Thursday, November 08, 2007

To be like Robert Cunningham

Robert Cunningham was one of the early Presbyterian ministers to arrive in Ulster. He came across from Scotland in 1615 to minister to the people who'd come as part of the Hamilton & Montgomery Settlement which had begun in May 1606, and was the minister at Holywood. He later married Hugh Montgomery's daughter Isabel. The old church he preached at is shown here - today known as The Old Priory - and it has a graveyard nearby where many of the Bruces are also buried.

Cunningham had one concern in life. Too many people thought highly of him. This worried him greatly.

In The Six Mile Water Revival of 1625 by W D Bailie, it says:

"...Robert Cunningham of Holywood... coming to Ulster, he was ordained by Bishop Echlin in 1615 and appointed curate of Holywood. Livingstone says he was 'the one man to my discerning, of all that ever I saw, who resembled most the meekness of Jesus Christ in all his carriage, and was so far reverenced by all, even the most wicked, that he was oft troubled with that Scripture "Woe to you when all men speak well of you"...'"

Cunningham is the absolute opposite of our outlook today. We pursue popularity and acclaim from others - Cunningham was alarmed by it.

He died at Irvine, Ayrshire, on 29th March 1637, saying on his death bed "...I see Christ..."