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Samuel Rutherfurd (1600-1661)


Samuel Rutherfurd (1600-1661)

James Dodson


Samuel Rutherfurd was born in Nisbet, Roxburghshire, Scotland, sometime in 1600. He studied at the Jedburgh Grammar School and then matriculated at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was There, he became a professor of Latin, in 1623. In 1627, he was settled in Anwoth, Kirkcudbright, as the parish minister—a settlement obtained through the patronage of Gordon of Kenmure, a promoter of true religion. From there, Rutherfurd’s fame spread as a proponent of strict Reformed orthodoxy. For this reason, he was deprived of his ministerial office, in 1636, by Thomas Sydserff, a bishop of Arminian principles, who found Rutherfurd intolerable. With the re-establishing of Presbyterianism, in 1638, Rutherfurd was translated to Aberdeen where he spent many useful years. He was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Church of Scotland at the Westminster Assembly where he remained until 1647 when he returned to his parish ministry. He wrote numerous important works of theology, “Trial and Triumph of Faith” (1645); “Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself” (1647); Covenant of Life Opened” (1655); and other works, including several Latin titles. He also wrote on the subject of church government, “Peaceable Plea for Paul’s Presbyterie” (1642); “Due Right of Presbyterie” (1644); “Divine Right of Church Government” 1646); and “A Survey of the Survey” (1658). He is most noted for his work on political government, “Lex Rex” (1644), which was condemned to be burned, and his “Letters” which form a compend of devotional thoughts seldom equaled in the English language. He died on March 19, 1661.