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emphasis—" Go and help Crossriggs, for he is in great hazard, otherwise I will require his blood at thy hand." Livingston now arose with alacrity, and after dressing, mounted his horse and sallied out into the dreary winter night. He arrived at Crossriggs about four in the morning, and at once observed light in the proprietor's bedroom. Livingston entered the house and knocked at his door. It was instantly opened by Crossriggs. "What brought you here," asked the laird, "at this time of night?" "What in all the world," retorted Livingston, "keeps you up at this time of night? I know it is not anything ordinary." "I will not answer that question," said Crossriggs, "until you tell me what brings you here at so unreasonable an hour." The minister made frank with the proprietor, and told him his dream and the voices he had heard. Crossriggs then, to his great relief, told Livingston that he had been in great despair about his soul, and that he had sent to Edinburgh for cats-bane, as he had received direction, when he was engaged in prayer. The bane, a white powder, was lying on a table in the room, and after spending a night in prayer he had resolved to take it at a draught. Livingston dissuaded him, and taking the powder and getting it tested, found it was a deadly poison. How Livingston had been made an instrument in God's hands of saving the life of Crossriggs from the machination of the Evil One was accepted as true, and the extraordinary dream and attendant circumstances were all much talked of.
In 1635, William Livingston was again before the High Court of Commission. The charge against him this time was for employing his son, who had been deposed for noncomformity in Ireland, in helping him to dispense the Communion. He was now getting familiar with courts, and on this occasion he entirely turned the tables on the Commissioners. He addressed them as the culprits in the case, and he certainly frightened them, for they dismissed him, saying they could bear with him seeing he was an aged man. The excuse was rubbish; Livingston was at that time living a life of the most intense mental and physical activity.
Two years afterwards, when the Marquis of Hamilton, the Commissioner of the King, landed at Leith, William Livingston received the crowning honour of his life. He was selected to head the 500 clergymen of the Scottish Church who were to meet the Marquis of Hamilton, the Commissioner of the King, when he landed at Leith, and act as their spokesman on the occasion. It was a great function. There had never been seen at Leith such large multitudes, for the country was expecting a message of peace. "The whole of the nobles of the country, the gentry of all the shires, a world of women, the whole town of Edinburgh, all at the Watergate. And," continues Baillie, "we "—(the ministers of the Kirk)—-" were about five hundred, met on a braeside on the links. We had appointed Mr. William Livingston, the strongest in voice and the austerest in countenance of us all, to make him a short welcome." When Hamilton came up to the cloud of black coats, he was pleased with their salutation, and said, "Vos estis sal terrae." "What does he say?" asked one minister of another, who ventured the humorous but not inappropriate reply, "Dinna ye hear, man, we're the loons that mak' the kail saut!" Next day at Holyrood, Livingston, in a closely knit speech, laid the whole case of the suffering Church before His Grace; but to very little purpose, as was proved.
Livingston's last historical appearance was at the General Assembly held at Glasgow, November, 1638. Alexander Henderson of Leuchars was chosen moderator, and there never was such an exciting Assembly, Hamilton was touched by the zeal of the members, and the tears were seen coursing down his cheeks. But his injunctions were strict. He dissolved the Assembly in the name of the King, and then rose and left. But the Assembly neither dissolved nor left. Under the guidance of Livingston they set to work. They examined the character and conduct of the bishops, and deposed every one of them; they overturned the Five Articles of Perth; they nullified the work of the six Assemblies held since the accession of James; they condemned the Service Book, canons, and High Commissioner's Court. They then wound up by declaring Prelacy inconsistent with the principles of the National Covenant and the Church of Scotland. In dismissing the Assembly the moderator said, "We have cast down the walls of Jericho: let him that rebuildeth them beware of the curse of Hiel, the Bethelite."
In the following year, Livingston witnessed the failure of Charles in his attempt to perform in Scotland by force what his father had failed to perform by policy and kingcraft. In the autumn of 1641, he died at Lanark. He was in the 65th year of his age, and the 44th of his ministry. He was thrice married; first to Agnes Livingston, daughter of Alexander Livingston, portioner, Falkirk, brother of the Laird of Belstane, by whom he had seven of a family, four sons and three daughters; secondly, to Nicolas Somervell, by whom he had three daughters; and, thirdly, to Marion Weir, who also died during his lifetime, and by whom he had no family. His illustrious son, John, was the oldest child by his first wife. He left behind him only one printed work, a pamphlet bearing the title, "The Conflict and Conscience of a Dear Christian, named Bessie Clarksen, in the Parish of Lanerk, which she lay under three years and a half.'' It serves as an illustration of a happy pastoral manner. He was a considerable heritor in Monyabroch, and sold to Lord Livingston that portion of ground, then called Burnsyde, on which the Craigends now stand. It was purchased by his lordship, that he might devote it to extending the township,
John Livingston—A Burning and Shining Light—Appearance and Disposition—Birth and Education—Mouse Water Cave —Licensed—Continued Opposition—Torphichen—Countess of Wigton — Persecution and its Results — Stewarton Revival— Shott's Revival—Livingston's Great Sermon—The Holyrood Sermon—Three Young Men—Livingston's Methods—Killinchy —Suspended—Attempts to Reach America—Marriage—Deposed—Second Attempt to Reach America—Stranraer—Newburn Skirmish—Commissioner to the King—" The Plague to Scotland "—Cromwell and Livingston—Cromwell asks him to Preach—His Prayer—Oliver has enough of John—Summoned before Privy Council—Banished—Life in Holland, and Studies— Death.
Than John Livingston of Monyabroch, Stranraer, and Ancrum, in Scottish ecclesiastical history there are few men whose memories are more warmly cherished. He was the greatest preacher of his day, and there still clings to his
Autograph Op Rev. John Livingston Of Ancrum. From original Deed at Colzium House, dated zyth June, 1624.
memory the fragrance which was exhaled from his saintly life. During a career of the allotted span he maintained a walk and conversation singularly befitting the Gospel.