Minister of the Gospel at Haddington The Life and Work of the Reverend John Brown (1722-1787)

Dutton, David (2018) Minister of the Gospel at Haddington The Life and Work of the Reverend John Brown (1722-1787). Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

This dissertation takes a fresh look at the life and work of the Reverend John Brown (1722-1787), minister of the First Secession Church in Haddington and Professor of Divinity in the Associate (Burgher) Synod, who is best known as the author of The Self-Interpreting Bible (1778). Brown was born in humble circumstances in Perthshire; ‘attached’ himself to the 1733 Secession, and aspired to become one of its ministers. However, his lack of formal education, the death of his parents, and accusations that to learn Greek and Hebrew he had entered a Faustian pact, meant he struggled to achieve his goal. However, after serving as a shepherd, pedlar, soldier and teacher and studying part-time for the ministry, he was ordain in July 1751. Brown soon established himself as an effective pastor and respected presbyter and, in 1753, was elected moderator of the Associate (Burgher) Synod. After publishing four works, including a history of the Secession, in 1767 Brown was appointed to the non-stipendiary post of Professor of Divinity and each summer students came to Haddington to study under him. In 1771 Brown began to correspond with Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, one of the leaders of the Evangelical Revival in England and Wales, who requested a copy of his Systematic Theology for use in her college in Trefecca in mid-Wales. Brown was a prolific religious writer and published sixty books, pamphlets and tracts, including A Dictionary of the Bible (1769), which attracted interest outside Scotland; The Self-Interpreting Bible (1778), upon which his reputation largely rests; and a History of the British Churches (1784), which is perhaps his ablest work. The main sources for Brown’s life are accounts written by himself and members of his family; profiles in his Dictionary and Bible and Robert MacKenzie’s biography, John Brown of Haddington (1918).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CT Biography
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2021 15:28
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2021 15:28
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1708

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