Henderson, Alexander,1583–1646, Scottish churchman often regarded as the greatest figure in the Church of Scotland after John KnoxKnox, John,
1514?–1572, Scottish religious reformer, founder of Scottish Presbyterianism. Early Career as a Reformer
Little is recorded of his life before 1545. He probably attended St. Andrews Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. . Henderson became a leading opponent of prelacy and of English domination of the church. In 1638, after the signing of the National Covenant (see CovenantersCovenanters
, in Scottish history, groups of Presbyterians bound by oath to sustain each other in the defense of their religion. The first formal Covenant was signed in 1557, signaling the beginning of the Protestant effort to seize power in Scotland.
..... Click the link for more information. ), he was elected moderator of the general assembly at Glasgow, which deposed the bishops and set up PresbyterianismPresbyterianism,
form of Christian church organization based on administration by a hierarchy of courts composed of clerical and lay presbyters. Holding a position between episcopacy (government by bishops) and Congregationalism (government by local congregation),
..... Click the link for more information. in spite of royal threats. Henderson met King Charles I to settle the problem and was favorably received. In 1640, he was elected rector of the Univ. of Edinburgh. In 1641 and 1643, he was moderator of the general assembly and presented (1643) a draft of the Solemn League and Covenant. He sat thereafter (1643–46) in the Westminster Assembly. In 1646, he again met Charles for a conference on church government during the course of the king's alliance with the Scottish army. Henderson wrote many speeches and sermons.
See biographies by J. P. Thomson (1912) and R. L. Orr (1919).
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