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to me, Fear not. Let none stumble at our cause, because of the late dispensation ; it is God's cause ; which was, and is, in our hands, though He has punished us with His fatherly chastisements, because of sin amongst us. Every tree that bringeth forth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit; but that which decayeth and goeth backward, is laid by as useless.
" John Pollock has been in the Boots, but I am informed, he is not discouraged, but is likely to be well again. My wounds are very sore, but, blessed be God, He keeps me in a good temper, both of body and mind. I am kindly enough used, wanting nothing.
"I recommend you, and all the faithful, to the protection of Him, who is the Almighty God, and Everlasting Father. No more, but rest, “ Yours in our sweet Lord Jesus Christ,
LETTER written by David HACKSTON to his sister :
“LOVING SISTER,- I received yours, and the other with it, both to my contentment and satisfaction. “It makes me afraid, that the eyes
many should be on me. Let all look to God. I am frail, but Christ is strong. I have His promise of through-bearing, and
assurance that He should honour me in His cause, before this. Lie low before the Lord, and let others that are yet faithful be earnest on my behalf, and do it in faith. The prayers of the faithful avail much.
" Have you nothing, and tell all friends to have nothing, to do with such, as have ado with these that are sitting in that seat, and exercising that power which belongs alone to Christ. The stroke of the Lord's anger is ready to be poured forth ; and these that have received greatest talents from God, and have made use of them, to strengthen enemies' hands by bonds, or otherwise owning them, shall be most remarkable in the stroke, and shall not be honoured to testify for Christ—despised Christ-robbed Christ-contemned Christ by this generation.
“Remember me to all relations and friends; and give warning to all to cleave to Christ's truth and interest. If the free grace
of God be glorified in me, ought not all to praise Him ? Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Many of this generation think they have so much grace that they cannot sin; but I must tell them, grace doth not warrant from sin, and they may so think of it.
“ Sic subscribitur,
ODROW'S account of Alison and of Malcolm, is all that is
now known of them: “Upon the 4th of August, I find
other two men who had been taken at Airsmoss before the Justiciary; John Malcolm, of the parish of Dalry, in Galloway, and Archibald Alison, of the parish of Evandale, in Clydesdale. Their indictment runs in common form. They confess they were at Bothwell Bridge, and at Airsmoss; and received their sentence to be hanged at the Grassmarket upon the nth of August. That day, or, as other papers make it, the 13th, they were executed, and died in great assurance and comfortable hopes of well-being."
The Rutherglen Declaration, referred to in Alison's testimony, was the earliest indication of the position which the sooieties soon afterwards took up, of direct opposition to the Government. It was, however, never owned by the societies. It will be found at the close of the Informatory Vindication. Its substance is well stated in the Vindication : “The Lord stirred up a handful to publish the Testimony at Rutherglen, May 29, 1679, bearing witness against the sacrilegious Supremacy, the Declaration condemning our covenants, the Act for keeping the 29th of May as an holy anniversary day of thanksgiving for the upsetting of the tyrant, and against other nefarious Acts of Parliament, and all prejudices done to the interest of Christ in the land. And for confirmation of their testimony, they did burn the aforesaid Acts, according as the adversary had burnt our holy Covenants, and did extinguish the bonfires upon the same anniversary day.”
The first Indulgence, also referred to in Alison's testimony, was issued June 7th, 1669. It permitted those outed ministers, that had lived peaceably and orderly in the places where they had resided, to exercise the functions of the ministry in their former parishes, but forbade persons from other parishes to come and hear them, and declared all who preached at or frequented conventicles to be seditious persons. The second was made up of three acts, issued September 2d and 3d, 1672. It was of the same Erastian character as the former, although it seemed to give more liberty. It was the cause, as no doubt it was designed by its framers, of much division among the Presbyterians.
The spot where so many of the martyrs suffered in the Grassmarket is at a central part in the east end. Robert Chambers, writing in 1823, says, that at this spot there remained till very lately a massive block of sandstone with a square hole in the middle. It was the stone which served as a socket for the gallows when it was the common place of execution. At the present day the spot is marked out by an arrangement of the paving-stones in the form of a St Andrew's Cross.
Criminals of a higher class suffered at the Cross in the High Street of Edinburgh. Here Donald Cargill, David Hackston, Walter Smith, and others, were executed.--Ed.]
HE DYING TESTIMONY of ARCHIBALD ALISON, who
lived in the parish of Evandale in Clydesdale, and suffered at the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, August 13, 1680.
“There have been many such sights seen in this place of execution since the year 1660, for this interest
and cause, for which I have received the sentence of death ; and here I am, in your presence, to lay down my life this day; for which I charge thee, oh! my soul, and all that is within me, to bless and magnify the name of the Lord, who can perfect His praise, and bring a testimony out of the mouths of babes or sucklings. Yea, before He want some to seal His testimony, even if it were from the beasts of the field, He will not want; as in Balaam's days, the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, gave a testimony against the madness of the prophet. Wherefore, unworthy as I am, I am come here, and beg your ear and attention, ye who are spectators and auditors, if the Lord shall permit me to speak a few words; and I shall be but brief.
“There are many come here this day, to hear and see me lay down this tabernacle of mine, that have various ends; but our Lord knows you all, and your ends both. It is true, God is my witness, that I judge myself the unworthiest person of any that have lost their blood for this honourable cause. He has been pleased to take a testimony from noblemen, gentlemen, ministers, and poor ploughmen lads, and tradesmen of several sorts; which is a token for good, that He has yet a kindness for these covenanted lands. And I bless the Lord with all my heart, that ever He called me with His heavenly calling. I bless the Lord, that I have a life to lay down for His sake. Glory to the Lord, that I shall have blood and wounds in His cause.
“But to come more particularly to the purpose in hand, the articles of my indictment were these : First, they charged me with rebellion for joining with these whom they call rebels, and declared enemies to the king, and enemies to all good government. For my own part I never called them so. I declare here where I stand, before Him who will be my judge within a little, that my design in coming forth with arms, was to hear the Gospel preached truly and faithfully; and I know it was the design of that poor handful to defend the Gospel, and to keep up a witness and testimony against the abounding corruptions that this land is filled with from end to end, and to plead with the Lord that He would not make a total removal therefrom. Yea, I heard Mr Richard Cameron say :
“My friends, we are not to compare ourselves with a Gideon's 300 men.
No, not at all. Our design is to have you examined how ye are, and what ye are; to choose two or three of the foot, and two or three of the horse, that are found fittest qualified for elders; to try your principles, to try your life and conversation, and to have you being [i.e., living Christians. Our number was more the last day, and we gave them free leave to go home, and only but a few handful to stay; for we design not to fall upon any party of the forces, except they be few in number, and oppose us in keeping up the Gospel in the fields; for I am persuaded that one meeting in the fields has been more owned and countenanced by His presence with His people, than twenty house meetings, as they are now bought [by the Indulgences]; and therefore make no strife among yourselves about officers, because they are but men ; yea, I think there is not a man amongst you all meet for it. We are not meet to be a Minister to you; only we are to wait till the Lord provide better ; and, ye that are not satisfied to stay in defence of the Gospel, good morrow to you, whatsoever ye be.'
“And so I thought it was rational and warrantable, both from the word of God, and our solemn vows and covenants, which you and the whole land are engaged unto. Now ye see what was my motive to join with that handful, and in this I have peace, and on this ground I lay down my life.
“There is a Second motive I had, for which I thought myself bound to own that persecuted cause and interest of my blessed Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. I being about two years ago in Carrick, and, hearing the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ in these glorious days the shining of the countenance of our Lord was discernibly seen there, both upon His ministers and people), I thought it my duty to mark it. The Lord did so soften and animate my heart at that time, that I made it my work, how I might win [i.e, get] to clearness how to state [i.e., declare] myself, being among the deceitful indulged Ministers; and finding several places of Scripture calling me out from them, as these known Scriptures, “If the Lord be God, follow Him : but if Baal then follow Him.' Come out from among them my people, and touch not the unclean thing.' ‘Touch not, taste not, handle not, which are all to perish with the using ;' I thought it was dreadful to be halting between two opinions. On the other hand, I had some Scriptures concerning the cross that attends pure religion and undefiled. The Lord who has called me here to-day, to seal these truths, wrought, with an irresistible power on my heart, that good word of His; ‘The Lord liveth; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies : yea, thou listest me up above those that rise up against me : thou hast delivered me from the violent man' (Psalm xviii. 46-48). This makes me rejoice.