Copy of a letter written by David M'Roberts to his wife two days before his execution

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Copy of a letter written by David M'Roberts to his wife two days before his execution  (1798) 
by David McRoberts

Copy of a Letter





Two Days before his Execution;

Formerly Published


Widow and Children.

Attested by

C. M'Lachlan, Printer, Dumfries

[Price One Penny.]


THAT every Word of the following Letter was

written by David M'Roberts, (except the Words

printed in Italics) is attested by

Nov. 7. 1798
The day of Execution.

John Doncaster

Dumfries, November 5. 1798.

My dear Wife and Children,

THIS is the last Letter that you will have from me. And, O my dear, be advised by the last Sentiments of your dying Husband. Be thankful for God's great mercy, through Jesus Christ, that

I am enabled to write you—that I am not confined to a sick bed, and that I, by his tender love in his Son, am enabled to rejoice in hope of a glorious immortality, by his free grace bestowed on me, who am very undeserving of the least of his mercy. But I rejoice in hope, that when my sun goes down here, that I shall meet the blessed Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings. It is no matter how the lamp of this life goes out, if it be lighted again by the immortal beams of Christ’s righteousness.—It is better that my spirit be carried from the scaffold by Angels, than from a bed of down, to be dragged to where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

There is a heaven of bliss to be obtained by the free grace of God to all penitent and humble sinners that will go to him by Christ, and put their trust in his merits. There is no other way under heaven whereby we, or any of the sons and daughters of fallen Adam our first representative, can be saved but by the blood and untainted righteousness of Christ Jesus, who gave himself up a willing sacrifice on Mount Calvary, for to save poor sinful mankind and satisfy the Divine Justice of God his Father (illegible text) his merits, by free grace, I rejoice.

My dear, in the first place, consider what you are, and for what it pleased god to call you into being. Was it not to glorify him in the world, and enjoy him in the world to come?—He is the god that you and every one that cometh into his world, must appear before, sooner or later; and I must appear before him on Wednesday afternoon! And, oh! Dear, remember, that you have not any covenant with death; and it may be, you may soon follow your husband. You do not know, but the next summons death delivers, may be to you. Oh! then, look into your own heart, and see if you be ready for the change that will happen to you sooner or later: and look to the law of god, and you will see that indignation and anguish, tribulation and wrath, are revealed from heaven, against every one that sinneth: and you may see, that the justice of god is infinite as well as his holiness; yet it has pleased Him to give his only Son up to die for lost and undone sinners of mankind.——If you court the lusts of sinful heart, and yield to the delusion of Satan, and your own corrupt nature—I say, if you do neglect such great salvation, you must perish eternally.—Oh! dear, the natural man or woman is ready to think they cannot fall in with Christ, without something of their own: It is true, they cannot without divine grace. Remember the advice of your dying and loving husband. The best duty that ever you did or can do, is but your duty, and never can make amends for your sins; so, if ever you be saved you must depend on the blood and righteousness of Christ for all. Oh! my dear, fly front any doctrine that would recommend you on works to attain salvation. Christ is inviting you without money and without price. The door of mercy is yet open; but be assured that there is no mercy after death for those that die unconverted. I have no doubt but Satan, the world, and the treacherous heart, will have many excuses; but go on in the free grace of god, through Jesus Christ; and O be sincere at the throne of grace, and you will obtain it. Let nothing stop your seeking first the kingdom of god, and all other things will be added unto you. Pray earnestly to god for a saving interest in the blood of the new covenant, of which Christ is the Mediator.

Now, my dear Wife, I have set life and death both before you, and if you neglect it, it will be endless, endless, endless misery!—O then be earnest with god, whilst you are in the body; and get the children brought up in the fear of god. Do not let your eyes pity them, so as to with-hold correction when needful; and pray that god, for Christ sake, may bless your endeavours, that it may tend to his glory, and your and their good. O remember time is passing away, and eternity is approaching.——One hour spent in conversation with god, is better than all the perishing world. Mind your latter end, and you will reap the benefit of your labours. Never, never, never stop, till you have your peace made up with god, and a match with Christ, and you will find his yoke is easy, and his burden light.——May the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, quicken you and my dear wee (little) boys, and sanctify you. This is the last word or writ from your loving husband.—This day[1] (illegible text)d a while the morrow, and then you are free to marry whom you will; but Oh! first match with Christ on his own terms. I can hardly drop writing—may you be directed bv infinite wisdom, is the sincere prayer of yours while in the body. Do not forget this advice, and we shall, I hope, meet in a better world: and O be much in prayer, and god will bring you through all ycur distress! Rest on him and he will sustain you. Do not forget your great salvation, and be ruined for ever and ever. I bow my knees to god that he may bless it to your soul.——Farewel world! Farewell wife and children! Farewel vanity, sin and sorrow!——Lord Jesus receive my spirit.

My dear wife and Children, I have laboured with my pen for your salvation. I could die with the pen in my hand. But since I can do nothing, may the Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead direct your mind. Oh! Peggy dear, do not charge the holy and just god foolishly:—He has said, Leave (illegible text) fatherless children, and let thy widow trust in me. My dear, be earnest (illegible text) your crying to god. Put not your trust in an arm of flesh; but O pray night and day that god, for Christ’s sake, may pardon all your sins, and enable you to teach your and my dear wee (little) boys. You will not have me to give them any more advice; but I trust in the riches of god's free grace, through Christ, we shall meet in our heavenly Father’s house, where there is pleasure for evermore. O labour in patience and sincerity with god, till you, by a true and (illegible text)vely faith in the blessed Lord, overcome (illegible text) your enemies. When you are temptedvby the tempter, the vain world, or your own lusts, think that god who sees all things, sees you. You can never be out of his presence. Remember what his Son suffered for you. If you call earnestly for help, you will be assisted and with patient continuance in w(illegible text) doing; and praying for divine grace you will obtain it through the blood and righteousness of Christ Jesus.

O dear! if it please god to spare you and your children, O take care of them as well as you can; but do not let them overrule you. And may the blessing of god assist your weak endeavour—may his strength be made perfect in your weakness.——My blessing I leave with you; and into his hands I commend youthrough time and eternity.

O remember all that I have said; and may god for Christ’s sake bless it to you Throw not these lines away:—not that I mean to aggravate your condemnation by them, but to stir you up to your duty.—May god watch over you and the children for good, till the day of Christ’s coming. Amen.—Even so Lord Jesus come quickly. Farewel.—Adieu, adieu, adieu!




INASMUCH as it has been reported that the foregoing printed Letter (a former Impression of which has lately been circulated in Dumfries) was indited to me, and only copied by David M‘Roberts: I judge it my duty to declare—-that be had INDITED, WRITTEN, and likewise shewn it, to the Reverend D Burnside, previous to my having had the least knowledge of its contents.

J. D. Minister.

N. B. The Witdow returns her sincere thanks to the Ladies and Gentlemen of this Town, and its Environs for their liberality and kindness to her.

Dumfries, 27th November, 1798.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

  1. He had mistaken the day of the month—see the date.