The Orthodox Presbyterian, 1829-40

The Orthodox Presbyterian started in 1829 by the Synod of Ulster, and was published by the well- known Presbyterian bookseller and poet, William McComb, High Street, Belfast, who published the Presbyterian Almanac for many years.

The prospectus clearly sets out the tenets of the magazine – ‘In its pages the precious truths of the Gospel shall be faithfully maintained, the principles of the Reformation vindicated, the cause of vital godliness advocated, and the distinguishing tenets of Presbyterianism explained and defended’.

One of the chief promoters of the Orthodox Presbyterian was the Rev Dr Henry Cooke who for many years was a regular contributor to its pages. The article on Presbyterianism in the first number and a series of papers on Education were all written by Cooke.

Other notable contributors were Rev Dr Seaton Reid, the Rev Thomas Toye, Belfast, Professor W D Killen, the Rev Dr James Morgan, and the Rev James Glasgow. Up until 1838 the editorship fell largely to the Rev James Morgan who was succeeded by the Rev Samuel Davidson, Professor of Biblical Criticism for the Synod of Ulster.

Volume 8 ended in September 1837 with an announcement that the size would be altered from duodecimo to octavo and that the price would rise from half a crown to 4 shillings per year. The new series began in January 1838 under Davidson’s editorship with a new feature entitled ‘Missionary Register’ containing periodical accounts of the progress of home and foreign missions.

The first six volumes were printed by Thomas Mairs and the last three by Paul Kelso, both of Belfast.

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