Rutherford and Possibilia

“Samuel Rutherford and the Divine Origin of Possibility and Impossibility” in Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland.

  1. P1: God’s being is the first principle of all things (142-143).
    1. Which means, pace Aristotle, that the Law of Noncontradiction is not the first principle.
    2. The law of NC is complex, not simple:  it involves both being and non-being.
  2. Possibilia: grounded in God’s omnipotence
    1. Rutherford’s specific claim is things are possible because God is omnipotent.
    2. Aristotle’s dictum: act precedes potency (144).
      1. Therefore, “the infinite active potency of God is prior to the passive and receptive potency of creatures” (Rutherford).
      2. Rutherford rejects the Jesuit argument that “the intrinsic possibility of things makes it possible for God’s omnipotence to create them” (144).
      3. This allows the Jesuits to claim middle knowledge: the possibility of things exist prior to God’s decreeing them.
    3. The impossible: when God creates the possible or actual essences of things, he in the same act creates the impossibilities between the nature of things.
      1. Impossibility in the created realm is always complex
    4. Future contingents
      1. Middle knowledge says that future contingents have a determinate truth prior to the decree of God (144).
      2. This is similar to the claim that possibilia are possible independently of God.
    5. Are possibilia real?
      1. As their name suggests, they are merely in potency, not actually existing.
      2. Christian faith incompatible with the idea of eternal essences that exist independently of God.
  3. God’s knowledge
    1. Scientia simplex intelligentiae: God knows which creature he could make in this or that order.
    2. Scientia libera: knowledge of ends and means.
    3. Practica scientia: knowledge by which God forms ideas of the possibilia and future things.
    4. Scientia speculativa:
    5. God’s will: by loving His omnipotence, God necessarily also loves the infinite possibilia within.
  4. Jesuit position, restated
    1. Jesuits locate the root of possibility and impossibility outside of God, in the things themselves (154).
    2. This means a future contingent is not grounded in God.
  5. Reformed response:
    1. A thing is possible because God is able to produce it., not God is able to produce it because it is possible.
    2. Since God’s being is prior, all possibilia must originate in God, not outside of God.

Rutherford’s Scotist Ethics

“Samuel Rutherford’s Euthyphro Dilemma” in Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland by Simon J. G. Burton

Cameron’s Thesis:

  1. Things that are good in themselves have a much stronger binding authority than adiaphora.

Rutherford’s Rejoinder:

  1. Constitution of the divine image is dependent on the divine will (130).
  2. Categories of simple and complex acts.
    1. The act of worshiping God is a simple act (for Rutherford, there is no object/intention in this act)
    2. The act of worshiping God in accord with the divine law is a complex act.
  3. Only complex acts have moral status (130).
    1. A created object is not the measure or rule of the divine will (131).
    2. When God creates rational creatures, he at once creates the common principles of the natural law (132).

Advancing the Position

  1. Love of God is the cornerstone of the natural law
    1. The question now becomes, per God’s command to kill Isaac, is whether a particular act should be considered obedience to God or not (132).
    2. This duty is not necessarily and immutably founded in God’s own nature before every decree of his will (133).
  2. Bradwardine
    1. Distinction between things reasonable naturally prior to the divine will
      1. Such as God’s being and goodness.
      2. They are able to move the divine will.
    2. AND things which are reasonable naturally posterior to the divine will;
      1. Depend on God’s will for their reasonable status.
      2. Caused by the divine will and cannot move it.
    3. and things which are said to be mixed.

Rutherford’s Scotist Ethics

  1. Both Rutherford and Bradwardine attempted to identify different logical moments within the eternal and indivisible divine act.
    1. Grounds contingency not in the possibility of future action but in the present moment of existence itself (135).
    2. This allows Scotus to make a distinction between the single instant of time and the single instant of divine eternity in terms of a series of logically connected instants (135).
    3. Logically successive, but temporally synchronic structural instants.
  2. Highest principle of morality:  God is to be loved
    1. Every moral action is defined in relation to this.
    2. Except for those acts with an intrinsic and necessary relation to the divine nature–those acts with God as the immediate object–the moral status of every action is determined solely by the divine will (136).
    3. Aquinas:  God didn’t actually command Abraham to murder; rather, God was calling due on Isaac early (since Isaac was supposed to die because he was mortal).

Bottom line application:  God is not bound by his creation.

Speak ye not of Calvin

I’ve read through the Institutes 3 times.  It’s good, I guess.  I just don’t really resonate towards Calvin.  And until 1800, that was more or less the impression in the Reformed world.  So why are people so concerned to tag us as Calvinists?  I debated Orthodox Bridge on this point 3 years ago.  They couldn’t even understand the question.

Where Calvin is interesting is not predestination.  You can find the same thing in Aquinas (and harder and more stern).  He’s interesting on union with Christ and church government.

Rutherford is a good example:

John Coffey notes in his glorious study on Rutherford concerning how marginal Calvin was for Reformed scholastics:

“Yet contrary to the common assumption, Calvin did not tower above all other Reformed theologians in importance. In *Pro Divina Gratia* Rutherford referred to Calvin only four times. William Twisse…was referred to 12 times… “Rutherford never called himself a Calvinist” (Coffey, *Politics, Religion, and the British Revolution*, p. 75)

Rutherford and Scotism

I’m not saying Rutherford is right or wrong, just noting particulars.

Taken from Guy Richards, “Samuel Rutherford’s Supralapsarianism Revealed.”

“Rutherford believes that God, although just, merciful, and good, is under no compulsion” to be just to his creatures ad extra (Richards 32).  “But once he decrees to act ad extra, he is bound to do so.”

In other words, for the Reformed voluntarist tradition, paraphrasing William Twisse, the only thing that limits God’s free will (to act ad extra) is his decree.  The Scotists aren’t saying that God’s will makes just anything right.  Rather, they are saying, given what God has indeed ordained to be the case (potentia ordinata), God is bound to will x.

Classic example:  Was Jesus’s atonement necessary?  Rutherford has usually been understood as saying, “No.  God could have forgiven sins otherwise.”  But I don’t think this is exactly what he said.  Rather, as Richards points out, it is contingently necessary (n 29).  Since God has chosen to act this way towards creatures, and to punish sin this way, has it become necessary.  But he was under no obligation to decide to act this way.

Review and Outline of Lex, Rex

This is Samuel Rutherford’s response to the prelate Maxwell who advocated absolute obedience to monarchs in all respects. This book is a point by point refutation (and reads like it). Rutherford’s Key argument: “I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance” (Rutherford 1).

We can say it another way: We can reorder the scholastic causes (formal, efficient, material, final) to forms of limitation: what is the purpose of govt? Who or what brings govt into existence? Who or what constitutes govt? If these distinctions aren’t kept in mind, Rutherford’s argument doesn’t make sense. In fact, constitutional govt wouldn’t make sense, either.

Rutherford explains government is natural in its root but voluntary in its mode. Further, The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6). Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king? No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves. You cannot cede what you do not have (81). The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115). This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).

Can we resist the government? Well, individually no. As a member of an estate and body politic, yes. Resistance and patient suffering are not contraries when considered as virtues (153ff). If resistance can fall under the virtue of self-preservation, then it is not an evil. Were the entire Parliament and city of London to lay down their arms and go meekly to their deaths at the hand of Irish rebels? In lighter situations, such as taxes and tribute, we may not use acts of re-offending. Did Paul meekly submit to the king of Damascus or did he engage in self-preservation and escape (159)?

The book is somewhat difficult to read because Rutherford is engaging in a point-by-point refutation of Maxwell, so it isn’t always clear which point is under discussion.

Analytical Outline

I found Rev David Field’s analyses of Rutherford very helpful and invaluable.

http://davidpfield.com/other/rutherfordccs.pdf

http://www.davidpfield.com/published-articles/Rutherford-resistance.pdf

Rev Field’s key point, taken from Rutherford:

A woman or a young man may violently oppose a king, if he force the one to adultery and incest, and the other to sodomy (162 [331]).

If it be natural to one man to defend himself against the personal invasion of a prince, then is it natural and warrantable to ten thousand, and to a whole kingdom ; and what reason to defraud a kingdom of the benefit of self-defence more than one man? (158 [324])?

Key argument: I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance (Rutherford 1).

Field neatly rephrases Rutherford’s argument: If we reorder the causes (to final, efficient, formal and material) and take “cases of  resistance” to be “forms of limitation” we may rephrase the conclusions of Lex, rex as a series of questions: What is the purpose or goal of government? Who or what brings government into being? What is it that makes government government, or what is the essence of government? What is government made out of? What are the due limitations of civil government (Field 5)?

Rutherford gives a book-length response to “P. Prelate.”

C1: “All civil power is immediately from God in its root” (Rutherford 1).

  1. Civil society is natural in radice but voluntary in modo.
  2. The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6).
    1. Judges 9.6; 1 Sam. 11.15
    2. A choice is made to choose this man and not that man.
  3. Is God’s call to not resist ordained authorities always absolute?  Rutherford gives a number of reductios to prove otherwise:
    1. A pastor is ordained of God; if a pastor becomes a robber, is it a sin to resist him?
    2. If a king brings in foreign invaders, such as “Irish cutthroats,” it is lawful to resist (15).

C2: Where obligation exists by contract, violation of the faith plighted in the contract, cannot in proper terms be called disobedience or contempt of authority (24).

  1. Government and power-making: the community, not the Pope, doth put forth this act (making a king) as a free, voluntary power (29).
  2. The community keeps to itself a power to resist tyranny (35).
  3. The previous laws of a community or nation give people the right to resist invaders who try to overthrow that order (36).

C3: Idolatry and Prior Laws

  1. If a nation is Christian (or theistic), the people do not have to aid a ruler in making it idolatrous (40).
  2. Rutherford’s hypotheticals are quite interesting:  if a king invites Papists to invade and subdue the Protestants, must the Protestants merely accept this?
  3. Covenants limit the power of kings (57).
  4. The Western legal heritage at this time had already limited the power of kings: if a king negates the conditions which made him king (e.g., the people’s investiture), then he may be negated since he violated them “from his own consent” (63).

C4: Nature and Destruction

  1. Law is rooted in nature and nature can’t be destroyed.  Therefore, a king doesn’t have the power to destruction (66).
  2. What if a people are conquered?
    1. This is why there really can’t be a “blank check to Nero” type interpretation, otherwise it gets really silly.
      1. This means “might makes right.”
      2. So, the new conqueror is automatically “the powers that be”?
      3. Does that mean the old–indeed, legitimate–ruler is now illegitimate?
      4. At what point does he become illegitimate–when the new conqueror conquers 50.01% of the land?
    2. Presumably, given the analysis in 2.1.1-2.1.4, a people would be sinning in resisting.   Yet, let’s say they “reconquered” the conquerors.  Does that automatically make them “in the right?”

C5: Kingmakers

  1. The Holy Spirit invests the people (Dt. 17.15-16) with kingmaking power.
    1. But that’s the Old Testament!
    2. Fair enough–it is also Western (and Russian) legal tradition.
  2. Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king?
    1. No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves.
    2. You cannot cede what you do not have (81).
  3. They give the king political power to their own safety, but reserve natural power to themselves.  Here Rutherford buttresses his argument with natural law reasoning and the 6th Commandment.
  4. Inferior magistrates are also “powers from God” (else, if Paul were just talking about the king, why didn’t he simply say “power”?).
    1. They also bear God’s sword (90).
  5. Scripture notes the people make the king, never the king the people (113).
    1. The people united to make David king at Hebron.
    2. The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115).  This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book.

C6: Parliament and the People

  1. “The princes of the house of Israel could not be rebuked for oppression in judgment (Mic. 3.1-3) if they had not the power of judgment” (95).
  2. Historical reductio:  Did Parliament sin by not giving Charles I the tax legislation he wanted?  
  3. The Parliament can resist the king, for it, too, his of God, even “a congregation of gods” (111, quoting Psalm 82.6).

C7: Is the King absolute?

  1. God does not give absolute power, because: (101ff)
    1. The king has his power from the people, as already established.
    2. The king is commonly known as a living law, but if he is a law then he is not absolute.
    3. Is the power to do evil from God?
      1. Depends on what kind of distinctions we make.  If “power” means “approval from God,” then did David have the power to kill Uriah and deflower Bathsheba (103)?
      2. Obviously, that is not a positive power but a mere permission.
      3. In either case, the king doesn’t have absolute power.
    4. The power to work contrary to the Good cannot be a lawful power, since the king is a minister of God for Good.
    5. The prophets rebuked the kings of Israel; hence, the power was not absolute.

C8: The Goal of Civil Govt.

  1. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).
  2. Therefore, God must have appointed means to this end.
    1. The obstruction of Good and justice works contrary to this end.

C9: The Health of the People

  1. If the people are the cause of the king, then their own safety must be principally sought (119).
  2. What is the end or purpose of the king?  The king isn’t the king simply so he can be the king.  Therefore, the prelate’s argument is reduced thus:
    1. The king is a lame king unless given the power to waste and destroy.
    2. The king cannot be happy unless he has the power to lay waste the Lord’s inheritance.

C10: Royalty mediately

  1. The king has royalty mediately by the people’s free consent (123).
  2. Power is not an immediate inheritance from heaven but is always mediated in situations.

C11: Judges and the Laws

  1. If judges exist, then the king is not the sole interpreter of the law (137).

C12: War

  1. Private subjects, Rutherford carefully argues, may not officially rise against the king.  Estates, however, may (139).
  2. There is a distinction between the king in concreto and the king in abstracto (office of the king).

C13: Venerable authority

  1. The person of the king is not venerable in its authority.
  2. If the contrary hold true, then Manasseh did not shed innocent blood or engage in sorcery (150).

C14: Resistance and patient suffering are not contraries when considered as virtues (153ff).

  1. If resistance can fall under the virtue of self-preservation, then it is not an evil.
  2. Were the entire Parliament and city of London to lay down their arms and go meekly to their deaths at the hand of Irish rebels?
  3. In lighter situations, such as taxes and tribute, we may not use acts of re-offending.
  4. Did Paul meekly submit to the king of Damascus or did he engage in self-preservation and escape (159)?

C15: Self-Defense as Rational and Natural

  1. We must first engage in supplications.
  2. Flight is not always possible or natural, as in the case of the aged and infants.
  3. Rutherford makes an interesting assertion:  “No man in the 3 kingdoms sought to harm the king’s person” (162).  It does not seem that Rutherford would agree with Charles’ execution.
  4. Humorous reductio on the Irish rebel and natural law (165).

C16: More on Just War Theory and Defensive Wars (166ff)

  1. As the priests executed a ceremonial law on King Uzziah, so may the three estates of Scotland execute the  moral law of God upon the king (171).

C17: But what about martyrs? (182ff)

  1. Can Christians defend themselves against murderers?

Working outline of Lex, Rex

I still have 100 pages to go in my outline.  Most of my critical help has come from Rev. David Field.

I found Rev David Field’s analyses of Rutherford very helpful and invaluable.

http://davidpfield.com/other/rutherfordccs.pdf

http://www.davidpfield.com/published-articles/Rutherford-resistance.pdf

Rev Field’s key point, taken from Rutherford:

A woman or a young man may violently oppose a king, if he force the one to adultery and incest, and the other to sodomy (162 [331]).

If it be natural to one man to defend himself against the personal invasion of a prince, then is it natural and warrantable to ten thousand, and to a whole kingdom ; and what reason to defraud a kingdom of the benefit of self-defence more than one man? (158 [324])?

Key argument: I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance (Rutherford 1).

Field neatly rephrases Rutherford’s argument: If we reorder the causes (to final, efficient, formal and material) and take “cases of

resistance” to be “forms of limitation” we may rephrase the conclusions of Lex, rex as a series of questions: What is the purpose or goal of government? Who or what brings government into being? What is it that makes government government, or what is the essence of government? What is government made out of? What are the due limitations of civil government (Field 5)?

Rutherford gives a book-length response to “P. Prelate.”

C1: “All civil power is immediately from God in its root” (Rutherford 1).

  1. Civil society is natural in radice but voluntary in modo.
  2. The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6).
    1. Judges 9.6; 1 Sam. 11.15
    2. A choice is made to choose this man and not that man.
  3. Is God’s call to not resist ordained authorities always absolute?  Rutherford gives a number of reductios to prove otherwise:
    1. A pastor is ordained of God; if a pastor becomes a robber, is it a sin to resist him?
    2. If a king brings in foreign invaders, such as “Irish cutthroats,” it is lawful to resist (15).

C2: Where obligation exists by contract, violation of the faith plighted in the contract, cannot in proper terms be called disobedience or contempt of authority (24).

  1. Government and power-making: the community, not the Pope, doth put forth this act (making a king) as a free, voluntary power (29).
  2. The community keeps to itself a power to resist tyranny (35).
  3. The previous laws of a community or nation give people the right to resist invaders who try to overthrow that order (36).

C3: Idolatry and Prior Laws

  1. If a nation is Christian (or theistic), the people do not have to aid a ruler in making it idolatrous (40).
  2. Rutherford’s hypotheticals are quite interesting:  if a king invites Papists to invade and subdue the Protestants, must the Protestants merely accept this?
  3. Covenants limit the power of kings (57).
  4. The Western legal heritage at this time had already limited the power of kings: if a king negates the conditions which made him king (e.g., the people’s investiture), then he may be negated since he violated them “from his own consent” (63).

C4: Nature and Destruction

  1. Law is rooted in nature and nature can’t be destroyed.  Therefore, a king doesn’t have the power to destruction (66).
  2. What if a people are conquered?
    1. This is why there really can’t be a “blank check to Nero” type interpretation, otherwise it gets really silly.
      1. This means “might makes right.”
      2. So, the new conqueror is automatically “the powers that be”?
      3. Does that mean the old–indeed, legitimate–ruler is now illegitimate?
      4. At what point does he become illegitimate–when the new conqueror conquers 50.01% of the land?
    2. Presumably, given the analysis in 2.1.1-2.1.4, a people would be sinning in resisting.   Yet, let’s say they “reconquered” the conquerors.  Does that automatically make them “in the right?”

C5: Kingmakers

  1. The Holy Spirit invests the people (Dt. 17.15-16) with kingmaking power.
    1. But that’s the Old Testament!
    2. Fair enough–it is also Western (and Russian) legal tradition.
  2. Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king?
    1. No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves.
    2. You cannot cede what you do not have (81).
  3. They give the king political power to their own safety, but reserve natural power to themselves.  Here Rutherford buttresses his argument with natural law reasoning and the 6th Commandment.
  4. Inferior magistrates are also “powers from God” (else, if Paul were just talking about the king, why didn’t he simply say “power”?).
    1. They also bear God’s sword (90).
  5. Scripture notes the people make the king, never the king the people (113).
    1. The people united to make David king at Hebron.
    2. The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115).  This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book.

C6: Parliament and the People

  1. “The princes of the house of Israel could not be rebuked for oppression in judgment (Mic. 3.1-3) if they had not the power of judgment” (95).
  2. Historical reductio:  Did Parliament sin by not giving Charles I the tax legislation he wanted?  
  3. The Parliament can resist the king, for it, too, his of God, even “a congregation of gods” (111, quoting Psalm 82.6).

C7: Is the King absolute?

  1. God does not give absolute power, because: (101ff)
    1. The king has his power from the people, as already established.
    2. The king is commonly known as a living law, but if he is a law then he is not absolute.
    3. Is the power to do evil from God?
      1. Depends on what kind of distinctions we make.  If “power” means “approval from God,” then did David have the power to kill Uriah and deflower Bathsheba (103)?
      2. Obviously, that is not a positive power but a mere permission.
      3. In either case, the king doesn’t have absolute power.
    4. The power to work contrary to the Good cannot be a lawful power, since the king is a minister of God for Good.
    5. The prophets rebuked the kings of Israel; hence, the power was not absolute.

C8: The Goal of Civil Govt.

  1. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).
  2. Therefore, God must have appointed means to this end.
    1. The obstruction of Good and justice works contrary to this end.

C9: The Health of the People

  1. If the people are the cause of the king, then their own safety must be principally sought (119).
  2. What is the end or purpose of the king?  The king isn’t the king simply so he can be the king.  Therefore, the prelate’s argument is reduced thus:
    1. The king is a lame king unless given the power to waste and destroy.
    2. The king cannot be happy unless he has the power to lay waste the Lord’s inheritance.

C10: Royalty mediately

  1. The king has royalty mediately by the people’s free consent (123).
  2. Power is not an immediate inheritance from heaven but is always mediated in situations.

C11: Judges and the Laws

  1. If judges exist, then the king is not the sole interpreter of the law (137).

C12: War

  1. Private subjects, Rutherford carefully argues, may not officially rise against the king.  Estates, however, may (139).
  2. There is a distinction between the king in concreto and the king in abstracto (office of the king).

Trial and Triumph of Faith

Rutherford, Samuel.  The Trial and Triumph of Faith.  Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth.

In this volume you are able to see a side of Samuel Rutherford that isn’t quite as flowery as his *Letters,* nor as analytical as *Lex, Rex.* The layout is relatively simple: 27 sermons on Christ’s words to the Syro-Phoneician. But in these sermons Rutherford examines the nature of faith, justification, and the Covenant of Redemption.

The book represents both the best of and limitations of Scottish Presbyterianism. When Rutherford waxes eloquent, he has no equal. But, likewise, when he analyzes a topic it goes on…and on…and on.

The Topics covered:

God’s love: it is infinite in its act but not in its object; the way of carrying on his love is infinite (41). “Mercy floweth not from God essentially but of mere grace” (42), otherwise universalism would entail. “For what God doth by necessity of his nature and essence, that he cannot but do.”

Covenants

Rutherford ties the promises of the covenant of grace as exemplified in the Davidic covenant (53). Son of David: Christ had a special relation to Abraham, being his seed; but more special to David, because the covenant was in a special manner established with David, as a king, and the first king in whose hand the…Church…was laid down” (74-75). Df. of covenant = “A joint and mutual bargain between two, according to which, they promise freely such and such things to each other” (75).

The promises of Galatians 3.16 apply not to the hypostatic Christ nor the mystical Christ, but to the mediatorial Christ (very important discussion, 81-83).
(1) Christ is the heir of all things and we are co-heirs with him.
(2) The covenant (Of Redemption) was manifested in time but transacted in eternity.
(3) Not every promise made is a promise made to us (84). Christ is promised a “name above every name,” and this promise cannot be made to us. Christ is promised a willing seed; we are not.
(4) This covenant structures salvation (86).

Guilt and Justification
“Justification is a removal of sin by law-way” (195). Obligation to external punishment is removed.
Formal Justification: this goes along with the order of cause, time, and a required condition of apprehending Christ’s righteousness (209).
Guilt: the guilt of sin is not the same as sin itself (222). Macula, or the blot of sin, is defilement. “Guilt” is that which issueth from the macula because you aren’t perfectly spotless. Rutherford notes that this “blot” has different relations:
(1) Blot in relation to the law. This is formally sin and not guilt.
(2) Blot in relation to God, as offended and injured. This is formally removed in justification (224).

The reality of virtual actions = no legal fiction: “The proposition is sure: for if Christ was so made sin, and punished for sin, and liable to suffer for sin, and yet had not any sinful or blameworthy guilt on him” (226), then we can also say that God declares me just on Christ.

Rutherford ends by tying the current situation of Britain with eschatological reflections. Very beautiful and moving.