Cloud of Witnesses

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Humphrey Colquhoun

‘This was another of the five individuals who were executed along with Mr. McKail. He seems to have been a plain unlettered man, belonging, it is probable, to the lower ranks of life.

The following notice by Wodrow of his behaviour at death, is the only informa­tion which history has transmitted respecting him “Humphrey Colquhoun, when he died, spoke not on the scaffold and ladder like an ordinary townsman, but, like one in the suburbs of heaven, related his Christian experience, called for his Bible from one of his friends, and laid it on his wounded arm, and read some most apposite passages, and spoke to the admiration of all who heard him.”

His testimony is as follows

“Dear friends and spectators, I am come here this day, to this place to die this death, for crimes for which (I thank God) my conscience doth not condemn me.

My crime, as is alleged, is for disloyalty against the king’s majesty; yet I thank God that my appearing lately with the Lord’s people was from my sense of my obligation in the covenant, and the sense of the wrongs done in the land, and the cry­ing oppressions committed therein.

This was the end of my appearing for the Lord against His enemies, to bear witness against the same the which obligation of the oath of God, I judge that none on earth can loose the conscience from.

I bless the Lord again and again. I die for this oath and covenant; and I thank God also, that I have by the great mercy of the Almighty God in Christ Jesus, obtained mercy and forgiveness for all my transgressions both against the first and second table of the law: and that through that ocean of grace which is in the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that I am justified and sanctified, and believe now to be glorified with Him, by that blessed blood of His, which hath purchased this salvation for me, through faith in the same, made application of, according to the good covenant of grace.

He hath performed this, out of His wonderful and incomparable free grace, and this is my joy and exceeding great rejoicing and consolation, and all my salvation, for which I am grace’s debtor throughout all eternity.

I die with this my testimony, and my adherence to the national covenant, to the solemn league and covenant, to the work of reformation a great length carried on, and now overthrown most sinfully by ungodly men, who have established their apostacy by law, which no just power on earth could ever do.

Also I adhere to the Presbyterian government, the Confession of Faith, Catechisms Larger and Shorter, and to the solemn acknowledgment of the church of Scotland, and public testimonies thereof, against the sins of the time.

This day I rejoice that He hath counted me worthy to lay down my life for Him, as one that bears witness against the breach of all the sacred oaths and ties that were established in this land, yea, by the just laws both of God and man, which never could have been repealed lawfully, as this wicked generation has done.

“Dear friends, I hope you will stand fast in this obligation, and in the solemn oaths and ties you are under, and all the body of the land also will be steadfast in the same, upon the greatest hazard you can meet with, and that you will study perfect holiness and nearness with God, which will help to keep you straight in this day of persecution and sharp trial that is now raging in this land.

I bless the Lord, I die not a fool, though some men have thought so of me by their speeches to me, since my imprisonment, neither durst I ever be the man to buy my liberty at such a dear rate as perjury, and to shake off these blessed bonds I did willingly come under; and I thank God, I never yet to this moment rued or repented it; and sure I am, it is better for me to suffer the worst of deaths, than to preserve my life by breaking the oaths of God.

I also give my testimony against prelacy, and that wicked hierarchy now established in this land, as that which the church of Christ could never bear until this day, it being such a grand enemy to the purity of the gospel, and power of godliness; yea, a yoke which the church of God groans under.

I have no more to say, but commend all you the lovers of our Lord Jesus Christ to God Himself, and to the good word of His grace, which is able to build you up until the day of His appearance, and to give you all an inheritance with them that are sanctified through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ:

And subscribe myself an expectant and apparent heir of the grace of Christ.

Humphrey Colquhoun