Exit With Conscience Clear

The Son followed two guards up the steps, as the crowd jostled with renewed excitement. His right foot gave him some difficulty. Thanks to nine hours in the "boot". The day was sunny, and his cell-darkened eyes winced in the glare. The sea of faces before and beneath him showed a variety of expressions. Some there to gape with a strange sense of superiority at the coming spectacle of death. Some, from the despised conventicle, who lowered their heads 'neath caps and shawls, but made the appearance for show of respect.

The noose was affixed. The Sergeant inquired as to any intended last words from this hillside preacher; also combatant in the struggle against His Majesty's prescribed Church.

"Yes I most gladly speak in loving thanks and confidence toward all-worthy Christ my Saviour. He sees my short inconvenience. He finishes my dwelling near His side. All my springs are in Him. He has heard my heart's prayers for the budding once again of true religion in Scotland; of unharassed assembly; of pleasant discourse between loving shepherd and flock. He will not stay His hand too long. Dragoons' curses and muskets will soon be silenced. "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day..."

The Sergeant motioned to the drummers to commence, so as to drown out the speaker and to heighten the sense of spectacle and deterrent. The noose cinched down. The hood. The final reading of the psalm. The yank of the lever. The rag doll dropped and stopped. The collective gasp.

But also the anguished cry of one senior voice. The Father broke ranks and bolted to the scaffold base. Nearly blinded by tears. With one leap he embraced the midriff of his struggling Son and held, whispering, "Go now, my blessed boy, my champion. Go to Jesus."

The added weight hurried things along.


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