Kennedy, John, (of Dingwall)

John Kennedy of Dingwall

1819-1884 DNB 35


Books  (4)

The Apostle of the North: the Life and Labors of Rev. John M’Donald,  Buy  1866, 346 pages

Here is spiritual encouragement for a long ministry of labor and service to others.  M’Donald was an influential minister in the Highlands (northern Scotland) of the early 1800’s, the generation before Kennedy when evangelical lights were few and far in-between.  Kennedy records these records so that they will not be forgotten.

The Days of the Fathers in Ross-shire,  Buy  1895, 260 pages

This is Kennedy’s most well known work, which preserves a glimpse into the deep (somewhat unique) evangelical spirituality of the Highlands from the days before Kennedy.  “Ross-shire” is a county (“shire” is a division of land, think Lord of the Rings) in Northern Scotland that is the local area around Dingwall.  “Fathers” refers to the revered fathers of the faith of the older generation before Kennedy.  

Man’s Relations to God,  Buy  1869, 175 pages, four chapters

Our relation to God is of the utmost consequence.  What are all the relations that God bears to man?  Kennedy takes up controversial subjects that were prominent in his day (and will always be of perennial interest to God’s people), of whether God is the father of all mankind (yes), the sincere offer of the gospel, the warrant of faith, the extent of the atonement (and the error of the double-reference theory), the covenants of scripture, the doctrine of adoption, and others.

The Saviour,  Buy  no date, 130 pages

Here is a review by Rev. Sherman Isbell that will wet your desire for the book



Answer to the Declaratory Statement of 1892 in the Free Church of Scotland, part 1, part 2HTML, with the five paragraph Declaratory Act at the beginning.  The Declaratory Act of 1892 in the Free Church was a declaration of the Church’s interpretation of the Westminster Confession under five points, some of which taught against the Confession itself.  The intent of the Act was to open the door to union with the broader United Presbyterian Church.  The Declaratory Act, not being of a constitutional nature, but only a current interpretation of the constitution, did not materially change the constitution.  Thus the conservatives, bound by their unaltered constitutional vows to the constitution of the church, stayed in the church, though two ministers left and formed the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.  The foreseen union between the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church took place in 1900 and the United Free Church was formed.  The Constitutionalists stayed out of the unconstitutional union, continued the Free Church of Scotland, and repealed the Declaratory Act in 1905.

The Declaratory Act includes the statement, “that liberty of opinion is allowed on matters in the subordinate standard not essential to the doctrine therein taught.”  With such ideas rife in confessional churches today, Kennedy’s dismantling of such broad-tent subscription is an example for conservatives today.  

Hyper-Evangelism: Another Gospel, though a Mighty PowerHTML,  Buy  1874, with a 6 paragraph introduction by Rev. Sherman Isbell

This is a spiritually insightful critique of the American, revivalist style, D.L Moody crusades in Scotland, that emphasized quick external professions of faith to the detriment and exclusion of a substantial, balanced and persevering Christian life.  This is must reading and directly applicable to our day of Fast-Food Christianity. 


A Lecture

The Lord’s Day, Re-typset PDF, 1883, 9 pages


A Speech

The Introduction of Instrumental Music into the Worship of the Free Church Unscriptural, Unconstitutional and Inexpedient, HTML, no date, 29 paragraphs

An excellent defense of the Biblical and majority, historic reformed view against musical instruments in worship


Books of Sermons

Sermon Notes, 2 volumes  Buy  390 & 324 pages

Need help with sermons?  Look over these sermon notes.  Also makes for edifying reading on the Lord’s Day


Individual Sermons

The Father’s Drawing, Jn. 6:44, HTML, no date, 11 pages

Justification by Faith, Rom. 4:5, HTML, no date

The Secret of the Lord, Ps. 25:14, HTML, no date

The Tree of Life, Rev. 22:2, Re-typset PDF, 1883, 10 pages

What is Sin? Ps. 51:4, 1883


An Extract 

Things to be Pondered: A course of twelve lessons, which I have begun to learn, and should not cease to rememberno date, two pages, from The Life of John Kennedy, D.D. by Rev. Alexander Auld

Here is Biblical meditation and self-examination at its best.  Read this five minute piece, and then do the same.



Book Review of The SaviorHTML, no date, by Rev. Sherman Isbell

Dr. John Kennedy, HTML,  Buy  no date, 8 paragraphs, an excerpt from John MacLeod’s Scottish Theology in Relation to Church History

MacLeod was a leading authority on Scottish history and theology.  His work is a classic; dense but colorful.  Read this first for a short sketch of Kennedy.

John Kennedy, HTML,  Buy  1886, 19 paragraphs, from Disruption Worthies of the Highlands

The Disruption Worthies of the Highlands was a commemorative work to remember the lives of those who paid such a high price to form the Free Church of Scotland.  An excellent biographical article.

Life of John Kennedy, D.D.,   Buy  261 pages, by Alexander Auld

This is the major life of Kennedy

Memoir of Rev John Kennedy, D.D., of Dingwall, HTML, 1893, 21 paragraphs, from the Inverness Courier

A Prince Among Preachers, An Introduction, 2007by Neil Ross, scroll down the page a little for the bio

The Prince of Highland Preachers: a Sketch of Dr. John Kennedy of Dingwall, HTML, no date, 17 paragraphs, by anonymous



John Kennedy of Dingwall



Memorial of John Kennedy and the Dingwall Free Church