Cloud of Witnesses

Index Page

 

Andrew Duncan

Of Mr Duncan's birth and parentage we have no account. In 1581, he occupied the place of a regent in St. Leonard's college, St. Andrews. He was afterwards settled as minister of Crail, in Fife, and became signally distinguished by the sufferings he endured, in favour of the Presbyterian polity. He was ultimately banished to France; but after several years exile, was allowed to return, upon making some acknowledgements. the following copy of his latter will may be regarded as his testimony to the truths of the Gospel. It bears the date 14th April, 1626.

I, Andrew Duncan, a sinful human being, Christ's unworthy minister in His glorious Gospel, being sickly and weak, worn out with years of this loathsome prison, this body of death, because of sin; and having received sundry advertisements and summonses from my Master to flit out of this uncouth country, the region of death, home to my native land; and now sitting upon the prison door threshold, ready to obey, waiting till the sad messenger be sent to convey me home to that glorious palace, even the heavenly Jerusalem, that I may enter into possession of my heritage, even that glorious kingdom in eternity, which Christ came down from heaven to conquer for me; and then went up to prepare and possess it in my name, as my attorney, until it pleased His majesty to take me thither, that I may in my own person possess it, I proceed to set down the declaration of my latter will, concerning those things which God hath lent me in this lost world; in manner following:

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, and shall be set down at the table with the holy patriarchs, prophets, and apostles; yea shall be placed on the throne with Christ, and get the crown of glory on my head.

As for the children whom God hath given me, ( for which I thank Him), 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 affairs, yea, and a father; and that He would lead them by His gracious Spirit, through this evil world: that they may be profitable instruments, both in Kirk and commonwealth, to set out His glory; beseeching them on the other part, (as they would have God's blessing, and mine in all their affairs,) to set Him before their eyes, and to walk in His ways, living peaceably in His fear, in all humility and meekness, with all those they have ado with; holding their course to heaven, and comforting themselves with the glorious and fair to look at heritage, which Christ hath conquered for them, and for all that love Him.

Under God, I leave John Duncan, my eldest son, to be tutor to my youngest daughter, Bessie Duncan, his youngest sister, to take a care of her, and to see that all turns go right, touching her person and gear. For executors, I leave my three sons, John, William and David, to do my turns after me, and to put in practice my directions; requesting them to be good and comfortable to their sisters, but chiefly to the two that are at home, as they would have God's blessing and mine. Concerning my temporal goods, the baggage of the earth, as I have gotten them in the world from 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.