Samuel Rutherford was a Scottish Puritan who lived in the 1600s. Due
to a book he published, he was exiled from his hometown. Eventually he
returned, and continued his ministry.
He wrote another book :"Lex Rex", stressing the supremecy of the Law
over the King (as opposed to the King over the Law). Study of Lex Rex
indirectly became the basis for the systems of checks and balances
than were implemented in the inception of the U.S. constitution.
Eventually, an insecure Monarchy in Britian decided that they didn't
want to let the author of "Lex Rex" live in peace. So, they summoned
him to appear on charges of treason.
But God had better plans. From his deathbed, Rutherford defiantly
answered the summons by saying: "I must answer my first summons; and
before your day arrives, I will be where few kings and great folks
come" and he then subsequently passed away.
A number of Rutherford's letters exist to this day and they exhibit
the tender care of one who truly cared about his flock. One which I
include here is a letter to an unconverted person in his church:
I earnestly desire your salvation. Know the Lord and seek Christ. You
have a soul that cannot die. Seek for a lodging to your poor soul, for
that house of clay will fail.
Heaven or nothing! either Christ or nothing! Use prayer in your house
and set your thoughts often upon death and judgement. It is dangerous
to be loose in the matter of your salvation. Few are saved; men go to
heaven in ones and twos, and the whole world lieth in sin. Love your
enemies and stand by the truth which I have taught you in all things.
Fear not men, but let God be your fear. Your time will not be long;
make the seeking of Christ your daily task. Ye may, when ye are in the
fields, speak to God. Seek a broken heart for sin, for without that
there is no meeting with Christ.
I speak this to your wife as well as to yourself. I desire your
sister, in her fears and doubtings, to fasten her grips on Christ's
love. I forbid her to doubt, for Christ loveth her and hath her name
written in his book. Her salvation is fast coming. Christ her Lord is
not slow in coming, nor slack in promise.
Grace be with you,
Your loving pastor,