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Samuel Rutherford

Rutherford, Samuel (1600?-1661). Theologian and controversialist, born at Nisbet, Roxburghshire, ed. at Edinburgh University, where he became in 1623 Regent of Humanity (Prof. of Latin). In 1627 he was settled as minister of Anwoth in Galloway, whence he was banished to Aberdeen for nonconformity. On the re-establishment of Presbytery in 1638 he was made Prof. of Divinity at St. Andrews, and in 1651 Principal of St. Mary’s College there, and he was one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. At the Restoration he was deprived of all his offices. He was a formidable controversialist, and a strenuous upholder of the divine right of Presbytery. Among his polemical works are Due Right of Presbyteries (1644), Lex Rex (1644), and Free Disputation against Pretended Liberty of Conscience. Lex Rex was, after the Restoration, burned by the common hangman, and led to the citation of the author for high treason, which his death prevented from taking effect. His chief fame, however, rests upon his spiritual and devotional works, such as Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself, but especially upon his Letters, which display a fervour of feeling and a rich imagery which, while highly relished by some, repel others.

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