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strive to break all they can, and especially when they are among the enemy's hands.
"In the last place, I bear my testimony to the cross of Christ, as the only desirable upmaking and rich lot of the people of God this day in Scotland. Oh! it is the portion of poor things, who desire to seek God, and design honesty in the land! I think they want a good bargain of it that want it, and I think they want nothing that have it, and get leave to carry it heartsomely, and His presence under it; I would advise you all to take it on. I dare say this much for your encouragement, that it is easy and sweet. There is no better way to carry the cross right, than to cast all our care upon Christ, and trust Him for all things, and use our single endeavours in the matter, and speak what He bids us, and when He bids us, and obey His voice in all things.
"Now, I declare I hate all ungodliness. Now, farewell all things wherein I have been troubled with; a wicked world, and evil heart of misbelief, a subtile, powerful, aud malicious devil, and tempted with a company of men who have shaken off the fear of God. Now, welcome Lord Jesus-into thy hands I commit my spirit.
LL that is known of William Cuthill, is contained in his confession, read at his trial. He was taken by some of the Earl of Mar's men, with two pistols and a dirk about him. "Being interrogated, if it be lawful to kill the king? answers, the king has broken the Covenant, and presses others to do so by his forces, and therefore he thinks he deserves to die, and denies his authority upon that account. As to the murder of the Archbishop, he thinks the persons who did it had the glory of God before their eyes; and refuses to sign."
It must be remembered, that we owe this confession, which he did not sign, to his enemies, and they may purposely have made its language stronger than it really was. Like William Thomson, he suffered at the same time with Donald Cargill.
Several allusions in Cuthill's Testimony need explanation:
1. The commissioning Montrose. On the death of Charles I., the Scottish Parliament proclaimed his son, Charles II., but at the same time resolved not to admit him to the throne till he gave security for the liberty and the religion of the kingdom. Delegates were despatched to wait on him and offer him the throne on these terms. But James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, and a few other nobles of like mind, were already with the king, and counselled him to reject the proposal of Parliament, and offered to do their utmost to place him on the throne by force of arms. With characteristic duplicity Charles listened to both. While he favourably negotiated with the delegates, he commissioned Montrose to make a descent on Scotland. In April 1650, Montrose, with about a thousand men, landed from the Orkney Islands upon the mainland, but rumours of former cruelties had gone before him, and the country people fled at his advance. He himself was surprised by Strachan, an officer under General David Leslie, and taken prisoner near the pass of Invercharron, on the confines of Ross-shire. The commission itself, and encouraging letters from the king, were found upon him when he was delivered up to Leslie.
2. For the Causes of Wrath, see page 27.
3. The Remonstrance of the gentlemen, ministers, and commanders attending the forces in the west, in the year 1650, was written by Patrick Gillespie, and was addressed to the Committee of Estates. It censured their rashness in admitting the king to desecrate the Covenant by swearing contrary to his known intentions, plainly seen in the commissioned invasion of his favourite, the Marquis of Montrose.
4. The Public Resolutions rose out of an Act entitled "The Act of Classes," passed February 17, 1649. It "Ordained that no person that is malignant and disaffected to the present Work of Reformation and Covenants, nor any person given to drunkenness, swearing, uncleanness, or any other scandalous offence, shall hereafter be chosen to be officer of an army belonging to the kingdom, or employed in any place of public power or trust." The effect of this Act was, that many of Charles' friends were excluded from office.
In order to have some plea for repealing this wholesome statute, it was thought desirable to gain the consent of the General Assembly. A few members of the Commission of the General Assembly, December 1650, passed two resolutions favourable, with one or two restrictions, to the admission into the army of all fencible persons in the kingdom. The Parliament immediately repealed the Act, and Montrose and many notorious enemies of the liberties of the subject were speedily put in places of trust. Keen debates arose in the General Assembly, and those who approved of the resolutions were called the Resolutioners, and those who disapproved were the Protesters.
5. Naphtali was the precursor of the "Cloud of Witnesses." Its title explains its nature or contents: "Naphtali, or the Wrestlings of the Church of Scotland for the Kingdom of Christ, contained in a true and short deduction thereof, from the beginning of the Reformation of religion until the year 1667, together with the case, speeches, and testimonies, of some who have died for the truth, since the year 1660." Its first part was from the pen of James Stewart, afterwards Sir James Stewart, and King's Advocate after the Revolution. It is written with a fiery eloquence, and is remarkable for its happy use of Scripture, and the ability with which it shows the unscriptural nature of Prelacy, and defines the respective provinces of Church and State. The second part is the larger portion of the volume, and is mainly narrative. It was written, says Wodrow, by a very worthy minister, the Reverend Mr James Stirling, minister of the Gospel at Paisley. By a Proclamation of Council, December 12, 1667, Naphtali was ordered to be burned, and copies of it were ordained to be brought into the nearest magistrates before February 1, 1668; and all persons, after this date, in possession of copies, were to be fined ten thousand pounds Scots. This proclamation is the best testimony to the real merit of the book, for it is one of the most readable books of that period, and of no great size,-the edition of 1680 is an 18mo, of 243 pages,—and is just the book that Prelates and the supporters of arbitrary power would find easier to burn than to answer. Attached to the first edition is an appendix, containing the speeches and testimonies of the Marquis of Argyll, James Guthrie of Stirling, Lord Warriston, etc. The edition of 1680 contains a second appendix of
Papers left by Mr James Mitchell, sentenced to die January 18, 1678;" "The Speech of the most faithful and pious servant of Jesus Christ, Mr John Kid, minister of the Gospel, who suffered at Edinburgh the 14th day of August 1679," etc.—ED.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of WILLIAM CUTHILL, Seaman in Borrowstounness, who suffered at Edinburgh, July 27, 1681.
(This testimony having a large preamble, wherein he gives his private opinion concerning some things then in debate, which do not relate to the causes of his suffering, and which are of no use now; these vain janglings and unprofitable strifes of words being ceased, and his opinion about them not being a testimony for truth, nor espoused by any of the godly as a head of suffering or contending for; the encouragers of this work have thought fit that the preamble be passed by, and the Testimony itself only published.)
"I here, as one ready to step into eternity, and one of the subjects of a kingdom covenanted to God, and one of Christ's sufferers, enter my protestation, and give in my testimony against all that hath been done against Christ's reigning, and the thriving of His kingdom in Scotland, since the beginning of the work of Reformation more particularly against all the several steps of backsliding:
"As 1. The admitting of Charles Stuart to the exercise of kingly power, and crowning him, while they knew he carried heart enmity against the work and people of God, and while, in the meantime, there was so much of his treachery made known to the Parliament.* By his commissioning James Graham, Earl of Montrose, to burn and slay the subjects of this kingdom, that would not side with, or would withstand him in the prosecuting of his wickedness, which is recorded in the Causes of Wrath and the Remonstrance of the gentlemen, ministers, and commanders attending the forces in the west, in the year 1650.
"2. Against the unfaithfulness, connivance, and compliance of ministers and others at the wickedness perpetrated in the land,
* This ought not to be understood of the manner of his coronation, which is owned by all Presbyterians to have been most consonant to God's Word, and the national constitution of Scotland; but of his disposition and practice, which was too evidently contradictory to the sacred engagement he came under.-Note by the compilers of the "Cloud."
during the time of Cromwell's usurpation; for, as I am informed, few testified against him, for trampling all the interests of Jesus Christ under his feet, in giving a toleration to all sectaries (whereof the abominable and blasphemous Quakers are a witness, whose religion is nothing but refined Paganism at the best; yea, I think, it is much worse), which was to set up their thresholds beside Christ's, and their altars beside the Lord's, in a land covenanted to God, never to suffer the like, and lying under the same bonds.
"3 Against the Public Resolutions for the bringing in malignants to places of power and trust; which have been the rod in God's hand above the heads, and upon the backs of God's people, ever since they lusted after them. And now, I suppose they are convinced (at least some of them), that God hath given them on the finger-ends for it. But we have not seen them confessing before God and His people in public; for it should be as public as the sin was; that they have added this sin to all their other sins, in asking them a king, whereas the Lord was their King.
"4. I bear my testimony against that unparallelled practice of ministers, in quitting their charges; and that (which doth more aggravate their guilt) at his [Charles II.] command, who had no power to act, nor right to be obeyed, neither in that, nor yet in civil things; for then he had unkinged himself; and their going away without almost ever a testimony, who should have been the main men that should have told the people what to do. Oh! and alas for that practice! yet they were put away without being convicted of any crime done against him. But is it not against Presbyterian principles, that a king should depose ministers of the Gospel; though he had a just right, all that time, to rule the civil state? For it was without controversy, that he had imprisoned some of Christ's ministers, without being ever summoned, or treated by any legal procedure, as Naphtali records, and usurped the ecclesiastic officer's seat, to depose the rest of them.
"5. I hold it one of the Causes of God's Wrath against the land, and one of the causes of God's breaking and scattering that poor handful of men at Pentland, that renewed the Covenant at Lanark, and did not keep out His interest out of it; for it only binds us to its maintainers, not to its destroyers.
"6. I bear testimony against the procedure of the ministers, when they came to the fields again after Pentland, because they did not first begin with public and private fasts, and make up the hedge and gap, for the Church of God in Scotland; and then only preach