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The King in His Beauty: The Piety of Samuel Rutherford - Profiles in Reformed Spirituality (Vogan, ed.)

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“The King in His Beauty” introduces readers to the life and writings of Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661). Matthew Vogan’s biographical introduction traces the significant events of this Scottish theologian’s life and guides readers through his writings, focusing on his distinctive insight into Christian experience. In forty-three excerpts drawn from Rutherford’s letters, major treatises, catechism, and sermons, readers will discover the depth of Rutherford’s compassion, piety, and theological wisdom, all rooted in his unwavering love for Christ.

Table of Contents:

  1. Believing the Scriptures
  2. The Messenger of the Covenant
  3. Lost Sheep
  4. Sorrow for Sin
  5. Unsearchable Grace
  6. The Soul Trouble of the Redeemer
  7. The Mystery of Christ’s Soul Trouble
  8. The Beloved Withdraws
  9. Confession of Sin
  10. The Hand of the Beloved at the Door of the Heart
  11. Spiritual Lethargy
  12. The Rose of Sharon
  13. Sorrowing for an Absent Christ
  14. Looking toward Zion
  15. Impression of Grace May be Stronger Afterwards
  16. The Fragrance of Grace
  17. The God-Man
  18. Christ the Son of David
  19. Numbering Our Days
  20. Wondering at Christ
  21. The Signs of a New Heart
  22. The Prince of Life Lays Down His Own Life
  23. Christ’s Dove
  24. The Ways and Dealings of the King of Kings to a Soul
  25. Christ’s Joy
  26. Mysteries in Christ
  27. The Danger of Seeking Material Things
  28. Testing Ourselves
  29. Covenant Love Between God and His People
  30. Christ Cannot be Hid
  31. Hearing of the Lord Jesus Christ
  32. Return to Your First Husband
  33. Zion’s Lament
  34. Life Which Cannot Be Lost
  35. Christ’s Goodwill for the Suffering Church
  36. The False Glory of the World
  37. I Have Overcome the World
  38. The Hope of Glory
  39. All Things for Good
  40. Christ and His People in the Wilderness
  41. Altogether Lovely
  42. Suffering with Christ
  43. Christian Directions

Reading Rutherford  


Series Description 

Seeking, then, both to honor the past and yet not idolize it, we are issuing these books in the series Profiles in Reformed Spirituality. The design is to introduce the spirituality and piety of the Reformed Profiles in Reformed Spirituality tradition by presenting descriptions of the lives of notable Christians with select passages from their works. This combination of biographical sketches and collected portions from primary sources gives a taste of the subjects’ contributions to our spiritual heritage and some direction as to how the reader can find further edification through their works. It is the hope of the publishers that this series will provide riches for those areas where we are poor and light of day where we are stumbling in the deepening twilight.



Matthew Vogan lives in Inverness, Scotland, with his wife, Janet, and son, Joseph. He is a ruling elder in the Inverness congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and author of various articles for a number of periodicals. He works in local government as a project manager.



“Samuel Rutherford is the most significant devotional writer in the British Reformed tradition, and in Matthew Vogan he has found the ideal editor. This book gathers together the most important passages in Rutherford’s writing, to preserve for us his unique appreciation of the glories of Immanuel’s land.” — Crawford Gribben, senior lecturer, Trinity College Dublin, and director of Texts, Contexts, Cultures

"Ever heard a foreign language and thought, 'That's beautiful. I'd love to understand that, or even speak like that'? You may have a similiar sensation as you read Samuel Rutherford's moving descriptions of Jesus Christ and His loving interactions with needy sinners. While the heavenly language and passionate experiences may initally seem strange to our shallow minds and cold hearts, Christians will find themselves enraptured and enticed to a deeper, higher, and wider knowledge and experience of Jesus Christ as they read these beatiful words." - David P. Murray, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary