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Early American Presbyterians at Aprille Cooke McKay's History of the Early American Presbyterian Church.
At the session of the Legislature, 1821-2, Governor Findley was elected to the Senate of the United States for the full term of six years. At the expiration of his Senatorial term he was appointed Treasurer of the United States Mint at Philadelphia and resigned the office on account of the infirmities of age. He died at Harrisburg, at the residence of his son-in-law, Governor Shunk, November 12th, 1846. Governor Findley was a very popular man.Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley, President of Princeton College, a Major in the Virginia line during the Revolutionary War, and a commander of a regiment of Mounted Riflemen in the war of 1812. He was born in Newville, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1797; graduated at Washington College, Pennsylvania; studied medicine in Chillicothe, Ohio, and received his diploma in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Finley entered the army August 10th, 1818, as surgeon's Mate of the First Regiment of Infantry, then stationed at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He subsequently filled the positions of Assistant Surgeon, and Surgeon, and was Medical Director in the field, with Generals Jessup, Scott, and Taylor, in the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican Wars. He spent nearly eight years on the frontier of Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, accompanied the commands that established Forts Leavenworth, Jefferson Barracks, and Gibson, and went with General Dodge on one of the earliest expeditions to the Rocky Mountains in 1834.
In 1861 he was appointed Surgeon General of the United States Army, and having served his country honorably and acceptably forty-four years, he retired from active service upon his own application. The commission of Brevet Brigadier General was given him by the President on his retirement, for long an dfaithful service. General Finely wa a fine specimen of a Christian gentleman. His appearance was commanding and impressive.Samuel Blair; was licensed by the New Castle Presbytery, and installed pastor of East Nottingham, on the Rock, in Cecil County, Maryland, in 1752. Mr. Finley crossed the Alleghenies in 1765, and again in 1767, and by the direction of the Synod, supplied Ligonier, and the vacancies beyond the mountains for two months, in 1771-2. His pastoral relation at Nottingham, against the remonstrance of an attached people, was dissolved, May 17th, 1782. He was not dismissed to Redstone Presbytery till April 26th, 1785, and he was received by that body June 21st. He was called to Rehoboth and Round Hill, both in the forks of the Youghiogheny, in the Fall of 1784, and remained there till his death, January 6th, 1795. On removing to the West, the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania intrusted important business to Mr. Finley, and commissioned him as a Justice of the Peace and a Judge of the Common Pleas. President Finley, was licensed to preach by New Castle Presbytery, about 1780, and was settled at Fagg's Manor, Pennsylvania. About the year 1795 he removed to Kentucky, and became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Bracken, Mason county, were he exercised his ministry during the great revival in the West. He occasionally supplied the pulpit at Red Oak between 1803 and 1806. As senior pastor he gave the sermon at the first meeting of the Presbytery of Washington in 1799. In 1801 he was directed to supply one Sabbath a month at New Market, and the remainder of his time at Germantown, Bracken and Union, at discretion. He was noted as absent at the first meeting of the Synod of Kentucky in 1802. In 1802, he was made Stated Supply at Mr. Walls', on White Oak, for one-third of his time and at Augusta, Kentucky, for a half of his time. For the most part, he seems to have been appointed to preach at discretion. He appears to have lived in the neighborhood of Red Oak, Ohio. He was moderator of his presbytery ten times, and there is nothing to indicate that he was not held in respect by all the members and had the confidence of all the churches, until at the thirty-ninth meeting of Presbytery, at Washington, Kentucky, October 5-7, 1813, when a charge was brought against him for immoral conduct, and it was resolved that: "in order to an investigation of the case, there will be a special meeting of Presbytery, at Red Oak, on the fourth Wednesday of November next." At this special meeting of Presbytery, Mr. Finley acknowledged the facts alleged in the charge, and therefore no witnesses were cited, and it was resolved: "That John E. Finley be, and hereby is, suspended from the gospel ministry, and that he be, and hereby is, suspended also from the communion of the church. And it is further resolved that as Mr. Finley has confessed the facts alleged in the charge and professed sorrow for his conduct, the session of Red Oak church, be, and they hereby are, authorized to restore him to the communion of the chruch, as soon as they may deem it consistent with the interests of religion. This is the only case in the history of the Presbytery of suspension of a minister. (The History of the Chillicothe Presbytery by R.C.Galbraith, Jr.) Princeton College in 1787, and by the advice of Dr. Witherspoon, was appointed teacher of the Grammar School connected with the college. After remaining in this situation some time, he took charge of an academy at Allentown, New Jersey. In 1791 he removed to Charleston, South Carolina, and became Principal of an academy in that city.
Having determined to devote himself to the ministry, Mr. Finley returned to Princeton and again conducted the Grammar School, but was soon appointed Tutor in the college, and served in that capacity from 1793 to 1795. On September 16th, 1794, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and on June 16th, was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Basking Ridge, New Jersey where he also conducted on of the largest and most popular schools of the day.
About this time Mr. Finley conceived the idea of African Colonization, and he may be considered as the founder of the American Colonization Society. In 1817 he was elected to the Presidency of the University of Georgia, but he had hardly entered upon the duties of his new position when disease seized him, and he died, October 2d, 1817.He published several sermons.Presbytery of Transylvania: "In re R.W. Finley, received February 17, from Redstone Presbytery, February, 1795, he is accused of drunkenness: not present, but petitions for a session meeting to be ordered, to inquire concerning himself, and to try certain person for scandal. This refused, a letter is handed in from him, denouncing Presbytery, and declaring his renunciation of the authority and connection. Presbytery then deposed him and declared his charge vacant. In April he appeared, said he misunderstood, and signed a paper, and was restored; his trial was ordered; July, Presbytery met at his place, sent for him twice. He sent word they need not trouble themselves for he should not come; also sent a letter renouncing jurisdiction again. Suspended; his charges of scandal dismissed; cited to the next Presbytery. October, having disregarded four citation sand continuing to preach, he is deposed. He was pastor of Ash Ridge and Concord Churches."
Davidson, p. 127 says: "The Rev. Robert Finley, originally from South Carolina, was received from Redstone Presbytery, February 20th, 1792, with a high character, which he soon contrived to forfeit. . . He was finally deposed October 6, 1796"
But the records of the Washington Presbytery in 1801 include the following: "An address from the people of New Market, respecting the restoration of Mr. Robert W. Finley, formerly member of the Presbytery of Transylvania, and by them deposed, was read. Presbytery having also heard Mr. Finley as to his desire of returning, Resolved that longer time will be necessary to evidence the nature of his repentance, and heal the wound he has given to religion."
After being deposed by the Presbyterians, R.W. Wilson turned to Methodism. He was received into the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1812.
In his nineteenth year he left his native country and arrived in Philadelphia, September 28th, 1734. He resumed his studies, with reference to the ministry, put himself under the care of New Brunswick Presbytery, and was licensed to preach August 5th, 1740. He traveled extensively, for some time after his licensure, and cooperated vigorously with the friends of the revival. He labored for a considerable time, and with great success in West Jersey, in Deerfield, Greenwich, and Cape May. He was ordained probably as an evangelist, by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, October 13th, 1742.
In August, 1743, Mr. Finley received a call from Milford, Connecticut, and the Presbytery sent him to Milford "with allowance that he also preach for other places thereabouts, when Providence may open a door for him." In June, 1744, he accepted a call from the congregation in Nottingham, Maryland. Here he instituted an academy, with a view chiefly of preparing young men for the ministry, which acquired great reputation. He was chosen to the presidency of the College of New Jersey, upon the death of President Davies, in 1761, and, having accepted this appointment, his administration, which continued for five years, fully met the highest expectations. By unremitted application to the duties of his office, his health was impaired, and he died, July 17th, 1766. Dr. Finley's publications consisted mainly of sermons, the last of which was preached on the death of President Davies, 1761.Synod of Kentucky in 1802, as a member of the Presbytery of Transylvania.
Rev. John FINLAY of Kilmarnock (d. 1682), the Rev. John FINLAY of Kilmarnock was burned at the stake in Edinbourgh in 1682, just prior to the expulsion of James II in 1688. He might also have been hanged, after battle of Drumclog (covenanters rebellion) in 1679.
He was a covenanter.
Covenanters were those people in Scotland who signed the National Covenant in 1638. They signed this Covenant to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.