Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33


Cloud of Witnesses

For the

Royal Prerogatives


Jesus Christ:

Or, The Last

Speeches and Testimonies

Of those who have suffered for the


Since the Year 1680.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

The editor hereby expresses appreciation to Mr. J.D.F.B. for providing, from his genealogical resources, the text of David Farrie’s Last Testimony.  It is here presented with completions and corrections from the original printed edition of the Cloud of Witnesses, and with the introduction later supplied by John H. Thomson.


David Farrie.

[LIKE his fellow-sufferer, Patrick Forman, little else is known of David Farrie, besides what he tells in his last Testimony.  He was a stranger to the power of Divine grace till about four years previous to his martyrdom.  According to his confession before the Council, he disclaimed the king’s authority, called him a tyrant, asserted it lawful to kill murderers, and said the king is a murderer, because he hath murdered the people of God.

At the first field-preaching he ever attended—evidently in 1677—he says he entered into covenant with the Lord, and at a communion in Irongray he had a clear manifestion of his interest.

This communion was that of which John Blackader, the ejected minister of Troqueer, gives so graphic an account in his Memoirs.  It took place in the summer of 1678.  The services of the Saturday were held at Meiklewood in Nithsdale, about seven miles from Dumfries.  Blackader preached in the forenoon from 1 Cor. 11.24, Do this in remembrance of me; and John Welch, the ejected minister of Irongray, in the afternoon; but his text has not been recorded.  On the Sabbath, the congregation assembled in a small valley in the Skeoch Hill, Irongray.  Here they were secure from observation, as they were shut in by the rising ground all around them; while, from the heights above, sentinels could command a view of the surrounding country for many miles.  Upwards of three thousand, including “gentlemen from far and near,” were present.

“Mr Arnot, late minister of Tongland, lectured in the morning, and Mr Welch preached and broke up the action, which was his ordinary.  The rest of the ministers exhorted and took their turn at the table service.  Mr Dickson preached in the afternoon.  The whole was closed in the evening without disturbance.  It was a cloudy and gloomy day, the sky lowering, and often threatening showers; but the heavy clouds did not break, but retained their moisture, as it were to accommodate the work; for ere the people got to their houses and quarters, there fell a great rain, which that night waxed the waters, and most of them had to pass through both the Cairn and the Cluden.”

Just when the large assemblage was about dismissing, an alarm was given that the dragoons were coming.  The men who had arms—and they made a troop of horse and four or five companies of foot—instantly made preparation to receive them, and for three hours remained expecting their approach.  But the tidings had either been false, or the dragoons, alarmed at the large number they found assembled, did not advance, for no enemy appeared.

Next day Blackader preached from Heb 13.1, Let brotherly love continue, on a hill-side in the same parish, but about four miles from the Skeoch.

The spot where the communion took place is carefully preserved by the surrounding inhabitants, in much the same state as it was in 1678.  A tenant who some years ago removed a few of the Communion Stones to build a dyke, was compelled, in order to silence the voice of his neighbours’ indignation, to put them back where he found them.  The stones that were used for seats when receiving the Sacrament are placed in four rows, each two rows forming one table, and giving accommodation in all for about an hundred and twenty communicants.  Down the middle of each pair of rows are a few stones on which boards for the tables were fixed.  At the one end there is a heap or pile of stones about four feet high, on which the bread and the wine were placed—JHTho.]

The Laſt Teſtimony



Who suffered at the Gallowlee, Edinburgh,

October 10, 1681.

DEAR Friends, I desire to bless the LORD, that I am sentenced to be a martyr for CHRIST, and his Cause, by wicked Men, whose Actions prove what they are; yet Glory be to the Name of GOD, that this Day I do not suffer as an Evil-doer, but for the Testimony of the Truth, in owning JESUS CHRIST as Head in his Church; yea, in the Church of Scotland, and not only so, but covenanted {137} to be so, as he was with the Children of Israel, in the sight of the Nations; which Covenant, made betwixt JESUS CHRIST and this Land, I bless the Lord, that by his Strength, I have been enabled to own, before all my Accusers, especially the bloody Committee, the bloody Council, and the dreadful bloody Assizers of the People of GOD, and those who pronounce the sentence of death, all instituted by Charles Stuart, who was once by Profession, and by Oath, an owner of that Covenant.  Now, the Grounds of my Sentence are to be seen in my Interrogations before the Committee, Council, and Justiciary, so called: At which I was asked, if I owned my former Speeches?  I answered, what I had said, I had said: But in Case that any might think, that I had Heart-Malice at him whom they call King, I told them, I wished neither him, nor them, nor their Souls, any more evil, nor [than] I wished my own; But since he had broken the Covenant with GOD, and turned out all our Ministers, obtruded Prelacy on the Church, and overturned the whole Work of Reformation, I could not own him as King, nor them as Judges; seeing he, and his Emissaries, were proceeding to bring in Popery into the Land:  And I disowned them, as my Judges; and told them there was a Day coming, wherein they and I would be arraigned before a Judge, ere it was long, and receive righteous Judgment, and that I, in that day, would be Witness against them, for their unrighteous Sentences against the People of GOD, and their unrighteous Proceedings against us, to take away our Lives for owning and adhering to the Word of GOD, and our sworn Covenants.  And when I was asked again the same questions, I answered, what I had said, I had said: For I had said as much as would be for the Woe and Sorrow of all present, except those that were penitent.  Now, let Men judge, whether or not it becomes any to own Charles Stuart as King, and them as Judges, seeing they have broken the Covenant, and overturned the Work of Reformation, and shed so much of the People of GOD their Blood; and not only so, but also have also made a Duke, Popish by Profession, Heir to the Crown, to be the Door whereat they may receive Popery into the Land. For I think there are none, but in some Measure they allow Popery, that will not witness against, and withstand him and them, in their Proceedings, especially that black Test, which that wicked Parliament hath put forth, amongst all their other Proceedings, these twenty years against GOD, his Work and People; whereof the overturning our Ministry, and thrusting in of Prelacy, the unlawful acts of Indulgence, first and last, the killing and murdering of the People of GOD in Fields, Scaffolds, and Seas, in one Place and another, are a Witness.  O the great Witness, that is, and will be standing against the said Charles Stuart, and his unlawful Council and Parliaments, and all their Proceedings!  The Lord in the second Commandment, threatens {138} his Wrath against the Children, for the Fathers Iniquity, unto the third and fourth Generation of them that hate him, and if the LORD visit not the Successors of this Generation aforenamed, with dreadful Judgments, I am mistaken; yea, and all these, that join and comply with them, either Ministers or Professors, I mean the Indulged, and all these that bond with the Enemies, or give them Clats of Gear for their Liberations, when they are brought to Prison, upon the Account of owning the Truth; or in any Manner of Way acknowledge them as Magistrates; I say, (without repentance) I see no way, that they can miss GOD’s Wrath.

But I think, I need not insist much on these Subjects; for all the Warnings they have gotten, (which are many,) by Ministers and Professors, one way or other, especially on Scaffolds, since Mr. James Guthrie, to this Day, have not been effectual:  Their Actings prove them to be more hardened in their Sin than when they began. Therefore I think it seems, that the LORD will either give them no more Warnings, or else take them shortly away, or both:  Indeed he may give them more Warnings, but if ever they do the most part of this Generation any good, I greatly question.  I mean these, whom I have named; for I think, with several others, who are gone before me, and are going off the Stage by Death, That there will be dreadful Judgments to follow on this Generation, for Breach of Covenant with GOD, and open Rebellion against him, by these iniquitous Laws of theirs, in taking away the Lives, Liberties, & Privileges of the people of GOD, and not only so, but in making Charles Stuart Head of the Church, which becomes not him, nor any Mortal; for JESUS CHRIST is Head of his own Church, and LORD over the Consciences of Men.  And as for me, I would not have my Conscience tied by Charles Stuart’s Belt, nor any who are called his Subjects, though I were to live an hundred Years; No, though I could have the whole World for my Pains; for I might as well tie my Conscience to the Devil and my own Corruptions, as do it, by yielding Submission to his iniquous Laws; by either Bond or Cess, or anything relating thereto.  Now I bless the LORD, I hope, that he who hath led me hitherto, will lead me away from him, and his, and my own Corruptions, and the Devil, ere the 10th Day of this Month pass over.

And as for my own particular Interest, I bless the LORD, I am in some Measure, as clear of my Interest in Christ, as I am that my Pen is writing on this Paper; for I hope, that the LORD will carry me honourably through, and give me that which he hath promised; ay when I asked him Faith, he gave me Faith, Life, Light, and a Heart to believe, and Love to him and His Glory, Interest, Cause, Covenant and Work of Reformation, and Strength to stand, and withstand my Enemies, inward and outward, who, many a Time have assaulted and tempted me, striving to drive me away to Sin.  Indeed it is {139} true, I lived most lewdly, ay till within a little more nor [than] these four Years [past].  O if I could go to the Stage, blessing and magnifying the LORD, that it hath pleased him to bring me from the Devil’s Fire-side, as it were, and draw me out to hear the Gospel of CHRIST.  I bless the LORD, the first Field-preaching that ever I heard, I entered in Covenant with him to follow him, though it should cost me my Life; and at a communion in Irongray in Galloway, I had the clear Manifestation of my Interest.  O free Grace!  O free Love!  O free Mercy!  O what am I, that he hath been so kind to me? O me! O poor me! and not only so, but also when he discovered [to me] the Evils of the woful Indulgence, from the Supremacy, that he made it known to me, and also made me to stand, and withstand that woful Evil, and to join with that Party, by the Bond found upon Mr. Richard Cameron, whom he honoured to witness against it:  And for this I desire to bless him.  O! I think it is Scotland’s Mercy this Day, that he hath opened the Eyes of the Blind, to see these Abominations, especially among the Ministers, I mean the Indulged, and these who plead for them:  O Scotland’s Mercy hath been great, that notwithstanding of their Rebellion, and joining with Rebels, by that Supremacy, the LORD opened the Eyes of the Blind, to see these Abominations, and to testify against them:  O! I say, This is Scotland’s Mercy; tho’ some may think otherwise; for if the LORD had not opened up that evil to poor things, it had been a Token, that he would have gone his away, and not owned his Covenanted Land any more; but it is a Token for good yet, to the Land, that notwithstanding of all our Rebellions against him, by Breach of Covenant, he continues yet to discover to his People, what is Sin and Duty.  And this also is a Token that the LORD will not leave Scotland, though he may chastise it very sore; his taking the Blood and Lives of his Saints, on Fields, Seas, and Scaffolds, to witness for his Covenant; for the Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church And this is another Token for good to the Church, that there is a Remnant (tho’ small) that is weeping and lamenting over the broken Case of the Church, and over the Unconcernedness of the People of GOD, or of these, who say, They are the People of GOD, and that there are so few to keep clean Garments, and to wrestle and witness against the Sins of this Generation of Covenant Breakers and Usurpers.  O Sirs! is not this a sweet Cordial yet, for all that is come upon us?  O Sirs! take Courage, and plead with the LORD, and also, through his Strength, plead with your whorish Mother, viz. the Indulged, and their Deeds, which they have done, and those that plead for them.  O plead, and plead in Patience; let not self rise, Let not Passion rise and vex you, Be sober, be not soon angry; fear not Reproaches; but beware of giving the Enemies, or professed Friends, just ground of Reproach; walk in the Sight of both GOD and Man both, without Offence, [Acts 24.16]; and then if Men will be offended, let {140} it be for your Duty, and not for your Sin.  But O, be tender of the Glory of GOD; Let there be no vain Janglings, or foolish and unlearned Questions among you, knowing, That they gender strife.  Be tender one of another.  Do not reprove every small Circumstance, till ye have GOD with you in your Reproof, and the thing be a known Sin.  Avoid evil Company, and rather draw yourselves to Prayer your alone, and with Company, when ye have the Occasion, and miss no Occasion; for it will be the ready Way to cause the LORD to leave you and the Land; and then woe to you if he depart from you.  O invite one another to Prayer, especially young Folks; for I think, if the LORD do good to this Generation, it will be to Young Folk.  O Babes and Sucklings set to the Work; for the LORD hath promised, That out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings he will perfect Praise:  Who knows, if ye be at your Duty, but the LORD will yet send Teachers, who will stand in the Gap, to hold away Wrath; but till the LORD send them, stand in the Gap yourselves; and when ye have got them, lay not all the Stress upon them, lest the last Plague be worse than the first.

O keep warfare against Corruptions and the Devil, in everything, O do not make an Idol of the Godly, tho’ they be really Godly, Zealous, Judicious, and Prudent; I do not mean the Prudence, that the deniers of CHRIST and His Kingly Office, mean.  Let GOD be your only GOD, and not another.  Use all things to the use of Edifying; and Strengthening one another’s Hands.  Own and maintain your Brother’s Just Cause, when it comes to an hearing, especially in the matters of GOD.  And receive one another, but not to doubtful Disputations. [Rom. 14.1.]  Join with and own the Godly who are Penitent, tho’ there be faults and failings, providing they be sensible of their Guilt; For the LORD maketh more of one Prodigal, or of one lost Sheep, that is come Home, or is found, than he doeth of Ninety-nine who went not Astray.  So ought ye to do among yourselves; but beware of any sinful Union.  Do not grip after Ministers till they, at least, come to take up the Work, where Mr. Donald Cargil left it.  Ye will not find them Honest till ye find them so; for I know, there is none who will venture all for CHRIST and His Cause, I mean their Lives, Liberties, and Fortunes, till they be such; and there are none, but such, who can be counted Faithful, for He hath said, He that Loveth Father, or Mother, Wife or Children, Houses, or Lands, better than Me, is not worthy of Me, [Matt. 10.37,] and that they who do so, cannot be my Disciples, [Luke 14.26]: Therefore ye must of necessity look to those things among yourselves, till the LORD send Shepherds who will search for the Flock: and not leave, nor tear the Flock, in delivering them into the hand of their Enemies, as we have the sad experience of it this Day.  O I would not be in the Case of the Ministers of Scotland this Day, for the World.  Consider Luke 17.10, So likewise, when you have done all these things, say, we are unprofitable Servants.  Let the Law of GOD be {141} your Rule; and when ye have done all to keep the Law, Yet consider, that it cannot merit any Good thing, but you must lean only to the Merits and Sufferings of JESUS CHRIST: But yet the Law must be Observed and Obeyed.  ’Tis true no Mere Man is able perfectly to keep the Commandments of GOD, but let not this be your Snare, for it is the Snare of many of this Generation.

O! Sirs, Study the Scriptures; walk by the strictness of the Law of GOD, and the Liberty of the Gospel of Peace; but do not abuse your Liberty, to cause the way of GOD to be evil spoken of.  I speak as a dying Man, that which I have learned from the Word of GOD, and the Turnings of Dispensations [of Providence].  O, He hath taught me by his Word and Gospel, and the teaching of His Spirit, many things that I cannot express, not one of a Thousand.  O! He hath filled my Mouth many a time with Arguments, till I could go no further. I desire to speak it to the Commendation of free Grace.  O! if the Enemies knew what true Grace were, they would not do as they do:  But truly I think the Judgment shall be terrible that they shall be trysted [met] with.  O! it hath been weighty to me, to think on their Destruction and Misery, which I have thought upon many a time to be Eternal; and yet I have thought upon the other hand, that it was my Duty, when GOD’s Justice passed the Sentence, to say Amen (as it were) and so have desired that the Lord would let his Determination be Execute upon them.  Now, there needs none of the Suffering Remnant be discouraged, for GOD is GOD, and His Word is his Word; and there is no Change of Times, nor Alteration of Dispensations, but the Word will clear all, in some place of it, and there is no sin that can be committed, but there is a Reproof in the Word of GOD to suit it; Nor one Objection in the Heart, but there is an answer for it from the Word:  So study the Word of GOD; and implore His Presence in Reading of it.

Make much use of the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms; mind our Covenants, National and Solemn League.  Be not drawn away with the Tyranny and Perjury of the Time.  Know that GOD is GOD, and that he will not sit with [endure] the wrongs he hath gotten by the Tyranny and Perjury of these Men; I mean him whom they call Supreme Magistrate Charles Stuart, and those under him.  GOD be thanked, his Church is well quit of him, Tho’ a Gallows be set up for the Church, and all the Jews; Yet it is like, Haman must have a Swing of his own weight on the Gallows he hath prepared, or else some more disgraceful Death.  Mind Rutherglen Testimony and Sanquhar Declaration, and the Papers found at the Ferry.  Do not think that these will fall to the Ground.  Mind our Martyrs’ Testimonies, and everything consistent with the Word of GOD.  Do not think, but GOD will be about with this Generation, for letting [making] so light of such things, and casting them behind their Backs.  For I declare I adhere to every {142} sound writing that is according to the Word of GOD, be the Author who will; I say, I declare it as a dying Man.  Indeed this Generation think no better sport, than to take any Person and cast them into Prison, and if they but find (when they have searched them most barbarously) a Paper that there is any Religion in, be they Man or Woman, Lad or Lass, presently they impeach them with Treason, Yea but I am sure of this, that GOD will not sit with such things, but he will be about with them, be who they will.  O! but it is sad, to see such things! this Land doubtless is ripening for a Stroke; and a Judgment will pursue it.  O! who would have thought that Scotland would have quit with their Covenanted GOD, and have trod upon all who have the Image of GOD, in any manner, to be seen in them.  It is true, all things work to the good of them that love Him. [Rom. 8.28.]  ’Tis this that makes a Prison, a Banishment, a Gallows (where none uses to be Hanged but Murderers) sweet indeed.  They think it will be for our Disgrace, Ignominy, and Shame, to take us to the Gallowlee to be Execute; but they are all beguiled, it will be for our Honour; our GOD is wise enough for all that.  They think it is the disgrace of the Presbyterians in Scotland to have our Heads hanging, and to be hanged up before the Sun.  Nay, but they are all beguiled; for it will be Recorded from one Generation to another, That there was a Party of Ministers and People, who sealed the Covenant with their Blood, and their Heads were set up, for a token of the Lord’s Kindness to the Land; but for my part, I think myself unworthy, to be reckoned among such, yet I hope that it shall be said amongst them, in these Days, that, if there had not been a Party to suffer in our Cities, they would have had nothing but vile Popery in the Land; and will be rejoicing that ever there was any to suffer for Christ in Scotland.  O! Scotland, is there any Land so highly Honoured as thou art?  None that is to be seen or heard of; but yet thou hast been of all Nations the most treacherous and Bloody.  Was ever a Land so Blood thirsty?

I can say no more; but O be earnest with GOD, and do not leave off your Duty, or otherwise I can see nothing but that dreadful Judgment of GOD shall pursue you and the Land; indeed, if ye remain at your Duty, it may be that ye shall prevail with the LORD, both for your Selves and for the Land.  But I must leave you to him who is your GOD, to lead and guide you in all Truth and Honesty, both towards GOD and Man.  So I leave you to Him.  Now farewell thou vile Scotland; farewell, thou Highly Honoured Scotland; farewell, ye friends in CHRIST; and all Friends and Acquaintances.  Farewell Life, and Liberty in this Life;  Welcome CHRIST, Heaven, and Eternal Salvation; for ever and ever.

Sic Subscribitur.