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At length it pleased the Lord to incline him to go out to the field-meetings, which when the curates understood, they set upon him partly by flatteries, partly by menacing threats, and at length by more direct persecution, to cause him forbear attending these meetings; but such was the powerful and wonderful working of the Lord by His Spirit upon him, that he entirely deserted these Prelatic curates, having got a lively discovery of the sin and hazard of that abominable Prelacy. And no sooner was he enlightened anent the evil of Prelacy, but beginning more narrowly to search into the state of things, that he might know what was his proper and necessary duty, the Lord was pleased to discover to him the sinfulness of the Indulgence, as flowing from the ecclesiastical supremacy usurped by the king; and being zealously affected for the honour of Christ, wronged by that Erastian acknowledgment of the magistrate's usurped power over the Church, he longed for an opportunity to give a testimony against it .
And accordingly, being in the family of Sir William Scot of Harden, who attended the indulged meetings, he took opportunity (notwithstanding many strong temptations from Satan to the contrary) to witness in his station against the Indulgence; particularly one Sabbath, after he was called to attend the lady to church, he returned from the entry, refusing to go that day, and spent the day in his chamber, where he met with much of the Lord's presence (as he testified), and very evident discoveries of the true nature of these temptations and suggestions of Satan, which had like to have prevailed with him before. And upon the Monday, giving a reason to the said Sir William Scot and his lady, why he went not to church with them, he took occasion to be plain and express in testifying against the sinfulness of the Indulgence, in its complex nature, and original rise and spring from whence it flowed; and thereupon leaving that service, being no further acceptable to them, because of his faithfulness, he came to the south, and having met with the Reverend Mr John Welch, he stayed in his company a considerable time; who, finding him a man qualified for the ministry, pressed upon him to accept a license to preach, which he refused for some time, chiefly upon this reason, that he, having such clear discoveries of the sinfulness of the Indulgence, could not but testify against it explicitly, so soon as he should have opportunity to preach in public; and, considering that none of the outed ministers, who had been of standing and experience in the ministry, had yet expressly declared the sinfulness thereof in public, he was afraid that his being singular in it, considering his youth, and his being but new entered upon the work of the ministry, might perhaps make his doctrine the less useful and weighty to the people.
But the force of his obj ection being removed by Mr Welch's serious solicitations, he was prevailed with to accept a license from some of the outed ministers, who had not complied with the Indulgence, and were as yet preaching the Gospel in the fields. And having preached occasionally with Mr Welch and others, in several places of the western shires, and finding the people warmed and affected with his doctrine, by the good hand of God blessing the word, he adventured sometimes, as the Lord assisted him, to be express and clear in declaring the sinfulness of the Indulgence, and of joining with the acceptors thereof; whereupon the ministers, who had licensed him to preach, conceiving it prudence not to be so explicit anent that step of compliance, began to persecute him with censure for his freedom in preaching against it, and called three several meetings upon that account, one at Dunscore in Nithsdale, another at Dindeugh in Galloway, and a third at Edinburgh.
After his return from Holland, where he received ordination to the exercise of the ministry, he went to some of those outed ministers, inviting and pressing them much to come out and preach in the fields, as they had done before the overthrow at Bothwell; but the persecution being then very hot against all such as had not accepted the Indulgence and Indemnity, they refused to adventure upon that hazard. Wherefore, notwithstanding such sad discouragements from the professed friends, and violent persecution by the declared enemies of the Reformation, he adventured upon all hazard to preach publicly in the fields, in order to discharge the dispensation of the Gospel, which the Lord had entrusted him with. And he continued so doing, till he sealed that cause and testimony with his blood; being, after some valiant resistance in his own defence, killed by a party of soldiers under the command of [Bruce of] Earlshall, and his head and hand, cut off by one Robert Murray, were brought and laid before the Council, who ordered them to be placed upon the Netherbow Port of Edinburgh.
The Bond of Mutual Defence.
HERE was found upon him when he was killed, subscribed by him, his brother Michael CAMERON, Archibald Stewart, John Potter, and about thirty others, the following Bond of Mutual Defence, which justly deserveth to be insert here in its proper room, it being most agreeable to the true state of the testimony which these renowned martyrs sealed with their blood. [This bond appeared first in the third edition.—Ed.] "We, under subscribers, bind and oblige ourselves to be faithful to God, and true to one another, and to all others who shall join with us, in adhering to Rutherglen Testimony, and disclaiming the Hamilton Declaration, chiefly because it takes in the king's interest, which we are loosed from by reason of his perfidy and Covenant breaking, both to the most high God, and the people over whom he was set, under the terms of his propagating the main ends of the Covenants, to wit, the Reformation of religion; and instead of that, usurping to himself the royal prerogatives of Jesus Christ, and encroaching upon the liberties of the Church, and so stating himself both in opposition to Jesus Christ the Mediator, and the free government of His house.
"And also in disowning and protesting against the reception of the Duke of York, a professed Papist, and whatever else hath been done in this land (given to the Lord) in prejudice to our covenanted and universally sworn-to Reformation. And although, as the Lord who searcheth the heart knows, we be for government and governors, both civil and ecclesiastic, such as the Word of God and our Covenants allow; yet, by this we disown the present magistrates, who openly and avowedly are doing what in them lies for destroying utterly our work of reformation from Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and other heresies and errors; and by this we declare also, that we are not any more to own ministers indulged, and such as drive a sinful union with them; nor are we to join any more in this public cause with ministers or professors of any rank, that are guilty of the defections of this time, until they give satisfaction proportioned to the scandal and offence they have given.
"Richard Cameron. Michael Cameron. "Archibald Stewart. John Potter," etc. Mr Donald Cargill.
HOWIE, in his collection of lectures and sermons, has given twenty pages of notes of the lecture and the discourse delivered by Donald Cargill before the Torwood Excommunication, and the sermon afterwards on Lam. iii. 31, 32, "For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies."
In Wilson's manuscript sermons, already referred to, there are also notes of the whole. They show that Howie, as in the case of those of Richard Cameron, has sometimes made changes on the text of the manuscript that are by no means an improvement.—Ed.]
RELATION of some remarkable passages in the Life of
These foregoing testimonies everywhere speaking so honourably of the reverend Mr Donald Cargill as a faithful Minister of Jesus Christ: a true and full relation of his life, and more especially of his ministry, would be very necessary to a right understanding of the state of their testimony; but by reason that there are not in the hands of the publishers such wellattested narrations thereof, as might furnish them with an exact and full history thereof, let it suffice for the present to set down the following accounts collected by that worthy and religious gentleman, Sir Robert Hamilton of Preston, who ushers them in with this personal character of Mr Cargill:
"First (saith he) as he was of a most holy, strict, tender and composed practice and conversation, so he was affectionate, affable, and tender-hearted to all he judged had anything of the image of God in them: sober and temperate in his diet, saying commonly, It was well won that was won off the flesh; generous, liberal, and most charitable to the poor, a great hater of covetousness, a frequent visitor of the sick, much alone, loving to be retired; but when about his Master's public work, laying hold of every opportunity to edify; in converse still dropping what might minister grace to the hearers; his very countenance was edifying to beholders, often sighing with deep groans: preaching in season and out of season, upon all hazards, ever the same in judgment and practice."
There were several things remarkable in the manner of his calling to the ministry; for after he had perfected his philosophy course, at the University of St Andrews, his father, a godly and religious gentleman pressed much upon him to study divinity, in order to fit him for the ministry; but he, through his great tenderness of spirit, constantly refused, telling his father, that the work of the ministry was too great a weight for his weak shoulders, and requesting him to command him to any other employment he pleased. But his father still urging, he resolved to seek the mind of the Lord therein, and for that end set apart a day of private fasting, and after long and earnest wrestling with the Lord by prayer, the third chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy, and chiefly these words in the first verse, "Son of man, . . . eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel," made a strong impression upon his mind, so that he durst never after refuse his father's desire, to betake himself to that study, and dedicate himself wholly to that office. And having got a call to the Barony Parish of Glasgow, Divine Providence ordered it so, that the first text upon which the Presbytery ordered him to preach was in these very words of the third of Ezekiel, which he had got clearness from before; whence he was the more confirmed, that he had God's call to that parish.
The parish had been long vacant, by reason that two ministers of the Public Resolution party—viz., Mr George Young and Mr Hugh Blair—had still opposed the settlement of such godly men as had been called by the people, and had practised secretly with the Council of Glasgow not to suffer any to be settled there that might be against the Public Resolutions; but in reference to Mr Cargill's call, they were by God's good providence much bound up from their