1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Erskine, John (theologian)

ERSKINE, JOHN (1721–1803), Scottish divine, son of John Erskine of Carnock, was born on the 2nd of June 1721. He studied law for a time after completing his course in arts at the university of Edinburgh, but was eventually licensed to preach in 1743; and was successively parish minister of Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow, Culross, in Fifeshire (1753), New Greyfriars church in Edinburgh (1758), and Old Greyfriars church in 1768, where he became the colleague of Principal Robertson, the historian. Here he remained until his death, which took place on the 19th of January 1803. Dr Erskine’s writings consist chiefly of controversial pamphlets on theological subjects. His sermons are clear, vigorous expositions of a moderate Calvinism, in which metaphysical argument and practical morality are happily blended. In church politics he was the leader of the evangelical party; and was much beloved for his high character and amiability.

For his life and works see Sir H. Moncreiff Wellwood, Life and Writings of J. Erskine, D.D. (Edinburgh, 1818).