Born in the Isle of Mull, Scotland, June 12, 1774. His father was a distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland. He came to America, by way of Liverpool, England, in the spring of 1792. Soon after his arrival in New York, he moved up the Hudson to Albany, then to Schenectady, New York. At the establishment of Union College, he became a student and graduated with honour in 1798. He joined the Covenanter Church in Princetown, New York, under the eminent James McKinney. He studied theology under his direction, and was licensed by the Reformed Presbytery, at Coldenham, New York, June 24, 1799. In the fall of 1800, he was called to the pastorate of Coldenham and New York, but he declined because there were slave-holders among those who signed the call. The matter was brought before Presbytery, which court enacted, without a dissenting voice, that "no slave-holder should be allowed the communion of the Church." During 1830, he travelled to Europe for his health, and returned much improved. Whilst absent, he was elected Professor of Theology, which position he occupied until his death. He died at his New York residence, February 17, 1833.