Imatges de pÓgina

We conclude these extracts with the account of his last day upon earth.

"On the morning of that day, the captain of the jail waited on him, and entreated him to forbear casting any reflections on his opponents, or even to mention the causes for which he suffered death. "What the Lord gives me to speak,' replied the martyr, 'that I will speak, and say neither more nor less.' The captain next informed him, that he might still preserve his life, provided he would affix his signature to a petition which he laid before him. 'I never read either in Scripture or in history,' rejoined Mr. Renwick, of martyrs petitioning for their lives when called to suffer for the truth, though they might require them not to take away their life, and remonstrate against the wickedness of murdering them; but in the present circumstances, I judge it would be found a receding from truth, and a declining from the testimony for Christ.'

"His mother and sisters, together with one or two friends, were now permitted to see him, with whom he took some small refreshment, and spent the few moments which intervened betwixt and his execution, in exhortation, prayer, and praise. Among other remarks which fell from his lips, he said, when returning thanks after partaking of the refreshment provided for him,- O Lord, thou hast brought me within two hours of eternity, and this is no matter of terror to me more than if I were to lie down on a bed of roses; nay, through grace, to thy praise, I may say, I never bad the fear of death since I came to this prison; but from the place where I was taken, I could have gone very composedly to the scaffold. O, how can I contain this, to be within two hours of the crown of glory! He then exhorted every one of them to prepare for death; 'for it is,' said he, the king of terrors, though not to me now, as it was sometimes in my hidings: But now let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Would ever I have thought that the fear of suffering and of death, could be so taken from me? But what shall I say of it? It is the doings of the Lord, and marvellous in our eyes. I have many times counted the cost of following Christ, but never thought it would be so easy. And now, who knows the honour and happiness of that, 'He that confesseth me before men, him will I confess before my Father.' He several times said, 'Now I am near the end of time, I desire to bless the Lord; it is an inexpressibly sweet and satisfying peace to me, that he hath kept me from in the least complying with enemies.' Perceiving his mother weeping, he gently cautioned her against giving way to undue sorrow, reminding her, that they who loved any thing better than Christ, were declared to be unworthy of him, and adding, "If ye love me, rejoice that I am going to my Father, to obtain the enjoyment of what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived.' He then kneeled down and prayed, mingling praises with all his supplications. In particular he pleaded much in behalf of the suffering remnant, that the Lord would raise up witnesses that might transmit the testimony to succeeding generations; and that Scotland might not be given up for the iniquities of the inhabitants thereof.

"When the drum beat for his execution, in an ecstatic frame of spirit he exclaimed, Let us be glad and rejoice; the bridegroom is coming, and I can in some measure say, I am ready.' He then took leave of his mother and sisters, entreating them not to suffer themselves to be overcome with grief, but rather to praise the Lord for his kindness to so un

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worthy a servant; for ere all be done,' said he, you shall see matter of praise in this day's work.' Having, as was usually done with criminals, been conveyed to the low council-room, his sentence was read to him, and an invitation given him to say there what he intended to utter before he suffered. I have nothing to say to you,' replied the martyr, but that which is written in Jeremiah xxvi. 14, 15. 'As for me, behold I am in your hand, do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you; but know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof.' Finding this stratagem to fail, his persecutors next desired him to pray in the place where he was, assuring him that he would be heard by none when on the scaffold, seeing the drums would be beat during the whole of the time of his execution. With this request also he refused to comply, and told them, that as he had premeditated nothing, he would submit to no restrictions, but whether they allowed him to be heard by the spectators or not, he would speak what was given him at the moment. They then offered him a minister to attend him to the scaffold; but he replied, "If I would have had any of them for my counsellors or comforters, I should not have been here this day. I require none with me but this man,' meaning the friend who stood beside him.

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"Mr. Renwick was now conducted to the scaffold, which he ascended with the greatest cheerfulness. Here he was met by one of the curates, who officiously accosting him, said, Mr. Renwick, own our king, and we shall pray for you.' 'I am come here,' replied the martyr, 'to bear my testimony against you, and all such as you are.' 'Own our king, and pray for him, whatever ye say of us,' returned the curate. 'I will dis

course no more with you,' rejoined Mr. Renwick; I am in a little to appear before Him who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, who shall pour shame, contempt, and confusion on all the kings of the earth who have not ruled for him.'

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"He then sang part of the hundred and third psalm, and read the 19th chapter of Revelation; after which he prayed, commending, like Stephen, his spirit into the hands of his Redeemer, and the cause for which he suffered, to be vindicated, in the time and manner appointed by the Most High. He once and again blessed the Lord, that he had honoured him with the crown of martyrdom, an honour,' he said, which the angels themselves were not privileged to enjoy, being incapable of laying down their lives for their Princely Master.' He at one time complained of being annoyed in worshipping God; but immediately added, 'I shall soon be above these clouds, then shall I enjoy Thee, and glorify Thee, without interruption, for ever.?

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"Notwithstanding the base practice of the beating of drums, of which he had complained when engaged in prayer, he addressed the spectators to the following effect: Spectators, I am come here this day to lay down my life for adhering to the truths of Christ, for which I am neither afraid nor ashamed to suffer; nay, I bless the Lord that ever he counted me worthy, or enabled me to suffer any thing for him; and I desire to praise his grace that he hath not only kept me free from the gross pollutions of the time, but also from many ordinary pollutions of children; and such as I have been stained with, he hath washed me from in his own blood. I am this day to lay down my life for these three things: 1st. For disowning the usurpation and tyranny of James, Duke of York. 2d. For preaching that it was unlawful to pay the cess expressly exacted for

bearing down the gospel. 3d. For teaching that it was lawful for people to carry arms for defending themselves in their meeting for the persecuted gospel ordinances. I think a testimony for these is worth many lives; and if I had ten thousand, I would think it little enough to lay them all down for the same. Dear friends, I die a presbyterian protestant. I own the word of God as the rule of faith and manners. I own the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Sum of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Public and Family Worship, Covenants National and Solemn League, Acts of General Assemblies, and all the faithful contendings that have been for the work of the covenanted reformation. I leave my testimony, approving the preaching of the Gospel in the fields, and defending of the same by arms. I adjoin my testimony to all those truths that have been sealed by blood, shed either on scaffolds, fields, or seas, for the cause of Christ. I leave my testimony against popery, prelacy, erastianism, &c. against all profanity, and every thing contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness; particularly against all usurpations and encroachments made on Christ's right, who is the 'Prince of the kings of the earth,' who alone must bear the glory of ruling in his own kingdom, the church; and in particular against the absolute power usurped by this usurper, that belongs to no mortal, but is the incommunicable prerogative of Jehovah; and against this toleration flowing from that absolute power.'

"Here Mr. Renwick was ordered to be done; to which he replied, 'I am almost finished,' and then added, 'Ye that are the people of God, do not weary to maintain the testimony of the day in your stations and places; and, whatever ye do, make sure an interest in Christ; for there is a storm coming that shall try your foundation. Scotland must be rid of Scotland before the delivery come; and you that are strangers to God, break off your sins by repentance; else I will be a sad witness against you in the day of the Lord.'

"His persecutors now peremptorilycommanded him to go up the ladder. Here he prayed amidst great interruption, saying, 'Lord, I die in the faith that thou wilt 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 our land.' He then said to his attending friend at the time the napkin was tying over his face, Farewell! be diligent in duty; make your peace with God through Christ; there is a great trial coming. As for the remnant I leave, I have committed them to God. Tell them from me not to weary, nor be discouraged in maintaining the testimony; let them not quit nor forego one of those despised truths. Keep your ground, and the Lord will provide you teachers and ministers; and when he comes he will make these despised truths glorious in the earth.' He was then turned over the ladder with these words in his mouth, Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, Lord God of truth.' "He was but

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Thus died the amiable and pious Renwick. twenty-six years of age when he fell a victim to popish, prelatic, and tyrannical cruelty, and was the last who publicly sealed with his blood in Scotland that testimony, for adhering to which, so many of his brethren had suffered death during the preceding twenty-seven years."

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IN my peregrinations through Ulster, I have repeatedly noticed the altar of Bacchus set up close over against the altar of God,-in other words, a dram-shop near the meeting-house gate. On inquiry, I have also sometimes found, that the rent of the public-house goes into the stock-purse of the congregation. Bad as it is for ministers and sessions not to use every endeavour to have the nuisance abated, where they have no direct control over it; nothing less can be said than that it is a congregational sin, where the revenue of Sabbath profanation, not merely tolerated, but sanctioned by a community, goes in appearance to the support, but in reality to the destruction of religion. Perhaps a holy indignation may have burned in the breast of many of your readers, when they heard for the first time, that the East India Company derive an income from the temple of Juggernaut, the Moloch of India,-but how much worse is the abomination to which I allude! The one is a tax on idolatry for civil purposes; the other, the wages of iniquity appropriated to the service of the living God. Lax as the ideas of the Jews were, at the time of our Saviour's ministry, in their turning the court of the Gentiles into a common market-place for such things as were needed in the service of the temple, they had not descended so far into the depths of wickedness as to make it a place of revelry and debauchery. They had also such a regard to the spirit of the law, "Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord thy God, for any vow," Deut. xxiii. 18, that the chief priests refused to put back again into the treasury the thirty pieces of

silver with which they had bribed Judas to betray his Master. If farther proof be wanted on this subject, the Jewish historian, Josephus, affords it: "He (Moses) also forbade them (the priests) to marry a slave or a captive, and such as got their living by cheating trades, and by keeping inns," Antiq. b. iii. chap. xii. sect. 2. But congregations deriving part of their funds from the profits of the sale of whiskey, &c. appear to be very little scrupulous whether the money has been taken from persons in helping them forward to the commission of suicide, fornication, profanation of the Sabbath, or what else.

It may, perhaps, be pleaded, that the money thus received does not go to the support of the minister, or to the procuring of the communion elements, but merely to the repairs of the house. In reply, the example of Jehoash, in this respect, may be recommended, though this king did indeed do wickedly in the end of his reign: "And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord, let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance, and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.”—2 Kings xii. 4, 5. Though a plan somewhat different was afterwards adopted, yet it was not one which would sanction the practice under consideration. Even the history of our own country affords us a useful lesson in the matter. Had there been no other reason, would not the gross wickedness of the monasteries have been sufficient to warrant their suppression and the confiscation of their revenues in the reign of Henry VIII?

To all congregations having any doubts whether their funds be derived from illicit sources, I would recommend the study of Deut. xxix. 14, 15, 18, 20: "Neither with you only do I make this covenant, and this oath ; but with him that standeth here with us this day; lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; and it come to pass when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart to add drunkenness to thirst; the Lord will not spare him; but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy

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