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then why do you cast at all the rest ? We answered, These seven carried the great sway, and the rest came in under them.
“He said, How can one man take upon him to draw out the sword of excommunication; for the like was never heard tell of in any generation ? We answered, Why not one man, since there were no more faithful ? and the Church hath power to cast out scandalous persons, be they high, be they low.
“He said, Who is the Church? We said, If there was a true Church in the world, that little handful was one, though never so insignificant, of which handful we own ourselves a part; and though our blood go in the quarrel, yet we hope it will be the foundation of a new building, and of a lively Church.
“He said, Thought we all the ministers wrong? We answered, We desire to forbear, and not to add ; for we desire not to speak of ministers' faults. And we desired him to forbear, and let us be gone; but he urged his discourse, and fell on upon the papers that were taken at the Queensferry, chiefly on that part of them : When God gives them power, it is a just law to execute justice upon all persons that are guilty.'
“And he came to us, and laid by his coat, and said, Would ye stab me with a knife in my breast, even now? And we smiled, and said, We never murdered any.
But, said he, They swore to do so. We said, Why did he not debate these things with men, and not with lasses? For, we told him, we never studied debates. “ He said again, Thought we all the ministers wrong
g? We answered, They were wrong; and forbade him to put us to it, to speak of ministers' faults; for, if he knew what we had to say of them, he would not urge us. So we desired to be gone.
“And he said, If ye come to calm blood, and desire me, or any other of the ministers, to speak to you; ye may tell the keepers, and ye may have them.
"And there was a chirurgeon among them, and the goodman of the Tolbooth said, He might draw blood of us, for we were mad. We said, Saw ye any mad action in us?
“This is all we can mind at present.”
HE DYING TESTIMONY AND LAST WORDS
of ISABEL ALISON.
“I, being sentenced to die in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, January 1681, thought fit to set down, under my hand, the causes wherefore I suffer. I being apprehended at Perth, in my own chamber, by an
order from the Council, and brought to Edinburgh with a strong guard, and there put in prison, and then being examined first by a committee, and then by the criminal court, the manner of my examination was :
“First, If I conversed with David Hackston and others of our friends ? Which I owned upon good grounds.
“Second, If I owned the Excommunication at the Torwood, and the papers found at the Queensferry, and Sanquhar Declaration, and a paper found on Mr Cameron at Airsinoss? All which I owned. Likewise, I declined their authority, and told them that they had declared war against Christ, and had usurped and taken His prerogatives, and so carried the sword against Him, and not for Him.
“So I think none can own them, unless they disown Christ Jesus. Therefore, let enemies and pretended friends say what they please, I could have my life on no easier terms, than the denying of Christ's kingly office. So I lay down my life for owning and adhering to Jesus Christ, He being a free King in His own house, for which I bless the Lord that ever He called me to that.
“Now, in the first place, I adhere to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament; and likewise I adhere to the Confession of Faith, because according to the Scriptures ; the Larger and Shorter Catechisms; and our Solemn Covenants, both National and Solemn League, as they were lawfully sworn in this land ; and I adhere to the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties; I adhere likewise to these forementioned papers, and to the Excommunication at Torwood, they all being according to the Scriptures of Truth, and so both lawful and necessary ; likewise I adhere to the Rutherglen Testimony, and to all the testimonies of our worthies, who have suffered in Edinburgh, and elsewhere.
“In the next place, I enter my protestation against all the violation done to the work of God these twenty years bygone. First, The burning of the Covenant made with God, and the “Causes of God's Wrath," and the thrusting in of prelates into the Lord's house, contrary to the Word of God, and our sworn Covenants. I leave my testimony against Popery, which is so much countenanced at this day, and against the receiving that limb of antichrist, the Duke of York. Likewise I leave my testimony against all the blood shed both on scaffolds, and in the fields, and seas; and against all the cruelty used against all the people of the Lord. And I leave my testimony against the paying of that wicked cess, for maintaining of these profane wretches, to bear down the work of God. I leave my testimony against all unlawful bonds; and likewise against the shifting of a testimony, when clearly called by the Lord to give it.
“ I leave my testimony against all profanity of all sorts; and likewise against lukewarmness and indifferency in the Lord's matters. I leave my testimony against the unfaithfulness of ministers, first and last; their silence at the first, when their Master's work was broken down; for the most part they slipped from their Master's back, without so much as giving one word of a testimony against the wrongs done to Him ; and now are become a snare to the poor people in going to hear the curates; and poor things, following their example, are ensnared. My finding the sad experience of it, brings it the more into my memory. Yet, notwithstanding of their being convinced of their error in this, many of them carry now, as if they rued that ever they came forth to the fields to proclaim their Master a free King in His own house. And now they are fallen in under the shadow of the sworn enemies; and, alas! they are become profound to lay snares, yea, they are a trap upon Mispeh, and a net spread upon Tabor! Oh! for the sad defection both of ministers and professors in Scotland! It is like, our carriage may make many of our carcasses lie in the wilderness.
“ I leave my testimony against the Indulgences, first and last, and against all that comply therewith, or connive thereat. I leave my testimony against the censuring of worthy Mr Cameron, or any other whom God raised up to declare the whole counsel of God, and to witness against the evils of this generation. I fear, when God makes inquisition for blood, ministers' hands will not be found free thereof.
“As for charging my blood on any particular person, I cannot, for I have never gotten the certainty of what hath brought me to the stage [i.e., to trial]; but if any have done it willingly, I leave it to God and their own conscience. But I may warrantably charge it upon all the declared enemies of God within the land.
“And first, I leave it on the bloody Council, that sent an order to take me, for they are guilty of it.
“ Secondly, the sheriff-clerk of Perth, and these that were with him when he took me, are guilty of it; the sheriff-clerk of Kinross, and the men that guarded me, are all likewise guilty of my blood.
“And I leave my blood on Sir George Mackenzie, and the rest of that bloody court, and I take the Lord to witness against them, whether or not it was on easy terms, that they offered me my life ; they said only, they would not trouble me with their bishops; but I said that Supremacy was as evil as Prelacy. And they said that I behoved to say, that the king was not a usurper, and pass from all my former confession, and that it was my duty to obey authority. I told them that they were sworn enemies to God, so that it was impossible to obey God and them both; so I told them I would not retract an hair-breadth. They said, Thought I ever that he (Charles II.) was our lawful king? I said, Yes; for he entered into covenant with God and with the land; but he hath broken and cast off that tie, and hath exercised so much, both tyranny and cruelty, that I had just ground to decline him and them both. Then they bade my blood be upon my own head; but I told them they would find it would be on their heads, for it was for owning of Christ's kingly office that they put me to suffer, say the contrary who will. Now I bless the Lord I am free from Jesuitical principles. The Scripture is my rule, and when obedience to men is contrary to obedience to God, I am clear to disown them.
“I leave my testimony against Mr Riddell, for his obeying these wicked men to ensnare us, and to hold out to us, before these accursed enemies of Christ that were seeking our lives for our adhering to the truth, that it was all delusion that we held. I many times rued that I bare so well with him, and now I hear that he denies that which we wrote. But if ye will believe me, who am within a little to appear before God, there was nothing added, but rather wanting ; I wish the Lord may forgive him. I bless the Lord, what strikes against myself only I can very heartily forgive; but what strikes against God and His truths, I leave that to God, who is the Judge of all.
“Now I would only say this to you who are seeking to keep your garments clean; be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the devil