Fair Sunshine, Fair Samuel

What shall I say in this great day of the Lord,
where in the midst of a cloud,
I have found a fair sunshine.
I can wish no more for you,
but that the Lord may comfort you,
and shine upon you as He does upon me,
and give you that same sense of His love in staying in the world,
as I have in going out of it.

~ Archibald Campbell, on the day of his execution

I slipped out of bed early this morning, filled the wood stove, picked up my highlighter and these two books.  I’m half way through Fair Sunshine, a book I was introduced to by my daughter-in-law Taryn, on her first visit to our home. 

This is the perfect pairing of two books. Fair Sunshine is the story of 13 Scottish Covenanters, men and women who died with uncommon grace, people who boldly articulated their faith up to the moment the noose was put around their neck.  Samuel Rutherford, most famous as the author of Lex Rex, was a pastor in prison. Many of the recipients of the Letters of Samuel Rutherford are the subjects of chapters in Fair Sunshine. 

Reading these books is like looking at aliens who are somehow familiar.  The strength, the clarity, the courage they displayed is beyond the beyonds.  Who were these people?  What kind of love is that? One can only wonder. 

My breath is caught reading about the two Margarets, sentenced to death by drowning.  One was 70, one was 18.  They were tied to stakes where the tide would eventually cover their heads.  The older was placed so she would be submerged first. 

So came the hungry waters up and up, every wave splashing death, until she was choking in their cold, cold grasp.  As she struggled, before she became a poor limp thing lying in the swirling flood, they said to young Margaret, “What do you think of her now?” “Think!  I see Christ wrestling there,” said she.  “Think ye that we are sufferers?  No; it is Christ in us, for He sends none a warfare at their own charges.”

Astonishing words from an 18 year old girl. 

I’ll be quoting more from these books…


3 thoughts on “Fair Sunshine, Fair Samuel

  1. I cannot read more than one chapter of Fair Sunshine per day.  I am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of such bravery.  The *Margaret* story is especially touching.
    I dont have the Samuel Rutherford one….best add that to the list ๐Ÿ™‚

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