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HE INTERROGATIONS of Isabel Alison before the Criminal Lords:—
"Being called before the Criminal Lords, they asked me, If I would abide by what I said the last day? I answered, I am not about to deny anything of it.
"They said, Ye confessed, that ye harboured the killers of the archbishop, though ye would not call it I said, I confessed no such thing.
"The Advocate said, I did. I answered, I did not; and I told them I would take with no untruths.
"He said, Did ye not converse with them? I said, I did converse with David Hackston, and I bless the Lord for it.
"They said, When saw ye him last? I answered, never since ye murdered him.
"They desired me to say over what I said the last day. I said, Would they have me to be my own accuser?
"They said, The Advocate was my accuser. I said, Let him say on, then.
"Then they went over the things that passed betwixt the Council and me the other day, and put me to it—yea, or nay? I said, Ye have troubled me too much with answering questions, seeing you are a judicature which I have no clearness to answer.
"They said, Do ye disown us, and the king's authority in us?
"I said, I disown you all, because you carry the sword against God and not for Him, and have these nineteen or twenty years made it your work to dethrone Him by swearing year after year against Him and His work, and assuming that power to a human creature which is due to Him alone, and have rent the members from their Head, Christ, and one another.
"Then they asked, Who taught you these principles? I said, I was beholden to God that taught me these principles.
"They said, Are ye a Quaker? I said, Did ye hear me say I was led by a spirit within me? I bless the Lord I profited much by the persecuted Gospel; and your Acts of Indemnity after Bothwell cleared me more than anything I met with since.
"They said, How could that be? I said, By your meddling with Christ's interests, and parting them as ye pleased.
"They said, they did not usurp Christ's prerogatives. I said, What, then, mean your Indulgences, and your setting up of Prelacy? for there has none preached publicly these twenty years without persecution but these that have their orders from you.
"Then they caused bring Sanquhar Declaration and the paper * found on Mr Richard Cameron, and the papers taken at the Queensferry, and asked if I would adhere to them? I said I would, as they were according to the Scriptures, and I saw not wherein they did contradict them.
"They asked, If ever Mr Welch [John Welch of Irongray. He was at Pentland, and at Bothwell Bridge headed the party opposed to Sir R. Hamilton.—Ed.] or Mr Riddell taught me these principles? I answered, I would be far in the wrong to speak anything that might wrong them.
"Then they bade me take heed what I was saying, for it was upon life and death that I was questioned. I asked them if they would have me to lie? I would not quit one truth though it would purchase my life a thousand years; which ye cannot purchase, nor promise me an hour.
"They said, When saw ye the two Hendersons and John Balfour? Seeing ye love ingenuity, will ye be ingenuous and tell us if ye saw them since the death of the archbishop? I said, They appeared publicly within the land since.
"They asked, If I conversed with them within these twelvemonths? At which I kept silence.
"They urged me to say either yea or nay. I answered, Yes.
"Then they said, Your blood be upon your own head, we shall be free of it. I answered, So said Pilate; but it was a question if it was so; and ye have nothing to say against me, but for owning of Christ's truths and His persecuted members. To which they answered nothing. Then they desired me to subscribe what I owned. I refused, and they did it for me.
* This paper being taken from him at his death by the enemies who slew him, no copy thereof, for what I know, has ever been procured, and hence it cannot be certainly known what was the nature of it.—Notes by Compiler of "Cloud." (The paper referred to seems to be the Bond of Mutual Defence which follows the Short Relation concerning the Rev. Mr Richard Cameron, contained in the Appendix.—Ed.]
CCOUNT of what Isabel ALISON said before the
"Dear Friends,—These are to show you what passed betwixt the black crew and me. They read my indictment, and asked if I had aught to say against it? I said, Nothing.
"They read the papers as they did formerly, and asked, If I owned them? I said, I did own them.
"Then they called the assizers and swore them. Then I told them, All authority is of God (Rom. xiii. 1), and when they appeared against Him, I was clear to disown them; and if they were not against Him, I would not have been there. 'I take every one of you witness against another, at your appearance before God, that your proceeding against me is only for owning of Christ, His Gospel, and members, which I could not disown, lest I should come under the hazard of denying Christ, and so be denied of Him.'
"And when the assize came, they asked, If I had aught to say against them? I said, They were all alike, for there would no honest man take the trade in hand.
"They said to the assize, It was against their will to take our lives. I said, if that had been true, they would not have brought me so far off, pursuing me for my life.
This is the substance of what passed, as I remember.
Riddell, an indulged minister, and brother to the laird of Riddell, was employed by the Council to persuade Isabel Alison and Marion Harvie to conform, but with no success. He seems to have been a good man, but mistaken as to his views of the character of the men then in power, for he soon got into trouble with them. About September 1680, he was apprehended on the charge of frequenting field conventicles. His examination occupies about six pages in "Wodrow." It justifies what Marion Harvie says of his excellence as a preacher. He was kept in prison for seven months, and then for three or four years in the Bass; but was ultimately allowed to go to America. On the
tidings of the Revolution, he left America, June 1689, but on the way home the ship in which he had set sail was captured by a French man-of-war, and for twenty-two months Mr Riddell suffered all the horrors which prisoners in that cruel age were made to undergo. He was at last exchanged, but now his ship was driven into Bantry Bay, where he and the ship's company were plundered by the Irish, and for eleven days suffered all manner of hardship, until rescued by the Government .
Mr Meldrum, alluded to by the goodman of the Tolbooth, was George Meldrum, minister at Aberdeen. In 1681 he left his charge rather than take the test. Shortly after the Revolution he was called to Edinburgh, where, says Wodrow, "he preached many years to great edification, and was a mighty master of the Holy Scriptures, and blessed with the greatest talent of opening them up or lecturing of any I ever heard."—Ed.]
CCOUNT of Mr Archibald Riddell's Examination of
"About seven of the clock at night the goodman [i.e., governor) of the Tolbooth caused call us down, against our will, to be examined by Mr Riddell at the Council's order. So we came down and were brought to the west side of the house, to an empty room, where they brought him into us, the goodman of the Tolbooth being present, and the keepers, and some gentlemen with them; and they caused us sit down.
"The goodman of the Tolbooth said, ' Mr Riddell, the Council caused me bring you to confer with these women, to see if you can bring them to repentance.'
"Then we protested and said, As for repentance, we know not what fault we have done.
"Then said they, You cannot be the worse to have one of your ministers to confer with. We told them, These ministers being their servants, we looked no more upon them as ministers of Jesus Christ; and therefore he is no minister to us.
"Mr Riddell asked, If the Council would send Mr Cargill to us, would we not confer with him? We said, He was not at their command; but if Mr Cargill would do as ye and the rest of you have done, we would do the like with him.
"So he offered to pray. We said, We were not clear to join with him in prayer.
"He said, Wherefore? We said, We know the strain of your prayers will be like your discourse.
"He said, I shall not mention any of your principles in my prayer, but only desire the Lord to let you see the evil of your doings. We told him, we desired none of his prayers at all.
"They said, Would we not be content to hear him? We said, forced prayers had no virtue.
"Then we said, What means he to pray with us more than he did with our brethren that have gone before us? Mr Riddell said, Mr Skene conversed with Mr Robert Ross.
"We said, He did not send for him, but he intruded himself upon him.
"The goodman of the Tolbooth said, He conversed with Mr Meldrum; and we smiled at that, and said, He might talk to him of his perjury, but for no other thing.
"So they urged prayer again. We said, It would be a mocking of God.
"They said, Why so? We said, Because we cannot join with it.
"So Mr Riddell began to debate with us, and said, We would not find it in all the Scripture, nor any history, to disown the civil magistrate. We answered, There were never such magistrates seen as we have.
"He instanced Manasseh, who made the streets of Jerusalem to run with the blood of the prophets. We said, It was a question, if he came the length in perjury.
"He instanced Joash. We answered, He was but a child when that covenant was sworn, and it was not so with these that he now pleaded for.
"He then instanced Nero, how he set the city on fire and robbed the churches; and yet, notwithstanding, the apostle exhorteth submission to the magistrates then being. We answered, It was in the Lord, and as they were a terror to evil doers.
"He said, Although they were wicked, yet they should not be altogether cast off. We said, Before their Excommunication we would not have been so clear to cast them off.
"He said, There were but only seven in the Excommunication,