Imágenes de páginas

"5. I bear my testimony (not to go further back, seeing it homologates the rest), to that noble testimony given at Lanark, against that tyrant and the Test enacted by the late Parliament, which I could not but look upon, in the time of the carrying on of it, and yet do, that the remnant was therein owned of the Lord.

"6. I bear my testimony to all the faithful testimonies of the martyrs that have gone before us on scaffolds, in the fields, or in the


"7. I bear my testimony to all the appearances in arms for the defence of the Gospel.

"8. I bear my testimony to the faithful manner of the delivery of the Gospel, that hath been in the open fields, by the faithful and sent servants of Jesus Christ, exercising according to His own commission; preaching days, communion days, and fasts; particularly one holden at Auchengilloch by three ministers, two of them now glorified-viz., Mr Donald Cargill and Mr Richard Cameron-where the land's guilt was freely and faithfully discovered.

"9. And lastly, I bear my testimony to the fellowship meetings of the Lord's people, particular and general; and my soul hath many a time been refreshed in them.

"Likewise, on the other hand,

"1. I leave my testimony against the Public Resolutions for taking in that malignant interest, for which this poor Church is this day smarting, and feeling the weight of that tyrant's hand, for such eager lusting after a king.

"2. I leave my testimony against Hamilton declaration, which is one and the same thing with the Resolutions. (1.) For taking the foresaid interest, contrary to the land's engagements in covenant. (2.) For corrupting the army. But my mind of this, with several other things, such as the excommunication, tyrant's interest, cess, and locality, is more fully expressed in a paper, entitled 'Some few Grievances set down by way of Query;' which was occasioned by a minister being preaching near to the place of my residence, and some falsely accusing me for casting at [i.e., despising] ministers, and so at ministry. And to show that my not hearing was not from any schismatical design, but of conscience of duty, judging him deficient and faulty in not being faithful; I therefore drew my grievances to be presented, and refer to this and the forementioned paper as a part of my testimony against the wrongs done to a holy God in this backsliding age.

"3. I leave my testimony against all unfaithfulness in ministers, for their dark and ambiguous manner of preaching, in not giving free, full, and faithful warning of the duty and dangers of our day; they either altogether leaving off preaching, as if seeming and apparent hazard loosed them from that command, which is, to preach in season and out of season, etc.; or turning the edge of their doctrine against the most faithful in the land, and taking the faults and failings of the saints in Scripture to defend them in their sinful, defective, conniving, and complying courses; which is a wresting of the Scripture; for these are set down for our admonition, not to split upon such rocks.

"And oh, how many professors are guilty also in this matter! They cannot deny it to be a fault, viz., such and such things; yet they cannot state their sufferings on them. Now undeniably this is a presumptuous sinning, venturing upon it; because God is merciful, this is a daring of Him to His face. Surely David was not of this mind of it: Who can understand his errors: cleanse Thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me' (Ps. xix. 12, 13). But the soul that doeth aught presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people' (Numb. xv. 30).

"4. I give my testimony against that Erastian Indulgence, and such as join with them, because they entered not by the right door, but by the order of the usurper, whereas Christ is the only door (John x. I). But this I will say, that those who will not, nor dare not take that usurper's portion, lest they be defiled thereby, their countenance shall outshine the other, and be fatter and fairer in the day when they are to be proved before the King (Dan. i. 15).

"5. I give my testimony against all the hearers of these abominable Tested curates throughout the land; so in particular against that corner of the land, viz., Kilmarnock and the country thereabout, where I was apprehended; which I was then persuaded of, and yet am, that it was so ordered that I might in particular witness against them for their compearing at courts, subscribing bonds, paying fines which includeth in it an acknowledgment of a fault, building that which formerly they did destroy, and destroying that which formerly they builded, and that according to God's Word; and these who formerly were leaders in the way of truth, elders and old professors, are now as active by example and advice in the present course, and

so are a stumbling-block to others.

Offences must come, but woe to them by whom they come; better it were that a millstone were hanged about their necks, and they were cast into the midst of the sea. Oh! that ye who have formerly known the way of truth, would study more stability, and let not your liberty become a stumblingblock to others.

"6. I bear my testimony against all profanity and profane persons, against all atheism and atheists, practical and professed, not only such as deny the true God by profession, but even such as do it by practice, belying their profession; against all enthusiasm and enthusiasts, although these black-mouthed Erastian writers are pleased to call the way that is now followed by the poor remnant such; yet my endeavours have always been to be cleared both in matters of truth and practice, according to the Word and Spirit. But this I think, that the Lord is about to let this generation stumble, fall, and break their necks upon their own carnal wisdom, and each of them upon another. But mind this, that the world by wisdom knew not God, for it seems it is the nothings of this age that He will make use of; out of the mouths of babes and sucklings He will perfect His praise.

"Now I would speak in short to three sorts:

"1. You that are strangers and enemies to this lovely Lord, let your estrangement be done away; break off your sins by repentance, consider the hazard you are in, even of eternal wrath and scorching hell-fire for ever. Oh! this condescending love of God, that is laid out in this manner! Oh! ye that are enemies to His interest and people, mind, that justice, even wrathful justice, is ready to be poured out upon you! Oh! therefore come off. Repent and turn in unto this so favourable and merciful a God. Leave off your persecution. Come unto Him; there is mercy with Him that He may be feared; and if ye will not return, then His wrath will be upon you to all eternity.

"2. Ye that have sometimes known what it was to be in God's favour, and had much love and tenderness for Him, His work and interest, cause and covenant, as it was reformed in this land, and now are fallen from your first love. Oh! endeavour to have in mind the love of your espousals, when ye and Christ were hand-fasted [i.e., betrothed]. Oh! consider aright what a great difference there is between your love, faith, knowledge, zeal, tenderness now, in regard of what it then was. Therefore, take a right look of matters, and weigh them

aright in the balance of the sanctuary, both as to your own particular case, and the case of His church; and turn to Him with speedy and unfeigned repentance; for he that turns aside to crooked ways, shall be led forth with the workers of iniquity. Oh! therefore turn in time, lest repentance be hid from your eyes. Oh! as ye love the glory of God, the good of your own souls, and the advantage of the Church (if such an one as I may be so bold as to invite you, now going out of time into eternity); as ye would not be partakers of the plagues that are to come upon such a generation, come off with speed.

"3. You that are in good terms with God, and are helped to keep by His way, break not your peace by turning aside to crooked ways. Entertain love; keep and hold fast your integrity in this day, when many have broken the bargain with Him, now when the language of many is this, 'These are hard sayings, who can hear them?' and now that this is His language to you, 'Will ye also leave me?' Oh! let this be the language of every ingenuous soul, 'To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.' Make sure salvation to yourselves; thereby ye shall be the more fit to follow Him in this day, when He is casting forth His red flag and marching. Many follow Him when the white flag of peace is flourishing; but they are ill worthy of the sweet who will not take part with Him in the bitterest and sharpest sufferings. For what is the greatest of sufferings that can come from man, coming upon His account, in regard of what He suffered for us; even the heavy wrath of God, which would have pressed us down to the pit through all eternity.

"And may not the consideration of this oblige you? I can speak it to His commendation, that He can make the cross light and easy, for He will bear it and you both. And seeing everlasting arms are underneath, have ye not ground to expect that He will not let His own arm be crushed? He can strew the cross all with roses. I dare not say that ever I met with a cross; for when the strait hath been greatest, then He kythed [i.e., manifested] His kindness most. Oh! the rich manifestations that He giveth to the soul under the cross! Yea, it is all paved with love. Who would not go through a sea of bloody sufferings with Him and for Him. He is the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley; He is fair and ruddy, the chief among ten thousand of thousands. Oh! who can describe Him? He is the only precious object, altogether lovely. If He were seen and known, who would not love Him? He is both lovely and loving; the soul may solace itself in Him, under the greatest of straits.


"Now ye that have received Him, walk worthy of Him. Oh! who knows what is in love? Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world' (1 John iv. 17). How is that; though in the world, yet not of the world? 'There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love' (verse 18). Now the reason of our love is 'We love Him because He first loved us' (verse 19). Now, dear friends, ye that are helped to keep by Him, think it not strange, though the world hate you; it hated Himself. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; should we not be as pilgrims and strangers, travelling, seeking an heavenly country? There is a rest for the people of God, and to whom is this rest appointed but to the weary passengers?

"Now, I am given out by the enemies and professors, as being prodigal of my life, and leading of my two brethren [John Finlay and William Cochrane] to the death. But they are both false charges, for I have found more straitness and steadfastness in them than I can find in myself. As for the other, I have so much of humanity that I love my life, but cannot redeem it with the loss of my integrity, and denial of any of His precious truths. I durst not make a shift to have any favour of the enemies, nor to touch, taste, nor handle with them; for their dainties are deceitful meat. And there is one Scripture which at my first coming to prison confirmed me, 'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God' (Phil. iv. 6.) "Now, dear friends, encourage yourselves in the Lord, and stand fast in one spirit, striving together for the faith of Jesus. Let nothing damp your courage, zeal, tenderness, and faithfulness for this so lovely a Lord. And let brotherly love always continue. Beware of rocks, both on the right and left hand; we have beacons set up for both, to our sad experience, in this poor Church. Beware of peremptoriness, passion, and pride, for there may be (and I fear, is) a spiritual pride, as well as a natural. Carry [i.e., act] suitably to these who are without, and to them that are within.

Endeavour to have

Mix not the fire of

But let meekness

a union in the Lord obtained, and entertained. true zeal with the wild sparks of carnal passion. of spirit, with a Christian, godly, and faithful conversation, adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.

"The breakings of the remnant (I may warrantably say) have lain

« AnteriorContinuar »