November 13, 2019

Eminent Highland Preachers

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake” (1 Thess. 1:5). Of all the catastrophes known to man, few evoke scenes of greater horror in the hearts of God’s people than the prospects of a famine of the Word. Preaching holds an indispensable place in God’s economy. Believers know that their spiritual vitality depends on the food delivered from the pulpit by God. In Christ’s words: “Man shall not live by […]
March 27, 2019

George Gillespie’s Dying Words

“I have got infinitely more in my work from prayer than from the study and know much more help from the assistance of the Spirit than from books.” In his ‘Story of the Scottish Church,’ Thomas McCrie records an account of the last days of the life of George Gillespie as he drew near to death in 1648 at the age of just thirty six. Gillespie lacked a sense of heart assurance but held firm to the promises of God saying, ‘though the Lord has not allowed me comfort, I shall yet believe that my beloved is mine, and I […]
March 6, 2019

A Martyr’s Catechism

Rev. Hugh M’Kail was martyred at Edinburgh in 1666, at twenty-six years of age. He died during the perilous times that followed the Restoration of Charles II. Despite swearing to uphold the national covenants and the Presbyterian government of the church, Charles imposed his own rule upon the church by way of bishops, ejected faithful ministers, and loosed the cruelties of his dragoons upon the countryside. In November 1666, there was an uprising against the tyranny of Charles II known as the Pentland Rising, and it was for his connection with this movement that Hugh M’Kail was put to death. […]
February 14, 2019

Reformed and Evangelical: The Historical Context of “The Sum of Saving Knowledge”

In the back of our bound standards, there is a curious little work. It does not bear the same status as an official document of our church, but it is there, nonetheless. The Sum of Saving Knowledge not only represents the doctrine of our confession, it demonstrates a searching concern that the gospel is understood, presenting it clearly, soundly, persuasively, and comfortably. Though a bit clumsy, the fuller title it bears today is quite accurate: The Sum of Saving Knowledge: or, a Brief Sum of Christian Doctrine, Contained in the Holy Scriptures, and Holden Forth in the Foresaid Confession of […]