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AUG 24 3:7
MR. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD, a gentleman by extraction, having spent some time at the grammar-school, went to the university of Edins burgh, where he was so much admired for his pregnancy of parts, and deservedly looked upon as one from whom great things might be expected, that in a short time, though but then very young, he was made professor of philosophy in that university.
Some time after this he was called to be minister at Anwoth in the shire of Galloway, unto which charge he entered by means of the then viscount of Kenmuir, without any acknowledgment or engagement to the bishops. There he laboured with great diligence and success both night and day, rising usually by three o'clock in the morning, spending the whole time in reading, praying, writing, catechising, visiting, and other duties belonging to the ministerial profession and employment.
Here he wrote his Exercitationes de Gratia, &c. for which he was summoned, as early as June 1630, before the High Commission Court, but the weather was so tempestuous as to obstruct the passage of the archbishop of St. Andrews hither, and Mr. Colvill, one of the judges, having befriended him, the diet was deserted. About the same time his first wife died after a sore sickness of thirteen months, and he himself being so ill of a tertian fever for thirteen weeks, thật then he could not preach on the sabbath day without great difficulty.
Again in April 1634, he was threatened with another prosecution at the instance of the bishop of Galloway, before the High Commission Court; and neither were these threatenings all the reasons Mr. Rutherford had to lay his account with suffering and as the Lord would not hide from his faithful servant Abraham things he was about to do, neither would he conceal from this son of Abraham what his purposes were concerning him; in a letter to the provost's wife of Kirkcudbright, dated April 20, 1633, he says, Upon the 17th and 18th of August, he got a full answer of his Lord to be a graced minister, and a chosen arrow hid in his quiver. * Accordingly the thing he looked for came upon him, for he was again summoned before the High Commission Court for his non-conformity, his preaching against the five articles of Perth, and the fore-mentioned book Exercitationes Apologeticæ pro Divina Gratia, which book they alleged did reflect upon
the church of Scotland; but the truth was, says a late historian, † the argument of that book did cut the sinews of Arminianism, and galled the episcopal clergy to the very quick, and so bishop Sydreserf could endure him no longer. When he came before the Commission court, he altogether declined them as a lawful judicatory, and would not give the chancellor, (being a clergyman,) and the bishops their titles, by
* See his Letters, Part iii. Letter 27.