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it; because I have no double, and it may be all my testimony. Send nothing to me; for I am fully seen to, and have met with kindness from all sorts; only, friends have not liberty to see me. My love to you and all friends. I said to Clerk Paterson, that I should have seen Mr Cargill's papers, before I had answered anent them.”
OPY of another LETTER written by David HACKSTON of
Rathillet, to a Gentlewoman of his acquaintance, dated from the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, July 28, 1680.
“MADAM, -The bearer shows me, that your ladyship desires to know what I mean by the Achan I mentioned in my other, which I shall explain. And alas !
that I have such a wide field to walk in, when I name such a thing; for I know not how to find out the man that is free of the accursed thing among us, for which God is contending against the land; especially against such as would be most free of the public sins, and most downright for God. Only I desire both to reverence and admire the holy wisdom and loving-kindness of God, who is by these dark-like dispensations purging His people, that He may bring forth a chaste spouse to Himself in Scotland. These are tokens of His fatherly love ; and I fear a delivery, while we stand guilty of such things as are so open whoredoms against our married husband, might rather be looked upon as a bill of divorce, than joining again in the married relation. And first, I must explain the national sins according to the light God hath bestowed upon me out of His free grace; who is not tied to any, but chooseth and revealeth Himself to whom He will, and often glorifies His free grace, in making use even of the greatest sinners, as I confess I have been one ; which national sins are contained in our national decrees.
“And first, The whole land is become guilty of idolatry, as it is established by the Acts of Supremacy, especially the Act Explanatory [i.e., ist Act of Second Parliament of Charles II., Nov. 16, 1669, asserting his Majesty's supremacy over all persons, and in all causes ecclesiastical, and the first act that was rescinded in the second session of the first Parliament of William and Mary.-ED.), wherein all the declarative glory and prerogatives of Jesus Christ are given to the king; which is fearful idolatry, in ascribing that which He hath purchased with His precious blood, and received from the Father as His gift, and hath reserved as His peculiar glory; giving this, I say, unto a creature, whom by this blasphemous decree, we have set up in the room of Jesus Christ, as governor and absolute head and judge in all ecclesiastic affairs. And by the same decree, all acts and laws contrary to it are rescinded ; and the whole word of God contained in the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament are a law contrary to it, and so by this are rescinded.
“Now, besides this sin of idolatry, by the Act Recissory, (Act 15 of the First Parliament of Charles II., entitled 'Act rescinding and annulling the pretended Parliaments in the year 1640, 1641, etc.' In virtue of this Act, there a blank in the editions of the Scots Acts from 1639 to 1650. The original register of these Acts has been recently found in Her Majesty's State Paper Office in London, and has been transcribed, and is about to be published by her Majesty's Government, uniform with the other Acts of the Parliament of Scotland.-ED.), all other acts, oaths, covenants, and engagements that the lands are lying under, sworn to God, and in His name, are rescinded and declared null ; and, in contempt of God, to whom, and in whose name they were so solemnly sworn and so often renewed, are burned by the hands of the hangmen, through several places of these covenanted kingdoms. This is a legal perjury, and breach of covenant, without a parallel in sacred or profane history. Besides, in contempt of the presence of God, seen at the meetings of His people convened in His name, they have declared them rendezvouses of rebellion [Act against Conventicles. Act V., Second Session of Second Parliament of Charles II.—Ed.]; and by another Act, have accounted it presumption for any minister to preach without doors (this is done in the Act just mentioned, and also in Act XVII. of the Third Session of Scottish Parliament of Charles II. -Ed.); thus contemning the call of Christ, whereby they set themselves above God.
“I could instance many horrid things, acted and done by them, in their prosecuting their design of having that idol of theirs fixed in the usurpation of the prerogatives of Jesus Christ. Yet not doubting but your ladyship knows many of them, I shall for brevity's sake omit; only the land is filled from the one end to the other with innocent blood shed on that account, and with other terrible abominations, detestable among Turks and heathens. I think, in God's righteous judgment, these men are given up thereto, for the upfilling of the measure of their iniquity, that He may be glorified in the stroke of His justice upon all ranks, which is fast hastening, and that inevitably.
“But next, to mention who are guilty hereof. I know not how to do it, only, I may say, I know none can be called free ; and a freeing of any of ourselves thereof, is but a hardening ourselves against God, and a defending sin against Him, who is a swift witness and will not be mocked, but will bring forth the hidden things of dishonesty to light. And, therefore, not to mention the idol of the Lord's jealousy, or those that are prosecuting his wicked commands under him, nor Prelates, and their adherents, I judge, and I fear, God will esteem all guilty of these forementioned sins, that have any way owned any of these after their wickedness was discovered ; and much more such, as have by their personal deeds homologated these wicked decrees; and that either by paying cesses for strengthening them in their down-bearing of the meetings of God's people for His worship, met in opposition to these wicked decrees, which is their consent to, and contribution for the strengthening them in all their wickedness against God; or yet by subscribing any manner of bonds to them, which is an acknowledging them in that relation wherein they stand, and are designing to fix themselves, when they are pursuing, taking, imprisoning, and letting them out on these bonds again. For their end, in all their prosecutions of this nature, is to confirm themselves in this usurpation of the crown of Christ, as Head of the Church; and a subscribing any manner of bond prescribed by them is, and will be, in the sight of God, an acknowledging them as head of the Church, in the several stations wherein they have stated themselves, the King as head, and they as factors under him, prosecuting his will, and putting in execution his commands. And an acknowledging any other head, any manner of way, over the Church, is directly a denying of Christ before men in His kingly office, which is a plain denying of Him, and hath fore-threatenings annexed thereunto.
“I could mention many other circumstances wherein this generation has touched the accursed thing, and has bowed the knee to that Baal-like idol of the Lord's indignation and anger; but I shall only mention, beside these two, a third, of some who have
appeared in arms against God, for, and in company with His enemies. Now, that way of giving and taking satisfaction for these sins, which some are for, I cannot consent to.
“For first, these sinful practices being practices immediately against God and the first table of the law, no satisfaction to man can be sufficient. I close not that door which God hath opened in mercy to the really penitent; but I say, real evidences that God has forgiven should be, before a-joining with such in society. I know the Gospel should be preached to all, that they may repent; that being the means which God hath appointed for conversion, when men have sinned. But oh! when men, after light, fall into these things, and others counsel and advise them to such things, fearful shall their doom be, if God prevent them not in His mercy!
“Now, madam, there were some such among us; and, as I have observed, God has still punished that party which has been appearing for Him, when they have taken in and joined with the men of these abominations, and has, as it were, laid by such as have complied with the time's apostacy, I doubt not reserving them to the general stroke He is threatening the whole lands with. Oh! that one and all were making their soul's interest sure with God!
“ Madam, I shall not mention the several steps of apostacy and defection from God in these lands, in complying, one way or other, with the stated enemies of the living God, to the strengthening them in their usurpations of Christ's crown and privileges, and hardening them in their sin ; in shedding, so many ways, so much innocent blood, and their other wicked courses. Neither shall I mention that idolising of men that is amongst us, to the provoking of God to let, yea, cause them fall; neither that selfishness that is among us, in our appearances for God, which cannot away with [i.e, be endured by] a holy, spotless, and jealous God, who will not give His glory to another. Oh! that one and all were mourning for, and acknowledging our own and the land's guiltiness in these things, and were seeking brokenness of spirit, which is a sacrifice well pleasing to God; that God might yet be reconciled to us, and set up by His spirit His standard, and gather in His own people thereto, and might let out His spirit to one and all, that are called by His naine. I doubt not but God will save a remnant; but it will be of such in whom His free grace will be glorified, and not of the great ones that have not rendered to the Lord according to the talents He bestowed on them.
“Remember me to my fellow-prisoners, especially such as are keeping their garments clean of these pollutions; and be earnest with God in my behalf, that He would keep me standing, by His free grace, in this trial, in patience, humility, and godly fear; and
“Madam, Your Ladyship's, in all humility in Jesus Christ,
“ DAVID HACKSTON."
OPY of a Third LETTER written by David HACKSTON
during his imprisonment, to his Christian Friend N. Dated July 28, 1680.
“ DEAR AND CHRISTIAN ACQUAINTANCE,— My love being remembered to you and all friends in Jesus Christ ; these are to show you and all others that I
know, and (who) love the truth, as it is this day owned by the smallest handful that pretend thereto, that I was yesterday before the Lords of Justiciary. They charged me with several things.
“I declined the king's authority as a usurper of the prerogatives of the Son of God, whereby he hath involved the lands in idolatry, perjury, and other wickednesses; and I declined them, as exercising under him the supreme power over the Church usurped from Jesus Christ, who, in carrying on their designs of confirming themselves in their usurpations of the crown of Christ, had shed so much innocent blood throughout the land ; and that therefore I, as an owner of Christ's right and His kingly office which they by their wicked decrees had taken from Him, durst not, with my own consent, sustain them as competent judges, but declined them as open and stated enemies to the living God, and competitors for His throne and power belonging alone to Him. Whereupon I was dismissed, and at night my indictment to compear to
morrow before an assize was intimated.
“ Therefore I entreat ye will, (for I know ye have moyen [i.e., power] with God,) and cause other faithful friends, to set time apart, and inquire the Lord's mind concerning me, and be earnest with Him in my behalf, that He will glorify Himself in me. send your letter to
with a sure hand, who will give it to me. Wherever M[r] D[onald] C[argill] is, acquaint him with my case, or send him this line, for I know the mind of God is with him, and desire him to write to me. I think I dare not misbelieve, but when fear assaults me, I think there is a voice saying