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11/17/18 Weekend Grif.Net – Standing for Truth

11/17/18 Weekend Grif.Net – Standing for Truth

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John Welsh, =
you are to report to the King’s Council in =
Edinburgh."

 

When John =
Welsh stepped out of his pulpit in Ayr, Scotland, on =
July 23, 1605
, the King’s men came for him with that order. The =
Scottish pastor had preached that morning on the heart-warming promise =
that there is no condemnation for God’s elect, concluding with the =
words, "Now let the Lord give his blessing to his word, and let the =
Spirit of Jesus, who is the author of this verity [truth], come in and =
seal up the truth of it in your hearts and souls, for Christ’s =
sake."

 

John had =
expected this arrest. Earlier that year, King James VI of Scotland =
forbade any pastor from attending a church convention in Aberdeen. Like =
many Scottish pastors, Welsh believed no government had the right to =
stop preachers from conducting God’s business. He had never been one to =
buckle in face of danger. Needless to say, he had gone to the meeting. =
Now it was pay day.

 

Welsh said =
good-bye to his crying family and weeping church folk. "God send =
you back soon," they prayed. But it was not to =
be.

 

John was given =
a mock trial and jailed. At first he was held in the prison known as the =
tollbooth, where many Scottish preachers served time. Later he was taken =
to brutal Blackness Castle. He was lowered into a dungeon pit that could =
be reached only through a hole in the floor above. Its rough floor was =
uneven and slanted. There was no flat place on which to lay and no =
smooth spot on which to get comfortable. One could not sit, stand or lie =
down without misery. John spent ten months at Blackness. Well-known for =
his prayer-life (he averaged seven hours a day in prayer), John =
continued his earnest pleas for Scotland.

 

Perhaps he =
also remembered his hard years of service for Christ. At his first =
pastorate, in Selkirk, the local folk rejected the gospel completely, =
even cruelly cutting his horse so that he could not ride to nearby =
villages to preach. His next position was in a Roman Catholic region. =
The previous minister was killed for preaching reformation truth. At =
neither place did he have much success. But in his third pulpit, at Ayr, =
many people came to know Christ.

 

Ayr was a =
rough town. Duels and fights were so common, people feared to step onto =
the streets. Whenever John heard that a fight was brewing, he rushed to =
the spot and urged the rowdies to sit down to a meal together. He did =
this so often that the town became quieter and safer. King James did not =
have the best interests of Ayr in mind when he arrested John. He felt =
that if he allowed Scotland to abolish bishops of the Anglican Church, =
they would want to abolish the king too!

 

James banished =
John to France. John quickly learned French and served as a preacher =
among the persecuted Protestants there. When his health broke, John’s =
wife pleaded with King James to let him return to Scotland’s air. The =
king said John could—but only if he submitted to the bishops. =
John’s wife – daughter of the fiery John Knox – was made of the =
same heroic stuff as her husband and her father. She held out her apron =
and replied with spirit that she would rather have his head cut off and =
placed in her apron then have him betray the =
truth!

 

[God give our =
nation men and women who will stand against worldly powers to proclaim =
the truth of His Word.]

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net www.grif.net =

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"