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HE LAST SPEECH AND TESTIMONY of JOHN
FINLAY, who lived in the Muirside, in the parish of Kilmarnock, and suffered in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, December 15, 1682.
“Men AND BRETHREN, -Showing you that I am condemned unjustly by a generation of bloody men
who are thirsting after the blood of the saints of God, and upon no other account but for my being found in the way of my duty in the sight of God; glory to His holy name for it, though gone about with many failings, and much imperfections, for adhering to Christ in all His offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King, and for my following Him in all His persecuted Gospel truths. The articles of my indictment were for
“1. My keeping company with the persecuted people of God, ministers and others, for which with my whole soul I bless Him that ever He honoured me with such company, and in token of His countenance He hath kept me in that company.
“2. For my being in company and converse with Mr Donald Cargill (for which with my whole soul I desire to bless and magnify the riches of His grace, that ever He conferred such company upon such a sinful wretch), and Mr (John] King, Mr Richard Cameron, Mr (John) Kid, in particular.
"3. My refusing to call the Bishop's death murder, which I durst not do, it being God's righteous judgment upon him.
"4. My not calling Bothwell Bridge rebellion; it being in defence of themselves and of the Gospel, which is lawful in God's sight; and therefore I durst not call it rebellion.
“5. My giving meat, drink, and comfort, to the persecuted people of God; which I did willingly and with my whole heart; and herein I have sweet peace this day, as in Matthew, X. 42 : “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward;" which He hath made out to me abundantly to the full.
“6. For my being commanded to say, 'God save the king,' which I durst not do for my very soul; their bidding us do it in test of our
loyalty, to save him in his person, and government, and authority; which is a perfect owning of him in all that he hath done, in his usurpation upon Christ's prerogatives and privileges, they having made him supreme head in all matters and causes, civil and ecclesiastic; which if I had done, it had been a flat denying of Christ, and a joining with him and them, (I mean Charles Stuart,) in all that they have done in overturning of the glorious work of Reformation in these lands, and all the wrongs done to the Gospel and people of God in this day; which would have made me odious in the sight of God and before the world, for which I bless Him He hath kept me from, as the Scripture saith, 'He that is not faithful in the little, will not be faithful in that which is much.'
“7. Being asked if I would not pray for the king? I said, Yes. Do it then. I said, according to the Scripture. They said, He will pray for him as he is a man, but not as he is king, which is high treason and rebellion. Now my friends, I being conscientious to myself, that my owning him as my king was a casting off Christ Jesus, who is Head and King of Zion, and taking on with him, and so would have incurred the wrath of God, and homologated all the bloodshed and all the horrid bloody abominations they have committed in the land, with avowed defying of the great God. Oh! who dare join with such avowed enemies of our God, and so cast off the society of the saints, and give the hand of fellowship to such bloody and mansworn wretches, that are making it their whole work to root out godliness out of this covenanted land, that the name of Israel shall no more be made mention of. But they will be all beguiled, for Christ will reign till all His enemies be made His footstool.
"1. I give my testimony to the sure word of God, which is the Scriptures of truth.
“2. I give my testimony to the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, and that by His satisfaction.
“3. I bear my testimony to the work of Reformation as it was reformed from Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and other errors, as it is contained in the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
“4. I give my testimony to the Covenants, National and Solemn League, and Solemn Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, Sum of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Worship, and to the Causes of God's Wrath, drawn up by the General Assembly of the Church, after their meeting with the rotten-hearted malignant, Charles Stuart,
“5. I bear my testimony to the faithful actings of the Remonstrators against malignants and the malignant interest, which is the very thing contended for by the true Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland.
“6. I give my testimony, not to go further back, seeing it homologates the rest of that notable testimony given at Lanark against that tyrant, and the Test, enacted by that late Parliament, which I could not but look upon in the time of carrying it on, and yet do, that the remnant was owned of the Lord.
“7. I bear my testimony to all the faithful testimonies of the martyrs that have gone before us, whether on scaffolds, or on the fields, or in the seas.
“8. I bear my testimony to all appearances in arms, for defence of the Gospel.
“9. I bear my testimony to the faithful preaching of the Gospel that hath been in the fields by the faithful and sent messengers of Jesus Christ, according to His own mission, preaching days, communion days, and fast days, by Messrs Cargill, King, Kid, Cameron, and Douglas.
“10. and lastly. I bear my testimony to the fellowship meetings of the Lord's people, particular and general. My soul hath been many a time refreshed with His presence, in company with them.
“1. I bear my testimony against the public Resolutioners for taking in the malignant interest, for which this poor Church is smarting this day, and feeling the weight of the tyrant's hand for such eager lusting after a king.
“ 2. I bear my testimony against the Hamilton Declaration, which is one and the same with the Resolutioners, for taking in the foresaid interest, contrary to the land's engagements in Covenant.
“3. For corrupting the army and other things, such as the excommunicated tyrant's interest, cess, and all other impositions of that nature, for the down-bearing of Christ's interest, doing it against a holy God.
“4. I bear my testimony against Indulged ministers, for their not coming in by the door, but by the mission of men : 'He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber' (John x. 1); they being entered by the tyrant and not by the door, are become men-servants, and not servants to Jesus Christ, and so are become an Erastian party, which hath
wronged our Lord and King more than the bloody Prelatic party hath done these twenty years by-gone, by their rending the Church's bowels, and for dividing many a bosom friend, to the great hurt of the Gospel.
“5. I leave my testimony against all corrupt ministers, sheltering themselves under their wings, strengthening the stakes of that plantation, and for their dark and ambiguous preaching, in not declaring the whole counsel of God.
“6. I leave my testimony against all the enemies and wrongers of my Lord's glorious privileges and prerogatives, all in general. I leave my testimony against that bloody murderer, John Reid, which murdered a woman in the town of Newmilns, and now is carrying arms against Christ and His followers, who took me, and confessed to me that he had not an order for it. And against that party that carried me to Edinburgh; and especially Alexander Gemmil, my neighbour, for he vexed me more than all that party, for he said I married folk, and baptized children, and mocked me most dreadfully.
“A line of advice to two or three sorts of folk :
“ To you that are old professors and Covenanters in the West of Scotland, and especially in Kilmarnock parish. What are ye doing? Where are ye now, by when [i.e., since) ye swore the Covenant, and swore against Popery and Prelacy, and all that faction, side, and party?
How are ye prosecuting the ends of that Covenant, now in the sight of God, and the oath of God, that ye swore with hands lifted up to the most high God, and before heaven and earth, sun and moon ? Oh ! my soul trembles to think what bad example ye are to the young generation, ye who should have been as the hegoats before the flock, to train them up in the way of God, and the way of holiness and righteousness, and now ye are leading them just the contrary. Should ye not have been more tender of the blood of the souls of the young generation, than to turn your back upon your profession, and turn in with the men of these abominations in all things ? Oh! fear the wrath of that God, who has said, “Shall any break the Covenant, and be delivered ? Now, therefore, I desire, as ye tender [i.e., regard] your own souls, that ye would turn again to your first husband, for then was it better with you, than
it is now
“Next, you that are the young generation, men and women. What are ye doing? Are ye following the footsteps of your fathers,
in their courses of defection, joining in hearing these perjured curates, answering at their courts, joining in their worship with them, in their abominable and soul-destroying courses, contrary to the Word of God, our Solemn Covenants, and Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the order of the Church of Scotland, in discipline, worship, and government, as they, ye, and I, are sworn with hands lifted up to the most high God, which no power on earth is able to loose, nor undo, nor frees from, no man nor woman baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ? Oh! therefore take heed how ye think to answer before the great sin-revenging God, before whom I am to appear within a little space, and before whom I and all the world will stand and be judged with righteous judgment.
“ And likewise, seeing that I dare not but show you my mind anent some persons and their carriage in this day of Jacob's trouble, when Zion is lying waste, and ploughing like a field :
“First, I give my testimony against these men called elders, in my own parish, because of their complying with every course of defection and abomination that comes alongst through the country: they being first thought to be faithful elders in the time of the Presbyterian government, and then turned elders to the Curate Carnegie, and then turned elders to Mr Wedderburn, that indulged minister; and now are sessioners to this curate. And seeing this is true, that they have showed themselves to be men of no principles, and the Spirit of God saying expressly, “Meddle not with them that are given to change ;' who can blame me to disown them?
“I give my testimony against John Boyd, called Bailie of Kilmarnock, for his bloody courses in many things, and especially in his uplifting of the cess and bloody fines, and in oppressing the poor in their consciences, and laying on of dragoons upon them most cruelly, which he did upon me four times. I wish God may forgive him for what he has done in that matter.
“Now, according to my blessed Lord's command, I am not possessed with malice or a spirit of revenge, but I bless when cursed. As for these men that are unjustly taking away my life, not only contrary to the law of God, and the ancient laws of the land, but even contrary to their own law; now, for what they are doing to me, as I am in myself, I can freely forgive them, and all others; but as they do it against the image of God in me, and upon His truth's account, and so against Himself, that is not mine for to forgive, but I leave it to