Rutherford's actual letters start on message 9 of 64. This message (#3) contains part of Robert M'Ward's original preface to the letters.
M'Ward was a disciple and close friend of Samuel Rutherford and he acted as his private secretary at the Westminster Assembly. He was also the publisher of the first edition of Rutherford's Letters, in 1664. This publication came just three years after Rutherford's death.
M'Ward hoped to strengthen the hands of the persecuted Covenanters with the publication of his preface and the release of Rutherford's Letters.
In this preface M'Ward sets forth the context (and theological genius) of not only S.R.'s letters, but also of the turbulent times that drew forth some of the greatest theological literature ever produced. Among these works we find the Westminster Standards, the 'Solemn League and Covenant' and a mass of other Presbyterian/Covenanter/Puritan writings that have been handed down to posterity, from these very days.
These men knew (as M'Ward demonstrates in this preface) that the covenanted cause of Christ would prosper, though it was suffering a great setback at this time.
M'Ward's original preface to Rutherford's letters is only available in the SWRB edition.
For additional information or resources about Samuel Rutherford, please visit SWRB's home page at the 'Outside Web Link' below.
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