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"You condemn us because we do that, which once a day you would have accounted your honour to do, and say that we are all distracted, and have distracted notions in our heads! And say you so? Wilt thou tell me, man, if thou thinkest that a distracted notion, to confess the Covenant and Work of Reformation? But you will say," it is not for that which I lay down my life, but for the subscribing of that paper; and I do think it well worth the sealing with my blood. And will you tell me what could we do less? You ran away and left the work, and the enemies were carrying all before them; and we durst not but leave testimony against them. My heart was like to bleed when I saw enemies carry the day, and robbing the Lord of His rights, His crown, and kingdom, and not so much as one to move their tongue against them, and say, that it is ill done that they have done. I leave it to God and your own conscience, whether or not it be duty to contend for truth this day, when it was so much neglected.
"I leave my testimony against you and your hearers, and the joiners with you, ay, and while [i.e., until] they repent . I. bid you repent and come off, and witness for the Lord, and if ye will not do it, as sure as God is in heaven, He will be about with [i.e., avenge Himself on] you; escape who will, ye will not escape; for it is like He will begin at the sanctuary. Take warning in time. I leave it on you now, when I am going into eternity; for I am persuaded this is the way to the kingdom of heaven; for the Lord hath confirmed it to my soul, and hath made my life a sweet life to me. Oh! read the 41st of Isaiah, for it was sweet to me when I was taken. And oh! that I had as many lives to lay down for Him, as there are hairs on my head; I would think them all too little! Oh! what is my life? Nothing in comparison of His glory. Oh! woe to you idle shepherds, for ye deceive poor things; if it were possible, I think you would deceive the very elect. You take God to be your witness, that you are in His way yet, and have not quit one hoof
"But your practice condemns you, and the word of God condemns you. You may read Malachi ii. 1, 2, 3: 'And now, oh! ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, saith the Lord of Hosts, I will even send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart: Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it:' the 7th of Matthew 15, 16: 'Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps' clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?' And that 34th of Ezekiel, second verse, 'Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel, that do feed themselves— shall not the shepherds feed the flocks?'
"I leave my testimony against them that say, we hold our principles of men, and that we die for pleasing men. But it is not so; for I never thought that little of my life, as to lay it down for the pleasing of any; so it is but a most base aspersion of some cast on us, because our practice condemns theirs, and they can get no other thing to brand us with but that. And glory to the Lord, the contrary is seen both by our practices and our through-bearing: and it is made out, that we hold our principles of none, but of God and His word.
"I leave my testimony against the four men in the Canongate Tolbooth [i.e., Gib and his three associates then in prison. See Cargill's letter to them, p. 19.—Ed.] or any other that join with them for wronging of the holy and sweet Scriptures. Some brand me with that, that I am of their judgment, which thing I exceedingly abhor and detest as the mire in the streets, and I count them guilty of death for wronging of the Scriptures. If we had judges in the land that were for God, they should not live.
"I leave my testimony against that tyrant on the throne and all his underlings; and I say it will never be right with our land till Haman and his ten sons be hung up before the sun.
"I leave my testimony against them that rule as judges, and I leave my blood on the assizers, dempster [i.e., doomster], soldiers, and all of them, and all that acknowledge or aid them as magistrates, ay, and while '[i.e., until] they repent.
"I leave my testimony against all enemies of all sorts, and against all sorts of compliance in less or more, and against all that has been done against the work of God these twenty years bygone; against the Test, and compliance with, or compearing before God's enemies in less or more.
"I leave my testimony against the ministers and professors in Fife, for the wrongs they have done to my lovely Lord and His sweet cause; and my head shall be a standing witness against them, and preach to them from Cupar Tolbooth, ay, and while [i.e., until] they repent . As for anything that they have done to me, I freely forgive them, and pray that the Lord may forgive them.
"I leave my testimony against all them that will not hear Mr Donald Cargill, and own him as a faithful minister of the Gospel; and none but he is faithful this day.
"I leave my testimony to the holy and sweet Scriptures, which many a day I have been refreshed with. I bless the Lord that ever I could read a line of them. Now I adhere to the faithfully-preached Gospel and to all that our worthies have done, which I need not particularly mention here.
"And you that are the people of the Lord, oh! be busy and improve your time, and make use of your Bibles while you have them, for it is like there may be a bonfire made of them yet, as well as of the Covenant. And covenant with Him, and contend for Him to the utmost of your power; for I have found more of His sweet love in contending for Him than ever I got in prayer or hearing the word. Oh! His sweet word; let it not slip through your fingers.
"It is like ye will have sad days of it when I am gone. Popery is begun, and it is like to overspread the whole land, and there is none to move their tongue against it, although the land be sworn in solemn oath against it. Oh! sirs, lift up your voice for the remnant that is left. Fast and pray; cry and weep; let not the apple of your eye cease; the wrath is like to be great that will overtake us; Oh ! cry that the days may be shortened for the elect's sake, lest no flesh should be saved.
"Oh! look out for sad days, dear friends; it may be ye will get the saddest stroke that ever a poor land was trysted [i.e., visited) with. Ye may read through the Scriptures, and ye will find what judgments followed such sins; pestilence, sword, and famine ; which ye may look for. I leave it on you, that ye be not slack-handed, for it may come to that, that the tender and delicate women may eat their own children for straitness in the siege. It is to be feared that the plagues that are coming on Scotland for a broken and burnt Covenant will make their ears to tingle that hear of them. But I will not be to see it; the Lord is taking me away from the evil to come, which was often my desire; for the sad heart that ministers and professors have made me with their complying and wronging His glory, made me oft wish to be away.
"And now it does not trouble me to lay down my life in your presence this day. Oh! it is sweet to be a sufferer for truth! I wonder what doth ail the generation, to scar at [i.e., fear] Him or His sweet cross; for there is no cause of rueing or wearying, for all that is come. There is a beauty in holiness. Oh! commend Him, sirs! Oh! bless and praise Him that ever He honoured such a wretch as I am to be a martyr for His sweet truth! Oh! sweet honour He puts on poor things! Oh! sirs, cast in your lot with the suffering remnant that this day is in the furnace. Sink or swim with His Church. Oh! prefer Jerusalem to your chief joy!
"But oh! be persuaded to come and taste of His goodness; this is the way, although the whole world should condemn it. It will not be the learned clergy, or great heads of wit, that He will honour with carrying on of His work; for they have all denied Him. There are none of the ministers that will witness for Him, nor yet any that the Lord has bestowed great parts on; their wit leads them bye the cross and beyond suffering. They will not suffer if petitioning will do it; or hiring of advocates or learned speakers. They can put in petitions, and say they never intended the death of any man but in the defence of their life; but never a word of the defence of the Gospel, the work of Reformation, or the sworn Covenant. Nay, if they had done that, their life would go; but they were bound by Covenant to own and maintain religion against Popery, and Prelacy, Quakerism, Indulgence, and whatsoever else is contrary to sound doctrine, with their lives in their hands, and to quit with all for the faith once delivered to the saints. And though they never mention a word of all this, yet they will say they came clearly off; but I say now, when I am going into eternity, that God's wrath will be on such a liberty, and God will count with them for what they have done against His honour; for there can none come clearly out from among their hands that is once before them without wronging His glory. Oh! fear and tremble, sirs; you that get the favour of God's enemies, and yield your conscience to the lusts of men.
"I leave it on all persons, now when I am to appear before my Judge, that they do nothing but what is according to the holy and sweet Scriptures. Take them to be your rule, and go no further than they allow you; they do not bid you to petition enemies for your liberty, nor yet to hire advocates.
"Now, my advice to you that are taken prisoners is, that you seek no favour of God's enemies. Black not paper with them, in good, cheap, nor dear. Stand for your sweet Lord, with your life in your hand. Own and avouch Him to be King and head of His own church. Count not your life dear unto you, when it comes in competition with truth.
"And now, as for you that are the poor seekers of the Lord; oh! act faith on Him; give Him much credit; live as brethren. dwell in unity, let peace and truth be among you. But, good Lord, let never peace be without truth! Keep up fellowship and society-meetings; for my soul hath been oft refreshed in the fellowship of the saints. Oh! stand for your despised Lord, and His wronged glory.
"Now I being straitened for want of time (it being short), I forbear, and bid you be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might. Now, farewell my dear friends. Farewell holy and sweet Scriptures. Farewell sun, moon, and stars. Farewell sweet reproaches and crosses for my sweet Lord Jesus. Farewell all things in time; reading, praying, and all duties. Farewell relations. Farewell my dear wife; the Lord be to you better than ten husbands. Glory be to His great name, that made me so sweetly to submit to His will, whatever He trysted [i.e., visited] me with. Farewell mother and sisters, and all relations. Farewell all my Christian acquaintances for a while. Farewell sweet society in Fife; the Lord's blessing be on you all. And now, welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Welcome sweet company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. Welcome everlasting songs of praise. Now into thy hands, holy Father, I commit my spirit.
IILLIAM THOMSON was a servant in Frosk in Fifeshire. Up till 1679 he had taken no interest in religious matters, but the preparations made for defence of Gospel truth after Drumclog excited his attention ; he joined the Covenanters, and was