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And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken' (Isa. viii. 11-15), as is expressed ver. 9, 10 of the same chapter. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: my son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood' (Prov. i. 10-16). Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel' (Isa. v. 20, 21, 23, 24). He that justifieth the
even they both are
wicked, and He that condemneth the just, abomination to the Lord' (Prov. xvii. 15). They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly (Amos v. 10). For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor' (Gal. ii. 18). But unto the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest 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 eyes' (Ps. 1. 16-21). The prophecy of Obadiah throughout, the first and last chapter of Isaiah to the end, with many more.
"Now it is my last request and soul's desire that all who have made Moses' choice to suffer affliction with the people of God,
rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and are true lovers of Zion's righteous cause; that you set much time apart, and mourn and afflict your souls, for your original sin, heart plagues, sins of persons and families, sins of kings and kingdoms; and for all the dreadful apostacies, hateful compliances, and sinful sidings of ministers and people with the enemies of God and godliness, and mourn that there is not more faithfulness and zeal for the cause of God amongst His people: read Ps. 1., Ezra ix., Neh. ix., Jer. ix., Lam. iii. and Ezek. ix. to the end.
"My dear friends, forbear your contentions and censuring one of another; sympathise with and love one another, for this is His commandment; keep up your sweet fellowship meetings, and desirable general meetings, with which my soul has been often refreshed; and what is agitated in them, for carrying on of a testimony for truth, and against defections, let it be managed with Scripture light for direction, and with zeal temperate with knowledge, and with the spirit of meekness accompanied with patience and humility. Be always ready to give a reason of your faith, and be much denied to the world, to yourselves, and to your natural life; and when God in His providence calls you to lay it down for Him, do it cheerfully, and embrace the cross of our sweet Lord Jesus with open arms: for He will not send any a warfare on their own charges; take for your rule and encouragement these Scriptures, with others, that I leave to your own search: 'Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another' (Gal. v. 19-26). Be not deceived; God is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do
good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith' (Gal. vi. 7-10). Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not' (Mal. iii. 16-18). 'Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves' (Isa. iii. 10, 11, 9). To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them' (Isa. viii. 20). But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall' (Mal. iv. 2). 'And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him' (Isa. viii. 17). Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel ; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake' (Phil. i. 27-29). And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples and nations, and tongues, and kings' (Rev. x. 11); and Heb. x. 21-39. 'Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled' (Heb. xii. 11-15).
'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile for they are without fault before the throne of God' (Rev. xiv. 1-5). 'Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3). Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God' (Eph. vi. 10-17).
"And scar not [i.e., be not frightened] at His sweet, lovely and desirable cross; for although I have not been able because of my wounds (that I received at my taking) to lift up or lay down my head, but as I was helped, yet I was never in better case all my life; He has not given me one challenge since I came to prison, for any thing less or more; but on the contrary, He has so wonderfully shined on me with the sense of His redeeming, strengthening, assisting, supporting, through-bearing, pardoning, and reconciling love, grace and mercy, that my soul doth long to be freed of bodily infirmities and earthly organs, that so I may flee to His royal palace, even the
heavenly habitation of my God, where I am sure of a crown put on my head, and a palm put in my hand, and a new song put in my mouth, even the song of Moses and the Lamb, that so I may bless, praise, magnify and extol Him, for what He hath done to me and for me.
"Wherefore, I bid farewell to all my dear fellow-sufferers for the testimony of Jesus, who are wandering in dens and caves. Farewell my children, study holiness in all your ways, and praise the Lord for what He hath done for me, and tell all my Christian friends to praise Him on my account. Farewell sweet Bible, and wanderings and contendings for truth. Welcome death. Welcome the city of my God, where I shall see Him, and be enabled to serve Him eternally with full freedom. Welcome blessed company, the angels and spirits of just men made perfect. But above all, welcome, welcome, welcome, our glorious and alone God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, into thy hands I commit my spirit, for thou art worthy. Amen.
AMES RENWICK was born February 15, 1662, at Moniaive, in the parish of Glencairn, Dumfriesshire.
His father, Andrew Renwick, was a weaver, and in profession and practice a fervent and faithful Christian, which was enough, says Alexander Shields in his Life of Renwick, to nobilitate the birth of his worthy son, who had what honour was wanting in his first birth made up in the second. He died as he lived, in the Lord, February 1st, 1676, the same day twelve years after that his son was taken to die for the Lord.
His mother, Elizabeth Corsan, was of like piety with her husband. She had several children, but all died previous to the birth of James. Their loss filled her with grief. Her husband tried to comfort her by declaring that he was well satisfied if his children, die when they