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A true and exact copie of Mr. Gibbons's Speech, which he intended to have ſpoken immediately be­fore his death, on the Scaffold at Tower Hill, AUGUST 22. 1651.

I Am brought upon the Stage, where I am a Spectacle to God, Angells, and Men; an ob­ject of pity and compaſſion to my friends, whoſe eyes are come to behold a man in the prime and flower of his years, in the height and excellency of his ſtrength, to be cut down by a violent ſtroke, as an unprofitable tree that burthens the ground, therefore muſt ſtand no longer: it is nothing but Gods ordinary way to ſuffer men to caſt out, that he may re­ceive: No ſooner was the blind man throwne out by the Phariſees, but he was received by Chriſt; the three Children thrown into the fiery Furnace, are entertained and delivered by God; it is no matter what the means is, if God take it into his hand, it ſhall deliver his people: we have but one way into the world, but a thouſand wayes out: could all the miſeries of earth and hell be inflicted, if it leads to Chriſt, a Chriſtian muſt not go out of the way; how much more ought I to ſubmit to this my preſent condition, which God hath choſen for me, as the beſt portion I can poſſibly have! I bleſſe God I come to this place with as much comfort as ever the bridegroom received his bride: and though the paſſage be bloudy, it is the way to my crowne: here my head is to be ſevered from my body, but my ſoul ſhall be to all eternity joyned to Chriſt; I wiſh that the preſent Power, and that Court they have ſet up, have done themſelves no more wrong, then they have me, by their ſentence of death, which is the means to bring me to the way, I am now a going from earth to heaven, from friends, relations, and creature comforts, which ere long I muſt of neceſſity have left, to receive the end of my Faith, the reward of my Hope, the portion of the Saints, the perfection of believers, the riches of eternity, the glory of heaven, which never can nor ſhall be taken from me: Therefore farewell world, and all that I cannot keep, ad thrice welcome death, that puts me into the hands of a convoy of Angells, that will carry me to my Fathers houſe, to receive an inheritance I ſhall never part withall.

I do not come hither to tell a large ſtory of my life, nor to make a diſcovery of my ſins, which I find upon the examination of my heart, to be ſo many and wonderfull, that nothing but eter­nity can be ſufficient, to admire the freeneſſe of Gods grace, in receving me to mercy.

From my childhood I have ſeen affliction, I have ſeen a Father laid in the grave, a Wife and Child in the grave, but never to this day could I put my ſins in the grave, which have been the great wounding of my heart; and this is wonderfull comfort to me, though I were to injoy no­thing elſe, that after this day I ſhall never ſin more. Ever ſince the time I can remember, I have ſet my face towards heaven, and in the courſe of my life have indeavoured to fence my way with thorns, alwaies deſiring to go the moſt ſtricteſt, and ſtraiteſt way that might bring me to Chriſt.

In the Biſhops time I did with a trembling ſoul behold the dying condition of Religion, and then did often meet before the Lord to powre out my ſoul and complaints amongſt others of Gods ſervants, for the great miſeries and oppreſſions that the Church and people of God lay under.

Ever ſince I had my knowledge, I have looked upon the Presbyterian Government as the on­ly moſt excellent Government, and have often thought it to be the Chain ſpoken of in the Re­velation, that ſhall bind the Divell a thouſand years; believing from my ſoul, that all the world is not able to find out a Government that does ſo much advance Chriſt in his Throne, maintain Religion in its glory, the Church in its rights, the people in their liberties, as that Government doth: and that no Government doth ſo much curb prophaneneſſe, all ſorts of wickedneſſe, er­rors and blaſphemy, as the Presbyterian Government doth; and that no Government doth ſo2 much croſſe corrupt nature, and call for exact walking in all manner of holy converſation, as the Presbyterian Government doth. I am wonderfully confirmed it is of God, when I behold the multitudes and univerſality of wicked men that oppoſe it, with the ſwarms of all ſorts and Sects, with all ranks and all manner of men, and old hereſies that riſe up againſt it: I have al­waies been for the Covenant, the force and ends thereof upon Goſpell principles. I have alwaiesone owning the waies of God and Religion, when moſt clouded and deſpiſed, never daring to quit my principles upon conſideration or danger whatſoever, for the true cauſe of God, Reli­gion and liberty I have alwaies been; upon theſe principles I have ingaged, from theſe princi­ples I never departed; theſe are the principles in which I have lived, theſe are the principles up­on which I die, and do reſolve by Gods grace this day to ſeale the ſame with my bloud, chuſing rather a thouſand times to have my neck upon the Block, then to enjoy the moſt glorious life and liberty with thoſe that have moſt fearfully betrayed the cauſe of God, and Religion, their own ſouls and conſciences, by their moſt horrible Apoſtacy; to the great diſhonour of God, and ſcandall of Religion: let them put what dreſſe or mask they will upon it, when God ſhall rend and tear it off, diſcover and rip up the intentions of their hearts, men will ſee, and themſelves ſhall know what it muſt coſt to loſe a good conſcience. I never was without a trembling ſpirit, nor a heart to lament while the Spouſe of Chriſt was cloathed in mourning. I have alwaies been ſo far from daring to make merry at ſuch a time, that I thought it not only my duty, but the leaſt I could do, to lie in tears while the Church was rowling in bloud; it hath been one of my greateſt afflictions, that I never yet could get a heart ſenſible enough to mourn, as I ought for the great deſolation, havock and ruine that is this day made amongſt all the Churches of God. Lord deliver all thoſe that fear thy Name, from the number of ſuch as can rejoyce, keep daies of Thanksgiving, and make Songs of triumph for the number of thoſe that are ſlain for the Teſtimony which they hold. I am at laſt brought to ſuffer death as an enemy to the State, though a friend to Jeſus Chriſt, his Church and Members: The Jews told Pilate he was no friend to Caeſar, if he did let Chriſt go; the caſe is now altered, for whoſoever deſireth to keep Chriſt, his Truth and Laws, the Covenant and the ends thereof, and let ſin and wickedneſſe go and ſtand in oppoſition to error and hereſie, are declared enemies to the State; and if there be no Law of God nor man to condemn us, then like the Jews they find out a Law, and by that Law they tell us we ought to die. I ſhall make no large diſcourſe of the manner of of my Tryall, for I know there were both eye and ear witneſſes, that will declare to poſterities following all the hard meaſure that I had, beſides I have left ſomething behind to be printed, which will publiſh to the world upon what ſlight grounds and ſlender Teſtimonies I loſe my life; thoſe that writ for me had their books taken away, whereby I was cut off from all poſſible means from making a defence when I came before them: I declared all this again and again, moſt earneſtly craved a Copy of my Charge, the Copy of the Depoſitions of the Witneſſes and Counſell aſſigned: when no Arguments nor means could move them to grant me this, I did chuſe rather to ſubmit to the mercy of the Court then plead, ſo that all I could do, was to put up an appeal to the Court, being denied means, could never make any defence, but my defence is of God, that ſaveth the upright in heart: the Court adjorned; the next time I came before them I received the Sentence of death.

Here I muſt crave leave to diſcharge my conſcience, concerning a Petition in my name ſent to Weſtminſter, that acknowledged the Sentence to be juſt; I could not withſtand my friends perſwaſions, but according to their deſires a Petition was ſent, the which I neither writ, nor would ever ſet my name for without wounding of my conſcience, I cannot ſay (to gain the world) it is a juſt ſentence, but am clear of an opinion, with that Gentleman that was both ear and eye-witneſſe of my Tryall, and underſtood both the Laws and their Acts as wel as any, from his knowledge did declare, that he would not have had a hand in my Sentence for as much gold as could lie in Weſtminſter Hall, Let them declare, write a thouſand books to blind the world and juſtifie themſelves, if they do not repent of this daies work, both God, Angells, and Men, (with the blond that is this day ſpilt) will witneſſe againſt them: as I do verily perſwade my ſelf, that before this time, never ſuch a Sentence paſſed upon Engliſh ground, ſo from my ſoul and conſcience I do declare they have committed a horrible murther, and without repentance make as ſad an account to God for my bloud, as Cain muſt one day for Abels.

I do believe it would be more pleaſing to God, if they did ſend the ſouldiers to the priſoners Chambers, and cut their throats, then under a colour to bring them to a Tryall before ſuch a Court, that carries a face of Juſtice, when there is nothing but murther and deſtruction to be expected from them.

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I do not ſpeak this from a bitter ſpirit, the Lord knows I do freely forgive them, and deſire from my ſoule they may have hearts to repent; for both in the Sentence, and all other things, I read both the will and goodneſſe of God; I look upon them as a company of poor inſtruments, which God knows well enough how to deal with; therefore it is both my duty, and the duty of all thoſe that love God, to pray for them, to pity their condition, and not envy it.

I would not leave this Scaffold to enjoy their lives, and have that account they muſt make, for all the worlds glory; better to have my neck upon the Block, then to have my conſcience upon the rack.

As freely do I forgive the Witneſſes, the Lord lay not the great ſins they have committed to their charge; I hope they will one day ſee it is better to be in a ſuffering condition, then in a ſin­full; and that wrath and ſin is more to be feared, then any miſery whatſoever; they have bought their lifes and liberties dear enough, therefore let none be angry, it is the will of God, lament their eſtate and pray for them.

I am here brought to die for Treaſon and complotting againſt the State, and ſuch a plot have they proclaimed to the world, as the like hath not been for many years.

Here I do concur, and am of their opinion, that there is a very great plot, and ſo great, that a plot muſt be pretended to beget greater plots; that is, to deſtroy the Presbyterian Government, the whole race of the Miniſtery, and thoſe that deſire to keep a good conſcience, and truly fear God; this lieth at the bottom, whatſoever is held forth: for any plot that ever I had, or any of my friends accuſed, and the Miniſters had, I know none that I thought worth any thing: I am ſenſible how many millions of ſins I have committed, the which I have ſeen before me, and on the right hand and on the left, every way piled up, till they are ſwelled to ſuch a magnitude, that they exceed the higheſt mountains for greatneſſe: ſo you ſee that I have not wanted ſins to powre out floods of tears upon; but for this thing I am accuſed for, and now brought to die, I can­not only plead my innocency, but put up my Appeal to the great God, who is a moſt impartiall Judge, (unto whoſe Bar I am now a going to receive a righteous Judgement) that I never had any other end in all this buſineſſe laid to my charge, but the honour of God, his Goſpell and Re­ligion; all which were ſo dear unto me, that when I ſaw the wonderfull and horrible ſcandall that the late actions of a generation of men had thrown upon the face of Religion and Goſ­pell. I told a Gentleman now with God, in the hearing of ſome living, that ſo deeply did the honour of God ſuffer, the honour of thGoſpell and cauſe of Religion, in the eys of all refor­med Churches, in the eys of Papiſts, in the eys of Turks and Heathens, that happy for England would it be, if any means might be found to waſh off the ſcorn, contempt, and ſtains caſt upon the Goſpell and Religion; yea though it were with the bloud of Miniſters, it would be cauſe of rejoycing in the eys of all that fear the Lord. Who can tell but this daies work is the way un­to it; all that I have mourned for was that Religion ſuffered; all that ever I prayed for, was that Chriſt might have the Government in his hand; all that ever I endeavoured for, was to bring things back into the channell where God would have them: all that I have done and defired, was that there might be a reſtoration of the honour of the Goſpell, the truth of Religion, the Laws, Liberties and Priviledges of the People: And though I were but clay and ſpittle, I knew in the hands of God I might be inſtrumentall, alwaies thought it my duty to bring ſomething, though it were but a handfull of goats hair, if any way I might be uſefull and contribute towards the help of the Church, and the relief of Gods people from under their great oppreſſions: this is all that I have done, and that I muſt this day die for; what a thouſand pens write is no matter, but what God and Conſcience write, that ſhall ſtand: I am moſt aſſured this daies work will be written in heaven, ſuffering for the Lord Jeſus and his Truth: I have the teſtimony of my conſcience, for whatever I have done concerning this, and can die with abundance of peace, and go to God with comfort: this you are to believe from the mouth of a dying man, and not re­gard what a company of ingaged men declare to make for their intereſt, who goe contrary to all rules of Conſcience, neither know how to ſhew mercy to Chriſtians while they live, nor to their names when they are dead. I cannot but wonder that the men in power can look any Chriſtian in the face, and tell him of a plot, who have been the originall and foundation of thoſe plots that have torn Nations and Kingdoms apieces, rent aſunder all Laws, Ordinances, Government, Liberties, Priviledges, Proprieties, and whatſoever is dear either to Chriſtians or rational men, and thrown three Kingdomes into that miſery, that all the enemies in the world could not have done the like without them; but rather how will they be able to ſtand and look God in the face, when they ſhall come to reckon for this, and make Inquiſition for bloud? unto whoſe doors will all the deſolations, bloud and ruine of Scotland and Ireland return for theſe three or four laſt4 years? who amongſt us living, that knows not ſome three years ſince, we had the moſt glori­ous promiſing bright morning that ever looked England in the face, all our heads and hands liſted up, and our hearts raiſed with expectations to receive the reward of many years ſufferings and prayers, and to be paid for the expence of all the bloud.

After all this how comes it to paſſe, we behold with our eys ſuch horrible daies of darkneſſe, breaking and treading down, after ſuch hopes of ſeeing England cloathed with glory and peace, and become like the garden of Edev; how comes it to be an Aceldama, a Golgotha, a field of bloud, and place of dead mens ſculls? after our Ship was thus brought to the harbot, with all the lifes, liberties, and ſafeties of three Kingdomes: Who were they that were the inſtruments to throw it back into ſo miſerable a ſtormy Sea, as the Lord knows whether man or child living up­on the earth ſhall ever ſee it get out again? they which have done this are plotters indeed, plotters with a Witneſſe; theſe are the Egiptians that all the people of God, and all the reformed Churches in Chriſtendome groan under; theſe (like Nero) have ſet all on ſire, and would fain lay it upon the Chriſtians, like as the Papiſts plot and contrive, lay barrels of gunpowder to blow up King, Lords, and Houſe of Commons, and when they have done they intend to lay it upon the Purianes but God will not be mocked, early or late he will find them out, and make them know what the lives of innocents are worth, and what undermining of States, and all ſuch acti­ons as thoſe muſt coſt.

Many delightfull ſights hath Antichriſt ſeen; the maſſacre of Paris was a glorious ſight in the eys of Antichriſt; the piles of wood that burnt ſo many Martyrs in QMaries-time, and all the ſtreams of bloud that were then let out of the hearts of Gods people, was a moſt beloved fight in the eys of Antichriſt.

The perſecution in the Bishops time, the impriſoning and baniſhing of Gods people and Mi­niſters, the carriage of three Worthies to the Pillory, and cutting off their ears, was a pleaſing ſight in the eyes of Antichriſt: The breaking aſunder the Parliament, throwing down the Houſe of Lords, tearing the Members out of the Houſe of Commons, putting the King to death, and over-turning all the Laws and Government of the Nation, ingaging all the people as well in a neceſſity of ſinning, as periſhing, and then invade the Church of Scotland; kill and ſlay the precious of the Lord; theſe, and ſuch ſights as theſe are very rare in the eys of Antichriſt; the plucking down of Magiſtracy and Miniſtery, the letting looſe of the Chain of Error and Hereſie, the diſcountenancing of truth and faithfull Miniſters, tolerating of all manner of falſe Doctrine and damnable blaſphemers, is a moſt delightfull ſight in the eys of Antichriſt; theſe and many ſuch ſights hath Antichriſt ſeen; but the moſt joyfull ſight that ever his eys beheld, is the late proceedings of the preſent Power, in tearing Miniſters from their Congregations, lock­ing up both them and many more of the Lords people in priſon, for nothing but endeavouring to keep that Covenant which they have made them to ſwear, repreſenting their office and perſons under that contempt and ſcorn, that they ſerve for nothing elſe but ſigns and wonders, being made a butt and mark for all invenomed arrows reproach and ſcorn to be ſhot at, as the like was never ſeen by Engliſh eys till now; but yet a more joyfull ſight do the eys of Antichriſt behold, ſuch a one (I dare ſay) as he never ſaw in England before; that is a moſt faithfull Miniſter and bleſſed ſervant of God put to death by Proteſtants, and ſuch as call themſelves the moſt pious religious people upon the earth. Next to him I am brought upon the Stage to incounter with death, and fight the bloudy battell: the Lord knows how many may follow; I pray that I may be the laſt; but is not Johabs hand in this? are not the hands of Papiſts and Jeſuits in all this? I need bring no arguments to perſwade you to believe it; I think very few but are convinced, that they both ſit at the Stern, and are the chiefeſt actors: therefore whatſoever they do muſt needs be very delightful in the eys of Antichriſt; as they are joyfull lights to Antichriſt, ſo are they the moſt ſaddeſt ſights that ever Gods people beheld.

O bleſſed God, ſay they, is all the expence of our bloud, and all our mourning, faſting, and prayer come to this? after ſuch hopes of healing, have we ſuch wounds made in our ſouls, ſuch peircing ſwords put into our bowells? is there nothing will ſerve the turn but the death of Gods Miniſters, the blood of his people? had it been any thing elſe I could have born it; but to ſee ſuch precious blood ſpilt like water upon the ground, it goes ſo near the heart of me, that I ſee my ſelf cut off from all that ſhould be a comfort to me.

I go in to my cloſet, I can find no comfort there; if I go to my friends I can receive no com­fort from them; if I look upon my children; then my heart is fill'd with woe and miſery, to think what will become of them, and there I lie down in ſorrow, and riſe up in ſorrow, and know not what to do: I confeſſe ſuch things as theſe, and ſuch a ſight as you have this day ſeen,5 is matter of great lamentation, and bleſſe God that you can mourn for it, for of this ſide hell, I can­not think any more miſerable, then thoſe that can rejoyce at ſuch ſights as theſe. But have a care your mourning be not a diſcontented mourning, quarrelling with God and his Providence; repining and murmuring at the inſtruments; do you as Jacob did, look who ſtands upon the top of the lad­der, and (like Ezekiel) ſee who ſtands upon the top of the well, and do not look at the hammer that ſmites, nor at the next ſtop of the ladder, but look up to God, that orders and directs all, who is in­finitely wiſe, and knows beſt how to contrive and bring things about for the good of his Church and people: do you your duty, and truſt God; though you ſee all the Providences of God croſſing his promiſes, ſtill wait; if you ſhould never underſtand them here, ſtay untill you come in heaven, there you will know the meaning of every croſſe working, and then ſee that none of all the Churches ſuffe­rings nor afflictions of the Saints could have been ſpaed: while you are here alive and depend upon promiſes, and not providence; do not forget, that when God is a pulling down, he is a ſetting up; when he ſeems to make the greateſt wounds, he comes with the greateſt healing; when he holds forth the greateſt deſtruction, he intends the greateſt deliverances; he came to Jacob like an enemy, to de­ſtroy, when he was reſolved to ſhew the greateſt friendſhip. I am moſt confident, all that your eys have ſeen this day, is alſo for your good, and the way to your deliverance, and that our blouds ſhall ſet the enemies a horſeback, and pur ſpur to their deſtruction: I am moſt aſſured ſome ſtanding in this place ſhall here, and to all eternity bleſſe God for this daies work: The moſticked of men may behold the ſufferings of Gods people, but they cannot ſee the comforts they have they may ſee their mournings and rears, but they cannot ſee the Towell that Jeſus Chriſt wipes their eys withall: ſince the Creation to this preſent day, there was never any ſuffered Martyrdome for the teſtimony of a good conſcience, but God came with ſtrength and comfort according to their condition, and now they are in heaven: I do fully perſwade my ſelf, theſe of them that died the worſt of deaths, would have died no other, nor have abated any of their ſufferings or reproaches for a thouſand worlds: Were we but ſenſible of the infinite glory God gets by the ſufferings of his people, did we but know how many flowers and precious pearls it adds to their Crown, we ſhould ſee men come running as faſt to Martyrdome, as our eys now ſee them running from it; the very firſt moment that we behold the face of God, will be a ſufficient reward for a thouſand times more, then ever we have, or can ſuffer here, though there were nothing elſe to be injoyed, but Chriſt owning their ſouls at the day of Judgement, it were enough to ingage a Chriſtian to own Chriſt here, though his ſufferings were to be like the tor­ments of hell, when we come to know and taſt of the infinite rewards that God hath prepared for his ſuffering people, it heaven were capable of ſhame, we would be aſhamed we have done and ſuffered ſo little for Chriſt; therefore give me leave to perſwade you; and let the laſt words of a dying man pre­vail with you, that you let go all, rather then part with your Principles; better the heavens ſhould fall, and the whole world be ſet of fire, then that God ſhould loſe his honour, or the leaſt jot or tit­tle of the truth be parted with; fly from errour, though it come in the habit and dreſſe of Saints and Angells, error is like barrells of gunpowder, that will blow up States, Kingdomes, ſouls and bodies: whoſoever takes up error, draws a ſword againſt Chriſt, his Truth, and Laws; if you do but coun­tenance one ſtep, the leaſt from the truth, you are in danger of falling into a gulfe that will ſwallow you up; ask but your own experience, and that will tell you, many glorious Starrs and Profeſſors, that for ſome ſelf-ends at the firſt did go but a little aſide from the truth, but there they did not ſtay, but run from one error to another, ſearching all the rooms in hell to find out new ones: for never could any reſt that follow error, it is like hell without any bottom: how many Miniſters have you ſeen heretofore, you could have lived and died withall, gone but a little aſtray from the truth, by which they have given a greater blow to the honour of God and Religion, then all their Sermons and Preaching can do good while they live; did you ever ſee any go aſide from the truth, but he got a blot and diſhonour upon his name; Truth hath called Kings and Emperours to honor, the meaneſt of perſons therefore, though you ſee thouſand and ten thouſand run to error, hold you to the Truth, if you love your ſouls, bodies, land, eſt••e, wife, children, part not with the leaſt of it, follow neither Chriſtian nor Miniſter any further then he follows Chriſt, not wonder it you ſee thoſe that have ap­peared to be the moſt eminent in knowledge and grace, go from the truth to error, for from the begin­ning it hath been ſo, and God doth ſuffer the ſame to try his people. I muſt needs acknowledge that error is now cloathed with ſo ſmooth a dreſſe, that imakes my heart to bleed to think of the harveſt the divell will have; but in all Ages God hath preſerved a remnant, and ſo he doth ſtill, bleſſed be God that there are a few, ſome of all ſores both Miniſters and people, that have kept their garments unſpot­ted, never yet ſtained with error. All you that love God, be of the number of thoſe few, though you ſuffer and die with them: every Error is a Chain that binds your Soul and Conſcience, that you can­not go to God: every error is a Bar that makes faſt the dooagainſt Chriſt and his Laws; therefor:6 hold and keep cloſe to the truth: look upon Athanaſius that owned the truth when the whole world was againſt it: be like Amos, who kept cloſe to God when a whole Court was againſt him, or like Martin Luther, that owned the truth of God alone, againſt all the power and force of Antichriſt: in all Ages, even in the moſt damnable apoſtatizing times, God hath had ſome that have dared to own his truth: if Baal be God, follow him; but if the Lord be God, follow him: Naboths Vineyard is taken away, and his inheritance taken poſſeſſion of; but God is ſo far from approving of it, that he ſends in Eliſha with an arrant of vengeance: have not our eys ſeen, and our ears heard more abomi­nable practiſes in our times? the head of our Countrey, the breath of our noſtrills, the anointed of the Lord, by a violent death, is taken away from us: ſo dreadfull was this ſtroke, that it ſtruck at the root of all Lawes and Religion, and murdered the honour and repute of the whole Race of the Pro­teſtant Profeſſion: ſo far are the ſons of abomination from bluſhing, or being aſhamed at this, that they go on, take poſſeſſion, and juſtifie the ſame before God and all the world; and when the Heire is coming, they combine together and ſay, Come let us kill him, and the inheritance ſhall be ours for ever. This doth call upon us that fear the Lord, to wiſh their heads fountains of tears, that they might powre out rivers of ſorrow. It have been to me living, and ſhall be now dying, a great lamentation.

I do profeſſe unto you all, I am ſo far from approying of any of the late actions, that I would not have dared to have gone ſo far out of Gods way, to have had the leaſt hand in the death of the King, no not to have ſaved the lives of all the three Kingdoms. That God that hath written down all their actions and intentions, will one day clear the Presbyterian Party, and vindicate their Innocency be­fore the face of all the whole world, and though for the preſent their intereſt be loſt with men, it is found in God, and there ſhall be a moſt glortous Reſurrection of all their names and integrity, when God comes to reckon with thoſe men that have made uſe of their honeſt indeavours, to plow up the Lords Vineyard, and let in the wild Bore of the Forreſt: this is now both a black and bloudy day of Jacobs trouble; all the Churches of Chriſt in the Furnace, the poor Church of Scotland, a bleeding, fetching their dying groans. Is there none to pity none to help? nor none that will conſi­der my diſtreſſe? was there ever any affliction llike my affliction? I am ſmitten in the place of Dra­gons, I have my bowells torn out by thoſe that I have brought forth and maintained; the men whoſe hands I have ſtrengthned have ſlain my young men, by hundreds and thouſands, and carried them a­way captiffs: thoſe who I have been inſtrumentall to ſave, have deſtroyed all my peace and glory; and laid my honour in the duſt; robbed me of my Jewells, robbed me of my Ordinances, robbed me of all my riches, and treaſury, and made all the Land drunk with the bloud of my ſlain; and that which is ten thouſand times worſe, they have poyſoned the ſouls of my people with error and Hereſie, every one of theſe have a noiſe crying in the ears of God and men.

I read of a bitter curſe pronounced againſt thoſe that came not out to the help of the Lord againſt the mighty; God hath given that poor Nation a bloudy Cup to drink; but moſt aſſured I am, all the dregs lie at the bottom, for all thoſe perſons that come not forth with their prayers and tears to im­prove all their intereſt both in heaven and earth, for the deliverance of that miſerable oppreſſed peo­ple; if it be terrible to all ſuch as come not out with their ſwords to help and reſcue them; if God will be avenged upon all ſuch perſons as ſtand looking on, what will the portion be of all ſuch that do not only draw their ſwords againſt that beloved people, but put them into their bowells, and pro­claim to all the world they do God good ſervice; and when they have laid heaps upon heaps, and di­ed the Church with their bloud, they do not only rejoyce and triumph, but hang up colours for mo­numents of their laſting glory: ſuch as theſe are Monſters with a Witneſſe; therefore let all thoſe that love either bodies or ſouls, rather chuſe ten thouſand times to live in a howling wilderneſſe, to be caſt into a Den of Dragons, then either to countenance incourage, or remain amongſt the num­bers of thoſe men; throughout all the book of God, amongſt all the prayers of the Saints, you find none like David, putting forth all his ſtrength with the utmoſt of his vehemency, improving all his intereſt to pluck down wrath and vengeance out of the hands of God; againſt who was it, but a cur­ſed generation of men that perſecuted thoſe whom the Lord had ſmitten? the Sun ſhined upon Sodom, and preſently after they were deſtroyed by moſt terrible ſhowres of fire and brimſtone; all the proſ­perity and flouriſhing eſtate of the wicked, is but like a watry Sun, that will end in a diſmall cloudy day: The people of God may ſit a while in darkneſſe, but they are ſure there will be light; the wicked may rejoyce for a moment, it is not long, but they will have an eternall ſtormy night of Gods diſplea­ſure, that ſhall never be blown over: I know a child of God had rather have all the Lions of the Wil­derneſſe roaring upon him, all the miſeries in the world, and all the divells in hell let looſe, then to live under the frowns of God; how canſt thou then envy the ſtate of the wicked, though they did proſper as much as Alexander, injoyed as much peace and glory as Solomon, ride with as much ſtate7 as Caeſar did through Rome, when thou knoweſt they are under the frowns of an infinite God, that hates them with as perfect a hatred, as he doth the divells in hell, and knows well enough how and when it is ſeaſonable to bring a moſt terrible deſtruction upon them, that ſhall fly as far, and ring as loud in the ears of all the Chriſtian world, as their ſins and abominations have done: The buſh may burn, but it ſhall not be conſumed; the divell hath been above this five thouſand ſix hundred years a breathing out flames and perſecutions againſt the Churches of God, and yet it remains; and ſo it ſhall be to the end of the world; mourn for the ſufferings of our dear brethren of Scotland, give them all poſſible aſſiſtance by prayers and tears, and what elſe poſſible you may, but never deſpair of their deliverance; for one look of God out of the Cloud can break all the power of their enemies, and make a glorious Reſurrection of them, and all the Churches of Chriſt; mourn and lament with an exceed­ing bitter lamentation for the reproach, ſcorn and contempt that the Miniſtery lies under; pray migh­tily that they may be delivered from many and great temptations, and the multitudes of traps and ſnares that the ſubtilty of the adverſary hath laid, that they may deſtroy their offices and perſons together.

You that make mention of the Lord, never give him reſt, but cry and pray mightily; for there are wonderfull promiſes to be accompliſhed, wonderfull things to be done, the fall of Babilon with all the power of Antichriſt; the calling of the Jews, which will be the fullneſſe of the Gentiles, the per­fecting and coming in of all the glory of the Churches of Chriſt, the ſhaking of Nations and King­doms is the way to this; therefore be not diſcouraged, for Jacob ſhall ariſe, God is never more in his way to bring all this about, but when he ſeems to be moſt out of it.

Thus I have both endeavoured to declare and diſcharge my conſcience, I have nothing now to do, but to take my leave of the world, where I do again forgive all that have been the inſtruments to bring me to this place; heartily I deſire that they may have mercy and forgiveneſſe at the hand of God, when they have moſt need of it: I know it is the hand of God that hath brought me to this place, and that all things are under his Seal, that neither death, nor any thing elſe can come without his Commiſſion; it is not the death I am now to think upon, but that which follows after: I am now preſently to lunch into the gulf of eternity, never ſhall come back more, to call over this life. I am going with a naked ſoul to ſtand before God, whoſe eys are ten thouſand times brighter then the Sun, that will never be­hold the leaſt iniquitie: the very thoughts of this God would be as terrible as devouring flames of fire, did not I behold him in the merits and mercies of a Saviour, ſitting at his right hand, making in­terceſſion for me; his righteouſneſſe is more able to ſave, then all the ſins of men and divells can be to ſend to hell; had I all the righteouſneſſe of men and Angels, woe and ten thouſand woes be unto me, if I had not an intereſt in the righteouſneſſe of my bleſſed Saviour, and then had I all the ſins ſince the Creation of the world laid to my charge, it is as eaſie for me to have a pardon in bloud of Chriſt for them all, as for one vain thought: all my righteouſneſſe is as filthy rags, ſin enough there is in my beſt prayers and performances, for ever to throw me out of the preſence of God into hell. I have ſcarlet crimſon ſins, ſins of all ſorts, but through faith in the merits of my Saviour I have a ſure confidence, grounded upon promiſes, and the Covenant of Free-grace, that I ſhall now ſuddainly reſt in the Lord, and enter into my Maſters joy, where I ſhall never to all eternity to praiſe him; bleſſed be God and bleſſed be his people for the benefit, help and ſupport I have had by their prayers; the archers have both griev'd and ſhot at me, but my bow hath abode in ſtrength, and the arrows of my hands have been made ſtrong by the hands of the mighty God the Lord, return a thouſand-fold all the love and kind­neſſe, with the reward of thoſe prayers that have been made for me into the boſom of his own people: the laſt prayer that Sampſon made, was that the Lord would remember him, and ſtrengthen him, only once more, it is the laſt requeſt that ever I ſhall make unto you that are the Lords Remembrancers; therefore be not wanting unto me now at the laſt act of my life, only help me this once, it is the laſt time that ever you ſhall pray for me, the laſt ſigh, the laſt tear that ever you ſhall ſhed to do me good; ſtir and quicken up your graces, act your faith in God, improve all your intereſt at the Throne of grace; take notice who brought, and what was thrown into the Churches treaſury, the eys of God run to and fro through the world, he looks upon every heart this day, and ſees who pities me, who prays and ſtives to help me through this bloudy paſſage; who uſe their utmoſt indeavours to ſtrengthen my heart and hands io incounter with death: it is uſuall for you to do the laſt things beſt, when you give laſt, to give moſt: deal ſo with me this day, put out all your might and ſtrength to bring me ſafe off this Scaf­fold to my Fathers houſe, for it is the laſt time that ever I ſhall need your prayers and help.

Most gracious God into thy hands I commit my Spirit, I was never yet in diſtreſſe, but thou diddeſt comfort me, never yet in want, but thou diddeſt receive me, therefore I know thou wilt not fail to help me in this my needfull time of trouble. O bleſſed Saviour! thou haſt ſought after me when I was run­ning from thee, therefore I am confident thou wilt receive me now I am coming to thee: Though death be my portion by ſin, eternall life is my purchaſe by thy righteouſneſſe: though my ſins ſhould exceed the number of millions of Ages, yet I know thy merits and righteouſneſſe is ten thouſand times more exceeding; upon this rock do I anchor my hope, and with this aſſurance do I die.

8

Mr. Gibbons's laſt Prayer, in the hearing of the People.

O Moſt bleſſed and glorious Lord God, a God of piercing eys, and ſeeſt me thy poor creature thou knoweſt the intention of my heart; then hear the words of my mouth, but thou knoweſt the intentions of my ſoul. O Lord put words into my mouth vvhat I ſhould ſpeak for my ſelf; novv is the laſt time that ever I ſhall ſpeak, till I come to ſpeak and admire thee to eternity. O bleſſed God! O vvhat is a ſmile of thy face novv! O one ſmile is more vvorth then ten thouſand vvorlds. O bleſſed God! before my head is ſevered from my body, let me be aſſured that my ſoul ſhall be received into thy hands. O bleſſed God! let me find novv the benefit of all the prayers and tears, and deſire of my heart. Lord it is true, I have nothing to plead, I have not a handfull of Goats haire, I have nothing but a dead dull heart; but Lord, though I be broken and diſtracted, thou looked'ſt upon Hezeki­ah vvith his chattering prayers, vvhen he chattered as a Crane '; bleſſed Lord, look upon the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and vvhatſoever imperfections thou haſt ſeen in me par­don them, and vvaſh me from them in his bloud; Lord, though I had never ſinned before I came to this Scaffold, yet I have committed ſin enough here to throvv me into everlaſting burning: but Lord, look for thy promiſe ſake, for thy mercy ſake, look over thy bovvells of compaſſion, conſult vvith them novv, and vvith thine Attributes, and whatſoever Chriſt and Mercy may ſpeak, hear the cries this day.

Bleſſed God, there is no reaſon that thou ſhouldeſt own me, but there is reaſon thou ſhouldeſt own thy promiſe, and own thy truth, and own thy Chriſt. O bleſ­ſed God! grant that this day all thy people may bleſſe thee, and may go and keep a day of Thankſgiving, that I have not carried my ſelf any way unbecoming a Chriſtian; Lord, let me give thee the glory, I am but poor duſt and aſhes, and clay, the unworthieſt in the world, all my ſtrength is nothing; I bleſſe God I am nw coming where I ſhall need Faith no more, nor Hope no more, O〈…〉let me act all the ſtrength I have in thy Promiſe, and in the Lord Jeſus Chriſt ſe particular promiſe, O Lord ſhew thy ſelf, O one ſmile for the Lord Jeſus Chits ſake. I commend all unto thee, I lay my neck upon the Block, I give my ſoul into thy hands, take my ſoul, it is no matter what becomes of my body, I ſhall never more, never more hope for any thing, or deſire any thing, but all my ſoul ſhall be filled up; Lord hear me, and help me, and ſtand by me, and ſtrengthen me, and guide me, and pardon and forgive all my ſins for the Lord Jeſus Chriſts ſake.

FINIS.

About this transcription

TextA true and exact copy of Mr. Gibbons's speech which he intended to have spoken immediately before his death, on the scaffold at Tower Hill, August 22. 1651.
AuthorGibbons, John, d. 1651..
Extent Approx. 43 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1651
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A85977)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 118673)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 121:E796[24])

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Bibliographic informationA true and exact copy of Mr. Gibbons's speech which he intended to have spoken immediately before his death, on the scaffold at Tower Hill, August 22. 1651. Gibbons, John, d. 1651.. 8 p. s.n.,[London :1651]. (Imprint from Wing.) (Caption title.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
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  • Gibbons, John, d. 1651.
  • Last words -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • STC Wing G661
  • STC Thomason E796_24
  • STC ESTC R207344
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866401
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