Robert Baillie's strictures on the preaching of Andrew Gray, Hugh Binning, and Robert Leighton

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by Reformed Covenanter, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I do not usually publish two blog posts in such quick succession, but I was reading an essay by the younger Thomas McCrie and came across a very odd quotation from Robert Baillie's letters, which I then checked in the source cited. Baillie opposed the ordination of Andrew Gray and also had a problem with the style of preaching adopted by Gray, Hugh Binning, and Robert Leighton:

    ... His voice is not yet so good as to be heard by diverse. He has the new guise of preaching, which Mr. Hew Binning and Mr. Robert Leighton began, contemning the ordinary way of exponing and dividing a text, of railing doctrines and uses; but runs out in a discourse on some common head, in a high, romancing, unscriptural style, tickling the ear for the present, and moving the affections in some, but leaving, as he confesses, little or nought to the memory and understanding. ...

    For the full quote, see Robert Baillie’s strictures on the preaching of Andrew Gray, Hugh Binning and Robert Leighton.

    Why was Baillie making this issue a hill on which to die?
     
  2. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    I will say I’m thankful Bailie’s druthers weren’t fulfilled in the case of Mr. Gray especially! :pilgrim:
     
  3. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Baillie was opinionated on a lot of things and usually if it was an old Scottish way of doing something he was for it. This is addressed in some of the histories but I forget where I read it.
     
  4. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I have not read anything by Andrew Gray, though this thread has given me a reason to do so. Given that I have read the complete works of both Hugh Binning and Robert Leighton, I suspect that Robert Baillie's concerns were misplaced.
     
  5. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    While I have not read through the Letters and Journals, from what I have read and seen quoted elsewhere, I get the impression that Robert Baillie could be (what we call in these parts) "a bit of an old woman" at times. His criticism of others sometimes comes across as quite gossipy and exaggerated.
     
  6. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    :lol: I think that fits Baillie quite well.
     
  7. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    Daniel, his sermons on Great and Precious Promises are most excellent.
     
  8. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Apart from what's unique to the psychology of the man himself, it often seems to be the case that people will form a strong attachment to one method or style of preaching, and be so focused on its singular advantages, that the benefits and even propriety of other methods can be called into question.

    If, for Baillie, not educing the doctrines contained in the text and expounding them in an orderly and subdivided way is unscriptural (does Durham still hold the record at 26thly?), others might think that method unduly atomizes the text.
     

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