Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A species of Dissenters in Scotland, whose only difference from the Scotch established church is the choosing their own pastors. They were separated from the church in the year 1752, occasioned by Mr. Thomas Gillespie being deposed for refusing to assist at the admission of a minister to a parish who were unwilling to receive him. When Mr. Gillespie was deprived of his parish, he removed to Dumferline, and preached there to a congregation who were attached to him, and vehemently opposed the law of patronage. Being excluded from the communion of the church, he, with two or three other ministers, constituted themselves into a presbytery, called the Presbytery of Relief; willing to afford relief to all "who adhered to the constitution of their church of Scotland, as exhibited in her creeds, canons, confessions, and forms of worship." They are unwilling, it is said, to be reckoned seceders. Their licentiates are educated under the established church professors, whose certificates they acknowledge. Many of their people receive the Lord's supper with equal readiness in the established church as in their own. The relief synod consists of about sixty congregations, and about 36, 000 persons.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Relief'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/r/relief.html. 1802.