Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?—Proverbs 20.6

[Letter of John Welch to William Livingston.]
 
A
LETTER BY JOHN WELCH,
To Sir WILLIAM LIVINGSTON,
of Kilsyth.

Another famous prophetical Letter he wrote to Sir William Livingston of Kilsyth, one of the Lords of the College of Justice, whereof this is my Copy.

Right Honourable, my hearty Salutations remembered in the Lord: Your Love and Care many Times have certainly comforted me. And having no other Thing to require, I shall, as I may, desire him who is able to do, and hath undertaken it, to meet you and yours with Consolation in his good Time.

As for the Matter itself, the Bearer will shew you, that what is required is such a Thing, as, in the Sight of our Lord, we may not do, without both the Hazard of our Consciences, and Liberty of Christ's Kingdom, which should be dearer to us than any Thing else. What a Slavery were it to us to bind our Consciences in the Service of our God, in the meanest Point of our Callings, to the Will of Man or Angels; and we are fully resolved, that what we did was acceptable Service to our God, who hath put it up as Service done to him, and has allowed and sealed it to us by many Tokens: So that it were more than high Impiety and Apostasy, to testify the Ruin or Undoing of any Thing, which our God hath ordained to be done. We, Sir, if the Lord will, are yet ready to do more in our Calling, and to suffer more for the same, if so be it will please our God to call us to it, and strengthen us in it; for of ourselves we dare promise nothing; but, in our God, all Things.

As for that Instrument Spotiswood, we are sure the Lord will never bless that Man, but a Malediction lies upon him, and shall accompany all his Doings; and it may be, Sir, your Eyes shall see as great Confusion covering him, ere he go to his Grave, as ever did his Predecessors. Now surely, Sir, I am far from Bitterness; but here I denounce the Wrath of an everlasting God against him, which assuredly shall fall, except it be prevented. Sir, Dagon shall not stand before the Ark of the Lord; and these Names of Blasphemy that he wears of Lord-Bishop and Arch-Bishop, will have a fearful End. Not one Beck is to be given to Haman, suppose he were as great a Courtier as ever he was, suppose the Decree were given out, and sealed with the King's Ring, Deliverance will come to us elsewhere, and not by him, who has been so sore an Instrument, not against our Persons, that were nothing; for I protest to you, Sir, in the Sight of my God, I forgive him all the Evil he has done, or can do to me; but unto Christ's poor Kirk, in stamping under Foot so glorious a Kingdom, and Beauty as was once in this Land; he was helped to cut Sampson's Hair, and to expose him to Mocking; but the Lord will not be mocked: He shall be cast away as a Stone out of a Sling; his Name shall rot, and a Malediction shall fall upon his Posterity after he is gone. Let this, Sir, be a Monument of it, that it was told before, that when it shall come to pass, it may be seen there was Warning given him: And therefore, Sir, seeing I have not the Access my self, if it would please God to move you, I wish you did deliver this hard Message to him, not as from me, but from the Lord.

BLACKNESS, 1605.

Mr. JOHN WELCH.

THE Man upon whom he complains and threatens so sore, was Bishop Spotiswood, at that time designed Archbishop of Glasgow, and this Prophecy was punctually accomplished, though after the Space of forty Years: For, first, the Bishop himself died in a strange Land, and, as many say, in Misery. Next, his Son, Sir Robert Spotiswood, sometime President of the Session, was beheaded by the Parliament of Scotland, at the Market-Cross of St. Andrews, in the Winter, after the Battle of Philiphaugh, to which I my self with many Thousands were Witnesses. And as soon as ever he came to the Scaffold, Mr. Blair, the Minister of the Town, told him, That now Mr. Welch's Prophecy was fulfilled upon him: To which he replied in Anger, That Mr. Welch and he both were false Prophets.

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