and are apt to infect with their defilement,' so that 'even the most pure, as Young, Thomson, Addison, Richardson, bewitch the soul, and are apt to indispose for holy meditation and other religious exercises,' and although he eagerly opposed the relaxation of the penal statutes against Roman catholics, he was, in regard to many things, not at all a narrow-minded man. His creed was to him a matter of such intense conviction, that nothing seemed allowable that tended in any way to oppose it or distract attention from its solemn doctrines. His preaching was earnest, simple, and direct, as if I had never read a book but the Bible.' His delivery was 'sing-song,' yet 'this in him was singularly melting to serious minds.' A widely current story affirms that David Hume heard him preach, and the 'sceptic' was so impressed that he said, 'That old man speaks as if the Son of God stood at his elbow.' The anecdote, though undoubtedly mythical, shows the popular impression as to his preaching.
Brown's labours finally ruined his health, which during the last years of his life was very poor. He continued his work to very near the end. He died at Haddington on 19 June 1787, and was interred in the church-yard there, where there is a monument to his memory. He was twice married: first to Janet Thomson, Musselburgh, second to Violet Croumbie, Stenton, East Lothian. He had issue by both marriages. Several of his descendants have made themselves names in science and literature. Brown's other works have been divided into the following classes: —
- Of the Holy Scriptures: 'A Dictionary of the Rible' (1769); 'A brief Concordance to the Holy Scriptures' (1783); 'The Psalms of David in metre, with Notes' (1775).
- Of Scripture subjects: 'Sacred Tropology' (1768); 'An Evangelical and a Practical View of the Types and Figures of the Old Testament Dispensation' (1781); 'The Harmony of Scripture Prophecies' (1784).
- Systematic divinity: 'A compendious View of Natural and Revealed Religion' (1782).
- Church history: 'An Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Secession' (1706); 'A general History of the Christian Church,' 2 vols. (1771); 'A compendious History of the British Churches' (1784).
- Biography: 'The Christian, the Student, and Pastor exemplified in the lives of nine eminent Ministers' (1781); 'The Young Christian, or the Pleasantness of Earlv Piety' (1782); 'Practical Piety exemplified in the lives of thirteen eminent Christians' (1783).
- Catechisms: 'Two short Catechisms, mutually conected' (1764); 'The Christian Journal' (1764).
- Sermons: 'Religious Steadfastness recommended' (1769); 'The fearful Shame and Contempt of those professed Christians who neglect to raise up spiritual Children in Christ' (1780); 'Necessity and Advantage of Prayer in choice of Pastors' (1783).
- Miscellaneous pamphlets: 'Letters on the Constitution, Government, and Discipline of the Christian Church' (1767); 'The Oracles of Christ and the Abomination of Antichrist compared, a brief View of the Errors, Impieties, and Inhumanities of Popery' (1779); 'The Absurdity and Perfidy of all authoritative Toleration of gross Heresy, Blasphemy, Idolatry, and Popery in Great Britain' (1780); 'The Re-exhibition of the Testimony vindicated, in opposition to the unfair account of it given by the Rev. Adam Gib' (1780—Gib was a prominent anti-burgher clergyman who in this year had written 'An Account of the Burgher Re-exhibition of the Secession Testimony'); 'Thoughts on the Travelling of the Mail on the Lord's Day' (1785— as to this, see Cox's Lit. of Sabbath Question, ii. 248, Edin. 1865).
- Posthumous works: 'Select Remains' (1789); 'Posthumous Works' (1797); 'Apology for the more frequent Administration of the Lord's Supper' (1804).
[Various short lives of Brown are prefixed to several of his works; the most authentic is the Memoir by his son, the Rev. William Brown, M.D., prefixed to an edition of the Select Remains (Edin. 1856). Some additional facts, together with an engraving from a family portrait, are given in Cooke's edition of Brown's Bible (Glasgow, 1855). Some of the more authentic of the many anecdotes about Brown are collected in Dr. John Brown's Letter to the Rev. J. Cairns, D.D. (2nd ed. Edin. 1861); see also McKerrow's History of the Secession Church (Glasgow, 1841).]
BROWN, JOHN, M.D. (1735–1788), founder of the Brunonian system of medicine, was born at a village in the parish of Buncle, Berwickshire. The father was probably a day-labourer, and he followed the teaching of the seceders. He died early in life, and his widow married another seceder, a weaver by trade. When Brown was twelve or thirteen he gave offence to the seceding community by going once to public worship in the parish church of Dunse, and, refusing to be admonished, he formally left the sect. As he grew up he began to develop a philosophical turn, after the manner of Hume, and continued all his life to be somewhat free in his thinking. His quickness induced his father to send him, when five years old, to the parish school of Dunse, then under an unusually good Latinist named Cruickshank, and attended by boys generally Brown's