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The Scottish Nation

GIB, ADAM, one of the early ministers of the Secession church in Scotland and leader of the Antiburghers, the ninth son of Mr. John Gib, proprietor of the estate of Castletown, in the parish of Muckart, Perthshire, was born there on 7th April, 1714. His father, intending him for the medical profession, sent him in 1730 to the university of Edinburgh, to be educated under the superintendence of his uncle, Mr. Gib, surgeon in that city, Peculiarly attached to mathematical studies, he was a favourite scholar of the celebrated Professor M’Laurin, father of Lord Dreghorn, a lord of session. One day as he was walking down the old West Bow, deeply mediating on a mathematical problem, he found himself in the midst of a crowd, assembled to witness the execution of a criminal in the Grassmarket, when the question forced itself upon him mind, “Will the subject which now so entirely engrosses my attention, prepare me for eternity?” Resolving from that moment to commence a new course of conduct, he lived retired that he might not be exposed to temptation, and writing out rules for his guidance, signed them with his own blood. Finding himself, however, unable to act up to them. He determined upon retiring to some desert island, where no temptation could exist to lead him astray; but the perusal of Luther’s work on the Galatians caused him to change his design. The introduction to that work, it is supposed, brought him first to the knowledge of the truth.

      He now resolved to devote himself to the work of the ministry, and having, in 1735, joined the Associate Presbytery, he was by them, on 5th March 1740, licensed t preach the gospel in the West Kirk of Stirling. Soon after he received a call from the Seceding congregation of Edinburgh, and another from that of Stitchell, On the 2d April 1741, he was ordained minister of the former, and under his powerful and popular preaching, it soon increased largely in numbers.

      During the rebellion of 1745 he took an active part in support of the government. He was the means of raising several companies of volunteers among his own people, for the defence of the capital, and, on its occupation by the Highland army, he assembled his congregation for public worship at Dreghorn near Colinton, about three miles west of the city, on which occasion he preached for five successive Sabbaths in the open air, showing his loyalty to the government, even in presence of some of the insurgents, by praying for the reigning sovereign. Shortly afterwards he accompanied part of his congregation, who had taken up arms in defence of government, to Falkirk, where, a few hours before the battle of the 17th January, he signalized himself by his zeal in seizing a rebel spy, and lodging him in prison, from whence in the evening he was liberated by the Pretender’s army, on marching victoriously into Falkirk.

      His father had been much displeased with him for abandoning the medical profession, and refused for some time to hear him preach, after he was licensed; but afterwards, being dissatisfied with the habits of his eldest son, he disinherited him, and settled the estate of Castletown on the subject of this notice. When, after his death, his deed of settlement was read, Mr. Gib asked of his brother, if he would engage to change his mode of life on condition of the estate being restored to him; and on being answered in the affirmative, he immediately destroyed the deed by putting it into the fire in presence of the company assembled on the occasion.

      In 1746, when the memorable schism occurred in the Secession church, respecting the religious clause in the burgess’ oath, Mr. Gib took a leading part on the side of those who maintained that the swearing of this clause was inconsistent with the public profession of Seceders. The Antiburgher Synod was constituted in his house at Edinburgh, on 10th April 1747, and his prominent position in the controversy obtained for him the title of ‘Pope Gib.’ During the last years of his life, he suffered severely from the gout. He died at Edinburgh on 18th June 1788, in the 75th year of his age, and 48th of his ministry, ans was interred in the Greyfriars churchyard of that city, where an elegant monument was erected to his memory by his congregation.

      His works are:

      A pamphlet in the controversy concerning Whitfield and the “Cambusland Work.” Edin. 1742.

      The proceedings of the Associate Synod at Edinburgh, concerning some Ministers who have separated from them. 1748.

      A Solemn Warning by the Associate Synod in Scotland; addressed to persons of all ranks in Great Britain and Ireland. Edin. 1758.

      An Address to the Associate Synod, met at Edinburgh, Oct. 11, 1759, concerning a petition and reasons laid before them by the Rev. Alexander Moncrieff, &c. 1763.

      An Exposition of a false and abusive Libel, entitled, ‘The procedure of the Associate Synod in Mr. Pirie’s case represented,’ &c. 1764.

      A Refuge of Lies Swept away. 1768.

      The present Truth: A Display of the Secession Testimony in the three periods of the rise, state, and maintenance of the Testimony. 2 vols. 8vo, 1774.

      An Antidote against a new heresy concerning the true Sonship of Jesus Christ. A Sermon from John ix. 35. 1777.

      Vindiciae Dominiciae: A Defence of the reformation standards in the Church of Scotland, concerning the administration of the Lord’s Supper, and the one Sonship of Jesus Christ. Edin. 1778.

      An Account of the burgher Re-Exhibition of the Secession Testimony. Edin. 1780.

      An Exposition of some late Reveries concerning the Sonship of Christ. Edin. 1780.

      A Memorial and Remonstrance read before the Associate Synod, at Edinburgh, May 2, 1782, relative to a printed Sermon which had been preached before them. Edin. 1784.

      Sacred Contemplations; in three parts. Containing, 1. A view of the Covenant of Works; 2. Of the Covenant of Grace; and 3. Of the absolute and immediate dependence of all things on God. Edin. 1786, 8vo. At the end of this work, executed in the 73d year of his age, and forming a compendious body of Calvinistic divinity, was an ‘Essay on Liberty and Necessity,’ in answer to Lord Kames’ Essay on that subject.

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