(1722-1787) was raised in extreme poverty, but his herdsman father was a
godly man who led the family in worship morning and evening. He died when
John was eleven, and his dear mother followed soon after, leaving the youth
to earn his living as a shepherd in the hills around Abernethy, Scotland.
From an early age he gave evidence of the work of Christ in him, and also of
prodigious academic abilities
– to the disbelief of many, he taught himself New Testament
Greek while in the fields with his flock. Having sought righteousness by the
works of the law, he at length received and grew in the knowledge of God's
grace, and as a good soldier of Jesus Christ was enabled to endure many
early hardships and persecutions. He eventually became renowned as a pastor
– though in a small Presbyterian denomination
– and for his literary works such as the Self-Interpreting
Bible and his devotional notes on the Metrical Psalms.
Reflections on Ruth
Brown's final letter to his flock