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A Cameronian Apostle
Being some Account of John Macmillan of Balmaghie by the Rev. H. W. B. Reid, B. D., Balmaghie with ten illustrations.

I PROPOSE, in this volume, to give as full an account as the documents within my reach permit, of the life of John Macmillan. Although few, comparatively, know or care much about the subject, there are more reasons than one for undertaking this task.

For one thing, no attempt at a complete life of this remarkable man has, so far as I know, ever been made, if we except the brief sketch by Mr. Thomson of Hightae in the Reformed Presbyterian Magazine. This account of Macmillan is characteristically accurate, but it does not go into minute detail. Mr. Thomson's investigations are embodied in the present work, while a considerable mass of additional matter has been obtained. The notices of Macmillan in works on Scottish Church History are very meagre. In Cunningham, for instance, he has hardly more than one short paragraph allotted to him.

And this contains simply a discreditable piece of gossip. In these circumstances, and considering the renewed interest taken at present in questions of Church government and establishment, there seemed to be some room for a detailed treatment of a career which covers so interesting a period as that embraced between 1690 and 1750.

Again, the personality and position of Macmillan seem worthy of some degree of consideration. He was, undoubtedly, a man of unusual force and determination. He was the first of that group of stalwart Scotsmen, of whom it has been well said:

"The Macmillans, the Fairleys, the Thorburns, the Hendersons, the Rowatts, the Symingtons, the Goolds, were not little men. Most of them were men of stature, men of presence, even corporeally, and all preachers of the gospel and witnesses of the truth. They were men who would have adorned and enriched any Church in the world."

For many years he fought the battle of the Covenants alone, and he fought it on lines of policy and wisdom. I have tried to indicate his position among the "Suffering Remnant" by calling him "a Cameronian Apostle"; for, during the long period of thirty-six years, he was the sole ordained minister among the scattered congregations of the "Society" people. The name seems not unfitting, and it receives a certain sanction from the authority of Dr. Cunningham, who styles him the "high-priest" of the Societies. Such a designation could only be given to one who held a very important position among his followers. On this ground, therefore, he deserves a memorial.

A Cameronian Apostle
Being some Account of John Macmillan of Balmaghie by the Rev. H. W. B. Reid, B. D., Balmaghie with ten illustrations (1896) (pdf)

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