Samuel Rutherford was born in 1600 in Nisbet, Roxburghshire, eldest son of a well-to-do farmer. His parents noted his intellectual gifts and believed that God would call him to the ministry, though they seldom spoke about Christ in an experiential way. Rutherford later wrote that in his birthplace “Christ was scarce named, as touching any reality or power of godliness” (Letters, p. 680). Rutherford was educated first at Jedborough, then at the University of Edinburgh, where he excelled in Latin and Greek, and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1621.
He died peacefully on March 30, 1661, at St. Mary’s College, St. Andrews. Some of his last words were, “I shall live and adore Christ; glory to my Redeemer forever. Glory, glory dwelleth in Emmanuel’s land.” To his fellow ministers he said, “Dear brethren, do all for Christ. Pray for Christ. Preach for Christ. Beware of men-pleasing.” With his death, Scotland lost one of its greatest theologians, powerful preachers, devotional writers, and political thinkers.
- Excerpt from "Meet the Puritans" by Dr. Joel Beeke and Randall J. Pederson
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