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The Trial and Triumph of Faith (27 Sermons)

Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) - One of the most influential Scottish Presbyterians in the Westminster Assembly.

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“Christ’s honeycombs drop honey and floods of consolation upon my soul; my chains are gold. Were my blackness and Christ’s beauty carded through other, His beauty and holiness would eat up my filthiness. The secret formula of the saints: When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.”

A series of sermons on the woman of Canaan. We find the Victory of Faith; The condition of those that are tempted; The excellency of Jesus Christ and Free-Grace; and Some specially Grounds and Principles of Libertinism and Antinomian Errors, discovered. Click on the Sermon numbers to go to that sermon.

The Trial And Triumph Of Faith:
An Exposition of the History of Christ’s
dispossessing of the daughter of the woman of Canaan.
Delivered in SERMONS; In which are opened,
The Victory of Faith; The condition of those that are tempted; The excellency of Jesus
Christ and Free-Grace; and
Some specially Grounds and Principles of Libertinism
and Antinomian Errors, discovered
By Rev. Samuel Rutherford

Professor of Divinity in the University of St. Andrews.
And I will give to him (that overcometh) the morning star. – Revelation ii. 28.
Published by Authority in L O N D O N:
Printed by John Field, and are to be sold by Ralph Smith,
at the Sign of the Bible in Cornhill near the ROYALL E X C H A N G E: 1645.
Edited, Updated and Revised by C. Matthew McMahon
A Puritan’s Mind, Inc. Copyright, April 2004
Changes made to this edition do not affect the overall language of the document, nor do
they change the writer’s intention. Spelling, grammar and formatting changes have been made, and modernized wording is used in specific cases to help today’s reader more fully grasp the intention of the author.




The scope, order, and contents of the text
Matthew and Mark reconciled
Properties of Christ’s love
What woman this was
The art of the wise contexture of Divine Providence in black and white, fair and foul,
mixed in one, for beauty’s sake
Two sides of Providence
We err in looking on God’s ways to halves, especially on the black and sad side only


Christ took a human will, that he might stoop to God in all things
The strength of corrupt will
Two things in the will
The frame of it
The quality and goodness of it
There is a necessity of renewing the will
The dispensation of God, not Scripture, nor a rule of faith
We trust possession of Christ by faith, more than we do right and law, through faith.


How Christ and his grace cannot be hid, in six particulars
lst, In his cause
2nd, In the good and evil condition spiritual of tie soul
3rd, In the joy of Christ’s presence
4th, In a sincere profession
5th, In the bearing ‘down the stirrings of a renewed conscience
6th, In desertions
We are to be obsequious and yielding to the breathings of the Spirit
Our hearts are to be variously suitable to the various operations of the Spirit, from four
Grace falleth on few
Grace, how rare and choice a piece, in four particulars
Grace not universal and common to all
Nine objections of the Arminian and natural man, Answered


Gifts falleth often on the most graceless
Grace maketh a great change: three reasons thereof
There is a like reason for grace on our Lord’s part, to the vilest of men, as to Moses,
Daniel, Paul
The same free grace that we have here, we have it in heaven in the state of glory
In heaven we reign by grace, as by the same we war here
The justified in Christ are corrected for sin
The furnace of affliction, the work-house of the grace of Christ; four grounds thereof
Mr. Towne’s assertion of grace
How Antinomians judge sins to be corrected in the justified
How Papists judge sins to be punished in the justified
That God punisheth pardoned sins; proved by seven arguments
Rules to be observed in affliction
A land or a nation must be longer in the fire than one particular person


Satan worketh as a natural agent without moderation
Spiritual evils chase few men to Christ; three grounds thereof
How men naturally love the devil
Satan, how an unclean spirit
It is true wisdom to know God savingly
What hearing bringeth souls to Christ
Four defects in hearing
Hell coming to our senses in this life, should not cause us believe without effectual grace
It is good to border near to Christ


Crying in prayer necessary
Five grounds thereof
Prayer sometimes wanteth words, so as groaning goeth for prayer
How many other expressions beside vocal praying, go under the lieu of praying in God’s
Eight objections removed
Some affections greater than tears
Looking up to heaven, praying
Breathing, praying
That wherein the least of prayer consisteth
Broken prayers are prayers
The Lord knoweth nonsense in a broken spirit to be good sense


Why Christ is called frequently the Son of David; not so, the Son of Adam, of Abraham
Christ a King by covenant
What things be in the covenant of grace
The parties of the covenant
Christ hath a sevenfold relation to the covenant
1st, He is the Covenant itself
2nd, The Messenger
3rd, The witness
4th, The Surety
5th, The Mediator
6th, The Testator
7th, The principal party contractor
Christ the Covenant itself
Christ a Messenger of the Covenant in four particulars
A Witness in four things
A Surety in three
A Mediator in three things
1st, A Friend
2nd, A Reconciler
3rd. A Servant
Christ a servant of. God, and our servant
Christ confirmed and sealed the Testament
Christ the principal confederate party
The covenant made with Christ personally, not mystically, proved from Gal., iii, 16. The
contrary reasons answered
A covenant between the Father and the Son proved
Of the promises of the covenant
Two sorts of promises
Christ took a new covenant-right to God
Five sorts of promises made to Christ, and by proportion to us


The condition of the covenant
Libertines deny all conditions of the covenant
The new covenant hath conditions to be performed by us
Six objections removed
A twofold dominion of gracious and supernatural acts
We are not justified before we believe, proved by six arguments
A condition taken in a threefold notion
It is not a proper condition by way of strict wage and work, when we are said to be
justified, and saved upon condition of faith
1st, The Freedom
2nd, Eternity
3rd, Well-ordering of the covenant,—the three properties thereof
The freedom of the covenant is seen, in regard
1st, Of persons
2nd, Of causes
3rd, Of time
4th, Of manner of dispensation
Uses of the doctrine of the covenant


Christ God and man, and our comfort therein
Christ immediate in the act of redeeming us, and so sweeter
Christ incomparable
Four other necessary uses
To believers all temporal favors are spiritualized, and watered with mercy. Four grounds
By what reason our Father, as a father, giveth us spiritual things, by that same he giveth
us all things
Mercy originally in Christ, and how


Parents’ affection, their spiritual duty to children
Thirteen practical rules in observing passages of Divine Providence
1st, We are neither to lead, nor to stint Providence
2nd, But to observe God in his ways, and not to look to by-ways of providence
3rd, Omnipotency not laid down in pawn in any means
4th, God walketh not in the way that we imagine
5th, Providence in its concatenation of decrees, actions, events, is one continued
contexture, going along from Creation to the day of Christ’s second coming,
without one broken thread
6th, The spirit is to be in an indifferency in all casts of providence
7th, Low desires best
8th, We are to lie under providence submissively in all
9th, Providence is a mystery
10th, Walketh in uncertainties toward us
11th, Silence is better than disputing
12th, It is good to consider both what is inflicted, and who
13th, God always ascendeth, even when second causes descend


Every temptation hath its taking power from the seeming goodness in it
Reasons why this was a temptation to the woman
The scope of the temptation to make the tempted believe there is none like him
The non-answering of Christ, is an answering
Five reasons of the Lord’s not hearing of prayer
Seven ways prayers are answered
Praying in faith always heard, even when the particular which we suit in prayer is denied
Faith in one and the same prayer, seeketh and knocketh, and answereth, and openeth to itself
The light of saving faith, and the prophetical light of the pen – men of the word of God,
differ not in space and nature
The dearest not admitted unto God at the first knock


Natural men, and even the renewed in spirit, in so far as there remaineth some flesh in
them, are ignorant of the mystery of an afflicted spirit
Peace of conscience is a work of creation
A reason why it is so hard to convince the deserted
Christ sweeter to the deserted than all the world
Difference between God’s trying and the creature’s tempting, in three positions
A creature cannot put a fellow-creature to act sin upon an intention of trying him
In the actions of creatures we must know
1st, Quis
2nd, Quid
3rd, Quare
1st, Who commandeth
2nd, What
3rd, And for what end.
In God’s actions, it is enough to know, Quis, Who, that it is Jehovah
Four doubts of the tempted
In the sending of “Christ to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” there be three things
1st, His designation
2nd, Qualification
3rd, Commission
The Son most fit to be Mediator
How Christ is qualified
His commission
It is not properly grace that we are born, it is grace that Christ is born
God’s hidden decree, and his revealed will opened
A twofold intention in the promises
How, and who are to believe the decree of reprobation concerning themselves


It is a privilege of mercy that Christ is sent to the Jews first
Nine privileges of the Jews
The honor and privileges of Britain
The redeemed called sheep upon four grounds
How passive the redeemed are in the way to heaven, in five particulars
The saints most dependent creatures
How we know the Scripture to be the word of God; two grounds, one in the subject,
another in the object
Fancy leadeth not the saints, but faith
How the saints need a fresh supply of grace from Christ, though they have a habit and
stock of grace within them; proved by six reasons
Grace and glory but one continued thread
Three considerations we are to have of God’s work, in leading us to heaven
Faith is both active and passive
Desertions have real advancing in the way to heaven, in eleven particulars
We are not freed from law directions
Actual condemnation may be, and is separated from the law
Two objection’s removed
How works of holiness conduce to salvation, three things herein to be distinguished
We arc to do good works, both from the principle of law and love
Other three objections removed
Of the letter both of law and gospel; divers errors of libertines touching the point
The Scriptures are not to be condemned, because they profit not without the teaching of the Spirit, proved by three reasons
Repentance different from faith, proved against libertines
Repentance the same in the Old and New Testament


In what sense Christ came to save the lost
A twofold preparation for Christ to be considered
Conversion is done by foregoing preparations, and successively proved by four reasons
Sense of poverty fitteth for Christ
The objections of Dr. Crispe removed. Sinners as “sinners not fit to receive Christ
How Christ belongeth to sinners under the notion of sinners
How the Spirit acts most in the saints, when they endeavour least
The marrow of libertinism to neglect sanctification, and to wallow in fleshly lusts
Christ’s death maketh us active in duties of holiness, proved from three grounds
How Christ keepeth us from sin


Eight necessary duties required of a believer under desertion:
1st, Patience
2nd, Faith, etc.
Hope prophesieth glad tidings at midnight
It is a blessed mark, when temptations chase not a soul from duties, illustrated in three
It argueth three good things, to go on in duties under a temptation
Antinomians take men off duties
Christ tempted cannot sin; the saints tempted dare not sin
Faith trafficketh with heaven in the saddest storms


National sing may occur to the conscience of the child of God, in his approach to God
A subtle humble pride the disease of weak ones, who dare not apply the promises
Sense of free-grace humbleth exceedingly
How far forth conscience of wretchedness hindereth any to come to Christ
Whoever doubteth if God will Bare him, doubteth also if God can save him
Sin keepeth not the door of Christ to hold out the sinner
Sense of sin, and sense of the grace of Christ, may consist
Holy walking and Christ’s excellency may both be felt by the believer.
Holy walking considered, as,
1st, A duty
2nd, A mean
3rd, A thing promised in the covenant of grace
How we may collect our state and condition from holy walking
The error of Dr. Crispe and Antinomians herein
Christ a great householder
The privilege of the children of the house
Christ the bread of life
Communion between the children and the first heir, Christ, in five particulars
The spirit of an heir and of a servant
There is a seed of hope and comfort in the hardest desertions of the saints, in three
particulars illustrated


Grace maketh quickness and wittiness of heavenly reasoning
Faith contradicteth Christ tempting, but humbly and modestly
The saints may dispute their state with Christ, when they dare not dispute their actions
We are to accept, humbly, and with patience, of a wakened conscience, but not to seek a storming conscience
True humility and its way, in seven particulars.—See the place
How we are to esteem every man better than ourselves
The proud man known afar off
Grace’s lowliness in taking notice of sinners
Causes of unthankfullness
A justified soul is to confess sin, proved by three arguments
And to mourn for sin by divers reasons
If we be not to mourn for sin committed, because it is pardoned, neither should our will
be averse from the committing of it; because before it be committed, it is also pardoned,
as Antinomians teach
Libertines conspire with Papists, in the doctrine of justification


How sins are removed in justification, how not
There remaineth sin formally in the justified, proved by six arguments
How sin dwelleth in us after we are justified
A twofold removal of sin, one moral or legal in justification, another physical in our
The difference between the removal of sin in justification, and its removal in
Seven grounds why Sin dwelleth still in the justified person
How sins past, present, and to come, are pardoned in justification
There is a twofold consideration of justification, but not two justifications
Sins in three divers respects are taken away, according to Scripture
Christ’s satisfaction performed on the cross for sin, is not formally justification, but only
causatively, fundamentally, or meritoriously
There is a change in justification
How sins not committed are remitted
There is but one justification of a believer, illustrated by a comparison
There is a difference between pardon of sin, the justification of the person, and the
repeated sense of the pardon
Justifying faith is some other thing, than the sense of justification
How fear, or hope, or reward of glory has influence in our holy walking
Objections removed


The Lord Jesus is so made the sinner in suffering for sin, as there remaineth no sin in the sinner once pardoned, as Antinomians teach, especially Doctor Crispe
Sin so laid on Christ as that it leaveth not off to be our sin
The guilt of sin, and sin itself, are not one and the same thing
An inherent blot in sin, and the guilt and debt of sin
Two things in debt, as in sin
The blot of sin, two ways considered
A twofold guilt in sin, one intrinsical, and of the fault; another of the punishment, and
Reasons why sin, and the guilt of sin cannot be the same
Christ not intrinsically the sinner
Imputation of sin, no imagination, no lie
Reasons proving that Christ was not intrinsically and formally the sinner
What righteousness of Christ is made ours
The believer how righteous, and Christ how not
Christ’s bearing of our sins, by a frequent Hebraism in Scripture, is to bear the
punishment due to our sins, and not to bear the intrinsical blot of our sins
How Christ is in our place, 241. How the debtor and the surety be one in law, and not
intrinsically one
A perplexed conscience in a good sense is lawfully consistent with a justified sinner’s
A conditional fear of eternal wrath required in the justified, but not an absolute fear, and yet trouble of mind for the indwelling of sin is required


The conscience, in Christ, is freed from sin, that is, from actual condemnation, but not
from incurring God’s displeasure by the breach of a law, if the believer sin
I am to believe the remission of these same very sins, which I am to confess with sorrow
How the conscience is freed from condemnation, and yet not from God’s displeasure for sin
Eight cases of conscience resolved from the former doctrine
To be justified is a state of happiness, most desirable, illustrated from the eternity of the
debt of sin
The smallest and worst things 6f Christ are incomparably above the most excellent things on earth, illustrated in six particulars
What must Christ himself be, when the worst things of Christ are so desirable?
The excellency of Christ further illustrated, and the foulness of our choice evidenced
How to esteem Christ, illustrated, in four grounds
Degrees of persons younger and older in grace, in our Lord’s house
Christ’s family is a growing family
God bringeth great and heavenly works out of the day of small things
We are to deal tenderly with weak ones, upon six considerations


The prevalency of instant prayer put forth upon God in eight acts
Prayer moveth and stirreth all wheels in heaven and earth
Five things concerning faith
There is a preparation going before faith
There is no necessary connection between preparations going before faith, and
Affections going before faith, and following after, differ specifically, and not
gradually only
All are alike unfit for conversion
Some nearer conversion than others
Three grounds or motives of believing
Glory, and Christ, the hope of glory, strong motives of believing
Faith’s object the marrow of God’s attributes, to speak so, -of faith a catholic grace
required in all our actions natural and civil, as well as spiritual
Christianity how an operous work
The six ingredients of faith
Faith turneth all our acts which are terminated on the creature, into half non-acts
Faith hath five notes of difference in closing with the promis
Literal knowledge worketh as a natural agent
Warrant of applying set down in five positions
Eight ingredients of a counterfeit faith


Thirteen works, or ingredients of a strong faith, and how to discern a weak faith
Strong praying a note of strong faith
2nd, Instant pleading a note also
Strength of grace required in believing
Christ rewardeth grace with grace
How grace beginneth all supernatural acts
There is a promising of bowing are predeterminating grace made to supernatural acts, yet so as God reserveth his own liberty:
1st, How
2nd, When
3rd, In what measure lie doth cooperate with the believer in these acts
Four reasons why grace in the work of faith must begin, and so begin as we are guilty in not following
Grace is on the saints, and to them, but glory is on them, but not to them
Grace to an angel necessary to prevent possible sins
3rd, Note of a strong faith. Not to be broken with temptation
4th, Faith staying on God without light of comfort a strong faith
The fewer externals that faith needeth, the stronger it is within
Comforts are externals to faith
Some cautions in this, that some believe strongly without the help of comforts
Reasons why divers of God’s children die without comfort


The more of the word and the less of reason the stronger faith is
6th, A faith that can forego much for Christ is a strong faith
7th, It is a strong faith to pray and believe when God seemeth to forbid praying
8th, Great boldness argueth great faith
9th, To rejoice in tribulation
10th, to wait on with long patience
11th, A humble faith is a strong faith
12th, A strong desire of a communion with Christ
13th, Strength of working by love, argueth a strong faith
A great faith is not free of doubtings
Divers sorts of doubting opposite to faith
Some doubting a bad thing in itself, yet per accidens, and in regard of the person, and
concomitants, a good sign, and argueth sound grace
Of a weak faith
Negative adherence to Christ not sufficient to saving faith
A suffering faith a strong faith
Faith in regard of intention weak, may be strong in regard of extension, in three relations
The lowest ebb of a fainting faith
What of Christ remaineth in the lowest ebb of a fainting faith


A stock of grace is within the saints; our grace is not all, and wholly in Christ though it be all from Christ
The powers of the soul remain whole in conversion
The stock of grace is to be warily kept
Four things are to be done, to keep the stock without a craze
The tenderness of Christ’s heart, and strength of love toward sinners
Christ strong in moral acts, and strongly mode rate in natural acts; the contrary is in
natural men
Christ’s motion of tender mercy, as, it were natural
How mercy worketh eternally, and secretly, and under ground even under a bloody
Judgment on the two kingdoms except they repent
A rough dispensation consistent with tenderness of love in our Lord
Free love goeth before our redemption
Christ loveth the persons of the elect, but hateth their sins
A twofold love of God, one of good will to the person, another of complacency to his
own image in the person
No new love in God
Objections of Mr. Denne the Antinomian answered
What it is to be under the law
How God loveth us before time, and how he now loveth us in time
By faith and conversion our state is truly changed before God
To be justified by faith, is not barely to come to the knowledge that we are justified
before we believe
Justification not eternal
Faith is not only given for our joy and consolation; but also for our justification, both in
our own soul and before God
There is no warrant in Scripture for two reconciliations; one of man’s reconciliation to
God, and another of God’s reconciliation to man
Christ’s merits, no cause, but an effect of God’s eternal love
What reconciliation is
Joy without all sorrow for sin, no fruit of the kingdom of God
The seeing of God, Heb., xii, 14, and the kingdom, 1 Cor. vi. John iii, 3, not the kingdom
of grace, but of glory
All acts of blood and rough dealing in God to his own acts of mercy


Omnipotency hath influence, on,
1st, Satan
2nd, Diseases
3rd, Stark death
4th, On life itself
5th, Mother-nothing
6th, On all creatures
Obediential power in the creation, what it is
Omnipotency is (as it were) a servant to faith
We worship a dependent God
We have need of the Devil and other temptations for our humiliation
Immediate mercies, are the sweetest mercies; cleared,
1st, In Christ
2nd, Grace
3rd, Glory
4th, Comfort
5th, The rarest of God’s works
The deceitful-ness of our confidence, when God and the creature are joined in one work


Christ in four relations hath dominion over devils
Satan goeth no where without a pass
We often sign Satan’s conditional pass
A renewed will is a renewed man
Eight positions concerning the will and affections
A civil will is not a sanctified will
The yielding of the soul to God, and to his light, A special note of a renewed will
Affections sanctified, especially desires
The less mixture in the affections, the stronger are their operations
Mind and affections do reciprocally vitiate one another
Spiritual desires seek natural things, spiritually: Carnal desires seek spiritual things,
God submitteth his liberality of grace, to the measure of a sanctified will, in four
Our affections, in their acts and comprehension, are tar below spiritual objects, Christ and heaven
More in Christ and heaven, than our faith can reach in this life


Satan not cast out of a land or a person, but by violence, both to Satan and the party;
amplified in four considerations
False peace known
A roaring and a raging devil, is better than a calm and a sleeping devil
God’s way of hardening, as it is mysterious, so is it silent and invisible

A Fabulous Covenant Theology Work:

The Covenant of Life Opened by Samuel Rutherford
Buy his printed works HERE

Christian Directions by Rev. Samuel Rutherford

  1. That hours of the day, less or more time, for the Word and prayer, be given to God; not sparing the twelfth hour, or mid-day, howbeit it should then be the shorter time.
  2. In the midst of worldly employments, there should be some thoughts of sin, death, judgment, and eternity, with at least a word or two of ejaculatory prayer to God.
  3. To beware of wandering of heart in private prayer.
  4. Not to grudge if ye come from prayer without sense of joy. Downcasting, sense of guiltiness, and hunger, are often best for us.
  5. That the Lord’s Day, from morning to night, be spent always either in private or public worship.
  6. That words be observed, wandering and idle thoughts be avoided, sudden anger and desire of revenge, even of such as persecute the truth, be guarded against; for we often mix our zeal with our wild-fire.
  7. That known, discovered, and revealed sins, that are against the conscience, be avoided, as most dangerous preparatives to hardness of heart.
  8. That in dealing with men, faith and truth in covenants and trafficking be regarded, that we deal with all men in sincerity; that conscience be made of idle and lying words; and that our carriage be such, as that they who see it may speak honourably of our sweet Master and profession.

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