David Dickson - Preaches (1622)

All this time he stood silent, and once lifted up his eyes to heaven, which St Andrews called a proud look. So after some more discussion between him and the bishops, St Andrews pronounced his sentence, in these words: ‘We deprive you of your ministry at Irvine, and ordain you to enter in Turriff, in the north, in twenty days.’ ‘The will of the Lord be done,’ said Mr David; ‘though ye cast me off, the Lord will take me up. Send me whither ye will, I hope my Master will go with me; and as He has been to me heretofore, He will be with me still, as with His own weak servant.”’

David Dickson continued preaching until the twenty days had expired and then began his journey. The Earl of Eglinton persuaded the archbishop of Glasgow that he might come to Eglinton and preach there. However, people from all quarters came to hear him speak in Eglinton’s hall and court-yard, so he enjoyed that freedom for only two months; for the archbishop then sent him another charge, this time to Turriff.

While in Turriff he was daily employed to preach by the minister, Thomas Mitchell, but he found it more difficult to study or preach than in the past. Sometime after, his friends persuaded the archbishop of Glasgow to release him upon condition that he would take back his declinature; and for that purpose he wrote to Dickson to come to Glasgow. He came as requested; but though many wise and gracious people urged him to give in, he could not be persuaded. At last it was granted to him, that if he, or any friend he pleased, would go to the archbishop’s castle, and either remove the paper, or get one of his friend to take it off the hall table, without seeing the archbishop at all, he would be allowed to return to Irvine. However, he considered this idea to be unacceptable, so he decided to return to his confinement. Accordingly, he began his journey, and was hardly a mile out of town, when his soul was filled with such joy and approbation from God, in a way that he had seldom experienced before.

Sometime later, through the continued intercession of Eglinton, and the town of Irvine, with the archbishop, the earl got a license to send for him, and a promise that he should stay until the king challenged him. He therefore returned to his flock without any condition on his part, at the end of July 1623.