Obrazy na stronie

churches for doctrine, government, discipline, and worship, according to the word of God, as it is expressed in the national covenant, the solemn league and covenant, the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and that blessed work of reformation so far once advanced, though now brought low, by the usurpation of the crown which belongs only to Jesus Christ, as bead of his church; to all which truths, I adhere, and resolve through the Lord's grace and strength to seal the same with my blood. Particularly,—I adhere to the national covenant and solemn league and covenant, as we are all sworn therein against all popery, prelacy, and all the corruptions thereon depending. As also, I adhere to the solemn league and covenant, as a holy contrivance of the holy Lord for the three kingdoms in a holy harmony and union, for the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world; and die in the faith of it, that however this blessed work of reformation be brought low, yet the Lord in his own time, who is king and captain of salvation, shall make it glorious and renowned in the eyes of the world, in despite of all adversaries whatsoever. Though it please the Lord to let them triumph and insult for a time, yet he will defend and revive his own work, and the spirits of his own oppressed remnant also, in these barren places; the seed of the gospel that hath been sown in East Lothian, shall have a spring season and a harvest in despite of devils and men, to the glory of God, and the comfort of his own people. Therefore, I do here give my testimony against all persecutors of the Lord's people and interest, in this sad time of defection; I also testify against all these that have intruded themselves into the calling of the ministry,* and upon the labours of his faithful sent servants. And I give my testimony against all apostates and indifferent lukewarm professors, who only follow Christ as the times make for them. Likewise, I give my testimony against all profane, profligate, wicked livers, who carry themselves so as if there were not a God, all whose damnation slumbers not, except it please the Lord to give them repentance and mercy. I also desire the Lord to make Alexander Maitland sensible,-who first apprehended me, and who promised upon his faith and conscience, that he would not see me wronged,-at whose door and his brother's, lies immediately my innocent blood, and that they may repent for the same. I desire the Lord to show them mercy, and freely forgive them. And as for the magistrates of Haddington, they are not free of my blood; I wish the Lord may make them sensible thereof, and give them repentance. Also, I declare my blood lieth at the bishop of St. Andrews' door, to stand against

The reader, it is presumed, need scarcely be told, that Mr. Learmonth here refers to the Episcopal curates, by whom the places of the presbyterian clergy, who were outed by the Glasgow act of 1662, were supplied. These were men of whom it might well be alleged, that they sought to be "put into the priest's office for a bit of bread;" whose characters and conduct must have rendered them contemptible, even if their principles, and the system under which they served, had been less obnoxious to the people; and who therefore might well be viewed as "intruders into the ministry," when compared with the able, zeal. ous, and conscientious pastors, "the faithful sent servants," by whom they were preceded.

him; for, since I received this sentence of death, it hath been frequently brought to my ears, that he pressed the king's advocate to take my life, although he needed not for want of malice:*-Isa. xxvi. 11. Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see, but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at thy people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.' Rev. vi. 10. And they cried with a loud voice, and said, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth :' -And I hope my blood shall still cry to the Lord against them, with all the innocent blood that hath been shed for the truth. I here most freely, before I go hence (without desire of revenge upon the forenamed persons, or any other, who have been the occasion of my blood shedding, now in my last words, after the example of my Lord and Master,) say, as is mentioned in that Scripture, Luke xxiii. 34. ' And Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do, and they parted his garments, and cast lots,' &c.

"My dear friends, I give my testimony against that calumny cast upon presbyterians, that they are seditious and disloyal persons; the which aspersion I do abhor. Therefore, I exhort all people, that they will show loyalty to the king, and all lawful magistrates, and all their just and lawful commands, in so far as their commands agree with the word of God. I also desire all the Lord's people to continue faithful, and persevere to the end; for only such shall be saved. I also request you for the Lord's sake, to be straight in the matters of God, which are of so high concernment, as the glory of our dearest Lord and Master, for God will not be mocked, Isa. xxviii. 22. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, even a consumption determined upon the whole earth.' And do not halt between two opinions; and let that scripture be always before you, and lay it to mind, Rev. xix. 4. These are they that have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins: these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth; these were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb.' Likewise, take notice of the word, • All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.' But again, precious Christ comforteth his followers with these words, John xvi. last verse, These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace; in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' And this I must say

• Here there are two persons named by this martyr as accessory to his death. With regard to the first,-it is probable that the name should have been printed Charles instead of Alexander Maitland, as that was the name of the ensign, by whose party the conventicle was attacked: or, it is possible he might refer to some one of the countrymen, whom it appears the ensign had compelled to accompany and assist him, on that occasion.—With regard to the other person named, -Archbishop Sharp, we quote the following statement of the circumstance referred to, from Wodrow. After saying that Learmonth's "trial and sentence were mightily cried out upon," he continues:-" Some papers before me say, he was assoilized by the jury, but Bishop Sharp being peremptory that he must die, moved the advocate to threaten them with the utmost severity, and at length they were prevailed with, to bring him in guilty."-History, vol. i.

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to the commendation of our blessed Lord, that in my experience I have found that scripture verified to me, Prov. iii. 17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.' Although to flesh and blood the cross of Christ be irksome, yet to the renewed part, Christ's yoke is easy, and his burden light; as it is Mat. xi. 28-30. 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' My brethren, but especially of East Lothian, do not scare at the precious cross of Christ Jesus for my suffering, for I can assure you, Christ's cross is beautiful, and fruitful, and not to be stumbled at, as it is Isa. xxvii. 8. If ye take it on you willingly, and draw kindly in it, it shall be the heartsomest work in the world, to work and the cross upon your back; for, he will bear you and it both, as I have found it in my experience, ever since I began to seek his face, but especially, since he called me to the hardest task; but no task is hard that he hath called me unto: but I may say, what am I, or my Father's house, or any of the lost posterity of Adam, Psal. viii. 2-4. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength, because of the enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained: -What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?' That such a holy one as He, should have singled out such a poor silly man as I, out of that country-side wherein I lived, and that he should have honoured me, by calling me to lay down my life for adhering and following of him in the way of duty,in countenancing his despised gospel and persecuted cause, now preached in the fields, by his lawfully called servants,-whereby he hath sealed to my soul, that he owns these field meetings, and doth tryst with his friends there, as I have found in a singular manner both in word and sacraments, -as I have found it to my comfort at East Nisbet in the Merse, 1 Cor. i. 13. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto them that are saved, it is the power of God:'-and there he dealt bountifully with his friends, as in Isa. xxvii. 7. I hope ere long the following words of the forenamed chapter shall be made out to me, and I shall enjoy him to all eternity. Be exhorted, to follow this way of the Lord, though unjustly reproached in that calumny of sedition and rebellion. And again, I exhort you to follow Christ in the use of all his commanded services both in public and private, cost what it will:-As Mat. x. 37-39. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.' As for my part, now in my last words, I declare, if all the bairs of my head were men, I would willingly lay them down with my life, for owning my Master Jesus Christ, and his cause, in the field meetings, when you cannot get the liberty of a house as formerly,-where his goings hath been seen in


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the sanctuary to his people in their wilderness condition these sixteen years and upwards, as he hath promised to his people, Ezek. xi. 16. Yet will I be to them a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.' And I die in the faith of it, that God will come, and countenance and own those, who venture most for him. Therefore, my beloved, let not the fear of man prevail, but fear him who can kill both soul and body:-Luke xii. 4, 5. Fear not him that can kill the body, but fear him that after he hath killed the body, hath power to cast into hell.' Isa. li. 12, 13. Shouldest thou be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy; and where is the fury of the oppressor?' Consider for your encouragement what our Lord hath suffered for his elect:-Isa. liii. throughout. -Also, Luke xxii. 44. And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood;' and mind what will follow, Rev. ii. 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.' Luke xxii. 28. Ye are they which have continued with me in my tentations, and I appoint unto you a kingdom.' As that chapter hath been oft sweet to me, press towards the mark, and sink not; as it is, Psal. lxxiii. 1. Truly God is good to Israel;' and Isa. xl. 29-31. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.' John xiv. 1-3. Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.' All the eighth chapter to the Romans hath oft comforted me; yea, the Lord who hath the tongue of the learned, hath spoke a word in due season to me, which words have been as apples of gold in pictures of silver. There is not a moment of our time, but we must depend on him, and to all such needy dependants he will make out that word, 2 Cor. xii. 9. My grace is sufficient for thee.' John xvi. 13. When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.' And at the close of the warfare, God will make out these sweet words, 1 Cor. xv. 54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.' Job xix. 25, 26. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.' Psal. xvii. 15. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be

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satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.' Psal. xvi. 8-11. 'I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope: for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' Psal. xxx. 5. In his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning;' ver. 11, 12. Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing, to the end that my glory may sing praise unto thee.' Rev. iii. 12. Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God;' chap. vii. 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, and to the Lamb;' chap. xix. 7. For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.' Isa. xxxiii. 24. And the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick.' I shall end here with these words, Rom. viii. 17, 18. If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together: for I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.' 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. Rev. xxii. 20. Surely I come quickly. Amen, even so come Lord Jesus,'

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"At Edinburgh,

27th September, 1678."


2. HIS SPEECH on the Scaffold.

"Men and Brethren :-I am called here this day to lay down my life, I hope as one whom the Lord will own as a witness to the born-down cause and truth, that now in this hour and power of darkness is unjustly oppressed, although one of the least and unworthiest of all that the Lord hath called to seal his truth with blood,-yet I am called and honoured here in your audience to declare, before I die, that I adhere to that work of reformation from popery, prelacy and profanity, heresy, and all manner of ungodliness abounding in these loose times, as the fruit of breaking down of the hedge of government, occasioned by the coming in of that unjust usurpation of the crown of Jesus Christ, and putting it upon the head of a mortal man, whose breath is in his nostrils. I also adhere to the church of Scotland,-as it was governed by a general assembly lawfully constitute, by synods, presbyteries, and kirk sessions,-as the only hedge appointed of God, if well approven, to hold out the wild beasts out of his vineyard. I adhere also to the national covenant, and solemn league and covenant, to the solemn acknowledgment of sins, the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, to the despised way of preaching of the gospel, the receiving of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, from the lawfully ordained and called ministers of the gospel, who are forced to the fields, because of persecution from those who were never friends to the church of Christ, or his church in this na

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