Beware Prophet Peden on the Bass Rock
Patrick Walker tells two stories about Alexander Peden’s imprisonment on the Bass Rock between 1674 and his banishment in 1678. The conjunction of the two stories appears to have been designed to make a point:
‘6. While Prisoner in the Bass, one Sabbath Morning, being about the publ’ck Worship of God, a young Lass, about the Age of Thirteen or Fourteen Years, came to the Chamber-door, mocking with loud Laughter: He said, Poor Thing, thou mocks and laughs at the Worship of God; but ere long, God shall write such a sudden, surprising Judgment on thee, that shall stay thy Laughing, and thou shalt not escape it. Very shortly thereafter, she was walking upon the Rock, and there came a Blast of Wind, and sweeped her off the Rock into the Sea where she was lost.
While Prisoner there, one Day walking upon the Rock, some Soldiers passing by him, one of them cried, The Devil take Him; He said, Fy, fy, poor Man, thou knowest not what thou’rt saying, but thou wilt repent that: At which Words the Soldier stood astonished, and went to the Guard distracted, crying aloud for Mr. Peden, saying, The Devil would immediately take him away. He came and spoke to him, and prayed for him; The next Morning he came to him again, and found him in his Right Mind, under Deep Convictions of great Guilt. The Guard being to change, they desired him to go to his Arms; he refused, and said, He would lift no Arms against Jesus Christ his Cause, and persecute his People, I’ve done that too long: The Governor threatned him with Death to Morrow at Ten a Clock; he confidently said Three Times, Tho’ he should tear all his Body in Pieces, he should never lift Arms that Way. About three Days after the Governor put him out of the Garrison, setting him ashore: he having Wife and Children, took a House in East-Lothian, where he became a singular Christian. Mr. Peden told these astonishing Passages to the foresaid James Cubison, and others, who informed me.’ (Walker, BP, I, 43-4.)
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