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“And now I can freely and heartily forgive all men what they have done to me, as I desire to be forgiven of my Father which is in heaven ; but what they have done against a holy God and His image in me, that is not mine to forgive them, but I leave that to Him to dispose on as He sees fit, and as He may most glorify Himself.
“Now I am to take my leave of all created comforts here. And I bid farewell to the sweet Scriptures. Farewell reading and praying. Farewell sinning and suffering. Farewell sighing and sorrowing, mourning and weeping. And farewell all Christian friends and relations. Farewell brethren and sisters, and all things in time. And welcome Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Welcome heaven and everlasting joy and praise, and innumerable company of angels and spirits of just men made perfect. Now into Thy hands I commit my spirit, for it is Thine.
“ Sic subscribitur,
THIS martyr was so inhumanly treated and constantly watched,
that it was with much difficulty he got anything written,
and that only now a line and then a line; and hence some few repetitions which were in the manuscript were left out; which, it is hoped, will be liable to no misinterpretation.
ARTHUR TACKET was a tailor in Hamilton. He was in
his seventeenth or eighteenth year when the battle took
place at Bothwell Bridge. He left his mother's house on the morning of the defeat with arms, in order to take share in the battle; but he seems to have done nothing further than give his presence, of which he speaks in his testimony, for he soon again returned home. The laird of Raploch shortly afterwards heard that he had been at the battle, and had him seized and carried prisoner to Edinburgh.
He seems speedily to have been set at liberty ; but he, as an heritor, had some little property, and so, two years afterwards, in his absence, March 1681, he was adjudged to be a traitor. In the beginning of June 1684, he was apprehended, when coming from hearing Renwick at a conventicle at Blackloch.
The Council Registers, July 1, record, “Duke Hamilton informs the Council that Arthur Tacket, now a prisoner, is an heritor, and forfeited for the rebellion." Heritors present at Bothwell were excluded from the act of indemnity. “ The Lords leave to the justices to proceed against him according to their sentence of forfeiture." Under July 22, Arthur Tacket“ confesseth before the Council that he was in the rebellion at Bothwell, and lately with the rebels who were in arms in the shire of Lanark. The Lords ordain him to be questioned by torture to
morrow at nine of the clock, before the committee for public affairs.” Tacket would not tell who had been the preacher at Blackloch, or whom he had seen when there, and hence the order that he be put to the torture.
When he was brought before the committee for torture, the Advocate assured him, in the name of those present, that if he would be ingenuous and free upon all that was to be asked, what he said should never militate against himself or another man. Tacket boldly answered that he could not credit them, since they had broken their promises, oaths, and subscriptions to God and man; and he could not think they would press him so much to declare who preached, if they were to make no use of what he said. On this the hangman was ordered to open the Boot, and he laid his leg in it.
The hang man was about to proceed with the torture, when the surgeon present desired him to wait a little. The surgeon then took the Advocate aside, and told him that from Arthur's youth, and the slenderness of the limb, a few strokes would crush it in pieces, and since they were determined to take his life, and nothing would likely be got out of him, it would be better not to proceed. Upon this statement the Advocate ordered the thumbkins to be brought, which he heroically endured without making any disclosure. The sentence which the Lords of Justiciary passed upon him was "that Arthur Tacket, being upon the 21st of March 1681, found guilty, by an assize, of being in the rebellion 1679, and adjudged to be demeaned and executed as a traitor when apprehended, he being now apprehended, the Lords appoint him to be hanged at the Grassmarket, Wednesday, July 30, betwixt two and four in the afternoon."
In the close of his Testimony, Arthur Tacket alludes to an allegation brought against Renwick by his enemies, that he was not lawfully called and ordained to the ministry. In the Informatory Vindication, this allegation is examined and set aside. It is said, “When he went abroad there was no hope of ordination here in Scotland to any who agreed with us, neither could it be safely sought after.” In the next paragraph, while vindicating the classes of Groningen, the anti-sectarian and Catholic nature of the principles held by the societies very plainly appears. “ Though the classes of Groningen, by whom he was ordained, differ from the Reformation of Scotland in her best times, in some things; yet considering, (1.) that in these differences they were never reformed, and so cannot be charged therein with defection ; (2.) that they agree with the true Presbyterial Church of Scotland, in all principles against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and all heretical and sectarian errors; (3.) that they did then object nothing against our present Testimony; (4.) that they come under a general, and, far other consideration, being of a foreign church, than ministers of the same original church, and under the same bond of Covenant with ourselves; for which cause, joining with them in that act of ordination, came under another consideration ; (5.) that in the act of ordination they did obtrude none of these differences, but did take him engaged to teach according to the Word of God, and the Confession of Faith of the Church of Scotland, and the discipline thereof. Upon all which considerations it was thought lawful to accept of ordination from the foresaid classes, especially seeing these differences were before them, and plainly and particularly protested against, which was sufficient in the circumstances.” It is then shown that no Cocceian took part in his ordination. By Cocceian was understood one who denied the moral obligation of the fourth commandment upon Christians under the New Testament. Cocceius, or John Koch, was Professor in Leyden, and died in 1699. His opinions on the Moral Law have been long forgotten, but his name still lives as the representative of the class of commentators who seek to find Christ everywhere in the pages of the Old Testament.
The Labadeans were the followers of John Labadie, originally a Jesuit, but who renounced Romanism, and became a zealous Protestant pastor.
He seems to have been volatile by nature, and soon
had been at th
Scripture as a rule to man, Edinburgh.
He see heritor, hi
mm 15 m 1422 the Holy Spirit, that led him to absence
***72.a the French Confession of Faith, when called ginnin
****.**.2x731on in Middleburg, in Holland. After his
*** the removed to Friesland. As Friesland is the ing T
Groningen, Renwick's enemies fancied that th
twintulis must have been concerned in his ordination. -ED.
HE LAST TESTIMONY of Arthur Tacket, tailor in
Hamilton, who suffered in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, August 1, 1684.
Being appointed to die in the Grassmarket, I thought it was a duty lying upon my conscience before the Lord, to leave this short word of testimony
behind me, in testification of my close adherence to all these controverted truths, as they are all agreeable and conform the written Word of God.
“ And now I desire to bless His name with my whole heart and soul for this, that ever He made choice of the like of me, such a poor, weak, feckless (i.e., worthless) insignificant thing as I am, in counting me worthy to suffer for His noble cause and controverted truths, His name, interest, and Covenant, now controverted and brought in debate by this God-daring, Christ-dethroning, and Godcontemning, adulterous, and bloody generation wherein my lot is fallen. And this I can say, that through His grace, I am well satisfied and heartily content with my lot, that God, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to carve out unto me. And through His grace I am well helped to great quietness, calmness, and serenity of mind before the Lord, and a holy submission to what is His will towards me in this ; that if every hair of my head and every drop of my blood were a life, I would willingly lay them down for my lovely Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
“Some will possibly say that this is an untruth, and so cannot be believed by them, notwithstanding of all this. But whether it be believed or not, it is true ; for I am not dying by constraint and
unwillingness; for this I dare say in His sight (my conscience bearing me witness), that I am a thousand times more willing to die this day for my lovely Lord and Master's noble cause, and controverted truths, than ever I was to live ; and the truths of God that are so much controverted, are become more precious and clearer unto me at death, than ever they were heretofore in my life : as David
4, • Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.' This I have been made really sensible of, by my experience in all that I have met with, that the cross of Christ has been all paved over with love, that it has been made to become like unto a bed of roses unto me; and all that ever I have met with, first and last, has been made sweet and easy unto me, and no trouble in the least, and that He has been a loving and a kind Lord unto me, and He has been as good as His word. This I can say to His commendation, and to the commendation of the cross of Christ, that He has borne always the heavy end of the cross Himself, that to me it was no trouble in the least.
“Oh praise, praise to the riches of His free grace, for His matchless and unexpressible love that I have met with since I was brought to prison ; and when I was sorest put at, and threatened with torture by these cruel and bloody tyrants, the more of His love and kindness I did meet with. This I have been made really sensible of, when I was hardest dealt with, as David says, ' Blessed be the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and shield ; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped ; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth' (Ps. xxviii. 6, 7). For I have been well helped and owned of the Lord, and that in a very singular manner, that His presence has made my soul to sing and rejoice through the greatest of difficulties and trials that ever I was trysted [i.e., visited) with.
“ And this is a sweet promise and noble encouragement for me in that xli. of Isa. verse 10-13, ‘Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee; they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I