Abernethy, John

Abernethy, John an eminent Presbyterian divine, educated at the University of Glasgow, and afterward at Edinburgh. Born at Coleraine, in Ireland, 1680; became minister at Antrim in 1708, and labored zealously for twenty years, especially in behalf of the Roman Catholics. The subscription controversy, which was raised in England by Hoadley, the famous Bishop of Bangor, and the agitation of which kindled the flames of party strife in Ireland also, having led to the rupture of the Presbytery of Antrim from the General Synod in 1726, Abernethy, who was a warm supporter of the liberal principals of Hoadley, lost a large number of his people; and these having formed a new congregation, he felt his usefulness so greatly contracted that, on his services being solicited by a church in Wood Street, Dublin, he determined to accept their invitation. Applying himself with redoubled energy to his ministerial work, he soon collected a numerous congregation. His constitution failed under his excessive labors, and he died suddenly in December, 1740. His discourses on the being and attributes of God have always been held in much esteem. His works are: 1. Discourses on the Being and Perfections of God (Lond. 1743, 2 vols. 8vo); 2. Sermons on various Subjects (Lond. 1748-'51, 4 vols. 8vo); 3. Tracts and Sermons (Lond. 1751, 8vo).

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