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James Fraser

James Fraser of Brea (1638-98) was a Covenanter and later the minister in Culross, Fife. He was born on his father’s Ross-shire estate at Brea, which he inherited as a child; this was to cause him much legal and financial difficulty. He studied at Marischal College Aberdeen (MA, 1658), and after practising law for some years began to preach and was ordained around 1670 by some ejected ministers. Summoned to appear before the Privy Council in July 1674, he refused and was denounced as a rebel . Arrested in 1677, he was imprisoned on the Bass Rock, where he studied Hebrew and Greek, and wrote his work on Justifying Faith. Freed in 1679, he was again arrested in 1681 and confined in Blackness Castle . He was exiled from Scotland on his release six weeks later, and again imprisoned in London. Returning to Scotland in 1687, after the ‘Glorious Revolution’ he became parish minister in Culross until his death.

[The autobiographical ‘Memoirs of the Rev James Fraser of Brea’ are available in Volume 2 of the set, Scottish Puritans: Select Biographies (Banner of Truth, 2008). The Pocket Puritan, Am I a Christian? is taken from this work.]