What Will Your Epitaph Read?

I was inspired to take a walk through history to see how the Scottish Covenanters faced death.  I discovered that they continued to glorify God long after their earthly lives had ended — even to this day.  I am not worthy.  I hope you are as moved by what I read as I am:

The Greyfriars Kirkyard

Image by Bill Henderson

Thomas Brown, James Wood, Andrew Sword, John Weddell and John Clyde

Image by Jim Bain
Image by Jim Bain
Image by Jim Bain
Image by Jim Bain

Left Side:  “Here lies Thomas Brown, James Wood, Andrew Sword, John Weddell and John Clyde who suffered martyrdom on Magus Muir for their adherence to the Word of God and Scotland’s Covenanted work of Reformation Nov 25 1679”

Right Side:

“Cause we at Bothwel did appear

Perjurious oaths refused to swear

Cause we Christ’s cause would not condemn

We were sentenc’d to death by men

Who raged against us in such fury

Our dead bodies they did not bury

But up on Poles did hing us high

Triumphs of Babel’s victory

Our lives we feared not to the death

But constant prayed to our last breath”

The Two Margarets, William Johnston, John Milroy, and George Walker

Image by Lairich Rig
Image by Lairich Rig

The front and rear right stones mark the graves of Margrat Willson and Margrat Lachlane, who were drowned together for their faith at the present-day Martyr’s Stake.  The rear left stone marks the resting place of William Johnston, John Milroy, and George Walker, who were hanged when the two Margarets were drowned.

~

William Harvey, a Lanark Weaver, and John Smith

Image by Lairich Rig
Image by Lairich Rig
Image by Walter Baxter
Image by Walter Baxter

William Harvey (left): “Suffered at the cross of Lanark, 2 of March 1682, Age 38, For his adherence to the word of God and Scotland’s covenanted work of reformation.”

John Smith (Right):

“Here lies John Smith, who was shot by Col. Buchan and the Laird of Lee February [blank] 1685 for his adherence to the word of God and Scotland’s covenanted work of reformation. Rev 12. Erected in the year 1731.”

The Covenanter’s Grave at Airds Moss

Image by Walter Baxter
Image by Walter Baxter

This stone marks the resting place of Richard Cameron, Michael Cameron, Robert Dick, John Hamilton, Cap. John Fuller, John Gemmel, Robert Paterson, James Gray, and Thomas Watson, who were killed in the Battle of Aird’s Moss on July 22, 1680.  The epitaph reads:

“Halt, curious passenger, come here and read,
Our souls triumph with Christ our glorious Head,
In self-defence we murdered here do lie,
To witness ‘gainst the nation’s perjury.”
~To be continued…
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