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Him to whom vengeance belongs, that He may deal with them as He may most glorify Himself.
“Oh! if I could speak or write anything to the commendation of the covenanted God of the Church of Scotland !
“1. I have surely many things to say, for that He trysted [i.l., appointed] my lot to be in a nation where He hath set up His pure worship; whereas He might justly have letten my lot be amongst Pagans and heathen nations, that know nothing of the true God.
Or, 2. He might have ordered it to be among these that are worshipping Antichrist, that whore, that monstrous beast, that sits upon many waters; whose sentence may be read in Revelation xiv. 9-11: 'And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation ; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.' And so, as sure as God is God, and the holy Scriptures are His word, according to which all men that have heard or seen it shall be judged, having the sentence of absolution or condemnation passed according thereto: 'For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law' (Rom. ii. 12); so it is clear, that the first will surely perish, viz., all infidels, and atheists, and heathens, and Pagans, that know not the true God nor of His law. many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.' And so, whatever vain hopes the Papists may have of being saved, living and dying Papists, or whatever charity loose professors have on that head to give them, they are as far from being saved as devils, which are eternally cast out of His presence.
“3. I have Him to bless for this, that my lot is not among corrupt Protestant churches abroad, Lutherans and other corruptions and abounding errors, both in doctrine, discipline, worship, and government, sectarian, Episcopal, or Erastian ; but in the Reformed Church of Scotland, where all these things have been cast over the hedge as not plants of His planting, where He hath been owned in all His offices, Prophet, Priest, and King; though He may say of us in a great measure, as to the Church of Israel of old, “I have planted
thee a noble vine, but thou art become a degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me.' In that day of planting we could have sung that song, "We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks (Isa. xxvi. 1). "The Lord hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem. For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her, they have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments, (Lam. iv. 11-14). This may be our regret before God, as it is in the 7th and 8th verses: 'Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire : their visage is blacker than a coal ; they are not known in the streets : their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.' Oh! how unnatural like were it for the mother to let the child, the son of her womb, perish for lack of the breast? Were she free of the child's blood, it perishing for want of its natural food? And oh ! how many are this day perishing for want of the lively preached Gospel? Ver. 3, ‘Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones : the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.'
“4. I have Him to bless for this, that I am not this day fighting against Him in an open stated war, and so bearing arms against Him and His people, for there is no more in me as to myself than these that are embruing their hands deeply in the blood of the saints.
“5. I have Him to bless for this, that ever He opened mine eyes to see the mystery of iniquity that abounds and hath its seat in the heart : as also in some measure, a sight of the remedy in the blood of Jesus, with His spirit engaging me to Himself, letting me see Himself altogether precious, making me to see that it is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell in all the pleasures of sin for a season. 'Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee' (Ps. lxxiii. 24-25).
“6. I have His holy name to bless that ever He honoured me to know any thing, how small soever, of His persecuted truths, viz., His crown, kingdom, and privileges, now when many by their acts and laws have taken His crown and sceptre and royal robe from Him, and settled the whole government of His house upon a man that is but a worm.
But I believe His decree will stand, oppose it who will. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion (Ps. ii. 6). 'I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images (Isa. xlii. 8). Now it is His declarative glory which that usurper hath taken to himself. Ay, but He that leadeth captivity captive, according to His royal will and word, will reclaim His own glory. He it is alone that hath given Him to be the sure foundation, whereon all the building is fitly framed: that stone which the builders have rejected is made the head of the corner. “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place' (Isa. xxviii. 16, 17).
“7. I bless and magnify the holy name of my God, that hath called me to be a sufferer for His work and interest, counting it not my shame, but a high privilege and dignifying of me, when many famous in their generation have been denied of it, when so many are denying, and by their practice rendering the cross of Christ of no effect. Oh, my friends, bless and magnify your God for this, that ye are privileged with these things, and strive to walk worthy of Him in your places, calling, and stations, and relations, as a husband, as a wife, as a master, as a servant, as a Christian. Study to have a blameless conversation, as becomes the Gospel ; as far as ye can, walk void of offence towards God and man.
"My dear friends, I have sweet peace in my lovely Lord. He has made my prison become a palace unto me, and He has made me many a time to bless Him for my lot, for which my soul shall praise Him through all eternity. Therefore, my dear friends, let none of you think it strange, concerning the fiery trial, as though some strange thing had happened unto me, for it is in His holy wisdom. He has made
lot sweet ; for He has made out His sweet promises unto me, one of which is of more worth than all the world, giving me the witness of His Spirit, bearing witness with my spirit that I have a right to them all.
“Now, farewell all things in time. Farewell Holy Scriptures.
Farewell all Christian friends. Farewell prayer and meditation. Farewell faith. Farewell hope. Welcome heaven, welcome Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Welcome angels and the souls of just men made perfect. Welcome praises for evermore.
ILLIAM COCHRAN belonged to Carnduff, a farm about
three miles to the west of Strathaven. The first edition
calls him Mungo Cochrane, but the fourth, together with Wodrow and Crookshanks, gives his name as above. His answers on examination before the Council are in Wodrow, and are substantially the same as those of John Finlay: “William Cochran, being interrogate if it be lawful for subjects to rise in arms against the king, refuses to answer. Being interrogate, whether the king be lawful king, answers these are kittle questions, and will say nothing of them, being a prisoner. Being desired to say ‘God save the king,' refuses to say anything. Can write, but refuses to sign his answers.”
His testimony, like John Finlay's, is very similar to that of his fellow-sufferer, James Robertson. Its chief feature is the clearness with which it brings out the reason why he and many others who suffered to the death refused to say “God save the king.” It was not because they were unwilling to pray for the king, but because to say “God save the king was regarded as an approval of all that he had done against the Church and people of God, and the true subjects of the kingdom, and the ancient and fundamental laws thereof.—ED.]
HE LAST TESTIMONY of WILLIAM COCHRAN, who
lived in the parish of Evandale, and suffered in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, December 15, 1682.
"LOVING FRIENDS, -Seeing I am going off time to eternity, I think it fit now to leave my testimony to the truths of God. And,
“1. I own the Scriptures, and acknowledge them to be the only rule to the Church and people of God at all times, and under all dispensations.
2. [I own] Jesus Christ to be the only Saviour of His people, and head of His Church, and sole governor of His house.
"3. I adhere to the covenanted work of Reformation, Confession of Faith, and the Covenants and Catechisms. And I think it my great honour and glory, that I was born a member of that Church, and I desire to bear my testimony to all the privileges of that Church, and also I desire to bear witness against all her enemies, especially against Supremacy and Prelacy, and all Prelatic and Erastian courses, and against all joiners and complyers whomsoever, with such like.
“Now I desire every believer in the Church of Scotland, to take a look how matters stand between God and their souls, in such a day as this. For it seems to me, that the religion which would have done your turn at other times, will not do it
is now in the deeps, and ye would needs look where ye stand, when so many are falling; and see whether ye have made religion your only choice or no. For except Christ be the only pearl of price to you, and His law your delight, ye cannot hold out. For it seems to be a great work to be self-denied, and part with all things, when they come in competition with the truths of Christ. Your going to kirks, and answering courts now, when they are founded upon perjury, and seated upon the ruins of the Church ; I cannot see but it is a direct contradicting of the work of Reformation, which we are sworn to maintain in its purity in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, for we should not be divided directly nor indirectly; and (we should not have a joining with the enemies of the truth, when we should neither touch nor taste with the men of these abominations.