Friday, May 11, 2012

On this date...

On this date in 1685, the widow Margaret McLauchlen and eighteen-year-old Margaret Wilson were drowned for their faith at the mouth of the river Blednoch.  Their faith would not let them acknowledge any king but Christ.  
The older Margaret was staked farther out and as she struggled, someone asked the younger Margaret what she saw.  Margaret answered that she saw Christ suffering there.  
"Think you that we are the sufferers?" she said.  "No; it is Christ in us.  For he sends none to warfare upon their own charges."   
Though all about her were clamoring for her to compromise, she knew she could not swear loyalty to the English king while her heart and soul belonged to king Jesus.  
After she had struggled against the water for a little while, the soldiers pulled her out and demanded that she pray for the king.  Young Margaret answered,
"God save him, if he will; for it is his salvation I desire."
This was hardly satisfactory to her captors.  They demanded she abjure the Cameronian oath which said, in essence, "no king but Christ," but she would not.  She said,
"I will not; I am one of Christ's children; let me go."  
And they pushed her back under the water.  That day Margaret Wilson, along with her friend, Margaret McLauchlen, joined the saints before the Throne of Grace.   
The reputation of the Scottish Covenanters has fallen on hard times; many villify the leaders and discount what they call blind fanaticism among the congregants.  Others put a worldly construction on their oaths, covenants and resolutions.  And what the Covenanters did had political consequences, but they did not think primarily in terms of politics or any earthly pursuit.  They thought in terms of loving and following Christ alone.
So, while we cannot blindly praise the Covenanters and all that they said and did, neither can we blindly condemn; for, at heart, the Covenanters of old share our faith.  Faith which says that Christ alone rules in our hearts and Christ alone is our hope of salvation.   

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