Immediately After the Moment When Everyone Receives his Crown…

Taken and adapted from, “The Practice of Piety: Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God.”
Written by, Lewis Bayly
First published in 1842


“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
–Matthew 25:34

Immediately after this sentence of absolution and benediction…

…everyone receives his crown, which Christ the righteous Judge puts upon their heads, as the reward which he promised, of his grace and mercy to the faith and good works of all them that loved his appearing (2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 5:4.) Then every one taking his crown from his head, shall lay it down, as it were, at the feet of Christ; and prostrating themselves, shall with one heart and voice, in an heavenly sort and consort, say, “Praise, and honor, and glory, and power, and thanks, be unto thee, O blessed Lamb, who sittest upon the throne, was killed, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and has made us unto our God kings and priests, to reign with thee in thy kingdom for evermore. Amen.” (Rev. 4:10.)

Then shall they sit in their thrones and order, as the judges of the reprobates, and evil angels (1 Cor. 6:1-3, Matt. 19:13), by approving, and giving testimony to the righteous sentence and judgment of Christ the Supreme Judge.

After the pronouncing of the reprobates’ sentence and condemnation, Christ will perform two solemn actions—

1. The presenting of all the elect unto his Father; “Behold, O righteous Father, these are they whom you gave to me: I have kept them, and none of them are lost. I gave them thy word, and they believed it, and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, even as I was not of the world. And now, Father, I will that those whom you has given me, will be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which you have given me; and that I may be in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one: that the world may know that you has sent me, and that you has loved them as you has loved me.” (John 17: 12, 14, 23, 24.)

2. Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that is, shall cease to execute his office of mediatorship (1 Cor. 25: 24;) whereby, as he is King, Priest, Prophet, and Supreme Head of the Church, he suppressed his enemies, and ruled his faithful people by his spirit, word, and sacraments: so that his kingdom of grace over his church in this world ceasing, he shall rule immediately, as he is God, equal with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, in his kingdom of glory evermore. Not that the dignity of his manhood shall be any thing diminished; but that the glory of his Godhead shall be more manifested: so that as he is God, he shall from thenceforth in all fulness, without all external means, rule all in all.

From this tribunal-seat, Christ shall arise, and with all his glorious company of elect angels and saints, he shall go up triumphantly, in order and array, unto the heaven of heavens, with such a heavenly noise and music, that now may that song of David be truly verified, “God is gone up with a triumph, the Lord with the sound of the trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises to our King, sing praises: for God is the King of all the earth, he is greatly to be exalted.” (Psalm 47:4, 5, 6, 8.) And that marriage-song of John, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Allelujah; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.” (Rev. 19: 6, 7.)

The third and last degree of the blessed state of a regenerate man after death, begins after the pronouncing of the sentence, and lasts eternally without all end.

The place is the heaven of heavens, or the third heaven, called paradise (Psalm 19: 5; 2 Cor. 12: 24;) whither Christ (in his human nature) ascended far above all visible heavens. The bridegroom’s chamber (Psalm 19 5; Matt. 25:10), which by the firmament, as by an azured curtain spangled with glittering stars, and glorious planets, is hid, that we cannot behold it with these corruptible eyes of flesh. The Holy Ghost framing himself to our weakness, describes the glory of that place (which no man can estimate) by such things as are most precious in the estimation of man; and therefore likens it to a great and holy city, named the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21: 2, &c.), where only God and his people who are saved, and written in the Lamb’s book (ver. 24 & 27), do inhabit; all built of pure gold, like unto clear glass or crystal (ver. 11, 18, 19, 20;) the walls of jasper-stone: the foundations of the walls garnished with twelve manner of precious stones, having twelve gates, each built of one pearl (ver. 21:) three gates towards each of the four corners of the world (ver. 13), and at each gate an angel (ver. 12), as so many porters, that no unclean thing should enter into it (ver. 27.)

It is four square (ver. 16), therefore perfect: the length, the breadth, and height of it are equal, 12,000 furlongs every way; therefore glorious and spacious. Through the midst of  her streets ever runs a pure river of the water of life, as clear as crystal (Rev. 22: 1); and on the other side the river is the tree of life (ver. 2), ever-growing, which bears twelve manner of fruits, and gives fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree are health to the nations. There is therefore no place so glorious by creation, so beautiful with delectation, so rich in possession, so comfortable for habitation. For there, the king is Christ-—the law is love—the honor, verity—the peace, felicity—the life, eternity.

There is light without darkness, mirth without sadness, health without sickness, wealth without want, credit without disgrace, beauty without blemish, ease without labor, riches without rust, blessedness without misery, and consolation that never knows an end. How truly may we cry out with David, of this city, “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O thou city of God!” Psalm 87:3; and yet all these things are spoken but according to the weakness of our capacity. For heaven exceeds all this in glory, so far, as that no tongue is able to express, nor heart of man to conceive, the glory thereof, as witnesses St. Paul (2 Cor. 12: 4; 1 Cor. 2:5), who was in it, and saw it. O let us not then dote so much upon these wooden cottages, and houses of mouldering clay, which are but the tents of ungodliness, and habitation of sinners; but let us look rather, and long for this heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10;) which he, who is not ashamed to be called our God hath prepared for us (Heb. 11: 6.)

The Holy Spirit’s, and … YOUR … Testimony to the Blood of Jesus

Taken from, “The Blood of Jesus Christ”
Written by, William Reid, 1814-1896.


The great work that the Holy Spirit is now occupied in performing…

…is that of directing sinners to Jesus, and inclining and enabling them to come to Him that they may be saved. Since this is the case, I am a fellow-worker with God the Holy Spirit only in so far as I tell anxious sinners to look to Jesus only, and have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” as their first and great business—and “this one thing I do” (Eph. 1:7; Philippians 3:13).

The question is not whether we think it scriptural for an awakened sinner to desire the secret and power-giving presence of the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of his understanding and show him the all-sufficiency of Christ—that is what neither we nor any other true Christian would for a moment think of forbidding. Nor is it the question whether the work of the Holy Spirit is necessary in order to salvation. The very fact of writing as we have done on regeneration in a previous chapter, as well as writing to encourage our brethren to meet together—and also meeting ourselves, to pray for the Holy Spirit to put forth His reviving, sanctifying, convincing, and converting power—will satisfy all ingenuous minds that we hold the absolute necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in order to the regeneration and conversion of perishing souls.

The only question, then, that falls to be considered is, what am I to say to an awakened and anxious sinner? Am I to say simply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” as said the apostle of the Gentiles to the trembling jailor of Philippi (Acts 16:31)? Or am I, as the first thing I do, to exhort him to pray for the Holy Spirit to convince him more deeply of his sin, enlighten his darkened understanding, renew his perverse will, and enable him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of his soul? Am I to direct him, as the grand thing he has to do, to believe in Jesus and accept His blood-shedding as the only foundation of his peace with God; or to seek the work of the Spirit as an addition to Christ’s work, in order that he may be justified?

The former leads to justification by faith alone, the true apostolic doctrine of the churches of the first age.

The latter leads to “justification by sanctification,” the pernicious doctrine of a later era, by embracing which a man can never reach any satisfactory assurance that his sins are pardoned, even after a lifetime’s religious experience and devout and sincere performance of religious duties—whereas, by teaching salvation by the blood of Christ alone, a man may, like the Philippian jailor, “rejoice, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34), “in the same hour” in which Christ is presented as the alone object of personal faith and consequent reconciliation.

There is, we regret to think, a large class of professing Christians who seem to have the unfounded notion engrained in their minds, that Christ came as a Savior in the fullness of time, and on being rejected and received up into glory, the Holy Spirit came down to be the Savior of sinners in His stead; and that whether men are now to be saved or lost depends entirely on the work of the Holy Spirit in them, and not on the work of Christ done for them…

…whereas the Holy Spirit was given as the crowning evidence that Jesus is still the Savior, even now that He is in heaven. The great work of the Spirit is not to assume the place of Jesus as our Savior, but to bear witness to Christ Jesus as the only Savior; and by His quickening grace bring lost sinners to Him, that they may become “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). This He did on the blessed day of Pentecost, when thousands of divinely quickened souls received His testimony, believed “in the name of Jesus,” and obtained “remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

The Holy Ghost is not the Savior…

…and He never professed to be so, but His great work, in so far as the unconverted are concerned, is to direct sinners to the Savior, and to get them persuaded to embrace Him and rely upon Him. When speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said distinctly to His disciples, “He shall not speak of himself…he shall glorify me” (John 16:13-14). If to glorify Christ is the grand aim and peculiar work of the Holy Spirit, should it not also be the grand aim and constant work of those who believe in Him, and more especially of the ministers of His gospel?

The whole drift of the Holy Spirit’s inspired oracles, as we have them in the Bible, is to glorify Christ. The gospel ministry has been granted by Him (Eph. 4:11-12) to keep the purport of those Scriptures incessantly before the minds of men, and in so doing to beseech sinners to be reconciled to God. Now, Holy Scripture throughout clearly teaches that, simply on account of the one finished, all-sufficient, and eternally efficacious work of Christ, sinners who believe in Him are “justified from all things”; that we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:24-25). We are justified as “sinners” as “ungodly” (Romans 5:6, 8), and not as having an incipient personal righteousness wrought in us by the Holy Ghost.

Few men, with the Word of God in their hands, would subscribe to such a doctrine, and yet it is the latent creed of the great majority of professing Christians. It is, in fact, the universal creed of the natural heart. Fallen human nature, when under terror, says, Get into a better state by all means; feel better, pray better, do better; become holier and reform your life and conduct—and God will have mercy upon you! But grace says, “Behold, God is my salvation!” (Isaiah 12:2). To give God some equivalent for His mercy, either in the shape of an inward work of sanctification, or of an outward work of reformation, the natural man can comprehend and approve of—but to be justified by faith alone on the ground of the finished work of Christ, irrespective of both, is quite beyond his comprehension. But “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1Cor. 1:25). Instead of preaching holiness as a ground of peace with God, “we preach Christ crucified” (1Cor. 1:23), “for other foundation can no man lay”—either for justification or sanctification—“than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor. 3:11). Whatever others may do, I am “determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Cor. 2:2).

“O my Redeemer, Who for me wast slain,
Who bringest me forgiveness and release,

Whose death has ransomed me to God again,
And now my heart can rest in perfect peace!
“Still more and more do Thou my soul redeem,
From every bondage set me wholly free;
Though evil oft the mightiest power may seem,
Still make me more than conqueror, Lord, in Thee!

Andrew Melville: The Thorn in the King’s Side. Part Two, An Argument Between Professors


The King and Court, as you recall, had proceeded against Andrew Melville…

…and they had even admitted his avowed enemies to prove against him, the Court’s accusations; and though the whole train of evidence given had proved little or nothing against him, yet they resolved to involve him in troubles and grievous injury.  But because the good pastor had declined their authority, as the competent judges of doctrine, they therefore remitted him to ward in the Castle of Edinburgh, where he was to await the King’s will. However, Melville was informed, that if he entered into this ward, he would not be released, unless it should be to bring him to the scaffold.  Worse, it seems that the decree of the Council was even further altered, and the castle prison, aptly named Blackness, was now appointed for his ward. This castle prison was in that day the very description of hell, and it was well-known that this castle was kept by some dependants of the Earl of Arran, who were some of Melville’s most ardent enemies, so he resolved to get out of the country. About that time, an officer of the court, called a macer, gave him a charge to enter Blackness in twenty-four hours; and, in the meanwhile, some of Arran’s horsemen were sent from West Port to convoy him there; but, by the time he should have eentered Blackness, he instead, had reached Berwick. There, Messrs Lawson and Balcanquhal gave him the good character he deserved, and prayed earnestly for him in public, and in Edinburgh; “which both moved the people and galled the Court exceedingly.”

After a while things died down for Andrew, and in the year (1587) in the month of May, Guillaume Saluat, Seignor du Bartas, came into Scotland to see the king; of whom he was received according to his worthiness, entertained honorably, and liberally gifted and dismissed in the harvest, to his majesty’s great praise so long as the French tongue is use; and understood in the world.

About the end of June, his majesty came to St. Andrews, and brought with him the said Du Bartas; and coming first without any warning to the New College, he calls for Mr. Andrew Melville, saying, he was come together with that gentleman to have a lesson. Mr Andrew answers, that he had taught his ordinary lesson that day in the forenoon. “That is all one,” says the king, “I must have a lesson, and be you here within an hour to that effect.” And, indeed, within less than an hour his majesty was in the school, and the whole university convened with him; before whom Mr. Andrew, extempore, treated most clearly and mightily of the right government of Christ, and, in effect, refuted the whole acts of Parliament made against the discipline thereof, to the great instruction and comfort of his listeners, except the king alone, who was very angry all that night.

Upon the morrow, the bishop (Bishop Adamson) “had both a prepared lesson and feast made for the king. His lesson was a tight abridgment of all he had taught the year past, especially concerning the corrupt grounds which he had put into the king’s head, papal doctrines contrary to the true discipline. To the which lesson Mr. Andrew went, contrary to his own customs, and with his pen marked all his false grounds and reasons, and without further delay, caused his bell to ring at two of the afternoon the same day; whereof the king hearing, he sent to Mr. Andrew, desiring him to be moderate, and have regard to his presence, otherwise, he would discharge him.

He answered courageously that his majesty’s ear and tender breast were pitifully and dangerously filled with errors and untruths by that wicked man (Bishop Adamson), which he could not suffer to get away unanswered, to save his life; otherwise, except the stopping of the breath of God’s mouth, and prejudging of his truth, he should behave himself most moderately and reverently to his majesty in all respects. The king sent again to Bishop Adamson and me, desiring it should be so, and showing that he would have his four hours in the college. So he came to that lesson with the bishop, who requested the king for permission to answer instantly, in case anything was spoken against his doctrine.  But at this point, Mr. Andrew making as though he had nothing to do but with the Papists, brings out their works, and reads out of them all the bishop’s grounds about how he was an inveterate enemy of the Melvilles, and a supporter of the king in the introduction of Prelacy into Scotland, as well as all the papal reasons.

After he had done this at length and most clearly shown that the reasons the Bishop gave to be plain Papistry, Andrew Melville then sets against those same Papal reasons with all his might; and with invincible force of reason, and from clear grounds of Scripture. And with a mighty boldness and flow of eloquence, he beats down all those reasons so that the bishop was dashed, and stricken as dumb as the stock he sat upon. After the lesson, the king, in his mother tongue, made some distinctions, and discoursed a while thereon, and gave certain injunctions to the university for reverencing and obeying of his bishop; who from that day forth began to tire of his teaching, and fall more and more into disgrace and confusion.

The king, with Monsieur du Bartas, came to the college hall, where I prepared and had in readiness a banquet of wet and dry confections, with all sorts of wine, whereat his majesty caroused very merrily a good while, and thereafter went to his horse. But Monsieur du Bartas tarried behind, and conferred with my uncle and me a whole hour, and then followed after the king; who inquiring of him that night, told me, man to man, what his judgment was of the two he had heard in St Andrews, he had answered the king, that they were both learned men; but the bishop’s answers had been contrived, whereas Mr. Andrew had a great ready store of all kinds of learning within him; and besides that, Mr. Andrew’s spirit and courage were far above the other. Upon which judgment the king approved.—Melville’s Diary.

Taken and adapted from, Select Extracts for the Young, and other extraneous sources
Published for the Free Church of Scotland


A Thought for Those Who Minister: The Road to Honor…



When the Spartan king advanced against the enemy…

…he always had with him someone who had been crowned in the public games of Greece. And they tell us that when a Lacedaemonian from Sparta was offered a large sum of money on condition that he would not enter the Olympic lists, he refused the bribe.

After the final match, having with much difficulty thrown his antagonists in wrestling, one put this question to him, “Spartan, what will you get by this victory?” He answered with a smile, “I shall have the honor to fight foremost in the ranks of my prince!”

The honor which appertains to office in the church of God lies mainly in this, that the man who is set apart for such service has the privilege of being first in holiness of example, abundance of liberality, patience of long-suffering, zeal in effort, and self-sacrifice in service.

O, Thou gracious King of kings, if thou hast made me to minister in thy church, enable me to be foremost in every good word and work, shunning no sacrifice, and shrinking from no suffering. May I live always unto thee.

–Adapted from the writings of C.H. Spurgeon.

Of Man’s Thoughts of Distrust Toward God

Taken and adapted from, “A Treatise of Man’s Imaginations”
Written by William Perkins, (1558–1602)



A great evil thought concerning God is…

…the thought of distrust, thus framed in the mind; God does not regard me; God will not help me; God will not be merciful unto me: This thought made entrance unto the fall of our first parents: for first Eve looked upon the fruit, and saw that it was beautiful, and then entered into her heart a thought of distrust after this manner; It may be it is not true which  God has said to us concerning this fruit, and it may be God regards us not as we think he does, in that he denies us this fruit; hereupon her will and her affections were carried to the breaking of Gods commandment, and so she sinned by disobedience, and Adam also sinned.

When the people of Israel murmured in the wilderness Moses sinned a sin, for he was debarred entrance into the land of Canaan: Now what was Moses sin? For both he and Aaron prayed to the Lord, and checked the people saying, Hear oh ye rebels, And at Gods commandment did he not bring water out of the rock? Surely his sin was secret, even an inward unbelief and distrust in Gods promise, for when he smote the rock, he might think thus with himself, it may be that God will not now give water out of the rock; and this seems the more probable, because he went beyond his commission in smiting thrice upon the rock, when God bad him only to speak unto it. This evil thought takes hold of religious David also:  I said in mine hast I am cast out of thy sight, as though he should say, Heretofore I have found favor with God, but now in mine adversity I am utterly rejected: Again, I said in my fear, all men are liars: that is, when fear of death took hold of me, then I thought that Samuel lied unto me, when he said I should come to the kingdom over Israel. The children of Israel did often betray this thought of distrust, when they were pinched with hunger, and famine in the wilderness, they say, Can God provide a table for us in the wilderness? Can he give bread and flesh for his people? As if they should say, we think he cannot, nor will not: Yea the Apostle Peter was not free from this thought, for when Christ walking on the waters, commanded Peter to come unto him, he came out boldly, walked towards Jesus, but when He saw a mighty wind, he began to sink: whence came this? Surely from a thought of distrust which he had in his heart to this effect: It may be God will not support me in this my walking: and that this or some such thought was in his heart appears by Christ’s answer to him saying, Oh you of little faith, why didst you doubt?  By all which it is evident that this is a natural thought in the mind of man, which at some time troubles even the most righteous man.

Now touching this thought of distrust, two things are to be gleaned:

First, the time when it takes place in man’s mind; Second, the danger of it.

As for the time; this thought is not always in the mind of man, but only in the time of some danger, affliction, and temptation, and especially in the time of sickness, and in the pangs of death. Thus in his grievous affliction was righteous Job troubled with this thought of distrust: for then he complained, that God did hate him and gnash upon him with his teeth, and as his enemy, sharpened his eyes against him; Yea, that he made him as his target, and mark to shoot at. And David in a grievous trouble of mind, thus complained: Will the Lord absent himself forever? And will be show no more favor? Is his mercy clean gone forever? Does this promise fail for evermore? Has God forgotten to be merciful, whereby it appears, that in his affliction David was greatly troubled with this distrustful thought; and there is no man living, but when trouble affliction comes, he shall feel in himself these thoughts of distrust. Indeed while peace and ease continues, presumptuous thoughts possess the mind; but when the days of peace be gone, troublesome times approach, then presumptuous thoughts are replaced, and thoughts of distrust come into their mind, instead.

The danger of these thoughts of distrust is very great, as the fruits themselves declare: for from it arise;

First, all horrors, and terrors of conscience, all fears, and astonishments of the heart: For when the mind says (though falsely) God does not regard me, God will not save me, then the trembling heart is full of horror and dread.

Second, then comes desperation itself, whereby men confidently vouch that God has forsaken them, and cast them off, and that there is no hope of life, but present death, remaining for them: this thought troubles the mind of the wicked, and of the repentant person also: for desperation is nothing but the strength of this thought of distrust. Thirdly, this weakens the foundation of our salvation, which stands in the certainty of God’s promises, for this thought of distrust denies credit to God’s promises, and makes them uncertain: Among all other evil thoughts this does most directly hinder salvation, for it is flat against faith, as water is to fire: for true faith makes a man say with good conscience, Christ  died shed his blood for me, God the Father will be merciful unto me, and save me: But this distrustful thought causes a man to say the clean contrary, Christ died not for me: God will not save me: so that where this thought prevails, true faith is not, neither can take place.

Considering that the danger of this distrustful thought is so great, we must be admonished in the fear of God to use all good means, while the days of peace do last, that it take not place with us in the day of trouble and temptation: The means to repress it are the preaching of the word, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper.

For the first: the word of God preached is a special means ordained of God, for the true applying of Gods promises of mercy to our own souls; and therefore a most sovereign remedy against this thought of distrust; for when the promises of mercy in Christ, are offered unto Gods people in the preaching of the word by a lawful Minister, it is as much as if Christ himself in his own person should speak unto them, by virtue of Gods ordinance. If God from heaven should say to any man, mercy belongs to thee, he would believe: if God say to Cornelius, believe you, and my mercy belongs to thee, Cornelius will believe; if he say to Peter believe you, and my mercy belongs to thee, Peter will believe: if he say so to Mary Magdalen, she will believe. Low, here, when the Minister of God, out of God’s word, says to any man, believe you, and repent you, and God’s mercy belongs unto thee; it is as much as if the Lord should call him by name particularly, and say unto him, believe you, and repent, and my mercy belongs unto thee: yea it is all one as if God himself should say, I am thy Father and you are my child, if you will repent, and believe.

The second means which is also very effectual to cut off this thought of distrust, is Baptism. If any earthly prince give a pardon to any man, and put the man’s name in the pardon, and his own broad seal unto it, the man will never doubt of his pardon, but believe it. Behold, in Baptism God enters covenant with miserable wretched man, and herein makes promise of life unto him: yea he puts the man’s name in the covenant, sealing the same with his own seal: and therefore the party baptized, must believe against, this thought.

The third means, is the Lord’s Supper rightly administered and received: for therein the bread and wine given to the hand of every communicant by the Minister, are particular pledges tokens unto them of special mercy in Christ. These are the means which we must use with all good conscience in the days of peace, so that when troubles come, this thought of distrust may not prevail against us. 

The Old and Battered Cup


I see before me an old and battered cup…

Upon this cup many a dirty lip has touched, and from which many a condemned villain’s throat has received moisture. This cup is marred and covered over with scars. There is nothing in the looks of the cup itself that attracts attention. It has been passed by many a wealthy person; it has been forgotten by many of a busy person, and many a prideful person has actually scorned to drink its liquid.

We look at this cup, and it seems our attention immediately begins to wander. We forget whose cup it was. We forget and let fade the terrible sacrifice upon that great altar, the altar that stood between heaven and earth and had once commended the rapt attention of angels.

Some say that this cup is a cup of anger. And by the looks of it, this cup has certainly received anger. Look at the sides. Here you see what looks like a systematic scoring. You can even count many of the slashes; 36, 37, 38, 39, maybe even more. There are other marks and dents, some larger, some smaller, where something or someone tried to beat and twist the cup out of shape, but they did not succeed. However, the greatest battering appears to have come from above, coming from the top, here it looks like a great force was exerted that would have undoubtedly destroyed any other lesser vessel; smashed it flat. But as we can see before us, the vessel still stands. –”So His appearance was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men.”

Yes, the great sacrifice was made, and though now largely forgotten, it will not stay that way. “Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback, kings shocked into silence when they see him. For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes, what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.”

For this is the cup which is poured out for you, it is the New Covenant. But will the worldly rich, the distracted, and those too busy, –will they ever taste this cup? No. For though to drink from the cup is free to all, none but the thirsty are invited.

Come, drink. For this cup is offered to you.

Written by Michael W. Pursley

Got Pardon?


D.L. Moody once told a story of a man being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. 

The witnesses came in one by one, and testified to his guilt; but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved. The judge and the jury were quite surprised at his indifference; they could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly. When the jury retired, it did not take them many minutes to decide on the verdict “Guilty;” and when the judge was passing the sentence of death upon the criminal he told him how surprised he was that he could be so unmoved in the prospect of death.

When the judge had finished the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and walked out of the dock a free man. Ah, that was how he could be so calm; it was a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time. The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed, and to produce the pardon only when he was condemned.

Now, that is just what will make us joyful both now and in the great day of judgment; we have got a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son.

My friend, you see, you and I stand condemned to death. There can be no prison sentence, only death. There is no amount of work, or remorse, or atonement on our part that could ever purchase our freedom. Only by accepting the pardon of the great king, sealed by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, will we be set free. There is no other way to God. There is no other hope. All other ways, methods, or doctrines, lead to death. Will you not accept the complete, all-sufficient work of Christ for your freedom, for your pardon, for your life?

I pray that you will do so today.

Why the gracious heart is still with God

Taken and adapted from, The Saint’s Spiritual Delight, and a Christian on the Mount
Written by Thomas Watson, (1620 – 1686).


There are five reasons why a gracious heart is still with God:

1.     From the nature of grace. Grace carries the soul up towards God. Grace is like fire; it is the nature of fire to ascend. You that lie groveling on the earth, feeding like the serpent on dust, or like eels wrapping yourselves in the mud and slime of the world, if you had that new and holy principle of grace infused, your souls would spark upwards, you would “mount up to heaven like eagles,” Isaiah 40:31. If you had the sharp eye of faith to see Christ, you would soon have the swift wing of desire to fly to him.

2.     From the magnetic power of God’s Spirit. The Spirit has not only a soul-purifying, but a soul-elevating power. As the sun exhales and draws the vapors up from the earth, so the Spirit draws the heart up to God; “The Spirit lifted me up,” Ezekiel 3:14. Though there is grace in the heart which would still be mounting upward, yet there is much corruption to pull us down. A Christian in this life is both checked and spurred; grace spurs him forward in his way to heaven, and then corruption checks him. Now, here the Spirit comes in and draws the heart up to God — which is as mighty a power as if you saw a millstone drawn up into the sun

3.     Because God is the center of the soul; and where should the heart ever be but at its center? While the heart is on the earth it shakes and trembles — like the needle in a compass — till it turns to God. God is the proper orb where the soul fixes. A Christian rests in God as the bee rests in the hive, and the bird rests in the nest. “Return to your rest, O my soul,” Psalm 116:7. Noah’s dove was never well till it was in the ark. The ark was a type of Christ.

4.     Because of those dear relations the soul has to God. There are all the terms of consanguinity. God is our Father, John 20:17, and where should the child be but with its father? He is our husband, Isaiah 54:5, and where should the wife be but with her husband? He is our friend, John 15:15; now friends desire to be still together. God is our rock, 2Sam: 22.2; where should Christ’s doves be but in the clefts of this blessed rock? God is the saint’s treasure, and “where their treasure is, there will their hearts be also.” Mat 6:21

5.     Because of those rare excellencies which are in God.

(1.) FULLNESS. Everyone desires to be at a full fountain. “For it pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell,” Col. 1:19.

Observe, Christ is not only said to be fullness in the concrete, but fullness in the abstract; indeed, in him is all fullness. A vessel may be full of water, but that is not all fullness: it is not full of wine; a chest may be full of silver, but that is not all fullness: it is not full of pearl: but in Christ is all fullness. He is bread to strengthen, John 6:48, wine to comfort, John 15:1, and gold to enrich, Rev. 3:18. He is all, and in all, Col. 3:11.

Thus there is a variety of fullness in the Lord Jesus. O Christian, what is it you need? Do you want quickening grace? Christ is the prince of life, Acts 3:15. Do you want healing grace? Christ has made a medicine of his own body to cure you, Isaiah 53:5. Do you want cleansing grace? There is the bath of his blood to wash you: “The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin,” 1John 1:7. Do not have the poets tell us of their Aonia and Kastalia, fountains in which they supposed their nymphs had washed; for these waters distilled out of Christ’s side are infinitely more pure. Pliny says that the watercourses of Rome are the world’s wonder. Oh, if he had known these sacred water-courses in Christ’s blood, how he would have been stricken with admiration! And do you wonder that the soul is still with Christ, when there is all fullness in him?

No, but that all is not all. The apostle goes further. It pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell. To note the duration of this fullness; it is not transient, but immanent. This fullness is not in Christ like water in the pipe or spout: the spout may be full of water, but it does not continue there; water does not dwell in the spout. But this fullness is in Christ, as light is in the sun; it dwells there. Christ’s fullness is a never-failing fullness: what more can be said? Indeed, but the apostle carries it yet higher. In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead; if Christ had all the fullness of the creation, the treasures of the earth, the holiness of the angels, this still could not satisfy the soul. In him there is the fullness of the Godhead: the riches of the Deity are in him. And the communication of this blessed fullness, Eph. 3:19, so far as there is a capacity to receive it, is what satisfies the soul and fills it brim-full. If there is such a plenitude and fullness in God, then no wonder a gracious heart desires to be still with God.

(2.) SWEETNESS. God is love, 1John 4:8. Everyone desires to be with those from whom they receive the most love. The Lord often makes himself known to the soul in an ordinance, as he did to the disciples in the breaking of bread [on the road to Emmaus], Luke 24:35. He manifests himself in the comforts of his Spirit, which are so sweet and ravishing, that they surpass all understanding, Gal. 5:22.  And do you wonder that the soul is so strongly carried after God? Truly if the soul is still with God, to speak with reverence, it is owing to God. He gives those jewels and bracelets, those love-tokens, so that the soul cannot help but desire to be still with God.

Use 1. To show us an art of how to be in heaven before our time; namely, by being still with God. A good Christian begins his heaven here; grace translates him into the paradise of God. Elijah left his mantle behind, but he was taken up in a fiery chariot; so it is with a saint: the mantle of the flesh is left behind, but his soul is carried up in a fiery chariot of love.

Use 2. For reproof; and this consists of two branches.  It reproves those who are never with God; they live without God in the world, Eph. 2:12. It is the characteristic mark of a wicked man that God is not in all his thoughts, Psalm 10:4.

He never thinks of God, unless it is with horror and amazement, as the prisoner thinks of the judge and the courts; and here two sorts of sinners are indicted:

(1.) Those who are still with their sins. A child of God, though sin is with him, yet he is not with sin; his will is against sin; “That which I do, I do not allow,” Rom. 7:15. He would gladly shake this viper into the fire. He forsakes sin, but sin will not forsake him; so that although sin is with him, yet he is not with sin. But a wicked man and sin are together, like two lovers mutually solacing and embracing. A wicked man is “a worker of iniquity,” Luke 13:27, like a workman that follows his trade in his shop.

(2.) Those who are still with the world. It is considered almost a miracle to find a diamond in a vein of gold; and it is just as great a miracle to find Christ, that precious stone, in an earthly heart. The world is men’s Diana: “they mind earthly things,” Phil. 3:19. Like the ostrich, which cannot fly high (though she has wings) because her body is so heavy, most men are so weighed down with thick clay (Hab. 2:6) that they cannot soar aloft; they are like Saul, hidden among the stuff, 1Sam. 10:22; or like Sisera, who had his head nailed to the earth, Judges 4:21 — so their hearts are nailed to the earth. Absalom’s beauty stole away the hearts of Israel from their king, 2Sam. 15:6; and the world’s bewitching beauty steals men’s hearts away from God. It is sad when the husband sends his wife a jewel, and she falls so in love with the jewel that she forgets her husband. An estate should be a load-stone to draw men nearer to God; but it is often a mill-stone to sink them to hell.

There can be a moderate use of these things, but there is danger in excess use. The bee may suck a little honey from the leaf, but put it in a barrel of honey, and it dies. Christians must stave off the world, so that it does not get into their hearts, Psalm 62:10. Water is useful to the ship, and helps it sail better to the haven. But if water gets into the ship, if it is not pumped out at the leak, it drowns the ship. So too, riches are useful and convenient for our passage; we sail more comfortably with them through the troubles of this world. But if water gets into the ship — if the love of riches gets into the heart — then we are drowned by them, 1Tim. 6:9.

(3) It reproves those who are seldom with God. They are sometimes with God, but not still with God. The shell-fish, as naturalists observe, has so little life in it, and moves so slowly, that it is hard to determine if it lives a vegetative or a sensitive life. The same may be said of many Christians: their motion heaven-ward is so slow and inconstant, that we can hardly know if the life of grace is in them or not; they are seldom with God. “You have left your first love, Rev. 2:4. Many professors have almost lost their acquaintance with God. There was a time when they could weep at a sermon; but now these wells are stopped up. There was a time when they were tender about sin — the least hair of it would make their eye weep; the least sin would afflict their conscience — now they can digest this poison. There was a time when they trembled at the threatenings of the word; now, with the leviathan, they can “laugh at the shaking of a spear,” Job 41:29. There was a time when they “called the Sabbath a delight,” Isaiah 58:13, the queen of days. How they waited with joy for the rising of the Sun of Righteousness on that day! What pantings of their soul after God! What a mounting up of affections! But now the case is altered.

“What a weariness it is to serve the Lord!” Mal. 1:13. There was a time when they delighted in the word (indeed it is a mirror that mends the eyes of those who look into it); now they have laid it aside; they seldom look in this mirror. There was a time when they could offer up strong cries in prayer, Heb. 5:7. But now the wings of prayer are dipped; they come like cold suitors to God, with their petitions cooling between their lips, as if they would teach God to deny. Oh why have you quit your communion with God?! “What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me?” Jer. 2:5. Let Christians lay this sadly to heart: “Remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do your first works,” Rev. 2:5. You are in a spiritual lethargy: O never leave till your hearts are wound up to such a heavenly frame as David had here: “When I awake, I am still with You.” And that brings me to the next.

Use 3. The third use is exhortation. To persuade all those who profess they are Christians, to imitate this blessed pattern in the text: “be still with God.” You will never go to heaven when you die, unless you begin heaven here. The church in the Revelation has a crown of stars on her head, and the moon under her feet, Rev. 12:1. Christ is not to be found in the furrows, but on the pinnacle. Now, so that you may get your hearts loosened from these things below, and be still with God, I will propound only two arguments.

The first argument is to consider how unworthy it is for a Christian to have his heart set upon the world.

(1.) It is unworthy of his SOUL. The soul is dignified with honor. It is a noble coin that has a divine impress stamped on it; it is capable of communion with God and angels.

Now, it is too far below a man to spend the affections and operations of this heaven-born soul on worthless things. It is as if one were to embroider sackcloth with gold, or set a diamond in clay.

(2.) It is unworthy of his PROFESSION. “Do you seek great things for yourself?” Jer. 45:5. What! Baruch! You who are a godly man! A Levite! Oh how sordid is it for someone who has his hope in heaven, to have his heart set upon the earth! It is as if a king were to leave his throne to follow the plough; or as if a man were to leave a gold-mine to dig in a gravel-pit. The lapwing has a crown on her head, and yet it feeds on dung. This is a fit emblem for those who have a crown of profession shining on their head, and yet feed with eagerness on these things below. Christians should deny themselves, but not undervalue themselves; they should be humble, but not base. If Alexander would not exercise at the Olympics because it was too far below him (kings do not usually run races), shall those then who are the holy seed, the heirs of glory, disparage themselves by too eager a pursuit after these contemptible things?

The second argument to persuade us to be still with God, is to consider what a rare and excellent life this is; which will appear in four particulars.

(1.) To be still with God is the most NOBLE life. It is as much above the life of reason, as reason is above the life of a plant. The true Christian is like a star in the highest orb: he looks no lower than a crown; grace puts high thoughts, princely affections, and a kind of heavenly ambition into the soul. Grace raises a Christian above himself; it makes him like Caleb, a man of another spirit, Numbers 14:24. He lives in the altitudes; his thoughts are lodged among angels and the “spirits of just men made perfect.” Hebrews 12:23 And so, is this not the most noble life — to be still with God? The academics compare the soul of man to a fowl mounting up with her wings in the air: thus with the wings of grace, the soul flies aloft, and takes a prospect of heaven.

(2.) To be still with God is the most SATISFYING life; nothing else will be so. “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full,” Ecclesiastes 1:7. Let all the golden streams of worldly delights run into the heart of man, yet the heart is not full. Strain out the quintessence of the creature, and it turns to froth, “Vanity of vanities,” Ecclesiastes 1:2. But in God there is sweet satisfaction and contentment. My soul will be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, Psalm 63:5. Here is a hive of sweetness, a mirror of beauty, a magazine of riches; here is the river of pleasure where the soul bathes with infinite delight, Psalm 36:8. And this river has a fountain at the bottom, “For with you is the fountain of life,” ver. 9. And is this not most satisfactory? It is a wise observation of Picus Mirandula, that in the creation of the world, God gave the water to the fish, the earth to the beasts, the air to the fowls. Afterward, He made man in his own image, so that man might say, “Lord, there is nothing on earth to be desired besides You;” what can satisfy my soul, but to be still with You?

(3.) To be still with God is the most COMFORTABLE life. What sweet harmony and music is in such a soul! The bird, the higher it takes flight, the sweeter it sings: so the higher the soul is raised above the world, the sweeter joy it has. How the heart is inflamed in prayer! How is it ravished in holy meditation! What joy and peace there are in believing! Rom. 15:13. And these joys are those honey-streams which flow out of the rock Christ.

Tell me, is it not comfortable to be in heaven? The one who is still with God, carries heaven about him: he has those prelibations and tastes of God’s love, which are the beginnings of heaven, Rom. 8:23.  So sweet is this kind of life, that it can drip sweetness into the troubles and disquiets of the world, such that we are scarcely sensible of them. It can turn the prison into a paradise; the furnace into a festival; it can sweeten death. A soul elevated by grace can rejoice to think of dying: death will but cut the string, and the soul — that bird of paradise — will fly away and be at rest.

(4.) To be still with God is the most DURABLE life. The life of sense will fail; we must shortly bid farewell to all our outward comforts; these blossoms will drop off. We read of a “sea of glass mingled with fire,” Rev. 15:2. Bullinger, and other learned expositors, understand “sea of glass” to mean the world. Indeed it is a fit emblem for it. The world is a sea, and it is seldom calm; and it is a sea of glass, slippery; and this glass is mingled with fire, to show that it is of a perishable and consuming nature. Riches take wings, and relations take wings; but for you — who by the wings of grace are still soaring aloft — this life shall never have an end; it is the beginning of an eternal life; happiness is but the cream of holiness. You that are still with God, shall ever be with the Lord, 1Thess. 4:17. You shall see God in all His embroidered robes of majesty. “We shall see him as he is,” 1John 3:2. And this sight will be ravishing, and full of glory. O then, is this not the best kind of life? He who is still with God when he awakes, shall ever be with the Lord when he goes to sleep at death.

Question: But how shall I arrive at this blessed frame of heart, to be still with God?

Answer 1. Get a right judgment. It is a great matter to have the judgment set right.

Get a right judgment of sin, and you will never be with sin; get a right judgment of God, and you will be still with him. In God are combined all excellences. How sweet is his love! How satisfying is his presence! But as the painter drew a veil over Agamemnon’s face, because the greatness of his grief for his daughter Iphigenia could not be expressed, so when I speak of the glorious perfections in God, I must draw a veil; neither pen nor pencil can set them forth in their orient luster; the angels here must be silent.

Answer 2. If you would be still with God, then watch over your hearts every day; lock up your hearts with God every morning, and give him the key. Otherwise the heart will be stealing out to vanity. Lord, says Bernard, there is nothing more flitting than my heart. Keep watch and ward there. Christians, look to your hearts especially after an ordinance — when you have been with God in duty, then expect a temptation. Physicians say that the body must be more carefully looked after when it comes out of a hot bath, for the pores being open, it is in more danger of catching cold: after your spiritual bathing in an ordinance, when you have been at a sermon or a sacrament, then take heed that you do not catch cold.

Answer 3. Beware of being remiss in duty. When you begin to slacken the reins, and abate your former heat and vigor in religion, a deadness steals insensibly upon the heart, and by degrees a sad estrangement between God and the soul arises. And, brethren, how hard a work you will find it to get your hearts up again, once they are down! A weighty stone that has been rolled up to the top of a steep hill, and then falls down to the bottom — how hard it is to get it up again!

O take heed of a dull, lazy temper in God’s service: we are bid to be “fervent in spirit,” Rom. 12:11. The Athenians inquiring at the oracle of Apollo, why their plagues continued so long, the oracle answered them, they must double their sacrifices: those who would hold constant communion with God, must double their devotion; they must be much in prayer, and mighty in prayer. We read that the coals were to be put to the incense, Lev. 16:13. Incense was a type of prayer, and putting the coals to the incense was to show that the heart of a Christian ought to be inflamed in holy services. Nothing is more dangerous than a plodding formality.

Answer 4. If you would be still with God, then be much in the communion of saints. Many Christians live as if this article were blotted out of their creed. How one saint whets and sharpens another! Just as vain company cools good affections, so by being in the communion of saints, we are warmed and quickened. Be often among the spices, and you will smell of them. These directions being observed, we shall be able to keep our acquaintance with God, and may arrive at this blessed frame, as here David had: “When I awake, I am still with You.”

Fired with Love …to GOD

Taken and adapted from, The Godly Man’s Picture
Written by, Thomas Watson, (1620 – 1686).


“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.”
–Psalm 116:1

A godly man is fired with LOVE to God.

Faith and love are the two hinges on which all religion turns. A true saint is carried in that chariot, “the midst whereof is paved with love” (Song 3:10). As faith enlivens, so love sweetens every duty. The sun mellows the fruit, so love mellows the services of religion, and gives them a better relish. A godly man is sick with love: “Lord, you know that I love you” (John 21:16). “Though, dear Savior, I denied you—yet it was for lack of strength, not for lack of love.” God is the fountain and quintessence of goodness. His beauty and sweetness lay constraints of love upon a gracious heart. God is the saint’s portion (Psalm 119:57). And what more loved than a portion? “I would hate my own soul,” says Augustine, “if I found it not loving God.” A godly man loves God and therefore delights to be in his presence; he loves God and therefore takes comfort in nothing without him. ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” (Song of Solomon 3:3).

The pious soul loves God and therefore thirsts for him. The more he has of God, the more still he desires. A sip of the wine of the Spirit whets the appetite for more. The soul loves God and therefore rejoices to think “of his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). He loves him and therefore longs to be with him. Christ was in Paul’s heart, and Paul would be in Christ’s bosom (Phil. 1:23). When the soul is once like God, it would gladly be with God. A gracious heart cries out, “O that I had wings, that I might fly away, and be with my love, Christ!” The bird desires to be out of the cage, though it is hung with pearl.

Such is the love a gracious soul has to God, that many waters cannot quench it. He loves a frowning God.

A godly man loves God, though he is reduced to straits. A mother and her nine-year-old child were about to die of hunger. The child looked at its mother and said, “Mother, do you think God will starve us?” “No, child,” said the mother, “he will not.” The child replied, “But if he does, we must love him, and serve him.”

Let us test our godliness by this touchstone: Do we love God? Is he our treasure and center? Can we, with David, call God our “joy”, yes, our “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4)? Do we delight in drawing near to him, and “come before his presence with singing”? (Psalm 100:2) Do we love him for his beauty more than his jewels? Do we love him, when he seems not to love us?

If this be the sign of a godly man, how few will be found in the number! Where is the man whose heart is dilated in love to God? Many court him—but few love him. People are for the most part eaten up with self-love; they love their ease, their worldly profit, their lusts—but they do not have a drop of love to God. If they loved God, would they be so willing to be rid of him? “They say unto God, Depart from us” (Job 21:14). If they loved God, would they tear his name by their oaths? Does he who shoots his father in the heart, love him? Though they worship God, they do not love him; they are like the soldiers who bowed the knee to Christ, and mocked him (Matt. 27:29). He whose heart is a grave in which the love of God is buried, deserves to have that curse written upon his tombstone, “Let him be Anathema Maranatha” (1 Cor. 16:22).

A soul devoid of divine love is a temper which best suits damned spirits. 

Andrew Melville: The Thorn in the King’s Side. Part One. Appearance before King James VI. and the Council, A.D. 1583


In the beginning of February…

…Mr. Andrew Melville was thereby summoned to appear before the king and council within less than three days. This was to answer to such things as were to be laid to his charge concerning certain speeches uttered by him from the pulpit, seditious and treasonable. Mr. Andrew appeared, accompanied with some of his scholars and friends, among whom was Mr. Robert Bruce; and I, being in Angus, escorting my mother-in-law to her husband, had gone away a day before his summoning, but I made diligence, and came to Edinburgh the day of his second appearance. The which day, he declined the judicature of the king and council, being accused upon no civil crime or transgression, but upon his doctrine uttered from the pulpit.

When the king and Captain James, who was then made Great Chancellor came in, they did so with what seemed to be the roarings of lions and messages of death. These dire tidings were so hot that all the council and courts of the palace were filled with fear, noise, and rumors. However, through it all, Mr. Andrew never flinching nor dashed a whit, but with magnanimous courage, a mighty force of spirit, and an abundance of evidence of reason and language, plainly told the king and council that they presumed over-boldly in a constituted estate of a Christian Kirk, the kingdom of Jesus Christ, by passing by and disdaining the prophets, pastors, and doctors of the Kirk, and to take upon themselves to judge the doctrine and control the ambassadors and messengers of a King and council greater than they, and far above them.

“And that, ye may see your weakness, oversight, and rashness, in taking upon you that which ye neither ought nor can do (then loosing a little Hebrew Bible from his belt, and clanking it down on the board, before the king and chancellor), there is,” says he, “my instructions and warrant; let me see which of you can judge thereon, or control me therein, that I have passed beyond my injunctions.” The chancellor opening the book, finds it Hebrew, and puts it in the king’s hand, saying, “Sir, he scorns your majesty and council.” “No, my lord,” says Mr. Andrew, “I scorn not; but with all earnestness, zeal, and gravity, I stand for the cause of Jesus Christ and his Kirk.”

Many times put they him out, and called him in again, sometimes dealing with menacings, and sometimes with fair words, to break him, but he grew more and more in wisdom, strength, and courage, howbeit none was suffered to come in with him; and when he came out, had scarcely leisure to draw his end, much less to take any advice with his friends and brethren. In end, they proceed; admit an accuser, whose name lives in ignominy of “William Stewart, the Accuser.” This man was a pensioner of the Prior of St. Andrews; who conceived the articles of accusation; and took the deposition of a number of witnesses summoned from St. Andrews, especially his greatest dislikers.

But Mr. Andrew ever adhering to his statements, and at all times, as occasion served, telling them his mind mightily about the truth and weight of the cause of Christ and his Church, and wrongs done thereunto, which he would be avenged of some day. And when they had done all, little or nothing to prove their purpose, the court decreed that Mr. Andrew, for his unreverent behavior, which he displayed before his majesty and council, should be put in ward in the Castle of Edinburgh, to await the king’s will.

In the meantime, Mr. Andrew’s brethren and friends were informed, by those who knew that certain plots were laid, that there was no good will to Mr. Andrew; and that if he were ever held, he would not be loosed again, unless it were for the scaffold. This made him to keep him quiet a night and a day, during the which time I traveled amongst the councilors. Many gave me fair words, and said there was no danger; but our best friends read a sentence written on the wall. We understood, further, that the decree of the council had been altered, and that the prison appointed was to be Blackness—a foul hole, kept by Captain James’ men. So, while we were all in great and heavy anxiety and as of most doleful doubtfulness as to the will of the counsel, and thinking it a hard and sore matter to bereave the schools and Kirk of Scotland of such a light and leader, we pondered about what means and time might mitigate the king and procure his liberty.

We knew that there were other plots which were being laid by the church’s enemies, and we could see the violent form of Captain James’ government, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to jeopardize the life of such a man which might be reserved for a better time; all of this I say, was discussed in this doubtful debate among ourselves. And no one in his own heart, knowing well whereto to incline. But then Mr. Andrew himself comes out in public, resolute and cheerful, and bade us all be of good courage, for God had resolved him of the best, and he was assured would be with him. So we go to dinner, in Mr. James Lawson’s house, who with all his guests were exceedingly heavy-hearted, and oftentimes could not contain, but mixed their tears with their drink. Only Mr. Andrew ate, drank, and chatted as merrily and free-minded as at any time, and more; and (according to his continual form at dinner and in all company) took occasion of good conference, and discourse pertinent for the time and state of matters, to his own wonderful encouragement and our great comfort, interlacing always some merry interludes, and drinking to his captain and ward-fellows, bidding us make us ready to follow.

So, after dinner, he gave it out, ‘and none knew otherwise but a very few, that he would obey the charge and enter into ward, if the king commanded, and God so directed him. Whereupon the macer gets access; gives him the charge, with his warrant to enter into the Castle of Blackness within twenty-four hours; the which he receives reverently; but within an hour or two, his brother Roger and he slip out at the port side by side, and lodge that night where God had prepared, and within four-and-twenty hours entered into Berwick, in place of Blackness. Certain of Captain James’ horsemen had immediately before rode out at the same port to attend upon him, and convey him to Blackness, there for once to make him sure.—Melville’s Diary.

End of Part One

Taken and adapted from, Select Extracts for the Young
Published for the Free Church of Scotland