‘I was born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards’: Nisbet and the Cave #History #Scotland

Cubs Glen

James Nisbet’s remarkable escapes during the Killing Times continued…

He was only sixteen.

After he was rescued by Mary Wilson in July, 1685, Nisbet was sick with fever for twenty days. When he recovered, he faced the necessities of the fugitive life of finding food, safety and shelter. Far from his home, he was entirely reliant on others for sustenance. That, too, had its perils:

‘[In c. mid August 1685] as a friend and I were going into a house to get some meat, immediately there came a troop of the enemy to the house; and as they dismounted their horses at the one door, my friend and I had just as much time as run out at another door, without getting the thing we went for, and into a wood we went, where was a little cave, which my friend and I entered; but we surely thought the enemy had seen us, and still expected that they would come upon us. But here, as many times formerly, the Lord was very kind and gracious to me, for they had not seen us; and so we escaped this danger also, by the kind care of Him who is mighty to save.

In this cave we stayed till near midnight; which time was spent in prayer and preparation for death, as the Lord helped us; and then we ventured out to seek some meat; and going to the back-window of a gentleman’s house, knocked softly; out at which a gentlewoman whispered softly, and told us there were sixteen or eighteen of the enemy in the house; so she desired us quickly to go back where we were, and she followed us with some meat, of which we were very glad, for we had fasted long.

Thus He who feeds the young ravens, fed us in his own season; upon which I called to mind, that he dealt with us as with Israel in the wilderness, whom he tried, proved, and humbled, by suffering them to hunger and thirst, that he might let them see what was in their hearts, and then fed them to the full.

Thus the Lord brought me often to the brink of perishing, and then interposed himself by his kind and watchful providence; so that the enemy could bring nothing to pass against me but what His holy hand had determined to be done; and, therefore, good ground I have to say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped me. Glory, glory, to his name, because he said to my proud enemies, as he says to the raging waves of the sea, Hitherto shall ye come, and no farther.

Therefore, notwithstanding of all the troubles that I met with, which were many and great, for I was never sooner out of one trouble but I was presently overtaken with another; so that I can say of a truth, I was born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards; and yet, in the midst of all, I had still matter of praise given me, for the Lord always graciously nicked my extremity, making it his opportunity to work my deliverance;’ (Nisbet, Private Life of the Persecuted, 116-18.)

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~ by drmarkjardine on October 31, 2016.

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