Erskine, Ebenezer (ûrˈskĭn) [key], 1680–1754, founder of the Secession Church in Scotland, minister of Portmoak, Kinross-shire (1703) and of Stirling (1731). He upheld the right of the people to make their own choice of pastors, for which he was censured, suspended, and deposed (1733). With three other ministers he set up an Associate Synod, which was the origin of the Secession Church. In 1736 they reaffirmed their separation, but they were not ejected from their churches until 1740. After the split within the Associate Synod over the religious oaths required of burgesses of Scottish cities, Erskine became a leader of the Burghers.
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