The plague epidemic reached Edinburgh in 1645. At the end of 1644, before it reached the town, the blind minister Archibald Skeldie preached a sermon that still has many insights for facing pandemic diseases today. One of these lessons relates to the danger of excessive fear.
“A Christian, after death, will not much care what way he hath died; whether by fever or pestilence, by natural or violent death, seeing he is delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” (Archibald Skeldie)
It’s the mausoleum of an apothecary called John Livingstone (The crest on the gravestone is the Livingstone crest) who died in 1645, likely as a result of the plague that swept through the city killed up to half the population. The other inscription on the gravestone still speaks to us today about how to live amidst a time of pandemic disease and fears.
“This saint, whose corpse lies buried here,
Let all posterity admire
For upright life in godly fear.
When judgments did this land surround
He, with God, was walking found
For which, from midst of fears, he’s crowned.
Here to be interred both he
And friends by providence agree
No age shall lose his memory.
His age 53
For more information about this location, visit Historic Environment Scotland’s website.
TO dig deeper, visit ScotlandsForgottenHistory.com
To dig deeper, visit ScotlandsForgottenHistory.com