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Letters of Samuel Rutherford - Hardcover (Rutherford)

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These letters will ever be precious to all who are sensible of their own, and the Church’s decay and corruptions– The wound and the cure are therein so fully opened out: self is exposed, specially spiritual self. He will tell you, ‘There is as much need to watch over grace, as to watch over sin.’ He will show you God 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 otherwise in regard to corruption in public, and in the Church. We do not mean merely the open corruption of error, but also the secret ‘gray hairs’ of decay. Hear him cry, ‘There is universal deadness on that fear of God. O where are the sometime quickening breathings and influences from heaven that have refreshed His hidden ones!’ And then he laments, in the name of the saints, ‘We are half satisfied with out witherdness; nor have we as much of his strain who doth eight times breathe out that suit, Quicken me!’ ‘We live far from the well, and complain but dryly of our dryness.’- Andrew Bonar

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48 Lady Kenmure  
45 Marion M’Naught  
10 Lady Boyd  
8 Colonel Gilbert Ker  
6 Robert Gordon of Knockbreck  
5 Alexander Gordon of Earlston  
5 Lord Craighall  
5 Mr David Dickson  
4 Alexander Gordon of Knockgray  
4 John Fleming, Bailie of Leith  
4 John Gordon of Cardoness, Elder  
4 John Stuart, Provost of Ayr  
4 Lady Culross  
4 Mr John Scot, at Oxnam  
4 William Glendinning, Bailie of Kirkcudbright  
3 Earlston, the Elder  
3 Earlston, the Younger  
3 John Gordon of Cardoness, Younger  
3 John Kennedy, Bailie of Ayr  
3 Lady Busbie  
3 Mr Thomas Garven  
3 The Laird of Carleton  
3 William Dalgleish, Minister of the Gospel  
3 William Rigge of Athernie  
2 Alexander Colville of Blair  
2 Barbara Hamilton  
2 Grizzel Fullerton, daughter of Marion M’Naught  
2 Janet Kennedy  
2 Jean Brown  
2 John Gordon, at Rusco  
2 John Henderson, in Rusco  
2 John Nevay  
2 Lady Cardoness  
2 Lady Gaitgirth  
2 Lady Largirie  
2 Lord Boyd  
2 Lord Loudon  
2 Mr George Gillespie  
2 Mr Hugh Henderson, Minister of Dalry  
2 Mr Hugh M’Kail, Minister of Irvine  
2 Mr James Guthrie, Minister at Stirling  
2 Mr John Fergushill  
2 Mr John Meine, Junior  
2 Mr John Murray, Minister at Methven  
2 Mr Matthew Mowat, Minister of Kilmarnock  
2 Mr Robert Blair  
2 Mr Thomas Wylie, Minister of Borgue  
2 Robert Gordon, Bailie of Ayr  
2 Robert Lennox of Disdove  
2 The Earl of Cassillis  
2 The Laird of Cally  
2 William Fullerton, Provost of Kirkcudbright  
  Sketch of Samuel Rutherford 1
  To a Christian Gentlewoman, on the death of a Daughter 34
  To John Kennedy – Deliverance from Shipwreck 74
  To a Gentleman at Kirkcudbright, excusing himself from visiting 83
  To Mr Robert Cunningham, at Holywood, in Ireland– Consolation to a Brother in Tribulation 140
  To William Gordon of Roberton – How Trials are Misimproved 153
  To Margaret Ballantine – Value of the Soul, and Urgency of Salvation 166
  To the Earl of Lothian – Advice as to Public Conduct 174
  To Jean Blown – The Joys of this Life embittered by Sin 177
  To Elizabeth Kennedy – Danger of Formality 183
  To the Rev John Livingstone  –  Resignation 190
  To Mr Ephraim Melvin  –  Kneeling at the Lord’s Supper a species of Idolatry 192
  To Janet Macculloch  –  Christ’s Sufficiency 210
  To Lady Cardoness, Elder  –  Christ and His Cause Recommended 213
  To a Gentlewomanupon the death of her Husband 217
  To Lady Kaskiberry    –   Gratitude for Kindness 222
  To Lady Earlston  –  Following Christ not Easy 223
  To Mr Robert Douglas  –  Greatness of Christ’s Love revealed to those who suffer for Him 229
  To Mr Alexander Henderson  –  Sadness because of Christ’s Headship not set forth 232
  To Mr Matthew Moncat, Minister at Kilmarnock  –  Plenitude of Christ’s Love 242
  To William Halliday  –  Diligence in securing Salvation 245
  To a Gentlewoman after the death of her Husband 245
  To Lady Forret – Sickness a Kindness 249
  To John Carsen – Nothing worth the Finding but Christ 251
  To Jean Macmillan  – Strive to enter In 259
  To John Ewart, Bailie of Kirkcudbright – The Cross no Burden 262
  To Robert Glendinning, Minister of Kirkcudbright  –  Prepare to meet thy God 264
  To Lord Balmerinoch – His happy Obligations to Christ 267
  To Lady Mar, Younger – No Exchange for Christ 269
  To James Macadam – The Kingdom taken by Force 270
  To William Livingstone – Counsel to a Youth 271
  To William Gordon of Whitepark – Nothing lost by Trials 272
  To Mr Georqe Gillespie, Minister of Kirkcaldy – Suspicions of Christ’s Love Removed 273
  To Jean Gordon – God the Satisfying Portion 275
  To Mr Tames Bruce, Minister of the Gospel – Misjudging of Christ’s Ways 276
  To Lady Hallhill – Christ’s Crosses better than Egypt’s Treasures 278
  To John Osburn, Provost of Ayr – Adherence to Christ 280
  To John Meine, Senior – Enjoyment of God’s Love 281
  To Bethaia Aird – Unbelief under Trials 284
  To Patrick Carsen – Early Devotedness to Christ 287
  To Ninian Mure, one of the family of Cassincarrie – A Youth Admonished 307
  To the Laird of Moncrieff – Concert in Prayer 321
  To John Clark  – Marks of Difference betwixt Christians and Reprobates 323
  To John Laurie – Christ’s Love 330
  To Earleton, the Younger – Dangers of Youth 348
  To Mr J-R – Christ the Purifier of His Church 355
  To Robert Stuart – Christ chooses His own in the Furnace 363
  Mr John Fergushill of Ochiltree – Desponding Views of his own State 368
  To the Laird of Carsluth – Necessity of making sure of Salvation 373
  To the Laird of Cassincarrie – Earnestness about Salvation 376
  To Sibylla Macadam – Christ’s Beauty and Excellence 380
  To William Gordon, at Kenmure  – Testimony to Christ’s Worth 399
  To Margaret Fulterton – Christ, not Creatures, worthy of all Love 401
  To a Christian Gentlewoman – God’s Skill to bless by Affliction 412
  To Mr James Harnilum, Minister of the Gospel – Suffering for Christ’s Headship 418
  To Mistress Stuart – Personal Unworthiness 421
  To Alexander Gordon of Garloch – Free Grace finding its Materials in us 425
  To John Bell, Elder – Danger of Trusting to a Name to Live 427
  To Mr John Row, Minister of the Gospel – Christ’s Crosses better than the World’s Joys 429
  To Fulwood, the Younger – Vanity of the World in the light of Death and Christ 436
  To his Parishoners – Protestation of Care for their Souls, and for the Glory of God 438
  To Lady Kilconquhar – The Interests of the Soul and Urgent 445
  To Mr James Fleming, Minister of the Gospel – Glory Gained to Christ 451
  To Lord Lindsay of Byres – The Church’s Desolations 457
  To Fulk Ellis – Friends in Ireland 463
  To James Lindsay – Desertions, their Use 466
  To Mr James Hamilton, Minister of the Gospel – Christ’s Glory not affected by His People’s Weakness 471
  To the Laird of Gaitgirth – Truth worth Suffering for 471
  To Lady Rowallan – Jesus the Best Choice, and to be made sure of 478
  To Margaret Reid – Benefits of the Cross, if we are Christ’s 487
  To James Bautie – Spiritual Difficulties Solved 489
  To Lady Dumqueich  – Jesus or the World 495
  To Janet Mcculloch – Cares to be cast on Christ 496
  To Lady Carleton – Submission to God’s Will 500
  To Lady Craighall – The Comforts of Christ’s Cross 503
  To Lady Kilconquhair – The Kingdom to be taken by Violence 510
  To Thomas Corbet – Godly Counsels 514
  To Mr George Dunbar, Minister of the Gospel – Christ’s Love in Affliction 515
  To his Parishioners at Anwoth – Exhortation to abide in the Truth, in prospect of Christ’s Coming 521
  To John Gordon – Christ all Worthy 527
  To James Murray – The Christian Life a Mystery to the World 530
  To the Earl of Cassilis – Ambition 538
  To Lord Loudoun – True Honour in maintaining Christ’s cause 543
  To Lady Robertland – Afflictions purify 545
  To Thomas Macculloch of Nether Ardwell – Earnest Call to Diligence 548
  To the Professors of Christ and His Truth in Ireland – The Way to Heaven ofttimes through Persecution 549
  To the Parishioners of Kilmalcolm – Spiritual Sloth 559
  To the Persecuted Church in Ireland – Christ’s Legacy of Trouble 568
  To Dr Alexander Leighton – Public Blessings alleviate Private Suffer­ings 575
  To a Person unknown – Anent Private Worship 578
  To Henry Stuart, and Family, Prisoners of Christ at Dublin – Faith’s preparation for Trial 579
  To Mrs Pont, Prisoner at Dublin – Support under Trials 585
  To Mr James Wilson – Advices to a Doubting Soul 588
  To John Fenwick – Christ the Fountain 593
  To Peter Stirling – Believers’ Graces all from Christ 599
  To Lady Fingask – Faith’s Misgivings 600
  To Agnes Macmath, on the Death of a Child – Reason for Resignation 607
  To James Murray’s Wife – Heaven a Reality 612
  To a Young Man in Anwoth – Necessity of Godliness in its Power 615
  To Mistress Taylor, on her Son’s Death – Suggestions for Comfort under Sorrow 620
  To Mistress Hume, on her Husband’s Death 625
  To a Christian Friend, on the Death of his Wife 629
  To a Christian Brother, on the Death of his Daughter 630
  To a Christian Gentlewoman – Views of Death and Heaven 632
  To Lady Ardross, in Fife, on her Mother’s Death 639
  To M O – Gloomy Prospects for the Backsliding Church 640
  To Sir James Stewart, Lord Provost of Edinburgh – Declining Chair in Edinburgh 645
  To Mistress Gillespie, Widow of George Gillespie – On the Death of a Child 646
  To the Earl of Balcarras – Regarding some Misunderstanding 648
  To William Guthrie – Depression under Dark Trials 652
  To Lady Ralston, Ursula Mure – Duty of Preferring to Live rather than Die 665
  To a Minister of Glasgow – Encouraging Words to a Suffering Brother 668
  To Simeon Ashe – Views of the Presbyterians as to Allegiance to the Protector 681
  To Mr James Durham, Minister of Glasgow, some few days before his Death 685
  To the Presbytery of Kirkcudbright – Union 689
  To Mr Guthrie, Mr Trail, and the rest of their Brethren imprisoned in the Castle of Edinburgh – On Suffering for Christ 692
  To Several Brethren – Reasons for Petitioning his Majesty after his return, and for owning such as were censured while about so necessary a Duty 694
  To a Brother Minister – Judgment of a Draught of a Petition, to have been presented to the Committee of Estates 696
  To Mistress Craig, upon the Death of her hopeful Son– Nine Reasons for Resignation 699
  To Mr Robert Campbell – Stedfastness to Protest against Prelacy and Popery 703
  To Believers at Aberdeen – Sinful Conformity and Schismatic Designs reproved 704
  Index of the Chief Places and Individuals referred to in the Letters 711
  Index of Special Subjects 715
  Glossary 718
  Editions of Rutherford’s Letters 736



‘When we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men.’ — C.H. SPURGEON

‘Surprising though it may seem in a world of large books, of all those owned by our family this may be the one we have most often lent or quoted to friends.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON

Apart form the Bible, ‘such a book as Mr. Rutherford’s Letters the world never saw the like.’ — RICHARD BAXTER