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had rather suffer before any were wronged by me, which He has kept me from to this day. Then they read what I had said.
Q. "Will ye subscribe what ye have said?
A. "No, no.
Q. "Can ye write, sir?
A. "Yes, that I can.
"Well, said they, write down that he can, but will not.
"They told me five or six times that my time should not be long, and said to me, Will ye have a minister?
A. "I will have none of your Baal's priests.
"If I could have gotten leave, I should have made them abominable to them, and also at every question Iiwould have made them ashamed"
After relating the occasion of his being apprehended, which was thus: he, having seen three of his dear Christian brethren condemned before the Justiciary, at ten in the forenoon, and going to the West port to take horse, was obliged to stay till his saddle was mended; when he was ready to mount his horse, he hears that the three men were brought to the place of execution; at two afternoon he went thither, and seeing the barbarity of the enemies in murdering his dear brethren, moved with a strong zeal against these murderers, cried out, in the style of the prophet Amos, " A cow of Bashan has pushed three men to death at one push, contrary to their own base laws, in an inhuman way;" he subjoins, "Therefore, cease to kill me with your reproaches when I am dead, as ye did while I was living; for ye laboured to kill and murder my name this many a year, which I forgive you with all my heart, and pray the Lord may forgive you." And having related how that upon the 22d day of August, one brought him his indictment, withal telling him, that upon the 27th he would be sentenced, and go immediately from the bench to the scaffold; he adds—
"Now, my dear friends, I think all I have written is confused, because I could hardly get leave to write two lines, but was either put from it by the keepers, or called from it by one confusion or other, therefore ye must excuse me ; but although it be not accurately written, yet there is no error in it . It is what I lay down my life for, and adhere to as the testimony of a dying man, who must very shortly appear before my Lord, and give an account of all that I have done and written. However, my friends, mistake me not, although it be confused, and ye find some things twice over; for there is no more fear on me now, than the quietest time that ever I had, as to what man can do to me; although I be sad as to matters betwixt God and me, betwixt my glorious Lord and me, as good cause I have, who knew it as I do; but I hope, I shall get a glorious outgate [i.e., deliverance] when His time comes, which I have always waited upon (and not mine) for which I bless Him this day."
What further this martyr wrote in prison, cannot be published as it stands, in regard that, he being perpetually interrupted by the keepers, and having the irons on his hands (as himself testifies) could not get it written with that composure which he would. Wherefore, take some of the more remarkable heads of it, mostly in his own words:
1. He declares his cheerfulness to lay down his life for the cause of Christ, and faith once delivered to the saints; admiring the riches of the free grace of God, in Christ's laying down His life for poor sinners, and blessing them with such a noble, precious and excellent blessing, as to be called the sons of God, which the angels cannot take up, though they have been a long time prying into it; and invites others to the same exercise of admiring and praising God's love, in making, through the blood of Christ, rebels and enemies, friends and servants.
2. He rejoices in his lot of suffering, thus, "Oh! but it be an excellent thing to be called of the Lord, to lay down my life for Him and His glorious interest! To me it is more than all the world: I cannot prize it. It has been my desire these twenty-four years to die a martyr for my Lord, and to witness for Him, if it be His will, and not else. I bless my Lord for it, I have subscribed a blank, and put it in His hand, to do with me whatsoever is the determinate counsel of His will and decree, and not to call myself.'
3. He blesses God, that though he would have got his life for doing what others, whom he calls better than himself, have done, yet the Lord had made it his glory, honour, and crown, to hold fast till the Lord come, which he hoped would be quickly, to himself, and also to the land.
4. He testifies his assurance of God's love to him, and his children, whom he heartily and cheerfully gives away to God, as he had oft devoted them to Him in covenant; he exhorts them in the words of a dying father, to be for God in their generation, to live in love and unity, leaving them to the protection and provision of His God, charging them not to be moved for his sufferings, which he protests he would not exchange for the whole world.
5. He charges them all to beware of wronging themselves by reproaching him anent the manner of his being apprehended, showing what a hand of divine Providence there was in it, and blessing God for it, and for the sweet peace he had in suffering.
6. He owns himself to have been the greatest sinner upon the earth, and hence takes occasion to magnify the redeeming love of Christ, in calling him effectually, and keeping him in the right way, and from the national sins and corruptions of the age.
7. He refers to a list of papers written by him, declarative of his judgment concerning the duty of the day, as a reason, among others, why he wrote no formal testimony in the prison; save only that he testifies, First, generally against all things contrary to any point of truth in the Old and New Testament, or contradictory to the Covenants and work of Reformation; and more particularly, against the sinful silence of ministers in Britain and Ireland, at the command of a bloody, vile, adulterous, perjured tyrant and his underlings; against the indulgences and indemnities; against componing [1.e., compounding or settling] and conforming either with a perjured tyrannical crew of statesmen, or with base, vile, filthy Prelatists, their blind guides, and Baal's priests; against backslidden ministers and professors, who condemned a poor young generation for adhering to truth, for slaying Christ in His members, for pleasing men, and displeasing a never enough exalted and glorious Lord; and, finally, disowns all that is contrary to a Gospel and apostolic spirit.
8. He proceeds to warn and exhort all sorts of persons, and more especially the young generation, to repentance and amendment of life, enforcing his exhortation with the consideration of judgments and strokes to come upon the land ; upon which head he is exceeding large, founding his assertions upon the threatenings pronounced in the Word against these sins, wherein he demonstrates Scotland, England, and.Ireland to have been eminently guilty; interposing withal sweet and ravishing considerations of God's love to him, and to his other suffering witnesses, which, after large and pathetic ejaculations of praises to God for His redeeming love, protesting, that he expects salvation not by any merit, but of free grace, saying, "I have been beginning to pray and praise these thirty-six years, weakly as I could, but yet I am just to begin this night, both to praise and pray; for I lay no more stress upon all that I have said and done, believed and suffered, nor [i.e., then] on a straw, God is my witness; so that I must have salvation upon Wednesday at three or four of the clock, as freely as the thief on the cross." He winds up in imitation of David, with these words, "And what can poor silly [i.e., feeble] James Nicol say more!" resuming again the consideration of God's wrath against the land, to stir up all ranks to repentance.
After he has concluded his speech with the usual formality of bidding farewell to all his suffering brethren, and all sublunary things, embracing and welcoming the heavenly joys, and eternal enjoyment of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, into whose hands he commits his spirit; he adds, by way of postscript:
"Now, dear friends, my Testimony being finished, and I being near the borders of eternity, having forgot that which I see a great necessity to leave my testimony against, I think it a most concerning and necessary duty to leave my testimony against J[ames] Rfussel] and Mr J[ohn] F[lint], because J[ames] R[ussel], and these in fellowship with him, have separated themselves from the persecuted suffering remnant of the Church of Scotland, and Mr J[ohn] F[lint] has taken upon him, with their consent, to officiate the work of a minister, contrary to the Word of God; he has run, although not sent of God, nor called, nor ordained of lawful church members. And now he and they have risen up in opposition to God, His cause and persecuted remnant in the Church of Scotland, calling them all perjured that are suffering unto death, imprisonment, and banishment for precious Christ. And therefore, I, as a dying witness for Him, even my Lord Jesus, my only Saviour, who converted me thirty-six years since, and has these twenty-four years helped me to pray to Him, to enable me to witness against all error, and detection, and has kept me right and straight to this day of my longed-for desire, do leave my witness and testimony against Mr J[ohn] F[lint] and J[ames] R[ussel], and all that adhere to them."
|OHN DICK was the son of David Dick, writer in Edinburgh. He took his degree at the University, and was studying Divinity. In his examination, he says he was not at Pentland, but being discovered to have friends who knew James Mitchell, who shot at Archbishop Sharp, July n, 1668, he found it advisable for a time to leave Scotland. He was not at Drumclog, but was present in arms at Bothwell Bridge.
He was seized at Edinburgh at the information of a poor woman, bribed to tell where he was, and who after his execution lost her reason. He was examined August 29, 1683, and again on the 31st, before the committee of public affairs.
He wasr tried, September 4, before the Lords of Justiciary, and condemned to be hanged at the Grassmarket on the 2 6th. On September 16, he, with twenty-four others, made his escape from the Canongate Tolbooth, as is narrated in the following note upon Thomas Harkness. The days that immediately followed he seems to have employed in writing his testimony, for its forty-ninth page is dated October 1, 1683.
He was again apprehended on the beginning of March 1684, and on the fourth day of the month was brought before the Lords of Justiciary, and was handed over to the magistrates to be hanged in the Grassmarket next day, between two and four in the afternoon.
Wodrow gives the following letter, written to his father on the morning that he suffered. It says much for his faith and hope:
"Dear Sir,—This hath been one of the pleasantest nights I have had in my lifetime. The competition is only betwixt it and that I got eleven years ago at Nesbit in Northumberland, where and when, in a barley ridge upon the Saturday's night and Sabbath morning before the last communion I did partake of in Ford Church, the Lord firmly laid the foundation-stone of grace in my heart, by making me with my whole soul close with Him upon His own terms, that is,