Night-Whisper | CONQUER
And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. NKJV.
Mid-December, Scotland. On an icy-cold and gun barrel rolling grey afternoon my wife tells me that there is an open air Christmas Market just a twenty minute drive away from us in Falkland Palace, the former seat of Scottish Royalty.
We arrive shortly after her declaration of an ‘outing’ but the cold is already in my bones and “Christmas market or no,” the thought of tramping around in sub-zero temperatures at 4 0’clock in the afternoon is as inviting as a naked dip in the North sea whilst being covered in goose fat! Across the road from Falkland Palace is ‘The Covenanter Hotel’ where they serve Hot Chocolate with multi-colored life-vest marshmallows all bobbing on the surface of the hot milky brew served before an open fire. Frankly, it was no contest.
The Covenanter Hotel is named as such because that ‘Lion of the Covenant,’ ‘Field Preacher and martyr,’ Rev. Richard Cameron, was born here in Falkland at a house just down the street in 1648. In his early days he was also a Parish school teacher in Falkland and a ‘facilitator’ of worship in the Parish church here.
Now, may ‘God save the Queen,’ and may God save us from whoever may follow her, but I am no Royalist. Indeed, I wish to God that the whole interconnected incestuous order would collapse and the sooner the people disestablish that heretical and Biblical ‘nonsensity’ called the Church of England from any form of power, and together with that, replace the House of Lords with a truly democratic elected body, the better. Even so, the game of thrones has (and continues to be) played out in these islands for centuries, despite that intermingling of established church and power being the cause of blood and burning for far too long.
Just for this Night-Whisper, let me say that those ‘militant’ Presbyterians who resisted the Stuart Monarchs trying to gain control of the established Church of Scotland were known as ‘Covenanters,’ and were called such because chiefly and very broadly, they had ‘oathed’ themselves in signature, intent and lifestyle against the Roman Catholic domination of Scotland though the Monarchy. Consequently, all the usual eruptions of loss of living, life and limb followed hard on these Covenanter heels and thus being ejected from the established church, their minsters became forced ‘Field Preachers’ and met in the open air, the names of such gatherings under the open sky being known as ‘Conventicles, ’ a name on this December day which sounds far too much like icicles! Thank God for four o’Clock in the afternoon and Hot Chocolate in the Covenanter Hotel!
Richard Cameron of Falkland began to attend these ‘Conventicles’ and eventually came under the spiritual guidance of an itinerant field-preacher, house-group teacher and prophet called John Welwood. Cameron, later fleeing persecution by removing himself to the safety of protestant Holland and the city of Rotterdam, was also ordained a Church of Scotland minister at the Scots Kirk there. It was the Rev. Robert MacWard, who conducted his ordination ceremony, who also ‘prophesied’ over Richard Cameron saying:
“Richard, the publick standard of the Gospel is fallen in Scotland; and, if I know anything of the mind of the Lord, ye are called to undergo your trials before us, and go home and lift the fallen standard, and display it before the world. But, before you put your hand to it, ye shall go to as many of the field ministers as ye can find, and give them your hearty invitation to go with you; and if they will not go, go your lone, and the Lord will go with you. Behold, all ye beholders! Here is the head of a faithful minister and servant of Jesus Christ, who shall lose the same for his Master’s interest; and it shall be set up before sun and moon in the public view of the world.”
Returning to Scotland and engaging in his itinerant and open air house church ministry there, it was Richard’s brother Michael, who, in 1680, along with Richard and other armed men standing at his side, read out what is known as the ‘Sanquhar Declaration’ in the public square of the town of that same name, and in the so doing, disavowed allegiance to King Charles II and the government of Scotland in the name of true Protestant and Presbyterian interest. This publicly pronounced opposition to government interference in all religious affairs was essentially a declaration of war against the monarchy which eventually lead to ‘The Glorious Revolution’ and the end of the reign of the Scottish House of Stuart.
Now hunted men more than ever, a dragoon of guards tracked Richard and his band of brothers down at Airds Moss near Cumnock. During a bloody engagement there at about four o’clock in the afternoon Cameron’s followers, who had become known as the ‘Hill Men,’ were eventually overwhelmed by superior numbers. A dispatch concerning the engagement read: “The dispute continued a quarter of an hour very hot; ‘the rebels,’ refusing either to fly or take quarter, fought like madmen…” Cameron was killed in this bloodbath and his hands were severed from his body and taken to Edinburgh where they were shown to his father, who was already imprisoned in the town’s tollbooth. They were then paraded through the main street, with Cameron’s head being impaled on a pike and carried high before them all to the full and public view of both heaven and earth and of the sun and of the moon.
Now apart from my poor treatment of Scottish history, what can be said about these things? Can we say that the true church needs to come out of the established church of heresy? We can! Can we say those men who believe in the God of the Bible should be willing to lose their living in the so doing? We can! Can we say that there is a need for house churches, gatherings and proclamations in the open air and the resurgence of the true prophetic? We can! Can we say that there is a need for some new covenants or at the very least some recommitments to old covenants made under God, even if we are called rebels in the so doing? We can! Can we say that CT Studd would still be saddened to call the remaining men of the church: “Chocolate soldier men and marshmallows for Jesus, who, at 4 o’clock on any afternoon would rather warm their toes in an open fire than walk through it?” I am afraid we can. Even so, I am sure that a few good men, a few brave men, a few men who have covenanted their hands to the work of God and have no fear of losing either them or their heads to Him, might just set a new fire in these islands once again. The question is: Where shall we find a few good men?
A former fighting regiment of the British Army, the Scottish Cameronians, took their name from this particular band of covenanters and two notable traditions of that now disbanded regiment are worthy of note this night. The first tradition of the Cameronians was first to issue all of its new recruits with a Bible. The second regimental tradition of note was for the infantry soldiers to travel under arms to their weekly church services whilst posting armed guards at the four corners of their place of meeting.
Take note of these notable traditions for these days of war are coming again and I pray that such sacrificial, prophetic and proclaiming covenanting men will also come with them. Yet, Oh my God, in my worry for a lost Scotland I am still haunted by the question of: “Just where we shall find these few good men?”
Listen: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14 NKJV)
Pray: Father, once bright nations are now sinking like the sun in the darkening Western sky. Are there any men of might and power that have power with you whose prayers can stop the sun in the sky? Surprise us O Lord our God in two ways: First Father, prepare Your pitiful church with a plague of desperateness to so receive such men, then O Lord our God raise up a regiment of Christ like Cameronians once more. Amen and let it be so.