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Samuel Rutherford

Rutherford, Samuel, 1600–1661, Scottish clergyman. His Exercitationes apologeticae pro divina gratia (1636), urging a Calvinist view of grace against Arminianism (see under Arminius, Jacobus), caused his suspension from his living at Anwoth on the charge of nonconformity to the Acts of Episcopacy. Banished to Aberdeen until the National Covenant was drawn up in 1638, he then was made professor of divinity at St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, and rector of the university in 1651. In 1643 he was chosen a commissioner from Scotland to the Westminster Assembly, and was attacked by name in John Milton's sonnet "On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament." His Lex Rex (1644) brought him wide attention as a political theorist; it was burned by the public hangman after the Restoration, and Rutherford was removed from his official positions and summoned (1661) by Parliament on a charge of treason. He died before he could be tried. Rutherford's letters, first published as Joshua Redivivus (1664), edited by A. A. Bonar with a life (2 vol., 1863), have passed through a number of editions.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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