James Nisbet and Hardhill’s Lucky Escape in late 1685 #History #Scotland
From the place of the following ‘providential escape’ in the narrative of James Nisbet’s spiritual autobiography, it appears to have taken place in August to October, 1685:
‘At another time, when in company with my father [i.e., John Nisbet of Hardhill (d.1685.)], and some suffering friends, on a Sabbath day, which was spent in the worship of God, a little before the sun set, unexpectedly there came a troop of the enemy to the house next to where we were. This, at first, put some of our company to fear, who said, What shall we do? My father answered, Since there is no way for us to escape, but in the Lord, come, let us sing the praises of God, and let him work his own work; to which the rest consented; and, accordingly, the most part, after calling upon the name of God, the 91st Psalm was sung;’
“He that doth in the secret place
of the most High reside,
Under the shade of him that is
th’ Almighty shall abide.
I of the Lord my God will say,
He is my refuge still,
He is my fortress, and my God,
and in him trust I will.
Assuredly he shall thee save,
and give deliverance
From subtle fowler’s snare, and from
the noisome pestilence. …”
‘and all the time of the singing there was little or no fear observed to be amongst us; but, upon the contrary, they were impressed with great cheerfulness, both of heart and countenance; although we still expected when the enemy would come in amongst us with their slaughter-weapons; for they never spared any from present death whom they found in the immediate act of worship. It is not ordinary to sing the triumph before the victory; and yet here it was sung with much soul-satisfaction and inward sensation of consolation. But, behold the kind care and restraining power of our infinitely gracious God, who interposed himself betwixt us and all danger! for, though there was no way of escape for us, being in a plain country, far from any wood or moss, yet the Lord wonderfully provided us with safety. For, when the enemy had searched the three next houses to that house which we were in, they rode quite off, and did not so much as speak where we were. The remembrance of this wonderful deliverance, and of this Sabbath’s frame, especially in singing the 91st Psalm, has been strengthening, reviving, and refreshing afterwards to me times out of number.’
Nisbet’s year of escapes was not over. In November he saw a great meteor light up the night. A week later, he heard the terrible news of his father’s capture.
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