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July 2009

 from Samuel Rutherford

Picture of Samuel Rutherford

Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) is best known for two things: one is being minister of ‘fair Anwoth by the Solway’, while the other is the collection of his letters, sent to a number of different correspondents. A (perhaps we should say, the) leading theme of these letters is ‘the loveliness of Christ’. There follows a selection of excerpts.

Every day we may see some new thing in Christ. His love hath neither brim nor bottom.

When he bloweth a kiss afar off to his poor heart-broken mourners in Zion … I am confounded with wonder to think what it shall be, when the fairest among the sons of men shall lay a King’s sweet soft cheek to the sinful cheeks of poor sinners. O time, time, go swiftly, and hasten that day! Sweet Lord Jesus, post! come.

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.

No pen, no words, no image can express to you the loveliness of my only, only Lord Jesus.

I find Christ to be Christ, and that he is far, far, even infinite heaven’s height above man. And that is all our happiness. Sinners can do nothing but make wounds that Christ may heal them; and make debts, that Christ may pay them; and make falls, that he may raise them; and make deaths that he may quicken them; and spin out and dig hells to themselves, that he may ransom them.

You 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 … Look to the east, the day sky is breaking. Think not that Christ loseth time, or lingereth unsuitably.

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 the world’s glory, but dreams and thoughts? O happy soul for 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.

Christ should be our night song and our morning song.