At Greenock, 9th March,
To the Reverend, the
Moderator and remanent members of the Associate Presbytery of Perth, to
meet at Perth the 14th of this month.
The Representation and
Petition of the subscriber, Commissioner for the inhabitants of Pictou,
Province of Nova Scotia,óHumbly sheweth:
That the inhabitants of
Pictou, emigrants from Scotland, though willing and able to support the
Gospel, are in a destitute condition, through the want of Gospel
ordinances dispensed among them, as the copy of the petition of their
Committee hereto prefixed more fully narrates.
That it is necessary
that the minister who shall be missioned to them be qualified to preach
in the English and Gaelic languages, as many of the people are from the
Highlands of Scotland.
That your petitioner
has full power to apply to any Presbytery or other Presbyterian Court,
for having a Gospel minister regularly missioned to them.
That, besides the
stipend promised by the people, your petitioner is authorized to advance
from .£30 to £40 Sterling for passage, cabin-stores, and other incident
charges that may be necessary.
That sundry who have
the Gaelic language have offered themselves but as he is well informed
of Mr. James Drummond MacGrcgor, Probationer, under the inspection of
the Reverend Presbytery of Perth, being qualified for preaching in the
Gaelic language, and that he is one who is honest and faithful in
adhering to the doctrines of the Westminster Confession, and the system
of Presbyterial government as maintained by the Church of Scotland, in
her purest times; lie therefore wishes to apply to the courts of the
Secession, that they may mission him, and in so doing he thinks he does
a real service to that people, and that lie does his best to fulfil his
That he has no reason
to suspect one from the Secession will be disagreeable to them. They
have received with pleasure some from the other Synod; he believes the
people will be ready to receive the gospel from him as their minister,
and though it will require time and much labour for instructing that
people, he hopes Mr. MacGrcgor will find much comfort in bringing them
forward to know the way of God more perfectly.
May it therefore please
this Reverend Presbytery to mission the said Mr. Jas. Drummond MacGregor
to Pictou, Nova Scotia, that he may labour among that people, agreeable
to their petition, taking all due steps towards this, that he may be
ordained and sent off in the course of next summer.
Or if this Reverend
Presbytery shall not judge it competent for them to send Mr. MacGregor
as a missionary, or shall think it reasonable the superior court should,
if Mr. MacGregor, who has been brought forward to the ministry with a
particular view to the preaching of Gaelic in Scotland can be spared
from his native country to preach the same language to his countrymen in
America. May it then please this Reverend Presbytery to refer the whole
cause to the Reverend, the Associate Synod at their next meeting, and to
require Mr. MacGregorís attendance at said meeting, if they shall grant
a reference or transmission of this petition, so as this mission be not
delayed till the season of getting a passage would be lost.
And the petitioner
engages to communicate whatever information as to particulars the
Presbytery may require, or that they may judge proper Mr. MacGregor be
informed of, as to this important cause as to himself and that people.
And begs the Reverend
Presbytery will excuse his absence on account of the distance and his
advanced years, and that the other Commissioner does not subscribe, he
being from home, and the Petitioner not willing to lose the opportunity
of presenting this petition at your first meeting.
That the Great Shepherd
may direct you in this and all other matters coming before you, is the
sincere desire of
Your humble Petitioner,
[Signed,] John Pagan.
These certify that Mr.
John Pagan, the subscriber of the above petition, is of a respectable
character for a number of years. He was an Elder of the Rev. Dr. John
Gilliesís Session at Glasgow. Since his coming from Glasgow to reside
here, he has occasionally officiated in one of the Parishes of Greenock.
And ( he) farther testifies that the copy of the petition from Pictou on
the first and second pages of this sheet is a true copy, I having
carefully compared it with the original petition. Attested at Greenock,
this ninth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty six
[Signed,] John Buist,