Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reformation Day

Alright, I suppose I should post something about my character for the day. :)  

 I am Marion Braidfoot Wallace for the day, as her story has made a major impact on me.

 Some would not classify her as a Reformer, as she lived in the 1200's and not much is known about her. 
 But I would assert that she was indeed a Reformer, in that she supported her husband in his endeavors, and thereby preserved to us one of the greatest Christians to grace this earth.

 Marion knew God's Word, and she knew her husband (William Wallace) would follow the laws of his God, and Country at all costs. 
 When his life was threatened, she; being called upon to reveal his hiding place; refused to say. And was herself murdered in his place. 

 Unlike the way these people were portrayed in the movie Braveheart, they were Godly, virtuous people, and worthy to be emulated. :) 

 Lady Wallace was indeed Proverbs 31 woman. She reached out to all around her, from her home at Ellerslie. 

 An excerpt from my favorite book - 

 "Ellerslie was the refuge of the friendless, and the comfort of the unhappy.  Wherever Lady Wallace moved, --- whether looking out from her window on the accidental passenger, or taking her moonlight walks through the glen, leaning on the arm of her husband, --- she had the rapture of hearing his steps greeted and followed by the blessing of the poor destitute, and the prayers of them who were ready to perish.  It was then that this happy woman would raise her husband's hand to her lips, and, in silent adoration, thank God for blessing her with e being made so truly in His own image."

 After Wallace had taken up arms, and rescued a fellow Scot (Lord Donald Mar) from the tyranny of the English governor of Lanark, and in the contest had killed the governors nephew: English troops were sent to Ellerslie to kill him.  Marion knew her husband so well, and trusted him, because he trusted God; that she made these answers to the officer of the English troops which has come.

 In reference to the soldiers who were sent into the house to find Wallace...
 "They obeyed; but others, who had gained admittance to the tower through
the now forced gates, soon ran to him with information that the
murderer could nowhere be found.

"But here is a gay ladie," cried one; "perhaps she can tell of his
hiding-place." And at moment Marion, with Halbert, (Halbert was the faithful servant) appeared amongst a
band of men.  The lighted torches which the soldiers held, shone full on her face.  Though pale as monumental marble, the exquisite beauty of
her features, and the calm dignity which commanded from her eyes, awed
the officer into respect and admiration.

"Soldiers, stand back!" cried he, advancing to Lady Wallace.  "Fear
not, madam."  As the words passed his lips, a flight of arrows flew
into the bosom of the tree.  A piercing shriek from Marion was her only
answer.  "Hah! my lady's falcon!" cried Halbert alarmed, doubly, for
the fate of his master.  A sudden agitation of the branches having
excited an indefinite suspicion in a body of archers who stood near,
with one impulse they had discharged their arrows to the spot.
Halbert's ready excuse, both for the disturbance in the tree and his
lady's shriek, was prompted and warranted true by the appearance of a
large bird, which the rushing of the arrows had frighted from her nest;
she rose suddenly from amongst the branches, and soared away, far to
the east, with loud screams.  (Wallace was hiding in the tree)

 All being again still, Marion hoped that her husband had escaped any
serious injury from the arrows; and turning with recovered composure to
the officer, heard him, with a glow of comfort, reprimand his men for
daring to draw their bows without his orders.  Then addressing her, "I
beg your pardon, madam," said he, "both for the alarm these hot-headed
men have occasioned you, and for the violence they have committed in
forcing one of your sex and beauty before me.  Had I expected to have
found a lady here, I should have issued orders to have prevented this
outrage; but I am sent hither in quest of Sir William Wallace, who, by
a mortal attack made on the person of the Governor of Lanark's nephew,
has forfeited his life.  The scabbard of his sword, found beside the
murdered Heselrigge, is an undeniable proof of his guilt.  Direct us to
find him, and not only your release, but the favor of the English
monarch will await your allegiance.

 "I am Sir William Wallace's wife," returned the gentle Marion, in a
firm tone; "and by what authority you seek him thus, and presume to
call him guilty, I cannot understand."
"By the authority of the laws, madam, which he has violated."
"What laws?" rejoined she; "Sir William Wallace acknowledges none but
those of God and his country.  Neither of these has he transgressed."

 The officer replied, "This night he assassinated Arthur Heselrigge in
the streets of Lanark; and that condemns him, by the last declaration
of King Edward: Whatever Scot maltreats any one of the English
soldiers, or civil officers garrisoned in the towns of Scotland, shall
thereby forfeit his life, as the penalty of his crime."
"A tyrant's law, sir, to which no freeborn Scot will submit!  But even
were it allowed by my countrymen, in this case it can have no hold on
my husband.  That he is a Scot, he glories: and not that he maltreated
any Englishman in the streets of Lanark, do I glory; but because, when
he saw two defenseless men borne down by a band of armed soldiers, he
exposed his unshielded breast in their defense; one of the two died,
covered with wounds.  That the governor's nephew also fell, was a just
retribution for his heading so unequal a contest, and no crime in Sir
William Wallace; for he slew him to preserve a feeble old man, who had
a hundred English swords leveled at his life."

 The officer paused for a moment, and then, ordering his soldiers to
fall further back, when they were at a sufficient distance, he offered
to take Lady Wallace's hand.  She withstood his motion with a reserved
air, and said, "Speak, sir, what you would say, or allow me to retire."
"I mean not to offend you, noble lady," continued he; "had I a wife
lovely as yourself, and I in like circumstances, I hope in the like
manner would defend my life and honor.  I knew not the particulars of
the affair in which Arthur Heselrigge fell, till I heard it from your
lips.  I can easily credit them, for I know his unmanly character.
Wallace is a Scot, and acted in Scotland as Gilbert Hambledon would
have done in England, were it possible for any vile foreigner to there
put his foot upon the neck of a countryman of mine. Wherever you have
concealed your husband, let it be a distant asylum.  At present no
tract within the jurisdiction of Lanark will be left unsearched by the
governor's indefatigable revenge."

 After this Hambledon left.  But Heselrigge came himself later, and confronted Marion. 

 "Woman!" cried he, "I am the Governor of Lanark.  You now stand before
the representative of the great King Edward, and on your allegiance to
him, and on the peril of your life, I command you to answer me three
questions.  Where is Sir William Wallace, the murderer of my nephew?
Who is that old Scot, for whom my nephew was slain?  He and his whole
family shall meet my vengeance!  And tell me where is that box of
treasure which your husband stole from Douglas Castle?  Answer me these
questions on your life."

 Lady Wallace remained silent.

"Speak, woman," demanded the governor.  "If fear cannot move you, know
that I can reward as well as avenge.  I will endow you richly, if you
declare the truth.  If you persist to refuse, you die."
"Then I die," replied she, scarcely opening her half-closed eyes, as
she leaned, fainting and motionless, against the soldier who held her.

 "What?" cried the governor, stifling his rage, in hopes to gain by
persuasion on a spirit he found threats could not intimidate; "can so
gentle a lady reject the favor of England, large grants in this
country, and perhaps a fine English knight for a husband, when you
might have all for the trifling service of giving up a traitor to his
liege lord, and confessing where his robberies lie concealed?  Speak,
fair dame; give me this information, and the lands of the wounded
chieftain whom Wallace brought here, with the hand of the handsome Sir
Gilbert Hambledon, shall be your reward.  Rich, and a beauty in
Edward's court!  Lady, can you now refuse to purchase all, by declaring
the hiding place of the traitor Wallace?"

"It is easier to die!"

"Fool!" cried Heselrigge, driven from his assumed temper by her steady
denial.  "What? is it easier for these dainty limbs to be hacked to
pieces by my soldiers' axes?  Is it easier for that fair bosom to be
trodden underfoot by my horse's hoofs, and for that beauteous head of
thine to decorate my lance?  Is all this easier than to tell me where
to find a murderer and his gold?"

Lady Wallace shuddered; she stretched her hands to heaven.

 "Speak once for all!" cried the enraged governor, drawing his sword; "I
am no waxen-hearted Hambledon, to be cajoled by your beauty.  Declare
where Wallace is concealed, or dread my vengeance."
The horrid steel gleamed across the eyes of the unhappy Marion; unable
to sustain herself, she sunk to the ground.

"Kneel not to me for mercy!" cried the fierce wretch; "I grant none,
unless you confess your husband's hiding-place."

A momentary strength darted from the heart of Lady Wallace to her
voice, "I kneel to Heaven alone, and may it ever preserve my Wallace
from the fangs of Edward and his tyrants!"

 "Blasphemous wretch!" cried the infuriated Heselrigge; and in that
moment he plunged his sword into her defenseless breast. "

 "There sleeps the pride and hope of Ellerslie, the mother with her
child!  O my master, my widowed master," cried he, "what will comfort

 If Marion had not taken the word the Lord seriously, and obey them; if she had not been in support of her husband, and been willing to shield him with her life... one of the greatest Christian's in history would have died before he had completed the work God had for him. 

 The story of Wallace yet inspires others to emulate Christ, as he did.  But we wouldn't have his story, if it hadn't been for Marion. 

 Women played a large role in the reformation.... through being in support of their husbands. 

 "Scotsmen!" cried Wallace, waving the fatal sword, which blazed in the
glare of these northern lights like a flaming brand, "behold how the
heavens cry aloud to you!  I come, in the midst of their fires, to call
you to vengeance.  I come in the name of all ye hold dear, of the wives
of you bosoms, and the children in their arms, to tell you the poniard
of England is unsheathed-innocence and age and infancy fall before it.
With this sword, last night, did Heselrigge, the English tyrant of
Lanark, break into my house, and murder my wife!"

 This is what was said of Marion, even when not mush is known of her...

 "Many tears followed his (Halbert's) recital; not one of his auditors was an
indifferent listener; all had individually or in persons dear to them,
partaken of the tender Marion's benevolence.  Their sick beds had been
comforted by her charity; her voice had often administered consolation
to their sorrows; her hand had smoothed their pillows, and placed the
crucifix before their dying eyes.  Some had recovered to bless her, and
some had departed to record her virtues in heaven." 

 We women can emulate Marion, in that she emulated Christ.  She was willing to lay down her life, in obedience to Christ.  We can do the same. 

 Marion was a reformer, in that she challenges the conventional idea of what it is to be a woman. And how we, as women, can obey God, and let Him do a work in us, from our own domains... the home. 

 *Quotes taken from the book Scottish Chiefs by Miss Jane Porter
The book may be found here...

 I will hopefully be posting more about Marion in the near future.

   In the service of my Father

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