Synod of Relief hymns

The ‘presbytery of relief’ was founded in 1761 by three Scottish ministers, Thomas Gillespie of Dunfermline, Thomas Boston of Jedburgh, and Thomas Collier of Conisburgh, Fife, formerly of Ravenstonedale, Northumberland. Gillespie, who had been educated at the University of Edinburgh and under Philip Doddridge* at Northampton, had been deposed as minister of Carnock, near Dunfermline by the General Assembly in 1752. He had opposed the imposition of ministers by patronage, arguing that the people had the right to choose their own minister. He then became the minister of an independent church in Dunfermline. As the grievance of patronage continued, the secession movement grew, and the...

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