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turned from these pilgrimages, we may conceive with what feelings his mother heard him, when on her anxious inquiry as to where he had been, his usual reply was, "I have been seeing my father's head!" The dying admonitions of the departed parent enforced by such a solemnizing spectacle, seem to have sunk deep into William's heart; for it was observed, that after his father's death he spent much time in solitude, and was often employed in prayer. Resolving to walk in his father's step, he directed his studies to the church, and became a scholar of excellent promise; but he died in early youth, when he was entering upon trials to be licensed as a preacher.
Another event that occurred connected with the martyr's head is so startling to the philosophy of the nineteenth century, that were it not an incident as well attested as any event in his individual history, we might scruple to mention it. And we state it as a fact, the truth of which was acknowledged both by friend and enemy throughout Scotland, and as merely one of the many instances how strangely blood will speak, and conviction pursue the murderer. Several weeks after the execution, while the Earl of Middleton was passing in his coach up from the Canongate to the High Street, and was entering in at the Nether Bow, several drops of fresh blood from the dried head fell upon the carriage, in the presence of many awestruck spectators. Every attempt was made to erase these accusing blots; but by no process could they be removed, and the Earl who consulted several physicians as to whether the prodigy might be solved by natural causes, could get no satisfactory reply. As the stains obstinately retained their place in spite of washing and scraping, Middleton was obliged to
get a new carriage.
For twenty-seven years that head continued to moulder in the winds, and the bony eye-holes to stare upon deeds of public violence and persecution that followed almost without a pause, when at last it strangely disappeared, while no one seemingly could tell what daring hand had removed it. The honour of that feat has been ascribed by Howie to Mr Alexander Hamilton, at that time a student in the University of Edinburgh, and who afterwards was minister for twelve years in Guthrie's pastoral charge at Stirling.
We have been thus minute in our account of the martyr's trial and death, because his execution forms an important epoch in the history of our church. He was the first who suffered for vindicating the supremacy of Christ over civil authority in the government of his spiritual kingdom-the first of an almost countless throng of victims who bravely followed his example, and whose blood still cries from behind the altar, "How long, O Lord, how long?" The injustice of the charges, and the illegality of his death, will have already been sufficiently apparent. Of this indeed Charles himself, notwithstanding his habitual indifference to right and wrong, appears to have been fully conscious; for on being told that Guthrie was executed, he asked with much eagerness, what they had done with Patrick Gillespie, at that time lying under a similar charge. When they told him that the latter had so many friends in the Scottish Parliament, that his life could not be taken, the king answered, "If I had known you would have spared Mr Gillespie, I would have spared Mr Guthrie." He knew that the last was a man of unflinching loyalty, and not easily to be led into opposition against the royal
will, while the former was but a waverer, and little to be trusted. But such a regret was not likely to remain long with the crowned epicure, who reduced all to the standard of his own gratification, and who could say afterwards of Lauderdale," He has done many bad things in Scotland, but nothing against my interests."
The whole private walk and demeanour of Guthrie corresponded with the events of his public life. Such was the perspicuity of his judgment, and his dialectic power, that he was frequently called by his friends a "master of reasoning," a title which he nobly vindicated, not only in familiar discussions, but also in the able defence which he made upon his trial. He had, moreover, such a command of temper, that he never suffered himself to be ruffled even in the most trying debates; and when any anger or impatience was manifested, he usually broke off with such words as these: "We must now give it over, for if we turn any way passionate, the true end of this present exercise is entirely lost." So consistent was his daily walk with God, that James Cowie declared, he got more good from his master's habitual conduct, than from all his Of Guthrie's Christian humility also, the same individual was known to give the following interesting account. The minister was wont in family devotion, to pray for one present, as woefully ignorant, unworthy, and prone to evil, and this in language so lowly and abasing, that the poor precentor thought himself to be described, and that his master had a worse opinion of him than the real state of matters could justify. One day, therefore, he respectfully desired to know what he had done, so deeply to offend him and was astonished, after an explanation, to
find, that Guthrie had applied these terms to his own case and character, and not to those of the humble servitor. At one time when he was so heavily stricken with disease, that death was anticipated, he caused James Cowie to read to him the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans; and when the latter came to that passage, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," Guthrie bursting into tears exclaimed, "I have nothing else to lippen* to."
The natural temperament of this eminent sufferer appears to have been that of a cheerful person, who in less trying times, and with his amount of talent and scholarship, would have bequeathed not a few facetious sayings which posterity would gladly have cherished. But it was not until he had fought the good fight, and when the crown was within his reach, that his original tendency showed itself-and then, as we have seen, it was only in a few chastened glimpses, at a time when greater buoyancy would have been inconsistent and out of place. To look at his picture, as given in the original painting, the expression of his countenance is that of fixed melancholy, such as frequently distinguishes the features of persons who live amidst trying events, and whose resolution is habitually strung either to dare or suffer. During his life-long career, he had neither leisure nor mood for jesting; and the events by which he was surrounded, and in which he was mainly an actor, would have made any heart sad. His friends one day were blaming him, at table, for his saturnine demeanour and mournful looks, when he replied, " An it were not for one thing, I could be as hearty with you as any man." They pressed him to know what this "one thing" was, and
he told them, that it was the low condition to which he saw the work of God reduced in Scotland. Not a few of these afflictions by which his countenance was saddened, arose from the laxity or defection of his personal friends, who in many cases yielded, and left him to struggle alone. On one of these occasions, when the prospect of persecution for the truth was most menacing, Mr Rollock, the minister of Perth, a jocose man, said to him one day, "We have a Scotch proverb, Jouk* that the wave may go o'er you'will ye jouk a little, Mr Guthrie ?" "Mr Rollock," replied the other gravely, "there is no jouking in the cause of Christ."
We have thus endeavoured, from scanty and broken materials, to present not a portraiture, but a few prominent features of a true Scottish hero-of one who endured the worst in behalf of the highest and holiest interests of his country. It is to be regretted that so little remains of such a distinguished character, either in the form of printed works or personal narrative. Most of his papers were upon the great controversy of the period between the Resolutioners and Protesters. We believe only one of his sermons has hitherto been printed, being his last preached at Stirling, entitled a "Cry from the Dead," and which was published in 1738. We humbly hope, that the two additional mites which we have cast into the treasury of the sanctuary, being two of his sermons hitherto unpublished, will be blessed by the Lord of the temple to the hearts of our readers, to whom we affectionately commit our labours. These discourses, which we have in this instance selected as specimens of
* Duck, stoop.