« AnteriorContinuar »
are evil and bitter against the sweet way of the Lord, and His poor people.
"Next, I give my testimony against all the enemies of God, and all that join with them, in paying cess, locality, militia-money, or whatever is for the strengthening of their hands. And now I leave it again on you, that ye would not brand me with having a hand in my own death. For I could not get my life saved, unless I had taken upon me all the blood of the people of God, and owned that as lawful authority, which had taken away my dear brethren's lives, and said, that it was just and right what they had done. And indeed, they seek no more of any, if they will but own them in what they do. They think, they are right enough in taking away our lives, when they who are called Presbyterians own them, and their tyranny, to be authority. And now when I am to go my way, I would have you to lay to heart how deeply owning of them draws; and how much of the wrath of God ye draw on you, in so doing. Oh! sirs, I would have you beware, and look what a weighty business it is, and obey God rather than man.
"I bless the Lord, I am this day to step out of time into eternity. And I am no more troubled, than I were to take a marriage in the earth, and not so much. I bless the Lord, I have much peace of conscience in what I have done. Oh! but I think it a very weighty business, for me to be within twelve hours of eternity, and not troubled. Indeed, the Lord is kind, and hath trained me up for this day; and now I can want Him no longer. I will get my fill of love this night; for I will be with Him in paradise, and get a new song put in my mouth, the song of Moses and of the Lamb. I will be in amongst the general assembly of the first-born, and enjoy the sweet presence of God, and his Son Jesus Christ, and the spirits of just men made perfect. I am sure of it.
"Oh! dear friends, I would, as one going to eternity, obtest you, that you make good earnest in religion, and be restless until you get a clearness of an interest in Christ; for it is a dangerous time to live in the dark. I would have you consider what a weighty business it is to deny the Lord of glory before men. There have strange things of this nature fallen out, in this our day. Oh! look to yourselves, I would entreat you, to be for God, and He will be for you; confess Him and He will confess you. As good soldiers endure hardness; wax valiant in suffering. Resist unto blood, for it is the cause of God that is at stake.
"Oh! there are none of you lamenting after God. Ah! is there none of you that hath love to the Lord, and will take part with Him, against all His enemies? Oh! but it be sad, to see you with such whole hearts, and so little grief among you, for the robbery that the Lord of glory is getting. I declare my suffering is nothing; but when I see you who are professors, what an unconcerned people ye are, it makes my soul bleed to see you in such a frame, when the Church is in such a condition. I wish the Lord may help poor young ones, that are brought up under you with the want of the Gospel. Oh! for the Gospel back again to Scotland! Oh! for one faithful minister in all the land! Oh! but the harvest be great, and the labourers few! As for my part, now when I am going to eternity, I declare, I see not, nor hear not of a minister in all Scotland, who is at the duty the Lord calls for at ministers' hands, in preaching against all sort of sin, in season, and out of season, rebuking and reproving, and exhorting. As for my part, I cannot join with them who are not so.
"Now my Lord is bringing me to conformity with Himself, and honouring me after my worthy pastor, Mr James Guthrie, although I knew nothing when he was alive; yet the Lord hath honoured me to protest against Popery, and to seal it with my blood; and He honoured him to protest against Prelacy, and to seal it with his blood. The Lord hath kept me in prison to this day, for that end; his head is on one port of Edinburgh, and mine must go on another.
"Glory, glory to the Lord's holy and sweet name, for what He hath done for me. Oh! set days apart, and bless His holy and never enough exalted name, for what He hath done for me. Oh! sirs, His cross hath been all paved over with love to me all along, and it is sweeter now than ever. Oh! will ye be persuaded to fall in love with the cross of royal Jesus? OhI take Him. Will ye be entreated to come and taste of His love? Oh! sweet lot this day, for me to go to a gibbet for Christ and His cause! I think the thoughts of this do ravish my heart and soul, and make me to fall out in wondering that I am within so few hours of that endless joy; that paradise, among these flowers and trees, that are on each side of that pure river clear as crystal, where the tree is that bears twelve manner of fruits, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
"Oh ! that I could leave this weight upon you; yea, with as great weight as it lies on my spirit, to see how few of you are travelling to that land. Oh! be much above, and be here as strangers,—I mean, in respect of conformity to this world, though hated of it—and studying to live the life that our Lord hath commanded in His word; and suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Now I bless the Lord, I am not, as many suspect me, thinking to win heaven by my suffering. No, no; I know there is no winning of it but through the precious blood of the Son of God.
"Now, ye who are the true seekers of God, and so the butt of the world's malice, oh! be diligent and run fast. Time is precious. Oh! make use of it, and act for God. Contend for the truth. Stand for God against all His enemies. Fear not the wrath of men. Love one another. Wrestle with God mutually in societies. Confess your faults one to another. Pray one with another. Reprove, rebuke, exhort one another in love. Slight no commanded duty. Be faithful in your stations, as ye will be answerable at the great day.
"Now, having no more time, I bid farewell to you all. Farewell, holy and sweet Scriptures, wherewith I have been refreshed many a day. I would have you read much of them, and pray over them to the Lord, that ye may get His blessing with, and the right use of them. Oh! make use of your Bibles, my dear friends, so long as you have them. Seek not counsel from men. Follow none further than they hold by truth. Now I request you, have a care; this land is like to come under great errors.
"Now, farewell sweet reproaches for my lovely Lord Jesus; though once they were not joyous, but grievous, yet now they are sweet; I bless the Lord for it. I heartily forgive all men for anything they have said of me; I pray that it may not be laid to their charge in the day of accompts [i.e., accounts). As for what they have done to God and His cause, I leave that to God and their own consciences.
"Farewell, all Christian acquaintances and relations, father and mother, brethren and sisters. Farewell, sweet prison for my royal Lord Jesus Christ; it is now at an end. Farewell, all crosses of one sort or another; and so farewell, everything in time—reading, praying, and believing. Welcome eternal life, and the spirits of just men made perfect . Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, into thy hands I commit my spirit.
JITTLE else \s known of Patrick Forman than that he was of the parish of Alloa, and was tried and suffered along with Robert Garnock. Patrick Walker tells of his being a hearer of Cargill at a fast-day service held at Loudon Hill, May 5, 1681. At the close of the afternoon sermon, a cry was raised, "The enemies are coming upon you," and immediately the dragoons came in sight. All fled. A shot fired at Cargill missed him, but the ball ploughed its way through Patrick Forman's hair, doing him, however, no other harm. Soon after this escape he was apprehended. He was charged with disowning the king. According to the account given by his enemies of his declaration before the Council, a knife was found on him with the inscription " for cutting tyrants' throats." This may be the reason why his right hand was ordered to be cut off before death.—Ed.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of Patrick Forman, who lived in Alloa, and suffered at the Gallowlee, October 10, 1681.
"I Thought it fit, being sentenced to die within three days, to write this testimony, to show you that I die not as a fool; and I declare I am in my right mind, and not prodigal of my life, as some allege; but I love life as well as any, and would do as much to save it. But when my life comes in competition with the truths of Jesus Christ, I dare not buy it with the denial of the smallest of truths (if any of them may be called small), but know, that the least of the truths are of greater moment than the whole world and the inhabitants thereof. Now, therefore, do not asperse me, when I am gone, with not being a Presbyterian ; for (though in great weakness) I am a Presbyterian, both in profession and practice, though my failings be many.
"1. I believe that there is but one God; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; one Redeemer; one way of salvation; and that it is through Jesus Christ, according to that word (John xiv. 6), 'Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.' And likewise I leave my testimony to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament; and my soul desires to bless the Lord that.ever they were in our mother tongue. My soul hath been refreshed in conversing with them, when the Spirit of the Lord has backed them. But I know likewise, they are but a killing letter, without the Spirit. Yet this I would advise you, as a dying martyr for Christ, to search the Scriptures and seek the Lord's mind in them; for there are none noble, but these who search the Scriptures. And oh! that I could recommend them to you, as they have been sweet and refreshful to me. Yea, they are as a garden of sweet-smelling flowers; in them are cures for all diseases, and remedies for all distempers; yea, they commend themselves; they need none of my commendation. Make good use of them while ye have them; for if idolaters get their will, they will not be long amongst you. I pray the Lord may prevent it .
"2. I leave my testimony to the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Solemn Acknowledgment of Sins, and Engagement to Duties. I bear my testimony to the National Covenant, and Solemn League and Covenant. Likewise, I adhere to all the faithful testimonies that have been given for the truth, since the year 1638; especially the Sanquhar Declaration and Rutherglen Testimony, and the papers found on Henry Hall at the Queensferry, called the New Covenant; and to the lawfulness of Torwood Excommunication, and all the testimonies of the martyrs who are gone before me according to the truth, both in fields, on scaffolds, and in the seas. And likewise, I leave my testimony to that poor persecuted remnant, that are yet left as berries on the tops of the outmost branches, wandering about, being desolate, afflicted and tormented, groaning under that sad yoke of tyranny. Oh! Lord, deliver them in Thine own way and time, and encourage them now, when there is no encouragement from men, and their eyes cannot behold their teachers.
"And now, my friends, I tell you, being within a few hours to step out of time into eternity, that ye beware of casting aspersions on any of the Lord's people, for owning their duty; which is, avowing and