Life and prophecies of Mr Alex. Peden (1815-1825)

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THE

Life and Prophecies

OF

MR ALEX. PEDEN,

Late Minister of the Gospel at New Glenluce,

Galloway.

And his Remarkable Letter

To the Prisoners of Donnottar Casle, July 1685.

EDINBURGH

Printed for the Booksellers in Town and Country.

THE

LIFE AND PROPHECIES

OF

MR ALEX. PEDEN.



MR ALEXANDER PEDEN was born in the parish of Sorn, in the Sheriffdom of Ayr. After he past his course at the college, he was employed for some time to be School-master, Precentor, and Session Clerk, to Mr John Guthrie, Minister of the Gospel at Tarbolton.

I. When he was about to enter on the Ministry, a young woman fell with child, in adultery, to a servant in the house where he stayed; when she found herself to be so, she told the father of it, who said, I’ll run for it, and go to Ireland; father it on Mr Peden, he has more to help you to bring it up (he having a small heritage) than I have. The same day that he was to get his license, she came in before the Presbytery, and said, I hear you are to license Mr Peden to be a Minister; but do it not, for I am with child to him. He being without at the time, was called in by the Moderator; and being questioned about it, he said, I am surprised- I cannot speak; but let none entertain an ill thought of me, for I am utterly free of it, and God will vindicate me in his own time and way. He went home, and walked at a water side upwards of 24 hours, and would neither eat nor drink, but said, I have got what I was seeking, and I will be vindicated, and that poor unhappy lass will pay dear for it in her life, and will make a dismal end! and for this surfeit of grief that she has given me there shall never one of her sex come in to my bosom; and accordingly he never married. There are various reports of the way that he was vindicated: some say, the time she was in child-birth Mr Guthrie charged her to give account who was the father of that child: and discharged the woman to be helpful to her, until she did. —Some say that she confessed; others, that she remained obstinate. Some of the people, when I made inquiry about it in that country-side, affirmed, that after the Presbytery had been at all pains about it, and could get no satisfaction, they appointed Mr. Guthrie to give a full relation of the whole before the congregation, which he did; and the same day the father of the child being present, when he heard Mr Guthrie begin to read, he stood up, and desired him to halt, and said, "I am the father of that child, and I desired her to father it on Mr Peden, which has been a great trouble of conscience to me; and I could not get rest till I came home to declare it." However, it is certain that, after she was married, every thing went cross with them, and they went from place to place, and were reduced to great poverty. At last she came to that same spot of ground, where she stayed upwards of 24 hours, and made away with herself.

2. After this, he was three years settled Minister at New Glenluce, in Galloway: and when he was obliged, by the violence and tyranny of that time, to leave that parish, he lectured upon Acts xx. 17, to the end; and he preached upon verse 31st. in the forenoon, “Therefore watch, and remember, that for the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."—Asserting, that he had declared the whole counsel of God, and had kept nothing back; and protested that he was free of the blood of all souls. And in the afternoon, he preached on the 32d verse, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified,"— which was a weeping day in that Kirk; the greatest part could not contain themselves; he many times requested them to be silent; but they sorrowed most of all, when he told them, that they should never see his face in that pulpit again.—He continued until night; and when he closed the pulpit-door, he knocked hard upon it three times with his Bible, saying three times over, I arrest in my Master’s name, that never one enter there, but such as come in by the door as I did. Accordingly, neither Curate nor Indulged Minister ever entered that pulpit, until after the Revolution, that a Presbyterian Minister opened it.

I had this account from old persons in that parish, who were witnesses to it, and worthy of all credit.

3. After this he joined with that honest and zealous handful in the year 1666, that was broken at Pentland-hills, and came the length of Clyde with them, where he had a melancholy view of their end, and parted with them there. James Cubison, of Paluchbeauties, my informer, to whom he told this, said to him, “Sir, you did well that parted with them, seeing you was persnaded they would fall and flee before the enemy."— Glory, glory to God, that he sent me not to hell immediately!— for I should have stayed with them, though I should have been cut all to pieces."

4. That night the Lord's people fell, and fled before the enemy at Pentland-hills. He was in a friend's house in Carrick, sixty miles from Edinburgh; his landlord seeing him mightily troubled, inquired how it was with him? He said, to-morrow I will speak with you:” and desired him to bring a candle. That night he went to bed; the next morning calling early to his landlord, said, “I have sad news to tell you; our friends that were together in arms, appearing for Christ’s interest, are now broken, killed, taken, and fled every man.”—He said, “Why do you speak so? There is a great part of our friends’ prisoners in Edinburgh.”—About 48 hours thereafter, they were fully confirmed in the truth of it.

5. After this, in June 1673, he was taken by Major Cockburn, in the house of Knockdow, in Carrick, who eonstrained him to tarry all night. Mr Peden told him, that it would be a dear night’s quarters to them both. Accordingly they were both earried prisoners to Edinburgh. Hugh Ferguson was fined in a thousand merks, for resetting, harbouring, and conversing with him. The council ordered 50 pounds sterling to be paid to the Major out of the fines, and ordained him to divide 25 pounds sterling among the party that apprehended him. Some time after examination, he was sent prisoner to the Bass, where, and at Edinburgh, he remained until December 1668, that he was banished.

6. While prisoner in the Bass, one Sabbath morning, being about the public worship of God, a young lass, about 13 or 14 years of age, came to the chamber door, mocking with loud laughter; he said, “Poor thing, thou mocks and laughs at the worship of God; but ere long, God shall write such a sudden surprising judgment on thee, that shall stay thy laughing, and thou shall not escape it.”—Very shortly after, she was walking on the rock, and there came a blast of wind, and sweeped her into the sea, where she perished.

7. One day, when Mr Peden was taking the air upon the rock, some soldiers passing by him, one of them said, “Devil take him,” “Fy, fy, poor man, said Mr Peden, thou knowest not what thou art saying; but thou wilt repent that.” At which words the soldier stood astonished, and went to the guard-house distracted, crying aloud for Mr Peden, saying the Devil would immediately take him away! But when Mr Peden came to him, he found him in his right mind, under deep convictions of great guilt, The guard being to change, they desired him to go to his arms; which he refused to do, and said he would lift no arms against Jesus Christ and his cause, to persecute his people; he had done that too long. The governor threatened him with death to-morrow about ten o’clock; but he confidently said, three times, though he should tear all his body in peices, he should never lift arms that way. About three days after, the Governor put him out of the garrison, and set him ashore. He having a wife and children, took a house in East Lothian, where he became a singular Christian. Mr Peden told these astonishing passages to the foresaid John Cubison and others, who informed me.

8. When brought from the Bass to Edinburgh, sentence of banishment was passed upon him in December 1678, and sixty more fellow prisoners, for the same cause, to go to America, never to be seen in Scotland again, under the pain of death. After this sentence was passed, he several times said that the ship was not yet built that should take him and these prisoners to Virginia, or any other of the English plantations in America.

9. One James Kay, a solid and grave Christian, one of the above prisoners who lives in or about the Water of Leith, told me, that Mr Peden said to him, “James, when your wife comes in let me see her;” which he did. After some discourse, he called for a drink, and when he sought a blessing, he said, Good Lord, let not James Kay’s wife miss her husband till thou return him to her in peace and saftey; which we are sure will be sooner than either he or she is looking for. Accordingly, the same day month that he parted with her at Leith, he came home to her at the Water of Leith.

10. When they were on shipboard at Leith, there was a report that the enemies were to send down thumbkins to keep them from rebelling. Hearing this, they were discouraged. Mr Peden came on deck, and said, “Why are you discouraged? You need not fear, their will neither thumbkins nor bootkins come here. Lift up your hearts and heads, for the day of your redemption draweth near. If we were once at London, we will be all set at liberty.” And when sailing on their voyage, praying publicly, he said, “Lord, such is the enemies hatred at thee, and malice at us, for thy sake, that they will not let us stay in thy land of Scotland, to serve thee, though some of us have nothing but the canopy of thy heavens above us and thy earth to tread upon; but, Lord, we bless thy name, that will cut short our voyage, and frustrate thy enemies of their wicked design, that they will not get us where they intend; and some of us shall go richer home than we came away.” James Pride, who lived in Fife, an honest man, being one of them, said many times, he could assert the truth of this, for he came safely home; and, beside other things, he bought two cows; and before that he never had one. I had these accounts both from the foresaid James Kay and Robert Punton, a known public man, worthy of all credit, who was also under the same sentence, who lived in the parish of Dalmeny near the Queensferry.

11. When they arrived at London, the skipper who received them at Leith was to carry them no farther. The skipper who was to receive them there, and carry them to Virginia, came to see them, they being represented to him as thieves, robbers, and evil-doers; but when he found they were all grave Christian men, banished for Presbyterian principles, he said, he would sail the sea with none such.— In this confusion, that the one skipper would not receive them, and the other would keep them no longer, being expensive to maintain them, they were all set at liberty. It was reported, that both the skippers got compliments from friends at London; however, it is certain they were set free, without any imposition of bonds or oaths; and their friends at London, and on their way homewards through England, shewed much kindness unto them.

12. That dismal day, June 22 1679, at Bothwell bridge, that the Lord’s people fell and fled before the enemy, he was forty miles distant, near the border, and kept himself retired until the middle of that day, that some friends said to him, “ Sir, the people are waiting for sermon.” He said, “ Let the people go to their prayers; for me, I neither can nor will preach any this day, for our friends are fallen, and fled before the enemy at Hamilton; and they are hanging and hashing them down, and their blood is running like water.”

13. After this, he was preaching in Galloway: In the afternoon he prayed earnestly for the prisoners taken at and about Bothwell; but in the afternoon when he began to pray for them, he halted and said, “Our friends at Edinburgh, the prisoners, have done somewhat to save their lives that shall not do them any good; for the sea-billows shall be many of their winding-sheets; and the few of them that escape, shall not be useful to God in their generation, which was sadly verified thereafter. That whieh the greatest part of these prisoners did, was the taking of that Bond, commonly called the Blaek-Bond, after Bothwell, wherein they acknowledged their appearance in arms, for the defence of the Gospel and their own lives, to be rebellion, and engaged themselves never to make any more oppositions: upon the doing of which, these perfidious enemies promised them life and liberty, which much grieved Mr Peden.

14. After the public murdering of these two worthy, women martyrs, Isobel Allison and Marion Harvie, in Grass-market of Edinburgh, January 1681, he was in Galloway. A professor of some note, who had more carnal wit and poliey than to suffer him to be honest and faithful, after reasoning upon the grounds of their sufferings, affirmed that they would never be reekoned among the number of the martyrs. Mr Peden said, after musing a little, “Let alone, you’ll never be honoured with such a death: and for what you have said against these two worthy lasses, your death will” be both sudden and surprising;” which was shortly thereafter; the man standing before the fire, smoking his pipe, dropt down dead, without speaking more.

15. In the month of June, 1682, he was in the house of James Brown Douglas, John Wilson in Lanark was with him, who suffered martyrdom in the Grass-market of Edinburgh, the next year, May 1683. He leetured at night upon Amos viii. and repeated these words in the 6th verse three times; And I will rise against the house Jeroboam with the sword. He laid his hands on the said John, and said, “John, have at the unhappy name of Stuarts! off the throne shall they go, if all the world should set side and shoulder to hold them on.” Afterwards he broke out in a rapture about our martyrs, saying, “They were going on the stage with fresh gales and full sails,-and now they are glancing in glory! O if ye saw them! they would fley you out of your wits.” He again laid his hands upon the said John, and said, “Encourage yourself in the Lord, and hold him fast, John; for you’ll win up yonder shortly, and get on your braws.” That night he went to the fields. To-morrow, about six o’clock John went to seek him, and found him coming to the house. He said, “John, let us go from the house, for the devil is about it, and will take his prey with him.” John said, “We will take breakfast ere we go, it is a question when we will get the offer again.” He answered, “No, no, I will not eat bread in this place; our landlord is an unhappy man; the devil will get him shortly, for he will hang himself;” which very shortly after came to pass; his daughter, Jean Brown, was the first that got him in her arms, hanging in the stable. She was reckoned by all to be a grave Christian lass, but from that day never had her health, and died of a decay at last, after she had been some time in prison for her principles. This passage the same John Wilson reported several times to many.

16. In the year 1680, after the murdering of Mr Cameron, and these worthies with him at Airdsmoss, Mr Peden was near Mauchline, in the shire of Ayr: one Robert Brown, of Cross-house, who lived near the New-mills, and one Hugh Pinaneve, factor to the Earl of Lothian, stabled their horses in that house where he was, and went to the fair in Mauchline; and in the afternoon, when they came to take away their horses, they got a drink in the time of it. The said Hugh, a very wicked man, both in principle and practice, broke ou in a railing against sufferers, particularly against Mr Cameron: Mr Peden being in another room overhearing all, was so grieved, that he came to the chamber-door, and said to the said Hugh, “Sir, hold your peace, ere twelve o'clock thou shall know what a man Mr Cameron was; God shall punish that blasphemous sort of and cursed tongue of yours, in such a manner as shall be astonishing to all that see you, and shall set you up as a beacon to all railing Rabshakehs.” Robert Brown, knowing Mr Peden, hasted to his horse, being persuaded Mr Peden’s words would not fall to the ground, and fearing some mischief might befall him for being in the said Hugh’s company, he rode hard home. Robert went to his own house, and Hugh to the Earl's house; and casting off his boots, he was struck with such a sickness and pain through his body, with his mouth so wide, and his tongue hanging so far out in a fearful manner, that they sent for the said Robert; being used to take blood, he got some blood of him, but all in vain, for he died before midnight. The said Robert, an old man, told me this passage when we were both in prison together.

17. In the year 1682, he was in Kyle, and preached upon that text. The plowers plowed upon my back, and drew long their furrows; where he said, “Would ye know who first yoked this plow! It was cursed Cain, vhen he drew his furrows so long and also deep, that he let out the heart-blood of his brother Abel; and his cursed seed has, and will gang, summer and winter, frost and fresh weather, till the world’s end; and at the sound of the last trumpet, when all are in a flame their theets will burn, and their swingletrees will fall to the ground; the plowmen will lose their gripes of the plow, and the gadmen will throw away their gals; and then, O the yelling and shrieking that will be among all this cursed seed, clapping their hands, and crying to the hills and mountains to cover them from the face of the Lamb, and of him that sits upon the Throne, for their hatred of him, and malice at his people.”

18. In the beginning of May 1685, he came to the house of John Brown and Marion Weir, whom he married before he went to Ireland, where he stayed all night; and in the morning, when he took farewell, he came out at the door, saying to himself, “Poor woman, a fearful morning, (twice over) a dark misty morning.” The next morning, "between five and six o’clock, the said John Brown, having performed the worship of God in his family, was going with a spade in his hand, to put some peat ground in order, the mist being thick and dark, he knew not until cruel and bloody Claverhouse compassed him with three troops of horse, brought him to his house, and there examined him; who, though he was a man of stammering, speech, yet answered him distinctly and solidly, which made Claverhouse to ask at those whom he had taken to be his guides through the muirs, if ever they heard him preach?—They answered, No no, he was never a preacher. Claverhouse said, “ If he has never preached, he has prayed.” Then he said to John, “Go to your prayers, for you shall immediately die. When he was praying Claverhouse interrupted him three times. One time that he stopt him, he was pleading that the Lord would spare a remnant, and not make a full end in the day of his anger. Claverhouse said, “I gave you time to pray, and ye are begun to preach.” John turned about upon his knees, and said, “Sir you know neither the nature of preaching nor praying, if you call this preaching.” Then continued without confusion. When ended, Claverhouse said, take good night of your wife and ehildren. His wife standing by, with a child in her arms, which she had to him, and another child of his first wife’s, he came to her and said, Now Marion, the day is come that I told you would come, when I spoke first to you of marrying me.—She said, indeed, John, I can willingly part with you. Then he said, “That is all I desire, I have no more to do but die.” He then kissed his wife and bairns, and wished purchased and promised blessings to be multiplied upon them, and his own blessing. Claverhouse then ordered six of his soldiers to shoot, and the most part of the bullets came upon his head, which seattered his brains upon the ground!—Claverhouse said to his wife, What think ye of your husband now, woman?”—She said, I thought ever mueh of him, and now as much as ever. He said it were justice to lay thee beside him. She answered, if ye were permitted, I doubt not but your cruelty would go that length: But how will ye answer for this morning’s work? He said, to man I can be answerable, and for God, I will take him in my own hand. Claverhouse mounted his horse, and then marehed, and left her with the dead corpse of her husband lying there.—She set the bairn on the ground, gathered his brains, tied up his head, straighted his body, and covered him with her plaid, and sat down and wept over him. It being a very desert plaee, where victual never grew, and far from neighbours, it was some time before any friend came to her; the first that came was a very fit hand, that old singular woman in the Cummerhead, named Elizabeth Menzies, three miles distant, who had been tried with the violent death of her husband at Pentland, and afterwards of two worthy sons, Thomas Weir, who was killed at Drumelog, and David Steel, who was suddenly shot afterwards when taken. The said Marion Weir, sitting upon her husband's grave, told me, that before that she could see no blood but she was in danger to faint, and yet she was helped to be a witness to all this, without either fainting or confusion, except when the shots were let off, her eyes dazzled. His corpse was buried at the end of his house, where he was slain, with this inscription on his grave stone.

In earth’s cold bed, the dusty part here lies,
Of one who did the earth as dust despise:
Here, in this place, from earth he took departure;
Now he has got the garland of a Martyr.

This murder was committed betwixt six and seven in the morning, Mr Peden was about ten or eleven miles distant. Having been in the fields all night, he came to the house betwixt 7 and 8, and desired to call in the family, that he might pray amongst them; when praying, he said, Lord, when wilt thou avenge Brown’s blood?—Oh! let Brown’s blood be precious in thy sight; and hasten the day when thou wilt avenge it with Cameron’s, Cargil’s, (and many others of our martyr's names.) and, oh! for that day, when the Lord will avenge all their blood! When ended, John Muirhead inquired what he meant by Brown’s blood? He said, What do I mean? Claverhouse has been at the Preshil this morning, and has cruelly murdered John Brown; his corpse is lying at the end of his house and his poor wife sitting weeping beside them, and not a soul to speak comfortably to her. This morning, after the sun-rising, I saw a strange apparition in the firmament; the appearance of a very bright, clear-shining star fall from heaven to the earth; and indeed there is a clear-shining light fallen this day, the greatest Christian that ever I conversed with.”

19. When the time of Mr Peden's death drew near, and not being able to travel, he came to his brother’s house in the parish of Sorn, where he was born. He caused dig a cave, with a saughen bush covering the mouth of it, near to his brother's house. The enemies got notice; and searched the house narrowly many times. In the time that he was in this cave, he said to some friends—1st, That God shall make Scotland a desolation—2dly, There shall be a remnant in the land, whom God should spare and hide.—3dly, They should lie in holes and caves of the earth, and be supplied with meat and drink; and when they come out of their holes, they shall not have freedom to walk for stumbling on dead corpses.—4thly. A stone, cut out of a mountain, should come down, and God shall be avenged on the great ones of the earth, and the inhabitants of the land, for their wickedness; and then the church should come forth with a bonny bairn-time of young ones at her back. He wished that the Lord’s people might lie hid in their caves, as if they were not in the world: for nothing would do it, until God appeared with his Judgments: and they that wan through the bitter and sharp short storm, by the sword of the Frenches, and a set of unhappy men taking part with them, then there would be a spring-tide day of plenty, purity, and power of the gospel, giving them this for a sign, If he were but once buried they might be in doubts; but if he were oftener buried than once, they might be persuaded that all he had said would come to pass; and earnestly desired them to take his corpse out to Airdsmoss, and bury him beside Richy (meaning Mr Cameron) that he might get rest in his grave, for he had gotten little through his life: but he said, he knew they would not do it.—He told them, that bury him where they would, he would be lifted up again ; but the man that put first to his hand to lift his corpse, four things should befall him: 1. He should get a great fall from a horse. 2. He should fall in adultery. 3. Into theft: and for this he should leave the land. 4. Make a melancholy end abroad for murder. Which accordingly came to pass. There was one Murdoch, a mason to his trade, but then in the military service, who first put hands to his corpse. A little before his death he said, Ye shall be angry where I shall be buried at last, but I discharge you all, to lift my corpse again. At last, one morning early, he came to the door, and left his cave; his brother's wife said, Where are you going? the enemy will be here. He said, I know that. Alas! Sir, said she, what will become of you? You must go back to the cave again. He said, I have done with that, for it is discovered: but there is no matter, for, within forty eight hours, I will be beyond the reach of all the devil's temptations, and his instruments, in hell or on the earth; and they shall trouble me no more. About three hours after he entered the house, the enemy came and found him not in the cave; then they searched the barn narrowly, casting the unthreshen corn; and searched the house, stabbing the beds, but entered not into the place where he lay. Whithin 48 hours he died, Jan. 28, 1686: being past 60 years, and was buried in Laird Afflect’s isle. The enemies got notice of his death and burial, and sent a troop of dragoons, and lifted his corpse, and carried him to Cumnock gallows-foot, and buried him there (after being forty days in the grave) beside others. His friends thereafter, laid on a grave stone above him with this inscription.

HERE LIES

Mr ALEXANDER PEDEN,

A faithful Minister of the Gospel at Glenluce,

Who departed this Life, Jan. 23, 1686,

And was raised, after Six Weeks, out of his Grave,

And buried here out of contempt.


After this, the troop of dragoons came to quarter in the parish of Cambusnethen; two of them were quartered in the house of James Gary, my aquaintance; they being frighted in their sleep, started up and clapped their hands, crying, Peden, Peden! These two dragoons affirmed that out of their curiosity they opened his coffin to see his corpse, and yet he had no smell, though he had been forty days dead. All the foregoing articles I was assured of, except the 40th, which is said he spoke to John Clark in Muirbrock, within the bounds of Carrick, in the year 1685, and has been passing from hand to hand in write. I sent a friend 20 miles to him for the certainty of it; and, although he was my old acquaintance, he delayed to give it. But I am informed, that some other friends inquired at the said John, who owned that the 40th passage was all one, for substance, with what Mr Peden said to him. There are other two passages I have often heard, and doubt nothing of the truth of them, though the times and places be not mentioned, viz. One day preaching in the fields, in his prayer, he prayed earnestly for the preservation of the people; and again and again he prayed for that man that was to lose his life. The enemies came upon them the same day, and fired upon the people, and there was none of them either wounded or killed, save one man, and he was shot dead. Another time he was preaching, and gave a very large offer of Christ, in the Gospel terms; an old woman being sitting before him, he laid his hands on each side of her head, and rocked her from side to side, and said, Thou witch wife, thou witch-wife, thou witch-wife; I offer Christ to thee. Quit the devil’s service, thou hast a bad master, thou wilt never make thy plack a bawbee of him; but if thou wilt break off and renounce the devil’s service, I promise thee, in my master’s name, that he will give thee salvation. After this, there was a discernible change in her practice; and when she was a-dying, she confessed that she was either engaged in the devil's service, or was engaging: and expressed her thankfulness that she had the happiness of hearing Mr Peden at that time.

Since the publishing of the former passages of Mr Peden’s life and death, I received two letters from Sir Alex. Gordon of Earlston, in the year 1725 and 1726, since gone to his grave—shewing that he was not only fully satisfied, but much refreshed with the passages, requesting me not to delay the publishing of all that I proposed, and that he longed to see him before he went off the stage; knowing that my day is far spent, being long since I was his fellow-prisoner, and taught him, from my own experience, how to manage the great weight of irons that was upon his legs; and wishing that all the Lord's people, who have any zeal for the sworn to and sealed testimony, and savoury remembrance of the names of Christ’s slain witnesses for the same, and of the Lord’s signal manifestations of his faithfulness and all sufficiency to them in their life and death, would give me all encouragement in such a piece of good and great regeneration work, which may be useful and edifying when he and I would be mouldering in the dust.

A

LETTER

FROM

Mr ALEXANDER PEDEN,

To the Prisoners in Dunnottar Castle,

July 1685.


Dear Friends,
I long to hear from you, how you spend your time, and how the grace of God grows in your hearts. I know ye and other of the Lord’s people, by reason of the present trial, have got up a fashion of complaining upon Christ, but I defy you to speak an ill word of him, unless ye wrong him. Speak as you can, and spare not; only I request that your expressions of Christ be suitable to your experience of him. If ye think Christ’s house be bare and ill-provided, and harder than ye looked for, assure yourselves Christ minds only to diet you, and not to hunger you; our steward knows when to spend and when to spare. Christ knows well whether heaping or straiking agrees best with our narrow vessels, for both are alike to him; sparing will not enrich him, nor will spending impoverish him. He thinks it ill won that is holden of his people. Grace and glory comes out of Christ's lucky hand. Our vessels are feckless and contain little; his fulness is most straitened when it wants a vent. It is easy for Christ to be holden busy in dividing the fulness of his Father’ house to his poor friends; he delights not to keep mercy over-night. He is the easiest merchant ever the people of God yoked with; if he be pleased with the wares, what of his graces makes best for you, he and you will soon sort on the price; he will sell him goods cheap, that ye may speir for his shop again and he draws all the sale to himself. I counsel you to go no farther than Christ. And now when it is come to your door, either to sin or suffer, I counsel you to lay your aceount with suffering; for an out-gate coming from any airth will be prejudicial to your soul’s interest. And for your encouragement, remember he sends none a warfare on their own charges, and blessed is the man that gives Christ all his money. The safest way to shift the shower is to hold out of God’s gate and keep within his doors, until the violence of the storm begin to ebb, which is not yet full tide. Christ deals tenderly with his young plants, and waters them oft lest they go back; be painful, and lose not life for the seeking. Grace, mercy and peace be with you.


EPITAPH

Upon the Martyr’s Monument in the Gray-friars

Church-yard in Edinburgh.

Upon the head of the Tomb there is the Effigies of an open Bible, drawn with these Scripture citations Rev. vi. 7. 10. 11.—“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held,” &e.—Rev. vii. 14-Also the following lines:

Halt, passenger, take heed what you do see,
This tomb doth shew for what some men did die;
Here lies interr’d the dust of those who stood
'Gainst perjury, resisting unto blood;
Adhering to the Covenant and Laws,
Establishing the same; which was the cause
Their lives were sacrificed into the lust
Of Prelatists abjured.—Tho' here their dust
Lies mix'd with murderers, and other crew,
Whom Justice justly did to death pursue;
But as for these no cause in them was found
Worthy of death, but only they were sound,
Constant and stedfast, zealous, witnessing,
for the Prerogatives of Christ their King,
Which truths were seal’d by famous Guthrie’s head
And all along to Mr Renwick’s blood.
They did endure the wrath of enemies,
Reproaches, torments, deaths and injuries;
But yet they’re these who from such trouble came,
And now triumph in glory with the Lamb.

From May 27th, 1661, that the noble Marquis of Argyle suffered, to Feb. 27th, 1688, that Mr James Renwick suffered, 100 Noblemen, Gentlemen, Ministers, and others, were executed at Edinburgh, noble martyrs for Jesus Christ. The most part of them be here.—It is also said that 28,000 suffered in the late persecutions in Scotland.



ANECDOTE OF WHITFIELD,

the famous preacher


about forty years ago, the famous Mr George Whitfield used annually to visit Glasgow, and, by his popular mode of preaching, allured great multitudes, especially of the female sex, to attend his sermons. The great object of his dicourses was to rouse to acts of beneficence: and as he had instituted a charitable seminary in Georgia, he was strenuous in his exhortations to the audience to be liberal in giving alms for the support of the helpless persons he had there collected together. Among his constant hearers was one Mrs——, the wife of a brewer, in a small line of business, who had some difficulty to provide funds for carrying on his affairs without embarrassment. He had no time to attend the daily harangues of this ghostly orator; nor was he much pleased with the time his wife spent on these occasions, and far less with the demands she sometimes made upon him for money to be given for charitable purposes. This diversity of opinion between the man and wife sometimes produced family discord: And while the lady believed the divine was little less than an angel from heaven, the husband considered him as no better than a thief or a pick-pocket, who, under false pretences, induced simple people to throw away upon others, the means that were necessary for the subsistence of their families: nor was he, when heated in the contest, and chagrined at times for want of money, at all times scrupulous in expressing without reserve his opinion of this supposed saint. The wife, who was of a warm disposition, though not destitute of sense at bottom, was much irritated at these reflections, and thinking they proceeded from worldly-mindedness of her husband, felt a strong inclination to indulge her own propensity to benevolence by every means that should fall in her way. To get money from her husband avowedly for this purpose, she knew was impossible; but she resolved to take it when she could find an opportunity for that purpose. While she was in this frame of mind, her husband, one morning while he was writing at his desk, was suddenly called away, and, intending to return directly, did not close his desk. His wife thought this too favourable an opportunity to be missed; and opening the scruitoir where she knew the money was kept, she found about twenty-five guineas, which the husband had provided to pay for some barley he had lately bought. From this she took out ten pieces, and left every thing else as before: nor did the husband, on his return, take any notice of it.

She was now very anxious to get this money properly disposed of, and with that view, dressed herself in great haste: and having wrapped the pieces in a bit of paper, she took them in her hand to go out; but as she passed a mirror, she observed something about her head dress that required to be adjusted, and putting the money on a bureau beneath the mirror, she spent a little time in making the necessary adjustments; and recollecting she had omitted to give some necessary directions before she went out, she stepped hastily into the kitchen for that purpose, without taking up the money. Just at this nick of time the husband came into the room, and seeing something on the top of the bureau, took it up to examine it, and seeing what it was, immediately conjcctured what was the truth. Without saying a word, however, he took out the gold, and put an equal number of halfpence in its stead, leaving the paper, to appearance, as he found it, and went out again. The wife, having heard her husband go out of the room, was in great fear that he had discovered her treasure, and returned with great anxiety to seek for it; but seeing it happily just as she left it, she hastily snatched it up, without looking at it, and went directly to the lodgings of Mr Whitfield to dispose of it.

When she arrived, she found him at home—and a happy woman was she! Having introduced herself, by telling him how much she had been benefited by his pious instruetions, &c. which he returned with a ready politeness, she expressed her regret that she had it not in her power to be as liberal to his poor orphans as she could wish; but she hoped he would accept in good part the mite she could afford to him on their account: and with many professions of charitable dispositions, and thanks for the happiness she had derived from attending his discourses, she put the money into his hand, and took her leave. Mr Whitfield, in the mean time, putting the money into his pocket without looking at it, made proper acknowledgments to her, and waited on her to the door,

He was no sooner, however, alone, than he took it out to examine the contents, and finding it only copper— and eomparing the sum with the appearance of the person who gave it, he instantly imagined it must have been given with intention to affront him; and with this prepossession on his mind, he hastily opened the door, and called the ladybaek, who had not as yet got to the bottom of the stairs. This summons she instantly obeyed. On her return, Mr Whitfield, assuming a grave tone and stern manner, told her, that he did not expeet she could have presumed to offer to affront him: and, holding out the halfpence, asked her what she could mean by offering such a paltry compliment as that? The paper, and recollecting that she had often heard him ealled a cheat and impostor, immediately suspected that he himself had put the halfpence in place of the gold, and made use of that pretext to extort more from her, fell upon him bloodily, telling him she had often heard him ealled a swindler and a rascal, but until now she had never believed it. She was eertain she had given him ten red guineas out of her hands, and now he pretended he had got only as many halfpence; nor did she lcave him until she had given him a very full eomplement of abuse. She then went home in a great hurry; and had a much better opinion of her husband’s diseernment and sagacity ever afterwards. He kept the secret; and until her dying day, she made a good wife to him; nor ever went after field-preachers of any sort.

FINIS


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.