Extract from the “Stirling Observer of 17th October 1842
THE LATE MR DAVID RUTHERFORD
Died at Keirfield, on the 19th inst., in the seventy-eighth year of his age, Mr David Rutherford, upwards of fifty years overseer of the extensive bleachfield there. He was a man of most inflexible integrity, intimately acquainted with the principles and details of his profession, and unremittingly attentive to the duties or his situation; and consequently his worth was duly appreciated by his successive employers, who reposed the utmost confidence In him.
In every relation of life his conduct was upright and exemplary, and his superior intellgence and modest unassuming manners, endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. He was a kind husband, an affectionate parent and a good neighbour; he rejoiced In the prosperity, and sympathised in the adversity of others. He possessed feelings of the most acute and delicate kind., which could be fully understood and estimated only by those whose mind partook in some measure of the same qualities.
His penetration and discernment were remarkable; and, when a fair opportunity presented itself, he seldom failed to make an accurate discrimination of character; hence he was a steady friend. He was a man of very regular and studious habits; and those hours which he could spare after the honourable and faithful discharge of his duty to his employers he devoted to the instruction of his family, to Intercourse with his friends, and to the cultivation or his own mind. And great indeed were the attainments he made both in science and literature; and his merit in this respect will, of course. appear the greater when It is borne in mind that. In all things beyond merely elementary education, he was what is termed self-taught.
His diligence and success formed a noble contrast with the Indolence and consequent Ignorance of many who have enjoyed the very best opportunities. With all, or most of the sciences, he was pretty well acquainted; and in that of chemistry, upon which his profession mainly depended, he was an adept. He was well skilled in ancient and modern history, and his knowledge of British literature in general was accurate and extensive. He possessed, moreover some acquaintance with the classics; he took great pleasure in reading the truths of the Gospel in the original Greek. He had a taste for poetical composition, and his, powers of versifIcation were very considerable.
He wrote a new version of the Psalms, In a great variety of measures, and most of them have the music appended, set by his own hand. This work occupied his leisure hours for the space of twenty years, doubtless the most pleasant and profitable period of his life, for he took great delight in meditating on the sweet songs of Zion.
This brief and sketch cannot be better concluded than In the peculiar felicitous description of the deceased, communicated in a letter to the mourning family, by a gentleman of fine talents and high literary attainments:-
“He had Indeed genius and judgment, and a lively sense of the beautiful and the sublime in works of prose and verse. Take him all In all, his piety and Integrity, his manner of life, purity, and cheerfulness of conversation, his christian principles and practice,…
…..we shall not see his like again.
He was a literary phenomenon, and in point of literary talent, taste, and sound judgment, he has left none in his walk of life, I believe equal to him. It will be satisfactory to the christian public to be informed , that this remarkable man was a firm believer In the truth of the Gospel, and that he died as he had lived, In the humble hope of acceptance with God, and of a blessed resurrection through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour, in whom he trusted.”
DAVID RUTHERFOORD (1764-1842):
“HE HAD INDEED A TOUCH OF GENIUS”.