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THE LAST WORDS
THE LADY COLTNESS,
WHO DIED, OR RATHER ENTERED INTO ETERNAL LITE AND GLORY,
JUNE 8, 1675.
Lady Stewart Of Coltness, to whom the following tract refers, was the daughter of Mk John Eliot, a younger brother of Eliot of Stobs. She was married in the year 1659 (another account says 1654) to Thomas, eldest son of Sm James Stewart of Kirkfield and Coltness, a zealous friend of the Covenant, and of the Presbyterian interest in Scotland, about the period of Cromwell's invasion. He died at Edinburgh, March 31, 1681, in the seventy-third year of his age, his biographers tell, "with absolute assurance and resignation."1 His son, Sir Thomas, the husband of the lady whose closing scene on earth is here described, was created a knight in 1690, and a baronet by William III. in 1698; and the Collections to which we have referred thus describe her life and departure:—" Never did any end their days with more distinguished marks of a divine work of happy faith and assurance. She had been a sanct indeed all her life long, but she finished her course gloriously. Her last words were taken by the accurato and faithful pen of a reverend minister, and her elogy was composed by that great and good divine, Mr William Violent. What I write of her is from expressions in her husband's diaries, upon the mournful occasion, and he has this note :—' The dying words of my glorified dear are in many good Christian hands, and her son John's dying words, and hers, by God's blessing, have been edifying, and confirming, and comforting to many, and have had good effect upon the careless and thoughtless in matters of religious concernes.' There are near Coltness, in the woods and solitary places, Bethels, (as he calls
1 Coltness Collections, published by the Maitland Club, pp. 43, 44. We are indebted to these Collections for the following particulars regarding Lady Stewart.
VOL. II. 2 I
them,) oratories, places of devotion, where I see the mourning husband has poured out in prayer, and remarks many such ; but all is full of resignation to the divine determination, and melodious thanksgiving for her happy exite, and for this reason he mourned as one who had a full assurance of hope concerning the departed."
The Narrative that follows is preserved in MS. among the Family Papers of the descendants of Sir Thomas; and in Vol. XVIII. 4to, No. 19, of Wodrow's MSS. in the Advocates' Library.