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KNOX'S CHURCH. For about twenty-five years, missionary operations had been carried on in Castle Street and neighbourhood. Preachers for longer or shorter periods occupied the situation. In August 1856, Mr Alexander Campbell was invited to take charge of the district, and, in the course of two years, gathered around him a number of persons who attended with regularity on divine worship. The station was erected into a congregation by the United Presbytery of Arbroath, on 7th December 1858. Next year, the members of the station duly called Mr Campbell to take the pastoral oversight of the church. For several years worship was conducted in an old building purchased as the site of the church, and temporarily fitted up for meetings. The new church was begun in June 1863, and opened for worship on the second Sabbath of May 1864. It is seated for about 540 persons, and cost about £900. The church is a missionary one, and therefore made up of the working classes, and of very poor people, their energies being hampered by church debt. In addition to ordinary pastoral work, the minister conducts services for foreign sailors, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Germans, French, Italians, etc. The number of such services in 1869 amounted to 100; and a large distribution of tracts in foreign languages is made to those present.
ist Minister.—ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, from the Free Church. Ordained as minister of Knox's Church, ist November 1859.
Author of “Teachers' Writing Manual : A Government Text Book for Schools ;" “ Letter to the Provost of Montrose on Licenses ;” and “Letter to Volunteers on the Immoralities connected with the Annual Gatherings in August."
JOHNSHAVEN. Johnshaven is a seaport village in the parish of Benholm, Kincardineshire, 9 miles north-east of Montrose, and 29 south-west of Aberdeen.
FIRST CONGREGATION. All the parishioners of Benholm, with the exception of a few Episcopalians, belonged to the Established Church till 1763 ; at which time the minister of the parish sought to alter the mode of conducting the psalmody, by discontinuing the practice of reading the line. A number of his people remonstrated with him against this change, and because their remonstrances were unheeded, they withdrew from the Established Church, and applied to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Presbytery of Perth for supply of sermon, which was granted. The farmer of the Mains of Brotherton, being in favour of the movement, allowed them the use of his barn as a place of meeting, till better accommodation was procured. In 1764 they purchased two dwelling-houses, and had them fitted up as a place of worship, the proprietor of the lands on which the village stands having refused them a site on which to build one. They built a church in 1790, which was afterwards converted into a dwelling-house, in consequence of its use, as a place of worship, being superseded by the first congregation uniting with the second, and the united congregations occupying the place of worship which had previously belonged to the second.
Ist Minister.-David HARPER, from Pathstruiehill. Ordained 22d February 1769. Loosed from his charge 13th April 1789. Removed to another village in the parish, and lived privately there till his death.
2d Minister.—John MURRAY, from Duke Street, Glasgow. Ordained 12th April 1791. Resigned 27th December 1803. Admitted to Carnoustie 1806.
3d Minister.—William CAIRNS, A.M., LL.D., from Duke Street, Glasgow. Ordained ad March 1808. Resigned 24th October 1815, on being chosen Professor of Logic and Belles Lettres by the Directors of Belfast Institution. This office he continued to hold till his death, 21st April 1848. Author of “Outlines of Lectures on Logic and Belles Lettres ;” a “Treatise on Moral Freedom ;” and “Memoir of Dr John Young.”
The history of this church, after 1820, merges into that of the second congregation, Johnshaven.
SECOND CONGREGATION. This congregation originated in a dispute in the First congregation, respecting alleged irregular intromissions in the treasurer's books. The party bringing the charge not being satisfied with the manner in which the case was treated by the congregation, withdrew from it, and got others who sympathised with him to join in a petition to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Perth for supply of sermon, which was granted, 1803. They met in a dwelling-house, at a short distance from the village, till 1805, when they took possession of a place of worship they had built for themselves in Johnshaven, containing 330 sittings. A new church was built, and opened on 4th November 1860, at a cost of £603, containing sittings for 300.
ist Minister.—THOMAS TROTTER, from Ecclefechan. Ordained 13th April 1808. Resigned ad March 1818. Emigrated to Nova Scotia, and became minister of a congregation in Antigonish, Presbytery of Pictou. Died there, 20th April 1855, in the 73d year of his age.
The first and second congregations in Johnshaven being both vacant at the Union of the two great branches of the Secession in 1820, were united by mutual consent.
UNITED CONGREGATION. Ist Minister.—WALTER Scott, from Selkirk. Ordained 18th November 1823. Resigned 29th June 1824. Became probationer, and died in that capacity
2d Minister.-JOHN LIDDLE, from the congregation of Dennyloan head. Emigrated to America 1815, having been previously ordained at large with that view. Obtained a charge at Amherst, United States, which he afterwards resigned, and returned to this country. Admitted to Johnshaven 16th November 1825. Resigned 24th April 1838. Removed to Denny, and died there.
The congregation then called Mr William Barrie, who, being under engagement at the time to the Mission Committee to proceed to Canada, was not allowed to accept the call.
3d Minister.-GEORGE WALKER, previously of Muirkirk. Admitted to Johnshaven 27th October 1842. Resigned 22d March 1848. Emigrated as a missionary to Nova Scotia.
4th Minister.—John COOPER, from Broughton Place, Edinburgh. Ordained 30th October 1849. Loosed from his charge 14th February 1854.
The congregation called Mr Ebenezer E. Whyte, Mr R. Brown, and Mr John Pettigrew.
5th Minister.— JOHN M‘NAB, from Alyth. Ordained 230 February 1859. Author of “The Trade Spirit versus the Religion of the Age ;” and “The Fear of the Lord the beginning of Wisdom.”
· BRECHIN. Brechin is a royal burgh and city in Forfarshire, 264 miles north-east of Dundee, 121 north-east of Forfar, and 8 west of Montrose.
CITY ROAD. The Rev. Messrs Johnston and Gray of Brechin, were both protestors against the Act of Assembly 1732, restricting the election of ministers to elders, magistrates, and counsellors in burghs, and to heritors and elders in landward parishes, and otherwise acted with “The Four Brethren ” who seceded, but themselves remained in the Established Church. Their doing so, in the circumstances, gave offence to several of their parishioners, who in consequence withdrew from their ministry, and connected themselves with the Seceders. They travelled to Dundee and Montrose as sermon happened to be afforded in either place, and when prevented from going thither by the state of the weather or other causes, they met at appointed places in their different localities for prayer and mutual edification. While continuing to act thus, " The Burgess Oath Controversy" began to agitate the Church, and ultimately divided them into two parties, in common with the other adherents of the Secession cause. Those of them who afterwards formed the City Road congregation, adhered to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod, but it was not till 1765 that they could be induced to apply for supply of sermon, which was granted them that year by the Presbytery of Perth. Church built, 1765; sittings, 573. On the 5th September 1854, the Free Church congregation of South Port, Brechin, united with that of City Road. A new church with 550 sittings was opened 11th September 1859, cost £1213. Alterations on the interior were made in 1871, costing £309.
Ist Minister.-JOHN GRAY, from Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, called to Elgin and Brechin. Ordained 27th December 1768. Died 8th September 1802, in the 34th year of his ministry.
2d Minister.—JAMES Gray. Ordained as colleague and successor to his father, 16th April 1794. Took part with the protestors against the Union of the two great branches of the Secession in 1820, and refused to join in it. With a minority of his congregation, he afterwards joined the Synod of Original Seceders. The majority having retained the property belonging to the congregation, paid to the minority a sum of money equivalent to half its value, with which they erected another place of worship in the town, where Mr Gray continued to minister to them till his death, which took place 5th July 1848, in the 77th year of his age, and 55th of his ministry.
The congregation called Mr James Gilfillan, who was appointed by the Synod to Stirling.
3d Minister.-JOHN CRAIG, previously of Kinkell. Admitted to Brechin 28th August 1823. Resigned 4th June 1833. Took appointments as a probationer for a time, but afterwards removed to Glasgow, and lived privately till his death, which took place in 1847.
The congregation called Mr Borwick, who preferred Bell Street, Dundee.
4th Minister.- JAMES BOYD, A.M., from Wellington Street, Glasgow. Ordained 26th August 1835. Resigned 12th August 1845. Joined the Free Church, and became minister of Polmont, Stirlingshire.
5th Minister.-WILLIAM S. HEDDLE, from Kirkwall. Ordained 27th January 1847. Resigned, on account of ill health, 1850. Proceeded to Jamaica, and was located as a missionary there. Now living near Kirkwall.
The congregation called Mr David Young, who preferred Milnathort.
6th Minister.SAMUEL HOUSTON, from Ireland, previously in connection with the Presbyterian Church in England. Received into connection with the United Presbyterian Church 1850. Ordained 22d July 1851. Resigned 12th April 1853Now proprietor of Elswick Academy, Newcastle.
7th Minister.—Hugh AIRD, M.A., from Glasgow (Greyfriars). Ordained 31st January 1855.
MAISONDIEU LANE. The history of this congregation is identified with that of the City Road, Brechin, until the Breach, 1747, when the representatives of the parties forming it adhered to the Associate (Burgher), while the other Seceders in the district adhered to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod. They formed themselves into a society for prayer and mutual edification, which met in the house of Mr John Low. This society had sermon afforded it by Mr Dick of Aberdeen on his way to and from Edinburgh to attend the meetings of Synod, and on other occasions calling him southwards, as also by other ministers on their way to Aberdeen to assist Mr Dick at the dispensation of the Lord's Supper. Matters continued in this state till 1770, when, in consequence of an increase to their number by members of their denomination settling in the town, they were induced to apply to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Perth for regular supply of sermon, which was granted. It was, however, soon afterwards discontinued for want of encouragement. After Mr King's settlement in Montrose, most of the persons adhering to the Associate (Burgher) Synod in Brechin, travelled thither to attend his ministry, and continued doing so till 1797, when the Rev. Ebenezer Brown of Inverkeithing, being on a mission tour to the north, preached at Brechin, and gave such an impulse to the cause as to induce its friends to apply again for regular supply of sermon, which was granted, and attended with greater success. First church built, 1802 ; sittings, 400. Second church built, 1849; sittings, 500.
ist Minister.—DAVID BLACKADDER, from Renton. Ordained 4th April 1804. Died 4th August 1843, in the 73d year of his age, and 40th of his ministry.
2d Minister.-WILLIAM THOMSON RANKINE, from Galashiels (East). Ordained 2d September 1844. Died 24th June 1860 in the 420 year of his age, and 16th of his ministry.
3d Minister.-ALEXANDER HUTTON DRYSDALE, M.A., from Bridge of Allan. Ordained 23d October 1861. Translated to Rochdale 29th August 1867.
4th Minister.—THOMAS KIRK, from Stirling (Erskine Church). Called to Kinkell, Holm, Sandwick, Brechin, and Banff. Ordained 22d April 1868.
HIGH STREET. . This congregation originated partly in the want of accommodation in the Established Church, and partly in the growing attachment of many of its members to the principles of dissent. The parties moving in its formation applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Relief Presbytery of Perth, December 1829, and were organised as a congregation in that connection in June following. The place of worship now occupied by them was built about 1730 for an Episcopal congregation, and was almost wholly rebuilt in 1746, having been partially burned and otherwise much injured by the rebels under Prince Charles Edward the previous year. It continued an Episcopal place of worship till purchased by the congregation now occupying it, by whom it was enlarged in 1835; sittings, 620.
Ist Minister.— JAMES GOODWIN, from Anderston, Glasgow. Ordained 21st December 1831. Died 4th July 1847 in the 48th year of his age and 16th of his ministry. Mr Goodwin published a sermon on Psalm xxxiv. 11, entitled, “Children taught to fear the Lord.”
2d Minister.— JAMES GIBSON, previously of Maygate, Dunfermline. Admitted to High Street, Brechin, 14th March 1848, and was the first minister or preacher of the late United Associate Synod, called by a congregation connected with the late Relief Synod. Demitted his charge 9th April 1856, and proceeded to Canada, where he became minister of a church. Died in New York 1860.
3d Minister.—PETER DAVIDSON, from Greyfriars, Glasgow. Called to Shiels, Stonehaven, and Brechin. Ordained 24th December 1856. In 1860, Mr Davidson received an invitation to the pastorate of Broughton Place Mission Church, Edinburgh, but declined the offer. Demitted his charge and proceeded to Adelaide, South Africa, 7th January 1862.
The congregation called Mr Richard Leitch, who preferred Newcastle.
4th Minister.-ROBERT WORKMAN Orr, from Fenwick, of which his father is minister. Ordained 22d December 1863.
MUIRTON. Muirton is a village in the parish of Marykirk, Kincardineshire, about 4 miles west of Laurencekirk, and 9 miles north-east of Montrose.
The representatives of the persons forming the congregation of Muirton, were chiefly parishioners of Fettercairn, which bounds Marykirk on the west, who acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1738. They met at different places in Forfarshire, with the other Seceders in the district, till the congregation of Mill Street, Montrose, was formed, when they became part of it. About the year 1758, a large common in the parish of Marykirk was divided among the proprietors of land in the neighbourhood, some of whom feued their allotments, from which circumstance the village of Muirton arose. The new village was considered by the Seceders in the district a suitable site for a place of worship in their connection; and, accordingly, they applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the General Associate (Antiburgher) Presbytery of Perth, 1765. First church built 1769; second built, 1824, cost £400; sittings, 430.