Audio Book Samples

Friday, November 16, 2018

John Willison 1680-1750

Essay on the Life and Times of Rev. John Willison by Wm. Hetherington
John Willison (1680 – 3 May 1750) was an evangelical minister of the Church of Scotland and a writer of Christian literature.
His father was laird of a small property near Stirling, where John Willison was born. He was inducted to the parish of Brechin as minister in 1703. In 1718 he moved to a charge in Dundee.
His treatise on the sanctification of the Lord's day was in response to the policies of James VI and the Episcopal clergy. It provoked a reply from James Small, an Episcopalian, which was answered by Willison in his Letter from a Parochial Bishop to a Prelatical Gentleman. After this, he wrote a devotional work: A Sacramental Directory. Small replied to his earlier Letter, upon which Willison published An Apology for the Church of Scotland. He then moved on to political topics with A Letter to an English Member of Parliament.
After the ejection of Ebenezer Erskine and his fellow-ministers for opposition to patronage, Willison attacked their exclusion in a sermon to the Synod of Angus and Mearns in 1733 (published as "The Church's Danger"). He tried to win them back and a majority was gained in the General Assembly of 1734 as a healing measure. As a result, Willison was sent to London as part of a deputation to labour for the repeal of patronage, but they were only successful insofar as they gained some important concessions. Erskine and his colleagues were not satisfied and formed a separate presbytery in 1739 (see United Presbyterian Church of Scotland for Seceders history).
In 1737 he wrote one of his most famous and most reprinted works The Afflicted Man's Companion, and also an explanation of the Shorter Catechism called An Example of Plain Catechising. Other catechetical pieces published by Willison at different times were The Mother's Catechism (a famous and much used young children's catechism) and The Young Communicant's Catechism.
In 1742 he published another much printed work, The Balm of Gilead which includes twenty-four discourses, twelve of them relating to The Lord's Supper. In 1744 there followed his Fair and Impartial Testimony on the state of the Church of Scotland.
During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, having published in the same year Popery Another Gospel, he was threatened by soldiers of the Highland army while conducting service in the church building and for a few weeks had to preach in private houses.
His last publication was Sacramental Meditations and Advices (1747)

Significant Scots - John Willison - Biographical Sketch: 


Practical Works of John Willison (1851?)
 1. Essay on the Life and Times of Rev. John Willison by Wm. Hetherington (page vii)
2. Treatise Concerning the Sanctification of the Lord's Day (page 1)
3. A Sacramental Directory (page 127)
4. Sacramental Meditations (page 242)
5. The Balm of Gilead, for Healing a Diseased Land (page 391)
6. A Sacramental Catechism (page 442)
7. The Excitation of Grace (page 513)
8. The Meditation of Christ's Sufferings (page 515)
9. The Young Communicant's Catechism (page 577)
10. The Mother's Catechism for a Young Child (page 593*)
11. An Example of Plain Catechising on the Assembly's shorter Catechism (page 593)
12. The Afflicted Man's Companion (page 728)
13. The Church's Danger, and Ministers' Duty - A Sermon (page 823)
14. Popery Another Gospel (page 844)
15. A Fair and Impartial Testimony (page 879)
16. Scripture Songs for Zion's Travellers in Their Way to Heaven (page 951)
17. Gospel Hymns in Memory of Redeeming Love, and of Christ's Death and Sufferings (page 964)