Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last Covenanter Executed

"But I remembered," said Jeanie, "my worthy fathers tales of a winter evening, how he was confined with the blessed martyr, Mr. James Renwick, who lifted up the fallen standard of the true reformed Kirk of Scotland, after the worthy and renowned Daniel Cameron, our last blessed banner-man, had fallen among the swords of the wicked at Airsmoss, and how the very hearts of the wicked malefactors and murderers, whom they were confined withal, were melted like wax at the sound of their doctrine: and I bethought mysell, that the same help that was wi' them in their strait, wad be wi' me in mine, an I could but watch the Lord's time and opportunity for delivering my feet from their snare; and I minded the Scripture of the blessed Psalmist, whilk he insisteth on, as weel in the forty-second as in the forty-third psalm—'Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.'"

The text above is from Scott's "The Heart of Midlothian".  In it, James Renwick is referenced.  Renwick was hanged to death on February 17, 1688, the last Covenanter to officially be executed.

Renwick had studied religion at the University of Edinburgh about 1675.  While there he became a follower of Richard Cameron.  He was ultimately ordained in Holland.  Returning to Scotland, he roamed the country, preaching anti-English, Cameronian sermons, and ultimately became a wanted man.

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