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Title: Andrew Thomson, 1779-1831, leader of the Evangelical Revival in Scotland
Author: Craven, John Watson
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 026X
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1955
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Throughout the course of Scottish Church History there have been many important movements which have brought the Church of Scotland to hor present state. Hot the least of these was the Great Disruption in I8I4.3* Much has been written concerning the causes of this disruption but too little notice has been made of one of the great evangelical leaders of the immediate pre-disruption period, Dr. Andrew Hitchell Thomson, The contribution which Thomson made to the Church was an Important one and commands serious study. This thesis is an attempt to present the man and his work in relation to the Evangelical Revival in the Church of Scotland at the beginning of the nineteenth Century. His activities were many and varied, and most of them are mentioned in this work. Those that have a direct bearing on the Evangelical Revival are carefully examined and considered. Church historians have written very little concerning Andrew Thomson, as he was overshadowed by Thomas Chalmers and the momentous events relating to the Disruption of 1843. There is only one brief biography of Thomson, which is very inadequate. Unfortunately, little information is available concerning his early life and interests. This thesis is divided into two major parts, plus an evaluation. The first part is treated-rather briefly, however, because of the lack of primary material and the fact that the second part covers the portion of Thomson's life which bears directly on the Evangelical Revival in Scotland during the first quarter of the nineteenth Century Thomson's influence upon this Revival is demonstrated in every phase of his life and work. Serving as an able and faf Use other side if necessary. distinguished minister, as editor of an Influential evangelical periodical, and party leader in the Church, he rendered a two-fold service to evangelical religion. He took away the reproach from what had been called the narrow, the pietistic, the fanatical party, and formed a strong Evangelical body to face the Moderate ranks. He gathered and marshalled the younger men in the Church who were willing to fight for spiritual independence and Christian rights inside the Establishment. His seal in promoting the religious culture and intellectual improvement of the people, a characteristic which was not so pronounced in the earlier evangelicals, served to render the Evangelical Revival more acceptable in certain areas of society, Thomson was a reformer and his often controversial writings reflect that character. A careful analysis of his speeches and his writings reveal that their distinctive feature is their powerful and sifting argumentation. His aim often appeared to be to find and refute error, and in the passion of debate he sometimes spoke and wrote more severely and harshly than the occasion warranted. He sometimes crossed the boundry line of fair debate; he occasionally took an exaggerated view of his subject, and too often penned unguarded expressions in regard to those with whom he differed. It may be said that considering the stirring nature of the warfare in which he was engaged, and the fact that an ardent tamper seems to be an inseparable element in a mind fitted for enterprises of noble daring, some of his actions were not surprising, but are by no means to be commended. He has been compared with Luther, and Knox, and Melville; and despite his occasional injudicious conduct, he greatly helped to bring Ills Church to a renewed awareness of her protestant heritage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available