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untried for four years and four months. During this long period, he was occasionally in irons, night and day; and, during winter, without fire. His privations were borne with much patience. The marvel is that he lived through them to be at last tried.
The record of his trial, as it stands on the Justiciary books, is dated February 11, 1683 : "Being interrogated if he owns the king to be lawful king, and will pray for him; declares, he will not say he disowns him, but owns all lawful authority according to the word of God. He will not answer whether Bothwell Bridge be rebellion; he will not judge of other folk's actings; he owns the obligation of the Covenant, and will adhere to it while he lives. He will not call Bothwell Bridge rebellion, but says, if it was a rebellion against God it was rebellion; if not, it was not rebellion. He will not subscribe. Being interrogated if the late king's death was murder, declares, they that did it had more skill than he; refuses to call it murder, and says, he does not think it pertinent to give a declaration anent it.”
Free of ground of condemnation as these answers are, yet, from them alone (for no witnesses were summoned), he was sentenced to be hanged at the Grassmarket. His testimony gives evidence of his piety, and of the judicial murder which his judges committed in his execution.
As stated at the close of his testimony, he was tried along with John Gilry, wright, in the parish of Hownam, in Roxburghshire. Gilry's examination and answers were much the same with those of his fellow prisoner, and they likewise formed the only matter brought against him. Still less is known of him than George Martin. All that Wodrow says of him is
“I have before me two original letters, signed John Gilry, from the Iron House, December 27, 1683, which savour much of humility, self-diffidence, and meekness; wherein he offers many solid grounds of support to sufferers, and presses them to observe providences, and believe well of God. He died in much serenity and peace, adoring free grace, and adhering to the truths of Christ, and firmly trusting in Him for salvation." In the Justiciary records John Gilry's name does not occur, but that of John Ker, wright, in the parish of Hownam, does. Wodrow regards Ker as a mistake for Gilry. There is no doubt that a third person, James Muir, at Cessfordboat, in Roxburghshire, who was tried with them, but of him little else is known than his name and sentence.
Fountainhall's notice of the three martyrs is a curiosity : "Martin, a notar and schoolmaster, and other two, condemned at the circuit, and hanged, 22d February 1684. They were offered their lives, but refused the same, being ingrained whigs.”—ED.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of George Martin, who
suffered at the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, upon the 22d of February 1684.
“MY DEAR FRIENDS, - After four years and near four months' captivity and bondage, for this glorious and honourable cause of Jesus Christ, for which I
have been kept sometimes in bolts and fetters night and day, without fire, and other necessaries; and now at the end of the foresaid space, being sentenced to die ; I thought it fit to signify to you why I was so sentenced, as the adversaries gave it forth. And it is this ; I could not own, nor allow of the king's authority, as it is now established, nor pray for him in a superstitious, idolatrous manner, nor call the late Prelate of St Andrews' and the late king's death murder, nor Bothwell Bridge rebellion, and abjure the Covenant. All which I refused, and could do upon no terms.
“ As to the first, I could not own, nor allow of the present government, as it is now established, because it is derogatory to the crown and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, in robbing Him of His royal prerogatives, ' In their setting of their threshold by My thresholds, and their post by My posts, and the wall between Me and them, they have even defiled My holy name by their abominations that they have committed : wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger'(Ezek. xliii. 8). "And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, in that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant, because of all your abominations. And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things, but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves' (Ezek. xliv. 6–8). «Shall even he
that hateth right govern ? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?' (Job xxxiv. 17). Who durst do it, and be guiltless? And moreover, 'Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits : get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the holy One of Israel to cease from before us' (Isa. xxx. 10, 11).
And I cannot, nor dare not pray for him so superstitiously :
“1. Because it imports a set form of prayer, which is most superstitious, and that which is their dreadful design.
“2. It imports idolatry, like unto the cry of the people made mention of in Acts xix. 34, who had a cry for the space of two hours, of that idol, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,' which was rejected, with some kind of reason, by some of their own sort, though heathens, and much more ought it here.
“3. Another reason why I cannot pray after such a manner is ; I find when prayer is rightly discharged, and seriously gone about, in the manner, time, and place, as is warranted by the Word of God, that God is thereby worshipped and honoured ; and if irreverently gone about, He is dishonoured, and His name profaned, and taken in vain, which is abomination to Him, and which He saith His enemies do, and for which He will not hold them guiltless.
4. I dare not pray so superstitiously for him, because I find Jeremiah three times expressly forbidden to pray for a people, not guilty of all the things that he is guilty of, though he be guilty of all their sins, and many others also. See for this, Jer. vii. 16, where it is said, “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.' "Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them : for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble' (Jer. xi. 14). "Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry' (Jer. xiv. 11, 12). "If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; shall not God search this out? for He knoweth the secrets of the heart' (Ps. xliv. 20, 21). “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it' (1 John v. 16). I fear some sins in this land have too near bordering with that sin. Innumerable Scriptures are to this purpose, but these may suffice at present.