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HE LAST AND DYING TESTIMONY of JOHN
Nisbet in Hardhill, which he delivered to a friend in the Ironhouse, when he was taken out to the scaffold in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, where he died, Friday, December 4th, 1685.
“I have always thought, that to live for Christ and
die for Christ is a sufficient testimony for truth; yet now, when I am within a few hours of eternity, to prevent mistakes, to satisfy my dear friends and let them know how it is with me, and to let the world know what I die witnessing for, and testifying against, I judge it proper to leave a few lines behind me.
“As for myself, it hath pleased the Lord Jehovah, of His superabundant goodness and infinite mercy, powerfully to determine my heart to close with, and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is made offer of in the everlasting Gospel, for my king, priest and prophet. And that this conquest and captivating of me to His obedience (who was an heir of wrath and a mass of sin and sinful corruption), is the fruit of electing love, according as it is manifested in the covenant of free, free, free grace, will evidently appear from these Scriptures following, which He, by the power and concurrence of His holy Spirit, hath made effectual to the convincing, converting, strengthening, and enabling of me to be His, and to be for Him through weal, and through woe, through good report, and through bad report ; and they are so many sweet cordials to my soul, when stepping out of time into eternity.
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power' (Ps. cx. 3). "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God acccording to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth. For he saith to Moses see Exod. xxxiii. 19], I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy' (Rom. ix. II, 15, 16). "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth' (2 Thess. ii. 13). "Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him : and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always
before Him; rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children ; for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul : all they that hate me love death' (Prov. viii. 30-36). “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called : and whom He called, them He also justified : and whom He justified, them He also glorified. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us' (Rom. viii. 29, 30, 35, 37). 'In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation : in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory' (Eph. i. 13, 14). "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began' (2 Tim. i. 9). 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour' (Titus iii. 5, 6). "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord' (1 Cor. i. 9). “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God' (Rom. iii. 24, 25). “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works' (Rom. iv. 6). “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God' (Heb. ix. 14). "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;
and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation' (2 Cor. v. 19). * That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God' (Eph. iii. 17-19). “Know. ing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified' (Gal. ii. 16). "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one ; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ' (Rom. v. 17). All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day' (John vi. 37, 39). “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost' (Rom. xiv. 17). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit' (Rom. viii. 1). "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye
have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God' (1 John v. 13). "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind' (Eph. iv. 23). "And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith : that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death '(Phil. iii. 9, 10). "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death : that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (Rom. vi. 4). 'But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day' (Prov. iv. 18). "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ' (Phil. i. 6). “Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips ' (Ps. lxxxix. 33, 34). "Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace
wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God' (Rom. v. 1, 2). Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time' (1 Pet. i. 5). “And if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together' (Rom. viii. 17). "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ : for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth ; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek '(Rom. i. 16). "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col. i. 27). “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls' (Matt. xi. 29). “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee : He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved' (Ps. lv. 22). “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds' (2 Cor. x. 4). “I will cry unto God most high ; unto God that performeth all things for me' (Ps. lvii. 2). • He that covereth his sins shall not prosper ; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy' (Prov. xxviii. 13). "But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing : for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy' (Ps. lix. 16, 17). 'Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men ; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death' (Ps. Ixviii. 18-20). 'For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens' (2 Cor. v. 1). "To the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel' (Heb. xii. 23, 24). Ps. xlv. from the ist to the 9th verses ; John i. ist' to the 15th verses, and xviii. throughout; Isa. liii. to the end ; with many more.
“Let none reflect upon me for citing so much, for the Scripture hath been to me from my youth the living oracles of His divine and sacred lips. When I was crying, What shall I do to be saved ?' and when I was saying, “How shall I know the way of the Lord that I may walk therein ?' then His Word was 'a light to my feet and a lamp to my path,' exhorting me, as it is in Isaiah lv. 1-8— Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come, ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread ? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live ; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel ; for He hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.' 'And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life : he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst' (John vi. 35). 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me' (Rev. iii. 20). Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattere thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains : truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel' (Jer. iii. 13, 14, 22, 23). 'O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the