/ Nathan Eshelman

A Banquet with the King

Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) was found guilty of "non-conformity" and presbyterianism by the Bishop Sydserff of Galloway. Rutherford was forced from his perish, Anworth Old Kirk (where he served between 1627-1636), and exiled to Aberdeen. In Aberdeen he was forbidden to preach or perform his ministerial duties. He said, "My [speechless] Sabbaths stick in my throat" but also that Christ would make his exile a "garden of delights."

Rutherford would return to his pulpit in Anworth in 1638 following the signing of the National Covenant and then quickly called--one year later--to be professor of theology at the University of Saint Andrews.

When in exile in Aberdeen he wrote hundreds of letters that serve as sweet exhortation for all who love Jesus Christ (see "The Letters of Samuel Rutherford"). In one such letter he exhorted his congregation to not give up the practice of receiving communion seated at a Table.

Rutherford said: They "should in any sort forbear the receiving the Lord's Supper but after the form that he had delivered it to them, according to the example of Christ our Lord, that is, that they should sit, as banqueters, at one table with our King, and eat and drink, and divide the elements one to another (Letters, 122)."

For Rutherford, and generations of Presbyterians, communion at a Table, is a banquet with the King, where believers serve one-another.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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