Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2017.08.15 Timeless Tuesday - Letters of Samuel Rutherford, pp1-13

On these "Timeless Tuesdays," we are reading through the Banner of Truth edition of Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Today, we began the "Sketch" of  his life by Andrew Bonar.

I only got a few pages in before it was time to quit, but we will aim to do more next week. Even a little bit at a time will soon add up.

The following quote from p5 resonated with me,
"The parish of Anwoth had no large village near the church. The people were scattered over a hilly district, and were quite a rural flock. But their shepherd knew that the Chief Shepherd counted them worth caring for; he was not one who thought that his learning and talents would be ill spent if laid out in seeking to save souls, obscure and unknown."
I am not at all claiming to be a man of learning like Rutherford, but O that the Chief Shepherd would impress upon my heart the infinite value that He attaches to each soul in the flock entrusted to my care!

The quote continues:
"He has time to visit, for he rises at three in the morning, and at that early hour meets his God in prayer and meditation, and has space for study besides. He takes occasional days for catechising. He never fails to be found at the sick-beds of his people. Men said of him, 'He is always praying, always preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying.'"
I also identify with his discouragements in the ministry, though I wonder if for him (as it has often been for me) this wasn't just the result of focusing so much upon the spiritually weak and ill that he failed to the see the evidences of a work of grace in many of the others.

One thing that I wish I would be more faithful in, we find described in the following quote from p8:
"He dealt with individual parishioners so closely and so personally as to be able to appeal to them regarding his faithfulness in this matter. He addresses one of them, Jean M'Millan: 'I did what I could to put you within grips of Christ; I told you Christ's testament and latter will plainly.'"
Also, the following quote from p12 was helpful, though it's really more the sermonizing of Bonar than anything that Rutherford said,
"It might be instructive to inquire why it is that wherever godliness is healthy and progressive, we almost invariably find learning in the Church of Christ attendant on it: while on the other hand, neglect of study is attended sooner or later by decay of vital godliness."
I had to set the book down a few lines into p13 where the section on his life in Anwoth ended. Looking forward to picking it up again next week--and especially eventually to make it into the actual letters.

How far did you get? How did you find the reading? What resonated with you?

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