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John Paterson, Bible Society Pioneer
By the Rev. James M. Alexander, B.D. in two parts

The Earlier Years - 1776-1813

John Paterson was born at Duntocher in the parish of Old Kilpatrick near Glasgow on 26th February 1776, the third child of George and Isabella Paterson. At school he acquired the rudiments of English and of Latin. On leaving school, he was apprenticed at the age of 16 to a cabinet-maker and house-carpenter, and on the conclusion of his apprenticeship he moved to Glasgow for private study, specially in Latin with a view to entering University to train for the ministry. He entered and matriculated in Glasgow University in 1798 though he never completed a course for graduation.

The Later Years—1813-1855

I am tempted to begin this paper somewhat irreverently in the words of St Luke: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus”. The subject of that treatise as of this is the Rev. John Paterson, D.D., Bible Society Pioneer Extraordinary. Born in Old Kilpatrick in 1776 he became the first pastor of the Congregational Church in Cambuslang. In 1805 he set out with the Rev. Ebenezer Henderson for India but, being delayed in Copenhagen, started working for the Evangelical cause and later for the Bible Societies in Northern Europe.

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