Ralph Erskine (preacher)

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Erskine's grave in Dunfermline

Ralph Erskine (18 March 1685 – 6 November 1752) was a Scottish churchman.

Ralph Erskine was the brother of another prominent churchman, Ebenezer Erskine. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, Ralph was ordained assistant minister at Dunfermline in 1711. He ratified the protests which his brother laid on the table of the assembly after being rebuked for his synod sermon, but he did not formally withdraw from the establishment till 1737.

He was also present at, though not a member of, the first meeting of the "associate presbytery". When the severance took place over the oath administered to burgesses, he adhered, along with his brother, to the burgher section.

His works consist of sermons, poetical paraphrases and gospel sonnets. The Gospel Sonnets have frequently appeared separately. His Life and Diary, edited by the Rev. D Fraser, was published in 1834.

There is a life size bronze statue of Ralph Erskine on a pedestal, not far from the High Street in the centre of Dunfermline.


  • "Faith, without trouble or fighting, is a suspicious faith; for true faith is a fighting, wrestling faith." - Ralph Erskine, 1733
  • "A rigid matter was the law,
    demanding brick, denying straw,
    But when with gospel tongue it sings,
    it bids me fly and gives me wings"
    - Ralph Erskine[1]