« PrécédentContinuer »
Upon this they caused beat the drums, which obliged him a little to silence; but, beckoning with his hand, he said, "I shall only say something to three particulars: And first, Anent that which some are apt to believe, that we are against authority; but we detest that, and say that we own all the lawful exercise of authority; and we hope there are none that are Christians who will allow us to own the unlawful exercise, or rather tyranny of authority."
At this the drums were again beat, and so he sung a part of the 103d Psalm from the beginning, and prayed; which done, he turned his face to the Cross, and said, "I bless the Lord I am not surprised, neither terrified, with this death, or the manner of it. I confess the thoughts of death have been sometimes very terrible to me, when I have been reflecting upon my misspending of precious time; yea, sometimes the strength of temptation, and my own weakness, have made me herein to raze the very foundation of my interest; but my God builds faster than He permits the devil and my false heart to cast down. I have had some clouds even since I came to prison; but blessed be God, these are all removed; for my God hath said to my soul, 'Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.' And the faith of this makes me not to fear grim death, though it be called the king of terrors, yet it is not so to me; for this that you think a cruel and sudden death, is but an inlet
to life, which shall be eternal. Let none be offended at Christ and His way, because of suffering; for I can persuade you there is more of Christ's help, and supporting grace, and strength, in a suffering lot, than all that ever I heard of by the hearing of the ear. But now I am made to find it in my own experience; and I can say, 'He is altogether lovely.'
"But a second thing that I promised to speak to is, that I detest and abhor all popery, prelacy, erastianism, and all other steps of defection from the truths of God, and turning aside to the right and left hand. Also, I testify against all errors, as Quakerism, Arminianism, and all that is contrary to sound doctrine; who walk not according to the Scriptures, and make not the Word and Spirit of God their rule to walk by. I have lived, and now am ready to die, a Christian, a Protestant, and a Presbyterian in my judgment; therefore let none hereafter say that we walk not by the Scriptures, for once Britain and Ireland, and especially Scotland, were deeply sworn to maintain what now they disown; therefore beware of standing in the way of others, seeing ye will not go in yourselves.
"Thirdly, I exhort all you that are the poor remnant, to be serious in getting your interest cleared; you that are in the dark with your case, take not flashes for conversion; study a holy conversation. more pains to know the Scriptures, and believe them. Be serious in prayer. Slight not time. Take Christ in His own terms, and resolve to meet with trials, and that shortly. Slight not known duties: commit not known sins, whatever suffering ye may meet with for your cleaving to duty. Lippen [i.e., trust] to God, and you will not be disappointed. Construct well of Him under all dispensations. Weary not of suffering. Lie not at ease in a day of Jacob's trouble.
"I have one word more to speak, to all that are going on in persecuting the way and friends of Christ, and it is in the very words of our Lord; remember, 'Whatever ye do to one of these little ones, ye do it unto Me.' I pray the Lord that He may open the eyes of all the elect, who are yet strangers to regeneration, and also convince such of them as are fallen from their first love.
"Now, my friends, I have this to say in my own vindication, that however I have been branded by some, and misconstrued by others, yet I can say in the sight of the Lord, before whom I am now to appear, that I am free of any public scandal; I say I am free of drunkenness, I am free of whoredom, thefts, or murder; therefore, let none say that we are murderers, or would kill any, but in self
defence, and in defence of the Gospel. I truly forgive all men the wrongs they have done to me, as I desire to be forgiven of the Lord; but as for the wrongs done to a holy God, I leave these to Him who is the avenger of blood; let Him do to them as He may be glorified. Now, I say no more, but pray that all who are in His way may be kept from sinning under suffering, and that every one may prepare for a storm, which I do verily believe is not far off."
Then stooping down, he saluted some friends, and said, "Farewell all relations and acquaintances; farewell all ye that are lovers of Christ and His righteous cause." And beckoning to the multitude, he said "Farewell also." And so he went up the ladder with the greatest discoveries of alacrity and magnanimity, and seating himself upon it, he said, "Now, this death of mine I fear not, for my sins are freely pardoned; yea, and I shall sin no more, for I am made, through my God, to look hell, wrath, devils, and sin eternally out of countenance. Therefore, farewell all created enjoyments, pleasures, and delights; farewell sinning and suffering; farewell praying and believing, and welcome heaven and singing. Welcome joy in the Holy Ghost; welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; into thy hands I commend my spirit."
When the executioner was about to untie his cravat, he thrust him away, and untied it himself, and, calling for his brother, threw it down, saying, "This is the last token you will get from me.” After the napkin was drawn over his face he uncovered it again, and said, "I have one word more to say, and that is, to all that have any love to God, and His righteous cause, that they will set time apart, and sing a song of praise to the Lord for what He has done to my soul, and my soul says, to Him be praise." Then letting down the napkin, he prayed a little within himself, and the executioner doing his office, threw him over.
ITTLE is known of James Boig than that he was son to a Mr James Boig, merchant in Edinburgh. His testimony is a well written document, in keeping with his character as a student of theology. Wodrow records that "both he and Mr Smith died under much comfort, joy, and full assurance." The Sanquhar Declaration mentioned in his testimony was published by about twenty persons gathered together at Sanquhar, June 22, 1680, when Michael Cameron read it, and left a copy affixed to the Cross. It was the first public statement in which allegiance to Charles II. was renounced, because of the supremacy he claimed over the Church. It is appended to the Informatory Vindication, which contains an explanation and defence of this Declaration by Renwick. Wodrow, in his History, gives a kindly plea for its authors, written by "a very worthy Presbyterian minister lately got to the joy of the Lord." The Sanquhar Declaration roused the Government to fury. A counter proclamation was issued, declaring it to be "a most treasonable and unparallelled paper," and offering 5000 merks for Richard Cameron, 3000 merks for Douglas, Cargill, and Michael Cameron, and 1000 for each one of the traitors, dead or alive, to be instantly paid to their captors.
The Queensferry paper, referred to in this and several of the following testimonies, was said to have been found upon Henry Hall of Haughhead, June 3, 1680. It was unsubscribed, was evidently an imperfect draught, and was never, as whole, owned by the societies. Hall was waiting for an opportunity to go over to Holland with it when he was captured. Though incomplete, it is yet an able document, and asserts in bold prominence a doctrine that must have been specially unpalatable to Charles II. and the debauchees associated with him—the absolute necessity of moral character in a ruler, be his office what it may. The paper is in Wodrow, and the tenor of it is given in the appendix to this work.-ED.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of Mr JAMES BOIG, Student of Theology, who suffered at the Cross of Edinburgh, July 27, 1681, written in a letter to his brother :
"DEAR BROTHER,-I have not now time to write that which I would; but to satisfy your desire, and the desire of others, who are concerned in the cause and work of God, that is now at this time trampled upon, I have given out my indictment to a friend of yours, and now I shall give you an account of the enemies' prosecution thereof against us.
'My indictment did run upon three heads
"1. That I had disowned the King's authority;
"2. That I said, the rising in arms at Bothwell Bridge was lawful, and upon the defence of truth;
"3. That I owned the Sanquhar Declaration in the whole heads and articles thereof. And having again owned this before the Justiciary and Assizers [i.e., the Jury], I held my peace, and spake no more, because I saw what was spoken by others was not regarded, either by our unjust judges or mocking auditors. All that our speaking did, was the exposing of us to the mockery of all present.