Tuesday, May 19, 2009

9 signs of life

I've enjoyed reading a letter a day from the pen of one of the great Scottish puritan Presbyterians. The Letters of Samuel Rutherford (1660-1661) were mostly written during his imprisonment for the sake of the Gospel.

This excerpt from my reading today provides a good example of the richness of 17th-century devotional literature:

Loving Brother, Hold fast Christ without wavering, and contend for the faith. You may put a difference betwixt you and reprobates (those without Christ), if you have these marks,

1. If ye prize Christ and his truth so as ye will sell all and buy him, and suffer for it.

2. If the love of Christ keepeth you back from sinning, more than the law, or fear of Hell.

3. If ye be humble, and deny your own will, wit, credit, ease, honor, the world, and the vanity and glory of it.

4. Your profession must not be barren and void of good works.

5. Ye must in all things aim at God's honor; ye must eat, drink, sleep, buy, sell, sit, stand, speak, pray, read, and hear the word, with a heart-purpose that God may be honored.

6. Ye must show yourself an enemy to sin, and reprove the works of darkness, such as drunkenness, swearing, and lying, albeit the company should hate you for so doing.

7. Keep in mind the truth of God, that ye heard me teach, and have nothing to do with the corruptions and new guises entered into the house of God.

8. Make conscience of your calling (as a Christian), in covenants, in buying and selling.

9. Acquaint yourself with daily praying; commit all your ways and actions to God, by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving; and count not much of being mocked; for Christ Jesus was mocked before you.

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