Gillies, John (1712-1796) (DNB00)

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GILLIES, JOHN, D.D. (1712–1796), theological writer, was born in 1712, at the manse of Careston, near Brechin, where his father, John Gillies, was minister, and after prosecuting his literary and divinity courses and being employed as tutor in several families of note, became minister of the college church, Glasgow, 29 July 1742. In this charge he remained till his death fifty-four years after (29 March 1796). It is said of him that besides preaching three times every Sunday, he delivered discourses in his large church three times a week to crowded audiences, published for some time a weekly paper, and regularly visited and catechised his parish. His first wife was Elizabeth (d. 1754), daughter of the Rev. John McLaurin, a distinguished preacher [q. v.], and his second, Joanna (d. 1792), sister of Sir Michael Stewart. Gillies is best known for a work entitled ‘Historical Collections relating to the Success of the Gospel,’ 2 vols. Glasgow, 1754. To this an appendix was added in 1761, and a supplement in 1786. Another work of considerable magnitude was entitled ‘Devotional Exercises on the New Testament,’ 2 vols. London, 1769, 8vo. He published, likewise, ‘Exhortations to the Inhabitants of the South Parish of Glasgow,’ 2 vols. Glasgow, 1750, 12mo; ‘Life of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield,’ London, 1772, 8vo; ‘Essays on the Prophecies relating to the Messiah,’ Edinburgh, 1773, 8vo; ‘Hebrew Manual for the use of Students;’ ‘Psalms of David,’ with notes, Glasgow, 1786; and Milton's ‘Paradise Lost,’ illustrated by texts of scripture, London, 1778, 12mo. He wrote a life of John MacLaurin for MacLaurin's ‘Sermons and Essays,’ Glasgow, 1755. Dr. John Erskine prefixed an appreciative notice of his life to the supplement to his ‘Historical Collections.’

[Scott's Fasti, iii. 19; Memoir by Dr. Nicol, prefixed to New Testament Meditations; Erskine's Sketch ut supra; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

W. G. B.