Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Love, John (1757-1825)

LOVE, JOHN, D.D. (1757–1825), presbyterian divine, of Anderston, Glasgow, born at Paisley on 4 June 1757, was educated at Paisley grammar school, and afterwards at Glasgow University, where he gained a bursary. He distinguished himself during his academical career, and was licensed as a preacher of the church of Scotland by the presbytery of Paisley on 24 Dec. 1778. After being assistant successively at Rutherglen and Greenock, he was ordained minister of the presbyterian congregation, Crispin Street, Spitalfields, London, on 22 Aug. 1788. He became the virtual founder of the London Missionary Society in 1795, having written 'the first small letter which called together a few ministers to consult respecting the formation of the society.' He took great pains in selecting and training the early missionaries, and was secretary to the society while he remained in London. In 1799 a chapel of ease was erected in Clyde Street, Anderston, then a suburb of Glasgow; Love was elected to the charge, and entered on his duties in July 1800. He became secretary to the Glasgow Missionary Society. In 1815 he was a candidate for the professorship of divinity in Aberdeen University, and in the following year the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by that university and Marischal College. He died at the manse, Clyde Street, Glasgow, on 17 Dec. 1825. The first important missionary station in Kaffraria was established in 1840, and was named 'Lovedale' after Love. It has since developed into a very extensive institution. Love's manner in the pulpit was slow, but solemn and impressive. 'No man, perhaps, of his time approached more nearly to the ancient reformers in spirit, manners, and character.' Nearly all his publications were posthumous, and some of the volumes have been twice issued. His principal works were:

  1. 'Nine Occasional Sermons, London, 1788.
  2. 'Fifteen Addresses to the People of Otaheite, and a Serious Call respecting a Mission to the River Indus,' Glasgow, 1826.
  3. 'Discourses on Select Passages of Scripture,' 2 vols. Glasgow, 1838.
  4. 'Letters of the late John Love, D.D.,' Glasgow, 1838 and 1840.
  5. 'Memorials,' 2 vols., Glasgow, 1857-8.

[Hew Scott's Fasti, ii. 42; Dr. George Smith's A Modern Apostle; Cleland's Annals of Glasgow.]

A. H. M.