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Memoir of the Rev James MacGregor D.D.
Appendix B. Petition to the Presbytery of Perth

At Greenock, 9th March, 1786.

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,—Humbly 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 commission.

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. MacGregor’s 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 Gillies’s 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 years.

[Signed,] John Buist, Minister.

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