Tuesday, February 05, 2008

'This One Thing I Do.' John Brown of Broughton Place. - XX

John Brown's talents brought him to the attention of many in Edinburgh. In terms of Churches the most important was Broughton Place, the congregation formed after the split of the Rose Street congregation. Dr. Hall, for whom the Broughton Place chapel had been constructed, had died in 1826, and John Brown had preached his funeral sermon. A little over a year later he received a formal call to the pastorate. Although it was set aside by the synod, they renewed the call in 1829.
Brown did not know what to do. His ministry at Rose Street had been greatly blessed, and an effort was being made to build a new, larger chapel for the congregation. On the other hand the Broughton Place congregation was still unsettled. At last his mind was made up to follow the advice of the Synod, even if it meant laeving Rose Street. It did, the synod decided to remove John Brown from Rose Street and translate him to Broughton Place. Not surprisingly many Rose Street members followed Brown to Broughton Place, but the Rose Street congregation continued to exist, and Brown's successor, Rev. John M'Gilchrist, proved a worthy one.

John Brown was inducted at Broughton Place Church (pictured) on 20th May 1829. It was to be his last pastorate, and one that he would hold for nearly thirty years. He was to find it a peaceful church, his trials coming from without, not within, his congregation.
It was shortly after this that Brown received the degree of D.D. from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. He had not sought the distinction, but it served to distinguish him from his grandfather, who never received the D.D..
Numbers are often deceptive, but it is worthy of record that the membership at Broughton Place grew from 600 to 1000 by the end of 1829. The church seated 1600, and it was invariably full. Since the two churches were in the same city it was not surprising that the profile of the Broughton Place congregation was like that at Rose Street, from the students with their Greek Testaments to the tradesmen in their Sunday best.
Dr. Brown's preaching continued to be expository, and the cause of the Missionary societies continued to be urged on the congregation. In 1835 the church pledged itself to provide the full support for a foreign missionary in Jamaica and employed its own full-time city missionary. The Jamaica Mission was blessed to the founding of a church, which was at first supported by the Broughton Place church until a change in denominational policy brought it under the direct control of the Synod.
In 1832 Dr. Brown lost his father. The godly old minister rejoiced to see his son's ministry so blessed, and as Dr. Brown attended on his deathbed, the old man expressed his full assurance of eternal life in Christ.

ANother death in 1833 was to bring more changes in Dr. Brown's life, as we shall see, God willing, next time.



Post a Comment

<< Home