Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

entertained of him. How far the following attempt to place his character in its proper light has been successful, the reader is left to judge.

In this biographical sketch, the people of the moorlands, in the south and west of Scotland, may probably feel some interest. It was among their ancestors that Mr Renwick mainly sojourned. His memory is warmly cherished by them to this day; and they still retain many of the anecdotes respecting him, with as much vividness of impression, and correctness of detail, as if the incidents had occurred but yesterday. A considerable number of these traditionary notices, for the first time published, are interspersed throughout the work, and inserted as nearly in the order of the events as can be conjectured.

This little volume is given to the world, with the sincere desire that it may profit the reader, and in the expectation that those who peruse it will be led to examine more particularly the history of that eventful period to which it refers, and to investigate more fully the great principles on which our illustrious ancestors took their stand, and in the defence of which they suffered unto the death.

LIFE

OF THE

REV. JAMES RENWICK,

CHAPTER I.

Mr Renwick's Birth-place and Parentage.-His Early Piety.-

His Attendance at the University.-His Connection with the Societies.---Lanark Declaration.—Ordained in Holland.

Minihive is a pleasant village in the parish of Glencairn, in the county of Dumfries. It lies in the bosom of one of the most delightful valleys in the south of Scotland, and is surrounded with scenery sweetly picturesque. The locality, in the midst of which the sequestered village stands, has been hallowed by the blood of the “ martyrs of Jesus,” which, in the heavy times of persecuting violence, was made to flow so profusely on the mountains and mosses of Scotland. The month of May, 1685, witnessed a tragic scene enacted at the bridge end of Minihive, when William Smith, a youth of only eighteen years of age, was cruelly shot by the command of Lowrie of Maxwelton and Douglas of Stenhouse, for his attachment to the covenanting cause.

He died

A

with much heavenly composure, and in the full assurance of faith, and striving to console his afflicted parents, who were called to witness the death of their dear boy, and to bow submissively before God's terrible things. In the churchyard of this parish there rest the ashes of four honoured witnesses for the cause of Christ, who, being found in a cave at Ingliston in the neighbourhood, were instantly shot by the barbarous persecutors. One of them, when weltering in his blood, exclaimed, “ Though every hair of my head were a man, I am willing to die all these deaths for Christ and his cause. Rest ye

blessed bodies of the martyrs—rest in your blood-stained winding-sheet, till that blast, which shall issue with such startling energy from the mouth of the last trumpet as to be heard by all the dead, shall break your slumbers in the tomb, and call you to inherit the martyr's crown!

The notice of these incidents has been suggested by the mention of the name of Minihive, in whose immediate vicinity was born the illustrious JAMES RENWICK, the last of the Scottish martyrs. The name of this rural village cannot be dissociated from the memory of this pious and devoted youth, the narrative of whose short and eventful life it is our intention, in the sequel, to present to the reader.

There stood, on the ancient farm of Knees, in the parish of Glencairn, and near to Minihive, a lowly cottage, occupied by two rare Christian

persons, Andrew Renwick and his wife Elizabeth Corsan. Andrew followed the occupation of a weaver, and in his humble line he walked with God, a thankful dependent both on his providence and grace. Elizabeth was, in the full sense of the

« AnteriorContinuar »