Donald Cargill’s Letter to Friends in the West before he fled to Rotterdam #History #Scotland

The following letter was written in late 1679, after the Covenanters’ defeat at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and immediately prior to Donald Cargill’s escape to Rotterdam.

‘Dear Friends,— I cannot but be grieved to go from my native land, and especially from that part of it for whom and with whom I desired only to live; yet the dreadful apprehensions I have of what is coming upon this land may help to make me submissive to this providence, though more bitter.

You will have snares for a little, and then a deluge of judgments. I do not speak this to affright any, much less to rejoice over them, as if I were taken, and they left; or were studying by these thoughts to alleviate my own lot of banishment; though I am afraid that none shall bless themselves long upon the account that they are left behind; but my design is to have you making yourselves prepared for snares and judgments, that ye may have both the greatest readiness and the greatest shelters, for both shall be in one.

Clear accompts, [i.e., accounts] and put off the old; for it is like, that what is to come will be both sudden and surprising, that it will not give you time for this. Beware of taking on new debt. I am afraid, that these things which many are looking on as favours are but come to bind men together in bundles for a fire.

I am sure, if these things be embraced, there shall not belong time given for using of them; and this last of their favours and snares is sent to men, to show that they are that which otherwise they will not confess themselves to be. Tell all, that the shelter and benefit of this shall neither be great nor long, but the snare of it shall be great and prejudicial.

And for myself, I think for the present He is calling me to another land; but how long shall be my abode, or what employment He has for me there, I know not, for I cannot think He is taking me there to live and lurk only.

I rest,
Donald Cargill.’ (CW, 14.)

~ by drmarkjardine on July 26, 2017.

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