McLean, Archibald (DNB00)

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McLEAN, ARCHIBALD (1738–1812), baptist minister, born 1 May (O.S.) 1733, at East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, was the son of a Highlander, who was third in descent from Brolus, eldest son of Duart, chief of the clan of the McLeans. In his infancy he passed about six months in the island of Mull, where he acquired a knowledge of Gaelic. On his return he was put to school, first at Cathcart, and afterwards at Cucaddins, and in 1746 he was apprenticed to a printer in Glasgow. In 1759 he married Isabella, youngest daughter of William More, merchant, with whom he obtained a small property, which enabled him to start on his own account as a bookseller and printer in Glasgow in the following year. An unusually sensitive conscience led him to relinquish his business seven years later. After residing for a short time in London he acted from 1767 to 1786 as overseer of the printing establishment of Messrs. Donaldson & Co. in Edinburgh.

He had been bred a presbyterian, but in 1762 he withdrew from that communion, and joined the Glasites, or Sandemanians. In 1765 he left them for the baptists, and in June 1768 he was chosen to the pastoral office as Mr. Carmichael's colleague at Edinburgh. Thenceforth he was an ardent advocate of his new creed. He visited places in Scotland and England where the principles of the Scottish baptists had gained access, formed associations, and aided the regulation of their affairs. For many years he rarely omitted an annual journey into England, during which he visited London, Hull, Beverley, Chester, Nottingham, and Liverpool. He died at Edinburgh on 21 Dec. 1812.

His principal works are: 1. 'Letters to Mr. Glas in answer to his Dissertation on Infant Baptism,' 1767. 2. 'A Defence of Believers' Baptism,' 1777. 3. 'The Nature and Import of Baptism, with its Indispensable Obligation. ... To which is added a Short Sketch of the Church Order and Religious Practices of the Baptists in Scotland,' Edinburgh, 1786, 12mo. 4. 'The Commission given by Jesus Christ to His Apostles Illustrated,' 1786; translated into Welsh by E. Francis, Carnarvon [1829], 12mo. 6. 'Essay on the Calls and Invitations of the Gospel,' originally published in the 'Missionary Magazine. 6. 'A Letter on the Sonship of Christ. ... To which is added a Review of Dr. Walker's Defence of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Eternal Sonship of Christ,' 1788. 7. 'The Belief of the Gospel-saving Faith,' 1791. 8. 'A Dissertation on the Influences of the Holy Spirit, with a Defence of the Doctrine of Original Sin, and a Paraphrase, with Notes, on Romans v. 12 to the end of the Chapter,' 1799; translated into Welsh by E. Francis, Carnarvon, 1829, 12mo. 9. 'A Reply to Mr. Fuller's Appendix to his book on "The Gospel worthy of all Acceptation," particularly to his Doctrine of Antecedent Holiness, and the Nature and Object of Justifying Faith,' 1802. 10. 'The Christian Doctrine of Disconformity to the World illustrated and enforced,' Liverpool, 1802, 12mo; first printed in the 'New Theological Repository.' 11. 'Review of Mr. Wardlaw's Lectures on "The Abrahamic Covenant and its Supposed Connection with Infant Baptism," ' 1807. 12. 'Strictures on the Sentiments of Dr. James Watt and others respecting a Christian Church, the Pastoral Office, and the Right of Private Brethren to Dispense the Lord's Supper,' Edinburgh, 1810, 12mo; translated into Welsh by E. Francis, Carnarvon, 1829, 12mo. 13. 'A Paraphrase and Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews,' 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1811-17, 12mo; 2nd edit., revised, 2 vols., London, 1820, 8vo.

A collected edition of his works, with a biographical memoir by William Jones, appeared in six volumes, London, 1823, 8vo. The tenth edition of his 'Miscellaneous Works' was published in seven volumes, Elgin, 1847-8, 12mo.

His portrait has been engraved by Charles Turner.

[Life by Jones, 1823; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 1444; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 6769; Orme's Bibl. Biblica, 1824, p. 302.]

T. C.