Lady Boyd: Living only for Christ

By Angela Wittman

“They lose nothing who gain Christ.” ~ Samuel Rutherford

Lady Boyd was born in Scotland between 1588 and 1594; her maiden name was Christian Hamilton. She was the oldest daughter of Sir Thomas Hamilton and his wife Margaret.

Alexander Whyte, the author of “Samuel Rutherford and his Correspondents” writes that “she inherited no small part of her father’s talents and strength of character.” He then goes on to say that “All her days Lady Boyd was on the most intimate terms with the most eminent ministers of the Church of Scotland. We find such men as Robert Bruce, Robert Blair, John Livingstone and Samuel Rutherford continually referring to her in the loftiest terms.”

In the book “Ladies of the Covenant” by Rev. James Anderson, she is described as having “encouraged the preaching of the gospel, exercising a generous hospitality and liberality towards its ministers, receiving them into her house and supplying them with money.”

She was known to stay up late into the night writing in her personal diary about what she observed the LORD doing in and around her. It is suspected that she had her personal diary destroyed before her death. This is a lady who had an intimate relationship with her Lord and Savior, and one can only marvel at the intense devotion she must have expressed for only His eyes to see.

Lady Boyd was not a stranger to loss; in her short life of approximately 58 years, she was widowed twice. Then in August of 1640, Rev. James Anderson reports that “Lady Boyd met with a painful trial in the death of three of her brothers, and others of her relatives… [who] all perished at Dunglass castle…when it was blown up…”

Then in November of the same year she lost her son who died at the age of 24 years. Her comfort was in knowing her son had gone to be with the LORD. She was consoled by the letters of Samuel Rutherford, and was one of his confidants during his time as a member of the Westminster Assembly.

When Lady Boyd died in 1646, it is said that the members of Parliament stayed after it was closed to pay their respects to Lady Boyd. The minister of St. Andrews, Mr. Robert Blair, wrote two epitaphs in her memory.

After her death, Samuel Rutherford wrote these immortal words in a letter to her daughter: “It hath seemed good, as I hear, to Him that hath appointed the bounds for the number of our months, to gather in a sheaf of ripe corn, in the death of your Christian mother, into his garner…”

How can we profit from the story of the life and death of Lady Boyd? By seeking to gain Christ by grace, through faith in Him alone, and then by imitating Lady Boyd who lived for Christ, and in whom a light burned brightly for the Gospel throughout her entire life and even beyond her death. Amen.

Originally written and published in May, 2007.

See also:

Lady Boyd by Alexander Whyte (Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings)


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