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George Gillespie

1613-1649. Scottish minister. Son of the manse, he was ordained in 1638 by Kirkcaldy Presbytery to the parish of Wemyss, despite the disapproval of the archbishop of St. Andrews (who was that year ejected with other bishops when thoroughgoing Presbyterianism was restored to Scotland). Gillespie became one of the ministers of Edinburgh in 1641, a chief apologist for the National Covenant,* a participant in the Westminster Assembly, and the champion against English opposition of the place of the elder in the kirk and of the Presbyterian system of church courts. Though a victim of chronic ill health culminating in his early death, he was one of the most learned and prolific of the Covenanter writers. His chief work, Aaron's Rod Blossoming (1646), a comprehensive study of the Erastian controversy in the light of Scripture, so stung the Episcopalians that when they regained ascendancy in 1661 they had his tombstone “solemnly broken” by the public hangman at Kirkcaldy.