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Auction #117 begins on 22 Aug 2024

Samuel Rutherford Covenant of Life Opened 1655

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Samuel RUTHERFORD (1690?-1661). The Covenant of Life Opened: or, A treatise of the covenant of grace, containing something of the nature of the covenant of works, the soveraignty of God, the extent of the death of Christ, the nature & properties of the covenant of grace: and especially of the covenant of suretyship or redemption between the Lord and the Son Jesus Christ, infants right to Jesus Christ, and the seal of baptisme: with some practicall questions and observations. By Samuel Rutherfurd [sic.], Professor of divinitie in the University of S. Andrews. Edinburgh: printed by Andro Anderson, for Robert Broun, 1655. Quarto (7 x 5 ½ in; 178 x 140 mm). Pp. [i-xvi;] 1-368. (Some toning, soiling, and dampstaining.) Contemporary calf (worn, extremities rubbed, repair to joints, replaced endpapers). Provenance: early inscription on the verso of the title, dated ‘8 May 1713’); Manse Library, Free Church, Kirkcaldy (label on inner cover).  

“Samuel Rutherford (also Rutherfurd or Rutherfoord; c. 1600 – 29 March 1661) was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor,  theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly… Rutherford was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and the University of Edinburgh. After graduating with an M.A. in 1621, he was appointed regent of Humanity at Edinburgh in 1623. He demitted that office in 1626, because of immoral conduct with Euphame Hamilton, who afterwards became his wife. …In 1630 he was summoned before the Court of High Commission, but the charge of non-conformity was not persisted in. Mainly for his publication of a work against Arminianism he was again accused in 1636 by Bishop Sydserff, and after proceedings at Wigtown, was cited before the Commission and prohibited, 27 July, from exercising ministerial office, and ordered to reside in Aberdeen during the King's pleasure. During this period he wrote most of his well-known Letters. His writing desk there was said to be, "perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in old Christendom."

In February 1638 Rutherford returned to Anwoth and attended the Glasgow Assembly that year as one of two commissioners from his Presbytery. Shortly afterwards he was elected one of the ministers of Edinburgh, but the Commission of Assembly appointed him, in preference, Professor of Divinity at St Andrews, which office he only accepted on condition that he should be allowed to act as colleague with Robert Blair, one of the ministers of St Andrews, 7 January 1639. He was a member of succeeding Assemblies and consistently supported the Covenanting Party therein. In 1643 he was appointed one of the four main Commissioners of the Church of Scotland to the Westminster Assembly and preached several times before Parliament, remaining in London for four years.

Rutherford was appointed to Principalship at the university in 1647. He was offered in 1648 a Divinity Professorship at Harderwyck in Holland, in 1649 the Chair at Edinburgh, and in 1651 he was twice elected to a Professorship at Utrecht, but all these he declined. In 1643, 1644, 1650, and 1651 he was elected rector of the University, and in 1650 on Charles II’s visit to St Andrews, he made a Latin speech to him on the duty of Kings. Rutherford was a staunch Protester during the controversy in the Scottish Presbyterian church between the Resolutioners and Protesters in the 1650s.

After the Restoration he was one of the first marked out for persecution: his work Lex Rex was ordered by the Committee of Estates to be burnt at the Crosses of Edinburgh and St Andrews by the hand of the common hangman, while the “Drunken Parliament” " deprived him of all his offices and voted that he not be permitted to die in the college. He was cited to appear before Parliament on a charge of treason, but he died 29 March 1661 [the date — 20th — on his tombstone is an error]. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Andrews Cathedral just west of the bell tower. The epitaph on his tombstone includes 'Acquainted with Emmanuel's Love'. “ (wikipedia). ESTC R20879; Wing R-2374.

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