« AnteriorContinuar »
heavier upon my spirit than all that I have met with from the enemy. And if ye will not get together, wrath will be upon you. Oh! for that day, when they shall be made one stick in His hand, when it shall be as in Isa. xi. 13, 14, 'The envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together;' and that Scripture, 'Suffer not sin upon thy brother's soul, but in anywise reprove him.' Seek to reclaim them that are fallen. 'Ye that are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.' Follow a Gospel method. Beware of selfseeking; and let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. I am not here speaking to these that are going on in homologating these God-provoking, Christ-dethroning, Church-ruining and land desolating courses, but to the wrestling remnant.
"Now death is not a whit terrible to me: 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. xv. 55-7). I think this is His language to me, 'Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest, because it is polluted' (Micah. ii. 10). 'For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens' (2 Cor. v. 1).
Now, as to His way with His Church, it is mysterious. His way is in the deep; His paths are in the mighty waters; but the thought of this I cannot put off my spirit, but that He hath thoughts of good and not of evil, to give this poor Church an expected end. But I am persuaded of this, that He hath some other work ado before that be accomplished, for falling from her first love, and the great ingratitude for the great and high privileges formerly enjoyed. But be not discouraged, nor sinfully anxious, neither about the Church nor the reinnant, but wait on God in His own way, and commit all to Him, and He shall bring it to pass. It may come in a way least expected (I have no doubt about it), that His power, infiniteness, and sovereignty, may yet more appear.
"Now, I declare I am free of the blood of all men, and though man had never public scandal to charge me with, yet I am one of the chief of saved sinners. And in respect of original, actual, and omissional sin, there hath been as much guiltiness in me as might and
would have weighted down to the pit the whole world; but my lovely Lord hath showed me warm blinks of His love. Oh! for love to give to this lovely Lord Jesus, according to that Scripture, 'Come, and I will tell you what the Lord hath done for my soul.' Upon the day before I received sentence, I met with a great measure and a full gale of the Spirit, wherein my heart was both melted and enlarged, winning [i.e., getting] near to Him, both alone and with the rest. But a little thereafter, in going to Him alone, I found Him hiding; and being sensible of it, my heart in some measure panted after Him yet absent. So going to the Word, I was directed to 1 John v. 14, 15, 'This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him,' which did, in no small measure, settle and comfort my spirit. So meditating a little, and considering how these two could consist together, I was answered thus, 'Because they have no changes, therefore, they fear not God.' And since, I bless His holy name, I have had great composure of spirit.
"Now, according to my blessed Lord's command, I am not prepossessed with malice or a spirit of revenge, but can bless when cursed. As for these men that are unjustly taking away my life, not only contrary to the law of God and the ancient and fundamental laws of the land, but even contrary to their own law; for what they are doing against me, as I am in myself, I can freely forgive them and all others. But as they do it against the image of God in me, and upon His truth's account, and so against Himself, that is not mine to forgive; but I leave it to Him to whom vengeance belongeth to deal with them as He may best glorify Himself.
"Now, I rejoice in my lot, for it hath fallen to me in pleasant places, and I have a goodly inheritance. I would not exchange it with the greatest monarch upon the earth. Oh! let heaven and earth praise Him; sun and moon, praise Him. Oh! all the creation, praise Him; angels and glorified saints, praise Him through all the ages of eternity.
"Now farewell all things in time. Farewell prayer, meditation, faith, hope. Welcome heaven. Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Welcome angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. Welcome praises for evermore. "Sic subscribitur,
Farewell Holy Scriptures.
OHN FINLAY was "a dear comrade of James Robertson." It was a visit to him, when in Kilmarnock prison, that led to Robertson's apprehension.
His testimony does not appear in the first edition. It was added in the fifth edition, issued in 1751. In the first edition there is the following note at the close of James Robertson's testimony:
"At the same time and place suffered John Findlay, who lived in the parish of Kilmarnock, whose testimony is not only the same in substance with this of James Robertson, they being sentenced upon the same heads, and adhering to the same truths, but also, for the most part, they agree in expression. And therefore, to avoid all unnecessary repetitions, it is here omitted."
Its contents justify the description given of it by the compilers of the "Cloud." It is very similar to Robertson's testimony, and where it differs it is by no means an improvement. Indeed, perhaps, no one of the testimonies in the volume is so defective in expression. It must have been taken down from his lips, as he was no scholar. But although illiterate, John Finlay was a good man. He says, "I have sweet peace in my lovely Lord." Wodrow gives from the "Justiciary Records" the interrogations put to him before the Council.
"Being interrogated whether it be lawful to rise in arms against the king? refuses to answer, these being kittle questions, and he a poor prisoner. Refuses to say God save the king, but says he loves the king as well as any person. Confesseth he was present at Drumclog, but without arms. Being asked, if he conversed with Mr Donald Cargill within these two years? he refuses to answer otherwise than that a man is neither by the law of God nor man bound to have a hand in shedding his own blood. Declares he cannot write."
For these answers his life was taken away.-ED.]