Margaret Mure: 'And they shall be one flesh'

By Angela Wittman

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
(Genesis Ch. 2, vs. 18, 21-24 KJV)

This week’s character sketch is of Margaret Mure, who was born in Scotland in 1618. It is reported her parents brought her up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Her first marriage was to the minister Zachary Boyd of Glasgow. She was soon widowed and then went on to marry Mr. James Durham, a celebrated and popular minister who died at the young age of 36 years. After James death, she remained a widow for the rest of her life.

Perhaps it was during the thirty years of widowhood where Mrs. Durham’s true Christian character was revealed, as she was known to be a defender of the Gospel and a supporter of those who would not compromise their preaching of it.

Mrs. Durham was known to be a frequent participant of Conventicles and Field Meetings. These were unauthorized Worship services which had to be held in secret as the ministers were not licensed by the state to preach and if caught they would be arrested and prosecuted.

It is reported that Mrs. Durham once held a conventicle in her home with mostly family members and servants in attendance. The local magistrate broke in upon the gathering and arrested the attendees, including Mrs. Durham. She was then imprisoned for approximately 10 days.

Mrs. Durham set an example as a godly wife, which we as Christian women would do well to follow. She honored her husband during their marriage, after his death she continued to honor his memory and work by preserving his sermons and lectures for publication.

James Durham is probably best known for his commentary on the Song of Solomon and his exposition on the Ten Commandments.

At his death, these words were spoken in eulogy:
"Know ye not that there is a prince among pastors fallen today! a faithful and a wise steward, that knew well how to give God's children their food in due season… in dark matters he was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, a burning and shining light in the dark world, and interpreter of the word among a thousand, to him men gave ear, and after his words no man spake again."

Originally published June, 2007 


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