By any standard, Samuel Rutherford was a remarkable Christian: as a pastor he was devoted to his congregation in Anwoth, Scotland; as a leading churchman he was selected in 1643 as a member of the Scottish delegation to the famous Westminster Assembly; as a scholar he was offered some of the most distinguished professorships in Europe; as a letter writer Samuel Rutherford stands second to none in the galaxy of those whose personal correspondence has appeared in published form.
Yet, perhaps the description which would have most encouraged and humbled Rutherford himself came from the lips of a visiting Englishman who said of him that he ‘heard a little fair man, and he showed me the loveliness of Christ’.
Rutherford knew that the heart of Christian experience is in union and communion with Christ. He saw, with the apostle Paul, that only those who share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings experience the power of his resurrection. To him, joy in the Lord and suffering for him were inseparable elements of Christian experience. ‘Grace’ he wrote out of deep personal experience, ‘grows best in winter’.
In these pages, Faith Cook has sensitively transformed Rutherford’s eloquent prose into the form of poetry, and provided cameo portraits of his correspondents. Grace in Winternot only gives pleasure and joy because of its poetry; it also shares the encouragement, comfort and wisdom of Rutherford’s own ministry.