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Thou wert a fit precursor to the band That foremost press'd, the blood-indented print Thy footsteps traced!-Young Kennedy,* thy sand Of life was soon run out, nor didst thou stint The tide-though e'en the bigot's heart of flint Thy early blight might mourn-with life to part, Dress'd out so gay, with many a varied tint! Thy path was proudly heralded, George Wishart, By such, with Russel meek, to him fair counterpart!
And many a name beside, to liberty
That ranks ye 'midst her sons; but whilst, sublime,
But there are wrongs, that crush the human heart,
Though air and light we leave, for damp and gloom! So thought'st thou, George Buchanan! through thy tears, Eyeing thy native land, receding with thy fears.
Sad presage for a nation's weal, to see
* I extract the following, from Note H, to Vol. I. of M'Crie's Knox: "In 1538, two young men, of the most interesting characters, suffered with the greatest heroism, at Glasgow. The one was Jerom Russel, a cordelier friar, a young man of a meek nature, quick spirit, and of good letteres; the other was a young gentleman of the name of Kennedy, only eighteen years of age, and of excellent ingyne for Scottish poetry.
"David Straiton was a gentleman, and brother to the laird of Lauriston. He was instructed in the Protestant principles by Erskine of Dun. In 1534, he was committed to the flames, at Greenside, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. His fellow-sufferer, Norman Gourlay, was in secular orders, and 'a man of reasonabell eruditioun.'"-M'Crie's Knox. "Henry Forrest suffered at St. Andrews, in 1530, for possessing a copy of the New Testament, and affirming that Patrick Hamilton was a true martyr."-M'Crie's Knox.
Who left their father-for a foreign-strand!* Seatoun, Macdowal, Fife, and John Mackbray, Guillaume, Gawin Logie, John Rough, and Richardson,+ from Scotia wend their way, And Denmark, Germany, the Alps, welcome the spring of
But chiefly thou, bright morning-star of truth,
Of martyrs-a sage 'midst saints-in years, a youth—
* "Alexander Aless was a canon of the Metropolitan Church of St. Andrews. Being a young man of quick parts, and well versed in scholastic theology, and having studied the Lutheran controversy, he undertook to reclaim Patrick Hamilton from heresy, and held several conferences with him for that purpose. But instead of this, he was himself staggered by the reasoning of that gentleman. His doubts were greatly strengthened by the constancy with which he saw Hamilton adhere to his sentiments to the last, amidst the scorn, rage, and cruelty of his enemies." How justly may it be said of Hamilton, that "the blood of the martyr became the seed of the church."-M'Crie's Knox.
† Of these names, it is sufficient to say, that they belonged to men, driven by persecution from their native land. Who that has read, can fail of applying to these sufferers in the good cause of truth and freedom, these fearless vindicators of the "rights of man," the fine stanza of Byron, on Julia Alpinula, on visiting, "By a lone wall, a lonelier column," rearing "A grey and grief-worn aspect of old days?"
"But these are deeds which should not pass away,
The enslavers and the enslaved, their death and birth;
"Whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke i. 78, 79.
§ Patrick Hamilton.
"On Wednesday, the 26th November, he was interred in the Churchyard of St. Giles. His funeral was attended by the newly-elected Regent, Morton, by all the nobility who were in the city, and a great concourse of people. When his body was laid in the grave, the Regent emphatically pronounced his eulogium, in the well-known words There lies he, who never feared the face of man.""-M'Crie's Knox.
"The most disinterested of the nobility who were embarked with him in the same cause, sacrificed, on some occasions, the public good to their private interests, and disappointed the hopes which he had formed
"A Letter to the Protestant Dissenters in the Parish of Ballykelly, Ireland, occasioned by their objections to their late Minister.—By John Nelson."
(Continued from page 189.)
"You complain that I do not bind parents to educate their children in the principles of the Confession of Faith. But why should this be complained of what divine authority have the Ministers of the Gospel to engage Christians to any principles by a promise or oath? Is it not the duty of every person to embrace the truth when and wherever he finds it, and to adhere to this alone? What security can any industrious upright man have, that he will not change some of his opinions? It will be allowed, at least in words, that the authors of the Westminster Confession, as well as of all other human creeds, were fallible men-that they may have been mistaken. And what if we should find out some of their mistakes? In such a case, can a thousand former oaths bind us to believe what we see to be false, or to practise what we know to be wrong? None surely will imagine they can. There is no heresy, I hope, in affirming, that we ought to believe and obey God rather than man. Such vows, then, amount to nothing. Accordingly, where do we find in the Bible, a command for such a practice, or an example to favour it?"
"Our Lord generally enforces his precepts, by turning men's attention to the happiness arising from the observance of them. Instead of swearing men to obey him, he commonly concluded his instructions with something to this purpose,-My yoke is easy, my burden is light; or, If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them. His Apostles addressed themselves to men in the same strain. We find them exhorting their hearers to become Christians, without a word of binding them by any promise or vow: Acts ii. 38, Repent, and be baptised every one of you,
of them. The most upright of his associates in the ministry, relaxed their exertions, or suffered themselves, at times, to be drawn into measures that were unsuitable to their station, and hurtful to the reformed religion. But, from the time that the standard of Truth was first raised by Knox, in his native country, till it dropped from his hands at death, he never shrunk from danger, never consulted his own ease or advantage, never entered into any compromise with the enemy, never was bribed or frightened into cowardly silence; but, keeping his eye singly and steadily fixed on the advancement of religion and liberty, supported throughout the character of the Reformer of Scotland."-M'Crie's Knox.
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' Is it farther necessary to produce the instance of the Ethiopian Eunuch to the same purpose? And the Eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? and Philip said, If thou BELIEVEST with all thine heart, thou MAYEST. And he answered, and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.* And he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they went both down into the water.And he baptized him.' Now, if there be neither precept nor instance in Sacred Writ, of binding men to any thing upon administering the sign of the covenant of grace, is it not unreasonable and unscriptural in you to be greatly offended, because I do not call upon Christians to make any promise or vow upon this occasion? Should you not with great firmness, refuse any human invention, if it was offered to you? Upon this principle, the first Reformers acted. Without this, there never could have Reformation. Upon the same principle, those illustrious men, called Puritans, bravely rejected the spiritual tyranny of the Church of England, when, through the ambition and covetousness of the leading clergy, working upon the mistaken policy of weak princes, this Church deserted the cause of liberty, and adopted maxims of an opposite nature. These Christian heroes, the first Protestant dissenters, when oppressed by unjust power, sooner than destroy the ground and pillar of all reformation, sooner than relapse into the principles of Popery, went out from their livings like the faithful Abraham, not knowing whither they went. If these venerable spirits were to visit this lower world, with what deep concern would they behold their degenerate posterity, still indeed wearing the same name, but generally gone aside from that glorious cause which they espoused at the peril of their lives-the cause of Religious Liberty; and endeavouring to introduce or support the very soul of Popery-spiritual slavery! Are not such characters, in their distinguishing excellences, worthy of imitation? If you or I should practise or submit to any particular of our own or other men's invention in religion, may we not justly expect, that our Judge will
How short and clear was this creed, compared with a modern Confession of Faith. How may we admire the superior wisdom of Philip's successors!
ask, with a voice more solemn than the distant thunder's roar, Who hath required this at your hand? Will it be a sufficient answer, that this has been practised, perhaps enjoined, by a whole national Church, or more? How? has not the Judge and Governor of all, plainly instructed us what to do in such circumstances? Exod. xxiii. 2, 6 Thou shalt not follow a MULTITUDE to do evil, neither shalt thou speak in a cause, to decline after MANY to wrest judgment.' Has he not clearly informed us, that in religion the commandments of men are utterly vain and unacceptable to him? The reason is obvious: every thing of this kind is, in effect, raising our wisdom above his; which is highly impious.
"Without any disrespect to the Assembly in Scotland, or the Synod in Ireland, it may be affirmed, that it is of no consequence whether they have made it a rule to bind Christians to any thing at the baptism of their children. The only question worth attending to, is, whether there be such a rule in the Bible. The Word of God, with every consistent Protestant, is the only and all-sufficient rule of faith and religious obedience. Will any number of men in Scotland, Ireland, or elsewhere, make such high pretensions as to be Lords of our consciences? What? to be Gods upon earth! if they did, words are wanting to express how sincerely they ought to be despised. Whenever any national Church departs from the wisdom of the All-comprehending Mind, and in the place thereof substitutes its own folly, is there any more regard due to it in such particulars, than to the Church of Rome? Has not the old Mother Church an equal claim to infallibility, and an equal right to enact laws, with any of her offspring? In a word, where are men invested with authority to make new laws in the Church of Christ? If this question can be answered in the affirmative, then farewell Liberty; welcome Popery, with all the absurdity, superstition, and trumpery, of this monument of human vanity! But though this claim has been often made and exercised, yet a right to do so has never been shown by the most ingenious cheats that have undertaken to prove it: and it may be presumed, while the New Testament is in any esteem at all, or while men are acquainted with the frame of their own minds, and the unalienable rights of human nature, it never will. From all which, it evidently follows, that unless there be divine authority for