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to take Him to be my King, Priest, and Prophet, yea, to be my all in all; to renounce my own righteousness, which at best is but rotten rags, and to rest upon His righteousness alone for salvation ; as also, to give myself entirely, without reserve, in soul, body, heart, affections, and the whole faculties of my soul and powers of my body, to be by Him disposed at His pleasure for the advancement of His glory, and the upbuilding of my own soul, and the souls of others; inserting this clause (being conscious to myself of great infirmity) that the fountain of free grace and love should stand open for me so long, and so oft as my case should call for it.
"This my transaction with my whole soul, without the least ground of suspicion of the want of sincerity, which I found had been amissing in endeavours of that nature formerly, now my blessed Lord helped me to, or rather made in me, and solemnised that night and morning ere I came off that ridge.
"I confirmed it no less than ten or twelve times, and the oftener I reiterated, the gale continued so fresh and vigorous, that I was forced to cry, Hold, Lord, for the sherd is like to burst: so that I hope my dearest Lord is now a-coming, and that the hands of Zerubbabel, who hath laid this foundation, is now about to finish it; and, indeed, He is building very fast, for which my soul blesseth Him, desiring you may join with me in so necessary a work.
"I hope, ere long, the copestone shall be put on, the result of all which shall be praises and shouting to Him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb throughout all the ages of eternity, of long-lasting eternity.
"This, with my earnest prayers while in the body, that the Lord would help you to mind His glory, and your own soul's eternal welfare, is all the legacy you can expect from him who is both,
"Your affectionate son and Christ's prisoner,
"P.S.—I hope, ere I come home, to get another sight of you. Let none see this till I be in my grave. The Lord gave me to you freely, so I entreat you, be frank in giving me to Him again, and the more free this be, the less cause you shall have to repent."
The last words he uttered upon the scaffold, as reported in the close of his Testimony, have the same confidence in the Redeemer:
"And now I know, yea, I am firmly persuaded, that my dear Lord, even my exalted and glorified Lord Jesus Christ, will carry me safely through this dark valley and shadow of death, and will receive my soul immediately after I go off this ladder unto glory, where I shall be ever with Him.
Then he said again, crying with a loud voice: "Now when I can hardly get speaking for the rope about my neck, farewell all friends and followers of Christ; and again I say, farewell and adieu all earthly enjoyments." And so, having given the hangman a sign when he would be ready, he prayed a little within himself, and when he had done, he gave the sign, and at the giving thereof, he drew the napkin over his face and cried out, " Farewell all friends in Christ, and into thy hands, O Lord, I commit my soul." So he was turned over. And so ended the life of this faithful and now glorified martyr for Christ. And to God the Father, Son, and Blessed Spirit, be eternal praise and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The testimony of John Dick is a quarto of fifty-eight closelyprinted pages. It is without a date. It is simply said to have been
"printed in the year ." It bears to have been left to a particular
friend to communicate to the world after his death, but which was never published "till now, at the desire of some real and sincere lovers of the true peace and welfare of the Church of Scotland."—Ed.]
|PON the 5th of March, 1684, suffered that worthy gentleman, Mr John Dick, student of Theology, whose elaborate and judicious testimony had been here inserted, but that it has been lately published in print by itself, and so is in a great many people's hands already, and the reader may have recourse to the said print for it; which, upon perusal, he will find second to none, for a steady zeal and adherence to the Reformation; an orderly method, pithy and pertinent defences against the cavils of the adversaries, and proper and necessary advices to fellow-sufferers, abating only his adherence to Hamilton Declaration, wherein he seems to differ from the rest of the sufferers of that time; and owning the king's authority, which yet he does in such a limited and restricted sense, as thereby not to own the wicked laws, and exercise thereof; though it is true the reflections and limitations with which he declared his owning it, were such as did noways agree to the tyrant, and consequently it was a real, though not a formal denial thereof. Only in the said printed Testimony, there are several errors of the transcriber, or the press, which the judicious reader will not impute to the author.
Thomas Harkness, Andrew Clark,
jjHOMAS HARKNESS of Locherben, a wild retreat among the hills in the parish of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire, had been attached to the persecuted Presbyterians from his youth. To escape persecution he and his brother James found it prudent to take refuge in Ireland. Here, however, they did not long remain, but returned again to Scotland to their native district, where their enemies soon came to know them, and gave (says Dr Simpson in his " Gleanings among the Mountains") James, the name of " Harkness with the long gun," and Thomas, " Harkness with the white hose." So much was James esteemed, that Claverhouse repeatedly attempted, by means of his emissaries, to gain him over to the royal forces, by the promise of a captaincy, but he remained steadfast. At last he and a number of his friends were, sometime in 1683, surprised by a party of dragoons and carried to Edinburgh. Here they were imprisoned in the Canongate Tolbooth, but on the 16th of September, they and others, twenty-five in all, made their escape. The window of their prison was cross-barred with iron; one bar was cut, but the space was not large enough, and other three had to be removed. This took them a long time and much labour, while they were constantly expecting to be discovered; but, although a sentry paced on the street below (they were on the third storey), the noise of the sawing was never heard. About nine o'clock at night, when the first bar had just been cut, it slipped out of the cutter's hand, and fell on the street. They thought all was now over, but the bar lay on the street all night, till a friend coming past in the morning picked it up, and contrived to get it sent to them. When their preparations were completed, a beam in the floor above them was cut, and its inmates got down. As they were coming out from the window, two friends overpowered the sentinel, and threatened him with death if he spoke. All escaped, and though some of them were strangers to Edinburgh, they got safe away, and not one of them, with the exception of John Dick, was ever again caught. Dr Simpson tells of a visit which James Harkness and his companions made, as they were going homewards, at Biggar, upon the leader of the party who had taken them to Edinburgh; how they made him prisoner; and how, by giving him his life when in their hands, he was won over to their side, and altogether left the ranks of the persecutor. He tells also of a successful disguise that James Harkness assumed when a body of soldiers came to his house under the forced guidance of a neighbouring proprietor. They took him for the servant rather than the master, and the mistake was not discovered until he was out of their reach. It was he who planned the successful rescue at Enterkin Pass in the close of July or the beginning of August 1684, so graphically told by Defoe in his " Memoirs of the Church of Scotland." He lived to survive the Revolution.
There is no reason to believe that, deeply concerned as James Harkness was in the rescue at Enterkin, his brother Thomas had any share in it at all Some days after Claverhouse and a company of soldiers were searching the neighbourhood, and when in the parish of Closeburn or Dalgemo, they came upon Thomas Harkness, Andrew Clark, Samuel M'Ewen, and Thomas Wood. It is said they were sleeping, and when roused up by the soldiers they were for running away, when they were pursued, shot at, and wounded. Their wounds the soldiers would not allow to be washed nor dressed. A poor woman, who came and offered her aid to dress them, the soldiers seized and carried prisoner part of the way. They were taken first to Lanark and then to Edinburgh. On the way, they came to a narrow pass where Claverhouse feared he might be attacked, and he ordered the soldiers, as soon as any one appeared in sight, to kill the prisoners, although they had confessed nothing, and nothing had been proved against them.
When brought before the Council, three of the soldiers affirmed that the prisoners were at Enterkin, and that there they had received their wounds. But both of these charges they constantly denied. Thomas Wood was reserved till a later occasion, but his three associates were taken from the Council to the Court of Justiciary that very day. They were charged with high treason, " in as far as in this month of August they had engaged with a party of the king's soldiers ; that they did not own the king's authority, or denied it; that they refused to call Bothwel! rebellion ; that they had conversed with persons put to the horn; and that they had conversed one of them with another, being rebels." Three soldiers affirmed they had snapped guns at them. This was all the evidence brought against them. Nevertheless, the assize found them guilty of being in arms, and that one of them presented a gun to the king's forces, that they had ball upon them, that they had conversed with rebels, denied authority, and fled from his majesty's forces; and they were sentenced to be hanged at the Grassmarket. The sentence was carried into effect with the greatest haste, for they were examined before the Council, tried, and executed all in the same day.
Patrick Walker says, Thomas Harkness was within thirty years of age, Andrew Clark nineteen, and Samuel M'Ewen seventeen. Andrew Clark was a smith in Leadhills, brother to Adam Clark of Glenim, a Covenanter too, whose escapes from his enemies Dr Simpson has chronicled. Of Samuel M'Ewen nothing seems to be known further than he himself tells in his letter. Both the joint testimony and the letter are short, but they are remarkable for their cheerful, pious spirit, and for the fearlessness with which death is looked forward to. They were added in the third edition. In the first edition, the compilers say, that owing to the persecutors' cruelty, leave may not have been got to write any testimony, or, if written, it has not come into their hands.
Wodrow gives the 5th of August, as the date of their execution, which he says is the date of the registers, but other papers make it the 15th, the date of the " Cloud," and also that of Patrick Walker.
It will be noticed, that the chronological arrangement, characteristic of the volume, from the Testimony of David Hackston, p. 39, to that of John Nisbet, p. 288, which has been slightly departed from in the Testimony beginning with John Wilson, is again resumed.—Ed.]
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PON the 1 5th of August 1684, Thomas Harkness in Locherben, Andrew Clark in Leadhills in Crawford parish, Samuel M'Ewen in Glencairn parish, Thomas Wood in Kirkmichael, were all indicted of the crimes of treason and rebellion, for being at the rescue of their dear brethren at Enterkin, for refusing to own the king's authority, as the same was established by the laws, in regard he had usurped Christ's prerogative, and broken the Covenant, and for not praying for him in the terms prescribed by the Council, for their maintaining the lawfulness of defensive arms, and finally for adhering to the covenanted work of Reformation against the king's laws,—as their indictment bears at large.