Nisbet at Renwick’s Field Preaching in the last half of 1686 #History #Scotland

Cargill Preaching in the Fields

In the late summer or autumn of 1686, James Nisbet, a fugitive from near Newmilns, heard James Renwick field preach. He had heard Renwick before in July, 1685.

‘The last half of this year [1686 …] I had occasion to hear Mr. Renwick from these words, Hab. ii, 3, “ For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but, at the end, it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry.”

Which words he explained, improved, and applied, vindicating the sovereignty of God, notwithstanding of his long delay to come with deliverance to his church and people. Likewise he pressed the great necessity of faith, patience, and humility, under the Lord’s delay; and, towards the close of his sermon, he, with a great asseveration, assured us, that, for these sins, whereby the Lord was provoked to withhold deliverance from his church and people, Scotland should be laid as desolate as a barren mountain; adding this caution to all who are helped, through grace, to follow Christ in the regeneration, to take this for their comfort, that as that stroke, when it came, should be the deepest Jordan that ever his people waded in, so it should be the narrowest. Upon which, he exhorted all to make sure of a personal interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to walk closely with him in newness of life; for that trial, when it came, would be both sore and heavy; but on the back of that sad cloud there should be as glorious days in Scotland again, as ever was any where since the Apostles days, at which time the nation should be married to the Lord covenant-wise. The place of this meeting might be called Bohem, for both minister and people wept much.’ (Nisbet, Private Life of the Persecuted, 165-6.)

At some point, Renwick preached on the same text, Habakkuk, 2.3-4, and a similar topic. (A Choice Collection, 320-32.)

Nisbet places Renwick’s field preaching somewhere in the latter half of 1686.

In the first half of that year, he is known to have field preached about once a month: In Stonehouse parish (17 January), Lesmahagow parish (March), Cumnock parish (April), probably somewhere in Galloway, Nithsdale and Annandale prior to 3 May, and in Muirkirk parish (May). (Houston, Letters, 191, 192-3.)

In the latter half of 1686, he appears to follow a similar pattern until the last two months of the year, when held 13 meetings in a short period in the South West.

Following his preaching in the Lammermuirs on 18 July, Renwick briefly went to England, before he preached at Polgavin Muir in Dumfriesshire on 15 August. The latter was not the preaching that Nisbet attended, as Renwick preached on a different text.

At some point after mid August, Renwick was back in the area where Nisbet is known to have hidden in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and the very north of Nithsdale. In the late summer he preached in Cambuslang parish, Lanarkshire, and on 31 October in Dreghorn parish, Ayrshire.

Soon after that, he was again in the South West, where he held 13 meetings, probably two every week, preaching at Kirkmabreck (21 November), between the rivers Dee and Cree (25 November), Earlstoun Wood (5 December), Irongray parish (mid December) before returning north to preach at a fast day at Cairn Table in Ayrshire (28 December). The latter was also not on the text mentioned by Nisbet. See A Choice Collection, 233-70.

The above suggests that the preaching that Nisbet attended was probably held between late August and the beginning of November, 1686.

For more on the life of James Nisbet, see here.

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Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

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~ by drmarkjardine on October 8, 2016.

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