This is likely my final post that focuses on extracts from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford. I have been personally challenged by the time I have invested in reading of this godly man’s life and heart for the people of God. Mr. Rutherford was a pilgrim having his eyes fixed on the glory of Immanuel’s Land and sought to inspire his people to gaze upon it. The circumstances of my life and the direction of my study has been providentially influenced by my time with Rutherford. I close with one final extract:
Oh! what is nearness to Him? What is that, to be “in God,” to “dwell in God”? What a house must that be! (I John 4:13). How far are some from their house and home! how ill acquaint with the rooms, mansions, safety, and sweetness of holy security to be found in God! Oh, what estrangement! what wandering! what frequent conversing with self and the creature! Is not here “the bed shorter than what a man can stretch himself on it? and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it? (Isa. 28:20). When shall we attain to a living in only God! and be estranged from all the poor created nothings, the painted shadow-beings of yesterday, which, and hour and less before creation, were dark waste negatives and empty nothings, and should so have been for eternity, had the Lord suffered them to lie there forever!
It is He, the great “he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity” (Isa. 40:22,23). And He, the only He, and there is no He beside Him (Isa 43:10, 11,13-25). Men or angels, they are not any of them a he to Him! But a living, breathing, dying nothing is man at his best, a sick clay-vanity; and the angel, to Him, but a more excellent, living and understanding nothing. Yet we live at a distance from Him; and we die and wither when we are out of God. Oh, if we knew how nothing we are without Him!
. . . Wait upon the speaking vision: “Behold, he cometh! behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him!” (see Isa. 40:10)
Perhaps these extracts have spoken to you as well. If so I encourage you to read the full book. Banner of truth publishes a copy, my copy is a hardcopy published by Moody Press in 1951. I have two other volumes from the same series that I would also recommend: The Memoirs of McCheyne by Bonar and The Suffering Saviour by Krummacher.