Samuel Rutherford was a Scottish pastor born in 1600. We know little about his upbringing, except what can be gleaned from the letters he wrote to the people under his care. Two things are obvious from the sweetness of his writings: he was well acquainted with suffering, and he experienced much of the Lord’s grace in the midst of suffering.
Recent trials–small ones we’ve experienced and large ones that others in our lives have faced–have brought me back to the writings of Samuel Rutherford. The Banner of Truth Trust did us all a favor by compiling quotes from his letters into a small book called The Loveliness of Christ. There are few things that have helped me love Jesus Christ, in the midst of various difficulties, more than this book. And, there are few things that have given me a greater burden to speak of him to other people, especially suffering people. I hope you read the quotes below, buy the book and find new comfort–for yourself and for others–in Jesus Christ.
“It is not a smooth and easy way, neither will your weather be fair and pleasant; but whosever saw the invisible God and the fair city, makes no reckoning of losses or crosses. In ye must be, cost you what it will; stand not for a price, and for all that ye have, to win the castle; the rights of it are won to you: and there wanteth nothing but possession.” -page 10
“The only thing that commendeth sinners to Christ is extreme necessity and want. Christ’s love is ready to make and provide a ransom and money for a poor body who hath lost his purse.” -page 13
“There are many heads lying in Christ’s bosom, but there is room for yours among the rest.” -page 21
“When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time–suffering is not worth our first night’s welcome home to heaven.” -page 19
“I am half content to have boils for my Lord Jesus’ plaisters. Sickness hath this advantage, that it draweth our sweet Physician’s hand and his holy and soft fingers to touch our withered and leper skins; it is a blessed fever that fetcheth Christ to the bedside–I think my Lord’s ‘How doest thou with it, sick body?’ is worth all my pained nights.” -page 22
“O, pity for evermore that there should be such an one as Christ Jesus, so boundless, so bottomless, and so incomparable in infinite excellency, and sweetness, and so few to take him! O, ye poor dry and dead souls, why will ye come hither with your toom vessels and your empty souls to this huge and fair, and deep, and sweet well of life, and fill all your toom vessels? O, that Christ should be so large in sweetness and worth, and we so narrow, pinched, so ebb, and so void of all happiness, and yet men will not take him! They lose their love miserably, who will not bestow it upon this lovely one.” -page 5