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The Scottish Nation

DAVIDSON, JOHN, an eminent divine of the Church of Scotland, was born about 1550, and studied at St. Andrews for the ministry. He afterwards became regent or professor in St. Leonards college of that university, and having in 1573 written a book entitled ‘Dialogue betwixt a Clerk and a Courtier,’ against a project of the regent Morton for the union of four parishes into one, he was summoned before the regent and council, and sentenced to imprisonment, but being liberated on bail, he went for a time into England. He was one of the clergymen, however, who attended the earl on the scaffold. He was afterwards appointed minister of Liberton; and having, at the order of the presbytery of Edinburgh, in 1582, pronounced sentence of excommunication against Robert Montgomery, minister of Stirling, who claimed to be archbishop of Glasgow, and boldly remonstrated with the king for his countenance of the latter, he was again forced to take temporary refuge in England. He was subsequently made minister of Prestonpans. In 1596 he took a prominent part in accomplishing the renewal of the of the National Covenant. In the General Assembly held at Dundee in 1598, he opposed the proposition that the clergy should vote in parliament in name of the Church, as a mere device for the introduction of the bishops. In consequence of a protest which he entered against this measure, he was, by order of the king, committed prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh; but on account of bad health, his place of confinement was changed to his own manse and parish. He died in 1604 at Prestonpans, the church, manse, school, and schoolhouse of which parish he built at his own expense. Several well0authenticated anecdotes are told of his prophetic powers. He was the author of ‘Helpes for Young Scholars in Christianity,’ Edin. 1602, 8vo.

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