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hind ? "houghe been, hand death wie next."
to suffer for." The Bishop took his leave, declaring his forrow, that he should be so tenacious of his principles : And ihe night before Mr. Renwick suffered, the bishop sent to him again, de, claring his readiness toʻserve him to the utmost of his power.
Dalrymple, the king's advocate, paid him a visit, and declared that he was sorry for his death, and that it should happen in his time. Yet notwithstanding this, he was kept so close a prisoner that he could get nothing wrote; he had only just begun to write his testimony and this was taken from him, and he was deprived of pen, ink, and paper. A friend asked him, how he was? He answered, “I am very well; but I shall be better within three days." And then said to his mother, " The last execution I was a witness of, was Robert Grays, and I had then a strong impression upon my mind, that I should be the next. I now see a necessity för my suffering, for my death will be of greater use, than my life would have been, had I lived many years.” One asked hiin what he thought God would do with the remnant that he left be. hind ? Mr. Renwick answered, “ It shall be well with them, for God will not forsake bis inheritance.” * On the day of his execution, the chief jailor begged, that at the place of execution,' he would say nothing about the cause of his death, and that he would forbear all reflections. Mr. Renwick answered, “What God shall give me to speak, that I will speak, and nothing less.” The jailor said, “ You may still have your life, if you will only sign this petition." He answered, “I never read in the scripture or in history, that the martyrs petitioned for their lives, when they were called to suffer for the truth, tho
some of them remonstrated agafnst their lives being taken away ; .but I judge, that in my circumstances, to sign that petition, would
be to recede from the truth, and to decline from the testimony of Chrift."
His mother and sisters, having obtained leave to see him, after
taking a little refreshment, he returned thanks, and said, “O 9, Lord, thou bast now brought me within two hours of eternity,
and this is no matter of terror to me, any more than if I was to lie down on a bed of roses : Nay, thro' grace, I can say, to thy
praise, I never had any fear of death since I came to this prison ; • but from the place where I was first taken, I could have gone very
comfortably to the scaffold. O how can I contain the thoughts of this, to be within two hours of the crown of glory!" He exhorted them much to prepare for death, “ For it is (faid he,) the king of terrors, though now it is not so to me: Let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and the bride has made herself ready. Could I ever have thought that the fear of suffering and of death would have been so taken from me! But it is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in 'my eyes! I have many times counted the cost of following Christ, but never thought it would be so easy; and who can tell ihe honour and happiness of that word, “ He that confelleth me before men, him will I confefs before my Father ?” I am now near the end of
'time, and I desire to bless the Lord, it affords me unspeakable peace, that he has kept me from complying with his enemies in any degree.” Perceiving his mother weep, he said, “ Remember, he who loves any thing better than Christ, is not worthy of him. If you love me, rejoice that I am going to my Father, to obtain the enjoyment of what eye haih not seen nor ear heard." Then he went to prayer, and pleaded much in behalf of the suffering remnanı; declaring with great confidence, that he was strength. ened to hope, that the Lord would yet be gracious to Scotland.
Upon hearing ihe drums beat for the guarüs to attend, he said in a transport of joy, “Yonder is the welcome warning to my marriage; the bridegroom is coming, and I am ready ; yes, Tam ready." Then taking leave of his mother and filters, be intreated them not to be discouraged on his accouni ; adding, “ Before all is done, you shall see matter for praise in this day's work." * Being taken to the council-house, where his sentence was read,
they desired him to speak what he had to say there. He answered, ** I have nothing to say to you, but this one word, Jer.. xxvi. 14, 15.“ As for me, behola I am in your hand : do with me as seemeih good and meet unto you: But know ye for certain, that if you put r e to death, ye will surely bring innocent blood upon your. felves." He was told that the drums would beat at the scaffold all the time, and therefore they advised him to pray there : he replied, “I will not be limited in what I shall say; I have premeditated noihing; but I will speak what the Lord fhall give me.” They offered him any 'minister to go along with him ; But he answered, “If I would have taken any of them for my counsellors or comforters, 1 should not have been here this day. I desire none with me but this one man;" meaning a friend that was waiting upon him.
He went to the scaffold with great chearfulness, as one in a transport of triumphant joy. There being an innumerable mul. titude of spectators, and the drums continually beating, but little could be heard. Mr. Renwick sung ihe 1ozd Pralm, and read Rev. xix. ihen he prayed,' reconnnending his soul to God thro' the Redeemer, and his cause to be vindicated as the Lord should see good. Among other things he said, “This is the most joyful day I have ever seen in this world; a day that I have longed for very much : I praise the Lord, that he has honoured me with the crown of martyrdom ; an honour which the angels are not privileged with.” He complained of being disturbed in the worship of God, but said, " I shall soon be above these clouds ; Theo I shall enjoy my God without interruption or intermission, for ever.” Prayer being ended, he said, " Spectators, I am come here this day to suffer for the truths of Chrift; truths for which I am neither afraid nor alhamed to fulfer: I bless the Lord, that he ever accounted me worthy, or enabled me to suffer any thing for him: and I desire to praise the riches of his grace, that he
Plained which honoured longer
hath not only kept me from the gross pollutions of the times, but also froń the many ordinary pollutions of children ; and as for such as I have been stained with, he hath washed and cleansed me from them in his own precious blood. I die a Protestant, and I leave my testimony in favour of preaching in the fields, and of all those truth's which have been sealed by the blood fhed upon the scaffolds in this land ; against all profaneness, and every thing contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness ; particularly against all encroachments made upon the kingdom of Christ, the Prince of all the kings upon earth, who must have the glory of ruling in his own house the Church.” . “ You who are the people of God, do not be weary of maintaining the testimony of the day, in your several tations and places; and whatever you do, make sure of an interest in Chrift; for there is a storm coming that will try your foundation. And you who are strangers to God, break off your fins by repentance, elle I shall be a sad witness against you in the day of the Lord.” . !
Here they obliged him to desist, and to go up the ladder, where he prayed and said, “ Lord, I 'die in the faith that thou will not leave Scotland; but that thou wilt make the blood of thy witnesses the seed of thy Church, and return again and be glorious in this land. And now Lord, I am ready ; the bride, the Lamb's wife, hath made herself ready.” The napkin being tied about his face, he said to his friend who attended him, “ Farewell ; be di. ligent in duty, make your peace with God through Christ. There is a great trial'coming. As to the remnant which I leave I have committed them to God. Tell them from me, not to be weary nor discouraged, the Lord will provide them minifters, and make those despised truths glorious in the end." He was then turned over with these his laft words, “ Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit ; for thou haft redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth !".
Thus died the faithful, pious, and zealous JAMES RENWICK, when he had just entered upon his 27th year;' a young man, and a young minister, but a ripe christian, and a renowned martyr of Chrift, for whose fake he loved not his life unto death, by whose blood and, the word of his testimony he overcame; and, to the conviction of many who had formerly despised him, was signally vindicated; being so wonderfully supported, and favoured with the presence of God in the trying hour. Such a treasure of patience, meekness, humility, constancy, fervent love, and courage. ous zeal, the Lord had given this youth, as confounded his enemies, comforted his friends, and very much astonished all..
Mr. Renwick was low of ftature, óf a fair complexion, and of a ruddy and beautiful countenance. Most men fpoke well of him after he was dead : even those who condemned him to death, as well as others, faid, that they believed he was gone to heaven. Lord Talbot, one of his Judges, declared, “Mr. Renwick was
Vol. XIX, October 1796. :: : one!
one of the firmest maintainers of his principles that ever came before us. Others we prevailed upon one time or another, to waver, but him we never could move. Where we left him, there we found him. We never could make him yield or vary in the Jeast. He was of all men we have seen, determined to abide by the old way of church government; had he lived in Knox's days, he would not have died by any laws then existing." Mr. Ren: wick was the last, that on a scaffold, sealed his testimony for re. ligion, liberty, and the work of reformation in Scotland.
When we consider the foregoing account, we can hardly for. bear saying, that it is pity but such a pious and zealous youth had lived in better days, in which he might have exercised all bis talents for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. But the ways of God are mysterious to us; we cannot fully compre. hend them. But we know in whose hands are the residue of the Spirit, and that he can raise up and duly qualify what number of minifters he shall see good ; therefore it concerns us to pray, that the Lord of the harvest, will graciously con. descend to send forth more faithful labourers into his harveit.
ood; and dulye the remote
A SERMON ON MERCY.
[ Concluded from page 429. ] 11. T ET us now examine, in the second place, the Produ£tions
L and Effects of this Mercy. Jesus Christ points out two in our text; which are, 1. To do noevil to our neighbour, Judge not, and ye hall not be judged: Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, &c. 2. To do good to our neighbour. Give, and it Shall be given unto you: Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. The evil which mercy fhuns, is judging and condemning. By a secret and criminal inclination of nature, corrupted man endeavours always to elevate himself above others, and by consequence, seeks for opportunities to depress them. In order to this, he magnifies the faults and imperfections of others, and extenuates the good qualities which may be found in them. His jealous and envious heart wishes that there may be no good quality but in himself, and that others may have none but evil ones, to the end that he alone may be efteemed, and that all others may be abafed, Such is the condition of every unconverted man; and it is from this criminal disposition, that evil surmises, rash judgments, precipitate decisions, and all the other unjust procedures against our neighbour flow.
This malignity of the corrupted heart, sheds iis baneful in. fluence over the best things. There is nothing, however innocent or holy, which a proud unmerciful man does not give himself liberty to condemn. But to whom does our Lord say in the text, judge not, condemn not? 'It is to his disciples, to those who
a man fton in whom they in the judgmename w
This deceman will not be soon as he preluise of it to
had already received a certain measure of the gifts of his Spirit. He well knew that his difciples were as yet, liable to be deceived by good appearances, and to make many false steps, under cover of an indiscreet zeal. Satan, who is always harrassing the fola lowers of God, never fails to profit by the weaknesses of nature, in order to turn the upright from the Truth. The hatred which a man should always feel to sin, Satan endeavours to turn against the person in whom the sin is found. He tempts men to mingle their own judgments wi:h the judgment of God, and to unite their own strange fire, with the sacred flame which is taken from the Altar of the Lord.
This deceit is the more dangerous, because it works impera ceptibly; a man will not be upon his guard against that which he believes to be good, and as soon as he presumes to have the Word of God on his side, he may easily make use of it to justify his passion, to satisfy the secret hatred which he bears to his neigh
bour, and to give elasticity to his pride. In consequence of this, - his neighbour is judged and condemned under the appearance of
truth, justice, and żeal for the glory of God. This is one of the remains of the poison of the old serpent, which should neither be suffered in, nor spared by those who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus, and who profess to have God for their Father. To such, it is necessary to say, with our Lord, “ Judge not, that ye be not judged :" They also should hear that cutting reproach which God gives to the hypocrites among his people, Pfalm l. 19, &c. “ Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit; Thou sitteft, and speakest againft thy brother, and slana derest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I. kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine
: Immortal Souls! who desire to escape the judgment of con. demnation, beseech him, who is the Judge of quick and dead, that he would put a bridle in your jaws, and a curb on the danger. ous inclination you have to judge your neighbour; left you bě in the great Day confounded before his Throne ! Permit the voice of Divine Wisdoni to reprove you, “ Judge not, that ye be not judg. ed."' Be teachable to the instructions of that Eternal Wisdom, which calls you back from your wanderings, thro' the sincere desire of rescuing you from perdition. When, in judging your neighbour, or in talking of him to his disadvantage, you hear a secret voice, which reproves you, and disturbs you, praise God, who does not leave you without a Witness in your conscience ; profit by these corrections, and permit this strange fire to be quenched, which so readily mingles itself with the ardour of your
zeal. May God judge, correct, and amend us here, that we · may not perish with those who prejudge his Judgmenis! · Let us now see what is implied in judging, and condemning, to the end, that we may avoid all false and precipitate judgment on the one hand ; and on the other, that we may not take that fot 3 T &