Hugh Binning (1627-1653) was son of John Binning of Dalvennan, and Margaret M’Kell, daughter of Matthew M’Kell, minister of Bothwell, and sister of Hugh M’Kell, one of the ministers of Edinburgh. Before he was fourteen years of age, he entered upon the study of philosophy in the University of Glasgow, wherein he made very considerable progress; by which means he came to be taken notice of in the college by the professors and students, and at the same time advanced remarkably in religion also. As soon as his course of philosophy was finished, he obtained the degree of Master of Arts with great applause; and began the study of divinity with a view to serve God in the holy ministry.
Binning was not quite nineteen years of age when he became regent and professor of philosophy; and though he had not time to prepare a system of any part of his profession, as he had instantly to begin his class, yet such was the quickness and fertility of his invention, the tenacity of his memory, and the solidity of his judgment, that his dictates to his scholars had depth of learning, and perspicuity of expression. Binning continued in this profession three years, and discharged his trust so as to gain the general applause of the university for academical exercises. And this was the more remarkable, for, having turned his thoughts towards the ministry, he carried on his theological studies at the same time, and made great improvements therein; his memory being so retentive that he scarcely forgot anything he had read or heard.
At the expiration of three years as a professor of philosophy, the parish of Govan, which lies adjacent to the city of Glasgow, happened to be vacant. Having preached there to the great satisfaction of the people, he was called to be minister there; which call the presbytery approved of, and entered him upon trials for ordination about the twenty-second year of his age.
He was, considering his age, a prodigy of learning; for before he had arrived at the twenty-sixth year of his life, he had such a large stock of useful knowledge, as to be philologus, philosophus, et theologus eximius (philologist, philosopher, and excellent theologian); and might well have been an ornament to the most famous and flourishing university in Europe. This was the more surprising, considering his weakness and infirmity of body, as not being able to read much at a time, nor to undergo the fatigue of continual study; insomuch that his knowledge seemed rather to have been born with him, than to have been acquired by hard and laborious study.
Though he was bookish and much intent upon the fulfilling of his ministry, yet he turned his thoughts to marriage, and did espouse a virtuous and excellent person, Barbara Simpson, daughter of Mr James Simpson, a minister in Ireland. Upon the day he was to be married, he went, accompanied with his friend and some others (among whom were several worthy ministers), unto an adjacent country congregation, upon the day of the weekly sermon. The minister of the parish delayed sermon till they would come, hoping to put the work upon one of them; but all declining it, he tried next to prevail on the bridegroom, with whom he succeeded, though the invitation was not expected. It was no difficult task to him to preach upon a short warning. Stepping aside a little to premeditate, and implore his Master’s presence and assistance (for he was ever afraid to be alone in this work), he entered the pulpit immediately, and preached upon 1 Peter 1:15, “But as he that called you is holy,” etc. At which time he was so remarkably helped, that all acknowledged that God was with him of a truth.
After he had laboured four years in the ministry, serving God with his spirit in the gospel of His Son, he died in 1653, of a consumption, when he was scarcely come to the prime and vigour of his life, being only in the 26th year of his age; leaving behind him a sweet savour, and an epistle of commendation, upon the hearts of those who were his hearers.
He was a person of singular piety, of a humble, meek, and peaceable temper; a judicious and lively preacher; nay, so extraordinary a person, that he was justly accounted a prodigy of human learning and knowledge of divinity. From his childhood he knew the Scriptures, and from a boy had been much under deep and spiritual exercise, until the time, or a little before, that he entered upon the office of the ministry; when he came to a great calm and tranquillity of mind, being mercifully relieved from all these doubtings which for a long time he had been exercised with. [More via Reformation-Scotland.org]
The Complete Works of Hugh Binning:
- Editor’s Preface – pdf, 51 pp.
- The Life of Mr. Hugh Binning – pdf, 60 pp.
- The Common Principles of the Christian Religion, or, A Practical Catechism – indexed searchable pdf, 262 pp.
- God’s Glory the Chief End of Man’s Being (Romans 11:36) – pdf, 12 pp.
- Union and Communion with God the End and Design of the Gospel (Psalm 73:24-28; 1 John 1:3; John 17:21-23) – pdf, 10 pp.
- The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16) – pdf, 10 pp.
- The Scriptures Reveal Eternal Life Through Jesus Christ (John 5:39; Ephesians 2:20) – pdf, 15 pp.
- Of the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:20) – pdf, 8 pp.
- What the Scriptures Principally Teach: The Ruin and Recovery of Man; Faith and Love Towards Christ (2 Timothy 1:13) – pdf, 19 pp.
- Of the Name of God (Exodus 3:13-14) – pdf, 11 pp.
- The Eternity and Unchangeableness of God (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 90:2; Job 11:7-9) – pdf, 13 pp.
- What God is to Us (Exodus 34:6-7) – pdf, 16 pp.
- What God Is (John 4:24) – pdf, 9 pp.
- The Knowledge That God Is, Combined with the Knowledge That He is to be Worshiped (John 4:24) – pdf, 15 pp.
- The Unity of the Divine Essence, and the Trinity of Persons (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 John 5:7) – pdf, 7 pp.
- Of the Unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of Persons (Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 John 5:7) – pdf, 9 pp.
- Of the Decrees of God (Ephesians 1:11; Job 23:13) – pdf, 18 pp.
- Of Predestination (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 9:22-23) – pdf, 12 pp.
- Of Predestination (Romans 9:22; Ephesians 1:11) – pdf, 18 pp.
- Of Creation (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1:1) – pdf, 29 pp.
- Of Creation (Hebrews 11:3; Hebrews 1:14) – pdf, 5 pp.
- Of the Creation of Man (Genesis 1:26-27; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 3:10) – pdf, 7 pp.
- God’s Works of Providence (Romans 11:36; Psalm 103:19; Matthew 10:29) – pdf, 8 pp.
- Of the First Covenant Made with Man (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 1:26) – pdf, 8 pp.
- Of the First Covenant (Galatians 3:12) – pdf, 9 pp.
- Of the State Wherein Man was Created, and How the Image of God is Defaced (Ecclesiastes 7:29) – pdf, 7 pp.
- Of Sin by Imputation and Propagation (Romans 5:12) – pdf, 9 pp.
- Of the Way of Man’s Delivery (1 Timothy 1:15) – pdf, 5 pp.
- The Sinner’s Sanctuary. 40 sermons on Romans 8:1-15. indexed searchable pdf, 342 pp.
- Fellowship with God. 28 sermons on 1 John 1:1-2:3. indexed searchable pdf, 208 pp.
- Heart-Humiliation. 18 sermons on various texts – indexed searchable pdf, 253 pp.
- A sermon on Deuteronomy 32:4-7 – pdf, 12 pp.
- Three sermons on Deuteronomy 32:4-5 – pdf, 36 pp.
- A sermon on Psalm 73:28 – pdf, 11 pp.
- Two sermons on Proverbs 27:1 – pdf, 28 pp.
- Two sermons on Isaiah 1:10-11 – pdf, 20 pp.
- Two sermons on Isaiah 1:16 – pdf, 24 pp.
- Two sermons on Isaiah 26:3 – pdf, 29 pp.
- A sermon on Isaiah 59:20 – pdf, 14 pp.
- Four sermons on Isaiah 64:6-7 – pdf, 76 pp.
- An Useful Case of Conscience – pdf, 116 pp.
- A Treatise of Christian Love (John 13:35) – indexed searchable pdf, 63 pp.
- Several Sermons upon the Most Important Subjects of Practical Religion. 22 sermons:
- Three sermons on 1 John 3:23 – pdf, 24 pp.
- Two sermons on James 3:14 – pdf, 29 pp.
- Three sermons on Matthew 11:28-29 – pdf, 25 pp.
- A sermon on Romans 15:13 – pdf, 13 pp.
- A sermon on Matthew 11:16 – pdf, 16 pp.
- Five sermons on 1 Timothy 1:5 – pdf, 42 pp.
- Five sermons on Matthew 6:33 – pdf, 59 pp.
- Three sermons on 1 Peter 4:7 – pdf, 33 pp.