The Story of Margaret Wilson, the Scottish Covenanter

Scotland, Late 17th century

   Times were hard. King Charles II had declared himself to be head of the church, or kirk, as the Scottish called it. The people were required to attend churches where bishops appointed by the king preached sermons with little Scripture and much speaking against those who opposed the king.
   But there was a small group of Christians who decided they would rather die than disobey God. They made a covenant with God—pledging to recognize Jesus Christ as Head of the church and Lord of their lives. They became known as the Scottish Covenanters.
   Among these was a young girl named Margaret Wilson. When Margaret was about eighteen, she decided she could no longer in good conscience attend the kirk the king commanded them to. She owned the covenant and was willing to do whatever Jesus asked of her.
   Soon her fifteen-year-old brother, Thomas, and thirteen-year-old sister, Agnes, decided also to worship as God told them. These three siblings decided their lives were about Jesus. He was worth it all. They were willing to do anything He asked of them. And before long, the time came when they were forced into hiding.
   For months, they hid in the hills enduring cold, hunger, and danger, but clinging to the promise that Jesus would never leave them.

   But one day, Margaret and Agnes decided to try to see their father. They had not seen him for several months, and when they received word that he would be in a nearby town, they were determined to see him.
   They were betrayed, captured, and thrown into a dungeon that was no more than a hole in the ground.
  The two girls and an elderly widow named Margaret M'Lauchlan were sentenced to die. Margaret and Agnes's father fought for their release and was able to release Agnes, but not Margaret.
   Margaret was ready to die for Jesus. I do not feel alone, for I feel comforted by the Lord's presence, Margaret wrote her parents, I gladly accept whatever He has for me.
   On the morning of May 11, Margaret Wilson and the Widow M'Lauchlan were killed by drowning. The elder Margaret was killed first, tied to a stake when the tide came in. As the waters came over her, a soldier asked the younger Margaret what she saw.
   "I see Christ in one of His members wrestling here," Margaret answered, "Do you think we are the only sufferers? No. It is Christ in us who suffers. He sends none of us to fight alone."
   Then the soldiers bound Margaret Wilson to a stake. Margaret faced death bravely, quoting Romans 8 and singing the 25th psalm. People from the crowd and even some of the soldiers begged her to take the oath and save her life, but she could not break her covenant with Jesus.
   "I am one of Christ's children," she said, "Let me go."


ChosenDaughters: Against the Tide: The Valor of Margaret Wilson by Hope Irvin Marston

Trial and Triumph by Richard M. Hannula

Ten Girls Who Didn't Give In by Irene Howat


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