|The original title of Mr. Willison’s Testimony is transcribed below following this preface in its entirety. The title states that
the Testimony is a “Fair and Impartial Testimony.” As such, Mr. Willison presents an account of the events that took
place in the history of the Church of Scotland. Not only does he write of the events that took place between the men
involved, he also inserts proclamations of praise to God and alludes to the Lord’s providential care over His Church. Mr.
Willison demonstrates a highly practical understanding of God’s providence as he demonstrates the infallibility of God’s
word in connection with history. He applies the eternal truths of the Holy Writ to the events that
took place in a most appropriate manner. Also, as Mr. Willison recounts the sins of the Church, he not only exposes those who promoted
error, but also demonstrates that those who stood for truth had a tendency to sin in a way peculiar to individuals who
strive to maintain purity in doctrine. The reader may note that the parallels between the Church of Scotland then and the
Reformed and Presbyterian Churches of today seem strikingly similar. There is nothing new under the sun.
Here is the first paragraph of the book...
ACCORDING to ancient historians, our gracious God was pleased to visit Scotland very early with his glorious gospel, by means of
some preachers and other Christians, who were forced to flee to Scotland to be out of the reach of Roman cruelty under the second
persecution raised by the emperor Domitian about the year of our Lord 95, which was before the death of the apostle John; where they
propagated the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which at length conquered Pagan darkness and idolatry so far, that in the beginning of the third
century, about the year 203, king Donald I, did publicly, profess the faith of Jesus Christ; and he himself, his queen, his family, and diverse
of' the nobles, were solemly baptized. After which, the king used his best endeavours to root out idolatry and heathenish superstition from
his dominions, and to settle a gospel ministry in every corner thereof. But, this
religious king being much hindered in his good designs by his continual wars with the Romans under the emperor Severus, this blessed
work was afterwards greatly neglected by following princes until the reign of king Crathilinth, who about the year 277 set about the
glorious work of advancing Christianity after the example of king Donald the first Christian king, but was greatly hindered by the
heathenish priests named Druids, called so (as some think) because of their sacrificing groves
under oaks. These idolatrous priests had got great interest and credit among the people, by reason of their
sense?pleasing worship, and of their having drawn into their hands the determining of civil affairs; wherefore the people reckoned them so necessary, that they knew not how to live without them. But the Lord
in mercy seconded the intentions of the good king, by sending several worthy men, both ministers and private Christians, from the south
parts of Britain, and other parts of the Roman empire, who were obliged to flee in the time of the ninth persecution under Aurelius, and of
the tenth under Dioclesian, from the terrible slaughter then made among the Christians. And these retiring to Scotland for refuge, as others
had done long before them, were very helpful in turning the people from idolatry.
You can read the rest of the
book at http://www.ccel.org/w/willison/testimony/testimony.htm