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Neither am I wearied of it; therefore I charge you, that ye do not brand me with aspersions when I am gone.
"I leave my blood on all the assizers, who, after we had given in our protestation against all their proceedings, both in their Council and Justiciary, and told them that it was for no action that we were suffering, but only on the matters of conscience and judgment that we were pannelled; yet, notwithstanding of our charging them with our blood, they most unjustly took away our lives. Do not think that this flows from a spirit of malice, spite, bitterness, or revenge; for I desire to bless the Lord, I am free of the spirit of bitterness and revenge; but that they take away my life without and against any just law, I cannot get it passed.
"Do not think that I am enthusiastic, and take on me a bare impulse of the spirit for a call to suffer on, or the word as it lies literally, for a call; for it is not so; I having desired and used some endeavours, though it has been in great weakness, I confess. Yet, I dare say, in some respect my desire to the Lord about it hath been sincere, that He would help me to get His word and my own conscience consulted, and to try the word by the spirit, and the spirit by the word; for it is but a dead letter without the spirit.
"And likewise, my blood is lying, and will be heavy upon that Popish Duke. And I will not say, but the Lord will permit him to usurp the crown of Scotland; but the blood that he hath got to welcome him home to it, and to satisfy his own lust, will weight him down from the throne; but, indeed, I fear that he get his design drawn to a great length, and get the ark carried away, even to your apprehension, out of Scotland. But remember the Philistines carrying away the ark, and the men of Bethshemesh looking into it, how the Lord smote them. And, so I think, when they have got the Church banished and destroyed, and the witnesses all killed; when they will look on the Church as carried clean away, and thereupon shall turn secure; will not the Lord be avenged on them, and charge them with all the blood they have so heinously shed? But, indeed, we have deserved no less, than the Lord's leaving of this land, and to give them into the hands of their enemies; but as long as there is no appearance of a better Church in the whole world, ye need not fear that the Lord will enhance Scotland's right of a Church to any other. He suffered the children of Israel many a time to fall into and lie under the hands of their enemies; but He never forsook them altogether, until there came a better in their place. Likewise my blood
is on all these Parliamenters and Councillors, and these of the Justi ciary, as they call it.
Now, dear friends, I am going to eternity, ere it be long, from whence I cannot return, and, as a dying man, I give you warning, and bid you take heed what you are doing. Be tender of the glory of God, and take no unlawful gate [i.e., way] to shun suffering, nor sinful shifts to come by the cross. But when there is a cross lying in the way, see that ye seek not to go about it; and venture upon suffering before sinning; for He never sent any a warfare upon their own charges. If any knew the sweetness of a prison, they would not be so afraid to enter upon suffering; ye would not join with the Lord's enemies, as ye are doing.
"Oh dear friends, take warning now, for it is a question if ever ye get any more warnings of this kind. For it is a sad juncture, or circumstance of time, that your lot and mine are fallen into; but now I am going away home. Oh! the Lord is kind to me, who hath honoured me so highly, and is also taking me away from the evil that is to come; for indeed I think there are sad days abiding poor Scotland. Oh! sirs, be busy and venture all upon Him, and put all in His hand; and whatever you have been, let not that scare you. If you have been a great sinner, I say, let not that hinder you from coming to Him, and closing with Him; for the greater sinner you be, the more free grace is magnified in reclaiming you. I may speak this from my own experience; for I was as a brand plucked out of the fire; and He hath brought me through many difficulties, temptations and snares, and made my soul escape as a bird out of the cunning fowler's net, and brought me to a prison at length, to suffer bonds for Him. He made all things sweet to me, the company sweet to me, even bad company; He made reproaches sweet. I have been made to wonder at His kindness and love to me-ward. And now He hath brought me this length, without being feared what enemies can do to me, and that is a great confirmation to me of true love, that perfect love casts out fear. Now He is faithful, into whose hand I commit my spirit and soul, and He will keep it against that day.
"Now when I am going, farewell all friends and Christian acquaintances Farewell sweet and holy Scriptures, wherewith my soul hath been refreshed. Farewell reading, singing, and praying. Farewell sweet meditation. Farewell sun, moon, and stars. Farewell all created comforts. Welcome death; welcome sweet gallows, for my
sweet and lovely Lord. Welcome angels. Welcome spirits of just men made perfect. Welcome eternity. Welcome praises. Welcome immediate vision of the Sun of Righteousness! "Sic subscribitur,
HERE suffered also at the same time and place, one Alexander Russel, whose Testimony differing nothing in substance from the rest, and being in some things not very conveniently expressed, it is not thought necessary to be published at large; only these heads of it are remarkable.
"1. He declares, That for the space of fourteen years, while he heard the curates, he was a person given to all manner of licentiousness, keeping company with the profane; drinking, swearing, Sabbathbreaking, and reproaching the people of God.
"2. That the first field-preaching ever he heard, to which he went merely out of curiosity, it pleased the Lord to convert him.
"3. That the means of his being called out to the help of the Lord's people at Bothwell, was the death of three of his children within ten days' space, which extraordinary providence impressed his heart so, that he durst not sit [i.e., disregard] God's call to that work. 4. He confesseth his having taken the Bond for living orderly (as it was called), and with great remorse acknowledges his failing, in that he took not opportunity to confess that sin publicly. All the other heads do coincide with the testimonies of the other four who suffered with him.
[Patrick Walker, who, along with his Defoe-like power of description, is ever finding fault with all others who had written about the martyrs, now with Wodrow, and now with the compilers of the "Cloud of Witnesses," blames the publishers for withholding Russel's testimony, and says, "it would have tended much to the commendation of the riches of the Lord's free grace, in strengthening, supporting, and comforting him in all his sufferings, and in undergoing a violent death." Doubtless, however, the reasons the compilers give, amply justify them for not publishing it.—ED.]
OBERT GRAY, an Englishman, was apprehended in June or July 1681. From a sentence in the close of his testimony, it is evident that he had been known in Northumberland as warmly attached to the persecuted cause; but nothing is said of this in his indictment. In April 1682, ten months after his apprehension, he was still in prison in the Canongate Tolbooth, and untried. On the 18th, he wrote the letter (given in a following page) to John Anderson, a prisoner in Dumfries. Anderson was a stranger to him, but had heard of his imprisonment, and written to him. Robert Gray's reply to this letter fell into the hands of the authorities, and formed the ground of his 'Interrogations' by a committee of the Council, May 13. He was tried on the 17th.
His indictment strikingly shows for what little reason life was taken away in those times. It says nothing of the fact that he had already been in prison for nine or ten months. After the usual preamble it proceeds:
"True it is that you, the said Robert Gray, having shaken off all fear of God and respect to His majesty's laws, did most treasonably write a letter upon the 18th of April last, to John Anderson, prisoner also for treason in the Tolbooth of Dumfries, wherein you did declare our present sovereign, the best and most merciful of kings, to be a tyrant, and that therefore he ought not be owned as king.
"Likewise, you did by that letter incite his majesty's subjects not to obey him, and did deprave the late Act of Parliament made for taking the Test, calling it the Black Test, and destructive of all the work of Reformation.
"And you being called before the Lord Chancellor, and a committee of Council, upon the 13th of May instant, you did of new again not only adhere to the said letter and all that was in it, but did of new commit the foresaid crimes, by declaring that you owned all
these principles, and that it was a duty upon you to write so to your brother who was in prison.
"Of the which treasonable crimes, you, the said Robert Gray, are guilty and actor, which being found by an assize, you ought to be punished with the forfeiture of life, lands and goods, to the terror of others to commit the like hereafter."
He was sentenced to be hanged on the 19th. An account of his execution is given at the close of his Testimony. James Renwick was present at his execution. Alexander Shields records that Renwick told his mother, that, at the last execution which he was witness to (which was Robert Gray's), he thought, and had a strong impression of it, that he himself would be the next that he should see executed. And therefore, from that time he durst never appear, even though he was not known at an execution until he was brought to it himself.
"Barscob," mentioned in the postcript of Robert Gray's letter to John Anderson, was Robert M'Lellan, a son or brother of John M'Lellan, laird of Barscob, who was so prominently concerned in the rising that ended in the battle of Pentland.
Major Learmont was fined £2000 by Middleton's Parliament in 1662. He commanded in the second attack at the battle of Pentland. Law, in his Memorials, quaintly but expressively tells the story of his life: "March 1682, Major Learmont, an old soldier, and now about seventy-seven years, and a tailor to his trade, who was at Pentland Hills in the insurrection, 1666, and at Bothwell Bridge insurrection, 1679, was taken in his own house within three miles of Lanark, in a vault which he digged under ground, and penned [i.e., arched] for his hiding. It had its entry in his own house, upon the side of a wall, and closed up with a whole stone, so close as that none would have judged it but to have been a stone of the building. It descended below the foundation of the house, and was in length about forty yards, and in the far end, the other mouth of it was closed with fail [i.e., turf], having a fail dyke builded upon it, so that with ease he shut out the fail and closed it again. Here he sheltered for the space of sixteen years, by taking himself to it at every alarm, and many times hath his house been searched for him by the soldiers, but where he sheltered none was privy to it but his own domestics; and at length he is discovered by his own herdsHe is carried before the Council, and examined; confesses he was at Pentland Hills, and at Bothwell Bridge fight, but came