Monday, April 21, 2008

Andrew Duncan's Will


There have been so many blessings that have come to me in my reading of the One Year Christian History devotional that I told you about on another post. Lately, the blessing was in the form of a Last Will and Testament of a godly man named Andrew Duncan, dated April 14, 1626. Wow. His thinking in his will is along the lines that all of us should want to have about ourselves, our children, and our possessions.

About himself, he said:

". . . First, as touching myself, body and soul; my soul I leave to Christ Jesus, who gave it, and when it was lost, redeemed it, that He may send His holy angels to transport it to the bosom of Abraham, there to enjoy all happiness and contentment; and as for this frail body, I commend it to the grave, there to sleep and rest, as in a sweet bed, until the day of refreshment, when it shall be reunited to the soul . . ."

How's that for the right perspective about ourselves? I love the view of life and death that was realized by these old saints of long ago.

About his children, he said:

"As for the children whom God hath given me, for which I thank His Majesty, I leave them to His providence, to be governed and cared for by Him, beseeching Him to be the tutor, curator, and agent, in all their adoes, yea, and a father; and that He would lead them by His gracious Spirit, through this evil world; that they be profitable instruments . . . holding their course to heaven, and comforting themselves with the glorious and fair-to-look-on heritage, which Christ hath conquered for them, and for all that love Him . . ."

Beautiful! Are we raising our children in such a way that we can have the assurance that Mr. Duncan seemed to have, that we are leaving them to the care of their heavenly Father? And are we making the choices for them now that will give us hope that He will be their tutor, curator, and agent, after we've gone?

Of his possessions, he said:

"As concerning my temporal goods, the baggage and blathrie of the earth, as I have gotten them in the world off God's liberal hand, so I leave them behind me in the world; giving most humble and hearty thanks unto my heavenly Father for so long and comfortable loan of the same."

What can I say? Our early possessions are at the best "baggage" for the journey, but this is a reminder that we will not be taking them with us when we leave here. So, they all should be held with a loose hand, at best, while being thankful to the Lord for them. (I don't know what the word "blathrie" means and couldn't find it in the dictionary. Do you know? Maybe it's some old English word, or some spelling difference.)

Folks, this Last Will and Testament is a prayer. Would it be that we all would have a perspective like Mr. Duncan when we make out our wills.

11 comments:

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Wow, what an amazing life of trust in His Father God and Savior Jesus. I especially was moved by this, "beseeching Him to be the tutor, curator, and agent, in all their adoes". Tutor, curator and agent, yes, I pray for that too for my children, oh how I pray that.

As for the word blathrie, I Googled it. It looks like it is Scottish in origin and means essentially "not wholesome, or dross, or conterfeit instead of real gold". It also is a term that can refer to the phlegm that is forced up in coughing.

Interesting, eh?

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Oh, here's an additional meaning for blathrie, "Nonsense". That makes sense in what he is saying, "As concerning my temporal goods, the baggae and blathrie (nonsense) of the earth..."

Maxine said...

Susan, thanks for looking that up for me! I didn't think of googling it. Now, that does make sense. So much of what we accumulate here is nonsense, that for sure! I'm glad we don't take it with us.

Cathy said...

A very interesting and beautiful post, Maxine ~

Mishel said...

This was very good. In the last year we have had to deal with issues concerning a family member's will--and it's been a nightmare. What a difference it would have made to have this perspective.

sparrow's song said...

A beautifully thought out and expressed will.

you shared from the writings,

"As concerning my temporal goods, the baggage and blathrie of the earth, as I have gotten them in the world off God's liberal hand, so I leave them behind me in the world; giving most humble and hearty thanks unto my heavenly Father for so long and comfortable loan of the same."

I'm wondering also, if individuals aren't on loan to us as well on this earth. Since He is the creator of us all, we don't own or possess anyone. For that reason alone, we can only allow ourselves to be loved instead of demand it because we cannot claim ownership of any person.

Maxine said...

Yes, Cathy, I thought it a blessing to read a will that is so devotional.

Mishel, sorry to hear about those problems in the family, but sadly, this is not too uncommon.

Sparrow, that is such a good point. Our loved ones are God's possessions ultimately also. In a sense we leave them behind or they us, but in another sense we can hope to take them with us.

Cami said...

Yes, as soon as I read "blathrie," I thought, "Scottish." We read George MacDonald, and he uses a lot of his Scottish language in his books.

I don't know about wills, but I do know about prayer, and the importance it has on posterity; ours, and the world's. Just so you know, I've started a "Prayer for Today" at my forum, and I plan on posting a new prayer every morning that I can, if you'd like to peek in and share it in your heart. You can reach it through the link on my website.

Bless you, Maxine!

Mimi said...

what a beautiful reminder for all of this that this world is just temporary... and all that we have will become worthless baggage...
I love the thought of leaving our loved ones to the care of our Heavenly Father...
I need to step out of the picture more often while I am still here on earth and let God be the one in control where they are concerned...
I think I can fix everything for them...and it just can't work that way...
Mimi

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. It makes me think and consider. I so appreciate your posting this. connie from Texas

Maxine said...

Cami, Mimi and Connie, I'm glad you all got to read this. It touched me deeply--I want to leave it here for a day or so more so that it will be the first thing that's read if anyone stops by. Think what a testimony this man is being so many years after he's gone. What more could anyone want in life (and death)?