« AnteriorContinuar »
placing advocates, and pleading your cause before such unjust judges. And more especially such as are prisoners for the truths of the Gospel, and so ought to witness a good confession for His trampled-upon truths, who was not ashamed to witness a good confession before Pontius Pilate, to wit, that He was a king. 'Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born' (John xviii. 37).
"Now, ye who are charging me this day, and others of my brethren, sufferers for truth, to be guilty of self-murder, and so a breach of the sixth commandment (which is very false, for self-preservation must stoop to truth's preservation), did our blessed Lord establish an advocate to plead for Him? Did that valiant champion Stephen do it? but was free and positive in asserting his testimony. Or did Paul do it? Or show me any such precept or practice from Scripture? Yea, consider the nature of witnessing; it proveth the contrary; but I prove such as do this to be actually guilty of the breach of the second commandment, which is that, 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image' (Exod. xx. 4). For, as I have proved before, he is set up in Christ's room, and exerciseth authority in and by that abominable arrogate Supremacy, having intermixed things civil with ecclesiastic, by their Acts of Parliament, making them both alike inherent to the crown, and so cannot be owned in either, without sacrilegious idolatry, and so a breach of this commandment. As also of the fifth commandment, which concerneth natural or civil parents, which are to be owned and obeyed only in the Lord, which cannot in the least allow of any man's being absolutely supreme, even in civil matters; it being the ordinance of God, and a lawful magistrate the minister of God, bound to dispense His ordinance, according to His rule in the word, and according to the ancient laws of the kingdom. For, as in the obeying of lawful power, it is obedience to this commandment; so, upon the contrary, the owning and obeying an unlawful power (such as theirs), certainly must be a breach of it.
"And can any deny that to be an owning of them; to establish one of the members of their court, to plead for no other effect, but to hale men out of the true principles and practices of the true reformed Church of Scotland; when the panel is called by his lot to witness for them, and give a confession thereof, before such an evil and adulterous generation; these being Christ's truths questioned, and truth is Himself; I am the way, the truth, and the life,' etc. If any should object, and say, they are small things; to this I answer, no
truth is small. He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much' (Luke xvi. 10). And such as are supplicating the enemies, are guilty here; for a supplication ought not, nor can be given in, but to a lawful power and for a lawful thing.
"Such are guilty, who are coming out of prison upon bond and caution, binding themselves to compear before their judicatories, at such a particular time, or at demand; for we ought not to bind to compear or answer before a judicatory, but a lawful one, such as theirs is not; so that such are actually guilty, but especially such who formerly joined in declining them.
"This generation seems to be a generation, in a great measure given up to work all manner of wickedness with greediness, considering what profanity and robbing of God, mocking Him and religion, instability, and giving away His and the Church's due. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation' (Mal. iii. 7-9). I am not to take upon me to speak anything for future times, but this generation seems to have the marks and evidences of a generation of His wrath, fitted for judgment and destruction. Take these Scriptures as an evidence, 'For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people' (Micah vi. 16). Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest ; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away; the world languisheth and fadeth away; the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the
curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate : therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left' (Isa. xxiv. 1-6). Now read Israel's sins here, and compare them with Scotland's sins, and see if they be not parallel.
"And seeing it is so, what can be expected, but the punishments and plagues shall be parallel also. I cannot shake the thoughts of this off my spirit, but that there is a fourfold vengeance to be poured out upon this land.
"1. The vengeance of God, for the intrusions on, and usurpations of His sword, crown, sceptre, and robe-royal.
"2. A Temple vengeance, which is not a small one, for the laying His sanctuary desolate.
"3. A Gospel vengeance, for the slighting of the great and rich offer of Christ and salvation, offered in such purity and plenty.
"4. A Covenant vengeance, for the great perjury and apostacy in the breach of, and falling from the prosecuting the ends of these Covenants, which the Lord highly honoured this land with, to bring it into covenant with Himself, and make it Hephzibah and Beulah unto Him. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness' (Isa. xxxiv. 5-7). For thus saith the Lord unto the king's house of Judah ; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city? Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them' (Jer. xxii. 6-9).
"This land hath not only departed from God, in and by their own sins, in refusing the rich offer of the Gospel, and [in the] breach of Covenant, but have homologated that broken and despised idol's sin, that hath overturned the work of Reformation, by their owning
of him now, when he hath taken the whole privileges of Christ's crown and kingdom to himself. And this I am persuaded of, that if there be a family in the Christian world, that comes under Amalek's curse, viz., with whom He will have war for ever; it is that family called the royal family, whom I think God is about to sweep off the throne, so that no root thereof shall be left to exercise in the government. 'That bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth; and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble' (Isa. xl. 23, 24).
"Now as to the articles of my indictment, whereon my sentence of death is founded, they are—
"First, The owning and maintaining, that it was lawful to rise in arms at Pentland and Bothwell Bridge; which I did with great cheerfulness and boldness, they being in their own defence, and in the defence of the Gospel; and took that article for proof in the Confession of Faith, that they have given out to be the confession of their own faith, professing to build that abominable and ridiculous Test upon, which shows that they are ill builders, the building being so far off the foundation. But I refer you to the draught of a paper, which I drew as my testimony against that Test, which, with the consent and advice of others, was affixed upon the parish kirk-door of Stonehouse. And I am of the mind that this proof, as it did enrage them, being like a wild bull caught in their own net, so it did give them no small damp.
"A second was, speaking treason (as they call it), and declining their authority, which consisteth in this
"When asked, if their king, or rather their idol, were a tyrant? I referred it to his obligations in his Coronation Oath, to be considered with his present actings and practices, with his usurpations upon the privileges of the Church, and prerogatives royal of Jesus Christ, who is the anointed of the Father.
"And the refusing to say 'God save the king;' which we find was the order that was used among the children of Israel at the king's anointing to that office; and used in our own nation at the coronation. Now, this being only due to a lawful king, ought not to be given but to a lawful king, and so not to him, being a degenerate tyrant. For if I should, I thereby had said Amen to all that he hath done against the Church and liberties thereof, and to all his oppression
by unlawful exactions, and raising of armies; for no other effect but to deprive us of the hearing of the Gospel, and troubling and molesting the subjects, both in their consciences and external liberties; and also to their bloodshed and murders made upon the people of God and free subjects of the kingdom; and so bid him God-speed, contrary to that in 2 John i. 10. And seeing it cannot be given unto any that have thus used their power to a wrong end, in such a measure and manner, so much less when they have set him up as an idol, in the room of God incarnate. And shall I pray to bless that man in his person and government, which God hath cursed? For it cannot be expected, but that he shall be cursed, that thus ventureth upon the bosses of the buckler of God Almighty.
"Now I shall here give, in short, an account of my principles; which I shall do, as in the sight of an all-seeing God. I am a true Christian, truly anti-popish, anti-prelatic, anti-sectarian, antischismatic, anti-erastian, a true Presbyterian, owning the true Protestant religion, now owned and professed by the poor wrestling and suffering remnant in Scotland. And whatever men have said, or may say of me, I have lived, and now I die thus. Wherefore :
"1. I give testimony to the truth, fulness, and authority of the Holy Scriptures, and to all the truths contained therein, and warrantable therefrom.
"2. I bear my testimony to the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, and that by His satisfaction the moral law was not abrogated, but fulfilled; and that the moral law is as binding on the Christian truly interested in Him, this day, as it was that day that it was given to the children of Israel; only the condemnatory sentence thereof loosed to all such as are believers indeed.
3. I bear my testimony to the work of Reformation, as it was reformed from Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and other errors; as it is contained in the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Covenants, National and Solemn League, Solemn Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, the Sum of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Worship, the Causes of the Lord's Wrath, drawn up by the General Assembly of this Church, after the evil in meddling with that rotten-hearted malignant Charles Stuart was seen.
"4. I bear my testimony to the faithful actings of the Remonstrators against malignants and malignant interests, which are the very things this day contended for by the true Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland.