David Dickson (1583-1662)
David Dickson was born about the year 1583. He was the only son of Mr John Dick or Dickson, merchant in Glasgow, whose father was an old feuar and possessor of some lands in the barony of Fintry, and parish of St Ninian’s, called the Kirk of the Muir. His parents were religious, of considerable substance, and were many years married before they had David, who was their only child. As he was a Samuel asked of the Lord, so he was early devoted to Him and the ministry. Yet afterwards the vow was forgot, till Providence, by a rod and sore sickness on their son, brought their sins to their remembrance, and then he was sent to assume his studies at the University of Glasgow.
Soon after he had received the degree of Master of Arts, he was admitted professor of philosophy in that college, where he was very useful in training up the youth in solid learning; and, with the learned Principal Boyd of Trochrig, the worthy Mr Blair, and other pious members of that society, his labours were singularly blessed in reviving serious piety among the youth in that declining and corrupted time, a little after the imposition of Prelacy upon the Church. Here, by a recommendation of the General Assembly not long after our Reformation from Popery, the regents were only to continue eight years in their profession; after which, such as were found qualified were licensed, and, upon a call after trial, were admitted to the holy ministry: by which constitution, the Church came to be filled with ministers well-qualified in all the branches of useful learning. Accordingly, David Dickson was, in 1618, ordained minister to the town of Irvine, where he laboured for about twenty-three years.
That same year, the corrupt Assembly at Perth agreed to the five articles imposed upon the Church by King James IV and the prelates. David Dickson at first had no great scruple against Episcopacy, as he had not studied those questions much, till the articles were imposed by this Assembly. These he closely examined; the more he looked into them, the more aversion he found to them; and when some time after, by a sore sickness, he was brought within view of death and eternity, he gave open testimony of the sinfulness of them.