Gillespie, Thomas

Gillespie, Thomas father of the Relief Church in Scotland, was born at Clearburn, near Edinburgh, in 1708. He received a careful religions training, was educated at Edinburgh, Perth, and Northampton, licensed to preach in 1740, and ordained in England in January 1741. In August following he settled as pastor of Carnock, where he continued with unwearied diligence and much success till 1752, when he was deposed from the Church of Scotland. He, however, continued actively engaged in preaching, first, in the churchyard of Carnock, beside the church which had so often echoed to his voice; but he was soon obliged to leave this spot and betake himself to another, from which he was speedily driven, and at last was compelled to take his position on the public highway, where, during the whole summer and autumn, he proclaimed the Gospel to immense multitudes of people. In the following September he removed to Dunfermline, where, in 1753, the Relief Church was founded. He continued with. unabated zeal till his last sickness, which soon closed his life, January 19, 1774. Mr. Gillespie was a man of .truly apostolic excellence. Conscience was the power that bore sway in his soul. His intellectual abilities were excellent, but his goodness was his greatness. See United Presbyterian Fathers, page 217; Fasti Eccles. Scoticane. 2:580.

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