermon for a Thanksgiving preached at Sooonie 
in Fjfe, for the ooniinuanoe of the Gospel in the land, and for the spreading of it in 
•ome places of the Highlnnds in ScotJand, where in some fomilies two, and in some 
fiunilies one, began to call on God by prayer. Mr. Samud Rutherford, M in St An- 
dreVm preached on Saturday ; his text, IsaL xlix. 9, 10, 11, 12. On the Sabbath, Mr 
Alex. MoDcriefl^ M then preached ; his lecture, 1 The^. L ch. ; his text, Ooloss. i 27. 
In the aftemooQ of the Sabbath, Mr. Samuel preadied again upon his forementioiied 
text Ob Monday morning, Mr. Samuel had a Lecture on PsaL Ixxxviil He did 
read the whole Psalm. Observe, that on Saturday Mr. Samuel had this expression in 
his prayer after sermon, desiring that the Lord would rebuke Presbyteries and others 
that had taken the keys and the power in their hands, and keeped out, and would suf* 
fsr Dooe to enter (meaning in the ministry) but such as said as they said."— Xaipioiil*4 


joined tlie Protesters in determinedly opposing the proceedings of 
the Commission of Assembly, who had censured such as pro- 
tested against the admission to power of persons in the class of 
Malignants. His friend David Dickson keenly opposed him, and 
Mr. Blair also, though less violently. It was this controversy that 
made John Livingstone say in a letter to Blair, ^ " Your and Mr. 
D. Dickson's accession to these resolutions, is the saddest thing 1 
have seen in my time. My wife and I have had more bitterness 
in this respect, these several months, than' ever we had since we 
knew what bitterness meant." Rutherford wrote too violently on 
this matter ; for all parties were greatly excited. Still he did not 
lose his brotherly love, the same brotherly love that led him to 
embrace Archbishop Usher as a fellow-believer. We may get a 
lesson for our times from his remarks on occasion of these bitter 
controversies. It is in 1646, that he writes ; '' It is hard when 
saints rejoice in the suflerings of saints, and redeemed ones hurt, 
and go nigh to hate, redeemed ones. For contempt of the com- 
munion of saints, we have need of new-born crosses scarce ever 
heard of before. — Our star-light hideth us from ourselves, and 
hideth us from one another, and Christ from us all." And then 
he subjoins, (and is he not borne out by the words of the Lord in 
John xvii. 22.) "A doubt it is if we shall have fully one heart, till 
we shall enjoy one heaven." The stale of things lay heavy on 
his mind : '*I am btoken and wasted by the wrath that is upon 
this land." 

Milton sings, *' They also serve who only stand and wait ;" and 
Rutherford was longing now for such service. He sometimes 
refers to this desire ; he wishes for a quiet harbor in his latter 
days ; only, adds he, '' sailing is serving" — and he did delight in 
serving his Lord. 

In 1660, his published woric, " Lex Rex," was taken notice of 
by the government ; for reasonable as it is in defence of the lib- 
erty of subjects, its spirit of freedom was intolerable to rulers who 
were gradually advancing to acts of cruelty and death. Indeed, 
it was so hateful to them, that they burnt it, first at Edinburgh 
by the hands of the hangman ; and then some days after by the 
hands of the infamous Sharpe, under the windows of its author's 

^ College in Su Andrew's. He was next deposed from all his offices ; 

: and last of all summoned to answer at next Parliament on a 
charge of high treason. But the summons was too late. He 
was already on his death-bed, and on hearing of the summons, 

> Wodrow Select Biogrmphiee. 


calmly remarked, that be bad got another summons before a su« * 
perior Judge and Judicatory, and sent the message, '' I behove to 
answer my first summons ; and ere your day arrive, I will be 
where few kings and great folks come." 

All that is told us of his death-bed is characteristic of the man. 
He said when asked, " What think ye now of Christ?"—" I shall 
live and adore him. Glory dwelleth in ImmanuePs land." The 
same afternoon he said, " I shall sleep in Christ, and when I 
awake I shalf be satisfied with his likeness." Once be cried 
aloud, " O for arms to embrace Him ! O for a well-tuned harp !" 
This last expression he used more than once, as if already stretch- 
ing out his hand to get his golden harp, and join the redeemed in 
their new song. He also said on another occasion, " I hear him 
saying to me, * Come up hither.' " His little daughter, Agnes, 
only eleven years of age, stood by his bed-side ; he looked ou her, 
and said, " I have left her upon the Lord." Well might the man 
say so, who could so fully testify of his portion in the Lord, as a 
goodly heritage. To four of his brethren, who came to see him, 
be said, " My Lord and Master is chief of ten thousands of thou- 
sands. None is comparable to Him in heaven, or in earth. Dear 
brethren, do all for Him. Pray /or Christ. Preach /or Christ J^ 
He seemed to know the hour of his departure, not perhaps so 
surely as Paul, 2 Tim. iv. 6, or Peter, 2 Peter i. 14, yet still in a 
manner that seems to indicate that the Lord draws very near his 
servants in that hour, and gives glimpses of what he is doiug. 
On the last day of his life, in the afternoon, he said, "This night 
will close the door, and fasten my anchor within the veil, and I 
shall go away in a sleep by five o'clock in the morning." And so 
it was. He entered Immanuel's land at that very hour, March 
20, 1661, at his house in St. Andrew's, and is now (as himself 
would have said) " sleeping in the bosom of the Almighty," till 
the Lord come. One of his dying sayings was, " There is noth- 
ing now between me and the resurrection but, ' This day thou 
shalt be with me in Paradise.' " And Livingstone records that 
his last words were, "Glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel's land !" > 
— as if he had caught a glimpse of its mountain tops.* 

Had he lived a few weeks, his might have been the cruel death 

1 ^'leei, liar. 29, (a mUtake for 20.) Mr. Samuel Rutherford, Principal of Um 
Vew CoUege io St Andrew's, departed out of thi^ life, at hb dwelling-houie there^ 
and wa» interred the 30th of Mar. at the ordinary burial place of the said city. Some 
wtekM before be had a daughter that departed out of this life likewise. Also, th« 
awl SO of Mar. Mr. Andrew Honey man's mother-in-law was inteired likewise. They 
t both carried at one time to their long home." — Lamontt JXarjf. 


endured by his friend James Guthrie, whom he had encourage 
hj his letters to steadfastness to tlie end. The vote which th 
Parliament passed when told that he was dying did him no dig 
honor. When they had voted that he should not die in the Col 
lege, Lord Burleigh rose and said, '' Ye cannot vote him out oi 

If ever there was any portrait of him, it is not now known 
We are most familiar with the likeness of his soul. There is oq< 
expressive line in the epitaph on his tombstone, in thechurchyan 
of the Chapel of St Regulus : 

What tac^e» what pen, or skill of men. 
Can famous Rutherford commeDd 1 
His learning justly raised his fame, 
True greatness did adorn hn name. 
He did ooDTerse with things aboTC, 
Acquainted with JmmanueCt love. 

His memory wns long cherished, and it is said that so grea 
was the reverence which some of the godly had for this venerable 
man, that they requested to be buried near where his body was laid 
It is also mentioned, that an old man in the parish of Crailiii< 
remembers the veneration entertained for him by the great-grand 
father of the present Marquis of Lothian. This good Marquis use< 
to lift his hat as he passed the spot where stood ihe^ cottage ii 
which Samuel Rutherford was born. 

His " Letters" have long been famous among the godi) 
The collector was godly Mr. M*Ward, who, as a student, beinj 
much beloved by Rutherford, went to the Westminster Assembl; 
with him as his secretary. He was afterwards successor to An 
drew Gray in Glasgow, and finally minister in Rotterdam. H 
published them with an enthusiastic recommendation ; but seem 
sometimes to have given us erroneous readings. At least, ther 
are occasionally expressions or clauses that are obscure, as the 
stand in print. The first letter is dated April 23, 1628 ; and on 
ward from that dale, we have occasional pieces up to the year ol 
his death. It will be noticed, that at times, the pen of the read; 
writer ran on most rapidly. He has written many in one da} 
when his heart was overflowing. It was easy to write when ih 
Lord was pourinsT on him the tmction that teacheth all things 
He would sometimes have written still more, but he had hear 
that people looked up to him and overpraised his letters. Durin] 
bis confinement at Aberdeen, he wrote about 220. 

There are a few unpleasant expressions in the letters, whicl 


are the sparks of a fancy that sought to appropriate everything 
to sfririluai purposes ; but as to extravagance in the thoughts con* 
reyed, there is none. The extravagance alleged against them by 
•ome, is just that of Paul, when he spoke of knowing '< the height 
and depth, length and breadth," of the love of Christ ; or that of 
Solomon, when the Holy Ghost inspired him to write '' The Song 
of Songs." Rather would we say of these letters, what Living- 
stone in a letter says of John Welsh's dying words, " O for a sweet 
fillof this fanatic humor P In modern days, Richard Cecil has 
said of Rutherford : " He is one of my classics ; he is a real origi- 
nal f and in older times, Richard Baxter, some of whose theo- 
logical leanings might have prejudiced him, if anything could, 
said of his letters : '< Hold oflf the Bible, such a book the world 
never saw." They were long ago translated into Dutch, and of late 
years they have been translated into German. Both in these, and 
in his other writings, we see sufficient proof that had he cultivated 
literature as a pursuit, he might have stood high in the admira- 
tion of men.' 

The letters often, by a few strokes, suggest very much that is 
edifying and impressive. There is something not easily forgotten 
in the words used to express the Church's indestnictibleness in 
that letter, where he says, " the bush has been burning these five 
thousand years, and no man yet saw the ashes of thatfireP How 
mnch truth is conveyed by that saying, '^ Losses for Christ are 
but goods given out in bank in Christ's hand." There is an in- 
genious use of Scripture that often delights the reader, as when 
he speaks of " the corn on the house-tops that never got the hus- 
bandman's prayer," or of " Him that counteth the basons and 
knives of his house, (Ezra i. 9, 10,) and bringeth them back safe 
to hb second temple." But the general characteristics of his let- 
ters are still more worthy of attentive consideration. 

' His otlier works bear the stamp of the same lofty soul. In his Treatise, ** De 
DiTiDa ProTidenUa," Uie iollowiog paragraph oocurs extoUing the glory of Godhead 
visdoiiL ** Comparentur cum ilia increata sapieatia Dei Patris umbratiles scintiUidai 
cretta^glorioIiB qootquot Dominis oelebntate indaruerunt Dftlirat Plato. Mentitnr 
ArittoteU$, Cicero balbulit, haeitat, nescit Latine loqol Demosthenes mutus et 
cliDguis obstepeadt ; yirtutli viam ignorat Seneea, nihil canit Hotnerus^ — male canii 
yirgilius! Aocedaot ad Christum qui rirtutis gloria ftilgeotl Aristides virtuteiA 
mendtor. Fabius cespitat, a via justitis deviat Socrates do hoc quidem 8cit» se nihQ 
Kire. Cato levts-et futilis est, Solon est mundi et yoluptutum servos et maucipiuni, 
BOQ legislator. Pytkagoras nee sophos, nee philosophus est Bias nee mundi aao 
Mb gkm rootemptor. Alexander Maeedo ignavus ett»* ^ 


These Letters will ever be precious to : — 

1. All who are sensible of their awn^ and the Church% decaj 
and corruptions. The wound and the cure are therein so full) 
opened out; self is exposed, even spiritual self . He will tel 
you, '< There is as much need to watch over grace, as to watch 
over sin." He will show you Grod in Christ, to fill up the place 
usurped by self. The subtleties of sin, idols, snares, temptations, 
self-deceptions, are dragged into view from time to time. And 
what is better still, the cords of Christ are twined round the roots 
of these bitter plants, that they may be plucked up. 

Nor is it less so in regard to corruption in public, and in the 
Church. We do not mean merely the open corruption of error, 
but the secret '^ gray hairs" of deciLy. How it suits our day tc 
hear him cry, '' There is universal deadness on all that fear God 
Oh where are the sometime quickening breathings^ and influ- 
ences from heaven that have refreshed his hidden ones r And 
then, how like our day when his complaint laments, in the name 
of the saints, '' We are half-satisfied with our vntheredness ; noi 
have we so much of his strain who doth eight times breathe out 
that suit (Psa. 119,) duicken me !" We live far from the well 
and complain but dryly of our dryness." ' 

2. All who delight in the Surety's imputed righteousness. If 
thoroughly aware of the body of sin in ourselves, we cannot bu( 
feel that we need a person in our stead, — the person of the God- 
man in the room of our guilty person. This is fijU salvation from 
guilt. " To us a Son is given ;" not salvation only, but a Saviour, 
The person of Jesus is given us, '< he gave himself for usJ' 

These LiCtters are ever carrying us to the Surety and his right- 
eousness. The eye never gets time to rest long on anything 
apart from Him and his righteousness. We are shown the del 
uge- waters undried up, in order to lead us into the ark again ; '^ ] 
had fainted, had not want and penury chased me to the storehouse 
of all," says he on one occasion. 

3. All who rejoice in the gospel of free grace. Lord Kenrour< 
once said to him, '^ Sin causeth me to be jealous of His love tc 
such a man as I have been ;" he replied, '*Be jealous of yourself 
my lord, but not of Jesus Christ." In his "Trial and TriuinpL 

• of Faith," he remarks, " As holy walking is a duty coming frore 
' us, it is no ground of true peace. Believers often seek in them 
( selves what they should seek in Christ." U is to the like efieci 



kesaysinaletieri "Your heart is not the compass that Christ 
nileth by," turning away his friends from looking inward, to look 
apon the heart of Jesus. And this is his meaning, when he thus 
lays the whole burden of salvation on the Lord, and leaves noth- 
ing for us but acceptance, ''Take ease to thyself, and let him bear 
alL" Then pointing us to the risen Saviour as our pledge of com- 
plete redemption, ''Faith may dance, because Christ singeth;" 
"Faith apprehendeth pardon, but never payeth a penny for it." 
Oq his death-bed he said to hb friends, " I disclaim all that ever 
God made me will or do, and I look upon it as defiled and imper 
feet" And so in his letters he will admit of no addition, or in- 
termixture of other things ; " The Grospel is like a small hair that 
hath 00 breadth, and will not cleave in two." He exhorts to as- 
larance as being the way to be humbled very low before God : 
"Often in us, complaining is but a humble backbiting and tra- 
ducing of Christ's new work in the souL" " Make meikle of as- 
surance, for it keepeth your anchor fixed." He warns us, in his 
Trial and Triumph of Faith, " not to be too desirous of keen 
awakenings to chase us to Christ. Let Christ tutor me as he 
tbinketh good. He has seven eyes : I have but one, and that too 
dim." In a similar strain he writes : — " The law shall never be 
my doomster, by Christ's grace ; I shall find a sure enough doom 
in the gospel to humble and cast me down. There cannot be a 
fnore humble soul than a believer. It is no pride in a drowning 
man to catch hold of a rockJ^ How much truth there is here ! 
Naaman never was humble in any degree, until he felt himself 
completely healed of his scaly leprosy : but truly he was humbled 
and humble then. And what one word is there, that suggests so 
many humbling thoughts as that word " Chraeel^ 


4. All who seek to grow in holiness. The Holy Ghost delights 
to 8how us the glorious Godhead, in the face of Jesus. And this 
is a very frequent theme in these letters. He often seems to be i 
standing in immovable contemplation of Christ, and so becom- ' 
ing holier and holier ; "changed into the same image from glory I 
to glory." "Take Christ for sanctification, as well as justifica-. 
tioD," is often his theme. And in him we see a man who seems ! 
to have sought for holiness as unceasingly and as eagerly as other 
men seek for pardon and peace. In him, " holiness to the LordP 
seems written on every affection of the heart, and on every fresh- 
springing thought. 

Fellowship with the living God is a distinguishing feature in 


These Letters will ever be precious to : — 

1. All who an sensible of their own^ and the ChureKs, deca% 
and corruptions. The wound and the cure are therein so fuUj 
opened out; self is exposed, even spiritual self . He will tel 
you, '' There is as much need to watch over grace, as to watch 
over sin." He will show you Grod in Christ, to fill up the place 
usurped by self The subtleties of sin, idols, snares, temptations, 
self-deceptions, are dragged into view from time to time. And 
what is better still, the cords of Christ are twined round the roots 
of these bitter plants, that they may be plucked up. 

Nor is it less so in regard to corruption in public, and in the 
Church. We do not mean merely the open corruption of error, 
but the secret '' gray hairs" of decity. How it suits our day tc 
hear him cry, " There is universal deadness on all that fear God. 
Oh where are the sometime quickening breathings^ and influ- 
ences from heaven that have refreshed his hidden ones P^ And 
then, how like our day when his complaint laments, in the name 
of the saints, " We are half-satisfied with our witheredness ; not 
have we so much of his strain who doth eight times breathe out 
that suit (Psa. 119,) duicken me !" We live far from the well, 
and complain but dryly of our dryness." ' 

2. All who delight in the Surety^s imputed righteousness. If 
thoroughly aware of the body of sin in ourselves, we cannot but 
feel that we need a person in our stead, — the person of the Crod- 
man in the room of our guilty person. This is fi|ll salvation from 
guilt. '^ To us a Son is given ;" not salvation only, but a Saviour. 
The person of Jesus is given us, " he gave himself for us.^ 

These Letters are ever carrying us to the Surety and his right- 
eousness. The eye never gets time to rest long on anything 
apart from Him and his righteousness. We are shown the del- 
uge-waters undried up, in order to lead us into the ark again ; ^^ 1 
had fainted, had not want and penury chased me to the storehouse 
of all," says he on one occasion. 

3. All who rejoice in the gospel of free grcux. Lord Kenraure 
once said to him, '^ Sin causeth me to be jealous of His love tc 
such a man as I have been ;" he replied, '*Be jealous of yourself 
my lord, but not of Jesus Christ." In his " Trial and Triumpli 

' of Faith," he remarks, ^^ As holy walking is a duty coming frun: 
' us, it is no ground of true peace. BeUevers often seek in them 
( selves what they should seek in Christ." U b to the like eOeci 



he says in a letieri "Your heart is not the compass that Christ 
nileih by," turning away his friends from looking inward, to look 
apon the heart of Jesus. And this is his meaning, when he thus 
lays the whole burden of salvation on the Lord, and leaves noth- 
ing for us but acceptance, "Take ease to thyself, and let him bear 
ill'' Then pointing us to the risen Saviour as our pledge of com- 
plete redemption, "Faith may dance, because Christ siogeth;" 
" Faith apprehendeth pardon, but never payeth a penny for it." 
On his death-bed he said to his friends, " I disclaim all that ever 
God made me will or do, and I look upon it as defiled and imper 
feet" And so in his letters he will admit of no addition, or in- 
termixture of other things ; " The Gospel is like a small hair that 
bath no breadth, and will not cleave in two." He exhorts to as- 
surance as being the way to be humbled very low before God : 
"Often in us, complaining is but a humble backbiting and tra- 
ducing of Christ's new work in the soul." " Make meikle of as- 
surance, for it keepeth your anchor fixed." He warns us, in his 
Trial and Triumph of Faith, " not to be too desirous of keen 
awakenings to chase us to Christ. Let Christ tutor me as he 
ihiuketh good. He has seven eyes : I have but one, and that too 
dim." In a similar strain he writes : — " The law shall never be 
my doomster, by Christ's grace ; I shall find a sure enough doom 
in the gospel to humble and cast me down. There cannot be a 
more humble soul than a believer. It is no pride in a drowning 
man to catch hold of a rockJ^ How much truth there is here ! 
Naainan never was humble in any degree, until he felt himself 
completely healed of his scaly leprosy : but truly he was humbled 
and humble then. And what one word is there, that suggests so 
many humblmg thoughts as that word " Chraeel^ 


4. AU who seek togro^o in holiness. The Holy Ghost delights 
to show us the glorious Godhead, in the face of Jesus. And this 
is a very frequent theme in these letters. He often seems to be | 
standing in immovable contemplation of Christ, and so becom- ■ 
ing holier and holier ; "changed into the same image from glory I 
to glory." " Take Christ for sanctification, as well as justifica- , 
tion," is often his theme. And in him we see a man who seems ! 
to have sought for holiness as unceasingly and as eageriy as other 
men seek for pardon and peace. In him, " holiness to the LordP 
seems written on every affection of the heart, and on every fresh* 
springing thought. 

Fellowship with the living God is a distinguishing feature in 


the holiness given by the Holy Ghost, '< access by one Spirit to 
tae Father through him.'* It must be with the Living One we 
meet, and then the sympathies of a living heart are felt Ruth- 
erford could sometimes say, '' I have been so near Him, that I 
have said, ' I take instruments that this is the Lord.' " And ho 
/ could from experience declare, ^' I dare avouch the saints know 
not the length and largeness of the sweet Earnest, and of the 
sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that might be had on this 
side of the water, if%De would take more pains *^ "I am every 
way in your case, as hard-hearted and dead as any man, but yet 
I speak to Christ through my sleep." All this is from the pen of 
a man who was a metaphysician, a controversialist, a leader in 
the Church, and learned in ancient lore. Why are there not such 
gracious, as well as great men now ? 

6. AU afflicted persons. He abounds in ricli words to such ; 
indeed, here he had the very '^ tongue of the learned, to speak a 
word in season to him that was weary." And with what tender 
sympathy does he speak, leading the moui*ner so gently to the 
heart of Jesus ! He knew the heart of a stranger, for be had 
been a stranger. " Let no man after me slander Christ for bis 
cross." Yes, says he, his most loved are often his most tried ; 
''The lintel-stone and pillars of his New Jerusalem sufler more 
knocks of God's hammer and tools, than the common side-wall 
stones." Even as to reproach and calumny, ''I love Christ's 
worst reproaches." 

It was to Hugh M'Kail, he wrote, '' Some have written me that 
I am possibly too joyful of the cross, but my joy overleapeth the 
cross, — it is bounded and terminated on Christ." And there it 
was he found a well of comfort never dry. 

6. AU who lave the Person of Christ. Our age and country 
have been tempted to be satisfied with speculative,- abstract doc- 
trine. On the one hand, the orthodox have too often rested in the 
statements of otu* Catechisms and Confession ; and, on the other, 
the '< Election-doubters," (as Bunyan would have called them,) 
have gone about with their favorite dogma, that Christ died for 
all men, as if mere assent to a proposition would save the soul. 
Rutherford ever places the truth before us in a savory way — full 
of life and warmth. The person of Him who gave himself for 
his church is held up in all its attractiveness. With him, it is 
ever the Person as much as the work done ; or rather, never the 


ODe apart from the other. Like Paul, he would fain know Him.^ 
and the power of his resurrection. 

Once when Lord Kenmure asked him, "What will Christ be ^/^ 
Wkt when he cometh?" his reply was, " All lovely J^ And this is 
everywhere the favorite theme with him. At times be tells of 
his love. " His love surroundeth and surchargeth me." "If his 
love was not in heaven, I should be unwilling to go thither." 
But often he checks his pen to tell of Christ himself. " Wel- 
come, welcome, sweet, sweet cross of Christ ;" — then correct- 
ing his language, — " Welcome, fair, lovely, royal King, with 
thine own eross.''^ " Oh if I could doat as much upon Himself as 
I do upon his love." " I fear I make more of his love than of 
Himself" How peculiar, and how true is thid remark, "I see 
that in communion with Christ we may make more Gods than 
one," meaning, that we may be tempted to make the enjoyment 
itself our God. It was his habitual aim to pass through privi- 
leges, joys, even fellowship, to God himself; "I have casten this 
work upon Christ, to get me himself ^ " I would be farther in 
apoQ Christ than at his joys — in, where love and mercy lodgeth 
—beside his heart." " He who sitteth on the throne is his lone 
a suflkient heaven." " Sure I am He is the far best half of / 

In one word, such was his soul's view of the living Person, that ^ 
he writes, " Holiness is not Christ, nor the blossoms and flowers 
of the tree of life, nor the tree itself." He had found out the true 
fountain-head, and would direct all Zion's travellers thither. And i 
let a man try this, — let the Holy Spi rit Jead a man to this Person^ / 
—and surely his experience will be, "None ever came up dry I 
from David's well." 

AU^Dho love that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the 
great Ood our Saviour. The more we love the person of Christ, 
the more ought we to love his appearing, and the more we cherish 
both feelings, the holier shall we become. Rutherford abounds 
in aspirations for that day ; he is one who '' looks for and hastens 
unto the coming of the day of God !" While in exile at Aber- ^ 
deen in 1637, he writes, "O when will we meet ! O how long is 
it to the dawning of the marriage day? O sweet Jesus, take 
wide steps ! O my Lord, come over mountains at one stride ! O 
my Beloved, flee as a roe or young hart upon the mountains of 
separation." Now and then he has the expression of an intense 
desire for the restoration of Israel to their Lord, and the fulness 


of die Gentiles ; but far oftener his desires go forth to his L«oi 
himself. '^O fairest among the sons of men, why stayest th<i 
so long away ? O heavens, move fast ! O time, run, run, an 
hasten the marriage day !" To Lady Kenmure his words ar 
'' The Lord hath told you what you should be doing till he com* 
'Wait and hasten,' saith Peter, *for the coming of the Lor^ 
Sigh and long for the dawning of that morning and the breakin 
of that day of the coming of the Son of Man, when the shadoM 
shall flee away. Wait with the wearied night-watch for tli 
breaking of the eastern sky." Saints who feel their exile and a1 
sence most are those who will most fervently love their Lord's a| 
pearing. It was thus with Daniel on the banks of Ulai, and Joh 
in Patmos ; and Samuel Rutherford's most intense aspirations f< 
that day are breathed out in Aberdeen. 

His description of himself on one occasion is, — " A man ofie 
borne down and hungry, and waiting for the marriage supper c 
the liamb." He is now gone to the " mountain of myrrh an 
the hill of frankincense ;" and there he no doubt still wonders t 
the unopened treasures of Christ But O for his insatiable di 
sires Christward in our day ! O for ten such men ^ in Scotland i 
stand in the gap, men who all day long find nothing but Chri 
to rest in, and whose very sleep is a pursuing after Christ in dream 
and who intensely desire to ^ awake with his likeness.** 

1 OmzfiiLSl 







Well-beloved and Dear Sister, — My love in Christ remem- 
oered — ^I have sent to vou your daughter, Grizzel, with Robert Gor* 
don, who came to fetch her. I am in good hopes that the seed of 
God is in her, as in one bom of God, and God's seed will come to 
God's harvest I have her promise that she will be Christ's, for 
I have told her that she may promise much in his worthy name ; 
for he becometh caution^ to his Father for all such as resolve and i 
promise to serve him. I shall remember her to God. I trust that 
voQ will acquaint her with good company, and be diligent to 
know with whom she loveth to haunt 

Remember Zion, and our necessities. I bless your daughter 
from our Lord, and pray the Lord to give you joy and comfort of 
her. Remember my love to your husband, to W illiatn and Sam- 
uel, your sons. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit 

Yours, at all power in the Lord Jesusi S. R. 

AairoUi, Jime 6th, 1634. 

Mistress, — ^I beseech you to have me excused if the daily em- 

foyments of my calling shall hinder me to see you, according as 
would wish ; ior I dare not go abroad, since many of my people 
are sick, and the time of our communion' draweth near. But fre- 

Suent the company of your worthy and honest-hearted pastor, 
Ir. Robert, to whom the Lord hath given the tongue of the 
learned, to minister a word in due season to the weary. Remem- 
ber me to him, and to your husband. 
The Lord Jesus be with vour spirit 

Your affectionate Friend, S. R. 

1 teetjr. i Diipentation of the Lord's Supper. 


endured by his friend James Guthrie, whom he had encouraged 
by his letters to steadfastness to the end. The vote which the 
Parliament passed when told that he was dying did him no dis- 
honor. When they had voted that he should not die in the Col- 
lege, Lord Burleigh rose and said, " Ye cannot vote him out of 

If ever there was any portrait of him, it is not now known. 
We are most familiar with the likeness of his soul. There is one 
expressive line in the epitaph on his tombstone, in the churchyard 
of the Chapel of St Regulus : 

What toDgue» what pen, or skill of men, 
Can famous Rutherford commend I 
His learning justly raised his fame. 
True greatness did adorn his name. 
He did oooYerse with things abore, 
Acquainted with ImmanueCt love. 

His memory was long cherished, and it is said that so great 
was the reverence which some of the godly had for this venerable 
man, that they requested to be buried near where his body was laid. 
It is also mentioned, that an old man in the parish of Crailing 
remembers the veneration entertained for him by the great-grand- 
father of the present Marquis of Lothian. This good Marquis used 
to lift his hat as he passed the spot where stood the^ cottage in 
which Samuel Rutherford was born. 

His "Letters" have long been famous among the godly. 
The collector was godly Mr. M*Ward. who, as a student, being 
much beloved by Rutherford, went to the Westminster Assembly 
with him as his secretary. He was afterwards successor to An- 
drew Gray in Glasgow, and finally minister in Rotterdam. He 
published them with an enthusiastic recommendation ; but seems 
sometimes to have given us erroneous readings. At least, there 
are occasionally expressions or clauses that are obscure, as they 
stand in print. The first letter is dated April 23, 1628 ; and on- 
ward from that date, we have occasional pieces up to the year of 
his death. It will be noticed, that at times, the pen of the ready 
writer ran on most rapidly. He has written many in one day, 
when his heart was overflowing. It was easy to write when the 
Lord was pouring on him the unction that teacheth all things. 
He would sometimes have written still more, but he had heard 
that people looked up to him and overpraised his letters. During 
his confinement at Aberdeen, he wrote about 220. 

There are a few unpleasant expressions in the letters, which 


ire the sparks of a fancy that sought to appropriate everything 
to spiritual purposes ; but as to extravagance in the thoughts con- 
Teyed, there is none. The extravagance alleged against them by 
Boine, is just that of Paul, when he spoke of knowing '' the height 
and depth, length and breadth," of the love of Christ ; or that of 
Solomon, when the Holy Ghost inspired him to write '^ The Song 
of Songs." Rather would we say of these letters, what Living- 
Btone in a letter says of John Welsh's dying words, " O for a sweet 
fillof this fanatic humor !" In modern days, Richard Cecil has 
said of Rutherford : " He is one of my classics ; he is a real origi- 
nal i^ and in older times, Richard Baxter, some of whose theo- 
logical leanings might have prejudiced him, if anything could, 
said of his letters : ^ Hold off the Bible, such a book the world 
never saw." They were long ago translated into Dutch, and of late 
years they have been translate into German. Both in these, and 
in his other writings, we see sufficient proof that had he cultivated 
literature as a pursuit, he might have stood high in the admira- 
tion of men.' 

The letters often, by a few strokes, suggest very much that is 
edifying and impressive. There is something not easily forgotten 
in the words used to express the Church's indestructibleness in 
that letter, where he says, ^^ the bush has been burning these five 
thousand years, and no man yet saw the ashes of thatjire" How 
much truth is conveyed by that saying, " Losses for Christ are 
but goods given out in bank in Christ's hand." There is an in- 
genious use of Scripture that often delights the reader, as when 
he speaks of ^^ the corn on the house-tops that never got the hus- 
bandman's prayer," or of " Him that counteth the basons and 
knives of his house, (Ezra i. 9, 10,) and bringeth them back safe 
to hb second temple." But the general characteristics of his let- 
ters are still more worthy of attentive consideration. 

' His other works bear the stamp of the same lofty soul. In his Treatise, ** De 
Dirina ProTidentia,** the iollowiog paragraph occurs extoUiog the glory of Gtodhead 
"visdoin. ** Gomparentur cum ilia increata sapieotia Dei Patris umbratilea sdntillulai 
creat«^gU)rioliB quotquot nominis celehrttate inclaruerunt Dftlirat Plato. Mentitur 
AriitoieUi, Cicero balbulit, tuBsitat, nescit Latine loquL Demosthenes mutus ei 
clioguis obetepeadt ; yirtutis viam ignorat Seneca, nihil canit Hotnerus, — male canii 
yirgiliust Accedant ad Christum qui yirtutis gloria ftilgent! Aristidea virtuteu 
inentitQr. Falnus cespitat, a ria justitia deviat Socrates ne hoc quidem sdt^ se nihQ 
•ore. Cato levis-et futilis est, Solon est mundi et voluptatum servus et maocipiuni, 
BOO legislator. Pythagoras Dec sophos, nee philosophus est Bias nee mundi aao 
ttois gloria rootemptor. Alexander Maeedo ignavus est^* Ac. 


These Letters will ever be precious to : — 

1. All who art sensible of their own^ and the ChureKs^ decay 
and corruptions. The wound and the cure are therein so full/ 
opened out ; self b exposed, even spiritual self. He will tell 
you, '' There is as much need to watch over grace, as to watch 
over sin." He will show you Grod in Christ, to fill up the place 
usurped by self The subtleties of sin, idols, snares, temptations, 
self-deceptions, are dragged into view from time to time. And 
what is better still, the cords of Christ are twined round the roots 
of these bitter plants, that they may be plucked up. 

Nor is it less so in regard to corruption in public, and in the 
Church. We do not mean merely the open corruption of error, 
but the secret '' gray hairs" of decity. How it suits our day to 
hear him cry, '' There is universal deadness on all that fear God. 
Oh where are the sometime quickening breathings^ and influ' 
ences from heaven that have refreshed his hidden ones P^ And 
then, how like our day when his complaint laments, in the name 
of the saints, " We are half-scUisfied with our witheredness ; nor 
have we so much of his strain who doth eight times breathe out 
that suit (Psa. 119,) duicken me !" We live far from the well, 
and complain but dryly of our dryness." ' 

2. AU who delight in the Surety*s imputed righteousness. If 
thoroughly aware of the body of sin in ourselves, we cannot but 
feel that we need a person in our stead, — the person of the God- 
man in the room of our guilty person. This is fijll salvation from 
guilt. '* To us a Son is given ;" not salvation only, but a Saviour. 
The person of Jesus is given us, " he gave himself for us.^ 

These Lictters are ever carrying us to the Surety and his right- 
eousness. The eye never gets time to rest long on anything 
apart from Him and his righteousness. We are shown the del- 
uge-waters undried up, in order to lead us into the ark again ; '^ I 
had fainted, had not want and penury chased me to the storehouse 
of all," says he on one occasion. 

3. All who rejoice in the gospel of free grcux. Lord Kenmure 
once said to him, " Sin causeth me to be jealous of His love to 
such a man as I have been ;" he replied, '*Be jealous of yourself, 
my lord, but not of Jesus Christ." In his "Trial and Triumph 

' of Faith," he remarks, " As holy walking is a duty coming from 
''' us, it is no ground of true peace. Believers often seek in them- 
( selves what they should seek in Christ." U is to the like effect 



he says in a letieri "Your heart is not the compass that Christ 
saileth by," turning away his friends from looking inward, to look 
upon the heart of Jesus. And this is his meaning, when he thus 
lays the whole burden of salvation on the Lord, and leaves noth- 
ing for us but acceptance, " Take ease to thyself, and let him bear 
alL" Then pointing us to the risen Saviour as our pledge of com- 
plete redemption, << Faith may dance, because Christ singeth;" 
** Faith apprehendeth pardon, but never payeth a penny for it." 
Od his death-bed he said to his friends, '< I disclaim all that ever 
God made me will or do, and I look upon it as defiled and imper 
feet." And so in his letters he will admit of no addition, or in- 
termixture of other things ; " The Gospel is like a small hair that 
hath no breadth, and will not cleave in two." He exhorto to as- 
surance as being the way to be humbled very low before God : 
" Often in us, complaining is but a humble backbiting and tra- 
ducing of Christ's new work in the soul." " Make meikle of as- 
surance, for it keepeth your anchor fixed." He warns us, in his 
Trial and Triumph of Faith, " not to be too desirous of keen 
awakenings to chase us to Christ. Let Christ tutor me as he 
ihinketh good. He has seven eyes : I have but one, and that too 
dim." In a similar strain he writes : — '< The law shall never be 
my doomster, by Christ's grace ; I shall find a sure enough doom 
in the gospel to humble and cast me down. There cannot be a 
more humble soul than a believer. It is no pride in a drowning 
man to catch hold of a rockJ^ How much truth there is here ! 
Naaman never was humble in any degree, until he felt himself 
completely healed of his scaly leprosy : but truly he was humbled 
and humble then. And what one word b there, that suggests so 
many humbling thoughts as that word " Cfrace?^^ 


4. All who seek to grow in holiness. The Holy Ghost delights 
to show us the glorious Godhead, in the face of Jesus. And this 
is a very frequent theme in these letters. He often seems to be j 
standing in immovable contemplation of Christ, and so becom- > 
ing holier and holier ; '< changed into the same image from glory I 
to glory." " Take Christ for sanctification, as well as justifica- \ 
tion," is often his theme. And in him we see a man who seems . 
to have sought for holiness as unceasingly and as eagerly as other 
men seek for pardon and peace. In him, " holiness to the LordP 
seems written on every affection of the heart, and on every fresh* 
springing thought. 

Fellowship with the living God is a distinguishing feature in 


the holiness given by the Holy Ghost, ^ access by one Spirit to 
tae Father through hiin.'* It must be with the Living One we 
meet, and then the sympathies of a living heart are felt Ruth- 
erford could sometimes say, *^ I have been so near Him, that I 
have said, ' I take instruments that this is the Lord.' " And ho 
/ could from experience declare, '^ I dare avouch the saints know 
not the length and largeness of the sweet Earnest, and of the 
sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that might be had on this 
side of the water, if we would take more pains.*^ "I am every 
way in your case, as hard-hearted and dead as any man, but yet 
I speak to Christ through my sleep." All this is from the pen of 
a man who was a metaphysician, a controversialist, a leader in 
the Church, and learned in ancient lore. Why are there not such 
g^cious, as well as great men now ? 

6. All afflicted persons. He abounds in ricli words to such ; 
indeed, here he had the very '* tongue of the learned, to speak a 
word in season to him that was weary.'' And with what tender 
sympathy does he speak, leading the mourner so gently to the 
heart of Jesus ! He knew the heart of a stranger, for be had 
been a stranger. '^ Let no man after me slander Christ for his 
cross." Yes, says he, his most loved are often his most tried ; 
" The lintel-stone and pillars of bis New Jerusalem sufler more 
knocks of God's hammer and tools, than the common side-wall 
stones." Even as to reproach and calumny, *'I love Christ's 
worst reproaches." 

It was to Hugh M^Kail, he wrote, '^ Some have written me that 
I am possibly too joyful of the cross, but my joy overleapeth the 
cross, — it is bounded and terminated on Christ." And there it 
was he found a well of comfort never dry. 

6. AU who love the Person of Christ. Our age and country 
have been tempted to be satisfied with speculative, abstract doc- 
trine. On the one hand, the orthodox have too often rested in the 
statements of our Catechisms and Confession ; and, on the other, 
the " Election-doubters," (as Bunyan would have called them,) 
have gone about with their favorite dogma, that Christ died for 
all men, as if mere assent to a proposition would save the soul. 
Rutherford ever places the truth before us in a savory way — full 
of life and warmth. The person of Him who gave himself for 
his church is held up in all its attractiveness. With him, it is 
ev€rr the Person as much as the work done ; or rather, never the 


one apart from the other. Like Paul, he would fain know Him. 
and the power of his resurrection. 

Once when Lord Kenmure asked him, "What will Christ be ^/^ 
like when he cometh?" his reply was, " All lovely J*^ And this is 
ererywherc the favorite theme with him. At times be tells of 
his love. "His love surroundeth and surchargeth me." "If his 
love was not in heaven, I should be unwilling to go thither." 
But often he checks his pen to tell of Christ himself. " Wel- 
come, welcome, sweet, sweet cross of Christ ;" — then correct- 
ing his language, — " Welcome, fair, lovely, royal King, with 
thhie oum erossP " Oh if I could doat as much upon Himself as 
I do upon his love." " I fear I make more of his love than of 
Himself^ How peculiar, and how true is this remark, " I see 
that in communion with Christ we may make more Gods than 
one," meaning, that we may be tempted to make the enjoyment 
itself our God. It was his habitual aim to pass through privi- 
leges, joys, even fellowship, to God himself; "I have casten this 
work upon Christ, to get me himself J^ " I would be farther in 
upon Chrbt than at his joys — in, where love and mercy lodgeth 
—beside his heart." " He who sitteth on the throne is his lone 
a sufiicient heaven." " Sure I am He is the far best half of 

In one word, such was his soul's view of the living Person, that 
be writes, "Holiness is not Christ, nor the blossoms and flowers 
of the tree of life, nor the tree itself" He had found out the true 
fountain-head, and would direct all Zion's travellers thither. And t 
let a man try this, — let the Holy Spi rit Jead a man to this Per^onj / 
— and surely his experience will be, " None ever came up dry I 
from David's well." 

All'Who love that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the 
great Ood our Saviour. The more we love the person of Christ, 
the more ought we to love his appearing, and the more we cherish 
both feelings, the holier shall we become. Rutherford abounds 
in aspirations for that day ; he is one who " looks for and hastens 
unto the coming of the day of God !" While in exile at Aber- ^ 
deen in 1637, he writes, "O when will we meet ! O how long is 
it to the dawning of the marriage day? O sweet Jesus, take 
wide steps ! O my Lord, come over mountains at one stride ! O 
nay Beloved, flee as a roe or young hart upon the mountains of 
separation." Now and then he has the expression of an intense 
desire for the restoration of Israel to their Lord, and the fulness 



of ilie Gentiles ; but far oftener his desires go forth to bis Lord 
himself. " O fairest among the sons of men, why stayest thou 
so long away ? O heavens, move fast ! O time, run, run, and 
hasten the marriage day !^ To Lady Kenmure his words are, 
" The Lord hath told you what you should be doing till he come. 
'Wait and hasten,' saith Peter, 'for the coming of the Lord.' 
Sigh and long for the dawning of that morning and the breaking 
of that day of the coming of the Son of Man, when the shadows 
shall flee away. Wait with the wearied night-watch for the 
breaking of the eastern sky.'' Saints who feel their exile and ab- 
sence most are those who will most fervently love their Lord's ap- 
pearing. It was thus with Daniel on the banks of tJlai, and John 
in Patmos ; and Samuel Rutherford's most intense aspirations for 
that day are breathed out in Aberdeen. 

His description of himself on one occasion is, — '' A man often 
borne down and hungry, and waiting for the marriage supper of 
the liamb." He is now gone to the '' mountain of myrrh and 
the hill of frankincense ;" and there he no doubt still wonders at 
the unopened treasures of Christ. But O for his insatiable de- 
sires Christward in our day ! O for ten such men ^ in Scotland to 
stand in the gap, men who all day long find nothing but Christ 
to rest in, and whose very sleep is a pursuing after Christ in dreamS| 
and who intensely desire to ^ awake with his likeness.** 





Well-beloved and Dear Sister, — My love in Christ remem- 
oered — ^I have sent to vou your daughter, Grizzel, with Robert 6or- 
don, who came to fetch her. I am in good hopes that the seed of 
God is in her, as in one bom of God, and Goa's seed will come to 
God's harvest. I have her promise that she will be Christ's, for I 
I have told her that she may promise much in his worthy name ; i 
for he becometh caution^ to nis Father for all such as resolve and ) 
promise to serve him. I shall remember her to God. I trust that 
you will acquaint her with good company, and be diligent to 
know with whom she loveth to haunt 

Remember Zion, and our necessities. I bless your daughter 
from our Lord, and pray the Lord to give you joy and comfort of 
her. Remember my love to your husband, to William and Sam- 
uel, your sons. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit 

Yours, at all power in the Lord Jesusi S. R. 

Anwoth, June 6tli, 1634. 


TO A gentlewoman. 

Mistress, — ^I beseech you to have me excused if the daily em- 
ployments of my calling shall hinder me to see you, according as 
1 would wish ; for I dare not go abroad, since many of my people 
are sick, and the time of our communion* draweth near. But fre- 
quent the company of your worthy and honest-hearted pastor, 
Mr. Robert, to whom the Lord hath given the tongue of the 
learned, to minister a word in due season to the weary. Remem- 
ber me to him, and to your husband. 

The Lord Jesus be with vour spirit 

Your affectionate Friend, S. R. 

> 8««^. i DkpeiiMtioD of the Lord's Sopper. 

32 Rutherford's letters 



Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered to you : — ^I was in- 
deed sorrowful at my departure from you, especially smce ye were 
in such heaviness after your daughter's death ; yet I do peVsuade 
myself that ve know that the weightiest end of the cross of Christ, 
which is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Saviour ; for Isaiah 
saith, (chap. Ixiii. 9,) *^In all your afflictions he is afflicted." O 
blessed Second, who suflereth with you ! and glad may your soul 
be. even to walk in the fiery furnace, with One like unto the Son 
of Man, who is aldo the Son of God. Courage ! up your heart ! 
when ye do tire, he will bear both you and your burden. (Ps. Iv. 
22.) Yet a little while, and ye shall see the salvation of God. 

Kemember of what age your daughter was ; so long was your 
lease of her. If she was eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old 
I know not ; but sure I am, seeing her term was come, and your 
lease run out, ye can no more justly quarrel with your great Supe- 
rior for taking his own, at his just term-day, than a poor farmer 
can complain that his master taketh a portion of his own land to 
himself when his lease is expired. Good mistress, if ye would not 
be content that Christ should hold from you the heavenly inher- 
itance, which is made yours by his death, shall not that same 
Christ think hardly of you, if you refuse to give him your daugh- 
ter willingly, who is a part of his inheritance and conquest?* 1 
pray the Lord to give you all your own, and to grace you with 
patience, to give God his also. He is an ill debtor who paveth 
that which he hath borrowed with a grudge. Indeed that long 
loan of such a good daughter, an heir of grace, a member of Christ, 
(as I believe,) deserveth more thanks at vour Creditor's hands, 
than that ye should gloom' and murmur when he craveth but his 
own. 1 believe ye would judge them to be but thankless neigh- 
bors who would pay you a sum of money after this manner. But 
what? Do ye think her lost, when she is but sleeping in the 
bosom of the Almighty ? Think not her absent who is in such a 
, friend's house. Is she lost to you, who is found to Christ? If 
/ she were with a dear friend, although ye should never see her 
) again, your care of her would be but small. Oh, now, is she not 
\ with a dear Friend, and gone higher, upon a certain hope that ve 
j shall, in the Resurrection, see hei again, when (be ye sure) she 
. shall neither be hectic, nor consum^ in body? le would be 
I sorry either to he, or be esteemed, an atheist ; and yet not I, but 
: the Apostle, (1 Thess. iv. 13,^ thinketh those to be hopeless atheists 
1 who mourn excessively for tne dead. But this is not a challenge* 
' on my part ; I do speak this only fearing your weakness, for your 

I Aoqikitioii hj porehate or indoitfy. i Let your cooDtenaiiee fidL 

* AocvmUoh. 

Rutherford's letters. 33 

daughter was a part of yourself; and, therefore, nature *ii you 
being, as it were, cut and halved, will indeed be grieved : but we 
have to rejoice, that when a part of you is on earJh, a great part 
of you is glorified in Heaven. Follow her, but envy her not; for, / 
indeed, it is self-love in us thatinaketh us mourn for them that 
die in the Lord. Why 1 Because for them we cannot mourn, ^ 
pince they are never happy till they be dead ; therefore, we mourn 
for our own private respect. Take heed, then, that in showing 
your affection in mourning for your daughter, ye be not, out of 
self-affection, mourning for yourself. Consider what the Lord is 
doing in it. Your daughter is plucked out of the fire, and she 
resteth from her labors ; and your Lord in that is trying you, and 
casting you into the fire. Go through all fires to your rest : and 
now remember that the eye of GihI is upon you, beholding your 
patience and faith ; he delightelh to see you in the burning bush 
and not consumed ; and he is gladly content that such a weak 
i^oman as ye should send Satan away, frustrated of his design. 
Now honor God, and shame tiie strong Roaring Lion, when ye 
eeem weakest. Should such an one as ye faint ip the day of ad- 
versity ? Call to mind the days of old : the Lord yet liveth : trust 
in him, although he should slay you. Faith is exceedingly char- 
itable, and believeth no evil of God. Now is the Lord laying in 
the one scale of the balance your making conscience of submission 
to his gracious will : and, in the other, your affection and love to 
your daughter — which of the two will ye then choose to satisfy? 
Be wise, then; and, as T trust that ye love Christ better than a 
sinful woman, pass by your daughter, and kiss the Lord's rod. 
Men do lop the branches off their trees round about, to the end 
they may grow up high and tall ; the Lord hath, in this way, 
lopped your branch, in taking from you many children, to the end 
ye should grow upward, like one of the Lord's cedars, setting your 
heart above, where Christ is at the right hand of the Father. 
What is next, but that your Lord cut down the stock after he 
hath cut the branches? Prepare yourself; ye are nearer your 
daughter this day than you were yesterday ; while ye prodigally 

3«nd time in mourning for her, ye are speedily posting after her. 
un your race with patience ; let God have his own, and ask of 
him, instead of your aau^hter, whom he hath taken from you, the 
daughter of faith, which is patience ; and in patience possess your 
soul. Lift up your head ; ye do not know how near your redemp- 
tion doth draw. 

Thus, recommending you to the Lord, who is able to establish 
you, I rest, 

Your loving and affectionate Friend, 

In the Lord Jesus, S. R. 

jUiwolk, April 23, 1628. 

% J 




Madam, — AH dutiful obedience in the Lord remembered — I have 
heard of your Ladyship's infirmity and sickness with grief; yet I 
trust that ye have learned to say, " It is the Lord, let him do what- 
soever seemeth good in bis eyes." It is now many years since the 
apostate angels made a question, whether their will or the will of 
their Creator should be done ; and since that time, froward man- 
kind hath always, in that same suit of law, compeared' to plead 
with them against God, in daily repining against his will : but 
the Lord, being both party and judge, hath obtained a decreet,* 
and saith, (Isaiah xlvi. 10,^ <'My courisel shall stand, and I will 
do all my pleasure." It is then best for us, in the obedience of 
faith, and in a l^oly submission, to give that to God which the law 
of his almighty and just power will have of us. Therefore, madam, 
your Lord willeth you, in all states of life, to say, "Thy will be 
done in earth, as it is in Heaven ;" and herein shall ye have com- 
fort, that He, who seeth perfectly through all your evils, and know- 
eth the frame and constitution of your nature, and what is most 
healthful for your soul, holdeth every cup of affliction to your head 
with his own gracious hand. Never believe that your tender- 
hearted Saviour, who knoweth the strength of your stomach, will 
mix that cup with one dram-weight of poison. Drink then with 
the patience of the saints ; and the God of patience bless your 

I have heard your Ladyship complain of deadness, and want of 
the bestirring power of the life of God ; but, courage I He, who 
walked in the garden, and made a noise that made Adam hear 
bis voice, will also, at some times, walk in your soul, and make 
you hear a more sweet word — yet ye will not always hear the 
noise and the din of his feet when he walketh. Ye are, at such a 
time, like Jacob mourning at the supposed death of Joseph, when 
Joseph was living. The new creature, the iniage of the Second 
Adam, is living in you ; and yet ye are mourning at the supposed 
death of the life of Christ in you. Ephraim is bemoaning and 
mourning, (Jer. xxxi. 18,) when be thmketh God is far off, and 
heareth not; and yet God is like the Bridegroom, (Cant ii.,) 
standing onW behind a thin wall, and laying to his ear ; for he 
saith himself, (yer. 18,) " I have surely heard Ephraim bemoan- 
ing himself." I have good confidence, madam, tnat Christ Jesus, 
whom your soul, through forests and mountains, is seeking, ia 
within you : and yet I speak not this to lay a pillow under your 
head, or to dissuade you from a h<dy fear oi the loss of your 

> Lftdj Jean, third daughter of Arehibald CAmpbekl, MTenth Earl of Argyll, uni 
the tifter of the Martyr Archibald, Marquie of Argyll. 
s Appeared at in ooort. * Sentence. 

Rutherford's letters. 35 

Christ, or of provoking and stirring up tlie Beloved before he 
please, by sin I know that in spiritual confidence, the Devil will 
come in, as in all other good works, and cry, ''Half mine!" and 
so endeavor to bring you under a fearful sleep, till He, whom 
your soul loveth, be departed from the door, and have left off 
knocking ; and, therefore, here the Spirit of God must hold your 
soul's feet in the golden mid-line, betwija confident resting in the 
arms of Christ, and presumptuous and drowsy sleeping in the 
bed of fleshly security. Therefore, worthy Lady, so count little 
of yourself, because of your own wretchedness and sinful drowsi- 
ness, that ye count not also Uttle of Grod in the course of his un- 
changeable mercy ; for there be many Christians, most like unto 
young sailors, who think the shore and the whole land do move, 
when the ship and they themselves are moved ; just so, not a 
few do imagine that Grod moveth, and saileth, and changeth 
places, because their giddy souls are under sail, and subject to 
alteration, to ebbing and flowing — but the foundation of the 
Lord abideth sure. God knoweth that ye are his own. Wrestle, 
fight, go forward, watch, fear, believe, pray ; and then ye have all ' 
the iniallible symptoms of one of the elect of Christ within you. 

Ye have now, madam, a sickness before you ; and also after that, 
a death : gather then now food for the journey. God give you 
eyes to see through sickness and death, and to see something 
beyond death. I doubt not that if Hell were betwixt you and 
Christ, as a river which ye behooved to cross ere ye could come 
at him, but ye would willingly put in your foot, and make 
through to be at him, upon hope that he would come in himself 
into tne deepest of the river, and lend you his hand. Now I 
believe that your hell is dried up, and that ye have only these 
two shallow brooks, sickness and death, to pass through; and 
ye have also a promise that Christ will do more than meet you, 
even that he will come himself and so with you foot for foot, 
yea, and bear you in his arms. Oh then ! oh then ! for the joy 
that is set before you, for the love of the Man (who is also God 
over all, blessed forever,) that is standing upon the shore to 
welcome you ; run your race with patience. The Lord go with 
you. Your Lord will not have vou, nor any of his servants, to 
exchange for the worse. Death, in itself, includeth both the 
death oi the soul and the death of the body ; but to God's children 
the bounds and the limits of death are abridged, and drawn into 
a more narrow compass : so that when ye die, a piece of death 
shall only seize upon you, or the least part of you shall die, 
and that is, the dissolution of the body : for in Christ ye are 
delivered from the Second Death; and, therefore, as one bom 
of God, commit not sin, (although ye cannot live and not sin,) 
and that serpent shall but eat your earthly part — as for your 
soul, it is above the law of death. But it is fearful and dangerous 
to be a debtor and a servant to sin ; for the count of sin ye will 
not be able to make good before God, except Christ both count 
and pay for you. 

86 Rutherford's letters. 

I trust alsO) madam, tliat ye will be careful to present to tke 
Lord the present estate of this decaying Kirk;* for what shall 
be concluded in Parliament auent' her, the Lord knoweth. Sure 
I am that the decree of a most fearful Parliament in Heaven ki 
at the very point of coming forth, because of the sins of the land ; 
for we have cast away the law of the Lord, and despised the 
words of the Holy One of Israel, (Isaiah v. 24.) " Judgment is 
turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is 
fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter." (Isaiah lix. 14.) 
Lo, the Prophet, as if he had seen us and our Kirk,* resembletli 
justice to be handled as an enemy, holden out at the ports of our 
city, so is she ba,nished ; and truth to a person sickly and dis- 
eased, fallen down in a deadly swooning fit in the streets before 
be can come to an house. The priests have caused many to 
stumble at the Law, and have corrupted the Covenant of Levi, 
(Mai. ii. 8.) But what will they do in the end ? (Jer. v. 31.^ 
Therefore give tlie Lord no rest for Zion. 

Stir up your htisband, your brother, and all with whom ye are 
in favor and credit, to stand upon the Lord's side against Baal. I 
have good hope that your husband loveth the peace and prosperity 
of Zion. The peace of God be upon him for his intended courses 
anent' the establishment of a powerful ministry in this land. 

Thus, not wiUing to weary your Ladyship farther, I commend 
you, now and always, to the grace and mercy of that God who is 
able to keep you that ye fall not. The Lord Jesus be with your 

Your Ladyship's servant, at all dutiful obedience in Christ, 

Anwoth, July 3T, 163a S. R. 



Madam, — Saluting your Ladyship with grace and mercy from 
God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ — I was sorry at 
my departure, leaving your Ladyship in grief; and should still be 
grieved at it, if I were not assured that ye have One with you in 
the furnace, whose visage is like unto the Son of God. I am glad 
that ye have been acquainted, from your youth, with the wrest- 
lings of Grod ; and that ye get scarce liberty to swallow down your 
spittle, being casten' from furnace to furnace, knowing that if ye 
were not dear to Grod, and if your health did not require so much 
of him, he would not spend so much physic upon you. All the 
brethren and sisters of Christ must be conformea to his image and 
copy in suffering. (Rom. viii.,) and some do more vively* resemble 
the copy than otners. Think, madam, that it is a part of your 

1 Church. * Concerning. 

* To«ed. « In a lively 


glory to be enrolled among those whom one of the elders (Rev. vii. 
14,) pointed out to John, '*• These are they which came out of great 
tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in 
the blood of the Lamb." Behold your Forerunner going out of 
the world, all in a lake of blood ; and it is not ill to die as he did. 
Fulfil, with joy, the remnant of the grounds and remainders of the 
afflictions of Christ in your body. 

Ye have lost a child — nay, she is not lost to you, who is found 
to Christ; she is not sent away, but only sent before; like unto 
a star, which, going out of our sight, doth not die and vanish, but 
shineth in another hemisphere ; ye see her not^ yet she doth shine 
io another country. If her glass was but a short hour, what she 
wanteth of time, that she bath gotten of eternity ; and ye have 
to rejoice that ye have now some plenishing* up in Heaven. 
Build your nest upon no tree here ; for ye see God hath sold the 
forest to death ; and every tree, whereupon we would rest, is ready 
to be cut down, to the end that we might flee* and mount up, and 
build upon the Rock, and dwell in the boles of the Rock. What 
ye love besides Jesus, your husband, is an adulterous lover : now 
it is God's special blessing to Judah, that he will not let her find 
her paths in following her strange lovers. (^Hos. ii. 6,^ " There- 
fore behold, I will hedge up thy way with tnorns, and make a 
wall, that she shall not find her paths." (Yer. 7,) *<And she shall 
follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them." Oh 
thrice happy Judah, when God buikleth a double-stoae wall be- 
twixt her and the fire of Hell ! The world, and the things of the 
world, madam, is the lover that ye naturally affect, beside your 
own husband, Christ The hedge of tboms, and the wall which 
God buikleth in your way, to hinder you from this lover, is the 
thorny hedge of daily grief, loss of children, weakness of body, in- 
iquity of the time, uncertainty of estate, lack of wordly comfort, 
fear of God's anger for old unrepented-of sins. What lose ye if 
God twist and plait the hedge daily thicker ? God be blessed ! 
the Lord will not let you find your paths. Return to your first 
husband. Do not weary, neither think that death walketh toward 
you with a slow pace. Ye must be riper ere ye be shaken ; your 
days are no longer than Job's, that were swifter than a post, and 
passed away as the ships of desire, and as the eagle that hasteth 
for the prey. (Job ix. 25, 26,) There is less sand in your glass 
now than there was yesterday ; this span-length of ever-posting 
time will soon be ended ; but the greater is the mercy of God, the 
more years ye get to advise upon what terms, and upon what con- 
ditions, ye cast your soul into the huge gulf of never-ending eter- 
nity. The Liord hath told you what ye should be doing till he 
come : wait and hasten, saith Peter, for the coming of our Lord. 
All is night that is here, in respect of ignorance and daily ensuing 
trouUes, one always making way to another, as the ninth wave 
of thtt aea to the tenth ; therefore, sigh and long for the dawning 

» Foraitiira. • Fhr. 

38 Rutherford's letters. 

of that morning, and the breaking of that day of the coming of 
the Son of Man, when the shadows shall flee away. Persuade 
yourself that the King is coming. Read his letter sent before him, 
(Rev. iii. 11,) "Behold, I come quickly." Wait, with the wearied 
night-watch, for the breaking of the eastern sky, and think that 
ye have not a morrow ; as the wise father said, who, being invi- 
ted against to-morrow to dine with his friends, answered, "These 
many days I have had no morrow at all." I am loath to weary 
you. Show yourself a Christian, by suffering without murmuring, 
for which sin fourteen thousand and seven hundred were slain. 
(Numb. xvi. 49.) In patience possess your soul — ^they lose nothing 
who gain Christ. 

Thus, remembering my brother's and my wife's humble service 
to your Ladyship, I commend you to the mercy and grace of our 
Lord Jesus, assuring you that your day is poming, and that God's 
mercy is abiding you. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in the Lord Jesus, at all dutiful obedience, S. R. 

Anwoth, Jan. 15, 1629. 



Madam, — Saluting you in Jesus Christ — to my grief I must bid 
you (it may be) forever farewell, on paper, having small assurance 
ever to see your face again till the last general assembly, where 
the whole Church universal shall meet; yet promising, by his 
grace, to present your Ladyship, and your buraens to Him, who 
is able to save you, and to give you an inheritance with the saints, 
after a more special manner than ever I have done before. 

Ye are going to a countrv where the Sun of righteousness in 
the Gospel shineth not so clearly as in this kingdom ; but if ye 
would know where He, whom your soul loveth, doth rest, and 
where he feedeth at the noon-tide of the day, wherever ye be, get 
ye forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed yourself beside the 
shepherds' tents, (Cant. i. 7, 8.) that is, ask for some of the watch- 
men of the Lord's city, who will tell you truly, and will not lie, 
where you shall find Him, whom your soul loveth. I trust that 
ye are so betrothed in marriage to tne true Christ, that ye will not 
give your love to any false Christ Ye know not how soon your 
marriage-day will come ; nay, is not eternity hard upon you ? It 
were time, then, that ye had your wedding-garment in readiness. 
Be not sleeping at your Lord's coming : I pray God that ye may 
be upon your feet standing when he knocketh. Be not discouc- 
aged to go from this country to another part of the Lord's earth — 
the earth is his, and the fulness thereof (Psalm xxiv. 1.) This is 
the Lord's lower house ; and, while we are lodged here, we have 

Rutherford's letters. 39 

no assurance to lie ever in one chamber, but must be content to 
remove from one corner of our Lord's netber-house to another, 
resting in hope that, when we come up to the Lord's upper city, 
Jerusalem thdt is above, we shall remove no more ; because then 
we shall be at home. And, go whithersoever ye will, if your Lmd 
go with you, ye are at home ; and your lodging is ever taken before 
night, so long as He, who is Israel's dwelling-house, is your home. 
(Psalm xc. 1.) Believe me, madam, my mind is, that ye are well 
lodged, and that in your house there are fair ease-rooms^ and 

Eleasaut lights, if ye can in faith lean down your head upon the 
reast of Jesus Christ; and till this be, ye will never get a sound 
sleep. Jesus, Jesus, be your shadow and your covering — it is a 
sweet soul-sleep to lie in the arms of Christ, for his breath is very 

Pray for poor friendless Zion ! Alas ! no man will speak foi 
her now, although at home, in her own country, she hath good 
friends, her husband, Christ, and his Father, her father-in-law. 
Beseech your husband to be a friend to Zion, and to pray for her. 

I have received many and divers dashes and heavy strokes since 
the Lord called me to the ministry ; but, indeed, I esteem yout 
departure from amongst us the weightiest : but I perceive that 
God will have us to be deprived of whatsoever we idolize, that he 
may have his own room. I see exceedingly small fruit of my 
ministry, and would be glad to know of one soul to be my crown 
and rejoicing in the day of Christ. Though I spend my strength 
in vain, yet my labor is with my God. (Isaiah xlix. 4.) I wish 
and pray that the Lord would harden my face against all, and 
make me to learn to go with my face against a storm. 

Again, I commend you, body and spirit, to Him, who hath loved 
us, and washed us from our sins, in his own blood. Grace, grace, 
grace, forever, be with you. Pray, pray continually. 

Your Ladyship's, at all dutiful obedience in Christ, S. R. 
Anwoth, Sept 14, 1639. 



Loving and Dear Sister, — If ever you would pleasure me, 
entreat the Lord for me, now when I am so comfortless, and so 
full of heaviness, that I am not able to stand under the burden 
any longer. The Almighty hath doubled his stripes upon me ; 
for my wife is so sore tormented, night and day, that I have won- 
dered why the Lord tarrieth so long. My life is bitter unto me, 
and I fear that the Lord be my contrary party. It is (I now know 
by experience) hard to keep sight of God in a storm, especially 
when he liideth himself for the trial of his children. If he would 

1 Rooms for repote. 

40 Rutherford's letters. 

be pleased to remove his band, I have a purpose to seek him mora 
than I have done. Happy are they that can win away' with their 
soul : I am afraid of his judgments. I bless my Crod, that there 
is a death and a heaven. I would weary to begin "again to be a 
Christian, so bitter is it to drink of the cup that Christ drank of, 
if I knew not that there is no poison in it. God give us not of it 
whill* we vomit again, for we have sick souls when Crod's physic 
worketh not. Pray that God would not lead my wife into tempta- 
tion. Wo* is my heart that I have done so little against the kmg- 
dorn of Satan in my calling ; for he would fain attempt to make 
me blaspheme Grod in his face. I believe, I believe, in the strength 
of Him, who hath put me into his work, that he shall foil in that 
which he seeketh. I have comfort in this, that my Captain, Christ, 
hath said I must fight and overcome the world, (John xvi. 33,) and 
with a weak, spoiled, weaponless devil, (John xiv, 30.) "The 
Prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." 

Desire Mr. Robert to remember me, if he love me. Grace, gilEu^ 
be with you, and all yours. Remember Zion. 

There is a letter procured from the King, by Mr. John Maxwell, 
to urge cor>formity, to give the Communion at Christmas, in Ekiin- 
burgh. Hold fast that which ye have, that no man take the crown 
from you. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in the Lord, S. R. 

Anwotb, Not. 17, 1639. 



Madam, — ^I have longed exceedingly to hear of your life and 
health, and growth in the svace of God. I lacked the opportunity 
of a bearer, m respect I did not understand of the hasty departure 
of the last, by whom I might have saluted your Ladyship ; and, 
therefore, I could not write before this time. I entreat you, madam, 
to let me have two lines from you, concerning your present condi- 
tion. I know that ye are in grief and heaviness ; and if it were 
not so, ye might be afraid, because then vour way should not be 
so like the way that our Lord saith leadeth to the New Jerusalem. 
Sure I am that, if ye knew what was before you, or if ye saw but 
some glances of it, ye would with gladness swim through the 
present floods of sorrow, spreading forth your arms out of desire 
to be at land. If God has given you the earnest of the Spirit, as 
part of payment of God^s principal sum, ye have to rejoice ; for 
our Lord will not lose his earnest, neither will he go back nor re- 
pent him of the bargain. If ye find, at some time, a longing to 
see God, joy in the assurance of that sight, howbeit that feast be 

> EK«pe. > TUL » Otkwtd. 


bat like the Passover, that cometh about only once a year. Peace 
of coi^.science, liberty of prayer, the doors of God's tieasure casten 
up* to the soul, and a clear sight of himself looking out, and say- 
ing, with a smiling countenance, *' Welcome to me, afflicted soul," 
this is the earnest that he giveth sometimes, and which maketh 
glad the heart, and is an evidence that the bargain will hold. 

But to the end that ye may get this earnest, it were good to 
coaie oft into terms of speech with God, both in prayer and hear- 
ing of the word ; for this is the house-of-wine, where ye meet with 
your Well-beloved, Here it is where he kisseth you with the 
kisses of his mouth, and where ye feel the smell of his garments ; 
and they have indeed a most fragrant and glorious smell. Ye 
must, 1 say,* wait upon him, and be often communing with Him, 
whose lips are as lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh, and by 
the moving whereof be will assuage your grief; for the Christ, 
that saveth you, is a speaking Christ; the Church knoweth him 
(Cant ii.) by his voice, and can discern his voice among a thou- 
sand. I say this, to the end that ye should not love those masks 
of Anti-christian ceremonies, whicn the Church, where ye are foi 
a time, hath casten' over the Christ, whom your soul loveth. 
This is to set before you a dumb Christ. But when our Lord 
cometh, he speaketh to the heart in the simplicity of the Gospel 

I have neither tongue nor pen, to express to you the happiness 
of such as are in Christ. When ye have sold all that ye have, 
and bought the field wherein this pearl is, ye will think it no bad 
market : for if ye be in him, all his is yours ; and ye are in him ; 
" therefore, because he liveth, ye shall live also." (John xiv. 19.) 
And what is that else, but as if the Son had said, '^ I will not have 
Heaven, except my redeemed ones be with me ? they and I can- 
not live asunder — abide in me and I in you." (John xv. 4.) Oh 
sweet communion, when Christ and we are through other,' and 
are no longer two ! " Father, I will that those whom thou hast 

E'ven me, be with me where I am, to behold my glory, that thou 
ist given me." (John xvii. 24.) Amen : dear Jesus, let it be 
according to that word. 

I wonder that ever your heart should be casten^ down, if ye be- 
lieve this truth. And they are not worthy of Jesus Christ, who 
will not suffer forty years' trouble for him, since they have such 
glorious promises. But we fools believe those promises as the 
man that read Plato's writings concerning the immortality of the 
soul. So long as the book was in his hand, he believed that all 
was true, and that the soul could not die ; but so soon as he laid 
by the book, presently he be^an to imagine, that the soul is but a 
smoke or airy vapor, that pensheth with the expiring of the breath : 
so we at starts do assent to the sweet and precious promises ; but 
laying aside God's book, we begin to call all in question. It is 
faith, mdeed, to believe without a pledge, and to hold the heart 
constant at thb work, and when we doubt, to run to the Law and 

> Thrown open. * Thrown. * Prombeuoiuly nnitod. * C«A 

42 Rutherford's letters. 

to the, TeslioiOQy, aad stay there. Madam, hold ypu here. Here 
is your Father's testament, read it : in it he hath left to you re- 
mission of sins and life everlasting. If all that ye have here be 
crosses and troubles, downcastings, frequent desertions, and depart- 
ure of the Lord, who is suiting' you in marriage, courage ! He, 
who is wooer and suiter, should not be an household-man with 
you, till ye and he come up to his Father's house together. Ho 
purposeth to do you good at your latter end, (Deut. viii. 16,) and 
to give you rest from the days of adversity. (Psalm xciv. 13.) It 
is good to bear the yoke of Grod in your youth. (Lam. iii. 27.^ 
Turn in to your strong-hold as a prisoner of hope. (Zee. is. 12.) 
'^ For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it 
shall speak and not lie : though it tarry, wait for it ; because it 
will surely come, it will not tarry." (Hab. ii. 3.) Hear himself 
saying, (Isa. xxvi. 20,) " Come my people," — rejoice, he calleth on 
you — ^^ Enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about 
thee ; hide thyself, as it were foi* a little moment, till the indigna- 
tion be overpast." Believe then, " believe and be saved." Think 
it not hard, if ye get not your will, nor your delights in this life ; 
God will have you to rejoice in nothing but himself. Ood forbid 
that ye should rejoice in anything but in the cross of Christ (OaL 
vi. 16.) 

Our Church, madam, is decaying ; she is like Ephraim's cake, 
and gray hairs are here and there upon her, and she knoweth it 
not. (Hos. vii. 9.) She is old and gray-headed, near the grave, 
and no man layeth it to heart — her wine is sour, and is corrupted. 
Now if the wife of Phineas did live, she might travail in birth and 
die, to see the Ark of Grod taken, and the glory departing from our 
Israel — the power and life of religion is away. " Wo unto us, for 
the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched 
out." (Jer. vi. 4.) Af adam, Zion is the ship wherein ye are carried 
to Canaan. If she suffer shipwreck, ye will be casten* overboard, 
upon death and life, to swim to land upon broken boards. It were 
time for us, by prayer, to put upon' our Master-pilot, Jesus, and to 
cry, " Master, save us, we perish !" 

Grace, grace be with you. We would think it a blessing to our 
Kirk* to see you here ; but our sins withhold good things from us. 
The great Messenger of the covenant preserve you, in body and 
in spirit. 

Yours, in the Lord, S. R. 

Aiiw«th, Feb. 1, 1630. 



Madam, — Grar.e, mercy, and peace be multiplied upon you — I 
received your Ladyship's letter, m the which I perceive that your 

> Wooing. * Cait * Importune. « Chureh. 

Rutherford's letters. 43 

case in this world smelleth ol worship and communion with the 
Son of God in his sufferings. Ye cannot, ye must not, have a 
more pleasant or more easy condition here, than He had, who, 
through afBictions, was made perfect. (Heb. ii. 10.) We may 
indeed think, cannot God bring us to Heaven with ease and pros- 
perity ? Who doubteth that he can ? But his infinite wisdom 
thinketh, and decreeth the contrary ; and we cannot see a reason 
for it, yet he hath a most just reason. We never with our eyes 
saw our own soul, yet we have a soul ; we see many rivers, but 
we know not their first spring and original fountain, yet they 
have a beginning. Madam, when ye are come to the other side 
the water, and have set down your foot on the shore of glorious 
eternity, and look back again to the waters, and to your wearisome 
journey, and shall see, in that clear glass of endless glory, nearer 
to the bottom of God's wisdom, ve shall, then, be forced to say, 
"If Crod had done otherwise with me than he hath done, I had 
never come to the enjoying of this crown of glory." It is your 
part now to beHeve, and suffer, and hope, and wait on : for I pro- 
test, in the presence of that all-discerning Eye, who knoweth what 
I write, and what I think, that I would not want the sweet ex- 
perience of the consolations of God, for all the bitterness of afiiic- 
tion : nsnr, whether God come to his children with a rod or a 
crown, if he come himself with-it, it is well. Welcome, welcome 
Jesus, what way soever thou comest, if we can get a sight of thee. 
And sure I am that it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to 
the bed-side, and draw by the curtains, and say, " Courage ! I am 
thy salvatiob !" than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong, and 
never to be visited of God. 

Worthy and dear Lady, in the strength of Christ, fight and 
overcome. Ye are now your lone ; * but ye may have, for the 
seeking. Three always in your company, the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit — I trust they are near you. Ye are now deprived of 
the comfort of a lively ministry, so was Israel in their captivity : 
yet hear God's promise to them, (Ez. xi. 16,) " Therefore say, 
thus saith the liord God, 'Although I have cast them far off among 
the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the 
countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary, in the coun- 
tries where they shall come.' " Behold a sanctuary ! for a sanc- 
tuary God himself, in the place and room of the Temple of Jeru- 
salem. I trust in God that, carrying this temple about with you, 
ve shall see Jehovah's beauty in his house. 

We are in great fears of a great and fearful trial to come upon 
the Kirk* of God ; for those, who would build their houses and 
nests on the ashes of mourning Jerusalem, have drawn our Kins 
upon hard and dangerous conclusions, against such as are termed 
Puritans, for the rooting of them .out. Our prelates — the Lord 
take the keys of his house from these bastard porters ! — assure us 
that for such as will not conform, there is nothing but imprison- 

1 By yoq^ielf a|one. > Choieli. 

44 butherford's letters. 

ment aad depnvation. The Spouse of Jesus rfhall ever be in the 
fire ; hut I trust in my God that she shall not be consumed, because 
of the gond-will of Him, who dwelleth in the bush, for hedwelletb 
in it with good-will. All sorts of crying sins, without controlment, 
abound in our land. The glory of the Lord is departing from 
Israel, and the Lord is looking back over his shoulder to see if any 
will say, '^Lord! tarry," and no man reauesteth him to stay. 
Corrupt and false doctrine is openly preachea by the idol-shepherds 
of the land. For myself I have daily griefs, through the disobe- 
dience unto, and contempt of the word of Grod. 

I was summoned before the Hiffb Commission by a profligate 
person in this Parish, convicted of incest In the business, Mr. 
Alexander Colville, for respect to your Ladyship, was my great 
friend, and wrote a most kind letter to me. — ^^Fhe Lord give him 
mercy in that day. Upon the day of ray compearance,* the sea, 
and winds, refused to give passage to the Bishop of St. Andrew's. 
I entreat your Ladyship, to thank Mr. Alexander Colville, with 
two lines of a letter. 

My wife now, after a long disease and torment, for the space of 
a year and a month, is departed this life ; — the Lord hath clone it ; 
blessed be his name. I have been diseased of a fever tertian for 
the space of thirteen weeks, and am yet in that sickness, so that 
I preach but once on the Sabbath with great difficulty. I am not 
able either to visit, or examine the congregation. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Your Ladyship's, at all obediencoi S. R. 

Aawoth, June 96U, 1630. 



Well-beloved and Dear Sister, — My love, in the Lord 
Jesus, remembered — I understand that you are still under the 
Lord's visitation, in your former business with your enemies, which 
is God's dealing. For, till He take his children out of the furnace, 
who knoweth now long they should be tried, there is no deliver- 
ance ; but after God's highest and fullest tide, that the sea of 
trouble is gone over the souls of his children, then cometh the 
gracious long-hoped-for ebbing, and drying up of the waters. Dear 
sister, do not faint ; the wicked may hokl the bitter cup to your 
head, but God mixeth it, and there is no poison in it ; they strike, 
but God moveth the rod ; Shimei cursetn, but it is because the 
Lord biddeth him. 

I tell you, and I have it from Him before whom I stand for 
God's people, that there is a decreet* given out in the Great Court 
of the Highest Heavens, that your present troubles shall be dis* 

1 Appeanuiee, l» obedience to a legal citation. » • Sentenet. 


persed as the morning cloud, and God will bring forth } our right- 
eousness as the light of the noontide of the day. Let me entreat 
you in Christ's name, to keep a good conscience in your proceed- 
ings in that matter, and beware of yourself— yourself is a more 
dangerous enemy than I, or any without you. Innocence, and an 
upright cause, is a good advocate before God, and will plead for 
you, and shall win your cause ; and count much of your Master's 
approbation, and his smiling. He is now as the king that is gone 
to a far country. God seemeth to be from home, (if I may say so,) 
yet he seeth the ill servants, who say, " Our Master deferreth his 
coming," and so strike their fellow-servants. But patience, my 
beloved, Christ, the King, is coming home ; the evening is at 
hand, and he will ask an account of his servants. Make a fair 
clear count to him. So carry yourself, as at night you may say, 
"Master, I have wronged none : behold, ye have your own with 
advantage." Oh your soul then will esteem much one of GodNs 
kissed and embracements, in the testimony of a good conscience ! 
The wicked, howbeit they be casting many evil thoughts, bitter 
words, and sinful deeds behind their back, yet they are, in so doing, 
clerks to their own process, and doing nothing all their lives, but 
gathering dittays> against themselves; for God is angry at the 
wicked every day. And I hope your present process shall be 
sighted' one day by Him who knowelh your just cause ; and the 
bloody tongues, crafty foxes, double-ingrained hypocrites, shall 
appear as they are before his Majesty, when he shall take (he 
mask off their faces: and oh! thrice happy will your soul be 
then, when God findeth you covered with nothing but the white 
robe of the saints' innocence, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 
You have been of late in the King's wine-cellar, where you 
were welcomed by the Lord of the inn, upon a condition that you 
would walk in love. Put on love, and brotherly kindness, and 
long suffering. Wait as long upon the favor and turned hearts 
of enemies as your Christ waited upon you, and as dear Jesus 
stood at your soul's door with dewy and rainy locks, the long, 
cold night. Be angry, but ^n not. I persuade myself that that 
holy unction within you, which teachetn you all things, is also 
saying, *^ Overcome evil with good." If that had not spoken in 
your soul, at the tears of your aged Pastor, you would not have 

a^eed, and forgiven his foolish son who wronged you: but my 
aster bade me tell you, that God's blessing shall be upon you 
for it ; and from him I say, ^^ Grace, grace, and everlasting peace 
b*5 upon you." It is my prayer for you, that your carriage may 

race and adorn the Gospel of that liord who hath graced you. 
hear that your husband also was sick, but I beseech you, in the 
bowels of Jesus, to welcome every rod of God ; for I nnd not, in 
the whole book of God, a greater note of the child of God, than to 
(all down and kiss the feet of an angry God ; and when he seem- 
9th to put you away from him, and to loose your hands that grip' 

> Indictmentf. > Examined. * Grasp. 


him, to look up in faith, and ssiy, '^I shall not, I will not be put 
away from thee : howbeit thy Majesty draw to free thjrself of me, 
yet, Lord ! give me leave to hold and cleave uuto thyself." I 
shall pray that your husband may return in peace. Your de- 
creet^ cometh from Heaven, look up thither; for many (saitii 
Solomon) seek the face of the ruler, but every man's judgment 
cometh of the Lord ; and be glad that it is so, for Chcist is the 
clerk of your process, and will see that all go right : and I per- 
suade myself, that he is saying, '< Yonder servants of mine are 
wronged ; for my blood. Father, give them justice." Think you 
not, dear sister, but our High Priest, our Jesus, the Master of re- 
quests, presenteth our bills of complaint to the great Lord Justice ? 
Yea, I oelieve it, since he is our Advocate, and Daniel callerh him 
the Spokesman, whose hand presenteth all to the Father. 

For other businesses, I say nothing, whill* the Lord give me to 
see your face. I am credibly informed, that multitudes of Eng- 
land, and especially worthy preachers, and silenced preachers of 
London, are gone to New England ; and I know one learned holy 
preacher, who hath written against the Arminians, who is gone 
thither. Our blessed Lord Jesus, who cannot get leave to sleep 
with his Spouse in this Land, is going to seek an inn where he 
will be better entertained; and what marvel? Wearied Jesus, 
after he had travelled from Geneva, by the ministry of worthy Mr. 
Knox, and was laid down in his bed, and reformation begun, and 
the curtains drawn, had not gotten his dear eyes well together, 
when irreverent bishops came in, and, with the din and noise of 
ceremonies, holy-days, and other Romish corruptions, awoke our 
Beloved. Others came to hb bed-side, and drew the curtains, and 
put hands on his servants, banished, deprived and confined them ; 
and for the pulpit, they got a stool and a cold fire in the Black- 
ness :' and the nobility drew the covering off him, and have made 
him a poor naked Christ, in spoiling his servants of the tithes and 
* kirk-rents : and now there is such a noise of crying sins in the 
land, as the want of a knowledge of God, of mercy and truth, 
such swearing, whoring, lying, and blood touching blood, that 
Christ is putting on his clothes, ana making him, like an ill-han- 
dled stranger, to ffo to other lands. Pray liim, dear sister, to ly 
down again with his Beloved. 

Remember my dearest love to John Gordon, to whom I shall 

, write when I am strong ; and to John Brown, Grizzei, Samuel, 

and William-:— Grace upon them. As you love Christ, keep 

Christ's favor; and put not upon' him when he sleepeth. to 

'iwake him before he please. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Your Brother in Christ, S. R. 

Anwoth, Jalj *2l, 1630. 

> Sentence. t TilL * Blaeknett Castle, on the Firth of Forth. 

« Chareh. * TVpW i^om, to impottune. 

Rutherford's letters. 47 



Well-beloved Sister, — I have been thinking, since my de- 
parture from you, of the pride and malice of your adversaries : 
and ye may not (since ye have heard the Book of the Psalms so 
oflen) take hardly with this ; for David's enemies snuflTed at him, 
and through the pride of their hearts said, ''The Lord will not 
require it," (Psalm x. 13.) I beseech you, therefore, in the bowels 
of Christ, to set before your eyes the patience of your Fore-runner, 
Jesus, ''Who, when he wjas reviled, reviled not again ; when he 
suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to Him that 
judgeth righteously." (1 Pet. ii. 23.) And, since our Lord and 
Kedeemer with patience received many a black stroke on his glo- 
rious body, and many a buffet of the unbelieving world, and saith 
of himself (Isaiah 1. 6,) " I gave my back to the smiters, and my 
cheeks to them that plucked off* the hair ; I hid not my face from 
shame and spittine," follow him, and think it not hard that you 
receive a blow with your Lord : take part with Jesus of his suffer- 
ings, and glory in the marks of Christ. If this storm were over, 
you must prepare yourself for a new wound. For, five thousand 
years ago, our Lord proclaimed deadly war betwixt the Seed of 
the Woman and the seed of the Serpent. And marvel not that 
one town cannot keep the children of God and the children of the 
Devil ; for one belly could not keep Jacob and Esau ; one house 
could not keep peaceably together Isaac the Son of the Promise, 
and Ishmael the Son of the Hand-maid. Be you upon Christ's 
side of it, and care not what flesh can do. Hold yourself fast by 
your Saviour, howbeit ye be buffeted, and those that follow him. 
" Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be." See 2 Cor. iv. 
8, ** We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; we are per- 
plexed, but not in despair ;" ^ver. 9,) " persecuted, but not forsaken ; 
cast down, but not destroyea." If you can possess your soul in 
patience, their day is comme. 

Worthy and Dear Sister, know how to carry yourself in trouble : 
and when ve^re hated and reproached, the Lord showeth it to 
you. (Psalm xliv. 17.) " All this is come upon us, yet have we 
not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt fakely in thy covenant" 
(Psalm cxix. 92.) "Unless thy law had been my delights, I had 

eirished in mine afliiction." Keep God's covenant in your trials. 
old you by his blessed word, and sin not. Flee anger, wrath, 
rrudging, envying, fretting. Forgive an hundred pence to your 
fcUow-servant, because your Lord hath forgiven you ten thou- 
sand talents. For, I assure you by the Lord, that ^our adversa- 
ries shall ^t no advantage against you except ye sm, and offend 
your Lord in your sufferings. But the way to overcome is, by 
patience, forgiving, and praying for your enemies, in doing 

48 Rutherford's letters. 

whereof you heap coals upon their heads, and your Lord will 
open a door to you in your trouble. Wait upon him, as the night- 
watch waiteth for the morning, lie will not tarry ; go up to your 
watch-tower, and come not down, but by prayer, and faith, and 
hope, wait on. When the sea is full, it will ebb again ; and, so 
soon as the wicked are come to the top of their pride, and aro 
waxed high and mighty, then is their change approaching — They 
that believe make not haste. 

Remember Zion, forget her not ; for her enemies are many, for 
the nations are gathered t(^ether against her; ''But they know 
not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his coun- 
sel ; for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Arise 
and thresh, O Daughter of Zion." (Micah iv. 12, 13.) Behold, 
God hath gathered his enemies togethcur as sheaves to the thresh- 
ing — let us stay and rest upon these promises. Now again, I 
trust in our Lord, that ye shall by faith sustain yourself, and com- 
fort yourself in your Lord, and be strong in his power ; for you 
are in the beaten/ and common way to Heaven, when you are 
under our Lord's crosses. Ye have reason to reioice in it more 
than in a crown of gold, ahd to rejoice, and be glad to bear the 
reproaches of Christ. 

I rest — recommending you, and yours, forever, to the grace and 
mercy of Grod. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 

Anwoth, Feb. 11, 1631. 



Well-beloved in the Lord, — Ye are not unacquainted 
with the day of our Communion. I entreat, therefore, the aid of 
your prayers for that great work, which is one of our feast-days, 
wherein our Well-beloved, Jesus, rejoiceth, and is merry with his 
friends. Good cause have we to wonder at his love, since the day 
of his death was such a sorrowful day to him, even the day when 
his mother, the Kirk' crowned him with thorns, and he had many 
against him, and compeared' his lone* in the open fields against 
them all — yet he delighteth with us to remember that day. Let 
us love him, and be glad and rejoice in his salvation. I am con- 
fident that you shall see the Son of God that day ; and I dare, in 
his name, invite you to his banquet. Many a time you have been 
well entertained in his house, and he cliangeth not upon his 
friends, nor chideth them for too great kindness. Yet I speak not 
this to make you leave off* to pray for me, who have nothing of 
myself, but in so far as daily I receive from Him, who is made of 
his Father a running-over fountain, at which I and others may 

1 Choiok. s Appeared. > Bj himseir alone. 

Rutherford's letters. 49 

oimie with thirsty souls, and fill our vessels. Long hath this well 
been standing open to us. Lord Jesus, lock it not up again upon 
us. I am sorry for' our desolate Kirk ;' yet I dare not but trust, 
that so lonff as there be any of God's lost money here, he will not 
blow out the candle. The Lord make fair candlesticks in his 
house, and remove the^lind lights ! 

I have been, this time by-passed, thinking much of the incoming 
of the Kirk* of the Jews. Pray for them. When they were 
in their Lord's house, at their Father's elbow, they were long- 
ing for the coming of their Little Sister, the Kirk * of the Gren- 
lilcs. They said to their Lord, (Cant. viii. ver. 8,) " We have a 
little Sister, and she hath no breasts ; what shall we do for our 
Sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?" Let us give 
them a meeting. What shall we do for our elder Sister, the 
Jews? Lord. Jesus give them breasts ! That were a ^tad day, 
to see us and them lK>th set down at one table, and Christ at the 
head of the table. Then would our Lord come shortly with his 
fair guard, to bold his great court. 

Dear sister, be patient for the Lord's sake, under the wrongs 
that you sufler of the wicked. Your Lord shall make ye see your 
desire on your enemies ; some of them shall be cut off. ^Job xv. 
^er. 33,) They shal^ shake off their unripe grapes as the vme, and 
cast off their flower as the olive : God will make them like unripe 
Bour grapes, shaken off the tree with the blast of God's wrath ; 
and, therefore, pity them, and pray for them. Others of them 
must remain to exercise you ; God hath said of them, Let the tares 
erow up whilP harvest. (Matt, xiii.) It proveth you to be your 
Lord's wheat. Be patient, Christ went to Heaven with many a 
wrong. His visage and countenance were all marred more than 
the sons of men. Ye may not be above your Master. Many a 
black stroke received innocent Jesus, and he received no mends,* 
but referred them all to the great Court-day, when all things shall 
be righted. 

I desire to hear from you within a day or two, if Mr. Robert re- 
main in his purpose to come and help us. God will give you joy 
of your children. I pray for them, by their names. I bless you, 
from the Lord, vour husband and children. — Grace, grace and 
mercy be multiplied upon you. 

Yours, in the Lord, forever, S. R. 

Anwoth, May 7, 1631. 



Well-beloved Sister, — My love in Christ remembered — I 
have received a letter from Edinburgh, certainly informing me, 

1 Clrafch. > im. » RepMnboii. 


60 Rutherford's letters. 

that the English service, and the organs, and King James's Psalms, 
are to be imposed upon our Kirk/ and that the Bishops are deal- 
ing for a General Assembly. A. R. hath confirmed the news also, 
and saith, he spoke with Sir William Alexander, who is to come 
down with his Prince's warrant to that eflTect. I am desired, in 
the received letter, to acquaint the best affected about me w iih 
that storm ; therefore, I entreat you, and charge you, in the Lord's 
name, to pray ; but do not communicate this to any whilP I see 
you. My heart is broken at the remembrance of it ; and it was 
my fear, and answereth to my last letter, except one, that I wrote 
unto you. 

Dearly beloved, be not casten' down, but let us, as the Lord's 
doves, take us to our wings, for other armor we have none, and 
flee into the hole of the Rock. It is true that A. R. saith that the 
worthiest men in England are banished and silenced, about the 
number of sixteen or seventeen choice Grospel-preachers, and that 
the persecution is already begun. Howbeit, 1 do not write this 
unto you with a dry face, vet I am confident in the Lord's strength, 
that Christ and his side shall overcome ; and you shall be assured 
that the Kirk' were not a Kirk,' if it were not so. As our dear 
husband, in wooing his Kirk,' received many a black stroke, so 
his bride in wooing him getteth many blows ; and in this wooing 
there are strokes upon both sides. Let it be so. The Devil shaU 
not make the marriage go back, neither can he tear the contract ; 
the end shall be mercy. Yet, notwithstanding all this, we have 
no warrant of God to leave oflT all lawful means. I have been 
writing to you the counsels and draughts of men against the Kirk ;■ 
but they know not, as Micah saith, the counsel of Jehovah. The 
great men of the world may make ready the fiery furnace for Zion, 
but, trow ye that they can cause the fire to burn? No. He that 
made the fire, I trust, will not say Amen to their decreets.* I trust 
in my Lord, that Grod hath not subscribed their bill, and that their 
conclusions have not yet passed our Great King's seal. There- 
fore, if ye think good, address yourself first to the Lord, and then 
to A. R., anent* the business that you know. 

I am most unkindly handled by the Presbytery ; and, as if I 
had been a stranger, and not a member of that seat to sit in judg- 
ment with them, I was summoned, by their order, as a witness 
against B. A. ; but they have got no advantage in that matter. 
Other particulars yon shall hear, God willing, at meeting. 

Anent* the (natter betwixt you and J. E., I remember it to God. 
I entreat you in the Lord, to be submissive to bis will; for the 
higher that their pride mount up, they are the nearer a fall : the 
Lord will more and more discover that man. Let your husband, 
in all matters of judgment, take Christ's part for the defence of the 
poor, and needy, and oppressed, for the maintenance of equity and 
lustice in the town. And take you no fear that He will take yout 

1 Chmeh. t tUL > CUL « Seateoeoa. 

* Concfrning. 

Rir therford's letters. 51 

party and then yoa are strong enough. What ? Howbeit ye re- 
ceive indignities, for your Lord's sake let it be so. When he will 
put His holy hand up to your face in Heaven, and dry your face, 
and wipe the tears irom your eyes, judge ye if ye will not have 
cause tnen to rejoice? 

Anent' other particulars, if ye would speak with me, appoint 
any of the first three days of the next week, in Carlton, when 
Carlton is at home, and acauaint me with your desires. 

Remember me to God, ana my dearest affection to your husband : 
and, for Zion's sake, hold not your peace. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you, and your husband, 
and childien. 

Tours, in the Lord, S. R. 

Anwoth, June S, 1631. 



Dear Mistress, — I have not time, this day, to write to you ; 
but God, knowing my present state, and the necessities of my call- 
ing, will, I hope, spare my mother's life for a time — for the which 
I have cause to thank my Lord. I entreat you not to be cast 
down, for that which I wrote before to you, anent' the planting 
of a minister in your town. Believe, and you shall see the sal* 
▼ation of God. 1 write this because, when you suffer, my heart 
sufiereth with you. I do believe that your soul shall have joy 
in your labors and holy desires for that work. 

drace upon you, and your husband, and your children. 

Yours ever, in Christ, S. R, 




Madam, — ^Having saluted you in the Lord Jesus — I thought 
it my duty, having the occasion of this bearer, to write again 
onto your Ladyship. Though I have no new purpose, but what 
I wrote of beiore, yet ye cannot be too often awakened to go 
ferward toward your city, since your way is long, and, (for any- 
thing ye know,) your day is short ; and your Lord requireth of 
yoo, as ye advance in years, and steal forward insensiblv towards 
eternity, that your &ith mav grow and ripen for the Lord's 
harvest. For the great Husbandman givetn a season to his 
fruita, that tliey may come to maturity ; and having got then 

1 ConoeniDf . 


fill of the tree, that they may be then shaken, and gathered in 
for his use; whereas the wicked rot upon the tree, and their 
branch shall not be green; (Job xv. 33,) ''He shaU shake oflT 
his unripe grapes as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as 
the olive." It is God's mercy to you, madam, that he gjiveth you 
your fill, even to loathing, of this bitter world, that ye may 
willingly leave it, and, like a full and satisfied banqueter, long 
tor the drawing of the table ; and at last, having trampled under 
your feet all the rotten pleasures that are under sun and moon, 
and having, "rejoiced as though ye rejoiced not, and having 
bought as though ye possessed not," (1 Cor. vii. 30,) ye may, 
like an old crazy ship, arrive at your Lord's harbor, and be made 
welcome, as one of those who have ever had one foot loose from 
this earth, longing for that place where your soul shall feast 
and banquet forever and ever upon a glorious sight of the in- 
comprehensible Trinity, and where ye shall see the fair face of 
the Man, Christ, even the beautiful face, that was once, for your 
cause, more marred than any of the visages of the sons of men, 
(Isa. Hi. 14,) and was all covered with spitting and blood. Be 
content to wade through thb waters betwixt you and glory with 
him, holding his right hand fast; for he knoweth all the fords. 
Howbeit ye may be ducked, yet ye cannot drown, being in his 
company ; and ye may, all the way to glory, see the way bedewed 
with His blood, who is the Forerunner. G^e not afraid, therefore^ 
when ye come even to the black and swelling river of death, to 
put in your foot, and wade after him. The current, how strong 
soever, cannot carry you down the water to Hell: I he death and 
resurrection of the Son of God are stepping-stones, and a stay to 
you ; set down your feet by faith upon these stones, and eo through 
as on dry land. If ye knew what he is preparing tor you, ye 
would be too glad. Hewill not, ^it may be,) give you a full 
draught till ye come up to the well-head, and drink, yea, drinl^ 
abundantly, of the pure river of the water of life, "that piocecdeth 
out from the throne of God, and from the Lamb." (Rev. rxii. l.J 
Madam, tire not, weary not. I dare find you the Son of God 
caution ^ that when ye are got up thither, and have casten * your 
eyes to view the golden city, and the fair and never withering 
Tree of Life, which beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, 
ye will then say, " Four-and- twenty hours' abode in that place is 
worth threescore and ten years' sorrow upon earth." If ye can 
but say that ye long earnestly to be carried up thither, (as I hope 
ye cannot for shame deny him the honor of having wrought that 
desire in your souU then hath your Lord given you an earnest : 
and, madam, do ye believe that our Lord will lose his earnest, and 
rue of the bargain, and change his mind, as if he were a man, 
that can lie, or the son of man that can repent? Nay, he ij un< 
chan{^eable, and the same this year that he was the former year. 
And his Son, Jesus, who upon earth ate and drank with pubhcans 
%nd sinners, and spake and conferred with whores ana harlot^ 
& SoretT. * CmL 

rtttherford's letters. 53 

and put ou« his holy hand and touched the leper's filthy skin, and 
came evermore nigh sinners, even now, in jE^Iory, is yet that same 
Lord: his honor and his great court* in Heaven have not made 
him forget his poor friends on earth ; in him honors change not 
manners, and he doth yet desire your company. Take him for 
the old Christ, and claim still kindness to him, and say, "Oh, it 
is so ! he is not changed, but I am changed :" nay, it is a part of 
his unchangeable love, and an article of the New Covenant, to 
keep you that ye cannot dispone* him nor sell him. He hath 
not played fast and loose with us, in the Covenant of grace, so 
that we may run from him at our pleasure. His love hath made 
the bargain surer than so ; for Jesus, as the cautioner,' is bound 
for us, (Heb. vii. 22,) and it cannot stand with his honor to die in 
the borrows,* (as we use to say,) and lose thee, whom he must 
render again to the Father, when he shall give up the kingdom 
to him. Consent, and say "Amen" to the promises, and ye 
have sealed that God is true, and Christ is yours. This is an 
easy market : ye but look on with faith ; for Christ suffered all, 
and paid alL 

Madam, fearing lest I he tedious to ypur Ladyship, I must stop 
here, desiring always to hear that your Ladyship is well, and that 
ye have still your face up the mountain. Pray for us, madam, 
and for Zion, whereof ye are a part. We expect a trial. God's 
wheat in this land must go through Satan's sieve, but their faith 
shall not fail. I am still wrestling in our Lord's work, and have 
been tried and tempted by brethren, who look awry to the gospel. 

Now He, that is able to keep you until that day, preserve youi 
soul body and spirit, and present you before hb face with his own 
Bride, spotless and blameless. 
Your Ladyship's, 

To be commanded always in the Lord Jesus, S. R. 

AnwoCh, Not. 96, 1S31. 



Madam, — ^I am grieved exceedingly that your Ladyship should 
think, or have cause to think, that such as love you in God, in 
this country, are forgetful of you. For myself, madam, I owe to 
your Ladyship all evidences of my high respect (in the sight of 
my Lord, whose truth I preach, I am bold to say it,) for bis rich 
grace in you. 

My communion, put off till the end of a longsome and rainy 
Harvest, and the presbyterial exercbe (as the l>earer can inform 
your Ladyship) hindered me to see you. And for my people's 

I Pa^or, influence. * Dbpoee. ' Surety. 

« TodUinttu herrmM, to foil while the 6orr9i0, or pledge, or mrety, for anotlMtt 


sake ^finding tbem like hot iroD, that cooleth being out of the fire, 
and tnat is pliable to no work,) I do not stir abroad, neither have 
I left them at all since your Ladyship was in the countrv, save at 
one time only, about two years ago ; ^et I dare not say but it is a 
fault, howbeit no defect in my affection ; and I trust to make il 
up again so soon as possibly I am able to wait upon you. 

Madam, I have no new purpose to write unto you, but of that 
which I think, nay, which our Lord thinketb, needful that one 
thing, Mary's good 'part, which ye have chosen. (Luke x. 42.) 
Madam, all that God hath, both himself and /the creatures, he is 
dealing and parting amongst the sons of Adam. There are none 
so poor as that they can say in his face that he hath ffiven them 
nothing; but there is no small odds^ betwixt the gifts given to 
lawful bairns* and to bastards ; and the more greedy ye are in 
suiting,* the more willing is he to give, delighting to be called 

I hope that your Ladyship laboreth to get assurance of the 
surest patrimony, even God himself. Ye will find in Christianity 
that God aimeth, in all his dealings with his children, to bring 
them to a high contempt of, and deadly feud with the world ; and 
to set a high price upon Christ, and to think him one who cannot 
be bought for gold, and well worthy the fighting for. And for no 
other cause, madam, doth the Lord withdraw from you the child- 
ish toys and the earthly delights that he giveth unto others, but 
that he may have you wholly to himself. Think, therefore, of 
the Lord, as of one who comcth to woo you in marriage, when ye 
are in the furnace ; he seeketh his answer of you in affliction, to 
see if ye will say, <^ Even so I take him." Madam, give him this 
answer presently, and in your mind do not secretly grudge nor 
murmur. When he is striking you in love, beware to strike 
again ; that is dangerous, for those who strike again shall get the 
last blow. 

If I hit not upon the right string, it is because I am not ac- 
quainted with your Ladyship's present condition ; but I believe 
that your Ladyship goeth on loot laughing, and putting on a 
good countenance before the world, and yet ye carry heaviness 
about with you. Ye do well, madam, not to make them witnesses 
of your grief who cannot be curers of it ; but be exceedingly chari- 
table of your dear Lord. As there be some friends worldly, of 
whom ye will not entertain an ill thought, far more ought ye to 
believe good evermore of your dear Friend, that lovely fair person, 
Jesus Christ The thorn is one of the most cursed, and angry, 
and crabbed weeds that the earth yieldeth, and yet out of it 
springeth the rose, one of the most sweetly smelled flowers, and 
most delightful to the eye, that the earth hath. Your Lord will 
make joy and gladness out of your afflictions ; for all his rose^ 
have a fragrant smell. Wait for the time when his own holy 
hand shall hold them to your nose ; and, if ye would have present 
comfort under the croas, be much in prayer ; for at that time ycur 
1 Childfen. t Ufgiog a rait 

Rutherford's lltters. 6S 

bith kisseth Christ, and he kisselh the soul — and oh ! if the 
breath of bis holy mouth be sweet ! I dare be caution/ out of 
some small experience, that ye shall not be beguiled; for the 
world Tyea not a few* number of God's children,) know not weU 
what that is which they call a godhead. But, madam, come near 
to the Godhead, and look down to the bottom of the well : there 
is much in bun, and sweet were that death to drown in such a 
welL Your grief taketh liberty to work upon your mind, when 
ye are not busied in the meditation of the ever-delighting and all- 
blessed Godhead. If ye would lay the price ye give out (which is 
but some few years' pain and trouble,) beside the commodities ye 
are to receive, ye would see that they were not worthy to be laid 
in the balance together ; but it is nature that maketh you look to 
what ye give out, and weakness of faith that hindereth you to 
see what ye shall take in. Amend your hope, and frist'^ your 
faithful Lord awhile. He maketh himself your debtor in the New 
Covenant : he is honest — take his word. (Nahum i. 9,) " Afflic- 
tion shall not spring up the second time." (Rev. xxi. 7,) " He 
that overcometh shall inherit all things." Of all things, then, 
which ye want in this life, madam, I am able to say nothing, if 
that be not believed which ye have. (Rev. ii. 7, and Rev. iii. 5,) 
" The overcomer shall be clothed in white raiment," <fcc. ; and, 
(ver. 21,) " To the overcomer I will give to sit with me on my 
throne, as I overcame and am set down with my Father in his 
throne." Consider, madam, if ye are not high up now, and far 
ben^ in the palace of our Lord, when ye are upon a throne, in 
white raiment, at lovely Christ's elbow. Oh, thrice fools are we, 
who, like new-bom princes weeping in the cradle, know not that 
there is a kingdom before them ! Then let our Lord's sweet hand 
square us, and hammer us, and strike off the knots of pride, self- 
love, and world-worship, and infidelity, that he may make us 
stones and pillars in his Father's house. (Rev. iii. 12.) Madam, 
what think ^e to take binding with the fair Corner-stone, Jesus? 
The Lord give you wisdom to believe and hope that your day is 
coming. I hope to be a witness of your joy, as I have been a 
hearer and benolder of your grief. Think ye it much to follow 
the Heir of the crown, who hath experience of sorrows, and was 
acquainted with grief? (Isaiah liii.) It were pride to aim to be 
above the King*s Son : it is more than we deserve that we are 
equals in glory, in a manner. 

Now, commending you to the dearest grace, and mercy of God, 
I rest. 

Tour Ladyship's, at all obedience in Ch*ist, S. R. 

Anwolh, Jan. 4, 16 

s Safety. * Small * Credit 

« Adnuttad to freat fkmiliaiity. 

66 Rutherford's letters. 



Madam, — Understanding, a little after the writing of my last 
•etter, of the going of this hearer, I would not omit the opportu- 
nity of remembering your Ladyship, still harping upon that string 
which, in our whole lifetime, is never too often touched upon, nor 
is our lesson well enough learned, that there is a necessity of ad- 
vancing in the way to the Kingdom of God, of the contempt of 
the world, of denying ourself, and of bearing of our Lord's cross ; 
which is no less needful for us than daily food. And among many 
marks that we are on this journey, and under sail toward Heaven, 
this is one, when the love of God so fiUeth our hearts that we for- 
get to love ^nd care too much for the having or wanting of other 
things; as one extreme heat burneth out another. By thi^, 
madam, ye know that ye have betrothed your soul in marriage to 
Christ, when ye do make but small reckoning of all other suitors 
or wooers, and when ye can, (having little in hand, but much in 
hope) live as a young heir during the time of his non-age and 
minority, being coptent to be as hardly handled, and under as 
precise a reckoning as servants, because his hope is upon the in- 
neritance. For this cause, God's bairns* take well witn the spoil- 
ing of their goods, (Heb. x. 34,) knowing in themselves that they 
have in Heaven a better and an enduring substance. That day 
that the earth and the works therein shall be burned with fire, 
(2 Pet. iii. 10,^ your hidden hope and your hidden life shall ap- 
pear. And, tnerefore, since ye have not now many years of your 
endless eternity, and know not how soon the sky above your head 
shall rive, and the Son of Man be seen in the clouds of Heaven, 
what better and wiser course can ye take than to think that your 
one foot is here, and your other foot in the life to come, and to 
leave off loving, desiring, or grieving for the wants that shall be 
made up, when your Lord and ye shall meet, and when ye shall 
give in your bill that day of all your wants here ? If your losses 
be not made up, ye have place to challenge the Almighty ; but it 
shall not be so. Ye shall then rejoice with joy unspeakable and 
full of glory, and your joy shall none take from you, (1 Pet. i. 8; 
John xvi. 22.) 

It is enough, that the Lord hath promised you great things ; 
only let the time of bestowhig them be in his own carving. It is 
not for us to set an hour-glass to the Creator of time, since he and 
we differ only in the term of payment. Since he hath promised 
payment, and we believe it, it is no great matter, we will put that 
m his own will ; as the frank buyer, who cometh near to what 
the seller seeketh, useth at last to refer the difference to his vill, 
nnh so cutteth off the course of mutual prigging.* Madam, do not 

> Children. t Cliaffering. 

rittherford's letters. 57 

prig' with your frank-hearted and gracious Lord about the time 
of the fulfilling of your joy^. It shall be — God hath said it. Bide 
his harvest, wait upon his whitsunday.' His day is better than 
your day. He putteth not the hook ' into the com till it be ripe 
and full-eared. The great Angel of the Covenant bear you com- 
pany, till the trumpet shall sound and the voice of the Archangel 
awaken the dead. Ye shall find it your only happiness, under 
whatever thing disturbeth and crosseth the peace of your mind in 
this life, to love nothing for itself, but only God for himself. It is 
the crooked love of some harlots, that they love bracelets, ear- 
rings, and rings, better than the lover that sendeth them : but 
God will not be so loved : for that were to behave as harlots, and 
not as the chaste spouse, to abate from our love when these things 
are pulled away. Our love to him should begin on earth, as it 
shall be in Heaven. For, as the bride taketh not by a thousand 
d^rees so much delight in her wedding-garment as she doth in 
her bridegroom, so we, in the life to come, howbeit clothed with 
glory as with a robe, shall not be so much aifected with the glory 
that goeth about us as with the Bridegroom's ioyful face and pres- 
ence. Madam, if ye can win* to this here, the field is won ; and 
your mind, for anything ye want, or for anything your Lord can 
take from you, shall soon be calmed and quieted. Get l;)imself as 
a pawn, and keep him, till your dear Lord come and loose the 
pawn^rue upon you, and give you all again that he took from 
you, even a thousand talents for one penny. It is not ill to lend 
Gdi' willingly, who otherwise both will and may take from you 
against your will. It is good to play the usurer with him, and 
take in, instead of ten of the hundred, an hundred of ten, often an 
hundred of one. 

Madam, fearing to be tedious to you, I break off here, commend- 
ing you, as I trust to do while I live, your person, ways, burdens, 
and all that concerneth you, to that Almighty, who is able to bear 
you and your burdens. I still remember you to Him, who will 
cause you one day to laugh. I expect that whatever ye can do 
by word or deed, for the Lord's friendless Zion, ye will do it. She 
is your Mother, forget her not, for the Lord intendeth to melt and 
try this land ; and it is high time that we were all upon our feet, 
and falling about' to try what claim we have to Christ. It is like 
that the Bridegroom will be taken from us, and then we shall 
mourn. Dear Jesus, remove not, else take us with thee ! 

Grace, grace be with you forever. 

Your Ladyship's, at all dutiful obedience, S. R. 

ADWoCh, Jan. 14, 1693. 

s a^gfe. * Termday. » SkUa. « IttalB. 

« Searehing about / 

98 rutherpord's letters. 



Madam, — Your Ladyship will not, I know, weary nor be of- 
fended, though I trouble you .with many letters: the memory of 
what obligations I am under to your Ladyship is the cause of it. 

I am possibly impertinent in what I write, because of ray igno- 
rance 01 your present estate; but, for all that is said, I have 
learned of Mr. William Dalgleish that ye have not changed upon, 
nor wearied of your sweet Master, Cbrbt, and his service ; neither 
were it your part to change upon Him, who resteth in his love. 
Ye are among honorable company, and such as affect grandeur 
and court But, madam, thinking upon your estate, I think that 
I see an improvident wooer, coming too late to seek a bride, be- 
cause she is contracted already, and promised away to another ; 
and so the wooer's busking' and bravery (who cometh to you as, 
who but he !) is in vain. The outward pomp of. this busy wooer, 
a beguiling world, is now coming in to suit* your soul too late, 
when ye have promised away your soul to Christ many years ago. 
And I know, madam, what answer ye may justly make to tne 
late suitor ; even this, " Ye are too long in coming. My soul, the 
bride, is away already, and the contract with Christ subsoribed ; 
and I cannot choose but I must be honest and faithful to him.'' 
Honorable Lady, keep your first love, and hold the first match 
with that soul-delighting, lovely Bridegroom, our sweet, sweet 
Lord, Jesus, fairer than all the children of men, the Rose of Sha- 
ron, and the fairest and sweetest-smelled rose in all his Father's 
garden. There is none like him. I would not exchange one 
smile of his lovely face with kingdoms. Madam, let others take 
their silly* feckless^ heaven in this life. Envy them not; but let 
your soul, like a tarrowing' and mislearned* child, take the dorts,^ 
as we use to speak, or cast at' all things, and disdain them, ex- 
cept one only — either Christ or nothing. Your Well-belovcMi, 
Jesus, will be content, that ye be here devoutly proud, and ill * to 
please, as one that contemneth all husbands but himself Either 
the King's Son or no husband at all — this is humble and worthv 
ambition. What have ye to do to dally with a whorish and fool- 
ish world ? Your jealous husband will not be content that ye 
look by '" him to another: he will be jealous indeed, and offended, 
if ye kiss another than himself 

What weights do burden you, madam, I know not, but think it 
great mercy that your Lord from your youth hath been hedging-iu 
your out-straying affections, that they may not go a-whoring from 
himself. If ye were his bastard, he would not nurture you so : if 

1 Deckini^. * Coart > Contemptible. * Poor, unreal. 

> 7\» tarrow, to feel relncUnee, etpeciallj to lake one*a ibod, arising (Vom 
Mtifh humor. • lUbred. t Pet • Object to. 

» Hard. •• Pait. 


jre were for the slaughter, ^e would be fattened ; but be content, 
ye are bis wheat growing in our Lord's field, (Matt xiii. 26, 38.) 
And if wheat, ye must go under our Lord's threshing instrument, 
in his barn-floor, and go through his sieve, (Amos ix. 9,) and 
through his mill to be bruised, as the Prince of our salvation, 
Jesus, was,*(Isa. Uii. 10,) that ye may be found good bread in your 
Lord^s house. Lord Jesus, bless the spiritual husbandry, and 
separate you from the chaff that dow not bide' the wind. I am 
persuaded that your glass is spending itself by little and little, and 
that if ye knew who is before you, ye would rejoice in your tribu- 
lation. Think ye it a small honor to stand fciefore the throne of 
God and the Lamb, and to be clothed in white, and to be called 
to the marriage-supper of the Lamb, and to be led to the Fountain 
of living wat^jrs, and to come to the well-head, even God himself, 
and get your fill of the clear, cold, sweet, refreshing Water of life, 
the King's own well, and to put up your own sinuil hand to the 
Tree of Life, and take down and eat the sweetest apple in all 
God's heavenly paradise, Jesus Christ, your Life and your Lord ? 
Up your heart ! shout for joy ! your Kmg is coming to fetch you 
to his Father's house. 

Madam, I am in exceeding great heaviness ; God thinking it 
best for my own soul thus to exercise me, thereby, it may be, to 
fit me to be his mouth to others ; I see and hear, at home and 
abroad, nothing but matter of grief and discouragement, which 
indeed maketh my life bitter — and I hope in God never to get my 
.will in this world. And I expect ere long a fiery trial upon the 
Church ; for as many men almost in England and Scotland, as . 
many false friends to Christ, and as many pulling and drawing to 
puU the crown off his holy head ; and for fear that our Beloved 
stay amongst us, (as if hb room were more desirable than himself,) 
men are bidding him go seek his lodging. Madam, if ye have a 

Eart in silly* friendless Zion, as I know ye have, speak a word on 
er behalf to Grod and man. If ye can do nothing else, speak for 
Jesus, and ye shall therebv be a witness against this decHnmg age. 
Now, firom my very soul, laying and leaving you on the Lord, and 
desiring a part in your prayers, (as my Lord knoweth that I re- 
member you,^ I deliver over your body, spirit, and all your neces- 
sities, to the nands of our Lord, and remain forever. 
Your Ladyship's, in your sweet Lord Jesus, and mine, S. R. 
AnwoUi, Feb. 13, 1632. 



Belotbd Mistress, — My dearest love in Christ remembered 
Co you — know that Mr. Abraham showed me that there is to be a 

> U Bol able to lUnd. * Poor, in Uie eente of exciling co mpft wio n . 

60 RirrHEaFoaD*8 letters. 

meeting of the Bishops at Edinburgh shortly. The causes are 
known to themselves ; it is our part to hold ud our hands for Zion. 
Howbeit it is reported that they came sad from court It is our 
Lord's wisdom that his Kirk should ever hing* by a thread ; and 
yet the thread breaketh not, being hung upon Him, who is the 
sure Nail in David's house, dsaiah xxii. ver. 23,) upon whom all 
the vessels, great and small, do hang: and the Nail (God be 
thanked) neither crooketh, nor can be broken. Jesus, that Flower 
of Jesse, set without hands, getteth many a blast, and yet wither- 
eth not, because he is his Father's noble Rose, casting a sweet 
smell through Heaven and earth, and must grow; and in the 
same garden with him grow the saints, Grod's fair and beautiful 
lilies, under wind and rain, and all sun-burned, and yet life re- 
maineth at the root. Keep within his garden, and /e shall grow 
with them, till the great Husbandman, our dear Master-gardener, 
come, and transplant you from the lower part of his vineyard up 
to the higher, to the very h^art of his garden, above the wrongs 
of the rain, sun, or wind ; and then wait upon the times of the blow- 
ing of the sweet south and north wind of his gracious Spirit, that 
may make you cast a sweet smell in your Beloved's nostrils ; and 
bid your Beloved come down to his garden, and eat of his pleasant 
fruits. (Cant. iv. ver. 16.) And he will come. Ye will get no 
more than this, until ye come up to the Well-head, where he shall 
put up your hand, and take down the apples of the Tree of Life^ 
and eat under the shadow of that Tree — these apples are sweeter 
up beside the Tree, than they are down here, m this piece cf a 
clay prison-house. I have no joy but in the thoughts of these 
times. Doubt not of your Lord's part, and the Spouse's part — she 
shall be in goDd case. That word shall stand, (Hosea xiv. 6,) ''I 
will be as the dew to Israel, he shall grow up as the lily ; and cast 
out his roots as Lebanon." (Ver. 6,) "His branches shall spread, 
his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon." 

i Isaiah xi. ver. 12,) Christ shall set up his colors,* and his ensign 
or the nations, and shall gather together the outcasts of Israel. 
fBzek. xxxvii. 11,) "Then the Lord said to me. Son of man, these 
aead bones are the whole House of Israel ; behold, they say. Our 
bones are dried, our hope is lost, we are cut off for our parts." (Ver. 
12,) " Therefore prophesy unto them, and say. Thus saith the 
Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and 
cause you come up out of your graves, and bring you unto the 
land of Israel." These promises are not wind, but the breast of 
our Beloved, Chrbt, which we must suck, and draw comfort out of. 
We have cause to pity those poor creatures, that stand out 
against Christ, and the building of his house. Silly men, they 
have but a feckless* and silly* heaven, nothing but meat and 
clothes ; and they laugh a day or two in the world, and then in a 
moment go down to the grave. And they shall not be able to 

1 Huf. • Unwihitanrtal, 

rvtberford's letters. 6t 

hinder Christ's building; he that is Master of the work, will 
lead stones* to the wall over their belly. 

And for that present tumult, that the children of this world 
raise anent* the planting of your town with a pastor, believe and 
stay upon God (as ye still shame us all in believing j) go forward 
in (he strength of the Lord, and from my Lord I say, before 
whom I stand, have your eyes upon none but the Lord of armies; 
and the Lord will either let ye see what ye long to see, or then 
fulfil your joy more abundantly another way. Ye and yours, 
and the children of God whom ye care for, in that town, shall 
have as much of the Son of Grod's supper, cut and laid down upon 
your trenchers, be he who he will that carveth, as shall feed you 
to eternal life. And be not cast down for all that is done, your 
reward is laid up with God. I hope to see ye laugh and leap 
for joy. Will the temple be built without din and tumult? No ! 
God's stones of his house in Grermany are laid with blood ; and 
the Son of God no sooner beginneth to chop and hew stones with 
his hammer, but as soon the sword is drawn. If the work were 
of men, the world would set their shoulders to yours; but in 
Christ's work, two or three must fight against a presbytery, 
(though his own court,) and a city. This proveth that it is 
Christ's errand, and, therefore, that it shall* thrive. Let them lay 
iron chains cross over the door, — stay, and believe, and wait, whill* 
the Lion of the tribe of Judah come. And He, that coraeth from 
Heaven clothed with the rainbow, and hath the little bbok in his 
hand, when he taketh a grip* of their chains, will lay the door 
upon the broad-side,* and come in, and go up to the pulpit, and 
take the man with him whom he hath chosen for his work. .There- 
fore, let me hear from you, whether you be in heaviness, or re- 
joicing- under hope, that I may take part of your grief, and bear 
it with you, and get part of your joy, which is to me also as my 
own joy. 

And as to what are your fears anent* the health or life of your 
dear children, lay it upon Christ's shoulders ; let him bear alL 
Loose your grips* of them all ; and, when your dear Lord pulleth, 
let them go with faith and joy ; it is a tried faith, to kiss a Lord 
that is taking from you. Let them be careful, during the short 
tirae that they are here, to run, and get a grip* of the prize. Christ 
is standing in the end of their way, holding up the garland of end- 
less glory to their eyes, and is crying, " Run fast, and come,, and 
receive :" happy are they, if their breath serve them to run, and 
not to weary, whill* their Lord, with his own dear hand, put the- 
crown upon their head. It is not long days, but good days, that 
make the life glorious and happy ; and our dear Lord is gracious 
to U8, who shorteneth, and hath made the way to glory shorter 
than it was: so that the crown that Noah did fight for five hun- 
dred years, children may now obtain in fifteen years. And Heaven 
it in some sort better for us now than it was to Noah : for the 

' TV Uad 9Umt», to carry ttonei in a cart from one place to another. 

> CoaatfBing. » ViU. « Oripe, hold. • Fhit on the lid*. 

t8 Rutherford's letters. 

Man, Christ, is there now, who was not come in the fleah in 
Noah's days. 

You will show this to ypur children, whom my soul in Christ 
blesseth ; and entreat them, by the mercies of God, and the bowels 
of Jesus Christ, to covenant with Jesus Christ to be his, and to 
make up the bond of friendship betwixt their souls and their Christ, 
that they may have acquaintance in Heaven, and a friend at God's 
right hand — such a friend at court is much worth. 

Now I take my leave of you, praying my Christ, and your 
Christ, to fulfil our joy, and moe graces and blessings from our 
sweet Lord Jesus to your soul, your husband's, and children, than 
ever I wrote of letters of A, B, C, to you. 

Grace, grace, be with you. 

Yours, in my sweet Master, Jesus Christ, S. R. 

AnwoCh, Much 9, 1632. 



Dearly beloved Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered 
— Ye are not ignorant what our Lord, in his love-visitation, hath 
been doing with your soul, even letting you see a little sight of 
that dark trance which ye must go through ere you come to glory. 
Your life hath been near the grave, and ye were at the door, and 
ye found the door shut fast ; your dear Christ thinking it not time 
to open these gates to you, whiU^ ye have fought some longer in 
his camp. And, therefore, he willeth you to put on your armor 
again, and to take no truce with the Devil, or this present world. 
Ye are little obliged to any of the two : but I rejoice in this, that 
when any of the two cometh to suit' your soul in marriage, ye 
have an answer in readiness to tell them — "Ye are too long 
a-coming : I have many a year since promised my soul to another, 
even to my dearest Lord Jesus, to wnom I must be true." And, 
therefore, ye are come back to us again, to help us to pray for 
Christ's fair Bride — a marrow* dear to him. 

Be not cast down in heart, to hear that the world barketh at 
Christ's strangers, both in Ireland and in this land. They do it 
because their Lord hath chosen them out of this world ; and this 
is one of our Lord's reproaches, to be hated and ill-entreated bv 
men: the silly* stranger in an unco* country, must take with 
smoky inn, and coarse cheer, and a hard bed, and a barking ill- 
tongued host. It is not long to-day, and he will to his journey 
upon the morrow, and leave them alL Indeed our fair morning 
is at hand, the day-star is near the rising, and we are not many 
miles from home ; what matter of ill entertainment in the smoky 

1 TUL • Coait • PaiUMT. « Poor. 


ioQ ot this miserable life ? We are not to stay here, and we shall 
be dearly welcome to Him whom we go to. And I hope, that 
when I shall see you clothed in white raiment, washen ' in the 
blood of the Lamb, and shall see you even at the elbow of your 
dearest Lord and Redeemer, and a crown upon your head, and 
following our Lamb, and lovely Lord whithersoever he goeth, ye 
will think nothing of all these days, and ye will then rejoice, and 
no man shall take your joy from you. And it is certain there is 
not much sand to run in your Lord's sand-glass, and that day is 
at hand, and, till then, your Lord in this life is giving you some 
little feasts. It is true that ye see him not now, as ye shall see 
him then. Your Well-belov^ standeth now behind the wall, 
looking out at the window, (Cant. ii. 9,) and ye see but a little of 
bis £Eice ; then ye shall see all his face, and all the Saviour, — a 
loDg, and high, and broad Lord Jesus, the most lovely person 
among the childien of men. O joy of joys ! that our souls know 
there is such a great supper preparing lor us ; even bowbeit we be 
but hali-bungered' of Christ here, and many a time dine behind 
noon,* yet the supper of the Lamb shall come in time, and will be 
set before us, before we famish, and lose our stomachs. Ye have 
cause to hcid up your heart in remembrance, and hope of that fair, 
long, summer-day ; for in this night of your life, wnerein ye are 
in the body, absent from the Lord, Christ's &ir mooo-light, in his 
word and sacraments, in prayer, feeling, and holy conference, 
hath shined upon you, to let you see the way to the city. 

I confess that our diet here is but sparing ; we get but tastingf 
of our Lord's comforts ; but the cause of that is not because our 
Steward, Jesus, is a niggard, and narrow-hearted, but because our 
stomachs are weak, and we are narrow-hearted : but the peat 
feast is coming, when our hearts shall be enlarged, and the cham- 
bers of them made fair and wide, to take in the great Lord Jesoc 
— <x>roe in, then. Lord Jesus, to hungry souls, gaping for thee' 
.Li this journey take the Brid^room, as ye may have him, and be 
greedy of his smallest crumbs : but, dear mistress, boy oooe of 
Christ's delicates spiritual with sin, or fieisting against your weak 
body. Remember that ye are in the body, and it is the lodging' 
hoi^ and ye may not, without offeaAmg the Lord, ntSkt the oU 
walls of that house to fall down, through want of necesmnr fbodL 
Your body is the dweUfaig-house of the Spirit ; «id, therefore, for 
the love ye carry to the sweet GaesI, give a due regard to his 
house of clay. When he looseth the wall, why not? welcome^ 
Lord Jesus ! but it is a fearful sin in us, by halting the body by 
fasting, to loose one stone, or the least piece of timber io it ; far 
'^he house is not our own^ the Bridegroom is with yoo yet ; so buH, 
>s that, also, ye may feast and rgoice in him. 

I think upon your magistrates ; but He, thai is daubed in Unen^ 
^oA hath the writer's ink-horn by his side, hath wnuea «p tkcir 
Barnes in Heaven already— pray, and be comeot with bis wilL 

> WidHd. f ifglffcJ 

64 Rutherford's letters. 

God hath a council-house io Heaven, and the end will be mercy 
unto you. For the planting of your town with a godly minister, 
have your eye upon the Lord of the harvest. I dare promise you 
that God, in this life, will fill your soul with the fatness of his 
house, for your care to see Christ^s bairns fed ; and your posterity 
shall know it, to whom I pray for mercy, and that they may get 
a name among the living in Jerusalem ; and if Grod portion them 
with his bairns, their rent is fair^ and I hope it shall be so. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours^ ever in Christ, S. R. 

Anwolh, Sept 19, 1633. 



Wbll-beloved Sister in Christ, — ^Ye shall understand 
that I have received a letter from Edinburgh, that it is suspected 
that there will be a General Assembly, or then ^ some meetmg of 
the Bishops; and that at this Synod there will be some commis- 
sioners chosen by the Bishop ; which news have so taken up my 
mind, that I am not so settled for studies as I have been before ; 
and, therefore, was never in such fear for the work. But, because 
it is written to me as a secret, I dare not reveal it to any, but to 
yourself whom I know : and, therefore, I entreat you, not for any 
comfort of mine, who am but one man, but for the glory and 
honor of Jesus Christ, the Master of the banquet, be more earnest 
with God, and, in general, show others of your Christian acquaint- 
ance my fears for myself. I can be content of shame in that work, 
if my Lord and Master be honored : and, therefore, petition oui 
Lord, especially to see to his own glory, and to give bread to hi« 
hungry bairns, howbeit I go hungrv away from the feast. 

Request Mr. Robert from me, if he come not, to remember us tc 
our Lord. 

I have neither time, nor a free disposed mind, to write to you 
anent* your own case. Send me word if all your children anfi 

CLir husband be well. Seeing they are not yours, but your deai 
rd's, esteem them but as borrowed, and laj^ them down at God's 
feet — your Christ to you is better than they all. 

You will pardon my unaccustomed short letter ; and remembei 
roe, and that honorable feast, to our Lord Jesus. He was with w 
before : I hope he will not change upon us, but I fear that I havi 
changed upon him — but, Lord ! let old kindness stand. 
Jesus Christ be with your spirit 

Youra, in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 


> OUierwiML * CoooeniBg. 

Rutherford's letters. 66 



Well-beloved, and Dear Sister, — My tender affection ia 
Christ remembered — I left you in as great heaviness as I was in 
since I came to this country ; but I know that ye doubt not that 
(as the truth in Christ is) my soul is knit to your soul, and to the 
souls of all yours, and would, if I could, send you the largest part 
of my heart inclosed in this letter. But by fervent calling upon 
my liord, I have attained some victory over my heart, which run- 
neth often not knowing whither, and of my beguiling hopes, which 
I know now better than I did. And I trust in my Lord to hold 
aloof from the enticings of a seducing heart, bv which I am daily 
cozened ; and I mind not, by His grace, who hath called me ac- 
cording to his eternal purpose, to come so far within the grips ' of 
my foolish mind, gripping about* any folly coming its way, as the 
woodbine or ivy goeth about the tree. 

I adore and kiss the providence of my Lord, who knoweth well 
vhat is most expedient for me, and for you, and your children : 
inA I think of you, as of myself, that the Lord, who turaeth about, 
in h\9 deep wisdom, all the wheels and turnings of such changes, 
will also dispose of that for the best to you and yours. In the pres- 
ence of my Lord, I am not able, howbeit I would, to conceive 
amiss of you in that matter. Grace, grace forever upon yoa and 
your seed ; and it shall be your portipn, in despite of all the powers 
of darkness: do not make more question of this. But the Lord 
taw a nail in my heart loose, and be hath now fastened it — honor 
be lo his Majesty. 

I bear that your son is entered to the school If I had known 
of the day, I would have begged from our Lord, that be would 
liave put the book in his hand, with his own hand I trust in 
my Lord it is so, and I conceive a hope to see him a star to 
give light in some room -of our Lord's house; and purpoM, by 
the Lord's grace, as I am able, (if our Lord call you to rest be- 
fore me,) when vou are at your home, to do the uttermost of mj 
power to help him every way, in grace and learning, and bis 
brother, and all your children — and I hope that ye would expect 
that of me. 

Further, ye shall know that Mr. William Dalgletsh is come 
home; who saith it is a miracle that your busba^ in this pro- 
cess before the Coimcil, escaped both discredit and damage. Let 
it not be forgotten that he was, in our apprehension, to our grief^ 
cast down and humbled in the Lord's work, in that matter betwixt 
him and the baillie;* now the Lord hath honored btro, and made 
him famous for virtue, honesty, and integrity, two several timesi 

1 Orup. t CUspcDg abMl 

< A aagMUate in a SeoCtkh borough, milar to an aklenwui in England 

66 Rutherford's letters. 

before tlie nobles of this kingdom. Your Lord ''""^^^t**"'!!^ 
go to hU tlirone of grace again ; his arm is not short* "5im»«wil"« 

The King is certainly expected. Ill is feared. W^ "'^*Vf ^ 
for our sins, to fear that the Bridegroom shall be taJf^****"^J 
by our sins, we have rent his fair garments, and we i ~ 
up and awakened our Beloved. Pray him to tarry, or it 
us with him. It were good that we should knock auc 
Lord's door : we may not tire to knock oftener than twi. 
— ^he knoweth the knock of his friends. 

I am still what I was ever to your dear children, 
their souls' happiness, and praying that grace, grace, gi. 
and peace from God, even God our Father, and our L 
may be their portion ; and that now, while they are ^ 
young, their hearts may take band* with Jesus, the Co;i 
and win* once in, into our Lord and Saviour's house, . 
they will not get leave to flit. 

Pray for me, and especially for humility and thankfi. 
have always remembrance of you and your husband, 
children. The Lord, Jesus, be with your spirit 

Yours evermore, in my dear Lord Jesus, and yours, 




Well-beloved, and Dear Sister, — ^My love in Chri? 
roembered — God hath brought me home from a place, wh 
have been exercised with great heaviness ; and I nave foui 
home a new matter of heaviness, yet dare not but in all th 
give thanks. 

In my business in Edinburgh, I have not sinned, nor wron 
my party; by his own confession, and by the confession of 
friends. I have given of my goods for peace, and the saving 
my Lord's truth from reproaches, which m dearer to me than al. 
have. My mother is weak, and I think shall leave me alone ; bi 
I am not alone, because Christ's Father is with me. 

For your business anent* your town, I see gn^eat evidences ; bi. 
Satan and his instruments are against it, and few set their should 
ers to Christ's shoulder to help him. But he will do all bis lone ; 
and I dare not but exhort you to believe, and persuade you, that 
the hungry in your city shall be fed ; and as for the rest, that 
want a stomach, the parings of God's loaf will suffice them — and. 
therefore, believe it snail Im well. I may not leave m^ mother 
to come and confer with you of all particulars : I have given such 

> Otherwiae. 

• TV teib band, U UDito. lAmt \m ttid to Uke band whh Ui« iloMt in a bnildini 
when it unites with them. 

• Get « Conoenibig. • By I^^bmIT alooe. 




^n«e in, in th^ ^ 
'» place, and l.ci.£ 

'»*W is to you »^^ 
^^ath his bur^^; 
•^ feet upoa ♦m^ 

\Lady irs, j-^^ 

^^nd keep tU^ 
•re for a sia^wT 

■vill8eeus.^*Y- 1 
•le Lord, b^ 
^^'^ this is ^^ 

-Iioulder or ^^ 
'»e that al>i^^ 

:ce; for y^ ^^ 

'face, atid ^^i 

be, as Zech 
^•»i' all ; that 

irarnas, and 
It the stone 
he Corner-s 
• who laid i 
l with t%;%ro 

vou, that g 

• » have the 

l call, and 

' seen call 

I with om 

nor favo 

>r grace 
•' aad h 

S. I 

ic united 


meeting of the Bishops at Edinburgh shortly. The causes are 
known to themselves ; it is our part to hold up our hands for Zion. 
Howbeit it is reported that they came sad from court It is our 
Lord's wisdom that his Kirk should ever hing* by a thread ; and 
yet the thread breaketh not, being hung upon Him, who is the 
sure Nail in David's house, Tlsaiah xxii. ver. 23,) upon whom all 
the vessels, great and small, do hang: and the Nail (Qod be 
thanked) neither crooketh, nor can be broken. Jesus, that Flower 
of Jesse, set without hands, getteth many a blast, and yet wither- 
eth not, because he is his Father's noble Rose, casting a sweet 
smell through Heaven and earth, and must grow; and in the 
same garden with him grow the saints, God's fair and beautiful 
lilies, under wind and rain, and all sun-burned, and yet life re- 
maineth at the root. Keep within his garden, and /e shall grow 
with them, till the great Husbandman, our dear Master-gardener, 
come, and transplant you from the lower part of his vineyard up 
to the higher, to the very h^art of his garden, above the wrongs 
of the rain, sun, or wind ; and then wait upon the times of the blow- 
ing of the sweet south and north wind of his gracious Spirit, that 
may make you cast a sweet smell in your Beloved's nostrils ; and 
bid your Beloved come down to his garden, and eat of his pleasant 
fruits. (Cant. iv. ver. 16.) And he will come. Ye will get no 
more than this, until ye come up to the Well-head, where he shall 
put up your hand, and take down the apples of the Tree of Life, 
and eat under the shadow of that Tree — these apples are sweeter 
up beside the Tree, than they are down here, m this piece cf a 
clay prison-house. I have no joy but in the thoughts of these 
times. Doubt not of your Lord's part, and the Spouse's part — she 
shall be in goDd case. That word shall stand, (Hosea xiv. 6,) "I 
will be as the dew to Israel, he shall grow up as the lily ; and cast 
out his roots as Lebanon." (Ver. 6,) '^His branches shall spread, 
his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon." 

i Isaiah xi. ver. 12,) Christ shall set up his colors,' and his ensign 
or the nations, and shall gather together the outcasts of IsraeL 
fEzek. xxxvii. 11,) "Then the Lord said to me, Son of man, these 
aead bones are the whole House of Israel ; behold, they say. Our 
bones are dried, our hope is lost, we are cut off for our parts." (Ver. 
12,) " Therefore prophesy unto them, and say. Thus saith the 
Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and 
cause you come up out of your graves, and bring you unto the 
land of Israel." These promises are not wind, but the breast of 
our Beloved, Chrbt, which we must suck, and draw comfort out of. 
We have cause to pity those poor creatures, that stand out 
against Christ, and the building of his house. Silly men, they 
have but a feckless* and silly* heaven, nothing but meat and 
clothes ; and they laugh a day or two in the world, and then in a 
moment go down to the grave. And they shall not be able to 

1 Huf. • UnrabfUnlid. i lV|nirnMt 

Rutherford's letters. 61 

hinder Christ's building; he that is Master of the work, will 
lead stones* to tlie wall over their belly. 

And for that present tumult, that the children of this world 
raise anent* the planting of your town with a pastor, believe and 
stay upon God (as ye still shame us all in believing go forward 
in (he strength of the Lord, and from my Lord I say, before 
whom I stand, have ^our eyes upon none but the Lord of armies; 
and the Lord will either let ye see what ye long to see, or then 
fulfil your joy more abundantly another way. Ye and yours, 
and the children of God whom ye care for, in that town, shall 
have as much of the Son of Gkxl's supper, cut and laid down upon 
your trenchers, be he who he will that carveth, as shall feed you 
to eternal life. And be not cast down for all that is done, your 
reward is laid up with God, I hope to see ye laugh and leap 
for joy. Will the temple be built without din and tumult? No ! 
God's stones of his house in Germany are laid with blood ; and 
the Son of God no sooner beginneth to chop and hew stones with 
his hammer, but as soon the sword is drawn. If -the work were 
of men, the world would set their shoulders to yours; but in 
Christ's work, two or three must fight against a presbytery, 
^though his own court,) and a city. This proveth that it is 
Christ's errand, and, therefore, that it shall' thrive. Let them lay 
iron chains cross over the door, — ^stay, and believe, and wait, whill* 
the Lion of the tribe of Judah come. And He, that cometh from 
Heaven clothed with the rainbow, and hath the little book in his 
hand, when he taketh a grip* of their chains, will lay the door 
upon the broad-side,* and come in, and go up to the pulpit, and 
take the roan with him whom be hath chosen for his work. .There- 
fore, let me hear from you, whether you be in heaviness, or re- 
ccing- under hope, that I may take part of your grief, and bear 
It with you, and get part of your joy, which is to me also as my 
own joy. 

And as to what are your fears anent' the health or life of your 
dear children, lay it upon Christ's shoulders ; let him bear all. 
Loose your grips* of them all ; and, when your dear Lord pulleth, 
let them go with faith and joy ; it is a tried faith, to kiss a Lord 
that is taking from you. Let them be careful, during the short 
time that they are here, to run, and ^et a grip* of the prize. Christ 
is standing in the end of their way, holding up the garland of end- 
less glory to their eyes, and is crying, " Run fast, and come,, and 
receive :" happy are they, if their breath serve them to run, and 
not to weary, whill* their Lord, with his own dear hand, put the 
crown upon their head. It is not long days, but good days, that 
make the life glorious and happv ; and our dear Lord is gracious 
to us, who shorteneth, and hath made the way to glory shorter 
than it was: so that the crown that Noah did fight for five hun- 
dred years, children may now obtain in fifteen years. And Heaven 
18 in some sort better for us now than it was to Noah : for the 

> Th Uad 9icn€», to eanr ttonei in a cart from one place to another. 

• CoacmuDg. » Till « Oripe, hold. • Flat oo the lida. 

t8 Rutherford's letters. 

Man, Christ, is there now, who was not come in the flesh io 
Noah's days. 

You will show this to ypur children, whom my soul in Christ 
blesseth ; and entreat them, by the mercies of God, and the bowels 
of Jesus Christ, to covenant with Jesus Christ to be his, and to 
make up the bond of friendship betwixt their souls and their Christ, 
that they may have acquaintance in Heaven, and a fnend at God's 
right hand — such a friend at court is much worth. 

Now I take my leave of you, praying my Christ, and your 
Christ, to fulfil our joy, and moe graces and blessing from our 
sweet Lord Jesus to your soul, your husband's, and children, than 
ever I wrote of letters of A, B, C, to you. 

Grace, grace, be with you. 

Yours, in my sweet Master, Jesus Christ, S. R. 

Anwodi, Much 9, 1632. 



Dearly beloved Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered 
— Ye are not ignorant what our Lord, in his love-visitation, hath 
been doing with your soul, even letting you see a little sight of 
that dark trance which ye must go through ere you come to glory. 
Your life hath been near the grave, and ye were at the door, and 
ye found the door shut fast ; your dear Christ thinking it not time 
to open these gates to you, whill ^ ye have fought some longer in 
his camp. And, therefore, he willeth you to put on your armor 
a^ain, and to take no truce with the Devil, or this present world. 
Ye are little obliged to any of the two : but I rejoice in this, that 
when any of the two cometh to suit' your soul in marriage, ye 
have an answer in readiness to tell them — <<Ye are too long 
a-coming : I have many a year since promised my soul to another, 
even to my dearest Lord Jesus, to wnom I must be true." And, 
therefore, ye are come back to us again, to help us to pray for 
Christ's fair Bride — a marrow* dear to him. 

Be not cast down in heart, to hear that the world barketh at 
Christ's strangers, both in Ireland and in this land. They do it 
because their Lord hath chosen them out of this world ; and this 
is one of our Lord's reproaches, to be hated and ill-entreated bv 
men: the silly* stranger in an unco* country, must take with 
smoky inn, and coarse cheer, and a hard bed, and a barking ill- 
tongued host. It is not long to-day, and he will to his journey 
upon the morrow, and leave them all. Indeed our fair morning 
is at hand, the day-star is near the rising, and we are not many 
miles from home ; what matter of ill entertainment in the smoky 

1 TUL • Coait • Paitaw. 


inn of this miserable life? We are not to stay here, and we shall 
be dearly welcome to Him whom we go to. And I hope, that 
when I shall see you clothed in white raiment, washen ^ in the 
blood of the Lamb, and shall see you even at the elbow of your 
dearest Lord and Redeemer, and a crown upon your head, and 
following our Lamb, and lovely Lord whithersoever he goeth, ye 
will think nothing of all these days, and ye will then rejoice, and 
no man shall take your joy from you. And it is certain there is 
not much sand to run in your Lord's sand-glass, and that day is 
at hand, and, till then, your Lord in this life is giving you some 
little feasts. It is true that ye see him not now, as ye shall see 
him then. Your Well-beloved standeth now behind the wall, 
looking out at the window, (Cant. ii. 9,) and ye see but a little of 
his face ; then ye shall see all his &ce, and all the Saviour, — a 
long, and high, and broad Lord Jesus, the most lovely person 
amon^ the childien of men. O joy of joys ! that our souls know 
there is such a great supper preparing for us ; even howbeit we be 
but half-hungered* of Christ here, and many a time dine behind 
noon,* yet the supper of the Lamb shall come in time, and will be 
set before us, before we famish, and lose our stomachs. Te have 
cause to hold up your heart in remembrance, and hope of that fair, 
loDff, summer-day ; for in this night of your life, wherein ye are 
in the body, absent frcnn the Lord, Christ's fair moon-light, in his 
word and sacraments, in prayer, feeling, and holy conference, 
hath shined upon you, to let you see the way to the city. 

I confess that our diet here is but sparing ; we get but tasting? 
of our Lord's comforts ; but the cause of that is not because our 
Steward, Jesus, is a niggard, and narrow-hearted, but because our 
stomachs are weak, and we are narrow-hearted : but the ^reat 
feast is coming, when our hearts shall be enlarged, and the cham- 
bers of them made fair and wide, to take in the great Lord Jesus 
— come in, then. Lord Jesus, to hungry souls, gaping for thee! 
Jn this journey take the Bridegroom, as ye may have him, and be 
greedy of his smallest crumbs : but, dear mistress, buy none oi 
Christ's delicates spiritual with sin, or fasting against your weak 
body. Remember that ye are in the body, and it is the lodging- 
house, and ye may not, without offending the Lord, suffer the old 
walls of that house to fall down, through want of necessary food. 
Your body is the dwelling-house of the Spirit ; and, therefore, for 
the love ye carry to the sweet Quest, give a due regard to his 
house of clay. When he loose! h the wall, why not? welcome, 
Lord Jesus ! but it is a fearful sin in us, by hurting the body by 
fiBwting, to loose one stone, or the least piece of timber in it ; for 
the house is not our own, the Bridegroom is with you yet ; so fast, 
as that, also, ye may feast and rejoice in him. 

I think upon your magistrates ; but He, that is clothed in linen, 
and hath the writer's ink-horn by his side, hath written up their 
names in Heaven already — pray, and be content with his wilL 

■ WadMd. ■ HalAM. 

* Dinotr, i& Ibe days of Rutherfind, was never later than noon. 

64 Rutherford's letters. 

God hath a council-house in Heaven, and the end will be merey 
unto you. For the planting of your town with a godly minister, 
have your eye upon the Lord of the harvest. I dare promise you 
that God, in this life, will fill your soul with the fatness of his 
house, for your care to see Christ's bairns fed ; and your posterity 
shall know it, to whom I pray for mercy, and that they may get 
a name among the living m Jerusalem ; and if Grod portion them 
with his bairns, their rent is fair, and I hope it shall be so. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours^ ever in Christ, S. R. 

Anwolh, Sept 19, 1633. 



Wbll-beloved Sister en Christ, — Ye shall understand 
that I have received a letter from Edinburgh, that it is suspected 
that there wili be a General Assembly, or then ^ some meetmg of 
the Bishops ; and that at this Synod there will be some commis- 
sioners chosen by the Bishop ; which news have so taken up my 
mind, that I am not so settled for studies as I have been before ; 
and, therefore, was never in such fear for the work. But, because 
it is written to ine as a secret, I dare not reveal it to any, but to 
yourself whom I know : and, therefore, I entreat you, not for any 
comfort of mine, who am but one man, but for the glory and 
honor of Jesus Christ, the Master of the banquet, be more earnest 
with God, and, in general, show others of your Christian acquaint- 
ance my fears for myself I can be content of shame in that work, 
if my Lord and Master be honored : and, therefore, petition our 
Lord, especially to see to his own glory, and to give bread to his 
hungry bairns, howbeit I go hungrv away from the feast. ^ 

Request Mr. Robert from me, if he come not, to remember us to 
our Lord. 

I have neither time, nor a free disposed mind, to write to you 
anent* your own case. Send me word if all your children and 

Cjr husband be well. Seeing they are not yours, but your dear 
rd^s, esteem them but as borrowed, and laj^ them down at God's 
feet — your Christ to you is better than they all. 

You will pardon my unaccustomed short letter ; and remember 
roe, and that honorable feast, to our Lord Jesus. He was with urn 
before : I hope he will not change upon us, but I fear that I have 
changed upon him — but, Lord ! let old kindness stand. 
Jesus Christ be with your spirit 

Youra, in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 


> OtherwiNL * CoooeniBg. 

Rutherford's letters. 66 



Well-beloved, and Dear Sister, — My tender affection in 
Christ remembered — I left you in as great heaviness as I was in 
since I came to this country ; but I know that ye doubt not that 
(as the truth in Christ is) my soul is knit to your soul, and to the 
souls of all yours, and would, if I could, send you the largest part 
of my heart inclosed in this letter. But by fervent calling upon 
my Lord, I have attained some victory over my heart, which run- 
neth oflen not knowing whither, and of my beguiling hopes, which 
I know now better than I did. And I trust in my Lord to hold 
aloof from the enticings of a seducing heart, by which I am daily 
cozened ; and I mind not, by His grace, who hath called me ac- 
cording to his eternal purpose, to come so far within the grips * of 
my foolish mind, gripping about' any folly coming its way, as the 
woodbine or ivy goeth about the tree. ^ 

I adore and kiss the providence of my Lord, who knoweth well 
what is most expedient for me, and for you, and your children : 
and I think of you, as of myself, that the Lord, who turneth about, 
in his deep wisdom, all the wheels and turnings of such changes, 
will also dispose of that for the best to you and yours. In the pres- 
ence of my Lord, I am not able, howbeit I would, to conceive 
amiss of you in that matter. Grace, grace forever upon you and 
your seed ; and it shall be your portipn, in despite of all the powers 
of darkness : do not make more question of this. But the Lord 
saw a nail in my heart loose, and he hath now fastened it — honor 
bo I o his Majesty. 

I hear that your son is entered to the school. If I had known 
of the day, I would have begged from our Lord, that he would 
liave put the book in bis hand, with his own hand. I trust in 
my Lord it is so, and I conceive a hope to see him a star to 
give light in some room* of our Lord's house; and purpose, by 
Uie Lord's grace, as I am able, (if our Lord call you to rest be- 
fore me,) when vou are at your home, to do the uttermost of my 
power to help him every way, in grace and learning, and his 
brother, and all your children — and I hope that ye would expect 
that of me. 

Further, ye shall know that Mr. William Dalgleish is come 
home; who saith it is a miracle that your husband, in this pro- 
cess before the Council, escaped both discredit and damage. Let 
it not be forgotten that he was, in our apprehension, to our grief, 
cast down and humbled in the Lord's work, in that nuitter betwixt 
him and the baiUie;* now the Lord hath honored bim, and m^e 
him laraous for virtue, honesty, and integrity, two several times, 

1 Qtwmp. * Clasping aboot 

* A nwigiitrate in a Scottbh boroagh, iimilar to an aklennaD ui England 


66 Rutherford's letters. 

before the nobles of ihis kingdom. Tour Lord liveth; we wiD 
go to hU tlirone of grace again ; his arm is not shortened. 

The King is certainly expected. Ill is feared. We have cause, 
for our sins, to fear (hat the Bridegroom shall be taken from us ; 
by our sins, we have rent his fair garments, and we have stirred 
up and awakened our Beloved. Pray him to tarry, or then' to take 
us with him. It were good that we should knock and rap at the 
Lord's door : we may not tire to knock oftener than twice or thrice 
— ^he knoweth the knock of his friends. 

I am still what I was ever to your dear children, tendering 
their souls' happiness, and praying that grace, grace, grace, mercy 
and peace from God, even God our Father, and our Lord Jesus, 
may be their portion ; and that now, while they are green and 
young, their hearts may take band* with Jesus, the Comer-stone, 
and win* once in, into our Lord and Saviour's house, and then 
they will not get leave to flit 

Pray for me, and especially for humility and thankfulness. I 
have always remembrance of you and your husband, and deai 
children. The Lord, Jesus, be with your spirit 

Yours evermore, in my dear Lord Jesus, and yours, S. R. 




Well-belovbd, and Dear Sister, — My love in Christ re- 
membered — God hath brought me home from a place, where I 
have been exercised with great heaviness ; and I nave found at 
home a new matter of heaviness, yet dare not but in all things 
give thanks. 

In my business in Edinburgh, I have not sinned, nor wronged 
my party; by his own confession, and by the confession of nk 
friends. I have given of my goods for peace, and the saving of 
my Lord's truth mm reproaches, which is dearer to me than all I 
have. My mother is weak, and I think shall leave me alone ; but 
I am not alone, because Christ's Father is with me. 

For your business anent* your town, I see great evidences ; but 
Satan and his instruments are against it, and few set their should* 
ers to Christ's shoulder to help him. But he will do all bis lone ;* 
and I dare not but exhort you to believe, and persuade you, that 
the hungry in your city shall be fed ; and as for the rest, that 
want a stomach, the parings of God's loaf will suffice them — and, 
therefore, believe it snail l^ well. I may not leave m^ mother 
to come and confer with you of all particulars : I have given such 

1 Otherwiae. 

• TV teib band, U UDito. Lime U ttid to Uke band with the iloBet in a baildinf 
when it onitcs with them. 
» Get « ConoenOng. • By I^^bmIT dfloe. 


diretUonfl to our dear friend as I can, but the event is in our 
Lord's hand. 

God's Zion abroad flourisheth ; and his arm is not shortened 
with us, if we could believe. There is a scarcity and famine of 
the word of Grod, in Edinburgh. « 

Your sister Jean laboreth mightily in our business ; but hath 
not as yet gotten an answer from J. P. Mr. A. C. will' work what 
he can. My Lady saith she can do little, and that it suiteth not 
her nor her husband well to speak in such an afiair. I told her 
my mind plainly. 

I long to know of your estate. Remember me heartily to your 
dear husband : grace be the portion of your bairns. I know that 

Jou are mindful of the green wound of our sister kirk in Ireland, 
lid our Lord lay a plaister to it ; be hath good skill to do so, and 
■et others to work. 
Grace, grace, upon your soul and body, and all yours. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 




Madam, — ^The cause of my not writing to your Ladyship, is 
not my forgetfulness of you, but the want of the opportunity of a 
convenient bearer; for I am under more than a simple obligation 
to be kind (on paper at least) to your Ladvship. 

I bless our Lord, through Christ, who hath brought you home 
again to your country, from that place, where ye have seen with 
your eyes that which our Lord's truth taught you before, to wit, 
that worldly glory is nothing but a vapor, a shadow, the foam of 
the water, or something less and lighter, — even nothing ; and that 
our Lord hath not without cause said in his word, (l Cor. vii. 31,) 
" The countenance or fashion of this world passeth away." In 
which place our Lord compareth it to an image in a looking-glass, 
for it is the looking-fflass of Adam's sons. Some come to the glass, 
and see in it the picture of honor, and but a picture indeed, for 
true hoiv>r is to be great in the sifht of God ; and others see in it 
the shadow of riches, and but a shadow indeed, for durable riches 
stand, as one of the maids of Wisdom, upon her left hand, (Prov. 
liL 16 ;) and a third sort see in it the face of painted pleasures, and 
the beholders will not believe, but the image whicn thev see 'in 
this glass is a living man, till the Lord come and break the glass 
in pieces, and remove the face ; and then, like Pharaoh awakened, 
they say, "And, behold^ it was a dream." 

1 know that your Ladvship thinketh yourself little in the com- 
mon o< - this world, fcr the favorable aspect of any of these tbret 

1 Uiide obligatiMi to. 

68 Rutherford's letters. 

painted faces ; and blessed be our Lord that it is so ; the heUer 
for you, madam ; they are not worthy to be wooers to suit * in 
marriage your soul, — that looketh to an higher match than to be 
married upon painted clay. Know, therefore, madam, thai the 
place whitner our Lord Jesus cometh to woo a bride, it is even ic 
the furnace: for if ye' be one of Zion's daughters, (which I ever 

Eut beyond all question, since I first had occasion to see in your 
ladyship such pregnant evidences of the grace of God,) the Lord, 
who hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem, (Isa. xxxL 
9,) is purifying you in the furnace. And, therefore, be content to 
live in it ; and every day to be adding and sewing a passment' to 
your wedding garment, that ye may be at last decored' and trim- 
med as a bride for Christ, a bride of his own busking,* beautified 
in the hidden man of the heart, forgetting your father's house, so 
shall the King greatly desire your beaiUy, f Psalm xlv. IL) 

If your Ladyship be not changed, as I nope that ye are not, I 
believe that ye esteem yourself to be of those whom God hath 
tried these many years, and refined as silver. But, madam, I 
shall show your Ladyship a privilege that others want, and which 
ye have, in this case. Such as are in prosperity, and are fatted 
with earthly joys, and increased with children and friends, though 
the word of God is, indeed, written to such, for their instruction ; 
yet to you, who are in trouble, (spare me, madam, to say this,) 
from whom the Lord hath taken many children, and whom he 
hath exercised otherwise, there are some chapters, some particular 
promises in the word of God, made in a most especial manner, 
which should never have been yours, so as they now arc, if >e 
had had your portion in this life as others have: and, therefore, 
all the comforts, promises, and mercies, which God offereth to the 
afilicted, are as so many love-letters written to you : take them to 
you, madam, and claim your right, and be not robbed. It is no 
small comfort, that God hath written some scriptures to you which 
he hath not written to others ; ye seem rather, in this, to be envied 
than pitied ; and ye are, indeed, in this, like people of another 
world, and those that are above the ordinary rank of mankind, 
whom our King and Lord, our Bridegroom, Jesus, in his love-let- 
ter to his well-beloved Spouse, hath named, beside all the rest, and 
hath written comforts and his hearty commendations, in the iVi. 
of Isa., ver. 4, 5, and Ps. cxlvii. 2, 3, to you. Read these, and the 
like, and think that your God is like a friend, who sendeth a letter 
to a whole house and family, but speaketh in his letter to some, 
by name, that are dearest to him in the house^ye arc then, 
madam, of the dearest friends of the Bridegroom. Ii it were law- 
ful, I would envy you, that God honored you so above many of 
his dear children. Therefore, madam, your part is, in this case, 
(seeing God taketh nothing from you but that which he is to sup- 
ply with his own presence,) to desire your Lord to know his own 

^ To urge a mit 

* An ornannent PatnunU are ■tript of lace tewed upon clothea. 

* Deooc^ted. « Decking. 

Rutherford's letters. 69 

room, and to take it even upon him to come in, in the room of 
dead children. " Jehovah, know thy own place, and take it to 
thee !" is all ye have to say. 

Madam, I persuade myself, that this world is to you an unco' 
inn: and that ye are like a traveller, who hath his bundle upon 
his back, and his staff in his hand, and his feet upon the door- 
threshoid. Go forward, honorable and elect Lady, in the strength 
of your Lord, (let the world bide at home and keep the house,) 
with your face toward him, who longeth more for a sight of you 
than ye can do for him. Ere it be long he will see us. I hope to 
see you laugh as cheerfully after noon, as ye have mourned before 
noon. The hand of the Lord, the hand of the Lord, be with you 
in your journey! What have ye to do here? this is not your 
mountain of rest. Arise then, and set your foot up the mountain ; 

!^o up out of the wilderness leaning upon the shoulder of your Be- 
oved, (Cant. viii. 5.) If ye knew the welcome that abideth you 
when ye come home, ye would hasten your pace ; for ye shall see 
your Lord put up his own holy hand to your face, and wipe all 
tears from your eyes ; and I trow that then ye shall have some 
joy of heart 

Madam, paper willeth me to end, before affection. Remember 
the estate of Zion. Pray that Jerusalem may be, as Zechariah 
prophesied, (chap. xii. 3,) a burdensome stone for all ; that who- 
soever boweth down to roll the stone out of the way, may hurt 
aod break the joints of their back, and strain' their arms, and dis- 
joint their shoulder-blades : and pray Jehovah, that the stone may 
ue still in its own place, and keep band* with the Corner-stone. 
I hope it will be so ; He is a skilled master-builder who laid it. I 
should, madam, under ^reat heaviness, be refreshed with two lines 
from your Ladyship, which I refer to your own wisdom. 

Madam, I should seem undutiful not to show you, that great 
solicitation is made by the town of Kirkcudbright to have the use 
of my poor labors amongst them. If the Lord will call, and his 
people cry, who am I to resist? But, without his seen calling, 
and till the flock, whom I now oversee, be planted with one to 
whom I dare intrust Christ's Spouse, gold nor silver, nor favor of 
men, I hope, shall loose me. 

I leave your Lad3'ship, praving more earnestly for grace and 
mercy to be with you, and multiplied upon you, here and here- 
after, than my pen can express. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Your Ladyship's, at all obedience in the Lord, S. R. 


I strange. t Sprafai. > Contmso niiittd 




Madam, — Having saluted you with grace and mercy from 
God, our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus Christ — I long both to 
see your Ladyship, and to hear how it goeth with you. 

I do remember you, and present you and your necessities to 
Him, who is able to keep you, and to present you blameless before 
his face with joy : and my prayer to our Lord is, that ye may be 
sick of love for Him, who died of love for you, I mean your Sa- 
viour, Jesus : — And, oh ! sweet were that sickness, to be soul-sick 
for him ! and a living death it were to^lie in the fire of the love of 
that Soul-lover, Jesus ! And, madam, if ye love him, ye will keep 
his commandments ; and this is not one of the least, to lay your 
neck cheerfully and willingly under the yoke of Jesus Christ : for 
I trust that your Ladyship did first contract and bargain with the 
Son of God, to follow him upon these terms, that by his grace ye 
should endure hardship, and suffer afiliction as the soldier of 
Christ. They are not worthy of Jesus, who will not take a blow 
for their Master's sake. As for our glorious Peace-maker, when 
he came to make up the friendship betwixt God and us, God 
bruised him, and struck him, the sinful world, also, did beat him, 
and crucify him ; yet he took buffets of both the parties : and — 
honor to our Lord, Jesus ! — he would not leave tne field for all 
that, till he had made peace betwixt the parties. I persuade ray- 
self that your sufferings are but like your Saviour's, (yea, incom- 
[>arably less and lighter,) which are called but a bruising of his 
leel, (Gen. iii. 15,) a wound far from the heart. Your life is hid 
I with uhrist, in God,' (Col. iii. 3,) and, therefore, ye cannot be rob- 
bed of it. Our Lord handleth us as fathers do their young chil- 
dren. They lay up jewels in a plac^ above the reach of the short 
arms of bairns, else bairns would put up their hands, and take 
them down, and lose them soon. So hatn our Lord done with our 
spiritual life. Jesus Christ is the high coffer, in the which our 
Lord hath hid our life ; we, children, are not able to reach up our 
arm so high as to take down that life and lose it; it is in our 
Christ's hand. Oh long, long may Jesus be lord-keeper of our 
life ! and happy are they that can, with the Apostle, (2 Tim. i.) 
lay their soul m pawn in the hand of Jesus ; for tie is able to keep 
that which is committed in pawn to him aeainst that day. Then, 
madam, so long as this life is not hurt, all other troubles are but 
touches in the beel. I trust that ye shall soon be cured. 

Ye know, madam, that kings have some servants in their courts 
who receive not present wages in their hand, but live upon their 
hopes : the King of kings, also, hath servants in his court, that, 
for the present, get little or nothing, but the heavy cross of Christ, 
troubles without, and terrors within ; but they ive upon hope, apd 


vben it comexa to the parting of the inheritance, they remain in 
the house as heirs : it is better to be so than to get present pay- 
ment, and a portion in this life, an inheritance in this world, TGod 
forgive me, that I should honor it with the name of an iuneri- 
tance, it is rather a farm-room,*) and then in the end to be casten* 
out of God's house, with this word, "Ye have received your con- 
eolation, ye shall get no more." Alas ! what get they? The rich 
glutton's heaven. Oh, but our Lord, (Luke xvi.) maketh it a silly" 
heaven ! He fared well, (saith our Lord,J and delicately every 
day. Oh, no more? a silly heaven ! Truly no more, except that 
he was clothed in purple, and that is all. I persuade myself, ma- 
dam, that ye have joy when ye think that our Lord hath dealt 
more graciously with vour soul. Ye have gotten little in this life, 
it is true, indeed : ye have, then, the more to crave ; yea, ye have 
all to crave ; for, except socfte tastings of the first fruits, and some 
kisses of His mouth, whom your soul loveth, ye get no more. But 
I cannot tell you what is to come ; yet I may speak as our Lord 
doth of it. The foundation of the Citjr is pure gold, clear as crys- 
tal : the twelve ports are set with precious stones : if orchards and 
rivers commend a soil upon earth, there is a paradise there, 
wherein groweth the Tree of Life that beareth twelve manner of 
fruits every month, which is seven-score and four harvests in the 
year: and there is there a pure river of water of life, proceeding 
out of the throne of God and of the Lamb: and the city hath no 
need of the light of the sun, or moon, or of a candle ; for the Lord 
God Almighty and the Lamb are the light thereof. Madam, be- 
lieve and hope for this, till ye see and enjoy. Jesus is saying in 
the Gospel, " Come and see ; and he is come down in the chariot 
of truth, wherein he rideth through the world, to conauer men*:* 
souls, (Ps. xlv. 4,) and is now in the world, saying, " Who will go 
with me? Will ye go? My F'ather will make you welcome, and 
give you house-room ; for in my Father's house are many dwell- 
mg-places." Madam, consent to go with him. 

Thus I rest, commending you to God's dearest mercy. 

Yours, in the Lord Jesus, S. R. 




Madam, — I am afraid now, (as many others are,) that at the 
sitting down of our Parliament, the Spouse of our Lord Jesus shall 
be roughly handled ; and it must be so, since false and declining 
Scotland, whom our Lord took off the dunghill, and out of hell, 
and made a fair bride to himself, hath 'broken her faith to her 
sweet Husband, and hath put on the forehead of a whore ; and, 

» A raHad f^om. « CuL • Poor, contempUble. 


therefore, he saith that he will remove. Would to God, we could stir 
up ourselves to lay hold upon Him, who, being highly provoked with 
the handling he hath met with, is ready to depart ! Alas, we do 
not importune him, by prayer and supplication, to abide amongst 
us ! If we could but weep upon him, and, in the holy pertinacy ^ 
of faith, wrestle with him, and say, " We will not let thee go ;" it 
might be that then He, who is easy to be entreated, would yet, 
notwithstanding our high provocations, condescend to stay, and 
feed among the lilies, tiU that fair and desirable day break, and 
the shadows flee away. Ah ! what cause of mourning is there, 
when our gold is become dim, and the visage of our Nazarites, 
Eometimes^ whiter than snow, is become blacker than a coal ; and 
Levi's house, once comparable to fine gold, is now changed, and 
become like vessels in which he hath no pleasure ! Madam, think 
upon this, that when our Loi*d, who hath his handkerchief to 
wipe the face of the mourners in Zion, shall come to wipe away 
all tears from their eyes, he may wipe yours also, in passing, 
amongst others. I am confident, madam, that our Lord will yet 
build a new house to himself of our rejected and scattered stones ; 
for our Bridegroom cannot want a wife. Can he live a widower ? 
Nay he will embrace both us, the Little young Sister, and the 
Elder Sister, the Church of the Jews; and there will yet be a day 
of it : and, therefore, we have cause to rejoice, yea, to sing and 
shout for joy. The Church hath been, since the world began, 
ever hanging by a small thread, and all the hands of Hell and of 
**he wicked have been drawing at the thread ; but, God be thanked, 
they, only break their arms by pulling, but the thread is not broken, 
for the sweet fingers of Christ our Lord have spun and twisted it. 
-Lord, hold the thread whole ! 

Madam, stir up your husband, to lay hold upon the covenant, 
and to do good. What hath he to do with the world ? It is not 
his inheritance : desire him to make home-over,» and put-to his 
hand to lay one stone or two upon the wall of God's house, before 
he go hence. I have heard also, madam, that your child is re- 
moved ; but to have or want is best, as He pleaseth. Whether 
she be with you, or in God's keeping, think it all one ; nay, think 
it the better of the two by far, that she is with him. I Xrust in 
ourvLord, that there is^omething laid up and kept for you ; for 
our kind Lord, who hath wounded you, will not be so cruel, as 
not to allay the pain of your green wound ; and, therefore, claim 
Christ still as your own, and own him as your One thing. 

So resting, I commend your Ladyship, your soul and spirit, in 
pawn to Him, who keepeth his Father's pawns, and will make an 
account of them faithfully, even to that Fairest amongst the sons 
of men, our sweet Lord, Jesus, the fairest, the sweetest, the most 
delicious Rose in all his Father's great field. The smell of that 
Rose perfume your soul ! 

Your Ladyship's, in his sweetest Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoih, April 1, 1G33. 
1 Peitiaacity. * Ponnerlj > HomewardB. 

Rutherford's letters. 73 



Dear Sister, — I loiiged much to have conferred with you at 
this tinie. I am grieved at anything in your house that grieveth 
yoiu and shall, by my Lord's grace, suit * my Lord to help you to 
bear your burden, and to conra in behind you, and give you and 
your burdens a putt* up the mountain. Know you not that Christ 
wooeth his wife in the furnace, (Isa. xlviii. 10,) " Behold, I have 
refined thee, but not with silver ; I have chosen thee in the fur- 
nace of affliction. He casteth his love on you when ye are in the 
furnace of affliction : ye might, indeed, be casten down, if he 
brought you in and left you there; but when he leadeth you 
through the waters, think ye not that he has a sweet soft hand? 
You know his love grip • already : you shall be delivered; wait 
on : Jesus will make a road, and come and fetch home the cap- 
tive : ye shall not die in prison, but your strokes are such as were 
your Husband's, who was wounded in the house of his friends — 
strokes were not ne wings* to him, and neither are they to you. 
But your winler-night is near spent; it is near-hand' the dawn- 
ing. I shall see you leap for joy. The Kifk shall be delivered ; 
this wilderness snail bud and grow up like a rose ; Christ got a 
charter of Scotland from his Father, and who will bereave him of 
his heritage, or put our Redeemer out of his mailing,* until his 
tack^ be run out? 

I must have you praying for me; I am black-shamed* for ever- 
more with Christ's goodness; and in private, on the 17lh and 18th 
of August, I got a full answer of my Lord, to be a graced minister, 
and a chosen arrow hidden in his own quiver. But know that 
this assurance is not kept but by watching and prayer; and, 
therefore, dear mistress, help me. I have gotten now — honor to 
my Lord ! — the gate* to open the slot,'* and shute'^ the bar of his 
door; and I think it easy to get anything from the King by 

Erayer, and to use holy violence with him. Christ was in Carsp- 
airn Kirk, and opened the people's hearts wonderfully : Jesus is 
looking up that water, >' and minting ** to dwell amongst them. I 
would that we could give him his welcome-home to the Muirs.** 
Now peace and grace be upon you, and all vours. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 

Anwoth, AogaM 20, 1633. 

■ Urge. * A ftrong push. * Grasp. 

« NorehiM. • Near. • Farm. 

7 LeaM. ' • Utterly adiamed. • Waj. 

^ A bar running firom one side of a door to the other, and let, at both endr, into 
the wall 1' Push aikle. >• River. 

tt tfrtn«Mitf'»g bj ngna, an intentioa. M A diatast of healthy nplanda. 




Madam, — I determined, and was desirous, also, to have seen 
your Ladyship, but, because of a pain in my arm, I coild not. I 
know that ye will not impute it to any unsuitable forgetfulnws of 
your Ladyship, from whom, at my first entry to my calling in this 
country, and since also, I received such comfort in my affliction as 
I trust in God never to forget, and shall labor, by his grace, to 
recompense in the only way possible to me, and that is, by pre- 
senting your soul, person, house, and all your necessities, in 
prayer to Him, whose I hope you are, and who is able to keep you 
till that day of appearance, and to present you before his face with 


I am confident that your Ladyship is going forward in the be- 
^un journey to your Lord and Father's home and Kingdom; 
howbeit, ye want not temptations within and without. And who, 
among the saints, hath ever taken that castle without stroke of 
sword? the Chief of the house, our Elder Brother, our Lord Jesus, 
not being excepted, who won his own house at home, due to him 
by birth, with much blood and many blows. Your Ladyship hath 
the more need to look to yourself, because our Lord hath placed 
you higher than the rest, and your way to Heaven lieth through 
a more wild and waste wilderness than the way of many of your 
fellow-travellers, not only through the midst pf this wood of thorns, 
the cumbersome world, but also through these dangerous paths, 
the vain-glory of it — the consideration whereof hath often moved 
me to pity your soul, and the soul of your worthy and noble hus- 
band. And it is more to you to win* Heaven, being ships of greater 
burden, and in the main sea, than for little vessels, that are not 
so much in the mercy and reverence of the storms, because they 
may come quietly to their port by launching along the coast ; for 
the which cause ye do much, if, in the midst of such a tumult of 
business and crowd of temptations, ye shall give Christ Jesus his 
own court,* and his own due place in your soul. I know and am 

Eersuaded that that lovely One, Jesus, is dearer to you than many 
ingdoms ; and that ye esteeip him your Well-beloved, and the 
Standard-bearer among ten thousand. (Cant. v. 10.) And it be- 
cometh him full well to take the place, and the board-head in your 
soul, before all the world. I knew and saw him with you in the 
furnace of affliction — for there he wooed you to himself, and chose 
ou to be his ; and now he craveth no other hire of you but your 
ove, and that he get no cause to he jealous of you. And, there- 
fore, dear and worthy Lady, be like to the fresh river, that keepeth 
its own fresh taste m the salt sea. This world is not worthy of 
your soul; give it not a good-day, when Christ cometh into 

1 Reach. * InHaence. 


Rutherford's lbttbrs. 75 

eompetitioii with it Be like one of another country. Home ! and 
stay, not; for the sun is fallen low, and nigh the tops of the moun- 
tains, and the shadows are stretched out in great length. Linger 
not by the way. The world and sin would train you on, and 
make you turn aside : leave not the way for them, — and the Lord 
Jesus be at the voyage ! 

Madam, many eyes are upon you, and many would be glad that 
your Ladyship should spill ^ a Christian, and mar a good professor. 
Lord Jesus, mar their godless desires, and keep the conscience 
whole without a crack I If there be a hole in it, so that it take 
in water at a leek,' it will with difficulty mend again. It is a 
dainty delicate creature, and a rare piece of the workmanship of 
your Maker ; and, therefore, deal gently with it, and keep it en- 
tire, that, amidst this world's glory, your Ladyship may learn 
to entertain Christ; and that wnatsoever creature your Ladyship 
findeth not to smell of him may have no better relish to you 
than the while of an egg. 

Madam, it is a part of the truth of your profession to ^rop 
words into the ears of your noble husband continually of eternity, 
judgment, death, Hell, Heaven, the honorable profession, the sins 
of nis father's house. He must reckon with God for his father's 
debt ; forgetting of accounts payeth not debt ; nay, the interest 
of a foi^otten bond runneth up with God to interest upon in- 
terest. I know that he looketh nomeward, and loveth the truth ; 
but I pity him with my soul, because of his many temptations. Sa- 
tan layeth upon men a burden of cares above a load, and maketh 
a pack-horse of -men's souls, when they are wholly set upon this 
world. We owe the Devil no such service. It were wisdom to 
throw off that load into a mire, and cast all our cares over upon 

Madam, think that ye have no child. Subscribe a bond to 
your Lord, that she shall be his, if he take her ; and thanks, 
and praise, and glory to his holy name shall be the interest for 
a year's loan of her. Look for crosses ; and, while it is fair 
weather, mend the sails of the ship. 

Now, hoping that your Ladyship will pardon my tediousness, 
I commend your soul and person to the grace and mercy of our 
iweet Lord, Jesus, in whom I am 

Your Ladyship's, at all dutiful obedience in Christ, S. R. 

AAwolh, Nor 15, 1633. 



Madam, — Having received a letter from some of the worthiest 
of the ministry in this kingdom, the contents whereof I am de- 

SpoU. * Leak. 

76 rittherpord's letters. 

•ired to communicate to such professors, in these parts, as, I 
know, love the beauty of Zion, and are afflicted to see the Lord's 
vineyard trodden under foot by the wild boars out of the wood, 
which lay it waste, I could not but also desire your Ladyship's 
help to join with the rest, desiring you to impart it to my Lord, 
your husband ; and, if ye think it needful, I shall write to hU 
Lordship, as Mr. G. G. shall advertise me. 

Know, therefore, that the best affected of the ministry have 
thought it convenient and necessary, at such a time as this, that 
all who love the truth should join their prayers together, and cry 
to God with humiliation andf fasting. The times, which are 
agreed upon, are the first two sabbaths of February next, and 
the six days intervening betwixt these sabbaths, as they may 
conveniently be had, and the first sabbath of every quarter : — and 
the causes, as they are written to me, are these — 

I. Besides the distresses of the reformed churches abroad, the 
many reigning sins of unclea^ness, ungodliness, and unrighteous- 
ness in this land : the present judgments on the land, and many 
more hanging over us, whereot few are sensible, or yet know the 
right and true cause of them. 

IL The lamentable and pitiful estate of a glorious Church, (in so 
short a time, and against so many bonds,) in doctrine, sacrament, 
and discipline, so sore persecuted, in the persons of faithful pas- 
tors and professors, and the door of God's house kept so strait by 
bastard porters, in so much that worthy instruments, able for the 
work, are held at the door: thel*ulers having turned over religion 
into policy, and the multitude ready to receive any religion that 
shall be enjoined by authority. 

in. In our humiliation, besides that we are under a necessity 
of deprecating God's wrath, and vowing to God sincerely new 
obedience, the weakness, coldness, silence, and lukewarmness of 
some of the best of the ministry, and the deadness of professors, 
who have suffered the truth both secretly to be stolen away, and 
openly to be plucked from us, should be confessed. 

lY. Atheism, idolatry, profanity, and vanity should be confessed; 
our King's heart, recommended to God ; and God entreated that 
he would stir up the nobles, and the people to turn from their evil 

Thus, madam, hoping that your Ladyship will join with others, 
that such a work be not slighted at such a necessary time, when 
our Kirk is at the overturning, I shall promise to myself your 
help, as the Lord, in secrecy and prudence will enable you, that 
your Ladyship may rejoice with the Lord's people when de- 
liverance shall come; for true and sincere humiliation cometh 
always speed' with God : — and when authority. King, court, and 
churchmen oppose the truth, what other armor have we than 
prayer and faith? whereby, if we wrestle with him, there is ground 
to hope that those who would remove the burdensome Stone out 

I ItfoeoeMftiL 

Rutherford's letters. 77 

of iu place, shall but hurt their back, and the Stoae i^hah not be 
moved, at least, not removed, (Zech. xii. 3.) 

Grace, grace be with you from Him, who hath called you to the 
inheritance of the saints io lighL 

Your Ladyship's, 

At all submissive obedience in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. E. 

AawoCh, Jab. 93, 1634. 



Mistress, — My love in Christ icmembered — I am in oa(y, /.hd 
fear for this work of our Lord'c, now near approaching, because 
of the danger of the time, and 1 dare not for my soiii oe silent 
lo see my Lord's house burning and not cry, "Fire i lire !'! there- 
fore, seek from our Lord wisdom spiritual, and not black policy, 
to speak with liberty our Lord's truth. I am caFt down, ana 
would fain have access and presence to the K\l/j that day, even 
howbeit I should break up iron doors. I belitve that you will 
not forget me ; and you will desire Jean Browa, Thomas Carson, 
and Marion Carson, to help me. Pray for w<*ii-cooked meat, and 
a heartsome* Saviour, with joy crying, " Wr.joome, in my Father's 
name !" 

I am confident that Zion shall be wc)\ : the bush shall burn 
and not consume, for the good-will of liim that dwelleth in the 
bush. But the Lord is making on a (iie* in Jerusalem, and pur- 
poseth to blow the bellows, and to meic the tin and brass, and to 
bring out a fair beautiful bride of the furnace, that will be married 
over again upon the new Husband, aad sing as in the days of her 

fouth, when the contract of marriage is written over again. But 
fear that the Bride be hidden for a time from the Dragon, that 
pursueth the woman with child ; but what, howbeit wego hirk in 
the wilderness for a time? for the Lord will take his Kirk to the 
wilderness and speak to her heart. 

Nothing casteth me down, but only that I fear the Lord >vill 
cast down the shepherds' tents, and feed his own in a secret place ; 
buj let us, however matters frame, cast over the affairs of the 
Bride upon the Bridegroom ; the government is upon his shoulders, 
and he dow» bear us all well enough. That fallen star, the Prince 
of the Bottomless Pit, knoweth it is near the time when he shall 
be tormented; and now in his evening he hath gathered his 
armies to win one battle or two, in the edge of the evening « at the 
sun's going down. And when our Lord has been watering his 
vinevards in France, and Gennany, and Bohemia, how can we 
think ourselves Christ's Sister, if we be not like him, and our other 

> CheerftiL * TV mak* on ajtr€, pot the fbel in onlef. 

i Is able. « Twilight. 


great Histers ? I cannoC but tliink, seeing the ends of the earth are 
given to Christ, Ps. iL 8, and Scotland is the end of the earth, 
{atkd so we are in Christ's charter-tailzie/) that our Lord «rill keep 
his possession. We fall by promise and law to Christ: he wan us 
with the sweat of his brows, (if I may say so,) his Father promised 
him his life-rent of Scotland. Glory, glory to our King; kmg' 
may he wear his Crown! O Lord, let us never see another 
King!' Oh, let him come down like rain upon the new-mown 

I had you in remembrance on Saturday last, in the morning, in 
a great measure, and was brought thrice on end, in remembrance 
of you in my prayer to God. 

Grace, grace be your portion. 

Yours, m hb sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, Maich S, 1634. 



Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered — please vou to un- 
derstand that, to nay grief, our communion is delayed till Sabbath 
come eight days ; for the Laird and Lady have earnestly desired 
me to delay it, because the Laird is sick, and he feareth he be not 
able to travel, because he hath lately taken physic. The Lord 
bless that work. Commend it to God, as you love me : for I love 
not Satan's thorns cast in the Lord's way. The Lord rebuke him. 
I trust in God's mercv that Satan has gotten but a delay, but no 
free discharge that his Kingdom shall not be hurt Commend the 
Laird to your God. I pray you to advertise your people, that they 
be not disappointed in coming hither. Show such of them as you 
love in Christ, from me, that Jesus Christ will be welcoraer when 
he cometh, in that he has sharpened their desires for eight days' 
space. Your daughter is well, I hope, every way. Forget not 
God's Kirk; they are but bastards, and not sons and daughters, 
that mourn not for Zion. Lord, hear us ! 

No further. Jesus Christ be with your spirit I shall remem- 
ber you, and your new house. 

Lord Jesus, go from the one house to the other ! 

Yours, at all power in the Lord, S. R. 


> Charier of entail. 

t That if, in apiritiial mattera, ftr Rntherftud, M appean (torn thaae Leitafa, waa a 

lat loyal askyect to hia eaith/r kiaf* 

Rutherford's letters. 79 



Wkll-beloved Sister, — My old and d^are.H love in CLrist 
remembered — Know that I have been visiting my Lady Kenmure. 
Her child is with the Lord. I entreat you to visit her, and desire 
the Good-wife ' of Barcapple to visit her, and Knockbrex, if you 
see him in the town. My Lord, her husband, is absent, and I 
think that she will be heavy. 

You know what Mr. W. Dalgleish and I desired you to deal for, 
at mv Lord Kirkcudbright's hand. Send me word if you obtained 
anything at my Lord's hands, anent the giving up of our names to 
the Hira Commission ; for I hear it is not for nothing that the 
Bishop hath taken that course. Our Lord knoweth best what is 

S^ood for an old Kirk, that is fallen from her first love, and hath 
orgotten her Husband, days without number. A trial is like to 
come on ; but I am sure, that our Husbandman, Christ, shall lose 
chaff, but no com at all. Yet there is a dry wind coming, but 
neither to fan nor to purge. Happy are they who are not blown 
away with the chaff: for we shall but suffer temptation for ten 
days : but those who are faithful to the death shall receive the 
crown of life. I hear daily what hath been spoken of myself most 
unjustly and falsely ; and no n^arvel, the Dragon, with the swicg 
of his tail, hath made the third part of the stars to fall from Heii- 
▼en, and the fallen would have many to fall with them. If ever 
Satan was busy, now, when he knoweth that bis time is but 
short, he is busy. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will 
come, and will not tarry. I know, that, ere it be long, the Lord 
will come, and red all pleas* betwixt us and his enemies. Now, 
welcome Lord Jesus, go fast ! 

Send me word about Grizzel, your daughter, whom I remember 
in Christ; and desire her to cast herself into His arms, who was 
bom of a woman, and, being the Ancient of davs, was made a 
young weeping Child. It was not for nothing that our Brother, 
Jesus, was an infant. It was, that he might pity infant believers, 
who were to come out of the womb into the world. I believe that 
our Lord Jesus will be waiting on with mercy, mercy, mercy to 
the end of that battle, and bring her through with life and peace, 
and a sign of God's fkvor. I shall expect advertisement from } ou, 
and especially if you fear her. 

Mistress, you remember that I said to you, anent' your love to 
me and my brother, be^un in Christ ; ye know that we are here 
but strangers, and you have not yet found us a dry well, as others 

* Chod-iman, and g9od-wif€ were tpedet of titles in tbrmer tiniM in Seotland, indi- 
■■rin^ that tlie ^cncma thiw deiignated were among the moat respectable of tbtmallef 
pfopncton oflajid, or of the yeomanrr, both for wealth and worth. 

i Settle an dispotea, by deciding which ^aity is in the wrong. > Tovehing. 

8U Rutherford's letters. 

have been. Be not overcome of any suspicion ; I trust in God 
that the Lord, who knit us together, will keep us together. It is 
time now that the lambs of Jesus should all run together, whea 
the wolf is barking at them : yet I know, that, ere God's bairns 
want a cross, their love amongst themselves shall be a cross ; but 
our Lord giveth lovq^for another end. I know that ye will with 
love cover infirmities ; and our Lord give you wisdom in all things. 
I think love hath broad shoulders, and wUl bear many things, and 
yet neither faint, nor sweat, nor fall under the burden. 

Commend me to your husband, and dear GrizzeL I think on 
her : Lord Jesus be in the furnace with her, and then she shall but 
smoke, and not burn. Desire Mr. Robert to excuse mv not seeing 
of him at his house ; I have my own reasons therefor.' 

Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. 

Yours, in bis sweet Lprd, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, April 25, 1634. 



Madam, — All submissive and dutiful obedience in our Lord, 
Jesus, remembered, — I trust that I need not much entreat your 
Ladyship to look to Him, who hath stricken you at this time; but 
my duty, in the memory of that comfort which I found in your 
Ladyship^s kindness, when I was no less heavy, in a case not un- 
like that, speaketh to me, to say something now ; and I wish I 
could ease your Ladyship at least with words. I am persuaded 
that your Physician will not slay you, but purge you ; and seeing 
he calleih himself the Chirurgeon, who maketh the wound and 
bindeth it up again, (for to lance a wound is not to kill, but to 
cure the patient,) (Deut. xxxii. 39, 1 Sam. v. 6, Job vi. 18, Hos. 
vi. 1,) I believe that faith will teach you to kiss a striking Lord, 
and so to acknowledge the sovereignty of God, in the death of a 
child, to be above the power of us mortal men, who may pluck up 
a flower in the bud, and not be blamed for it. If our dear Lord 
pluck up one of his roses, and pull down sour and green fruit be- 
fore the harvest, who can challenge him : for he sendeth us to his 
world, as men to a market, wherein some stay many hours, and 
eat and drink, and buy and sell, and pass through the fair, till 
they be weary; and such are those who live lon^, and get a 
hearty fill of this life : and others again come slippmg in to the 
morning market, and do neither sit nor stand, nor buy nor sell, 
but look about them a little, and pass presently home again ; and 
these are infants and young ones, who end their short market in 
the morning, and get but a short view of the fair. Our Lord, who 
hath numbered man's months, and set him bounds that he cannot 

Rutherford's letters. 8t 

pats, ([Job xiv. 5,^ hath written the length of our market ; and it 
IS easier to complain of the decree than to change it. 

I verily believe, when I write this, that your Lord hath taught 
your Ladyship to lay your hand on your mouth : but I shall be 
far from desinng your Ladyship or any others to cast by* a cross, 
like an old useless bill, that is only for the fire ; but would rather 
wish that each cross were looked in the face seven times, and 
were read over and over again. It is the messenger of the Lord, 
and speaketh something; and the man of understanding will 
hear the rod, and Him that hath appointed it. Try what is the 
taste of the Lord's cup, and drink with God's blessing, that ye 
may grow thereby. I trust in God that whatever speech it utter 
to vour soul, this is one word in it, (Job v. 17,) ^'Behold, blessed 
is the man whom God correcteth :" and that it saith to you, "Ye 
are from home while here : ye are not of this world, as your Re- 
deemer, Christ, was not of this world." There is something keep- 
ing for you, which is worth the having. All that is here is con- 
demned to die, to pass away like a snow-ball before a summer- 
sun ; and since death took first possession of yours, it hath been 
and daily is creeping nearer and nearer to yourself, howbeit with no 
noise of feet. Your Husbandman, and Lord, hath lopped off some 
branches already; the tree itself is to be transplanted to the hi^h 
garden. — In a good time be it— -our Lord ripen your Ladyship. 
All these crosses, (and indeed when I remember them, they are 
heavy and many — peace, peace be the end of them !) are to make 
you white and ripe for the Lord's harvest hook.' I nave seen the 
Lord weaning you from the breasts of this world. It was never 
his mind that it should be your patrimony, and God be^ thanked 
for that ; ye look the liker one of the heirs. Let the movables 
go, — why not? they are not yours, — fasten your grips' upon the 
heritage ; and our Lord, Jesus, make the charters sure, — and give 
your Ladyship to grow as a palm tree on God's Mount Zion ; 
howbeit shaken with winds, yet the root is fast. 

This is all I can do, to recommend your case to your Lord, who 
hath you written upon the palms of his hands. If I were able to 
do more, your Ladyship may believe me, that gladly I would. I 
trust shortly to see your Ladyship. Now He, who hath called you, 
confirm and establish your heart in grace unto the day of the 
liberty of the sons of God. 

Your Ladyship's, 

At all submissive obedience in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, Aphl 99, 1634. 

t Siekk. • Orhie. 


82 b^therford's lettrrs. 



Well-beloved Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered — 
I hear this day that your town is to choose a commissioner for the 
Parliament, and I was written to from Edinburgh, to see that 
good men should be chosen in your bounds : and I have heard, 
this day, that Robert Glendonnin^, or John Ewart, look to be 
chosen. I beseech you to see that this be not. The Lord's cause 
craveth other witnesses to speak for him than such men ; and, 
therefore, let it not be said tnat Kirkcudbright, which is spoken 
of in this kingdom for their religion, hath sent a man to be their 
mouth that will speak against Christ. Such a time as this will 
not fall out once in half an age. I would entreat your husband 
to take it upon him ; it b an honorable and necessary service for 
Christ ; and show him that I wrote unto you for that effect. I 
fear that William Glendonning hath not skill and authority. I 
am in great heaviness. Pray for me ; for we must take our life 
in our hand in this ill time. Let us stir up ourselves to lay our 
Lord's Bride, and her wrongs, before our Husband and Lord. 

Lord Jesus be with your spirit ! 

Yours, in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, May 20. 



My very Noble and Worthy Lady, — So oft as I call to 
mind the comforts that I myself^ a poor friendless stranger, re- 
ceived from your Ladyship here in a strange part of the country, 
when my Lord took from me the Delight of mine ej'es, as the 
word speaketh in Ezek. xxiv. 16, (which wound is not yet fully 
healed and cured,) I trust your Lord will remember that, and give 

Cii comfort now, at such a time as this, wherein your dearest 
rd hath made you a widow, that ye may be a free woman for 
Christ, who is now suiting for marriage-love of you ; and, there- 
fore, since you lye alone in your bed, let Christ be as a bundle of 
myrrh, to sleep and Ive all the night betwixt your breasts, (CanL 
i. 13,) and then your bed is better filled than before. And, seeing 
that amon|^ all crosses spoken of in our Lord's word, this giveth 
you a particular right to make God your Husband, (who was not 
so yours while } our husband was alive,) read God's mercy out of 
this visitation. And, albeit I must out of some experience say, 
that the moumine for the husband of your vouth be, by God'a 
own mou'h, the heaviest worldly sorrow, (Joel i. 8,) and, though 

rutherford'6 letters. 83 

thii oe the wmghtiest burden that ever lay upon your back, yet 
ye know when the fields are emptied, and your husband now 
asleep in the Lord, if ye will wait upon Him, who hideth his face 
for awhile, that it lyeth upon God's honor and truth to fill the field, 
and to be a husband to the widow. See, and consider, then, what 
ye have lost, and how little it is. Therefore, madam, let me en- 
treat you in the bowels of Christ Jesus, and by the comforts of 
his Spirit and your appearance before him, let 06d, and men, and 
angels, now see what is in you. The Lord hath pierced the 
vessel, it will be known whether there be in it wine or water : let 
your £aiith and patience be seen, that it may be known that your 
only beloved, first and last, hath been Christ : and, therefore, now, 
were your whole love upon him, that he alone is a suitable object 
for your love and all the affections of your soul. God hath dried 
up one channel of your love, by the removal of your husband : 
let now that spait' run upon Christ. Your Lord and Lover hath 
graciously taken out your husband's name, and your name, out 
of the summonses, that are raised at the instance of the terrible 
sin-revenging Judge of the world, against the House of Kenmure. 

And I dare say that God's hammering of you from your youth, 
is only to make you a fair carved stone, in the high upper temple 
of the New Jerusalem. Your Lord never thought this world's 
vain-painted glory a gift worthy of you ; and, therefore, would not 
bestow you, l^cause he is to propine* you with a better portion. 
I^et the movables go, the inheritance is yours. Ye are a child 
of the house, and Joy is laid up for you. It is long in coming, 
but not the worse for that I am now expecting to see, and that 
with jov and comfort, that which I hoped of you, since I knew 
you fully ; even that ye have laid such strength upon the Holy 
One of Israel, that ye defy troubles; and that your soul is a castle 
that may be besieged, but cannot be taken. What have you to 
do here ? This world never looked like a friend upon you. Ye 
owe it little love, it looked ever sour-like upon you ; howbeit ye 
should woo it, it will not match with you ; and, therefore, never 
seek warm fire under cold ice. This is not a field where your 
happiness groweth ; it is up above, where fRev. vii. 9,) there are 
a great multitude, which no man can numuer, of all nations, and 
kindreds, and pe<^le, and tongues, standing before the throne and 
before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their 
hands : — ^what ye could never get here, ye shall find there. And 
withal consider, how in all these trials (and truly they have been 
many) your Lord hath been loosing you at the root from perishing 
things, and hunting after you, to grip' your soul. Madam, for 
the sake of the Son of God, let him not miss his grip,* but stay 
and abide in the love of God, as Jude saith, (verse 21.) 

Now, madam, I hope that vour Ladyship will take these lines 
in good part ; and wherein I have fallen short and failed to your 
Ladyship, in not evidencing what I was obliged to your more than 

* Flood. t PreMot • Gsteli. « ^nap. 

84 ruthbrfo&d's lbtters. 

deserved love and respect, I request a full pardon for iu Again, 
my dear and noble Lady, let me beseech you to lift up your head, 
for the day of your redemption draweth near; and remember thai 
that star which shined in Galloway is now shining in another 
world. Now I pray that God may answer his own style to your 
soul ; and that ue may be to you the God of all consolations. 
Thus I remain your Ladyship's, 

At all dutiful obedience in the Lord, S. R. 

Anwolh, Sept 14« 1634. 



Mistress, — My dearest love in Christ remembered — ^I entreat 
you to charge your soul to return to rest, and to glorify your 
dearest Lord in believing: and know that, for the good-wiU of 
Him, that dwelleth in the bush, the burning Kirk shall not be 
consumed to ashes : but, f Deut. xxxiii. 16,J " Blessing shall come 
on the head of Joseph, ana upon the top or the head of him who 
was separated from his brethren." And are not the saints sepa- 
rated from their brethren, and sold, and hated ? for, (Gen. xlix. 23A 
" The archers have sorely grieved Joseph, and shot at him, and 
hated him." (Ver. 24,) " But his bow abode in strength, and the 
arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty 
God of Jacob : from him is the Shepherd and the Stone of Israel." 
The Stone of Israel shall not be broken in pieces. It is hammered 
upon by the children of this world, and we shall live, and not die. 
Our Lord hath done all this, to see if we will believe, and not give 
over ; and I am persuaded that ye must of necessity stick by your 
work. The eye of Christ hath been upon all this business ; and 
he taketh good heed, too, who is for him and who is against him. 
Let us do our part, as we would be approved of Christ. The Son 
of God is near to his enemies ; if they were not deaf, they may 
hear the din of his feet : and he will come with a start, upon his 
weeping bairns, and take them on his knee, and lay their nead in 
his bosom, and dry their watery eyes — and this day is fast coming. 
Yet a little time, and the vision will speak, it will not tarry, (Habb 
ii.) These questions betwixt us and our adversaries shall all be 
decided in yonder day, when the Son of God will come and red all 

fleas;* ana it shall be seen whether we or they have been for 
*hrist, and who have been pleading for Baal. It is not known 
what we are now : but when our Life shall appear in glory, then 
we shall see who laugheth fastest that day ; therefore, we must 
possess our souls in patience, and go into our chamber, and re«4 
until the indignation be past. We shall not weep long, when our 
liord will take us up in tne day that he gathereth his jewek : anc^ 

1 8«tUe all di^ntflt, bj deciding whkh pany if In Um wioag . 


(HaL iii. 16,) " They that feared the Lord spake often one to an- 
other; and the Lord hearkened and heard il, and a book of 
remembrance was written before him, for them that feared the 
Lord, and that thought upon his name." 

And 1 shall never be of another faith, than that our Lord is 
heating a furnace for the enemies of his Kirk in Scotland. It in 
true that the Spouse of Christ hath played the harlot, and hath 
left her first Husband ; and the enemies think that they offend 
not, for we have sinned against the Lord, but they shall get the 
Devil to their thanks. The rod shall be cast into the fire, that we 
may sing as in the days of our youth. My dear friend, therefore, 
lay down your head upon Christ's breast : weep not, the Lion of 
the tribe of Judah will arise. The sun is gone down on the pro- 
phets, find our gold is become dim ; and the Lord feedeth his peo- 
ple with waters of gall and wormwood ; yet Christ standeth but 
behind the wail, his bowels are moved for Scotland : he w^aiteth, 
(as Isaiah saith,) that he may show mercy. If we could go home, 
and take our brethren with us, weeping with our faces toward 
Zion, asking the way thitherward, he would bring back our cap- 
tivity. We may not think that God has no care of his own honor, 
while men tread it under their feet ; he will clothe himself with 
vengeance, as with a cloak, and appear against our enemies for 
iKir deliverance. Ye were never yet beguiled, and God will not 
aow begin with you. Wrestle still with the Angel of the cove- 
nant, and you shall get the blessing : fight, he delighteth to be 
overcome by wrestling. 

Commend me to Giizzel. Desire her to learn to know the ad- 
versaries of the Lord, and to take them as her adversaries ; and to 
learn to know the right gate * in to the Son of God ! Oh, but ac- 
quaintance with the Son of God, to say, "My Well-beloved is 
mine, and I am his," is a sweet and glorious course of life, that 
none know but those who are sealed and marked in the forehead 
with Christ's mark, and the new name that Christ writeth upon 
hw own. 

Grace, grace and mercy be with you. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 

ABwoth, Sept 96, 1634. 



Madam, — ^All dutiful obedience in our Lord remembered — I 
know that ye are, now, near one of those straits in which ye have 
been before : but, because your outward comforts are fewer, I pray 
Him, whose ye are, to supply what ye want, another way. For, 
bowbeit we canno* win* to the bottom of His wise providence, 

I Wajr. > RMch. 

86 Rutherford's letters. 

who ruleth all ; yet it is certain that this is not only good, which 
the Almighty hath done, but that it is best : and he hath reckooed 
all your steps to Heaven ; and if your Ladyship were through this 
water, there are the fewer behind ; and, if this were the last, I 
hope that your Ladyship hath learned by on-waiting to niake 
your acquaintance with death, which, being to the Lord, the wo- 
man's Seed, Jesus, only a bloody heel, and not a broken head, 
(Gen. iii. 15,) cannot be ill to his friends, who get far less of death 
than hin^lf. Therefore, madam, seeing ye know not but that 
the journey is ended, and that ye are come to the water-side, in 
God's wisdom, look all your papers and your counts, and whether 
ye be ready to receive the Kmgdom of Heaven as a little child, in 
whom there is little haughtiness, and much humility. I would be 
far from discouraging your Ladyship; but there is an absolute ne- 
cessity, that, near eternity, we look ere we leap, seeing no man 
winneth * back again to mend his leap. I am confident that your 
Ladyship thinketh often upon it, and that your old Guide wiU go 
before you and take vour hand — his love to you will not grow 
sour, nor wear out of aate, as the love of men, which groweth old 
and gray-headed often before themselves. Ye have so much the 
more reason to love a better life than this, because this world hath 
been to you a cold fire, with little heat to the body, and as little 
light, and much smoke to hurt the eyes. But, madam, your Lord 
would have you thinking it but dry breasts, full of wind, and 
empty of food. In this late visitation that hath befallen your La- 
dyship, ye have seen God's love and care, in such a measure, that 
I thought our Lord brake the sharp point off the cross, and made 
us, and your Ladyship see Christ take possession and infeftment 
upon earth of Him, wno is now reigning and triumphing with the 
hundred and forty and four thousand, who stand with the Lamb 
on Mount Zion. I know that the sweetest of it is bitter to you ; 
but your Lord will not give you painted crosses. He pareth not 
all the bitterness from the cross, neither taketh he the sharp edge 
quite from it; then* it should be of your waling* and not of his, 
which would have as little reason in it, as it would have profit for 
us. Only, madam, Grod commandeth you now to believe, and 
cast anchor in the dark night, and climb up the mountain. He 
who hath called you, estabUsh you and connrm you to the end. 

I had a purpose to have visited your Ladyship; but when I 
thought better upon it, the truth is, 1 could not see what my com- 
pany could profit you : and this hath broken off my purpose, and 
no other thing. I know that many honorable friends and woi.hv 
professors will see your Ladyship ; and that the Son of God is > ith 
you, to wliose love and mercy, from my soul, I commend j .ur 
Ladyship, and remain. Your Ladyship's, 

At all dutiful obedience, in his sweet Lor^ Jesus, S. 1 

AnwoUi, Not. 39, 1634. 

» GktteUi. t For fai Chat iMo. * SeUeCii^t. 

butherford's letters. 87 



Madam, — My humble obedience ia the Lord reme.nbered- 
know that it hath pleased the Lord to let me see, by all appe&i 
ance, my labors, in God's house here, are at an end ; and I mu** 
now learn to suflfer, in the which I am a dull scholar. By a Strang* 
providence, some of my papers anent the corruptions of lliid time 
are come to our King's hand. I know that by the wise aod well- 
affected I shall be censured, as not wise nor circumspect enough ; 
but it is ordinary that that should be a part of the crosd of tliose 
who suffer for Him. Yet I love and pardon the instrument ; I 
would commit my life to him, howbeit by him this hath befallen 
me — but I look higher than to him. 

I make no question of your Ladyship's love and care to do what 
ye can for my help ; and I am persuaded that in my adversities 
your Ladyship will wish me well. I seek no other thing than that 
my Lord may be honored by me in giving a testimony. I was 
\rilling to do him more service ; but seeing he will have no more 
of my labors, and this Land will thrust me out, 1 pray for grace 
to leam to be acquainted with misery, if I may give so rough a 
name to such a mark of those who shall be crowned with Christ. 
And, howbeit I may possibly prove a faint-hearted, unwise man in 
that, yet I dare to say that I intend otherwise : and I desire not to 
go on the lee-side, or sunny-side of religion, to put truth betwixt 
me and a storm — my Saviour did not so for me, who ia his suffer- 
ing took the windy side of the hill. 

No further, but the Son of God be with you. 

Your Ladyship's in the Lora, Jesus, S. R. 

ABwoth, Dee. 5, 1634. 



Well-beloved and Dear Sister, — I know that your heart 
b cast down for the desolation like to come upon this Kirk, and 
the appearance that a hireling shall be thrust in upon Christ's 
flock m that towh— but send a heavy heart up to Christ; it will 
be welcome. Those that are with the Beast and the Dragon 
must make war with the Lamb : but the Lamb shall overcome 
them ; for he is the Lord of lords, and King of kings ; and the^ 
who are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful, (Rev. xvii. 
14.) Our ten days shall have an end ; all the former things will 
be forgotten, when we shall be up before the throne. Christ hath 
boen ever thus in the world, he nath always the defender's part. 

88 ritherford's letters. 

and hath been still in the camp, fighting the Church's batileB. 
The enemies of the Son of Grod shall be (ed with their own flesh, 
and shall drink their own blood : and, therefore, their part of it 
shall at last be found hard enough — so that we may look forward 
and pity them. Until the number of the elect be fulfilled, Christ's 
garments must be rolled in blood ; he cometh from Edom, from the 
slaughter of his enemies, (Isa. Ixiii. 1,) clothed with dyed gar- 
ments, glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his 
strength. " Who is this, (saith he,) that appeareth in this glorious 
posture ?'* Our great He,» that He,* who is mighty to save ; whose 
glory shineth, while he sprinkleth the blood of his adversaries upoa 
his garments, and staineth all his raiment. The glory of his 
righteous revenges shineth forth in these stains. But seeing that 
our world is not hereaway,* we poor children, far from home, must 
steal through many waters, weeping as we go, and withal believ- 
ing that we do the Lord's faithfulness no wrong, seeing he hath 
said, (Isaiah li. 12,) " I, even I, am he that comforteth you : who 
art thou that art afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of 
man who shall be made as grass ?" (Isaiah xliii. 2,) " When thou 
passest through the waters, I will be with thee ; and through the 
rivers, they shall not overflow thee : when thou walkest through 
the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle 
upon thee." 

There is a cloud gathering, and a storm coming. Thb Land 
shall be turned upside down : and, if ever the Lord spake to me — 
think on it — Christ's bride shall be glad of a hole to nide her head 
in ; and the Dragon may so far prevail as to chase the Woman 
and her Man-child over sea. But there shall be a gleaning, two 
or three berries left in the top of the olive tree, of which Grod will 
say, " Destroy them not, for there is a blessing in them." There- 
after there shall be a fair sun-blink* on Christ's old Spouse, and a 
clear sky, and she shall sing as in the days of her youth. The 
Antichrist and the great red Dragon will lop Christ's branches, and 
bring his vine to ^ low stump, under the feet of those who carry 
the mark of the beast ; but tne Plant of Renown, the Man, whose 
name is the Branch, shall bud forth again and blossom as the 
rose, and there shall be fair white flourishes « again, with most 

Eleasant fruits upon that Tree of Life. , A fair season may he 
ave! Grace, grace be upon that blessed and beautiful Tree! 
under whose shadow we shall sit, and his fruit shall be sweet to 
our taste. But Christ will woo his handful in the fire, and choose 
his own in the furnace of affliction. But, be it so, he dow not,* be 
will not slay his children. Love will not let him' make a full end. 
The Covenant will cause him to hold his hand. '^ Pear not, 
then," saith the First and the Last, He who was dead, and is 
alive. We see not Christ sharpening and fui1)ishing his sword 
for his enemies ; and, therefore, our faithless hearts say, as Zioo 

> He 11 often used in the ScoUiih dialect, af Min k in the Hebrew, as a name of 
God. * In thb pfetent lift. 

* Sun-gleam. < BIomoom. • Is not able. 

Rutherford's letters. 89 

did, '' The Lord hath forsaken me." But God reproveth her, and 
saith, ^^ Well, well, Zion, is that well said 1 Think again on it ; 
ye are in the wrong to me.' (Isaiah xlix. 16,) "Can a woman 
forget her sucking child, tha . she should not have compassion on 
the fruit of her womb? Yea, she may ; yet will I not forget thee. 
(Ver.- 16,) Behdd, I have engraven thee upon the palms of my 
bands." Ye break your heart, and grow heavy, and forget that 
Christ hath your name engraven on the palms of his hands, in 
great letters. In the name of the Son of God, believe that buried 
Scotland, dead and buried in her dear Bridegroom, shall rise the 
third day again, and there shall be a new growth after the old 
timber is cut down. 

I commend you, and your burdens, and heavy heart, to the sup- 
portings of His grace and ^ood-will, who dwelt in the bush, to Him, 
who was separated from his brethren. Try your husband afar off, 
to see if he can be induced to think upon going to America. 

Oh, to see the sight next to Christ's coming in the clouds, the 
most joyful ! our elder brethren, the Jews, and Christ fall upon one 
anothePs necks, and kiss each other ! They have been long 
asunder, they will be kind to one another when they meet : O 
day ! O longed for, and lovely day, dawn ! O sweet Jesus, let me 
see that sight that will be as life from the dead, thee and thy an- 
cient people in mutual embraces ! 

Desire your daughter to close with Christ, upon terms of suffer- 
ing for him ; for the cross is an old mailing * and plot of ground 
that lieth to Christ's house: our dear Chief had always that rent 
lying to his inheritance. But tell her, that the day is near the 
dawning ; the sky is riving, our Beloved will be on us ere ever 
we be aware. The Antichrist, and death and Hell, and Christ's 
enemies, and ours, shall be bound, and cast into the Bottomless 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in bis sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, April 23, 1635. 



Loving and Dbar Sister, — For Zion's sake hold not yotu 
peace, neither be discouraged for the on-going of this persecution ; 
Jehovah is in this burning bush. The floods may swell and roar, 
but our ark shall swim above the water : it cannot sink, because 
a Saviour is in it. Because our Beloved was not let in by his 
Spouse, when he stood at the door with his wet and frozen bead; 
therefore, he will have us to seek him a while ; and, while we are 
seeking, the watchmen, that go about the walls, have stricken the 

1 Farm. 

90 Rutherford's letters. 

poor woman, and have taken away her veil from her : but yet a 
little while, and our Lord will come again ; Scotland's sky shall 
clear again ; her moment must go over. I dare, in faith, say, and 
Write — I am not now dreaming — that Christ is but seeking, (what 
he will have, and make,^ a clean, glistering bride out of the fire : 
God send him his errand ; but he cannot want what he seeketh. 
In the mean time, one way or other, he will find, or make a nest 
for his mourning dove. What is this that we are doing, breaking 
the neck of our faith ? We are not come, as yet, to the mouth of 
the Red Sea ; and howbeit we were, for his honor's sake he must 
drv it up. It is our part to die gripping* and holding fast his faith- 
ful promise. If the Beast should ^et leave to ride through the 
land, and to seal such as are his, he will not get one lamb with 
him ; for these are secured, and sealed as the servants of God. 
In God's name, let Christ take his barn-floor, and all that is in it, 
to a hill, and winnow it ; let him sift his corn, and sweep his house, 
and seek his gold. The Lord shall cog* the rumbling wheels, or 
turn them ; for the remainder of wrath doth he restrain. He can 
loose the belt of kings; to God, their belt, wherewith they are girt, 
is knit with a single draw-knot.* 

As for a pastor to your town, your conscience can bear you 
witness that ye have done your part. Let the Master of the 
vineyard now see to his garden, seeing ye have gone on till he 
hath said "Stand still." The will of the Lord be done. But 
a trial is not to give up with God, and believe no more. 

I thank my God, in Christ, that I find the force of my tempta- 
tion abated, and its edge blunted, since I spoke to you last. I 
know not if the tempter be hovering^ until he find the dam 
gather again, and me more secure ; but it hath been my burden ; 
and I am yet more confident that the Lord will succor and de- 

I intend, God willing, that our communion shall be celebrated 
the first sabbath after Pasch ;* our Lord, that great Master of 
the feast, send us one hearty and heartsome* supper; for I look 
that it shall be the last. But we expect that when the shadows 
shall flee away, and the day dawn, and oqr Lord come to his 
garden, he will feed us in green pastures without fear ; — the dogs 
then shall not be hounded out amongst the sheep. I earnestly 
desire your prayers for assistance at our work, and put others 
with you to do the same. 

Remember me to your husband; and desire your daughter* to 
be kind to Christ, and seek to win near him. He will give her 
a welcome into his house-of-wine, and bring her into the King's 

* Grasping. 

s T\t eos^ a wfutl. is to place a stone or a piece of wood wedfewise between it And 
t le |pt>un<i, to prevent it iVom moving. 

* A slip-knot, which can be loosened bj simpljr polling hj ome of the ends. 
« Tarrying. 

* Raster, the season of the Paaso%er, from np^ 'lUadb, be passed over. 

* Oladsome. 

Rutherford's t.ettbrs. 91 

diambere. Oh how will the s;ght of his face, and the smell of 
his garments allure and ravish her heart ! 

Now the love of the lovely Son of God be with jrou. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. &. 

Aawolh, 1635. 



Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered — having appointed 
a meeting with Mr. David Dickson, and knowing that B. will not 
keep the presbytery, I cannot see you now. Commend my journey 
to God. My soul blesseth you for your last letter. 

Be not discouraged ; Christ will not want the Isles-men ; the Isles 
shall wait for his law : we are his inheritance, and he will sell no 
part of his inheritance. For the sins of this land, and our breach 
of the Covenant, contenifjt of the Gospel, and our defection from 
the truth, he hath set up a burning furnace in Mount Zion ; but 
I say it, and will abide oy it, "The grass shall yet grow green on 
our Mount Zion. There shall be dew all the night upon the lilies, 
amongst which Christ feedeth, until the day break ana the shadows 
flee away : and the moth shall eat up the enemies of Christ," (Isa. 
L 9.) Let them make a fire of their own, and walk in the light 
thereof^ it shall not let them see to go to their bed ; but they shall 
lye down in sorrow ; therefore, rejoice and believe. 

This in haste. Grace, grace be with you and yours. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 




LoviNO AND Dear Sister, — I fear that ye be moved and cast 
down because of the late wrong, that your husband received in 
your town-council. But, I pray you, comfort yourself in the Lord : 
for a just cause bideth under the water only as long as wicked men 
bold their hand above it; their arm will weary, and then the just 
cause shall swim above, and the light that is sown for the right- 
eous shall spring and grow up. If ye were not strangers here, 
the dogs of the world would not bark at vou, (2 Cor. vi. 8.) Ye 
shall see all the windings and 'urnings that are in your way to 
Heaven, out of God's word : for he will not lead you to the Kmg- 
dom at the nearest; but you must go through ^' honor and dis- 
honor, by evil report and good report : as deceivers, and yet true ; 


(ver. 9,) as unkoown, and yet well knowD ; as dyin;, and beliokl 
we live ; as chastened, and not killed ; (ver. 10,) as sorrowful, and 
yet always rejoicing.'* The world is one of the enemies that we 
have to fight with, but a vanquished and overcome enemy, and 
like a beaten ana forlorn soldier ; for our Jesus hath taken the 
armor from it. Let me then speak to you in his words : *^ Be of 
good courage," saith the Captain of our salvation, " for I have 
overcome the world." Ye shall neither be free of the scourge of 
the tongue, nor of disgraces, even if it were buffeting, and spittings 
upon the face, as was our Saviour's case, if ye follow Jesus Christ. 

I beseech you, in the bowels of our Lord Jesus, to keep a good 
conscience, as I trust ye do. Ye live not upon men's opinion ; 
gold may be gold, and have the King's stamp upon it, when it is 
trampled upon by men. Happy are ye if, when the woiid tramp- 
leth upon you in your credit and good name, yet, ye are the 
Lord's gold, stamped with the King of Heaven's image, and sealed 
by his Spirit unto the day of your redemption. Pray for the spirit 
of love. (1 Cor. xiii. 7,) Love ^'beareth all things, believeth all 
things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things." 

And I pray you and your husband, yea, I charge you before 
God, and the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, to pray for 
these your adversaries, and read this to your husband from me ; 
and let both of you put on, as the' elect of God, bowels of mercies. 
And, sister, remember how many thousands of talents of sins 
your Master hath forgiven you ; forgive ye, therefore, your fellow- 
servants one talent. Follow God's command in this, and seek not 
after your own heart, and after your own eyes in this matter, as 
the Spirit speaketh, (Numb. xv. 39.^ Ask never the counsel of 
your own heart here ; the world will blow up your heart now, 
and cause it to swell, except the grace of God cause it to falL 
Jesus, even Jesus, the eternal Wisdom of the Father, give you 
wisdom. I trust that God shall be glorified in you ; and a door 
shall be opened unto you, as the Lord's prisoners of hope, as 
Zechariah speaketh. It is a benefit to you that the wicked are 
God's fan to purge you ; and I hope that they will blow away no 
corn, or spiritual graces, but only your chaflT. I pray you, in your 
pursuit, to have so recourse to the law of men, that ye wander not 
from the law of God. Be not cast down : if ye saw Him, who is 
standing on the shore, holdine out his arms to welcome you to 
land, ye would wade, not only through a sea of wrongs, but through 
Hell Itself, to be at him ; and I trust in God, that ye see him 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit, and all yours. 

Your Brother, in the Lord, S. R. 

buthebfobd's lbttebs. 9S 



WoBTHY AND Deab Sisteb, — My dearest love in Christ re- 
membered — as to that business, which I know you would so fain 
have to take eflfect, my earnest desire is, that you stand still. Haste 
not, and you shall see the salvation of God. The great Master-gard- 
ener, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in a wonderful provi- 
dence, with his own hand — I dare, if it were to edification, swear 
it, — planted me here, where, by his grace, in this part of his Vine- 
yard, I g^ow — I dare not say, but Satan and the world (one of his 
pages, whom he sendeth bis errands,) have said otherwise — and 
nere I will abide, till the great Master of the Vineyard think fit to 
transplant me. But when he seetb meet to loose me at the root, 
and to plant me where I may be more useful, both as to fruit and 
shadow ; and when he who planted puUeth up that he may trans- 
plant, who dare put-to their hand and hinder 1 If they do, God 
will break their arm at the shoulder-blade, and do his turn. When 
our Lord is going west, the Devil and the world go east : and do 
you not know, that it hath been ever this way betwixt God and 
the world, God drawing and they holding ; God, ^* yea," and the 
world, "nay T' — but they fall on their back and are irustrated, and 
our Lord holdeth his grip.' 

Wherefore doth the word say, that our Christ, the Goodman 
of this house, his dear Kirk, hath feet like fine brass, as if they 
burned m a furnace? (Rev. i. 15.) For no other cause, but be- 
cause where our* Lord setteth down his brazen feet, he will for- 
ward ; and whithersoever he looketh, he will follow his look ; and 
bis feet burn all under them, like as fire doth stubble and thorns. 
I think that he hath now given the world a proof of his exceed- 
ing great power, when he is doing such great things, wherein 
Zion is concerned, by the sword of the Swedish king,* as of a 

As you love the glory of God, pray instantly, yea, enjgage all 
your praying acauaintance, and take their faithful promise to do 
the like for this king, and every one that Zion's King armeth to 
execute the written vengeance on Babylon. Our Lord bath be- 
gun to loose some of Babylon's comer stones : pray him to hold 
on ; for that city must fall, and the birds of the air and the beasts 
of the earth must make a banquet of Babylon : for he hath invi- 
ted them to eat the flesh of that whore, and to drink her blood ; 
and the cup of the Lord's right-hand shall be turned unto her, 
and shameful spuing shall be upon her glory. He, whose word 
roust stand, hath said, '^Take this cup at the band of the Lord, 
and drink, and be drunken, and spue and fall, and rise no more.'* 
(Jcr. XXV. 27.) 

> GMpe, s GofUTut AdolpbiM. 


Our Jesus is setting up himself as his Father's ensign, (Tsa. xL 
10,) as Ood's fair white colors, that his soldiers may flock about 
him. Long, long may thi^se colors stand ! It is long since, be 
displayed a banner against Babylon, in the sight of men aad 
angels. Let us rejoice and triumph in our God, the victory is cer- 
tain : for when Christ and Babel wrestle, then angels and saints 
may prepare themselves to sing, '' Babylon the great is fallen, is 
fallen !" Howbeit that Prince of renown, precious Jesus, be nowr 
weeping and bleeding in his members, yet Christ will laugh 
again ; and it is time enough for us to laugh when our Lord 
Christ laugheth — and that will be shortly. For when we hear of 
wars and rumors of wars, the Judge's feet are then before the 
door, and he must be in Heaven, giving order to the angels to 
make themselves ready, and prepare their hooks ' and sickles for 
that great harvest Christ will be upon us in haste. Watch but 
a little, and, ere long, the skies shall rend, and that fair lovely 
Person, Jesus, will come in the clouds, fraughted* and loaded 
with glory ; and then all those knaves and foxes, that destroyed 
the vines, shall call to the hills, and cry to the mountains to cover 
them, and hide them from the face of Him, who sitteth upon the 
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. 

Remember me to your husband : and desire him from me to 
help Christ, and to take his part, and in judgment to side ever 
with him, and to receive a blow patiently tor nis sake ; for he is 
worthy to be suflfered for, not only to blows, but also to blood. He 
will find, that innocency and uprightness in judgment shall hoM 
his feet, and make him happy, when jouking* will not do it. I 
speak this, because a person said to me, '^ I pray God that the 
country be not in worse case now, when the provost and baillics* 
are agreed, than formerly :" to whom I replied, I trust the provost 
is agreed with the man's person, but not with his faults. 

I pray for you with my whole soul, and desire that your children 
may walk in the truth : and that the Lord may shine upon them, 
and make their faces to shine when the faces of others shall blush. 
I dare promise them, in His name, whose truth I preach, that if 
they will but try Grod's service, they shall find him the sweetest 
Master that ever they served. Desire them from me but to try 
for a while the service of this blessed Master, and then if his ser- 
vice be not sweet, if it aflTord not what b pleasant to the soul's 
taste, change him, upon trial, and seek a better. Christ is an 
unknown Christ to young ones, and, therefore, they seek him 
not, because they know him not. Bid them come and see, and 
seek a kiss of his mouth ; and then they will find his mouth is so 
sweet, that they will be everlastingly chained unto him, by their 

* Im| Iem«nU for r«apin|(. t Prmodht 

* Th iouk fudilenly to inc ine the bod j forwards in order to atom a blow ; meu* 
phoricalij. to whid ground in mattera of principle in order to AToid tome present eril ; 
hence the tarcatUc proverbial exhortation addre«ed to one who ade ftom expedienej, 
*' Jouk, an* Itt the jaw fSang ower.'* 

i Magistrates in a Scottiih burgh, analogous to the major and aldemea In ab 
English one. 


own consent. If I have any credit with your children, I entreat 
them in Christ's name to try what truth and reahty is in what I 
say, and not to leave his service till they have found me a liar. 

I give you, your husband, and them, to His keeping, to whom 
I dare venture and have ventured myself and soul, even to our 
dear Friend, Jesus Christ, in whom I am. 

Yours, S. R. 




Well-belovbd Sister, — My dearest love in Christ remem- 
bered to you — know that I am in great heaviness for the pitiful 
case of our Lord's Kirk. I hear that the cause, why Dr. Burton 
is committed to prison, is his writing and preaching against the Ar- 
minians ; I, therefore, entreat the aid of your prayers for myself, 
and the Lord's captives of hope, and for Zion. The Lord hath 
let, and daily letteth, me see clearly how deep furrows Arminian- 
ism, and the followers of it shall draw upon the back of God's 
Israel — but our Lord cutteth the cords of the wicked. ^Isa. xlix. 
14,) *< But Zion said. The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord 
halJh forgotten me." (Lam. i.*2,) Zion " weepeth sore in the 
night, and her tears are upon her cheeks ; amongst her lovers she 
hath none to comfort her, all her friends have dealt treacherously 
with her, and are become her enemies." (Isa. i. 22,) " Our silver 
is become dross, our wine is mixed with water." (Lam. iv. 1,J 
"How is the gold become dim? How is the most fine gola 
changed? the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top 
of every street" ( Ver. 2,) " The precious sons of Zion, compara- 
ble to fine gold, bow are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the 
work of the hands of the potter !" It is time now for the Lord's 
secret ones, who favor the dust of Zion, to cry, "How long, O 
Lord ?" and to go up to their watch-tower, and to stay there, and 
not to come down, until the vision speak ; for it will speak, (Hab. 
ii.) In the mean time, the "just shall live by his faith." Let us 
wait on, and not weary. I have not a thread to hang upon and 
rest, but this one, (Isa. xlix. 15,) " Can a woman forget her 
sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of 
her womb? yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee?" 
(Yet. 16,^ "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my 
hands, tn^ walls are continually before me:^' for all outwara 
helps do fail. It is time, therefore, for us to hang ourselves, as 
our Lord's vessels, upon the rail that is fastened in a sure place. 
We would make stakes of our own fastening, but they will break. 
Our Lord will have Sion on his own nail. Ekiom is busy within 
lis, and Babel without us, against the handful of Jacob's seed. It 


were best that we were upon Christ's side of it, for his enemies 
will get the stakes to keep, as the proverb is. Our greatest diffi- 
culty will be, to win on upon the Hock now, when the wind and 
waves of persecution are so lofty and proud. Let sweet Jesus 
take us by the hand; neither must we think that it will be other- 
wise, for it is told to the souls under the altar, (Rev. vi.,) that 
their fellow-servants must be killed, as they were. Surely it can- 
not be long till day. Nay, hear him say, '^ Behold, I come, my 
dear Bride; think not long,* I shall be at you at once; I hear 
you, and am coming." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come 
quickly ; for the prisoners of hope are looking out at the prison- 
windows, to see if they can behold the King^s Ambassador com* 
ing with the King^s warrant, and the keys. I write not to you by 
guess now, because I have a warrant to say unto vou that the 

il^arments of Christ's Spouse mujst be once again dyed in blood, as 
ong ago her Husband's was. Bat our Father seeth his bleeding 
Son. What I write unto you show to L G. 

Grace, grace, grace and mercy be with you, your husband, and 
children. Yours, in the Lord, S. R. 




Well-beloved and Dear Sister is Christ, — I could 
not get an answer written to your letter till now, in respect of my 
wife's disease, and she is yet mightily pained. I hope that all 
shall end in God's mercy. I know that an afQicted lite lookelh 
very like the w^y that leadetb to the Kingdom ; for the Apostle 
(Acts xiv. 22,) hath drawn the line, and the King's market-way, 
throudi much tribulation, to the Kingdom. /The Lord grant us 
the whole armor of God. 

Ye write to me concerning your people's disposition, how their 
hearts are inclined toward the man ye know, and whom ye desire 
most earnestly yourself. He would most gladly have the Lord's 
call for transplantation, for he knoweth that afl God's plants, set 
by his own hand, thrive well ; and if the work be of God, he can 
make a stepping-stone of the Devil himself, for setting forward the 
work. For yourself, I would advise ^ou to ask of (^ a submis- 
sive heart Your reward shall be with the Lord. Although the 
people be not gathered, as the prophet speaketh, and suppose the 
word do not prosper, God shall account you a repairer of the 
breaches. And take Christ caution* that ye shall not lose your 
reward. Hold your grip* fast. If ye knew the mind of the glori- 
fied in Heaven — they think Heaven came to their hand at an 
easy market, when they have got it for threescore or fourscore years 

1 Long sot. • Saoufi^. > Oiipe. 

Rutherford's letters. 97 

wrestling with God. When' ye are come thilher, ye shall think 
that all which I did in respect of my rich reward, now enjoyed of 
free grace, was too little. Now, then, for the love of the Prince of 
your salvation, who is standing at the end of your way, holding 
up in his hand the prize and the garland to the race-runners, for- 
ward ! forward ! faint not ! Take as many to Heaven with you, 
as ye are able to draw ; the moe ye draw with you, ye shall be 
the welcomer yourself. Be no niggard, or sparing churl of the 
g^race of God ; and employ all your endeavors for establishing an 
honest ministry in your town, now when ye have so few to speak 
a good word for you. I have many a grieved heart daily in my 
calling : I would be undone, if I had not access to the King's 
chamber-of-presence, to show him all the business. The Devil 
rageth, and is mad to see the water drawn from his own mill ; 
but would to God that we could be the Lord's instruments to build 
the Sou of God's house ! 

Pray for me. If the Lord furnish not new timber from Leba- 
non, to build the house, the work will cease. I look to Him, who 
hath begun well with me ; I have His hand- writ that He will not 
change. ' 

Your daughter is well, and longeth for a Bible. The Lord es- 
tablish you in peace. The Lord Jesus be with your Spirit. 

Yours, at all power in Christ, S. R. 




Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered — our communion is 
^ on Sabbath come eight days. I will entreat you to recommend it 
* to God, and to pray for me in that work. I have more sins upon 
me now than the last time ; therefore, I will beseech you, in Christ, 
seek this petition to me from God, that the Lord would give me 
l^race to vow, and perform new obedience. I have cause to suit » 
tins of you, and show it to 'Thomas Carson, Fergus and Jean 
Brown, for I have been, and am exceedingly cast down, and am 
fighting against a malicious Devil, of whom I can win little 
ground ; and I would think a spoil plucked from him and his 
trusty servant, sin, a lawful and just conquest — and it were no sin 
to take from him. 

In the name of the Goodman of our house. King Jesus, I invite 

Jou to the banquet ; He saith that ye shall be dearly welcome to 
liiii. And I desire to believe (howbeit not without great fear) 
that He will be as hearty in His own house as He has been before. 
For me it is but small reckoning ; but I would fain have our Fa- 
ther and Lord to break the great fair Loaf, Christ, and to distrib- 

1 To urge a reqoeit 

98 Rutherford's letters. 

ute His slain Son amongst the bairns of His house ; and that, if anj 
were a step-bairn in respect of comfort and sense, it were lather 
myself than His poor bairns. Therefore, bid our Well-beloved 
come to His garden, and feed among the lilies. 

And as concerning Zion, I hope that our Lord, who (Zech. ii.,) 
sent His angel with a measuring-line in his hand, to measure the 
length and breadth of Jerusalem, in token that He would not 
want a foot length or inch of His own free heritage, will take order 
with those who have taken away many acres of His own land 
from Him ; and that God will build Jerusalem in the old sted * and 
place where it was before. In this hope, rejoice, and be glad. 
Christ's ^rment was not dipped in blood for nothing, but for Hb 
Bride, whom he bought with strokes. I will desire you to remem- 
ber my old suits to God, God's glory, and increase of light, that I 
dry not up. For your town, hope and believe that the Lord will 
gather in His loose sheaves among you to His barn, and send one 
with a well-toothed, sharp hook,' and strong^ gardies,' to reap His 
harvest. And the Lord Jesus, be Husbandman, and oversee the 
growing ! 

Remember lAy love to your husband, and to Samuel. Grace 
upon you, and your children. Lord make them comer-stones in 
Jeru-talem, and give them grace in their youth to take band* with 
the fair, chief Comer-stone, who was hewed out of the mountain, 
without hands, and ffot many a knock with his Father^s fore-ham- 
mer. * and endured them all, and the Stone did neither cleave not 
break. — Upon that Stone your soul doth well to lie. 

King Jesus be with vour spirit 

Your Friend, in his well-beloved, Jesus, S. R. 




Much Honored and Dear Mistress, — My love in Christ 
remembered — I am grieved at the heart to write anything to you, 
to breed heaviness to you ; and what I have written, I wrote it 
with much heaviness. But I entreat you in Christ's name, when 
ray soul is under wrestlings, and seeking direction from our Lord, 
(to whom this Yineyard belongeth,) whither I shall go, give nue 
liberty to advise, and try all airts* and paths, to see whether He 
goeth before me and leadeth me ; for if I were assured of Gk>d's 
call to your town, let my arm fall from mv shoulder-blade and 
lose power, and my right eye be dried up, which is the judgment 
of the idol shepherd, (Zech. xi. 17,) if I would not swim through 

1 Site. t Sickle. » The ntm. 

« To tah9 handwUk, to vnito with, ae the morter doee to the eloiiet in m huildiiig. 
Sledge-haomer. • QaaiCen, pointa of the ~~— 

Rutherford's letters. 99 

the water withou; a boat, ere I sat his bidding. * But, if ye knew 
my doubtings and fears in that, ye would suffer with me. W hether 
they be temptations, or impediments cast in by God, I know not. 
But ye have now cause to thank God ; for, seeing the Bishop hath 
given you such a promise, he will give you an honest man, more 
willingly than he will permit me to come to you. And, as I ever 
entreated you, put the business out of your hand into the Lord's 
reverence ; and try of him, if ye have warrant of him, to seek no 
man io the world, but one only when there are choice of good men 
to be had — howbeit they be too scarce, yet they are. And what 
God saith to me in the business, I resolve, by his grace, to do ; 
for I know not what he will do with me, but Grod will fill you 
with joy ere the business be ended ; for I persuade myself that our 
Lord Jecus hath stirred you up already to do good in the business, 
and ye shall not lose your reward. 

I have heard that vour husband, and Samuel have been sick. 
The Man who is called the Branch and God's Fellow, and stand- 
eth before His Father, will be your stay and help, (Zech. xiii. 7.) 
I would that I were able to comfort vour soul ; but have patience 
and stand, still he that believeth maketh not haste. 

This matter of Crammond, cast in at this time, is either a temp- 
tation, having fallen out at this time, or then* it vrill clear all my 
doubts, and let you see the Lord's will. But I never knew my 
own part in the business till now; I thought I was mere willing to 
have embraced the charge in your town than I am, or am able to 
win to.* I know that ye pray that God would resolve me what 
to do ; and will interpret me as love biddeth you, which thinketh 
not ill, and believeth all things, and hopeth all things. Would 
ye have more than the Son of God ? ana ye have Him alreadv, 
and ye shall be fed by the carver of the meat, be that who he will ; 
and those who are hungry, look more to the meat than to the 

I cannot see you the next week. If my Lady come home, I 
must visit her. The week thereafter there will be a presbytery at 
GKrtbon ; God will dispose of the meeting. 

Grace upon you, ana your seed, and husband. The Lord Jesus 
be with your spirit. 

Yours, m Christ, S. R. 



Worthy and Well-beloved Mistress, — My love in Chnst 
remembered— I have sent you a letter from Mr. David Dickson, 

> 7^ tii 0im'0 bidding, nol prampUr to do what hai been commanded. 
iOUieiwiie. ^ <^ <^ tAtUinto. 

100 Rutherford's letters. 

concerning the placing of Mr. Hugh MacKaii with themselves ; 
therefore, I write to you now only to entreat vou in Christ not to 
be discouraged thereat. Be submissive to tne will of your dear 
Lord, who knoweth best what is good for your soul and your town 
Doth : for God can come over greater fountains than these, we 
believe ; for he worketh his greatest works contrary to carnal 
reason and means. "My ways are not," saith our Lord, "as 

Jrour ways ; neither are my thoughts as your thoughts." (Isaiah 
v.) I am.no whit put from my belief for all that : — believe, pray, 
and use means. 

We shall cause Mr. John Ker, who convoyed myself to Lochia- 
var, to use means to seek a man, if Mr. Hugh fail us. Our Lord 
hath a httle bride among you, and I trust he will send one to woo 
her to our sweet Lord Jesus. He will not want his wife for the 
suiting ; ^ and he hath means in abundance in his hand to open 
all the slots' and bars that Satan draweth over the door. He 
Cometh to his bride leaping over the mountains, and skipping over 
the hills. His way to his spouse is full of stones, mountains, and 
waters ; yet he putteth in his foot, and wadeth through ; he will 
not want Jier ; and, therefore, refresh me with two words, concern- 
ing your confidence and courage in our Lord, both about that, and 
about his own Zion ; for he wooeth his wife in the burning bush : 
and for the good-will of Him that dwelleth in the bush, the bush 
is not consumed. It is better to weep with Jerusalem in the fore- 
noon, than to weep with Babel after noon, in tlie eiul of the day. 
Our day of laughter and rejoicing is coming ; yet a little while, 
and ye shall see the salvation of God. 

I long to see you and to hear how your children are, especially 
Samuel. Grace be their heritage, and portion from the Lord ; and 
the Lord be their lot, and then their inheritance shall please them 

Remember my love to your husband. — The Lord Jesus be with 
your spirit. Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 




Well-beloved Sister, — My love in Jesus Christ remembered 
— your daughter is well, thanks be to God ; I trust in him that ye 
shall have joy of her. The Lord bless her. I am now presently 
going about catechizing. 

The bearer is in haste. Forget not poor Zion, and the Lord 
remember you, for we shall be shortly winnowed. Jesus, pray for 

I Courting. 

s A aloC is a itTonj^ moTabte boH or bar, which is drawn out of a aoeket on Ch« 
mde of a door till the end entera into a tocket on the other side of the door, and thaa 
the door is secared by each end of the slot resting in a socket in the waJi In thii 
qfianner were the gates of the ancient Scottish keeps and strong-holds sectured. 

Rutherford's letters. 101 

us, thai our faith fail not. I would wish to see you a Sabbath vrith 
us, and we shall stir up one another, God willing, to seek the 
Lord ; for it may be that he hide himself from us ere it be long*. 
Keep that which you have, ye will get more in Heaven. The 
Lord send us- to the shore out of all the storms, with our silly souls 
whole and sound with us ; for if hberty of conscience come, as is 
rumored, the best of us all will be put to our wits to seek how to 
be freed. But we shall be with those who have their chamber to 
go in unto, spoken of, (Isa. xxvi. 20.) Read the place yourself, 
and keep you wi*iiin your house whill the storm be past. If you 
can learn a di^tay * against C, try, and cause to try, that we may 
see the Ijord's righteous judgment upon th« Opvil's instruments. 
We are not much obliged to his kmdtiesa ; I wish that all such 
wicked doers were cut off. 

Thepe in haste; I bless you m God's name, and all yours. 
Yowr daughter desireth a Bible and p gown. I hope that she will 
us*^ the Bible well, which, if she do^ the gown is the better be- 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

yourg. forever, in Christ, S. R. 




Mistress, — My love in Jesus Christ remembered — I am in good 
health, honor to my Lord ; but my wife's disease increaseth daily, 
to her great torment and pain night and day. She hath not been 
in God's house since our communion, neither out of her bed. 1 
have hired a man to Edinburgh, to Dr. Jeally, and to John Ham- 
ilton : I can hardly believe her disease is ordinary, for her life is 
bitter to her. She sleepeth none, but crieth, as a woman travail- 
ing in birth; what will be the event He that hath the keys of the 
prave knoweth. I have been many times since I saw you, that I 
have besought the Lord to loose her out of the body, and to take 
her to her rest I believe that the Lord's tide of afBictions will 
ebb again ; but at present I am exercised with the wrestlings of 
God, being afraid of nothing more than this, that God hath let 
loose the Tempter upon my nouse. God rebuke him and his in- 
strument Because Satan is not cast out but by fasting and prayer, 
I entreat you to remember our estate to our Lord, and entreat all 
^ood Christians, whom ye know, but especially your Pastor, to do 
the same. It becoraeth us still to knock, and to lie at the Lord's 
door, whiil we die knocking. If he will not open, it is more than 
he hath said in his word ; but he is faithful. I look not to win 
ttway to my home without wounds, and blood. Welcome, wel- 

> Groo«d of indictment. 

102 Rutherford's letters. 

come cross of Christ, if Christ be with it ! I have not a calm 
spirit in the work of my calling here, being daily chastised ; yet 
God hath not put out my candle, as he doth to the wicked. 
Grace, grace be with you and all yours. 

Yours, in his Lord^ S. R. 




Worthy and Well-beloved Mistress, — My love in Christ 
remembered — I know that ye have heard of the purpose of my 
adversaries, to try what they can do against me at this synod, for 
the work of God in your town, when I was at your communion. 
They intend to call me in question at the synod, for treasonable 
doctrine ; therefore, help me with your prayers, and desire your 
acquaintance to help me also. Your ears heard how Christ was 
there. If he suffer his servant to get a broken head, in his own 
kingly service, and not either help or revenge the wrong, I never 
saw the like of it. There is not a night-drunkard, time-serving, 
idle idol-shepherd to be spoken against — I am the only man : and 
because it is so, and I know that God will not help them, lest they 
be proud, I am confident that their process shall fall asunder. 
Only be ye earnest with God for hearing, for an open ear, and 
reading of the bill, that he may in Heaven hear both parties, and 
judge accordingly : and doubt not, fear not, that they shall not, 
who now ride highest, put Christ out of his kingly possession in 
Scotland. The pride of man, and his ra^e, shall turn to the 
praise of our Lord. It is an old feud, that the rulers of the earth, 
the Dragon and his angels, have carried to the Lamb and his fol- 
lowers ; but the followers of the Lamb shall overcome by the word 
of God : and believe this, and wait on a little, till they have got 
their womb-ful * of clay and gravel, and they shall know, f how- 
beit stolen waters be sweet,) that Esau's portion is not wortn bis 

Commend me to your husband, and send me word how Grizzel 
is. The Son of God lead her through the water. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 




Mistress, — My love in Christ remembered — at the desire of 


Rutherford's letters. 103 

this bearer, whom 1 love, I thought to request you, if ye can help 
bis wife with your advice, for she is in a most dangerous and 
deadly-like condition ; for I have thought that she was far changed 
in her carriage and life this sometime by-passed, and had hoped 
that God would have brought her home ; and now, by appear- 
ance, she will depart this Ufe, and leave a number of children be- 
hind her. If ye can be entreated to help her, it is a work of mercy. 
My own wife is in exceeding great torment, night and day. Pray 
for us, for my Ufe was never so wearisome to me. God hath filled 
me with gall and wormwood ; but I believe, which holdeth my 
head above the water. " It is good for a man," saith the Spirit of 
God, (Lam. iil,) " that he bear the yoke in his youth." 

I do remember you. I pray you be humble and believe ; and I 
entreat you in Jesus Christ, pray for John Stuart and his wife, and 
desire your husband to do tne same. Remember me heartily to 
Jean Brown. Desire her to pray for me and my wife : I do re- 
member her. Forget not Zion ! Grace, grace and peace, upon 
them that pray fo Zion ! She is the ship we sail in to Canaan ; 
if she broken on a rock, we shall be cast overboard, to swim to land 
betwixt death and life. 

The grace of Jesus be with your husband, and children. 

Yours, in our Christ, S. R. 




Much Honored Sir, — I have heard of the mind and malice 
of your adversaries against you. It is like that they will extend 
the law which they have, in length and breadth, answerable to 
their heat of mind ; but it is a great part of your glory, that the 
cause is not yours, but your Lord's whom ye serve ; and I doubt 
Dot but Christ will count it his honor to back his weak servant, — 
and it were a shame for him, with reverence to his holy name, 
that he should suffer himself to be in the common of" such a poor 
man as ye are, and that ye should gl^e out for him, and not get 
in again. Write up your depursements* for your Master, Christ, 
and keep count of what ye give out, whether name, credit, goods, 
or life, and suspend your reckoning till nigh the evening; and 
remember that a po^r weak servant of Christ wrote it to you, that ye 
shall have Christ, a King, caution* for your incomes and all your 
losses. Reckon not from the forenoon. Take the word of God 
for your warrant, and for Christ's act of cautionry,* howbeit body, 
Ufe and goods go for Christ your Lord, and though ye should lose 
the head for him ; yet, (Luke xxi. 18,) there shall not one hair of 

I Under obligation to. * Disburtements. 

» Secnritj. * Suretyihip. 

104 Rutherford's letters. 

your head perish, (vcr. 19,) in patience, therefore, possess your 
soul. And because ye are the first man in Galloway called out 
and questioned for the name of Jesus, his eye hath been upon you, 
as upon one whom he designed to be among his witnesses. Christ 
hatii said, "Alexander Gordon shall lead the ring, in witnessing a 
good confession ;" and, therefore, he hath put the garland of suf- 
fering for himself, first upon your head. Think yourself so much 
the more obliged to him, and fear not ; for he layeth his right 
hand on your head. He who was dead and is alive, will plead 
your cause, and will look attentively upon the process from the 
beginning to the end ; and the spirit of glory shall rest upon you, 
(Rev. ii. 10.) ** Pear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; 
behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may 
be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful 
unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." That lovely 
One, Jesus, who also became the Son of man, that he might take 
strokes for you, write the cross-sweetening and soul-supporting 
sense of these words in your heart. 

These rumbling wheels of Scotland's ten-days' tribulation are 
under His look, who hath seven eyes. Take a house on your 
head, and slip yourself by faith under Christ's wings, till the storm 
be over. And remember that when they have drunk us down, 
Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling and of poison, (Zech. xii. 2.) 
They shall be fain to vomit out the saints ; for Judah, (ver. (>,) 
shall be an hearth of fire in a sheaf, and they shall devour all the 
people round about, on the right hand and on the left. Wo to the 
enemies of Zion. They have the worst of it: for we have writ' 
for the victory. 

Sir, yti were never so honorable as ye are now. This is your 
glory, that Christ hath put you into the roll with hfmself, and the 
rest of the witne.^scs, who are come out of great tribulation, and 
have wasiied their garments, and made them white in the blood 
of the Lamb. Be not cast down for what the servants of Anti- 
christ cast in your teeth, that ye are a head to, and favorer of the 
Puritans, and leader to that sect. If your conscience say, "Alas, 
here is much din and little done," (as the proverb is,) becau^ie ye 
have not done so much service to Christ that way as ye might and 
should, take courage from that same temptation ; for your Lord, 
Christ, looketh upon that very challenge,* as a hungering desire in 
you to have done more than ye did ; and that filleth up the blank, 
and he will accept of what ye have done in that kind. If great 
men be kind to you, I pray you to overlook* them: if they smile 
on you, Christ but borroweth their face, to smile through them 
upon his afilicted servant. Know the well-head ; and for all that, 
learn the way to the well itself. 

Thank God that Christ came to your house in your absence, 
and took with him some of your children. He presumed that 
much on your love, that ye would not be offended; and howbeit 

1 Writing under the hand. < AccoMition. * Look orcr. 


he should take the rest, he cannot come upon your wrong side. I 
question not, if they were children of gold, but ye would think them 
well bestowed upon him. 

Expound well these two rods on you, one on your house at 
home, another on your own person abroad. Love thinker h no 
evil ; if ye were not Christ's wheat, appointed to be bread in his 
house, he would not grind you. But keep the middle Une, neither 
despise nor faint, (Heb. xii. 6.) Ye see that your Father is homely » 
witn you. Strokes of a father evidence kindness and care — take 
them so. I hope that your Lord hath manifested himself to you, 
and suggested these or more choice thoughts about his dealing 
with you. We are using our weak moyen* and credit for you up 
at our own court, as we dow ; » we pray the King to hear us, and 
the Son of Man to go side for side with you, and band in hand, in 
the fiery oven, and to quicken and encourage your unbelieving 
heart, when ye droop and despond. 

Sir, to the honor of Christ be it said, that my faith goeth with 
my pen now. I am presently believing that Christ will bring you 
out. Truth in Scotland shall keep the crown of the causeway * 
yet. The saints shall see religion go naked at noon-day, free 
from shame and fear of men. We shall divide Shechem, and ride 
upon the high places of Jacob. 

Remember my obliged respects and love to my Lady Kenmure 
and her sweet child. 

Yours ever, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, July 6, 1G36. 



Well-beloved Mistress, — I charge you, in the name of 
ilie Son of God, to rest upon your Rock, that is higher than your- 
self ; be not afraid of a man wlio is a worm, nor for the son of 
man who shall die ; let God be your fear. Encourage your bus* 
band. I would counsel you to write to Edinburgh to some advis- 
ed lawyers, to understand what your husband, as the head- 
magistrate, may do, in opposing any intruded minister, and as to 
his carnage toward the new Prelate, if he command him to ira- 

Erison or lay hands upon any, and, in a word, how far he may in 
is office dbobey a prelate, without danger of law : for if- the 
Bishop come to your town, and find not obedience to his heart, it 
is hke that he will command the provost to assist him against God 
and the truth — ^ye will have more courage under the persecution. 
Fear not take Christ caution,* who said, (Luke xxi. 18,) "There 

* ParailUr. * Interest * Are able. 

4 Th keep the crown qf the catuewty^ to appear in public withoot either ihame or ftar 

• Security. 

106 ruthbrford's lbttbrs. 

sbal lot one hair of your head perish." Christ will not be in 
your tornmon,' to have you giving out anything for him, and 
not give you all incomes, with advantage. It is his honor that 
his servants should not be berried * and undone in his service. 
Ye were never honored till now. And if your husband be the first 
magistrate who shall suffer for Christ's name in this persecution, 
he may rejoice that Christ hath put the first garland upon his 
head, and upon yours. Truth will yet keep the crown of the 
causeway in Scotland. Christ and truth are strong enough. 
They judge us now ; we shall one day judge them, and sit on 
twelve thrones, and judge the Twelve Tribes. Believe, believe ; 
for thev dare not pray, they dare not look Christ in the face. 
They have been false to Christ, and he will not sit with* the 
wrong. Ye know, that it is not our cause ; for if we would quit 
, our £ord, we might sleep, for the present, in a sound skin, and 
keep our place, means and honor, and be dear to them also. But 
let us once put all we have over into Christ's hands. 

Fear not for my papers, I shall dispatch them ; but ye will bf 
examined for them. The Spirit of Jesus give you inward peace 
Desire your husband, from me, to prove honest to Christ ; he shal 
not be a loser at Christ's hand. 

Yours, ever, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Anwoth, July 8, 1635. 



Madam, — I cannot find a time for writing some things which 
I intended on Job, I have been so taken up with the broils that 
we are encumbered with in our calling : for our Prelate will have 
us cither to swallow our light over, and digest it, contrary to our 
stomachs, howbeit we should vomit our conscience and all, in this 
troublesome Conformity ; or then < he will try if deprivation can 
convert us to the ceremonial faith. 

I write to your Ladyship, madam, not as distrusting your affec- 
tion, or willingness to help me, as your Ladyship is able by your- 
self, or others, but to advertise you, that I hang by a small thread. 
For our learned Prelate, because we cannot see with his eyes so 
far into a millstone as his light doth, will not follow his Master, 
meek Jesus, who waited upon the we*' ried and short-breathed to 
the way to Heaven, — and where all see not alike, and some are 
weaker, he carrieth the lambs in his bosom, and leadeth gently 
those that are with young, — but we must either see all the evil 
of ceremonies to be but as indifferent straws, or suffer no less than 
to be casten out of the Lord's inheritance. 

J Undwr obligation to yoo. « Pillaged, ruined by extortion or •crere ezactioM 

* 1\>nt with, to bear with in rileoee. 4 Otherwke. 


Madam, if I had time I would write more at length ; but your 
Ladyship will pardon me, till a fitter occasion. Grace be with 
you, and your cnild, and bear you company to your best home. 
Tour Ladyship's, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

lawoth, Jan. 8, 1636. x 



Madam, — I received your Ladyship's letter from J. Gordon. I 
thank our Lord, that ye are as well, at least, as one may be, who 
is not come home. It is a mercy, in this stormy sea, to get a 
second wind ; for none of the saints get a first, but they must take 
the winds as the Lord of the seas causeth them to blow ; and the 
inn, as the Lord and Master of the inns hath ordered it: If con- 
tentment were here. Heaven were not heaven. Whoever seek 
the world to be their bed, shall at best find it short and ill made, 
and a stone under their side to hold them waking, rather than a 
soft pillow to sleep upon. Ye ought to bless your Lord that it is 
not worse : we live in a sea where many have suffered shipwreck, 
and have need that Christ sit at the helm of the ship. It is a 
mercy to Mrin to Heav.en, though with much hard toil and heavy 
labor and to take it by violence, ill and well as it may be. Better 
go swimming and wet through our waters, than drown by the 
way; especially now when truth sufTereth, and great men bid 
Christ sit lower, and contract himself into less bounds, as if he 
took too much room. 

I expect that our new Prelate will try my sitting. I hang by a 
thread, but it is (if I may speak so) of Christ's spinning. There 
is no quarrel more honest or honorable than to suffer for truth ; 
but the worst is, that this Kirk is like to sink, and all her lovers 
and friends stand afar off; none mourn with her, and none mourn 
for her. But the Lord Jesus will not be put out of his conquest * 
so soon in Scotland. It will be seen, that the Kirk and truth 
shall rise again within three days, and Christ again will ride upon 
his white horse — howbeit his horse seem now to stumble, yet he 
cannot fall. The fulness of Christ's harvest in the end of the 
earth is not yet coma in. I speak not this, because I would have 
it so, but upon better grounds than my naked liking. But enough 
of this sad subject. 

I long to be fully assured of your Ladyship's welfare, and that 
your soul prospereth, especially now in your solitary life, when 
your comforts outward are few, and when Christ hath you for the 
verv uptaking. I know that his love to you is still running over ; 
and bis love hath not so bad a memory as to forget you and your 
dear cbil 1, who hath two fath^ in Heaven the one the Anc'ent 

1 Acqubilion bj inheriUnce or pr fohate. 

108 Rutherford's letters. 

of days, I trust in his mercy, that he hath something laid up for 
him above, however it may go with him here. I know that it ia 
long since your Ladyship saw that this world had turned youi 
step-mother, and had forsaken you. Madam, }e have reason to 
take in good part a lean dinner and spare diet in this life, seeing 
your large supper of the Lamb's preparing will recompense all. 
Let it go which was never yours, but only in sight, not in pro|>er- 
ty : the time of your loan wHl wear shorter and shorter, and time 
is measured to you by ounct -weights : and then I know that youi 
hope shall be a full ear of corn, and not blasted with wind. It 
may be your joy, that your anchor is up within the veil, and that 
the ground it is cast upon is not false, but firm. God hath done 
his part : and I hope tnat ye will not deny to fish and fetch home 
all your love to himself; and it is but too narrow and short for 
him, if it were more. If ye Werft before pouring all your love (if 
it had been many gallons more) in upon your Lord, if drops fell 
by ^ in the in-pouring, he forgiveth you ; he hath done now all 
that can be done, to win beyond it all, and hath left little to woo 
your love from himself, except one only child. What is his pur- 
pose herein. He knoweth best, who hath taken your soul in tutor- 
ing. Your faith may be boldly charitable of Christ, that, how- 
ever matters go, the worst shall be a tired traveller, and a 
joyful and a sweet welcome-home. The back of your winter 
night is broken.* Look to the east, the day sky is breaking ; 
think not that Christ loseth time, or lingeret-h unsuitably. O fair, 
fair and sweet morning! We are but as sea-passengers; if we 
look right we are upon our country coast. Our Redeemer is 
fast coming, to take this old worm-eaten world, like an old moth- 
eaten garment, in his two hands, and to roll it up, and lay it by ' 
him. These are the last days, and an oath is given, (Rev. x. 6,) 
by God himself, that time shall be no more : and when time itself 
is old and gray-haired, it were good we were away. 

Thus, madam, ye see I am, as my custom is, tedious in my 
line^. Your Ladyship will pardon it. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Your Ladyship's, at all obedience in Chrbt, S. R. 
Anwoth, Januaxy 18, 1636. 



Well-beloved Sister,— My love in Christ remembered — I 
hear of good news anent our Kirk, but I fear that our King will 
not be resisted, and, therefore, let us not be secure and careless. 
I do wonder if this Kirk come not through our Lord's fan, since 
there is so much chaff in it howbeit ; I persuade myself that the 

' Past s That ia, more than half ipent. » Past, beside. 


Son of God's wheat f^iall not be blown away. Let U8 be puUing 
on God's armor, and oc strong in the liord. If the Devil, and 
Zion'd enemies, strike a hole in that armor, let our Lord see to 
that ; let us put it on, and stand ; we have Jesus on our side, and 
they are not worthy of such a Captain, who would not take a blow 
at his back. We are in sight of his colors ; his bainier over us is 
love : look up to that white banner, and stand : I persuade you, 
in the Lord, of victory. 

My brother writeth to me of your heaviness, and of temptations 
that press you sore. I am content it be so. You bear about with 
you the marks of the Lord Jesus: so was it with our Lord's Apostle, 
when he was to come, with the Gospel, to Macedonia, (2 Cor. 
vii. 5,) his flesh had no rest, he was troubled on every side, and 
knew not what side to turn him unto ; without were fightings, 
and within were fears. In the great work of our redemption, 
your lovely, beautiful and glorious Friend and Well-beloved, 
Jesus, was brought to tears and strong cries, so as his face was 
wet with tears and blood, arising from a holy fear, and the weight 
of the curse. Take a drink of the Son of God's cup, and love it 
the better that he drank of it before you — there is no poison in it. 
I wonder many times that ever a child of God should have a sad 
heart, considering what their Lord is preparing for them. 

Is your mind troubled anent that business, which we have in 
hand in Edinburgh ? I trust in my Lord, that the Lord will in 
the end give to you your heart's desire, even, howbeit, the business 
frame not. The Lord will feed your soul, and all the hungry 
souls in that town ; therefore, I request you in the Lord to pray 
for a submissive will ; and pray, as your Lord Jesus biddeth you, 
'• Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven !" And, let it be that 
your faith be brangled * with temptations : believe ye that there is a 
tree in our Lord's garden that is not often shaken with the wind 
from all the four airts ?' — surely there is none, liebuke your soul, 
as tlje Lord's prophet doth, (Psalm xlii.,) " Why ait thou cast down, 
O my soul ! why art thou disquieted within me ?" That was the 
word of a^an, who was at the very overgoing of the brae' and 
mountain; but God held a grip* of him. Swim through your 
temptations and troubles, to be at that lovely amiable Person, 
Jesus, to whom your soul is dear. In your temptations, run to the 
promises ; they be our Lord's branches hanging over the water, 
that our Lord's silly* half-drowned children may take a grip of 
them ; if you let that grip go, you will go to the ground.* 

Are ye troubled with the case of God's Kirk ? Our Lord will 
evermore have her betwixt the sinking and the swimming : he 
will have her going through a thousand deaths, and through hell, 
as a cripple' woman, halting, and wanting the power of her own 
side. (Micah iv. 6, 7,) that God may be her staff. That broken 
■hip will come to land, because Jesus is the pilot. Faint not, you 

> Shaken, thrown into ditttder. 3 Quarters. * Preciptice. 

* Gripe, grasp. » Poor, in the gensc of exciting companion. 

* Bottom. f Lame. 

110 Rutherford's letters. 

shall see the salvation of Grod ; else say that (Sod i ever spake His 
word by my mouth, and I had rather never have been born, ere it 
were so with me — but my Lord hath sealed me. 

I dare not deny, that I have, also, been in heaviness since I 
came from you, fearing, for my unthankfulness, that I am de 
sorted ; but the Lord will be kind to me, whether I will or noL 
I repose that ' much in his grace that he will be loath to change 
upon me. As you love me, pray for me in this particular. 

After advising wit)^ Carlton, I have written to Mr. David Dick- 
son, aneut Mr. Hugh Mackail, and desired him to write his mind 
to Carlton, and Carlton to Edinburgh, that they may particularly 
remember Mr. Hugh to the Lord ; and I happened upon a conve- 
nient trusty bearer, by God's wonderful proviaence. 

No further. I recommend you to the Lord's grace, and youi 
husband and children. 

The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in the Lord, S. R. 



Mistress, — ^I had not time to give my advice to your daughter 
Grizzel ; you shall carry my words, therefore, to her. Show her 
now, that, in respect of her tender age, she is, in a manner, as clean 
paper, residy to receive either good or ill ; and that it were a 
sweet and glorious thing for her to give herself up to Christ, that 
He may write upon her His Father's name, ana His own new 
name. And desire her to acquaint herself with the Book of 
Grod ; the promises that our Lord writeth upon His own, and per- 
formeth in them, and for them, are contained there. I persuade 
you, that, when she is in the company of such parents, and hath 
occasion to learn Christ, I think Christ b wooine her soul ; and I 

fray Grod that she may not refuse such a Husband. And, therefore, 
charge her, and beseech her, by the mercies of Grod, by the wounds 
and blood of Him who died for her, hy the word of truth, which 
she heareth and can read, by the coromg of the Son of GUxl to 
judge the world, that she would fulfil your joy, and learn Christ, 
and walk in Christ. She will think this the truth of God many 
years after this ; and I shall promise to mvself in respect of the 
beginnings that I have seen, that she will give herself to Him 
who gave Himself for her. Let her begin at prayer j for if she re- 
member her Creator in the days of her youth, He will claim kind- 
ness to her in her old age. It shall be a part of my prayers, that 
this may be effectuated in her, by Him, who is able to do exceed- 
ingly abundantly ; to whose grace I again recommend you, and 
her, and all yours. 


Rutherford's letters. HI 



Well-beloved Sister, — I know that ye have heard of the 
success of our business in Edinburgh. I do every presbytery*day 
see the faces of my brethren smiling upon me, but their tongues 
convey reproaches and lies of me a hundred miles off, and have 
made me odious to the Bishop of St. Andrew's, who said to Mr. 
William Dalgleish, that ministers in Galloway were his informers ; 
whereupon no letters of favor could be procured from him for effect- 
uating of our business : only I am brought into the mouths of men, 
who, otherwise, knew me not, and have power (if God will permit) 
to harm me ; yet I entreat you in the bowels of Christ Jesus, be not 
cast down. I fear that your sorrow exceed because of this ; and 
I am not so careful of myself in the matter as for you. Take 
courage; your dearest Lord will light your candle, which the 
wicked would fain blow out ; and as sure as our Lord Uveth your 
soul shall find joy and comfort in this business ; howbeit ye see 
all the hounds m Hell let loose to mar it. Their iron chains to 
our dear and mighty Lord are but straws, which he can easily 
break. Let not this temptation stick in your throat ; swallow it, 
and let it ^o down — our Lord give you a drink of the consolations 
of His Spirit, that it may digest. Ye never knew one in God^s 
Book who put their hand to the Lord's work for his Kirk, but the 
world, and Satan, did bark against them, and bite also, where 
they had power. Ye will not lay one stone on Zion's wall but 
they will labor to cast it down again. 

And for myself, the Lord letteth me see now greater evidences 
of a calling to Kirkcudbright than ever he did before ; and, there- 
fore, prRy« and possess your soul in patience. Those that were 
doers in the busmess have good hopes that it will yet go forward, 
and prosper. 

As for the death of the King of Sweden, (which is thought to be 
too true,) we can do nothing else but reverence our Lord, who 
doth not ordinarily hold Zion on her rock by the sword and arm 
of flesh and blood, but by his own might and out-stretched arm. 
Her King, that leigneth in Zion, yet liveth, and they are plucking 
him round about to pull him off his throne ; but his Father hath 
crowned him, and who dare say '' It is ill done ?" The Lord's 
Bride will be up and down, above the water swimming, and under 
the water sinking, until her lovely and mighty R^eemer and 
Husband set his head through these skies, and come, with his fair 
court, to red all their pleas,* and give them the hoped-for inheri- 
tance — and then, we snail lay down our swords, ana triumph, and 
fi^t no more. But do not think, for all this, that our Lord and 
chief Shepherd will want one weak sheep, or the silliest dying 

1 Btttle all their dHpatet. 


Iamb he hath redeemed. He will tell his flock, and gather them 
all together, and make a faithful account of them to his Father, 
who gave them to him. Let us now learn to turn our eyes off 
men, that our whorish hearts dote not on them, and woo our old 
Husband and make him our darHng ; for (Jer. xxv. 27,) thus saith 
the Lord to the enemies of Zion, ^^ Drink ye and be drunk, and 
spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword that I send 
amongst you." (Ver. 28,) " And it shall be, if they refuse to take 
the Clip at thy hand to drink, then shalt thou say to them, Thui^ 
saith the Lord of hosts. Ye shall certainly drink." 

You see our Lord brewing a cup of poison for his enemies, 
which they must drink, and because of this have sore bowels and 
sick stomachs, yea, burst. But, (Jer. I. 4,) when Zion's captivity 
is at an end, " the Children of Israel shall come, they and the 
Children of Judah, together, going and weeping ; they shall go, 
and seek the Lord their God." (Ver. 5,) ** They shall ask the way 
to Zion, with their faces thitherward, saying. Come and let us join 
ourselves to the Lord, in an everlasting covenant that shall not l>e 
forgotten." This is spoken to us. and for us, who, with wo* heart:?, 
ask, " What is the way to Zion ?" It is our part, who know how 
to go to our Lord's door, and to knock by prayer, and how to lift 
Christ's slot,' and shute « the bar of his chamber door, to complain, 
and tell him how the world handleth us, and how our King's 
business goeth, that he may get up and lend^ them a blow, who 
are tigging' and playing with Christ, and his spouse. 

Ye have also, dear mistress, house troubles, in sickness of your 
husband and bairns, and in spoiling of your house by thieves. 
Take these fods in patience, from your Lord : he must still move 
you from vessel to vessel, and grind you as our Lord's wheat, to 
be bread in his house ; but when all these strokes are over your 
head^ what will you say to eee your well-beloved Christ's white 
and ruddy face, even His face, who is worthy to bear the colors 
amongst ten thousand, (Cant, v.) Hope and believe to the end. 

Grace, for evermore, be multiplied upon you, your husband, and 

Your own, in his dearest Lord Jesus, S. R. 




My Dear, and Well-beloved in Christ, — I am yet under 
trial, and have appeared before Christ's forbidden Lords' for a tes- 
timony against them. The Chancellor and the rest tempted me 

» Orieved. 

* A strong bar, running IVom tide to tide or a door, and having the ends eatenaf 
into tockeU m the wall * Puih aside. « Give. 

• Toying. • PaMed and gone. t The pielatea, 1 Pet ▼. 3. 


with questions nothing belonging to ray summons, which I wh( Hy 
declined, notwithstanding his threats. My newly-printed book 
against the Arminians was one challenge,^ not lording' the pre- 
lates another: the most part of the bishops, when I came in, 
looked more astonished than I, and heard me with silence. Some 
spoke for me ; but my Lord ruled it so, as I am filled with joy in 
my sufferings, and I find Christ's cross sweet. What they intend 
the next day, I know not. Be not secure, but pray. Our Bishop 
of Galloway said, if the Commission would not give him his will 
of me, with an oath, he said, that he would write to the King. 
The Chancellor summoned me in judgment, to appear that day 
eight days. My Lord has brought me a friend from the High- 
lands of Argyll, my Lord of Lorn,* who hath done as much as was 
within the compass of his power. God ffave me favor in his eyes. 
Mr. Robert Glendonning is silenced, till he accept a colleague. 
We hope to deal yet for him. Christ is worthy to be intrusted. 
Your husband will get an easy and good way of his business. 
Ye and I both shall see the salvation of God upon Joseph, sepa- 
rated from his brethreUv 
Grace be with you. 

Yours, in Christ, S. R. 



Honored, and Dearest in the Lord, — Grace, mercy and 
peace be to you. — I am well, and my soul prospereth. I find 
Christ with me. I burden no man: I want nothing: no face 
looketh on me but it laugheth on me. Sweet, sweet is the Lord's 
cross. I overcome mv heaviness. My Bridegroom's love-blinks* 
fatten my weary soul. I go to my King's palace at Aberdeen. 
Tongue, and pen, and wit cannot express my joy. 

Remember my love to Jean Gordon, to ray sister, Jean Brown, 
to Grizzel, to your husband. 

Thus in baste. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Kdinbuigh. April 5. 1636. 


My charge is to you to believe, rejoice, sing and triumplu 
Christ has said to me, " Mercy, mercy, grace and peace, for Ma- 
rion Macknaught." 

> Aecutatioii. > QMng the titit •* lord." 

* AichilMild Campbell, Afterwards Marquis of Arffjrll, and maitrr for the Word of 
God, and SeoCtand'fl eoTenanted Work of Reformation. i Ijoro-gkiiMf. 


114 Rutherford's letters. 



Noble, and Elect Lady, — That honor that I have prayed 
for these sixteen years, with submission to my Lord's will, ray 
kind Lord hath now bestowed upon me ; even to suffer for my 
royal and princely King, Jesus, and for his Kingly crown, and the 
freedom of his Kingdom, that his Father hath given him. The 
forbidden lords* have sentenced me with deprivation and confine- 
ment within the town of Aberdeen. I am charg^ed in the King's 
name, to enter against the twentieth day of August next, and 
there to remain during the King's pleasure, as they have g^ven it 
out. Howbeit Christ's g^reen cross, newly laid upon me, he some- 
what heavy, while I call to mind the many fair days, sweet and 
comfortable to my soul, and to the souls of many others, and how 
young ones in Christ are plucked from the breast, and the inheri- 
tance of Grod laid waste; yet that sweet-smelled and perfumed 
cross of Christ is accompanied with sweet refreshment, with the 
kisses of a King, with the joy of the Holy Ghost, with faith that 
the Lord heareth the sighing of a prisoner, with undoubted hope, 
ras sure as my Lord liveth,) afler this night to see day-l^ht, and 
Uhrist's sky to clear up again upon me, and his poor Kirk, and 
that in a strange land, amongst strange faces. He will give favor 
in the eyes of men to his poor oppressed servant, who dow not* 
but love that lovely One, tnat princely One, Jesus, the Comforter 
of his soul. All would be well, if I were free of old challenges * for 
guiltiness, and for neglect in my calling, and for speaking too lit- 
tle for my Well-beloved's crown, honor, and Kingdom. Oh, for a 
day in the assembly of the saints to advocate for King Jesus ! If 
my Lord go on now to quarrels, also, I die. I cannot endure it : 
but I look for peace from him : because he knoweth I dow« bear 
men's feud, but I dow not' bear his feud. This is my only exer- 
cise, that I fear I have done little good in my ministry ; but I dare 
not but say, I loved the bairns of the wedding chamber, and prayed 
for, and desired the thriving of the marriage, and coming of his 

1 apprehend no less than a judgment upon Gralloway ; and thai 
the Lord will visit this whole nation, for the quarrel of the Cove- 
nant. But what can be laid upon me, or any the like of me, is 
too light for Christ ; Christ dow* bear more, and would bear death 
and burning quick, in his weak servants, even for this honorable 
cause, that I now suffer for. Yet, for all my complaints, (and he 
knoweth that I dare not now dissemble,) he was never sweeter 
and kinder than be is now ; one kiss now is sweeter than ten long 

I TIm prelates, 1 Pet. ▼. 3. « Is not able to. i StU^aeeoaatioM. 

« Aa able to. • If able to. 

Rutherford's letters. 116 

tince ; sweet sweet is his cross ; light, light and easy is his yoke. 
Ob, what a sweet step were it up to my Father's house, through 
ten deaths, for the truth and cause of that unknown, and so not 
half well-loved, Plant of Renown, the Man called the Branch, the 
Chief among ten thousand, the Fairest among the sons of men ! 
Oh what unseen joys, how many hidden heart-burnings of love 
are in the remnants of the sufferings of Christ ^ My dear, worthy 
Lady, I give it to your Ladyship, under my own hand, (my heart- 
writmg as well as my hand,) welcome, welcome, sweet, sweet, and 
glorious cross of Christ : welcome, sweet Jesus, with thy light 
cross ; thou hast now gained and gotten all my love from me ; 
keep what thou hast gotten. Only, wo, wo is me, for my bereaved 
flock, for the lambs of Jesus, which I fear shall be fed with dry 
breasts ; but I i^re now, madam, I dare not promise to see your 
Ladyship, because of the little time I have allotted me, and I pur- 
pose to obey the King, who hath power over my body ; and rebel- 
lion to kings is unbeseeming Christ's ministers. 

Be plea^ to acquaint my Lady Mar with my case : I will look 
that your Ladyship, and that good lady be mindful to God of the 
Lord's prisoner, not for my cause, but for the Gospel's sake. 
Madam, bind me more, fif more can be,) to your Laayship, and 
write thanks to your brotner, my Lord of Lorn,* for what he hath 
done for me, a poor unknown stranger to his Lordship. I shall 

Eray for him and his house while I Uve. It is his honor to open 
is mouth in the streets for his wronged and oppressed Mastery 
Christ Jesus. 

Now, madam, commending your Ladyship, and the sweet child.^ 
to the tender mercies of mine own Lord Jesus, and the good-will 
i/ Him, who dwelt in the bush ; I rest, 

Yours, in his own sweetest Lord Jesus, S« R. 
Edmbmgh, July S8, 1636. 



Madam, — ^Your letter came in due time to me, now a prisoner 
of Christ, and in bonds for the Gospel 

I am sentenced with deprivation and confinement within the 
town of Aberdeen-^but oh, my. guiltiness, the follies of my youth, 
the neglects in my calling, and especially in not speaking more for 
the Kingdom, zr .wn, and sceptre of my royal and princely King, 
Jesus, do so sta.e me in the face, that 1 apprehend danger in that 
which is a crown of rejoicing to the dear saints of God ! This, 
before my compearance,' (which was three several days,) did 
IrouUe me, and burdeneth me more now ; howbeit Christ, and, in 

> Archibald Campbell, afterwards Marquis of Argyll 

> Appearance in obedience to legal citat*oft. 

116 rutherfor'ds letters. 

him, Qod, reconciled, met me with open arms, an J trysted* me, 
precisely at the entry of the door of the Chancelk r's hall, and 
assisted me to answer so as the advantage that is, is not theirs, 
but Christ's. Alas ! it is no cause of wondering, that I am thus 
borne down with challenges ;* for the world hath mistaken me, 
and no man knoweth what guiltiness is in me, so well as these 
two, (who keep my eyes now waking, and ray heart heavy,) I 
mean, my heart and cot^cience, and my Lord, who is greater than 
my heart. 

Show your brother that I desire him, while he is on the watch- 
tower, to plead with his mother, and to plead with this land, and 
to spare not to cry, for the fair crown of my sweet Lord Jesus, that 
the interdicted and forbidden lords* are plucking off his royal head 
If I were free of challenges* and a High Commission within mv 
0oul, I would not give a straw to go to my Father's house, through 
ten deaths, for the truth and cause of my lovely, lovely Que, 
Jesus ! but I walk in heaviness now. 

If ye love me, and Christ in me, my dear Lady, pray, pray for 
this only, that bygones < betwixt my Lord and me, mav be by- 
gones ]* and that he would pass from the summons of his High 
Commission, and seek nothing from me, but what he will do for 
me, and work in me. If your Ladyship knew me, as I do myself, 
ye would say, " Poor soul ! no marvel." It is not my apprehen> 
sion that createth this cross to me ; it is too real, and hath sad and 
certain grounds. But I will not believe that God will take this 
advantage of me when my back is at the wall.* He, who forbid- 
^deth to add affliction to affliction, will he do it himself? Why 
should he pursue a dry leaf and stubble? Desire him to spare 
me now. Also the memory of the fair feast-days that Christ and 
I had in his banqueting house-of-wine, and of the scattered flock 
once committed to me, and now taken off my hand by himself 
because I was not so faithful in the end, as I was in the first two 
years of my entry, when sleep departed from my eyes, because my 
soul was taken up with a care for Christ's Lambs ; even these add 
sorrow to my sorrow. 

Now, my Lord hath only given me this to say, and I write it 
under mine own hand, (be ye the Lord's servant's witness,^ wel- 
come, welcome, sweet, sweet cross of Christ : welcome, welcome, 
fair, fair, lovely, royal King, with thine own cross ! Let us all 
three go to Heaven together. Neither care I much to go from the 
south of Scotland to the north ; and to be Christ'9 prisoner amongst 
unco* faces, — a place of this kingdom which I have little reason 
to be in love with. I know that Christ will ma''e Aberdeen my 

farden of delights. I am fully persuaded that S« otiand shall eat 
Szekiel's book, that is written within and without with lamenta- 
tion, and mourning, and wo, (Ezek. ii. 10,) but the saints shall 

1 Appointed a meeting with me. * Self-accosatioiit. 

> 1 Pet ▼. 3. 4 That past offences may be fbniTen and IbrgaCtaA. 

< That it, when I am in this distressed condit <on. t Strange. 

Rutherford's letters. 117 

ffet a drink of the well, that goeth through the streets of the New 
Jerusalem, to put it down. 

Thus, ' hoping that ye will think upon the poor Prisoner of 
Christ, I pray that grace, grace be with you. 

Your Ladyship's, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Edinbiugh, July 30, 1636. 



Well-beloved, and Reverend Brother, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace, be to you — Upon acquaintance in Christ, I thought good 
to take the opportunity of writing to you. Seeing it hath seenled 
good to the Lord of the harvest to take the hooks > out of our hands 
for a time, and so lay upon us a more honorable service, even to 
suffer for his name, it were good to comfort one another in writing. 
I have had a desire to see you in the face, yet now, being the 
Prisoner of Christ, it is taken away. I am greatly comforted to 
hear of your stately spirit, for your princely and royal Captain, 
Jesus Christ, our Lord, and of the grace of God in the rest of our 
dear brethren with you. 

You have heard of my trouble I suppose. It hath pleased oui 
sweet Lord, Jesus, to let loose the malice of these interaicted lords* 
in his house, to deprive me of my ministry at Anwoth, and to con- 
fine me, eightscore miles from thence, to Aberdeen ; and, also, 
(which was not done to any before,) to inhibit me to speak at all 
in the name of Jesus, within this kingdom, under the pain of re- 
bellion. The cause that ripened their hatred was my book against 
the Arminians, whereof they accused me those three days on 
which I appeared before them; but, let our crowned King in 
Zton reign ! by his grace the loss is theirs, the advantage is 
Christ's and truth's. Albeit this honest cross gained some ground 
on me by my heaviness, and my inward challenges' of conscience 
for a time were sharp, yet now, for the encouragement of you all, 
I dare say it, and write it under my hand, " Welcome^ welcome^ 
^tteei, sweet cross of Christ, ^^ I verily think that the chains of 
my Lord Jesus are all overlaid with pure gold, and that his cross 
is perfumed, and that it smelleth of Christ ; and that the victory 
shall be by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of his truth ; 
and that Christ lying on his back, in his weak servants and op- 
pressed truth, shall ride over his enemies' bellies, and shall " strike 
through kings in the day of his wrath." It is time that we lauffh 
wh«[i he laugheth; and seeing he is now pleased to sit with ^ 

I Siekles. t The pi«UtM, 1 Pet ▼. 3. 

* SeU^accotrndoiM. < Bear wUh io nlenee. 

118 rutherforl's letters. 

wrongs for a time, it becometh us to be silent, until the Lord hath 
let the enemies enjoy their hungry, lean, and feckless ' paradise. 
Blessed are they who are content to take strokes with weeping 
Christ ; faith will trust the Lord, and is not hasty, nor headstrong ; 
neither is faith so timorous as to flatter a temptation, or to bud* 
and bribe the cross. It is little up or little down* that the Lamb 
and his followers can |^et no law-surety, nor truce with crosses ; it 
must be so, till we be up in our Father's house. 

My heart is wo^ indeed for my mother church, that hath played 
the harlot with many lovers ; for her Husband hath a mmd to 
sell her for her horrible transgressions, and heavy will the hand 
of the Lord be upon this backsliding nation. The ways of our 
Zion mourn ; her gold is become dmi, her white Nazarites are 
black like a coal; how shall the children not weep, when the 
husband and the mother cannot agree ! Yet I beUeve Scotland's 
sky will clear again, and that Christ will build again the old 
waste places of Jacob ; and that our dead and dry bones shall be- 
come an army of living men ; and that our Well-beloved may yet 
feed among the lilies, until the day break, and the shadows flee 

My dear brother, let us help one another with our prayers. 
Our King will mow down his enemies, and will come from bozrah, 
with his garments all dyed in blood, and for our consolation will 
he appear, and call his wife Hephzibah,* and his land Beulah;* 
for he will rejoice over us, and marry us, and Scotland will say, 
" What have I to do any more with idols ?" Only let us be faith- 
ful to Him who can ride through Hell upon a windlestrae^ and 
his horse never stumble: — and let him make of me a bridge over 
a water, so that his high and holy name may be glorified in me. 
Strokes with the sweet Mediator's hand are very sweet ; he has 
always been sweet to my soul, but since I suffered for him his 
breath hath a sweeter smell than before. Oh, that every hair of 
my head, and every member, and every bone in my body, were a 
man, to witness a fair confession for him ! I should think all too 
little for him. When I look over beyond the line, and beyond 
death, to the laughing side of the world, I triumph and ride upon 
the high places of Jacob, howbeit, otherwise 1 am a faint, dead- 
hearted, cowardly man, often borne down, and hungry in waiting 
for the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Nevertheless, 1 think it 
the Lord's wise love that feedeth us with hunger, and maketh us 
fat with wants and desertions. 

I know not, my dear brother, if our worthy brethren be gone to 

1 Unsubstantial, unreal. 

* Bud, bribe. 7b bud and bribe, at it were to force bribes upon. These alUterativt 
phrases express, in the Scottish dialect, intensity of meaning. 

t A small matter, of no importance. * GrieTOa. 

s That is, my ddight is in her, • That is, marriad, Isaiah zfii 4. 

T A dead, and withered stalk of crested do{^s-tail grass. {Cynoninu critiahu. — 
Lin.) The meaning of Rutherford is, tl atChnst can, bj the very feeblest and noit 
oontemptible instrumentality, triumphantly conquer all the united poweis of Death 
and He IL 


■ea or not : they are on my heart, and in my prayers. If they be 
yet with you, salute my dear friend John Stuart ; my well- 
beloved brethren in the Lord, Mr. Blair, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Liv- 
mgston, and Mr. Macleland, and acquaint them with my troubles, 
and entreat them to pray for the poor afBicted Prisoner of Christ, 
they aYc dear to my soul. I seek your prayers and theirs for my 
flock ; the remembrance of them breaks my heart. I desire to 
love that people, and others of my dear acquaintance in Christ, 
with love in God, and as God loveth them. I know that He, who 
sent me to the West and South, sendelh me also to the North. I 
shall charge my soul to believe and to wait for him, and shall 
follow his providence, and not go before it, nor stay behind it. 

Now, my dear brother, taking farewell on paper, I commend 
you to all the word of his grace, and to the work of His Spirit, to 
Him, who holdeth the Seven Stars in his right hand, that you may 
be kept spotless till the day of Jesus, our Lord. 
I am your brother in affliction, 

In our sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

From Inrin^, being on my journey to 

Chrbt't Palace in Aberdeen. 
August 4, 1636. 



Much Honored Sir, — 1 find small hopes of Q.'s business. — I 
intend, after the council-day, to go on to Aberdeen. The Lord is 
with me ; I care not what man can do. I burden no man, and I 
want nothing. No king is better provided than I am. Sweet, 
sweet, and easy is the cross of my Lord. All men whom I look 
in the face, (of whatsoever rank, nobles and poor, acquaintance 
and strangers,) are friendly to me. My Well- beloved is some 
kinder and more warmly* than ordinary, and conieth and visiteth 
my soul. My chains are over-gilded with gold. Only the remem- 
brance of my fair days with Christ in Anwoth, and of my dear 
flock (whose case is my heart's sorrow,) is vinegar to my sugared 
wine — yet both sweet and sour feed my soul. No pen, no words, 
no ingine,' can express to you the loveliness of my only, only 
Lord, Jesus. 

Thus, in haste, making for my palace at Aberdeen, I bless you, 
your wife, your eldest son, and other children. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Edbit^jrgli, Sept 5, 1636. 

1 WAim. s Qenni. 

130 Rutherford's lbttbrs. 



My Dearest Brother, — ^I see Christ thinking shame,* (if I 
may speak eo,) to be in such a poor man's common* as mine. I 
burden no man. 1 want nothing. No face bath gloomed* upon 
me since I left you. God's sun and fair weather conveyeth me to 
my time-paradise in Aberdeep. Christ hath so handsomely fitted 
for my shoulders this rough tree of the cross, as that it burteth me 
nowise. My treasure is up in Christ's coffers ; my comforts are 
greater than ye can believe ; my pen shall lye for penury of words 
to write of thiem. God knoweth that I am filled with the joy of 
the Holy Ghost. Only the memory of you, my Dearest in the 
Lord, my flock, and others, keepeth me under, and from being ex- 
alted above measure. Christ's sweet sauce hath this sour mixed 
witb it ; but oh, such a sweet and pleasant taste ! 

I find small hopes of Q.'s matter. Thus in haste. Remember 
me to your wife, and to William Gordon. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Edinbarghj Sept. 5, 1636. 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — I am, 
by God's mercy, come now to Aberdeen, the place of my confine- 
ment, and settled in an honest man's house. I find the townsmen 
cold, and general, and dry, in their kindness ; yet I find a lodging 
in the heart of many strangers. My challenges^ are revived 
again, and I find old sores are bleeding of new ; so dangerous and 

Eainful is an undercoted* conscience ; yet I have an eye to the 
lood that is physic for such sores. JBut verily, I see that Chris- 
tianity is conceived to be more easy and lighter than it is; so 
that I sometimes think, that I never knew anything but the let- 
ters of that name ; for our nature contenteth itself with little iu 
godliness. Our " Lord, Lord," seemeth to us, ten " Lords, Lords." 
Little holiness in our balance is much because it is our holiness ; 
and we love to lay small burdens on our sod natures, and to make 
a fair court-way to Heaven ; and I know it were necessary to take 
more pains than we do, and not to make Heaven a city more 
easily taken than God hath made it. I persuade myself thai 

I Ashamed. * Under obfigation to. * Piowned. 

« Self-aocusatioM. ' Fettering under the skin. 


many runoers will come 8h%«rt and shall get a di8api>oiDtinent 
Oh ! how easy is it to deceive ourselves, and to sleep and wish 
that Heaven may fall down into our laps ! 

Yet for all my Lord's glooms, * I find him sweet, gracious, lov- 
ing, kind ; and I want both pen and words to set forth the fair- 
ness, beauty, and sweetness, of Christ's love, and the honor of this 
cross of Christ, which is glorious to me, though the world thinketh 
shame* thereof. I verily think that the cross of Christ would 
olush and think shame' of those thin-skinned worldUngs, who are 
so married to their credit that they are ashamed of the sufferings 
of Christ. Oh the honor to be scourged and stoned with Christ, 
and to go through a furious faced death to life eternal ! — but men 
would have law-burrows* against Christ's Cross. 

Now, my dear brother, forget not the prisoner of Christ ; for I 
see very few here who kindly fear God. Grace be with you. Let 
my love in Christ, and hearty affection, be remembered to your 
kind wife, and to your brother, John, and to all friends. The 
Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 
Abeideen, Sept 90, 1636. 



Much Honored, and very Dear Friend, — Grace, mercy 
and peace be to you — I am in good case, blessed be the Lord, re- 
maining here in this unco* town,, a prisoner for Christ and His 
truth : and I am not ashamed of His cross ; my soul is comforted 
with the consolations of His sweet presence for whom I suffer. 

I earnestly entreat you to give your honor and authority to 
Christ, and for Christ ; and be not dismayed for flesh and blood, 
while you are for the Lord, and for His truth and cause. And, 
howbeit, we see truth put to the worse for the time, yet Christ will 
be a fiiend to truth, and will do for* those, who dare hazard all that 
they have for Him, and for His glory. Sir, our fair day is coming, 
and the court will change, and wicked men shall weep after noon, 
aCnd sorer than the sons of God, who weep in the morning. Let 
us believe and hope for God's salvation. 

Sir, I hope that I need not write to you for your kindness and 
love to my brother, who is now to be distressed for the truth of 
God, as well as 1 am. I think myself obliged to pray for you and 
your worthy and kind bed-fellow and children, for your love to Him 
and me also. I hope your pains for us in Christ shall not be 


> Frowns. t Is ashamed. * Be asbamiKi, 

« Security o1)Caiiied fVom one on swearing the peace againat him. 
• Strange • Act for. 

122 Rutherford's letters. 

Thus recommending you to the tender mercy and loving-ktud- 
ness of God, I rest, 

Yonr very loving and affectionate brotler, S. R. 
Aberdeen, Sept 31, 1636. 



Dearly Beloved in our Lord, — Grace, mercjr and peace 
from God our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus Chnst, be multi- 
plied upon you. • 

I long exceedingly to hear of your on-going and advancement 
in your journey to the Kingdom of Qod. My only joy out of 
Heaven is to hear that the seed of God sown among you is grow- 
ing, and comi|ig to a harvest ; for I ceased not, while I was 
among you, in season and out of season, (according to the meas- 
ure of grace given unto me,) to warn and to stir up your minds ; 
and 1 am free from the blood of all men ; for I have communicated 
to you the whole counsel of Grod. And I now, again, charge, and 
warn you, in the great, and dreadful name, and in the sovereign 
authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords ; and I beseech 
you also by the mercies of God, and by the bowels of Christ, by 
your appearance before Christ Jesus, our Lord, by all the plagues 
that are written in Grod's book, by your part of the holy city, the 
New Jerusalem, that ye keep the truth of God as 1 delivered it to 
you before many witnesses, in the sight of God and His holy ao- 
gels ; for now the last days are come and coming, when many 
forsake Christ Jesus, and He saith to you, " Will ye also leave 

Remember that I forewarned you to forbear the dishonoring of 
the Lord's blessed name, in swearing, blaspheming, cursing, and 
the profaning of the Lord's Sabbath ; willing you to give that day 
from morning to night to praying, praising, hearing of the Word, 
conferring, and speaking, not your own words, but God's words ; 
thinking and meditating on Qod's nature, word and works : and 
that every day, at morning and at night, (at least,) ye should sanc- 
tify the Lord, by praying in your houses, publicly, in the hearing 
of all ; that ye should in any sort forbear the receiving the Lord's 
Supper but after the form that I delivered it to you, according to 
the example of Christ our Lord ; that is, that ye should sit, as 
banqueters, at one table with our King, and eat and drink, and 
divide the elements one to another : — the timber and stones of 
the church walls shall bear witness that my soul was refreshed 
with the comforts of God in that supper : — and that crossing in 
oaptism was unlawful, and against Christ's ordinance ; and that 
no day, (besides the Sabbath, which is (f his o^^ appointment^) 
should be kept holy, and sanctified with preaching and the pubUc 


worship of God, for the memory of Christ's birth, death, resurrec- 
tion, and ascension ; seeing such days so observed are unlawful, 
wilt-worship, and not warranted in Christ's word : and that every- 
thing in God's worship, not warranted by Christ's testament and 
word, was unlawful : and, also, that idolatry, worshipping of God 
before hallowed creatures, and adoring of Christ, by kneeling be- 
fore bread and wine, was unlawful : and that ye should be humble, 
sober, modest, forbearine pride, envy, malice, wrath, hatred, conten- 
tion, debate, lying, slandering, stealing, and defrauding your neigh- 
bors, in grass, corn or cattle, in buying or selling, borrowmg or lend- 
ing, taking or giving, in bargains or covenants : and that ve should 
work with your own hands, and be content with that wnich God 
nath given you : that ye should study to know God, and His will, 
and keep in mind the doctrine of the Catechism, which I taught you 
carefully, and speak of it in your houses, and in the fields, when 
ye lie down at night, and rise in the morning : that ye should be- 
lieve in the Son of dod, and obey His commandments, and learn 
to make your accounts in time with the Judge ; because death 
and jud^ent are before you. 

And if ye have now penury, and want of that word which I 
delivered to you in abundance — yea, (to God's hoaor I speak it, 
without arrogating anvthing to myself, who am but a poor, empty 
man,) ye had as much of the word, in nine years, while 1 was 
among you, as some others have had in many — mourn for your 
loss of time and repent. My soul pitieth you, that you should suck 
dry breasts, and be put to draw at dry wells. Oh, that ye would 
esteem highly the Lamb of Grod, your Well-beloved, Christ Jesus, 
whose virtues and praises I preached unto you with joy, and which 
He did countenance and accompany with some power ; and that 
ye would call to mind the many fair days and glorious feasts 
in our Lord's house-of-wine, that ye and I have had with Christ 
Jesus ! 

But if there be any among you who take liberty to sin, because 
I am removed from amongst you, and forget that word of truth 
which ye heard, and turn the grace of God into wantonness, I 
here, under my hand, in the name of Christ, my Lord, write to 
such persons all the plagues of God, and all the curses that ever I 
preacned in the pulpit of Anwoth against the children of disobe- 
dience: and, as the Lord liveth, the Lord Jesus will make good 
what I write unto you. Therefore, dearly-beloved, fulfil my joy : 
fear the great and dreadful name of the Lord : seek God with me. 
Scotland's judgment sleepeth not : awake, and repent ! The 
sword of the Lord shall go from the north to the south, from the 
east to the west, and through all the corners of the land; and that 
sword shall be drunk with your blood among the first ; and I shall 
stand up as a witness against vou, if ve do not amend your ways 
and your doings, and turn to the Lord with all your heart. 

I beseech you also, my dearly-belovei in the Lord, my joy, and 
my crown, be not offended at the sufierin^s of me, the prisoner of 
Jesus Christ I am filled with joy and with the comforts of God. 


Upon my salvation, I know and am persuaded, that it is for God's 
truth, and the honor of my King and royal Prince, Jesus, that I 
now suffer : — and howbeit this town be my prison, yet Christ hatli 
made it my palace, a garden of pleasures, a field and orchard of 
delights. I know likewise, albeit 1 be in bonds, hat yet the word 
of God is not in bonds ; my spirit also is in free-ward.' Sweet, 
sweet hav» bis comforts been to my soul ; my pen, tongue, and 
heart, have not words to express the kindness, love and mercy, of 
my Well-beloved' to me, in this house of ray pilgrimage. 

I charge you to fear and to love Christ ; and to seek a house 
not made with hands, your Father's house above. This laughing 
and white-skinned world beguileth you ; and if ye seek it more 
than God, it will play you a slip, to the endless sorrow of your 
heart. Alas, I could not make many of you to fall in love with 
Christ ; howbeit I endeavored to speak much good of him, and to 
commend him to you, which as it was your sin, so it is my sor- 
row ! yet, once again, suffer me to exhort, beseech, and obtest vou, 
in the Lord, to think of his love, and to be delighted with him, 
who is altogether lovely : — I give you the word of a King, that ye 
will not repent it. 

Ye are in my prayers night and day ; I cannot forget you : I do 
not eat, I do not drink, but I pray for you all. ** 

1 entreat you all, and every one of you, to pray for me. Grace, 
grace be with you. 

Tour lawful, and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Sept. S3, 1637. 




My VERY Honorable, and dear Lady, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to you— I cannot forget your Ladyship, and that sweet 
child. I desire to hear what the Lord is doing to you and him :— 
to write to me were charity. I cannot but write to my friends, 
that Christ hath trysted ' me in Aberdeen ; and my adversaries 
have sent me here to be feasted with love-banquets, with my royal, 
high, high, and princely King, Jesus. Madam, why should I 
smother Christ's honesty ? I dare not conceal his goodness to my 
soul ; lie looked fremm^* and unco like^ upon me, when I came 
first here ; but I believe himself better than his looks. I shall not 
again quarrel with Christ for a gloom,' now that he hath taken 
the mask off his face, and saith, <* Kiss thy fill ;" and what can I have 
more, whill I get great heaven in my little arms ? Oh, how sweet 

» HaUi Kbcrty of cgrew. f Appointed me to aeel hn. 

> Diitant, strange in manner. 

^ AppaFBotly etomge and icaenred in manner. • A ftown. 

Rutherford's letters. 126 

&re the sufferings of Christ, for Christ! God forgive them that 
raise an ill report upon the sweet cross of Christ ; it is but our 
weak and dim eyes, that look but to the black side, that maketh 
us mistake. Those who can take that crabbed tree handsomely 
upon their back, and fasten it on cannily,' shall find it such a bur- 
den as wings are unto a bird, or sails to a ship. Madam, rue not 
of your having chosen the better part. Upon my salvation, this 
is Christ's truth which I now suffer for. If I found but cold com- 
fort* in my sufferings, I would not beguile others ; I should have 
told you plainly. But the truth is, Christ's crown, his sceptre, and 
the freedom of his kingdom, is that which is now called in ques- 
tion ; because we will not allow that Christ ought to pay tribute, 
and be a vassal to the shields of the earth ; therefore, the sons of 
our mother are angry at us. But it becometh not Christ to hold 
any man's stirrup. It were a sweet and honorable death to die 
for the honor of that royal and princely king, Jesus. His love is 
as a mystery to the world. I would not have believed that there 
was so much in Christ as there is. "Come and see," maketh 
Christ to be known in his excellency and glory. I wish all this 
nation knew how sweet his breath is. It is little to see Christ in 
a book, as mea do the world in a card ; • they talk of Christ by 
the book and the tongue, and no more, but to come nigh Christ, 
and hause* him, and embrace him, is another thing. Madam, 
I write to. your honor, for your encouragement in that honorable 
profession which Christ hath honored you with. Ye have gotten 
the sunny side of the brae,» and the best of Christ's good things ; 
he hathjoot given you the bastard's portion; and, howbeit ye get 
strokes, and sour looks from your Lord, yet believe his love more 
than your own feeling, for this world can take nothing from you 
that is truly yours, and death can do you no wrong. Your rock 
doth not ebb and flow, but your sea. That which Christ hath 
said, he will bide by.« He will be your tutor. Ye shall not get 

Jour charters of Heaven to play yourself with. It is good that ye 
ave lost your credit with Christ, and that Lord Freewill shall 
not be your tutor. Christ will lippen^ the taking of you to Hea- 
ven neither to yourself nor any deputy, but only to himself — 
blessed be your Tutor! When your Head shall appear, your 
Bridegroom and Lord, your day shall then dawn, and it will never 
have an afternoon, nor an evening shadow. Let your child be 
Christ's : let him stay beside you as the Lord's pledge, that you 
shall willingly render again, if God will. Madam, I find folks 
here kind to me, but in the night and under their breath. My 
Master's cause may not come to the crown of the causeway.* 
Others are kind according to their fashion. Many think me a 

I Pradently, with skilful adaptation. t Dbcoura^ment. 

^ Chart. « Claap around the neck, embrace. 

• Slope, decBWty. Swmy Me qf itu brae^ a proTerbial ezpreistoa, denoting the 
iM ahehered, warm, plentiful, and comfortable ntnation. 

• Stand to. v Introat 

• 7>> earns i9 Hu ercwn qfiiu oniftiM^, to appear openlj in pabUc mUMMit ftar of 

126 RUTHEB ford's LETTERS. 

Strange maD, aad iny cause not good ; but I care not much foi 
man's thoughts or approbation. 

I think no shame ' of the cross. The preachers of this town 
pretend great love, but the prelates have added to the rest this 
gentle cruelty, (for so they think it,) to discharge me of the pulpits 
of this town. The people murmur and cry out against it: and to 
speak truly, (howbeit Christ is most indulgent to me otherwise,) 
my silence on the Lord's day keepeth me from being exalted above 
measure, and from startling* in the heat of my Lord's love. Some 
people affect me ; for the which cause, I hear the preachers here 
propose to have my confinement changed to another place ; so 
cold is northern love : but Christ and 1 will bear it I have wres- 
tled long with this sad silence. I said, What aileth Christ at my 
service 7 and my soul hath been at a pleading with Christ, and at 
yea and nay ; but I will yield to him, providing my suffering may 
preach more than my tongue did ; for I gave not Christ an iDcb, 
but for twice as good again: — in a word, I am a fool, and he is 
God. I shall hold my peace hereafter. 

Let me hear from your Ladyship, and your dear child. Pray 
for a prisoner of Christ, who is mindful of your Ladyship. Re- 
member my obliged obedience to my good Lady Mar. Grace, 
grace be with you. 1 write and pray blessings to your sweet child. 

Yours, in all dutiful obedience, in his only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideen, Ifov. 22, 1636. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — ^I received your 
Ladyship's letter. It refreshed me in my heaviness. The bless- 
ing and prayers of a prisoner of Christ come upon you. Since 
my coming hither, GbUoway hath sent me not a hne, except what 
my brother, Earlston, and his son did write. I cannot get my 

Eapers transported : but madam, I want not kindness of One Vi ho 
ath the gate* of it; Christ, (if he had never done more for roe 
since I was born,) hath engaged my heart, and gained my blessing, 
in this house of my pilgrimage. It pleaseth my Well-beloved to 
dine with a poor prisoner, and the King's spikenard casteth a 
fragrant smell. Nothing grieveth me but that I eat my feasts 
alone, and that I cannot edify his saints. Oh, that this nation 
knew what is betwixt him and me; none would scaur ^ at the 
cross of Christ ! My silence eateth me up : but he hath told me 

t Am not afhamed. 

• TV wtartU, to run about in a wild and excited manner, as cattle do in hot weather 
when Btani{ hj the gadfly. Ratherford meana that hit fbroed silence oo the Lord*e 
day kept mm from being eialted, by hia peiaecutiona, ab rrt meaaare. 

* Way. « Boggle. 

ruthlrford's letters . 127 

thai he tbanketh ine no less than if I were preaching daily. He 
seelh how gladly I would be at it ; and, therefore, my wages are 
going to the fore' up in Heaven, as if I were still preaching Christ. 
Captains pay duly bedfast soldiers, howbeit they dow not' march 
nor carry armor. " Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be 
glorious in the eyes of my Lord, and my Lord shall be my 
strength, (Isa. xlix. 5.) My garland, — the ." Banished Minister-- 
— the terra of Aberdeen — ashameth me not. I Ijave seen the white 
side of Christ's cross — lovely hath he been to his oppressed ser- 
vant ! (Psal. cxlvi. 7, 8, 9,) "The Lord executeth judgment for 
the oppressed ; he giveth food to the hungry : the Lord looseth the 
prisoner ; the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down : the Lord 
preserveth the stranger." If it were come to exchanging of 
crosses, I would not exchange my cross with any : I am well 
pleased with Christ, and he with me ; I hope that none shall hear 
us. * It is true, that for all this I get my meat with many strokes, 
and am seven times a day up and down, and am often anxious and 
cast down for the case of my oppressed brother ; yet I hope that 
the Lord will be surety for his servant. But now, upon some 
weak, very weak experience. I am come to love a rumbling, and 
raging devil best : seeing we must have a devil to hold the saints 
waking, I wish a cumbersome devil, rather than a secure and 
sleeping one. At my first coming hither, I took the dorts^ at 
Christ, and took up a stomach against him. I said he had cast 
me over the dyke* of the vineyard like a dry tree. But it was his 
mercy, I see, that the fire did not burn the dry tree : and now, as 
if my Lord Jesus had done that fault, and not I who belied my 
Lord, be hath made the first mends,* and he spake not one word 
a^^iDst me ; but he hath come again and quickened my soul with 
his presence; nay, now I think the very annuity^ and casualties 
of the cross of Christ Jesus, my Lord, and those comforts that ac- 
company it, better than the world's set rent.* O how many rich 
oflf-fallings are in my King's house ! I am persuaded, and dare 
pawn my salvation on it, that it is Christ's truth which I now 
suffer for. I know that his comforts are no dreams ; he would not 
put his seal on blank paper, nor deceive his afflicted ones that 
trust in him. Your Ladyship wrote to me that ye are an ill 
scholar. Madam, ye must go m at Heaven's gates, and your book 
in your hand, still learning. Ye have had your own large share 
of troubles, and a double portion ; but it saith that your Father 
counteth you not a bastard — full-begotten bairns* are nurtured,'* 
(Heb. xii. 8.) 

I lof^ to hear of the child. I write the blessings of Christ's 
Piisoner and the mercies of God to him. Let him be Christ's and 

> Ranning to aeeoont, io the coune of being laid op in itore. 

• HATe not abilitj. > Prov. xiv. 10. « Pet, fuOii. 

• Wall * Pint made amends. i Qaitrrent. • Pull rent 

• Legitimate ehildien^ bj the tame parents on both fide*, in eontradtttinction to 
children who are by the tame palint on the one tide, but by different parents on the 
•Iher. » Correeted. 


yours betwixt you, but let Christ be whole play-raaker ; ' let him 
be the lender, and ye the borrower, not an owner. 

Madam, it is not long since I wrote to your Ladyship, that 
Christ is keeping mercy for you ; and I bide by it still, and now I 
write it under my hand. Love him dearly. Win in' to see him. 
There is in him that which you never saw. He is aye nigh, he 
is a tree of life, green and blossoming, both summer and winter. 
There is a nick^ in Christianity, to the which whosoever cometh 
thcyr see and feel more than others can do. I invite you of new 
to come to him. ^' Come and see" will speak better things of him, 
than I can do: " Come nearer" will say much. God never thought 
this world a portion worthy of you ; he would not even" you to a 
gift of dirt and clay ; nay, he will not give you Esau's portion ; 
but reserve the inheritance of Jacob for you. Are ye not well 
married now ? Have ye not a good husband now 1 

My heart cannot express what sad nights I have for the Yirgin 
Daughter of my people ; wo is me, for our time is coming. (Gzek. 
vii. 10,) '< Behold, the day, behold, it is come, the morning is gone 
forth, the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded: violence is 
risen up into a rod of wickedness ;" the sun is gone down upon 
(Alt propliets. A dry wind upon Scotland, but neither to fan nor 
cleanse ; but out of all question, when the Lord hath cut down 
his forest, the after-growth of Lebanon shall flourish. They shall 

Slant vines in our mountain, and a cloud shall yet fill the Temple. 
Tow the blessing of our dearest Lord, Jesus, and the blessing of 
him that is separated from his brrethen, come upon you. 

Yours, at Aberdeen, the Prisoner of Christ, S. R. 




Reverend and Dear Brother, — 1 thank you for your letter. 
I cannot but show you, that as I never expected anything from 
Christ but much good and kindness, so he bath made me to find 
it in the house of my pilgrimage. And believe me, brother, I 
give it to you under mine own hand-writ, that, whoso looketh to 
the white side of Christ's cross, and can take it up handsomely 
with faith and courage, will find it such a burden as sails are to a 
ship or wings to a bird. I find that my Lord hath over-gilded 
that black tree, and hath perfumed it, and oiled it, with joy and 
consolation. Like a fool, once I would chide and plead with 
Christ, and slander him to others of unkindness : but I trust in 
God, not to call his glooms* unkind again; for he hath taken 
from me my sackcloth ; and I, verily, cannot tell you, what a 

t Sole director. * Qti in. • Notch, degree. 

« Tb event diipangiiiglj to eqoal to. i Frowns. 


poor, sold Joseph and prisoner, (with whom my mother's children 
were angrj^,) doth now think of kind Christ. I shall chide no 
more, providing he will quit me all by-gones,* for I am poor. I 
am taught, in this ill-weather, to go on the lee-side of Christ, and 
to put him in between me and the storm. I thank God I walk 
ou the sunny side of the brae.* I write it, that ye may speak in 
my behalf the praises of my Lord to others, that my bonds may 
preach. Oh if* all Scotland knew the feasts, and love-blinks,* 
and visits, that the prelates have sent me to ! I will verily give 
my Lord Jesus a free discharge of all, that I, like a fool,, laid to 
his charge, and beg him pardon to the mends.* God grant, that, 
in my temptations, I come not on his wrong side again, and never 
again fall a raving against my Physician, in my fever ! 

Brother, plead with your mother, while ye have time. A pulpit 
would be a hish ftast to me ; but I dare not say one word against 
Him, who hath done it. I am out of the house as yet ; my sweet 
Master saith I shall have house-room at his own elbow, albeit 
their synagogue will need-force • cast me out. 

A letter were a work of charity to me. Grace be with you. 
Pray for me 

Your brother, and Christ's Prisoner, S. R. 

Abeideen, Nov. 22, 1636. 



My very Dear Friend, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you. 
I received your letter. I bless my Lord that, through Jesus Christ, 
I find his word good, (Isa. xlviii. 10,) " I have chosen thee in the 
furnace of affliction ;" and, (Psal. xci. 15,) "I will he with him in 
trouble." I never expected other at Christ's hand than much 
good and comfort ; and I am not disappointed. I find my Lord's 
cross over-gilded and oiled with com/orts. My Lord hath now 
shown nie the white side of his cross. I would not exchange my 
weeping in prison with the Fourteen Prelates' laughter, amidst 
their hungrjr and lean joys. This world knoweth not the sweet- 
ness of Christ's love : it is a mystery to them. 

At my first coming here, I found great heaviness, especially be- 
cause it had pleased the prelates to add this gentle cruelty to my 
former suflerings, (for it is gentle to them,) to inhibit the ministers 
of the town to give me the liberty of a pulpit. I said. What aileth 
Christ at my service? but I was b^ 'ool; he hath chided himself 
friends with me. If ye, and others of God's children will praise 

I Fonotr oHeooet. 

s Slope. Sunny nde qft/u brae, the most thelterfd, warm, and comfoitable ntnatioii. 
> Oh that * GUeama. gKmpeea. ' • To boot • Under plea o( neceiutj. 

T A ma^Mtrata in a Scottiah borough, analogoua to an alderman in an EngUeh one. 


His great name, who maketh worthless men witnesses for him, my 
silence and sufferings shall preach more than my tongue could 
do. If his glory he seen in me, I am satisfied. I want for no 
kindness of Christ. And, sir, I dare not smother his liberality. I 
write it to you, that ye may praise, and desire your brother and 
others to join with me in this work. 

This land shall be made desolate. Our iniquities are fulL 
The Lord saith that we shall drink, and spue, and falL Remem- 
ber my love to your good, kind wife. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideen, Nov. 23, 1636. 



" And they overeame the Dragon bj the blood of the Lamb, and brthe word of theif 
tesdmonj: and thej loved not their lives unto the death.*' — (Rev. xn. 11.) 

Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — I 
long to see you on paper, and to be refreshed by you. 

I cannot but desire you, and charge you, to help me to praiae 
Him, who feedeth a poor prisoner with the fatness of his house. 
Oh, how weighty is his love ! Oh, but there is much telling in 
Christ's kindness ! The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, 
hath paid me my hundred-fold, well-told and one to the hundred. 
I complained of him, but he is owing me nothing now. Sir, I 
charge you to help me to praise his gc^ness, and to proclaim to 
others my Bridegroom's kmdness, whose love is better than wine. 

I took up an action against Christ, and bought a plea^ against 
his love, and libelled unkindness against Christ, my Lord ; and I 
said, " This is my death, he hath forgotten me," but- my meek 
Lord held his peace, and beheld me, and would not contend for the 
last word of fly ting,* and now he hath chided himself friends with 
me ; and now I see that he must be God, and I must be flesh. I 
pass from my summons. I acknowledge that he might have given 
me my fill of it, and never troubled nimself ; but now he hath 
taken away the mask; I have been comforted; he could not 
smother his love any longer to a prisoner and a stranger — God 
grant that I may never buy a plea ' against Christ again, but may 
keep good quarters with him ! 

I want no' kindness, no love-tokens ; but oh, wise is his love ! 
for, notwithstanding this hot summer-blink,* I am. kept low with 
the grief of my silence ; for his word is in me as a fire in ray 
bowels ; and I see the Lord's vineyard laid waste, and the heathen 
entered into the sanctuary ; and my belly is pained, and my soul 

t Co a ^rawen j , • Soolding. * Am not in waal •t 

• ^CHaam of the ann braaking thraogh &e eiooda. 

Rutherford's lettek?. 131 

in h^ayiness, because the Lord's people are gone ii lo captivity, 
and because of the furv of the Lord, and that wind (but neither 
to fan nor purge) which is coming upon apostate Scotland. I am 
also kept awake with the late wrong- done to my brother; but I 
trust that ye will counsel and comfort him. Yet in this mist, I 
see, and believe, that the Lord will heal this halting kirk, and will 
lay her stones with fair colors, and her foundations with sapphires, 
and will make her windows of agates, and her gates carbuncles, 
(Isa, liv. 11, 12,) and for brass he will bring gold. He hath created 
the smith that formed the sword ; no weapon in war shall prosper 
against us. Let us be glad, and rejoice in the Lord, for his salva- 
tion is near to come. 

Remember me to your wife and your son, John : and I entreat 
you to write to me. Grace, grace be with you. 

Tours, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Dec. 30, 1636. 



^ These are thty which came <mt of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, 
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." — (Rev. Til 14.) 

Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied upon you. I 
greatly lon^ to be refreshed with your letter. 

I am now, (all honor and glor^ to the King eternal, immortal, 
and invisible !) in better terms with Christ than I was. I, lilce a 
fool, summoned my Husband and Lord, and libelled unkindness 
against him : but now I pass from that foolish pursuit, I give over 
the plea * — he is God, and I am man. I was loosing a fast stone, 
and digging at the ground-stone,* the love of my Lord, to shake 
and unsettle it ; but, God be thanked, it is fast : all is sure. In my 
prison, he hath shown me day-light ; he dought not* hide his love 
any longer. Christ was disguised and masked, and I apprehended 
it was not he ; and he hath said, '^ It is I, be not afraid !" and 
now his love is better than wine. 

Oh, that all the virgins had part of the Bridegroom's love, 
whereupon he maketh me to feed ! Help me to praise : I charge 
you, madam, help me to pay praises ; and tell others, the daugh- 
ters of Jerusalem, how kind Christ is to a poor prisoner. He hath 
paid me my hundred-fold ; it is well told me, and one to the hun- 
dred. I am nothing behind with Christ. Let not fools, because 
of their lazy and soft flesh, raise a slander and an ill report upon 
the cross of Christ : it is sweeter than fair. 

I see that grace groweth best in winter. This poor persecuted 
kirk, this lily amon? the thorns, shall blossom and laugh upon the 
GajTdener ; the Husbandman's blessing shall light upon it. Oh, 

> Cootfoveipy. * Foundation. * Wai not able to. 

132 Rutherford's letters. 

ifi I could be free of jealousies^ of Christ after this ; and beUevei 
and keep good quarters with my dearest Husband ! for be hath 
been kind to the stranger ; and yet, in all this fair, hot summer- 
weather, I am kept from saying, " It is good to be here," with my 
silence, and with grief to see my Mother wounded, and her veil 
taken from her, and the fair temple casten down ; and my b^lly 
is pained, my soul is heavy for tne captivity of the Daughter of 
my people, and because of the fury of the Lord, and his fierce in- 
dignation against apostate Scotland. 

I pray you, madam, to let me have that which is my prayer 
here, that my sufferings may preach to the four quarters of this 
land ; and, therefore, tell others how open-handed Christ hath been 
to the prisoner, and the oppressed stranger — why should I conceal 
it? I know no other way how to glorify Christ, than to make an 
open proclamation of bis love, and of his soft and sweet kisses to 
me in the furnace, and of his fidelity to such as suffer for him. 

Give it me under your hand, that ye will help me to pray, and 
praise ; but rather to praise and rejoice in the salvation of God. 
Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his dearest, and only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Dee. 30, 1636. 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — So often 
as I think on our case, in our soldier's night-watch, and of our 
fighting-life in the fields, while we are here, I am forced to say, 
prisoners in a dungeon, condemned by a judge to want the light 
of the sun, and moon, and candle till their dying day, are no more, 
nay, not so much, to be pitied as we are. For they are weary of 
their life, they hate their prison ; but we fali-to, in our prison, 
where we see little, to drink ourselves drunk with the night-plea- 
sures of our weak dreams ; and we long for no better nfe than 
this : but, at the blast of the Last Trumpet, and the shout of the 
Archangel, when God shall take down the shepherd's tent of this 
fading world, we shall have not so much as a arink of water of all 
the dreams that we now build on. Alas! that the sharp and 
bitter blasts on face and sides, which meet us in this life, have not 
learned us mortification, and made us dead to this world ! We 
buy our own sorrow, and we pay dear for it, when we spend out 
our love, our joy,'our desires, our confidence, upon a handful of 
snow and ice, which time shall melt away to nothing, and f^ 
thirsty out of the drunken inn when all is done. Alas 1 that we 
inquire not for the clear fountain ! but are so foolish as to drink 
foul, muddy, and rotten waters, even till our bed-time ; and then, 

1 Oh that • Sospicioiiiu 

hutherford's letters. 133 

m the Resurrection, when we shall be awakened, our yesternight's 
sour drink, and swinish dregs shall rift* up upon us; and sick, 
sick shall ma,ny a soul be then. 

I know not a wholesome fountain but one : I know not a thing 
worth the buying, but Heaven. And my own mind is, that if 
comparison were made betwixt Christ and Heaven, I would sell 
Heaven with my blessing to buy Christ. Oh, if I could raise the 
market for Christ, and heighten the market a pound for a penny, 
and cry up Christ in men's estimation ten thousand talents more 
than men think of him ! But they are shaping him, and crying 
him down, to valuing him at their unworthy halfpenny ; or else 
exchanging and bartering Christ with the miserable old fallen 
house of this vain world : or then ' they lend him out upon inter- 
est, and play the usurers with Christ. Because they profess him, 
and give out before men that Christ is their treasure and stock ; 
and, in the meantime, praise of men, and a name, and ease, and 
the summer-sun of the Gospel, is the usury they would be at ; so 
when the trial cometh, they quit the stock for the interest, and 
lose alL Happy are they who can keep Christ by himself alone, 
and keep him clean and whole till God come and count with 

I know that in your hard and heavy trials long since, ye thought 
well and highly of Christ. But truly no cross should be old to us ; 
we should not forget them because years are come betwixt us and 
^them, and cast them by hand,^ as we do old clothes. We may 
make a cross old in time, new in use, and as fruitful as in the be- 
ginning of it. God is wnere, and what he was seven years ago, 
whatever change be in us. I speak not this as if I thought that 
ye had forgotten what God did to have your love long since ; but 
that ye may awake yourself, in this sleepy age, and remember 
fruitfully Christ's first wooing and suiting* of your love, both with 
fire and water ; and try if he got his answer, or if ye be yet to 
give k him. For I find in myself that water runneth not faster 
through a sieve than our warnings slip from us ; for I have lost 
and casten by-hand* many summonses which the Lord hath sent 
me ; and, therefore, the Lord hath given me double charges, that 
I trust in God shall not rive me. I bless His great name, who is 
no niggard in holding in crosses upon me, but spendeth largely 
his rc^s, that he may save me from this perishing world. How 
plentiful God is in means of this kind is esteemed, by many, one 
of God's unkind mercies ; but Christ's cross is neither a cruel nor 
an unkind mercy, but the love-token of a father. I am sure that 
a lover, chasing us for our well, and to have our love, should not 
be run away from, nor fled from. God ^end me no worse mercy 
than the sanctified cross of Christ portendeth, and I am sure that 
I should be happy and blessed. 

Pray for me, that I may find house-room in the Lord's house to 

t Belch. i Ob that > OUitrwiae. 

• Aiftde. • Urging a tuit • Cast tiUe. 


speak in his name. Remember, my dearest love, in Christ, to 
your wife. Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord, Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1636. 



Worthy, and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace b« 
to you — I long to see you in this northern world on paper; I know 
it is not forgetfuiness that ye write not. I am every way in good 
case, both in soul and body ; all honor and glory be to my Lord : 
I want nothing but a further revelation of the beauty of the un- 
known Son of God. Either I know not what Christianity is, or 
we have stinted a measure of so many ounce weights and no more 
upon holiness ; and there we are at a stand, drawing our breath 
all our life — a moderation in God's way, now, is much in request. 
I profess that I have never taken pains to find out Him whom my 
soul loveth ; there is a gate^ yet of finding out Christ that I have 
never lighted upon. Oh if I could find it out ! Alas, how soou 
are we pleased with our own shadow in a glass ! It were good to 
be beginning in sad earnest' to find out God, and to seek the right 
tread of Christ. Time, custom, and a good opinion of ourselves, 
our good meaning, and our lazy desires, our fair shows, and the 
world's glistering lustres, and these broad passments* and busk- 
ings' of religion, that bear bulk in the Kirk, is that wherewith 
most satisfy themselves ; but a bed watered with tears, a throat 
dry with praying, eyes as a fountain of tears for the sins of the 
land, are rare to be found among us. Oh if we could know the 
power of godliness ! 

This is one part of my case ; and another is, that I like a fool, 
once summoned Christ for unkindness, and complained of h» 
fickleness and inconstancy, because he would have no more of my 
service nor preaching, and had casten me out of the inheritance 
of the Lord ; and now I confess that this was but a bought plea, 
and I was a fool ; yet he hath borne with me. I gave him a fair 
advantage against me, but love and mercv would not let him take 
it ; and the truth is, now he hath chided himself firiends with roe, 
and hath taken away the mask, and hath renewed his wonted 
favor in such a manner, that he hath paid me my hundred-fold in 
this life, and one to the hundred. This prison is my banqueting 
house ; I am handled as softly and delicately as a dawted * child. 
I am nothing behind, (I see,) with Christ ; he can, in a month, 
make up a year's losses. And I write this to you, that I may 
entreat, nay, abjure and charge you, by the love of our WelUbe- 

1 War. « Oh that * Sober eaneiL 

* StriM of laee tewed on garmeDta, gaudj omamenU 

• Deekiogt. • Fondled. 

Rutherford's letters. 135 

loved, to help me to praise ; and to tell all your Christian acquaint- 
ance to help me, for I am as deeply drowned in his debt as any 
dyvour* can be: and yet in this fair sunblink,« I have something 
to keep me from startling,' or being exalted above measure — his 
word is as fire shut up in my bowels, and I am weary with for- 
bearing. The ministers in this town are saying that they will 
have my prison changed into less bounds, because they see God 
with me. My mother hath borne me a man of contention, one that 
striveth with the whole earth. The late wrongs and oppressions 
done to my brother keep my sails low : yet I defy crosses to em- 
bark me in such a plea against Christ as I was troubled with of 
late. I hope to over-hope and over-believe my troubles ; I have 
cause now to trust Christ's promise more than bis gloom.^ 

Remember my hearty affection to your wife. My soul is grieved 
for the success of our brethren's journey to New England ;• but 
God hath somewhat to reveal that we see not Grace be with 
you. Pray for the prisoner. 

Yours, in hb only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jan. 1, 1637. 



My very Honorable, and Good Lord, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to your Lordship. — Out of the worthy report I hear of 
your Lordship's zeal for this borne-down and oppressed Gospel, I 
am bold to write to your Lordship, beseeching you by the mercies 
of God. by the honor of our royal and princely King, Jesus, by the 
sorrows, tears, and desolation of your afflicted Mother-church, and 
by the peace of your conscience, and your joy in the day of Christ, 
that your Lordship would go on, in the strength of your Lord, and 
in the power of his might, to bestir yourself, for the vindicating of 
the fallen honor of your Lord Jesus. Oh, blessed hands for ever- 
more, that shall help to put the crown upon the head of Christ 
again in Scotland ! I dare promise in the name of our Lord, that 
this will fasten and fix the pillars and the stakes of your honora- 
ble house upon earth if you lend and lay in pledge in Christ's 
hand, (upon spiritual hazard,) life, estate, house, honor, credit, 
nioyen,* friendb, the favor of men, (suppose kings with three 
crowns,) so being that ye may bear witness, and acquit yourself 
as a man of valor and courage, to the Prince of your salvation, 
for the purging of his temple, and sweeping out the lordly Diotre- 
pheses, time-courting Demases, corrupt Hymaneuscs and Phile- 
luses, and other such oxen, that with tneir dung defile the Temple 

1 Banknipt. ' Gleam of the ton. 

* Over excHeoMent, an alliition to the wild and excited running about of cattle in • 
h0C daj. « Frown. ^ See Letter CCL. • Interoet 

136 Rutherford's letters. 

of the Lord. Is not Christ now crying, '' Who will help me? who 
will come out with me, to take part with me, and share in the 
honor of my victory over these mine enemies, who have said, Wo 
will not have this Man to rule over us '" 

My very honorable, and dear Lord, join, join as ye do with 
Christ ; he is more worth to you, and your posterity, than this 
world's may-flowers, and withering riches and honor, that shall go 
away as smoke, and evanish in a night vision, and shall in one 
half-hour, after the blast of the Archangel's trumpet, lye in white 
ashes. Let me beseech your Lordship to draw by ' the lap of 
time's curtain, and to look in, through the window, to great and 
endless eternity, and consider, if a worldly price, (suppose this liule 
round clay globe of this ashy and dirty earth, the dying idol of 
the fools of this world, were all your own,) can be given for one 
smile of Christ's Grod-like and soul-ravishing countenance, in that 
day, when so many joints and knees of thousand thousands wail- 
ing shall stand before Christ, trembling, shouting, and making 
their prayers to hills and mountains, to fall upon them, and hide 
them from the face of the Lamb: Oh, how many would sell lord- 
ships and kingdoms that day, and buy Christ ! But, oh, the mar- 
ket shall be closed and ended ere then ! Your Lordship hath now 
a blessed venture of winning court with the Prince of the kings of 
the earth : he himself weeping, truth borne down and fallen in 
the streets, and an oppressed Gospel, Christ's bride with watery 
eyes, and spoiled of her veil, her hair hanging about her eyes, 
forced to go in ragged apparel, the banished, silenced, and impri- 
soned prophets of God, who have not the favor of liberty to pro- 
phesy m sackcloth ; all these, I say, call for your help. Fear not 
worms of clay, the moth shall eat them as a garment. Let the 
Lord be your fear ; he is with you, and shall fight for you ; thus 
shall ye cause the blessing of those, who are ready to perish, to 
come upon you ; and ye shall make the heart of this your Mother- 
church to sing for joy. The Ljamb and his armies are with you, 
and the kingdoms of the earth are the Lord's. I am persuaded 
that there is not another gospel, nor another saving truth, than 
that which ye now contend for. I dare hazard my heaven and 
salvation upon it, that this is the only saving way to glory. 

Grace, grace be with your Lordship. 
Your Lordship's, 
At all respectful obedience in Christ| S. R. 
Aberdeen, 1631 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you. — It is more 
than time that I should have written to you, but it is yet good 

1 Pait « DeltMkm. 

Rutherford's letters. 137 

tune, if I could help your soul to mend your pace, and to go more 
swiftly to your heavenly country : for truly ye have need to make 
all haste, because the inch of your day that remaineth will auickly 
slip away ; for whether we sleep or wake, our glass runnetn — the 
tide bideth no man. Beware of a beguile ' in the matter of your 
salvation. Wo, wo for evermore, to them that lose that prize. 
For what is behind, when the soul is once lost, but that sinners 
warm their bits of clay-houses at a fire of their own kindling, for 
a day or two, which doth rather suffocate with its smoke than 
wann them ; and at length they lie down in sorrow, and are 
clothed with everlasting shame I I would seek no further mea- 
sure of faith to begin withal than to believe really and stedfastly 
the doctrine of God's justice, his all-devouring wrath and ever- 
lasting burning, where sinners are burnt, soul and body, in a 
river and great lake of fire and brimstone : then they would wish 
no more goods than the thousandth part of a cold fountain-well to 
cool their tongue ; they would then buy death with enduring of 
pain and torment for as many years as God hath created drops of 
rain since the creation ; but there is no market of buying or selling 
life or death there. Oh, alas ! the greatest part of this world run 
to the place of that torment rejoicing and dancing, eating, drink- 
ing, and sleeping. My counsel to you is, that ye start in time to 
be after Christ ; for if ye go quickly, Christ is not far before you, 
ye shall overtake him. O Lord God, what is so needful as this 1 
'^ Salvation, salvation !" Fy upon this condemned, and foolish 
world, that' would give so little for salvation ! Oh, if there were 
a free market for salvation proclaimed in that day, when the 
trumpet of God shall awake the dead, how many buyers would 
be then ! God send me no more happiness than that salvation 
which the blind world, (to their eternal wo,) letteth slip through 
their fingers. Therefore, look if ye can give out your money (as 
Isaiah speaketh, ch. Iv. 2,) for bread, and lay Christ and his blood 
in wadset' for Heaven. It is a dry and hungry bairn's part of 
goods that Esaus are hunting for here. I see thousands following 
the chase, and in the pursuit of such things, while in the mean- 
time they lose the blessing ; and, when all is done, they have 
caught nothing to roast for supper, but lie down hungry ; and, 
besides, they go to bed when they die, without a candle : for God 
saith to them, "This shall ye have at my hand, ye shall lie down 
in sorrow." (Isaiah 1. 11.) And truly this is as ill-made a bed 
to lie upon as one could wish ; for he caonot sleep soundly, nor 
rest sweetly, who hath sorrow for his pillow. Rouse, rouse up, 
therefore, your soul, and speer* how Uhrist and your soul met 
together. I am sure that they never got Christ, who were not 
once sick at the yolk of the heart for him. Too, too many whole 
souls think that' they have' met with Christ, who had never a 
wearied night for the want of him : but alas ! what richer are 
men, that they dreamed the last night they had much gold, and, 

> Delusion. * AlMnadoa ander revenioii. * Inqnira. 

138 Rutherford's letters. 

when they awoke in the morning, they found it was but a dream ? 
What are all the sinners in the world, in that day when heaven 
and earth shall go up in a flame of fire, but a number of beguiled 
dreamers? Every one shall say of his hunting and his conquest,^ 
'< Behold, it was a dream !" every man in that day will tell bia 
dream. I beseech you, in the Lord Jesus, beware, beware of un- 
sound work in the matter of your salvation : ye may not, ye can- 
not, ye dow not * want Christ ; then, after this day, convene all 
your lovers before vour soul, and give them their leave;* and 
strike hands with Christ, that, thereafter, there may be no happi- 
ness to you but Christ ; no hunting for anything but Christ ; no 
bed at night, when death cometh, but Christ — Christ, Christ, who 
but Christ ! I know this much of Christ, that he is not ill ^ to be 
found, nor lordly of his love. Wo had been mv part of it for 
evermore, if Christ had made a dainty of himself to me. But, 
God be thanked, I gave nothing for Christ ; and now I protest, 
before men and angels, that Christ cannot be exchanged, t]iat 
Christ cannot be sold, that Christ cannot be weighed. Where 
would angels, or all the world find a balance to weigh him in? 
All lovers blush when ye stand beside Christ ! Wo upon all love 
but the love of Christ ; hunger, hunger for evermore, be upon all 
heaven but Christ ; shame, shame for evermore be upon all glory 
but Christ's glory. I cry death, death upon all lifes* but the life 
of Christ. Oh, what is it that holdeth us asunder? Oh, that 
once we could have a fair meeting. 

Thus recommending Christ to you, and you to him, for ever- 
more, I rest. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy and peace be multiplied 
upon you — I am almost wearying, yea, wondering, that ye write 
not to me ; though I know it is not forgetfulness. 

As for myself, I am every way well, all glory to God. I was 
before at a plea with Christ, but it was bought by me, and unlawful, 
because his whole providence was not yea and nay to my yea and 
nay, and, because 1 believed Christ's outward look better than his 
faithful promise. Yet he hath in patience waited on, whill I be come 
to myself, and hath not taken advantage of my weak apprehensions 
of his goodness, — great, and holy is his name ! He looketh to what I 
desire to be, and not to what I am. One thing I have learned. If I 

1 Acquiaidon bj porchMe or indoilry. t Are not able. 

* Ducharge. « Difficult, hanl. 

* That k, all manner of lift, bat the lifb of Chriat in the eoaL 


bad been in Christ, by way of adhesion only, as many branches 
are, I should have been burnt to ashes, and this world would have 
seen a suffering minister of Christ, (of something once in show,) 
turned into unsavory salt. But my Lord Jesus had a good eye 
that the Tempter should not play foul play, and blow out Christ's 
candle. He took no thought of my stomach, and fretting and 
erudging humor, but of his own grace. When he burnt the 
house, he saved his own goods. And I believe that the Devil, 
and the persecuting world shall reap no fruit of me, but burned 
ashes : for he will see to his own gold, and save that from being 
consumed with the fire. 

Oh what owe I to the file, to the hammer, to the furnace of my 
Lord Jesus ! who hath now let me see how good the wheat of 
Christ is, that goeth through his mill, and his oven, to be made 
bread for his own table. Grace tried is better than grace, and it 
is more than grace, it is glory in its infancy. I now see that god- 
liness is more than the outside, and this world's passments ^ and 
th^r buskings.' Who knoweth the truth of grace without a 
trial? Oh how little getteth Christ of us, but that which he win- 
neth, (to speak so,) with much toil and pains ! And how soon 
would faith freeze without a cross! How many dumb crosses 
havQ been laid upon my back, that had never a tongue to speak 
the sweetness of Christ, as this hath? When Christ blesseth his 
own crosses with a tongue, they breathe out Christ's love, wisdom, 
kindness, and care of us. Why should I start at the plough of 
ray Lord, that maketh deep furrows on my soul ? I know that 
he is no idle husbandman, he purposeth a crop. Oh, that this 
white withered lea-ground ' were made fertile to bear a crop for 
Him, by whom it is so painfully dressed ; and that this fallow- 
ground were broken up ! Why was I (a fool !) grieved that he 
put his garland, and his rose upon my head — the glory, and honor 
of his faithful witnesses? I desire now to make no more pleas ^ 
with Christ. Verily he hath not put me to a loss by what I 
suffer ; he oweth me nothing : for in my bonds how sweet and 
comfortable have the thoughts of him been to me, wherein I find 
a sufficient recompense of reward ! 

How blind are my adversaries, who sent me to a banqueting- 
house, to a house-of-wine, to the lovely feasts of my lovely liOrd 
Jesus, and not to a prison, or place of exile ! Why should I 
smother my Husband's honesty, or sin against His love ? or be a 
niggard in giving out to others what I get for nothing ? — Brother, 
eat with me, and give thanks. I charge you before God, that ye 
speak to others, and invite them to help me to praise ! Oh my debt 
of praise, how weighty it is, and how lar run up ! Oh that others 
would lend me to pay, and learn me to praise ! Oh I am a drowned 
dyvour!* Lord Jesus, take my thougnts for payments. Yet I am 
in this hot summer-blink* with the tear in my eye; for, by reason 

> Oaudj trappings: pawneDts are strip* of lace aewed on mnnentt. 

* Deekmga. > Land in gra«, as opposed to rtd^ or tilled groond. 

< Unarrels. • BankmiS. < Oleam of the sun. 

140 rutherfoie^d's letters. 

of my silence, sorrow, sorrow hath filled me : iny h&rp k hanged 
upon the willow trees, because I am in a strange land. I am still 
kept in exercise with envious brethren ; my Mother hath borne 
me a man of contention. 

Write to me your mind anent Y. C. — I cannot forget him ; 1 
know not what God hath to do with him : — and your mind anent 
my parishioners' behavior ; and how they are served in preach- 
ing, or if ther« be a minister as yet thrust in upon them, which I 
deeire greatly to know, and which I much fear. 

Dear brother, ye are in my heart, to live and to die with you. 

Visit me with a letter. Pray for me. Remember my love to 

your wife. Grace, grace be with you: and God, who heareth 

prayer, visit you, and let it be unto you according to the prayers of 

Your own brother, and Christ's prisoner, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Januaiy h 1^7. 



My Dearly-beloved Sister, — Grace, mercy, and peace be 
to you — I complain that Galloway is not kind to me on paper ; I 
have received no letters these sixteen weeks, but two. 

I am well. My prison is a palace to me, and Christ's banquet- 
ing-honse. My Lord Jesus is as kind as they call Him. Oh, that 
all Scotland knew my case, and had part of my feast ! I charge 
you, in the name of God, I charge you to believe. Fear not the 
sons of men, the worms shall eat them. To pray and believe 
now, when Christ seemeth^ to give you a nay-say, * is more than it 
was before. Die believing, die with Christ's promise in your hand. 

I desire, I request, I charge your husband, and that town to 
stand for the truth of the Grospel. Contend with Christ's enemies: 
and I pray you to show all professors that you know mv case. 
Help me to praise. The ministers here envy^me ; they will have 
my prison changed. My mother hath borne me a man of conten- 
tion, and one that striveth with the whole earth. 

Remember my love to your husband. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in the Lord, S. R< 

Aberdeen, Jan. 3, 1$37. 



Worthy and Dear Brother, — Grace, meicy, and peace be 
to you — I have been too long in answering your letter, but other 

I A deniaL 

rotherford's letters. 141 

business took me up. I am here waiting, U the fair wind will 
turn upon Christ's sails in Scotland ; and if deliverance be break- 
ing out over this overclouded and benighted Kirk. Oh, that we 
could contend, by prayers and supplications, with our Lord for that 
effect ! I know that He hath not given out His last doom against 
this land. I have little of Christ, in this prison, but groanings, and 
longings, and desires. All my stock of Christ is some hunger for 
Him, (and yet I cannot say but I am rich in that ;) my faith, and 
hope, and holy practice of new obedience, are scarce worth the 
speaking of: but blessed be my Lord, who taketh me, light, and 
clipped, and noughty,^ and feckless,* as I am. I see that^ Christ 
will not prig' with me, nor stand upon stepping-stpnes,^ but com- 
eth in at the broadside* without ceremonies, or making it nice,* to 
make a poor ransomed one His own. Oh, that I could feed upon 
His breathing, and kissing, and embracing, and upon the hopes 
of my meeting and His, when love-letters shall not go betwixt us, 
but He will be messenger himself ! But there is required patience 
on'our part, till the summer fruit in Heaven be ripe for us. It is 
in the bud^ but there be many things to do before our harvest 
come : and we take ill with it, and can hardly endure to set our 
paper-face to one of Christ's storms, and to go to Heaven with wet 
feet, and pain, and sorrow. We love to carry a heaven to Heaven 
with us, and would have two summers in one year, and no less 
than two heavens ; but this will not do for us : — one, and such a 
one ! may suffice us well enough : — the Man, Christ, got but oniB 
only, and shall we have two ? 

Remember my love, in Christ, to your father; and help me with 
your prayers. If ye would be a deep divine, I recommend to }ou 
sanctification. Fear Him, and He will reveal His Covenant to 
you. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jan. 5, 1637, 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — 1 
liave longed to hear from you, and to know the estate of your soul, 
and the estate of that people with you. 

I beseech you, sir, by the salvation of your precious soul, and 
the mercies of (Jod, to make good and sure work of your salvation, 
and try upon what ground-stone^ ye have builded. Worthy, and 
dear sir, if ye be upon sinking sand, a storm of death, and a blast 

» Of nought. « WorthleM. • Chaffer. 

* Th stand upon ttepping-aUmes, to heettate. * Frankly, 

i J\» make U niet m doing a thUig^ to be veiy gingerly about the doing of it. 
V Foundatioa. 


will loose Christ and you, and wash you close ^ off the rock. Oh, 
for the Lord's sake, look narrowly to the work ! 

Read over your life, with the light of God's day-l'giit and sun ; 
for salvation is not casten down at every man's door. It is good 
to look to your compass, and all ye have need of, ere you take 
shipping ; for no wind can blow you back again. Remember, 
when the race is ended, and the play either won or lost, and ye 
are in the utmost circle and border of time, and shall put your 
foot within the march* of eternity, and all your good tnings of 
this short night-dream shall seem to you like the ashes of a bleeze* 
of thorns or straw, and your poor soul shall be crying, '* Lodging, 
lodging, for God's sake !" then shall your soul be more ^lad at one 
of your Lord's lovely, and homely smiles, than if ye had the char- 
ters of three worlds for all eternity. Let pleasures and gain, will 
and desires •£ this world, be put over into God's hands, as arrested 
and fenced goods, that ye cannot intromit* with. Now, when ye 
are drinking the grounds of your cup, and ye are upon the utmost 
end of the last link of time, and old age, like death's long shadow, 
is casting a covering upon your days, it is no time to court this 
vain life, and to set love and heart upon it. It is near after-sup- 
per ; • seek rest and ease for your soul, in Gtod through Christ 

Believe me that I find it to be hard wrestling to play fair with 
Christ, and to keep good quarters with him, and to love him in 
integrity and life, and to keep a constant course of sound, and solid 
daily communion with Christ : temptations are daily breaking the 
thread of that course, and it is not easy to cast a knot again, and 
many knots make evil work. Oh, how fairly have many ships 
been plying before the wind, that, in an hour's space, have beea 
lying in the sea-bottom! How many professors cast a goldea 
lustre, as if they were pure gold, and yet are, under that skin and 
cover, but base and reprobate metal ! And how many keep breath 
in their race many miles, and yet come short of the prize and the 
garland ! Dear sir, my soul would mourn in secret for you, if I 
knew your case with God to be but false work : love to have you 
anchored upon Christ maketh me fear your tottering and slips. 
False under-water,* not seen in the ground^ of an enlightened 
conscience, is dangerous ; so is often failing, and sinning against 
light. Know this, that those who never had sick nights or days 
in conscience for sin, cannot have but such a peace with Gtod as 
will undercoat* and break the flesh again, and end in a sad war 
at death. Oh, how fearfully are thousands beguiled with false 
hide-grown-over old sins, as if the soul were cured and healed ! 

Dear sir, I always saw nature mighty, lofty, heady, and strong 
in you ; and, that it was more for you to be mortified and dead to 
the world, than another common man. Ye will take a low ebb, 

> Altogether. > Bouiulaiy. 

* Anything which barns op tnddenly, and is quickly consamed, with a Uainif 
flame. < Intermeddle. 

* The intenral between supper an I bed-thne. • Bilge-water^ 

V Bottom. * Fester, after haTing skinned over. 

Rutherford's letters. 143 

and a deep cut, and a long lance, to go to the bottom of your 
wounds, in saving humiliation, to make you a won prey for Christ. 
Be humbled ; walk softly; down, down, for God's sake, my dear, 
and worthy brother, with your top-sail ; stoop, stoop ! it is a low 
entry to go in at Heaven's gate. There is infinite justice in the 
Party ye have to do with ; it is His nature not to acquit the guilty, 
and the sinner. The law of God will not want one farthing of the 
sinner. God forgetteth not both the cautioner ^ and the sinner ; 
and every man must pay, either in his own person, ^oh, Lord save 

iron from that payment \) or in his cautioner,^ Christ. It is vio- 
ence to corrupt nature for a man to be holy, to lye down under 
Christ's feet, to quit will, pleasure, worldly love, earthly hope, and 
an itching of heart after this farded' and over-gilded world, and to 
be content that Christ trample upon all. Come in, come in to 
Christ, and see what ye want, and find it in him : — he is the short 
cut, (as we used to say,) and the nearest way tb an outgate' of 
all your burdens. I dare avouch that ye shall be dearly welcome 
to him ; my soul would be glad to take part of the joy ye should 
have in him. I dare say that angels' pens, angels' tongues, nay, 
as many worlds of angels, as there are drops of water in all the 
seas, and fountains, and rivers of the earth, cannot paint him out 
to you. I think his sweetness, since I was a prisoner, hath swelled 
upon me to the greatness of two heavens. Oh, for a soul, as wide 
as the utmost circle of the highest Heaven that containeth all, to 
cvntain his love ! And yet I could hold little of it Oh, world's 
wonder ! Oh, if* my soul might but lye within the smell of his 
love, suppose I could get no more but the smell of it ! Oh, bit it 
is long to that day when I shall have a free world of Christ's love ! 
Oh, what a sight'to be up in Heav^en, in that fair orchard of the 
New Paradise ; and to see, and smell, and touch, and kiss, that 
fair Field-flower, that ever-green Tree of Life ! His bare shadow 
were enough for me ; a sight of him would be the earnest of 
Heaven to me. Fy, fy upon us ! that we have love lying rusting 
beside us, or, which is worse, wasting upon some loathsome objects, 
and that Christ should lie his lone.* Wo, wo is me ! that sin hath 
made so many madmen, seeking the fool's paradise, fire under ice, 
and some good and desirable things, without, and apart from 
Christ. Christ, Christ, nothing but Christ, can cool our love's 
burning languor. O thirsty love ! wilt thou set Christ, the well 
of life, to thy head, and drink thy fill. Drink, and spare not ; 
drink love, and be drunken with Christ ! Nay, alas ! the distance 
betwixt us and Christ is a death. Oh, if « we were clasped in 
other's arms! We should never twin* again except Heaven 
twinned* and sundered us — and that cannot be. 

I desire your children to seek this Lord. Desire them from me, 
to be requested, for Christ's sake, to be blessed and happy, and to 
corae and take Christ, and all things with him. Let them beware 

I Snwtj. t DiifiiiMd with paint • Egraw. « Oh, that. 

• Bj hmnlf alood. • Part. » Parted. 


of glassy and slippery youth, of foolish young notions, of worldly 
lusts, of deceivaole gain, of wicked company, of cursing, lying* 
blaspheming, and foolish talking : let them be filled with the Spirit, 
acquaint themselves with daily praying, and with the store-house 
of wisdom ^nd comfort, the good word of God. Help the souls of 
the poor people ; oh, that my Lord would bring me again anion^ 
them, that I might tell unco * and great tales of Christ to them ! 
Receive not a stranger to preach any other doctrine to them. 

Pray for me. His prisoner of hope. I pray for you without ceas- 
ing. I write my blessing, earnest prayers, the love of God, and the 
sweet presence of Christ to you, and yours, and them. 

Grace, grace, grace be with you. 

Your lawful, and loving pastor^ S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 

to the earl of lothian. 

Right Honorable, and my very Worthy, and Noble 
Lord, — Out of the honorable and good report that I hear of your 
Lordship's good-will and kindness, in takmg to heart the honor- 
able cause of Christ, and his afflicted church and wronged truth ia 
this land. I make bold to speak a word, on paper, to your Lord* 
ship, at this distance, which 1 trust your Lordship will take in good 
part. It is your Lordship's honor and credit, to put-to your hand, 
(as ye do — all honor to God !) to the falling and tottering taber- 
nacle of Christ, in this your mother-church, and to own Christ's 
wrongs as your own wrongs. O blessed hand, which shall wipe 
and dry the watery eyes of our weeping Lord, Jesus, now going 
mourning in sackcloth in his members, in his spouse, in his truth, 
and in the prerogative royal of his kingly power ! He needeth 
not service and help from men; but it pleaseth his wisdom to 
make the wants and losses, the sores and wounds of his spouse a 
field and an office-house for the zeal of his servants to exercise 
themselves in ; therefore, my noble and dear Lord, go on, go on in 
the strength of the Lord, against all opposition, to side with 
wronged Christ. The defending and warding of strokes off Christ's 
bride, the King's daughter, is like a piece of the rest of the way to 
Heaven, knottv, rough, stormy, and full of thorns. Many would 
follow Christ, but with a reservation that, by open proclamatioD, 
Christ would cry down crosses, and cry up fair weather, and a 
summer sky and sun, till we were all fairly landed at Heaven. I 
know that your Lordship hath not so learned Christ, but that ^ e 
intend to fetch Heaven, suppose that your father were standing in 
your way ; and to take it with the wind on your face ; for so both 
storm and wind were on the fair face of your lovely Fore-runner 

1 Strange. 


Christ, all his way. It is possible that the success answer not 
vour desire, in this worthy cause : what then ? Duties are ours, 
but events are the Lord's ; and I hope, if your Iiordship, and 
others with you, will go on to dive to the lowest ground and bottom 
of the knavery and perfidious treachery to Christ of the accursed, 
and wretched prelates, th5 Antichrist's first-born, and the first fruit 
of his foul womb, and shall deal with our Sovereign, (law going 
before you,) for the reasonable, and impartisLi hearing of Christ's 
bill of complaints, and set yourselves singly to seek the Lord and 
his face, that your righteousness shall break through the clouds 
which prejudice hath drawn over it, and that ye shall, in the 
strength of the Lord, bring our banished, and departing Lord Jesus 
home again to his sanctuary. Neither must your Lordship advise 
with flesh and blood in this ; but wink, and in the dark reach your 
hand to Christ, and foUoV him. Let not men's fainting discourage 
you, neither be afraid of men's canny » wisdom, who, in this storm, 
take the nearest shore, and go to the lee and calm side of the 
Gospel, and hide Christ, if ever they had him, in their cabinets, 
as if they were ashamed of him, or, as if Christ were stolen wares, 
and would blush before the sun. 

My very dear, and noble Lord, ve have rejoiced the hearts of 
many, that ye have made choice oi Christ, and his Gospel, whereas 
such great temptations do stand* in your way : but I love your 
profession the better, that it endureth winds. If we knew our- 
selves well, to want temptations is the greatest temptation of all. 
Neither is father nor mother, nor court, nor honor, in this over- 
lustred world, with all its paintry* and farding,' anything else, 
when they are laid in the balance with Christ, but feathers, 
shadows, night-dreams, and straws. Oh, if this world knew the 
excellency, sweetness, and beauty of that high and lofty One, that 
Fairest among the sons of men, verily they would see that if their 
love were bigger than ten heavens, all in circles beyond each other, 
it were all too little for Christ, our Lord ! I hope that your choice 
will not repent you, when life shall come to that twilight betwixt 
time and eternity, and ye shall see the utmost border of time, and 
shall draw the curtain, and look into eternity, and shall one day 
see God take the heavens in his hands, and fold them together 
like an old worn-out garment, and set on fire this clay part of the 
creation of God, and consume away, into smoke and ashes, the 
tdol-hope of poor fools, who think that there is not a better coun- 
try than this low country of dying clay. Children cannot make 
comparison aright betwixt this life and that which is to come ; 
and, therefore, the babes of this world, who see no better, mould, 
ia (heir own brain, a heaven of their own coining, because they 
see no further than the nearest side of time. 

I dare lay in pawn my hope of Heaven, that this reproached 
way is the only way of peace. I find it is the way that the Lord 
hath sealed with his comforts, now in my bonds for Christ ; and I 

> Prodent < Painted decoratioDS. * Painted diegaitea. 



verily esteem, and find chains and fetters for that kurely Onei 
Christ, to be watered^ over with sweet consolations, and the love* 
smiles of that lovely Bridegroom, for whose coming we wait. 
And when he cometh, then shall the blacks and whites of all men 
come before the sun ; then shall the Lord put a final decision 
upon the pleas that Zion hath with her adversaries. And as 
fast as time posteth away, (which neither sitteth, nor standeth, 
nor sleepeth,) .as fast is our hand-breadth of this short winter- 
night flying away, and the sky of our long-lasting day drawing* 
near its breaking. 

Except your Lordship be pleased to plead for me, against the 
tyranny oi prelates, I snail be forgotten in this prison ; for thev 
did shape my doom according tp their new, lawless canons, which 
is, that a deprived minister ^all be utterly silenced, and not 
preach at all ; which is a cruelty, contrary to their own former 

Now, the only wise Gpd, the very Grod of peace, confirm, 
strengthen, and establish your Lordship upon the Stone laid in 
Zion, and be with you, forever. 

Your Lordship's, 
At all respectful obedience in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — ^I long to hear 
how your soul prospereth. I earnestly desire vour on-going to- 
ward your country. I know that ye see your day melteth away 
by little and little, and that in a short time ye shall be put bevond 
time's bounds; for Ufe is a post that standeth not still, and our 
joys here are bom weeping, rather than laughing, and they die 
weeping. Sin, sin, this body of sin and cprruption embittereth<» 
and poisooeth all our enjoyments. Oh, that I were where I shall 
sin no more ! Oh, to be freed of these chains and iron fetters, 
which we carry about with us ! Lord, loose the sad prisooere. 
Who of the children of God have not cause to say, that tney have 
their fill of this vain life, and like a full and sick stomach, to wish 
at mid-supper, that the supper were ended, and the table drawn, 
that the sick man might wm* to bed, and enjoy rest? We have 
cause to tire at mid-supper, of the best messes that this worid can 
dress up for us ; and to cry to God, that he would remove the 
table, and put the sin-sick souls to rest with himselC Oh, for a 
long play-nay with Christ, and our long-lasting vacance' of rest ! 
Gla^ may their souls be that are safe over the firth,^ Christ having 

1 Plated. t Oet • Taeation. « Frkh, eiiiMiy. 

Rutherford's letters. J47 

paid the fraught.* Happy are thev who have passed their hard 
and wearisome time of apprenticeship, and are now freemen and 
citizens in that joyful, high city, the New Jerusalem. Alas ! that 
we should be glad of, and rejoice in our fetters, and our prison* 
house, and this dear inn, a life of sin, where we are absent from 
our Lord, and so far from our home. Ob, that we could get bonds 
and law-suretyship of our love, that it fasten not itself on these 
clay-dreams, these clay-shadows, and worldly vanities ! We . 
might be oftener seeing what they are doing in Heaven, and our 
hearts more frequently upon our sweet treasure above. We smell 
of the smoke of this lower house of the earth, because our hearts 
and our thoughts are here. If we could haunt up with God, we 
should smell of Heaven and of our country above, and we should 
look like our country, and like strangers or people not born or 
brought up hereaway.* Our crosses would not oite upon us* if 
we were heavenly-minded. I know of no obligation which the 
saints have to this world, seeing we fare but upon the smoke of 
it ; and, if there be any smoke in the house, it bloweth upon our 
eyes. All our part of the table is scarce worth a drink of water ; 
and, when we are stricken, we dare not weep, but steal our grief 
away betwixt our Lord and us, and content ourselves with stolen 
sorrow behind backs. God be thanked that we have many things 
that so stroke us against the hair, as we iriay pray, *< God keep 
our better home, CSod bless our Father's house ; and not this 
smoke, that bloweth us to seek our best lodging." I am sure that 
this is the best fruit of the cross, when we, from the hard fare of 
the dear inn, cry the more, that God would send a fair wind, to 
land us, hungered and oppressed strangers, at the door of our Fa- 
ther's house, which now is made in Christ our kindly heritage. 
Oh ! then, let us pull up the stakes and stoups* of our tent, and 
take our tent on our back, and go with our flitting* to our best 
home ; for here we have no continuing city. 

I am waiting in hope here, to see what my Lord will do with 
me. Let him make oi me what he pleaseth ; providing he make 
glory to himself out of me, I care not. I hope, yea, I am now 
sure, that I am for Christ, and all that I can, or may make is for 
him. I am his everlasting debtor, or dyvour,* and still shall be ; 
for, alas, I have nothing for him, and he getteth but little service 
of me ! Pray for me, that our Lord would be pleased to give me 
hoQse-room, that I may serve him in the calling which he hath 
called me unta 

Grace be with you. 

Tours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 

1 Prekht. t in UibjpreMat lift. 

* Woiud not be able eren to make tlie leaet mark with their teeth upon ne. 

« Pons. < Pnnutiire which may be remored firom one itiUeiiee to asether. 




Worthy, and Well-beloved Brother, — Grace, mercy and 

feace be unto you — I am yet waiting what our Lord will do for 
is afflicted Church, and for my re-entry to my liord's house. Oh 
that 1 could hear the forfeiture of Christ, (now casten out of his 
inheritance,) recalled, and taken off by open proclamation ; and 
that Christ were restored to be a free-holder and a landed heritor ' 
in Scotland: and that the courts fenced* in the name of the bas- 
tard prelates, (their godfather the Pope's bailiffs and sheriffs) were 
cried down ! Oh how sweet a sight were it, to see all the Tribes 
of the Lord in this land fetching home again our banished King, 
Christ, to his own palace, his sanctuary, and his throne ! I shall 
think it mercy to my soul, if my faith will out-watch all this win- 
ter night, and not nod nor slumber till my Lord's summer-day 
dawn upon me. It is much if faith, and hope, in the sad nights 
of our heavy trial, escape with a whole skin, and without crack, 
or crook. I confess that unbelief hath not reason to be either 
father, or mother to it, (for unbelief is always an irrational thing ;) 
but how can it be, but that such* weak eyes as ours must cast 
water in a great smoke, or, that a weak head should not turn 
giddy when the water runneth deep, and strong ? But Giod be 
thanked, that Christ, in his children, can endure a stress and a 
storm, howbeit soft nature would fall down in pieces. 

Oh that I had that confidence as to rest on this, though hf 
grind me into small powder, and bray me into dust and scatter 
the dust to the four winds of heaven, that my Lord would gather 
up the powder, and make me up a new vessel again, to bear 
Unrist's name to the world ! I am sure that love, bottomed, and 
seated upon the faith of his love to me, would desire and endure 
this, and would even claim, and thrcep* kindness upon Christ's 
strokes, and kiss his love-glooms,^ and both spell, and read salva- 
tion upon the wounds made by Christ's sweet hands. Oh that I 
had but a promise made from the mouth of Christ of his love to 
me \ and then, howbeit my faith were as tender as paper, I think 
longing, and d wining,* and greening* of sick desires would cause 
it to bide^ out the siege till the Lord came to fill the soul with hb 
love; and I know, also, that, in that case, faith would bide' green 
and sappy at the root, even at mid-winter, and stand out against 
all storms. However it be, I know that Christ winneth Heavea 
in despite of Hell. But I owe as many praises and thanks to free 
grace, as would lye betwixt me and the utmost border of the high* 
est Heaven, suppose ten thousand heavens were all laid above 

1 A propriekir of land. < Coottllitted and ofwned. 

* T\t thrtep, pertinacio«uly to penevera in aaaerting, in contradiction to denial 

* LoTo-frowna. * Pining. * Longing with greedy duriiii. 
T Hdd. • ConHnue. 


Other. Bui oh ! I have nothing that can hire, or bud ' grace ; for 
if grace would take hire it were no more grace ; but all our stabil- 
ity, and th& strength of cur salvation is anchored and fastened 
upon free grace ; and I am sure that Christ hath, by his death 
and blood, casten * the knot so fast, that the fingers of the devils, 
and hell-fuls of sins cannot loose it : and that bond of Christ, 
(that never yet was, nor ever shall, nor can be regist rated,') stand- 
eth surer than Heaven, or the days of Heaven, as that sweet 

eillar of the Covenant whereon we all hang. Christ, with all his 
ttle ones under his two wings, and in the compass or circle of his 
arms, is so sure, ^at cast him and them into the ground^ of the 
sea, he shall come up again, and not lose one. An odd one can- 
not, nor shall be lost in the telling. 

This was always God's aim, since Christ came into the play 
betwixt him and us, to make men dependent creatures, and, in 
the work of our salvation, to put created strength, and arms, and 
legs of clay quite out of play, and out of office and court ; and 
now God hath substituted, in our room, and accepted his Son, the 
Mediator, for us, and all that we can make. If tnis had not been, 
I would have skinked over^ and foregone my part of Paradise and 
salvation, for a breakfast of dead, moth-eaten earth ; but now I 
would not give it, nor let it go, for more than I can tell ; — and 
truly they are silly fools, and ignorant of Christ's worth, and so, 
full ill-trained and tutored, who tell Heaven and Christ over the 
board, for two feathers, or two straws of the Devil's painted plea- 
sures, only lustred on the outer side. This is our happiness now, 
that our reckonings at night, when eternity shall come upon us, 
cannot be told : we shall be so far gainers, and so far from being 
super-expended, (as the poor fools of this world arc, who give out 
their money, and get in but black hunger,) that angels cannot 
lay our counts, nor sura our advantage and incomes. Who know- 
eth how far it is to the bottom of our Christ's fulness, and to the 
ground * of our heaven ? Who ever weighed Christ in a pair of 
balances ? Who hath seen the foldings and plies, and the heights 
and depths of that glory which is in him, and kept for us ? Oh 
for such a heaven as to stand afar off, and see, and love, and long 
for him, whill time's thread be cut, and this great work of crea- 
tion dissolved, at the coming of our Lord ! 

Now to his grace I recommend you. I beseech you also, to 
pray for a re-entry to me into 'the Lord's house, if it be his good 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jan. 6, 1637. 

> Bfibe. t Tied. • Noted, proteited. « Bottom. 

* Formally renouneed : an allation to the practice of a ■eller't drinking the health 
•f a parehaaer, and wishing him ludc in hia bargain. 


letteIr LXXXVI. /^-CcU/ 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — ^I have loM 
had a purpose of writing unto you, but I have been hindered. I 
heartily desire that ye would mind your country, and consider to 
what airth^ your soul setteith its face; for all come not home at 
night, who suppose that they have set their face heavenward. It 
is a woful thing to die, and miss Heaven, and fo lose house-room 
with Christ at night ; — it is an evil journey where travellers are 
benighted in the fields. I persuade myself that thousands shall 
be deceived and ashamed of their hope : because they cast their 
anchor in sinking sands, they must lose it. Till now, I knew not 
the pain, labor, nor difficulty that there is to win at* home: nor 
did I understand so well, before this, what that meaneth, "The 
righteous shall scarcely be saved." Oh, how many a poor profes- 
sor's candle is blown out, and never lighted agam ! I see that 
ordinary profession, and to be ranked amongst the children of 
God, and to have a name among men, is now thought good 
enough to carry professors to Heaven ; but certainly a name is 
but a name, and will never bide* a blast of God's storm. I coun- 
sel you not to give your soul, or Christ rest, nor your eyes sleeps 
till ye have gotten something that will bide the fire, and stand out 
the storm. I am sure, that if my one foot were in Heaven, and, 
if then, he should say, "Fend* thyself, I will hold my grips* of 
thee no longer," I should go no farther, but presently fall down in 
as many pieces of dead nature. 

They are happy for evermore who are over head and ears in 
the love of Christ, and know no sickness but love-sickness for 
Christ, and feel no pain but the pain of an absent, and hidden 
Well-beloved. We run our souls out of breath, and tire them in 
coursing and galloping after our night-dreama, (such are the rov- 
ings of our miscanying hearts,) to get some created good thing in 
this life, and on this side of death. We would fain stay and spin 
out a heaven to ourselves, on this side of the water ; but sorrow, 
want, changes, crosses, and sin are both woof and warp in that 
ill-spun web. Oh, how sweet and dear are these thoughts that 
are still upon the things which are above ! and how happy are 
they who are longing to have little sand in their glass, and to 
have time's thread cut, and can cry to Christ, " Lord Jesus, have 
over :• come and fetch the dreary passenger !" I wish that our 
thoughts were more frequently than they are, upon our country. 
Oh, but Heaven casteth a sweet smell afar off, to those who have 
spiritual smelling ! Grod hath made raanv fair flowers, but the 
fairest of them all is Heaven, and the flower of all flowers is 

1 Point of Uie compaM. • * Reach. * EadurB. 

« Shift for. < Keep hold. • Have ' 


Christ Oh ! why do we not flee up to that lovely One? Alag, 
that there is such a scarcity of love, and of lovers of Christ 
amongst us all ! Fy, fy upon us, who love fair things, as fair 
gold, fair houses, fair lands, fair pleasures, fair honors, and fair 
persons, and do not pine and melt away with love to Christ ! Oh, 
would to God, I had more love for his sake ! Oh, for as much as 
would lye betwixt me and Heaven, for his sake ! Oh, for as much 
as would go round about the earth, and over the Heaven, yea, the 
Heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds, that I might let all 
out upon fair, fair, onlv fair Christ ! But alas, I have nothing for 
him, yet he hath much for me. It is no gain to Christ, that he 
getteth my little feckless,^ span-length, and hand-breadth of love. 
If men would have something to do with their hearts and their 
thoughts, that are always rolling up and down like men with oars 
in a boat, after sinful vanities, they might find great and sweet 
employment to their thoughts upon Christ. If those frothy, fluc- 
tuating, and restless hearts of ours would come all about Christ, 
and look into his love, to bottomless love, to the depth of mercy, 
to the unsearchable riches of his grace, to inauire after, and search 
into the beauty of God in Christ, they would be swallowed up in 
the depth and height, length and breadth of his goodness. Oh, 
if* men would draw the curtains, and look into the inner side of 
the ark, and behold how the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in 
him bodily ! Oh ! who would not say, "Let me die, let me die 
ten times, to see a sight of him?" Ten thousand deaths were no 
great price to give for him. I am sure that sick, fainting love 
would heighten the market, and raise the price to the double for 
bim. But, alas, if men and angels were rouped,* and sold at the 
dearest price, they would not all buy a night's love, or a four-and- 
twenty-hours' sight of Christ. Oh, how nappy are they who get 
Christ for nothing ! God send me no more for my part of para- 
dise than Christ; — and surely I were rich enough, and as well 
beavened as the best of them, if Christ were my heaven. 

I can write no better thing to you, than to desire you, if ever ye 
laid Christ in a count, to take him up and count him again ; and 
weigh him over again and again : and after this, have no other to 
court your love, and to woo your soul's delight, than Christ. Ho 
will be found worthy of all your love, howbeit it should swell upon 
you from the earth to the uppermost circle of the Heaven of 

To our Lord Jesus, and his love, I c6mmend you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1037. 

> Feeble, woithleM. t Oh, that > Scld bjr public audioii 




MisTRESs,-^Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you — ^Ye arc not 
a litlle obliged to His rich grace, wno hath separated you for him- 
self, and for the promised inheritance with the saints in light, from 
this condemned and guilty world. Hold fast Christ, contend for 
him : it is a lawful plea^ to go to holding and drawing for Christ ; 
and it is not possible to keep Christ peaceably, having once gotten 
him, except the Devil were dead. It must be your resolution to 
set your face against Satan's northern tempests and storms, for 
salvation : — nature would have heaven come to us while sleeping 
in our beds. We would all buy Christ, so being wc might make 
price ourselves ; but Christ is worth more blood and lives than 
either ye or I have to give him. When we shall come home, and 
enter to the possession of our Brother's fair Khigdom, and when 
our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and 
when we shall look back to pains and sufferings, then shall we see 
life, and sorrow, to be less than one step or stride from a prison to 
glory ; and that our little inch of time-suffering is not worthy of 
our first night's welcome-home to Heaven. Oh, what then will 
be the weight of every one of Christ's kisses ! Oh, how weighJy, 
and of what worth shall every one of Christ's love-smiles be ! Oh, 
when once he shall thrust a wearied traveller's head betwixt his 
blessed breasts, the poor soul will think one kiss of Christ hath 
fully paid home forty, or fifty years' wet feet, and all its sore* 
hearts, and light sufferings, it had in following after Christ ! Oh, 
thrice-blinded souls, whose hearts are charmed and bewitched with 
dreams, shadows, feckless* things, night- vanities, and night-fancies 
of a miserable life of sin ! Shame on us, who sit still, fettered with 
the love and liking of the loan of a piece of dead clay ! Oh, poor 
fools, who are beguiled with painted things, and this world's fair- 
weather, and smooth promises, and rotten worm-eaten hopes ! 
May not the Devil laugh to see us give out our souls, and get in 
but corrupt and counterfeit pleasures of sin? Oh for a siglit of 
eternity's glory, and a little tasting of the Lamb's marriage-sup- 
per ! Half a draught, or a drop of the wine of consolation, that is 
up at our banqueting house, out of Christ's own hand, would make 
our stomachs loathe the brown bread, and the sour drink of a mis- 
erable life. Oh, how far are we bereaved of wit, to chase, and 
hunt, and run, till our souls be out of breath, after a condemned 
happiness of our own making ! And do we not sit far in our own 
light, to make it a matter of bairns' play, to skink and drink over* 
paradise, and the heaven that Christ did sweat for, even for a blast 

1 duairel. t Aching. * UiMiibaUiitiaL 

* To skink and drink over, rormally and finaHy to renounce all claim to ; in altoaiMi 

to the practice ot a aeller't drinking the health of a purchaser, and wishing him lock 

of hit bargain. 

Rutherford's letters. 153 

of smoke, and for Esau's morning oreakfast? Oh thai we were 
out of ourselves, and dead to this world, and this world dead and 
crucified to us ! And, when we should be close * out of love and 
conceit of any masked and farded' lovef whatsoever, then 0hrist 
would win and conquer to himself a lodging in the inmost yolk 
of our heart ; then Christ should be our night-song, and our morn- 
ing-song : then the very noise and din of our Well-beloved's feet, 
when he cometh, and his first knock or rap at the door should be 
as news of two heavens to us. Oh that our eyes and our soul's 
smelling should go after a blasted and sun-burnt flower, even this 
plastered, fair outsided* world ; and then we have neither eye, nor 
smell for the Flower of Jesse, for that Plant of renown, for Christ, 
the choicest, the fairest, the sweetest Rose that ever God planted ! 
Oh, let some of us die to smell the fragrance of him ! and let my 
part of this rotten world be forfeited and sold for evermore, pro- 
viding I may anchor my tottering soul upon Christ ! f 'know that 
it is sometimes at this, " Lord, what wilt thou have for Christ ?" 
But. O Lord, canst thou be budded, and propined* with any gift 
for Christ? O Lord, can Christ be sold? or rather, may not a 
poor needy sinner have him for nothing? If I can get no more, 
oh, let me be pained to all eternity, with longing for him ! The 
joy of hungering for Christ should be my heaven for evermore. 
Alas, that I cannot draw souls and Christ together ! But I desire 
the coming of his Kingdom, and that Christ, as I assuredly hope 
he will, would come upon withered Scotland, as rain upon the 
new-mown grass. Oh, let the King come ! Oh, let his Kingdom 
come ! " Oh, let their eyes rot in their eye-holes,* who will not re- 
ceive him home again to reign and rule in Scotland. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S.' R. 

▲berdeea, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — Though not 
acquainted, yet at the desire of a Christian brother, I thought 
good to write a line unto you, entreating you, in the Lord Jesus, 
under your trials, to keep an ear open to Christ, who can speak 
for himself, howbeit your\isitations, and your own sense should 
dream hard things of His love and favor. Our Lord never get- 
teth so kind a look of us, nor our love in such a degree, nor our 
Gsiith in such a measure of steadfastness, as he getteth out of the 
furnace of our tempting fears and sharp trials. I verily believe, 

« Ak4)fefher. • Painted. 

* Empty, hollow ; having nothiDa but an outnde» 

« Bribed and proMnted. * Zceh ziv. 19. . 


(and too sad proofs in me say no less,) that if our lord wouc 
grind our whorish lust into powder, the very old ashes of our cor- 
ruption would take life again, and Uve, and hold us under so much 
bondage, that may humble us, and make us sad, till we be in that 
country where we shall need no physic at alL Oh, what violent 
means doth our Lord use to gain us to Him, as if, indeed, we were 
a prize worthv his fighting for ! And be sure, if leading would 
do the turn, that he would not use pulling of the hair, and draw- 
ing : but the best of us would bide * a strong pull of our Lord's right 
arm ere we follow Him. Yet I say not this as if our Lord always 
measured afBictions by so many ounce-weights, answerable to the 
grain- weights of our guiltiness : I know that He doth in many, (and 
possibly in you,) seek nothing so miuch as faith, that can endure 
summer and winter in their extremitv. Oh, how precious to the 
Lord are faith and love, that when tnreshed, beaten, and chased 
away, and boasted,' (as it were,) by^-God himself, doth yet look 
warm-like, love4ike, kind-like, and life-like, home-over* to Christ, 
and would be in at him, ill and well as it may be ! 

Think it not much, that your husband, or the nearest to you in 
the world, proveth to have the bowels and mercy of the ostrich, 
hard, and rigorous, and cruel : for, (Psalm xxviL 10,) the Lord 
taketh up such fallen ones as these. I could not wish a sweeter 
life, or more satisfying expressions of kindness, till I be up at that 
Prince of kindness, than the Lord's saints find, when the Lord 
taketh up men's refuse, and lodgeth this world's outlaws, whom 
no man seeketh after. His breath is never so hot. His love cast- 
eth never such a flame, as when this world, and those who should 
be the helpers of our joy, cast water on our coal. It is a sweet 
thing to see them cast out, and God take in ; and to see them 
throw^us away, as the refuse of men, and God take us up as His 

Swels and His treasure. Often He maketh gold of dross, as once 
e made the cast-away Stone, the Stone rejected by the builders, 
the Head of the corner. The princes of this world would not have 
our Lord Jesus as a pinning^ in the wall, or to have any place in 
the building ; but the Lord made Him the Master-stone of power 
and of place. God be thanked, that this world has not power to 
cry us down so many pounds, as rulers cry down light gold, or 
light silver : we shall stand for as much as our Master-coiner, 
Christ, whose coin, arms, and stamp we bear, will have us — Christ 
hath no miscarrying balance. Thank your Lord, who chasetb 
your love through two kingdoms, and followeth you and it over 
sea, lo have you for himself, as he speaketh, (Hos. iii.) For Grod 
layeth up his saints, as the wale ana the choice' of all the world 
for himself; and this is Uke Christ and His love. Oh, what in 
Heaven, or out of Heaven, is comparable to the smell of Cbrisit's 
garmenU ! Nay, suppose that our Lord would manifest His art, 
and make ten thousand heavens of good and glorious things, and 

> Stand. t Threatened with looks or gesture*. * Homewarda. 

* A unall stone used in building to fill up the interstieea belweaii Inrgei stones. 

* The very best selection that could be made. 

Rutherford's letters. 166 

of new joys, devised out of the* deep of infinite wisdom, He could 
not make the like of Christ ; for Christ is God, and God cannot 
be made: and, therefore, let U8 hold us with Christ, howbeit 
we might have our wale and will* of a host of lovers, as many 
as three heavens could contain. Oh, that He and we were to- 
gether ! Oh, when Christ and ye shall meet about the utmost 
march,' and borders of time, and the entry into eternity, ye shall 
see heaven in his face at the first look, and salvation and glory 
sitting in his countenance, and betwixt his eyes. Faint not ; 
the miles to Heaven are but few and short ; he is making a 
green bed ^as the word speaketb, Cant, i.,) of love for himself 
and you. There are many heads lying in Christ's bosom, but 
there is room for yours amongst the rest; and, therefore, go 
on, and let hope go before you. Sin not in your trials, and the 
victory is yours. Pray, wrestle, and believe, and ye shall over* 
come and prevail with God,* as Jacob did. No windlestraws,* no 
bits of clay, no temptations, which are of no longer life than an 
hour, will then be able to withstand you, when once ye have pre- 
vailed with God. 

Help me with your prayers, that it would please the Lord to 
give me house room again, to speak of His righteousness in the 
great congregation, if it may seem good in His sight. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideeo, July 6, 1637. 



My Lord, — I received Mr. L.'s letter with your Lordship's, and 
his learned thoughts in the matter of ceremonies. I owe respect to 
the man's learning, for that I hear him to be opposed to Arminian 
heresies : but, ^with reverence of that worthy man,^ I wonder to 
hear such popish-like expressions as he hath in nis letter, as 
^Your Lordship may spare doublings, when the King and Church 
have agreed in the settling of such orders ; and the Church's di- 
rection in things indifierent and circumstantial, (as if indiflferent 
and circumstantial were all one,) should be the rule of every pri- 
vate Christian." I only viewed the papers two hours' space, the 
bearer hastening me to write. I find the worthf man not so 
seen^ in this controversy, as some turbulent men of our country, 
whom he calleth refusers of conformity : and let me say it, I am 
more confirmed in nonconformity, when I see such a great wit 
play the agent so slenderly ; but I will lay the blame on the 

- Proe and ample Ubeity of ehoice. > Boandaiy. 

* Withered itaika of grass; metaphorically, weak and worthlew things. 
« Vosant, skilled. 

1S6 Rutherford's letters. 

weakness of the cause, not on the -meanness of Mr. L.'8 learning. 
I have been, and still am confident, that Britain cannot answer 
one argument a scandalo : and I longed much to hear Mr. L. 
speak to the cause : and I would say, if some ordinary* divine had 
answered as Mr. L. doth, that he understood not the nature of a 
Scandal ; but I dare not vilify that worthy man so. I am now 
upon the heat of some other employment. I shall, ^but God wil- 
ling,) answer this, to the satisfying of any not prejudiced. 

I will not say that every one is acquainted with the reason, in 
my letter, from God's presence a:nd bright shining face, in suffer- 
ing for this cause. Aristotle never knew the medium of the con- 
clusion : and Christ saith few know it (see Rev. ii. 17.) I am 
sure that conscience standing in awe of the Almighty, and fearing 
to make a little hole in the bottom for fear of under-water, is a 
strong medium to hold off an erroneous conclusion in the least 
wing or lith> of sweet, sweet truth, that concerneth the royal pre- 
rogative of our kingly and highest Lord Jesus ; and my witness 
is in Heaven, that I saw neither pleasure, nor profit, nor honor, 
to hook me, or catch me, in entering into prison for Christ ; but 
the wind on my face for the present ; and if I had loved to sleep 
in a whole skin, with the ease and present delight that I saw on 
this side of sun and moon, I should have lived at ease, and in 
good hopes to fare as well as others. The Lord knoweth that I 
preferred preaching of Christ, and still do, to anything next to 
Christ hhnself. And their new canons took my one, my only 
joy from me, which was to me as the poor man's one eye, that 
ad no moe ; and, alas ! there is little lodging in their hearts for 
pity or mercy, to pluck out a poor man's one eye for a thing in- 
different ; id est, for knots of strav/, and things, (as they mean,) 
off the way to Heaven. I desire not that my name take journey, 
and go a pilgrim to Cambridge, for fear I come into the ears of 
authority — I am sufficiently burnt already. 

In the mean time, be pleased to try if the Bishop of St An- 
drew's, and Glasgow, (Galloway's Ordinary,) will be pleased to 
abate from the heat of tneir wrath, and let me go to my charge. 
Few know the heart of a prisoner ; yet I hope that the Lord will 
hew his own glory out of as knotty timber as I am. Keep Christ, 
my dear and worthy Lord. Pretended paper-arguments from 
angering the Mother-church, that can reel, and nod, and stagger, 
are not of such weight as peace with the Father, and Husbimd. 
Let the wife gloom,^ I care not, if the Husband laugh. 

Remember my service to my Lord ycur father, and mother, 
and your lady. Grace be with you. 

Yours, at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jan. 34, 1637. 

1 JoiaL < Knit her bro«re 


Rutherford's letters. 167 

to john kennedy. 

My Loving, and most Affectionate Brother im Christ, 
— ^I salute you with grace, mercy and peace from God, cur Father, 
and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

I promised to write to you, and although late enough, yet I 
now make it good. I heard with grief of your great danger of 
perishing by the sea, and of your merciful deliverance with joy. 
Sure I am, "brother, that Satan will leave no stone unrolled, as 
the proverb is, to roll you off your Rock, or at least to shake and un- 
settle you : for, at that same time, the mouths of wicked men were 
opened in hard speeches against you, by land, and the Prince 
of the power of the air was angry with you, by sea. See 
then how much ye are obliged to that malicious Murderer, who 
would beat you with two rods at one time ; but, blessed be God ! 
his arm is short ; if the sea and winds would have obeyed him, 
ye had never come to land. Thank your God, who saith, (Rev. 
i. 18,) " I have the keys of Hell, and of death ;" (Deut. xxxii. 39,) 
"I kill and I make alive;" (1 Sam. ii. 6,) "The Lord bringeth 
down to the grave, and bringeth up." If Satan were jailer, and 
had the keys of death and of the grave, they should be stored with 
moe prisoners. Ye were knocking at these black gates, and yc 
found the doors shut ; and we do all welcome you back again. 

I trust that ye know it is not for nothing that ye are sent to us 
again. The Lord knew, that ye had forgotten something that 
was necessary for your journey ; that your armor was not as yet 
thick enough against the stroke of death. Now, in the strength 
of Jesus dispatch your business ; that debt is not forgiven, but 
fristed : » death hath not bidden you farewell, but hath only left 
you for a short season. End your journey, ere the night come 
upon you : have all in readiness against the time that ye must 
sail through that black and impetuous Jordan ; and Jesus, Jesus, 
who knoweth both those depths and the rocks, and all the coasts, 
be your pilot. The last tidfe will not wait for you one moment : 
if ye forget anything, when your sea is full, and your foot in that 
ship, there is no returning again to fetch it. What ye do amiss 
in your life to-day, ye may amend it to-morrow : for as many suns 
as God maketh to arise upon you, ye have as many new lives ; 
but yc can die but once, ana if ye mar or spill" that business, ye 
cannot come back to mend that piece of work again. No man 
sinneth twice in dying ill ; as we die but once, so we die but ill or 
well once. Ye see how the number of your months is written in 
God's book ; and as one of the Lord's hirelings, ye must work 
till the shadow of the evening come upon you, and ye sb^ll run 
your glass even to the last pickle' of sand. Fulfil your course 

I Cndited. t Spoil * Ormin. 

158 Rutherford's lettbrs. 

with ioy ; for we take nothiog to the grave with us, but a good 
or evil conscience. And, although the sky clear after this storm 
yet clouds will engender another. 

Ye contracted with Christ, I hope, when first ye began to fol- 
low him, that ye would bear his cross. Fulfil your part of the 
contract with patience, and brlsak not to Jesus Christ. Be hon- 
est, brother, in your bargaining with him : for who knoweth 
better how to bring up children than our Grod? For, (to lay 
aside his knowledge, of the which there is no finding out,) be 
hath been practised in bringing up his heirs these five thousand 
years, and his bairns are all well brought up, and many of them 
are honest men now at home, up in their own house in Heaven, 
and are entered heirs to their Father's inheritance. Now, the 
form of his bringing-up was by chastisements, scourging, correct- 
ing, nurturing: and see if he maketh exception of any of his 
bairns, (Rev. iii. 19 ; Heb. xii. 7, 8,) No : his eldest Son, and 
his Heir, Jesus, is not excepted, (Heb. ii. 10.) Suflfer we must : 
ere we were born, God decreed it ; and it is easier to complain of 
his decree, than to change iL It is true, terrors of conscience 
cast us down ; and yet without terrors of conscience we cannot 
be raised up again ; fears and doubtings shake us ; and yet with- 
out fears and doubtings we would soon sleep, and lose our grips 
of Christ : tribulation and temptations will almost loosen us at 
the root ; and yet, without tribulations and temptations, we can now 
no more grow, than herbs or corn without rain. Sin and Satan, 
and the world, will say, and cry in our ears, that we have a hard 
reckoning to make in judgment ; and yet none of these three, 
except they lie, dare say in our face, that our sin can change the 
tenor of the New Covenant Forward then, dear brother, and 
lose not your grips. Hold fast the truth ; for the world, sell not 
one dram-weight of Grod's truth, especially now, when most men 
measure truth by time, like young seamen setting their compass 
by a cloud : for now Time is father and mother to Truth, in the 
thoughts and practices of our evil time. The Grod of truth estab- 
lish us ; for, alas ! now there are none to comfort the prisoners of 
hope, and the mourners in Zion. We can do little, except pray and 
mourn for Joseph in the stocks. And let their tongue cleave to the 
roof of their mouth who forget Jerusalem now in her day : and the 
Lord remember Eklom, and render to him as he hath done to us. 

Now, brother, I shall not weary you ; but I entreat you to re- 
member my dearest love to Mr. David Dickson, with whom I have 
small acquaintance ; yet, I bless the Lord, I know that he both 
prayeth and doeth for our dying Kirk. Remember my dearest love 
to John Stuart, whom I love in Christ; and show him from me, 
that I do always remember him, and hope for a meeting. The 
Lord, Jesu*}, establish him more and more, though he be already 
a strong man in Christ. Remember my heartiest aflection in 
Christ to WiUiam Rodger, whom I also remember to Giod. I wish 
that the first news I hear of him, and you, and all that love our 
common Savi >ur, in those bounds, may be, that they are so knit 

rutherpord'3 letters. 159 

and linked, aiul kindly fastened in love \vi»h the Son of God, that 
ye may say, " Now if we would ever so fain escape out of Christ's 
hands, yet love hath so bound us, that we cannot get our hands 
free again ; he hath so ravished our hearts, that there is no loos- 
ening of his grips ; the chains of his soul-ravishing love arc so 
strong, that the grave nor death will break them." I nope, brother, 
yea, I doubt not of it, that ye lay me, and my first entry to the 
Lord's vineyard, and my flock, before Him who hath put me into 
bis work ; as the Lord knowetb, since first I saw you, I have been 
mindful of you. Marion Macknaught doth remember most heartily 
her love to you, and to John Stuart Blessed be the Lord ! that 
in God's mercy, I found in this country such a woman, to whom 
Jesus is dearer than her own heart, when there be so many that 
cast Christ over their shoulder. Good brother, call to mind the 
memory of your worthy father, now asleep in Christ ; and, as his 
custom was, pray continually, and wrestle for the life of a dying 
breathless kirk : and desire John Stuart not to forget poor Zion,— 
she hath few friends, and few to speak one good wora for her. 

Now I commend you, your whole soul, and body and spirit, to 
Jesus Christ and his keeping, honing that ye wiU live and die, 
stand and fall, with « the cause of our Master, Jesus. The Lord 
Jesus himself be with your spirit 

Tour loving brother in our Lord Jesus, S. R 

Anwoth, Feb. 3, 1637. 



Reverend, and dearly-beloved Brother, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 
be unto you. 

It is no great wonder, mv dear brother, that ye be in heaviness 
for a season, and that God's will, in crossing your design and de 
sires to dwell amongst a people whose God is the Lord, should 
move you. I deny not that ye have cause to inquire what his 
providence speaketh in this to you ; but God's directing and com- 
manding will can, by no good logic, be concluded from events of 
providence. The Lord sent Paul on many errands for the spread- 
mg of his Gospel, where he found lions m his way. A promise 
was made to his people of the Holy Land, and yet many nations 
were in the way, fighting against, and ready to kill them who had 
the promise, or to keep them from possessing that good land which 
the Lord their God had given them. I know that ye have most 
to do with submission of spirit ; but I persuade myself that ye 
have learned, in every condition wherein ye are cast, therein to be 
content, and to say "Good is the will of the Lord, let it be done.' 

160 Rutherford's letters 

I believe that the Lord tackleth * his ship often to fetch the wind, 
and that he purposeth to bring mercy out of your sufferings and 
silence, whicn, (i know from mine own experience,) is grievous to 
you. Seeing that he knoweth our willing mind to serve him, our 
wages and stipend is running to the fore * with our God, even as 
some sick soldiers get pay when they are bedfast, and not able to 
go to the field with others. " Though Israel be not gathered, yet 
shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my Grod shall be 
my strength," (Isa. xlix. 6.) And we are to believe it shall be 
thus ere all the play be played. (Jer. li. 35,) " The violence done 
to me and my flesh be upon Babylon," and the Great Whore's 
lovers, ^' shall the inhabitants of Zion say ; and my blood be upon 
Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say." And, (Zecb. xii. 2,) " Behold I 
will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round 
about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and 
against Jerusalem ;" (ver. 3,) " And in that day will I make Jeru- 
salem a burdensome stone for a?* people; they that burden them- 
selves with it shall be broken in pieces, though all the people of 
the earth be gathered against it." When they have eaten and 
swallowed us up, they shall be sick, and vomit us out living men 
again : — the Devil's stomach cannot digest the Church of Grod 
Suffering is the other half of our ministry, howbeit the hardest : 
for we would be content that our King, Jesus, should make an 
open proclamation, and cry down crosses, and cry up joy, gladness, 
ease, honor, and peace; but it must not be so; through many 
afllictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God. Not only by 
them, but through them must we go ; and wiles will not take us 
past the cross : — it is folly to think to steal to Heaven with a whole 

For myself, I am here a prisoner confined in Aberdeen, threat- 
ened to be removed to Caithness, because I desire to edify in this 
town : and am openly preached against in the pulpits in my hear- 
ing, and tempted with disputations by the doctors, especially by 
D. B. Yet I am not ashamed of the garland and crown of my 
Lord Jesus. I would not exchange my weeping with the painted 
laughter of the Fourteen Prelates. At my first coming here I 
took the dorts ' at Christ, and would, forsooth, summon him for 
unkindness. I sought a plea^ of my Lord, and was tossed with 
challenges' whether he loved me or not; and disputed over again 
all that he had done to me, because his word was a fire shut up in 
my bowels and I was weary with forbearing, because I said I was 
cast out of the Lord's inheritance ; but now I see that I was a 
fool. My Lord miskent* all, and did bear with my foolish jeal- 
ousies, and miskent* that ever I wronged his love ; and now he is 
come again with mercy under his wings. I passed from my Toll, 
thoughtless !) summons : he is Grod, I see, and I am man. Now 
it hath pleased him to renew his love to my soul, and to dawi' his 
poor prisoner. Therefore, dear brother, help me to praise; and 

» Tackrth. • To aecount • Pet. * QaaireL 

* QuefcUoningt. * Woald not know. ^ Fondle. 


fifaow the Lord's people with you what he hath done to my soul, 
that they may pray and praise ; and I charge you, in the name 
of Christ, not to omit it : for this cause I write to you, that my 
suffering may glorify ray royal King, and edify his church in Ire- 
land. He knoweth how one of Christ's love-coals^hath burnt my 
soul with a desire to have my bonds to preach bis glory, whose 
cross I now bear. God forgive you if you do it not; but I hope 
the Lord will move your heart, to proclaim in my behalf the sweet- 
ness, excellency, and glory of my royal King. It is but our soft 
flesh that hath raised a slander on the cross of Christ : I see now 
the white side of it ; my Lord's chains are all over-gilded. Oh, 
if ^ Scotland and Ireland had part of my feast ! And yet I get not 
my meat but with many strokes. There are none here to whom 
I can speak : I dwell in Kedar's tents. Refresh me with a letter 
from you. Pew know what is betwixt Christ and me. 

Dear brother, upon my salvation, this is his truth that we suffer 
for. Christ would not seal a blank charter to souls. Courage, 
courage, joy, joy for evermore ! Oh joy unspeakable and glorious ! 
Oh for help to set my crowned King on high ! Oh for love to Him 
who is altogether lovely! that love which many waters cannot 
quench, neither can the floods drown ! 

I remember you, and bear your name on my breast to Christ. 
I beseech you forget not his afflicted prisoner. Grace, mercy, and 
peace be with you. Salute, in the Lord, from me, Mr. Cunning- 
nam, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Ridge, Mr. Colwart, d&c. 

Tour brother, and fellow-prisoner, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 7, 1637. 



My Reverend and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to you — I lon^ to hear from you, and to be refreshed with 
the comforts of the bride of our Lord Jesus in Ireland. I suffer 
with you in grief for the dash that your desires to be at N. E. have 
received of late ; but if our Lord, who hath skill to bring up His 
children, had not seen it your best, it would not have befallen you. 
Hold your peace, and stay yourself upon the Holy One of Israel. 
Hearken to what He hath said in crossing of your desires. He will 
speak peace to His people. 

I am here removed from my flock, and silenced, and confined in 
Aberdeen, for the testimony of Jesus ; and I have been confined 
in spirit also with desertions and challenges.* I gave in a bill of 
qaarreb, and complaints of unkindness against Christ, who seemed 
to have cast me over the dyke ' of the vineyard, as a dry tree, and 
separated me from the Lord's inheritance : but high, high and 

I Oh, that s Aecnutioiii. * Wall 


162 Rutherford's lftters. 

loud praises be to our royal crowned King in Zion, that He hath 
not burnt the dry branch — I shall yet live, and see His glory. 

Your Mother-church, for her whoredom, is like to be cast off 
The bairns may break their hearts, to see such chiding betwixt 
the husband and the wife. Our clergy is upon a reconciliation 
with the Lutherans, and the doctors are writing books, and draw- 
ing up a Oomroon Confession at the Council's conftmand. Our 
Service-book ' is proclaimed witl^ sound of tmmpeL The night is 
fallen down upon the prophets ; Scotland's nay of visitation is 
come : it is tim^ for the bride to weep, while Christ is a-saying 
that He will choose another wife. But our sky will clear again. 
The dry branch of cut-down Lebanon will bud again and be glo- 
rious, and they shall yet plant vines upon our mountains. 

Now, my dear brother, I write to you for this end, that ye may 
help me to praise, and seek help of others with you, that God 
be glorified in my bonds. My Lord Jesus hath taken the with- 
ered dry stranger, and His prisoner broken in heart, into His house- 
of-wine. Oh! if* ye, and all Scotland, and all our brethren with 
you, knew how I am feasted ! Christ's honeycombs drop com- 
forts. He dineth with His prisoner, and the King's spikenard 
casteth a smell. The Devil cannot get it denied that we suffer 
for the apple of Christ's eye, His royal prerogatives as King and 
Law-giver. Let us not fear or faint. He will have His Gospel 
once again rouped'in Scotland, and have the matter going to 
voices, to see who will say^ " Let Christ be crowned King in lS»t- 
land." It is true that Antichrist stirreth his tail ; but I love a 
rumbling or raging devil in the Kirk, (since the Church militant 
cannot or may not want a devil to trouble her,) rather than a 
subtile or sleeping devil. Christ never yet got a bride without 
stroke of sword. It is now nigh the Bridegroom's entering into 
His chamber, let us awake and go in with Him. 

I bear your name to Christ's door ; I pray you, dear brother, 
forget me not. Let me hear from you by letter, and I charge yon, 
smother not Christ's bounty towards me. I write what I have 
found of Him in the house of my pilgrimage. Remember my love 
Co all our brethren and sisters there. 

The Keeper of the vineyard watch for His besieged dty, and 
for you. 

Your brother, and fellow-suflerer, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 7, 1637. 



Rbvbrend, and Dear Brother, — ^I received your letter, and 
am contented, with all my heart, that our acquaintance in oiir 
Lord continue. 

I Book of CommoQ Prayer. • Oh that * Put vp to tale by aMdeii. 


I am wrestling, as I dow,' up the mount with Christ^s cross : 
my Second is kind, and able to help. 

As for your questions, because oi my manifold distractions, and 
letters to multitudes, I have not time to answer them. What shall 
be said, in common for that, shall be imparted to you : for I am 
upon these Questions : therefore, spare me a little, for the Service- 
book* woula take a great time. But I think, Sicut deosculatio 
religiosa imaginis, aut etiam elementorum, est in se idololatria ex- 
terna, etsi intentio deosculandi, tota, quanta in actu est, feratur in 
Deum n(fonoivnd¥ ' ita, geniculatio coram pane, quando, nempe, ex 
institute, totus homo extemus et internus versari debeat circa ele- 
mentaria signa, est adoratio relativa, et adoratio ipsius panis. 
Ratio : Intentio adorandi objectum materiale, non est de essentia 
extemiB adorationis, ut patet in desoculatione religioslt. Sic geni- 
culatio coram imagine Babylonit^ est externa adoratio imaginis, 
etsi tres pueri mente intendissent adorare Jehovam. Sic, qui ex 
metu solo, aut spe pretii, aut inanis gloriee, geniculatur coram 
aureo vitulo Jeroboami, (quod ab ipso rege, qui null& religione in- 
ductus, sed libidine dominandi tantum, vitulum erexit, factitatum 
esse, textus satis luculenter clamat,) fidorat vitulum extern^ ado- 
ratione ; esto quod putaret vitulum esse meram creaturam, et ho- 
Dore nuUo dignum': quia geniculatio, sive nos nolumus, sive 
voluraus, ex institute Dei et naturae, in actu religioso, est symbo- 
lum religiose adorationis: ergo, sicut panis significat corpus 
Christi, etsi absit actus omnis nostra intentionis ; sic religiosa 
geniculatio, sublat4 omni intentione humane, est externa adoratio 
panb, coram quo adoramus, ut coram signq vicario et reprsesenta- 
tivo Dei. 

Thus recommending you to God's tender mercy, I desiie that 
ye would remember me to God. Sanctification will settle you 
most in the truth. 

Grace be with you. 

Tour brother in Christ Jesus, S. R. 

Ab6tvo6ii| 1637* 



My very Worthy, and Dear Friend, — Grace, mercy, and 

rtace be to you — Though all Gralloway should have forgotten me, 
would have expected a letter from you ere now : — but I will not 
expound it to be forgetfulness of me. 

Now, my dear brother, I cannot show you how matters go be- 
twixt Christ and me. I find my Lord going and coming seven 
limes a-day. His visits are short; but they are both frequent and 
nweet. I dare not for my life think of a challenge of my Lord. 

t Am able. > Book of CkNmnon Prajer. 


I hear ill tales, and hard reports of Christ, from the Tempter, and 
my flesh : but love believetn no evil. I may swear that they are 
liars, and that apprehensions make lies of Christ's honest and un- 
alterable love to me. I dare not say that I am a dry tree, or that 
I have no room at all in the vineyard : but yet I often think that 
the sparrows are blessed, who may resort to the House of God in 
Anwoth, from which I am banished. 

Temptations, that I supposed to be stricken dead, and laid upon 
their back, rise again, and revive upon me ; yea, I see that, while 
I live, temptations will not die. The Devil seemeth to brag and 
boast as much, as if he had more court with Christ than I have ; 
and as if he had charmed and blasted my ministry, that I shall 
do no more good in public : but this wind shaketh no com.^ 1 
will not believe that Christ would have made such a mint* to 
have me to himself, and have taken so much pains upon me ns 
He hath done, and then slip away so easily from possession, 
and lose the glory of what He hath done. Nay, since I came to 
Aberdeen, I have been taken up to see the New Land, the fair 
palace of the Lamb : and, will Christ let me see I^eaven, to break 
my heart, and never give it to me ? I shall not think my Ijord 
Jesus giveth a dumb earnest, or putteth His seals to blank paper, 
or intendeth to put me off with fair and false promises. 

I see that now, which I never saw well before. — 1. I see faith's 
necessity in a fair day is never known aright ; but now I miss 
nothing so much as faith. Hunger in me runneth to fair and 
sweet promises ; but, when I come, I am like a hungry man that 
wanteth teeth, or a weak stomach having a sharp appetite that 
is filled with the very sight of meat, or like one stupifiea with cold 
Under the water, that would fain come to land, but cannot grip* 
anything casten^ to him. I can let Christ grip me, but I cannot 
grip him. I love to be kissed and sit on Uhrist's knee ; but I 
cannot set mv feet to the ground, for afllictions bring the cramp 
upon my faith. All that I dow* do is to hold out a lame faith to 
Christ, like a beggar holding out a stump, instead of an arm, or 
leg, and crying, " Lord Jesus work a miracle !" Oh, what would 
I give to have bands and arms, to grip * strongly, and fold heart- 
somely,* about Christ's neck, and to have my claim made good 
with real possession ! I think that my love to Christ hath feet in 
abundance, and runneth swiftly to be at him, but it wanteth 
hands and fingers to apprehend him. I think that I would give 
Christ every morning my blessing, to have as much faith as I 
have love and hunger ; at least, I miss faith more than love or 

2. I see that mortification, and to be crucified to the world, is 
not so highly accounted of by us as it should be. Oh, how heaven- 
ly a thing it is to be dead, and dumb, and deaf to this world's 
9weet music ! I confess it hath plersed his Majesty to make me 

> A proverbial expreMion, intimating that his eflbrtt avail nothing. 

* Intimation, by word or ligna, of an intention. * Lay hold oC 

« Thrown. • Am able to. • CovdiaOy. 

ruthbrford's letters. 165 

laugh at children, who are wooing this world fo* the r match. I 
see men l3nng about the world, as nob e% about a king's court ; 
and I wonder what they are all doing there. As I am at this 
present I would scorn to court such a feckless ^ and petty princess, 
or buy this world's kindness with a bow of my knee. I scarce 
now either hear or see what it is that this world offereth me ; I 
know that it is little which it can take from me, and as little that 
it can give me. I recommend mortification to you above any- 
thing ; for, alas ! we but chase feathers flying in the air, and tire 
our own spirits for the froth and over-gilded clay of a dying life. 
One sight of what my liOrd hath let me see within this short 
time, is worth a world of worlds. 

3. I thought courage in the time of trouble for Christ's sake, a 
thing that I might take up at my foot ; I thought that the very 
remembrance or the honesty of the cause would be enough ; but I 
was a fool in so thinking. I have much ado now to win to* one 
smile. But I see that joy groweth up in Heaven, and it is above 
our short arm. Christ will be steward and dispenser himself, and 
none else but he ; therefore, now, I count much of one drachm- 
weight of spiritual joy. One smile of Christ's face is now to me 
as a kingdom, and yet he is no niggard to me of comforts. Truly 
I have no cause to say that I am pinched with penury, or that 
the consolations of Christ are dried up : for he hath poured down 
rivers upon a dry wilderness, the like of me, to my admiration : 
and in my very swootiings, he holdeth up my head, and stayeth 
me with flagons of wine, and comforteth me with apples. My 
bouse and bed are strewed with kisses of love. Praise, praise 
with me. Oh, if ye and I betwixt us could lift up Christ upon his 
throne, howbeit all Scotland should cast him down to the ground! 

My brother's case toucheth me near. I hope that ye will be 
kind to him, and give him your best counsel. 

Remember my love to your brother, to your wife, and G. M. 
Desire him to be faithful, and to repent of his hypocrisy ; and say 
that I wrote it to you. I wish him salvation. Write to me your 
mind anent C. E., and C. Y., and their wives, and I. G., or any 
others in my parish. I fear that I am forgotten amongst them ; 
but I cannot forget them. 

The prisoner's prayers and blessings come upon you. GracOj 
grace be with you. 

Tour brother, in the Lord Jesus, S. R. 

AbodMa, Ftb. 9, 1637. 

1 WorthkM. * To attain to. 

166 ruthbrford's letters. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to your Ladyship — ) 
long to hear from you. I am here waiting, if a good wind, long- 
looked-for, will at length blow into Christ's sails, in this land 
But I wonder if Jesus be not content to suffer more yet in hi? 
members and cause, and in the beauty of his hous^ rather than 
he should not be avenged upon this land. I hear that many 
worthy men, (who see more in the Lord's dealings, than I can 
take up with my dim sight,) are of a contrary mind, and do be- 
lieve that the Lord is coming home again, to his House in Scot- 
land. I hope he is on his journey that way ; yet I look not bu( 
that he will feed this land with their own blood, before he estab 
lish his throne amongst us. I know that your Honor is not look- 
ing after things hereaway.' Ye have no great cause to thinh 
that your stock and principal is under the roof of these visible 
heavens ; and I hope that ye would think yourself a beguiled anc 
cozeped soul if it were so. I should be sorry to counsel yooi 
Ladyship, to make a covenant wiih time, and this life ; but rathei 
desire you to hold in fair generals, and afar off from this ill- 
founded heaven, that is on thb side of the water. It speaketfa 
somewhat, when our Lord bloweth the bloom* off our daft' hope« 
in this life, and loppeth the branches off our worldly joys, well 
nigh the root, on purpose that they should not thrive. Lord 
spilP my fool's heaven in this life, that I may be saved forever. 
A forfeiture of the saint's part of the yolk and marrow of short* 
laughing worldly happiness, is not such a real evil as our blinded 
eyes conceive. 

I am thinking long* now for some deliverance more than be 
fore. But I know that I am in an error. It is possible I am not 
come to that measure of trial which the Lord is seeking in hb 
work. If my friends in Gralloway would effectually do' for m) 
deliverance, I should exceedingly rejoice ; but I know not but tht 
Lord hath a way, whereof he will be the onlv reaper of prabes. 

Let me know with the bearer how the child is. The Lord bf 
his tutor, and your only comforter. There is nothing here wher* 
I am, but profanity, and atheism. Grace, grace be with your 
) ladyship. 

Your Ladyship's, at all obliged obedience, in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 13, 1637. 

^ In thb precent itata. > BIomooh. > Inaane, ibofitK. 

• Spoil, ruin. • Longing c Ezeit th mel to. 

Rutherford's letters. 167 




Madam, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — I would not 
omit the occasion to write to your Ladyship with the bearer. I 
am glad that the child is well. God's favor, even in the eyes of 
men, be seen upon him ! 

I hope that your Ladyship is thinking upon these sad and 
woful days wherein we now live; when our Lord, in his right- 
eous judgment, is sending the Kirk the gate ' she is going, to 
Rome's brothel-house, to seek a lover of her own, seeing that she 
hath given up with Christ her husband. Oh, what sweet com- 
fort, what rich salvation, are laid up for those who had rather 
wash and roll their garments in their own blood, than break out 
from Christ by apostasy ! Keep yourself in the love of Chjist, 
and stand far aback from the pollutions o^the world. Side not 
with these times, and hold off from coming nigh the signs of a 
conspiracy with those that are now coirie out against Christ, that 
mp may be one kept for Christ only. I know that your Ladyship 
cninketh upon this, and how you may be humbled for yourself, 
and this backsliding land ; for I avouch, that wrath from the 
' Lord is gone out against Scotland. I think aye the longer the 
better of my royal and worthy Master. He is become a new 
Well-beloved to me now, in renewed consolations, by the presence 
of the Spirit of grace and glory. Christ's garments smell of the 
powder of the merchant, when he cometh out of his ivory cham- 
bers. Oh, bis perfumed face, his fair face, his lovely and kindly 
kisses, have made me, a poor prisoner, see, that there is more to 
be had of Christ in this Ufe than I had believed ! We think all 
is but a little earnest, a four-hours',' a small tasting, which we 
have, or that is to be had in this life, (which is true compared 
with the inheritance ;) but yet I know it is more, it is the King- 
dom of God within us. Wo, wo is me, that I have not ten loves 
for that one Lord Jesus ; and that love faileth, and drieth up in 
loving him : and that I find no way to spend my love desires, and 
the yolk of my heart upon that fairest and dearest One. I am 
far behind with my narrow heart. Oh, how ebbi a soul have I 
to take in Christ's love ! for, let worlds be multiplied, according to 
angels' understanding, in millions, whill* they weary themselves, 
these worlds would not contain the thousandth part of his love. 
Oh, if* I could yoke in« amongst the 4hick' of angels, and sera- 
phims, and now glorified saints, and could raise a new love-song 
of Christ, before all the world ! — I am pained with wondering at 
new-opened treasures in Christ. If every finger, member, bone, 

1 Roftd. t A flight fidernoon refreshment * Shallow. * Till 

• Oh, that • To yoke in, to join in with energy. ^ Throng. 

166 Rutherford's lkptbrs. 

and joint, were a torch burning in the hottest fire in Hell, I wouU 
Uiat they could all send out love praises, high songs of praise, for 
evermore, to that Plant of Renown, to that royal and high Prince, 
Jesus my Lord. But alas ! his love swelleth in me and findeth 
no vent Alas ! what can a dumb prisoner do, or say for him ! 
Oh, for an ingine* to write a book of Christ and his love ! Nay, 
I am left of him bound, and chained with his love. I cannot find 
a loosed soul to lift up his praises and give them out to others. 
But, oh ! my day-light hath thick clouds ; I cannot shine in his 
praises. I am often like a ship plying about to seek the wind : I 
sail at great leisure, and cannot be blown upon that loveliest Lord. 
Oh, if I could turn my sails to Chrbt's right airth :» and thai I 
had my heart's wishes of his love ! But, I but roar his praises : 
nay, I know no comparison of what Christ is, and what his worth 
is ; all the angels, and all the glorified, praise him not so much 
as in halves — who can advance him, or utter all his praises 1 I 
want nothing: unknown faces favor me: enemies must speak 
good of the truth : my Master's cause purchaseth commendations. 

The hopes of my enlargement, from appearances, are cold. My 
faiAi hath no bed to silep upon but omnipotency. The good-will 
of the Lord, and his sweetest presence, be with you and that child. 
Grace, and peace, be yours. 

Your Ladyship's, in all duty in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. ^ 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace, be to your Ladyship — I 
would not omit to write a line with this Christian bearer, one in 
your Ladyship's own case, driven near to Christ, in, and by her 
affliction. I wish that my friends in Galloway forget me not 
However it be, Christ is so good that I will have no other tutor, 
suppose I could have wale^ and choice of ten thousand beside. I 
think now, five hundred heavy hearts for him too little. I wish 
that Christ, now weeping, suffering, and contemned of men, were 
more dear and desirable to many souls than he is. I am sure 
that if the saj^ikts wanted' Christ's cross, so profitable, and so 
sweet, they might, for the gain and glory of it, wish it were law- 
ful, either to buy or borrow his cross. But it is a mercy that the 
saints have it laid to their hand for nothing ; for I know no sweeter 
way to Heaven, than through free grace, and hard trials together ; 
and one of these cannot well want* another. Oh, that lime would 
post faster, and hasten our looked-for communion with that Pair- 

t OenitM. t Oh, that. t Point of the eompus. directkm. 

* Choice . WaU and ehoiet, hbeiiy of choice, with fall and ample atora to chooaa fioai 

• Were without. • Do without 

Rc^therford's letters. 169 

est, Fairest among the sods of men ! Oh, that the day would 
&vor us and come, and put Christ and us into each other's arms I 
lam sure that a few years will do our turn, and the soldier's hour- 
glass will soon run out 

Madam, look to your lamp, and look for your Liord's coming, 
and let your heart dwell aloof from that sweet child. Christ's 

C* ^lousy will not admit of two equal loves in your Ladyship's 
eart. He must have one, and that the greatest ; a little one to 
a creature, may, and must suffice a soul married to him. '^ Thy 
maker is thy Husband," (Isa. hv. 5.) I would wish you well, and 
my obligations these many years by-gone > speak no less to me ; 
but more I can neither wish nor pray, nor desire for your Lady- 
ship, than Christ singled and waled * out from all created good 
things, or Christ, howbeit, wet in his own blood, and wearing a 
crown of thorns. I am sure that the saints, at their best, are but 
strangers to the weight and worth of the incomparable sweetness 
of Christ. He is so new, so fresh in excellency, every day so new, 
to those that search more and more in him, as if Heaven could 
furnish us as many new Christs, (if I may so speak,) as there are 
days betwixt him and us, and yet he is one and the same. Oh, 
we love an unknown lover, when we love Christ ! 

Let me hear how the child is every w|iy. The prayers of a 
prisoner of Christ be upon him. — Grace for evermore, even whill 
glory perfect it, be with your Ladyship. 

Yours, in his sweet Jjord Jesus, S. R. 
Aberdeen, 1637. 




Madam, — Notwithstanding the great haste of the bearer, I 
would bless your Ladyship on paper, desiring, that since Christ 
hath ever envied that the world should have your love by ' him, 
that ye give yourself out for Christ, and that ye may be for no 
other. I know none worthy of you but Christ. 

Madam, I am either suffering for Christ, and this is either the 
sure and good wav, or I have done with Heaven, and shall never 
see God's face, (which I bless him cannot be.) *• 

I write my blessing to that sweet child, that ye have borrowed 
from God. He is no heritage to you, but a loan : love him as 
folks do borrowed things. My heart is heavy for you. 

They say that the Kirk of Christ hath neither son nor heir, 
and, therefore, that her enemies shall possess her. But I know 
that she is not that * ill-friended ;• her Husband is her heir, and 
she his heritage. 

> By WMT. s ChoMfi, culled. • PmI. 

« S« ' • Destitute of relatives. 

110 Rutherford's lsttbrs. 

If my Lord would be pleased, I should desire that some were dealt 
with, for my return to Anwoth : but if that never be, I thank God 
Anwoth is not Heaven ; preaching is not Christ — ^I hope to wait on. 

Let me hear how the child is, and your Ladyship's mind and 
hopes of him ; for it would ease my heart to know that he is welL 

I am in good terms with Christ ; but oh, my guiltiness ! yet he 
bringeth not pleas betwixt him and me to the streets, and before 
the sun. 

Grace, grace for evermore, be with your Ladyship. 

Your Ladyship's, at all obedience in Christ, 8. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I 
received your letter, which refreshed me. Except from your son, 
and my brother, I have seen few letters from my acquaintance in 
that country, which niaketh me heavy. Bui I have the company 
of a Lord, who can teach us all to be kind, and hath the right 
gate ^ of it ; for though, for the present, I have severe ups and 
downs every day, yet I am abundantly comforted and feasted with 
my King and Well-beloved daily. It pleaseth him to come and 
dine with a sad prisoner, and a solitary stranger ; his spikenard 
casteth a smell; yet my sweet hath some sour mixed with it, 
wherein I must acquiesce ; for there is no reason that his comforts 
be too cheap, seeing they are delicates ; — why should he not make 
them so to nis own ? But I verily think now that Christ hath led 
me up to a nick' in Christianity that I was never at before ; I think 
all before was but childhood and bairns' play. Since I departed 
from you, I have been scalded, whill the smoke of Hell's fire went 
in at my throat, and I would have bought peace with a thousand 
years' torment in Hell ; and I have been up also, after these deep 
down-castings and sorrows, before the Lamb's white throne, in my 
Father's inner court, the Great King's dining-hall ; and Christ did 
cast a covering of love on me ; he hath casten a coal into my soul, 
and it is smoking among the straw, and keeping the hearth warm. 
I look back to what I was before, and I laugh to see the sand* 
houses* I built when I was a child. 

At first, the remembrance of the many fair feast-days with my 
Lord Jesus in public, which are now changed into silent sabbaths, 
raised a great tempest, and, (if I may speak so,) made the Devil 
ado in my soul. The Devil came in, and would prompt me to 
make a plea with Christ, and to lay the blame on tiim as a hard 
master : but now these mists are 1 lown away, and I am not only 

> Way. « Notch, degree. 

* Hoaeef buik by children of the tand on tfn sea-tbore, which are awepi away bf 
the returning tide : metaphorically, illuiory, fleeting expectattona. 

Rutherford's letters. If] 

sOenced as to all quarreling, but fully satisfied. Now, I wonder 
that any mm living can laiigh upon the world, or give it a hearty 

Sood-day. The Lord Jesus hath Handled me so, that, as I am now 
isposed, I think never to be in this world's commons' again for a 
night's lodging. Christ beareth me good company ; he hath eased 
me, when I saw it not, lifting the cross off my shoulders, so that I 
think it to be bu^ a feather, because underneath are everlasting 
arms. God forbid it come to bartering or niffering* of crosses; 
for I think my cross so sweet, that I know not where I would get 
the like of it. Christ's honey-combs drop so abundantly, that they 
sweeten my gall. Nothing breaketh my heart, but that I cannot 
get the daugnters of Jerusalem, to tell them of my Bridegroom's 
glory. I charge you in the name of Christ, that ye tell all that ye 
come to of it ; — and yet it is above telling and understanding. 
Oh, if* all the kingdom were as I am, except my bonds ! They 
know not the love-kisses that my only Lord Jesus wasteth on a 
dawted* prisoner. On my salvation, this is the only way to the 
New City. I know that Christ hath no dumb seals. Would he 
put his privy-seal upon blank paper? He hath sealed my suffer- 
mgs witn his comforts. I write this to confirm you. I write now 
what I have seen as well as heard. Now and then my silence 
burneth up mv spirit ; but Christ hath said, " Thy stipend is run- 
ning up with mterest in Heaven, as if thou wcrt preaching ;" and 
this from a King's mouth rejoiceth my heart. At other times, I 
am sad, dwelling in Kedar's tents. 

There are none, (that I yet know oQ but two persons in this 
town that I dare give my word for ; ana the Lord hath removed 
my brethren and my acquaintance far from me ; and it may be, 
that I shall be forgotten in the place where the Lord made me the 
instrument to do some good. But I see that this is vanity in me ; 
let him make of me what he pleaseth, if he make salvation out 
of it to me. I am tempted and troubled, that all the Fourteen 
Prelates should have been armed of God against me only, while 
the rest of my brethren are still preaching ; but I dare not say one 
word but this — " It is good. Lord Jesus, because thou hast done it." 

Wo is me for the Virgin-daughter ! wo is me for the desolation 
of the Virgin-daughter of Scotland ! Oh, if my eyes were a 
fountain of tears, to weep day and night for that poor Widow-kirk, 
that poor miserable Harlot ! Alas, that my Father hath put-to the 
door my poor Harlot-mother ! Oh for that cloud of black wrath, and 
fury of the indignation of the Lord, that is hanging over the land. 

Sir. write to me, I beseech you : I pray you also, be kind to my 
afilicted brother. Remember my love to your wife ; and the prayer 
and blessing ^{ the prisoner of Christ be on you. Frequent your 
meetings for prayer and communion with God : — they would be 
■weet meetings to me. 

Yours, in his sweet Lo*d Jesus, S. R. 

Abcideer, Fib. 16, 1637. 

> Tluit b, under obfisaHon to thk world. • * Exehangliit. 

a Oh, that. « Pondlod. 




Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, aud peace be to you — 
The bearer hereof, Mr. R. F., is most kind to me : I desire you to 
thank him. But none is so kind as my only royal King and 
Master, whose cross is my garland. The King dineth with bis 
prisoner, and his spikenard casteth a smell. He hath led me up 
to such a pitch ana nick * of joy ful communion with himself, as i 
never knew before. When I look back to by-gones,« I judge my- 
self to have been a child at A, B, C, with Christ. Worthy sir, 
Cardon me, I dare not conceal it from you, it is as a fire in mv 
owels, in His presence who seeth me I speak it ! I am paineo, 
pained with the love of Christ ; he hath made me sick, and wounded 
me ; hunger for Christ outrunnettufaith ; I miss faith more than 
love. Oh, if* the Three Kingdoms would come and see ! Oh, if* 
they knew his kindness to my soul ! It h^th pleased him to bring 
me to this, that I will not strike sails to this world, nor flatter it, 
nor adore this clay-idol that foiols worship. As I am now disposed, 
I think that I shall neither borrow nor lend with it ;^ and vet I 
get my meat from Christ with nurture ;' for seven times a day I 
am lifted up, and casten down. My dumb sabbaths burden my 
heart, aod make it bleed. I am not without fearful challenges* 
and jealousies^ sometimes of Christ's love, that he hath casten 
me over the dyke* of the vineyard as a dry tree. But this is my 
infirmity ; by his grace I take myself* in these ravings : it is kindly 
that faith and love both be sick, and fevers are kindly to most 
joyful communion with Christ. 

Ye are blessed who avouch Christ openly before the Prince <rf 
this Kingdom, whose eyes are upon you. It is your glory to lift 
him up on his throne, to carry his train, and bear up the hem of 
his royal robe. He hath an hiding-place for Mr. Alex. ColvtUe 
against the storm : go on, and fear not what man can da The 
saints seem to have the worst of it, (for apprehensions can make 
a lie of Christ and his love,) but it is not so. Providence is not 
rolled upon unequal and crooked wheels ; all things work together 
for the good of those who love God, and are called according to 
his purpose. Ere it be long, we shall see the white side of God's 

My brother's case hath moved me not a little. He wrote to me 

four care and kindness. Sir, the prisoner's blessing and prayers, 
trust, shall not go past you. He that is able to keep you, and tc 

> Degree. > MaUen by-paned. * Oh, that 

< Shall have no dealings whateTer with. * C o trcc ti oa. 

* daeitioningi. ^ Soffmciona. * Wafl. 

* 7b iak* 09iM«l^t to retract one*e wora. 

rvtherford's letters. 173 

present you before the presence of his face with joy, establish your 
neart in the love of Christ. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

AbeidMn, 19 Feb., 1637. 



Honored, and dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be 
to you — ^I received your letter, which refreshed my soul. 

I thank God, that the court is closed, I think shame of my part 
of it ; I pass now from my unjust summons of unkindness, libelled 
against Christ my Lord. He is not such a Lord and Master as I 
took him to be ; verily he is God, and I am dust and ashes. I took 
Christ's glooms * to be as good as Scripture speaking wrath ; but 
I haveing the chil- 
dren of perdition. I pray God, that I may never find my will 
again. Oh, if ^ Christ would subject my will to his, and trample 
it under his feet, and liberate me from that lawless lord ! 

Now, sir, in vour youth gather fast ; your sun will mount to the 
meridian quickly, and thereafter decline. Be greedy of grace. 
Study above anvthin^, my dear brt>ther, to mortify your lusts. 
Oh, but pride of youth, vanity, lust, idolizing of the world, and 
charming pleasures, take long time to root them out ! As far as 
ye are advanced in the way to Heaven, as near as ye are to Christ, 
as much progress as ye have made in the way of mortification, ye 
will find that ye are far behind, and have most of your work before 
you. I never took it to be so hard to be dead to my lusts and to 
this world. When the day of visitation cometh, and your old idols 
come weeping about you, ye will have much ado not to break your 
heart : it is l^t to give up in time with them, so as ye could at a 
call quit your part of this world for a drink of water, or a thing of 
nothing. Verily I have seen the best of this world, a moth-eaten, 
thread-bare coat ; I purpose to lay it aside, bein^ now old and fiiU 
of holes. Oh, for my house above, not msule with hands ! 

Pray for Christ's prisoner; and write to me. Remember my 
love to your mother. Desire her, from me, to make ready for re- 
moving ; the Lord's tide will not bide her ; and to seek an heav- 
enly mind, that her heart may be often there. Grace be with vou 
Yours, and Christ's Prisoner, S. ft. 

Abenleeo, Feb. 90, 1C37. 

« To ly. « So. » ForiLer. « 

• To ^oiL * CafcfbUjT oelected. v Oh, that 

&.vTherford's letters. 176 

to the lady card0nes8. 

My Dearly-beloved, and Longed-for in the Lord, — 
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I long to hear how your 
soul prospereth, and how the Kingdom of Christ thriveth in you. 
I exhort you and beseech you in the bowels of Christ, faint not, 
weary not. There is a great necessity of Heaven ; ye. must needs 
have it: all other things, as houses, lands, children, husband, 
friends, country, credit, health, wealth, honor, may be wanted ; 
but Heaven is your one thing necessary, the good part that shall 
not be taken from you. See that ye buy the field where the Pearl 
is* Sell all, and make a purchase of salvation. Think it not 
easy, for it is ^ steep ascent to eternal glory : many are lying dead 
by the way, that are slain with security. 

I have now been led by my Lord Jesus to such a nick * in Chris- 
tianity, as I think little of former things. Oh, what I want ! I 
want so many things, that I am almost asking if I have anything 
at all. Every nuin thinketh he is rich enough in grace, till he 
take out his purse, and tell his money, and then he findeth his 

fack but poor and light in the day of a heavy trial. I found that 
had not to bear my expenses, and I should have fainted, if want 
and penury had not chased me to the Store-house of aU. I be- 
seech you make conscience of your wavs. Deal kindly, and with 
conscience with your tenants. To fill a breach, or a hole, make 
not a greater breach in the conscience. I wish plenty of love to 
your soul. Let the world be the portion of bastards, make it not 
yours : after the last trumpet is blown, the world and all its glory 
will be like an old house that is burnt to ashes, and like an old 
fallen castle, without a roof. Fy, fy upon us, fools ! who think 
ourselves debtors to the world ! My Lord hath brought me to this, 
that I would not dve a drink of cold water for this world's kind- 
ness. I wonder uiat men long after, love, or care for these feath- 
ers. It is almost an unco* world to me, to think, that men are so 
mad as to block* with dead earth :* to give out conscience, and get 
in clay again, is a strange bargain. 

I have written my mind, at length, to your husband. Write to 
me again his case. 1 cannot forget him in my prayers : I am look- 
ing.* Christ hath some claim to him. My counsel is, that ye 
bear with him when passion overtaketh him. A soft answer put- 
tath away wrath. Answer him in what he speaketh, and apply 
yourself in the fear of God to him ; and then ye will remove a 
pound weight of your heavy cross, that way, and so it shall be« 
come light 

When Christ hideth himself^ wait on, and make din till he re- 

I Degree. ^ * Strange. * Baigaia. 

« That is, fiir on UMwer. Pt. ▼. 3. 

176 Rutherford's letters. 

turn ; it is not time then to be carelessly patient I love to be 
grieved when he hideth his smiles ; yet believe his love in a pa- 
tient on-waiting and believing in the dark. Ye must learn to 
swim and bold up your head above the water, even when the 
sense of his presence is not with you to hold up your chin : I trust 
in God that he will bring your ship safe to land. I counsel you 
to study sanctification, and to be dead to this world. Urge kind- 
ness on Knockbrex. Labor to benefit by his company — the man 
is acquainted with Christ. 

I beg the help of your prayers, for I forget not you. Counsel 
vour husband to fulfil my joy, and to seek the Lord's face. Show 
him, from me, that my joy and desire is to hear that be is in the 
Lord. God casteth him often in my mind ; I cannot forget hinu 
I hope Christ and he have something to do together. Bless John 
from me. I write blessings to him, and to vour husband, and to 
the rest of your children. Let it not be said, " I am not in your 
house," through neglect of the sabbath-exercise. « 

Your lawful, and loving pastor in his only, only Lord, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 20, 1637. 



Dear Sister, — Grace, mercy, and peace, be to you — ^I long to 
bear how your soul prospereth. 

I am as well as a prisoner of Christ can be, feasted and made 
fat with the comforts of God. Christ's kisses are made sweeter to 
my soul than ever they were. I would not change my Master 
with all the kings of clay upon the earth. Oh ! my Weil-beloved 
is altogether lovely, and loving. I care not what flesh can do. 

I persuade my soul that I delivered the truth of Christ to yoa. 
Slip not firom it for any boasts ^ or fear of men. If ye go a^nst 
the truth of Christ that I now suffer for, I shall bear witneoi 
against you in the day of Christ 

Sister, fasten your grips fast on Christ Follow not the guises 
of this sinful world. Let not this clay portion of earth take up 
your soul : it is the portion of bastards, and ye are a child of God ; 
and, therefore, seek your Father's heritage. Send up your heari 
to see the dwelling house and fair rooms in the New City. Fy, fy, 
upon those who cry, ^< Up with the world, and down with con- 
science and Heaven !" We have bairns' wits, and therefore we 
cannot prize Christ aright Counsel your husband, and mother to 
make them ready for eternity — that day is drawing nigh. 

Pray for me, the prisoner of Christ ; I cannot forget yoo. 

Your lawful pastor, and brother, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 90, 1637. 

> ThreAteninge. 




Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you — I long 
to hear how your soul prospereth. I expected letters from you 
ere now. 

As for myself, I am here in good case, well feasted with a great 
King. At mv first coming here, I was that * bold as to take up a 
jealousy of Christ's love. I said I was cast over the dyke • of the 
Lord's vineyard, as a dry tree ; but I see that if I had been a 
withered branch, the fire would have burned me long ere now : — 
blessed be His high name, who hath kept sap in the dry tree. 
And now, as if Christ had done the wrong, he hath made amends, 
and hath miskent ' my ravings ; (for a man under the water can- 
not well command his judgment, far less his faith and love ;) be- 
cause it was a fever, my Lord Jesus forgave me that amongst the 
rest. He kooweth that in our afllictions we can find a spot in the 
fairest face that ever was, even in Christ's face. I would not 
have believed that a gloom* should have made me to misken* 
my old Master ; but we must be whiles sick. Sickness is but 
kindly to both faith and love. But oh, how exceedingly is a poor 
dawted» prisoner obliged to sweet Jesus ! My tears are sweeter 
to me than the laughter of the Fourteen Prelates is to them. The 
worst of Christ, even his chaff, is better than the world's corn. 

Dear brother, I beseech you, I charge you in the name and au- 
thority of the Son of God, to help me to praise his Highness ; and 
I charge you, also, to tell all your acquaintance, that my Master 
may get many thanks. Oh, if* my hairs, all my members, and 
all my bones, were well-tuned tongues, to sing the high praises of 
ray great and glorious King ! Help me to lift Christ up upon his 
throne, and to lift Him up above all the thrones of the clay-kings, 
the dving sceptre-bearers of this world. The prisoner's blessing, 
the blessing of him that is separate from his brethren,* be upon 
them all who will lend me a lift in this work. Show this to that 
people with you to whom I sometimes preached. 

Brother, my Lord hath brought me to this, that I will not flatter 
the world for a drink of water. I am no debtor to clay ; Christ 
hath made me dead to that ; I now wonder that ever I was such 
a child, long since, as to beg at such beggars ! Fy upon us, who 
woo such a black-skinned harlot, when we may get such a fair, 
lair match in Heaven ! Oh, that I could give up with this clay- 
idol, this masked, painted, over-gilded dirt, that Adam's sons 
adore ! We make an idol of our will. As many lusts in us, as 
laany gods ; we are all god-makers : we are all like to lose Christ 
the true Qod, in the throng of these new, and false gods. Scot- 



• Th muktn^ not to know. 


• Fondled. 


• Oh. that 


land hath cast her crown oflf her head ; tHe Yirgia-daufi'hter bath 
lost her garland. Wo, wo to our Harlot-mother. Our day is com- 
ing, a time when women shall wish they had been childless, and 
fathers shall bless miscarrying wombs and dry breasts ; — many 
houses great and fair shall be desolate. This Kirk shall sit oa 
the ground all the night, and the tears shall run down her cheeks. 
The sun hath gone down upon her prophets. Blessed are the 
prisoners of hope, who can run into their stronghold, and hide 
themselves for a little till the indignation be overpast 

Commend me to your wife, your daughters, your son in-law, 
and to A. T. Write to me the case of your Kirk. Grace be with 

I am much moved for ray brother. I entreat for your kindness 
and counsel to him. 

Yours, in kis sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Feb. 23, 1637. 



Worthy, and Well-bbloved in the Lord, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to you — I long to hear from you on paper, that I 
may know how your soul prospereth. My desire and longing is, 
to hear that ye walk in the truth, and that ye are content to fmlow 
the despised, but most lovelv Son of God. 

I cannot but recommend him unto you, as your Husband, your 
Well-beloved, your Portion, your Comfort, and your Joy. I speak 
this of that lovely One, because I praise and commend the fora, (as 
we use to speak,) as I find it He hath watered with bis sweet 
comforts an oppressed prisoner : He was always kind to my soul, 
but never so kind as now, in my greatest extremities. I dine and 
sup with Christ : He visiteth my soul with the visitations of love, 
in the night-watches. 

I persuade my soul that this is the way to Heaven, and bis 
own truth I now suffer for. I exhort you, in the name of Christ, 
to continue in the truth, which I deUvered unto you. Make Christ 
sure to your soul ; for your day draweth nkh to an end. Many 
slide back now, who seemed to be Christ's mends, and prove dis- 
honest to Him ; but be ye faithful to the death, and ye snail have 
the crown of life. This span-length of your days, whereof the 
Spirit of God speaketh, (Psalm xxxix.,) shall, withm a short lime, 
come to a finger-breadth, and at length to nothing. Ob, bow 
sweet and comfortable will the feast oi a good conscience be to 
you, when your eye-strings shall break, your face wax pale, and 
the breath turn cold, and your poor soul come sighing to the 
windows of the house of ciav of your dying body, and shall loni^ 
to be out, and to have the jailer to open the door, that the prisoner 


may be set at liberty ! Te draw nigh the water side : look your 
accounts: ask for your Guide to take you to the other side. Let 
not the world be your portion ; what have ye to do with dead 
clay ? Ye are not a bastard, but a lawfully begotten child ; there- 
fore, set your heart on the inheritance. Go up before-hand, and 
see your lodging. Look through all your Father's rooms in 
Heaven : in your Father's house are many dwelling-places — men 
take a view of lands ere they buy them. I know that Christ hath 
made the bargain already ; but be kind to the house ye are going 
to, and see it often. Set your heart on things that are above, 
where Christ is at the right hand of God. 

Stir up your husband to mind his own country at home. Coun- 
sel him to dpal mercifully with the poor people of God under him. 
They are Christ's, and not his ; therefore, desire him to show them 
merciful dealing and kindness, and to be good to their souls. I de- 
sire you to write to me. It may be, that my parish forget me ; 
but my witness is in Heaven that I dow' not, I do not forget them : 
they are my siffhs in the night, and my tears in the day. I think 
myself like a husband plucked from the wife of his youth. O 
Lord, be my Judge, what joy it would be to mv soul, to hear that 
my ministry hath left the Son of God among them, and that they 
are walking in Christ ! Remember my love to your son and 
daughter. Desire them from me to seek the Lord in their youth, 
and to give him the morning of their days. Acquaint them with 
the woi^ of God and prayer. 

Grace be with you. Fray for the prisoner of Christ : in my 
heart I forget you not. 

Your lawful, and loving pastor, 
# In his only Lord Jesus. S. R. 

Aberdeen, Maich 6, 1S37. 



Madam, — Grace, mercv, and peace to you — ^I am refreshed with 
your letter. The right hand ot Him, to whom belong the issues 
from death, hath been gracious to that sweet child : I dow* not, I 
do not forget him and your Ladyship in my prayers. 

Madam, as to your own case, I love careful, and withal doing 
complaints * of want of practice ; because I observe many whc 
think it holiness enough to complain, and set themselves at noth- 
ing ; as if to sav " I am sick," could cure them — they think com- 
plaints a good charm for guiltiness. I hope that ye are wrestling 
and struggling on, in this dead age, wherem folks have lost tongue, 
9nd legs, and arms for Christ. I urge upon you, madam, a nearer 

> Am not aUe. * CompUtnto accompanied bj ezertioik. 

180 Rutherford's letters. 

communion with Christ, and a growing communion. There are . 
curtains to be drawn by' in Christ, that we never saw, and new 
foldings of love m him. I despair that ever I shall win* to the far- 
end' of that love, there are so many plies in it. Therefore, dig 
deep ; and sweat and labor, and take pains for him ; and set by 
as much time in the day for him as you can : he will be won with 

I, his exiled prisoner, sought him and he hath rued upon me, 
and hath made a moan for< me, as he doth for his own, 
rjer. xxxi. 20 ; Isaiah xlv. 11 ;) and I know not what to do with 
Christ ; his love surroundeth and surchargeth me. I^m burdened 
with it, but oh, how sweet and lovely is that burden ! I cannot 
keep it within me : I am so in love with his love, that if his love 
were not in Heaven, I should be unwilling to go thither. Oh, 
what weighing, and what telling is in Christ's love ! I fear noth- 
ing now so much as the laughing of Christ's cross, and the love- 
showers that accompany it. I wonder what he meaneth to put 
such a slave at the board-heard,* at his own elbow. Oh, that 
I should lay my black mouth to such a fair, fair, fair face af 
Christ's ! But I dare not refuse to be loved : the cause is not in 
me, why he hath looked upon me, and loved me ; for he got neither 
bud,* nor hire of me ; it cost me nothing, it is good-cheap^ love. 
Oh, the many pound-weights of his love, under which I am sweetly 
pressed ! 

Now, madam, I persuade you, that the greatest part but play 
with Christianity ; they put it by-hand<> easily. I thought it had 
been an easy thing to be a Christian, and that to seek God had 
been at the next door ; but oh, the windings, the turnings, the ups 
and the downs that he hath led me through ; and I see yet much* 
way to the ford. He speaketh with my reins in the night season ; 
and in the morning, when I awake, I find his love-arrows, that 
he shot at me, sticking in my heart. Who will help me to praise ? 
who will come to lift up with me, and set on high his great love? 
and yet I find that a fire-flaught* of challenges will come out at 
midsummer, and question me — but it is only to keep a sinner in 

As for friends, I will not think the world to be\he world, if that 
well go not dry. I trust in God, to use the world as a cdnny ■* or 
cunning master doth a knave-servant, (at least God give me 
grace to do so ;) he giveth him no handling nor credit, only he 
entrusteth him with common errands, wherein he cannot play 
the knave. I pray God that I may not give this world the credit 
of my joys, and comforts, and confidence — that were to put Christ 
out of his ofllce. Nay, I counsel you, madam, from a little ex- 
perience, let Christ keep the great seal, and entrust him so as to 
fling*' your vessels great and small, and pin your burdens upon 

> Ande. > Get * Farther end. « Bemoaned. 

• Head of the table. • Bribe. ▼ OratottoM. 

• BaiiljT, bat haatiljr, and in a raperficial manner, discharge iU duties. 

• Lightning-laah. ^ Pradent, akiliul. u Hanf . 


' ihe Nail fastened in David's house, (Isaiah xxii. 23.) Let me not 
he well, if ever they get the tutoring of my comforts. Away, 
away with irresponsal * tutors, that would play me a slip, and then 
Christ would laugh at me, and say, " Well- wared ; * try again ere 
ye trust." Now wo is me, for my whorish Mother, the Kirk of 
Scotland ! Oh, who will bewail her ! 

Now the presence of the great Angel of the Covenant be with 
you, and that sweet child. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abefdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — ^I cannot but 
rejoice, and withal be grieved, at your case. It hath pleased the 
Lord to remove your husband, (my friend, and this Kirk's faithful 

Erofessor,) soon to his rest ; but, shall we be sorry that our loss is 
is gain, seeing his Lord would want his conipany no longer ? 
Think not much of short summons ; for, seeing, he walked with 
his Lord in his life, and desired Chat Christ should be magnified 
in him, at his death,' ye ought to be silent and satisfied. When 
Christ Cometh for his own, he runneth fast : mercy, mercy to the 
saints goeth not at leisure ; love, love in our Redeemer is not 
slow, and withal he is homely* with you, who cometh at his 
own hand to your house, and intromitteth,^ as a friend, with any- 
thing that is yours. I think he would fain borrow and lend with 
you. Now he shall meet with the solacious* company, the fair 
flock and blessed baim-teme * of the first-bom, banqueting at the 
raarriage-s\]pper of the Lamb. It is a mercy that the poor wan- 
dering sheep get a dyke-side in this stormy day, and a leaking 
ship a safe harbor, and a sea-sick passenger a sound and soft bed 
ashore. Wrath, wrath, wrath from the Lord, is coming upon this 
land, that he hath left behind him. Know, therefore, tnat the 
wounds of your Lord Jesus are the wounds of a lover, and that 
he will have compassion upon a sad-hearted servant ; and that 
Christ hath said, he will have the husband's room in your heart: 
he loved you in your first husband's time, and he is but wooing 
vou still. Give him heart and chair, house and all ; he will not 
be made companion with any other ; love is full of jealousies ; he 
will have all your love — and who should get it but he ? I know 
that ve allow it upon him. There are comforts both sweet and 
satisfying, laid up for you : wait on. Frist ^ Christ ; he is an hon* 
est debtor. 
Now for mine own case, I think some poor body would be glad 

> Irresponsible. * WelMeteired. * FamilUr. * Inteniieddleth. 

• Solacing. * Whole family of children. ^ Give credit to. 


3f a dawted ' prisoner's leavings. I have no scarcity of ChristV 
love : he hath wasted more comforts upon his poor hanished ser* 
vant, than would have refreshed many souls. My burden was 
once so heavy, that one ounce-weight would have casten the bal- 
ance, and broken my back ; but Christ said, '^ Hold, hold !" to mv 
sorrow, and hath wiped a bluthered' face, which was foul with 
weeping. I may joyfully go my Lord's errands, with wages in 
my hands. Deferred hopes need not make my dead-sweir,* (as 
we use to say ;) my cross is both my cross and my reward. Oh, 
that men would sound his high praises ! I love Christ's ^orst re- 
proaches, his glooms,* his cross, oetter than all the world's plastered 
glory ; my heart is not longing to be back again from Christ's 
country ; it is a sweet soil I am come to. I, (if any in the world,) 
have good cause to speak much good of him. Oh, Hell were a 
good-cheap' price to buy him at ! Oh, if* all the Three King- 
doms were witness^ to my pained, pained soul, overcome with 
Christ's love ! 

I thank, you most kindly, my dear sister, for vour love to, and 
tender care of my brother. I'shall think myself obliged to you, if 
ye continue his friend. He is more to me than a brother uow^ 
being engaged to suffer for so honorable a Master and cause. 

Pray for Christ's Prisoner ; and grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abefdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Madam, — Upon the offered opportunity of this worthy bearer, I 
could not omit to answer the heads of your letter. 

Istly, I think not much to set down on paper some good things 
anent Christ, that Sealed and Holy Thing ; and to feed my soul 
with raw wishes to be one with Christ ; for a wish is but broken 
and half love ; but verily to obey this, " Come and see," is a hard- 
er matter ! But oh, I have rather smoke than fire, and guessings 
rather than real assurances of him. I have little or nothing to 
say, that I am as one who hath found favor in his eyes ; but there 
is some pining and mismannered' hunger, that maketh me mis- 
call* and nickname Christ as a changed Lord; but alas! it is 
ill-flilten.* I cannot believe without a pledge. I cannot take 
God's word without a caution,** as if Christ had lost and sold his 

I Cockered. < Blurred. * Rxtremeljr relacUDt « Ptowim. 

' Gratuitous. ' Oh, that ^ Unmaniicriy. 

I TV miseail, to call nainet, to almae. 

• Denoting that the criminations or reprehensions of a rehaker coma with a iroy 
bad grace from hiu, because of his being supposed to be equally, or more guilty i& IM 
same, or in a similar fS'tpecl. ^ Surety. 

Rutherford's letters. 183 

credit, and were not in my books responsal/ ^i^d law-biding:* but 
this is my way; for his way is, (Eph. i. 13,] '* After that ye be- 
lieved, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit oi promise." 

2ndly, Ye wr^te that I am filled with knowledge, and stand not 
in need of these warnings ; but certainly my light is dim, when 
it Cometh to handy-grips ; ■ and how many have full coffers and 
yet empty bellies ! Light, and the saving use of light, are far 
different. Oh, what need then have I to have the ashes blown 
away from ipv dying-out fire ! I may be a bookman, and be an 
idiot and stark fool in Christ's way ! Learning will not beguile 
Christ. The Bible beeuiled the Pharisees, and so may I be mis- 
led. Therefore, as night-watchers hold one another waking, by 
speaking to one another, so have we need to hold one another on 
foot : sleep stealeth away the light of watching, even the light 
that reproveth sleeping. I doubt not but moe would fetch Heaven, 
if they believed not Heaven to be at the next door. The world's 
negative holiness, no adulterer, no murderer, no thief, no cozener, 
maketh men believe they are already glorified saints: but the 
sixth chapter to the Hebrews may affright us all, when we hear 
that men may take of the gifts and common graces of the Holy 
Spirit, and a taste of the powers of the life to come, to Hell with 
them. Here is reprobate silver, which yet seemeth to have thcr 
king's image and superscription upon it. 

3rdly, I find you complaining of yourself, and it becometh a 
sinner so to do. I am not against you in that ; sense of death is 
a sib friend,^ and of kin and blood to life ; the more sense, the 
more Ufe ; the more sense of sin, the less sin. I would love my 
pain and soreness, and my wounds, howbeit these should bereave 
me of my night's sleep, better than my wounds without pain. 
Oh, how sweet a thing it is, to give Christ his handful of broken 
arms and legs, and disjointed bones ! 

4thly, Be not afraid for little grace ; Chrisj^ soweth his living 
seed, and he will not lose his seed : if he have the guiding of my 
stock and state, it shall not miscarry. Our spelled' works, losses, 
deadness, coldness, wretchedness, are the ground upon which the 
Good Husbandman laboreth. 

Sthly, Ye write that his compassions fail not, notwithstanding 
that your service to Christ miscarrieth ; to the which I answer, 
*'God forbid that there were buying and selling, and blocking* for 
as good again, betwixt Christ and us : for then free grace might 
go to play, and a Saviour sing dumb,^ and Christ go to sleep. But 
we go to Heaven with light shoulders, and all the bairn-teme,* and 
the vessels great and small that we have, are fastened upon the 
safe Nail," (Isa. xxii. 23, 24.) The only danger is, that we give 
^race more to do than God giveth it, that is, by turning his grace 
mto wantonness. 

6thly, Ye write, that few see your guiltiness, and that ye can- 

* Rpspofinble. * Awaiting, or standing by a sentence of law. 
, * CloM straggling. « Near relative. * Spoiled, rained. 

* Planning cf bugaina 7 Be silenced. * Whole ikaulj of childmk 


not be free with many, as with me : I answer, '^ Blessed be Grod, 
that Christ and we are not heard before men's courts ; it b at home 
betwixt him and us, that pleas are taken away." 
Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesos, S. R. 




Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you, from God our 
Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ 

I cannot but thank your Ladyship, for your letter, that hath re- 
freshed my soul. I think myself many ways obliged to your Lady- 
ship for your love to my affli^ed brother, now embarked with me 
in that same cause. His Lord hath been pleased to put him on 
truth's side. I hope that your Ladyship will befriend him with 
your counsel and countenance in that country, where he is a 
stranger; and your Ladyship needeth not fear but your kindness 
to his own will be put up into Christ's accounts. 

Now, madam, for your Ladyship's case, I rejoice exceedingly, 
that the Father of lights hath made you see that there is a nick* 
in Christianity, which ye contend to be at ; and that is, to quit the 
right eye, and the right hand, and to keep the Son of God. I hope 
your desire is to make him your garland, and that your eye look- 
eth up the mount, which certainly is nothing but the new creature. 
Fear not, Christ will not cast water upon your smoking coal ; and 
then, who else dare do it if he say nay ? Be sorr^ at corruption, 
and be not secure. That companion lay with you m your mother's 
womb, and was as early friends with you as the breath of life ; 
and Christ will not have it otherwise ; for he delighteth to take up 
fallen bairns, and to mend broken brows ; — binding up of wounds 
is his office, (Isaiah, Ixi.) First, I am glad that Christ will get 
employment of his calling in you. Many a whole soul is in 
Heaven, which was sicker than ye are. He is content, that ye lay 
broken arms and legs on his knee, that he may spelk* them 
Secondly, Hiding of his face is wise love, — his love is not fond, 
doting, and reasonless, — to give your head no other pillow, whill 
ye be in at Heaven's gates, but to lye between his breasts, and lean 
upon his bosom. Nay, his bairns must often have the frosty cold 
side of the hill, and set down both their bare feet among thorns 
his love hath eyes, and in the meantime is looking on. Our pride 
must have winter weather to rot it. But I know that Christ and 
ye will not be heard. Ye will whisper it over betwixt yourselves, 
and agree again ; for the anchor-tow ' abideth fast within the veil : 
the end of it is in Christ's ten fingers — who dare pull if he hold 1 

* > Notch, degree. * 7b tptik, to bind up with splints. * Cable. 

Rutherford's letters. 185 

% the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying, Fear not, 
I will help thee. Fear not, Jacob." (Isa. xli. 13, 14.) The sea- 
sick passenger shall come to land-^Christ will be the first that w31 
meet you on the shore. I hope that your Ladyship will keep the 
King*8 highway. Go on, in the strength of the Lord, in haste, as 
if ye had not leisure to speak to the inn-keepers by the way — He 
is over beyond time on tne other side of the water, who thinketh 
long * for you. 

For my unfaithful self, madam, I must say a word. At my first 
coming hither, the Devil made many a black lie of my Lord Jesus, 
and said' the court was changed, and he was angry, and would 
give an evil servant his leave • at mid-term. But he gave me 
grace not to take my leave ;^ I resolved to bide summons, and sit, 
howbeit it was suggested and said, ^^ What should be done with a 
withered tree, but over the dyke* with it?" But now, now, (I 
dare not, I dow not* keep it up,) who is feasted as his poor exileid 
prisoner? I think shame of the board-head' and the first-mess, 
and the royal King's dining-hall, and that my black hand should 
come upon such a ruler's table. But I cannot mend it, Christ 
roust have his will : only he paineth my soul so, sometimes with 
his love, that I have been nigh to pass modesty, and to cry out, he 
hath left a smoking, burning coal in my heart, and gone to the 
dcjor himself, and left me and it together. Yet it is not desertion : 
I know not what it is, but I was never so sick for him as now. I 
durst not challenge* my Lord, if I got no more for Heaven, it is a 
dawting^ cross. I know he hath other things to do than to play 
with me, and trindle' an apple with me, and that this feast will 
end. Oh, for instruments* m God's name, that this is he ! and 
that I may make use of it, when it may be, a near friend within 
noe will say, and when it will be said by a challenging *•. devil, 
" Where is thy God ?" Since I know that it will not last, I desire 
but to keep broken meat: but let no man after me slander Christ 
for his cross. 

The great Lord of the Covenant, who brought from the dead 
the great Shepherd of his sheeg, by the blood of the Eternal Covc- 
nanty establisn you, and keep you and yours, to his appearance ! 
Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace, be to you — I long to hear 
I ow your Ladyship is. I know not how to requite your Lady- 

1 LoQfeth. * Ducharge from •enrice. * Wall. * Am not able. 

• Head of the table. • Upbraul. ▼ Fondling. 

• To tnwdle. • Documenti in prooC ^ Upbraiding. 


ship's kindness ; but your love to the saints, madam, b laid up in 
Heaven : I know it is for your well-beloved Christ's sake, that ye 
make his friends so dear to you, and concern yourself so much in 

I am in this house of pilgrimage, eveiy way in good case : 
Christ is most kind and loving to my soul It pleaseth him to 
feast, with his unseen consolations, a stranger and an exiled 
prisoner : and I would not exchange my Lord Jesus with all the 
comfort out of Heaven.— His yoke is easv, and his burden is light 

This is his truth which I now suffer for : for he hath seal^ it 
with his blessed presence: I know that Christ shall yet win the 
day, and gain the battle in Scotland. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I lon^ to hear 
how your soul prospereth. I exhort you to go on in your journey ; 
your day is short, and your afternoon-sun will soon go down. 
Make an end of your accounts with your Lord ; for death and 
judgment are tides that bide * no man. Salvation is supposed to 
be at the door, and Christianity is thought an easy task : but I 
find it hard, and the way strait and narrow, were it not that my 
Guide is content to wait on me, and to care for a tired traveller. 
Hurt not your conscience with any known sin. Let your children 
be as so many flowers, borrowed from God. If the flowers die or 
wither, thank God for a summer loan of them, and keep good 
neighborhood, to borrow and lend * with him. Set your heart upon 
Heaven, and trouble not your spirit with this clay-idol of the world, 
which is but vanity, and hath but the lustre of the rainbow in the 
air, which cometh and goeth with a flying March-shower :^-cIay 
is the idol of bastards, not the inheritance of the children. 

My Lord hath been pleased to make many unknown faces laneh 
upon me, and hath made me well-content of a borrowed fire-side, 
and a borrowed bed. I am feasted with the joys of the Holy 
Ghost, and my royal King beareth my charges honorably. I love 
the smell of Chrbt's sweet breath better than the world's gold. I 
would I had help to praise him. 

The great Messenger of the Covenant, the Son of Grod, establish 
you on your Rock, and keep you to the day of his coming. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen. March 7, 1637. 

1 7b bid€t to wait for. * To be on the moat intiiiiate temii with. 

Rutherford's letters. 187 



Reverend, and 'Dearest Brother, — What joy have I out 
of Heaven's gates, but that my Lord Jesus be glorified in ray 
bonds? Blessed be ye of the Lord, who contribute anything to 
my obliged and indebted praises. Dear brother, help me, a poor 
dyvour,* to pay the interest, for I cannot come nigh to render the 
principal. It. is not jest nor sport which maketh me to speak and 
write as I do : I never before came to that nick » or pitcn of com- 
munion with Christ, that I have now attained to. For my con- 
firmation, I have been these two Sabbaths or three in private, 
taking instruments * in the name of God, that my Lord Jesus and 
I have kissed each other in Aberdeen, the house of my pilgrimage 
I seek not an apple Co play me with. He knoweth, whom I serve 
in the Spirit, but a seal. I but beg earnest, and am content to 
suspend and frist * glory whill supper-time. I know that this 
world will not last with me ; for my moonlight is noon-day light, 
and my four-hours ' above my feasts, when I was a preacher ; at 
which times, also, I was embraced very often in his arms. But 
who can blame Christ to take me on behind him, if I may say so, 
on his white horse, or in his chariot, paved with love, through a 
water 1 Will not a father take his little dawted Davie • in his 
arms, and carry him over a ditch or a mire ? My short legs could 
not step over this lair,^ or sinking mire ; and, therefore, my Lord 
Jesus will bear me through. If a change come, and a dark day, 
so being that he will keep my faith without flaw or crack, I dare 
not blame him, howbeit I get no more whill I come to Heaven. 
But ye know that the physic behooved to have sugar ; my faith 
was fallen aswoon,' and Christ but held up a swooning man's 
head. Indeed I pray not for a dawted * bairn's diet ; he knoweth 
that I would have Christ, sour or sweet ; *any way, so being it be 
Christ indeed. I stand not now upon pared apples, or sugared 
dishes ; but I cannot blame him to give. I must gape and make 
a wide mouth. Since Christ will not pantry up'» joys, he must be 
welcome, who will not bide away. I seek no other fruit, than that 
he may be glorified ; he knoweth that I would take hard fare to 
have his name set on high. 

I bless you for your counsel. I hope to live by faith, and swim 
without a mass or bundle of joyful sense under my chui ; at least 
to venture, albeit I should be ducked. 

1 BttJikrapl. * Notch, degree, 

s 7V lak§ inMntmentMf k for a penon who hot an intereet in a coort to declare, apon 
a d jekton, that he claims the benefit of that deciiion, and views the matter as finished 
« Th/risi, to postpone, in the hope, however, of nltimatel? possessing. 

* Slight afternoon's repasts. * Little fondled boy. 
V Bog, in which one most sink. • In a swoon. 

* Fondled >* That b, lock up in the pantij. 

188 Rutherford's letters. 

Now for my case i I thiak that tlie coimcil should be essayed, 
and the eveoL referred lo God : — duties are ours, and evetita are 

I shall go (h rough yours upon the Coveuant at leisure^ and 
write to you my mind there-auent ; ^ and aueiit the Armiiiian 
contract betwixt the Father and the 8on. 1 beseech you, set Ld^* 
to go through Scripture. Youra on the Hebrews! is iti great re- 
quest with ail who would be acquainted with Christ's Tesiameot* 
1 purpose, God wilKng, to set about Hasea^ and lo try if I can get 
it to the press here. 

It refresheth me much, that ye are so kind to my brother I 
hope your council will do him good. 1 recommend him to you^ 
Bince I am bo fur from hiui. 1 aiu glad that the dying servant of 
Godj famous and faithful Mr. Cunningham, sealed your ministry 
before he fell asleep. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R, 

Aberdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Well-beloved, AND Dear Sister, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
he to you — I received your Iptter, which I esteem an evidence uf 
your Christian aflTection to me, and of your love lo my honorable 
Lord and Master. My desire is^, (hat your couimunion with C^lIist 
may grow, and tliat your reckonings may be put by hand* with 
your Lord ere ye come to the watcr-^^ide. 

Oh, who knowelh how sweet Christ's ki^ises are ! Who hatb 
been more kindly embraced and kissned than I, his bani§hed pri»* 
oner? If the cooiparison could §land, 1 would not escctuinge 
Christ with Heaven itself. He hath left a dart and arrow of love 
in iTiy soul, and it paineth me till he come and lakoth U iniL 1 
find pain of tliese woundd, because I would have |H>s^esi9ion. 'I 
know now ihat this worm-eaten apple, the plastered^ rotten world, 
which the silly children of this world are beating and bnffetin<ri 
and pulling each otiier's ears for, i^ a portion for bastardi good 
enough ; and that it is all they have to look for. ! am not of- 
fended that my advert^aries stay at home at their own fireside* with 
more yearly rent than L Should I Ijm? an^ry that the Good- 
man of tills house of the world cartel h a dog a luMie to hurt 
his teeth ? He hath taught me to be conti^nt with a borroiwiad 
fireside, and an unco* bed ; and I think I have lost nothing, tlie 
income is so great. Oh, what telling is in Christ ! Oh, how 
> weighty is my fair garland, my crown, my fair supping-hall in 

I Concerning it * Thwd to, to detenniiie, to bcfia. 

* Conclncled. < Strani^c. 


^loiyi where I shall be above the blows and bufletings of prelates 1 
Let this be your desire, and let your thoughts dwell much upon 
that blessedness that abideth you in the other world. The fair 
• side of the world will be turned to you quickly, when ye shall 
see the crown. I hope that ye are near your lodging. Oh! but 
I would think myself blessed, for my part, to win to? the house 
before the shower come on ! for God hath a quiver full of arrows 
to shoot at, and shower down upon Scotland. 

Ye have the prayers of a prisoner of Christ. I desire Patrick 
to give Christ his young love, even the flowers of it, and to put it 
by all others. It were good to start soon to the way ; he snould 
thereby have a great advantage in the evil day. Grace be with 

Yours, in his only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Reverend, and Well-beloved in the Lord, — I was re- 
freshed with your letter. I am sorry for that lingering and long- 
soroe visitation that is upon your wife ; but I know that ye take 
it as the mark of a lawfully begotten child, and not of a bastard, 
to be under your Father's rod. Till ye be in Heaven, it will be 
but foul weather — one shower up and another down. The lintel- 
stone and pillars of the New Jerusalem suffer more knocks of 
God's hammer and tool than the common side-wall stones: and 
if twenty crosses be written for you in God's book, they will come 
to nineteen, and then, at last, to one, and after that to nothing ; 
but your head shall lie betwixt Christ's breasts for evermore, and 
his own soft hand shall dry your face ; and wipe away your tears. 
Aa for public sufferings for his truth, your Master ako will see to 
these. Let us put him into his own office, to comfort and deliver. 
The gloom* of Christ's cross is worse than itself. 

I cannot keep up what he hath done to my soul My dear 
brother, will I not get help of you to praise, and to lifl Christ up 
on high ? He hath pained me with his love, and hath left a love- 
arrow m my heart, tnat hath made a wound, and swelled me up 
with desires, so that I am to be pitied for want of real possession. 
Love ^ oiild have the company of the party loved : and my great- 
est pain is the want of him, not of his joys and comforts, but of a 
near union and communion. 

This is his truth, I am fully persuaded, which I now suflTer for : 
for Christ bath taken upon him to be witness to it by bis sweet 
comforts to my soul ; and shall I think him a false witness, or 
that he would subscribe blank paper? I thank his high and 

> Reach. * Frown. 


dreadful name for what h^ hath given. I hope to keep his seal 
and his pawn till he come and loose it himself. I defy Hell to put 
me off it But he is Christ, and he hath met with his prisoner, 
and I took instruments in his own hand ^ that it was he, and none 
other for him. When the Devil fenceth * a bastard-court in my 
Lord's ground, and giveth me forged summons, it will be my 
shame to misbelieve,' after such a fair, broad seal : and yet Satan 
and my apprehension sometimes make a lie of Christ, as if he 
hated me ; but I dare believe no evil of Christ. If he would cool 
my love-fever for himself with real presence and possession, I would 
be rich ; but I dare not be mislearned,* and seek more in that kind, 
howbeit it be no shame to beg at Christ's door. I pity my adver- 
saries. I grudge not that my Lord keepeth them at their own 
fire-side, and hath given me a borrowed bed and a borrowed fire- 
side : — let the good-man of the house cast the dog a bone ! why 
should I take offence? I rejoice that the broken bark shall come 
to land, and that Christ will, on the shore, welcome the sea-sick 
passenger. We have need of a great stock against this day of 
trial that is coming. There is neither chaff nor corn in Scotland 
but it shall once pass through Grod's sieve. Praise, praise, and 
pray for me ; for 1 cannot forget you. I know that ye wUl be 
friendly to my afllicted brother, who is now embarked in the same 
cause with me. Let him have your counsel and comforts. 

Remember my love in Christ to your wife ; her health is coming, 
and her salvation sleepeth not. Ye have the prayers and blessing 
of a prisoner in Christ. Sow fast, deal bread plentifully. The 
pantry-door will be locked on the bairns, in appearance, ere long. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Uaidi 7, 1637. 



My very Reverend, and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to vou — I long to see you on paper. I cannot but 
write you, that this which I now suffer for is Christ's truth ; be- 
cause he hath been pleased to seal my sufferings with joy an- 
speakable and glorious. I know that he will not put his seal upon 
blank paper ; Christ hath not dumb seals, neither will he be a 
witness to a lie. I beseech you, my dear brother, to help roe to 
praise, and to lift Christ up on his throne above the shields of 
the earth. I am astonished and confounded at the greatness of 
his kindness to such a sinner. I know that Christ and I shaL 
never be even ;' I shall die in his debt He hath left an arrow in 

> That If, I declared, and claimed that the declaration dught be reooffded for w^ 
denee. * OpeneUi. * Not to beUere alight. 

« lU-bred. • aoita. 


my heart that paineth me for want of real possession ; and Hell 
cannot quench this coal of God's kindling. I wish no man to 
slander Christ, or his cross, for my cause : for I have much cause 
Co speak much good of him ; he hath brought me to a nick' and 
degree of communion with himself that I knew not before. The 
din and gloom* of our Lord's cross is more fearful and hard than 
the cross itself. He taketh the bairns in his arms when they come 
to a deep water; at least, when they lose ground, and are put to 
ewjm, then his hand is under their chin. 

Let me be helped by your prayers ; and remembei my love to 
your kind wife. Grace be with you. 

Your Brother, and Christ's Prisoner, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 7, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I 
received your long-looked-for and short letter ; I would that ye had 
fipoken more to me, who stand in need. I find Christ, as ye write^ 
aye the longer the better, and, therefore, cannot but rejoice in His 
saltation, who hath made my chains my wings, and hath made 
me a king over my crosses, and over my adversaries : — glory, glory, 
glory to his high, high and holy name ! Not one ounce, not one 
grain-weight more is laid on me than he hath enabled me to bear ; 
and I am not so' much wearied to suffer as Zion's haters are to 
persecute. Oh, if* I could find a way in any measure, to strive 
to be even with Christ's love ! but that I must give over. Oh, 
who would help a dyvour* to pay praises to the King of saints, 
who triumpheth in his weak servants ! 

I see that if Christ but ride upon a worm or feather, his horse 
will neither stumble nor fall. The worm Jacob is made by him a 
new, sharp, threshing instrument, having teeth to thresh the 
mountains, and beat them small, and to make the hills as chaff, 
and to fan them, so as the wind shall carry them away, and the 
whirlwind shall scatter them, (Isa. xli. 14, 15, 16.) Christ's ene- 
mies are but breaking their own heads in pieces, upon the Rock 
laid in Zion, and the Stone js not removed out of its place. Faith 
hath cause to take courage from our very afflictions ; the Devil is 
but a whetstone to sharpen the faith and patience of the saints. 
I know that he but heweth and polisheth stones all this time for 
the New Jerusalem. 

But in all this, three things have much moved me, since it hath 

E leased ray Lord to turn my moon-light into day-light First he 
atb yoked' me to work, to wrestle with Christ's love of longingi 

I D«free. • Prown. • Ob, that 

« Banknipt • Bound. 

192 Rutherford's letters. 

wherewith I am sick, pained, fainting, and like to die, because I 
cannot get himself, which I think a strange sort of desertion; for 
I have not himself, (whom if I had, my love-sickness would cool, 
and my fever go away ; at least, I should know the heat of the 
fire of complacency, which would cool the scorching heat of the 
fire of desire,) and yet I have no penury of his love ; and so I 
dwine,^ I die, and he seemeth not to rue on me. 1 take instru- 
ments in his hand,* that I would have him, but I cannot get him , 
and my best cheer is black hunger ; — I bless him for that feast 

Secondly, Old challenges* now and then revive, and cast all 
down ; I go halting and sighing, fearing there be an unseen pro- 
cess yet coming out, and that heavier than I can answer. I can- 
not read distinctly my surety's act of cautionry * for me in partic- 
ular, and my discharge ; and sense, rather than faith, assureth 
me of what I have ; — so unable am I to go,^ but by a hold. 1 
could, with reverdice of my Lord, forgive Christ, if he would give 
me as much faith as 1 have hunger K»r him. I hope the pardon 
id now obtained, but the peace is not so sure to me as I would 
wish : yet, one thing I know, there is not a way to Heaven but 
the way which he hath graced me to profess and suffer for. 

Thirdly, Wo, wo is me for the Virgin-daughter of Scotland, 
and for the fearful desolation and wrath appointed for this land ; 
and yet all are sleeping, eating, and drinking, laughing and sport- 
ing, as if all were well. Oh our dim gold ! our dumb, blind pas- 
tors ! the sun is gone down upon them, and our nobles bid Christ 
fend for* himself, if he be Christ. It were good, that we should 
learn in time, the way to our stronghold. 

Sir, howbeit not acquainted, remember my love to your wife. 
I pray God to estabUsb you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 9, 1637. 



My Reverend, and Dear Brother, — I received your letters. 
They are as apples of gold to me, for with my sweet feasts, (and 
they are above the deserving of such a sinner, high and out of 
measure,^ I have sadness to ballast me, and weight^ me a little. 
It is but nis boundless wisdom, which hath taken the tutoring of 
His witless child ; and, be knoweth that to be drunken with 
comforts is not safest for our stomachs. However it be, the din, 
and noise, and glooms* of Christ's cross are weightier than iuelf 

• Pine away. 

i That k, I declare in Cbrut't court, and I claim that the declaration be recofded 
m order that it may become eridence. * Self-accotationt. « SaretrebiBL 

• Walk. * Shift fi>r. t Depre«. • Prowu. 

Rutherford's letters. 193 

I protest to you, (my witness is in Heaven,) that I could wish 
many pound-weights added to my cross, to know that by my 
sufferings Christ were set forward in his kingly office in this 
land. Oh ! what is my skin to his glory ; or my losses, or my 
sad heart, to the apple of the eye of our Lord, and his beloved 
spouse, his precious truth, his roval privileges, the glory of mani- 
fested justice in giving of his foes a dash, the testimony of his' 
faithful servants, wlio do glorify him, when he rideth upon poor 
weak worms, and triumpheth in them ? I desire you to pray, 
that I may come out of this furnace with honesty, and that I may 
leave Christ's truth no wor^e than I found it ; and that this most 
honorable cause may neither be stained nor weakened. 

As for your cause, my reverend, and dearest brother, ye are the 
talking of the north and south ; and looked to so as if ye were all 
crystal glass. Your motes and dust would soon be proclaimed, 
and trumpets blown at your slips ; but I know that ye have laid 
help upon One that is mighty. Intrust not your comforts to men's 
airy and frothy applause, neither lay your down-castings on the 
tongues of salt ^ mockers and reproachers of godliness. ^' As de- 
ceivers, and yet true ; as unknown, and yet stiU known," God hath 
called you to Christ's side, and the wind is now in Christ's face in 
this land ; and seeing ye are with him, ye cannot expect the lee- 
side, or the sunny side of the brae.< But I know tnat ye have 
resolved to take Christ upon any terms whatsoever. I hope that 
ye do not rue, though your cause be hated, and prejudices are 
taken up against it. The shields of the world think our Master 
cumbersome wares, and that he maketh too great din, and that 
his cords and yokes make blains and deep scores in their neck ; 
therefore, they kick. They say " This man shall not reign over 

Let us pray one for another. He, who hath made you a chosen 
arrow in bis quiver, hide you in the hollow of his hand ! I am 
Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abefd«eii, Uaidi 9, 1637. 



My very Noble, and Honorable Lord, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to you. I make b«>ld to write to your Lordship, that 
you may know the honorable cause which ye are graced to pro- 
IC88, is Christ's own truth. Ye are many ways blessed of uod, 
who have taken upon you to come out to the streets with Christ 
on your forehead, when so many are ashamed of him, and hide 
him, as it were, under their cloak, as if he were a stolen Christ. 

I Bitter. 

* Slope. Smmf rid$ ^Uu bmt, the moii wana, ehelteied, «o4 comfbitable eitiia- 



If this faithless generation, (and especially the nohles of this king- 
dora,) thought not Christ dear wares, and religion ekpensive. 
hazardous, and dangerous, they would not slip from his cause a^ 
they do, and stand looking on with their hands folded behind 
their back when louns ^ are running with the spoil of Zion on 
their back, and the boards of the Son of God's tabernacle. Law 
and justice are to be had by any, etjpecially for money and moyen ;• 
but Christ can get no law, good-cheap,' or dear. It were the glory 
and honor of you, who are the nobles of this land, to plead for 
your wronged Bridegroom, and his oppressed spouse, as far as 
zeal, and standing law will go with you. Your ordinary logic 
from the event, that it will do no good to the cause, and, therefore, 
silence is best, till the Lord put-to his own hand, is not, (with rev- 
erence to your Lordship's learning,) worth a straw. Events are 
God's. Let us do, and not plead against God's office. Let Him 
sit at his own helm, who moderatetn all events. It is not a good 
course to complain that we cannot get a providence of gold, when 
our laziness, cold zeal, temporizing, and taithless fearfulness spil- 
leth * good providence. 

Your Lordship will pardon me ; I am not of that mind, that 
tumults or arms is the way to put Christ on his throne : or that 
Christ will be served, and truth vindicated, only with the arm of 
flesh and blood : nay, Christ doth his turn with less din, than 
with garments rolled in blood. But I would that the zeal of God 
were in the nobles to do their part for Christ : and I must be par- 
doned to write to your Lordship this. 

I dow not,* I dare not, but speak to others what Grod hath done 
to the soul of his poor, afflicted exile Prisoner. His comfort is 
more than I ever knew before; he hath sealed the honoraUe 
cause which I now suffer for, and I shall not believe that Christ 
will put his amen, and ring* upon an unagination. He bath 
made all his promises good to me, and hath filled up all the blanks 
with his own hand. I would not exchange my bonds with the 
plastered joy of this whole world. It hath pleased him to make a 
sinner, the like of me, an ordinary banqueter in his house-of-wine, 
with that royal princely One, Christ Jesus. Oh what weighing J 
Oh what telling is in his love ! How sweet must he be, when 
that black and burdensome tree, his own cross, is so perfuoied 
with joy and gladness ! Oh, for help to lift him up by praises on 
his royal throne ! I seek no more than that his name roav be 
spread abroad in me, that meikle' good may be spoken of Cnriat 
on my behalf; and thb being .done, my losses, place, siipead, 
credit, ease, and Uberty, shall all be made up to my full content* 
ment and joy of heart 

I shall be confident that your Lordship will go on in the strtogth 
of the Lord, and keep Christ, and avouch him, that he may read 

> Seoandreb. km, woithlett feflowt. t IntereiL 

* Veiy cheap. gnitiiitoa«. « Spoileth. 

* I am not able, indeed I have not coQra|e to fefrain ftoB gpaa knig. 

* AMure as by the mairiaffi covenant v Mveh. 

Rutherford's letters. 196 

your name publicly before men and angels. I shall entreat your 
Lordship to exhort and encourage that Nobleman, your Chief,* to 
do the same ; but T am wo * that many of you find a new wisdom, 
which d^serveth not such a name-— it were better that men would 
see that their wisdom be holy, and their holiness wise. 

I must be bold to desire your Lordship to add. to your former 
favors to me, (for the which your Lordship hath a prisoner's bless- 
ing and prayers,) this, that ye would be pleased to befriend my 
brother, now suffering for the same cause ; for as he is to dwell 
nigh your Lordship's bounds, your Lordship's word and counte- 
nance may help him. 

Thus recommending your Lordship to the saving grace, and 
tender mercy of Christ Jesus, our Lord, I rest, 

Your Lordship's obliged servant in Christ| S. R. 

Aberdeen, Match 9, 1637. 



Reverend, and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be to you — I am well. My Lord Jesus is kinder to me than ever 
he was. It pleaseth him to dine and sup with his afflicted prisoner : 
a Kine feasteth me, and his spikenard casteth a sweet smell. Put 
Christ's love to tl^e trial, and put upon it our burdens, and then it 
will appear love mdeed : we employ not his love, and, therefore, 
we know it not. I verily count the sufferings of my Lord more 
than this world's lustred ' and over-gilded glory.. I dare not say 
but my Lord Jesus hath fully recompensed my sadness with his 
joys, ray losses with his own presence. I find it a sweet and rich 
thing to exchange my sorrows with Christ's joys, my afflictions 
with that sweet peace I have with himself. 
^Brother, this is his own truth I now suffer for. He hath sealed 
my sufferings with his own comforts, and I know that he will not 
pat his seal upon blank paper ; his seals are not dumb nor delu- 
sive, to confirm imaginations and lies. Go on, my dear brother, in 
the strength of the Lord, not fearing man, who is a worm, nor the 
son of man that shall die. Providence hath a thousand keys, to 
open a thousand sundry doors for the deliverance^of his own, when 
it is even come to a condatnatutn est.* Let us be faithful ; and 
care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for him, and lay 
Christ's part on nimself, and leave it there. Duties are ours, 

> The Eari of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell * Griered. 

* LofllroiM. 

« That k, when it b quite deeperate, when it is given up fbr loet A form of epMeh 
taken from a cnetoni amon|r the Romans, of caliinj^ upon a peison. who had died, 
eereral times hj his name. Henee those, who had gnren np a mend ior loK, or who 
j o w>ost d htm to be dead, were said turn emdamavitM f in nke manner it was said af 
a thinf when it was reckoned quite desperate, eondwmatum ut^ *'jdl is OTer." 


events are the Lord's. When our faith goeth tc meddle with 
events, and to hold a court (if I may so speak) upon God's provi- 
dence, and beginneth to say, '^How wilt thou do this and that?" 
we lose ground. We have nothing to do there. It is our part to 
let the Almighty exercise his own office, vand steer his own helm. 
There is nothing left to us, but to see how we may be approved 
of him, and how we may roll the weight of our weak souls in 
well-doing upon Him, who is God omnipotent : and when what 
we thus essay miscarrieth, it will neither be our sin nor cross. 

Brother, remember the Lord's word to Peter ; ''Simon, lovest 
thou me 1 Feed my sheep." No greater testimony of our love to 
Christ can be, than to feed carefully and faithfully his lambs. 

I am in no better neighborhood with the ministers here than 
before : they cannot endure that any speak of me, or to me. Thus 
I am, in the meantime, silent, which is my greatest grief. Dr. 
Barron hath often disputed with me, especially about Arminian 
controversies, and for the ceremonies. Three yokings * laid him 
by ; and I have not been troubled with him since. Now, he hath 
appointed a dispute before witnesses ; I trust that Christ and truth 
will do for themselves. 

I hope, brother, that ye will help my people ; and write to me 
what you hear the Bishop is to do with them. Grace be with you. 

Your brother in bonds, S. R. 




Reverend, and Dear Brother, — I bless you for your lettei. 
— He' is come down as rain upon the mown grass; he bath re- 
vived my withered root ; and he is the dew of herbs. I am most 
secure in this prison : salvation is for walls in it ; and what thmk 
ye of these walls? He maketh the dry plant to bud as the luy, 
and to blossom as Lebanon ; — the great Husbandman's blessing 
Cometh down upon the plants of righteousness. Who may say 
this, my dear brother, if 1, his poor exiled stranger and prisoner, 
may not say it? Howbeit all the world should l^ silent, I cannot 
hold my peace. » Oh, how many black accounts have Christ and 
I rounded over together in the house of my pilgrimage ! and how 
fat a portion he hath given to a hungry soul ! I had rather have 
Christ's four-hours,' than have dinner and supper both in one from 
any other — his dealing, and the way of his judgments are past 
finding out No preaching, no book, no learning could give me 
that, which it behooved me to come and get in this town. But 
what of all this, if I were not misted,^ and confounded, and aston- 

> A Mt-to. Yoking it properly Uie time dnriiif which a hone b in the yokt, 

• In the ScotUtb dialect, He b often oied, as Bfiri b in Hebrew, ae a name of Oa^ 

* Slight afternoon refireshment. « BcwiU«n4. 


idled how to be thankful, and how to get him praised foi ever* 
more ? And, what is more, he hath been pleased to pain me with 
his love, and my pain groweth through want of real possession. 

Some have written to me, that I am possibly too joyful of the 
cross ; but my joy overleapeth the cross, it is bounded and termi- 
nated upon Christ I know that the sun will over-cloud and 
eclipse, and that I shall again be put to walk in the shadow : but 
Christ must be welcome to come and go, as he thinketh meet 
Yet he would be more welcome to me, 1 trow, to come, than to go; 
and 1 hope he pitieth and pardoneth me, in casting apples to me, 
at such a fainting time as this — holy, and blessed is his name. It 
was not my flattering of Christ that drew a kiss from his mouth : 
but he would send me as a spy into this wilderness of suffering, 
to see the land, and try the ford ; and I cannot make a lie of 
Christ's cross ; I can report nothing but good both of him and it, 
lest others should faint I hope, when a change cometh, to cast 
anchor at midnight upon the Rock, (which he hath taught me to 
know in this day-light,) whither 1 may run, when I must say my 
lesson without book, and believe in the dark. I am sure it is sin 
to tarrow' at Christ's good meat, and not to eat when he saith, 
" Eat, O well-beloved, and drink abundantly." If he bear me on 
bis back, or carry me jn his arms over this water, I hope for grace 
to set down my feet on dry ground, when the way is better : but 
this is slippery ground ; my Lord thought good I should go by a 
hold, and lean on my WeU-beloved's shoulder — it is good to be 
ever taking from him. I desire that he may get the fruit of 
prabes, for dawting,* and thus dandling me on his knee : and I 
may give my bond of thankfulness, so being I have Christ's back- 
bond' again for my relief, that I shall be strengthened by his 
Eowerful grace, to pay my vows to him. But, truly, I find that we 
ave the advantage of the brae« upon our enemies : we are more 
than conquerors through Him who loved us ; and they know not 
wherein our strength lyeth. 

Pray for me. Grace be with you. 

Your brother in Christ, S. R. 




Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you — The Lord hath 
bfought me to Aberdeen, where I see God in few. This town hath 
been advised upon of purpose for roe ; it consisteth of Papists, or 

* To M reluctance, etpeciallj from loAe pettish humor. 

* Poodling. making much of. 

* A bood given by one who has received a preTioas bond, engagmg thai the persoa 
wlio gave the pievious bond shall not, in consequence of it^ come to any low or dasi* 
•ga. « Siope, declivity 

198 Rutherford's letters. 

men ot Gallio's noughty > faith. It is counted wisdom, in the most, 
not to countenance a confined minister ! but I find Christ neither 
strange nor unkind ; for I have found many faces smile upon me 
since I came hither. • 

I am heavy and sad, considering what is betwixt the Lord and 
my poul, which none seeth but he. I find men have mistaken me ; 
it would be no art (as 1 now see) to spin small,' and make hypoc- 
risy seem a goodly web, and go through the market as a saint 
among men, and yet steal quietly to Hell, without observation ; so 
easy is it to deceive men. I have disputed whether or no I ever 
knew anything of Christianity, save the letters of that name. 
Men see but as men, and they call ten twenty, and twenty a hun- 
dred ; but, oh ! to be approved of God in the heart and in sincer- 
ity, is not an ordinary mercy. Mv neglects while I had a pulpit, 
and other things whereof I am ashamed to speak, meet me now, 
so as God maketh an honest cross my daily sorrow ; and, for fear 
of scandal and stumbling, I must hide this day of the law's plead- 
ing : I know not if thb court, kept within my soul, be fenced * in 
Christ's name. If certainty of salvation were to be bought, God 
knoweth that if I had ten earths, I would not prig^ with God. 
Like a fool, I believed, under sufferings for Christ, that I myself 
should keep the key of Christ's treasures, and take out comforts 
when I listed, and eat, and be fat ; but I see now that a sufferer 
for Christ shall be made to know himself, and shall be holden at 
the door, as well as another poor sinner : and will be fain to eat 
Mrith the bairns and take the by-board,' and glad to do so. My 
blessing on the cross of Christ, that hath m^de me to see this. 
Oh, if* we could take pains for the Kingdom of Heaven ! But we 
sit down upon some ordinary marks of God's children, thinking we 
have as much as will separate us from a reprobate, and thereupon 
we take the play, and cry " Holiday ;" and thus the Devil casteth 
water on our fire, and blunteth our zeal and care. But I see that 
Heaven is not at the next door ; and I see that, howbeit mv chal- 
lenges^ be many, I suffer for Christ and dare hazard my salvatioa 
upon it ; for sometimes my Lord cometh with a fair hour, and, oh ! 
but his love is sweet, delightful, and comfortable ! Half a kiss is 
sweet : but our doting love will not be content with a right to 
Christ, unless we get possession ; like the man who will not be 
content with rights' to bought land, except he get also the ridges 
and acres laid upon his back, to carry home with him. However 
it be, Christ is wise ; and we are fools to be browden* and fond of 
a pawn in the loof >' of our hand : living on trust by faith may well 
content us. Madam, I know that your Ladyship knoweth this, 
and that made me bold to write of it, that others might reap some- 
what by my bonds for the truth ; for I would desire, and aim at 

> Having nothing in it ' Pin«. 

* Th fence, to open a coart hj proclaiming the principlM on which it it constitalaJ. 
« Higgk chaffer. • Siae-tabie. • Oh, that 

V SeUhaccusations. ' Titk-deeda. 

• UnreaeonablT, and aomewhat childiahlj intent upon a thing. 
I* The pala of the hand. 

Rutherford's letters. 19S 

this, to have my Lord well-spoken of and hcuored, howbeit he 
should make nothing of me but a bridge over a water. 

Thus recommendmg your Ladyship, your son and children, to 
His grace, who hath honored you with a name and room among 
the living in Jerusalem ; and wishing grace to be with your Lady- 
ship, I rest, 

Your Ladyship's m his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 



Reverend, and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be unto you — I find that great men, especially old friends, scaur ' 
to speak for me ; but my kingly and royal Master biddeth me to 
try nis moyen' to the uttermost, and I shall find a friend at hand. 
I still depend upon Him ; His court is as before ; the prisoner is 
welcome to Him ; the black, crabbed tree of my Lord*s cross hath 
made Christ and my soul very entire ; ' He is my song in the 
night I am often laid in the dust with challenges,^ and appre- 
hensions of His anger, and then, if a mountain of iron were laid 
upon me, I cannot be heavier ; and with much wrestling I win' 
into the king's house-of-wine, and then, for the most part, my life 
is joy, and such joy through his comforts, as I have been afraid 
lest I should shame myself and cry out, for I can scarce bear what 
I get. Christ giveth me a measure heaped up, pressed down, and 
running over ; and, believe it, his love paineth more than prison 
and banishment. I cannot get the way of Christ's love. Had I 
known what He was keeping for me, I should never have been so 
faint-hearted. In my heaviest times, when all is lost, the memory 
of His love maketh me think Christ's glooms* are but for the 
fashion.' I seek no more than a vent to my wine ; I am smoth- 
ered and ready to burst for want of vent. Think not much of 
persecution. It is before you ; but it is not as men conceive of it; 
my sugared cross forceth me to say this to you, ye shall have 
waled 'meat — the sick bairn is ofttimes the spilled* bairn — ye shall 
command all the house. I hope that ye help a tired prisoner to 

Caise and pray. Had I but the annual of annual *' to give to my 
>rd Jesus, it would ease my pain. But, alas ! I have nothing to 
pay, he will get nothing of poor me ; but I am wo'^ that I have 
not room enough in my heart for such a stranger. I am not cast 
down to go farther north. I have good cause to work for my Mas* 

» Boggle. « Intewil. 

* That b, hath united them in most intimate acquaintance and fHtnd»hip. 

* Seir-aceiuationfl. > Qet. • Frowns. 

^ For the coitomary appearance. * CareAilly aelected. 

* Spoiled. ^ Quit rent of quit-rent, that b, the tmalleit ana. 


ler, for I am well-paid before-hand ; I am not behind, howbcit I 
should get one smile more, till my feet be up within the King's 

I have gone through yours upon the Covenant ; it hath edified 
my soul, and refreshed a hungry man. I judge it sharp, sweef, 
quick, and profound. Take me at my word, I fear that it get no 
lodging in Scotland. 

The brethren of Ireland write not to me — chide with them for 
that. I am sure that I may give you and them a commission, 
(and I will abide by it,^ that you tell my Beloved that I am sick 
of love. I hope in God to leave some of my rust and superfluities 
in Abekleen. I cannot get a house in this town wherein to leave 
drink-silver' in my Master's name, save one only : there is no sale 
for Christ in the north ; he is like to lye long on my band, ere any 
accept him. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, 8. R. 




Reverend, and Dear Brother, — ^I am a very far mistaken 
man. If others knew how poor my stock was, they would not 
think upon the like of me but with compassion ; for I am as one 
kept under a strict tutor ; I would have more than my tutor al* 
loweth me, but it is good that a bairn's wit is not the rule which 
regulateth my Lord Jesus. Let him give what he will, it shall 
aye be above merit, and my ability to gain therewith. I would 
not wish a better stock, whill Heaven be my stock, than to live 
upon credit at Christ's hands, daily borrowing. Surely, running- 
over love, that vast, huge, boundless love of Christ, (that there k 
telling in for man and angels,) is the only thing I most fain would 
be in hands with. He knoweth that I have little but the love of 
that love ; and that I shall be happy, suppose I never get another 
heaven, but only an eternal, lasting feast of that love. But sup- 
pose my wishes were poor, he is not poor ; Christ, all the seasons 
of the vear, is dropping sweetness. If I had vessels, I might fill 
them, but my old, riven, and running-out dish, even when I am 
at the well, can bring little away. Nothing but glory will make 
tight and fast our leaking and rifty* vessels. Alas! I have 
skailed* more of Christ's grace, love, faith, humility, and godly 
sorrow than I have brought with me. How little of the sea can 
a child carry in his hand ! as little dow « I take wty of my great 
Sea, my boundless and running-over Christ Jesus. 

> Drink money. Rathf rford mean* that he could not 6nd any houM, save onlj one, 
in which he could leave, on hin departure from it.anv expreaaion or token of hi* refaitl 
for Christ. « Full of riiU or rents. * Spilled, acattered. « Am abk loc 


I have not lighted upon the right gate ' of putting Christ to the 
bank, and making myself rich with him : my misguiding and 
childish trafficking with that matchless Pearl, that Heaven's Jewel, 
the Jewel of the Father's delights, hath put me to a great loss. 
Oh, that he would take a loan of me, and my stock, and put his 
name in all my bonds, and serve himself heir to the poor mean 
portion which I have, and be accountable for the talent himself I 
Gladly would I put Christ into my room, to guide all ; and let me 
be but a servant to run errands, and act by his direction — let me 
be his interdicted heir. Lord Jesus work upon my minority, and 
let him win a pupil's blessing. Oh, how would I rejoice to have 
this work of my salvation legally fastened upon Christ I A back- 
bond' of my Lord Jesus that it should be forthcoming* to the or- 
phan, would be my happiness : dependency on Christ w^ere my 
sarest wav ; if Christ were my foundation I were sure enough. I 
ibougbt the guiding of grace had been no art ; * I thought it would 
come of will ;* but I would spill* my own heaven yet, if I had not 
burdened Christ with all. I but lend my bare name to the sweet 
covenant ; Christ, behind and before, and on either side, maketh 
all sure. God will not take an Arminian cautioner.^ Free-will, 
a weather-cock, turning at a serpent's tongue, a tutor that cowped' 
our father, Adam, unto us ; and brought down the house, and sold 
the land ; and sent the father, the mother, and all the bairns 
through the earth, to heg their bread ; nature in the Gospel, hath 
but cracked a credit. On, well to my poor soul for evermore, that 
my Lord called grace to the council, and put Christ Jesus with 
free merits, and the blood of God foremost in the chase, to draw 
sinners after a Ransomer ! Oh, what a sweet block * was it, by 
way of buying and selling, to give, and tell down a ransom for 
grace and glory to dyvours ! *' Oh, would to my Lord that I could 
cause paper and ink to speak the worth and excellency, the high 
and loud praises of a Brother-ransomer ! The Ransomer needeth 
not my report ; but oh, if he would take it, and make use of it ! 
I should be happy, if I had an errand to this world, but for some 
few years, to spread proclamations and outcries, and love-letters, 
of the highness, the highness for evermore, the glory, the glory for 
evermore, of the Ransomer, whose clothes were wet and dyed in 
blood ; albeit, after I had done that, my soul and body should go 
back to the mother. Nothing that their Creator brought them 
ODce out from, as from their Beginning. But why should I pine 
away, and pain myself with wishes ; and not believe rather, 
that Christ will hire such an outcast as I am, a masterless body,'^ 
put out of the house by the sons of my mother, and give me em- 

* Wajr, manner. 

* A bond, given by one who has received a preTiooi bond, engaging that the 
person nrho gave the preTioai bond ehall not, in ooneeqaence of it, come to any lots 
ar damage. 

s Prodadble. < That is, required no ikilL * Spontaneously. 

* Spoil, ruin. ▼ Surety. * Overturned, Qpaet. 

* Plan, or scheme of a bargain. >* Bankrupts. 
u A servant whom no master will hire. 

203 eutherfo&d's letters. 

Cloyment and a calling, one way or other, to set out Christ and 
is wares to country buyers, and purpose Christ unto, and press 
him upon some poor souls, that fainer than their life would receive 

You complain heavilyof your short-coming in practice, and ven- 
turing on suffering for Christ: you have many marrows.* For 
the first, I would not put you off a sense of wretchedness. Hold 
on ! Christ never yet slew a sighing, groaning child : more of 
that would make you won goods, and a meet prey for Christ 
Alas ! I have too little of it, for venturing on suffering. I had not 
so much free gear,* when I came to Christ's camp as to buy a 
sword — a wonder that Christ should not laugh at such a soldier. 
I am no better yet ; but &ith liveth and spendeth upon our Cap- 
tain's charges, who is able to pay for all: we need not pity him, 
he is rich enough. Ye desire me also not to mistake Christ under 
a mask. I bless you, and thank Grod for it : but alas ! masked, 
or bare-faced, kissine or glooming,* I mistake him : yea, I mistake 
him farthest when the mask is off; for then I play me with his 
sweetness. I am like a child, that hath a gilded book, that play- 
eth with the ribbons, and the gilding, and the picture on the first 
page, but readeth not the contents of it. Certainly if my desires 
to my Well-beloved were fulfilled, I could provoke devils, and 
crosses, and the world, and temptations to the field ; but, oh ! my 
poor weakness maketh me lye behind the bush and hide me. 

Remember ray service and my blessing to my Lord. I am 
mindful of him as I am able. Desire him from a prisoner, to 
come and visit my good Master, and feel but the smell of his love. 
It setteth* him well, howbeit he be young, to make Christ his gar- 
land. I could not wish him in a better case, \han in a fever of 
love-sickness for Christ. 

Remember my bonds. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit 
Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Loving Friend, — ^I received your letter. I wish that ye take 
pains for salvation. Mistaken grace, and somewimt like conver- 
sion which is not conversion, is the saddest and mosTdoleful thing 
in the world. Make sure of salvation, and lay the foundation sure, 
for many are beguiled. Put a low price upon the world's clay ; 

Eut a high price upon Christ Temptations will come, but if they 
e not made welcome by you, ye have the best of it Be jealous 
over yourself and your own heart, and keep touches * with God. 

1 Equab» companions. * Money. * Frovming. 

« Becomes. • Keep (kith. 

Rutherford's letters. 203 

Let him not have a faint and feeble soldier ^f you. Fear not to 
back Christ, for he will conquer and overcome. Let no man scaur ' 
at Christ, for I have no quarrels at his cross ; he and his cross are 
two good quests, and worth the lodging. Men would fain have 
Christ good-cheap,* byt the market will not come down. Acquaint 

Jourself with prayer. Make Christ your Captain and your armor, 
lake conscience of sinning when no eye seeth you. Grace be 
with you. 

Yours, in Christ Jesus, S. R. 




Dear, and Loving Sister, — I know that ye are minding your 
sweet country, and not taking your inn (the place of your banish- 
ment) for your home. This life is not worthy to be the thatch or 
outer wall of the paradise of your Lord Jesus, that he did sweat 
for to you, and that he keepeth for you. Short, and silly, and 
sand-blind were our hope, if it could not look over the water to 
our best heritage, and if it stayed only at home about the doors 
of our clay house. 

I marvel not, my dear sister, that ye complain that ye come 
short of your old wrestlings, which ye had' for a blessing, and that 
DOW ye find it not so. Bairns are but hired to learn their lesson, 
when they first go to school : and it is enough that these who run 
a race see the gold only at the starting-place ; and possibly they 
see little more of it, or nothing at all till they win • to the rinks- 
end,* and get the gold in the loof « of their hand. Our Lord maketh 
delicates and dainties of his sweet presence and love-visits to his 
own ; but Christ's love, under a veil, is love. If ye get Christ, 
howbeit not the sweet and pleasant way ye would have him, it is 
enough; for the Well-beloved cometh not our way ; he must wale* 
his own gate' himself. For worldly things, seeing they are mead- 
ows and fair flowers in your way to Heaven, a smell in the by- 
going' is sufiicient. He that would reckon and tell all the stones 
m his way, in a journey of three or four hundred miles, and write 
up in his count-book ' all the herbs and the flowers growing in his 
way, might come short of his journey. You cannot stay, m your 
inch of time, to lose your day, (seeing that you are in haste ; and 
the night, and your afternoon will not bide ** you,) in setting your 
heart on this vain world. It were your wisdom to read your ac- 
count-book, and to have in readhiess your business, against the 

> Boggle. 

* OratiiiUmsly. Rutherford meani without any triab or tribalatioDi. 

* Get « End of the oootm. * The paki. 

• ChooM, oeleot ▼ Waj. • P«miii||. 

• TbatkihkdiarforjotimaL >• Wailnr. 


time you come to death's water-side. I know that yout lodfing 
is taken ; your forerunner, Christ, hath not forgotten that : an^ 
therefore, you must set yourself to your " ode thing," which you 
cannot well want. 

In that our .Lord took your husband to himself, I know it was 
that he might make room for himself. He cutteth off your love 
to the creature, that ye might learn that God only is the right 
owner of your love, sorrow, loss, sadness, death, or the worst things 
that are, except sin. But Christ knoweth well what to make of 
them, and can put his own in the cross's common,' that we shall 
be obliged to affliction, and thank God, who taught us to make our 
acquaintance with such a rough companion, who can hale us to 
Christ. You must learn to make your evils your great good ; and 
to spin comforts, peace, joy, communion with Christ, out of vour 
troubles, that are Christ's wooers, sent to speak for' you to him- 
self. It is easy to set good words, and a comfortable message 
from our Lord, even u-om such rough serieants, as divers tempta- 
tions. Thanks to God for crosses ! When we count and reckon 
our losses in seeking God, we find that godliness is great gain. 
Great partners of a shipful of gold are glad to see the ship come to 
the harbor ; — surely we and our Lord Jesus together, have a ship- 
ful of gold coming home, and our gold is in that ship. Some are 
so in love, or rather in lust, with this life, that they sell their pari 
of the ship for a little thing. I would counsel you to buy hope, 
but sell it not, and give not away your crosses for nothing ; the 
inside of Christ's cross is white and joyful, and the far-end * of the 
black cross is a fair' and glorious heaven of ease: and seeing 
Christ hath fastened Heaven to the far-end * of the cross, and he 
will not loose the knot himself, and none else can, (for when Christ 
casteth^ a knot, all the world cannot loose it :) let us then count 
it exceeding joy, when we fall into divers temptations. 

Thus recommending you id the tender mercy, and grace of our 
Lord, I rest, 

Your loving brother, S. R. 




Honored, and Dear Brother, — I wrote of late to you. Mul- 
titudes of letters burden me now. I am refreshed with your letter. 

I exhort you in the bowels of Christ, set to work for your soul, 
apd let these bear weight with you, and ponder them seriously : 
1st, Weeping and gnashing of teeth in utter darkness or Heaven's 
joy. 2ndly, Think what ye would give for an hour, when ye 

> That b, Chrift can so place hiinaelf aoder, or connect himeelf wHh, Uie oov, at 
that we ihall be obliged or indebted to the croee ibr our being brought to him. 
• To bespeak. » Farthest end. « Tiilh. 


0hall lye like dead, cold, blackened clay. 3rdly, There is sand in 
your glass yet, and your sun is not gone do#n. 4thly, Consider 
what joy and peace are in Christ's service. 5thly, Think what 
advantage it will be, to have angels, the world, life and death, 
crosses, yea, and devils, all for you, as the King's Serjeants and 
servants, to do your business. 6thly, To have mercy on your 
seed, and a blessing on your house. 7thly, To have true honor, 
and a name on earth that casteth a sweet smell. Sthly, How ye 
will rejoice when Christ layeth down your head under his chin, 
and betwixt his breasts, and drieth your face, and welcometh you 
to glory and happiness. 9thly, Imagine what pain and torture is 
a guilty conscience ; what slavery to carry the Devil's dishonest 
loads. lOthly, Sin's joys are but night-dreams, thoughts, vapors, 
imaginations, and shadows, llthly, What dignity it is to be a 
son of God. 12ihly, Dominion and mastery over temptations, 
over the world and sin. ISthly, That your enemies should be the 
tail and you the head. 

For your bairns, now at rest, I speak to you and your wife, (and 
cause her to read this.) 1st, I am a witness for Barbara's glory in 
Heaven. 2ndly, For the rest, I write it under my hand, there are 
days coming on Scotland, when barren wombs, and dry breasts, 
and childless parents shall be pronounced blessed — they are then, 
in the lee of the harbor, ere the storm come on. 3rdly, They are 
not lost to you, that arc laid up in Christ's treasury in Heaven. 
4tfaly, At the Resurrection, ye shall meet with them ; thither they 
are sent before, but not sent away. 5thly, Your Lord loveth you, 
who is homely * to take and give, borrow an;l lend.' 6thly, Let 
not bairns be your idols ; for G^ will be iealous,and take away the 
idol, because he is greedy of your love wholly. 

I bless you, your wife and children. Grace for evermore be 
with you. 

Tour loving pastor, S. R. 




Honorable, and Dearest in the Lord, — ^Your letter hath 
refreshed mv soul. Mjr joy is fulfilled, if Christ and ye be fast 
together. Ye are my joy and crown. Ye know that I have reb- 
ommended his love to you. I defy the world, Satan, and sin. 
Hi^ love hath neither brim, nor bottom in it. My dearest in 
Christ, I write my soul's desire to you. Heaven is not at the next 
door. I find Christianity to be a hard task : set to it in your 
ereniiig. We would all keep both Chrbt and our right eye, our 

* Affible, eondeacending. 

• TV borrow or Und, to be on the moat intimate and familiar tenna. 

206 rutherford'^s letters. 

Kglit hand and foot ; but it will not do with us. I beseech yon, 
by the mercies of GM, and your compearance > before Christ, took 
Christ's account-book and your own together, and collate them. 
Give the remnant of your time to your soul. This great idol-god, 
the world, will be lying in white ashes, on the day of your com- 
pearance ; ^ and why should night-dreams, and day-shadows, aad 
water-froth, and May-flowers run away with your heart? When 
we win to' the water-side, and black death's river-brink, and put 
our foot into the boat, we shall laugh at our folly. Sir, I recom- 
mend unto you the thoughts of death, and how ye would wish 
your soul to oe, when ye shall lye cold, blue, ill-smeDing clay. 

For any hireling to be intruded, I, bein^ the King's prisoner, 
cannot say much ; but as God's minister, I desire you to read Acts 
i. 15, 16, to the end, and Acts vi. 2, 3, 4, 6, and ye shall find that 
God's people should have a voice in choosing church-rulers and 
teachers. I shall be sorry, if willingly ye shall give way to his 
unlawful intrusion upon my labors. The only wise God direct 

God's grace be with you. 

Your loving pastor, S. R. 



Worthy Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto yoa — 
I long to hear from you. I hear Christ hath been that' kmd as 
to visit you with sickness, and to bring you to the door of the 
grave : but ye found the door shut, blessed be his glorious name ! 
whill* ye be riper for etcraity. He will have more service of 
you : and, therefore, he seeketh of you, that henceforth ye be hon- 
est to your new Husband, the Son of God. We have all idol-love, 
and are whorishly inclined to love other things beside our Lord, 
and, therefore, our Lord hunteth for our love moe ways than one 
or two. Oh that Christ had bis own of us ! I know he will not 
want you, and that is a sweet wilfulness in his love ; and ye have 
as good cause, on the other part, to be headstrong and peremptory 
in your love to Christ, and not to part, nor divide your love be> 
twixt him and the world — if it were more, it is little enough, yea, 
too little for Christ 

I am now, every way, in good terms with Christ He bath set 
a banished prisoner as a seal on his heart, and as a bracelet on 
his arm: that crabbed and black tree of the cross laugbeth upon 
me now ; the alarming noise of the cross b worse than itself. 1 
love Christ's glooms* better than the world's worm-eaten joys. 
Oh, if* all the kingdom were as I am, except these bonds ! My 

1 Appearance ia obedience to legal citation. 

* So. « Until i PiowM. 

• Oh,UMt. 

Rutherford's letters. 207 

loss is gain; my sadness joyful ; my boncl:^, liberty ; my tears com 
fortable. This world is not worth a drink of cold water. Oh, but 
Christ's love casteth a great heat ! Hell, and all the salt sea, and 
the rivers of the earth, cannot quench it. 

I remember you to God ; ye have the prayers of a prisoner of 
<>hrist. Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 9, 1637. 



Loving, and Dear Sister, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to 
you. — ^Your letter hath refreshed my souL You shall not have 
my advice to malce haste to go out of that town ; for if you re- 
move out of Kirkcudbright, thev will easily undo all. You are at 
God's work, and in his way there : be strong in the Lord ; the 
Devil is weaker than you are, because stronger is He that is in 
you than he that is in the world. Your care of, and love showed 
towards me, now a prisoner of Christ, is laid up for you in Heaven, 
and you shall know, that it is come up in remembrance before 

Pray, pray for mv desolate flock, and give them your counsel, 
when you meet with any of them. It shall be my grief to hear 
that a wolf enter in upon my labors ; but if the Lord permit it, I 
mtftt be silent. My sky shall clear, for Christ layeth my head in 
his bosom, and admitteth me to lean there. I never knew before 
what his love was in such a measure. If he leave me, he leaveth 
me in pain, and sick of love ; and yet my sickness is my life and 
health. I have a fire within me ; I defy all the devils in Hell, 
and all the prelates in Scotland, to cast water on it. 

I rejoice at your courage and faith. Pray still as if I were on 
my journey to come and be your pastor. What iron-^ates or bars 
are able to stand it out against Cnrist ? for when he Uoweth, they 
open to him. 

I remember your husband. Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abefdeen, Much 11, 1637. 



My Well-beloved, and Dear Friend, — Every one seeketh 
oot God ; and &r fewer find him, because they seek amiss. He 


is to be sought for, above all things, if men woald find what th^ 
seek. liet feathers and shadows alone to children, and go seek 
your Well-beloved. Your only errand to the world, is to woo 
Christ : therefore, put other lovers from about his house, and let 
Christ have all your love, without minching ^ or dividing it — it is 
little enough, if there were more of it. The serving of the world 
and sin hath but a base reward ; and smoke instead of pleasures, 
and but a night-dream for true ease to the soul. Go where ye 
will, your soul shall not sleep sound but in Christ's bosom. Come 
in to him, and lie down, and rest you on the slain Son of Grod, and 
inquire for him. I sought him, and now, a fig for all the worm- 
eaten pleasures, and moth-eaten glory out of Heaven, since I havo 
found him, and in him all I can want or wish ! He hath made 
me a king over the world. Princes cannot overcome me. Cbnst 
hath given me the marriage-kiss, and he hath my marriage-love : 
we have made up a full bargain, that shall not go back on either 
side. Oh, if ye, and all in that country, knew what sweet terms 
of mercy are betwixt him and me ! 
Grace be with you. 

Yours, in bis sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideen, Much 11, 1637. 



Madam, — ^I would have written to your Ladyship ere now, but 

Qle's believing there is in me that which I know there is not 
put me out of love with writing to any ; for it ia easy to put 
religion to a market and public fair, but alas ! it is not so soon 
made eye-sweet* for Christ. 

My Lord seeth me a tired man far behind. I have gotten much 
love from Christ, but I give him little or none again. My white 
side Cometh out on paper to men ; but at home and within, I find 
much black work, and great cause of a low sail, and of little boast- 
ing ; and yet howbeit I see challenges^ to be true, the manner of 
the Tempter's pressing of them is unhonest, and, in my thouffats, 
knavish-like.* My peace is, that Christ may find outing* and tale 
of his wares in the like of me, I mean, for saving grace. 

I wish all professors to fall in love with grace. All our songs 
should be of his free grace. We are but too lazy and careless m 
seeking of it ; it is all our riches we have here, and glory in the 
bud. I wish that I could set out free grace. I was the Law's 
man, i^id under the Law, and under a curse ; but grace brought 
me from under that hard lord, and I rejoice that I am grace's free- 
holder. I pay tribute to none for Heaven, seeing my land and 

1 MiDdBf . • Oh» that • Pleasant to tba tja. 

< Accuaatiooa. • Not ftur. 

* Having the appearanc! or betog knavkh. t DMflaj. 

Rutherford's letters. 209 

heritage holdeth of Christ, my new King. Infinite wisdom hath 
devised this excellent way of free-holding for sinners. It is a bet- 
ter way to heaven than the old way that was in Adam's days. 
It hath this fair advantage, that no man's emptiness and want 
iayeth an inhibition upon Christ, or hindereth his salvation ; (and 
that is far best for me,) but our new Landlord putteth the names 
of dyvours,* and Adam's forlorn heirs, and beggars, and the 
crooked* and blind, in the free charters. Heaven, and angels 
may wonder that we have got such a gate' of sin and Hell. Such 
a back-entry out of Hell, as Christ made, and brought out the cap- 
tives by, is more than my poor shallow thoughts can comprehend. 
I would think sufferings glory, (and I am sometimes not far from 
it,) if my Lord would give me a new alms of free grace. 

I hear that the prelates are intending banishment for me ; but 
for more grace, and no other hire, I would make it welcome. The 
bits of this clay-house, the earth, and the other side of the sea, are 
my Father's. If my sweet Lord Jesus would bud* my sufferings 
with a new measure of grace, I were a rich man ; but I have not 
now, of a long time, found such high spring-tides as formerly. 
The sea is out, and the wind of his Spirit calm ; and I cannot 
buv a wind, or, by requesting the sea, cause it to flow again ; 
only, I wait on, upon the banks and shore-side, till the Lord send 
a full sea, that with up-sails I may lift up Christ. Yet sorrow for 
bis absence is sweet; and sighs, with *^Saw ye Him whom my 
fioal loveth ?" have their own delights. Oh, that I may gather 
hunger against his long-looked-for return ! Well were my soul, 
if Christ were the element, mine own element, and that 1 loved 
and breathed in him, and if I could not live without him. I allow 
not laughter upon myself^ when he is away ; yet he never leaveth 
the house, but he leaveth drink-money behind him, and a pawn 
that he will return. Wo, wo to me, if he should go away, and 
take all his flitting' with him ! Even to dream of him is sweet. 
To build a house of pining wishes for his return, to spin out a web 
of sorrow, and care, and languishing, and sighs, either dry or wet, 
as they may be, because he nath no leisure, (if I may speak so,) 
to make a visit, or to see a poor friend, sweeteneth and refresheth 
the thoughts of the heart. A misty dew will stand for rain, and 
do some good, and keep some greenness in the herbs, till our 
Lord's clouds rue upon tne earth, and send down a watering of 
rain. Truly I think Christ's misty dew a welcome message irom 
heaven, till my Lord's rain fall. 

Wo, wo is me for the Lord's vineyard in Scotland. Howbeit the 
Father of the house embrace a child, and feed him, and kiss him ; 
vet it is sorrow and sadness to the children, that our poor Mother 
hath gotten her leave.* and that our Father hath given up house. 
It is an unhearlsome^ thing, to see our Father and Mother agree 
00 ilJ ; yet the bastards, ir they be fed, care not. O Lord, cast not 

1 Baokniplf. • Halt. * Way. « Bribe. 

* Ooodi which maj be removed from one residence to another. 

• OiaeharM. ^ Unieemlv and melancholy 


210 rutqsrford's letters. 

water on Scotland's snioaking coal. It is a strange gate the saint* 
go to Heaven. Our enemies often eat* and drink us, and we go 
to Heaven through their bellies and stomachs, and they vomit the 
church of God, undigested among their hands : and even while 
we are shut up in prisons by them, we advance in our journey. 

Remember my service to my Lord your kind sod, who was kind 
to me in my bonds, and was not ashamed to own me. I would be 
glad that Christ got the morning-service of his life, now in his 
young years ; it would suit him well to give Christ bis young and 
green love. Christ's stamp and seal would go far down in a young 
soul, if he would receive the thrust of Christ's stamp. I would 
desire him to make search for Christ ; for nobles now are but dry 
friends to Christ. 

The grace of God our Father, and the good-will of Him who 
dwelt in the bush, be with your Ladyship. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My VERY Noble, and Honorable Lord, — I make bold, Toat 
of the honorable and Christian report I hear of your Lordsnip, 
having no other thing to say, but that which concerneth the 
honorable cause which the Lord hath enabled your Lordship to 
profess,) to write this, that it is your Lordship's crown, your glory, 
and your honor, to set your shoulder under the Lord's glory, now 
falling to the ground, and to back Christ now, when so many think 
it wisdom to let him fend for' himself. The shields of the earth 
ever did, and do still believe that Christ is a cumbersome neighbor* 
and that it is a pain to hold up his yeas and nays. They fear 
that he take their chariots, and their crowns, and tneir honor from 
them ; but my Lord standeth in need of none of them alL But it 
is your glory to own Christ and his buried truth ; for, let men say 
what they please, the plea with Zion's enemies, in this day of 
Jacob's trouble, is, If Christ should be King, and no mouth speak 
laws but his? It concerneth the apple of Christ's eye, ana hia 
royal privileges, what is now debated ; and Christ's kingly honor 
is come to yea and nay. But let me be pardoned, my dear, and 
noble Lord, when I beseech you by the mercies of God, by the 
comfort of the Spirit, by the wounds of your dear Saviour, by yoar 
compearance* before the Judge of quick and dead, to stand for 
Christ, and to back him. Ob, if the nobles had done their part, 
and been zealous for the Lord ! it had not been as it is now ; but 
men think it wisdom to «tand beside Christ till bis head be broken, 
and sing dumb.^ There is a time coming when Christ will have 

> Pt. xhr. 4. > Make a ihift ftr. 

* Appearance in a eoatt of law. « Be alent 

rittherpord's letters. 211 

a thick ' court, and he will be the glory of Scotland ; and he will 
make a diadem, a garland, a seal upon his heart, and a ring upon 
his finger, of those who have avouched him before this faithless 
generation: — howbeit, ere that come, wrath from the Lord is 
ordained for this land. 

My Lord, I have cause to write this to your Lordship, for I dare 
not conceal his kindness to the soul of an afflicted, exiled prisoner. 
Who hath more cause to boast in the Lord than such a sinner as 
I, who am feasted with the consolations of Christ, and have no 
pain in my sufferings, but the pain of soul-sickness of love for 
Christ, and sorrow that I cannot help to sound aloud the praises 
of Him who hath heard the sighing of the prisoner, and is content 
to lay the head of bis oppressed servant in his bosom, under his 
chin, and let him feel the smell of his garments ? It behooved me 
to write this, that your Lordship might know that Christ is as good 
as he is called ; and to testify to your Lordship that the cause, 
which your Lordship now professeth before the faithless world, is 
Christ's, and that your Lordship shall have no shame of it. 

Grace be with you. 

Your Lordship's obliged servant, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Marrh 13, 1637. 



Worthy Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I long to 
hear from you on paper. Remember your Chiefs • speeches on his 
death-bed. I pray you, sir, sell all, and buy the pearl : time will 
cut you from this world's glory. Look what will do you good, 
when your glass shall be run out, and let Christ's love bear most 
court in your soul, and that court will bear down the love of other 
things. Christ seeketh your help in your place, give him your 
band. Who hath more cause to encourage others to own Christ 
than I have ? for he hath made me sick of love, and left me in 
pain to wrestle with his love, and love is like to fall aswoon* 
through his absence : — I mean not that he deserteth me, or that 1 
am ebb* of comforts ; but this is an unco* pain. Oh that I had a 
heart and a love to render to him back again ! Oh, if* principali- 
ties and powers, thrones and dominions, and all the world would 
help me to praise ! Praise him in my behalf. 

Remember my love to your wife. I thank you most kindly for 
your love to my brother. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abcfdeen, Much 13, 1637. 

* ThioBfed, crowded. t Kenmare. * Into « ewooa. 

« SJuUow. t EzoeMhre. • Oh, thiU. 




Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — ^Your not writing to nae 
cannot bind me up from remembering you now and then, that at 
least ye may be a witness and a third man to behold on paper what 
is betwixt Christ and me. I was in his eyes like a young orphan, 
wanting known parents, casten out in the open fields : either Chrisi 
behooved to take me up, and to bring me home to his house and 
fire-side, else I had died in the fields ; and now I am homely ' with 
Christ's love, so that I think the house mine own, and the Master 
of the house mine also. Christ inqiiired not, when he began to 
love me, whether I was fair, or black, or sun-burnt ! — love taketb 
what it may have. He loved me before this time, I know ; but 
now I have the flower of his love : his love is come to a fair bloom,* 
like a young rose opened up out of the green leiives, and it casteth 
a strong and fragrant smell. I want nothing but ways of expres- 
sing Christ's love. A full vessel would have a vent. Oh, if* I 
' could smoke out, and cast out coals, to make a fire in many breasta 
of this land ! Oh ! it is a pity that there were not many impris- 
oned for Christ, were it for no other purpose than to write books 
and love-songs of the love of Christ. 

This love would keep all created tongues of men and angel? in 
exercise, and busy night and day, to speak of it. Alas ! I can 
speak nothing of it, but wonder at three things in his love : — First, 
freedom. Oh, that lumps of sin shoufd get such love for nothing ! 
Secondly, The sweetness of his love. I give over either to speak 
or write of it ; but those that feel it, may better bear witness what 
it is : but it is so sweet, that, next to Christ himself, nothing can 
match it. Nay, I think that a soul could live eternally blessed 
only on Christ's love, and feed upon no other thing : yea, when 
Christ in love giveth a blow, it doeth a soul good ; and it is a kind 
of comfort and joy to it, to get a cuff with the lovely, sweet, and 
soft hand of Jesus. And, thirdly. What power and stren^h are 
in his love ! I am persuaded it can climb a steep hill, with heU 
upon its back ; and swim through water and not drown ; and sing 
in the fire, and find no pain ; and triumph in losses, prisons, sor- 
rows, exile, disgrace, and laugh and rejoice in death. Ob, for a 
year's lease of the sense of his love, without a cloud, to try what 
Christ is ! Oh, for the coming of the Bridegroom ! Oil, when 
shall I see the Bridegroom and the bride meet in the clouds, and 
kisd each other ! On, when will we get our day, and our beartV 
fill of that love ! Oh, if' it were lawful to complain of the famine 
of that love, and want of the immediate vision of QoA ! O time, 
time ! how dost thou torment the souls of those that would be 
BwaUowed up of Christ's love, because thou ir ovesi so slowly ! Oh 

lAthome. • BUmmnh. Oh, tkat 

Rutherford's letters. 218 

if * he would pity a poor prisoner, and blow loFe upon me, and 
give a prisorier a taste or draught of that sweetness, (which is 
glory as it were begun,) to be a confirmation, that Christ and I 
shall have our fill of each other forever ! Come hither, O Love 
of Christ, that I may once kiss thee before I die ! What would I 
not give to have time, that lyeth betwixt Christ and me, taken out 
of the way, that we might once meet ? I cannot think but that 
at the first sight I shall see of that most lovely and fairest face, 
love will come out of his two eyes, and fill me with astonishment. 
I would but desire to stand at the outer side of the gates of the 
new Jerusalem, and look through a hole of the door, and see 
Christ's face. A borrowed vision in thjs life would be my borrow- 
ed and begun heaven, whill the long, long-looked-for day dawn. 
It is not for nothing that it is said, (Col. i. 2T,).^* Christ in you the 
hope of glory." I will be content of no pawn of Heaven but 
Christ himself; for Christ, possessed by faith here, is voung heav- 
en and glory in the bud. If I had that pawn I would bide hom- 
ing ' and Hell both, ere I give it again. All that we have here, is 
scarce the picture of glory. Should not we young bairns long and 
look for the expiring of our minority? It were good to be daily 
begging propines' and love-gifts, and the bridegroom's favors; 
and, if we can do no more, to seek crumbs, and hungry dinners 
of Christ's love, to keep the taste of Heaven in our mouth, whill 
supper-time. I kqow it is far after noon, and nigh the marriage- 
supper of the Lamb: — the table is covered already. O well- 
beloved, run, run fast ! O fair day, when wilt thou dawn ! O 
shadows, flee away ! I think hope and love woven through other ^ 
make our absence from Christ spiritual torment. It is a pain to 
wait on, but hope that maketh not ashamed swalloweth up that 
pain. It is not unkindness that keepeth Christ and us so long 
asunder. * What can I say to Christ's love? I think more than I 
can say. To consider, that when my Lord Jesus may take the 
air, (if I may so speak,) and go abroad, vet he will be confined 
and keep the prison with me ! But in all this sweet communion 
with him, what am I to be thanked for? I am but a sufferer. 
Whether I will or not, he will be kind to me — as if he had defied 
ray guiltiness to make him unkind, he so beareth his love in on 
me. H^re I die with wondering, that justice hindereth not love ; 
for there are none in Hell, nor out of Hell, more unworthy of 
Christ's love. Shame may confound and scaur* me once to hold 
up my black mouth to receive one of Christ's undeserved kisses. 
If my inner-side were turned out, and all men saw my vileness, 

1 Oh, that 

s A letter wnied from-hu majesty'i mznet and directed to a meaaenger, who m re- 
^vlred lo ehar;|e a debtor to paj the debt for which he ia proaecuted under pain of 
faMlioa. TbM legal proeeaa ia ao called bccauae if the debtor diaobej the charga, the 
meaaenffer, atUr bavins proceeded to the market-croaa of the bead-burgh of the abira 
where ue debtor dwelb, there before witneaaea criea, " Oyea, oyea, oyea :** then reada 
the lettera. and afterwarda. givea three blaata with a horn, by which it la onderitood 
that the debtor ia denooncM aa a rebel, and outlawed for diaobedience to the kin(*f 

I Preaeata. « Promiacuoualy. * Piighten. 

214 rutherford'b letters. 

they would say to me, <' It is a shame for thee to stand still, whill 
Christ kiss thee and embrace thee." It would seem to become me 
rather to run away from his love, as ashamed at my own un worth- 
iness : nay, I may think shame * to take heaven, who have so 
highly provoked my Lord Jesus; but seeing Christ's love will 
shame me, I am content to be ashamed. My desire is, that my 
Lord would give me broader and deeper thoughts, to feed myself 
with wondering at his love. I would I could weigh it, but I have 
no balance for it. When I have worn my tongue to the stump, 
in praising of Christ, I have^done nothing to him. I must let him 
alone, for my withered arms will not go about his high, wide, long, 
and broad love. What remaineth then, but that my debt to the 
love of Christ lye unpaid for all eternity ? All that are in Heaven 
are black-shamed* with his love as well as I. We must all be 
dyvours,' together ; and the blessing of that houseful, or heaven- 
ful of dyvours,' shall rest forever upon him. Oh, if* this land 
and nation would come and stand beside his inconceivable and 
glorious perfections, and look in, and love, and adore ! Would to 
Grod I could bring in many lovers to Christ's house ! but this na- 
tion hath forsaken the Fountain of living waters. Lord, cast not 
water on Scotland's coal. Wo, wo will be to this land, because 
of the day of the Lord's fierce anger, that is so fast coming. 

Grace be with you. 

Your affectionate brother, in our Lord Jesus, S. R. 




Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — I am glad 
that ye go on at Christ's back, in this dark and cloudy time. It 
were good to sell other things for him ; for when all these days 
are over, we shall find it our advantage, that we have taken part 
with Christ. I confidently believe that his enemies shall be his 
footstool, and that he will make green flowers dead, withered hay, 
when the honor and glory shall fall off them, like the bloom or 
flower of a green herb shaken with the wind. It were not wis- 
dom for us to think that Christ and the Gospel would come and 
sit down at our fire-side : nay, but we must go out of our warm 
houses, and seek Christ and his Gospel. It is not the sunny side 
of Christ that we must look to, and we must not forsake him for 
want of that ; but must set our face against what may befall us, 
in following on, till he and we be through the briers and bushes^ 
on the dry ground. Our soft nature would be borne through the 
troubles of this miserable life, in Christ's arms : and, it is his 

1 Be Mhamed. • Utterly pat to ekaflM. 

• Bankraptt. « Oh, Uiat 

Rutherford's letters. 216 

dom, who knoweth our mould, that his bairns go wet-shod, and 
cold-footed to Heaven. Oh, how sweet a thing were it for us to 
learn to make our burdens light, by framing our hearts to the 
burden, and making our Lord's will a law ! 

I find Christ and his cross not so ill ^ to please, nor yet such 
troublesome guests, as men call them: nay, I think patience 
should make the water, which Christ giveth us, good wine, and 
his dross good metal : and we have cause to wait on ; for ere it 
be long, our Master will be at us, and bring this whole world 
out, before the sun and day-light, in their blacks and whites. 
Happy are they who are found watching. Our sand-glass is not 
80 long as we need to weary. Time will eat away and root out 
our woes and sorrow. Our heaven is in the bud, and growing 
up to a harvest ; why then should we not follow on, seeing our 
span-length of time will come to an inch ? Therefore, I commend 
Christ to you as your last living, and longest living Husband, and 
the staff of your old age. Let him now have the rest of your 
days. And think not much of a storm upon the ship that Christ 
saileth in ; there shall no passenger fMl overboard, but the crazed 
ship and the sea-sick passengers shall come to land safe. 

1 am in as sweet communion with Christ as a poor sinner can 
be ; and am only pained that he hath much beauty and fairness, 
and I little love ; he great power and mercy, and I little faith ; he 
much light, and I bleared eyes. Oh, that I saw him in the sweet- 
ness of his love, and in his marriage-clothes, and were over head 
and ears in love with that princely One, Christ Jesus my Lord ! 
Alas ! my riven dish, and running-out vessel, can hold little of 
Christ Jesus ! 

I have joy in this, that I would not refuse death, before I put 
Christ's lawful heritage in men's trysting ; ^ and what know I, if 
they would have pleased both Christ and me ? Alas, that this 
land hath put Chnst to open rouping,* and to an " Any man bids 
more !" Blessed are they who would hold the crown on his head, 
and buy Christ's honor with his own losses. 

I rejoice to hear that your son John is coming to visit Christ, 
and taste of his love. I hope that he will not lose his pains, nor 
me of that choice. I had always, (as I said often to you.) a great 
love to dear Mr. John Brown, because I thought I saw Christ in 
him, more than in his brethren. Pain would I write to him, to 
stand by my sweet Master ; and I wish ye would let him read my 
letter, and the joy I shall have if he will appear for, and side with 
my Lord Jesus. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 1.3, 1637. 

> Diflicak 

* That ia, Rutherford rejoiced that he would rather chrioae death than aabmtl 
Christ** lawAil heritage to be decided upon by any meetingt of man'a appointment, 
s Aoctioatng, public tale. 

216 Rutherford's letters. 



Loving Sister, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I can- 
not come to you to give you my counsel ; and, howbeit I would 
come, I cannot stay with you ; but I beseech you to keep Christ, 
for I did what I could to put you within grips * of him. I told you 
Christ's testament and latter-will plainly, and I kept nothing back 
that my Lord gave me ; and I gave Christ to you with good 
will : 1 pray you to make him your own, and go not from that 
truth which I taught you in one hair breadth — that truth will 
save you if ye follow it. Salvation is not an easy thing, and sooq 

fotten. I often told you that few are saved, and many damned : 
pray you to make your poor soul sure of salvation, and the seek- 
ing of Heaven your daily task. If ye never had a sick night and 
a pained soul for sin, ye have not yet lighted upon Christ. Look 
to the right marks of having closed with Christ, if ye love him 
better than the world, and would quit all the world for him, then 
that saith the .work is sound. Oh, if ye saw the beauty of Jesus, 
and smelled the fragrance of his love, you would run through fire 
and water to be at him ! Grod send you him. 

Pray for me, for I cannot forget you. Grace be with you. 

Your loving pastor, S. R, 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I am glad to 
hear that Christ and ye are one, and that ye have made him your 
^*one thing," whereas many are painfully toiled in seeking many 
things, and their many things are nothing. It is only best that 
ye set yourself apart as a thing laid up and out of the gate,* 
for Christ alone ; for ye are good for no other thing than Christ ; 
and he hath been going about you these many years, by afflic- 
tions, to engage you to himself — it were a pity and a loss to say 
him nay. Verily I could wish that I could swim through Hell ; 
and all the ill weather in the world, and Christ in my arms — but 
it is my evil and folly, that except Christ come unsent for, I dow 
not 'go to seek him: when he and I fall a-reckoning, we are both 
behind, he in payment,* and I in counting; and so marches* lie* 
•till unred,* and accounts uncleared betwixt us. Oh, that he would 
take his own blood for coutits and miscounts,' that I might be a 

> Within TPach. • Out of the way. • Am not able. 

* That i«. in Kccivin^ payment > Boundaries. * UnMeefUioed 

T True and errono >uft reckoningt. 

Rutherford's letters. 217 

free man, and none had any claim to me but only, only Jesus. I 
will think it no bondage to be rouped/ comprised/ and possessed 
by Christ as his bondman. 

. Think well of the visitations of your Hiord : for I find one thing, 
which I saw not well before, that when the saints are under trials, 
and well humbled, little sins raise great cries, and war-shouts in 
the conscience ; and in prosperity, conscience is a Pope, to give 
dispensations, and let out and in. and give latitude and elbow-room 
to our heart. Oh, how little care we for pardon at Christ's hand, 
when we make dispensations ! And all is but bairns' play, till a 
cross without beget a heavier cross within, and then we play no 
longer with our idols. It is good still to be severe against our- 
selves; for we but transform God's mercy into an idol, and an idol 
that hath a dispensation to give, for the turning of the grace of 
God into wantonness. Happy are they who take up God, wrath, 
justice, and sin, as they are in themselves : for we have mis- 
carrying light, that parteth with child, when we have good res- 
olutions : but, God be thanked, that salvation is not rolled upon 
our wheels. 

Oh, but Christ hath a saving eye ! salvation is in his eye-lids ! 
When he first looked on me I was saved ; it cost him but a look to 
make Hell quit of me ! Oh, but merits, free merits, and the dear 
blood of God, were the best gate • that ever we could have gotten 
out of Hell ! Oh, what a sweet, oh, what a safe and sure way is it, to 
come out of Hell leaning on a Saviour ! That Christ and a sin- 
ner should be one, and have Heaven betwixt them, and be halvers 
of salvation, is the wonder of salvation. What more humble 
could love be 1 And what an excellent smell doth Christ cast on 
his lower garden, where there grow but wild flowers, if we speak 
by way of comparison ; but there is nothing but perfect garden 
flowers in Heaven, and the best plenishing^ that is there, is Christ. 
We are all obliged to love Heaven for Christ's sake. He graceth 
Heaven, and all his Father's house with his presence. He is a 
Rose that beautifielh all the Upper Garden of God — a leaf of that 
rose of God for smell is worth a world. Oh, that he would blow 
his smell upon a withered and dead soul ! Let us, then, go on to 
meet with nim, and to be filled with the sweetness of his love. 
Nothing will hold him from us. He hath decreed to put time, sin, 
Hell, devils, men and death out of the way, and to rid the rough 
way betwixt us and him, that we may enjoy one another. It is 
strange and wonderful that he would think long* in Heaven with- 
out us ; and that he would have the company of sinners to solace 
and delight himself withal in Heaven. And now the supper is 
abiding us. Christ the bridegroom, with desire, is waiting on, till 
the bride, the Lamb's wife, be busked • for the marriage, and the 
great hall be red ' for the meeting of that joyful couole. Oh, 
fools! what do we here? and why sit we still? Why sleep 

I Aartumed. t Attaehed for debt. * Wat. 

4 Pttrniture. • Th UUnk long, to long. • I>Mk«d. 

V Cleared. 

218 ruthbrfcbd's letters. 

we in the prison ? Were it not best to make us win^ to flee up 
to our blessed Match, our marrow,^ and our fellow Friend ? 

I think, mistress, that ye are looking thereaway,* and that tbia 
is your second or third thought. Make forward, your Guide wait- 
eth on you. 

I cannot but bless you for your care and kindness to the saints. 
God give you to find mercy in that day of our Lord Jesus ; to whose 
saving grace I recommend you. 

Yours, in our Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My very Worthy, and Dear Friend, — I cannot but most 
kindly thank you for the expressions of your love: your love and 
respect to me is a great comfort to me. 

I bless His high and glorious name, that the terrors of great men 
have not affrighted me from openly avouching the Son of God ; 
nay, his cross is the sweetest burden that ever I bear ; it is such 
a burden, as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry roe 
forward to my harbor. I have not much cause to fall in love with 
the world : but rather to wish, that He who sitteth upon the floods 
would bring my broken ship to land, and keep my conscience safe 
in these dangerous times, for wrath from the Lord is coming od 
this sinful land. 

It were good, that we prisoners of hope know of our strong hold 
to run to, before the storm come on ; tnerefore, sir, I beseech you 
by the mercies of God, and comforts of his Spirit, by the blood of 
your Saviour, and by your compearance* before the sin-revenging 
Judge of the world, keep your garments clean, and stand for the 
truth of Christ, which ye profess. When the time shall come that 
your eye-strings shall break, your face wax pale, your breath grow 
cold, and this house of clay shall totter, and your one foot shall 
be over the march,* in eternity, it will be your comfort and joy, 
that ye gave your name to Christ. The greatest part of the world 
think Heaven at the next door, and that Christianity is an easy 
task ; but they will be beguiled. Worthy sir, I beseech you, make 
sure work of salvation. I have found by experience, that all I 
could do hath had much ado in the day of my trial ; and, there- 
fore, lay up a sure foundation for the time to come. 

I caunot requite you, for your undeserved favors to me and 
my now afflicted brother. But I trust to remember you to God 
Remember me heartily to your kind wife. 

Yours, in his only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Mareh 13, 1637. 

1 Partner. • To those pait». 

* Appearance. * Boandaiy. 

rittherpord's letters. 219 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — 1 
am obliged to your love in God. 

I beseech you, sir, let nothing be so dear to you as Christ's 
truth, for salvation is worth all the world ; and, therefore, be not 
afraid of men that shall die. The Lord will do for you in your 
suflfering for him, and will bless your Aouse and seed ; and ye 
have God's promise, that ye shall have his presence in fire, water, 
and in seven tribulations. Your day shall wear to an end, and 
your sun go down. In death it will be your joy, that ye have 
ventured all ye have for Christ ; and there is not a promise of 
Heaven made, but to such as are willing to suffer for it — it is a 
castle taken by force. This earth is but the clay portion of bas- 
tards ; and, therefore, no wonder that the world smile on its^ own ; 
but better things are laid up for his lawfully begotten bairns, whom 
the world hateth. 

I have experience to speak this, for I would not exchange my 
prison and sad nights, with the court, honor, and ease of my ad- 
versaries. My Lord is pleased to make many unknown faces to 
laugh upon me, and to provide a lodging for me ; and he himself 
visiteth my soul with feasts of spiritual comforts. Oh, how sweet 
a master is Christ ! Blessed are they who lay down all for him. 

I thank you kindly for your love to my distressed brother. Ye 
have the blessing and prayers of the prisoner of Christ to yQu, 
your wife and children. 

Remember my love and blessing to William and Samuel. I 
desire them in their youth to seek the Lord, and to fear his great 
name ; to pray twice a-day, at least, to God, and to read God's 
word ; to keep themselves from cursing, lying, and filthy talking. 

Now the only wise God, and the presence of the Son of God, he 
with you all. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 13, 1637. 



Mr Dear Friend, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I 
thank you most kindly for your care of me, and your love and 
respective kindness to my brother in his distress. I pray the Lord 
that ye may find mercy in the day of Christ : and I entreat you, 
sir, to consider th« times which ye live in, and that your soul b 
more woith to you than the whole world, which in the day of the 

890 buthbrford's letters. 

blowing of the Last Trumpet, shall lye in white ashes, as an old 
castle burned to nothing : and remember that judgment and eter- 
nit} is before you. My dear, and worthy friend, let me entreat 
you in Christ's name, and by the salvation of your soul, and by 
your compearance befiM-e the dreadful and sin-revenging Judge 
of the world, to make your accounts ready. Read them ere ye 
come to the water-side ; for your afternoon will wear short, and 
your sun fall low and go down : and ye know, that this long time 
your Lord hath waited on you. Oh, how comfortable a thing it 
will be to you, when time shall be no more, and your soul shall 
depart out of the house of clay, to vast and endless eternity, to 
have your soul dressed up, and prepared for your Bridegroom ! 
No loss is comparable to the loss of the soul : there is no hope of 
regaining that loss. Oh, how joyful would my soul be to hear 
that ye would start to the gate * and contend for the crown, and 
leave all vanities, and make Christ your garland ! Let-your soul 
put away your old lovers, and let Christ have your whole love. 

I have some experience to write of this to you. My witness is 
in Heaven that I would not exchange my chains and bonds for 
Christ, and my sighs, for ten worlds' glory. I judge this clay idol, 
which Adam's sons are rouping* and selling their souls for, not 
worth a drink of cold water. Oh if your soul were in my soul's 
stead, how sick would ye be of love for that fairest One, that Fair- 
est among the sons of men ! May-flowers and morning-vapor, and 
summer-mist postef h not so fast away, as these worm-eaten pleas- 
ures which we follow. We build castles in the air, and night- 
dreams are our daily idols that we dote on. Salvation, salvation 
is our only necessary thing. Sir, call home your thoughts to this 
work, to inquire for your Well-beloved. This earth is the portion 
of bastards ; seek the Son's inheritance, and let Christ's truth be 
dear to you. 

I pawnd* my salvation on it, that this is the honor of Christ's 
Kingdom which I now suffer for, — and this world, I hope, shall 
not come between me and my garland, — and that this is the way 
to life. When ye and I shall lye lumps of pale clay upon the 
ground, our pleasures that we now naturally love, shall be less 
than nothing in that day. Dear brother, fulfil my joy, and betake 
you to Christ without further delay. Ye will be fain at length to 
seek him, or do infinitely worse. 

Remember my love to your wife. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Mareh 13, 1637. 

> 7b doH to tlu gaU, to begin with akeritv i AoolioiiiBt. 

• Pl^Jged. » -• •'. • 

Rutherford's letiers. 231 



Well-beloved, and Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to you. — I thank you most kindly for your care and love 
to me, and in particular to my brother, in his distress in Edinburgh. 
Go on through your waters without wearying ; your Guide know- 
etb the way, follow him, and cast your cares and temptations upon 
him ; and let not worms, the sons of men, affright you — they shall 
die, and the moth shall eat them. Keep your garland ; there is 
no less at the stake, in this game betwixt us and the world, than 
our conscience and salvation : we have need to take heed to the 
game, and not to yield to them. Let them take other things from 
us; but here, in matters of conscience, we must hold and draw * 
with kings, and set ourselves in terms of opposition with the shields 
of the earth. Oh, the sweet communion for evermore, that hath 
oeen between Christ and his prisoner! He wearieth not to be 
kind. He is the fairest sight I see in Aberdeen or in any part that 
ever my feet were in. 

Remember my hearty kindness to vour wife. I desire her to 
believe, and lay her cares on God, ana make fast work of salva- 
tion. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in bis only Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 13, 1637. 



My Reverend, and Dear Brother, — ^I hear that ye beat 
the marks of Christ's dying about with you, and that your brethren 
have cast you out for your Master's sake. Let us wait on till the 
evening, and till our reckoning in black and white come before our 
Master. Brother, since we must have a devil to trouble us, I love 
a raging devil best. Our Lord knoweth what sort of devil we have 
need of: it is best that Satan be in his own skin, and look like 
himself; Christ weeping looketh like himself also, with whom 
Scribes and Pharisees were at yea and nay, and sharp contradic 

Ye have heard of the patience of Job. When he lay in the 
ashes, God was with him, clawing and curing his scabs, and letting 
out his boils, comforting his soul ; and he took him up at last. 
That God is not dead yet : he will stoop and take up fallen bairns ; 
many broken legs since Ai'am's days hath he spelked,* and many 
weary hearts hath he refreshed. Bless him for comfort. Why. 

I Mut flniggle with. * Bound jp with ipUnl*. 

222 Rutherford's letters. 

none cometh dry from David's well Let us go amon^ the rest, 
and cast down our tooin * buckets into Christ's ocean, and suck con- 
solations out of him. We are not so sore stitcken, but we may 
fill Christ's hall with weeping. We have nor gotten our answer 
from him yet. Let us lay up our broken pleas to a full sea, and 
keep them till the day of Christ's coming. We and this world will 
not be even ' till then : tiiey would take our garment from us ; but 
let us hold and them draw. 

Brother, it is a strange world if we laugh not. I never saw the 
like of it, if there be not *' paiks the man,"* for this contempt done 
to the Son of God ? We must do as those who keep the bloody 
napkin to the baillie, and let him see blood : we must keep our 
wrongs to our Judge, and let him see our bluddered ^ and foul faces. 
Prisoners of hope must run to Christ, with the gutters that tears 
have made on their cheeks. 

Brother, for myself, I am Christ's dawted* one for the present ; 
and I live upon no deaf nuts,* ^as we use to speak ;) ne hath 
opened fountains to me in the wilderness. Go, look to mv Lord 
Jesus : his love to me is such, that I defy the world to find either 
brim or bottom in it. Grace be with you. 

Your brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 13, 1637. 



Right Honorable, and my very Good Lord, — Grace, mcr* 
cy, and peace be to your Lordship — ^I hope that your Lordship will 
be pleased to pardon my boldness, i^ upon report of your zealous 
and forward mind, which I hear our Lord hath given you in this 
his honorable cause, when Christ and his Gospel are so foully 
wronged, I speak to your Lordship on paper,- entreating your 
Lordship to go on in the strength of the Lord, toward, and against 
a storm of antichristian wind, that bloweth upon the face of this 
your poor mother-church, Christ's lily amongst the thorns. It is 
your Lordship's glory and happiness, when ye see such a blow 
coming upon Christ, to cast up your arm to prevent it. Neither 
is it a cause that needeth to blush before the sun, or to flee the 
sentence or censure of impartial beholders, seeing the question, 
indeed, (if it were rightly stated,) is about the prerogative- royal of 
our princely and royal Lawgiver, our Lord Jesus, whose ancient 
march-stones,^ and land-bounds, our bastard lords, and earthly 
generation of tyrannizing prelates, have boldly and shamefully 
removed : and they who have but half an eye, may see, that it is 

t Rmptj. « Quits. 

* All expretiioii aied bj ihoee who were alnrat to engage ia a tght Faikt «gm> 
fiee blows. « Binned. 

• Fondled, ooekered. • Nuts withoat a kernel t LandoMukii. 

Rutherford's letters. 223 

the greedy desires of time idolizing Demases, and the itching scab 
of ambitious and climbing Diotrepheses, (who love the goat's life, 
to climb till they cannot find a way to set their soles on ground 
again,) that bath made such a wide breach In our Zion's beautiful 
walls : — and these are the men who seek no hire for the crucify- 
ing of Christ, but his coat. 

Oh, how forlorn and desolate is the bride of Christ made to all 
passers-by ! Who seeth not Christ buried in this land, his pro- 
phets hidden in caves, silenced, banished, and imprisoned ; truth 
weeping in sackcloth before the judges, Parliament, and the rulers 
of the land ? But her bill is cast by them, and holiness hideth 
itself, fearing in the streets, for the reproaches and persecution of 
men : justice is fallen aswoon * in the gate ; and the long shadows 
of the evening are stretched out upon us. Wo, wo to us, for our 
day flieth away. What remaineth, but that Antichrist set down 
his tent in the midst of us, except that your Lordship, and others 
with you, read Christ's supplication, and give him that which the 
most lewd and scandalous wretches in this land may have before 
a judge, even the poor man's due, law and justice for God's sake? 
On, therefore, my noble, and dear Lord, as ye have begun, go on, 
in the mighty power and strength of the Lord, to cause our Lord 
in his Gospel, and afflicted members, to laugh, and to cause the 
Christian churches, (whose eyes are all now upon you,J to sing 
for joy when Scotland's moon shall shine Uke the lignt oi the sun, 
anci the sun Uke the light of seven days in one. Ye can do no 
less than run and bear up the head of your swooning, and dying 
Mother-church, and pleaa for the production of her ancient char- 
ters. They hold out and put out, they hold in, and bring in at 
their pleasure, men in God's house. They stole the keys from 
Christ and his Church, and came in like the thief and the robber, 
not by the door, Christ ; and now their song is '^ Authority, au- 
thority, obedience to church-governors." When such a bastard 
and lawless pretended step-dame, as our prelacy, is gone mad, it 
10 your place, who are the nobles, to rise and bind them : at least 
law should fetter such wild bulls as they are, who push all who 
oppose themselves to their domination. Alas ! what have we lost, 
siDce prelates were made master-coiners, to change our gold into 
brass, and to mix the Lord's wine with water ? Blessed forever 
shall ye be of the Lord, if ye help Christ against the mighty, and 
shall deliver the flock of God, scattered upon the mountams in the 
dark and cloudy day, out of the hands of these idol-shepherds. 
Pear not men that shall be moth-eaten clay, that shall be rolled 
ap in a chest, and casten under the earth : let the Holy One of 
Israel be your fear, and be courageous for the Lord and his truth. 

Remember that your accounu are coming upon you with 
wings, as fast as time posteth. Remember what peace with God 
in Christ, and the presence of the Son of God, the revealed and 
felt sweetness of his love, will be to you, when eternity shall put 

> Into A iwoon. 


time to the door, and ye shall take good night at time, and this 
little shepherd's tent of clay, this inn of a borrowed earth. I hope 
that your Lordship is now and then sending out thouc^hts to view 
this world's noughtiness,^ and vanity, and the hoped-for glory of 
the life to come ; and that ye resolve that Christ shall have your- 
self, and all yours, at command for him, his honor and Gospel. 

Thus trusting that your Lordship will pardon my boldness, 1 
pray that the only wise God, the very God of peace, may preserve, 
strengthen, and establish you to the end. 
Tour Lordship^s, 

At all command and obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My vert Noble, and truly Honorable Lord, — ^I make 
bold to write news to ^our Lordship from my prison, though your 
Lordship have experience more than I can have. At my first 
entry here, I was not a little casten down with challenges,* for 
old repented-of sins; and Satan and my own appreheosiofis 
made a lie of Christ, that he had casten a dry, withered tree over 
the dyke of the vineyard ; but it was my folly ; blessed be his 
great name, the fire cannot burn the dry tree. He is pleased 
now to feast the exiled prisoner with his lovely presence : for ii 
suiteth Christ well to be kind, and he dineth and suppeth with 
such a sinner as I am. I am in Christ's tutoring here. He hath 
made me content with a borrowed fireside, and it casteth as much 
heat as mine own. I want nothing but real possession of Christ : 
and he hath given me a pawn of that also, which I hope to keep 
till he come himself to loose the pawn. — I cannot get help to 
praise his hi^h name. He hath mde me king over my losses, im- 
prisonment, banishment, and only my dumb sabbaths stick in my 
throat : but I forgive Christ's wisdom in that. I dare not say one 
word ; he hath done it, and I will lay my hand upon my mouth : 
if any other had done it to me, I could not have borne it. 

Now my Lord, I must tell your Lordship, that I would not give 
a drink of cold water for this clay-idol, this plastered world. I 
testify and give it under my own hand, that Christ is most worthy 
to be suffered for. Our lazy flesh, which would have Christ to 
cry down crosses by open proclamation, hath but raised a slander 
upon the cross of Christ My Lord,*I hope that ye will not for^ 
what he hath done for your soul: I think that ye are in Christ's 
count-book, as his obliged debtor. 

Grace, grace be with your spirit. 

Your Lordship's obliged servant, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Mareh 13, 1637. 
( NoUiingiieai. 


butherford's letters. 225 



My VERY Noble, and Dear Lady, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be to you — I received your Ladyship's lelter, which hath coroiorted 
my soul. God give you to find mercy in the day of Christ. 

I am in as good terms and court with Christ, as an exiled op- 

Kressed prisoner of Christ can be. I am still welcome to his 
ouse; ne knoweth my knock, and lelteth in a poor friend. 
Under this black, rough tree of the cross of Christ, he hath 
ravished me with his love, and taken my heart to Heaven with 
him. Well and long may he brook* it. I would not niffer 
Christ with all the joys that man or angel can devise beside him. 
Who hath such cause to speak honorably of Christ as I have? 
Christ is King of all crosses, and he hath made his saints little 
kings under nim; and he can ride and triumph upon weaker 
bodies than I am, (if any can be weaker,) and his horse will 
neither fall nor stumble. 

Madam, your Ladyship hath much ado with Christ, for your 
soul, husband, children, and house. Let him find much employ- 
ment for his calling with you ; for he is such a friend as delighteth 
to be burdened with suits and employments ; and the ipore ve lay 
on him, and the more homely ' ye be with him, the more welcome. 
Oh the depth of Christ's love ! It hath neither brim nor bottom. 
Oh, if^ this blind world saw his beauty ! When I count with him 
for his mercies to me, I must stand still and wonder, and go away 
as a poor dyvour,* who hath nothing to pay ; — free forgiveness is 

Eayment I would that I could get him set on high; for his love 
ath made me sick, and I die except I get real possession. 
Grace, grace be with you. ' 

Your Ladyship's, at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 
Abeideen, Maieh 13, 1637. 



My very Dear, and Worthy Friend, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to you. — I long to hear of your growing in grace, and of 
yoar advancing in your journey to Heaven. It will be the joy of 
my heart to hear that ye hold your face up the brae,* and wade 
through temptations without fearing what man can do. Christ 
shall, when ne ariseth, mow down his enemies, and lay bouks,^ 
(as they use to speak,) on the green, and fill the pits with dea4 

> Enjoy. • Eichange. * Pan^Kmr. « Oh, tJtmt 

* Buiknipt < Aicent. i Carcaaea. 



bodies, (Ps. ex. 6.) They shall lie like handfuls of withered hay, 
when he ariseth to the prey. Salvation, salvation is the only ne* 
cessary thing : this clay-idol, the world, is not to be sought ; it is 
a morsel not for you, but for hunger-bitten bastards. Contend for 
salvation. Your master, Christ, won Heaven with strokes ; it is 
a besieged castle, it must be taken with violence. Oh, this world 
thinketh Heaven but at the next door, and that godliness may 
sleep in a bed of down, till it come to Heaven ! — but that will not 
do it. • 

For myself, I am as well as Christ's prisoner can be ; for by 
him I am master and king of all my crosses ; I am above the 
prison, and the lash of men's tongues ; Christ triumpheth in me. 
I have been casten down, and heavy with fears, and hunted with 
challenges. I was swimming in the depths, but Christ had his 
hand under my chin all the time, and took good heed that I should 
not lose breath ; and now I have gotten my feet again, and there 
are love-feasts of joy, and spring-tides of consolation betwixt Christ 
and me. We agree well : I have court with him ; I am still wel- 
come to his house. Oh, my short arms cannot fathom his love ! 
I beseech you, I charge you, to help me to praise. Ye have a 
prisoner's prayers, therefore forget me not. 

I desire Sibylla to remember me dearly to all in that parish who 
know Christ, as if I had named them. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, ' S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 13, 1637. 



My VERY Dear Brother, — I rejoice to hear that Christ hath 
run away with your young love, and that ye are so early in the 
morning matched with such a lord ; for a young man is often m 
dressed lodging for the Devil to dwell in. Be humble and thank- 
ful for grace, and weigh it not so much by weight, as if it be true. 
Christ will not cast water on ^our smoking coal ; he never yec 

fut out a dim candle that was lighted at the Sun of Righteousness, 
recommend to you prayer and watching over the sins of year 
youth ; for I know that missive letters * go between the Devil and 
young blood. Satan hath a friend at court in the heart of yonth ; 
and there pride, luxury, lust, revenge, for^etfulness of God, are 
hired as his agents. Happv is your soul, ii Christ man the house, 
and take the keys himseli, and command all — as it suiteth him 
full well to rule all, wherever he is. Keep Christ, and entertaio 
him well : cherish his grace ; blow upon your own coal ; and lei 
him tutor you. 

1 Lettera oontainiiig the ootlmet of an engAgeaeot, nhkh it aftenraids !• b« •<- 
tended in due fonn. 


Now for myself; know thai I am fully agreed with my Lord. 
Christ hath put the Father and me into each other's arms: — 
many a sweet bargain he made before, and he hath made this 
among the rest. J reign as king over my crosses. I will not 
flatter a temptation, nor give the Devil a good word. I defy 
Hell's iron gates : God hath passed over my quarrelling of him at 
my entry here, and now he leedeth and feasteth with me. 

Praise, praise with me ; and let us exalt his name together. 

Your brother in Christ, S. R. 

AWfdeen, March 13, 1637. 



Worthy Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you. — I long 
to hear from you. I am here the Lord's prisoner and patient, 
handled as softly by my Physician as if I were a sick man under 
cure. I was at hard terms with my Lord, and pleaded with him, 
but I had the worst side. It is a wonder that he should have suf- 
fered the like of me to have nicknamed the Son of his love, Christ, 
and to call him a changed Lord who had forsaken me ; but mis- 
beliefs haib never a good word to speak of Christ. The dross of 
my cross gathered a scum of fears in the fire, doublings, impa* 
tience, unbelief, challenging of Providence as sleeping, and as not 
regarding my sorrow ; but my Goldsmith, Christ, was pleased to 
take off the scum, and bum it in the fire. And, blessed be my 
Refiner, he hath made the metal better, and furnished new supplv 
of grace, to cause me hold out weight ; and I hope that he hath 
not lost one grain-weight by burning his servant. Now his love 
in my heart casteth a mighty heat : he knoweth that the desire I 
have to be at himself paineth me. I have sick nights and frequent 
fits of love-fevers for my Well-beloved. Nothing paineth me now 
but want of presence. I think it long till day. I challenge ' time, 
as too slow m its pace, that holdeth my only, only fair One, my 
Love, my Well-beloved from me. Oh, if we were together once ! 
I am Uke an old crazed ship that hath endured many storms, and 
that would fain be in the lee of the shore, and feareth new storms ; 
I would be that* nigh Heaven, that the shadow of it might break 
the force of the storm, and the crazed ship might win * to land. 
My Lord's sun casteth a heat of love and beam of light on my 
0auL My blessing thrice every day upon the sweet cross of Christ. 
I am not ashamed of my garland, '*The banished minister," 
which b the term of Aberdeen. Love, love defieth reproaches. 
The love of Christ hath a corslet of proof on it, and arrows will not 
draw blood of it. We are more than conmierors through the 
blood of Him that loved us, (Rom. viii.) The Devil knd the world 

• WivQC frith. t Aoewe. • So. « Get 

228 Rutherford's leiters. 

cannot wound the love of Christ. I am further from yieldior to 
the course of defection than when I came hither : — sufferings Uiioi 
not the fiery edge of love. Cast love into the floods of Hell, it will 
swim above. It careth not for the world's busked ' and plastered 
offers. It hath pleased my Lord so to line mv'heart with the lovo 
of my Lord Jesus, that, as if the field were already won, and I oo 
the other side of time, I laugh at the world's golden pleasures, and 
at this dirty idol, which the sons of Adam worship. This worm- 
eaten god is that which my soul hath fallen out of love with. 

Sir, ye were once my hearer : I desire now to hear from you and 
your wife. I salute her and your children with blessings. I am 
glad that ye are still hand-fasted * with Christ. Go on in your 
journey, and take the city by violence. Keep your garments 
clean. Be clean virgins to your Husband the Lamb. The world 
shall follow you to Heaven's gates : and ye would not wish it to go 
in with you. Keep fast Christ's love. Pray for me, as I do for 
you. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 13, 1637. 



Reverend, and Dear Brother, — I received your letter. — Am 
for my case, brother, I bless His glorious name, that my losses are 
my gain, my prison a palace, and my sadness joyfulness. At my 
first entry, my apprehensions so wrought upon my cross, that I 
became jealous* of the love of Christ, as being by him thrust out 
of the vineyard, and I was under great challenges, (as ordinarily 
melted gold caste th forth a drossy scum, and Satan and our cor* 
ruption form the first words that the heavy cross speaketh, and say, 
'^ God is angry, he loveth you not,") but our apprehensions are not 
canonical ; they indite lies of God and Christ's love. But sioca mv 
spirit was settled, and the clay has fallen to the bottom of the well, 
I see better what Christ was doing. And now my Lord is returned 
with salvation under his wings. Now I want little of half a 
heaven, and I find Christ every day so sweet, comfortable, lovdy, 
and kind, that three things only trouble me. 1, I see not bow to 
he thankful, or how to get help to praise that royal King, who 
raiseth up those that are bowed down. 2, Hb love paineth me, 
and woundeth my soul, so that I am in a fever for want of real 
presence. 3, An excessive desire to take instruments^ in God's 
name, that this is Christ and his truth, which I now suflfer ibr; 
yea, the apple of the eye of Christ's honor, even the sovereignty 
and royal privileges of our King and Lawgiver, Christ : and, tbcr^ 

I Decked. * AAanced. 8 Si 

* To declare, and oUim that the declaration be recorded aa 

Rutherford's letters. 229 

fore, let no man scaur > at Christ's cross, or raise an ill report upon 
him, or it ; for he beareth the sufferer and it both. 

I am here troubled with the disputes of the great doctors, (espe- 
cially with D. B. in ceremonial and Arminian controversies, lor all 
are corrupt here ;) but, I thank God, with no detriment to the 
truth, or discredit to my profession. So, then, I see that Christ 
can triumph in a weaker man nor' I : and who can be mop weak ? 
but hid grace is sufficient for me. 

Brother, remember our old covenant, and pray for me, tnd write 
to me your case. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideen, Haich 13, 1637. 



My very Dear,- and Loving Sister, — Grace, mercy, and 
peace be to you — I long to hear from you. I exhort you to set up 
the brae* to the King's city, that must be taken by violence. Your 
afternoon's sun is wearing low. Time will eat up your frail life, 
like a worm gnawing at the root of a May-flower. Lend Christ 

irour heart. Set him as a seal there. Take him in within, and 
et the world, and children stand at the door. They are not 
yours; make you and them for your proper owner, Christ. It is 
good that he is your Husband and their Father. What missing 
can there be of a dying man, when God filleth his chair ? Give 
hours of the day to prayer. Fash^ Christ, ^if I may speak so,) 
and importune him; be often at his gate; give his door no rest. 
f can tell you that he will be found. Oh, what sweet fellowship 
is betwixt him and me ! I am imprisoned, but he is not imprisonea. 
He hath shamed me with his kindness. He hath come to my 
prison, and run away with my heart and all my love. Well may 
ne brook* it ! I wish that my love get never an owner but Christ. 
Fy, fy upon old lovers, that held us so long asunder ! We shall 
not part now. He and I shall be heard, before he win out of my 
grips.* I resolve to wrestle with Christ, ere I quit him. But mv 
love to him hath casten my soul into a fever, and there is no cool- 
ing of my fever, till I get real possession of Christ. O strong, 
fltroog love of Jesus, thou hast wounded my heart with thine ar- 
rows T O pain ! Oh pain of love for Christ ! Who will help ma 
to praise ? 

Let me have your prayers. Grace be with vou. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Hareh 13, 1637. 

> Boggle. t Than. * 

« Peeter. * PoeieM and enjoj. < Get oat or my 

230 Rutherford's letters. 



Reverend, and Well-beloved Brother, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to vou. — Upon the nearest acquaintance, that we 
are Father's children, I thought good to write to you. My case in 
my bonds, for the honor of my royal Prince and King, Jesus, is as 
good as becometh the witness of such a sovereign King. At mv 
first coming hither, I was in great heaviness, wrestling with chal- 
lenges, being burdened in heart, (as I am yet,) for my silent sab- 
baths, and for a bereaved people, young ones, new-born, plucked 
from the breasts, and the children's table drawn. I thought I was 
a dry tree cast over the dyke of the vineyard : but my secret con- 
ceptions of Christ's love, at his sweet and long-desired return to my 
soul, were found to be a lie of Christ's love, forged by the Tempter, 
and my own heart, and I am persuaded it was so. Now there is 
greater peace and security within than before : the court is raised 
and dismissed, for it was not fenced* in God*s name. 1 was far 
mistaken, who should have summoned Christ for unkindness; 
^ misted * faith, and my fever conceived amiss oi him. Now, now, 
he is pleased to feast a poor prisoner, and to refresh me with joy 
unspeakable and glorious ; so, as the Holy Spirit is witness, that 
my sufferings are for Christ's truth ; and God forbid that I should 
deny the testimony of the Holy Spirit, and make him a folse wit- 
ness. Now I testify under my hand, out of some small experience, 
that Christ's cause, even with the cross, is better than the King's 
crown ; and that his reproaches are sweet, his cross perfumed, the 
walls of my prison fair and large, my losses gain. 

I desire you, my dear brother, to help me to praise, and to re- 
member me in your prayer to God. Grace, gp'ace be with you. 
Yours, in our Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Match 14, 1637. 



Mt Worthy, and Dear Brother, — Misspend not your short 
sand-glass, which runneth very fast; seek your Lord in tiine. 
Let me obtain of you a letter under your hand, for a promise to 
God, by his grace, to take a new course of walking with God. 
Heaven is not at the next door ; I find it hard to be a Christian; 
there is no little thrusting and thringing* to thrust in at Heaven's 
gates ; it is a casUe taken by force : — *< Many shall strive to eoiet 
in, and shall not be able." 

I opened by declarinff the conttitotion. • B^wfldevid. 

* Pre«ing, m tbroogE a crowd or Uiicket 


I beseech and obtest you in the Lord, to make conscience of rash 
and passionate oaths, of raging and sudden, avenging anger, of 
night drinking, of needless companionry,^ of sabbath-breaking, of 
hurting any under you by word or deed, of hating your very ene- 
mies. ** Except ye receive the Kingdom of God as a little child,'' 
and be as meek and sober-minded as a babe, *< ye cannot enter 
into the Kingdom of God." That is a word which should touch 
you near, and make you stoop and cast yourself down, and make 
your great spirit fall. I know that this will not be easily done, 
but I recommend it to you as you tender your part of the King- 
dom of Heaven. 

Brother, I may, from new experience, speak of Christ to you. 
Oh, if ye saw in him what I see ! A river of God's unseen joys 
have flowed from bank to brae' over my soul since I parted with 
you. I wish that I wanted part, so being ye might have ; that 
your soul might be sick of love for Christ, or rather satiated with 
him. This clay idol, the world, would seem to you, then, not 
worth a fig ; time will eat you out of possession of it. When the 
eye-strings break, and the breath groweth cold, find the impris- 
oned soul looketh out of the windows of the clay-house, ready to 
leap out into eternity, what would you then give for a lamp full 
of oil ? Oh seek it now. 

I desire you to correct and curb banning,^ swearing, lying, drink- 
ing, sabbath-breaking, and idle spending of the Lord's day in ab- 
sence from the kirk, as far as your authority reacheth in that 

I hear that a man is to be thrust into that place, to the which 
1 have God's right: I know that ye should have a voice by God's 
word in that, (Acts i. 15, 16, to the end, and Acts vi. 3, 5.) Ye 
would be loath that any prelate should put you out of your pos- 
session earthly, and this is your right. What I write to you, I 
write to your wife. Grace be with you. 

Your loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. > 



Dear, and Christian Lady, — Grace, mercy, and peace be 
to you. — I longed much to write to your Ladyship ; but now, the 
Lord oflering a fit occasion, I would not omit to do it. 

1 cannot but ac(|uaint your Ladyship with the kind dealing of 
Christ to my soul, in this house of my pilgrimage, that your Lady- 
ship may know that he is as good as he is called : for at my first 
entry into this trial, (being caslen down and troubled with chal- 
leiiges and jealousies of His love, whose name and testimony I 

1 Companions. * Oh, that. 

• Pxom bank to bank. * Minced oathf. 

232 Rutherford's letters. 

now bear in my bonds,) I feared nothing more than that I was 
casten over the dyke of the vineyard, as a dry tree. But, blessed 
be his great name, the dry tree was in the fire, and was not burnt ; 
his dew came down and quickened the root of a withered plant ; 
and now he is come again with joy, and hath been pleased to feast 
his exiled and afflicted prisoner with the joy of his consolations.- 
Now I weep, but am not sad : I am chastened, but I die not ; I 
have loss, but I want nothing ; this water cannot drown me, this 
fire cannot burn me, because of the good-will of Him that dwelt 
in the bush. The worst things of Christ, his reproaches, his cross, 
are better than Egypt's treasures. He hath opened his door, and 
taken into his house-of-wine a poor sinner, and hath left me so 
sick of love for my Lord Jesus, that if Heaven were at my dispos- 
ing, I would give it for Christ, and would not be content to go to 
Heaven, except I were persuaded that Christ were there.' I would 
not give, nor exchange my bonds for the Prelates' velvets ; nor my 
prison for their coaches ; nor my sighs for all the world's laughter : 
— this clay idol, the world, hath no great court ' in my soul. Christ 
hath come, and run away to Heaven with my heart and my love, 
80 that neither heart nor love is mine : — I pray God, that Christ 
may keep both without reversion. In my estimation, as I am 
now disposed, if my part of this world's clay were rouped • and 
sold, I would think it dear of a drink of water. I see Christ's love 
is so kingly, that it will not abide a marrow;' it must have a 
throne all alone in the soul. And I see that apples beguile bainis, 
howbeit they be worm-eaten : the moth-eaten pleasures of this 
present world make bairns believe ten is a hundred, and yet all 
that are here are but shadows. If they would draw by the cur- 
tain that is hung betwixt them and Christ, they should see them- 
selves fools who have so long miskenned^ the Son of Grod. I seek 
no more, next to Heaven, than that he may be glorified in a pris- 
oner of Christ ; and that in my behalf many would praise His nigh 
and glorious name whb heareth the sighing of the prisoner. 

Remember my service to the Laird your husband, and to your 
son my acquaintance. I wish that Christ had his young love, 
and that in the morning he would start to the gate to seek that 
which this world knoweth not, and, therefore, doth not seek it. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to yoa — 
Upon our small acquaintance, and the good report I hear of you, 

> Influence. i Auctioned. 

> A fellow companion. « Miilaken, minppfebeodeiL 


I could not but write to you : t have nothing tc say, but that 
Christ, in that honorable place he hath put you in, hath intrusted 
you with a dear pledge, which is his own glory ; and hath armed 
you with his eword to keep the pledge and make a good account 
of it to Qod. Be not afraid of men. Your Master can mow down 
his enemies, and make withered hay of fair flowers. Your time 
will not be long : after your afternoon will come your evening, 
and after evejiing, night. Serve Christ, back him ; let his cause 
be your cause; give not an hair-breadth of truth away; for it is 
not yours, but God's. Then, since ye are going, take Christ's tes- 
tijScate> with you out of this life — "Well done, good and faithful 
servant P His "well-done" is worth a shipful of "good-days" 
and earthly honors. I have cause to say this, because I And him 
Truth itself. In my sad days, Christ laugheth cheerfully, and 
saith, "All will be well !" Would to God* that all this kingdom, 
and all that know God, knew what is betwixt Christ and me in 
this prison — what kisses, embracements, and love communions. 
I take his cross in my arms with joy ; I bless it, I rejoice in it — 
suffering for Christ is my garland. I would not exchange Christ 
for ten thousand worlds ! nay, if the comparison could stand, I 
would not exchange Christ with Heaven. 

Sir, pray for me, and the prayers, and blessing of a prisoner of 
Christ meet you in all your straits. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in Christ Jesus, hb Lord, S. R. 

Abeideen, Maich 14, 1637. 



LoviNO Friend, — Continue in the love of Christ, and the doc- 
trine 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 the day for prayer. I re- 
joice 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, into 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, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. 

> Certificate of eharacter. 

834 Rutherford's letters* 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — ^I wcn- 
der that ye sent me not an answer to my last letter, ior I stand in 
need of it I am in some piece of court ' with our great King, 
whose love would cause a dead man to speak, and live : whether 
my court will continue or not, I cannot well say ; but I have his 
ear frequently, and, (to his glory only I speak it,) no penury of the 
love-kisses of the Son of GU^. He thinketh good to cast apples to 
me in my prison, to play withal, lest I should think long * and 
faint. I must give over all attempts to fathom the depth of his 
love. All I can do is, but to stana beside his great love, and look 
and wonder. My debts of thankfulness affright me : I fear that 
my creditor get a dy vour-bill • and ragged account. 

I would be much the better of help, — oh, for help ! and that ye 
would take notice of my case. Your not writing to me maketh 
me think ye suppose that I am not to be bemoaned, because he 
sendeth comfort; but I have pain in my unthankfulness, and 
pain in the feeling of his love, whill I am sick again for real 
presence and real possession of Christ; yet there is no gowked,* 
(if I may so speak,J nor fond love in Christ. He casteth me down 
sometimes for old faults : and I know that he knoweth well that 
sweet comforts are swelling : and, therefore, sorrow must take a 
vent to the wind. 

My dumb sabbaths are undercoating* wounds. The condition 
of this oppressed Kirk, and my brother's case, (I thank you and 
your wife for your kindness to him,) hold my sore smarting, and 
keep my wounds bleeding ; but the ground-work standeth sure. 
Pray for me. 

Grace be with you. Remember me to your wife. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. 



Reverend, and Dear Brother, — ^1 bless you for voar letter: 
it was a shower to the now-mown grass. The Lord nath given 
you the tongue of the learned ; be fruitful and humble. 

It is possible that ye may come to my case, or the like ; but the 
water is neither so deep, nor the stream so strong, as it is called. 
I think my fire is not so hot, my water is dry land, my loss rich 
loss. Oh,* if the walls of my prison be high, wide and large, and 

I Favor. t Loae heart whh on-waiting. * Bankrapt-aooooBt. 

« Oawkiah, (bofish. • Feitering under the skin. • Oh, but. 

. S36 

the place sweet ! No man knoweth it, no man, I say, knoweth 
it, my dear brother, so well as he and I : no man can put it down 
in black and white as my Lord hath sealed it in my heart. My 
poor stock is grown since I came to Aberdeen ; and if any had 
known the wrong I did, in being jealous of such an honest lover 
as Christ, who withheld not his love from me, they would think 
the more of it ; but I see, he must be above me in mercy. I will 
never strive with him ; to think to recompense him is folly. If I 
had as man/ angels' tongues, as there ha ve fallen of drops of rain 
since the creation, or as there are leaves of trees in all the forests 
of the earth, or of stars in the Heaven, to praise, yet my Lord 
Jesus would ever be behind with * me. We will never get our 
accounts fitted. A pardon must close the reckoning : for his com- 
forts to me in this honorable cause have almost put me beyond 
the bounds of modesty : howbeit 1 will not let every one know 
what is betwixt us. Love, love, (I mean Christ's love,) is the 
hottest coal that ever I felt. Oh, but the smoke of it be hot ! 
Cast all the salt sea on it, it will flame; Hell cannot quench it: many, 
many waters will not quench love. Christ is turned over to his 
poor prisoner in a mass and globe of love: I wonder that he 
should waste so much love upon such a waster as 1 am ; but he 
is no waster, but abundant in mercy ; he hath no niggard's alms, 
when he is pleased to give. Oh that I could invite all the nation 
to love him ! Free grace is an unknown thing. This world hath 
beard but a bare name of Christ, and no more. There are infin- 
ite plies in his love, that the saints will never win^ to unfold : I 
would it were better known, and that Christ got more of his own 
due than he doth. 

Brother, ye have chosen the good part, who have taken part 
with Christ : ye will see him win the field, and shall get part of 
the spoil when he divideth it. They are but fools who laugh at 
us ; for they see but the backside of the moon ; yet our moon-light 
is better than their twelve hours'* sun. We have gotten the New 
Heavens, and, as a pledge of that, the Bridegroom's lo^e-ring. 
The children of the wedding-chamber have cause to skip, and 
leap for ioy ; for the marriage-supper is drawing nigh, and we 
find the iour-hours* sweet and comfortable. O time, be not slow! 
O sun, move speedily, and hasten our banquet ! O Bridegroom, 
be like a roe, or a young hart upon the mountains ! O Well- 
beloved, mn fast, that we may once meet ! 

Brother, 1 restrain myself, for want of time. Pray for me ; I 
hope to remember you. The good-will of Him, who dwelt in the 
bush, the tender mercies of God in Christ, enrich you. Grace be 
with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abeideen, March. 14, 1637. 

> Thai it. would nerer get all that k doe to him from me. * Attain. 

* Nooa-day. * Slight repaat in the aftenooa 

BS6 % Rutherford's letters. 



Worthy Sisi er, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you — I 
know that ye desire news frem my prison, and I shall show yoa 
news. At my first entry hither, Christ and I a^eed not well 
upon it. The Devil made a plea ' in the hoase, and I laid the 
blame upon Christ ; for my heart was fraughted with challenges,* 
and I feared that 1 was an outcast, and that I was but a withered 
tree in the vineyard, and but held the sun off the good plants with 
my idle shadow, and that, therefore, my Master had ^ven the 
evil serpent the fields, to fend him.* Old guiltiness said, (as wit- 
ness,) " All is true :" my apprehensions were with child of faith- 
less fears, and unbelief put a seal and amen to all. I thought 
myself in a hard case. Some said, I had cause to rejoice, that 
Christ had honored me to be a witness for him ; and 1 said in my 
heart, " These are words of men, who see but mine outside, and 
cannot tell if I be a false witness or not." 

If Christ had in this matter been as wilful and short^ as I was^ 
my faith had gone over the brae,» and broken its neck. But we 
were well met, a hasty fool, and a wise, patient and meek Saviour. 
He took no law-advantage of ray folly, but waited on till ray ill 
blood was fallen, and my drumbled* and troubled well began to 
clear. He was never a whit angry at the fever-ravings of a poor 
tempted sinner : but he mercifully forgave, and came, as it well 
becometh him, with grace and new comfort to a sinner who de- 
served the contrary. And, now he is content to kiss ray black 
mouth, to put his hand into mine, and to feed me with as many 
consolations, as would feed ten hungry souls ! vet I dare not say, 
that he is a waster of comforts, fdr no less would have borne me 
up; one grain-weight less would have casten' the balance. 

Now, who is like to that royal King, crowned in Zion ! Where 
shall I get a seat for royal majesty, to set him on ? If I could set 
him as far above the Heaven as thousand thousands of heights 
devised by men and angels, I should think him but too low. I 

firay you, for God's sake, my dear sister, to help me to praise.. His 
ove hath neither brim nor bottom : his love is like himself, it pas- 
seth all natural understanding. I go to fathom it with my arms, 
but it is as if a child would talce the globe of sea and land in hb 
two short arms : — blessed and holv is his name ! This must be 
his truth which I now suffer for ; for he would not laugh upoa a 
lie, nor be witness with his comforts to a night-dream. 

I entreat for your prayers : and the prayer and blessing of a 
prisoner of Christ be upon you. Grace be with you« 

, , w .^ •. ,^* Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, & tL 

AberJccn, March 14, 1637. ^ ^ 

I Dispute. ' Laden with acdwarin— 

• That b, had cast him out of the house into the open i&elds. « Hasty. 

• Bank. • Muddied. v TuxmU. 

Rutherford's letters. 237 



Dear Brother, — ^I have not leisure lo wrii.e to you. Christ's 
ways were kndwn to you, long before I, who am but a child, knew 
anything of him. What wrong and violence the prelates may, by ' 
God's permission, do unto you, for your trial, I know not ; but this 
I know, that your ten days' tribulation will end. Contend to the 
last breath for Christ. Banishment out of these kingdoms is 
determined against me, as I hear. This land dow not ' bear me. 
I pray you, to recommend my case and bonds to my brethren, and 
sisters, with you. I intrust more of my spiritual comfort to you 
and them, that way, my dear brother, than to many in this king- 
dom besides. 1 hope that ye will not be wanting to Christ's . 

Fear nothing, for I assure you that Alexander Gordon of Knock- 
gray, shall win away,' and get his soul for a prey : and what can 
he then want, that is worth the having? Your friends are cold, 
fas ye write.) and so are those in whom I trusted much. Our • 
Husband doeth well in breaking our idols in pieces : dry wells send 
lis to the fountain. My life is not dear to me, so being I may fulfil 
my course lyith joy. I fear that ye must remove, if your new 
hireling will not bear your discountenancing of him ; for the Pre- 
late is afraid that Christ get you ; and that he hath no will to. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord and Master, S. R. 

Abeideeo, 1637. 



Dear Sister, — I exhort you in the Lord, to seek your one 
thing, Mary's e^ood part, that 'shall not be taken from you. Set 
your heart and soul on the children's inheritance: this clay-idol, 
the world, is but for bastards, and ye are his lawfully-begotten 
child. Learn the way, (as your dear mother hath gone before 
you,) to knock at Christ's door, iftany an alms of mercy ha)^ 
Christ given to her, and hath abundance behind to give to you. 
Ye are the seed of the faithful, and born within the Covenant 
Claim your right. 1 would not exchange Christ Jesus for ten 
worlds of glory : I know now, (blessed be my Teacher !) how to 
shute* the lock, and unbolt my Well-beloved's door: — and he 
tnaketh a poor stranger welcome when he cometb to his house. I 
am swelled up and satisfied with the love of Christ, that is better 

t It not able. 

t n 19UI ovayi to escape, by death, (torn the evils of thu life. > Posh back. 

238 Rutherford's leti*brs. 

than wine. It is a fire in my soul : let Hell and the world cast 
water on it, they will not mend themselves. I have now gotten 
the right gate* of Christ I recommend him to you above all 
things. C^me and find * the smell of his breath ; see if his kisses 
be not sweet ; he desireth no better than to be much made of. Be 
homely^ with him, and ye shall be the more welcome : — ye know 
not how fain Christ would have all your love. Think not that 
this is imaginations and bairns' play, which we make din for. I 
would not suflfer for it, if it were so. 1 dare pawn my heaven for 
it, that it is the way to glory. Think much of truth, and abhor 
these ways devised by men in God's worship. 

The grace of Christ be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abefdeen, Maich 14, 1637. 



Dear, and Loving Friend, — I cannot but, upon the opportu- 
nity of a bearer, exhort you to resign the love of your youth to 
Christ, and, in this day, while your sun is high, and your youth 
serveth you, to seek the Lord and his face ; for there is nothing 
out of Heaven so necessary for you as Christ. And ye cannot bo 
ignorant, that your day will end, and that the night of death shall 
call you from the pleasures of this life ; — and a doom given out in 
death, standeth forever, as long as God liveth. Youth, ordinarily, 
is a post, and ready servant for Satan, to run errands ; for it is a 
nest for lust, cursing, drunkenness, blaspheming of God, lyio^, 
pride, and vanity. Oh, that there were such an heart in you, as 
to fear the Lord, and to dedicate your soul and body to his service! 
When the time cometli that your eye-strings shall break, and your 
face wax pale, and legs and arms tremble, and your breath grow 
cold, and your poor soul look out at your prison house of clay, to 
be set at liberty ; then a good conscience, and your Lord's mvor 
shall be worth all the world's glory. Seek it as your garland and 
crown. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, 8. R. 

Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — I will not impute vour not writing to 
me to forgetfulness ; however, I have One above who forgettech 

> W«j. FeeL > PubOUt. 


me not — nay, hi ^roweth la his kindne8s. It hath pleased his 
holy Majesty to take me from the pulpit, and teach me many 
things, in my exile and prison, that were mysteries to me before : 
as. Ist, I see his bottomless and boundless love and kindness, and 
my jealousies and ravings, which, at my first entry into this fur- 
nace, were so foolish and bold, as to say to Christ, who is truth 
itself, in his face, "Thou liest." 1 had well nigh lost my grips.' 
I wondered if it was Christ, or not ; for the mist and smoke of my 
perturbed heart made me mistake my Master, Jesus ; my faith was 
dim, and hope frozen and cold ; and my love, which caused jeal- 
ousies, had some warmness, and heat, and smoke, but no flame at 
all ; yet 1 was looking for some good of Christ's old claim to me. 
I thought I had forfeited all my rights ; but the Tempter was too 
much upon my counsels, and was still blowing the coal. Alas ! I 
knew not well before, how good skill my Intercessor, and Advocate, 
Christ, hath of pleading, and of pardoning me such follies. Now 
he is returned to my soul with healing under his wings ; and I am 
notliing behind* with Christ now ; for he hath overpaid me, by his 
presence, the pain I was put to by on-waiting, ana any little loss 
tl|at I sustained by my witnessing against the wrongs done to him. 
I trow, it was a pain to my Lord to hide himself any longer : in a 
manner, he was challenging' his own unkindness, and repented 
him of his glooms:* and now, what want I on earth, that Christ 
can give to a poor prisoner ! Oh, how sweet and lovely is he now ! 
Alas, that I can get none to help me to lift up my Lord Jesus upon 
his throne, above all the earth. 

2ndly, I am now brought to some measure of submission, and I 
resolve to wait till I see what my Lord Jesus will do with me. I 
dare not now nickname or speak one word against the all-seeing 
and over-watching providence of my Lord, f see that providence 
runneth not on broken wheels ; but I, like a fool, carved a provi- 
dence for mine own ease, to die in my nest, and to sleep still till 
my gray hairs, and to lie on the sunny side of the mountain, in 
my ministry at Anwoth ; but now I have nothing to say against 
a Dorrowed fire-side, and another man's house, nor Kedar's tents, 
where I live, being removed far from my acquaintance, my lovers, 
and my friends. I see that God hath the world on his wheels, 
and casteth it as a potter doth a vessel on the wheel. I dare not 
say that there is any inordinate or irregular motion in Providence. 
The Lord hath done it: I will not go to law with Christ, for I 
would gain nothing of that. 

3rdly, I have learned some ereater mortification, and not to 
rooam after, or seek to suck the world's dry breasts : nayj my 
Lord bath filled me with such dainties, that I am like to a full 
banqueter, who is not for common cheer. What hav^ I to do, to 
fall down upon my knees, and worship mankind's great idol,«the 
world? I have a better God than any clay-god : nay, at present, 
as I am now disposed, I care not much to give this world a dis* 

> Hold. * That b, in reedviiig pajment 

* Acauing, « Prowni. 


charge of my life-rent of it, for bread and water. I know that it 
ia not my home, nor my Father's house ; it is but his footstool, the 
outer-close of his bouse, his out-iields ^ and muir-ground ;' let bas- 
tards take it. I hope never to think myself in its common, for 
honor or riches — nay, now, I say to laughter, " Thou art mad- 

4thly^ I find it to be most true, that the greatest temptation out 
of Hell, is, to live without temptations. If my waters should stand, 
they would rot. Faith is the better of the free air, smd of the sharp 
winter storm in its face. Grace wit hereth without adv^ity. The 
Devil is but God's master-fencer, to teach us to handle our weapons. 

5thly, I never knew how weak I was. till now, when he hideth 
himself, and when I have him to seek seven times a day. I am a 
dry and withered branch, and a piece of a dead carcase, dry bones, 
and not able to step over a straw. The thoughts of my old sins 
are as the summons of death to me ; and of late my brother's case 
hath stricken me to the heart. When my wounds are closing, a 
little riffle* causeth them to bleed afresh: so thin-skinned is' ray 
soul, that I thilik it is like a tender man's skin, that may touch 
nothing. Ye see, how short I would shoot of the prize, if his grace 
were not sufficient for me. 

Wo is me for the day of Scotland ; wo, wo is me for my HarloC- 
m other ; for the decree is gone forth : women of this land shall 
call the childless and miscarrying wombs blessed. The anger of 
the Lord is gone forth, and shall not return, fill he perform the 
purpose of his heart against Scotland : yet he shall make ScoUaod 
a new sharp instrument, having teeth to thresh the mountains, 
and fan the hills as chaff. 

The prisoner's blessing be upon you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus^ S. R. 

Abeideen, Mareh 14, 1637. 



Mistress, — I know that ye are thinking, sometimes, what 
Christ is doing in Zion, and that the haters of Zion may gH the 
bottom of our cup, and the burning coals of our furnace, that we 
have been tried in those many years by-gone.* Oh, that this na- 
tion would be awakened, to cry mightilv unto God, for the settmg 
up of a new tabernacle to Christ in Scotland. Oh, if this kingdom 
knew how worthy Christ were of his room ! His worth was ever 
above roan's estimation of him. 

And for myself I am pained at the heart, that I cannot find my- 
self disposed to leave myself, and go wholly into Christ. Alas, chat 

I The wont parts of an arable farm, which, though tilled from time to time, yet, im 
the ancient syttem of Scottish husbandry, received no manure. 
* Untiilable ground, corered with heath. * RulBe, abrasioa. « Bf-pmA 

Rutherford's letters. 241 

there should be one bit of me out of him, and that we leave too 
much liberty and latitude for ourselves, and our own ease, and 
credit, and pleasures, and so little room for all-love-worthy Christ ! 
Oh, what pains and charges it costeth Christ ere he get us ! and 
when all is done, we are not worth the having. It is a wonder 
that he should seek the like of us : but love overlooketh blackness 
and fecklessuess ; ^ for if it had not been so, Christ would never 
have made so fair and blessed a bargain with us, as the covenant 
of grace is. I find that in all our suffenngs, Christ is but redding 
marches,^ that every one of us may say, " Mine, and thine," and 
that men may know by their crosses, how weak a bottom nature 
is to stand upon in a trial ; that the end which our Lord intend- 
eth, in all our sufferings, is to bring grace into court* and request 
amongst us. I should succumb and come short of Heaven, if I 
bad no more than my own strength to support me ; and if Christ 
should say to me, " Either do or die," it were easy to determine 
what should become of me : the choice were easy, for I behooved 
to die, if Christ should pass by with straitened bowels ; and who 
then would take us up m our straits? * I know we may say that 
Christ is kindest in his love, when we are at our weakest ; and 
that if Christ had not been to the fore,* in our sad days, the waters 
had gone over our soul. His mercy hath a set period, and ap- 
pointed a place, how far, and no further, the sea of affliction shall 
flow, and where the waves thereof shall be stayed. He prescribeth 
how much pain and sorrow, both for weight and measure, we must 
have ; ye have, then, good cause to recall your love from all lovers, 
and give it to Christ : He, who is afflicted in all your afflictions, 
looketh not on you in your sad hours with an insensible heart or 
dry eyes. All the Lord's saints may see that it is lost love which 
is bestowed upon this perishing world. Death and judgment will 
make men lament, that ever their miscarrying hearts carried them 
to lay and lavbh out their love upon false appearances and night- 
dreams. Alas ! that Christ should fare the worse, because of his 
own goodness, in making peace and the Gospel to ride together ; 
and &at we have never yet weighed the worth of Christ in his or- 
dinances ; and that now we are like to be deprived of the well, ere 
we have tasted the sweetness of th^ water: — it may be that with 
watery eyes, and a wet fsice, and wearied feet, we seek Christ, and 
shall not find bim. Oh, that this land were bumbled in time, and 
by prayers, cries and humiliation would bring Christ in at the 
church-door again, now, when his back is turned towards us, and 
he is gone to the threshold, and his one foot, as it were, is out of 
the door ! I am sure that his departure b our deserving ; we have 
bought it with our iniquities ; for even the Lord's own children are 
ftillen asleep : and, alas ! professors are made all of shows and 
iashions, and are not at pains to recover themselves again. Every 
one hath his set measure of faith and holiness, and contenteth 
himself with but a stinted measure of godliness, as if that were 

I WorthlewneM. ^ Settling bcmndariet. 

* Favor. * Extant, existing. 



enough to brinj? him to Heaven. We forget that as oar gifts and 
light grow, so God's gain, and the interest of his talents, should 
grow also ; and that we cannot pay God with the old use and 
wont, (as we use to speak,) which we gave him seven years ago ; 
for this were to mock the liOrd, and to make price with him as we 
list. Oh, what difficulty is there in our Christian journey ! and 
how often come w'e short of many thousand things that are 
Christ's due ! and we consider not how far our dear Lord is be- 
hind with us. 

Mistress, I cannot render you thanks, as I woald, for your kind- 
ness to my brother, an oppressed stranger ; but I remember yon 
unto the Lord as I am able. I entreat you to think upon*me, bb 
prisoner, and pray that the Lord would be pleased to give me room 
to speak to his people in his name. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord and Master, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Worthy, and Dearly Beloved in the Lord, — Graoe^ 
mercy, and peace be unto you. — I received your letter. I wish 
that I could satisfy your desire, in drawing up, and framing fcr 
you a Christian directory ; but the learned have done it before ine, 
more judiciously than 1 can ; especially Mr. Rodgers, Ghreenham, 
and Perkins: notwithstanding, I shall show you what I would 
have been at, myself; howbeit I came always short of my 

1. That hours of the day, less or more time, for the word and 

Erayer, be given to God, not sparing the twelfth hour, or mid-dmy, 
owbeit it should then be the shorter time. 

2. In the midst of worldly employments, there should be soom 
thoughts of sin, death, judgment, and eternity, with, at least, a 
word or two of ejaculatory prayer to God. 

3. To beware of wandering of heart in private prayers. 

4. Not to grudge, howbeit ye come from prayer withoat sense 
of joy : — down-casting, sense of guiltiness, and hunger, are ofteo 
best for us. 

5. That the Lord's day, from morning to night, be spent always 
either in private or public worship. 

6. That words be observed, wandering and idle thoogbu be 
avoided, sudden anger and desire of revenge, even of soch as per- 
secute the truth, be guarded against; for we oAan mix oar seal 
with our wild-fire. 

7. That known, discovered, and revealed sins, that are againtC 
the conscience, be eschewed, as most dangerous [Mreparatives to 
hardness of heart. 

kutherford's letters. 243 

8. That in dealine^ with men, faith and truth in covenants and 
trafficking be regarded, that we deal with all men in sincerity : 
that conscience be made of idle and lying words ; and that our 
carriage be such, as that they who see it, may speak honorably 
of our sweet Master and profession. 

9. I have been much challenged, 1. For not referring all to God, 
as the last end ; that I do not eat, drink, sleep, journey, speak, and 
think for God. 2. That I have not benefited by good company ; 
and that I left not some word of conviction, even upon natural and 
wicked men, as by reproving swearing in them, or because of being 
a silent witness to their loose carriage, and because I intended not 
in all companies to do good. 3. That the woes and calamities of 
the Kirk, and of particular professors, have not moved me. 4. That 
at the reading of the life of David, Paul, and the like, when it 
bumbled me, I, (coming so far short of their holiness,) labored not 
to imitate them, afar off at least, according to the measure of (3od's 

Eace. 6. That unrepented sins of youth were not looked to, and 
mented for. 6. That sudden stirrings of pride, lust, revenge, love 
of honors, were not resisted and mourned for. 7. That my charity 
was cold. 8. That the experiences I had, of God's hearing me in 
this and the other particular, being gathered, yet in a new trou- 
ble I had always, (once at least,) my faith to seek, as if I were to 
begin at A B C again. 9. That I have not more boldlv contra- 
dieted the enemies, speaking against the truth, either m public 
church-meetings, or at tables, or ordinary conference. 10. That 
in great troubles, 1 have received folse reports of Christ's love, aud 
misbelieved* him in his chastening; whereas the event hath said, 
'* All was in mercy." 11. Nothing more moveth me, and weight- 
etb* my soul, than that I could never for my heart, in my pros- 
perity, 80 wrestle in prayer with God, nor be so dead to the world, 
so hungry and sick of love for Christ, so heavenly-minded, as when 
ten stone-weight of a heavy cross was upon me. 12. That the 
cross extorted vows of new obedience, which ease hath blown 
away, as chaff before the wind. 13. That practice was so short 
and narrow, and light so long and broad. 14. That death hath 
not been often meditated upon. 16. That I have not been care- 
ful of gaining others to Christ 16. That my grace and gifts 
brinf forth little or no thankfulness. 

There are some things, also, whereby 1 have been helped ; as, 
— 1. 1 have benefited by riding alone a long journey, in giving 
that lime to prayer. 2. By abstinence, and giving days to God. 
3, By prajring ror others ; for by making an errand to God for 
them, I have gotten something for myself. 4. I have been really 
confirmed in many particulars, that God heareth prayers ; and, 
therefore, I used to pray for anything, of how little importance 
soever. 6. He enabled me to make no question, that this mocked 
way, which is nicknamed, is the only way to Heaven. 

Sir, these, and many moe occurrences in your life, should be 

> Not beBertd aright i DefmMtk. 


looked unto : and, — 1. Thoughts of atheism should be watched 
over, as, If there be a God in Heaven ; which will trouble and 
assault the best, at some times. 2. Growth in grace should be 
cared for, above all things; and falling from <Air first love 
mourned for. 3. Conscience made of praying for the enemiefl^ 
who are bliqded. 

Sir, I thank you fnost kindly for the care of my brother, and 
of me also. I hope it is laid up for you, and remembered in 

I am still ashamed with Christ's kindness to such a sinner as I 
am : he hath lefl a fire in my heart, that Hell cannot cast water 
on, to quench or extinguish it. Help me to praise, and pray for 
me ; for ye have a prisoner's blessing and prayers. 

Remember my love to your wife. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in Christ Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, March 15, 1637. 



Much Honored, and Worthy Sir, — Grac^ mercy, aod 
peace be unto you — I long to hear from you. 1 have received 
few letters since I came hither: I am in need of a word ; a dr)* 
plant should have some watering. 

My case betwixt Christ my Lord, and me, standeth between 
love and jealousy, faith and suspicion of his love ; — it is a marvel 
he keepeth house with me. I make many pleas ' with Christ, bui 
he maketh as many agreements with me. 1 think his unchange- 
able love hath said, ^^ I defy thee to break me and change nae." 
If Christ had such changeable and new thoughts of my salrm- 
tion, as I have of it, I think I should then be at a sad loss. He 
humoreth not a fool like me in my unbelief, but rebuketh me, 
and fathereth kindness upon me. Chri^^t is rather like the poor 
friend and needy prisoner, (begging love,) than 1 am. I cannot, 
for shame, get Christ said nay of my whole love ; for he will not 
want his errand for the seeking. God be thanked that ray Bride- 
groom tireth not of wooing. Honor to him ! he is a wilful suitor 
of my soul. But as love is his, pain is mine, that I have nothing 
to give him ; his account-book is full of my debts of mercy, kind- 
ness, and free love towards me. Oh that I might read with 
watery eyes ! Oh that he would give me the interest of interest te 
pay back ! or rather, my souFs desire is, that he would corapri«e* 
my person, soul and body, love, joy, confidence, fear, oorrow, aad 
desire, and drive the poind,' and let me be rouped,^ and told lo 
Christ, and taken home to my Creditor's house and his fireside. 

> auArrelt. t Attack. 

I Seix0 upon the impoonded propeitj. « AttdioBaA. 


The Lord knoweth ihat if I could, I would sell myself without 
reversion to Christ. O sweet Lord Jesus, make a market, and 
overbid all my buyers ! I dare swear, that there is a mystery in 
Christ which I never saw ; a mystery of love. Oh, if* he would 
lay by the lap of the covering that is ofer it, and let my green- 
ing ' soul see it ! I would break the door, and be in upon him, to 
get my fill of love ; for I am an hungered and famished soul. 
Ob, sir, if you, or any other would tell him, how sick my soul is, 
dying for want of a nearly draught of Christ's love! Oh, if ^ I 
could dote, (if I may make use of that word in this case,) as much 
upon himself as I do upon his love ! It is a pity that Christ him- 
self should not rather be my heart's choice, than Christ's mani- 
fested love. It would satisfy me, in some measure, if I had any 
bud ' to give for his love. Shall I offer him my praises ? Alas ! 
he is more than praises. I give it over to get him exalted accord- 
ing to his worth, which is above what can be known. 

Yet all this time I am tempting him, to see if there be both love 
and anger in him against me. I am plucked from his flock, (dear 
to me,) and from feeding his lambs ; 1 go, therefore, in sackcloth 
as one who hath lost the wife of his youth. Grief and sorrow are 
suspicious, and spew out against him the smoke of jealousies ;* 
ancl I say often, " Show me wherefore thou contendest with me. 
Tell me, O Lord, read the process against me." But I know that I 
cannot answer his allegations ; I shall lose the cause, when it 
Cometh to open pleading. Oh, if ^ I could force my heart to be- 
lieve dreams to be dreams ! Yet when Christ giveth my fears the 
lie, and sailh to me, " Thou art a liar," then I am glad. I resolve 
to hope to be quiet, and to lye on the brink, on my side, till the 
water fall, and the ford be ridable :^ and howbeit there be pain 
upon me, in longing for deliverance that I may speak of him in 
the great congregation ; yet I think there is joy in that pain and 
on-waiting ; and even rejoice that he putteth me off for a time, 
and Bhifteth me. Oh, if* I could wait on for all eternity, howbeit 
I should never get my soul's desire, so being he were glorified ! I 
would wish my pain and my ministry could live long to serve him ! 
for I know that I am a clay vessel, and made for his use. Oh, if * 
my very broken sherds could serve to glorify him ! I desire Christ's 
g^ce to be willingly content, that my hell, (excepting his hatred 
and displeasure, which I put out of all play, for submission to this 
m not called for,) were a preaching of his glory to men and angels 
forever and ever ! « When all is done, what can I add to him f or 
what can such a clay shadow as I do ? I know that he needeth not 
me. I have cause to be grieved, and to melt away in tears, (if I 
had grace to do it, — Lord grant it to me !) to see my Well-beloved's 
finir face spitted upon by dogs, to see louns * pulling the crown off 
my royal King's head : to see my Harlot-mother and my sweet 
Patber agre^ so ill, that they are going to skail, ^ and give up 

> Oh, that. * Longing greedily. ' Bribe. 

< SosfiicioD*. « Maj be croeeed on horseback. 

• Low, wofthlete leoondrelt. ^ Sevarato. 


house : — my Lord's palace is now a nest of unclean birds. Oh, 
if* harlot, harlot Scotland would rue upon her provoked L«ord ; 
and pity her good Husband, who is broken with her whortsh heart ! 
but these things are hid from her eyes. 

I have heard of late of yofkr new trial by the Bishop of Gallowaj. 
Fear not clay and worms' meat. Let truth and Christ get no 
wrong in your hand : it is your gain if Christ be glorified : and 
your glory to be Christ's witness. I persuade you, that vour suf- 
ferings are Christ's advantage and victory ; for he is pleased to 
reckon them so. Let me hear from you. Christ is but winning 
a clean kirk out of the fire ; he will win this play. He will not 
be in your common* for any charges ye are at m his service. He 
is not poor to sit in vour debt ; he will repay an hundred fold more, 
it may be, even in this life. 

The prayers and blessing of Christ's prisoner be with yon. 

Your brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and 
from our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied upon you. 

I have reasoned with your son at large — 1 rejoice to see him 
set bis face in the right airth,' now when the nobles love the 
sunny-side of the Gospel best, and are afraid that Christ want 
soldiers, and shall not be able to do for himself. 

Madam, our debts of obligation to Christ are not small ; the 
freedom of grace and of salvation is the wonder of men and angels; 
but mercy in our Lord scorneth hire. Ye are bound to lift Christ 
on high, who hath given you eyes to discern the Devil, now com* 
ing out in his whites, and the idolatry and apostasy of the linie 
well washen * wUh fair pretences ; but the skin is black, and the 
water foul. It were art, I confess, to wash a black devil, and 
make him whi'.e. 

I am m strange ups and downs, and seven times a day I k 
ground. / am put often to swimming, and again my feet are i 
on the Rock thai is higher than myself. He hafh now let roe s 
four things which 1 never saw before : — 1st, That the supper shall 
be great cheer, that is, up in the great hall^ with the royal King 
of glory, when the four-hours,* the standing-drink,* in this dreary 
wilderness is so sweet. When he bloweth a kiss afar off to his 
poor, heart-broken mourners in Zion, and sendeth roe but bis 
iiearty commendations till we meet, I am confounded with wonder 
to think what it shall be when the Fairest among the sons of meo 

1 Oh, thai. t Under obfigatioii to yoM. 

* Direction, point of the eompaM. * Washed. 

* Slight afternoon repaeC. • A draaghl ghen to a peoon at tkm 4m^ 


■ball lay a king's sweet, soft cheek to the siafnl cheeks of poor 
siuners. O, time, time, go swiftly, and hasten that day I Sweet 
Lord Jesus, post ! come ilying like a young hart or a roe upon the 
mountains of separation. I think that we should tell the hours 
carefully, and look often how low the sun is ; for love hath no 
ho ; Ht is pained, pained in itself, till it come* into grips with' the 
party beloved. 

2iKlly, I find Christ's absence to be love's sickness and love's 
death. The wind that bloweth out of the airth,' where my Lord 
Jesus reigneth, is sweet>smelled, soft, joyful, and heartsome* to a 
soul burnt with absence. It is a painrul battle for a soul sick of 
love to fight with absence and delays. Christ's ^' Not yet," is a 
stounding* of all the limbs and liths* of the soul. A nod of his 
head, when he is under a mask, would be half a pawn : to say, 
^'Fool, what aileth thee? he is coming," would be life to a dead 
man. I am often in my dumb Sabbaths seeking a new plea^ with 
my Lord Jesus — God forgive me — and I care not if there be not 
two or three ounce-weight of black wrath in my cup. 

3rdly, For the third thing, I have seen my abominable viieness: 
if I were well known, there would none in this kingdom ask how 
I do. Many take my ten to be a hundred, but I am a deeper 
hypocrite, and shallower professor, than every one believeth, God 
knoweth I feign not: but I think my reckonings on the one page 
written in great letters, and his mercy to such a forlorn and 
wretched dyvour* on the other, to be more than a miracle. If I 
could get my finger-ends upon a full assurance, I trow that I would 
grip* fast; but my cup wanteth not gall ; and, upon my part, de- 
spair might be almost excused, if every one in this land saw my 
inner side ; but I know that I am one of them who have made 
great sale, and a free market to free grace. If I could be saved, 
as I would fain believe, sure I am that I have given Christ's blood, 
bis free grace, and the bowels of his mercy, a large field to work 
upon, and Christ hath manifested his art, I dare not say to the 
uttermost ; (for he can, if he would, forgive all the devils and 
damned reprobates, in respect of the wideness of his mercy ;) but 
I say, to an admirable degree. 

4thly, I am stricken with fear of un thankfulness. This apostate 
Kirk hath played the harlot with many lovers. They are spitting 
in the face of my lovely King, and mocking him, and I dow not '* 
mend it ; and they are running away from Christ in troop:), and 
I dow not** mourn and be grieved for it. I think Christ lieth 
like an old forcasten " castle, forsaken of the inhabitants ; all men 
run away now from him. Truth, innocent truth, goeth mourning 
and wringing her hands, in sackcloth and ashes. Wo, wo its me, 
for the Virgin-daughter of Scotland ! Wo, wo to the inhabitants 
of this land ! for they are gone back with a perpetual backsliding. 

1 HelPcontfol. * Into the embrace of, 

• Direction point of the compaM. * Cheering. 

• A caa«ing of a sudden pang. • Jointa. ▼ Ontrovcray. 

• Baoknipt. Oripe. i^ Am not able. " Neglected. 


These things take me so up, that a borrowed bed, another man's 
fireside, the wind upon my face, (I being driven from my lovers, 
and dear acquaintance, and my poor flock,) find no room in my 
sorrow. I have no spare or odd sorrow for these ; only I think 
that the sparrows and swallows that build their nests in the kirk 
of Anwoth, are blessed birds. Nothing hath given my faith a 
harder back-set ' till it crack again, than my closed mouth. But 
let me be miserable myself alone, God keep my dear brethren 
from it. But still I keep breath, and when my royal, and never, 
never-enough praised King returneth to his sinful prisoner, I ride 
upon the high places of Jacob, I divide Shechem, I triumph in his 
strength. If this kingdom would glorify the Lord in my behalf, 
I desire to be weighed in God's even balance in this point, if I 
think not my wages paid to the full ; I shall crave no more hire 
of Christ. 

Madam, pity me in this, and help me to praise him ; for what- 
ever I be, the chief of sinners, a devil, and a most guilty devil, yet 
it is the apple of Christ's eye, his honor and glory, as the Head of 
the Church, that I suffer for now, and that I will go to eternity 

I am greatly in love with Mr. M. M. ; I see him stamped with 
the image of God. I hope well of your son, my Lord Boyd 

Your Ladyship and your children have a prisoner's prayers. 
Grace, grace be with you. 

Your Ladyship's at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, May 1. 1637. 



My Reverend, and Dear Brother, — I fear that ye have 
never known me well. If ye saw my inner side, it is possible that 
ye would pity me, but you would hardly give me either love or re- 
spect : men mistake me the whole length of the heavens ; my 
sins prevail over me, and the terrors of their guiltiness. I am put 
often to ask, if Christ and I ever did shake hands together in ear- 
nest ; I mean not that my feast-days are quite gone, but I am 
made of extremes. I pray God that ye never have the woful and 
dreary experience of a closed mouth ; for then ye shall judge the 
sparrows, that may sing in the church of Irvine, blessed birds. 
But my soul hath been refreshed and watered, when I h^ ar of 
your courage and zeal for your never-enough praised, praised 
Master, in that ye put the men of God, chased out of Ireland, to 
work. Oh, if* I could confirm you ! I dare say in God's presence, 
"That this shall never hasten your suflTerinfif, but will be David 
Dickson's feast, and speaking joy, that while he had time and lei»- 

1 RelafMe. > Oh, I 

Rutherford's letters. 849 

ure, he put many to work, to lift up Jesus, his sweet Master, high 
in the skies." O man of God, go on, go on, be valiant for that 
Plant of renown, for that Chief among ten thousands, for that 
Prince of the kings of the earth. It is but little that I know of 
Grod, yet this I dare write, that Christ will be glorified in David 
Dickson, howbeit Scotland be not gathered. 

1 am pained, pained that I have not more to give my sweet 
Bridegroom : his comforts to me are not dealt with a niggard's 
band, but 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 Bride- 
groom : the Bridegroom himself is better than all the ornaments 
that are about him. Now, I would not so much have these, as 
God himself, and to be swallowed up of love to Christ. I see that 
in delighting in a communion with Christ, we may make more 
gods than one ; but however, all was but bairns' play between 
Christ and me, till now. If one would have sworn unto me, 1 
would not have believed what may be found in Christ. I hope 
that ye pity my pain that' much, in my prison, as to help me 
yourself, and to cause others help me, a dyvour,«a sinful wretched 
dyvour,* to pay some of my debts of praise to my great King. 
Let my God be judge and witne^^s, if my soul would not have 
sweet ease and comfort, to have many hearts confirmed in Christ, 
and enlarged with his love, and many tongues set on work to set 
on high my royal and princely Well-beloved. Oh, that my suffer- 
ings could pay tribute to such a king ! I have given over won- 
dering at his love ; for Christ hath manifested a piece of art upon 
me, that I never revealed to any living ; he hath gotten fair and 
rich employment, and sweet sale, and a goodly market for his 
honorable calling of showing mercy, on me the chief of sinners. 
Every one knoweth not so well as I do, my wofuUy often broken 
covenants. My sins against light, working in the very act'pf sin- 
ning, have been met with admirable mercy : but, alas ! he will 
get nothing back again, but wretched unthankfulness. I am sure, 
that- if Christ pity anything in me next to my sin, it is pain of love 
for an armful and soulful of himself, in faith, love, and begun fru- 
ition. My sorrow is that I cannot get Christ lifted off the dust in 
Scotland, and set on high, above all the skies, and Heaven of 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen. May 1, 1637. 



Worthy Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I received 

jrour letter, and am heartily glad that our Lord hath begun to work 

1 So. * A bankrapt. * A proprietor of *%ndm or I 

850 rvthbrfobd's lsttbrs. 

for the apparent delivery of. this oppressed Kirk; — Oh that wahmr 
tion would come for Zion ! 

I am for the present hangiog by hope, waitinff what my Lord 
will do with me, and if it will please my sweet Master to send me 
amongst you again, and keep out a hireling from my poor people, 
and dock. It were my heaven till I come hpme, even to spend 
this life in gathering in some to Christ. I have still great heavi- 
ness for my silence, and my forced standing idle in the market, 
when this land hath such a plentiful thick harvest ; but I know 
that His judgments, who hath done it, are past finding out. I 
have no knowledge to take up the Lord, in all his strange ways, 
and passages of deep and unsearchable providences ; for the Lord 
is before me, and I am so bemisted that I cannot follow him ; he 
is behind me, and following at the heels, and I am not aware of 
him ; he is above me, but his glory so dazzlelh my twilight of 
short knowledge, that I cannot look up to him ; he is upon my 
right hand, and I see him not ; he is upon my left hand, and 
within me, and goeth and cometh, and his going and coming are 
a dream to me ; he is round about me, and compasseth all my go- 
ings, and still I have him to seek ; he is every way higher, and 
deeper, and broader than the shallow and ebb ^ hand-breadth of 
my short and dim light can take up; and, therefore, I would that 
my heart could be silent, and sit down in the learnedly-ignorant 
wondering at that Lord, whom men and angels cannot compre- 
hend. I know that the noon-day light of the highest angels, who 
see him face to face, seeth not the borders of his infintteness. 
They apprehend God near-hand,* but they cannot coniprehend 
him. And, therefore, it is my happiness to look afar oflr, and to 
come near to the Lord's back parts, and to light my dark candle 
at his brightness, and to have leave to sit and content myself with 
a traveller's light, without the clear vision of an enioyer. I would 
seek no more till I were in my country, than a little watering and 
sprinliling of a withered soul, with some half-out-breakings and 
half-out-lookings of the beams, and small ravishing smiles of the 
fairest face of a revealed and believed-on Grodhead. A little of 
God would make my soul bank-full.* Oh that I had but Christ's 
odd oflT-fallings ; that he would let but the meanest of his love-rays 
and love-beams fall from him, so as I might gather and carry them 
with me! I would not be ilM to please with Christ, and veiled 
visions of Christ; neither would I be dainty in seeing and enjoy- 
mg of him : a kiss of Christ blown over his shoulder, the parings 
and crumbs of glory that fall under his table in Heaven, a shower 
like a thin May-mist of his love, would make me green, and sappy, 
and joyful, till the summer-sun of an eternal glory break up.' Oh 
that I had anything of Christ ! Oh that I had a sip, or half a 
drop, out of the hollow of Christ's hand, of the sweetness and ex- 
cellency of that lovely One ! Oh that my Lord Jesus would mo 
upon me, and give me but the meanest alms of felt and believed 

I Rxceedinff •hallow. * At hand. * Fall firom bank to bank. 

« Diffieak. bard. * Ariae. 

bvthbrfobd's letters. S61 

BalvatioD ! Oh, how little were it for that infinite Fountain of 
love and joy, to fill as many thousand thousands of little vessels, 
the like of me, as there are minutes of hours since the creation of 
Qod ! I find ' it true, that a poor soul finding* half a smell of the 
Gk)dhead of Christ, hath desires paining and wounding tlie poor 
heart so, wkh longings to be up at him, that make it sometimes 
tliink, were it not better never to have felt anything of Christ, 
than thus to lye dying twenty deaths, under these felt wounds, 
for the want of him! "Oh, where is he? O Fairest, where 
dwellest thou ? O never-enough admired Oodhead, how can clay 
win * up to thee? how can creatures of yesterday be able to enjoy 
thee !" Oh, what pain is it, that time and sin should be so many 
thousand miles betwixt a loved and longed-for Lord, and a dwin- 
inff < and love-sick soul, who would rather than all the world have 
lowing, with Christ! Oh, let this bit of love of ours, this inch 
and half-span length of heavenly longing, meet with thy infinite 
love i Oh, if* the little I have were swaUowed up with the infin- 
iteness of that excellency which is in Christ ! Oh that we little 
ones were in at the greatest Lord Jesus ! Our wants should soon 
be swallowed up with his fulness. 
. Grace, grace oe with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, lUy 1, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — ^I re- 
ceived your letter from Edinburgh. 

J would not wish to see another heaven, whill I get mine own 
heaven, but a new moon like the light of the sun, and a new sun 
like the light of seven days shining upon my poor self, and the 
church of Jews and Gentiles, and upon my withered and sun- 
burnt Mother, the Church of Scotland, and upon her sister- 
churches, England and Ireland; and to have this done, to the 
seuing on high of our great King : it maketh not, howbeit I were 
separate from Christ, and had a sense of ten thousand years* pain 
in Hell, if this were. Oh» blessed nobility ! Oh, glorious, re- 
nowned gentry ! Oh, blessed were the tribes in this land, to wipe 
my Lord Jesus's weeping face, and to take the sackcloth off 
Christ's loins, and to put his kingly robes upon him ! Oh, if* the 
Almighty would take no less wages of me than my heaven to have 
it done! but my fears are still for wrath once upon Scotland. But 
I know that hef day will clear np, and that glory shall be upon 
the top of the mountains, and joy at the noise of the married wife, 

1 FeeL * FeeKng. 

« Ptoiiif . * Oh, that 


once agaia. Oh thai our Lord would make U8 to contend, and 
plead, and wrestle by prayers and tears, for our Husband's restor- 
ing of his forfeited heritage in Scotland. 

Dear brother, I am for the present in no small battle, betwixt 
felt guiltiness, and pining longings and high fevers for my Well- 
beloved's love ! Alas ! I think that Christ's love playeth the nig- 
gard to me, and I know it is not for scarcity of love — there is 
enough in him — but my hunger propbesieth of in-holding and 
sparingness in Christ ; for I have but little of him, and little of 
his sweetness. It is a dear summer with me ; yet there is such 
joy in the eagerness and working of hunger for Christ that I am 
often at this, that if I had no other heaven, than a continual hun- 

Ser for Christ, such a heaven of ever-working hunger, were still a 
eaven to me. I am sure that Christ's love cannot be cruel ; it 
must be a ruing, a pitying, a melting-hearted love : but suspen- 
sion of that love, I think half a hell, and the want of it more than 
a whole hell. When I look to my guiltiness, I see that my salva- 
tion is one of our Saviour's greatest miracles, either in Heaven or 
earth: I am sure I may defy any man to show me a greater won- 
der. But seeing I have no wares, no hire, no money for Christ, 
he must either take me with want^ misery, corruption, or then* 
want me. Oh, if hfe would be pleased to be compassionate and 
pitiful-hearted to my pining fevers of longing for him; or then 
give me a real pawn to keep, out of his own hand, till God send 
a meeting betwixt him and me! But I find neither as yet; how- 
beit he who is absent be not cruel nor unkind, yet his absence is 
cruel and unkind. His love is like itself; his love is his love; 
but the covering and the cloud, the veil and the mask of his love, 
is more wise than kind, if I durst speak my apprehensions. I 
lead no process now against the suspension and delay of God's 
love. I would with all my heart frist' till a day ten heavens, and 
the sweet manifestations of his love. Certainly I think that I 
could give Christ much on his word : but my whole pleading is 
about intimated and borne-in assurance of his love. Oh, if be 
would persuade me of my heart's desire of his love at all, be should 
have the term-day of payment at his own making. But I know 
that raving unbelief speaketh its pleasure, while it looketh upoa 
guiltiness and this body of corruption. Oh, how loathsome and 
burdensome is it to carry about a dead corpse, this old carrion of 
corruption ! Oh how steadable * a thing is a Saviour, to make a 
sinner rid of his chains and fetters ! 

I have now made a new question, whether Christ be more to 
be loved for giving sanctification or for free justification ? And I 
hold that he is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It 
is in some respect greater love in him, to sanctify, than to justify; 
for he maketh us most like himself, in his own essential portrait- 
ure and image in sanctifying us. Justification doth but make us 
lappy, which is to be like angels only ; neither is it such a misery 

1 OUiorwiM. * Oh, that • ^ottpone. « iTMUbk. 

Rutherford's letters. 263 

(o lye a condemned man, and under unforgiven guiltiness, as to 
serve sin, and work the works of the Devil ; and, therefore, I 
think sanctification cannot be bought, it is above price. God be 
thatiked forever, that Christ was a told-down price for sanctifica- 
tion. Let a sinner (if possible) lye in hell forever, if he make 
Iiim truly holy, and let him lye there burning in love to God, re- 

i Dicing in the Holy Ghost, hanging upon Christ by faith and 
lope ; that is heaven in the heart and bottom of Hell. 
Alas ! I find a very thin harvest here, and few to be saved. 
Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his lovely and longed-for Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — 
Although not acquainted, yet at the desire of your worthy sister, 
the Lady Leys, and upon the report of your kindness to Christ 
and his oppressed truth, I am bold to write to you, earnestly de- 
siring you to join with us, Tso many as in these bounds profess 
Christ,) to wrestle with Goa, one day of the week, especially the 
Wednesday, for mercy to this fallen and decayed Kirk, and to 
such as suffer for Christ's name, and for your own necessities, and 
the necessities of others, who are by covenant engaged in that 
business. For we have no other armor in these evil times but 

Erayers, now when wrath from the Lord is gone out against this 
acksliding land ; for ye know we can have no true public fasts, 
neither are the true causes of our humiliation ever laid before the 

Now, very worthy sir, I am glad in the Lord, that the Lord re- 
serveth any of your place, or of note, in this time of common 
apostasy, to come forth in public to bear Christ's name before men, 
when the great men think Christ a cumbersome neighbor, and 
that religion carrieth hazards, trials, and persecutions with it. I 
persuade myself that it is your glory and your garland, and shall 
be your joy in the day of Christ, and the standing of your house 
and seed to inherit the earth, that you truly and sincerely profess 
Christ: — neither is our King, whom the Father hath crowned in 
Mount Zion, so weak, that he cannot do for himself, and his 
own cause. I verily believe that they are blessed who can hold 
the crown upon his head, and carry up the train of his robe royal, 
and that he shall be victorious and triumph in this land. It 
is our part to back our royal King, howbeit there were not six in 
all the land to follow him. It is our wisdom now to take up, 
and discern the Devil and the Antichrist coming out in their 
whites, and the apostasy and idolatry of this land washen ' with 

I Waiibed. 

264 Rutherford's letters. 

foul water: — ^I confess that it is art to wash the Devil till his skin 
be white. 

For myself, sir, I have bought a plea' against Christ, since I 
came hither, in judging my princely Master angry at me, because 
I was cast out of the vineyard as a withered tree, my dumb Sab- 
baths working me much sorrow : but I see now that sorrow hath 
not eyes to read love written upon the cross of Christ; and, there- 
fore, I pass from my rash plea.' Wo, wo is me, that I should 
have received a slander of Chrbt's love to my soul ! And for all 
this, my Lord Jesus hath forgiven all, as not willing to be heard 
with such a fool; and is content to be* as it were, confined with 
me, and to bear me company, and to feast a poor oppressed pris- 
oner. And now I write it under my hand, worthy sir, that I 
think well and honorably of this cross of Christ I wonder that 
he will take any glory from the like of me. I find when he but 
sendetli his hearty commendations to me, and but bloweth a kiss 
afar off, I am confounded with wondering what the supper of the 
Lamb will be, up in our Father's dining-palace of glory, since the 
four-hours* in tnis dismal wilderness, and when in prisons, and 
in our sad days a kiss of Christ are so comfortable. Oh, how 
sweet and glorious shall our case be, when that fairest among the 
sons of men will lay his fair face to our now sinful faces, and 
wipe away all tears from our eyes ! O time, time, run swiftly 
and hasten this day ! O sweet Lord Jesus, come flying like a 
roe or a young hart ! Alas ! that we, blind fools, are fallen in 
love with moonshine and shadows. How sweet is the wind that 
bloweth out of the airth * where Christ is ! Every day we may 
see some new thing in Christ: his love hath neither brim nor 
bottom. Oh, if ^ I had help to praise him ! He knoweth that if 
my sufferings glorify his name, and encourage others to stand fast 
for the honor of our supreme Lawgiver, Christ, my wages theo 
are paid to the full. Sir, help me to love that never enough 
praised Lord. I find now, that the faith of the saints, under suf- 
fering for Christ, is fair before the wind, and with full sails car- 
ried upon Christ: and I hope to lose nothing in this furnace bat 
dross ; for Christ can triumph in a weaker man than I am, if there 
be anv such ; and when all is done, his love paineth me, and 
leavetn me under such debt to Christ, as I can neither pay prin- 
cipal nor interest. Oh, if* he would comprise* myself, and if I 
were sold to him as a bond-man, and that he would take me home 
to his house and fireside ; for I have nothing to render to him ! 
Then, after me, let no man think hard of Christ's sweet cross ; 
for I would not exchange my sighs with the painted laughter of 
all my adversaries. I desire grace and patience to wait on, and 
to lie upon the brink, till the water fill and flow. I know that be 
is fast coming. 

Sir, ye will excuse my boldness; and, till it please God thai I 

I CoDtroTeny. * SUfht 

s Quarter, poiiit of the eoaptM. Oh, Uiat 

ruthebford's lrtters. 865 

§ec you, ye have the prayers of a prisoner of Christ ; to whom I 
recomtnend you, and in whom I rest, 

Yours, at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 

\beideen, May 14, 1637. 



Loving Brother, — Hold fast Christ without wavering, and 
contend for the faith, because Christ is not easily gotten nor kept 
The lazy professor hath put Heaven, as it were, at the very next 
door, and thinketh to fly up to Heaven in his bed, and in a night 
dream ; but, truly, that is not so easy a thing as most men be- 
lieve ; Christ himself did sweat ere he wan this city, howbeit he 
was the free-born Heir. It is Christianity, my heart, to be sincere, 
unfeigned, honest, and upright-hearted before God ; and to live 
and serve God, suppose there was not one man nor woman in all 
the world dwelling beside you, to eye you. Any little grace that 
ve have, see that it be sound and true. Ye may put a difference 
betwixt you and reprobates, if ye have these marks : — 1. If ye 
prize Christ and his truth so as ye will sell all and buy him, and 
suffer for it. 2. If the love of Christ keepeth you back from sin- 
ning, more than the law, or fear of Hell. 3. If ye be humble, 
and deny your own will, wit, credit, ease, honor, the world, and 
the vanity and glory of it. 4. Your profession must not be ba*** 
ren and void of good works. 5. Ye must in all things aim at God's 
honor ; ye must eat, drink, sleep, buy, sell, sit, stand, speak, pray, 
read, and hear the word, with a heart-purpose that God may be 
honored. 6. Ye must show yourself an enemy to sin, and re- 

f)rove the works of darkness, such as drunkenness, swearing, and 
ying, albeit the company should' hate you for so doing. 7. Keep 
in mind the truth of God, that ye heard me teach, and have 
nothing to do with the corruptions and new guises entered into 
the house of God. 8. Make conscience of your calling, in cov- 
enants, in buying and selling. 9. Acquaint yourself with daily 
praying; commit all your ways and actions to God, by prayer, 
supplication, and thanksgiving ; and count not much oi being 
mocked ; for Christ Jesus was mocked before you. 

Persuade yourself that this is the way of peace and comfort 
which I now suffer for. I dare go to death ana into eternity with 
it, though men may possibly seek another way. Remember mo 
in your prayers and the state of this oppressed Church. Grac« 
be with you. 

Your souPs well- wisher, S. R. 





Much Hon)red Sir, — I long to hear how your soul pros- 
t)ereth. I wonder that ye write not to me ; for the Holy Ghost 
oeareth me witness, that I cannot, I dare not, I dow not' 
forget you, nor the souls of those with you, who are redeemed by 
the blood of the great Shepherd : ye are in my heart in the night- 
watches ; ye are my joy and crown in the day of Christ. O Lord, 
bear me witness, if my soul thirsteth for anything out of Heaven, 
more than for your salvation : let God lay me in an even balance, 
and try me in this. 

Love Heaven, let your heart be on it. Up, up, and visit the 
new land, and view the fair city, and the white throne, and the 
Lamb, the bride's Husband, in the Bridegroom's clothes, sitting on 
it It were time that your soul cast itself, and all your burdens, 
upon Christ. I beseech you, by the wounds of your Redeemer, 
and by your compearance* before him, and by the salvation of 
your soul, lose no more time ; run fast, for it is late : God hath 
sworn by himself, who made the world and time, that time shall be 
no more, (Rev. x.) Ye are now upon the very border of the other 
life ; your Lord cannot be blamed for not giving you warning. I 
have taught the truth of Christ to you, and delivered unto you the 
whole counsel of God ; and I have stood before the Lord for you 
and I will yet still stand. Awake, awake to do righteously. 
Think not to be eased of the burdens and debts that are on your 
house, by oppressing any, or being rigorous to those that are 
under you. Remember how I endeavored to walk before you in 
this matter, as an example. " Behold, here am I, witness against • 
me, before the Lord and his Anointed, whose ox or whose ass 
have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I op- 
pressed ?" Who knoweth how my soul feedeth upon a good coo- 
science, when I remember how I spent this body in feeding the 
lambs of Christ? 

At my first entry hither, I grant, I took a stomach against mv 
Lord, because he had casten me over the dyke • of the vineyara, 
as a dry tree, and would have no more of my service ; my dumb 
Sabbaths broke my heart, and I would not be comforted ; but now 
He whom my soul loveth is come again, and it pleaseth him to 
feast me with the kisses of his love. A king dineth with me, and 
his spikenard casteth a sweet smell. The Lord my witness is 
above, that I write my heart to you. I never knew, by my nine 
years' preaching, so much of Christ's love, as he has taught me in 
Aberdeen, by six months' imprisonment. I charge you in Christ's 
name to help me to praise; and show that people and country the 
loving-kindness of the Lord to my soul, that so my sufferings may 

> Am not able. * Appearanoe. * WdL 

Rutherford's letters. 257 

someway preach to them when I am silent. He hath made roe 
to know now^ better than before, what it is to be crucified to the 
world. I would not now give a drink of cold water for all the world's 
kindness. I owe no service to it. I am not the flesh's debtor. 
My Lord Jesus hath daw ted ^ his prisoner, and hath thoughts of 
love concerning me. I would not exchange my sigh? with the 
laughing of adversaries. Sir, I write this to inform you, that ye 
may know that it is the truth of Christ I now suffer for, and that 
be hath sealed my suflering with the comforts of his Spirit on my 
soul — and know that he putteth not his seal upon blank paper. 

Now, sir, I have no comfort earthly, but to know that I have 
espoused, and shall present a bride to Christ in that congregation. 
Tne Lord hath given you much, and, therefore, he will require 
much of you again. Number your talents, and see what you 
have to render back — ye cannot be enough persuaded of the 
shortness of your time. I charge you to write to me, and in 
the fear of God, to be plain with me, whether or not ye have 
made your salvation sure. I am confident, and hope the best ; 
but T know that your reckonings with your Judge are many 
and deep. Sir, be not beguiled, neglect not your one thing, (Phil. 
iii. 13,) your one necessary thing, (Luke x. 42,) the good part 
that shall not be taken from you. Look beyond time. Things 
here are but moonshine : they have but children's wit, who are 
delighted with shadows, and deluded with feathers flying in the 
air. Desire your children, in the morning of their life, to begin 
and seek the Lord, and to remember their Creator in the days of 
their youth ; TEccles. xii. 1,) to cleanse their way, by taking heed 
thereto, accoraing to God's word, Ps. cxix. 9. Youth is a glassy 
age. Satan finds a swept chamber, for the most part, in youth- 
hood, and a garnished lodging for himself and his train. Let the 
Lord have the flower of their age ; the best sacrifice is due to him. 
Instruct them in this, that they have a soul, and that this life is 
nothing in comparison of eternity. They will have much need 
of God's conduct in this world, to guide them by* those rocks upon 
which most men split ; but far more need when it cometh to the 
hour of deatti, and their compearance' before Christ. Oh that 
there were such a heart in them, to fear the name of the great and 
dreadful God, who hath laid up great things for those that love 
and fear him ! I pray that God may be their portion. Show 
others of my parishioners, that I write to them my best wishes, 
and the blessings of their lawful pastor. Say to them from me, 
** That I beseech them, by the bowels of Christ, to keep in mind 
the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, which I taueht them ; that 
so they may lay hold on eternal life, striving together for the faith 
of the Gospel, and making sure salvation to themselves. Walk in 
love, and do righteousness : seek peace : love one another : wait 
for the coming of our Master and Judge. Receive no doctrine 
contrary to that which I delivered to you. If ye fall away and 

» Foodled. • Part. » Appearance. 


268 Rutherford's letters. 

forget it and that Catechism which I taught you, and so forsake 
your own mercy, the Lord be judge betwixt you and me. I take 
Heaven and earth to witness, that such shall eternally perish : 
but if they serve the Lord, great will their reward be, when they 
and I shall stand before our Judge. Set forward up the moun- 
tain, to meet with God ; climb up, for your Saviour calleth on 
you. It may be that God will call you to your rest, when I am 
far from you ; but ye have my love, and the desires of my heart, 
for your soul's welfare. He that is holy, keep you from falling, 
and establish you till his own glorious appearance. 

Your affectionate and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Much Honored Sir, — I long to hear whether or not your soul 
be hand-fasted with * Christ. Lose your time no longer : flee the fol- 
lies of youth : gird up the loins of your mind, and make you ready 
for meeting the Lord. I have often summoned you, and now I 
suntmon you again, to compear' before your Judge to make t 
reckoning of your life. While ye have time, look upon your pa- 
pers, and consider your ways. Oh that there were such an heart 
m you, as to think what an ill-conscience will be to you, when ye 
are upon the border of eternity, and your one foot out of lime! 
Oh then, ten thousand thou:?and floods of tears cannot extinguiA 
these flames, or purchase to you one hour's release from that pain! 
Oh, how sweet a day have ye had ! But this is a fair day 
that runneth fast away : see how ye have spent it^ and consider 
the necessity of salvation ; and lell me, in the fear of God, if ye 
have made it sure. I am persuaded, that ye have a conscience 
that will be speaking somewhat to you. Why will ye die and 
destroy yourself? I charge you, in Christ's name, to rouse op 
your conscience and begin to indent and contract with Christ in 
time, while salvation is in your offer. This is rhe accepted time, 
this is the day of salvation. Play the merchant, for ye cannot 
expect another market-day when this is done. Therefore, let me 
again beseech you, to consider, in this your day, the things thai 
belong to your peace, before they be hid from your eyes. Dear 
brother, fulfil my joy, and begin to seek the Lord while he may 
be found : forsake the Allies of deceiving and vain youth : lay 
hold upon eternal life. Whoring, night-drinking, and the nut- 
spending of the Sabbath, and neglecting of prayer in your hoiue, 
and refusing of an offered salvation, will burn up your soul with 
the terrors of the Almighty, when your awakenea conscience shall 
flee in your face. Be kind and loving to your wife : make cott* 

> Affianced ta * To appear in obedience to a legal 

Rutherford's letters. 269 

science of cherishing her, and not be rigidly austere. Sir, I have 
not a tongue to express the glory that is laid up for you, in your 
Father's house, if you reform your doings, and frame your heart 
to return to the Lord. Ye know that this world is but a shadow, 
a short-living creature, under the law of time. Within less than 
fifty years, when ye look back to it, ye shall laugh at the evan- 
ishing vanities thereof, as feathers flying in the air, and as the 
houses of sand within the sea-mark, which the children of men 
are building. Give up with courting of this vain world ; seek not 
the bastard's movables, but the son's heritage in Heaven. Take 
a trial of Christ. Look unto him, and his love will so change you, 
that ye shall be taken with him, and never, choose to go from 
him. I have experience of his sweetness, in this house of my pil- 
grimage here. My Witness, who is above, knoweth that I would 
not exchange my sighs and tears, with the laughing of the Four- 
teen Prelates. There is nothing that will make you a Christian 
indeed, but a taste of the sweetness of Christ. "Come and see," 
will speak best to your soul. I would fain hope good of you. Be 
not discouraged at broken and spilled ' resolutions ; but to it, and 
to it again. Woo about Christ, till ye get your soul espoused as 
a chaste virgin to him. Use the means of profiting with your 
conscience, pray in your family, and read the word. Remember 
how our Lord's day was spent when I was among you ; it will be 
a great challenge* to you before God, if ye forget the good that 
was done within the walls of your house on the Lord's day, and 
if ye turn aside after the fashions of this world, and if ye go not 
in time to the kirk, to wait on the public worship of God, and if 
ye tarry not at it, till all the exercises of religion be ended. Give 
God some of your time both morning and evening, and afternoon ; 
and in so doing, rejoice the heart of a poor oppressed prisoner. 
Rue upon your own soul, and from your heart fear the Lord. 

Now He that brought again from the dead the great Shepherd 
of his sheep, by the blood of the Eternal Covenant, estabUsh your 
heart with his grace, and present you before his presence with joy. 
Your affectionate, and loving pastor, S. K. 

Abevdean, 1637. 



My Lord, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I am not only 
content, but I exceedingly rejoice, that I find any of the rulers of 
this land, and especially your lordship, so to affect Christ and his 
truth, as that ye dare, for his name, come to yea and nay with 
mooarchs in their face. I hope that He who hath enabled you 
for that, will give more, if ye show yourself courageous, and, (as 

* Spoiled. * AceuMtioo. 


his word speaketh,) a man in the streets for the Lord. But I prajr 

irour lordship, give me leave to be plain with you, as one who 
oveth both your honor and your soul. I verily believe that there 
was never idolatry at Rome, never idolatry condemned in Ciod's 
word by the prophets, if religious kneeling before a consecrated 
creature, standing in room of Christ crucified, in that verv act, 
and that for reverence of the elements, (as our Act clearetb,) be 
not idolatry. Neither will your intention help, which is not of the 
essence of worship; for then, Aaron, saving '' To-morrow shall be 
a feast for Jehovah," that is, for the Golden Calf, should not have 
been guilty of idolatry ; for he intended onlv to decline the lash 
of the people's fury, not to honor the Calf Your intention to 
honor Christ is nothing, seeing that religious kneeling, by God's 
institution, doth necessarily import religious and divine adoration, 
suppose that our intention were both dead and sleeping : otherwise 
kneeling before the image of Crod, and directing prayer lo God, 
were lawful, if our intention go right. My Lord, I cannot in 
these bounds dispute ; but if Cambridge and Oxford, and the 
learning of Britain, will answer this argument, and the argument 
from active scandal, which your lordship seemeth to stand upon, I 
will turn a formalist, and call myself an arrant fool, by doing what 
I have done, in my suflering for this truth. I do much reverence 
Mr. L.'s learning; but, my Lord, I will answer what hewriteihio 
that to pervert you from the truth ; else repute me, beside an hyp- 
ocrite, an ass also. I hope ye shall see something upon that sub- 
ject, if the Lord permit, that no sophistry in Britain shall answer. 
Courtiers' argum^ils, for the most part, are drawn from their own 
skin, and are not worth a straw for your conscience. A marquis's 
or a king's word, when ye stand before Christ's tribunal, shall be 
lighter than the wind. The Lord knoweth that I love your true 
honor, and the standing of your house ; but I would not that your 
honor or house were established upon sand, and hay, and stubble. 
But let me, my very dear, and worthy Lord, most humbly beseech 
you, by the mercies of God, by the consolations of his Spirit, by 
the dear blood and wounds of your lovely Redeemer, by the salva- 
tion of your soul, by your compearance ^ before the awful face of a 
sin-revenging and dreadful Judge, not to set' in coroparisoii to- 
gether your soul's peace, Christ's love, and his kingly honor, now 
called in question, with your place, honor, house, or ease, thai an 
inch of time will make out of the way. I verily believe that 
Christ is now begging a testimony of you, and is sayine, ^ And 
will ye also leave me ?" It is possible that the wind shall not 
blow so fair for you all your life, for coming out and appearing 
before others to back and countenance Christ, the Fairest among 
the sons of men, the Prince of the kings of the earth, (Isa. IL 7«) 
'^ Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their re- 
Tilings." (Yer. 8,) '^ For the moth shall eat them up like a gar- 
ment, and the worm shall eat them like wool." Wnen the Lord 
will begiOi be will make an end, and mow down his adTereariei; 

' Appearanct. 

Rutherford's letters. 261 

and thejr ffhall lie before him like withered hay, and their bloom 
be shaken off them. Consider how many thousands in this king- 
dom ye shall cause to fall and stumble, if ye go with them ; and 
that ye shall be out of the prayers of many who do stand before 
the Lord for you and your nouse ; and, further, when the time of 
your accounts cometh, and your one foot shall be within the bor- 
der o( eternity, and the eye-strings shall break, and the face wax 
pale, and the poor soul shall look out at the windows of the house 
of clay, longing to be out, and ye shall find yourself arraigned 
before the Jud^e of quick and dead, to answer for your putting to 
your hand wiw the rest, confederated against Christ, to the over- 
turning of his Ark, and the loosing of the pins of Christ's taber- 
nacle m this land, and shall certainly see yourself mired in a 
course of apostasy; then, then a king's favor and your worm- 
eaten honor shall be miserable comforters to you. The Lord hath 
enlightened you with the knowledge of his will ; and as the Lord 
liveth, they lead you and others to a communion with Great Ba- 
bel, the Mother of fornications ; and God said of old, and contin^ 
uetb to say the same to you, '^ Come out of her, my people, lest 
ye be partakers of her plagues." Will ye, then, go with them, 
and set your lip to the Whore's golden cup, and drink of the wine 
of the wrath of God Almighty with them ? Oh, poor hungry 
honor! Oh, cursed pleasure! and, oh, damnable ease! bought 
with the loss of God ! How many will pray for you ! What a 
sweet presence shall ye find of Christ under your sufferings, if ye 
will lay down your honors and place at the feet of Christ T— what 
a fair recompense of reward ! I avouch before the Lord, that I am 
now showing you a way how the house of Craighall may stand on 
sure pillars: if ye will set it on rotten pillars, ye cruelly wrong 
your posterity. Ye have the word of a King for an hundred fold 
more in this life, (if it be ^ood for you,) and for life everlasting 
alsa Make not Uhrist a liar, in distrusting his promise. Kings 
of clay cannot back you when you stand before him : a straw for 
them and their hungry heaven, that standeth on this side of time! 
a fig for the day's smile of a worm ! Consider who have gone 
before you to eternity, and would have given a world for a new 
occasion of avouching that truth. It is true they call it not sub- 
stantial, and we are made a scorn to those that are at ease, for 
sufiTering these things for it ; but it is not time to judge of our 
losses by the morning : stay till the evening, and we will count 
with the best of them. 

I have found by experience, since the time of my imprisonment, 
(my Witness is above,) that Christ is sealing this honorable cause 
with another, and a nearer fellowship than ever I knew before ; 
and let God weigh me in an even balance in this, if I would ex- 
change the cross of Christ or his truth, with the Fourteen Prela- 
cies, or what else a king can give. My dear Lord, venture to take 
the wind on your face for Christ I believe that if he should come 
from Heaven in his own person, and seek the charters of Craighall 
from you *ind a dr'<9mission of your place, and ye saw his face, ye 


would fall down at his feet and say, " Lord Jesus, it is too little 
for thee.'' If any man think it not a truth to die for, I am against 
him. I dare £:o to eternity with it, that this day the honor of our 
Lawgiver and King, in the government of his own free kingdom, 
(who should pdy tribute to no dying king,) is the true state of the 
' question. My Lord, be ye upon Christ's side of it, and take the 
word of a poor prisoner, nay the Lord Jesus be surety for it. that 
ye have incomparably made the wisest choice. For my own part, 
I have so been in this prison, that I would be half-ashamed to seek 
more till I be up at the well-head. Few know in this world the 
sweetness of Christ's breath, the excellency of his love, which hath 
neither brim nor bottom. The world hath raised a slander upon 
the cross of Christ, because they love to go to Heaven by dry land, 
and love not sea-storms ; but I write it under my hand, (and would 
say more, if possibly a reader would not deem it hypocrisy,) that 
my obligation to Christ for the smell of his garments, for his love- 
kisses, these thirty weeks, standeth so great, that I should, and I 
desire also to choose to suspend my salvation, to have many 
tongues loosed in my behalf to praise him ; and, suppose in per- 
son I never entered within the gates of the New Jerusalem, yet 
80 being Christ may be set on high, and I had the liberty to cast 
my love and praises forever over the wall to Christ, I would be 
silent and content. But oh, he is more than my narrow praises ! 
O time, time, flee^ swiftly, that our communion with Christ may 
be perfected ! 

I wish that your lordship would urge Mr. L. to give his mind 
in the ceremonies ; and be pleased to let me see it as quickly as 
can be, and it shall be answered. 

To His rich grace I recommend your lordship, and shall re- 

Yours, at all respectful obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, June 8, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — I am sorry that ye, or so many in this kiof- 
dom, should expect so much of me, an empty reed. Verily 1 am 
a noughty * and poor body ; but if the tinkUng of the iron chains 
of my Lord Jesus on legs and arms could sound the high praises 
of my royal King, whose prisoner I am, oh, how would my joy 
run over ! If my Lord would bring edification to one soul by my 
bonds, I am satisfied; but I know not what to do to such i 

trincely and beautiful Well-beloved ; he is far behind with me.' 
little thanks to me, to say to others that his wind bloweth on me, 
who am but withered and dry bones ; but, since ye desire me to 

> FIj. t Being nothing. 

* Hath noC receiTed firom me nearly all his dae. 

.Rutherford's letters. 263 

write to you, either help me to set Christ on high, for his running 
over love, in that the heat of his sweet breath hath melted a fro- 
zen heart, else I think that ye do nothing for a prisoner. 

I am fully confirmed, that it is the honor of our Lawgiver 
which I suffer for now., I am not ashamed to give out letters of 
recommendation of Christ's love, to as many as will extol the 
Lord Jesus and his cross. If I had not sailed this sea-way to 
Heaven, but had taken the land-way, as many do, 1 should not 
have known Christ's sweetness in such a measure ; but the truth 
is, let no man thank me, for I caused not Christ's wind to blow 
upon me: his love came upon a withered creature, whether I 
would or not, (and yet by coming, it procured from me a welcome.) 
A heart of iron, and iron doors, will not hold Christ out. I give 
him leave to break iron locks and come in, and that is all ; and now 
I know not, whether pain of love for want of possession, or sor- 
row that I cannot thank him, paineth me the most ; but both work 
upon me. For the first — Oh that he would come and satisfy the 
longing soul, and fill the hungry with these good things ! I know 
indeed that my guiltiness may be a bar in his way, but he is God, 
and ready to forgive. And for the other — Wo, wo is m^, that I 
cannot find a heart to give back again my unworthy, little love, 
for his great sea-full of love to me ! Oh, that he would learn me 
this piece of gratitude ! Oh, that I could have leave to look in, 
through the hole of the door, to see his face and sing his praises ! 
or could break up one of his chamber windows, to look m upon 
his delighting beauty, till my Lord send more ! — any little com- 
munion with him, one of his love-looks, should be my begun 
heaven. I know that he is not lordly, neither is the Bridegroom's 
love proud, though I be black, and unlovely, and unworthy of 
him. I would seek but leave, and withal grace, to spend my love 
upon him. I counsel you to think highly of Christ, and of free, 
free grace, more than ye did before : for I know that Christ is not 
known amongst us. I think that I see more of Christ than ever 
I saw ; and yet I see but little of what may be seen. Oh, that 
he would draw by* the curtains, and that the King would come 
out of his gallery and his palace, that I might see him ! Christ's 
love is young glory and young heaven ; it would soften Hell's 
pain to be filled with it. What would I refuse to suffer, if I could 
get but a draught of love at my heart's desire ? Oh, what price 
can be given for him ! Angels cannot weigh him. Oh, his 
weight, his worth, his sweetness, his overpassing beauty ! If men 
and angels would come and look to that great and princely One, 
their ebbness * could never take up his depth, their narrowness 
could never comprehend his breadth, height, and length. If ten 
thousand thousand worlds of angels were created, they might all 
tire themselves in wondering at his beauty, and begin again to 
wonder.of new. Oh, that I could win nigh' him, to kiss his feet, 
to hear his voice, to feel the smell of his ointments ! But oh, 
alas, I have little, little of him ! yet I long for more. 

1 A«ide. t Sballownef« * \^'ere able to come near. 

264 Rutherford's letters, t 

Remember my bonds, and help me with your praycre ; for I 
would not niffer * or exchange my sad hours with tne joy of my 
velvet adversaries. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord JesuSi S. R. 

Abcfdeen, June 10, 1637. 



Worthy, and much honored, — Grace, mercy, and peace be 
to you. — 1 received your letter from my brother, to which I now 
answer particularly. 

I confess two things of myself: — 1st, Wo, wo is me, that men 
should think there is anything in me ! He is my witness, before 
whom I am as crystal, that the secret house-devils, that bear me 
too often company, that this sink of corruption which I find 
within, make me go with low sails ; and if others saw what I see, 
they would look by' me, but not to me. 

2ndly, I know that this shower of his free grace behooved to be 
on me, otherwise I should have withered. I know, also, that I 
have need of a buffeting tempter, that grace may be put to exer- 
cise, and I kept low. 

Worthy, and dear brother in our Lord Jesus, I write that from 
my heart, which ye now read. Ist, I vouch that Christ, and 
sweating and sighing under his cross, is sweeter to me bv far, than 
all the kingdoms in the world could possibly be. 2ndly, if yoo, 
and my dearest acquaintance in Christ, reap any fruit by my suf- 
fering, let me be weighed in God's even balance, if my joy be not 
fulfilled. What am I to carry the marks of such a great King? 
But, howbeit I am a sink and sinful mass, a wretched captive of 
sin, my Lord Jesus can hew heaven out of worse limber than I am 
— if worse can be. 3rdly, I now rejoice with joy unspeakable and 
glorious, that I never purposed to bring Christ or the least hooi^ 
or hair-breadth of truth, under trysting:* I desire to have and 
keep Christ all alone ; and that he should never rub clothes with 
that black-skinned harlot of Rome. I am now fully paid home, 
80 that nothing aileth me, for the present, but love-sickness for a 
real possession of my fairest well-beloved. I would give him my 
bond, under my faith and hand, to frist* Heaven an hundred 
years longer, so being he would lay his holy face to my sometimes 
wet cheeks. Oh, who would not pity me, to know how fain I 
would have the King shaking the tree of life upon me, or letting 
me into the well of life with my old dish, that I might be drunken 
with the fountain, here, in the house of my pilgrimage ! I can- 

« Barter. « 

I Rutherford rejoiced that he never attempted to csompromifle the least jot or tiltli 
of Divine truth by tubjectin^ it to aiij mere human arrani;em«nt. 
4 ThfrUt, to pmrtpone enjoyment ot' a thing under the hope of ulcimately < 


not, nay, I wou d not, be quit of Christ's love. He hath left the 
mark behind where he gripped. > He goeth away and leaveth me 
and his burning love to wrestle together, and I can scarce win my 
meat* of his love, because of absence. My Lord giveth me but 
hungry half-kisses, which serve to feed pain, and increase hunger, 
but do not satisfy my desires ; his dieting<of my soul for this race 
makeCh me lean. I have gotten the wale and choice* of Christ's 
crosses, even the ty the and the flower of the gold of all crosses, to • 
bear witness to the tmth : and herein find I liberty, joy, access, 
life, comfort, love, faith, submission, patience, and resolution to 
take delight in on-waiting ; and withal in my race he hath come 
near me, and let me see the gold and crown. What then want I, 
but fruition and real enjoyment, which is reserved to my coun- 
try?^ Let no man think he shall lose at Christ's hands in suf- 
fering for him. 4thly, As for these present trials, they are most 
dangerous ; for people are stolen off their feet with well washen * 
and white-skinned pretences of indifferency : — but it is the power 
of the great Antichrist working in this land. Wo, wo, wo be to 
apostate Scotland ! There is wrath, and a cup of the red wine of 
the wrath of God Almighty in the Lord's hand, that they shall 
drink and spue, and fall and not rise again. The star called 
wormwood and gall, is fallen into the fogntaios, and rivers, and 
hath made them bitter. The sword of the Lord is furbished 
against the idol-shepherds of the land. Women shall bless the 
barren womb and miscarrying breast ; all hearts shall be faint, 
and all knees shall tremble. An end is coming: the leopard and 
the lion shall watch over our cities : houses great and fair, shall 
be desolate without an inhabitant. The Lord hath said, ^^Pray 
not for this people, for I have taken my peace from them :" yet 
the Lord's third part shall come through the fire, as refined gold 
for the treasure of the Lord. And the outcasts of Scotland shall 
\)e gathered together again, and the wilderness shall blossom as 
the flower, and bud, and grow as the rose of Sharon — and great 
shall be the glory of the Lord upon Scotland. 5lhly, I am here 
assaulted with the learned and pregnant wits of this kingdom; 
but, all honor h& to my Lord, truth but laughs at bemisted* 
and blind scribes, and disputers of this world : and God's wisdom 
confoundeth them, and Christ triumpheth in his own strong truth, 
thai speakcth for itself. 6lhly, I doubt not that my Lord is pre* 
paring me for heavier trials. I am most ready at the good pleas- 
ure of my Lord, in the strength of his grace, for anything he 
will be pleased to call me to; neither shall the last black-raced 
messenger, Death, be holden at the door, when it shall knock. If 
my Lord will take honor of the like of me, how glad and joyful 
will my soul be ! Let Christ come out with me to a hotter battle 
than this, and I will fear no flesh. I know that my Master shall 

> Caught, held fost * Earn my bare ttvolttiood. 

< The very best that could be chosen. 

« Retened for him in Heaven, (Heb. zl 16.) * Washed. 

* InvolTed in mift 


win the day, and that he hath taken the ordering of my sufler- 
ings into his own hand. 7thly, As for my deliverance that mis- 
carrieth, I am here, by my Lord's grace, to lay my hand on my mouth, 
to be silent, and wait on. My Lord Jesus is on his journey for 
my deliverance : I will not grudge that he runneth not so fast as 
I would have him ; on-waiting till the swelling rivers fall, and till 
my Lord arise as a mighty man after strong wine, will be my 
.best : — I have not yet resisted to blood. Slhly, Oh, how often am 
I laid in the dust, and urged by the tempter, (who can ride his 
own errands upon our lying apprehensions,) to sin against the 
unchangeable love of my Lord! when I think upon the sparrows 
and swallows, that build their nests in the kirk of Anwoih, and 
of my dumb Sabbaths, my sorrowful bleared eyes look asquint 
upon Christ, and present him as angry. But in this trial — all 
honor to our princely and royal King — faith saileth fair before 
the wind, with top-sail up, and carrieth the passenger through. 
I lay inhibitions upon my thoughts, that they receive no slanders 
of my only, only beloved. Let him even say out of his own 
mouth, "There is no hope f yet I will die in that sweet beguile,* 
" It is not so, I shall see the salvation of God." Let me be de- 
ceived really, and never win* to dry land ; it is my joy to believe 
under the water, and to die with faith in my hand gripping* 
Christ. Let my conceptions of Christ's love go to the grave with 
me, and to Hell with me, I may not, I dare not quit them. I hope 
to keep Christ's pawn : if he never come to loose it, let him see 
to his own promise. I know that presumption, howbcit it be 
made of stoutness, will not thus be wilful in heavy trials. 

Now my dearest in Christ, the great Messenger of the Cove- 
nant, the only wise, and all-sufficient Jehovah, establish you to 
the end. I hear that the Lord hath been at your house, and hath 
called home your wife to her rest. I know, sir, that ye see the 
Lord loosing the pins of your tabernacle, and wooing your love 
from this plastered, and over-gilded world, and calling upon yoa 
to be making yourself ready to go to your Father's country, which 
shall be a sweet fruit of that visitation. Ye know, " To send the 
Comforter," was the King's word when he ascended on high ; ye 
have claim to, and interest in, that promise. 

Remember my love in Christ to your father. Show him that 
it is late, and black night with him. His long lying at the water- 
side, is that he may look his papers ere he take shipping, and be 
at a point for his last answer before his Judge and Lord. 

All love, all mercy, all grace, and peace, all multiplied saving 
consolations, all joy and faith in Christ, all stability, and confirm- 
ing strength of grace, and the good-will of Him that dwelt in the 
bush, be with you. 

Your unworthy brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, June 15 1637. 

1 Delaskm. i Get * HoUiog iWL 

Rutherford's letters. 267 



Worthy, and Dearest in the Lord, — I ever loved, (sinr/6 
I knew you,) that little vineyard of the Lord's planting in uallo- 
way ; but now much naore, since I have heard that he who hath 
hb fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem, hath been pleased to 
set up a furnace amongst you with the first in this kingaom. He 
who maketh old things new, seeing Scotland an old, drossy and 
rusted Kirk, is beginning to make a new, clean bride of her, and 
to bring a young, chaste wife to himself out of the fire. This fire 
shall be quenched as soon as Christ has brought a clean spouse 
through the fire ! Therefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, feai 
not a worm. " Fear not worm, Jacob." Christ is in that plea, 
and shall win the plea. Charge an unbelieving heart, under 
the pain of treason against our great and royal King Jesus, to de- 
pendence by faith, and quiet on-waiting on our Lord. Get you 
mto your chambers, and shut the doors about you. In, in with 
speed to your strong hold, ye prisoners of hope. Ye doves, flee 
unto Christ's windows till the indignation be over, and the storm 
be past. Glorify the Lord in your sufferings, and take his banner 
of love, and spread it over you. Others will follow you, if they 
see you strong in the Lord. Their courage will take life from 
your Christian carriage. Look up and see who is coming ! Lift 
up your head. He is coming to save, in garments dyed m blood, 
and travelling in the greatness of his strength. I laugh, I smile, 
I leap for joy, to see Christ coming to save you so quickly. Oh, 
such wide^ steps Christ taketh ! Three or four hills are but a 
step to him : he skippeth over the mountains. Christ hath set a 
battle betwixt his poor weak saints and his enemies. He waleth* 
the weapons for both parties, and saith to the enemies, ^' Take 
you a word of steel, law, authority, parliaments, and kings upon 
your side, that is your armor f and he saith to his saints, " I 
give you a feckless* tree-sword* in your hand, and that is suf- 
lering, receiving of strokes, spoiling of your goods; and with 
your tree-sword* ye shall get and gain the victory." Was not 
Christ dragged through the ditches of deep distresses and 
great straits? and yet Christ, who is your head, hath won 
through* with his life, howbeit not with a whole skin. Ye are 
Christ's members, and he is drawing his members through the 
thorny hedge up to Heaven after him. Cl^rist one day will not 
have so much as a pained toe ; but there are great pieces and por- 
tions of Christ's mystical body not yet within the gates of the 
great high city, the New Jerusalem : and the Dragon will strike 
at Christ, so long as there is one bit, or member oi Christ's body 

1 Long. t Seleeteth. • F^ble. 

« Wooden swoid. * 7b tvin (knugh, to ftruggle through. 

out of Heaven. I tell you, Christ .will make new work out of 
old, for-ca^ten * Scotland, and gather the old broken boards of his 
tabernacle, and pin them, and nail them together. Our bills and 
supplications are up in Heaven ; Christ hatn coflfers full of them : 
there is mercy on the other side of this his cross ; a good answer 
to all our bills is agreed upon. 

I must tell you what lovely Jesus, fair Jesus, King Jesus, has 
done to my soul. Sometimes he sendeth me out a standing 
drink,* and whispereth a word through the wall ; and I am weU 
content of kindness at the second hand — his bode * is ever welcome 
to me, be what it will. But at other times he will be messen^r 
himself, and I get the Cup of salvation out of his own hand, (he 
drinking to me,) and we cannot rest till we be in others arms — 
ahd oh, how sweet is a fresh kiss from his holy mouth ! His 
breathing that ffoeth before a kiss upon my poor soul, is sweet, 
and hath no fault, but that it is too short. I am careless, and 
stand not much on this, howbeit loins and back, and shoulders, 
and head should rive in pieces in stepping up to my Father's 
house. I know that my Lord can make long, and broad, and 
high, and deep glory to his name, out of this bit feckless* body — 
for Christ looketh not what stuff he maketh glory out of. 

My dearly beloved, ye hav^ often refreshed me, but this is put 
up in my Master's account ; ye have him debtor for me : but if 
ye will do anything for me, (as I know ye will,) now in my ex- 
tremity, tell all my dear friends, that a prisoner is fettered and 
chained in Christ's love, — Lord, never loose the fetters ! — and ye 
and they together take my heartiest corrunendations to my Lord 
Jesus, and thank him for a poor friend. 

I desire your husband to read this letter. I send him a prisoo* 
eHs blessing. I will be obliged to him if he will be wiUing to 
suffer for my dear Master. Suffering is the professor's golden gar* 
ment ; there shall be no losses on Christ's side of iL Ye have 
been witnesses of much joy betwixt Christ and me at communion- 
feasts, the remembrance whereof, (howbeit I be feasted in secret,) 
hoUeth* my heart; for I am put from the board-head* and the 
King's first mess to his by-board,' and his broken meat is sweet 
unto me. I thank my Lord for borrowed crumbs, no less than 
when I was feasted at the communion table at Anwoth and 
Kirkcudbright. Pray that I may get one day of Christ in pub- 
lic, as I have had long since, before my eyes be closed. Oh, 
that mv Master would take up house again, and lend me the 
key^ii oi his wine-cellar again, and God send me borrowed drink 
till then! 

Remember my love <o Christ's kinsmen with you. I pray for 
Christ's Father's blessing to them all. Grace be with you: a 
prisoner's blessing be with vou. I write It, and abide by it, God 
will be glorious in Marion Macknaught, when this stormy Uast 

1 Ponaken, eait awa j i A slight refrethment, to be taken ahinJif . 

* Ofer at a sale « Weal, feeble. • PkretllL 

i Head of tie table. v 8ida table. 

Rutherford's letters. 269 

•hall be over. O woman beloved of God, believe, rejoice, be sirong 
in the Lord ! Grace is thy portion. 

Your brother, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 
Aberdeen, Jane 15, 1637. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I dare not say 
that I wonder that ye have never written to me in my bonds, be* 
cause I am not ignorant of the cause ; yet I could not but write 
to you. I know not whether joy or heavinesd in my soul carrieth 
it away : sorrow, without any mixture of sweetness, hath not 
often love-thoughts of Christ ; but I see that the Devil can insin- 
uate himself, and ride his errands upon the thoughts of a poor 
distressed prisoner. 

I am wo ' that I am making Christ my unfriend,* by seeking 
pleas' against him, because I am the first in the kingdom put to 
utter silence ; and because I cannot preach my Lord's righteous- 
ness in the great congregation. I am, notwithstanding, the less 
solicitous how it go, if there be not wrath in my cup. But I know 
that I but claw my wounds when my Physician hath forbidden 
me ; I would believe in the dark upon luck's head, and take my 
hazard of Christ's good-will, and rest on this, that in my fever my 
Physician is at my bed-side, and that he sympathizeth with me 
when I sigh. My borrowed house, and another man's bed and 
fire-side, and other losses, have no room in my sorrow ; a greater 
heat to cast out a less fire, is a good remedy for some burning. I 
believe, that when Christ draweth blood, he hath skill to cut the 
right vein ; and that he hath taken the whole ordering and dis- 
posing of my sulferings. Let him tutor me, and tutor my crosses, 
as he thinketh good. There is no danger nor hazard in following 
such a guide, howbeit he should lead me through Hell, if I could 
put faith foremost, and fill the field with a quiet on-waiting, and 
believing to see the salvation of God. I know that Christ is not 
obliged to let me see both the sides of my cross, and turn it over 
and over that I may see all. My faith is richer to live upon 
credit, and Christ's borrowed money, than to have much on hand. 
Alas ! 1 have forgotten that faith in times past hath stopped a 
leak in my crazed bark, and hath filled my sails with a fair wind. 
I see it a work of God that experiences are all lost, when sum- 
mons of improbation, to prove our charters of Christ to be counter- 
feits, are raised against poor souls in their heavy triab : but let 

« Oriered. 

t Nol a firiend. This wmd doce not denote inch a degree ofhatred at b implied in 
the woid •* enemfu** • auarrcla. 


me be a sinner, and worse than the chief of sinners, yea, a guilty 
devil, I am sure that my wcll-beloved is God; and when I say that 
Christ is God, and that my Christ is God, I have said all things, I 
can say no more. 

I would that I could build as much on this, my Christ is God, as 
it would bear ; I might lay all the world upon it. I am sure, that 
Christ untried, and untaken-up in the power of his love, kindness, 
mercies, goodness, wisdom, long-suffering and greatness, is the 
rock that dim-sighted travellers dash their foot against, and so 
stumble fearfully. But my wounds are sorest, and pain me most 
when I sin against his love and mercv ; and if he would set rae 
and my conscience by the ears together, and resolve not to red 
the plea,^ but let us deal it betwixt us, my spitting upon the fair 
face of Christ's love and mercies by my jealousies,* unbelief and 
doubting would be enough to sink me. Oh, oh, I am convinced, O 
Lord, I stand dumb before thee for this, let me be mine own judge 
in this, and I take a dreadful doom upon me for it ; for 1 still 
misbelieve,' though I have seen that my Lord bath made my 
cross as if it were all crystal, so as I can see through it Christ's 
fair face and Heaven, and that God hath honored a lump of sinful 
flesh and blood, the like of me, (o be Christ's honorable lord-pris- 
oner. I ought to esteem the walls of the thieves' hole, (if I were 
shut up in it,) or any stinking dungeon, all hung with tapestry, 
and most beautiful, for my Lord Jesus ; and yet lam not so shut 
up but that the sun shineth upon my prison, and the fair wide 
heaven is the covering of it. But my Lord, in his sweet visits, 
hath done more ; for he maketh me to find that he will be a con- 
fined pri:$oner with me. He lyeth down and riseth up with me : 
when I sigh he sigheth ; when I weep, he suflfereth with me; and 
I confess that here is the blessed issue of my sufferings already 
begun, (hat my heart is filled with hunger and desire to have him 
glorified in my sufferings. 

Blessed be ye of the Lord, madam, if you would help a poor 
dyvour,* and cause others of your acquaintance in Christ to help 
me to pay my debt of love, even real praises to Christ my Lord. 
Madam, let me charge you in the Lord, as ye shall answer to him, 
to help me in this duty, (which he hath tied about my neck, with 
a chain of such singular expressions of his loving kindness,) to 
set on high Christ, to hold in my honesty at his hands ; for I have 
nothing to give to him. Oh, that he would arrest and comprise* 
my love and my heart for all ! I am a dyvour,* who have no 
more free goods in the world for Christ, save that ; it is both the 
whole heritage I have, and all my movables besides. Lord, give ^ 
the thirsty man a drink. Oh, to be over the ears in the well! 
Oh, to be swattering,* and swimming over head and ears in 
Christ's love ! I would not have Christ's love entering into me, 
but J would enter into it, and be swallowed up of that love. But 

1 Settle whieh if in the raalt. * SiMMeioiM. 

* Th misbdUve, not to beUeve aright or (Villy. * BaiikrapC 

* Legally attacli for debt 

* TV awatUr, to flutter and dabble over head in water, at doeka do^ 

Rutherford's letters. 271 

I see not myself here ; for I fear I make more of his love than of 
himself; whereas himself is far beyond and much better than his 
love. Oh, if* I had my sinful arms filled with that lovely One, 
Christ ! Blessed by my rich Lord Jesus, who sendeth not away 
beggars from his house with a toom ' dish. He fiUeth the vessels 
of such as will come and seek. We might beg ourselves rich, (if 
we were wise,) if we could hold out our withered hands to Christ, 
and learn to suit* and seek, ask and knock. I owe my salvation for 
Christ's glory, I owe it to Christ ; and desire that my hell, yea, a 
new hell, seven times hotter by far than the old Hell, might buy 
praises before men and angels to my Lord Jesus ; providing al- 
ways that I were free of Christ's hatred and displeasure. What 
am 1, to be forfeited and sold in soul and body, to have my great 
and royal King set on high and extolled above all ? Oh, if* I 
knew how high to have him set, and all the world far, far beneath 
the soles of his feet ! Nay, I deserve not to be the matter of his 
praises, far less to be an agent in praising of him. But he can 
win* his own glory out of me, and out oi worse than I, (if any 
such be,) if it please his holy majesty so to do : — he knoweth that 
I am not now flattering him. 

Madam, let me have your prayers, as ye have the prayers and 
blessing of him that is separated from his brethren. Grace, grace 
be with you. 

Your own, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

D, June 15, 1637. 



Reverend, and dear Brother, — Grace mercy and peace 
be to you. — I received yours of April 11th, as I did another of 
March 25th, and a letter for Mr. Andrew Cant. 

I am not a little grieved that our Mother-church is running so 
quickly to the brothel-house, and that we are hiring lovers, and 

B'ving gifts to the great Mother of fornications. Alas, that our 
usband is like to quit us so shortly ! It were my part, (if I were 
able,) when our Husband is departing, to stir up myself to take 
hold of him, and keep him in tnis land ; for I know him to be a 
sweet second, and a lovely companion to a poor prisoner. 

I find that my extremity hath sharpened the edge of his love 
and kindness, so that he seemeth to devise new wsnrs of expressing 
the swieetness of his love to mv soul. Suffering K>r Christ is the 
very element wherein Christ's love liveth, and exerciseth itself, in 
casting out flames of fire, and sparks of heat, to warm such a fro> 

t Oh. that. * Emplj. 

* To wge a reqoMt. ^ * Earn. 


zen heart as I have ; and if Christ weeping in sackcloth be sd 
sweet, I cannot find any imaginable thoughts to think what he 
will be, when we day-bodies, (having put off mortality,^ shall come 
up to the marriage-ball and ^reat palace, and behold the King 
clothed in his rol^ royal, sittmg on his throne. I would desire 
no more for my heaven beneath the moon, while I am sighing in 
this house of clay, than daily renewed feasts of love with Christ, 
and liberty now and then to feed my hunger with a kiss of thai 
fairest face, that is hke the sun in his strength at noon-day. I 
would willingly subscribe an ample resiraation to Christ of the 
Fourteen Prelacies of this land, and of all the most delightful 
pleasures on earth, and forfeit my part of this clay-god, this earth, 
which Adam^s foolish children worship, to have no other exercise 
than to lye on a love-bed with Christ, and fill this hungered and 
famished soul with kissing, embracing, and real enjoying of the 
Son of God : and I think that then, I might write to my friends, 
that I had found the Gblden World, and look out and laugh at the 
poor bodies, who are slaying one another for feathers. For verily, 
brother, since I came to this prison, I have conceived a new and 
extraordinary opinion of Christ, which I had not before; for I per- 
ceive, we frist* all our joys to Christ, till he and we be in our own 
house above, as married parties, — thinking that there is nothing 
of it here to be sought or found, but only hope and fair promises ; 
and that Christ will give us nothing here but tears, sadness, and 
crosses ; — and that we shall never feel the smell of the flowers of 
that hi^h garden of paradise above, till we come there. Nay, but 
I find that it is possible to find young glory, and a young green 
paradise of joy, even here. I know that Christ's kisses will cast 
a more strong and refreshful* smell of incomparable glory and 
oy in Heaven, than they do here ; because a drink of the Well of 
ife up at the well's head, is more sweet and fresh by far, than that 
which we get in our borrowed, old, running-out vessels, and our , 
wooden dishes here ; yet I am now persuaded, it is our folly to 
frist' all till the term-day, seeing abundance of earnest will not 
diminish anything of our principal sum. We dream of hunger in 
Christ's house, while we are here, although he alloweth feasts to 
all the bairns, within God's household : it were good, then, to store 
ourselves with moe borrowed kisses of Christ, and with raoe bor- 
rowed visits, till we enter heirs to our new inheritance, and our 
Tutor put us in possession of our own, when we are past minority. 
Oh, that all the young heirs would seek more, and a greater, and 
a nearer communion with my Lord Tutor, the prime Heir of all, 
Christ ! 1 wish that, for my part, I could send you, and that gen- 
tleman who wrote his commendations to me, into the King's inner- 
most cellar, and house-of-wine, to be filled with love ; — a drink of 
this love is worth the having indeed. We carry ourselves but too 
nicely with Christ our l^rd ; and our Lord lovetb not niceneaa^ 
and dryness, and unconess' in friends. Since need-force that we 

^ Fsitpooo. ' ITiifrnihifn 


Rutherford's letters. 273 

must be in Christ's common/ then le( us be in his common ;^ for 
it will be no otherwise. 

Now, for ray present case in my imprisonment, — deliverance, 
(for any appearance that I see,) looketh cold-like.* My hope, if it 
looked to, or leaned upon men, would wither soon at the root, like 
a May-flower; yet I resolve to solace myself with on-wailing on 
my Lord, and to let my faith swim where it loseth ground. I am 
under a necessity either of fainting, (which I hope my Master, of 
whom I boast all the day, will avert,) or then* to lay my faith 
upon Omnipotency, and to wink and stick by my grip.* And I 
hope that my ship shall ride it out, seeing Christ is willing to 
blow his sweet wind in my sails, and mendeth and closeth th« 
leaks in my ship, and ruleth all. It will be strange if a believing 
passenger be casten ' overboard. 

As for your master, my Lord and my Lady, I shall be loath to 
forget them. I think my prayers, (such as they are,) debt due to 
him ; and I shall be far more engaged to his Lordship, if he be 
fast for Christ, (as I hope he will,) now when so many of his coat 
and quality slip from Christ's back, and leave him to fend for* 

I entreat you to remember my love to that worthy gentleman, 
A. C, who saluted me in your letter : I have heard that he is one 
of my Master's friends, for the which cause I am tied to him. I 
wish that he .may more and more fall in love with Christ. 

Now for your question : — As far as i rawly conceive, I think 
that God is praised two ways ; 1st, By a concionaP profession of 
bis highness before men, such as is the very hearing of the word, 
and receiving of either of the sacraments ; in which acts, by pro- 
fession, we give out to men, that he is our God, with whom we 
are in covenant, and our Lawgiver. Thus eating and drinking 
in the Lord's Supper, is an annunciation and profession before 
inen, that Christ is our slain Redeemer. Here, because God speak- 
eth to us, not we to him, it is not a formal thanksgiving, but an 
annunciation, or predication of Christ's death, concional,^ not 
adorative, neither hath it God for the immediate object, and, there- 
fore, no kneeling can be here. 

2ndly, There is another praising of God, formal, when we are 
either formally blessing Goa, or speaking his praises. And this 
I take to be twofold : — 1. When we directly and formally direct 
praises and thanksgiving to God. This may well be done kneel- 
mg, in token of our recognizance of his highness ; yet not so, but 
that it may be done standing or sitting, especially seeing joyful 
elevation, (which should be in praising,) is not formally signified 
by kneelihg. 2. When we speak good of God, and declare his 
glorious nature and attributes, estolling hiin before men, to excite 
men to conceive highly of him. The former I hold to be worship 
every way immediate, else I know not any immediate worship at 

1 VntUr obligation to Christ * Most hopeless. * Otherwist. 

4 To shat my eyes. hoUl on with mS^t and main, and abide by the conscquencea. 
• Cast • Shift for. t Declarative in, or by act of, a public assembly. 



all : the latter hath God for the subject, not properly the object, 
seeing the predication is directed to men immediately, rather than 
to God, for here we speak of God by way of praising, rather than 
to God. And for my own part, as I am, for the present, minded, 
I see not how this can be done kneeling, seeing it is pretdicaiio 
Dei et Christie non laudatio aut benediciio Dei. But observe 
that it is formal praising of God, and not merely concioual,' as I 
distinguished in the first member ; for, in the first member, any 
speakmg of God, or of his works of creation, providence, add re- 
demption, is indirect and concional ^ praising of him, and formally 
preaching, or an act of teaching, not an act of predication of his 
praises ; for there is a difference betwii^ the simple relation of the 
virtues of a thing, which is formally teaching, and the extolling 
of the worth of a thing, by way of commendation, to cause others 
to praise with us. 

Thus recommending you to God's sweet grace, I rest, 

Yours, in his sweet Xiord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jnne 15, 1637. 



Much honored, and dearest in my Lord, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to you. — My soul longeth exceedingly to bear bow 
matters go betwixt you and Christ; and whether or not there bo 
any work of Christ in that parish, that will bide the trial of fire 
and water. Let me be weigned of my Lord in a just balance, if 
your souls lye not weighty upon me. Ye go to bed and ye rise 
with me : thoughts of your soul, (my Dearest in our Lord,) depart 
not from me in my sleep ; ye have a great part of my tears, sigha, 
supplications, and prayers. Oh, if > I coula buy your soul's sal- 
vation with any suffering whatsoever, and that ye and I might 
meet with joy up in the rainbow, when we shall stand before oar 
Judge ! Oh, my Lord forbid, tliat I have any hard thing to de- 
pone * against yon in that day ! Oh, that He wL o quickeneth the 
dead, would g^ve life to my sowing among you ! What joy ii 
:here, (next to Christ,) that standeth on this side of death, which 
would comfort me more, than that the souls of that poor peopb 
were in safety, and beyond all hazard of being lost ! 

Sir, show the people this ; for when I write to you, I think 1 
write to you all, old and young. Fulfil my joy, and seek the 
Lord. Sure I am, that once I discovered my lovely, royal, princely 
Lord Jesus to you all. Wo, wo, wo shall be your part of it fee 
evermore, if the Gospel be not the savor of life unto life to jroo. 
As man] sermons as I preached, as many sentences as I uttered* 

1 Declarative in, or bj act o^ a pabGc a«eiiiblj. * Oil, tkai. 

* To dcpoce, to witneaa. 

rt7Therford's letters 275 

M man^ points of dittay ^ shall they be, when the Lord shall 
plead with the world, for the evil of their doings. Believe me, I 
find Heaven a city hard to be won. ''The righteous shall 
scarcely be saved." Oh, what violence of thronging will Heaven 
take ! Alas ! I see nmny deceiving themselves ; for we will all 
to Heaven now. Every foul dog with his foul feet will in at the 
nearest, to the new and clean Jerusalem. All say they have faith ; 
a*id the greatest part in the world know not, and will not con^ 
eider, that a slip in the matter of their salvation, is the most piti- 
able slip that can be ; and that no loss is comparable to this loss. 
Oh then, see that there be not a loose pin in the work of your 
salvation ! for ye will not believe how quickly the Judge will come ; 
and for yourself, I know that death is waiting, and hovering, and 
lingering at God's command, that ye may be prepared. Then ye 
had neal to stir your time, and to take eternity and death, to your 
riper advisement : a wrong step, or a wrong stot,* in going out of 
this life, is, in one property, like the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
and can never be lorgiven, because ye cannot come back again 
through the last water to mourn for it. I know your accounts are 
many, and will take telling, and laying, and reckoning betwixt 
you and your Lord. Fit your accounts, and order them. Lose 
not the last play, whatever ye do, for in that play with death your 
precious soul is the prize : for the liord's sake spill * not the play, 
and lose not such a treasure. Ye know, that out of love which 1 
had to your soul, and out of desire which I had to make an 
hotiest account of you, I testified my displeasure and disliking of 
your ways very often, both in private and public : I am not now 
a witness of your doings, but your Judge is always your witness. 
1 beseech you by the mercies of God, by the salvation of vour soul, 
by your comforts when your eye-strings shall break, and the face 
wax pale, and the soul shall tremble to be out of the lodging of 
clay, and by your compearance* before your awful Judge, after 
the sight of this letter, to take a new course with your ways, and 
now, in the end of your day, make sure of Heaven. Examine 
yourself if ye be in good earnest in Christ ; for some, (Heb. vi. 4, 
5,) are partakers of the Holy Ghost, and taste of the ^ood word of 
God, and of the powers of the life to come, and yet have no part 
in Christ at all. Many think they believe, but never tremble ; the 
devils are farther on than these, (James ii. 19.) Make sure to 
yourself that ye are above ordinary professors. The sixth part of 
your span-length and hand-breadth of days is scarcely before you : 
— haste, haste, for the tide will not bide.* Put Christ upon aU 
your accounts and vour secrets. Better it is that you give him 
your accounts in this life, out of your own hand, than that, after 
ibis life, he take them from you. I never knew so well what sin 
was, as since I came to Aberdeen, howbeit I was preaching of it 
to you. To feel the smdke of Hell's fire in the throat for half an 

> Indieiiiieiit * Morement Sioi ngnifiet the rebounding of a WIL 

* Spoil, niin. ^ Appearance in obe&noe to legal citation. 

• Stay, wait 


hour ; to stand before a river of fire and brimstOBe broader Cluui 
the earth ; and to think to be bound hand and foot, and casieD 
into the midst of it quick, and then to have God looking the prh3oii« 
door, never to be opened for ail eternity ! Oh how it will shako 
a conscience that hath any life in it i I find the fruits of rajr 
pains to have Christ and that people once fairly met, now meet 
my soul in my sad hours : and 1 rejoice that 1 gave fair warning 
of all the corruptions now entering into Christ's house ; and now 
many a sweet, sweet, soft kiss, many perfumed, weU-sinelied 
kisses, and embracements have 1 received of my royal Master. 
He and 1 have had much love together. I have for the pretieni a 
sick dwining ' life, with nmch pain, and much love sickness foe 
ChrisL Oil, what would 1 g^ve to have a bed made to my wea- 
ried soul, in his bosom ! 1 would frist * Heaven for many yeara, 
to have my fill of Jesus in this hfe, and to have occasion to otfer 
Christ to my people, and to woo many people to ChrisL I cannot 
tell you what sweet pain, and delightsome torments are in Christ's 
love ; 1 often challenge * time that holdeth us asunder. 1 profess 
to you, 1 have no rest, 1 have no ease, whill 1 be over head and 
ears in love's ocean. If Christ's love, (that fountain of delight,) 
were laid as open to me as 1 would wish, oh, how I would drmk, 
and drink abundantly ! oh, how drunken would this my soul be! 
I half call « his absence cruel; and the mask and veil on Christ's 
face a cruel covering, that hideth such a fair face from a sick 
soul. I dare not challenge * himself, but his absence is a moun- 
tain of iron upon my heavy heart. Oh, when shall we meet? 
Oh, how long is it to the dawning of the marriage-day ! O sweet 
Lord Jesus, take wide^ steps; O my Lord, come over mountains 
at one stride ! O my Beloved, flee like a roe, or a young hart, oa 
the mountains of separation.* Oh, it' he would fold the Ueavisni 
together like an old cloak, and shovel time and days out of the 
way, and make ready in haste the Lamb's wife for iier Husband 1 
Since he looked upon me, my heart is not mine own, he haih run 
away to Heaven with it. i know it was not for nothing liiat 1 
spake so meikle' good of Christ to you in public. Oh, if* the 
Heaven, and the Heaven of heavens were paper, and the sea 'uik| 
and the multitude of mountains pens of brass, and 1 able to wriu 
that paper, withui and without, full of the prnises of my iairesl, 
my dearest, my lovehest, my sweetest, my matchless, and my 
most marrowless • and marvellous Well-beloved 1 Wo is me, 1 can- 
not set him out to men and angels ! Oh, there are few tongues 
to sing love-songs of his incomparable excellency ! What can 
I, poor prisoner, do to exalt him 1 or what course can 1 iaka 
to extol my lofty and lovely Lord Jesus'/ I am put lo luy wk's 
end, how to get his name made great. Blessed they, who woold 
help me ir this I How sweet is Christ's back ! Oh| what tbea 

t PiBing. 

* 'I\>/nd^ to poitpone, with the confidence however, of alUayitolj o hU i a ia f fa» 
tfiiin • 7^ ckaiUng€ to call in qy— twn. * AIs mH vaa. 

* Long. « Song oi' bol. iL 17. * Ob, I 

* MilcL. * Peeneae, unequalled. 


is in his face? Those that see his face, how dbw ' they get their 
eye plucked off him again 1 Look up to him and love bun. Oh, 
love and live ! It were life to me if you would read this letter to 
that people, and if they did profit b^ it. Oh, if * I could cause 
them to die of love for Jesus ! Charge them by the salvation of 
their souls, to hang about Christ's neck, and take their fill of bis 
love, and follow him, as I taught them. Part by no means with 
Christ Hold fast what ye have received. Keep the truth once 
delivered. If ye or that people quit it in a hair, or in a hoo^ ye 
break your conscience in twain ; and who then can mend it, and 
cast ' a knot on it ? My dearest in the Lord, stand fast in Christ ; 
keep the faith; contend for Christ; wrestle for him, and take 
men's feud for God's favor : there is no comparison betwixt these. 
Oh that the Lord would fulfil my joy, and keep the young bride 
that is at Anwoth to Christ. 

And now, whoever they be, that have returned to the old vomit 
since my departure, I bind upon their back, in my Master's name 
and authority, the long-lasting, weighty vengeance, and curse of 
God : in my Lord's name I give them a black, unmixed, pure 
wrath, which my Master will ratify and make good, when we 
stand together before him, except they timously* repent, and turn 
to the Jjord. And I write to thee, poor mourning and broken- 
hearted believer, be thou who thou wilt, of the free salvation. 
Christ's sweet balm for thy wounds, O poor humble Believer; 
Christ's kisses for thy watery cheeks : Christ's blood of atonement 
for thy guilty soul; Christ's Heaven for thy poor soul, though 
once banished out of Paradise ; and my Master will make gcrad 
my word ere long. Oh that people were wise ! Oh that people 
were wise! Oh that people would speer out' Christ, and never 
rest whill they find him. Oh, how my soul will mourn in secret, 
it my nine vears' pained head, and sore* breast, and pained back, 
and grieved heart, and private and public prayers to God, will all 
be for nothing among that people ! Did my Lord Jesus send me 
but to summon you before your Judge, and to leave you summons 
at your houses ? Was I sent as a witness only to gather your 
dittays ? * Oh, may God forbid ! Often did I tell you of a fan of 
God's word to come among you, for the contempt of it. I told 
you often of wrath, wrath from the Lord, to come upon Scotland ; 
and yet I bide by my Master's word ; it is quickly coming. Desola- 
tion for Scotland, because of the quarrel of a broken covenant. 

Now, worthy sir, now my dear people, my joy, and my crown 
in the Lord, let him be your fear. Seek the Lord, and his face — 
save your souls. Doves ! flee to Christ's windows. Pray for me, 
and praise for me. The blessing of mv God, the prayers and 
blessing of a poor prisoner, and your lawful pastor, be upon you. 
Your lawful, and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, June 16, 1637. 

• Arvableto. < Oh, that • Tie. 

« In time, eeMonablj. * To lipeer oii/, to diiooTer bj diligent inqoir?. 

• AeUnc. T Indictments. 

STB euthbrford's letters. 




Much Honored, and Well-beloved in the Lord, — Grace, 
mercy, and peace be to you. — Your letters give a dash to my lazi- 
ness ID writing. I must first tell you, that there is not such a 
glassy, icy, and slippery piece of way betwixt you and Heaven, as 
youth ; and I have experience to say with me here, and to seal 
what I assert. The old ashes of the sins of my youth are now 
fire of sorrow to me. I have se^ the Devil, as it were, dead and 
buried, and yet rise again, and be a worse devil than ever he was ; 
— therefore, my brother, beware of a green young devil, that hath 
never been buried. The Devil in his flowers, (I mean the hoc, 
fiery lusts and passionf of youth,) is much to be feared. Better 
yoke with* an old gray-haired, withered, dry devil: for in youth he 
findeth dry sticks, and dry coals, and a hot hearth-stone; and how 
soon can he with his flint cast fire,' and with his bellows blow it 
up, and fire the house ? Sanctified thoughts, thoughts made con- 
science of, and called in, and kept in awe, are green fuel that bum 
not, and are a water for Satan's coal. Yet I must tell you, that 
the whole saints now triumphant in Heaven, and standing before 
the throne, are nothing but Christ's forlorn and beggarly dyvours.* 
What are they but a pack of redeemed sinners; but their re- 
demption is not only past the seals, but completed ; and yours is 
on the wheels, and in doing. 

All Christ's good bairns go to Heaven with a broken brow, and 
with a crooked leg. Christ hath an advantage of you, and I pray 
you to let him have it, he will find employment for his calling in 
you. If it were not with you as ye write, grace should find no 
sale nor market in you ; but ye must be content to give Christ 
somewhat to do. I am glad that he is employed that way. Let 
your bleeding soul and your sores be put in the hand of this expert 
Physician ; kt young and strong corruptions and his free grace be 

foked together, and let Christ and your sins deal it betwixt thera. 
shall be loath to put you off your fears, and your sense of dead- 
uess — I wish it were more ; — there be some wounds of that nature, 
that their bleeding should not be soon stopped. You must take a 
house beside the Physician. It will be a miracle if ye be the first 
sick man whom he put away uncured, and worse than he found 
you. Nay, nay, Christ is honest, and in that is fly ting-free* with 
sinners, (John vi. 37,) " And him that cometh unto me I will in no 
wise cast out." Take ye that. It cannot be presumption to take 
that as your own, when you find that your wounds stound* you. 
Presumption is ever whole at the heart, and hath but the truant- 

> 7b yoke with, to engage (n conflict with. > 7b coW j|r<, to fliiikt in. 

> BanknipU. 

« BlameleM, and, therefore, entitled to chide or rebuke one that ii not ao. 
* 7b $totmd, suddenlj and intermittent I j to pain. 

Rutherford's letters. 279 

sickness/ and groaneth only for the fashion :' failh hath sense of 
sickness, and lookelh like a fciend to the promises ; and looking to 
Christ therein is glad to see a known face. Christ is as full a feast 
as ye can have to hunger. Nay, Christ, I say, is not a full man's 
leavings ; his mercy sendeth always a letter of defiance to all your 
sins, if there were ten thousand moe^ of them. 

1 grant you that it is a hard matter for a poor hungry man to 
win his meat* upon hidden Christ: for then, the key of his pan- 
try-door, and of the house-of-wine, is a-seeking, and cannot he 
had; but hunger must breakthrough iron locks. 1 bemoan them 
Dot who can make a din, and all the fields ado,' for a lost Saviour. 
Ye nmst let him hear it, (to say so,) upon both sides of his head, 
when he hideth himself; it is not time then to be bird-mouthed* and 
patient. Christ is rare indeed, and a delicacy to a sinner. He is 
a miracle, and a world's wonder to a seeking and a weeping sin- 
ner ; but yet such a miracle as shall be seen by them, who will 
come and see. The seeker and sigher, is at last a singer and en- 
joyer — nay, I have seen a dumb man get alms from Christ. He 
that can tell his tale, and send such a letter to Heaven as he hath 
sent to Aberdeen, it is very like he will come speed ^ with Christ : 
it bodeth God's mercy to complain heartily for sin. Let wrestling 
be with Christ till he say, " How is ii, sir, that I cannot be quit 
of your bills, and your misleared* cries ?" and then hope for Christ's 
blessing, and his blessing is better than ten other blessings. Think 
not shame * becau:f>e of your guiltiness : necessity must not blush 
to beg: it standelh you hard to he without Christ; and, therefore, 
that which idle on-waiting cannot do, misnurtured ** crying and 
knocking will do. 

And for doubting?, because you are not as you were long since 
with your Master, consider three things: 1st, What if Christ had 
such tottering thoughts of the bargain of the New Covenant be- 
twixt you and him, as you have? 2ndly, Your heart is not the 
compass which Christ sailcth by. He will give you leave to sing 
as you please, but he will not dance to your daft " spring. It is 
not referred to you and your thoughts, what Christ will do with 
the charters betwixt you and him : your own misbelief hath torn 
them ; but he hath Che principal in Heaven with himself. Your 
thoughts are no parts of the New Covenant : dreams change not 
Christ. 3rdly, Doubtings are your sins, but they are Christ's 
drugs, and ingredients that the Physician maketh use of for the 
curing of your pride. Is it not suitable for a beggar to say at 
meat, '* God reward the winners?"" for then he saith that he 
knoweth who beareth the charges of the house. It is also meet 

' Kei^ofd ficknetA. » For the Bnkft of «ppoarancc«. 

• MoTf. < To earn his livclilinotJ. 

* Thfit if>, can fill all the fields with their outcries, in allusion to the hellowings of 
UkUle whf-n they have lost their mates. * Mealy-mouthed. 

' Succipd, pros(>f>r. 

• Ill-bred, unmannerly, implyin(( also the idea of greediness. 

* B<- not ashamed. ><> Unsubdued. " Foolish. 

n That is. - Grod reward the givers " The phrase is formed uiion the principle laid 
down in Acts xx. 35, " It is more bleaseii to give than to receive. ' 

280 Rutherford's letters. 

that ye should know, by experience, that faith is not nature^s ill- 
gotten bastard, but your Lord's free gift, that lay in the womb of 
God's free grace — praised be the Winner.* I may add a 4thly : In 
the passing of your bill and your charters, when they went through 
tb^ Mediator's great seal, and were concluded, faith's advice was 
not sought: faiih hath not a vote beside Christ's merits: blood, 
blood, dear blood, that came from your Cautioner's* holy body, 
maketh that sure work. The use, then, which ye have of faith 
now, (having already closed with Jesus Christ for justification,) is, 
to take out a copy of your pardon ; and so ye have peace with 
God upon the account of Christ: for, since faith apprehendeth 
pardon, but never payeth a penny for it, no marvel that salvation 
doth not die and live, ebb or flow, with the working of faith. But 
because it is your Lord's honor to believe his mercy, and his fidel- 
ity, it is infinite goodness in our Lord, that misbelief* giveth a dash 
to our Lord's glory, and not to our salvation. And so^ whoever 
want, (yea, howbeit God here bear with the want of what we are 
obliged to give him, even the glory of his grace by believing.) yet 
a poor covenanted sinner wanteth not ; but if guiltiness were r^ 
moved, doubtings would find no friend, nor life; and yet faith is to 
believe the removal of guiltiness, in Christ. A reason why ye get 
less now (as ye think) than before (as I take it) is, because, at our 
first conversion, our Lord putteth the meat in young bairns' mouths 
with his own hand : but when we grow to some further perfection, 
we must take Heaven by violence, and take by violence from 
Christ what we get ; and he can, and doth hold, because he will 
have us to draw. Remember now that ye must live upon violent 

f>lucking. Laziness is a greater fault now than long since. We 
ove always to have the pap put in our mouth. 

Now for myself; alas! I am not the man I go for in this na- 
tion ; men have not just weights to weigh me in. Oh, but I am 
a silly feckless « body, and overgrown with weeds; corruption w 
rank and fat in me. Oh, if' I were answerable to this holy 
oause, and to that honorable Prince's love for whom I now suffer! 
If Christ should refer the matter to me, (in his presence I speak 
it,) \ might think shame* to vote my own salvation. I think 
Christ might say, " Thinkcat thou not shame* to claim Heaven, 
who doest so little for it?" I am very often so, that I know not 
whether I sink or swim in the water. I find myself a ba<? of 
light froth. I would bear no weight, (but vanities, and nothings 
weigh in Christ's balance,) if my Lord cast not in borrowed weio^nt 
and metal, even Christ's righteousness, to weigh for me. The 
stock I have is not mine own ; I am but the merchant that tniF- 
ficketh with other folks' goods : if my creditor, Christ, should lake 
from me what he hath lent, I should not long keep the cause- 
way,^ but Christ hath made it mine and his. I think it man« 

> That is, Christ, who has meriteil :,7 won a right to bocome the dispenser of the gifts 
of God's free grace. 

• Surctv's. * Weak faith. « Wenk, pithless. t Oh, thaL 

* Be ashamed. ^ Appear, without shame or fear, in publie. 

Rutherford's letters. 281 

bood to play the coward, and jouk* in the lee-side of Christ , and 
thas I am not only saved from my enemies, but I obtain the vic- 
tory, I am so empty that I think it were an ahns-deed in Christ, 
if he would win a poor prisoner's blessing for evermore, and fill 
me with his love. I complain that when Christ cometh, he com- 
eth always to fetch fire; ne is ever in haste, he may not tarry; 
and poor I, (a beggarly dyvour,*] get but a standing visit and a 
standing kiss, and but, "How doest thouT' in the by-going.* I 
dare not say he is lordly, because he is made a king now at tl>e 
riglit hand of God ; or is grown miskenning^ and dry to his poor 
friends ; (for he cannot make more of his kisses than they are 
worth ;) but I think it my happiness to love the love of Christ : and 
when he goeth away, the memory of his sweet presence is like a 
feast in a dear summer. I haw comfort in this, that my soul de- 
sireth that every hour of mv imprisonment were a company of 
heavenly tongues to praise him on my behalf; albeit, my bonds 
were prolonged for many hundred years. Oh, that I could be the 
man who could procure my Lord's glory to flow like a full sea, 
and blow like a mighty wind upon all the four airths* of Scot- 
land, England, and Ireland ! Oh, if* I could write a book of his 
[^raises. O fairest among the sons of men, why stayest thou so 
ong away? O heavens, move fast! O time, run, run, and 
hasten the marriage-day ! for love is tormented with delays. O 
angels, O seraphims, who stand before him, O blessed spirits who 
now see his face, set him on high ! for when ye have worn your 
harps in his praises, all is too little, and is nothing, to cast the 
smell of the praise of that fair flower, that fragrant rose of Sharon, 
through many worlds ! 

Sir, take my hearty commendations to him, and tell him that 
I am sick of love. 
Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

AbodMD, June 16, 1637. 



Dearest, and truly Honored Brother, — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be to you. I have seen no letter from you since I came 
to Aberdeen : I will not interpret it to be forgetfulness. Tam here 
in a fair prison : Christ is my sweet and honorable fellow-prisoner, 

^ Thjotik, to iocKne the body forward by m iiiddeB motion, in order to aroid a ilrolM, 
or Ukvary. * Bankrupt. > Patainf . 

* So proud as not to condeaeend to acknowledgo aoqaaintanea with. 

* Four <|uanen ot cardinal pointa of the eompaee. * Oh, lh«t 


and T his sad and joyful lord-prisoner,* (if I may speak so.) 1 
think this cross becometh me well, and is suitable to me in respect 
of my duty to suffer for Christ; howbeit not in regard of m^ de- 
serving to be thus honored. However it be, I see that Chnst is 
strong, even lying in the dust, in prison, and in banishment. 
Losses and disgraces are the wheels of Christ^s triumphing charioL 
In the sufferings of his own saints, as he intendeth their good, so 
he intendeth his own glory, and that is the butt his arrows shoot 
at : and Christ shooteth not at the rovers,' he hitteth what he 
purposeth to hit ; therefore, he doth make his own feckless* and 
weak nothings, and those who are the contempt of men, " a new 
sharp threshing instrument, having teeth, to thresh the moun- 
tains, and beat them small, and to make the hills as chaff, and to 
fan them," (Isaiah xli. 15, 16.) What harder stuff, or harder 
grain for threshing out, than high and rocky mountains 7 but the 
saints are God's threshing instruments to beat them all into chaff 
Are we not God's leem ^ vessels ? and yet when they cast us over 
an house we are not broken into sherds. We creep in under our 
Lord's wings in the great shower, and the water cannot come 
through those wings. It is folly then for men to say, '^ This is 
not Christ's plea, he will lose the wed-fee ;' men are like to be- 
guile him" — that were infleed a strange play. Nay, I dare pledge 
my soul, and lay it in pawn on Christ's side of it, and be half- 
tinner,* half-winner wiln.my Master ! Let fools laugh the fool's 
laughter, and scorn Christ, and bid the weeping captives in Baby- 
lon '' sing us one of the songs of Zion, play a spring to cheer up 
your sad-hearted Gtod." We may sing upon luck's-head' before- 
hand even in our winter-storm, in the expectation of a summer 
sun, at the turn of the year. No created powers in Hell, or out 
of Hell, can mar the music of our Lord Jesus, nor spill* our soog 
of joy. Let us then be glad, and rejoice in the salvation of our 
Lord : for faith had never yet cause to have wet cheeks and hing- 
ing * down brows, or to droop or die. What can ail iaith, seeing 
Christ suffereth himself, (with reverence to him be it spoken,) to 
be commanded by it, and Christ commandeth all things ? Faith 
may dance, because Christ singeth ; and we may come into the 
choir, and lift our hoarse and rough voices, and chirp, and sing, 
and shout for joy with our Lord Jesus. We see oxen go to the 
shambles leaping and startling;*® we see God's fed oxen, pre- 
pared for the day of slaughter, go dancing and singing down to 
the black chambers of Hell ; and why should we go to Heaven 
weeping, as if we were like to fall down through the earth for 
sorrow ? If God were dead, (if I may speak so, with reverence 
of Him who liveth forever and ever,) and Christ buried, and rot- 
ten among the worms, we might have cause to look like dead 
folks : but, *' the Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock of our sal- 

> That is, treated bj Christ with the ereatest kindness and honor. * At raadoa. 

• UnsubsUntial, feeble. * Ear&en. • Bet, wa^r. • Hah'f 
V That is, upon certiintj of soeoess. > Ruin, spoil. 

• Hanging. ** Running about in an exciteii, gladaooM m 


▼aiioii.'' (Psakn xviiir46.) None have right to joy but we ; for joy 
is sown for U9, and an ill summer or harvest will not spUl ^ the crop. 
The children of this world have much robbed joy that is not well« 
x>me.* It is no good sport they laugh at : they steal joy, as it 
were, from God ; for he commandelh them to mourn and howl. 
Then let us claim our leel-corae* and lawfully conquessed • joy. 
My dear brother, I cannot but speak what I have felt ; seeing 
my Lord Jesus hath broken a box of spikenard upon the head of 
his poor prisoner, and it is hard to hide a sweet smell ; it is a pain 
to smother Christ's love ; it will be out whether we will or not. 
If we did but speak according to the matter, a cross for Christ 
should have another name; yea, a cross, especially when he 
Cometh with his arms full of joys, is the happiest hard tree that 
ever was laid upon my weak shoulder. Christ and his cross to- 
gether are sweet company, and a blessed couple. My prison is 
my palace, my sorrow is with child of joy, my losses are rich 
losses, my pain easy pain, my heavy days are holv and happy 
days. I may tell a new tale of Christ to my friends. Oh, iP I 
could make a love son^ of him, and could commend Christ, and 
tune his praises aright! Oh, if < I could set all tongues in Great 
Britain and Ireland to work, to help me to sing a new song of my 
Well-beloved ! Oh, if* I could be a bridge over a water for my 
Lord Jesus to walk upon, and keep his feet dry ! Oh, if « my poor 
bit . heaven could go betwixt my Lord and blasphemy, and dis- 
honor ! (upon condition he loved me.) Oh, that my heart could 
say this word, and abide by it forever ! Is it not great art, and 
incomparable wisdom in my Lord, who can bring forth such fair 
apples out of this crabbed tree of the cross ? Nay, my Father's 
never-enough admired providence can make a fair feast out of a 
black devil. Nothing can come wrong to my Lord in his sweet 
working. I would even fall sound asleep in Christ's arms, and 
my sinful head on his holy breast, while he kisseth me ; were it 
not that often the wind turneth to the north, and whiles my sweet 
Lord Jesus is so, that he will neither give nor take, borrow nor 
lend with me. I complain that he is not social ; I half call him 
proud and lordly of his company, and nice of his looks ; which 
yet is not true. It would content me to give, albeit he should not 
take. I should be content to want his kisses at such times, pro- 
viding he would be content to come near-hand, and take my 
wersh,' dry, and feckless* kisses. But at that time he will not be 
entreated, but let a poor soul stand still and knock, and never let* 
on him ' that he heareth ; and then the old leavings and broken 
meat, and dry sighs, are greater cheer than I can tell. All I have 
then is that howbeit the law and wrath have gotten a decreet' 
against me, 1 can yet Uppen * that meikle '* goiSi in Christ, as to 

1 Rain, tpoO. * Lawfully obtained. 

> Obtained by porehaae or industrr, in opposition to obtained by inhentaneo. 
« Oh, that • InnpUl. • Feeble, pithlcM. 

V Seem to take notice. * Sentence of a court. 

* Th l^ipm in, to put confidence in. >* Much. 


get a suspension/ and to bring my cause in teasoning again be- 
fore my WeU-beloved. I desire but to be heard, and at last be 
is content to come and agree the matter with a fool, and forgive 
freely, because he is God. Oh, if* men would glorify him, and 
taste of Christ's sweetness ! 

Brother, ye have need to be busy with Christ for this whoriah 
Kirk. I fear lest Christ cast water upon Scotland's coal ; nay, I 
know that Christ and his wife will be heard, he will plead for the 
broken CovenanU Arm you against that time. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord JeauSy S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jane 16, 1637. 


TO MR. J. R. 

Dear Brothbr, — Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you. — ^UpoQ 
the report which I hear of you, ^without any further acquamt- 
ance, except our straitest bonds m our Lord Jesus^) I thought 
good to write unto you, hearing of your danger to be thrust out 
of the Lord's house for his name's sake : therefore, my earnest and 
humble desire to God is, that ye may be strengthened in the grace 
of God, and, by the power of his might, may go on for Christ, not 
standing in awe of a worm that shall die. I hope that ye will not 
put your hand to the ark to give it a wrong totch,' and to over- 
turn it, as many now do, when the archers are shooting sore at 
Joseph, whose bow shall abide in its strength. We owe to our 
royal King and princely Master a testimony. Oh, how blessed 
are they who can ward a blow off Christ, and his borne-down 
truth ! Men think Christ a gone man^ now, and that he shall 
never get up his head again ; and they believe that his cour * is 
failed, because he suffereth men to break their spears and swords 
upon him, and the enemies to plough Zion, and make long and 
deep their furrows on her back. But it would not be so, if the 
Lord had not a sowing for his ploughing. What can he do, but 
melt an old drossy Kirk, that he may brm^ out a new bride out 
of the fire again ! I think that Christ is lust now repairing bis 
bouse, and exchanging his old vessels with new vessels, and is 
going tiirough this land, and taking up an inventory and a roll 
of so many of Levi's sons, and good professors, that he may make 
. them new work for the Second Temple ; and whatsoever shall be 
found not to be for the work shall be caslen* over the walL When 
the house shall be builded, he will lay by^ his hammers, as hav* . 

1 Decree of a court suspending the tiecution of a sentence. > Oh, ihak 

> A sudJen push, so tts to ronke the object pushed at move. 

« A man utterly overcooia or conquered. * Favor in cout. 

• Thrown. "* Aside. 


iDg no more to do wfth them. It is possible that he may do worse 
to them than lay them by : and I think the vengeance of the 
Lord, and the vengeance of his temple, shall be upon them. 

I desire no more than to keep weight when I am past the fire : 
and I can now, in some weak measure, give Christ a teslimoniaP 
of a lovely and loving companion under suffering for him. I saw 
bim before, but afar off! His beauty to my eye-sight growelh 
A fig, a straw for ten worlds' plastered glory, and for childish shad- 
ows, the idol of clay, (this god, the World,) that fools fight for. If 
\ had a lease of Christ of my own dating, (for whoever once cometh 
nigh hand * and taketh a hearty took of Christ's inner side, shall 
never wring nor wrestle themselves out of his love-grips • again,) 
[ would rest contentedly in my prison : yea, in a prison without 
light of sun or candle, providing Christ and I had a love-bed, not 
of mine, but of Christ's own making ; that we miffht lie together 
among the lilies till the day break, and the shadows dee away. 
Who knoweth how sweet a drink of Christ's love is? Oh, but to 
live on Christ's love is a king's life ! The wors^t thing of Christ, 
even that which seemeth to be the refuse of Christ, his hard cross, 
his black cross, is while and fair ; and the cross receiveth a beau- 
tiful lustre, and a perfumed smell from Jesus : — my dear brother, 
scaur ^ not at it. 

While ye have time to stand upon the watch-tower, and speak, 
contend with this land, plead with your Harlot-mother, who hath 
been a treacherous half-marrow* to her Husband, Jesus. For I 
would think liberty, to preach one day, the root and top of my 
desires ; and would seek no more of the bkssings that are to be 
had on this side of time, till I be over the water, than to spend 
this, my crazy clay-house, in his service and saving of souls. But 
I hold my peace, because he hath done it. My shallow and ebb* 
thoughts are not the compass which Christ saileth by. I leave 
his ways to himself, for they are far, far above me : only I would 
contend with Christ for his love, and be bold to make a plea' with 
Jesus, my Lord, for a heart-fill of his love ; for there is no more 
left to me. What standeth beyond the far end* of my sufferings, 
and what shall be the event, he knoweth ; and I hope, to my joy, 
will make me know, when God will unfold his decrees concerning 
me ; for there are windings, and tos and fros in his ways, which 
blind bodies like us cannot see. 

Thus much for farther acquaintance: so recommending you, 
and what is before you, to the grace of God, I rest, 
Your very loving brother. 

In his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jane 16, 1637. 

1 Ceftifleate. * Near. * Lovv-emlirarie. 

« Boggle. * Married partner. * Eieeedinglx thallow 

V CeiKwveivj. * Farther end. 





Reverend, and Well-beloved Brother, — Grace, mercyi 
and peace be ubto you. — I have heard somewhat of your triala in 
Galloway. I bless the Lord, who hath begun first in that comer, 
to make you a new kirk to himself. Christ hath the less ado be 
hind, when he had refined you. 

Let me entreat you, my dearly beloved, to be fast to Christ 
My Witness is above, my dearest brother, that ye have added 
much joy to me in mv bonds, when I hear that ye grow in the 
grace, and zeal of God for your Master. Our minbtry, whether 
by preaching or suffering, wilt cast a smell through the world both 
of Heaven and Hell, (2 Cor. ii. 15, 16.) I persuade you, my dear 
brother, that there is nothing out of Heaven, next to Christ, dearer 
to me than my ministry ; and the worth of it, in my estimation, 
is swelled, and paineth me exceedingly : yet I am content, for the 
honor of my Lord, to surrender it back again to the Lord of the 
vineyard ; let him do with it, and me both, what he thinketh good ; 
— I think myself too little for him. 

And let me speak to you, how kind a fellow-prisoner is Christ 
to me ! Believe me, this kind of cross, (that would not go by * my 
door, but would needs visit me,) is still the longer the more wel- 
come to me. It is true, my silent Sabbaths have been, and are, 
glassy ice, whereon my faith can scarce hold its feet, and I am 
often blown on my back, and off my feet, with a storm of doubting ; 
yet truly, my bonds all this time cast a mighty and rank smell of 
high and deep love in Christ. I cannot, indeed, see through my 
cross to the far end ;' yet I believe I am in Christ's books, and in bu 
decree (not yet unfolded to me) a man triumphinflr, dancing, jind 
singing, on the other side of the Red Sea, and laughing and prais- 
ing the Lamb, over beyond time, sorrow, deprivation, prelates* in- 
dignation, losses, want of friends, and death. Heaven is not a 
fowl flying in the air, ^as men use to speak of things that are un- 
certain:) nay, it is well-paid for, Christ's comprisement* lieth oo 
glory, for all the mourners in Zion and shall never be loosed. 
Let us be glad, and rejoice, that we have blood, losses and wounds, 
to show our Master and Captain at his appearance, and what we 
sufiered for his cause. 

Wo is me, my dear brother, that I say often, I am but dry 
bones, which my Lord will not bring out of the grave again ; and 
that my faithless fears say, '^ Oh, 1 am a dry tree, that can bear 
no fruit ; I am a useless body, who can beget no children to the 
Lord in his house !" Hopes of deliverance look cold and uncet taiOt 
and afar off, as if I had done with it. It is much for Christ (if I 

> Past s FftftlMrend. 

> Legal attaehiDnt for debt 


may say so) to get law-borrows * o£ my sorrow, and of my quar- 
relous heart. Christ's love playeth me fair play. I am not 
wronged at all ; but there is a tricking^ and false heart within me, 
thut still playeth Christ foul play, f am a cumbersome neighbor 
to Christ ; it is a wonder, that he dwelleth beside the like of me : 
yet I often get the advantage of the hill above my temptations ; 
and then I despise temptation, even Hell itself, and the stink of 
it, and the instruments of it, and am proud of my honorable Mas- 
ter ; and I resolve, whether contrary winds will or not, to fetch 
Christ's harbor ; and I think a wilful and stiff contention ^ith my 
Lord Jesus for bis love very lawful. It is sometimes hard to me 
to win my meat* upon Christ's love, because my faith is sick, and 
my hope withereth, and my eyes wax dim ; and unkind and com- 
fort-eclipsing clouds go over the fair and bright Sun, Jesus ; and 
then, when! and temptation tryste* the matter together, we spilh 
all through unbelief. Sweet, sweet for evermore would my life 
be, if I could keep faith in exercise ! but I see that my fire cannot 
always cast light ; I have even a poor man's hard world when he 
goeth away. But surely, since my entry hither, many a time hath 
niy fair sun shined without a cloud ; hot and burning hath Christ's 
love been to me. I have no vent to the expression of it ; I must 
be content with stolen and smothered desires of Christ's glory. 
Oh, how far is his love behind the hand * with me I I am just 
like a man who hath nothing to pay his thousands of debt : all 
that can be gotten of him, is to seize upon his person. Except 
Christ woulcf seize upon myself, and make the readiest payment 
that can be of my heart and love to himself, 1 have no other thing 
to give him. If my sufferings could do beholders good, and edify 
liis Kirk, and proclaim the incomparable worth of Christ's love to 
the world, oh, then, would my soul be overjoyed, and my sad 
heart be cheered and calmed ! 

Dear brother, I cannot tell what is become of my labors among 
that people I If all that my Lord builded by me be casten* down, 
and the bottom be fallen out of the profession of the parish, and 
none stand by Christ, whose love I once preached as clearly and 
plainly as I could, (though far below its worth and excellence,) 
to that people ; if so, how can I bear it ! And if another make a 
foul harvest, where I have made a painful and honest sowing, it 
will not soon digest with me. But I know^that his ways pass 
finding out. Yet my Witness, both within me and above me, 
knoweth, and my |/ained breast upon the Lord's day at night, my 
desire to have had Christ awful, and amiable, and sweet to that 
people, is now my joy. It was my desire and aim to make Christ 
and them one, and, if I see my hopes die in the bud, ere thev 
bloom * a little, and come to no fruit, I die with grief. O my God, 

> Legal McariCj which a man ii obliged to gire to one who awcan the peaea 
against him, that he will not injure him in penon or propertj. 

* Ram my living. 

* 7\» Irytii a matter^ to bring it for adjnitment before an appointed meeting. 

* SpoiL • That is, in receiving its due retam. > Thrown. ^ Blc 

Rutherford's letters. 

seek not an account of the violence done to me by my brethren, 
whose salvation I love and desire : I pray that they and I be not 
heard as contrarv parties in the day of our compearance ' before 
our Judge, in that process, led by them against my ministry, 
which 1 received from Christ. I know that a little inch, and less 
than the third part of this span-length and hand-breadth of time, 
which is posting away, will put me without the stroke, and above 
the reach of either brethren or foes : and it is a short-lasting in- 
jury done to me, and to my pains in that part of ray Lord's vine- 
yard. Oh, how silly * an advantage, is my deprivation to men, 
seeing that my Lord Jesus hath many ways to recover his own 
losses, and is irresistible to compass his own glorious ends, that his 
lilv may grow amongst thorns, and his little Kingdom exalt it- 
self, even under the swords and spears of contrary powers ! 

But, my dear brother, so on in the strength of his rich grace 
whom ye serve. Stand last for Christ. Deliver the Gospel off 
your hand, and your ministry to your Master, with a clean and 
undefiled conscience. Loose not a pin of Christ's tabernacle. Do 
not so much as pick with your nail at one board or border of the 
Ark. Have no part or dealing, upon any terms, in a hoof* in a 
closed window,* or in a bowing of your knee, in casting down of 
the temple. But be a mourning and speaking witness against 
them who now ruin Zion. Our Master will be on us all in a clap, 
ere ever we wit. IHiat day will discover all our whites and our 
blacks, concerning this controversy of poor oppressed Zion. Ijet 
us make our part of it good, that it may be able to abide the fire, 
when hay and stubble shall be burned to ashes. Nothing, noth- 
ing, I say ndthing, but sound sanctification can abide the Lonfs 
fan. I stand to my testimony, that I preached often of Scotland 
— Lamentation, mourning, and wo abidelh thee, O Scotland! 
O Scotland, the fearful quarrel of a broken covenant standeth 
good with thy Lord ! 

Now, remember my Lord to all my friends, and to my parish- 
ioners, as if I named each of them particularly. I recommend 
you and God's people, committed by Christ to your trust, to the 
rich grace of our all-sufficient Lord. Remember my bonds. Praise 
my Lord, who beareth me up in my sufferings. As ye find oc- 
casion, according to the wisdom given you, show our acquaintance 
what the Lord bath done to my soul. This I seek not, verily, to 
hunt my own praise, but that my sweetest and dearest Master 
may be magnined in my sufTerings. I rest, • 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abodeeii, Joot IS, 1637. 

1 Appeanmee. t Coottmptible, pitiibL 

> TiMt m, in the MMdIeit pMjfeiilar. 8m Bzod. z. 96, and Dan. vi IS. 

,. Rutherford's letters. 289 



Dearly Beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ, — Grace, mer- 
cy, and peace, be to you. — Few know the heart of a stranger and 
Erisoner. I am in the hands of mine enemies. I would that 
onest, and lawful means were essayed for bringing me home to 
rny charge, now when Mr. A. R. and Mr. H. R. are restored. It 
concerneth you of Galloway most, to use supplications and ad* 
dresses for this purpose, and try, if by fair means I can be brought 
back again. As for liberty, without I be restored to my flock, it 
is little to me ; for my silence is my greatest prison. However it 
be, I wait for the Lord ; I hope not to rot in my sufferings : — Lord, 
give me submission to wait on. My heart is sad that my days 
Aee away, and I do no service to my Lord in his house, now 
when his harvest, and the souls of perishing people require it ; but 
his ways are not Hke my ways, neither can I find him out. Oh, 
that he would shine upon my darkness, and bring forth my morn- 
ing light from under the thick cloud, that men have spread over 
me ! Oh, that the Almighty would lay my cause in a balance, 
and weigh me, if my soul was not taken up,' when others were 
sleeping, how to have Christ betrothed with a bride, in that part 
of the land ! But that day that my mouth was most unjustly and 
cruelly closed, the bloom " fell off my branches, and my joy did 
cast the flower. Howbeit, I have been casting myself under God's 
feet, and wrestling to believe under a hidden and covered Lord, 
yet my fainting cometh before I eat, and my faith hath bowed, 
with the sore cast, and under this almost insupportable weight. 
Oh, that it break not ! I dare not say that the Lord hath put out 
my candle, and hath casten water upon my poor coal, and broken 
the stakes of my tabernacle : but I have tasted bitterness, and 
eaten gall and wormwood, since that day on which my Master 
laid bonds upon me to speak no more. I speak not this, because 
the Lord is unco* to me ; but because beholders, that stand on dry 
land, see not my sea-storm. The witnesses of my sad cross, are 
but strangers to my sad days and nights. Oh, that Christ would 
let me alone, and speak love to me, and come home to me, and 
bring summer with him ! Oh, that I might preach his beauty 
and glory, as once I did, before my clay-tent be removed to dark- 
ness ; and that I might lift Christ off the ground, and my branches 
might be watered with the dew of God, and my joy in his work 
raight grow green again, and bud, and send out a flower ! But 
I am but a short-sighted creature, and my candle casteih not light 
afar off. He knoweth all that is done to me ; how that when I 
had but one joy, and no more, and one green flower that I e8« 
teemed to be my garland, he came in one hour and dried up my 

I Ooeopied. * BIoMom. * DiiUnt, reMrred. 



flower at the root, and took away mine only eye, and my one • 
only crown and garland. What can I sayf Surely my guilti- 
ness hath been remembered before him, and he was seeking to 
take down my s ills, and to land the flower of my delights, and to 
let it lye on the coa^t, like an old broken ship, that is no more for 
the sea. But I praise him for this waled ' stroke. I welcome 
this furnace ; God's wisdom made choice of it for me, and it must 
be best, because it was his choice. Oh, that I may wait for him 
till the morning of this benighted Kirk break out ! This poor 
afllicted Kirk had a fair morning ; but her night came upon her 
before her noon-day, and she was like a traveller, forced to take 
house in the morning of his journey : and now her adversaries are 
the chief men in the land ; her ways mourn ; her rates languish ; 
her children sieh for bread ; and there is none to be instant with 
the Lord, that Tie would come again to his house, and dry the face 
of his weeping spouse, and comfort Zion's mourners, who are 
waiting for him. I know that he will make corn to grow upon 
the top of his withered Mount Zion again. 

Remember my bonds, and forget me not. . Oh, that my Lord 
would bring me again amongst you, with abundance of the 
Gospel of Christ ! But oh. that I may set down my desires, where 
my Lord biddeth me ! Remember my love in the Lord to your 
husband — ^God make him faithful to Christ — and niy blessing to 
your three children. Paint not in prayer for this Kirk. Desire 
my people not to receive a stranger and intruder upon my minis- 
try. Let me stand in that right and station that my Lord Jesos 
gave me. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord and Master, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — I earnestly desire to know the caoa of your 
soul, and to understand that ye have made sure work of Heaven 
and salvation. 

1. Remember that salvation is one of Christ's dainties which be 
giveth but to a few. 2. That it is violent 'sweating and striving 
that taketh Heaven. 3. That it cost Christ's bkMxl to purchase 
that house to sinners, and to set mankind down as the Kmg's 
free-tenants and free-holders. 4. That many make a start tow- 
ards Heaven, who fall on their back, and wm* not up to the top 
of ttie mount. It plucketh heart and legs from them, and ibejr 
sit down and give it over, because the Devil settetb a sweet- 

1 This nameral, contCnied in this manner, is, in Uie Scottiih dialect, indieatiTt mi 
great emphaeie^ * Carefully selected. > AtUio. 

Rutherford's letters. 291 

■Melled flower id their oose, ibis fair busked * world, wherewith 
they are bewitched, and so forget or refuse to go forward. 5. Re- 
member that many go for on, and reform many things, and can 
find tears, as Esau did; and suffer hunger for truth, as Judas did ; 
and wish and desire the end of the righteous, as Balaam did ; and 
profess fair, and fight for the Lord, as Saul did ; and desire the 
saints of God to pray for them, as Pharaoh and Simon Magus did ; 
and prophesy and speak of Christ, as Caiaphas did ; and walk 
softly and mourn for fear of Judgments, as Ahab did ; and put 
away gross sins and idolatry, as Jehu did ; and hear the word of 
God gladly, and reform their life in many things according to the 
word, as Herod did ; and say, " Master," to Christ, " I will follow 
thee whither thou goest," as the man who offered to be Christ's 
servant, (Matt. viii. 19;) and may taste of the virtues of the life 
to come, and be partaker of the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit, 
and taste of the good word of God, as the apostates, who sin 
against the Holy Ghost, (Heb. vi.:) and vet, all these are but like 
gold in clink and color, and are watered ' brass and base metal. 
These are written, that we should try ourselves, and not rest till 
we be a step nearer Christ than sun-burned and withering profes- 
sors can come. 6. Consider, it is impossible that your idol-sins and 
ye can go to Heaven together : and, that they, who will not part 
with these, cannot indeed love Christ at the bottom, but only in 
word and show, which will not do the business. 7. Remember 
how sWiftly Crod's post, time, flieth away ; and that your forenoon 
is already spent, your afternoon will come, and then your evening, 
and, at last, night, when ye cannot see to work : let your heart be 
set upon the finishing of your journey, and the summing and lay- 
ing of your accounts with your Lord. Oh, how blessed shall ye 
be, to have a joyful welcome of your Lord at night ! How blessed 
are they, who in time take sure course with their souls I Bless 
his great name, for what ye possess in goods and children, ease 
and worldly contentment, that he hath given you : and seek to be 
like Christ in humility and lowliness of mind : and be not great 
and entire* with the world : make it not your god nor your lover, 
whom ye trust unto, for it will deceive you. 

I recommend Christ and his love to you, in all things. Let' him 
have the flower of your heart and your love. Set a low price upon 
all things but Christ; and cry down, in your thoughts, clay and 
dirt, that will not comfort you, when ye get summons to remove, 
and compear^ before your Judge, to answer for all the deeds done 
io the body. The Lord give you wisdom in all things. I beseech 
you to sanctify God in your speaking, for holy and reverend is his 
name : and be temperate ana sober : companionry,* as it is called, 
is a sin that holdetb men out of Heaven. I will not believe, that 
ye will receive the ministry of a stranger, who will preach a new 
and unco* doctrine to you. Let my salvation stand for it, if I 

t Decked. t p|ait«d with tXtwtr. 

> On Um moM inttmate and fluniliar teniM. * Appear 

* Tta nrach wciatl^, or fondneM of oomfMUij. * Strangiw 

293 Rutherford's letters. 

delivered not the plain and whole counsel of Qod to you in hb 

Read this letter to your wife, and reraember my love to her ; 
and request her to take heed to do what I write to you. 1 prar 
for you, and vours. Remember me in your prayers to our Lord, 
that he would be pleased to send me amongst you again. Grace 
be with you. 

Your lawful, and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1S37. 



Retbrbnd and dear Brother, — Who knoweth, but the 
wind may turn into the west again, upon Christ and his desolate 
bride in this land ; and that Chridt may get his summer by course 
again 1 for he hath had ill weather this long time, aod could not 
find law or justice for himself and his truth these many years. I 
am sure the wheels of this crazed and broken Kirk run all upon 
no other axle-tree, nor is there any other to roll them, and cog ^ 
them, and drive them, than the wisdom and good pleasure of our 
Lord ; and it were a just trick, and glorious, of never-sleeping 
Providence, to bring our brethren's darts, which they have shot at 
us, back upon their own heads. Suppose they have two strings 
to their bow, and can take one as another faileth them, yet there 
are more than three strings upon our Lord's bow ; and, besides, 
he cannot miss the white* that he shooteth at. I know that be 
shuiBeth up and down in his hand the great body of Heaven and 
earth ; and that Kirk and commonwealth are in his hand, like a 
stock of cards,' and that he dealeth the play to the mourners of 
Zion, and to those that say, ^^ Lie down, that we may go over 
you," at his own sovereign pleasure : and I am sure, that Zion't 
adversaries, in this play, shall not take up their own stakes again. 
Oh, how sweet a thing is it to trust in him ! When Christ hath 
sleeped out his sleep, (if I may speak so of Him, who is the 
Watchman of Israel, that neither slumbereth nor sleepeth,) and 
his own are tried, he will arise as a strong man after wine, and 
make bare his holy arm, and put on vengeance as a cloak, and 
deal \-engeance thick and double amonest the haters of Zion. It 
may be that we may see him sow, and send down maledicUoof 
and vengeances, as thick as drops of rain or hati, upon his ene- 
mies ; for our Lord oweth them a black dav, and he useth duly to 
pay his debts : — ^neither his friends and followenB, nor his foes and 
adversaries, shall have it to say, '^ that he is not faithful and exact 
in keeping his word." 

> 7h cog, to plAM a iCnne or pieee of wood wedge wwe between a wheel mmI the 
grounfi to at to prevent the wheel fVom nmvin^ 
* Mark in a taq^et, at which fhooters aiin, & Pack of eaula 

Rutherford's letters. 293 

I know of no bar in God's way. but Scotland's guiltiness ; and 
he can come over that impediment, and break that bar also, and 
then say to guilty Scotland, as he said, (Ezek. xxxvi.,^ "Not for 
your sakes," etc. On-waiting had ever yet a blessed issue ; and 
to keep the word of God's patience, keepeth still the saints dry in 
the water, cold in the fire, and breathing and blood-hot in the 
^ave. What are prisons of iron walls, and gates of brass to 
Christ 1 Not so good as fail-dykes,' fortifications of straw, or old 
tottering walls. If he give the word, then chains will fall off the 
arms and le^ of his prisoners. God be thanked, that our Lord 
Jesus hath the tutoring of King and court and nobles ; and that 
he can dry the gutters * and the mires in Zion, and lay causeways 
to the temple with the carcases of bastard Loixl-prelates, and idol- 
shepherds. The corn on the house-tops got never the husband- 
man's prayers, and so is seen on it, for it fiUeth not the hand of 
mowers. Christ, and truth, and innocency worketh even under 
the earth : and verily there is hope for the righteous. We see not 
what conclusions pass in Heaven anent all the aflfairs of God's 
house. We need not give hire to God to take vengeance of his 
enemies, for justice worketh without hire. Oh, that the seed of 
hope would grow again, and come to maturity ! and that we could 
importune Christ, and double our knocks at his gate, and cast our 
cries and shouts over the wail, that he might come out, and make 
our Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth, and'give us salvation 
for walls and bulwarks! If Christ bud, and grow green, and 
bloom ' and bear seed again in Scotland, and his Father send him 
two summers in one year, and bless his crop, oh, what cause have 
we to rejoice in the free salvation of our Lord, and to set up our 
banners in the name of our God ! Oh, that he would hasten the 
confusion of the leprous strumpet, the Mother and Mistress of 
abominations in the earth, and take graven images out of the way 
and come in with the Jews in troops, and agree with his old out • 
cast and forsaken wife, and take them again to his bed of love ! 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in our Master and Lord. S. R 




Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — ^1 exhort you 
in the Lord, to go on in your journey to Heaven ; and to be con- 
tent with such fare by the way, as Christ and hb followers have 
had before you ; for they had always the wind on their faces ; and 
our Lord hath not changed the way to us for our ease, but will 
have us following our sweet Guide. Alas, how doth sin clog us 
ID our journey, and retard us ! What fools are we, to have a by- 
1 Wftlh of tar£ > Psalm exzix. 8. • BloMom. 


good,' or any other love, or match to our souls, beside Christ ! It 
were best for us, like ill bairas, who are best heard at home, to seek 
our own home, and to sell our hopes of this little clay-inn and idol of 
the earth, where we are neither well summered, nor well wintered. 
Oh, that our souls would so fall at odds with the love of this world, 
as to think of it as a traveller doth of a drink of water, which is 
not any part of his treasure, but goeth away with the using ; — for 
ten-miles journey maketh that drink to him as nothing. Ob, that 
we had as soon done with this world, and could as quickly dispatch 
the love of it ! but as a child cannot hold two apples in his little 
hand, but the one putteth the other out of its room ; so neither 
can we be masters and lords of two loves. Blessed were we, if we 
could make ourselves masters of that invaluable treasure, the love 
of Christ ; or rather suffer ourselves to be mastered and subdued 
to Christ's love, so as Christ were our all things, and all other 
things our nothings, and the refuse of our delights. Oh let us be 
ready for shipping against the time our Lord's wind and tide 
call for us ! Death is the last thief, that will come without the 
least din or noise of feet, and take our souls away, and we shall 
take our leave of time and face eternity ; and our Lord will lay 
together the two sides of this earthly tabernacle, and fold us, and 
lay us by,' as a man layeth by* clothes at night, and put the one 
half of us in a house of clay, the dark grave, and the other half of 
us in Heaven or Hell. Seek to be found of your Lord in peace, 
and gather in your flitting,' and put your soul in order, for Christ 
will not give a nail-breadth of time to our little sand-glass. 

Pray for Zion, and for me his prisoner, that he would be pleased 
to bring me amongst you again, full of Christ, and fraughted an<f 
loaded with the blessing of his Gospel. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his only Lord and Master, 8. R 

▲beideen, 1637. 



Worthy and dearly beloved in our Lord, — Graoe, 
mercy, and peace be to you. — I long to hear from you. I remain 
still a prisoner of hope, and do think it service to the Lord, to wait 
on still with submission, till the Lord's morning sk^ break, and 
his summer day dawn : for I am persuaded that it is a piece of 
the chief end of our life, which Goo sent us for some years dovrn 
to this earth, among devils and men, the fire-brands of the Devil, 
and temptations, that we might suffer for a time here amongst 
our enemies ; otherwise we might have made Heaven to wait oa 

1 An object which we tecretlj regard at our chier good, differant from Ibal on 
oor affection* are avowedly placed. > Pant 

* Goods to be removed nrom one reiidenee to another. 


09, at our comin? out of the womb, and ha\e carried us hijme to 
our country, without letting us set down our feet in this knotty 
and thorny life. But seeing apiece of suflfering is carved to every 
one of us, less or more, as Infinite Wisdom hath thought good, 
our part is to harden and habituate our soft and thin-skinned na- 
ture, to endure fire and water, devils, lions, men^ losses, wo> hearts, 
as these that are looked upon by God, angels, men, and devils. Oh, 
what folly is it, to sit down and weep upon a decree of God, that 
is both deaf and dumb to our tears, and must stand still as un* 
movable as God who made it! for who can come behind our Lord, 
to alter, or better what he hath decreed and done? It were better 
to make windows in our prison, and to look out to God and our 
country, Heaven, and to cry, like fettered men, who long for the 
King's free air, ^'Lord, let thy kingdom come! Oh, let the Bride- 
groom come ! And, O day, O fair day, O everlasting summer 
day, dawn and shine out, break out from under the black night- 
sky, and shine !" I am persuaded that, if every day a little stone 
in the prison walls were broken, and thereby assurance given to the 
chained prisoner lying under twenty stone of irons upon arms and 
legs, that at length his chain should wear into two pieces, and a hole^ 
should be made at length, as wide as he might come safely out 
to his long-desired liberty ; he would, in patience, wait on, till 
time should holh the prison wall and break his chains. The, 
Lord's hopeful prisoners, under their trials, are in that case. Years 
and months will take out now one little stone, then another, of this 
house of clay, and at length time shall win' out the breadth of a 
fair door, and send out the imprisoned soul to the free air in Heav-' 
en ; and time shall file oflf, by little and little, our iron bolts, which 
are now on legs and arms, and outdate, and wear our troubles 
threadbare, and full of holes, and then wear them to nothing ; — 
for what I suffered yesterday, I know, shall never come again to 
trouble me. 

Oh, that we could breathe out new hope and new submission 
every day, into Christ's lap ! For certainly, a weight of glory, 
well weighed, yea, increasing to a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight, shall recompense both weight and length of light, and 
clipped and short-dated < crosses. Our waters are but ebb,* and 
come neither to our chin, nor to the stopping of our breath. I 
may see, (if I would borrow eyes from Christ,) dry land, and that 
near ; why, then, should we not laugh at adversity, and scorn our 
short-born, and soon-dying temptations? I rejoice in the hope of 
that glory to he revealed, for it is no uncertain glory which we 
look for. Our hope is not hun^ upon such an untwisted thread, 
as, " I imagine so," or, " It is likely :" but the cable, the strong 
towe* of our fastened anchor, is the oath and promise of Him 
who is eternal verity ; our salvation is fastened with Gotl's own 
hand, and with Christ's own strength, to the strong stoup,* of 
God's unchangeable nature. (Mai. iii. 6,) "I am the Lord, I 

« Orirvf>il. 1 Pierce through. » Oct * Tranwiory. 

< Shallow • Hawser. ▼ Suke, poft 

296 Rutherford's letters. 

change not ; and, therefore, ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.' 
We may play, and dance^ and leap upon our worthy and immov- 
able Rock; the ground is sure and good, and will bide* Hell's 
brangling, and devils' brangling, and the world's assaults. 

Oh, if our faith could ride it out, against the high and proud 
waves and winds, when our sea seemeth to be all on fire ! Oh, 
how oft do I (et my grips* go ! I am put to swimming and half 
sinking. I find that the Devil hath the advantage of the ground, 
in this battle ; for he fighteth on known ground, in our corrupi 
nature. Alst^ ! that is a friend near of kin and blood to himself^ 
and will not fail to fall foul upon us : and hence it is, that He who 
saveth to the uttermost, and leadeth many sons to glory, is still 
righting my salvation, and twenty times a day I ravel my heaven, 
and then 1 must come with my ill-ravelled work to Christ, to 
cumber him (as it were,) to right it, and to seek again the right 
end of the thread, and to fold up again my eternal glory with his 
own hand, and to give a right cast of his holy and gracious hand 
to my marred and spilled' salvation. Certainly it is a cumber- 
some thing, to keep a foolish child from falls and broken brows, 
and weeping for this and that toy, and rash running, and sick- 
ness, and bairns' diseases ; ere he win * through them all, and 
win^ out of the mires, he costeth meikle black cumber and fash- 
ery * to his keepers : and so is a believer a cumbersome piece of 
work, and an ill-ravelled hesp,* (as we use to say,) to Christ ; bat 
God be thanked, for many spilled salvations, and many ill-ravelled 
heaps hath Christ mended, since first lie entered Tutor to lost 
mankind. Oh, what could we, bairns, do without him! how soon 
would we mar all ! But the less of our weight be upon our own 
feeble legs, and the more that we be on Christ the strong Rock, 
the better for us ; it is good for us, that ever Christ took the cum- 
ber of us ; it is our heaven, to lay many weights and burdens upon 
Christ, and to make him all we have, root and top, beginning and 
ending of our salvation. Lord hold us here. 

Now to this tutor, and rich Lord, I recommend you. Hold fkA 
till he come ; and remember his prisoner. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his and your Ijord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Reverend, and dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be to you — I received your letter. I bless your high and only 
wise Lord, who hath broken the snare that men had laid for you ; 
and I hope, that now he will keep you in his house, in despite of the 

1 StnnJ. s Hold. • Spoiled. < Get 

* Unspeakable truuble and annoyance. * Hank of jam. 

Rutherford's letters. 297 

powers of Hell. Who knoweth, but the streets of our Jerusalem 
shall yet be filled with young men, and with old men, and boys, 
and women with child ; and that they shall plant vines in the 
mountains of Samaria? I am sure that the wheels, paces, and 
motions of this poor Church are tampered and ruled, not as nien 
would, but according to the good pleasure and infinite wisdom of 
our only wise Lord. 

I am here, waiting in hope that my innocency, in this honor- 
able cause, shall melt this cloud that men have casten over me. 
I know that my Lord had his own quarrels asrainst me, and that 
my dross stood in need of this hot furnace : but I rejoice in this, 
that fair truth, beautiful truth, (whose glory my Lord cleareth to 
me more and more,) beareth me company ; and that my weak 
aims to honor my Master, in bringing guests to his house, now 
swell upon me in comforts ; and that I am not afraid that I want 
a witness in Heaven, that it was my joy to have a crown put 
upon Christ's head in that country. Oh, what joy would I have, 
to see the wind turn upon the enemies of the cross of Christ, and 
to see my Lord Jesus restored, with the voice of praise, to his own 
free throne again ; and to be brought amongst you, to see the 
beauty of the Lord's house ! 

I hope that country will not be so silly, as to sufler men- to 
pluck you away from them ; and, that ye will use means to keep 
my place empty and to bring me back again to the people, to 
whom I have Christ's right and his Church's lawful calling. 

Dear brother, let Christ be dearer and dearer to you ; let the 
conquest' of souls be fop and root, flower and bloom of your joys 
and desires, on thi»side of sun and moon ; and in the day, when 
the Lord shall pull up the four stakes of this clay tent of the 
earth, and the last pickle* of sand shall be at the nick' of falling 
down in your watch-glass, and the master shall call the servants 
of the vineyard to give them their hire, ye will esteem the bloom 
of this world's glory like the colors of the rainbow, that no man 
can put into his purse and treasure ; your labor and pains will 
then smile upon you. 

My Lord now hath given me experience, (howbeit weak and 
small,) that our best fare here is hunger. We are but at God's 
by-board,* in this lower house ; we have cause to long for supper- 
time, and the high tdble, up in the high palace ; this world deserv« 
eth nothing, but the outer court of our soul. Lord, hasten the 
marriuge-supper of the Lamb. I find it still peace to give up 
with this present world, as with an old decourted* and cast-off 
lover: my bread and drink in it, is not so much worth that I 
should not loathe the inns, and pack up my desires for Christ, 
whom I have sent out to the feckless* creatures in it. Grace, 
grace l>e with you. 

Your aflre<:tionate brother, and Chrbt's prisoner, S. R. 

Aberdeen. 1G37. 

> AcqaUition. > Grain * Point 

« Skle-tabtak • Discarded. • Feeble, wortbteM 

998 buthsrpord's LXTTsms. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you — 
I loQg to hear how your soul prospereth ! I have that coofidence 
that your soul mindeth Christ and salvation. I beseech you, in 
the Lord, to give more pains and diligence to fetch Heaven, than 
the country -sort of lazy professors, who think their own faith and 
their own godliness, because it is their own, best ; and content 
themselves with a cold>rife ^ custom and course, with a resolution 
to summer and winter in that sort of profession which the multi- 
tude and the times favor most ; and are still shaping and clipping 
and carving their faith, according as it may best stand with their 
summer sun and a whole skin ; and so breathe out both hot and 
cold in God's matters, according to the course of the times : this 
is their compass which they sail toward Heaven by, instead of a 
better. Worthy, and dear sir, separate yourself from such, and 
bend yourself to the utmost of your strength and breath, in run- 
ning fast for salvation : and, in taking Christ's kingdom, use vio- 
lence. It cost Christ and all his followers sharp showers and hot 
sweats, ere they won* to the top of the mountain : but still our 
soft nature would have heaven coming to our bed-side, when we 
are sleeping, and lying down with us, that we might go to Heaven 
in warm clothes ; but all that came there, found wet feet by the way, 
and sharp storms, that did take the skin off their face, and found 
tos and fros, and ups and downs, and many enemies by the way. 

It is impossible that a man can take his lusts to Heaven with 
him ; such wares as these will not be welcome there. Oh, how 
loth are we to forego our packalds* and burdens, that hinder us 
to run our race with patience ! It is no small work to displease 
and anger nature, that we may please God. Oh, if < it be hard to 
win one foot or half an inch out of our own will, our own wit, 
out of our own ease and worldly lusts ; and so to deny ourself 
and to say, '^ It is not I but Christ, not I but grace, not I but God^s 
glory, not I but God's love constraining me, not I but the Lord's 
word, not I but Christ's commanding power in me !" Oh, what 

[»ains, and what a death is it to nature, to turn me, myself, my 
ust, my ease, my credit, over unto my Lord, my Saviour, my 
King, and my GkJd, my Lord's will, my Lord's grace ! But alas! 
that idol, that whorish creature, myself, is the master-idol we all 
bow to. What made Evah miscarry? and what hurried her 
headlong upon the forbidden fruit, out that wretched thing her- 
self? What drew that brother-murderer to kill Abel? that wild 
himself What drove the old world on to corrupt their ways? 
what, but themselves, and their own pleasure ? What was the 
cause of Solomon's falling into adultery and multiplying of 
> CoM, indifferent < Got 9 Walktt. « Oh, b«l 

«(range wives? what, but himself, whom he would rather pleasure 
than Qodl What was the hook that took David and snared him 
first in adultery, but his self-lust; and then in murder, but his 
self-credit and self-honor ? What led Peter on to deny his Lord f 
was it not a piece of himself, and self-love to a wliole skin? 
What made Judas sell his Master for thirty pieces of money, but 
a piece of self>love, idolizing of avaricious self? What made 
Demas to go off the way of the Grospel, to embrace this present 
world ? even self-love and love of gain for himself. Every man 
blaraeth the Devil for his sins ; but the great devil, the house-devil 
of every man, the house-devil that eateth and lyeth in every 
man's bosom, is that idol that killeth all, himself. Oh, blessed 
are they, who can deny themselves, and put Christ in the joom 
of themselves ! Oh, would to the Lord, that I had not a myself, 
but Christ; nor, a my lust, but Christ; nor, a my ease, but 
Christ ; nor, a my honor, but Christ ! Oh, sweet word ! (Gal. 
11. 20,) " I live no more, but Christ liveth in me \^ Oh, if every 
one would put away himself, his own self, hb own ease, his own 
pleasure, his own credit, and his own twenty things, his own hun- 
dred things, which he setteth up, as idols, above Christ ! Dear 
sir, I know that ye will be looking back to your old self, and to 
your self-lust and self-idol, which ye set up in the lusts of youth, 
above Christ. 

Worthy sir, pardon this my freedom of love. God is my witness, 
that it is out of an earnest desire after your souPs eternal welfare, 
that I use thb freedom of speech. Your sun, I know, is lower, 
and your evening sky and sun-setting nearer than when I saw 
you last : strive to end your task before night, and to make Christ, 
yourself, and to acquaint your love and your heart with the Lord. 
Stand now by Christ and his truth, when so many fall foully, and 
are false to him. I hope that ye love him and his truth : let me 
have power with you to confirm you in him. I think more of my 
Lord's sweet cross than of a crown of gold, and a free kingdom 
lyin^ to it. 

Sir, I remember you in my prayers to the Lord, according to my 
promise. Help me with your prayers, that our Lord would bfe 
pleased to bring me amongst you again, with the Gospel of Christ. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in bis sweetest Lord, and Master, S. IL 

Abefil«eo, 1637. 



Dearly Beloved in ova Lord, — Grace, mercy, and peaco 
be to you. — I long exceedingly to hear of the case of your soul, 
which hath a large share both of my prayers and careful thoughts. 

3d0 Rutherford's letters. 

Sir, remember that a precious treasure and prize is upon this short 
play that ye are now upon ; even the eternity of well or wo to your 
soul Ktandeth upon the little point of your well or ill employed 
short and swift posting sand-glass.' Seek the Lord while he may 
be found ; the Lord waiteth upon you. Your soul is of no little 
price. Gold or silver of as much bounds as would cover the high- 
est heaven round about cannot buy it. To live as others do, and 
to be free of open sins, that the world crieth shame upon, will not 
bring you to Heaven. As much civility and country discreiion as 
would lye between you and Heaven, will not lead you one foot or 
one inch above condemned nature ; and therefore take pains upon 
seeking of salvation, and give your will, wit, humor, the green 
desires of youth's pleasures, off your hand to Christ. It is not 
possible for you to know till experience teach you, how dangerous 
a time youth is : it is like green and wet timber ; when Christ 
casteth fire on it, it taketh not fire. There is need here of more 
than ordinary pains, for corrupt nature bath a good back>friend of 
youth : and sinning against light will put out your candle, and 
stupify your conscience, and bring upon it more coverings and 
skin, and the feeling and sense of guiltiness ; and when that is 
done, the Devil is like a mad horse that hath broken his bridle, 
and runneth away with his rider whither he Usteth. Learn to 
know that which the Apostle knew — the deceitfuhiess of sin. 
Strive to make prayer, and reading, and holy company, and holy 
conference your delight ; and when delight cometh in, ye shall by 
little and little smell the sweetness of Christ, till at length your 
soul be over head and ears in Christ's sweetness. Then shall ye 
be taken up to the top of the mountain with the Lord, to know 
the ravishments of spiritual love, and the glory and excellencT 
of a seen, revealed, felt, and embraced Christ : and then ye shall 
not be able to loose yourself off Christ, and to bind your soul to 
old lovers : then, and never till then, are all the paces, motions, 
walkings, and wheels of your soul in a right tune, and in a spirit- 
ual temper. 

But it this world and the lusts thereof be your delight, I know 
not what Christ can make of you ; ye cannot be metal to be a 
vessel of glory and mercy. As the Lord liveth, thousand thou- 
sands are beguiled with security, because God, and wrath, and 
judgment are not terrible to them. Stand in awe of God, and of 
the warnings of a checking and rebtiking conscience. Make 
others to see Christ in you, moving, doing, speaking and thinking: 
vour actions will smell of him, if he be in you. There is an instinct 
m the new-born babes of Christ, like the instinct of nature that 
leads birds to build their nests, and bring forth their young, and 
love such and such places, as woods, forests, and wilderness, better 
than other places. The instinct of nature maketh a man love 
his mo'.her-country, above all countries ; the instinct of renewed 
nature and supernatural grace, will lead you to such and such 
works, as to love your country above, to sigh to be dotbed widi 

t Hoor-glMi. 

Rutherford's letters. 301 

{our house not made with hands, and to call your lorrowed prison 
ere below, a borrowed prison ; and to look upon it servant-like 
and pilgrim-like : and the pilgrim's eye and look is a disdainful- 
like discontented cast of his eye, bis heart crying after his eye, 
** Py, fy, this is not like my country." 

I recommend to you the mending of a hole, and reforming of a 
failing, one or other, every week ; and put off a sin or a piece of 
it, as of anger, wrath, lust, intemperance, every day, that ye may 
more easily master the remnant of your corruption. God hath 

S'ven you a wife ; love her, and let her breasts satisfy you ; and, 
r the Lord's sake, drink no waters, but out of your own cistern : 
strange wells are poison. Strive to learn some new way against 
your corruptions from the man of God. Mr. William Dalgleish, or 
other servants of God. Sleep not sound, till ye find yourself in 
that case, that ye dare look death in the face and durst hazard 
your soul upon eternity. I am sure, that many ells and inches 
of the short thread of your life arc by-hand" since I saw you: and 
that thread hath an end ; and ye have no hand to cast a knot, 
and add one day or a finger-breadth to the end of it. When bearing, 
and seeing, and the outer walls of the clay- house shall fall down, and 
life shall render the besieged castle of clay to death and judgment, 
and ye find your time worn ebb' and run out, what thoughts will 
you then have of idol-pleasures thatpossibly are now sweet? what 
bud" or hire would you then give for the Lord's favor? and what 
a price would ye then give for pardon? It wer^ not amiss to think, 
"What if I were to receive a doom, and to enter into a furnace of 
fire and brimstone ? what if it come to this, that I shall have 
no portion but utter darkness ? and what if I be brought to this, 
to be banished from the presence of God, and to be given over to 
God's Serjeants, the Devil, and the power of the Second Death?" 
Put your soul, by supposition, in such a case, and consider what 
horror would take hold of you, and what ye would then esteem 
of pleasing yourself in the course of sin. Oh, dear sir, for the 
Lord's sake awake to live righteously, and love your poor soul ! 
and after ye have seen this my letter, say with yourself, " The 
Lord wil seek an account of this warning which I have received." 

Lodge Christ in your family. Receive no stt'anger hireling as 
your pastor. I Mess your children. Grace be with you. 

Your lawful and loving pastor, S. R. 

Abeideeii, 1637. 



Worthy Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be o you.— I long to 
hear from yon. Our Lord is with his afllicted Kirk, so that this 

> Ooot pMt * SdaOow. * Bribe. 

Mfi Rutherford's lctters. 

burning bush is not consumed to ashes. I know that submissfrt 
on-waiting for the Lord will at length ripen the joy and deliver 
ance of his ow*n, who are truly blessed on-waiters. What is the 
dry and miscarrying hope of all them who are not in Christ, but 
confusion and wind ? Oh, how pitifully and miserably are the 
children of this world beguiled, whose wine cometh home to them, 
water, and their gold, brass and tin ! And what won<fer, thai 
hopes builded upon sand should fall and sink? It were good for 
us all to abandon the forlorn, and blasted, and wither^ hope, 
which we have had in the creature ; and let us henceforth come 
and drink water out of our own well, even the fountain of liring 
waters, and build ourselves and our hope upon Christ, our Rock. 
Bui, alas ! that that natural love, which we nave to this borrowed 
home, that we were bom in ; and that this clay city, the vmia 
earth, should have the largest share of our heart ! Our poor, lean, 
and empty dreams of confidence in something beside (Sod, are no 
further travelled than up and down the noughty' and feckless' 
creatures. God may say of us, as he said, ^Amos vL 13,) " Te 
rejoice in a thing of nought." Surely we spin our spider's wtb 
with pain, and build our rotten and tottering nouse upon a lie, and 
falsehood, and vanity. 

Oh, when will we learn to have thoughts higher than the suo 
and moon, and learn our joy, hope, confidence, and our sooTs de- 
sires, to look up to our best country, and to look down to clay 
tents set up for a night's lodging or two in this unknown land, and 
laugh at our childish conceptions and imag'mations, that suck cor 
joy out of creatures, wo, sorrow, losses, and grief! "O sweetest 
Lord Jesus ! O fairest Godhead ! O Flower of men and angeb ! 
why are we such strangers to, and far-off beholders of thy glory.* 
Oh, it were our happiness for evermore, that (Sod would cast a 
pest, a botch, a leprosy, upon our part of this great whore, a fiur 
and well-busked ' world, thai clay might no longer deceive us ! 
But oh, that God may burn and blast our hope hereaway,* rather 
than that our hope should live to burn us ! Alas, the wrong side 
of Christ, to speak so, his black side, his suffering side, his wounds, 
his bare coat, his wants, his wrongs, the oppressions of men doae 
to him, are turned towards men's eyes ; and they see not the best 
and fairest side of Christ, nor see they his amiable &ce and hit 
beauty, that men and angels wonder at. 

Sir, lend your thoughts to these things, and learn to contenm 
this world, and to turn your eyes and heart away from beholding 
the masked beauty of all things under time's law and doom. See 
Him who is invisible and his invisible things ; draw by* the cur- 
tain, and look in with liking and longing to a kingdom undefiled, 
that fadeth not away, reserved for you in the Heaven. This i« 
worthy of your pains, and worthy of your soul's sweating, and la- 
boring, and seeking after, night and day. Fire will flee* over ihs 
earth, and all that is in it ; even destruction from the Alnngfaty 

> Htk^fing nothing in H. t UnnilMtaiUiaL * (Mf 

4 In thk present eenie. * jUide. • Pty. 


Fy, fy upon that hope, that shall be dried op by the root ! Fy 
upoQ the drunken night bargains, and the drunken and mad cor- 
enants, that sinners make with death and Hell after cups, and 
when men's souls are mad and drunken with the U)Te of tins law-' 
less Hfe. They think to make a nest for their hopes, and take 
quarters and conditions of Hell and death, that they shall have 
ease, long life, peace ; and in the morning, when the Last Trum- 
pet shall awake them, then they rue the block.^ It is time, and 
nigh time for you, to think upon death and your accounts, and to 
remember what ye are, and where ye will be before the year of our 
Lord 1700. I hope ye are thinking upon this. Pull at your soul, 
and draw it aside from the company that it is with, and round 
and whisper into it news of eternity, death, judgment, Heaven 

Grace, grace be with jrou. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abesiaeii, 16S7. 



Much Honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you.— • 
It is like, if ye, the gentry and nobility of this nation, be men in 
the streets, as the word speaketh, for the Lord, that he will now 
deliver his flock, and gatner and rescue his scattered sheep, from 
the hands of cruel and rigorous lords, that have ruled over them 
with force. Oh, that mine eyes might see the moon-light turn to 
the light of the sun ! But I still fear that the quarrel of a broken 
covenant in Scotland standeth before the Lord. 

However it be, I avouch it before the world, that the tabernacle 
of the Lord shall again be in the midst of Scotland, and the glory 
of the Lord shall dwell in beauty, as the light of many days in 
one, in this land. Oh, what could my soul desire more, next to 
my Lord Jesus, while I am in this flesh, but that Christ and his 
kingdom might be great among Jews and Gentiles ; and that the 
isles, (and amongst them overclouded and darkened Britain,) might 
have the glory of a noon-day's sun ! Oh, that I had anything, 
(I will not except my part in Christ,) to wadset* or lay in pledge, 
to redeem and buy such glory to my highest and royal rrince, 
my sweet Lord Jesus ! My poor little heaven were well bestowed, 
if it could stand a pawn forever, to set on high the glory of my 
Lord ; but I know that he needeth not wages nor hire at my 
hand ; yea, I know, if my eternal glory could weigh down in 
weight its lone,* all the eternal glory of the blessed angels, and of 
all the spirits of just and perfect men, glorified and to be glorifiedi 

> Bafgain. • Ationalt. * B7 itMlf aloMi 

304 rxttherford's letters. 

oh, alas ! how far am I engaged to forego it for, and give it over 
to Christ, 80 being he might thereby be set ou high above ten 
thousand thousand millions of heavens, in the con(|uest of manv, 
many nations to his kingdom! Oh, that his kmgdom would 
come ! Oh, that ail the world would stoop before him ! Oh, 
blessed hands that shall put the crown upon Christ's head in Scot- 
land ! But, alas ! I can scarce get leave to ware ' ray love on 
him : I can find no ways to lay out my heart upon Christ ; and 
my love, that I with my soul bestow on him, is like to die upon 
my hand, and I think it no bairns' play to be hungered with 
Christ's love. To love him, and to want him, wantetn little of 
Hell. I am sure that he knoweth how my joy would swell upon 
me, from a little well to a great sea, to have as much of his 
love, and as wide a soul answerable to comprehend it, till I cried, 
'< Hold, Lord, no more." But I find that he will not have rae to 
be mine own steward, nor mine own carver. Christ keepeth the 
keys of Christ, (to speak so,) and of his own love, and he is a 
wiser distributer than I can take up : I know that there is more 
in him than would make me run over like a coast-ful sea. I 
were happy for evermore, to get leave to stand but beside Christ 
and his love, and to look in. sii{)pose I were interdicted of God to 
come near-hand,' touch, or embrace, kiss, or set to my sinful head, 
and drink myself drunk with that lovely thing. God send roe 
that which I would have ; for I now verily see, more clearly than 
Hefore, our folly in drinking dead waters, and in playing the whore 
with our soul's love upon running-out wells, ana broken sherds of 
creatures of yesterday, which time will unlaw* with the penalty 
of losing their being and natural ornaments. Oh, when a souFs 
love is itching, Tto speak so,) for God ; and when Christ, in bis 
boundless and bottomless love, beauty, and excellency, cometh 
and rubbeth up and exciteth that love, what can be heaven, if 
this be not heaven ? I am sure that this bit feckless,^ narrow and 
short love of regenerated sinners, was born for no other end, than 
to breathe, and live, and love, and dwell in the bosom and betwixt 
the breasts of Christ. Where is there a bed or a lodging for the 
saints' love, but Christ?' Oh, that he would take ourselves off 
our hand ! for neither we, nor the creatures can be either due con- 
quest* or lawful heritage to love: Christ, and none but Christ, is 
lord and proprietor of it. Oh, alas, how pitiful is it, that so much 
of our love goeth by* him ! Oh, but we be wretched wasters of 
our soul's love ! I know it to be the depth of bottomless and un- 
searchable providence, that the saints are suffered to play the 
whore from God, and that their love ^oeth a-hunting, wnen God 
knoweth that it shall roast nothing of that at supper time. The 
renewed would have it otherwise; and why is it so, seeing our 
Lord can keep us without nodding, tottering, or reeling, or any 
fall at all ? Our desires, I hope, shall meet with perfection : bill 
God will have our sins an office-house for God's grace, and hath 

> Eipend, lay o«t * Near. > I^ne, moMiva. 

* Feeble. ' Aeqaiiitioa bf parehaM or indiifliy. * FmL 

Rutherford's letters. 305 


made sin a matter of an unlaw ' and penalty for the Son of God's 
blood: and howbeit sin should be our sorrow, yet there is a sort 
of acquiescing and resting upon God's dispensation required of us, 
that there is such a thing in us as sin, whereupon mercy, forgive- 
ness, healing, curing, in our sweet physician, may find a field to 
work upon. Oh, what a deep is here, that created wisdom can- 
not take up ! However matters go, it is our happiness to win new 
§ round daily in Christ's love, and to purchase a new piece of it 
aily, and to add conquest' to conquesit,' till our Lord Jesus and 
we be so near each other, that Satan shall not draw a straw or a 
thread betwixt us. 

And, for myself, I have no greater joy, in my well-favored bonds 
for Christ, than that I know time will put him and me together; 
and that my love and longing hath room and liberty, amidst my 
bonds and foes, (whereof there are not a few here of all ranks,) to 

fo to visit the borders, and outer coasts of the country of my Lord 
esUs, and see, at least afar off and darkly, the country which 
shall be mine inheritance, which is the due of my Lord Jesus, both 
through birth and conquest.' I dare avouch to all that know God, 
that the saints know not the length and largeness of the sweet 
earnest and of the sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that 
might be had on this side of the water, if we would take more 
pains : and that we all go to Heaven with less earnest, and lighter 
purses of the hoped-for sum, than otherwise we might do, if we 
took more pains to win further in upon Christ, in this pilgrimage 
of our absence from him. • 

Grace, grace and glory be your portion. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord JesuS| S. R. 

Abefdeen, 1637. 



My very dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to 
you. — Ye are heartily welcome to my world of suffering, and 
heartily welcome to my Master's house : God give you much joy 
of your new Master. If I have been in the house before you, I 
were not faithful to give the house an ill name, or to speak evil 
of the Lord of the family ; I rather wish God's holy Spirit, — O 
Lord, breathe upon me with that Spirit, — to tell you the fashions 
of the house. One thing I can say, by on-waiting ye will grow a 
great man with the Lord of the house. Hang on till ye get some 
good from Christ. Lay all your loads and your weights by faith 
upon Christ ; take ease to yourself, and let him bear all : he can, 
he dow,' be will bear you, howbeit Hell were upon your back. I 
rejoice that he b come, and hath chosen you m the furnace ; it 

1 A fine. ' Acquisition bj purchase or industry. * Is able. 


306 Rutherford's letters. 

wa8 even there where ye and he set tryst.* That is an old gate* 
of Christ's : he keepeth the ^ood old fashion with you, that was in 
Hosea's days. (Hos. ii. 14.) "There, behold, I will allure her, and 
bring her to the wilderness, and speak to her heart." There was 
no talking to her heart, while he and she were in the fair and 
flourishing city, and at ease ; but out in the cold, hungry, waste 
wilderness, he allureth her ; he whispered news into her ear theie, 
and said, "Thou art mine." What would ye think of such a 
bode ? • Ye may soon do worse than say, " Lord, hold all ;* Lord 
Jesus, a bargain be it, it shall not go back on my side." 

Ye have gotten a great advantage in the way to Heaven that 
ye have started to the gate' in the morning. Like a fool, as I 
was, I suffered my sun to be high in the heaven, and near after- 
noon, before ever I took the gate* by the end. I pray you now 
keep the advantage ye have. My heart, be not lazy ; set quickly 
up the brae* on hands and feet, as if the last pickle of sand were 
running out of your glass, and death were coming to turn the 
glass : and be very careful to take heed to your feet, in that slip- 

Eery and dangerous way of youth, that ye are walking in. The 
)evil and temptations now have the advantage of the brae of 
you, and are upon your wand-hand^ and your working-hand.* 
Dry timber will soon take fire. Be covetous and greedy of the 
grace of God, and beware that it be not holiness which coroHh 
only from the cross ; for too many are that way disposed. (Psalm 
Ixxviii. 34,) " When he slew them then they sought him, and 
they returned and inquired early after God." (Ver. 36,) "Never- 
theless, they did flatter him with their mouth, and they Ued unto 
him with their tongues." It is a part of our hypocrisy, to give 
God fair white- words,' when he hath us in his grips,* (if I may 
speak so,) and to flatter him till we win '* to the fair fields again. 
Try well green godliness, and examine what it is that ye love in 
Christ. If ye love but Christ's sunny side, and would have only 
summer weather and a land-gate,** not a sea-way to Heaven, your 
profession will play you a slip, and the winter-well will go dry 
again in summer. 

Make no sports nor bairns' play of Christ ; but labor for a sound 
and lively sight of sin, that ye may judge yourself an undone 
man, a damned slave of Hell and of sin, one dying in your own 
blood, except Christ come and rue upon you, and take you up; 
and, therefore, make sure and fast work of conversion. Cast toe 
earth deep ; and down, down with the old work, the building of 
confusion that was there before ; and let Christ lay new work, 
and make a new creation within you. Look if Christ's rain goeth 
down to the root of your withered plants, and if his love wound 

> Made appAintment to meet. * Coatoni. manner. * OAr. 

4 L«t all tkut hat been aaid hold good : an expreaMon used in aceepcinf an afe, 
equivalent to ffone in Rnglith. * Road. * HUL 

T The hand which holds the wand or whip that is used to drhre a borae in w uiki a f . 
Working-hand^ the hand which guides the horse. 7^ h* uptn on«'« tf omd -Smmd mm 
working hand^ to beset one on every aide. * CajoHng speeches. 

• Gripe. » Get » Way by land 

Rutherford's letters. 307 

your heart whrll it bleed with sorrow for sin, and if ye can pant 
and fall a-swoon/ and be like to die for that lovely One, Jesus. 
I know that Christ will not be hid where he is ; grace will ever 
speak for itself, and be fruitful in well-doing ; the sanctified cross 
is a fruitful tree, it bringeth forth many apples. 

If I should tell you by some weak experience, what I have 
foimd in Christ, ye or others could hardly believe me. I thought 
not the hundredth part of Christ long since^ that I do now, though, 
alas ! my thoughts are still infinitely below his worth. I have a 
dwining,' sickly, and pained life, for a real possession of him ; and 
am troubled with love-brashes* and love-fevers ; but it is a sweet 
pain. I would refuse no conditions, not Hell excepted, (reserving 
always God's hatred,) to buy possession of Jesus : but, alas ! I am 
not a merchant, who have any money to give for him : I must 
either come to a good-cheap* market, where wares are had for 
nothing, else I go home empty. But I have casten* this work 
upon Christ to get me himself. I have his faith, and truth, and 
promise, (as a pawn of his,) all engaged that I shall obtain that 
which my hungry desires would be at, and I esteem that the 
choice of my happiness ; and for Christ's cross, especially the gar- 
land and flower of all crosses, to suffer for his name, I esteem it 
more than I can write or speak to you. And I write it under 
mine own hand to you, that it is one of the steps of the ladder up 
to our country, and Christ, (whoever be one,) is still at the heavy 
end of this black tree, and so it is but as a feather to me. I need 
not run at leisure, because of a burden on my back : my back never 
bare the like of it ; the more heavily crossed for Christ, the soul is 
still the lighter for the journev. 

Now, would to God that all cold-blooded, faint-hearted soldiers 
of Christ would look again to Jesus, and to his love ; and when 
they look, I would have them to look again and again, and fill 
tl^mselves with beholding of Christ's beauty ; and I dare say then, 
that Christ would come into great court* and request with many. 
The virgins would flock fast about the Bridegroom ; they would 
embrace and take hold of him, and not let him go : — ^but when I 
have spoken of him. till my head rive, I have said just nothing, I 
may begin again. A God-head, a God-head is a world's wonder. 
Set ten thousand thousand new-made worlds of angels and elect 
men, and double them in number, ten thousand, thousand, thou- 
sand tiroes; let their heart and tongues be ten thousand thousand 
times more agile and large, than the heart and tongues of the ser- 
aphims that stand with six wings before him, ^Isa. vi. 2,) when 
they have said all for the glorifying and praising of the Lord 
Jesus, they have but spoken little or nothing; his love will abide 
all possible creatures to praise. Oh, if I could wear this tongue 
to the stump, in extolling his highness ! But it is my daily-grow- 
ing sorrow, that I am confounded with hb incomparable love, and 
that he doeth so great things for my soul, and hath got never yet 

1 Into a twooD. • Pining. * Fits of loTO-«ekneM. 

« GratoitoQc • CmL • Fbyot. ^ Oh, tkat 

308 Rutherford's letters. 

anything of me worth the speaking of. Sir, I charge yon, help 
me to praise him : it is a shame to speak of what he batli done for 
me, and what I do to him again. I am sure that Christ hath 
many drowned dyvours ' in Heaven beside him : and when we are 
convened, man and angel, at the great day, in that fair last meet- 
ing, we are all but his drowned dyvours : Mt is hard to say, who 
oweth him most. If men could do no more, I would have them 
to wonder : if we cannot be filled with Christ's love, we may be 
filled with wondering. 

Sir, I would that I could persuade you to grow sick for Christ, 
and to long after him, and be pained with love for himself: — bat 
His tongue is in Heaven who can do it ! To bim and bis rich 
grace I recommend you. 

I pray you, pray for me, and forget not to praise. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, June 17, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I long to 
know how matters stand betwixt Christ and your soul. I know 
that ye find him still the longer the better; time cannot change him 
in his love : ye may yourself ebb and flow, rise and fall, wax and 
wane ; but your Lord is this day as he was yesterday ; and it is 
your comfort that your salvation is not rolled upon wheels of your 
own making, neither have ye to do with a Christ of your own 
shaping. God hath singled out a Mediator, strong and mighty : 
if ye and your burdens were as heavy as ten hills or hells, he is able 
to bear you, and save you to the uttermost. Your often seeking 
to him, cannot make you a burden to him. I know that Christ 
compassioneth you, and makeih a moan' for you, in all your 
dumps, and under your down-castings ; but it is good for you, that 
he hideth himself sometimes. It is not niceness, dryneits. nor 
coldness of love, that causelh Christ to withdraw, and slip in 
under a curtain and a veil, that ye cannot see him; but he know- 
eth that ye could not bear with upsails, a fair gale, a full moon 
and a high spring-tide of his felt love, and always a fair summer- 
day and a summer-sun of a felt and possessed and embracing 
Lord Jesus. Hin kisses and his vi.^its to his dearest ones are thin- 
sown. He could not let out his rivers of love upon his own, but 
these rivers would be in hazard of loosening a young plant at the 
root ; and he knoweth this of you. Ye should, therefore, frist* 
Christ's kindness, as to its sensible and full manifestations, till ye 
and he be above sun and moon : that is the country where ye wiB 
be enlarged for that love which ye dow not^ now contain. 

I Banlirapta. * BeoKMineCli. 

* Pyetpone the poeeetnon oC 4 Are not abli^ 

Rutherford's letters. 309 

Cast the burden of your sweet babes upon Christ, and lighten 
jrour heart, by layinsf your all upon him : he will be their God. I 
hope to see you up the mountain yet, and glad in the salvation of 
God. Frame yourself for Christ, and gloom* not upon his cross. 
I find him so sweet, that my love, suppose I would charge it to re- 
move from Christ, would not obey me : his love hath stronger fin- 
gers than to let go its grips ' of us, bairns, who cannot go but by 
siich a hold as Christ. It is good that we want legs of our own, 
since we may borrow from Christ ; and it is our happiness that 
Christ is under an act of cautionry • for Heaven, and that Christ 
is booked in Heaven, as the principal debtor, for such poor bodies 
as we are. 

I request you, to give the Laird, your husband, thanks for his 
care of me, in that he hath appeared, in public, for a prisoner of 
Christ. I pray and write mercy, and peace, and blessings to him 
and his. . 

Grace, grace be with you forever. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Reverend and dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be to you. — My longings and desires for a sight of the new-builded 
tabernacle of Christ again in Scotland, that tabernacle that came 
down from Heaven, hath now taken some life again, when I see 
Christ making a mint^ to sow vengeance among his enemies. I 
care not, if this land be ripe for such a great wonderful mercy ; 
but I know, he must do it, whenever it is done, without hire. I 
find the grief of my silence, and my fear to be holden at the door 
of Christ's house, swelling upon me; and the truth is, were it not 
that I am dawted* now and then with pieces of Christ's sweet 
love and comforts, 1 fear I should have made an ill browst* of 
this honorable cross, that I know such a soft and silly-minded 
body as 1 am, is not worthy of: for I have little in me but soft- 
ness, and superlative and excessive apprehensions of fear, and sad- 
ness, and sorrow; and often God's terrors do surround me, because 
Christ looketh not so favorably upon me, as a poor witness would 
have him ; and I wond^, how I have passed a year and a quarter's 
innprisonment, without shaming my sweet Lord to whom 1 desire 
to be faithful: and I think I shall die but^ even minting* and aim 
ing to serve and honor my Lord Jesus. Few know how toom* 
and empty I am at home ; but it is a part of marriage-love and 

« Frown. « Hold, ^pe. • Sorelythipt 

4 Indication, bj mffiM, of an intention. * Cockertd. 

• The quanitj or ale Jiewed at one time ; metaphoricallj, the eonsequeneea or one's 
eoadwrt t Without. > Intimating an intention. * Empty. 

810 Rutherford's letters. 

husbaud-love, that my Lord Jesus goeth not to 'he Btreets with 
his chiding against me : it is but stolen and concealed anger that 
I find and feel, and his glooms' to me are kept under roof, that be 
will not have mine enemies hear what is betwixt me and him. 
And, believe me, I say the truth in Christ, that the only gall and 
wormwood in my cup, and that which hath filled me with fear, 
hath been, lest my sins, that sun and moon and the Lord's chil-^ 
dren were never witness to, should have moved my Lord to strike 
me with dumb Sabbaths : — Lord, pardon my soft and weak jeal- 
ousies,* if I here be in an error. 

My very dear brother, I would have looked for larger and more 

Particular letters from you, for my comfort in this ; for your words 
efore have strengthened me. I pray you to mend this, and be 
thankful and painful, while ye have a piece or corner of the Lord's 
vineyard to dress. Oh, would to God that I could have leave to 
follow you to break the clods ! But I wish I could command my 
soul to be silent, and to wait upon the Lord. I am sure, that 
while Christ lives, I am well enough friend-stead.' I hope that 
he will extend his kindness and power for me ; but God be 
thanked it is not worse with me, than a cross for Christ and his 
truth. I know that he might have pitched upon many more 
choice and worthy witnesses, if he had pleased ; but I seek no 
more, (be what timber I will, suppose I were made of a piece of 
Hell,) than that my Lord, in his infinite art, hew glory to hia 
name, and enlargement to Christ's Kingdom, out of me. Oh, that 
I could attain to this, to desire that my part of Christ might be 
laid in pledge for the heightening of Christ's throne in Briuia ! 
Let my Lord redeem the pledge, or, if he please, let it sink and 
drown unredeemed. But what can I add to him? or what way 
can a smothered and borne-down prisoner set out Christ in open 
market, as a lovely and desirable Lord, to many souls ? I kuow 
that he seeth to his own glory, better than my ebb * thoughu can 
dream of; and that the wheels and paces of this poor distempered 
Kirk are in his hands, and that things shall roll as Christ will 
have them : — only, Lord tryst* the matter so, as Christ may be 
made a householder and lord again in Scotland, and wet finces for 
his departure may be dried at his sweet and much desired wel- 
come home. I see, that in all our trials, our Lord will not mix 
our wares and his grace over-head through other;* but he will 
have each man to know his own, that the like of me may say in 
my sufferings, *^This is Christ's grace, and this is but my coarse 
stuff: this is free grace, and this is but nature and reason." We 
know what our legs would play us, if they should carry us tbrougb 
all our waters; and the least thing our Lord can have of us, is, to 
know we are grace's debtors or grace's dyvours ^ and that nators 
is oflT' a base house and blood, and grace is better bom, aixl of 
kin and blood to Christ, and off* a better house. Oh, that I 

1 Prowixs. * Sufpicions. * BefiiMidcd. 

^ Shallow. * Appoint, Arrange. 

< One with anothar, promiacuoiuljr. i Ba ikmpta * DeacibJaJ fl 

Rutherford's letters. 311 

free of that idol, which they call Myself; and that Christ were for 
Myself, and Myself a decoiirted * cypher, and a denied and fore* 
sworn thing! But that proud thing, Myself, will not play, except 
it ride up side for side with Christ, or rather have place before 
him. O Myself, — another devil, as evil as the Prince of devils ! — 
if thou couldest give Christ the way, and take thine own room, 
which is to sit as low as nothing or corruption ! Oh, but we have 
much need to be ransomed and redeemed by Christ, from that 
master-tyrant, that cruel and lawless lord, Ourself. Nay, when I 
am seeking Christ, and am out of myself, I have the third part of 
a squint eye upon that vain, vain thing, Myself, Myself, and some- 
thing of mine own : — but I must hold here. 

I desire you to contribute your help, to see if I can be restored 
to my wasted and lost flock. I see not how it can be, except the 
lords would procure me a liberty to preach : and they have reason ; 
1. Because the opposers and niy adversaries have practised their 
new canons upon me, whereof one is, That no deprived minister 
preach, under the pain of excommunication. 2. Because my op- 
posing of these canons, was a special thing that incensed Syd- 
serf* against me. 3. Because I was judicially accused for my 
book against the Arminians, and commanded by the Chancellor, 
to acknowledge that I had done a fault in writing against Dr. 
Jackson, a wicked Arminian. Pray for a room in the house to me. 

Grace, grace be, (as it is,) your portion. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 
Aberdeen, 1637. 



Worthy Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — 1 long 
lor the time, when I shall see the beauty of the Lord in his house; 
and would be as glad of it as of any sight on earth, to see the halt, 
the blind, and the lame, come back to Zion with supplications, 
( Jer. xxxi. 8, 9,) "Going and weeping, and seeking the Lord, ask- 
ing the way to Zion with their faces thitherward,'* (Jer. I. 4, 5 ;) 
and to see the Woman travailing in birth, delivered of the man- 
child of a blessed reformation. If this land were humbled, I would 
look that our skies should clear, and our day'dawn again; and ye 
should then bless Christ, who is content to save your travel, and 
to give himself to you, in pure ordinances on this side of the sea. 
I know the mercy of Christ is engaged by promise to Scotland, 
notwithstanding he bring wralh, as I fear he will, upon this land. 

I am waiting on for enlargement^ and half content that my 
faith bow, if Christ, while he bow it, keep it unbroken ; for who 
goeth through a fire without a mark or a scald? I see the Lord 

1 DiMAided. * Toe bishop of Oallowajr. 

312 Rutherford's letters. 

making ii^e of this fire, to scour his vesseb from their mst Qh 
that my will were silent, and *' as a child weaned from the breasts T 

g^salm cxxxi.) But, alas! who hath an heart that will give 
hrist the last word in fly ting,* and will hear, and n^t speak 
again? Oh! contestations' and quarrelous replies fas a Boon- 
saddled spirit, " I do well to be angry even to the deatn,") (Jonah 
iv. 9,) smell of the stink of strong corruption. Oh, blessed soul 
that could sacrifice his will, and go to Heaven, having lost his will 
and made resignation of it to Christ! I would seek no more, than 
that Christ were absolute King over my will, and that my will 
were a sufferer in all crosses, without meeting Christ with such a 
word, " Why is it thus?" I wish still, that my love had but leave 
to stand beside beautiful Jesus, and to get the mercy of looking to 
him, and burning for him, suppose that possession of him were 
suspended and fristed ^ till my Lord fold together the leaves and 
two sides of the little shepherds' tents of clay. Oh, what pain is 
in longinsf for Christ, under an over-clouded and eclipsed assur- 
ance I What is harder than to burn and dwine^ with long'mg 
and deaths of love, and then to have blanks and uninked paper for 
assurance of Christ in real fruition or possession ? Oh, bow sweet 
were one line or half a letter of a written assurance under Christ's 
own hand ! But this is our exercise daily, that guiltiness shall 
overmist' and darken assurance. It is a miracle to believe, but 
for a sinner to believe is two miracles. But oh, what obligations 
of love are we under to Christ, who beareth with our wild appre- 
hensions, in suffering them to nickname sweet Jesus, and to put 
a lie upon his good name ! If he had not been God, and if long- 
suffering in Christ were not like Christ himself, we should long 
ago have broken Christ's mercies into two pieces, and put an iron 
bar on our salvation, that mercy should not have been able to 
break or overleap ; but long-suffering in God, is God himself, and 
that is our salvation, and the stability of our heaven is in God. 
He knew, (who said, " Christ in you the hope of glory," (CoL L 
27;) for our hope and the bottom and pillars of it is Christ-God,] 
that sinners are anchor-fast and made stable in God ; so that ii 
God do not change, (which is impossible,) then my hope shall not 
fluctuate. Oh, sweet stability of sure-bottomed salvation ! Who 
could win* Heaven, if this were not so? and who could be saved, 
if God were not God, and if he were not such a God as he is? 
Oh, God be thanked that our salvation is coasted, and landed, and 
shored upon Christ, who is Master of winds and storms ! And 
what sea- winds can blow the coast or the land out of its place? 
Bulwarks are often casten down, but coasts are not removed: 
but suppose that were or might be, yet God cannot reel nor re- 
move. Oh, that we go from this? strong and immovable Lord, 
and that we loo.^en ourselves, (if it were in our power,) from him! 
Alas, our gree i and young love hath not taken with Chri.st, being 
unac(|uaintcd with hin) : he is such a wide, and broad, and deep^ 

1 ChUUntr. • Altercations. * Povtponed. 

« Pine away. * Becloud. • AtUia Itb 


and high, and surpassing sweetness, that our love is too lilde foi 
him. But oh, if* our love, little as it is, could take band * with 
his great and huge sweetness, and transcendent excellency ! Oh, 
thrice blessed, and eternally blessed are they, who are out of them- 
selves, and above themselves, that they may be in love united to 

I am often roUingup and down the thoughts of my faint and 
sick desires of expressing Christ's glory before his people ; but I see 
not through the throng of impediments, and cannot find eyes to 
look higher, and so I put many things in Christ's way to hinder 
him, that I know he would but laugh at, and with one stride set 
bis foot over them all. I know not if my Lord will bring me to 
his sanctuary or not : but I know that he hath the placing of me, 
either within or without the house, and that nothing will be done 
without him. But I am often thinking and saying within my- 
self, that my days flee away, and I see no good, neither yet 
Christ's work thriving ; and it is like that the grave shall prevent 
the answer of my desires of saving of souls as I would. But alas ! 
I cannot make right work of his ways ; I neither spell nor read 
my Lord's providence aright ; my thoughts go a way that I fear 
ihey meet not God ; for it is likely, that God will not come the 
way of my thoughts : and I cannot be taught to crucify to him my 
wisdom and desires, and to make him king over my thoughts ; 
for 1 would have a princedom over my thoughts, and would boldly 
and blindly prescribe to God, and guide myself in a way of my 
own making : — but I hold my peace here ; let him do his will. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweetest Lord, and Master, S. TL 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Much honored Sir, — I long to hear how your soul prospereth. 
I earnestly desire you, to try how matters stand between your 
soul and the Lord. Think it no easy matter to take Heaven by 
violence. Salvation cometh now to the most part of men in a 
night-dream. There is no scarcity of faith now, such as it is ; for 
ye sliall not now light upon the man, who will not say he bath 
faith in Christ ; — but, alas ! dreams make no roan's rights. 

Worthy sir, I beseech you in the Lord, to give your soul no rest, 
till ye have real assurance, and Christ's rights confirmed and 
sealed to your soul. The common faith, and country-holiness, 
and week-day zeal, that is among people, will never bring men to 
Heaven. Take pains for your salvation ; for in that day, when 
ye shall see many men's labors and conquests' and idol-riches 

1 Oh. that. • Unite. An alluaion to the rn ing of mortar wkh itonet in a wall. 
* Acquisitiont. 


lying ia ashes, when the eaith and all the works thereof shall be 
burnt with fire, oh, how dear a price would your soul give for God's 
favor in Christ! It is a blessed thing to see Christ with up-suo, 
and to read over your papers and soul-accounts with fair day- 
light. It will not be time to cry for a lamp, when the Bridegroom 
is entered into his chamber, and the door shut. Fy, fy upoo 
blinded and debased souls who are committing whoredom with 
this idol-clay, and hunting a poor, wretched, hungry heaven, a 
hungry breakfast, a day's meat from this hungry world, with the 
forfeiting of God's favor, and the drinking over of their heaven 
over the board ' (as men used to speak,) for the laughter and 
sports of this short f</renoon ! All that is under this vault of 
Heaven, and betwixt us and death, and on this side of sun and 
moon, are but toys, night-visions, head-fancies, poor shadows, 
watery froth, godless vanities, at their best, and black hearts, and 
salt and sour miseries, sugared over, and confected with an hour's 
laughter or two, and the conceit of riches, honor, vain, vain court, 
and lawless pleasures. Sir, if ye look both to the laughing side, 
and to the weeping side of this world, and if ye look not only 
upon the skin and color of things, but into their inwards, and the 
heart of their excellency, ye shall see that one look of Christ's 
sweet and lovely eye, one kiss of his fairest face, is worth ten 
thousand worlds of such rotten stuff, as the foolish sons of men 
set their hearts upon. Oh, sir, turn, turn your heart to the other 
side of things, and get it once free of these entanglements, to con- 
sider eternity, death, the clay bed, the grave, awsome • iudgnient, 
everlasting burning quick in Hell, where death would give as 
great a price, (if there were a market, wherein death might be 
bought and sold,) as all the world. Consider Heaven and glory : 
— but, alas, why speak I of considering those things, which have 
not entered into the heart of man to consider? Look into those 
depths (without a bottom) of loveliness, sweetness, beauty, excel- 
lency, glory, goodness, grace, and mercy, that are in Christ ; and 
ye shall then cry down the whole world, and all the glory of it, 
even when it is come to the summer-bloom ; and ye shall cry, 
"Up with Christ, up with Christ's Father, up with eternity oi 
glory." Sir, there is a great deal less sand in your glass than 
when I saw you, and your afternoon is nearer even-tide now than 
it was. As a flood carried back to the sea, so doth the Lord's 
swift post, time, carry you and your life, with wings, to the grave. 
Ye eat and drink, but time standeth not still ; ye laugh, but your 
day fleeih away ; ye sleep, but your hours are reckoned and put 
by hand.* Oh, how soon will time shut you out of the poor, and 
cold, and hungry inn of this life ! and then what will yejjierday's 
ehort-b )rn pleasures do to you, but be as a snow-ball melted away, 
many years since, or worse 7 for the memory of these pleasures 
useth to fill the soul with bitterness. Time and experience will 

' T\> drink anything over Vu board, formally to renounce it as a •cUrr formeHf Sd 
when h« tlriink to the purchaser on delivery to him of the goods sold and winhM hifli 
luck in the purchase. * Awful. > Laid aside, as finished. 


prove tfaif to be true ; and dying men, if they could speak, would 
raake this good. Lay no more on the creatures than they are 
aUe to carry. Lay your soul and your weights upon God. Make 
him your only, only best-beloved. Your errand to this life is to 
make sure an eternity of glory to your soul, and to match your 
soul with Christ. Your love, if it were more than all the love of 
angels in one, is Christ's due : other things worthy in themselves, 
in respect of Christ, are not worth a windlestraw,* or a drink of 
cold water. I doubt not but in death ye shall see all things more 
distinctly, and that then the world shall bear no more bulk than 
it is worth, and that then it shall couch and be contracted into , 
nothing; and ye shall see Christ longer, higher, broader, and 
deeper than ever he was. Oh blessed conquest,* to lose all things, 
and to gain Christ ! 1 know not what ye have, if ye want Christ 1 
Alas ! how poor is your gain, if the earth were all yours in free 
heritage, holding it of no man of day, if Christ be not yours ! Oh, 
seek all midses,^ lay all oars in the water, put forth all your power, 
and bend all your endeavors, to put away and pait with all things, 
that ye may gain and enjoy Christ. Try and search his word, 
and strive to go a step above and beyond ordinary professors, and 
resolve to sweat more and run faster than they do for salvation. 
Men's mid-day, cold and wise courses in godliness, and their 
neighbor-like, cold and wise pace to Heaven, will cause many a 
man to want his lodging at night, and to lie in the fields. I rec- 
ommend Christ and his love to your seeking ; and yourself to the 
tender mercy and rich grace of our Lord. 

Remember my love in Christ to your wife. I desire her to 
learn to make her soul's anchor fast upon Christ himself. Few 
are saved. Let her consider what Joy the smiles of God in Christ 
will be, and what the love-kisses of sweet, sweet Jesus, and a wel- 
come home to the new Jerusalem, from Christ's own mouth, will 
be to her soul, when Christ will fold together the clay tent of her 
body, and lay it by his hand^ for a time, till the fair morning of 
the General Resurrection. I avouch before God, man, and angel, 
that I have not seen, nor can imagine a lover to be comparable to 
lovely Jesus; I would not exchange or niffer* him with ten 
heavens. If Heaven could be without him, what could we do 
there ? Grace, grace be with you. 

Your soul's eternal well-vinsher S. R. 

Abtnleea, 1637. 



Much honored Sir, — Grace, mercy and peace be to you. — I 
nave been too long in writing to yoiL I am confident that ye 

1 A miih. A wtTutttMtrtnD \» a withered ttalk of crested dog*t-tail gnm. • Acqutiitioii 
* Means. ^ Lay it aside, as having served iU purpose. * Baiter. 

316 Rutherford's letters. 

have learned to prize Christ, and his love and favor, more thaa 
ordinary professors, who scarce see Christ with half an eye, bo- 
cause their sight is taken up with eying and liking the beauty of 
this over-gilded world, that promiseth fair to all its lovers, but in 
the push of a trial, when need is, can give nothing but a fadr 

I know that ye are not ignorant, that men come not to this 
world, as some do to a market, to see and to be seen ; or as some 
come, to behold a May-game, and only to behold, and to go honoe 
a^ain. Ye came hither to treat with God, and to tryste ^ with 
him in his Chrbt, for salvation to your soul, and to seek reconcil- 
'iation with an angry, wrathful God, in a covenant of peace made 
to you in Christ ; and this is more than ordinary sport, or the 
play, that the greatest part of the world give their heart unto. 
And, therefore, worthy sir, I pray you by the salvation of your 
soul, and bv the mercy of God, and your compearance* before 
Christ, <]o this in sad earnest,' and let not salvation be yoar by- 
work,* or your holy-day's task only, or a work by the way, for 
men think that this may be done in three days' space on a feather 
bed, when death and they are fallen in hands together, and that 
with a woi-d or two they shall make their soul-matters right. 
Alas ! this is to sit loose and unsure in the matters of our salva- 
tion. Nay, the seeking of this world, and of the glory of it, is bfit 
an odd and by-errand that we may slip, so being we make salva- 
tion sure. Oh, when will men learn to be that* heavenly-wise as 
to divorce from, and free their soul of all idol-lovers, and make 
Christ the only, only One, and trim and make ready their lampa^ 
while they have time and day ! How soon will this house skaii,* 
and the inn where the poor soul lodgeth fall to the earth ! How 
soon will some few years pass away, and then, when the day is 
ended, and this life's lease expired, what have men of world's 
glory, hut dreams and thoughts 1 Oh, how blessed a thing is it to 
labor for Christ, and to make him sure ! Know and try in time yoar 
holding of him, and the rights^ and charters of Heaven, and upon 
what terms ye have Christ and the Grospel, and what Christ is 
worth in your estimation, and how lightly ye esteem other things, 
aud how highly Christ ! I am sure, that if ye see him in his 
beauty and glory, ye shall see him to be all things, and that in- 
comparable jewel of gold that ye should seek, howbeit that ye should 
sell, wadset,* and forfeit your few years' portion of this life's 
joys. Oh, happy soul far evermore, who can rightly compare 
this life with that long-lasting life to come, and can balance the 
weighty glory of the one, with the light golden vanity of the 
other ! The day of the Lord is now near-hand,* and all men 
shall come out in their blacks and whites, as they are : there shall 
be no borrowed lying colors in that day, when Christ shall be 
called Christ, and no longer nicknamed, iiow men borrow Christ 

1 Rni^ge. • Appearance. > Sober earaetL 

4 Oitca«ional work, after the stated work is finished. * So. 

• Disperse. ^ TiUe-deeds. • AUenate. • Near. 

rutheaford's letters. 317 

and his white color, and the lustre, and farding* of Cliristianity ; 
but how many counterfeit masks will be burnt in the day of God, 
in the fire, that shall burn the earth and the works that are on it? 
And howbeit Christ have the hardest part of it now, yet in the 
presence of my Lord, whom I serve in the spirit. 1 would not niffer« 
or exchange Christ's prison, bonds, and chains, with the gold 
chains and lordly rents, and smiling and happy-like ' heavens of 
the men of this world. I am far from thoughts of repenting, be- 
cause of my losses and bonds for Christ. I wish that all my ad- 
versaries were as I am, except my bonds. Worthy, worthy, 
worthy for evermore, is Christ, for whom we should suffer pains 
like Hell's pains ; far more the short hell that the saints of God 
have in this life. Sir, I wish that your soul may be more ac- 
quainted with the sweetness of Christ. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his only Lord and Master, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Mistress, — I beseech you in the Lord Jesus, to make every 
day more and more of Christ ; and try your growth in the grace 
of God, and what new ground ye win daily on * corruption : for 
travellers are day by day either advancing farther on, and nearer 
home, or else they go not right about to compass their journey. 

I think still the better and better of Christ: alas! I know not 
where to set him, I would so fain have him high ! I cannot set 
heavens above heavens, till I were tired with numbering, and set 
him upon the highest step and story of the -highest of them all ; 
but I wish 1 could make him great through the world, suppose 
my loss, and pain, and shame were set under the soles of his feet, 
that he might stand upon me. 

I request that you faint not, because this world and ye are at 
yea and nay, and because this is not a home that laugheth upon 

Jou. The wise Lord, who knoweth you, will have it so, because 
e casteth a net for your love, tc catch it and gather it in to him- 
self: therefore, bear patiently the loss of children, and burdens, 
and other discontentments, either within or without the house : — 
your Lord in them is seeking you, and seek ye him. Let none 
be your love and choice, and the flower of your delights, but your 
Lord Jesus. Set not your heart upon the world, since God hath 
not mane it your portion ; for it will not fall to you to get two por- 
tions, and to rejoice twice, and to be happy twice, and to have an 
upper heaven, and an under heaven too. Christ our Lord, and 
his saints were not so; and, therefore let go yd|ir grip^ of thu 

^ Decoration. * Barter. * Afmarentljr happjr. 

* How fast JOS are gaining on. * Hold. 

318 Rutherford's letters. 

life, and of the good things of it : I hope that your heaven gtoiw- 
eth not hereaway.' Learn daily both to possess and miss ChrisI, 
in his secret bridegrooin-smiles. He must go and come, because 
his infinite wisdom thinketh it best for you. We shall be together 
one day. We shall not need to borrow Ught from sun, moon, or 
candle. There shall be no complaints on either side in Heaven. 
There shall be none there, but he and we, the Brid^room and 
the Kride ; devils, temptations, trials, desertions, losses, sad hearts, 
pain, and death, shall be all put out of play ; and the Devil roust 
give up his office of tempting. Oh, blessed is the soul, whose hope 
hath a face looking straight out to that day ! It is not our part 
to make a treasure here ; anylhuig, under the covering of Heav- 
en, which we can build upon, is but ill ground and a sandy foun- 
dation. Every good thing, except God, wanteth a bottonti, and 
cannot stand its lone;" how then can it bear the weight of us? 
Let us not lay a load on a windlestraw ;' there shall nothing find* 
my weight, or found my happiness, but God. I know that all 
created power would sink under me, if I should lean down upon 
it ; and, therefore, it is better to rest on God, than to sink or fall ; 
and we weak souls must have a bottom and a being-place,' for We 
cannot stand our lone;* let us then be wise in our choice, and 
choose and wale^ our own blessedness, which is to trust in the 
Lord. Bach one of us hath a whore and idol, besides our Hus- 
band. Christ: but it is our folly to divide our narrow and Uitle 
love ; it will not serve two. It is best then to hold its whole and 
together, and to give it to Christ ; for then we get double interest 
for our love, when we lend it to, and lay it out upon Christ ; aod 
we are sure besides, that the stock cannot perish. 

Now I can say no more. Remember me. I have God's ri^t 
to that* people ; howbeit by the violence of men, stronger than 1, 1 
am banished from you, and chased away. The Lcml give yoa 
mercy in the day of Christ It may be that God will clear my 
sky again ; howbeit there is small appearance of my deliverance : 
but let him do with me what seemeth good in his own eyes. I 
am his clay, let my Potter frame and fashion me as he pleaselh. 
Grace be with you. 

Tour lawful) and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 

LETTER ecu. 


Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I can bear 
witness in my bonds, that Christ is still the longer the better, and 
no worse, yea, inconceivably better than he is or can be called. 

> In thifc present JUte. • Bt itself alone. * A withered etalk offraflk 

« Peel. • Place of exineace. < Br ounelvct T 

T CareAiUj aelect 

Rutherford's letters. 319 

I think it half a heaven, to have my fill of the smell of his sweet 
breath, and to sleep in the arms of Christ my Lord, with his left 
hand under my head, and his right hand embracing me. There 
is no great reckoning to be made of the withering of my flower, 
io comparison of the foul and manifest wrongs done to Christ ; 
uay, let never the dew of Gted lye upon my branches again, let the 
bloom' fall from my joy, and let it wither, let the Almighty blow 
out my candle, so being the Lord might be great among Jews ana 
Gentiles, and his oppressed Church delivered. Let Christ fare 
well, suppose I should eat ashes. I know that he must be sweet 
himself, when his cross is so sweet. And it is the part of us all, 
if we marry himself, to marry the crosses, losses, and reproaches, 
also, that follow him; for mercy followeth Christ's cross. His 
prison for beauty is made of marble and ivory ; his chains, that 
are laid on his prisoners, are golden chains ; and the sighs of the 
prisoners of hope are perfumed with comforts, the like whereof 
cannot be bred or found on this side of sun and moon. Follow 
on after his love; tire not of Christ, but come in, and see his 
beauty and excellency, and feed your soul upon Christ's sweet- 
ness. This world is not yours, neither would 1 have your heaven 
made of such metal as mire and clay. Ye have the choice and 
wale * of all lovers in Heaven or out of Heaven, when ye have 
Christ, the only delight of God his Father. Climb up the moun* 
tain with joy, and faint not ; for time will cut off the men who 
pursue Christ's followers. Our best things here have a worm in 
them ; our joys besides God, in the inner half, are but woes and 
sorrows : — Christ, Christ is that which our love and desires can 
sleep sweetly and rest safely upon. 

Now the very God of peace establish you in Christ. Help a 
prisoner with your prayers, and entreat that our Lord would be 
pleased to visit me with a sight of his beauty in bis house, as ha 
has sometimes done. Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 




Worthy Sir, — Grac^, mercy, and peace be to you.— I have 
been too long, I confess, in writing to you. My suit now to you 
in paper, since I have no access to speak to you, as fonnerly, is, 
that ye would lay the foundation sure in your vouth. When ye 
begin to seek Christ, trv, I pray you, upon what terms ye cove- 
nant to follow him, and lay your accounts what it may cost you ; 
that neither summer nor winter, nor well nor wo, may cause you 
change your Master, Christ. Keep fair to him, and be honest and 

> BloOTom. * The veiy best choke thmi can be made. 


faithful, that he find not a crack in you. Surely ye are now m 
the throng of temptations. When youth is come to its fairest 
bloom, then the Devil, and the lusts of a deceiving world, and ein 
are upon horseback, and follow with up-sails. If this were not so, 
Paul needed not to have written to a sanctified and holy youth, 
Timothy, (a faithful preacher of the Gospel,) to flee the lusts of 
youth. Give Christ your virgin love ; you cannot put your love 
and heart into a better hand. Oh ! if ye knew him, and saw 
his beauty, — ^your love, your heart, your desires would close with 
him, and cleave to him. Love, by nature, when it seetli, cannot 
but cast out its spirit and strength upon amiable objects, and good 
things, and things love-worthy; — and what fairer thing than 
Christ? O fair sun, and fair moon, and fair stars, and fair flow- 
ers, and fair roses, and fair lilies, and fair creatures ; but O ten 
thousand thousand times fairer Lord Jesus! Alas, I wronged 
him in making the comparison this way ! O black sun and 
moon, but O fair Lord Jesus ! O black flowers, and black lilies and 
roses, but O fair, fair, ever fair Lord Jesus! O all fair things, 
black and deformed without beauty, when ye are beside that fair- 
est Lord, Jesus I O black Heaven, but O fair Christ ! O black 
angels, but surpassingly fair Lord Jesus ! I would seek no more 
to make me happy for evermore, but a thorough and clear sight 
of the beauty of Jesus, my Lord. Let my eyes enjoy his fairness, 
and stare him forever in the face, and I have all that can be 
wished. Get Christ rather than gold or silver ; seek Christ, how- 
beit ye should lose all things for him. 

They take their marks by the moon,* and look asquint, in look- 
ing to fair Christ, who resolve for the world and their ease, and 
for their honor, and court, and credit, or for fear of losses and a 
sore skin, to turn their backs upon Christ and bis truth, Alas, 
how many blind eyes and squint lookers look this day in Scotland 
upon Christ's beauty, and ihey see a spot in Christ's fair face! 
Alas, they are not worthy of Christ, who look this way upon him, 
and see no beauty in him why they should desire him ! God 
send me my fill of his beauty, if it be possible that my soul can be 
full of his beauty here : but much of Christ's beauty needeth not 
abate the eager appetite of a soul, (sick of love for himself^) to see 
him in the other world, where he is seen as he is. 

I am glad, with all my heart, that ye have given your greenest 
morning-age to this Lord Jesus. Hold on, and weary not ; faint 
not, resolve upon suffering for Christ ; but fear not ten days' tribu- 
lation, for Christ's sour cross is sugared with comforts, and hath a 
taste of Christ himself I esteem it to be my glory, my iov, and 
my crown, and I bless him for this honor, to be yoked with Christ, 
and married to Him, in suffering, who, therefore, was bom, and, 
therefore, came into the world, that he might bear witness to tbs 
Truth. Take pains, above all things, for salvation ; for without 
running, fighting, sweating, wrestling. Heaven is not taken. Oh, 
happy soul, that crosseth nature's stomach, and delighteth to gain 
1 Tb iak9 aiWt mark$ by tlu moon, to be ehaofeabte. 

Rutherford's letters. 321 

that fair garland and crown of glory ! What a feckless ' loss is it 
for you, to go through this wilderness, and never taste sin's sugar- 
ed pleasures ! What poorer is a soul to want pride, lust, love of 
the world, and the vanities of this vain and worthless world? 
Nature hath no cause to weep at the want of such toys as these. 
Esteem it your gain to be an heir of glory. Oh, but that is an 
eye-look to a fair rent ! The very hope of Heaven, under troubles, 
is like wind and sails to the soul, and like wings, when the feet 
come out of the snare. Oh, for what stay we here? Up, up, 
after our Lord Jesus ! This is not our rest, nor our dwelling. 
What have we to do in this prison except only to take meat and 
house-room in it for a time ? 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Your soul's well-wisher, and Christ's prisoner, S. R- 




Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I have 
been long in answering your letter, which came in good time to 
me. It is my aim and hearty desire, that my furnace, which is 
of the Lord's kindling, may sparkle* fire upon standers-by, to the 
warming of their hearts witn God's love. The very dust that 
falletli from Christ's feet, his old ragged clothes, his knotty and 
black cross, are sweeter to me than kings' golden crowns, and 
their time-eaten pleasures. I should be a liar and false witness, 
if I would not give my Lord Jesus a fair testimonial • with my 
whole soul. My word, I know, will not heighten him : he need- 
eth not such props under his feet, to raise his glory high : but, oh, 
that I could raise him the height of Heaven, and the breadth and 
length of ten heavens, in the estimation of all his young lovers ! 
for we have all shapen Christ but too narrow and too short, and 
formed conceptions of his love in our conceit, very unworthy of it. 
Ob, that men were taken and catched with his beauty and fair- 
ness ! they would give over playing with idols, in which there is 
not half room for the love of one soul to expatiate itself ;- and 
man's love is but heart-hungered in gnawing upon bare bones, and 
sucking at dry breasts. It is well wared ^ tney want who will 
not come to Him who hath a world of love, and goodness, and 
bounty for all. We seek to thaw our frozen hearts at the cold 
smoke of the short-timed creature, and our souls gather neither 
beat nor life, nor light ; for these cannot give to us what they 
have not in themselves. Oh, that we could thrust in through 
these thorns, and this throng of bastard-lovers, and be ravished 
and sick of love for Christ ! We should find some footing, and 
some room, and sweet ease for our tottering and thoughtless souls 
I Triflinff. • Emit sparks of. * Certificate. « Welt-merited. 



in our Ijord. I wish it were in my power, after this day, to cry 
down all love but the love of Christ, and to cry down all gods but 
Christ, all saviours but Christ, all well-beloveds but Christ, and 
all soul-suitors, all love-beggars but Christ. 

Ye complain, that ye want a mark of the sound work of grace 
and love in your soul. F6r answer, consider for your satisfaction 
(till God send more) 1 John iii. 14. And as your complaint of 
deadnoss and doublings, Christ will, I hope, take your deadness 
and you together. They are bodies full of holes, running boils, 
and broken bones which need mending, that Christ the physician 
taketh up : whole vessels are not for the Mediator Christ's art ; 
publicans, sinners, whores, harlots, are ready market-wares for 
Christ. The only thing that will bring sinners within a cast of 
Christ's drawing arm, is, that which ye write of, some feeling of 
death and sin, that bringeth forth complaints ; and, therefore, out 
of sense complain more and be more acquaint^ with all the 
cramps, stitches, and soul-swoon ings that trouble you. The more 
pain and the more night-watch ing, and the moe fevers, the better. 
A soul bleeding to death, till Christ were sent for, and cried for in 
all haste, to come and stem the blood, and close up the hole in 
the wound, with his own hand and balm, were a very good dis- 
ease, when many are dying of a whole heart. We have all too 
little of hell-pain and terrors that way : nay, God send me such a 
hell, as Christ hath promised to make a heaven of. Alas, I am 
not come that* far on in the way, as to say in sad earnest,' '*Loni 
Jesus, great and sovereign physician, here is a pained patient for 
thee." But the thing that we mistake is the want of victory. 
We hold that to be the mark of one that hath no grace : nav, say 
I, the want of fighting were a mark of uo grace ; but I shall not 
say the want of victory is such a mark. If my fire and the Dev- 
il's water make crackling like thunder in the air, I am the lest 
feared ; for where there is fire, it is Christ's part, which I lay and 
bind upon him, to keep in the coal, and to pray the Father that 
my faith fail not, if I in the mean time be wrestling, and doing, 
and fighting, and mourning: for prayer putteth not Paul's devil-- 
the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan — to the door at 
first; but our Lord will have them to try every one, and let Paul 
fend for ^ himself, by God's help, God keeping the stakes, and mod- 
erating the play. And ye do well not to doubt, if the grouod- 
stone* be sure, but to try if it be so: for there \a great odds be- 
tween doubting that we have grace, and trying if we have grace ; 
— the former may be sin, but the latter is eood. We are but loose 
in trying our free-holding of Christ, and making sure work of 
Christ. Holv fear is a searching of the camp, that there be no 
enemy withm our bosom to betray us, and a seeing that all be 
faut and sure : for I see many leaky vessels fair before the wind, 
and professors who take their conversion upon trust, and they go 
on securely, and see not the under-water,* till a storm sink theoL 

1 Acquaioted. * So. * Sober MrnaiL 

« Shut for. * FoandatioD. • Bilfe-watar. 

Rutherford's letters. 323 

Each man bid need twice a day, and oftener, to be riped^ and 
searched with candles. 

Pray for me, that the Lord would give me house-room again, 
to hold a candle to this dark world. 
Grace, grace ye with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord and Master, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I am glad 
that ever ye did cast your love on Christ: fasten more and more 
love every day on him. Oh, if * I had a river of love, a sea of 
love, that would never go dry, to bestow upon him ! But alas, 
the pity ! Christ hath beauty for me, but I have not love for him. 
Oh, what pain is it, to see Christ in his beauty, and then to want 
a heart and love for him ! but I see, that want we must, till Christ 
lend us, never to be paid aj^ain. Oh, that he w^ould empty these 
vaults, and lower houses, of these poor souls, of these bastard and 
base lovers, which we follow ! and verily, I see no object in 
heaven or in earth, that I could ware ' this much of love upon, 
that I have upon Christ. Alas ! that clay, and time, and shadows 
run away with our love, which is ill spent upon any but upon 
Christ. Each fool at the day of judgment will seek back his love 
from the creatures, when he shall see them all in a fair fire ; but 
they shall prove irresponsal * debtors : and, therefore, it is best 
here, that we look ere we leap, and look ere we love. 

I find now under his cross, that I would fain give him more 
than I have to give him, if giving were in my power : but I rather 
wish him my heart than give him it : — except he take it, and put 
himself in possession of it, Tfor I hope he hath a market-right to 
me, since he hath ransomed me,) I see not how Christ can have 
me. Oh, that he would be pleased to be more homely* with my 
soul's love, and to come in to my soul, and take his own ! but 
when he goeth away and hideth himself, all is to m% that I had 
of Christ, as if it had fallen into the sea-bottom. Oh, that I 
should be so fickle in my love, as to love him only by the eyes and 
the nose ! that is, to love him only in as far as fond and foolish 
sense carrieth me, and no more : — and when I see not, and smell 
not, and touch not, then I have all to seek. I cannot love per- 
queer* nor rejoice perqueer :' but this is our weakness, till we be 
at home, and shall have aged men's stomachs to bear Christ's 

I ThoroQghlj examined, as it were br turning him intide oal at is done to a pev- 
Mo'a poekets when they are learehed wt itolen goods. * Oh, that 

» Expend. « Irresponsible. • Familiar. • Peribetlf , ecactlf 

324 Rutherford's letters. 

Pray for me, thai our Lord would briog me back to yoB» 
a new blessing of the Gospel of Christ. I forget not yoa. 
Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My very NOBLE AND DEAR Lady, — Grace, mercy, and peace 
be to you. — The Lord hath brought me safely to Aberdeen. I 
have gotten lodging in the hearis of all I meet with. No face 
that hath not smiled upon me ; only the indwellers of this town 
are dry, cold, and general. They consist of Papists, and men of 
GaUio*s metal, firm in no religion ; and it is counted no wisdom 
here to countenance a confined and silenced minister; but the 
shame of Christ's crons shall not be my shame. Queensberry's at- 
tempt seemeth to sleep, because the Bishop of Galloway was 
pleased to say to the 'IVeasurer that I had committed treason ; 
which word blunted the Treasurer's borrowed zeal. So I thank 
God, who will not have me to anchor my soul upon false ground, 
or upon llesh and blood ; it is better it be fastened within the veil 
I find my old challenges * reviving attain, and my love often jeal- 
ou:^* of (Christ's love, when I look upon my own guiltiness. And 
I verily think that the world hath too soft an opinion of the gale" 
to Heaven, and that many shall get a blind and sad beguile' for 
Heaven; for there is more ado than a cold and frozen '*Lord, 
Lord." It must be a way narrower and straiter than we conceive, 
for the rii^hteous shall scarcely be 8aved. It were good to lake a 
more judicious view of Christianity ; for 1 have been doubting, if 
ever I knew any more of Christiaiuty than the letters of the name. 
I will not lie on my Lord. I find often much joy, and unspeak- 
able comfort, in His sweet presence, who sent me hither; and I 
trust, this house of my pilgrimage shall be my palace, my garden 
of delights; and that Christ will be kind to poor sold Joseph, who 
is separated from his brethren. I would be sometimes too hot, 
and too joyful, if the heart breaks at the remembrance of sin, and 
fair, fair feast-da vs with King Jesus, did not cool me, and sour my 
sweet joys. Oh ! how sweet is the love of Christ ! and how wise 
is that love ! But let faith frist^ and trust a while ; it is no reason 
sons should take oflence, that the father giveth them not twice a 

J rear hire, as he doth to liired servants : better that Ghxl's heini 
ive upon hope, than upon hire. 

Madam, your Ladyship knoweth what Christ hath done, to 
have all your love ; and that he alloweth not bis love upon your 

1 Self-occusatioiM. > Sutpiciout, * Wapi 

* Befuilement * P(Mt|ioiie. 

Rutherford's letters. 325 

dear child.^ Keep good quarters with Christ in your love. I 
verily think that Christ hath said, I must needs-force* have Jean 
Campbell foi myself: and he hath laid many oars in the water, 
to fish and hunt home-over' your heart to Heaven : let him have 
his prey ; he will think you well won, when he hath gotten you. 
It is good to have recourse often, and to have the door open to 
our strong-hold; for the sword of the Lord, the sword of the Lord, 
is for Scotland ; and yet two or three berries shall be left in the top 
of the olive-tree. 

If a word can do my brother good in his distress, I know your 
Ladyship will be willing and ready to speak it, and more also. 
Now thet»nly wise God, and your only, only One, He who dwek 
in the bush, be with you. 

I write many kisses and many blessings in Christ to your dear 
child : the blessings of his father's God, the blessings due to the 
&therle8s and the widow, be yours and his. 

Your Ladyship's, in his only, only Lord Jesus, S. R. 



Madam, be pleased, at a fit time, to try my Lord of Lorn's mind, 
if his Lordship would be pleased, that I dedicate another work 
against the Arminians to his honorable name. For howbeit I 
would compare no patron to his Lordship, and though I have suf- 
ficient experience of his love, yet it is possible that his Lordship 
may think it not expedient at this time ; but I expect your Lady- 
ihip's answer, and I hope that your Ladyship will be plain. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to your Ladyship. — ^I 
long to hear from you, and that dear child ; and for that cause I 
trouble you with letters. 

I am for the present thinking the sparrows and the swallows, 
that build their nests in Anwoth, blessed birds. The Lord hath 
made all my congregation desolate. Alas, I am oft at this, ^^Show 
me wherefore thou contendest with me." O earth, earth, cover 
not the violence done to me. I know it is my faithless jealousy 
in this ray dark night, to take a friend for a foe ; yet hath not mv 
Lord made any plea • with me. I chide with him, but he givelh 
me fajr words. Seeing my sins and the sins of my youth deserv- 
ed strokes, how am I obliged to my Lord, who amongst many 

I He alloweth not the love which it hie due to be giren to the child. 

• or oeceenty. • Homewards. « ContioYenj. 

326 Rutherford's letters. 

erosses, hath given me a waled ^ and chosen cross, to suffer for the 
name of my Lord Jesus ! Since I must jiave chains, he would 
put golden chains on me, watered * over with many consolations : 
seeing I must have sorrow, (for I have sinned, O Preserver of 
mankind!) he hath waled* out for me joyful sorrow, — honest, 
spiritual, and glorious sorrow. My crosses come through mercy 
and love's fingers, from the kind heart of a brother, Christ my 
Lord ; and, therefore, they must be sweet and sugared. Oh what 
am I ! such a lump, such a rotten mass of sin, to be counted a 
bairn worthy to be nurtured,' and stricken with the best and most 
honorable rod in my Father's house, the golden rod, ^herewith 
my eldest brother, the liord, heir of the inheritance, and his faith- 
ful witnesses, were stricken withal ! 

It would be thought that I should be thankful and rejoice : but 
my beholders and lovers in Christ have eyes of flesh, and have 
made my one to be ten, and I am somebody in their books. My 
witness is above, that there are armies of thoughts within me 
saying the contrary, and laughing at their wide mistake. If my 
inner side were seen, my corruption would appear ; I would lose 
and forfeit love and respect at the hands of any that lov« God ; 
pity would come in the place of these. Oh, if ^ they would yet 
see me lower, and my well-beloved Christ higher ! I would I had 
grace and strength of my Lord, to be joyful and contentedly glad 
and cheerful, that God's glory might ride, and openly triumph be- 
fore the view of men, angels, devils, earth. Heaven, Hell, sun, 
moon, and all God's creatures, upon my pain and sufferings, — 
providing always, that I felt not the Lord's hatred and displeasure. 

But I fear that his fair glory be but soiled in coming Arough 
such a foul creature as I am. If I could be the sinless matter of 
glorifying Christ, howbeit to my loss, pain, sufferings, and extrem- 
ity of wretchedness, how would my soul rejoice ? But I am bx 
from this. He knoweth, that his love hath made me a prisoDer, 
and bound me hand and foot ; but it is my pain, that I cannoc 
win * loose, nor get loose hands, and a loosed heart, to do service 
to my Lord Jesus, and to speak his love. I confess that I hare 
neither tongue nor pen to do it. Christ's love is more than my 
praises, and above the thoughts of the angel Gabriel, and all the 
mighty hosts that stand before the throne of God. I think shame,* 
I am sad and cast down, to think, that my foul tongue, and my 
polluted heart, should come in to help others to sing aloud the 
praises of the love of Christ : all I dow^ do, is to wish the choir to 
grow throng,* and to grow in the extolling of Christ. Wo, wo i« 
me, for my guiltiness seen to few ! My hidden wounds, still bleed- 
ing within me, are before the eyes of no man ; but if my sweetest 
-Lord Jesus were not still bathing, washing, balming, healing, and. 
binding them up, they should rot, and break out to .ray shame. 

I know not what will be the end of my suffering. I hayJseeQ 
but the one side of my cross ; what will be the other si^ He 

1 Selected. * Plaled. • Sabjeded to dncipline. « Oh, that 

* Qet * Am Mhaxned. t Am able. * Cio««M. 

Rutherford's letters. 327 

knoweth, who hath his fire in Zion. Let him lead me, if it were 
through Hell. I thank my Lord, that my on-waiting and holding 
my peace as I do, to s^e what more Christ will do to me, is my 
joy. Oh, if* my ease, joy, pleasure for evermore, were laid in 
wadset^ and in pledge, to buy praises to Christ! But I am far 
from this. It is easy for a poor soul, in the deep debt of Christ's 
love, to spit farther than he dow^ leap or jump, and to feed upon 
broad wishes that Christ may be honored — but in performance I 
am stark nought. I have nothing, nothing to give Christ but 

[joverty : except he would comprise* and arrest my soul, and my. 
ove, (oh, oh, if * he would do that !) I have nothing for him; He 
may indeed seize upon a dyvour's* person, soul and body : but he 
hath no goods for Christ to meddle with : but how glad would my 
soul be, if he would forfeit my love,* and never give it me again. 

Madam, I would be glad to hear that Christ's claim to you 
were still the more, and that you were still going forward, and 
that you were. nearer him. 1 dow not' honor Christ myself, but 
I wish all others to make sail to Christ's house. I would I 
could invite you to go into your well-beloved's house-of-wine, 
and that upon my word, — you would then see a new mystery of 
love in Christ that you never saw before. 

I am somewhat encouraged in that your Ladyship is not dry 
and cold to Christ's prisoner, as some are. I hope it is put up in my 
Master's count-book. I am not much grieved, that my jealous 
husband break in pieces my idols, that either they dare not, or 
will not do for me. My master needeth not their help, but they 
had need to be that serviceable as to help him. Madam, I have 
been t)iat bold as to put you and that sweet child into the prayers 
of Mr. Andrew Cant, Mr. James Martin, the Lady Leyes, and 
some others in this country that truly love Christ. Be pleased to 
let me hear how the child is. The blessings that came upon the 
head of Joseph, and on the top of the head of him who was sepa- 
rated from his brethren, and the good will of Him who dwelt in 
the bush, be seen upon him and you. Madam, I can say, by 
some little experience, more now than before of Christ to you. I 
am still upon this, that if you seek, there is a pose,* a hidden 
treasure, and a gold mine in Christ, you never yet saw. Then 
come and see. 

Thus recommending you to God's dearest mercy, I rest, 
Your own, in his sweet Lord Jesus, at all obedience, 


My Lady Marischall is very kind to me, and her son also. 
Aberdeen, Jane 17, 1637. 

» I Oh. that. * AKenated 

• That U to profesi more than he is able to do. * Attach. 

* De;btor's. * Seize up^n my love as a forfeitui^ to bimnlf 
tAfll not able. • Hoard. 

328 Rutherford's LBTrERa. 



Loving Friend, — I earnestly desire your salvation. — ^Knovr 
ihe Lord, and seek Christ. You have a soul that cannot die ; see 
for a lodging for your poor soul ; for that house of clay will fall — 
Heaven or nothing, either Christ or nothing. Use praver in your 
house, and set your thoughts often upon death and judgment. It 
is daftgerous to be loose in the matter of your salvation. Few- 
are saved ; men go to Heaven in ones and twos, and the whole 
world lieth in sin. Love your* enemies, and stand by ihe truth 
which I have taught you, in all things. Fear not men, but let 
Grod be your fear. Your time will not be long ; make the seeking 
of Christ your daily task ; ye may, when ye are in the fields, 
speak to God. Seek a broken heart for sin; for without that 
tnere is no meeting with Christ I speak this to your wife, as 
well as to yourself. I desire your sister, in her fears and doubt- 
ings, to fasten her grips* on Christ's love: I forbid her to doubt, 
for Christ loveth her, and hath her name written in his book ; her 
salvation is fast coming ; — Christ, her Lord, is not slow in coming, 
nor slack in his promise. 

Grace be with you. 

Your loving pastor, S. R. 




Much honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you, — ^I 
would desire to know how my Lord took my letter, which 1 sent 
him, and how he is. I desire nothing, but that he may be fast 
and honest to my royal Master and King. 

I am well every way, all praise to Him in whose books I mun 
stand forever as his debtor ! — only my silence paineth me. I had 
one joy out of Heaven, next to Christ my Lord, and that was to 
preach him to this faithless generation ; and they have taken thai 
from me ; it was to me as the poor man's one eye, and they hare 
put out that eye. I know that the violence done to m^, anl his 
poor bereft bride, is come up before the Lord; and, supp'we that I 
see not the other side of my cross, or what my Lord will brinj ont 
of it, yet I believe that the vision shall not tarry, and ih:it Christ 
is on his journey for my deliverance : he goeth not slowly, bat 
paieseth over ten mountains at one stride ; in the mean time. I am 
pained with his love, because I want real possession. Wlieo 

1 Oratp. 


Christ Cometh, he stayeth not long ; but certainly, the blowing of 
his breath upon a poor soul is heaven upon earth ; and when the 
wind turneth into the North, and he goeth away, I die, till the 
wind change into the West, and he visit his prisoner. But he 
holdeth me not often at his door. I am richly repaid for sufTering 
for him. Oh, if all Scotland were as I am, except my bonds! 
Oh, what pain I have, because I cannot get him praised by my 
sufferings ! Oh, that Heaven, within and without, and the earth 
were paper, and all the rivers, fountains, and seas were ink, and I 
able to write all the paper within and without, full of his praises, 
and love and excellency, to be read by man and angel ! Nay, 
this is little; I owe my heaven to Christ; and to desire, howbeit 
I should never enter in at the gat^ of the New Jerusalem, to send 
my love and my praises over the wall to Christ. Alas, that time 
and days lye betwixt him and me, and adjourn our meeting ! It 
is my part to cry, " Oh, when will the night be past and the day 
dawn, that we shall see one another !" 

Be pleased to remember my service to my Lord, to whom I 
wrote ; and show him that, for his affection to me, I cannot but 
pray for him, and earnestly desire that Christ miss him not out of 
the roll of those who are his witnesses, now when his kingly hon- 
or is called in question. It is his honor to hold up Christ's royal 
train, and to be an instrument to hold the crown upon Christ's 
head. Show him, because I love his true honor and standing, 
that this is my earnest desire for him. 

Now I bless you ; and the prayers of Christ's prisoner come 
upon you ; and His sweetest presence whom ye serve in the 
Spirit, accompany you. 

Yours, at all obliged obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, June 23, 1637. 



My REVEREND, AND DEAR BROTHER, — Orace, mercy, and 

rsace be to you. — 1 have exceedingly many whom I write to, else 
would be kinder in paper. 

I rejoice that my sweet Master hath any to back him. Thick, 
thick' may ray royal King's court be. Oh, that his Kingdom 
mii^ht grow ! It were my joy to have his house full of guests. 

Except that I have some cloudy days, for the most part I have 
a king's life with Christ. He is all perfumed with tne powders 
of tlie merchant : he hath a king's face, and a king's smell ; his 
chariot, wherein he carrieth his poor prisoner, is of the wood of 
Lebanon, it is paved with love. Is not that soft ground to walk 
or lye on ? I think better of Christ than ever I did : my thoughts 
1 Oh, Jiat s Thiooged, tlironged. 


of his love grow and swell on me. I never write to any ^ him, 
80 much as I have felt. Oh, if ^ I could write a book of Christ, 
and of his love ! Suppose I were made ^hite ashes, and burnt 
for this same truth, that men count but as knots of straw, it were 
my gain, if my ashes could proclaim the worth, excellency, and 
love of my Lord Jesus. There is much telling of Christ : I give 
over the weighing of him ; Heaven would not be the beam of a 
balance to weigh him in. What eyes be on me, or what wind of 
tongues be on me, I care not : let me stand in this stage in the 
fool's coat, and act a fool's part to the rest of this nation ; if I can 
set my Well-beloved on high, and witness fair for him, a fig for 
their bosanna. If I can roll myself in a lap of Christ's garment, 
I shall lye there, and laugh at the thoughts of dying bits of clay. 

Brother, we have cause to weep for our Harlot-mother ; her 
husband is sending her to Rome's brothel-house, which is the gate ' 
she liketh well. Yet I persuade you that there shall be a fair 
after-growth for Christ in Scotland, and that this Church shall 
sing the Bridegroom's welcome-home again to his own house. — 
The worms shall eat them first, ere they cause Christ to take 
good-night at Scotland. I am here assaulted with the doctor's 
guns, but I bless the Father of lights, that they draw not blood of 
truth. I find no lodging in the hearts of natural men, who are 
cold friends to my Master. 

I pray you, remember my love to that gentleman, A. C. My 
heart is knit to him, because he and I have one Master. Remem- 
ber my bonds, and present my service to my Lord and my Ladv. 
I wish that Christ may be dearer to them than he is to many in 
their place. 

Grace be with you. 
Aberdeen, Jaly 5, 1637. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — Pew^ I believe, 
know the pain and torment of Christ's fristed ' love : fristing* with 
Christ's presence is a matter 'of torment. I know a poor soul that 
would lay all oars in the water for a banquet or feast of Cbnst^a 
love. I cannot think, but it must be up-taking' and sweet, to 
see the white and red of Christ's fair face; for he is while and 
ruddy, and the Chiefest among ten thousand, (Cant. v. 10.) I ara 
sure, that must be a well-made face of his ; Heaven roust be in his 
visage; glory, glory for evermore must sit on his countenance. 
I dare not curse the mask and covering that are on bis face ; bat 

1 Oh. that t Road. 

* Having the poweMion and enjoyment postponed. 

^ Postponing poMeenon and enjoyment * Exhilaratiaf. 

Rutherford's letters. ^ 331 

oh. if ^ there were a hole in it ! Oh, if* God would tear the mask ! 
Fy, fy upon us, we were never ashamed till now that we do not 
proclaim our pining and languishing for him. I am sure that 
never tongue spake of Christ as he is. I am still of that mind, 
and still will be, that we wrong and undervalue that holy, holy 
One, in having such short and shallow thoughts of his weight and. 
worth. Oh, if * I could have but leave, to stand beside, and see 
the Father weigh Christ the Son, if it were possible ! But how 
every one of them comprehendeth another, we, who have eyes of 
clay, cannot comprehend ; but it is pity for evermore, and more 
than shame, that such an one as Christ should sit in Heaven his 
lone * for us. To go up thither once-errand ^ and on purpose to 
see, were no small glory. Oh, that he would strike out windows, 
and fair and great lights in this old house, this fallen-down soul, 
and then set the soul near-hand * Christ, that the rays and beams 
of light, and the soul-delighting glances of the fair, fair Godhead, 
might shine in at the windows, and fill the house ! A fairer, and 
more near, and direct si^ht of Christ would make room for his 
love ; for we are but pincned and straitened in his love. Alas, it 
were easy to measure and weigh the love that we have for Christ, 
by inches and ounces ! Alas, that we should love by measure and 
weight, and not rather have floods and feasts of Christ's love ! 
Oh, that Christ would break down the old narrow vessels of these 
narrow and ebb * souls, and make fair, deep, wide, and broad souls, 
to hold a sea and a full tide, flowing over all its bSnks of Christ's 
love ! 

Oh, that the Almighty would give me my request ! that I might 
see Christ come to his temple again, (as he is minting,' and, it is 
like, minding to do,) and in the land were humbled. The judg- 
ments threatened, are with this reservation, I know, " If ye will 
turn and repent." Oh, what a heaven would we have on earth, 
to see Scotland's moon like the light of the sun, and Scotland's 
sun-light seven-fold, like the light of seven days, in the day that 
the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the 
stroke of their wounds ! fisa. xxx. 26.) Alas, that we will not 
pull and draw Christ to nis old tents again, to come and feed 
among the lilies, till the day break, and the shadows flee away ! 
Oh, that the nobles would go on, in the strength and courage of 
the Lord, to bring our lawful King, Jesus, home a^ain ! I am 

Eersuaded that he shall return again in glory to this land ; but 
appy were they who would help to convoy* him to his sanctu* 
ary, and set him again up upon the Mercy-seat, betwixt the Cher- 
ubim. " O Sun, return to darkened Britain ! O Fairest among 
all the sons of men, O most excellent One, come home again ; 
come home and win the praises and blessings of the mourners in 
Zion, the prisoners of hope, that wait for thee ! I know that be 
zan also tnumph in suiTermg, and weep and reign, and die and 

1 Oh tliat * Bt himself alone. • On the eole errand. 

4 Near. • Shallow. • Intimating, by lignSi «n i nten t i on, 

y That * Accompanj on the way. 

332 Rutherford's letters. 

triumph, and reraain in prison and yet subdue his eoemiea : bat 
how happy were I to see the coronation-day of Christ ; to see bis 
Mother, who bare him, put ihe* crown upon his bead again, and 
cry with shouting till the earth should ring, ** Let Jesus^ our King, 
live and reign for evermore." 

Grace, grace be with your Ladyship. 

Your Ladyship's at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aterdeen, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — ^Ye are heartily welcome to that honor, that 
Chrii^t hath made common to us both, which is to suffer for bk 
name. Verily I think it my garland and crown ; and if tbe Lord 
should ask of me my blood and life for this cause, I would gladly, 
m his strength, pay due debt to Christ's honor and glory, in that 
kind. Acquaint yourself with Christ's love, and ye shall not miss 
to find new golden mines and treasures in Christ ; nay, truly, we 
but stand beside Christ, we go not in to him to take our fill of him. 
But, if he would do two things, — 1. Draw the curtains, and make 
bare his holy face; and then, 2. Clear our dim and bleared eyes, 
to see his beaut^ and glory, he should find many lovers. I would 
seek no more happiness, than a sight of him so near-hand,' as to 
see, hear, smell, and touch, and embrace him : but oh, closed doors, 
and veils, and curtains, and thick clouds hold me in pain, while I 
find the sweet burning of his love, that many waters cannot 
quench ! Oh, what sad hours have I, when I think, that the love 
of Christ scaureth' at me, and blowetb by me ! If my Lord Jesoi 
would come to bargaining for his love, I think he might make 
the price himself. I should not refuse ten thousand years in Udl, 
to have a wide soul enlarged and made wider, that I might be 
exceedingly, even to the running-over, filled with hb love. Oh, 
what am I to love such a One, or to be loved by that high and 
lofty One ! I think the angels may blush to look upon him ; and 
what am I to defile such infinite brightness with my sinful eyes ! 
Oh, that Christ would come near, and sUud still, and give me 
leave to look upon him ! — ^for to look seemeth the poor man's priv- 
ilege, since he may, for nothing, and without hire, behold the 
sun. I should have a king's life, if I had no other thing to do, 
than, for evermore, to behold and eye my fair Lord Jesus : nay, 
suppose I were hoideu out. at Heaven's fair entry, I should be 
happy for evermore, to look through a hole in the door, and see 
my dearest and fairest Lord's face. O great King, why siandest 
thou aloof? Why remainest thou beyond the mountains? O 
Well-beloved, why dost thou pain a poor soul with delays? A 

* Nmi; i Boggklk. 

Rutherford's letters. 333 

long time out of thy glorious presence is two deaths and two hells 
to me. — We must meet, I must see him, I dow not ' want him. 
Hunger and longii g for Christ, hath brought on such a necessity 
of enjoying Christ, that, cost me what it will, I cannot but assme 
Christ that I will not, I dow not' want him : for I cannot muster 
nor command Christ's love. Nay, Hell (as I now think,) and all 
the pains in it, laid on me alone, would not put me from loving : 
yea, suppose that my Lord Jesus would not love me, it is al>uve 
mv strength or power to keep back or imprison the weak love 
which 1 have, but it must be out to Christ : I would set Heaven's 
joy aside, and live upon Christ's love its lone.* Let me have no 
joy but the warmness and (ire of Christ's love ; I seek no other, 
God knoweth. If this love be taken from me, the bottom is fallen 
out of all my happiness and joy ; and, therefore, I believe that 
Christ will never do me that ' much harm, as to bereave a poor 
prisoner of his love : it were cruelty to take it from me ; and He 
who is kindness itself, cannot be cruel. 

Dear brother, weary not of my sweet Master's chains; we are 
80 much the sibber^ to Christ that we sufier. Lodge not a hard 
thought of my royal King : rejoice in his cross. Yom* deliverance 
sleepetb not. He that will come is not slack of his promise. Wait 
on for God's timous' salvation; ask not when, or how long? I 
hope he shall lose nothing of you in the furnace, but dross. Com- 
mit your cause in meekness, (forgiving your oppressors,) to God, 
and your sentence shall come back fcom him laughing. Our 
Bridegroom's day is coming fast on ; and this world, that seemeth 
to go with a long and a short foot, shall be put into two ranks. 
Wait till your ten days* be ended, and hope for the crown ; Christ 
will not give you a blind in the enS. 

Commend me to your wife and father, and to Baillie M. A.; and 
send this letter to him. 

The prayers of Christ's prisoner be upon you, and the Lofd's 
presence accompany you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Abevdeen, Jaly 6, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I be- 
seech you in the Lord Jesus, make fast and sure work of life 
eternal. Sow not rotten seed : every man's work will speak for 
itself, what his seed hath been. Oh, how many see I, who sow 
to the flesh ! Alas, what a crop will that be, when the Lord shall put 
in his hook ' to reap this world, that is ripe and white for judgment I 

I Am not able. > By Htelf alone. • So. 

« More nearir related. • Seaeonable. • Rev. n. 10. 

V Siekle. 


I recommend to you holiness and sanciification, and that yoa 
keep yourself clean from this present evil world. We delight tc 
tell our own dreams, and to flatter our own flesh with the hope 
which we have : it were wisdom for us to be free, plain^ honek, 
and sharp with our own souls, and to charge them to brew better, 
that they may drink well, and fare well, when time is melted 
away like snow in a hot summer. Oh, how hard a thing is it, to 

Set the soul to give up with all things on this bide of death and 
oomsday ! We say that we are removing and going from this 
world ; but our heart stirreth not one foot off its seat Alas ! I 
see few heavenly-minded souls, that have nothing upon the earth, 
but their body of clay going up and down this earth, because 
their soul and the powers of it are up in Heaven, and there, their 
hearts live, desire, enjoy, rejoice. Oh ! men's souls have no wiugs, 
and, therefore, night and day they keep their nest, and are not ac- 
quainted with Christ. Sir, take you to your one thing, to Christ, 
that ye may be acquainted with the taste of his sweetness and 
excellency, and charge your love not to dote upon this world ; for 
it will not do your business in that day, when nothing will come 
in good stead to you, but God's favor. Build upon Christ some 
^ood, choice, and fast work ; for when your soul for many years 
hath taken the play, and hath posted, and wandered through the 
creatures, ye will come home again with the wind ; — they are not 
good, at least not the soul's good. It is the infinite Godhead that 
must allay the sharpness of your hunger after happiness ; otherwise 
there shall still be a want of satisfaction to your desires: and if 
he should cast in ten worlds into your desires, all shall fall through, 
and your soul will still cry, **Red* hunger, black ^ hunger:" — bat 
lam sure there is sufficient for you in Christ, if ye had seven 
souls and seven desires in you. 

Oh, if ^ I could make my Lord Jesus market-sweet,* lovely, de- 
sirable, and fair to all the world, both to Jew and Gentile ! Oh, 
let my part of Heaven go for it, so being he would take my tongue 
to be his instrument, to set out Christ in his whole braveries of 
love, virtue, grace, sweetness, and matchless glory, to the eyes and 
hearts of Jews and Gentiles! — but who is sufficient for these 
things ! Oh, for the help of angels' tongues, to make Christ eye- 
sweet* and amiable to many thousands! Oh, how little doih 
this world see of him, and how far are they from the love of him, 
seeing there is so much loveliness, beauty, and sweetness in 
Christ, that no created eye did ever yet see ! I would that all 
men knew his glory, and that I could put many in at the Bride- 
groom's chamber-door, to see his beauty, and to be partakers of 
his high, and deep, and broad, and boundless love. Oh, let all the 
world come nigh and see Christ, and they shall then see more 
than I can say of him ! Oh, if* I had a pledge or pawn to lay 
down for a seaful of his love ! that I could come by so much of 

1 Red and black are oied as intenntiTe words in the Scottiah dialect 

s Oh, that. * Decirable, so as to be sought ader in the p«bGe 

« Pleasant to the eje. 

Rutherford's letters 335 

Christ, as would satisfy greening* and longing for him, or rather 
increase it, till I were in full possession ! I know that we shall 
meet; and therein I rejoice. 

Sir, stand fast in the truth of Christ, that ye have received. 
Yield to no winds, but ride out, and let Christ be your anchor, 
and the only He, whom ye shall look to see in peace. Pray fur 
me, his prisoner, that the Lord would send me among you to feed 
his people. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Reverend, and dearly beloved in our Lord, — Grace, 
mercy, and peace be to you. — Our acquaintance is neither in bod* 
ily presence, nor on paper ; but as sons of the same Father, and 
sufferers for the same truth. 

Let no man doubt that the state of our Question, we are now 
forced to stand to by suffering exile and imprisonment is — If Jesus 
should reign over his kirk, or not? Oh, if* mv sinful arm could 
bold the crown on his head, howbeit it should be stricken off from 
the shoulder blade ! For your ensuing and feared trial, my very 
dearest in our Lord Jesus, alas ! what am I to speak to comfort a 
soldier of Christ, who hath done a hundred times more for that 
worthy and honorable cause than I can do ? But I know, those 
of whom the world was not worthy, wandered up and down in 
deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth ; 
and that while there is one member of mystical Christ out of 
Heaven, that member must suffer strokes, till our Lord Jesus 
draw in that member within the gates of the New Jerusalem, 
which he will not fail to do at last ; for not one toe or finger of 
that body, but it shall be taken in within the city. What can be 
our part, in this pitched battle betwixt the Lamb and the Dragon, 
but to receive the darts in patience, that rebound off us upon our 
sweet Master ; or rather neht first upon him, and then rebound 
off him upon .his servants? I think it a sweet north-wind, that 
bloweth first upon the fair fare of the Chief among ten thousand, 
and then lighteth upon our sinful and black faces. When once 
the wind bloweth onf him upon me, I think it hath a sweet smell 
of Christ; and so must be some' more than a single cross. I 
know that ye have a guard about you, and your attendance and 
train for your safety is far beyond your pursuers* force or fraud : 
it is good, under feud, to be near our war-house, and stronghold. 
We can do but little to resist them, who persecute us and oppose 

> Oftedfly denring. * Oh, that. • Somewhat 

336 rutherford'a letters. 

him, but keep our blood and our wounds to the next court-day, 
when our complaints shall be read. If this day be not Christ's, I 
am sure the morrow shall be his. 

As for anything I do in my bonds, when now and then a word 
falleth from me, alas ! it is very little. I am exceedingly grieved 
that any should conceive anything to be in such a broken and 
empty reed : let no man impute it to me, that the free and un- 
bought wind, ^for I gave nothing for it,) bloweth upon an empty 
reed. I am his over-burdened debtor. I cry, " Down with men, 
down, down with all the excellency of the world ; and up, up 
with Christ !" Long, long mav that fair One, that holy One, be 
on high ! My curse be upon them that love him not. Oh, how 
glad would I be, if his glorv would grow out, and spring up out 
of my bonds and sufferings 1 Certainly since I became his pris- 
oner, he hath won the yolk and heart of my souL Christ is even 
become a new Christ to me, and his love greener than it was. 
And now I strive no more with him. His love shall carry it away. 
I lay down myself under his love. I desire to sing, and to cry, 
and to proclaim myself, even under the water, m nis common,' 
and eternally indebted to his kindness. I will not offer to quit 
commons with* him, (as we used to say,) for that will not be. 
All, all for evermore be Christ's. What further trials are before 
me, I know not ; but I know that Christ will have a saved sod 
of me, over on the other side of the water, on the yonder-side of 
crosses, and beyond men's wrongs. 

I had but one eye, and that they have put out My one joy, 
next to the flower of my joys, Christ, was to preach my sweetest, 
sweetest Master, and the glory of his Kingdom ; and it seemed 
no cruelty to them to put out the poor man's one eye. And now 
I am seeking about to see if suffering will speak my fair OneV 
praises ; and I am trying if a dumb man's tongue can raise one 
note, or one of Zion's springs to advance my Well-beloved's glory. 
Oh, if he would make some glory to himself out of a dumb pris- 
oner ! I go with child of his word : I cannot be deUvered : none 
here will have my Master : alas! what aileth them at him ? 

I bless you for your prayers ; add to them praises : as I am able, 
I pay vou home. I commend your diving in Christ's Testament; 
I would I could set out the dead Man's good-will to his friends, in 
his sweet testament. Speak a prisoner's hearty commendatiout 
to Christ; fear not, your ten days' will over. Those that are 
gathered against Mount Zion, their eyes shall melt away in their 
eye-holes, and their tongues consume away in their mouth% and 
Christ's withered garden shall grow green again in Scotland. My 
Lord Jesuti hath a word hid in Heaven for Scotland, not yeC 
brought out. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. B. 

Aberdeen, Jnly 7. 1637. 

1 Under obligation. I To ceafo to bo obfigod H^ 

• Rot. IL 10. 




Mistress, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I am sorry 
that ye take it so hardly, that I have not written to you. 

I am judged to be that which I am not. I fear that if I were 
put into the fire, I should melt away, and fall down in sherds of 
painted nature ; for truly I have little slufl* at home that is worth 
the eye of God's servants. If ihere be anything of Christ's in me, 
(as I dare not deny some of his work,) it is but a spunk ^ of bor- 
rowed fire, that can scarce warm myself, and hath little heat for 
stand ers-by. I would fain have that which ye and others believe 
I have ; but ye are only witnesses to my outer side, and to some 
words on paper. Oh, that he would give me more than paper- 
grace or tongue-grace ! Were it not that want paineth me, I 
should have skailed * house, and gone a-begging long since : but 
Christ hath left me with some hunger, that is more hot than wise, 
and is ready often to say, *• If Christ longed for me, as I do for 
him, we should not be long in meeting ; and if he loved my com- 
pany as well as I do his, even while I am writing this letter to 
vou, we should flee ' into each other's arms." But I know there 
IS more will than wit in this languor and pining love for Christ; 
and no marvel, for love to Christ would have hot harvest, long 
ere midsummer. But if I have any love to him, Christ hath both 
love to me, and wit to guide his love ; and I see that the best tiling 
I have hath as much dross beside it as might curse me and it both ; 
and, if it were for no more, we have need of a Saviour to pardon 
the very faults, and diseases, and weakness of the new man, and 
to take away (to say so) our godly sins, or the sins of our sancti- 
fication, and the dross and scum of spiritual love. Wo, wo is me I 
Oh, y%'hat need is there, then, of Christ's calling to scour, and 
cleanse, and wash away an ugly old body of sin — the very image 
of Satan ! I know nothing surer, than that there is an office for 
Christ amongst us. I wish for no other heaven on this side of 
the last sea that I must cross, than this service of Christ, to make 
my blackness beautv, my deadness hfe, my guiltiness sanctifica- 
tioD. I long much for that day, when I shall be holy, ph, what 
spots are yet unwashen ! * Oh, that I could change the skin of 
the leopard and the moor, and nifler* it with some of Christ's fair- 
ness! Were my blackness and Christ's beauty carded through- 
other,' (as we use to speak,) his beauty and holiness would eat up 
my filthiness. Bu*^ on, I have not casten old Adam*'s hue and 
color yet ! I trow that the best of us hath a smell yet of the old 
loathsome body of sin and guiltiness. Happy are they for ever- 
more who can employ Chiust, and set his blood and death on 

« Spark. « Di«pertcd. • Fly. 

* IJnwathed. • Exchange. * Promitcuouslj, 

ruthbrford's letters. 

work, to make clean work to God, of foul soub. I know that it 
is our sin that would have sanctification on the sunny-side of the 
hill, and holiness with nothing but summer, and crosses no at alL 
Sin hath made us as tender as if we were made of paper or glass. 
I am often thinking, what I would think of Christ and burning 
quick together, of Christ and torturing, and hot melted lead poured 
in at mouth and navel ; yet I have some weak experience, (but 
very weak indeed,) that suppose Christ and HelUs torments were 
married together, and if there were no finding of Christ at all, ex- 
cept I went to Heirs furnace, that there, and in no other place, I 
could meet with him ; I trow that if I were as I have been since 
I was his prisoner, I would beg lodging for God's sake in Hell't 
hottest furnace, that I might rub souls with Christ. But Qod be 
thanked, I shall find him in a better lodging. We get Chrisi 
better-cheap ^ than so : when he is rouped' to us, we get him but 
with a shower of summer troubles in this life, as sweet and as soA 
as to believers as a May-dew. 

I would have you and myself helping Christ mystical to weep 
for his wife ; and, oh, that we could mourn for Christ buried in 
Scotland, and for his two slain witnesses, killed because they 
prophesied ! If we could so importune and solicit God, our buried 
Lord and his two buried witnesses should rise again. Earth, and 
clay, and stone, will not bear down Christ and the Gospel in Scot- 
land. I know not if I shall see the second Temple, and the gkffj 
of it ; but the Lord hath deceived me if it be not to be rear^ up 
again. I would wish to give Christ his welcome home again. — 
my blessing, my joy, my glory, and love be on the Home-comer. 

I find no better use of sufTering than that Christ's winnowing 
putteth chaff and corn in the saints to sundry places, and dtscor* 
ereth our dross from his ^old, so as corruption and grace are so 
seen, that Christ saith in the furnace, "That is mine, and this is 
thine : the scum and the grounds, thy stomach against the perse^ 
cutors, thy impatience, thy unbelief, thy quarrelling, these are 
thine ; and faith, on-waiting, love, joy, courage, are mine." Ob, 
let me die one of Christ's on- waiters, and one of his attendants ! 

I know that your heart and Christ are married together; it 
were not good to make a divorce. Rue not of that meeting and 
marriage with such a husband. Pray for me his prisoner. Grace, 
grace be with you. 

^ Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Reverend, and dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peaet 
be to you. — ^I received your letter. I bless you for it 
1 More thmn grataitoutljr. • 

rtttherford's letters. 339 

Mf dry root would 'ake more dew and summer-rain than it 
getteth, were it not that Christ will have dryness and deadness 
in us to work upon ; if there were no timber to work upon, art 
would die, and never be seen. I see that grace hath a field to 
play upon, and to course up and down in our wants ; so that I 
am often thanking God, not for guiltiness, but for guiltiness for 
Christ to whet and sharpen his grace upon : I am half content to 
have boils for the plasters of my Lord Jesus. Sickness hath this 
advantage, that it draweth our sweet Physician's hand, and his 
holy and soft fingers, to touch our withered and leper skins. It is 
a blessed fever that fetcheth Christ to the bed-side. I think my 
Lord's "How doest thou with it, sick Body?" is worth all my 
pained nights. Surely, I have no more for Christ, than empti- 
ness and want : take or leave, he will get me no otherwise. I 
must sell myself, and my wants to him ; but I have no price to 
give for him. If he would put a fair and real seal xipon his love 
to me, and bestow upon me a larger share of Christ's love, (which 
I would fainest be in hands with of anything — I except not 
Heaven itself,) I should go on sighing and sinking under his cross ; 
but the worst is, many take me for somebody, because the wind 
bloweth upon a withered prisoner ; but the truth is, that I am 
both lean and thin in that, wherein many believe I abound. I 
would, (if bartering were in my power,) niffer* joy with Christ's 
love and faith, and, instead of the hot sunshine, be content to 
walk under a cloudy shadow with more grief and sadness, to have 
more faith and a fair occasion of setting forth and commending 
Christ, and to make that lovely One, that fair One, that sweetest 
and dearest Lord Jesus, market-sweet' for many ears and hearts 
in Scotland; and, if it were in my power, to roup* Christ to the 
Three Kingdoms, and withal persuade buyers to come, and to* 
take such sweet wares as Christ, I would think to have many 
sweet bargains betwixt Christ and the sons of men. I would that 
I could be humble, and go with a low sail : I would that I had 
desires with wings, and running upon wheels ; swift, and active, 
and speedy in longing for Christ's honor. But I know that my 
Lord is as wise here as I dow* be thirsty ; and infinitely more 
zealous of his honor, than I can be hungry for the manifestation 
of it to men and angels. But, oh, that my Lord would take my 
desires off my hand, and a thousand-fold more unto them, and sow 
spiritual inclinations upon them, for the coming of Christ's King- 
dom to the sons of men ! that they might be higher, and deeper, 
and longer, and broader — for my longest measures are too short 
ibr Christ, my depth is ebb' and the breadth of my affections to 
Christ narrowed and pinched. Oh, for an inline * and a wit, to 
prescribe ways to men, how Christ might be all, in all the world ! 
— Wit is here behind affection, and affection behind obligation. 
Oh, how little dow^ I give to Christ, and how much hath he 

I Exehan^. * Sought after, at it were, in the common markat 

• Aoetion. « Am able to. • Shallow. 

• Oanins. t A 


given me! Oh, that I could sing grace's praises, and lore's 
praises ! seeing that I was like a fool soliciting the Law, and mak- 
ing moyen * to the Law's court for mercy, and found challenges • 
that way ; but now I deny that judge's power ; for I am grace's 
man : I hold not worth a drink •f water, the Law, or any lord, but 
Jesus — and till I bethought me of this, 1 was slain with doubtinga, 
and fears, and terrors. 1 praise the new court, and the new Land* 
lord, and the new salvation, purchased in the name of Jesus, and 
at his instance. Let the Old Man, if he please, go make his 
moan ' to the Law, and seek acquaintance thereaway * because 
he is condemned in that court ; I hope that the New Man, and I, 
and Christ together will not be heard : and this is the more soft 
and the more easy way for me and for my cross together. Seeing 
that Christ singeth my welcome-home, and taketh me in, and 
maketh short accounts and short work of reckoning betwixt me 
and my Judge, I must be Christ's man, and his tenant, and sub- 
ject to his court. I am sure that suffering for Christ could not be 
borne otherwise : but 1 give my hand and my faith to all who 
would suffer for Christ, that they shall be well handled, and (are 
well in the same way, that I have found the cross easy and light 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, July 8, 1637. 



Dear Brother, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — II 
Christ were as I am, that time could work upon him to alter him 
or that the morrow could bring a new day to him, or bring a new 
mind to him, as it is to me a new day, I could not keep a house 
or a covenant with him : but I find Christ to be Christ, and that 
he is far, far, even infinite heaven's height above men : and that w 
all our happiness. Sinners can do nothing, but make wounds^ 
that Christ may heal them ; and make debts, that he may pay 
tbem ; and make falls, that he may raise them ; and make deaths, 
that he may quicken them ; and spin out and dig hells for them- 
selves, that he may ransom them. Now I will bless the Lord, that 
ever there was such a thing as the free grace of God, and a free 
ransom given lor sold souls: only, alas! guiltiness maketh me 
ashamed to apply Christ, and to think it pride in roe, to put out 
my unclean and withered hand to such a Saviour. But it b 
neither shame nor pride, for a drowning man to swim to a rock, 
nor for a ship*broken soul to run himself ashore upoo Cbrist. 
Suppose once I be guilty, need-force' I cannot, I dow not' go by^ 

> Interett * Accasations. • Bemoftn himedC 

« In UioM parts. ' Of necesnity, • Am not able. V p^L 


Christ. We take in good part that pride, that beggars beff from 
the richer ; and who so poor as we 1 and who so rich as He who 
selleth fine Gold ? (Rev. iii. 18.) I see, then, it is our best, (let 
guiltiness plead what it listeth,) that we have no mean under the 
covering of Heaven, but to creep in lowly and submissively wnth 
our wants to Christ. I have also cause to give his cross a good 
name and report. Oh, how worthy is Christ of my feckless * and 
light suffering ! and how hath he deserved it at my hands, that, 
for his honor and glory, I should lay my back under seven hells' 
pains in one, if he call me to that ! But alas ! ray soul is like a 
ship run on ground through ebbness'of water. I am sanded,* 
and my love is sanded,^ and I find not how to bring it on float 
again. It is so cold and dead, that I see not how to bring it to a 
flame. Fy, fy upon the meeting that my love hath given Christ. 
Wo, wo is me, I nave a lover Christ, and yet I want love for him : 
I have a lovely and desirable Lord, who is loveworthy, and who 
beggeth my love and heart, and I have nothing to give him. Dear 
brother, come further in on Christ, and see a new treasure in him. 
Come in, and look down, and see angels' wonder, and Heaven and 
earth's wonder of love, sweetness, majesty, and excellency in him. 

I forget you not. Pray for me, that our L^rd would be pleased 
to send me among you again, fraughted and full of Christ. 

Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



My very loving Friend, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to 
vou. — 1 have very often and long expected your letter : but if ye 
be well in soul and body, I am the less solicitous. 

I beseech you, in the Lord Jesus, to mind your country above : 
and now, when old age — the twilight going before the darkness 
of the grave, and the falling low of your sun before your night — 
is come upon you, advise with Christ, ere ye put your foot into 
the ship, and turn your back on this life. Many are beguiled with 
this, that they are free of scandalous and crying abominations ; but 
the tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is for the fire; the man 
that is not bom again, cannot enter into the Kingdom of God : — 
common honesty will not take men to Heaven. Alas, that men 
should think that ever they met with Christ, who had never a sick 
night, through the terrors of God in their souls, or a sore heart foi 
sin ! I know that the Lord hath given you light, and the knowl- 
edge of his will, but that is not all, neither will that do your turn. 
I wish you an awakened soul, and that ye beguile not yourself^ 

I WorthleM. « ShellowneH. > Stranded. 


in the matter of your salvation. My dear brother, search youraelf 
with the candle of God, and try if the Ufe of God and Christ be in 
»you. Salvation is not casten to every man'tf door. Many are 
carried over sea and land, to a far country in a ship, wbileas they 
sleep much of all the way ; but men are not landed at Heaven 
sleeping. The righteous are scarcely saved ; and many run a* 
fast as either you or I, who miss the prize and the crown. God 
send me salvation, and save me from a disappointment, and I seek 
no more. Men think it but a stride, of step over to Heaven ; but 
when so few are saved, even of a number like the sand of the sea 
— but a handful and a remnant, (as Grod's word saith) — what 
cause have we to shake ourselves out of ourselves, and to ask our 
poor soul, ^' Whither goest thou? Where shalt thou lodge at 
night? Where are thy charters and writs of thy heavenly in- 
heritance ?" 1 have known a man turn a key in a door, and lock 
it by.* Many men leap over, (as they think,} and leap in. Oh, 
see ! see that ye give not your salvation a wrong cast, and think 
all is well, and leave your soul loose and uncertain. Look to your 
building, and to your ground-stone,^ and what signs of Christ are 
in you, and set this world behind your back. It is time, now in 
the evening, to cease from your ordinary work, and high time to 
know of your lodging at night : it is your salvation that is in de- 
pendence, and that id a great and weighty business, though many 
make light of the matter. 

Now, the Lord enable you by his grace to work it ouL 

Your lawful, and loving pastor, S. R. 

Aberdeen, 1637. 



Reverend, and dear Brother, — I received yours. — ^I ble« 
his high and great name, that I like my sweet Master still the 
longer the better : a sight of his cross is more awsome * than the 
weight of it. I think the worst things of Christ, even his re- 
proaches and his cross, (when I look on these not with bleared 
eyes,) far rather to be chosen than the laughter and wonn-eatea 
ioys of my adversaries. Oh, that they were as 1 am, except my 
bonds ! My Witness is above, that my ministry, next to Christ, 
is dearest to me of anything ; but I lay it down at Christ's feet, 
for his glory and his honor as supreme Lawgiver, which is dearer 
to me. 

My dear brother, if ye will receive the testimony of a poor pris- 
oner of Christ, who dare not now dissemble for the world, I believt 
^rtainly, and expect thanks from the Prince of the kings of lh« 

i That ifl, turn the boH not into, bat paft the etaple or locket that ahovld Mi ft. 
• Foundation. * AwftU. 


earth, for my poor hazards, (such as they are,) for his honorable 
cause, whom I can never enough extol, for his running-over love 
to my sad soul, since I came hither. Oh, that I could get him set 
on high and praised ! I seek no more, as the top and root of my 
desires, than that Christ may make glory to himself, and edifica- 
tion to the weaker, out of my sufferings. 

I desire ye would help me both to pray and praise. Grace be 
with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 
Aberdeen, Jolj 8th, 1637. 



My Lord, — I persuade myself that notwithstanding the great- 
ness of this temptation, ye will not let Christ want a witness of 
you, to avow him before this evil generation. And if ye advise 
with God's truth, (the perfect testament of Christ, that forbiddeth 
all men's additions to his worship,) and with the truly learned, 
and with all the sanctified in this land, and with that warner 
within you, (which will not fail to speak against you, in God's 
name, if ye be not now fast and fixed for Christ,) I hope, then, 
that your Lordship will acquit yourself as a man of courage for 
Christ, and refuse to bow your knee superstitiously and idola* 
trously to wood or stone, or any creature whatsoever. I persuade 
myself that when ye shall take good night at this world, ye shall 
think it God's truth I now write. 

Some fear that your Lordship hath obliged yourself to His Maj- 
esty by promise to satisfy his desire. If it be so, my dear, and 
worthy Lord, hear me for your soul's good. Think upon swim- 
ming ashore after this shipwreck, and be pleased to write your 
humble apology to his Majesty ; it may be that God will give you 
favor in his eyes. However it be, far be it from you to think a 

Cromise made out of weakness, and extorted by the terror of a 
ing, should bind you to wrong your Lord, Jesus. But for my- 
felf, I give no faith to that report, but 1 believe that ye will prove 
last to Christ. To this grace I recommend you. 

Your Lordship's, at all obedience in Christ, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jaly 8, 1637. 



Worthy, and dearest in the Lord, — I rejoice that you 
are a partaker of the sufferings of Christ Faint not, keep breath. 

344 ruthkaford's letters. 

believe ; howbeit meD, and hu9^*and, and friends, prove weak, yeC 
your Htren^lb failelh not. It is not pride for a drowning man to 
grip to * the rock. It is your glory to lay hold on your Rock. O 
woman greatly beloved ! I testify and avouch it in my Lord, that 
the prayers ye sent to Heaven, these many years by-gone,* are 
come up before the Lord and shall not be forgotten. What it is 
that will come, I cannot tell ; but I know that, as the Lord liveih, 
these cries shall bring down rtiercy. I charge you, and those peo- 
ple with you, to go on without fainting or fear, and still believe, 
and take no nay-say.* If ye leave off, the field is lost; if ye con- 
tinue, our enemies shall be a tottering wall, and a bowin? fence. 
I write it, (and keep this letter,) utter, utter desolation shall be to 
your adversaries, and to the haters of the Virgin-daughter of Scot- 
land. The bride will yet sing, as in the davs of her youth. Sal- 
vation shall be her walls and bulwarks. The dry olive-tree shall 
bud again, and dry dead bones shall live; for the Lord will pro- 
phesy to the dry bones, and the Spirit shall come upon them, and 
we shall live. 

I rejoice to hear of John Carsen ! I shall not forget him. Re 
membier me to Grizzel, and Jean Brown. Your husband hath 
made me heavy; but be courageous. in the Lord. I send blessing 
to Samuel and William. Show them that I will them to seek 
Qod in their youth. 

Grace is yours. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R 

Aberdeen, Jaly 8, 1637. 



Madam, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — I am much re- 
freshed with your letter, now at length come to me. I find my 
Lord Jesus cometh not in that precise way that I lay wait for him ; 
he hath a gate * of his own : oh, how high are his ways above my 
ways ! I see but little of him. It is best not to offer to learn him 
a lesson, but to give him absolutely his own will, in comin?, eo- 
ing, ebbing, and in the manner of his gracious working. I want 
nothing but a back-burden of Christ's love. I would go through 
Hell, and the thick* of the damned devils, to have a hearty fca^ 
of Christ's love; for he hath fettered me with his love, and run 
away, and left me a chained man. 

Wo is me, that I was po loose, rash, vain, and graceless, in my 
unbelieving thoughts of Christ's love. But what can a soiit undar 
a non-entry, (when my* rights • were wadset' and lost,) do ebe^ 

I To clin? to. < Bv-pAffvrd. I Nay-worrl, denial. « MaaMf . 

» Thron|r. « Charter*. ▼ Alienated. 

Rutherford's letters. 345 

but make a false libel against Christ's love ! I know that yourself, 
madam, and many moe, will be witnesses ag^ainst me, if I repent 
not of my unbehef ; for I have been seeking the Pope's wares, 
some hire for grace within myself. I have not learned, as 1 should 
do, to put my stock and all my treasure into Christ's hand ; but I 
would have a stock of mine own, and ere I was aware, I was tak- 
ing hire to be the Law's advocate, to seek justification by works. 
I forgot, that grace is the only garland that is worn in Heaven, 
upon the heads of the glorified. And now I half rejoice, that I 
have sickness for Christ to work upon. Since I must have wounds, 
well is my soul ! I have a day's work for my Physician, Christ 
I hope to give Christ his own calling : it setteth him full well to. 
cure diseases. 

My ebbings are very low, and the tide is far out when my Be- 
loved goeth away; and then I cry, "Oh, cruelty! to put out the 
poor -man's one eye ;" and that was my joy next to Christ, to 

f>reach my Well-beloved : then I make a noise about Christ's house, 
ooking unco-like ^ in at his window, and casting my love and my 
' desires over the wall, till God send better. I am often content 
that my bill lie in Heaven, till the day of my departure, providing 
I had assurance, that mercy shall be written on the back of it. 
I would not care for on-wailing ; but when I draw in a tired arm, 
and an empty hand withal, it is much to me to keep my thoughts 
in order — but 1 will not get a gate * for Christ's love, when I have 
done all I can. I would fain yield to his stream, and row with 
Christ, and not against him. But while I live, I see that Christ's 
Kingdom in me will not be peaceable — so many thoughts in me 
rise up against his honor and kingly power. Surely, 1 have not 
expre^fsed all his sweet kindness to me : I spare to do it, lest I be 
deemed to seek myself; but his breath hatn smelled of the pow- 
ders of the merchant, and of the king's spikenard. I think that I 
conceive new thoughts of Heaven, because the chart and the map 
of Heaven, which he letteth me now see, is so fair, and so sweet. 
I am sure that we are niggards, and sparing bodies in seeking. 
I verily judge that we know not how much may be had in this 
life ; there is yet something beyond all that we see, that seeking 
would light upon. Oh, that my love sickness would put me to a 
business, when all the world are sound-sleeping, to cry and knock ! 
But the truth is, that since I came hither, 1 have been wondering, 
that, after my importunity to have my fill of Christ's love, I have 
not gotten a real sign, but have come from him crying, " Hunger, 
hunger.'^ I think that Christ letteth me see meat in my extremity 
of hunger, and giveth me none of it: when I am near the apple, 
he draweth back his hand, and goeth away to cause me follow; 
and again, when I am within an arm-length of the apple, he 
roaketh a new break to the gate ' and I have him to seek of new. 
He seemeth not to pity my dwining^ and my swooning for his 

t Having an appearance of stmngenen. t Way. 

s That is, maketh a rush oat to the door, apparently ibr the porpoae of eacapiog. 
4 Pining. 

346 Rutherford's letters. 

love. I dare sometimes put my hunger over to him, to be judged, 
if I would not buy him with a thousand years in the hottest fur* 
nace in Hell, so being I might enjoy him. But my hunger is fed 
with want and absence. I hunger, and I have not ; but my coni- 
fort is to lye and wait on, and to put my poor soul and my suffer- 
ings into Christ's hand. Let bim make anything out of me, so 
being he be glorified in my salvation ; for I know that 1 am made 
for him. Ob, that my Lord may win his own gracious end in uie. 
I will not be at ease, while I but stand so far aback. Oh, if I 
were near him, and with him, that this poor soul might be satis- 
fied with himself! 

. Your son-in-law, W. G., is now truly honored for his Lord and 
Master's cause : when the Lord is fanning Zion, it is a (rood 
token that he is a true branch of the vine, that the Lord bq^n- 
neth first to dress him. He is strong in his Lord, as he haih 
written to me, and his wife b his encourager, which should make 
you rejoice. 

As for your son, who is your grief, your Lord waited on you and 
me, till we were ripe, and brought us in. It is your part to pray 
and wait upon him : when he is ripe he will be spoken for. W1m> 
can command our Lord's wind to blow ? I know that it sliall be 
your good in the latter end. That is one of your waters to Heaven, 
ye could not go about it — ^there arethe fewer behind. I remem- 
ber you and him, and yours, as I am able : but alas ! I am be- 
lieved to be something, and I am nothing but an empty reed: 
wants are my best riches, because I have these supplied by Christ 

Remember my dearest love to your brother. I know that be 
pleadeth with his Harlot-mother for her apostasy. 1 know also 
that ye are kind to my worthy Lady Kenmure, a woman beloved 
of the Lord, who hath been very mindful of my bonds. The Loid 
give her and her child to find mercy in the day of Christ ! Crreil 
men are dry and cold in doing for me ; the tinkling of chains for 
Chrjst affrighteth them: but, let my Lord break all my idols, I 
will yet bless him. I am obliged to my Lord Lorn. I wish bkn 

Remember my bonds witli praises ; and pray for me, that my 
Lord may leaven the North, by my bonds and sufferings. 

Grace be with you. 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, July 9, 1637. 



Dear Brother,— Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — Tbers 
is no question but our Mother-church hath a Father, and thai sb« 
shall not die without an heir, that her enemies shall not make 


MouQi Zion their heritage. We see that whither-eoever Zion'a 
enemies go, suppose they dig many miles i jider the ground, yet 
our Lord findeth them out : and he hath vengeance laid up in 
store for them, and the poor and needy shall not always be for- 
gotten. Our hope was drooping and withering, and man was 
saying, " What can God make out of the old dry bones of this 
buried Kirk ?" The prelates and their followers were a grave 
above us. It is like that our Lord is to open our graves, and pur- 
poseth to cause his two slain witnesses to rise on the third day. 
Oh, how long wait I, to hear our weeping Lord, Jesus, sing again, 
and triumph and rejoice, and divide tne spojl ! 

I find it hard work to believe, when the course of providence 
goeth cross-wise to our faith, and when misted ^ souls in a dark 
night cannot know east by west, and our sea-compass seemeth to 
fail us. Every man is a believer in day-light : a fair day seemeth 
to be made all of faith and hope. What a trial of |[old is it, to 
smoke it a little above the fire? but to keep gold per^ctly yellow- 
colored amidst the flames, and to be turned from vessel to vessel, 
and yet to cause our furnace to sound, and speak, and cry the 
praises of the Lord, is another matter. I know that my Lord made 
me not for fire, howbeit he hath fitted me in some measure for the 
fire. I bless bis high name, that I wax not paler, neither have I 
lost the color of gold, and that his fire hath made me somewhat 
thin,' and that my Lord may pour me into any vessel he pleaseth. 
Vox a small wager I may justly quit my part of this world's laugh- 
ter, and give up with time, and cast out ' with the pleasures of 
this world. 

I know a man, who wondered to see any in this life laugh oi 
sport : surely our Lord seeketh this of us, as to any rejoicing in 
present perishing things. I see above all things, that we may sit 
down, and fold legs and arms, and stretch ourselves upon Christ, 
and laugh at the feathers that children are chasing here. For I 
think the men of this world, like children in a dangerous storm in 
the sea, that play and make sport with the white foam of the waves 
thereof, coming in to sink and drown them ; so are men making 
fools' sports with the white pleasures of a stormy world, that wiO 
sink them. But, alas! what have we to do with their sports 
which they make? If Solomon said of laughter that it was mad- 
ness, what may we say of this world's laughing and sporting them- 
selves with gold and silver, and honors and court, and broad large 
conquests,^ but that they are poor souls, in the height and rage 
of a fever gone mad ? then a straw, a fig for all created sports 
and rejoicing out of Christ. Nay, I think that this world, at its 
prime and perfection, when it is come to the top of its excellency, 
and to the bloom, miebt be bought with an half-penny ; and that 
ii would scarce weigh the worth of a drink of water. There is 
nothing better than to esteem it our crucified idol, that is dead and 
•lain, as Paul did, (Gal. vi. 14.) Then let pleasures be crucified, 
and riches be crucified, and court and honor be crucified ; and 
> Bewildered. * Flukl. > Fall rat. « AcqimitioiMi 

348 Rutherford's letters. 

since the apostle saith that the world is crucified to him, we may 
put tliis world to the hanged man's doom, and to the erallows : and 
who will give much for a hanged man ? and as little should we 
ffive for a hanged and crucified world. Yet, what a sweet smell 
bath this dead carrion to many fools in the world ! and how many 
wooers and suitors findeth this hanged carrion ! Fools are pulling 
it ofi* the gallows, and contending for it. Oh, when will we learn 
to be mortified men, and to have our fill of those things that hare 
but their short summer quarter of this life ! If we saw our Father's 
house, and that great and fair city, the New Jerusalem, which is 
up abdve sun and moqn, we would cry to be over the water, and 
to be carried in Christ's arms out of this borrowed prison. 
Grace, grace be with you. 

Yours, in bis sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

* Aberdeen, 1637. 



Much honored Sir, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. — 
Upon the report of this worthy bearer concerning you, I thought 
good to speak a word to you — it is enough for acquaintance, that 
we are one in Christ 

My* earnest desire to you is, that ye would, in the fear of God, 
compare your inch and hand-breadth of time with vast eternity, 
and your thoughts of this now fair, blooming and green world, with 
the thoughts which ye will have of it when corruption and worms 
will make their houses in your eye-holes, and eat your flesh, and 
make that body dry bones. If ye so do, I know then that yoor 
light of this world's vanity shall be more clear than now it is ; and 
I am persuaded ye will then think, that men's labors for this clay- 
idol are to be laughed at. Therefore, come near, and lake a view 
of that transparent beauty that is in Christ, which would bu9y 
the love of ten thousand millions of worlds and angels, and bold 
them all at work. Surely 1 am grieved, that men will not spend 
their whole love upon that royal and princely Well-beloved, that 
high and lofty One — for it is cursed love that runneth 'anoth- 
er way than upon him. And for myself, if I had ten loves and 
ten souls, oh, how glad would I be, if he would break in upon roe 
and take possession of them all ! Wo, wo is me, that he and I 
are so far asunder ! I hope we shall be in one country and one 
house together. Truly pain of love-sickness for Jesus maketh roe 
to think it long, long, long to the dawning of that day. Oh, that 
he would cut short years and months and hours, and over-leap 
time, that we might meet ! 

And for this truth, sir, that ye profess, I avow — before the 
world of men and angels, that it is the way, and the only way, to 
our country, the rest are by-ways ; and, that what I suffer lor is 

Rutherford's letiers. 349 

the apple of Christ's eye, even his honor as Lawgiver and King 
of his Church. I think death too httle ere 1 forsook it. Do not, 
sir, 1 heseech you in the Lord, make Christ's court thinner by 
drawing back from him ; it is too thin aheady ; for I dare pledge 
my iieaven upon it, that he will win this plea, and that the fools 
who plea against htm shall lose the wager, which is their part of 
salvation, except they take better heed to their ways^. Sir, free 
grace that we give no hire for, is a jewel which our Lord giveth 
to few. Stand fast in the hope that you are called unto. Our 
master will rend the clouds, and will be upon us quickly, and 
clear our cause, and bring us all out in our blacks and whites. 
Clean, clean garments, in the Bridegroom's eye, are of great worth. 
Step over this hand-breadth of world's glory, into our Lord's new 
world of grace, and ye will laugh at th^ feathers that children are 
chasing in the air. 1 verily judge, that these inns, which men 
are building their nest in, are not worth a drink of cold water. It 
is a rainy and smoky house : best we come out of it, lest we be 
choked with the smoke thereof. Oh, that my adversaries knew 
how sweet my sighs for Christ are, and what it is for a sinner to 
lay his head between Christ's breasts and to be over head and 
ears in Christ's love ! Alas, I cannot cause paper to speak the 
height, and breadth, and depth of it ! I have not a balance to 
weigh the worth of my Lord Jesus. Heaven, ten heavens would 
not be the beam of a balance to weigh him in. I must give over 
praising of him. Angels see but little of him. Oh, if' that fair 
one would take the mask off his fair face, that I might see him — 
a kiss of him through his mask is half a heaven. ^^ O day, dawn ! 
O time, run fast! O Bridegroom, post, post fast, that we may 
meet ! O Heavens, cleave in two, that that bright face and head 
may set itself through the clouds !" Oh, that the corn were ripe, 
and this world prepared for his hook ! * 

Sir, be pleased to remember a prisoner's bonds. Grace be with 

Yours, in his sweet Lord Jesus, S. R. 

Aberdeen, Jaly 10, 1637. 




Dearly beloved and longed for in the Lord, my crown and my 
joy in the day of Christ, grace be to you, and peace from God our 
Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. 

I long exceedingly to know, if the oft-spoken-of match betwixt 
you and Christ holdeth ; and if ye follow on to know the Lord. 
My day-thoughts and my night-thoughts are of you : while ye 
sleep I am afraid of your souls, that they be off the rock ; next to 

> Oil, that ' Sickle. 


my Lord Jeaus and this fallen Kirk, ye have the greatest share oi 
my sorrow, and also of my joy ; ye are the matter of the tean^ 
care, fear, and daily prayers of an oppressed prisoner of Christ. 
As I am in bonds for my high and lofty One, my royal and princely 
Master, my Lord Jesus ; so I am in bonds for you. For I should 
have slept in my warm nest, and kept the fal world in my arms, 
and the cords of my tabernacle should have been fastened more 
strongly, 1 might have sung an evangel * of ease to my soul and 
you for a time, with my brethren, the sons of my Mother, that 
were angry at me, and have thrust me out of the vineyard, if I 
would have been broken, and drawn on to mire you the Lord's 
flock, and to cause you to eat pastures trodden upon with men's 
feet, and to drink foul and muddy waters: — but truly the Al- 
mighty was a terror to me, and his fear made me afraid. O my 
Lord ! judge if my ministry be not dear to me, but not so dear l^ 
many degrees as Christ Jesus my Lord. Grod knoweth the sad 
and heavy Sabbaths I have had since I laid down at my Master'f 
feet my two shepherds' staves. I have been often saying, as it » 
written, (Lam. iii. 52, 53,) '^ My enemies chased me sore like a 
bird, without cause : they have cut off my life in the dungeon^ 
and cast a stone upon me ;" for, next to Christ, I had but one joy, 
the apple of the eye of my delights, to preach Christ my Lord, and 
* they nave violently plucked that away from me. And it was to 
me like the poor man's one eye, and they have put out that eye, 
and quenched my light in the inheritance of the Lord ; — but my 
eye is toward the Lord. I know that I shall see the salvation of 
God, and that my hope shall not always be forgotten. And my 
sorrow shall want nothing to complete it, and to make me say, 
" What availeth it me to live ?" if ye follow the voice of a stranger, 
of one that cometh into the sheepfold not by Christ the door, but 
climbeth up apother way. If the man build his hay and stubbie 
upon the golden foundation, Christ Jesus already laid among you, 
and ye follow him, I assure you, the man's work shall burn, and 
never bide ' God's fire, and ye and he both shall be in danger of 
everlasting burning except ye repent. Oh, if any pain, any snr- 
row, any Toss that I can suffer for Christ, and for you, were bud 
in pledge to buy Christ's love to you, and that I could lay my dear- 
est joys next to Christ my Lord in the gap betwixt you and cier- 
nal destruction ! Oh, if * I had paper as broad as Heaven and 
earth, and ink as the sea and all the rivers and fountains of ibe 
earth, and were able to write the love, the worth, the excellency, 
the sweetness, and due praises of our dearest and fairest Well- 
beloved ; and then, if ye could read and understand it ! What 
could I want, if my ministry among you should make a marriage 
between the little bride in those bounds and the Bridegroom? 
Oh, how rich a prisoner were I, if I could obtain of my Lord, (be- 
fore whom I stand for vou,) the salvation of you all ! Oh, wnat 
a prey had I gotten, to have you catched in Christ's net ! O then, 
I had cast out my Lord's lines aAd his net with a rich gain ! Oh 
> Gospel, Lake lii. 19. * Bndare. * ThML 


tbeii, well wared * pained breast and sore* J)ack, and crazed body, 
in speaking early and late to you ! My Witness is above, your 
heaven would be two heavens to me, and the salvation of you all 
as two salvations to me. 1 would subscribe a suspension, and a 
fristing' of ray heaven for many hundred years, (according to 
God's good pleasure,) if you w6re sure in the upper lodging, in our 
Fathers house, before me. I take to witness Heaven and earth 
against you, I take instruments^ in the hands of that sun and 
daylight that beheld us, and in the hands of the timber and walls 
of that Kirk, if I drew not up a fair contract of marriage betwixt 
you and Christ, if I went not with offers betwixt the Bridegroom 
and you ; and your conscience did bear you witness, your mouths 
confessed, that there were many fair trystes ■ and meetings drawn 
on betwixt Christ and you at communion feasts, and other occa- 
sions. There were bracelets, jewels, rings, and love-letters, sent 
to yon by the Brid^room. It w^as told you what a fair dowry ye 
should have, and what a house your Husband and ye should dwell 
in, and what was the Bridegroom's excellency, sweetness, might, 
power, the eternity and glory of his Kingdom, the exceeding deep- 
ness of His love, who sought his black wife through pam, fires, 
shame, death, and the grave, and swimmed the salt sea for her, 
undergoing the curse of the Law, and then was made a curse for 
you, and ye then consented, and said, '< Even so I take him." I 
counsel you to beware of the new and strange leaven of men's in- 
ventions, beside and against the word of God, contrary to the oath 
of this Kirk, now coming among you. I instructed you of the 
superstition and idolatry of kneeling in the instant of receiving 
the Lord's supper, and of crossing in baptism, and of the observ- 
ing of men's days without any warrant of Christ, our perfect Law- 
giver. Countenance not the surplice, the attire of the mass-priest, 
the garment of Baal's priests. The abominable bowing to altars 
of tree' is coming upon you. Hate, and keep yourselves from 
idols. Forbear in any case to hear the reading of the new father- 
less Service-book,^ full of gross heresies, popish and superstitious 
errors, without any warrant of Christ, tending to the overthrow 
of preaching. You owe no obedience to the bastard canons : they 
are unlawful, blasphemous, and superstitious. All the ceremonies 
that lye in Anti-christ's foul womb, the wares of that gfreat Mother 
of fornications, the Kirk of Rome, are to be refused. Ye see 
whither they lead you. Continue still in the doctrine which ye 
have received. Ye heard of me the whole counsel of Grod. Sew 
no clouts upon Christ's robe. Take Christ in his rags and losses, 
and as persecuted by men, and be content to sigh and pant up 
the mountain, wi'.h Christ's cross on your back. Let me be re- 
puted a false prophet, (and your conscience once said the contrary,) 

1 Well expended. > Aching. 

' A postponing, with the hope, howerer, of ultimately obtaining. 

< In conieqnence of a decision, anv one who has an interest in the court, is said fs 
taJU tnttrummit in the hands of the clerk, when he means to declare that he cUioM 
Uie benefit of that decision, and Tiews the matter as settled. 

i Appoiotments to meet • Wood. f Book of Common Prayer. 

352 Rutherford's letters. 

if your Lord Jesus will not stand by you and maintain you, 
maintain your cause against your enemies. 

I have heard, (and my soul is grieved for it,) that since my de- 
parture from you, many among you are turned back from the good 
old way, to the dog's vomit again. Let me speak to these men. 
It was not without God's special direction, that the first senteooe 
that ever my moutC uttered to you was that of John ix. 39, " And 
Jesus said. For judgment came I into the world, that they which 
see not might see, and they which see might be made blind." It 
is possible that my first meeting and yours may be when we shall 
both stand before the dreadful Judge of the world ; and in the 
name and authority of the Son of God, my great King and Master, 
I write, by these presents, summonses to those men. I arrest their 
souls and bodies to the day of our compearance.^ Their eternal 
damnation standeth subscribed, and sealed in Heaven, by the 
handwriting of the great Judge of quick and dead ; and I am 
ready to stand up, as a preaching witness against such to their 
face, on that day, and to say amen to their condemnation, except 
they repent. The vengeance of the Gospel is heavier than the 
vengeance of the Law : the Mediator's malediction and vengeance 
is twice vengeance, and that vengeance is the due portion of such 
men ; and there I leave them as bound men, aye and whill* they 
repent and amend. Ye were witnesses how the Lord's day was 
spent while I was among you. O sacrilegious robber of God's 
day, what wilt thou answer the Almighty when he seeketh so 
many Sabbaths back again from thee? "V^hat will the curser, 
swearer, and blasphemer do, when his tongue shall be roasted in 
that broad and burning Lake of fire and brimstone ; and what will 
the drunkard do, when tongue, lungs, and liver, bones, auJ all, 
shall boil and shall fry in a torturing fire ? He shall be far from 
his barrels of strong drink then, and there is not a cold well of 
water for him in Hell. What shall be the case of the wretch, tlie 
covetous man, the oppressor, the deceiver, the earth-worm, who 
can never set his wombful* of clay, when, in the day of Christ, 
gold and silver must lye burnt in ashes, and he must compear* 
and answer his Judge, and quit hi; clayey and noughty * heaven? 
Wo, wo, for evermore, be to the time-turning* atheist, who hath 
one god and one religion for summer, and another god and an- 
other religion for winter, and the day of fanning, when Christ 
fanneth all that is in his barn-floor — who hath a conscience for 
every fair and market, and the soul of him runneth upon these 
oiled wheels, time, custom, the world, and command of men. 
Oh, if ^ the careless atheist, and sleeping man, who edgeth by' all 
with " God forgive our pastors if they lead us wrong, we must do 
as they command," and layeth down his head upon time's bosom, 
and giveth his conscience to a deputy, and sleepeth so whill the 

^ dPP^'^^''^^ ' Forever and notil ; that is, wUhont potnbilit^ of 

t Bellj-Aiil. « Appear. • Having nolhing ia iL 

• Changing with the timee. v Ob, that. 

• Sidleth]^ 


flinoke of Hell-fire flee * up in his throat, and cause him to start 
oat of is doleful bed ! oh, if such a n)an would awake. Many 
woes are for the over-gilded and gold-plastered hypocrite. A 
heavy doom is for the liar and white-tongued flatterer : and the 
fleeing' book of God's fearful vengeance, twenty cubits long, and 
ten cubits broad, that goeth out from the face of God, shall enter 
into the house, and in upon the soul of him that stealeth and 
sweareth falsely by God's name, (Zech. v. 2, 3.) I denounce 
eternal burning, hotter than Sodom's flames, upon the men that 
boil in filthy lusts of fornication, adultery, incest, and the like 
wickedness; no room, no, not a foot-broad,* for such vile dogs 
within the clean Jerusalem. Many of you put oflf all with this, 
" G»od forgive us, we know no better :" I renew my old answer, 
(2 Thes. i. 8,) the Judge is coming in flaming fire, with all his 
mighty angels, to render vengeance to all those that know not God, 
and believe not I have often told you, that security will slay you. 
All men say they have faith — as many men and women now, as 
many saints in Heaven — and all believe, (say ye,) that every foul 
dog is clean enough, and good enough for the clean and new 
Jerusalem above. Every man hath conversion and the new birth ; 
but it is not leel come ^ they had never a sick night for sin ; con- 
version came to them in a night-dream. In a word. Hell will be 
empty at the day of Judgment, and Heaven pang* full. Alas ! it is 
neither easy nor ordinary to believe and to be saved. Many must 
stand, in the end, at Heaven's gates ; when they go to take out 
their faith, they take out a fair nothing, or, (as ye use to speak,) 
a blaflum.v Oh, lamentable disappointment ! I pray you, I charge 
you in the name of Christ make fast work of Uhrist and sal- 

I know there are some believers among you, and I write to you, 
O poor broken-hearted believers, all the comforts of Chrbt in the 
Old and New Testaments are yours. Oh, what a Father and 
Husband ^e have ! Oh, if* I had pen and ink, and ingine' to 
write of him ! Let Heaven and earth be consolidated into massy 
and pure gold, it will not weigh the thousandth part of Christ's 
love to a soul, even to me a poor prisoner. Oh, that is a massy 
and marvellous love! Men and angels! unite your force and 
strength in one, ye shall not heave, nor poise it oflT the ground. 
Ten thousand worlds — as many worlds as angels can number, 
and then as a new world of angels can multiply — would not all 
be the balk ' of a balance to weigh Christ's excellency, sweetness, 
and love. Put ten earths into one, and let a rose grow greater 
than ten whole earths, or whole worlds, oh, what beauty would be 
in it, and what a smell would it cast ! — but a blast of the breath 
of that fairest Rose in all God's paradise, even of Christ Jesus our 
Lord, one look of that fairest face would be infinitely, in beauty 
and smell, above all imaginable and created glory. I wonder that 

• PIf. « Oh, that » Pljing. 

^ Fool-hreadUi. * Lawfully obtained. * CramnMd. 

V An UliMion. * Oeniua. * Beam. 


3ft4 Rutherford's LBTTBRa 

men dow bide oflf' Chriat. I would esteem myRelf bleMed, if I 
could make an open proclamation, and gather all the world, that 
are living upon the earth, Jew and Gentile, and all that shall b« 
born till the blowing of the last trumpet, to flock round aboai 
Christ, and to stand looking, wondering, admiring, and adoring 
bis beauty and sweetness ; for his fire is bolter than any other fire, 
his love sweeter than common love, his beauty surpasseth all 
other beauty. When I am heavy and sad, one of his lo¥e-looks 
would do me meikle world's good.^ Oh, if ye would fail la lovo 
with him, how blessed were I ! how glad would my soul be to help 
you to love him ! But amongst us all, we could not love him 
enough. He is the Son of the Father's love, and God's deligbl — 
the Father's love lyeth all upon him. Oh, if ' all mankind would 
fetch all their love, and lay it upon him ! Invite him, and take 
him liome to your bouses, in the exercise of prayer, momiog and 
evening, as I often desired you ; especially now, let him not want 
lodging in your houses, nor lie in the fields, when he is shut oai 
of pulpits and Kirks. If ye will be content to take Heavea by 
violence, and the wind on your face for Christ and his cross, I am 
here one who hath some trial of Christ's cross, and I can say, thai 
Christ was ever kind to me, but he overcometh * himself^ (if I may 
speak so,^ in kindness while I suffer for him. I give you my 
word for it, Christ's cross is not so evil as they call it ; it is sweec, 
light, and comfortable. I would not be without the visitations of 
love, and the very breathings of Christ's mouth when he Idsaeih, 
and my Lord's delightsome smiles and love-embracemenU, under 
my sufierings for him, for a mountain of gold, or for all the honors^ 
court, and grandeur of velvet kirkmen. Christ hath the yolk and 
heart of mv love. ^' I am my Beloved's, and my Well-beloved m 
mine." On, that ye were all hand-fasted' to Christ! O my 
dearly-beloved in the Lord, I would I could change my voice and 
had a tongue tuned by the hand of my Lord, and had the art of 
speaking of Christ, that I might paint out unto you the worth, 
and highness, and greatness, and excellency of that fairest and 
renowned Bridegroom ! I beseech you by the mercies of the Lord, 
by the sighs, tears, and heart's-blood of our Lord Jesus, by the 
salvation t)f your poor and precious souls, set up* the mountain, 
that ye and I may meet before the Lamb's throne, amongst tha 
congregation of the first-born. Lord grant that that mav be the 
trysting^place,^ that ye and I may put up our hands together, and 

!)luck, and eat the apples, oflf the Tree of Life, and that we may 
east together, and drink together of that pure River of the water 
of life, that cometh out from under the Throne of God, and of the 
Lamb. Oh, how little is your hand breadth and span-length of 
days here ! Your inch of time b less than when ye and 1 p^^f^^ 
Eternity, eternity is coming, posting on with wiogs— then 

> Are able to keep from ranning upon. 

* Oood worth the value of the great world. * Oh, that 
« Surpaweth, goeth beyond. * AflUoeed. 

* Begin tit climb, determined to reach the eiumniC. ▼ Appointed plaee of 

Rutherford's letters. 366 

iraiy man's blacks and whites be brought to Ikht. Oh, how low 
will your thoughts be of this fair-skinned but oeart-rotten apple, 
the vain, vain, feckless * world, when the worms shall make their 
houses in your eye-holes, and shall eat off the flesh from the ball 
of your cheeks, and shall make that body a number of dry bones! 
Think not t