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Database

Chapter XV.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912)-In this chapter, Goodspeed discusses both the general errors and evils of the Pre-millennial as well as the ultra literalism of some Pre-millennialists and the added dangerous tendencies of this hermeneutical approach to Scripture.

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Alexander Blaikie (1804-1885)

James Dodson

Alexander Blaikie was born October 4, 1804, in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was educated at the Pictou Academy and studied theology in the United Presbyterian Seminary of Nova Scotia. He was licensed by the Pictou Presbytery, in 1830, and ordained, in 1831. He became a missionary minister under the care of the Associate Reformed Church, pastoring in York, New York, from 1836 to 1845. In 1846, he established an Associate Reformed congregation, in Boston, Massachusetts and became their pastor, in 1847. He resigned, due to health problems, in 1880. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 31, 1885. He wrote several books, including the Philosophy of Sectarianism (1854) and a History of Presbyterianism in New England (1881).

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Donald C. McLaren (1794-1882)

James Dodson

Donald Campbell McLaren was born in New York City, October 2, 1794. Graduating from Union College, Schenectady, New York, he studied theology under Dr. John M. Mason. In 1813, he was licensed to preach by the Saratoga Presbytery, of the Associate Reformed Synod of New York. In April, 1819, he was ordained the pastor of the Associate Reformed congregation, in Cambridge, New York. During his long career, he served as the moderator of the General Synod of the A.R. church, in 1858; and, again, as moderator of the Synod of New York, in 1864. He was an able debater in matters that came before the courts of the church. He published several shorter works together with a metrical version of the Psalms. This work, on the subject of Psalm singing, is his most enduring work. He retired to Geneva, New York, where he died, May 7, 1882.

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William Gouge (1575-1653)

James Dodson

William Gouge was born in 1575, in Stratford-le-Bow, Middlesex, England. Educated at Eton College, he went on to study at King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated, in 1598, with a B.A. and soon after, in 1601, with an M.A. In 1608, he removed to London where he assumed the office of minister over the congregation of St. Ann Blackfriars, a position he held for 45 years. His ministry at St. Ann contributed to that parish being a stronghold of Puritanism. In 1643, although 68 years old, he was invited to sit in the venerable Assembly of divines, at Westminster. There, he was an active member contributing to the composition of the Westminster Confession. In 1647, he was appointed the prolocutor of the Provincial Assembly of London. He was a prolific writer, authoring a massive work on marriage, Domestical Duties (1622); a manual on prayer using the Lord’s prayer, A Guide to Goe to God (1626); and a large commentary on Hebrews, published posthumously, in 1655. He died in 1653.

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A Narrative of Recent Occurrences

James Dodson

1834-Robert Gibson.-In this narrative, Gibson sets forth the course of events which led to the Old Light/New Light split. While demonstrating the duplicity of the New Light party, Gibson has reason to emphasize the need for historical testimony in maintaining the church’s witness faithfully.

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The Post-Millennial Advent:

James Dodson

1900-Alexander Hardie (1841-1936).-This remarkable primer, by a Methodist minister, was praised by B.B. Warfield as being a “vest-pocket” defense of Postmillennialism. It is concise and notable for its exposition of Jesus’ “little” apocalypse.

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The Millennium.

James Dodson

1812-John B. Romeyn (1777-1825).-In this sermon, preached before a missionary society formed to take the Gospel to the American “Indian” population, Romeyn sets forth the doctrine Postmillennialism with great ability. His discourse forms a cogent argument for understanding the Millennium to be a time of great spiritual prosperity prior to the Second coming of Christ.

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Gavin Rowatt (1802-1832)

James Dodson

Gavin Rowatt was the eldest son of Thomas Rowatt, the Reformed Presbyterian minister at Penpont. He was born in the manse in 1802. He studied at Glasgow University and graduated, in 1821, with an M.A. Afterward, he pursued theological studies at the Theological Hall, at Paisley, from 1821 through 1824. On April 27, 1825, Rowatt was licensed by the Southern Presbytery and, the following spring, he received four calls. In 1826, he informed the Synod that he preferred the call to Whithorn and was ordained on September 13, 1826 with his father prominent in his ordination. His only published work was a sermon at the ordination of James M’Gill, in 1829. He died quite unexpectedly, on November 2, 1832.

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The Honour Due to the Teaching Elder:

James Dodson

1829-Gavin Rowatt.-In this sermon, at the ordination of James M’Gill, Mr. Rowatt sets forth the various duties which the congregation owes to those who labour among them in Word and doctrine. This is a sermon which highlights the fact that a pastoral relation is not simply a matter of ministerial duties—there are also congregational duties.

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Truth No Enemy to Peace.

James Dodson

1799-John Reid II.-In this pamphlet, Reid enters the controversy between the Seceders and Covenanters over the issue of civil magistracy. Reid provides both a compend of the arguments of the Covenanters together with a closely reasoned defense of Covenanter principles with respect to magistracy.

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Robert Gibson (1793-1837)

James Dodson

Robert Gibson, the son of Rev. William Gibson, was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, October 1, 1793. He came to America with his parents, in 1797, studying under his father and became an excellent scholar. He studied in the Seminary in Philadelphia and was licensed by the Middle Presbytery, June 5, 1818. He was ordained the pastor of Little Beaver, Pennsylvania, congregation, September 6, 1819. He resigned this charge, October 16, 1830, and moved to take the charge of Second Reformed Presbyterian, in New York City, May 18, 1831. At the division of 1833, Gibson chronicled the departing and declining course of the New Light party. Despite failing health, Gibson stood for the old Covenanter testimony until his death, in New York City, December 22, 1837. He wrote several pamphlets defending the Old Light position of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

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Samuel McConnell Willson (1796-1864)

James Dodson

Samuel McConnell Willson was born near Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1796. When his intentions to the ministry were made known, he pursued a classical education in Bedford Academy, under the tutelage of his brother, Dr. James R. Willson. He finished his studies in the Philadelphia Academy, in 1817, and, thereafter, studied theology under Dr. Samuel B. Wylie. He was licensed by the Philadelphia Presbytery, June 19, 1820, and ordained by the Northern Presbytery, to the Galway congregation, New York, October 14, 1821. He resigned this charge, May 16, 1827, and taught for five years in Coldenham and Albany, New York. On May 19, 1833, he was installed as the pastor of the Craftsbury, Vermont, congregation. There, he continued until he resigned, May 10, 1845, moving to the Kortright, New York, congregation, where he labored until his death, on January 21, 1864.

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Truth.

James Dodson

1833-Samuel McConnell Willson.-This sermon, on what it means for the church to bear testimony to the truth, was delivered during the controversies which led to the Old Light/New Light division in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. It represents the view that it is not permissible for the church to decline from a more pointed testimony to one more loose and accommodating.

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Thomas Martin (1805-1879)

James Dodson

Thomas Martin was born in the parish of Shotts, May 17, 1805. He was educated at Glasgow University and, later, attended the Theological Hall of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, in Paisley, from 1824 to 1827. He was licensed by the North Eastern Presbytery, at Airdrie, on July 8, 1828. He was elected the minister of Strathmiglo, on March 30, 1829 and was ordained on July 28, 1829. There he continued to minister for the remainder of his life. This congregation drew members form several parishes and often had 200 people in attendance. He was noted as an able and earnest minister whose concern was especially turned to the principles of the Covenanter church. His major publication was this catechism devoted to the principles and position of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. It went through several editions. He was married to Margaret M’Indoe, with whom he had several children, one of whom became minister of Kilbirnie. He died on January 25, 1879 and was buried in Strathmiglo.

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Archibald Johnston (1793-1818)

James Dodson

Archibald Johnston was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, August 16, 1793. His parents were Covenanters from Hamilton, Scotland. In 1805, he and his family relocated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he received his earliest education and was apprenticed for the printing business. In 1808, he left off secular pursuits and began to study in preparation for Christian ministry. He attended the Canonsburgh Academy, and graduated from Jefferson College in 1813. He studied theology in the Philadelphia Seminary, under Samuel B. Wylie, and was licensed by the Middle Presbytery, April 9, 1817. During the summer of 1817, he visited Nova Scotia and, after his return in the fall, he supplied vacancies in the Reformed Presbyterian church in the East. Because of failing health, he moved near his parents, then living in Chillicothe, Ohio, and became a stated supply to the congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio. He married on his death bed, in October, 1818, and died on the 26th of that month of tuberculosis, still a licentiate. His death was lamented by Alexander McLeod, who said, “The time for the millennium has not come, and the world cannot stand before Archibald Johnston.” John Black, said, “Archibald Johnston was the most accomplished orator ever licensed in the Covenanter Church.” He published a lengthy poem entitled “The Mariner,” in 1817. He was also directed by Synod, in 1817, to compose an article for the “Argumentative” part of the American Testimony upon the “Headship of the Mediator.” This article was published long after his death, in 1841, in the Contending Witness.

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Hugh Brown (1810-1888)

James Dodson

Hugh Brown was born in Guiness, county Down, Ireland, on May 6, 1810. He graduated from Belfast College and studied in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was also licensed by the Glasgow Presbytery of Original Burgher Seceders. He was transferred to the Presbytery of Belfast and ordained and installed in the congregation of Carryduff. After coming to America, he joined the Associate Presbytery of New York, in November, 1848, and, in January, 1849, he was installed in Southwark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and continued there until 1852. From 1853 to 1856, he was stated supply in Spencerville, Canada, for the Presbyterian Church of Canada. From 1858 to 1867, he pastored in East Salem, Washington County, New York. Later in life, he was forced into retirement because of total blindness. Between 1873 and 1877, he lived in Stillwater, New York then moving to Shushan, New York, where he remained until his death March 19, 1888. He did not publish much beyond a couple of sermons among which are these discourse on behalf of Scripture Psalms and the maintenance of a cappella singing.

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John Anderson (1748-1830)

James Dodson

John Anderson was born in England, near the Scottish border, in 1748. He was a graduate of one of the Scottish Universities before attending the Associate Divinity Hall, and was licensed by the Associate Presbyterian Church. Due to certain infirmities, his services in the pulpit were not sought at that time. In 1783, he sailed for America where he was taken under the care of the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, and was ordained sine titulo, in Philadelphia, October 31, 1788. In 1792, he was installed pastor of Mill Creek and Harmon’s Creek, Beaver Country, Pennsylvania. In 1794, he was appointed professor of theology for the Associate Church, a position he held for many years. He died on April 6, 1830. He was a prolific writer whose writings ranged over many controversial subjects with a display of great learning.

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John Graham (1807-1876)

James Dodson

John Graham was born in Kingarth, Buteshire, Scotland, in 1807. He attended Glasgow University and, later, the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Hall, at Paisley, during the sessions of 1822 and, again, in 1826-9. He was licensed by the Western Presbytery, in 1830. Afterward, he was called by the congregations of Wishawtown and New Cumnock and, at the Synod of 1832, he chose the former and was ordained there on August 14, 1832. In 1845, he was called to Lesmahagow which he declined. Graham remained in Wishaw until 1846, when he removed to Ayr. From 1850 until 1858, he was the clerk of Synod. In 1858, he removed to the recently organized congregation in Liverpool, where he was installed in March. He died suddenly, at Shrewsbury, on September 8, 1876. He published several things on the Revolution Settlement, including an extensive pamphlet on the Revolution Establishment (1840). Additionally, he was author several pamphlets on various topics relating to the testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

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