Guild, William

, an eminent Scotch divine, the son of an opulent tradesman in Aberdeen, was born in that city in 1586, and received *a liberal education at Marischal college, then recently founded, with a view to the church. Before he took orders, however, he appeared as an autii:>r, by publishing, when only in his twentieth year, a treatise entitled “The New Sacrifice of Christian Incense,London, 1608 and the same year, “The only way to Salvation,” printed also at London. Immediately after the publication of these, he appears to have taken orders, and was | called to the pastoral charge of the parish of King EJward in the presbytery of Turriff and synod of Aberdeen. Here he passed some of the happiest years of his life, in high favour with Jiis parishioners and here in 1610 he married Katherine Rowen, daughter of Mr. Rowen or Rolland of Disblair, by whom he had no issue. In 1617, when king James I. visited Scotland, with a view to establish episcopacy, and brought bishop Andrews of Ely with him to assist in the management of that very delicate and ultimately unsuccessful attempt, Dr. Andrews, among other eminent men of the Scotch clergy whom he consulted, paid great regard to Mr. Guild; and the following year, when Andrews was promoted to the see of Winchester, Mr. Guild dedicated to him, one of his most useful works, entitled “Moses unveiled,” pointing out those fgures in the Old Testament which allude to the Messiah. Mr. Guild became, much about the same time, acquainted with Dr. Young, a countryman of his own, dean of Winchester, who introduced him to the king, by whom he was appointed one of the royal chaplains. This obligation he afterwards acknowledged in the dedication to his “Harmony of the Prophets,” a work which he published in the beginning of the reign of Charles I. It was afterwards printed with his “Moses unveiled,” in an edition now before us, dated Edinburgh, 1684.

As his attention to public affairs did not prevent him from applying diligently to his private studies, he continued, during his residence at King Edward, to exercise his talent for composition, and occasionally sent to the press some useful tracts. Most of his performances were of the popular kind, and all of them appear to have been adapted, as much as possible, to common use; but his literary merit was acknowledged by those who were more competent judges than the multitude. Men of learning knew him to be learned the academical honour of D. D. was conferred upon him, and he was ranked, while yet a young man, among the ablest divines in the church of Scotland. In 1625 and 1626 he published the “Ignis Fatuus” against the doctrine of purgatory, and “Popish glorying in antiquity turned to their shame,” both printed at London. His next publication, entitled “A compend of the Controversies of Religion,” was printed at Aberdeen.

In 1631 he was removed to be one of the ministers of Aberdeen. He had long before this afforded proof of his | attachment to his native city, by giving a house of considerable value in order to enlarge the gateway to Marischal college; and now contributed to the restoration of the Grey Friars church, which had for some years been unfit for public service. But the greatest of his benefactions was given to the incorporated trades of Aberdeen, for the use of whom he built a hall, and endowed an hospital, which, with the assistance of subsequent benefactors, is now in a flourishing state, and of great utility. The charter for the hospital appears to have been obtained in 1633.

When the commotions took place in consequence of king Charles’s endeavours to establish episcopacy in Scotland, the Perth articles, as they were called, were opposed by the Scotch covenant, which was subscribed by the majority of the clergy and people of Scotland, but not being so rigorously enforced as to prohibit all exercise of private judgment, Dr. Guild was permitted to subscribe it under such limitations as he was pleased to specify, which implied a loyal adherence to the king, but no condemnation of the articles of Perth, or of episcopal government. He was afterwards one of the commissioners in the general assembly of Scotland which met in 1638, and abolished the hierarchy of the church; and after his return from Glasgow, where this assembly met, officiated as formerly at Aberdeen in the pastoral function, and, with a view to beal the animosities then prevailing between the episcopal and presbyterian party, published “A friendly and faithful advice to the nobility, gentry, and others,” recommending that moderation which was then impossible, while the two great bodies who divided the sentiments of the two kingdoms, persisted in mutual encroachments. Yet notwithstanding an obvious leaning to the loyal side in Dr. Guild’s conduct, he was, on a vacancy, elected principal of King’s college, Aberdeen, in 1640, and preached his last sermon, as minister of Aberdeen, in June 1641. This was followed by a special mark of favour from his majesty, who bestowed upon Dr. Guild “a free gift of a house and garden, which had formerly been the residence of the bishop of Aberdeen.” He did’not, however, allow this to increase his private fortune, but wiih his usual liberality, devoted it to the service of the public, in benefactions to the college, the town, and the poor of the adjoining parish.

His attachment to the royal cause, however, soon involved him in the sentence passed on all who held such | sentiments, and in 1651 he was deposed by five commissioners of general Monk’s army. From this time he appears to have resided in a private station at Aberdeen, improving his charitable foundation, and adding to it exhibitions for three scholars of Marischal college. He also during this retirement wrote “An Explication of the Song of Solomon,London, 1658, 8vo “The Sealed Book opened,” or an explanation of the Revelation of St. John and “The Novelty of Popery discovered,Aberdeen, 1656, 16mo.

The life of Dr. Guild, suitably to its benevolent progress, terminated with acts of charity. By his last will, written in 1657, he bequeathed seven thousand marks to be secured on land, and the yearly profit applied to the maintenance of poor orphans. His library he left to the unU versity of St. Andrew’s, except one valuable manuscript, supposed to be the original of the memorable letter from the states of Bohemia and Moravia, to the council of Constance, 1415, relative to John Huss and Jerome of Prague. This Dr. Guild bequeathed to the university of Edinburgh, He died in August 1657. His widow so far followed his benevolent example, that by her munificence are still maintained, six students of philosophy, four scholars at the public school, two students of divinity, six poor widows, and six poor men’s children. Before her death she sent up to Dr. John Owen a manuscript of her husband’s, who had intended to have published it with a dedication to that celebrated nonconformist, although not personally known to him. Dr. Owen accordingly published it, under the title ft The Throne of David, or an exposition of the Second (Book) of Samuel," Oxford, 1659, 4to; with a recommendatory preface, which shews how little there was of difference in religious opinion between Dr. Guild and the party that thought him unworthy to continue his ministerial labours. 1


Life by Dr. Shirreffs, 2d edition, Aberdeen, 1799, 8vo. Preface to his Exposition of Samuel.