Thursday, September 13, 2007

'Through Many Trials' David Brown - X.

David Brown was brought through the troubles at Regent Square as he had been brought through his troubles with John Duncan, and he came through with a deeper knowledge of the Bible, against which he had tried Irving's teaching and the 'prophecies' uttered by the 'prophets' at Regent Square. He had been forced to reconsider a lot of things, including his eschatology, and that study was to bear fruit in later life.

Despite his undeniable eccentricities, and the extravagances into which he tragically fell towards the end of his life (a life that was cut short by the trouble he so sadly brought upon himself), Edward Irving was a great preacher with a high view of the Christian ministry, and David Brown had learned that high and Biblical view as well. With such a model of dilligence to imitate, David Brown had learned to be a PASTOR in London.
He returned to Scotland, however, with suspicion attached to his name, conscious that he was no closer to being ordained than he had been when he had gone to London, since the very fact of his connection with Irving (although he utterly repudiated Irving's peculiar views) counted against him. How sad it is when unreasonable suspicion of heresy attaches to a young preacher because of his associations! The rumour goes around that so-and-so holds unsound doctrine - and no-one ever thinks to ask the man in question before passing on the rumour! If only they had asked, the rumour would never have spread! Brown had in fact explicitly rejected Irving's teachings, and his rejection of them had severed him from many close friends, while his association with Irving had alienated him from those who, had they only known him better, would have been his closest friends.
In fact, things were worse for Brown. Not only was he seeking a pastorate, but for four years he had been engaged to be married, but without a pastorate he could not marry! The only post he could find was that of assistant minister in Dumbarton, a post that existed so that the parish minister, a man of a low reputation and character, could do as little work as possible!
It was the Lord's doing, we know. With the good influence of Irving fresh in his mind, Brown threw himself into the work, started an evening service, Bible classes for the young people, and evangelistic services. He became known as an orthodox, evangelical pastor, and was used for much good in the town. Still, he could not marry on the Dumbarton assistantship salary, and disappointment followed disappointment in the vacancies he preached in. His brother Charles, three years younger than him, was a pastor in Glasgow already. Only the grace of God bore David up.

God willing, next time we shall see the end of his waiting.



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