Gerard, Gilbert (1760-1815) (DNB00)

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GERARD, GILBERT, D.D. (1760–1815), theological writer, son of Alexander Gerard, D.D. [q. v.], was born at Aberdeen 12 Aug. 1760, and studied at Aberdeen and Edinburgh. On being licensed he became minister of the Scotch church at Amsterdam, and during his residence there acquired a considerable knowledge of modern languages and literature, which he turned to account in contributions to the ‘Analytical Review.’ In 1791 he returned to Aberdeen to occupy the chair of Greek in King's College, which he filled admirably. On his father's death, in 1795, he succeeded him in the chair of divinity, and in 1811 he added to his professorship the second charge in the collegiate church of Old Aberdeen. He prepared for publication ‘A Compendious View of the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion’ (Lond. 1828), the joint production of himself and his father, being the substance of the lectures delivered by them from the chair of divinity. The only contribution to literature exclusively his own was ‘Institutes of Biblical Criticism’ (Edinburgh, 1808), in which he discussed elementary questions in connection with the interpretation of the sacred scriptures. The language of scripture, the text, the versions, the ordinary rules of interpretation, were considered, but the book does not even hint at the much more vital questions raised by modern critics. He was a king's chaplain, and filled the chair of the general assembly in 1803. He became minister of Old Machar 19 Sept. 1811, and died 28 Sept. 1815.

Gerard married, 3 Oct. 1787, Helen, daughter of John Duncan, provost of Aberdeen, by whom he had six sons and five daughters. Three sons, all Indian explorers and writers on geographical science, Alexander, James Gilbert, and Patrick, are separately noticed.

[Scott's Fasti, iii. 488; Darling's Cyclopædia Bibl.; Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen; Smith's Hist. of Aberdeen; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen.]

W. G. B.