Monday, September 09, 2019

Samuel Rutherford

A good little biography on Samuel Rutherford. Includes photos and other images.

The broad historical backdrop is the War of the Three Kingdoms (aka the British Civil Wars) including the English Civil War. These were civil wars between the royalists ("Cavaliers") and Parliamentarians ("Roundheads"). In the end it would lead to Britain becoming a constitutional monarchy.

Other significant historical events and persons which overlapped with Rutherford's life: the persecutions of the Scottish Presbyterian Covenanters (which, after Rutherford's death, would culminate in the Killing Time), the formation of the Westminster Confession of Faith (which Rutherford also worked on), Oliver Cromwell and the Cromwellian Protectorate.

Rutherford led a difficult life with much suffering (e.g. the death of his first wife at a young age, the death of most of his children, only one of his children would survive him, he was forced to leave his pastorate, he was forced to leave teaching at the university).

Here's a taste from the biography:

Not a great deal is known of his [Rutherford's] early years, his father was a respectable farmer, and Samuel had 2 brothers, George and James. They were all sent to a school in nearby Jedburgh abbey. When Samuel was about 4 he had a very dramatic experience. When he was playing with friends on the village green, he fell into the village well. His friends ran to get help and when they arrived they found a very wet Samuel sitting on the grass. When they asked how he got out, he just said – "A bonny white man came and drew me out of the well" – No one was ever to find out who this bonny white man was, but by God’s providence Samuel’s life was spared.

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