We have once more passed through Foog's Gate (which we admired on Friday 11 March) and have arrived at Mons Meg.
Mons Meg was presented to James II of Scotland in 1457, a gift from his niece's husband, Duke Philip of Burgundy. The six-tonne siege gun was then known simply as 'Mons' - after the Belgium town where she was made in 1449. She was at the leading edge of artillery technology, and fired gun-stones weighing 330lbs (150kg).
Mons Meg had a range of almost two miles (3.2km). When she was fired in 1558 to celebrate Mary Queen of Scots' marriage to the French Dauphin, the gun-stone was later found where the Royal Botanic Garden is today. Mons Meg was last fired on 14 October 1681 - when her barrel burst.
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:21-43)
Time for a great Wesley hymn!
O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
Jesus! the Name that charms our fears
and bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life and health and peace.
He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold, your Savior come;
and leap, ye lame, for joy!
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim
and spread through all the earth abroad
the honours of thy Name.