The Culbertson family name probably originates from the Borders area of Scotland around the village of Morebattle, near Kelso, Scotland. Generations of Culbertson's have lived in the village and ran the village shop until fairly recently (2013).
Robert Culbertson was born in Morebattle on 21st September 1765. He died in Leith, Edinburgh on 13th December 1823 and was buried at Morebattle Parish church on 18th December 1823.
He was appointed as Minister of the Gospel at Leith, Edinburgh c. 1791 & remained there until his death. He was involved in many organisations including the Church Synod, Edinburgh Bible Society, Leith Public Library and is attributed with re-introducing the church to the Orkney Islands.
Newspapers of the time show his involvement in the community and the church.
The Edinburgh Bible Society have to acknowledge receipt of the following sums—
|Associate Burgher Congregation Midcalder, Rev. Alexander Duncan||L 14 0 0|
|Associate Anti-burgher congregation Pathstruihill, Rev. Mr Macara||27 0 0|
|Associate Burgher congregation Horndean, Rev. Mr Lee||9 0 0|
|Associate Anti-burgher congregation Leith, Rev. Mr Culbertson||69 7 1|
|Female Servants' Society,* Aberdeen, for promoting||-|
|Translation and printing of the sacred scriptures||20 0 0|
* This is the first donation of a Society well worthy of imitation in other places. It has been established some time, and shows how much may be done by united exertion; the funds of the Society being promoted by the payment of only one penny a-week from each of the members.
The INHABITANTS of the TOWN of LEITH are requested to Meet on Tuesday the 6th current, at one o’clock afternoon, in the Exchange Coffeeroom, to consider the propriety of Petitioning Parliament, to grant full permission to Protestants to introduce the important doctrines of Christianity into the extensive regions of India.
Leith, 3d April 1813
At the annual meeting of the Subscribers to the Leith Public Library, the following gentlemen were chosen Managers for the ensuing year, viz.—
Messrs Robert Ogilvie
Mess Thomas Strong
The Death and Character of Asa, King of Judah. A Sermon preached on occasion of the Death of his late Majesty, King George the Third; by Robert Culbertson, Minister of the Gospel, Leith. 8vo. 1s.
Reverend Robert Culbertson's death in his 58th year was a shock to his community, as shown in this epitaph published as far afield as London.
The Rev. ROBERT CULBERTSON, of the Associate Congregation, St. Andrew’s-street, Leith, died generally regretted. To his sorrowful family his death is irreparable. By his bereaved flock, among whom he has ministered with exemplary fidelity and affection for about thirty-three years, his loss is most sincerely lamented, and will long be deeply felt; to them he had endeared himself by every quality, that can excite esteem and command admiration and love; ever highly respected by them, their veneration for him has of late grown exceedingly, and their cordial attachment increased to the last. The attachment was mutual; he lived in their affections, they were his peculiar care and his sacred joy. Not his family only, and his flock, and his personal friends, but his brethren in the ministry, the United Secession Church, of which he was an active, conciliating, conscientious member; the Church of Christ at large; and the whole Christian public, have reason to regret his premature removal. It is not easy, in a short paragraph or two, to delineate the character of the departed Mr. Culbertson. In him were united firmness of mind, with the greatest suavity of manners; unassuming modesty, with becoming dignity; warmth and tenderness of feeling, with decisive promptitude and vigour of action; eminent literary attainments, with godly singleness of heart. In short, he was a gentleman, a scholar, a Christian; an able, faithful, diligent minister of Christ; as a friend, constant; as a counsellor, prudent; public spirited; feeling an ardent concern to promote peace, and truth and righteousness on earth. In his public ministrations, his discourses were uniformly distinguished by elegant simplicity of diction, purity of style, and perspicuity of arrangement, and often by minute and extensive biblical research. He possessed a happy talent of easily reconciling apparent incongruities, and of giving a clear and satisfactory elucidation of the most difficult doctrines of theology. In description he excelled, and when pathetic, which he frequently was, there was a touching tenderness of expression, which found its way irresistibly into all the diversified states of his hearer’s feelings. Always correct and solid, he united in the pulpit attractive gravity with impressive fervency; animation, with seriousness. There he appeared, doing his Master’s work, as one who had weighed the worth of souls, and who knew his responsibility to the Lord, whom he served with his spirit in the gospel, exerting his high talents and manifesting the lively workings of renovated gracious affections. While his chief delight was in preaching the doctrines of salvation, through the once dead, but now alive, the crucified and glorified Jesus, his sermons embraced a rich and instructive variety out of all the Scriptures, and often he surprised and delighted his audience by treating common subjects in a new and extraordinary way, entertaining them with all the diversity of appropriate scriptural illustrations. These characteristics will be found in those excellent writings, with which he has favoured the public, through the medium of the press, and particularly in his late judicious and admirable Discourses on the Book of Revelation, which have already attracted the attention of the most learned, and received the merited high approbation of all who have had the pleasure to peruse them. “Being dead, by these works he yet speaketh.” His name and memorial will not perish; but, we trust, through what he has done and through other works, which he has left in readiness for the press, will he cherished and perpetuated with cordial regard, so long as learning, and talent, and religion continue to be revered among men. If any thing can prove the high estimation in which he was held in the place where he was best known, it is the deep and general sorrow, which his death has occasioned, testified by the numerous assemblage of sincere mourners who attended in conducting his mortal remains to the tomb, on Thursday the 18th, and the feeling interests which the large concourse of spectators everywhere shewed, in witnessing the funeral procession. He has now gone, after passing through life amidst many trials, “keeping the noiseless tenor of his way” with faith and patience; gone to enjoy the Christian’s rewards. We cannot close this notice without remarking, that he ended his ministrations on the 3d of the month, with a singularly striking, impressive, heavenly discourse, on the words—“Thou wilt receive me into glory.”
* The foregoing article presents so striking a portrait of the clerical character that we have extracted it from The Edinburgh Courant of the 22d ult. In hopes that it may operate as an example to the rising generation of those who are preparing for the sacred Function.
LECTURES EXPOSITORY and PRACTICAL on the BOOK of REVELATION. By the late Rev ROBERT CULBERTSON, of Leith.
“We can with great confidence introduce this able work to the attention of the Public, and especially to the notice of Students of Prophetic Scripture. It is a laborious, well-digested, sober treatise, on one of the most difficult portions of Sacred Writ.”—Supplement to Evangelical Magazine, 1828.