Friday, June 02, 2017

IM James Guthrie 1 June 1661

James Guthrie was a Scottish Presbyterian minister. He was executed on this day in 1661. 

What was his crime? James Guthrie wrote a book declaring that God 's wrath was coming upon Scotland for claiming that the King of England was the head of the church. 

Guthrie made it very clear from scripture that only Christ is the head of the church. He was not against the King as the head of their civil government. But only Christ is the head of the church. 

From the scaffolding, James Guthrie gave his last sermon. James Guthrie then handed a written copy of his sermon to a friend. He then asked his friend to give a copy of his speech to his son when the son was old enough to understand.

'I am more fortunate than the Great Marquis, (Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyle) for my Lord was beheaded, but I am to be hanged on a tree as my Saviour was. I take God to record upon my soul, I would not exchange this scaffold with the palace and mitre of the greatest prelate in Britain. Blessed be God who has shown mercy to me such a wretch, and has revealed His Son in me, and made me a minister of the everlasting Gospel, and that He hath deigned, in the midst of much contradiction from Satan, and the world, to seal my ministry upon the hearts of not a few of His people, and especially in the station where I was last, I mean the congregation and presbytery of Stirling. Jesus Christ is my Life and my Light, my Righteousness, my strength, and my Salvation and all my desire. Him! O Him, I do with all the strength of my soul commend to you. Bless Him, O my soul, from henceforth even forever. Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. 'Art not Thou from everlasting, O Lord my God. I shall not die but live.' The Covenants! The Covenants! They shall yet be Scotland's reviving. Be not afraid at His sweet, lovely and desirable cross, for although I have not been able because of my wounds to lift up or lay down my head, but as I was helped, yet I was never in better case all my life. He has not given me one challenge since I came to prison, for anything less or more; but on the contrary He has so wonderfully shined on me with the sense of His redeeming, strengthening, assisting, supporting, through-bearing, pardoning and reconciling love, grace and mercy, that my soul doth long to be freed of bodily infirmities and earthly organs, that so I may flee to His Royal Palace even the Heavenly Habitation of my God, where I am sure of a crown put on my head, and a palm put in my hand, and a new song in my mouth, even the song of Moses and of the Lamb, that so I may bless, praise, magnify and extol Him for what He hath done to me and for me. Wherefore I bid farewell to all my dear fellow-sufferers for the testimony of Jesus, who are wandering in dens and caves. Farewell, my children, study holiness in all your ways, and praise the Lord for what He hath done for me, and tell all my Christian friends to praise Him on my account. Farewell, sweet Bible, and wanderings and contendings for truth. Welcome, death. Welcome, the City of my God where I shall see Him and be enabled to serve Him eternally with full freedom. Welcome, blessed company, the angels and spirits of just men made perfect. But above all, welcome, welcome, welcome, our glorious and alone God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commit my spirit for Thou art worthy. Amen.'- James Guthrie 1 June 1661

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