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Jeshurun, that rides upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky. And underneath are everlasting arms, and He will save His people.
“ 2. I have a word to say to you that are godly; but, alas ! you have wronged the cause ; for which I fear you have lost the countenance of God, and will not get it again in haste. Ye have waxed fat and kicked. Ye have flung at God, so to speak. Ye have laid a confederacy with enemies for a false peace. Ye have been crying peace and union with the indulged; because they are godly men. I say before the Lord, that ye and these godly men have most basely betrayed the Kirk of Scotland. Ye shall go to heaven in a fiery chariot. Ye shall hardly get leave to suffer, but go away in a stink (i.e., as an offence], for your complying and shunning the cross.
" 3. A word to the ungodly. Oh! ye atheists and ungodly magistrates, full of perjury, and bloodshed, ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. The blood of the Lord's martyrs, that has been shed these eighteen or nineteen years within this city, will be charged home upon you, as well as upon the assizers. Ye counsellors, your work will be rewarded. Ye criminal lords, remember; "the saints shall judge the earth,' and shall shortly be in equal terms with you; and they shall stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, and give their consents against you; and shall shortly cry, Hallelujah, hallelujah, to your condemnation! And therefore I obtest you, in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will desist from your wicked courses, and lie in the dust, and mourn for all your abominations. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish! Ye ignorant and profane drunkards, swearers and Sabbath breakers, repent, or else ye shall likewise perish !
“And now, I take my farewell of all the serious seekers of God, for a short time. And you that are calm, prudent professors, I leave you under process, till you repent for casting off Christ, and His cross, and for bringing up an evil report on the good land, and for your wronging of the cause. And ye rulers, farewell for ever more, without repentance, and deep humiliation, for wronging of Christ and His people! Return, my soul, unto thy quiet rest. Farewell all created comforts in time ; and welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commit my spirit.
“ Sic subscribitur,
“ ARCHIBALD ALISON.”
T will be seen from John Malcolm's testimony, and from the
list of the banished in the Appendix to this volume, that he
was at Bothwell Bridge, and was one of the many prisoners taken after the battle. He was brought to Edinburgh, and, with several hundred more, was confined in the open air in Greyfriars Churchyard. After almost incredible privations, endured for nearly five months, two hundred and fifty-seven of their number, John Malcolm among them, were given over to one Paterson, a merchant in Leith, towards the close of 1679, to be shipped as slaves to the plantations in North America. The usage they received on shipboard was of the worst character. They had scarcely room to lie down; they were half-starved ; and, to add to their misery, the ship met with such stormy weather, that a fortnight was spent in reaching the Pentland Firth. At last the vessel was wrecked on the Moul Head of Deerness, so striking an object to the voyager as he nears the Mainland of the Orkney Islands. Two hundred perished, and John Malcolm was one of the fifty survivors. After this, he appears to have joined the suffering remnant in the fields under Richard Cameron, and was taken in the fatal encounter at Airsmoss.
The Bonds, protested against by Malcolm, and repeatedly alluded to in the testimonies, were imposed at different times during the twenty-eight years' persecution; but that which caused most suffering was the one issued in the close of 1677, or the beginning of 1678. The general refusal to sign it throughout the West of Scotland, was made the pretext for calling in the Highland host, and treating the country as if it were an enemy's, to be plundered by the soldiery at their will. Its ensnaring and cruel character will be best seen from its terms. It made heads of families responsible for any one of their household that attended a conventicle, and proprietors liable for the acts of their tenants and cottars; and forbade hospitality, or kindness, or even shelter, to be given to the intercommuned ministers. The following is a true copy of the Bond referred to :
“Glasgow, January 28, 1678.-“We faithfully bind and oblige us, that we, our wives, bairns and servants respective, shall no ways be present at any conventicles or disorderly meetings in time coming, but shall live orderly, in obedience to the law, under the pains and penalties contained in the Acts of Parliament made there against: as also, we bind and oblige us, that our haill tenants and cottars respective, their wives, bairns, and servants, shall likewise abstain and refrain from the said conventicles, and other illegal meetings not authorised by the law, and that they shall live orderly and in obedience to the same: and further, that we nor they shall not reset, supply, or commune with forfeited persons, intercommuneil ministers, vagrant preachers, but shall do our utmost endeavours to apprehend their persons; and in case
our said tenants, cottars, or their foresaids shall contravene, we shall take and apprehend any person or persons guilty thereof, and present them to the judge ordinary, that they may be fined or imprisoned therefor, as is provided by Acts of Parliament made there anent, otherwise we shall remove them and their families off our ground; and if we fail herein, we shall be liable to such pains and penalties as the said delinquents have incurred by law.---Consenting thir presents, etc., Subscribed ut supra.”
The Cess and Militia-money, mentioned in Malcolm's testimony, and often referred to throughout the volume, was a tax imposed by the Convention of Estates, June 1678, for the purpose of maintaining troops to put down the field-meetings. It was a great grievance to the body of the nation. Parliament, rather than the Convention of Estates, was the proper authority to impose taxes ; but the Government would not summon a meeting of Parliament, lest it proceed to discuss the grievances of the nation. In the proclamation summoning the Convention, the troops, sought to be supported by the expected Cess, are declared to be for the purpose of putting down the execrable field conventicles. And lastly, in the Act of Convention offering to the king the £1,800,000 pounds to be raised by the Cess, the field-meetings are stigmatised as dangerous field conventicles and rendezvouses of rebellion.
The Act of Convention led to much discussion, and the debates upon the lawfulness or unlawfulness of paying the Cess were not few. But debate as they might, all were ultimately forced to pay the tax in some form or other, and the greatest severity was practised where in any case it was refused. -- ED.)
HE DYING TESTIMONY of John MALCOLM, Weaver,
in the Parish of Dalry, in the Sheriffdom of Galloway, who suffered Martyrdom at the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, August 13, 1680.
“ I desire the audience of you, who are here spectators and auditors, to hear some words of a dying
man, ready to offer up this tabernacle in your sight. I would have it among my last wishes, that you would consider your ways and your doings, that are not good; and not harden your hearts as in the provocation ; for ye have to do with an holy God, who is quickly about to come, in flaming fire, to take vengeance on all the ungodly profane persons who are living at ease in Zion, and rejoicing in the afflictions of the people of God. I would obtest you in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you would break off your pernicious ways, and make peace with God, while He would make peace with you, lest ye be destroyed in the overflowing flood of His wrath.
“There have been flockings and gatherings to see others who are gone before me, that have been wonderfully countenanced and owned with the evident presence of God; convincingly helping some to go through the jaws of death, rejoicing and looking profane onlookers out of countenance, and have given their testimonies against the abominations committed in the land. And I am come hither, who am the unworthiest of any that has gone before me.
“Now, before I come further, I would ask you what you think of religion? What, think ye, can it be that makes men go to death with so great peace and sweetness? Ye have heard what malefactors have had to say. Think ye not strange that a rational man can enter in upon eternity leaving such a testimony as ye have heard ? And I hope the Lord will help me, in less or more, to be faithful and free in leaving my testimony in the sight and presence of Him, who is the Sovereign Judge of all the earth, before whom I must stand in a short time.
“ The cause of my coming here this day is, because I was found with that poor persecuted handful, which is the people that was singly adhering to the honour and glory of God; now when He is threatening to bring in His sore plagues upon this apostate Church, that has played the harlot with other lovers, for which He will bring on indignation, wrath, and pain upon many.
“1. But this is ground of encouragement to the seekers of God; that He is keeping up a party in the land that see it their duty to contend for His cause and interest, and shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; who are not loving their lives unto the death, to contend for His cause and interest. For He hath said, in the seventh chapter of Ezekiel, 16th verse, ' But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. Now, I seeing and considering upon the one hand, what treacherous dealings are hatched up among ministers and professors in this poor Church; and on the other hand, considering what the Lord had done formerly; I thought I was convinced in conscience, and from respect to the honour of God, which I had before mine eyes, and the good of mine own soul; I was constrained by an influence of the Spirit bearing in that word upon my heart, which we have in i Kings xviii. 21, * And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow Him.'
“ The Lord determined me to join myself with that party, and I do not repent it this day. I count it my duty, and no sin nor rebellion. I think it my credit to serve such a noble Master ; and, indeed, I wonder at His condescendency, that ever He sought service from such a wretched sinner as I have been, who lived a stranger to Him all my days. But, О wonderful love! Oh! I wonder at the matchless acts of the Lord's condescendency and incomprehensible ways with me! that He has made choice of such a poor, weak, frail pickle of dust as I am, and has led me out and in, and has brought me to this place of execution to give my testimony to His work, cause, and interest; and has passed by the eminent, wise, and prudent in the land, and has made choice of such a feckless [i.e., worthless) nothing as I am. But blessed be His glorious name, that will have His word made out, that out of the mouth of babes and sucklings He can perfect His praise.
"2. And this, likewise, is a ground of hope to you that are weak and cannot venture on suffering, being sensible of your own weakness - To the weak He increaseth strength.' And this is another ground