Thomas Guthrie

1803-1873. Scottish minister and social reformer. Born in Brechin, he had an extensive university education at Edinburgh (1815-25), then, refusing to renounce evangelical principles in order to obtain a parish, studied medicine and social conditions in Paris. In 1830 he became minister of Arbirlot and in 1837 collegiate minister at Old Greyfriars, Edinburgh. His concern for the poor and for improving environment was expressed in The City: Its Sins and Sorrows (1857). He felt that the 1843 Disruption* was the inevitable response to the law that enslaved the church of Christ, and he became minister of Free St. John's until 1864. His “Manse Fund” within a year gathered £116,370 for those who had sacrificed home for conscience in joining the Free Church of Scotland.* His social reform proposals were numerous, and he championed especially the cause of Ragged Schools. He was one of the earliest supporters of the Evangelical Alliance.* His preaching attracted rich and poor in great numbers. His writings include The Gospel in Ezekiel (1855) which sold 50,000 copies. Guthrie's funeral in Edinburgh brought out some 30,000 mourners.