George Gillespie was son of John Gillespie, minister at Kirkaldy. He was born in 1613. In 1629, he was sent to the University of St. Andrews to prosecute his studies. When he had completed his academic career, and was ready to enter into the office of the ministry, his progress was obstructed by a difficulty which, for a time, proved insurmountable. Being convinced that the prelatic system of church government was one of human invention, and not of Divine institution, he refused to submit to ordination from a bishop. Eventually, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Kirkaldy, on April 26, 1638, by Robert Douglas. He was the first admitted by a presbytery, at that time, without regard to the authority of the bishops. His learning was such that he was chosen to be one of the Scottish commissioners at the Assembly meeting at Westminster, though he was several years younger than the next youngest member seated at that venerable Assembly. He was a vigorous debater and polemicist who contributed several important studies, particularly in the realm of church polity. On December 17, 1648, he died, leaving behind a death bed testimony against voluntary associations with malignants.
1638-George Gillespie.-This short work, published anonymously but attributed to Gillespie, examines the follies, fallacies and tendencies of liturgies in the worship of God.
1641-George Gillespie.-This is Gillespie's masterful treatment of Presbyterianism in its several offices, courts and connections.
1644-George Gillespie.-A tract concerning the extent and application of the laws of the Bible in the civil affairs of nations with a discussion of how this comports with liberty of conscience.
1647-George Gillespie.-This contains a series of propositions outlining Presbyterial church government and its courts and functions, particularly as understood in its difference from civil power.
1648-George Gillespie.-Gillespie's dying testimony and belief that the covenanted cause will ultimately prevail.
1648-George Gillespie.-Two days before he died, Gillespie was concerned to leave a dying testimony against voluntary associations with malignants and other opposers of the covenanted Reformation.
1648-Geoge Gillespie.-Gillespie's dying testimony warning the Church of Scotland against compliance with and engagement to malignants and others hostile to the covenants. From his death bed, he warned about the very measures that would split the church into Protestors and Resolutioners. Gillespie was decidedly on the side of the Protestors.
1649-George Gillespie.-A volume which gathers many of Gillespie's smaller works on various topics of church government, sacraments, confederacies and the nature and extent of the atonement.