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PON the 14th day of November, 1684, suffered John Watt in the parish of Kilbride, and John Semple, in the parish of Glassford; whose testimonies, if they be extant, came not to the hands of the publishers of this collection; only it is certain, from their indictments, that they died for their adherence to the same truths at the Gallowlee, which was in the twilight of the evening, while they were singing the eleventh section of the cxix. Psalm, particularly these words in the eighty-fourth verse:
"How many are thy servant's days?
Just judgment on these wicked men,
The soldiers made such a hellish noise, and turned back so upon the people that were spectators of the action, that the people verily conceived they should have been trodden down and massacred on the spot, which occasioned all to flee, so that none of their Christian friends durst stay to do the last duty to them, in dressing their dead bodies, but they were left to the insolent soldiers' disposal.
COPY of a LETTER written by JOHN SEMPLE in Craigthorn, while in prison. Directed to his mother and sister, who were then in prison.
"LOVING MOTHER AND SISTER,-This is to let you know, that, that day I was brought to the Tolbooth of Canongate, and we were put into the irons, and the shackles put upon our arms, and to-morrow [i.e., next day], about eleven o'clock, I was brought before the Council, and they showed me the paper which was found upon the crosses and kirk doors, and they asked if I knew it? I answered, What know I what is in that paper? The duke having it in his hand, the rest of the Council bade him read it to me; he read some lines of it, and then said to the rest, it would take a long time to read. They offered to give it to me to read, and promised me time to consider it, if I would give my judgment of it. I answered, I will not have it, neither will I be judge of papers.
Q. "Own ye the king's authority, as it is now established?'
A. "What know I what is in that paper?'
"Then they said, 'To be short with you, own ye the Covenants and Presbyterian principles ?'
A. "I own the Covenants and Presbyterian principles with my whole heart.'
"Then said they, 'So, that is a frank and free fellow.'
"Then they caused to take me away for a while, and I was brought before them again. And then they said, 'Come and declare the truth, and give your oath what you know concerning the contrivers and publishers of these papers.'
A. "I am not bound to wrong my neighbours, neither will I give an oath.'
"After some questions and answers, the Chancellor said, he should make me do it; for, he said, he would make me as small as snuff. I answered, 'Sometimes persecutors have caused the saints to blaspheme.'
"The bishop's brother said, 'I was a liar, for the Scripture says no such thing.'
"I said, that it says the same thing, and I told him where it
"Then they caused to take me away; and then a little after they brought me before them again the third time, and pressed upon me again to declare; I utterly refused.
"Then they caused the executioner to take me a little aback, and made me sit with my back to the bar, and threw on the Thumbkins upon my thumbs, until I fell into a sound [i.e., swoon]; and when I overcame again [i.e., recovered], they were standing about, looking upon me, and bidding me rise, and then I rose.
"Then some of them said, What will ye say now to the Chancellor? I said, I will say nothing to him.
"Then they took me to the Town Tolbooth, to the Ironhouse. "Now I desire that I could bless the Lord for this, that He kept me; for, in the time of the torture, I spake not a word good nor bad, but got it borne, until I fell into a sound [i.e., swoon]. All their countenances dashed [i.e., disturbed] me nothing; for I did not fear their faces, nor the faces of hundreds, who were gazing upon me, from about eleven o'clock till seven o'clock in the afternoon. And I
thought that this was a sign of God's presence; but the shining of His countenance was not with my spirit. But I was helped to believe and hold fast; for I knew not but that day or to-morrow might have been my last day.
"The next morning I was brought before one of them into a chamber.
"He said, 'How are ye advised to-day?' I said, 'As I was.'
Q. "What is the reason that ye will not tell the truth to the Chancellor; for it is a sin not to do it?'
A. "Doeg told the truth when he told Saul, that he saw David come to Ahimelech, and that Ahimelech gave him bread, and did enquire of God for him, and yet the Scripture calls it lying (Ps. lii. 3). And therefore there is a sinful pernicious speaking of the truth, which is a great sin, and accounted as a lie.' I said to him also, that, knowing the terror of the Lord, I thought that the terror of men was the lighter to be borne, and that I would say no more than I had said, though they should torture all the fingers and toes that I had, till they should be cut off. But as the Lord should give me strength I
"After this he never opened his mouth more, but humbred and rose up, and went his way, and the keeper brought me back to the Ironhouse, where I remain. One thing is come to my mind which he said more; that it was for rebellion against the king that they were pursuing for. I answered, so did the persecutors of the Son of God say, that it was for rebellion, for they called him an enemy to Cæsar. Moreover, they threatened me with the Boots. Now, what the Lord will permit them to do, I know not; but there are hard things determined against me; and I am very weak, for flesh and blood are but weak, therefore forget not my case. I am well contented with my lot, blessed be the Lord, only I am afraid of my own weakness lest I wrong the truth.
"No more at present, but I wish that the Lord's presence may be with you, my dear mother and sister. Give my love to my brother and sisters. I am in good health, blessed be God; my thumbs, they are not very sore, only they are something feelless [i.e., insensible]; I and others thought, they should scarcely have ever served me, at least for a long time.
AMES GRAHAM was a tailor in the parish of Crossmichael, Kirkcudbrightshire. He was returning to his mother's house, after a day's labour, when he was overtaken by Claverhouse and a party of soldiers. They did not know him, and had nothing to lay to his charge, but they searched him. They found a Bible in his pocket. The Bible they took from him, and without any more questions they carried him prisoner to Kirkcudbright. Thence they took him to Wigtown and then to Dumfries, where he was some time in irons, because he would not answer their questions. He was shortly afterwards taken to Edinburgh, where he was questioned upon the Societies' Declaration. He was tried, condemned, and suffered with George Jackson. Wodrow says he died most comfortably.-ED.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of JAMES GRAHAM, tailor in Crossmichael, in the Stewartry of Galloway, who suffered at the Gallowlee, betwixt Leith and Edinburgh, December 9, 1684.
"MEN AND BRETHREN,-I am come here this day to lay down my life for the cause of Christ, and I bless the Lord, that ever He gave me a life to lay down for such a noble cause; and now I wish this day that every hair of my head, and every drop of my blood were a life, I could willingly lay them down for Him. For it is all too little I can do for Him. Oh! it is a wonder that ever He should have chosen me or the like of me, to witness or die for Him in such a cause ! For He hath no need of me, or any of the lost sons of Adam, but He hath testified in
His Word, that He will make the poor things of the earth to confound the prudent.
"And now I bless the Lord that I die not as a murderer, nor a thief, nor as an evil doer, nor as a busybody in other men's matters. The heads whereupon I am indicted, are, because I refused to disown that paper which is most agreeable to the Word of God, and to our sworn Covenants and work of Reformation; and because I would not swear to that which I durst not for my soul do. Now, I giving a short account what I am indicted for, I shall likewise give an hint of what I adhere to.
"1. I adhere to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, Confession of Faith, Catechisms Larger and Shorter, and to the whole work of Reformation, as it was once established in our land, although now, alas! defaced and denied by the most part of this generation.
"2. To the Covenants, National and Solemn League, to which we are sworn, with hands uplifted to the most high God, and bound to maintain.
"3. To the Sum of Saving Knowledge, the Acknowledgment of Sins, and Engagement to Duties.
"4. To the preached Gospel, as it was faithfully preached in our land, by the sent messengers of Jesus Christ, especially by Messrs J. Kd. [i.e., John Kid], J. K. [i.e., John King], D. C. [i.e., Donald Cargill], and R. Cn. [i.e., Richard Cameron], who took their lives in their hands, and went forth upon all hazards, when the rest of their brethren turned their back upon the cause.
"5. To Mr James Renwick, as a faithful sent servant of Jesus Christ, who has lifted up the standard where Messrs Donald Cargill and Richard Cameron left it, who sealed the cause with their blood.
"6. To all the appearances in arms in defence of the Gospel and our sworn Covenants, and the whole work of Reformation.
"7. To the Excommunication at the Torwood, by Mr Donald Cargill.
"8. To the Sanquhar Declaration, as a thing most agreeable to the Word.
"9. To the Declaration at Rutherglen.
"10. To the paper that was taken off worthy Henry Hall at the Queensferry.
"II. To the burning of that hell-hatched thing called the Test, at Lanark.