Alexander Peden was born in 1626. He died in 1686 and never married. In all Scottish literature he is known as Prophet Peden. He prophesied things about nations that came to pass. He was always running from the law because of the message he preached. He preached that Jesus was the head of the Church and the English Church said that the King was the head of the church. This mask and wig pictured here is what he often wore to evade the soldiers and are on display in a British museum.
He never had a home but had to always be moving around. He always seemed to know how long he could stay at a home before the authorities came after him. He was famous for this.
One night, in his old age, the soldiers were behind him on horseback catching up to him and he cried out to God. He always referred to himself as “poor old Sandy.” He looked up to heaven and said, “Oh Lord, would you just through you cloak over poor old Sandy?” All of a sudden a fog rolled in, covering up the horsemen. It was so thick that the English could not see one another let alone Alexander Peden.
One time he was caught and imprisoned for just over 4 years. There a young girl that looked through his prison cell and mocked him. And Peden told her that she only had a few hours left to live. Within two to three hours she was washed off the island they were on.
A guard, shortly after that, looked through is prison door and mocked him. Peden told him that not long from now the Spirit of the Lord will fall on you and you will change your mind. It was reported that in less than an hour the guard began to weep and was converted.
In 1682 he officiated the wedding a very godly Scottish couple, John Brown and Isabella Weir. John Brown was farmer but very godly, always helping the persecuted pastors and prophets. Following the ceremony he took Isabella aside and told her, “Today, you have gotten a good man. Prize his company highly. For you shall not enjoy him very long. When you least expect it he will come to a bloody end. Always keep a linen burial sheet close by, because you will be needing it.” What a wedding day prophecy. Every day she thanked God for another day she had John Brown and treasured that relationship.
By 1685 they had two children, a baby boy and a girl almost 2 years old. It was the night of April 30, 1685, Alexander Peden came to their house to spend the night. Early in the morning, before the sun was up, he was heard going out the door saying, “Poor woman, a dark misty morning, Poor woman.”
At 6:00 a.m. John was out in his field when a troop of English soldiers was led by John Graham of Claverhouse, came up and arrested him. John Graham has gone down in history as simply “Claverhouse.” He brought John back to his house and asked him, “Will you repent of your conviction the Christ is the head of the church rather than the King of England?”
Standing beside John Brown was his wife, who was holding the baby, and their little girl. And John Brown said, “No, I will not.”
Then Claverhouse said, “Well, then say your prayers for you shall immediately die.”
John Brown dropped to his knees and he began to pray. Then he stood back up and looked down at Isabelle and said, “Isabelle, you see me, shortly, summoned before the court of our Redeemer, to be a witness in his cause. Are you willing that I should be parted from you?”
Isabelle looked into his eyes and said, “Hartley willing.”
He took her into his arms and he kissed her. Then he kissed his baby boy that was in her arms. Then he knelt down beside his two year old girl. He took her by the hand and said, “My sweet child, always put your hand in God’s hand as your guide. And be a comfort to your mother.”
Then he stood up and he looked up to heaven and said, “Blessed be thou oh Holy Spirit who speaketh more comfort to my heart than the voice of my oppressors can speak terror to my ears.”
This enraged Claverhouse and he order six of his soldiers to shoot John Brown on the spot, but the soldiers remained motionless. They would not draw their weapons. They could not kill someone who love his God that much, who loved his wife that much, who was willing to lay down his life for his God and who had no unkind words for his enemies.
Claverhouse drew his own pistol and shot John Brown right through the head. Brown fell crumpled at the feet of his wife.
Isabelle took off her apron and knelt down and rapped his shattered head with it. Claver house asked her, “Well woman, what thinkest thou now of thy husband?”
Isabelle looked up and she said, “I have always thought well of him, but never more than at this moment.
It was now 7:00 a.m. and Alexander Peden was 11 miles away. He was entering the gate of his friend, John Muirhead’s house. He banged on the door and asked the family to gather around the fireplace with him. He knelt down and said, “Oh Lord, Let the blood of Brown be precious in Thy sight. How long before Thou wilt avenge the blood of John Brown.”
Muirhead grabbed him by the arm and asked him, “What are you talking about?”
Peden said, “This morning, just as the sun was rising, I saw a strange thing in the sky. I saw a bright and shining star fall to the earth. Truly this day, the greatest Christian I have ever conversed has fallen. Claverhouse has been at Priesthill this morning and he has shot John Brown dead and his widow, Isabelle, kneels at his corps with no one to speak comfort to her.
Back at Priesthill the soldiers had all gone. Isabelle gets up and she walks into the house and she gets the linen burial sheet that she has reserved for this very day, since the day of her wedding. And she goes over to the body, and with a shattered heart she begins to wrap the body in that linen burial sheet. But her heart was not shattered over wasted days. She made the most of every day with John because God used a man to prepare of this day.
Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, 1998
The Fulfilling of Scripture by Robert Flemming, 1668
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