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Account of the life and Character of the Author, p. v. seed the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.
-4. That he would be to him and to them a God in
their generations.-5. That in him all the families of
PREFACE.-Sect. 1. Of the time when, and of the person
Essay I. On the Inspiration of the Apostles.—II. On
sion of writing it.—4. Showing, that the decree of the
Council of Jerusalem respected the converted prose-
EPHESIANS, p. 308.
PREFACE.-Sect. 1. Of the time when the Christian re religion into Ephesus.—2. That this Epistle was di-
ligion was introduced into Rome.-2. Of the state of rected, not to the Laodiceans, but to the Ephesians.-
3. Of the occasion of writing it.-4. Of the persons
for whom it was designed.-5. Of the time and place
Premonition, showing that this Translation of the
Apostolical Epistles may justly be called A New
PHILIPPIANS, p. 346.
Essay VII. On the Mediation of Christ.-Sect. 1. Of
PREFACE.--Sect. 1. Of the time of St. Paul's arrival at diation as a Prophet, and as a King.–4. Objections
Corinth.-2. Of the character and manners of the to Christ's mediation as a Priest answered.
the time when it was written.
Essay V. On the Covenant with Abraham, in which
it was promised, Sect. 1. That God would greatly bless PREFACE.-Sect. 1. Of the introduction of the Gospel
2 THESSALONIANS, p. 421.
i Peter, p. 603.
of all other churches; and that its claim to infallibility
PREFACE.-Sect. 1. The history of John.-2. The au-
thenticity of this Epistle established.--3. Of the state
of the church when it was written, and of John's de-
sign in writing it.-4. Of the time and place of writing
it.-5. Of the persons for whom it was designed.
4. That the truth of the gospel is strongly confirmed
Preface.-Sect. 1. Of the authencity of this Epistle.-
2. Of the person to whom it was written.3. Of John's
design in writing it.-Of the Ebionites and Gnostics.
Conclusion, in which the love which John so strongly
inculcates is described.
and place of writing this Epistle.-5. Of the purpose
PREFACE.-Sect. 1. Of the authenticity of this Epistle.-
2. Of the person to whom it was written.–3. Of the
purpose for which it was written, and of the persons
of writing it.
PREFACE.-Sect. 1. The history of Jude.—2. This Epistle
was written by Jude the apostle.—3. Of the persons
to whom it was written, and of its date.–4. Of the
occasion of writing it.
or in a vision.--4. Of conveying instruction by signi-
JAMES MACKNIGHT, D.D.
DR. JAMES MACKNIGHT was born on the 17th of Sep From the Gorbals Mr. MACKNIGHT went to Kilwintember, 1721. His father Mr. William MACKNIGHT, ning, in consequence of an invitation from Mr. Fergusminister at Irvine, was a native of Ireland, where his an son, then minister of that place, and acted for some time cestors, descended from the family of M‘NAUGHrane in as his assistant in the charge of the parish. Here he the Highlands of Scotland, had resided for more than a conducted himself with such propriety, that his character century, and where some of his relations still remain. began to be established; and, on the death of Mr. Fisher Mr. William MacKnight early displayed very popular at Maybole, he obtained the vacant living there, with the talents as a preacher; and having, it is said, accidentally concurring wish of the heritors and people. Of this officiated in the church of Irvine, some time after the charge, accordingly, he was ordained as minister on the death of the former incumbent, he gave so much satis- 10th of May, 1753. At Maybole Mr. MacKnight confaction to the hearers that he was soon appointed to tinued sixteen years, and discharged the duties of the supply the vacant charge. In this situation he continued pastoral office with such assiduity and kindness, that during life, universally esteemed for genuine piety, purity when he left it, he carried with him the affections and of morals, and integrity of character. He married regret of all his flock. ELIZABETH GEMMIL, daughter of Mr. Gemmil of Dal It was at May bole that, amidst his professional ocraith—a small property in the neighbourhood of Kilmar- cupations in a populous charge, Dr. MACKNIGHT comnock, which had been in possession of the same family posed the first and second of his Works. Of the forfor several centuries, and which Dr. MacKNIGHT after- mer, indeed, on the Harmony of the Gospels, it appears wards inherited in right of his mother.
from his papers, that the plan had been conceived by him By this marriage Mr. William Macknight had two so early as the third or fourth year of his attendance at daughters and four sons ; of whom the youngest, and the university, and from that time he began to collect only one now alive, is Thomas MacKnight, Esq. of materials for the publication. The first edition of this Ratho, a gentleman who in early life signalized himself, book was published in 1756. Although the plan of it during the American war, by the most eminent services differed considerably from that of former Harmonies, in as a loyalist, and who, since his return to his native supposing that the Evangelists have not neglected the orcountry, has long been distinguished by his unusual der of time in the narration of events, the reception it met activity in the prosecution of agricultural improvements with from the most competent judges was so favourable, on the most liberal and extensive scale.
that the author was encouraged to undertake a second Mr. James MackNight, the subject of this narrative, edition, with considerable improvements and additions. received the rudiments of education at the school of Ir. This edition appeared in 1763. In the same year was vine, and about the age of fourteen was sent to the Uni- also published by Dr. MACKNIGHT another performance versity of Glasgow, where he studied with great appro- of great merit, entitled, The Truth of the Gospel History, bation from his teachers, on account of his diligence and which had been the fruit of the author's studies during proficiency. The notes he then took from the Lectures the interval between the first and second editions of his on Logic and Moral Philosophy, before he was sixteen, Harmony. Its object is, to illustrate and confirm, both still remain among his papers, and afford remarkable in- by argument and by appeal to the testimony of ancient dications of the same acuteness and soundness of judg- authors, what are commonly arranged under the three ment which afterwards characterized his theological great titles of the Internal, the Collateral, and the Direct writings.
Evidences of the Gospel History. Having completed the usual course of academical dis By these publications Dr. MACKNIGIT soon obtained cipline at Glasgow, Mr. MACKNIGHT went to Leyden, in a high reputation for theological learning. The Uniorder to prosecute the study of theology, to which he versity of Edinburgh conferred on him (among the first had shown an early attachment. While he staid in Hol- who obtained that distinction in Scotland) the degree land, he had an opportunity of procuring many valuable of Doctor of Divinity ; and he was chosen Moderator books written by foreign divines, which afterwards as of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in sisted his own labours in explaining Scripture. After 1769. During the course of the same year he was his return to Scotland, having received from the Pres- translated to the parochial charge of Jedburgh, in which bytery of Irvine a license to preach the gospel, he was he remained about three years, and where he received chosen to officiate at the Gorbals, near Glasgow ; a from his people the most flattering tokens of respect and situation which at that time could be held by a licen- kindness. In 1772 he was elected one of the ministers tiate of the Church, before being ordained to the pastoral of Edinburgh. His first charge was the Parish of Lady function. On this occasion, one of the candidates was Yesters, from which he was translated in 1778 to the old Mr. Robert HENRY, afterwards the well known histo- Church, where he continued during the remainder of his rian of Great Britain. It is somewhat remarkable, that life. the same gentlemen who thus happened to be placed in competition with each other at the commencement of life, The lives of the learned commonly offer little else to were at last, after an interval of many years, associated our curiosity, than the simple record of their studies and as colleagues in the charge of the Old Parish Church of writings. This observation, often made, is peculiarly Edinburgh, a connexion which subsisted till the death of applicable in the present instance. After he took up Dr. Henny, in the most cordial habits of friendship and his residence in Edinburgh, there were few occurrences intimacy.
in the life of Dr. MACKNIGHT which can be made the
subject of narration. Besides performing the ordinary not unworthy of being told, that it was the result of the duties of the pastoral function, a minister of Edinburgh, unremitting labour of almost thirty years; that notwithin virtue of his office, is much occupied with public standing his numerous professional avocations, the author, meetings on business of various kinds, especially the ma while composing it, was seldom less than eleven hours nagement of the different charitable foundations which every day employed in study; and that before it came to have long been the boast of the capital of Scotland. the press, the whole manuscript had been written no less Among other objects of such official care is the Fund than five times with his own hand. At the time of pubestablished by Act of Parliament for a Provision to lishing The New Translation of the Apostolical Episthe Widows and Children of Ministers in the Church tles, with a Commentary and Notes,' Dr. MACKNIGUT of Scotland. As one of the Trustees appointed by the was highly indebted to the patronage of the Duke of Act, he had long taken a leading part in conducting Grafton; and after the work made its appearance, he the business of this charity ; and when the growing received the most honourable testimonies of approbation prosperity of the Fund had paved the way for an in- from many of the Bishops and respectable dignitaries of crease of its capital, Dr. MacKnight was nominated by the Church of England, as well as from the ablest dithe Trustees, along with the celebrated Dr. WEBSTER, vines of all descriptions. (to whose benevolent exertions this valuable institution After the publication of this work, Dr. Macksight was much indebted for its establishment), as a Commis- considered himself as having accomplished the greatest sioner, to solicit a renewal of the Act of Parliament object of his life ; and wishing to enjoy, at the end of his This accordingly was obtained in 1779 ; fixing the capi- days, some relief from the labour of study, he resisted tal at £100,000, and making other alterations for the the repeated solicitations of his friends, who earnestly benefit of the Fund. After the death of Dr. WEBSTER, urged him to undertake the illustration of the book of Dr. MACKNIGHT was appointed joint Collector with Sir the Acts, on the same plan which he bad so successfully H. MONCRIEFF WELLWOOD, Bart. ; a colleague whose followed in the explaining the other parts of the New great ability and talents for business peculiarly qualified Testament. But soon after this period, from the want him, as experience has since shown, for the important of their usual exercise, a sensible decline of his faculties, office which he still holds, with the highest credit to him- particularly a failure of his memory, was observed by his self and advantage to the Fund.
family. This fact is a striking instance of the analogy The line of conduct which Dr. MacKNIGHT pursued between the powers of the body and those of the mind, with regard to the points of ecclesiastical policy that both of which sufler by inaction; and it furnishes a usehave long divided the members of the Church of Scot- ful caution to those who have been long habituated to land, was different from what might have been presumed, any regular exertion of mind, against the once desisting in consequence of the first impressions on these topics entirely from its usual efforts; since the effect, in the which, it is probable, he had received from his father. course of nature, is not only to create languor, but to But after mature deliberation, with that manliness and hasten the progress of debility and failure. self-decision which marked his character, he adopted the As yet, however, Dr. Macksigur's bodily vigour principles that were to regulate his future conduct in the seemed to be but little impaired. In early life he was Church Courts; and, throughout life, he acted steadily afflicted with frequent headachs; but after he had on that system of ecclesiastical policy which, for many reached the age of thirty, they seldom returned; and he years past, has guided the decisions of the General As- afforded a singular instance of a sedentary life long con. sembly. At the same time, he firmly resisted whatever tinued, with hardly any of those complaints which it appeared to him as any infringement on the constitutional usually induces. This uninterrupted enjoyment of health law or practice of the Church; and accordingly, when he owed, under Providence, to a naturally robust make, some of his friends seemed to wish for the abolition of and a constitution of body uncommonly sound and vicalls, as an unnecessary form in the settlement of mi- gorous; along with regular habits of temperance, and of nisters, he moved and carried a resolution of the As- taking exercise, which he did by walking nearly three sembly, 1782 (relative to certain overtures on the sub- hours every day. ject, then under the discussion of the house), “ Declaring, Having finished the task he had prescribed to himThat the moderation of a call in settling ministers, is self as an author, he mingled frequently in the society of agreeable to the immemorial and constitutional practice his friends, from which, at intervals, he had always reof this Church; and that it ought to be continued :" ceived much enjoyment; and long retained the same resolution which was afterwards converted into a De- cheerfulness of temper for which, at the hours of relaxaclaratory Act, and printed as such in the proceedings of tion from severe study, he had been remarkable, when the Assembly for that year.
in the company of those whom he esteemed. Even after Of Dr. MACKNIGHT it may in general on this head be the symptoms of his decline were become visible, his narecordeid, that no member of the Church to which he be. tural sagacity and strength of judgment, as well as his longed ever, perhaps, entertained more just or profound extensive and familiar knowledge of the Scriptures, were views respecting the great fundamental principles of her still to be discerned in his conversation and public apconstitution and laws, or concerning the nature and dis- pearances ; and so habitual was his anxiety to discharge tinctive powers of her several judicatories; and that in his duty, that he insisted on officiating for a considerable relation to the business which usually occupies the Ge- time after his friends had wished him to withdraw from neral Assembly, either in its judicative or in its legislative public labour. It was not, indeed, without much encapacity, he always formed a clear, sound, and decisive treaty, that he at last consented to accept the services of judgment. On this account he was often consulted by an assistant. the leading members of that Court; and, on several im At this period of his life it was peculiarly fortunate portant occasions, his professional advice and assistance for him, that in Dr. GRIEVE, who became his colleague were of essential service to the magistrates of Edinburgh, after the death of Dr. Hurry, he found a companion of with regard to the ecclesiastical arrangements of the city. the most amiable manuers, and a friend of distinguished
But what chiefly engaged his mind, and occupied his worth and respectability, from whom he experienced time, after he became a minister of Edinburgh, was the every office of attention and kindness. When he was at execution of his last and greatest work, on the Aposto. length no longer able to prosecute his favourite studies, the lical Epistles; which was published in 1795, in four judicious opinions, and extensive information of his very volumes quarto. Respecting this work it is perhaps accomplished and learned colleague, frequently afforded