Scotland’s Forgotten International Covenant – SFH089

Scotland’s Forgotten International Covenant – SFH089

What was the connection between reformation and covenant? Why did English puritans as well as Scots come to think it was necessary to have a covenant for the whole British Isles?  Most people today know little about the Solemn League and Covenant and what makes it different from the National Covenant. Yet it would certainly cost both blood and tears in Scotland. Over a number of episodes we can follow something of its history and influence, as well as how people responded to it. In this episode we look at the context that gave rise to it.

Alexander Reid’s “Very Remarkable” Experiences – Kirkliston Church – SFH088

Alexander Reid’s “Very Remarkable” Experiences – Kirkliston Church – SFH088

Many narrow escapes and other experiences filled the life of the man marked by a fine table stone grave at Kirkliston Parish Church. Alexander Reid from Broxburn tells us a lot about his experiences in evading capture. He wrote it all down at the end of his life as a record of “the Lord’s mercies to my body, to my soul, and towards the church of God, which has been very remarkable in my days”.

How Peden’s Ministry Began (But Almost Did Not) – Biggar Kirk  – SFH087

How Peden’s Ministry Began (But Almost Did Not) – Biggar Kirk – SFH087

We visit the last church to be built in Scotland before the Reformation to discover some of its later history. In 1659, the Covenanter Alexander Peden was here and about to begin his ministry when some dramatic events threatened to put a stop to it. It was said that his anguished prayers could be heard as he paced up and down by the side of the river on stormy winter nights. Jimmy Fisher explains what happened and the significance of Alexander Peden in this episode.

A Strange Transformation, James Harkness and the Captain – Biggar  – SFH086

A Strange Transformation, James Harkness and the Captain – Biggar – SFH086

James Harkness from Dumfriesshire was the special object of loathing for the dragoons. They called him Harkness with the “long gun” and were only too pleased to capture him and treat him with brutal contempt. But strangely, that experience was going to turn out for good to the captain of the persecuting dragoons. Jimmy Fisher tells us more about an unusual incident with lasting consequences which took place in the town of Biggar.

“Hanged Without Trial” – Peter Gillies, Skirling – SFH085

“Hanged Without Trial” – Peter Gillies, Skirling – SFH085

We find out about the Covenanter connections with the pretty little village of Skirling. While there is not much information about James Ramage and Alexander Smith, we know much more about Peter Gillies. Driven out of his native district he narrowly escaped from soldiers sent to arrest him. But the next time the curate reported him the soldiers seized him and before he was carried away cruelly interrogated him. Follow his tragic story as told by Jimmy Fisher. Peter’s wife was involved in this incident and she received a letter from her husband while he was a prisoner. It is full of affection and faith committing her and their five children (one newly born) to God’s care.

A Haven from Persecution – Greenhill House, Biggar – SFH084

A Haven from Persecution – Greenhill House, Biggar – SFH084

Often the scene of danger, Greenhill House now stands in a tranquil corner of the town of Biggar. Lady Greenhill was a wise and courageous protector of Covenanters who sought out her home as a place of refuge. She was a wanted woman by the authorities. Once Claverhouse arrived suddenly with a band of soldiers and there was no time to escape or hide. “Is Lady Greenhill within?” he demanded. ” I am Lady Greenhill,” she replied coolly. “If you were the lady, you would not so readily acknowledge it.” Her working clothes made her seem like a mere servant. After a search, they once again demanded the same question. She replied: “I am all that you will get for Lady Greenhill today”. Enraged they continued to search but got nowhere. Listen to some other stories connected to this remarkable place. Once a museum, sadly it is being sold, there are photographs of the interior here. You can sign a petition to retain the house for the community here.