Nevay, John (d.1672) (DNB00)

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NEVAY, JOHN (d. 1672), covenanter, a nephew of Andrew Cant [q. v.], was entered at King's College, Aberdeen, in 1622 (Fasti Aberd. p. 457), and graduated M.A. in 1626 (ib. p. 528). For some time he was tutor to the master of Ramsay, and on the recommendation of the presbytery of Alford he was licensed as a preacher of the kirk of Scotland by the presbytery of Dalkeith on 14 Oct. 1630. In 1637 he was admitted minister of Newmilns, Ayrshire, and he was chosen a member of the general assemblies of 1646, 1647, and 1649. He was strongly opposed to all forms of set prayer in public worship, objecting even to the use of the Lord's Prayer, the Gloria Patri, and the repeating of the creed at baptism (cf. Robert Baillie, Letters and Journal, passim). In the assembly of 1647 he was appointed to revise Rous's version of the last thirty psalms, with a view to the adoption of the collection by the assembly. He joined the Whigamores at Mauchline in June 1648, but his conduct, with that of others who took part in the raid, was absolved by an act of parliament passed in the following January. In July 1649 he was named one of the commissioners for visiting the university of Aberdeen (Fasti Aberd., p. 312). In 1650 he took an active part in raising the western army, composed of extreme covenanters. On the division of the church in 1651 into two parties, known as the resolutioners and the protesters, Nevay sided with the protesters, who abjured Charles Stuart and claimed for the spiritual power a very extensive jurisdiction over civil matters. In 1654 he was named by the council of England one of those for authorising admissions to the ministry in the province of Glasgow and Ayr.

After the Restoration Nevay was on 11 Dec. 1661 banished by the privy council from his majesty's dominions, and went to Holland. On 20 July a demand by the English government for his expulsion, along with Robert Macuard [q. v.] and Robert Traill, was laid before the states of Holland, and on 23 Sept. placards were issued, stating that they were sentenced to quit the Dutch territory within fifteen days under pain of being prosecuted as ‘stubborn rebels’ (Stevens, Scottish Church in Rotterdam, p. 36). Nevay died in Holland about January 1672 (Diary of the Lairds of Brodie, p. 325). He was the author of ‘The Nature, Properties, Blessings, and Saving Graces of the Covenant of Grace,’ published at Glasgow in 1748, and of two copies of Latin stanzas—one on Isaiah ii. 1–8—prefixed to the sermons of the Rev. James Borstius (Veertien Predicatien door Jac. Borstius, Utrecht, 1696). He is also said to have written a Latin version of the ‘Song of Solomon’ and ‘Christ's Temptation’ (Wodrow, Analecta, i. 170).

[Letters of Samuel Rutherford; Robert Baillie's Letters and Journal, and Nicolls's Diary, both in the Bannatyne Club; Diary of the Lairds of Brodie, and Fasti Aberd., both in the Spalding Club; Wodrow's Analecta; Wodrow's Sufferings of the Kirk of Scotland; Stevens's Hist. of the Scottish Church in Rotterdam; Burton's Scot Abroad; Hew Scott's Fasti Eccles. Scot. ii. 184.]

T. F. H.