Thursday, March 22, 2012

William Wallace and the Psalter

The primary source for much of what we know about William Wallace is Blind Harry's Wallace. It is a twelve-book, 11,877 stanza poem written by Blind Harry, also known as Henry the Minstrel, who lived c. 1440-1493, who claimed that he based it upon the writings of John Blair, a childhood friend of Wallace's. At the very end of the poem, at the last moments of Wallace's life as he is being executed in England, a very interesting section reads thus:

Wallace about him, from his Child-hood kept,
Where e'er he went, whither he walk'd or slept,
A Psalter Book, which he beseech'd the Knight,
Lord Clifford, might be brought into his Sight.
Which done, he caus'd a Priest upon the Place
To hold it open straight before his Face,
On which he look'd, sometimes his Eyes up cast,
Religiously unto his very last.
Then quickly came the Executioner who,
Gave him the fatal, and the Mortal blow.

Thus in Defence, that Hero ends his Days,
Of Scotland's Right, to his immortal Praise...

The psalms were important to William Wallace, let them be to us as well.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:16)

The quote above is from the edition edited by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, published 1722. (

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"A Stone Lying in Deep Mire"

Here is an excerpt from Patrick's Confession, written by Patrick of Ireland himself in the 5th century (basically his autobiography). 

"12. I am, then, first of all, countryfied, an exile, evidently unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future, but I know for certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for his great favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Samuel Davies and George II

Here is a great story concerning Samuel Davies, a great pastor and preacher of the Great Awakening, told in a book I am reading, Southern Presbyterian Leaders, by Henry Alexander White (great book so far):

"According to tradition, the King of England, George the Second, attended one of his [Davies] public services and expressed in loud tones to those near his royal person his satisfaction at hearing and seeing the dissenting minister. Dr. Davies interpreted this conduct as irreverence in the Lord's house. He, therefore, paused and looking at the King, said: 'When the Lion roars the beasts of the forest all tremble; when King Jesus speaks, the princes of the earth should keep silence.' The King kept quiet, it is said, his respect and admiration for the minister being largely increased by the boldness of Davies." (emphasis mine)

Samuel Davis went on to inspire the young Patrick Henry, who would later have is own show down concerning George II's son, George III. It's amazing how God weaves the web of history. May our current 'princes of the earth' learn to listen to King Jesus.