Sermons of Alexander Pirie

Scope and Content

Manuscript containing lectures and sermons on biblical passages (the contents are inverted at the end of the volume). The front board has been annotated by Raffles 'I have reason to believe that this is a MSS of the Revd Alexander Pirie, of Newburgh in Scotland'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Pirie (1736/7-1804) was a minister of the Secession church and an Independent minister. He had a controversial career. After training under Alexander Moncrieff in the Anti-Burgher branch of the Secession church in Abernethy, in 1760 he was appointed Moncrieff's assistant to teach philosophy. He was licensed as a probationer in September 1762. In September 1763 he was charged with recommending several erroneous books and subverting students, and was sentenced by Synod to deprivation of licence and lesser excommunication. However, supporters in the Abernethy congregation adhered to Pirie's unauthorized preaching and sought his ordination, which was obtained from the Burgher Presbytery of Perth in July 1765. He was suspended by the presbytery in 1767 after publishing comments on the humanity of Christ in Essay on National Covenanting (1766). In 1770 Pirie became minister of the Relief Church of Blairlogie, despite the Relief Presbytery's disapproval. He left in 1778 and Blairlogie's allegiance to the Relief was regularized. He moved finally to Newburgh, Fife, where he ministered to a small Independent church. Pirie published a number of pamphlets during his life, but his most substantial publication came after his sudden death in 1804, namely Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works (1805-1806).

Source: D.F. Wright, 'Pirie, Alexander (1736/7-1804)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -