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A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
Lives, Characters, and Memorable Transactions
THE MOST EMINENT
NOBLEMIN, GENTLEMEN, MINISTERS, and others, from MR. PATRICK
Persecutors in Scotland, from the Reformation to the Revolution.
* The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance,"
Psalm cxï. 6.
Psalm lxxxvii. 5.
THE FOURTH EDITION,
CORRECTED AND ENLARGED.
PRINTED FOR E. LESSLIE BY F. RAY;
The design of the following work was, to collect from the best au . : thorities, it summary account of the lives, characters, and contendings, of a certain number of our most RENOWNED Scots Worthies, who, for their faithful services, ardent zeal, constancy in sufferings, and other Christian graces and virtues, deserve a most honourable memorial in the church of Christ;—and for which their names both have and will be savoury to all the true lovers of our Zion, while Reformation-principles are regarded in Scotland.
The Editor having for sometime had a desire to see something of this kind published, but finding nothing thereof, except a few broken accounts interspersed throughout different publications, yet in print, at last took up a resolution to collect into one volume, the most material relations of as many of our Scots Worthies as could be obtained, from such of the historical records, biographical accounts, and other authenticated manuscripts, as he could have access unto, with the substance of these lives already in print, which, being put all together, it was thought would not only prove more useful, in giving the reader the pleasure of viewin' them all at once, but also at the same time, would be free of the inconveniencies that little pamphlets often fall under. In this publication, it is not pretended to give an account of all our Scots Worthies, or their transactions; for that were a task now altogether impracticable, and that upon several accounts. For,
ist, There have been many, of different ranks and degrees of men, famous in the church of Scotland, of whom little more is mentioned in history than their names, places of abode, and age wherein they existed, and scarcely that. Again, there are many others, of whom the most that can be said is only a few faint hints, which of necessity must render their lives (if they may properly be so called,) very imperfect, from wliat they might and would have been, had they been collected and wrote near a century ago, when their actions and memories were more fresh and recent; several persons being then alive, who were well acquainted with their lives and proceedings, whereby they might have been confirmed by many incontestible evidences that cannot now possibly be brought in ; yea, and more so, seeing there is a chasm in our history during the time of the Usurper ; not to mention how many of our national records were about that time altogether lost.*
* Of these records belonging to the state, carried away by Cromwell, to secure our dependence on England, there were eighty-five hogsheads lost, December 18, 1660, in a ship belonging to Kirkaldy, as she was returning with them from London. And as for the church records and registers, a great many of them also (either through the confusion of the then civil wars, or falling into the hands of the prelates, while prelacy prevailed in Scotland) are also missing.-- Preface io Stevenson's History,
deemer, notwithstanding some faint acts then made to the contrary ; as witness the civil magistrate's still retaining his old usurped power, in calling and dissolving the supreme judicatorics of the church, yea, some. times to an indefinite time. Likewise appointing diets of fasting and thanksgiving to be observed, under fines and other civil pains annexed; imposing oaths, acts, and statutes upon churchmen, under pain of eco clesiastic censure, or other Erastian penalties. And instead of our covenants, an unhallowed union is gone into with England, whereby our rights and liberties are infringed not a little: " Bow down thy body as the ground, that we may pass over.” Lordly patronage, which was cast out of the church in her purest times, is now restored, and practised to an extremity. A toleration bill * is granted, whereby all, and almost every error, heresy, and delusion, appears now rampant and triumphant. Prelacy is now become fashionable and epidemical, and of Popery we are in as much danger as ever ;t Socinian and deistical tenets are only in vogue with the wits of the age, soli ratione cedo, the old Porphyrian maxim having so far gained the ascendant at present, that reason (at least pre. tenders to it, who must needs hear with their eyes, and see with their ears, and understand with their elbows, çill the order of nature be invert. ed) threatens not a little to banish revealed religion, and its most important doctrines, out of the professing world. A latitudinarian scheme prevails among the majority, the greater part, with the Athenians, spending
• Although toleration-principles be now espoused, boasted of, and gloried in, by many, yea, by some from whom other things might be expected, yet it is contrary to scripture. See Gen. xxxv. 2, &c. Deut. xiii. 6. Jude ii. 2. Ezek. xliii. 8. Prov. xvii. 15. Zech. xiii. 2. Rom. xiii, 6. Rev. ii. 14, &c. And how far the civil magistrate is to exert his power in punishing heretics, I shall not at present determine, or whether the word extirpate in our solemn league and covenant extends to the temporal or spiritual sword only, there are different sentiments and expositions ; yet sure I am, according to the nature of things, that which is morally good, being a commanded duty, needs no toleration; and that which is morally evil, no mortal on earth can lawfully grant an immunity unto. And betwixt these there is no medium in point of truth and duty. And it is observable, that where toleration or toleration-principles prevail, real religion never prospers much. And besides all, it is of woful consequence; for as in natural bodies antipathies of qualities cause destruction, so in bodies politic different religions, or ways of worship in religion, cause many divisions and distractions, whereby the seamless coat of Christ is like to be torn in pieces, and this oftentimes terminates in the ruin of the whole. “ For a kingdom, city, or house divided against itself, (saith Christ,) cannot stand.” And yet some will say, that toleration is a good thing, for by it people may live as good as they please. I answer, It is true, but they may also live as bad as they please; and that we have liberty and freedom to serve God in his own appointed way, we have him primarily to thank for it, as for all his other mercies and goodness towards us.
+ Witness the Quebec act, for establishing Popery in Canada, 1777. The Catholic bills granting a toleration to Papists in England and Ireland 1778, with the gloomy aspect that affairs bear to Scotland since that time.
their time only to hear and see something new, “gadding about to change their ways, going in the ways of Egypt and Assyria, to drink the waters of Shichor and the river;" unstable souls, like so many light combustibles, wrapt up by the eddies of a whirlwind, tossed hither and thither till utterly dissipated. The doctrine of original sin • is by severals de. nied; others are pulling down the very hedges of church-government, refusing all church-standards, covenants, creeds, and confessions, whether of our own or of other churches, yea, and national churches also, as being all of them carnal, human, or Antichristian inventions,” contrary to many texts of scripture, particularly 2 Tim. i. 13. “ Hold fast the form of sound words:” and the old Pelagian and Arminian errors ap. pear again upon the stage, the merit of the creature, free-will, and good works,t being taught from press and pulpit almost every where, to the
This doctrine of original sin is plainly evinced from scripture, ca. nonical and apocryphal, Job xiv. 4. Psalm li. 5. Rom. v. 12, &c. I Cor. xv. 21, John iii. 6. Apocrypha, Eccles. xxv. 26; asserted in our church. standards, illustrated and defended by many able divines, both ancient and modern, and by our British poets, excellently described : Thus,
Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
PARADISE Lost, Lib. ix.
before we draw our breath :
Dr. Watts. † However much these leading articles in the Arminian and Pelagian scheme be now taught and applauded, yet sure they are God-dishonouring and soul-ruining tenets, contrary to scripture, God's covenants, and eversive of man's salvation. For,
(1.) They are contrary to scripture, which teaches us, that we are no less dependent in working than in being, and no more capable to act from a principle of life of ourselves, than to exist : “ The way of man is not in himself, neither is it in man that walketh to direct his steps. What hast thou, O man, but what thou hast received ? How to perform that which is good I find not,” Jer. x. 23. 1 Cor. iv. 7. Rom. vii. 18. “ So that a man can do nothing, except it be given him from above; and no man can come unto me, except the Father draw him," saith Christ, John iii. 27. vi. 44. See Conf. ch. ix. 5 3. Articles of the church of England, art: 10. And for good works, however far they may be acceptable to God in an approbative way, as being conformable to his command, and agreeable to the holiness of bis nature, yet we are assured from his word, that moral rectitude, in its very summit, can never render one acceptable in his sight in a justifying way; " for by the works of the law shall no man be justified ; not by works of righteousness that we have done,” &c. Rom. ii. 28. Gal. ü. 16. Tit. iii. 5. For though good works,