Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sweet Counsel

The man whose efforts made it possible for Samuel Rutherford to be installed as pastor at Anwoth was Sir John Gordon, later 1st Viscount of Kenmure, an ardent Puritan Presbyterian. It is recorded that his role in this regard was "the most meritorious action of my life." He died young in 1634 at about the age of 35, and was attended by Rutherford on his deathbed. It is Rutherford to whom is attributed authorship of an anonymous tract published soon thereafter entitled The Last and Heavenly Speeches, and Glorious Departure, of John, Viscount Kenmure, and it is thought that Rutherford is the "Pastor" spoken of therein.

Among the last counsels given by Gordon on his deathbed, Rutherford records that he spoke thus to "a young man his neighbor":

...because you are but a young man beware of temptations and snares, and above all, be careful to keep your self in the use of means, resort to good companie, and howbeit you be nicknamed a Puritan and mocked, yet care not for that but rejoyce and be glad, that they who are scorned and scoffed by this godless and vain world, and nick-named Puritans, would admit you to their societie, for I must tell you when I am at this point as you see me, I get no comfort to my soul by no second means under Heaven, but from these who are nick named Puritans; They are the men that can give a word of comfort to a wearied soul in due season, and that I have found by experience since I did lie down here.

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