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William Guthrie

1620-1665. Scots Covenanting divine. He graduated in 1638 from St. Andrews, where he studied under his cousin James and in divinity under Samuel Rutherford.* Licensed to preach in 1642, he was a tutor before being called in 1644 to the Ayrshire parish of Fenwick. His preaching filled the church, and in pastoral visitation he was most diligent. In 1651, with Scotland divided between Resolutioners* and Protesters,* he supported the latter group. Under Cromwell he was one of the Triers. Such affiliations were inevitably suspect at the Restoration, yet when Charles II forced episcopacy on Scotland, Guthrie was overlooked until 1664, perhaps because of influential friends. Even then he was not hustled summarily out of his parish, like so many, but left Fenwick in 1665, only to die that year in Brechin of the kidney disease that had long afflicted him. Guthrie is best known for his little book The Christian's Great Interest (1658) which has passed into many libraries and languages. John Owen called him “one of the greatest divines that ever wrote.”

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