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for the cause of Christ, and are banished to foreign lands for the name of Christ, and His most noble cause.
"And, also, I disown, disclaim, and witness against all this evil and adulterous generation-a generation of revolters, backsliders, and evil-doers, that will meet with severe punishment, great wrath and judgments, and eternal death besides, except they repent.
"And now, in a special manner, being convinced of my sin and folly in adhering to Prelacy, and spending the most part of my time in hearing of curates, and thereby approving of them and their corruptions, and corrupt doctrines; notwithstanding that I came always away from hearing them with more hardness of heart than when I went to hear them; but at last I began to consider that matters were not right with me in this case, and hearing that there was a people in the place that were hearers of Presbyterian ministers, but not being acquainted with them, I knew not what to do to be acquainted. However, I presumed to tell my case to one of them, who took me to the place where I heard a Presbyterian minister preach, which left a conviction upon my conscience of my former courses, and that I was out of the way of the Lord for salvation and eternal life. After which time I went no more back to follow them that are in direct opposition to the way of the Lord, our Covenants, and work of Reformation; and by degrees came to see clearly, that the ministers that were most even-down for God, and against the defections and abominations of the time, and this adulterous generation, were only they that the Lord honoured with the revealing of His secrets and His mind concerning the duty of the day; as Mr Donald Cargill, and these that were faithful to the death, and sealed the cause with their blood. And oh how did I love and long to be a witness for Him, both against my own former ways and the ways of that abominable Prelacy, which now I hate, and to get leave to lay down my life for Christ and His precious truths. And now He has granted me my heart's desire, and I seal this with my blood that this is the way of God, and His truth, which I now lay down my life for.
"Not having time, I shall say no more, but leave my wife to the good guiding of the Lord, and commend Him and His way for ner to follow, and my love to her and all my dear friends in Newcastle. Farewell, farewell in our blessed Lord Jesus. And welcome Lord. Jesus, for whom I suffer, and whose love I long to have in possession. Welcome heaven and holy angels, and the spirits of just men made
perfect, through the blood of the Lamb. Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, into whose hands I commit my Spirit.
JAMES NICOL was a merchant burgess in Peebles. He was in arms at the battle of Bothwell Bridge, but had hitherto escaped capture, although he seems to have been in the list of those sought after by the government. He was in Edinburgh, August 15, 1684, and was present at the trial of Thomas Harkness, Andrew Clark, and Samuel M'Ewen, whose Testimonies are given in a subsequent page, where his spirit was roused to anger at the haste with which they were tried and condemned to death.
After the trial he was taking his horse in the Grassmarket to leave for home, when the guard came down with the three martyrs for execution. He delayed his departure, and joined the crowd to witness the execution. As he was coming away, he loudly cried out against the cruelty that had been perpetrated. He was immediately laid hold of and carried to prison. On the 18th, and again on the 19th, he was brought before the Privy Council. On the 20th he says he was before the Justiciary. On the 22d he was indicted for treason, and was finally tried, Wednesday, August 27.
The proof against him was his own confession that he was at Bothwell with arms, that he owns Sanquhar Declaration, and the paper published at Rutherglen. He was hanged that day between two and four in the afternoon, along with William Young from Evandale, a good man, but somewhat crazed in mind, who had been condemned on still less ground; for the chief points in his confession were that he had heard Donald Cargill, and that if he had been old enough he had been at Bothwell. James Nicol's examination must have struck Daniel Defoe; for, in his Memoir of the Church of Scot
land, it is given with much the same fulness as in the "Cloud of Witnesses." He calls him another of these sufferers who cannot be forgotten when we are recording the zeal of the Church of Scotland's Martyrs, who, in imitation of the primitive zeal of the first centuries, offered himself to the sacrifice, without any one laying hand on him.
Fountainhall's notice of James Nicol is very different from Defoe's. It is: "15th August,―Three of the rebels taken at Enterkin sentenced to be hanged; the Council resolves, that any condemned for Bothwell, disowning the king's authority, or any other treason, shall be allowed but three hours, and [be] executed the same day sentence is pronounced. At their execution there was one Nicol looking on (he was once a chapman, and had been at Bothwell), who cried to the hangman he would do him a mischief; who being taken, was examined, boldly disclaimed the king, owned the Covenant, and was condemned to be hanged, 27th ditto, for his being at Bothwell."
Mr Livingstone, mentioned by James Nicol, was John Livingstone, so well known from his connection with the revival at the Kirk of Shotts. John Howie has a life of him in the "Scots Worthies." The share he had in bringing home Charles II. from Holland in 1650, is fully detailed by himself in his "Brief Historical Relation of his own Life," in the Wodrow Society's Select Biographies.
The Coronation Sermon is that preached by Robert Douglas, when Charles II. was crowned at Scone in 1651. It is a discourse remarkable for its boldness, and the utterance of constitutional principles, that must have been extremely distasteful to a monarch so fond of arbitrary power as Charles soon proved himself to be. The Sermon has been several times reprinted. The last occasion seems to have been in a 12mo volume of "Several remarkable and valuable Sermons, Speeches, and Exhortations, at the Renewing and Subscribing the National Covenant and Solemn League," published in 1741, with a preface by Ebenezer Erskine of Stirling.
James Russel, spoken of in the close of James Nicol's testimony, troubled the Societies very early in their history. Michael Shields, in his account of the third general meeting held at Tala Linn, Tweedsmuir, June 15, 1682, speaks of him as a man of a hot and fiery spirit. At this meeting he was for suspending Alexander Gordon of Earlstoun, because he had accepted the sacrament of baptism to his child from Alexander Peden, and the contention was so hot that the
meeting divided, each party taking a different part of the field on which they had met. This divisive spirit Russel kept up. He withdrew from association with Renwick and the great majority of the Societies, and did his utmost to oppose their measures both at home and abroad.
Mr John Flint was sent out by the Societies to Holland in November 1682, in order to complete his education for the ministry. He went to the University of Gröningen. While there, he quarrelled with Renwick. He did all he could to prevent his ordination, in which he failed, and he ever afterwards continued a bitter enemy to him. He was ordained at Lasswade 1688. After two calls he was translated to the New North Church, Edinburgh, Oct. 25, 1709. He was a correspondent of Wodrow, chiefly on the subject of the Abjuration Oath, about which he had scruples. He was evidently a man of some learning. He assisted, when in Holland, in bringing out the Dutch edition of the "Synopsis Criticorum" of Poole. Boston sent him his "Fourfold State" to revise, and his "Essay of the Accentuation of the Hebrew Bible." Wodrow says, "His book in Latin against Mr Simson as to the process betwixt him and Mr Webster, shows his reading and knowledge of the Arminian controversy, and that he was a pious, warm-hearted, useful minister." He died in his 71st year, Jan. 19, 1730.
It will be noticed that the passages of Scripture quoted are considerably different from the text of the authorised version. seem to have been quoted from memory.-ED.]
HE TESTIMONY of JAMES NICOL, merchant, Burgess of Peebles, who suffered at the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, August 27, 1684.
His Interrogations before the Privy Council,
"First, I was interrogated by two in a room
Q. "Were you at Bothwell Bridge?