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Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce (c.1554-1631) was a minister in the city of Edinburgh, and a leader in the Reformed movement in Scotland. He first studied law in St Andrews, France, and Louvain, but when he returned to Scotland, changed course and focused his attention on becoming a minister in the Kirk. He was much influenced by Andrew Melville, the well-respected academic and leader within Presbyterianism. He became minister of St Giles’ in Edinburgh in 1587, and was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1588 and again in 1592. He had been a favourite of the King, James VI, but after 1596, when relations between James and Scotland’s Presbyterians had soured, Bruce spent much of the rest of his life in enforced exile. John Livingstone, a contemporary of Bruce’s, said of him: ‘No man in his time spake with such evidence and power of the Spirit… yea, many of his hearers thought that no man since the apostles spake with such power’, and William Cunningham, Free Church of Scotland theologian and editor of Bruce’s works in 1843, considered that Bruce was ‘one of the most distinguished men whom Scotland has ever produced’.

For a much fuller account of the life and work of Robert Bruce, see the chapter ‘Robert Bruce: Standing Fast in Dark Days’ in A Scottish Christian Heritage by Iain H. Murray.

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      Robert Bruce (c.1554-1631) was a minister in the city of Edinburgh, and a leader in the Reformed movement in Scotland. He first studied law in St Andrews, France, and Louvain, but when he returned to Scotland, changed course and focused his attention on becoming a minister in the Kirk. He was much influenced by Andrew […]