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George Gillespie (1613-1648)

Database

George Gillespie (1613-1648)

James Dodson

Biographical Sketch

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.

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