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Robert Blair of Bangor (M'Crie)

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Hardcover w/Jacket

Out of print Tentmaker edition.

Early Irish Presbyterianism was fortunate to have clerical leadership of stellar quality. John Livingstone of Killinchy, Josiah Welsh of Templepatrick and Robert Cunningham of Holywood, are some of the more prominent names of those who shaped the faith and practice oif the presbyterian settlers, particularly in the north. They were well equipped to do so spiritually, intellectually and socially. The enduring steadfastness of the people to their creed when these men were forced by ecclesiastical and political persecution to retreat to Scotland in the later 1630's is testimony to the quality of their work.

Outstanding among these luminaries was the Rev Robert Blair. Being obliged to relinquish his position as a regent in the College of Glasgow and finding it difficult to enter parish ministry on account of his non-conformity, he was minded to go to France, but felt divinely led to accept an invitation from Sir James Hamilton, Lord Clandeboy, patron of the parish of Bangor, to fill the incumbency. Although a reluctant incomer, ("hankering still after France") he quickly established himself as a leader and was clearly regarded as such by his peers. His counsel was often sought and his first class intellectual ability was at the disposal of his Lord and his church. Early historian Patrick Adair describes him as "...the greatest instrument for preaching of the Gospel in the North of Ireland", and Blair's colleague Rev. John Livingstyone described him as "...a man of notable constitution both body and mind-of a majestick, awful, yet amiable countenance."