Cloud of Witnesses

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Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce was one of the most distinguished men of his time. He was born about the year 1554, and bred to the study of the law; but in consequence of strong conscientious feelings, he was led to prefer that of divinity, and became before long one of the ministers in Edinburgh. Here he shone as a great light, and forthwith became principal actor in the affairs of the church, and a strenuous maintainer of its established forms. He thus exposed himself to much persecution, which he endured with unshrinking constancy. He concluded a long and arduous life in a manner which deserves to be recorded, giving a short but striking testimony to the strength and reality of his faith and his hope.

For some time previous to his death, which happened in August 1631, he was, through age and infirmity, mostly confined to his chamber. Being frequently visited by friends and acquaintances, he was on one occasion asked by one of them, how matters stood between  God and his soul? He made this reply, ' When I was young, I was diligent, and lived by faith on the Son of God; but now I am old and not able to do so much, and yet He condescends to feed me with lumps of sense and experience.'

On the morning before he was removed, his sickness consisting chiefly of age, he came to breakfast; and having, as usual, eaten an egg, he said to his daughters, ' I think I am yet hungry, you may bring me another egg.' But instantly thereafter, falling into deep meditation, and after having mused a little, he said, ' Hold, daughter, My Maker calls me!' Upon these words his sight failed him; and calling for his family Bible, but finding he could not see, he said, ' Cast up to me the eighth chapter of the epistle to the Romans, and set my finger on these words, I am persuaded that neither death nor life, etc shall separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. 'Now,' said he, ' is my finger upon them?' and being told it was, he said, ' Now God be with you my children; I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night.' And so, like Abraham of old, he gave up the ghost in a good old age, and was gathered to his people.