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Canadian History
Rev. William Gregg


M.A., D.D., Toronto, Professor of Apologetics and Church History at Knox (Presbyterian) College, was born on the 5th of July, 1817, at Killycreen, near Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. He is a son of Daniel Gregg, who was for many years a ruling member in the Presbyterian Church, Ramelton. His mother was Jane, nee Graham, and the ancestors of both parents were Scotch. Our subject pursued his early studies in the classical school, Ramelton, of which the Rev. Edward Reid, Presbyterian minister, was principal. After leaving this school, he spent some years in mercantile and banking business, and then attended Glasgow College, and graduated therefrom with the B.A. degree. He subsequently attended Edinburgh College, and at that institution obtained his M.A. His theological course was conducted under Drs. Chalmers, Welsh, and Cunningham, in the college of the Free Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. On the 13th February, 1846, he was licensed by the Free Church Presbytery, and immediately afterwards sent as a missionary to Canada, by the Colonial Committee of the Free Church. His labours for the first year in Canada were confined within the bounds of the Kingston Presbytery; and on the 22nd June, 1847, he was ordained and appointed minister of the congregation in Belleville, now known as John Street Church. Of this church he remained pastor till July, 1857, when he was translated to Toronto, to become pastor of Cooke's Church, of which he retained the charge for fifteen years, namely, till July, 1872. While pastor of Cooke's Church, he was appointed lecturer in apologetics (1864) in Knox College, and taught the theological classes in the Montreal Presbyterian College during the first half of the first session of that institution (1867). He was likewise moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, usually called the Free Church, in 1861, when the union was effected between this church and the United Presbyterian Church of Canada. In 1872 he was appointed professor of apologetics in Knox College, and still occupies that chair. He likewise conducts the classes of church history. In 1878 he obtained the degree of D.D. from the University of Hanover, U.S.  Dr. Gregg has given much of his attention to worthy moral movements, and he has been for many years an active sympathizer in temperance work. His chief literary production may be said to be his volume, a "History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada". This is a comprehensive and painstaking work. He had likewise published several tracts and discourses, and edited a book of "Prayers for Family Worship". Dr. Gregg married on the 10th May, 1849, Phobe, eldest daughter of Dr. Rufus Holden, of Belleville.


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