Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rogers, John (1740?-1814)

ROGERS, JOHN (1740?–1814), Irish seceding divine, succeeded Dr. Thomas Clark (d. 1792) [q. v.] in 1767 as minister at Cahans, co. Monaghan. In 1781 he published ‘An Historical Dialogue between a Minister of the Established Church, a Popish Priest, a Presbyterian Minister, and a Mountain Minister’ (Dublin), in which he discussed the attitude of the reformed and the seceding presbyterians towards the civil power. On 15 Feb. 1782 he attended the great meeting of volunteers held in the presbyterian church at Dungannon, and was one of the two members who opposed the resolution expressing approval of the relaxation of the penal laws against Roman catholics. In 1788 he discussed in public at Cahans with James m'Garragh, a licentiate of the reformed presbyterians, the question whether the authority of a non-covenanting king ought to be acknowledged. Rogers argued in the affirmative as champion of the seceders (Reid, Irish Presbyterian Church, ed. Killen, iii. 473–4). Both sides claimed the victory.

In 1796 Rogers was appointed professor of divinity for the Irish burgher synod, and was clerk of the synod from its constitution in 1779 to his death. He continued to reside at Cahans as minister, and delivered lectures to the students in the meeting-house. When an abortive attempt had been made to unite the burgher and anti-burgher synods of the secession church, Rogers delivered before his own synod at Cookstown in 1808 a remarkable speech, in which he clearly explained the causes of the failure, and maintained that the Irish anti-burgher synod ought not to be dependent on the parent body in Scotland. The union was not effected until 1818. Rogers died on 14 Aug. 1814, leaving a son John, who was minister of Glascar.

He published, in addition to sermons and the works cited, ‘Dialogues between Students at the College, Monaghan,’ 1787.

[Reid's Hist. of Presbyterian Church in Ireland (Killen), 1867, iii. 364, 426; Witherow's Hist. and Lit. Mem. of Presbyt. in Ireland, 2nd ser. 1880, vi. 247; Latimer's Hist. of the Irish Presbyt. 1893, pp. 169, 173.]

E. C. M.