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Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr Geddes, who preferred Waterbeck.
MR WILLIAM SHARP was ordained minister of the Relief congregation, Coldingham, 13th March 1794, and was loosed from his charge 24th March 1805.
The subsequent history of this congregation is involved in the history of the formation of the one that follows.
SECESSION. The Relief Congregation of Coldingham not being satisfied with the manner in which the Presbytery investigated the case of Mr Sharp, resolved to change their ecclesiastical connection, and with this view applied to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Coldstream to be taken under its inspection, which was granted 1806.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor in their new connection, the congregation called Mr Brown, who was appointed by the Synod to North Berwick.
ist Minister.—ROBERT MACLAURIN, from Bridge of Teith. Called to Johnshaven, New Deer, and Coldingham. Ordained 27th August 1807. Died 19th March 1848, in the 65th year of his age and 41st of his ministry.
Author of a small work, entitled, “ The Power of Religion to Sanctify and Comfort, illustrated in a Sketch of the Death of Alexander Edington ;” another, entitled, “ Christian Experience, Illustrated in an account of the Life and Death of James Wait, a Pious Shepherd;" and a third, entitled, “ The Imprecation Answered; or, the History of a City Apprentice."
2d Minister.—ANDREW HENDERSON, from Tay Square, Dundee. Ordained 2d June 1847. Translated to Paisley, Abbey Close, 16th April 1855.
3d Minister.—ANDREW BRODIE ROBERTSON, from Edinburgh, Infirmary Street. Ordained 22d January 1856.
NORTH SUNDERLAND. North Sunderland is a village in Northumberland, 24 miles south of Berwick, and 7 east of Belford.
This congregation originated with some members of the congregation of Warrenford, in connection with the Church of Scotland, resident in and about North Sunderland, who, on account of some procedure of their minister displeasing to them, ceased to attend at Warrenford, which is 5 miles distant from North Sunderland, and formed themselves into a congregation, with its seat in the latter place. They had a minister ordained over them, who shortly afterwards adopting the views of the Baptists, connected himself with that body. During the vacancy thus created, they accepted supply of preachers from different denominations; and those of the Associate (Burgher) Synod proving most acceptable to them, they sought connection with that branch of the Secession, by a petition to the Presbytery of Coldstream, and were received, 1808. Church built the same year; sittings, 400.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor in their new connection, they called Mr Andrew Hay, who declined the call, and died a probationer.
ist Minister.-MOSES HENRY WILLIAMSON, from Blackfriars, Jedburgh. Ordained 10th April 1810. Resigned 1817. Subsequently emigrated to Canada, and died there.
2d Minister.-GEORGE DICKSON, from Dalkeith (East). Ordained 20th April 1819. Died 8th December 1832, from cholera, after a few hours' illness, in the 420 year of his age and 14th of his ministry.
3d Minister.—ANDREW BROOM, from Abernethy. Called to Newcastle, South Sunderland, and North Sunderland. Ordained 9th April 1834. Suspended 19th June 1838, from the office of the ministry, for reasons assigned, and subsequently deposed for acting in opposition to this sentence. Continued to keep possession of the property belonging to the congregation, and to preach notwithstanding. On being served with a legal notice to remove, he filed a bill in Chancery—a form in England similar to an interdict in Scotland—and obtained a writ of injunction to stay the ejectment. The trustees answered, and the injunction was dissolved by the Chancellor. Two actions—one for recovery of the church, and the other for recovery of the manse—were now commenced by the only surviving trustee, who died while they were pending, but were continued by his son and heir. Both actions came before Mr Justice Rolfe, in the Nisi Prius Court, and were decided in March 1841, by finding that the indenture granted to the trustees was invalid, and the jury returned a verdict, nonsuiting the plaintiff. This decision was founded on Act 9 Geo. II., cap. 36, requiring that deeds of trust for charitable uses, not signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of two or more credible witnesses, be enrolled in the Court of Chancery within six calendar months after execution. The provisions of this act had not been complied with. The site for the Church was held as being conveyed in gift; a shilling a year, the rent at which it was held in lease for 99 years, not being considered an equivalent; and though the ground-rent of the manse, of ten shillings a-year, was allowed to be a full and valuable consideration, yet the deed was invalid, from the circumstance of being signed only by one witness. The deed being void, the property reverted to the heir of the original grantor, who was favourable to the party in the congregation adhering to the Synod, and who by him were now put in possession of it. Mr Broom ceased to offer further opposition, withdrew from the place, and afterwards ministered to congregations in different places, without any known ecclesiastical connection.
4th Minister.—Hugh Glover, from Wellington Street, Kilmarnock. Ordained 16th March 1842. Died 30th August 1869, in the 66th year of his age and 28th of his ministry.
5th Minister.-GEORGE HENDERSON, from Leith, St Andrews Place. Ordained 9th February 1870.
EMBLETON. Embleton is a village in Northumberland, 6 miles south of North Sunderland, and 7 east-by-north of Alnwick.
There had long been a number of Presbyterians in and about Embleton, who attended public worship at Alnwick and other places in the surrounding country, but who, finding it inconvenient to travel so far every week, came to the resolution of providing themselves with Gospel ordinances nearer home, after the manner to which they had been accustomed. With this view, they applied for and obtained supply of sermon at Embleton from the Northumberland Presbytery in connection with the Church of Scotland, 1833. After having had two ministers in that connection, who removed to other spheres of labour, they happened to be without one at the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. Sympathising with the Disruptionists, they applied to the English Presbyterians, who identified
themselves with them, for supply of sermon, which was promised them; but, probably from the confusion then created, the promise was not made good. After being six or eight weeks wholly without sermon, they were on the eve of making application to be received into connection with the United Secession Church, when the Rev. Mr Richards, of the Congregational Church, Alnwick, hearing of their circumstances, offered his services occasionally, which were accepted. This led to the settlement of a Congregational minister among them, who, after six years residence, removed to Howden, near Newcastle. Being thus again vacant, the English Presbyterians were anxious to supply them with a minister, but they now preferred connecting themselves with the United Presbyterian Church, and with this view applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the United Presbyterian Presbytery of Berwick, 14th August 1849. Church built, 1833 ; sittings, 300.
ist United Presbyterian Minister.—WILLIAM Ross, from Bellevilla, Stranraer. Ordained 23d July 1850.
CHIRNSIDE. Chirnside is a village in the parish of the same name, Berwickshire, 9 miles northwest of Berwick, 6 south-west of Ayton, and 6 north-east of Dunse, and was the scene of the later labours of Rev. Henry Erskine.
Several persons in the parish of Chirnside acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1738, and became members of the Secession congregations of Stitchel and Dunse. The Breach divided them in sentiment, in common with all the other Seceders in Scotland. The party adhering to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod attended public ordinances at Dunse; that adhering to the Associate (Burgher) Synod, at Stitchel. This portion of Seceders appeared sufficiently numerous in 1763 to form a congregation, with its seat in Chirnside, and a petition, with this view, joined by persons of similar views in adjoining parishes, was presented to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Edinburgh, and attended with success. The meeting-place of the congregation was removed to Dunse in the spring of the following year, as more convenient to the majority of the persons composing it. In 1836, the Seceders in and about Chirnside, belonging to the congregations of Ayton, Berwick, and Dunse, were disjoined from these congregations at their own request, and formed into a separate society, with its meeting-place at Chirnside—the numbers being sufficient to form a large congregation at once. The union of the two great branches of the Secession, which took place 16 years before, had removed the hindrances to the formation of a congregation in this place; while the extent of the surrounding congregations was such, as to allow considerable drafts to be made upon them without injury to any of them. Church built, 1838; sittings, 620.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr Watson, who preferred Methven; and Mr Hogg, previously of Rattray, then on the list of preachers, from whom the call was afterwards withdrawn.
ist Minister.- JAMES SMART, from Stirling (First). Ordained 21st August 1839. Died 30th December 1853, in the 41st year of his age and 15th of his ministry.
2d Minister.—JAMES KER, A.M., from Urr. Ordained 8th August 1854. Called to Wolverhampton and Leicester, March 1868. Translated to Leicester 5th May 1868.
3d Minister.—WILLIAM RUTHERFORD, from Grangemouth. Called to Holm, in Orkney, and Chirnside. Ordained 3d February 1869.
EYEMOUTH. Eyemouth is a fishing village in the parish of the same name in Berwickshire, 6 miles north of Berwick, 3 north-east of Ayton, and 3 south-east of Coldingham.
The United Presbyterian congregation of Eyemouth originated partly with members of the Established Church and partly with members of the Secession congregations of Ayton and Coldingham, who were desirous of having evangelical preaching afforded to the village, and with this view, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the United Associate Presbytery of Berwick, 2d February 1841. On being organised into a congregation in September of that year, it was found that the persons composing it were from the Established and Secession Churches in about equal numbers. Church built, 1842 ; sittings, 450.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr James Duncan, who preferred Alva.
Ist Minister.—THOMAS PEARSON, from Clayport Street, Alnwick. Called to Galston, Crossford, and Eyemouth. Ordained 30th May 1843. Died 14th January 1855, in the 40th year of his age, and 13th of his ministry. Author of " Infidelity: Its Aspects, Causes, and Agencies.” This Essay obtained the prize of £100 offered by the Council of the British Organisation of the Evangelical Alliance.
In May 1856, the congregation called Mr James M.Leish, and on 22d September, Mr James Robertson, both of whom declined the calls.
2d Minister.—JAMES HARROWER, from Alloa (Townhead). Called to Tough, Isle of Man, New Deer, and Eyemouth. Ordained 21st July 1857.
Chatton is a village in Northumberland, on the left bank of the river Till, 5 miles west of Belford, 5 east of Wooler, and 15 south-east of Alnwick.
A considerable number of persons formerly connected with the Presbyterian congregations of Belford and Wooler, resided in Chatton and its neighbourhood. Many of these had long felt the inconvenience of travelling so far to their respective places of worship, and the need of a larger supply of Gospel ordinances in their district than had been provided, there being then no church save the Episcopal one of the parish, in a compass of 5 miles from the village. On the ist November 1849, from thirty to forty of these persons met for consultation on this subject, when a committee was appointed to ascertain by inquiry in the district, what encouragement they had to move in this matter. The result far surpassed their expectation; and therefore at their next meeting it was unanimously resolved to apply to the United Presbyterian Presbytery of Berwick for supply of sermon, which was accordingly done with success in January 1850. They met in a large room in the village till the place of worship they had erected for themselves was roofed in, but otherwise unfinished, when they took possession of it. They were organised as a congregation on the ist of July 1850, when 93 communicants were enrolled. Of these 45 belonged to Mr Muirhead's, and 11 to Mr White's congregation, Wooler; 11 to Mr Hunter's, Belford, and 17 to congregations in connection with the English Presbyterians. Nine were admitted members who had not been previously in connection with any church. Church built, 1850, at a cost of £400, of which the congregation and friends in the neighbourhood subscribed £300, including £10 from the Bishop of Durham. Sittings, 550.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor the congregation called Mr Kechie, who preferred Earlston.
ist Minister.—DAVID YOUNG, from the congregation of James' Place, Edin burgh. Called to Letham, Lethendy, and Chatton. Ordained 13th October 1851,
BEAUMONT UNION. Kilham, formerly the name of this church, is a small village on the left bank of the Beaumont water, parish of Kirknewton, and county of Durham. The United Presbyterian place of worship is not in the village, but a mile distant from it, on the opposite side of the stream. It is 8 miles south-east of Coldstream, 8 miles southwest of Wooler, 6 miles east of Yetholm, and 4 miles west of Crookham, the seat of an English Presbyterian congregation, and about 2 miles east of the famous battlefield of Flodden.
There had been for a long time numerous Presbyterians in the Beaumont Union, who had no places of worship in their own connection nearer than those situated in the places named above, and who were otherwise not well supplied with the means of grace. These circumstances led them to apply for supply of sermon to the United Presbyterian Presbytery of Berwick, which was granted in November 1849. They were organised as a congregation in November 1850, with 120 members, chiefly of persons previously connected with the United Presbyterian Church, with a few who had been connected with the English Presbyterians. They met for a short time in the village of Kilham, where it was expected a site would be obtained for a church. No spot, however, in or near the village could be procured for this purpose, and they were obliged to accept the corner of a field on the roadside, from Mr Ord, of Nesbit, at the inconvenient distance already specified, and with no house of any kind near it. Church built, 1851 ; sittings, 400.
ist Minister.—DAVID Taylor, from the congregation of Pathstruiehill. Ordained May 25, 1852. Resigned his charge, 230 April 1872, on going abroad.
HOLY ISLAND. In August 1860, the Revs. John Hunter and William Porteous were appointed by Berwick Presbytery to conduct evangelistic services at Holy Island. Mr Hunter was afterwards appointed superintendent of the mission--an office he held till the end of 1862, when he was succeeded by the Rev. James M‘Leish. In November 1863, Mr M‘Leish reported that occasional services had been held during the year, and suggested the provision of stated supply on account of the spiritual destitution of the place. It was agreed that a catechist be located—the mission board having offered £50 towards the salary of the agent. On 20th August 1867, a building was rented for the meetings of the station, which was opened by the Rev. John Laing on ist Sabbath of September. Mr Bannatyne, preacher, began his labours at the same time, and continued them till the following April, when he was succeeded by Mr Isaac Marwick, student, who continued till July 1870. Mr John Young, student, began his work in October 1870, and remained till July 1871. The present missionary is Mr W. G. Forbes, student. The station was congregated on 19th April 1870, with 10 members; the present membership (1872) is 29.