Samuel Rutherford of Anworth

Samuel Rutherford of Anworth

Reformation Heritage Books

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Samuel Rutherford (ca.1600–1661) was an accomplished man—university scholar, defender of the Reformed faith, prolific author, astute political theorist, formidable defender of Presbyterian church government, Scottish commissioner at the Westminster Assembly from 1643 to 1647. However, Bruce McLennan introduces us to the life and times of Rutherford with a particular view to his pastoral labors. While Rutherford was highly regarded by contemporaries for his contribution to various aspects of Scottish church life, Rutherford made it abundantly clear that his first love, and that to which he believed he was clearly called, was preaching the gospel and shepherding the Lord’s people.


Table of Contents:


1. Church and Crown in conflict in the late 16th and early 17th century
2. Two somewhat contrasting parts of Scotland in the early 17th century
3. A brief survey of the life of Samuel Rutherford
4. The growth of a soul: the “banished minister” in Aberdeen


5. Key Emphases in Rutherford’s Writings
6. Pastoral Advice to his Flock at Anwoth
7. Reasoning with souls – making salvation sure
8. Pressing the need for Sanctification and Mortification
9. Counselling some who had doubts about their standing with God
10. Rutherford’s Pastoral Concern for children and youth
11. Counsel to the bereaved
12. Counselling the dying
13. Conclusion

Appendix 1: The source of early Protestant teachings in Aberdeen

Appendix 2: How the Reformers coped with the shortage of ministers in the early years




Bruce McLennan holds degrees from Edinburgh University, the University of Guelph, Ontario, the University of Aberdeen and Dundee University. As a church history, Bruce’s interests range from the Scottish Reformation to Scottish missionary’s of the nineteenth century. He is the author of McCheyne’s Dundee, Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God, and Pioneering the Beloved Strip 1881–1931.



“Rutherford’s primarily calling and concern was that of a pastor. He excelled in speaking to people of all ages and social backgrounds about their souls. His letters and sermons are not only a rich devotional treasury but also a model for pastoral engagement. In this practical and accessible volume Bruce Maclennan shows us the value of Rutherford’s method in counseling those with all kinds of spiritual and natural troubles.” —Matthew Vogan

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