"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" -- Phil 3:8 (NIV)

Rutherford wrote this during a period of political and religious instability. He himself was in exile because of his resistance to these changes. Rutherford believed that in the final analysis, Christ would be the judge of his case.

"The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."" -- Psa 110:1 (NIV)

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away." -- Psa 37:1,2 (NIV)

How can we be Christians and not expect Christ to not take us outside of our comfort zone? It is unreasonable to expect our Lord not to radically change our lives.

Such as health, wealth, and prosperity.

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." -- Deu 33:27 (NIV)

Scottish for "children".

That is, the scandal of following Christ, I Peter 2:8.

That is, sorting out those who really belong to Christ and those who merely have a religious form.

Rutherford is saying that God, in His wisdom, is using the experiences of this life to prepare us for heaven. In this sense heaven will be more blessed for us because of these experiences. Therefore the time between our conversion and death may be seen as a "budding" process preparing us for heaven.

Rutherford's correspondent was a remarried widow, whose husband was chronically ill.

That is, when Christ returns.

There were monetary rewards for ministers if they would approve of the changes in the Church of Scotland. However, Rutherford could not go along because his conscience was Christ's property. He would rather die than have it up for sale.

That is, of his recent decision to stand for Christ.