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The Scottish Nation

GUILD, a surname, from the Anglo Saxon Gild-an, to yield or pay (Dutch Gilde, German Gilde), applied to a society or company associated as a commercial or trade corporation.

WILLIAM GUILD, an eminent divine of the 17th century, the son of a wealthy armourer in Aberdeen, was born in that city in 1586. He received his education at Marischal college, and was appointed, in 1608, minister of the parish of King Edward, presbytery of Turriff, In 1617, he sat in the Assembly held in Aberdeen at which it was resolved that a liturgy should be prepared for Scotland, a project, however, which was afterwards abandoned. In 1619 he dedicated his work, “The Harmony of all the Prophets,’ to the learned Dr. Young, dean of Winchester, a countryman of his own, through whose influence he was appointed one of the royal chaplains. About the same time the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him.

      In 1631 Dr. guild was appointed by the magistrates of Aberdeen one of the ministers of that city; and, having become patron of the incorporated trades, he purchased the ancient convent of the Trinity Friars there, and liberally endowed it as an hospital for decayed workmen, the deed of the foundation of which was ratified by royal charter in 1633. In July 1638, when commissioners arrived in Aberdeen to enforce the covenant, Dr. Guild subscribed it, under certain limitations, implying a loyal adherence to the king, but o condemnation of episcopal government. In the same year he was chosen one of the commissioners from the presbytery of Aberdeen, to the famous General Assembly which met at Glasgow and formally abolished Episcopacy in Scotland. In the following March, when an army approached the city, to compel an unconditional subscription of the Covenant, and the clergy and professors, rather than consent to it, abandoned their charges, and clandestinely left the city, Dr. Guild took refuge in Holland, but soon returned. He now endeavoured to recommend moderation, by publishing ‘A Friendly and Faithful advice to the Nobility, Gentry, and Others,’ which, however, attracted no particular attention. In August 1640, on the deprivation of Dr. William Leslie, principal of King’s College, Old Aberdeen, for refusing to subscribe the Covenant, Dr. Guild was chosen in his room, when he made no scruple to sign that document. On June 27, 1641, he preached his last sermon as one of the ministers of Aberdeen, in which situation he was succeeded by the famous Andrew Cant.

      In 1651, he was deposed from the office of principal of King’s College, by a military commission under General Monk. After this he lived in retirement in Aberdeen, and chiefly employed his time in writing theological treatises. In his latter years he also employed himself in improving the Trades Hospital, and in other works of benevolence. He died in August 1657, in the 71st year of his age. His portrait graces the walls of Trinity Hall. His widow transmitted a manuscript work, which he left, to Dr. John Owen, who published it at Oxford, in 1659, under the title of ‘The Throne of David, or an Exposition of the Second Book of Samuel.’ At her death, Mrs. Guild left an endowment for the maintenance of six students of philosophy, four scholars at the public school, two students of divinity, six poor widows and as many poor men’s children. His works are:

      The New Sacrifice of Christian Incense. Lond. 1608.

      The only Way to Salvation; or the Life and Soul of True Religion. Lond. 1608.

      Moses Unveiled; or, The Types of Christ in Moses explained. Lond. 1618, 8vo. Glasg. 1701, 12mo. Reprinted at Edinburgh by A. and C. Black, in 1840.

      The Harmony of all the Prophets concerning Christ’s coming, and the Redemption he was to accomplish. Lond. 1619, 8vo. 1658, 12mo. Printed along with Moses Unveiled, &c. 1684.

      Ignis Fatuus, or the Elf-fire of Purgatory. Lond. 1625.

      Annex to the Treatise of Purgatory, Dedicated to the Earl and Countess of Lauderdale.

      Papists’ Glorying in Antiquity, turned to their shame. Inscribed to Sir Alexander Gordon of Cluny. Lond. 1626, 1627, 8vo.

      Limbo’s Battery; or, An Answer to a Popish Pamphlet of Christ’s Descent into Hell. Aberd. 1630, 12mo.

      Humble Address both of Church and Poor to the King. Aberd. 1633, 4to.

      Treatise against Profanation of the Lord’s Day, especially by Salmon-fishing. Aberd. 1637, 12mo.

      Three Treatises; viz., an Antidote agaynst Poperie; The Novelty of Popery; and Errors’ Arraignment. Aberd. 1639, 12mo. The Antidote against Popery here mentioned, published anonymously, has been attributed to Dr. Guild, but there is not sufficient evidence that he was the author.

      Compend of the Controversies of Religion. Dedicated to the Countess of Enzie.

      A Friendly and Faithful Advice to the Nobility, Gentry, and others. 1639. Reprinted with Life by Dr. Shireffs. Aberd. 1799, 8vo.

      The Sealed Book opened, being an explication of the Revelations. Aberd. 1656, 16mo.

      The Novelty of Popery Discovered and chiefly proved by Romanists out of themselves. Aberd. 1656, 16mo. Dedicated to David Wilkie, dean of Guild, Edinburgh.

      Explication and Application of the Song of Solomon. Dedicated to the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council of Edinburgh. London, 1658, 8vo.

      An Answer to a Popish Pamphlet called ‘The Touchstone of the Reformed Gospel,’ made especially out of themselves. Dedicated to Sir Thomas Mudie, the provost and other magistrates of Dundee.

      The Throne of David, or an Exposition of the Second Book of Samuel. Posthumous. Oxford, 1659, 4to.

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