Robert Flint was born in Applegarth, near Dumfries on 14 March 1838 and died in Edinburgh on 25 November 1910. After schooling in Moffat he entered Glasgow University in 1852 and excelled in both arts and divinity. Like a number of others in that period he did not sit for degree examinations. His objective was the ministry of the Church of Scotland, and he was licensed to preach in 1858. After serving briefly as assistant to Norman MacLeod at the Barony Church, Glasgow, he became minister at East Church, Aberdeen (1859–62) and Kilconquar, Fife (1862–4). In 1864, on the death of James Ferrier, he was elected (over T.H. Green) to the Chair of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews University, and in 1876 he succeeded Thomas Jackson Crawford as Professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. He thus occupied both the chairs which Thomas Chalmers had earlier occupied. He was Baird Lecturer (1876–7), Stone Lecturer at Princeton (1880) and Croall Lecturer (1887–8). He was appointed Gifford Lecturer for 1908–1909, but ill-health prevented him from delivering his lectures. Flint was made DD of Princeton, Glasgow and Aberdeen, and LL.D. of Yale and Edinburgh. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1901. Flint; who never married, led a quiet life devoted to scholarship. Though deeply committed to the idea of the national church, and an advocate of Christian unity, Flint was no ecclesiastical statesman. He declined the office of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1895.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.