Friday, November 26, 2010

Self-Preservation Must Stoop to Truth-Preservation

John H. Thompson, A Cloud of Witnesses for the Royal Prerogatives of Jesus Christ: Being the Last Speeches and Testimonies of Those Who Have Suffered For the Truth in Scotland, Since the Year 1680, pp. 247, 294-295, 371:

[James Robertson, died December 15, 1682]: "Now, ye who are charging me this day, and others of my brethren, sufferers for the truth, to be guilty of self-murder, and so a breach of the sixth commandment (which is very false, for self-preservation must stoop to truth's preservation), did our blessed Lord establish an advocate to plead for Him? Did that valiant champion Stephen do it? but was free and positive in asserting his testimony. Or did Paul do it? Or show me any such precept or practice from Scripture? Yea, consider the nature of witnessing; it proveth the contrary; but I prove such as do this to be actually guilty of the breach of the second commandment, which is that, 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image' (Exod. xx. 4). For, as I have proved before, he is set up in Christ's room, and exerciseth authority in and by that abominable arrogate Supremacy, having intermixed things civil with ecclesiastic, by their Acts of Parliament, making them both alike inherent to the crown, and so cannot be owned in either, without sacrilegious idolatry, and so a breach of this commandment. As also of the fifth commandment, which concerneth natural or civil parents, which are to be owned and obeyed only in the Lord, which cannot in the least allow of any man's being absolutely supreme, even in civil matters; it being the ordinance of God, and a lawful magistrate the minister of God, bound to dispense His ordinance, according to His rule in the word, and according to the ancient laws of the kingdom. For, as in the obeying of lawful power, it is obedience to this commandment; so, upon the contrary, the owning and obeying an unlawful power (such as theirs), certainly must be a breach of it.

[John Nisbet, the Younger, died April 14, 1683]: "Now, these that are charging me with self-murder, which is a breach of the sixth commandment, are very false; for self-preservation must stoop to truth's preservation. And further, I have that much of humanity, that I love my life, but cannot redeem it with the loss of my integrity; but I prove such as do these things which they would have me to do, are actually guilty of the breach of the second commandment, which is, 'Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image;' for I cannot say, but it is a worshipping of images to yield to them in these things, now when they have seated themselves in Christ's room. Therefore I exhort you all, to beware of joining with them in their sins, lest ye partake with them in their plagues, now when they have made it manifest, that they will have no king but Charles Stuart. Wherefore I think it is our duty to cleave to Christ; we must either quit Christ or Charles.

[James Nisbet, died June 5, 1684]: "It is true none can merit heaven by their sufferings, but it is as true that He has said, 'He that will not forsake all and take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.' Now I know there are many will brand me with self-murder, because I have got so many an offer to go Carolina upon such easy terms. But as to that I answer, Self-preservation must stoop to truth's preservation. There are indeed many of this generation who pretend to keep their present ease and to be followers of Christ; but I defy any, if they be called to a public testimony, but they shall either lose their present possession, or else that which is of more worth, even their immortal souls and everlasting salvation.

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