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"But the reasons that were given in thus, for our defence in the first head were-That we could not own the authority, as now presently established, unless we should also own the Supremacy which the King hath usurped over the Church. By our doing of this, we should rob Christ of that which is His right; and give that unto a man, which is due to no mortal. The reason is, because the Supremacy is declared in their Acts of Parliament to be essential to the crown; and that which is essential to anything, is the same with the thing itself; so that in owning the authority, we are of necessity obliged to justify them in their usurpation also. But there is another argument, which to me is valid, though I spoke it not before them, and it does not a little trouble me that I should have passed it. The Advocate, in his discourse to the assizers among other things, said, that we were overturning these acts and laws which they, the assizers, had consented to, and were owning. Now, I suppose their consent to the present acts and laws was never formally required of them, but that which is taken for their consent is their simple silence, when these acts were made and published, and owning these Parliaments as their representatives; so that I may clearly argue from this, that, even in their own sense, my owning of the present authority now established as lawful, and the present magistrates as my magistrates, is a giving my consent to the present acts and laws, and so consequently to the robbing of Christ of that which is His right.
"As to the second, it being but one particular fact, deduced from that principle of the lawfulness of self-defence, and this principle being as positively asserted by all of us, I look upon the principle to be as expressly sealed with our blood, as that particular fact of rising in arms at Bothwell Bridge is.
"As to the third, it being a deed consequential from the first, I looked upon them both to stand and fall together; and he that owneth the first, must of necessity own the last also.
"And as to that of declaring of war, I did always look upon it to be one and the same, though differently expressed, with that contained in the paper found at the Queensferry; and that the main design of it was to vindicate us before the world in our repelling unjust violence, and clearing us of these aspersions that were cast upon us, viz., the holding, as a principle, the lawfulness of private assassinations (which we disown), and murdering all those who are not of the same judgment with us.
"These are the truths which we are to seal with our blood, to
morrow, in the afternoon, at the Cross of Edinburgh. As to other particular actions, we declined to answer positively to them, as that of the Archbishop [Sharp's] death. We told them that we could not be judges of other men's actions. As to the excommunication [at the Torwood], because we declined them, as not competent judges, to cognosce upon an ecclesiastic matter, they did not proceed upon it.
"And now, dear brother, you may see our quarrel clearly stated to be the same that Mr James Guthrie laid down his head for; beside whose, mine and my other two friends' heads are to be set. There were many other things passed in private betwixt me and Mr William Paterson (sometime my regent, now Council Clerk), with some others who strongly assaulted me with their snares; but now I hope I may say, that 'my soul hath escaped like a bird out of the snare of the fowler.'
"And as to your second desire, of knowing how it went with my soul. Many and strong have been the assaults of Satan since I came to prison; but glory to God, who hath not been wanting to me in giving me assistance, yea, many times unsought; and He is yet continuing, and I hope shall do to the end, to carry me above the fear of death, so that I am in as sweet a calm, as if I were going to be married to one dearly beloved. Alas! my cold heart is not able to answer His burning love; but what is wanting in me is, and shall be, made up in a Saviour complete and well furnished in all things, appointed of the Father for this end, to bring His straying children to their own home, whereof (I think I may adventure to say it) I am one, though feckless [i.c., worthless].
"Now, I have no time to enlarge, else I would give you a more particular account of God's goodness and dealing with me; but let this suffice, that I am once fairly on the way, and within the view of Immanuel's land, and in hopes to be received an inhabitant there within the space of twenty-six hours at most. Farewell all earthly comforts, farewell all worldly vanities, farewell all carnal desires; welcome cross, welcome gallows, welcome Christ, welcome heaven and everlasting happiness.
"I have no more spare time. Grace, mercy, and peace be with you. Amen.
"From Edinburgh Tolbooth, July 27, 1681.
AVID HACKSTON, of Rathillet, in the parish of Kilmany, Fifeshire, was a gentleman of good family. He was present at the death of Archbishop Sharp, but took no share in the matter. He was at Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge. John Howie has given him a merited place among the Scots Worthies.
His sentence is in "Wodrow." It is scarcely possible to conceive anything more savage and revolting. Burnet says of him, "He was so low, by reason of his wounds, that it was thought he would die in the Question if tortured; so he was, in a very summary way, condemned to have both his hands cut off, and then to be hanged. All this he suffered with a constancy that amazed all people he seemed to be all the while in an enthusiastical rapture, and insensible of what was done to him. When his hands were cut off, he asked, like one unconcerned, if his feet must be cut off likewise; and he had so strong a heart, that, notwithstanding all the loss of blood by his wounds and the cutting off his hands, yet, when he was hanged up and his heart cut out, it continued to palpitate some time after it was on the hangman's knife, as some eye-witnesses assured me." Defoe and Patrick Walker give still more circumstantial accounts of the cruelties perpetrated on him at his execution. -ED.]
HE TESTIMONY of that valiant and worthy Gentleman, DAVID HACKSTON of Rathillet, who suffered at the Cross of Edinburgh, July 30, 1680 --
His Interrogations and Answers before the Privy
I. Whether or not had you any hand in the murdering of the late Archbishop of St Andrews? Answered, He was not obliged to answer that question, nor be his own accuser.
II. What he would declare as to the King's authority? Answered, The authority that disowns the interest of God, and states [i.e., sets] itself in opposition to Jesus Christ, is no more to be owned; but so it is, the King's authority is now such, therefore it ought not to be owned.
III. Whether the killing the Archbishop of St Andrews was murder, yea or not? Answered, That he thought it no sin to despatch a bloody monster.
IV. If he owned the New Covenant, taken at the Queensferry, from Mr Cargill, one of their preachers? Answered, That he did own it in every particular thereof, and would fain see the man that in conscience and reason would debate the contrary.
V. If he were at liberty, and had the power to kill any of the King's council, and murder them as he did the Archbishop of St Andrews, whether he would do it, yea or not? Answered, That he had no spare time to answer such frivolous and childish questions.
The Chancellor told him, that if he were not more ingenuous in his answers, he would presently be tortured. He answered, "That is but a little addition to your former cruelties, and I have that comfort, that though you torture my wounded body, yet ye cannot reach my soul." The Chancellor urged him with several other questions, which
But, said he, "I would gladly speak a little, if
he refused to answer.
Then he said: "Ye know that youth is a folly, and I acknowledge that, in my younger years, I was too much carried down with the spate [i.e., flood] of it; but that inexhaustible fountain of the goodness and grace of God, which is free and great, hath reclaimed me, and, as a firebrand, hath plucked me out of the claws of Satan ; and now I stand here before you as a prisoner of Jesus Christ, for adhering to His cause and interest, which hath been sealed with the blood of many worthies, who have suffered in these lands, and have witnessed to the truths of Christ these few years bygone. And I do own all the testimonies given by them, and desire to put in my mite among theirs, and am not only willing to seal it with my blood, but also to seal it with the sharpest tortures that you can imagine."
Then, being interrogated by the Bishop of Edinburgh, what he would answer to that article of the Confession of Faith, that differ ence of religion doth not make void the Magistrate's right and authority? He answered, that he would not answer any perjured Prelate. The Bishop replied, he was in the wrong to him, because he never took the Covenant, therefore he was not perjured, and so deserved not that name. But some of them asking him how he would answer that question, he answered, "That question was answered long ago, by the Solemn League and Covenant, which binds us only to maintain and defend the King in the defence of the true religion: but now the king having stated himself an enemy to religion, and all that will live religiously, therefore it is high time to shake off all obligation of allegiance to his authority."
These interrogations were all read to him in the face of the council, and he owned all. The next day he was arraigned before the council. They asked if he had any more to say. He answered, that which he had to say, was said already in every particular thereof, and, said he, "I will not only seal it with my blood, but with all the tortures you can imagine."