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"Behind every great movement of God stands a few generous men and women called Gospel Patrons. Their role of resourcing, partnering, and strategizing with those who proclaim the gospel fueled amazing works of God. This book tells three stories from history that invite us to believe God, step out, and serve the purposes of God in our generation too." - Gospel Patrons: People Whose Generosity Changed the World https://www.gospelpatrons.org/ -- You can get a free PDF and audio (MP3) version of this stirring book at https://www.gospelpatrons.org/. Just sign up to their email list (at the bottom of of the page at https://www.gospelpatrons.org/), and confirm the email they send to you, to confirm your email subscription, and they will email you the links to the free versions of the book, Gospel Patrons: People Whose Generosity Changed the World, when they respond to your email list confirmation email. This book demonstrates the indisputable importance of the people God calls to help fund the ministries that He has chosen to play large rolls in some of the biggest Reformations and revivals in history. It uses the examples of William Tyndale, George Whitefield and John Newton. As with all links we provide we only agree with that which is in agreement with the Bible at the sites where the URLs point.



A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1649 edition) by Samuel Rutherford

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Resource Details

Full Title:
A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1649 edition)
Author:
Samuel Rutherford
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
No
PDF Index:
None
Pages:
416
File Size:
25.44MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

Samuel Rutherford's Free Disputation, though scarce (with maybe only a few copies of the actual book left in existence), is still one of his most important works.

Though Rutherford is affectionately remembered in our day for his Letters, or for laying the foundations of constitutional government (against the divine right of kings) in his unsurpassed Lex Rex, his Free Disputation should not be overlooked -- for it contains the same searing insights as Lex, Rex. In fact, this book should probably be known as Rutherford's "politically incorrect" companion volume to Lex, Rex. A sort of sequel aimed at driving pluralists and antinomians insane.

Written against "the Belgick Arminians, Socinians, and other Authors contending for lawlesse liberty, or licentious Tolerations of Sects and Heresies," Rutherford explains the undiluted Biblical solution to moral relativism, especially as it is expressed in ecclesiastical and civil pluralism! (Corporate pluralism being a violation of the first commandment and an affront to the holy God of Scripture).

He also deals with conscience, toleration, penology (punishment), and the judicial laws, as related to both the civil and ecclesiastical realms. Excellent sections are also included which address questions related to determining the fundamentals of religion, how covenants bind us, the perpetual obligation of social covenants (with direct application to the Solemn League and Covenant and the covenant-breaking of Cromwell and his sectarian supporters), whether the punishing of seducing teachers be persecution of conscience, and much more.

Walker adds these comments and context regarding Rutherford's Free Disputation, "The principle of toleration was beginning to be broached in England, and in a modified shape to find acceptance there. Samuel Rutherford was alarmed, or rather, I should say, he was horrified, for he neither feared the face of man or argument. He rushed to the rescue of the good old view... It is not so easy to find a theoretical ground for toleration; and Rutherford has many plausible things to say against it. With the most perfect confidence, he argues that it is alike against Scripture and common sense that you should have two religions side by side. It is outrageous ecclesiastically, it is sinful civilly. He does not, however, take what I call the essentially persecuting ground. He does not hold that the magistrate is to punish religion as religion. Nay, he strongly maintains that the civil magistrate never aims at the conscience. The magistrate, he urges, does not send anyone, whether a heretic (who is a soul murderer--RB) or a murderer, to the scaffold with the idea of producing conversion or other spiritual result, but to strengthen the foundations of civil order. But if he gives so much power to the king, he is no lover of despotism withal: the king himself must be under law. To vindicate this great doctrine is the object of another book, the celebrated Lex, Rex; of which it has been said by one competent to judge, that it first clearly developed the constitutionalism which all men now accept" (Theology and Theologians..., pp. 11-12).

In our day Francis Schaeffer, and numerous others, have critiqued many of the problems found in modern society, but most have spent little time developing explicitly Biblical solutions -- especially regarding the theoretical foundations that Rutherford addresses here.

Rutherford's Free Disputation provides a detailed blueprint for laying the foundations for Reformation (in all areas of life) that must be laid before any lasting, God-honoring solutions will be found. Furthermore, Rutherford and his writings were the enemies of all governments not covenanted with Christ.

This book will give you a very clear picture as to why "the beast" (civil and ecclesiastical) has reserved his special hatred for such teaching. As Samuel Wylie noted, "[t]he dispute, then, will not turn upon the point whether religion should be civilly established... but it is concerning what religion ought to be civilly established and protected, -- whether the religion of Jesus alone should be countenanced by civil authority, or every blasphemous, heretical, and idolatrous abomination which the subtle malignity of the old serpent and a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, can frame and devise, should be put on an equal footing therewith" (Two Sons of Oil: or, The Faithful Witness For Magistracy and Ministry Upon a Scriptural Basis, softcover).

Can our generation swallow Rutherford's hard, anti-pluralistic, Covenanter medicine, poured forth from the bottle of the first commandment, without choking on their carnal dreams of a free and righteous society divorced from God (and His absolute claims upon everyone and everything)? Not without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit -- that is for sure!

In summary, this book answers all the hardest questions theonomists (and their wisest and best opponents) have been asking for the last 20-30 years (and these answers are much more in depth than any we have seen in the last couple of millennia [less about a century to account for the apostles]).

As the reader will discover, Rutherford was a wealthy man when it came to wisdom (and much advanced theologically), and those who take the time to gaze into the King's treasure house, as exhibited in this book, will find that they are greatly rewarded.

Furthermore, because of its uncompromising stand upon the Word of God, this book is sure to be unpopular among a wicked and adulterous generation. However, on the other hand, it is sure to be popular among the covenanted servants of King Jesus!

This is one of the best books for advanced study of the Christian faith. We have now obtained an easy-to-read, amazingly clear copy of this very rare, old treasure. Great price too, considering that a copy of the 1649 edition, containing this quality of print, could cost upwards of $1000 on the rare book market -- though it is unlikely you would ever see a copy for sale!

Over 400 pages.


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