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Loveliness of Christ Leather Bound – June 1, 2007
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About the Author
Samuel Rutherford (1600 1661) was a Scottish minister and covenanter best known for his political book, "Lex Rex; or, The Law and the Prince", for which he was charged with high treason and imprisoned. The book argued for limited government, as well as limitations on the current idea of the divine right of kings.
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The Greatness of this Book
-This is a wonderful introduction to the immaculate devotional thoughts of Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford is an under-utilized mentor whose words draw us closer to Jesus with his infectious passion and love for him.
-The short pithy sentences are quite literally small gems of encouragement and comfort.
The Annoyance of this Book
-It's really small. I'll reiterate what other reviews have said on here by stating that the picture and "leather-bound" description are misleading as this is a pocket-size book that is most definitely not made from leather.
-It's overpriced. I love you, Banner of Truth, but this should be be $14. Take away the fake leather, and it could be $3 on content alone. For a normal sized book, it would probably be around 30 pages of actual content.
It's good as an introduction, and will hopefully encourage you to purchase the entire collection of all 365 of Rutherford's letters.
The first reason is that the size of this product was VERY misleading. This looks like something that would be the size of a normal thin line NASB or ESV bible, but it's actually the size of a pocket gideon bible. You can put it in your pocket, it's travel sized. This was disappointing for me because I was expecting something like a novel, but it's just small experts from Samuel Rutherford's writings formatted like the book of proverbs.
The second reason is the price. I actually bought "The Letters of Samuel Rutherford" at the same time that I bought this, and I got this for around $12 and the "puritan paperback" version of "The Letters..." for only $7. I assume that the extra $5 is for the leather cover and imprint on the front. But quite frankly, I would rather stick with "The Letters of Samuel Rutherford", seeing that there is more content there with better formatting, in a cheaper book that is also larger in size.
Despite these disappointments, I do not regret buying it. It is very convenient to have all these little snippets, even though I wish it was more of a novel. I'm not going to go out and tell people not to buy it, because its a good book, but if you asked me if you should get it I would recommend getting puritan paperback version of The Letters of Samuel Rutherford instead.
The common theme which unites all of Rutherford's sayings is the "sweetness of Christ." Lasting satisfaction for our souls can only be found in him because he is the one for whom we are made. Those who will not love Christ will be miserable in the end. Christ gives to his children trials and great suffering to wean them from the world and enhance their devotion him. Rutherford teaches us that each of us must bear a cross if we want to enter heaven. That means our trials are foreordained by God for our good and sanctification. God's providence gives us the confidence we need to live without fear because all that can harm us will only make us more like Christ. Each suffering we experience only draws us closer to heaven. As Rutherford says, "suffering is not worthy of our first night's welcome home to heaven." God gives us trials so that we will long for heaven: "If contentment were here, heaven were not heaven." I love how he uses the impassibility of God to comfort those who suffer: "His winds turn not when he seemeth to change, it is but we who turn our wrong side to him." Because God does not change, that gives us confidence even when we fall into sin because he will not leave us. Our lack of joy and love for Christ is caused by our lack of submission to him: "I see Christ's love is so kingly, that it will not abide a comparison: it must have a throne all alone in the soul." The Loveliness of Christ is essential reading for anyone who wants to be a student of the Puritans.