William Chalmers Burns

William Chalmers Burns

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William Chalmers Burns

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William Chalmers Burns (宾惠廉, 1 April 1815 – 4 April 1868) was a Scottish Evangelist and Missionary to China with the English Presbyterian Mission who originated from Kilsyth, North Lanarkshire. He was the coordinator of the Overseas missions for the English Presbyterian church. He became a well known evangelist through his participation in two periodic Anglo-American religious revivals.

Life

Burns was brought up in a well-to-do household. The third son of a local church minister, William Hamilton Burns (1779-1859) and Elizabeth Chalmers (1784-1879). At the age of seventeen, Burns' faith was strengthened through tragedy, and subsequently, Burns commenced theological training. He studied at Marischal College in Aberdeen, and at the University of Glasgow's Divinity Hall. (His brother Islay, author of Memoirs, was later a professor there).

During a revival meeting, he encountered an experience in which it became apparent that God had particularly appointed him into His service. By 1839, at the age of 24, Burns had obtained the license to preach from the Glasgow Presbytery.

While still in his homeland of Scotland, he experienced, together with the preacher Robert Murray M'Cheyne, genuine revival meetings. It was one of the tools from which the great spiritual revivals in his home town of Kilsyth resulted, that took place from 1839-07-23. Burns preached at St. Peter's in Dundee while Robert Murray M'Cheyne was away on a mission to the Jews in Palestine. The...
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