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HE JOINT TESTIMONY of Thomas Harkness in Locherben, Andrew Clark in Leadhills, in Crawford parish, and Samuel M'EwEN in Glencairn parish, who were sentenced, and suffered at Edinburgh, August 15, 1684.
"Dear Friends And Relations Whatsoever,— We think it fit to acquaint you, that we bless the Lord, that ever we were ordained to give such a public testimony, who are so great sinners. Blessed be He that ever we were born to bear witness for Him ; and blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ that ordained the Gospel and the truths of it, which He sealed with His own blood, and many a worthy Christian gone before us hath sealed them. We were questioned for not owning the king's authority. We answered, that we owned all authority that is allowed by the written Word of God, sealed by Christ's blood. Now, our dear friends, we entreat you to stand to the truth, and especially all ye that are our own relations, and all that love and wait for the coming of Christ. He will come and not tarry, and reward every one according to their deeds in the body. "We bless the Lord, we are not a whit discouraged, but content to lay down our life with cheerfulness, and boldness, and courage; and if we had a hundred lives, we would willingly quit with them all for the truth of Christ. Good news! Christ is no worse than He promised. "Now we take our leave of all friends and acquaintances, and declare we are heartily content with our lot, and that He hath brought us hither to witness for Him and His truth. We leave our testimony against Popery, and all other false doctrine, that is not according to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which is the only Word of God.
"Dear friends, be valiant for God, for He is as good as His promise, 'he that overcometh, He will make a pillar in His temple.' Our time is short, and we have little to spare; having got our sentence at one of the clock this afternoon, and are to die at five this day. And so we say no more; but farewell all friends and relations. And welcome heaven and Christ, and the cross for Christ's sake.
LETTER from Samuel M'ewen to a friend, after his sentence was pronounced.
"My Dear Friend,—I am this day to lay down my life, for adhering to the truth of God, and I bless His holy name that ever He honoured me, a poor country lad, having neither father nor mother alive, to witness for Him. And now I can set to my seal to all the truths in the Bible, Confession of Faith, Catechisms Larger and Shorter, National and Solemn League and Covenant, and all the Protestations and Declarations given by the poor remnant, agreeable to the same Word of God. Though in much weakness, yet I love all that is for His glory, and desire to hate all that He hates with a perfect hatred. I desire you not to be discouraged, for I bless the Lord, I am heartily content with my lot. It was my desire, though most unworthy, to die a martyr, and I bless the Lord, who has granted me my desire Now, this is the most joyful day that ever I saw with mine eyes.
"Farewell all earthly enjoyments and friends in our sweet Lord Jesus Christ. And farewell Glencairn, my native parish. Welcome, my sweet Saviour; into Thy hands I commit my spirit, for thou art He, O Jehovah, God of truth, who hast redeemed me.
James Lawson and Alexander Wood.
F James Lawson and Alexander Wood nothing seems now known. They are not mentioned by Wodrow. Their names are on the monument at the Monkland Canal, Castle
Street, Glasgow. Their testimony is of more than usual directness,
simplicity, and even beauty.—Ed.]
HE JOINT-TESTIMONY Of James Lawson and Alexander Wood, who suffered at Glasgow, October 24, 1684.
"Now this is the most joyful day that ever we had in all our life, and we join our hearty testimony to the written Word of God, as it is contained in the Old and New Testaments, and to the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Engagement to Duties and Solemn Acknowledgment of Sins, and to the Covenants, both National and Solemn League, and to the Causes of God's Wrath; and we also join our hearty testimony to the true and faithful preached Gospel, by His true and faithful sent ministers, both formerly and of late, commissioned and clothed with His message to declare the whole counsel of God, as it was reformed from Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and Supremacy.
"We also join our hearty testimony to the testimonies of those that have gone before us, both formerly and of late, who suffered for the cause and interest of Jesus Christ; and likewise to all the appearances of the Lord's people, and their being in arms, for the defence of the Gospel and self-defence, viz., Pentland, Drumclog, Bothwell Bridge; and to the Declarations given at Rutherglen, the z9th of May 1679, and Sanquhar; and to the papers found upon Henry Hall at the Queensferry, and to that Declaration put forth at Lanark, by the suffering remnant. We also join our hearty testimony to the Christian fellowship meetings, whereby our souls have sometimes been refreshed.
"Now, likewise, we shall show you what we disown-—
"First, We disown and leave our testimony against Popery and Prelacy, Quakerism, Erastianism, and all other errors, that are contrary to the Word of God.
"Likewise, we leave our testimony against all the Indulgences, both first and last; because they have disowned Christ from being head of the Church, and have taken their liberty from a mortal man.
"Likewise, we leave our testimony against all these that have left the standard of Christ and taken themselves to a sinful quietness, to shun suffering; and also their condemning of these faithful practices and preaching of these two worthies, who sealed the truth with their blood, viz., Mr Donald Cargill and Mr Richard Cameron, who declared the whole counsel of God faithfully. We desire to bless the Lord, that ever we heard them preach.
"Likewise, we leave our testimony against the Declaration at Hamilton; because of the taking in of that tyrant's interest. Likewise against Charles Stuart, because he hath seated himself in Christ's room, and has taken to himself the prerogative of our Lord, to be head of the Church, which belongs to no mortal man on earth, but to Christ only.
"Likewise, we leave our testimony against that hell-hatched Test, and against that oath called the Oath of Allegiance, against compearing at courts, and coming out of prison upon bond and caution. Ye will find the unlawfulness of it in John viii. 34, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.' And in Romans vi. 20: 'For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things, whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.' And 2 Pet ii. 19: 'While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.' And against the Cess and Locality, or paying of militia money, or any other thing which may strengthen the hands of these open and avowed enemies of Jesus Christ.
"Likewise we leave our testimony against these wicked men called judges, which ought not to be called judges, but rather tyrants, because they are thirsting for blood ; for they charge us in one of the articles of our indictment with murder, and shaking off all the fear of God; but we bless the Lord we are free of all such crimes as murder.
"Now, dear friends, we exhort you to cleave close to Christ, keep His way, and do not scar [i.e., take fright] at it, because of suffering; for we can assure you that the cross has not been troublesome to us, but easy; for He paves the cross all over with roses, and never lays a grain weight of affliction more upon His people than He gives sufficient strength to bear; and this we can say by experience, 'He sends none a warfare upon their own charges,' but He gives still sufficient strength to carry them through. Therefore it is our earnest desire and request, that ye will follow on to know the Lord ; for if ye follow on to know Him, He has promised ' that ye shall know Him.' Therefore, we desire you to follow His way, and fear not man, whose breath is in his nostrils, but fear God and keep His ways. Keep at a distance from the least of sin, for the least sin deserveth death ; but His love hath been great and condescending to us, for He hath taken us who were the vilest of sinners; for we had destroyed ourselves by original sin and corrupt nature; but now He hath redeemed us, and plucked us like fire-brands out of the midst of the burning.
"Now, we may say, He hath letten out such a gale of His condescending love, that He hath gained our feckless [i.e., feeble] love; so that we dare say, that if every hair of our head were a man, and every drop of our blood a life, we could willingly lay them all down for Christ and His cause, if He called for them at our hand; 'for He is altogether lovely, the chief among ten thousands,' He is without compare, He is incomprehensible, glorious, and mighty; therefore it is our desire to all friends, that ye would ware [i.e., expend] your love on Him, and credit Him, and labour to get the inheritance made sure, that Jesus Christ hath purchased. Now cleave close to Him, and close with Him, and then, lose what ye will in this world, ye shall be noble gainers, and no losers.
"Now we heartily forgive all men any wrong they have done us, or can do to us, as we desire to be forgiven of the Lord; but what they have done against God [and] His cause, we leave that to Himself, to do in it as may most glorify Himself.
"Now, we bid farewell to all earthly comforts and enjoyments. Farewell all Christian friends and acquaintances in the Lord. Farewell sweet societies and Christian fellowship-meetings. Farewell hearing of the precious Gospel. Farewell reading, singing, praying, and believing. Farewell sweet prison and irons for our lovely Lord. Farewell holy Scriptures. Farewell sun, moon, and stars, and all created comforts in time. Welcome singing of praises. Welcome spirits of just men made perfect . Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, into whose hands we commit our spirits. "Sic subscribitur,