Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

1 June 1661 A.D. Mr. (Rev.) James Guthrie, Scots Covenanter, hung-by-the-neck.

1 June 1661 A.D.  Mr. (Rev.) James Guthrie, Scots Covenanter, hung-by-the-neck.

Dr. Rusten tells the story.  Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003. Available at:

James Guthrie was born to a well-to-do Anglican family in Scotland in 1612. He attended St. Andrews University.  He attended weekly prayer meetings and became friends with Scotland’s famous theologian, Samuel Rutherford.  He left St. Andrews in 1638 to enter the Presbyterian ministry.

In 1638, he signed the National Covenant, a coalition to uphold the Reformed faith and Presbyterian government.  The Emperor, south of the Scottish border, Charles II and his Arminian bully, Mr. (Canterbury) Billygoat Laud, were attempting to enforce episcopalianism on the nation…along with Laud’s deviant theology full of oddities and Arminianism.  The Covenant was also designed to keep the church free of state control, something that never succeeded south of the border…even to this day.

Mr. Guthrie served as a Pastor through the 1st and 2nd English Civil Wars (1642-1648).

Emperor Charles II was executed by the English Parliament in 1649.

Upon restoration of the monarchy, England’s new Emperor, Charles II, restored and enforced episcopalianism on Scotland.

Mr. (Rev.) Guthrie led 12 Scotsmen to petition the Emperor to keep his earlier promises prior to accession.  Charles II had Rev. Guthrie thrown in jail.

He was tried before the “well-named Drunken Parliament.”  He was sentenced to be hanged, his head to be placed on a pike, and his inheritance and property to be confiscated.

Before his hanging on 1 Jun 1661, he told the crowd:

“I take God to record upon my soul, I would not exchange this scaffold with the palace and mitre of the greatest prelate in Britain.  Blessed by God who has shown mercy to me such a wretch, and has revealed His Son in me…Jesus Christ is my Life and my Light, my Righteousness, my Strength, and my Salvation and all my desire.  Him! O Him, I do with all the strength of my soul commend to you.   Bless Him, O my soul, from henceforth even forever.  Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

He head was cut off and placed on a pike.  It stayed on that pike high above Netherbrow Port of Edinburgh for 27 years.


Douglas, J.D. “Guthrie, James.” DSCHT. 381.

Howie, The Scots Worthies. 257-68.

Purves. Fair Sunshine. 13-21.

Smellie. Men of the Covenant. 88-99.

No comments: