Philip, John, Dd
Philip, John, D.D.
a missionary to Africa, was born at Kirkcally, Fifeshire, Scotland, April 14, 1775. His father, who was teacher of an English school, gave him his elementary education; and his mother, who is described as "a woman of earnest and devoted piety," endeavored, with all the powerful insinuating influence of maternal persuasion, to imbue his infant mind with the fear of God and a reverence for his Word. Circumstances occasioned his removal while vet a boy to reside in the house of an uncle at Leven; and there his character rapidly developed itself in the leading features of intellectual and moral individuality that distinguished him through life. In his nineteenth year he removed to Dundee, where, having completed his term of apprenticeship to a linen-manufacturer, he relinquished that trade for the office of clerk in a factory, an office which; without regard to salary, he preferred, from the greater opportunities it afforded him for mental improvement. The Congregational minister with whose Church he connected himself conceived a strong attachment for him, and through his influence Philip was introduced to the theological college at Hoxton. After having completed the regular term of three years' study, he was licensed as a preacher and ordained in 1804. In the course of Providence he was led to visit Aberdeen, where his pulpit ministrations proved so useful that he received an invitation, which he accepted, to undertake the pastoral charge of a Congregational Church recently formed in that town. His heart had for many years been strongly set on the missionary work, when the London Missionary Society proposed to him to undertake the superintendence of their numerous missions in South Africa. The proposal, though at first strenuously opposed by his attached congregation, to whom he had then ministered for fourteen years, was at length accepted by both as the will of God, and in 1820 Dr. Philip sailed for Africa. He there assumed charge of the Church in Union Chapel, Cape Town, and for thirty years besides held the office of superintendent of the society's missions. By his labors in this field he is principally known. But besides these direct evangelical labors, Dr. Philip made most persevering and successful efforts on behalf of the down-trodden tribes of South Africa. By his intercourse with the natives he obtained evidence of the disastrous effects of the prevailing: system, and ere long the strong arm of British power was stretched out for the defence of those who had so long been the white man's prey. These labors gained for him the title of "Liberator of Africa." Dr. Philip died in 1850, as became a. missionary, amid the people to whose spiritual and temporal welfare the energies of his life had been devoted. He published a work entitled Researches in Africa, which was received with great interest by the English government.