Mason, John (2)

Mason, John (2), D.D., a minister of the Associate Reformed Church, father of the celebrated John M. Mason, was born near Mid-Calder, in Linlithgowshire, Scotland, in 1734. The great ecclesiastical agitation within the Church of Scotland occurred in his early days, and, favoring the Anti-Burgher party, he identified himself with this branch of the "Secession Church," pursued his theological studies at Abernethy, and later became an assistant professor of logic and moral philosophy at the theological school. In 1761 he was ordained for the office of the ministry, and sent to this country as pastor of the then Cedar Street Church, New York. Believing that the causes which divided the Presbyterians of Scotland did not exist here, he labored, from the moment of his arrival in the States, for the union of all Presbyterians, and, though his course displeased his brethren at home, and the synod suspended him, he pushed his project, and on June 13, 1782, a general union of the Reformed Presbyterians was held as "the Associate Reformed Church." Dr. Mason had the honor to be the first moderator of this body. Untiring in his services to the cause of the Church of Christ, and his own branch of it, he died April 19, 1792. "His death, like his life, was an honorable testimony to his Redeemer's power and grace." The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by New Jersey College, of which he was a trustee from 1779 to 1785. Dr. Mason "was a man of sound and vigorous mind, of extensive learning, and fervent piety. As a preacher, he was uncommonly judicious and instructive, and his ministrations were largely attended. As a pastor, he was specially faithful and diligent. To great learning there were united in him meekness, prudence, diligence, knowledge of the world, and an affectionate superintendence of the interests, temporal and spiritual, of his flock" (Dr. John B. Dales, in Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 9:4 sq.).

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