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Chapter I. Universities and Colleges


It had been intended to extend this portion of the subject so as to take in the entire teaching profession, but it was found that any such scheme would make the chapter far too long, and altogether unmanageable. The heads of academic bodies, and a few only of the Professors, therefore, will be sketched as examples, and so, without further preface, we may plunge in medias res.

Daniel Wilson, LL. D., F. R. S. E., President of University College, Toronto, was born in the ancient metropolis of Scotland, in 1816. His father, Archibald Wilson, had a large family. One of his sons, well known as an eminent chemist, Dr. George Wilson, Professor of Technology in the University of Edinburgh, was, after a brave conflict with physical pain, prematurely removed by death in 1859. Dr. Daniel Wilson, after passing through the High School, entered the University of his native city. At the age of twenty-one, he betook himself to London to push his fortunes there. After a residence of several years, during which he relied for support chiefly on the rewards of literary work, he again turned his face northward, and continued to wield the pen in Edinburgh. Dr. Wilson was also then, and is still, distinguished by an ardent love for archaeological studies, and, therefore, naturally gravitated towards the Society of Antiquaries, in whose labours he took a lively interest. For some time he was Secretary of the institution, also editing its Journal or Transactions.

Before his departure from Scotland three works of note had proceeded from his pen. In 1847, appeared in two volumes illustrated by his own pencil, "Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time." We can well believe that its preparation was a labour of love. To a native’s attachment to picturesque "Auld Reekie," Dr. Wilson added a keen zest for all relics of the past, and nowhere could his tastes be more fully gratified than in the "old town" of Edinburgh. The reception of this work was highly flattering, and although it was large and expensive, a second edition was issued in 1872. Dr. Wilson’s next literary venture was "Oliver Cromwell and The Protectorate." Its author has always been an admirer of England’s "uncrowned monarch," and of the principles underlying what Mr. Green has termed the Puritan Revolution. In 1851 a work appeared which at once established Dr. Wilson’s reputation,—"The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland." It was profusely illustrated, with steel plates as well as wood-engravings, for the most part executed from the author’s drawings. This volume received the warmest praise from reviewers both in Britain and America. It has been stated that Mr. Hallam, "pronounced it to be the most scientific treatment of the archeological evidence of primitive history which had ever been written." [The Canadian Portrait Gallery, Vol. IV, p. 36.] In 1853, partially no doubt because of the laurels Dr. Wilson had deservedly gained, he was invited to accept the Chair of History and English Literature in University College. A radical change was at that period made by Parliament in the constitution of the university. Under an Act introduced by the Hon. Dr. Rolph, the institution was divided into two—the University, whose functions were restricted to examining and conferring degrees, and University College to which was committed the function of teaching. By the same statute the faculties of Law and Medicine were abolished so far as the latter body was concerned. Dr. Wilson had hardly been established at Toronto, when he was solicited to accept the Principalship of McGill College, Montreal; but, however flattering the offer appeared, it was respectfu1ly declined.

For the last twenty-nine years the Doctor has continued to fill the professorial chair with eminent success. When it is considered that the subjects entrusted to him are almost limitless in extent, especially that of history, and that Professor Wilson has voluntarily added to them the other branches of Archaeology and Ethnology, the reader may have some idea of the vast amount of labour he must have under-gone during his long period of active service. The departments committed to his charge exacted from him the larger part of every day; since History and English were subjects which were treated concurrently, and not in succession like the branches of natural history. Professor Wilson’s method is that of suggestion and illustration, rather than the purely didactic. Whether treating of a memorable era, or a play of Shakespeare, his aim is to make the student read for himself, and to aid him by valuable glimpses of the true path in private investigation. Lucid in style, and earnest in delivery, Dr. Wilson always succeeds in commanding the attention of his class. Perhaps, apart from these merits, it may not be amiss to mention the community of feeling which kindly intercourse has established between Professor and student by conversation and social intercourse.

Dr. Wilson had been in Canada about nine years when his next work appeared. During the interval he had made the most of his vacations by studying the archaeology and ethnology of the New World. Some fruits of these investigations appeared in the Canadian Journal from time to time. This periodical was a record of the papers read at the meetings of the Canadian Institute of Toronto, which, from its inception, attracted the Professor’s deepest interest. In 1862 his new work appeared under the title of "Prehistoric Man: Researches into the Origin of Civilization in the Old and New World." It contained much original thought, and a great deal that was new in material, especially as regards to the early races of America, and the still existing Indian tribes. "Chatterton; a Biographical Study," published in 1869, exhibited the Professor in another line of study, and proved an eminent success. "Caliban the Missing Link," which appeared in 1873, was an illustration from Shakespeare of the theory of development. During the same year Dr. Wilson republished, with additional pieces, a collection of poems, entitled "Spring Flowers." In 1878, the Professor issued, two volumes, splendidly illustrated, his most recent work: "Reminiscences of Old Edinburgh." In addition to these works, he has contributed a number of articles both to the eighth edition of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica," and also to that now in course of publication.

Dr. Wilson has by no means confined himself to academic and literary labour. His name is connected with various public institutions in Toronto He was one of the most active promoters of the Boys’ Home, and the establishment of the News Boys’ Home was entirely due to his exertions. In the Young Men’s Christian Association he has always taken an active part, and was for some years its President. In August last, the Doctor’s long period of service in University College was rewarded by his appointment as President, in place of the Rev. Dr. McCaul, who retired upon a well-earned pension at the close of the academic session. Dr. Wilson is an earnest member of the Church of England, and an ardent adherent of the Evangelical party. He is also a member of the Church Association, and has been repeatedly delegate to the Provincial and Diocesan Synods.

Another College President of note is John William Dawson, M. A., LL. D., Principal of McGill College, Montreal. His father was the younger son of a farmer, who came from the North of Scotland early in the century and settled at Pictou, N. S. There Dr. Dawson was born on the 13th of October, 1820. His education was conducted at the College of Pictou, of which Dr. McCulloch held the Principalship. It is stated [Canadian Biographical Dictionary, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, p. 28.] that at the early age of ten he had clearly developed in germ those scientific tastes which were in the future to be his chief characteristic. At that time young Dawson began to collect fossil plants of the coal period; while at College subsequently, made a collection of natural history specimens. Having spent a winter at Edinburgh university, he at once renewed his geological researches with ardour, taking special interest in the strata and fossils of the carboniferous period. In 1842 he accompanied Sir Charles Lyell during his scientific tour in Nova Scotia, and succeeded in making several original discoveries in the palaeontology of this continent. Dr. Dawson was again in Edinburgh in 1846-7 studying practical chemistry. His first literary contribution to science dates so far back as 1841; but from 1847 onward a continuous stream of papers and monographs flowed from his pen, chiefly, though not exclusively, on geological subjects. In 1855 appeared "Acadian Geology"—a complete account, up to the existing state of knowledge, of the geology of the Maritime Provinces.

Meanwhile, from 1850 to 1854, Dr. Dawson occupied the position of Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia. In this position he displayed his usual activity and intelligence, promoting the establishment of a normal school. His reports were elaborate and instructive, and in addition to these he supplied a hand-book of scientific agriculture. In 1855 he left his native Province to become Principal and Natural History Professor of McGill College, Montreal,—a position he now occupies after a lapse of twenty-seven years. When Dr. Dawson undertook the management of the College, its condition was far from cheering. The medical department was in a flourishing condition, and had already won a high reputation; not so elsewhere. The new Principal, however, at once imparted life to the decaying members of the body academic, and the institution took a new lease of life. In 1857 he secured the establishment of the McGill Normal School for the training of Protestant teachers. Of this institution also he was Principal for over twelve years, and during all that time lectured regularly on natural science to the students. In 1858, Dr. Dawson established a school of civil engineering, but it was extinguished in 1863 by an act of the Legislature; by no means daunted he revived it again in 1871 on a more extended scale as the Department of Practical and Applied Science. Nothing strikes one more in Principal Dawson than the keen discernment with which he recognises educational needs, and the suggestive skill with which he endeavours to supply them. It may be added that for a considerable period he has sat on the Protestant School Board of Montreal, and on the Protestant Committee of the Quebec Council of Public Instruction.

Dr. Dawson’s contributions to scientific literature have been so numerous that even a recapitulation of their titles would be out of the question in the brief space at command. His papers, read or published, cover a wide field: the flora and fauna of various localities, Indian antiquities, earthquakes, fossils, rock structure, &c. One of his most remarkable scientific discoveries was that of the Eozoon in the Laurentian rocks. Sir Charles Lyell had noticed the fossil, but had not studied it. In 1864, Dr. Dawson demonstrated its true character as one of the foraminifera. Hitherto the rocks of that period had been termed Azoic, because it was supposed that no organism was traceable in them. In consequence of his discovery, the learned Principal substituted the name Eozoic.

When the Darwinian theory of evolution was becoming generally the creed of scientific men, Dr. Dawson strenuously opposed the extreme views of some who held it, especially in relation to man. A course of lectures delivered in New York in 1874-5, embodied in book-form under the title of "Science and the Bible," was extensively read on both sides of the Atlantic. The author contended that the discoveries of modern science, so far as they are facts, harmonize completely with the sacred record. He had previously published in the same way a number of papers contributed to the Leisure Hour, under the title of "The Story of the Earth and Man." In 1875 appeared "The Dawn of Life,"—a popular account of the Eozoon and other ancient fossils. His latest works are: "The Beginning of the World" (1877), a recast of an earlier work: "Archaia;" "Fossil Men’ (1878), and "The Chain of Life in Geological Time" (1880).

George Paxton Young, M.A., Professor of Logic, Metaphysics and Ethics in University College, Toronto, was born at Berwick-on-Tweed, on the 9th of November, 1818. After a preliminary training there, he was sent to the High School, Edinburgh, and thence to the University. Mr. Young was distinguished for his steady application, especially to his favourite subjects of mathematics and philosophy. After taking his degree, he was for some time engaged as a teacher of mathematics at Dollar Academy. When the disruption took place, Mr. Young, as might have been expected from his liberal views, espoused the cause of which the great Dr. Chalmers was the leading champion. Entering the Free Church Theological Hall, where he duly completed his course, he was ordained and placed in charge of the Martyrs’ Church, Paisley. In the course of a few months, however, Mr. Young resolved to remove to Canada. He came hither in 1848, and at once accepted a call from Knox Church, Hamilton, Ont. After a pastorate of three years, he received the appointment of Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Knox College, Toronto. He was now in his element, and, not content with the ordinary work of lecturing, contributed a number of papers to the Canadian Journal on metaphysical subjects. It is said that one of these, which contained a partial elucidation of Sir William Hamilton’s philosophical system, was warmly acknowledged by the great Scottish metaphysician.

After ten years’ service in the Professorship, Mr. Young resigned both his position in the College and his ministerial office. The reason assigned by Mr. Young was, that deeper study had changed his doctrinal views to such an extent, that he could no longer conscientiously inculcate the theology of his church. His position was stated with the utmost candour, and he evidently possessed the courage of his opinions. To all appearance, Mr. Young, by taking this step, had deprived himself of a livelihood. Yet after an interval, he was employed by the Government as Inspector of Grammar Schools, a position he filled for four years with the greatest credit to himself, and singular advantage to the Province. During that time he fairly revolutionized the Grammar Schools, and succeeded in raising them to, the degree of excellence they can now boast of under other names. His suggestions were embodied in several School Acts, with beneficial results. He was also a member of the Central Committee on Education—a sort of advisory board attached to the department. When he resigned the Inspectorship, Professor Young was prevailed upon to return to Knox College. His abilities were too highly prized to be lost to the institution. Theology, in future, was to form no part of his teaching, and thus any impediment in his way was removed. In 1871, the Professor was appointed to the vacant chair of Metaphysics and Ethics in University College, a post he still occupies. As a teacher, Mr. Young stands deservedly high. His intellect is of a high order, his expositions even of abstruse problems, are unmistakeably plain and lucid; and he is a personal friend of all the students who attend his lectures. Two works have appeared from his pen, both on theological subjects. The first, published in 1854, contained "Miscellaneous Discourses and Expositions of Scripture;" the second, which appeared in 1862, was an elaborate essay on "The Philosophical Principles of Natural Religion." Besides these, and the other contributions mentioned above, Professor Young has reprinted in pamphlet form at least one of his addresses. Mr. Young is singularly shy and retiring in disposition, and to that cause may, no doubt, be attributed the fact that he has never formally stated the doubts which have perplexed him. He is too sensitive not to shrink from unsettling the faith of others.

The Rev. Michael Willis, D.D., LL.D., formerly Principal of Knox College, was born at Greenock, in Scotland, about the year 1798. His father was a minister of the Light Burghers, a small but most respectable branch of the Presbyterian family. After a distinguished course at the University and Divinity-Hall, Mr. Willis was ordained to the ministry, and almost immediately obtained the dual position of pastor of Renfield St. church, Glasgow, and Professor of Divinity for that branch of the church with which he was connected. His eloquent and impassioned preaching gathered around him a large and attached congregation, whilst his learning and scholarship drew many students to the Hall. The body with which Mr. Willis was connected was strongly in favour of the connection between Church and State; and therefore a union with the Establishment was brought about, with little difficulty, in 1839. Only four years afterwards, however, the great disruption took place, and Mr. Willis threw in his lot with Dr. Chalmers and the other fathers of the Free Church. It must not be forgotten that there was no inconsistency in the Professor’s course. The Free Church continued to maintain the establishment principle, and only left the "Old Kirk" because of the patronage question. So far as Dr. Willis was concerned, there was no suspicion of illiberality in the step he took, for he was always ready to co-operate with those from whom in their corporate capacity, he had felt it his duty to separate. Had the system of lay patronage been abolished then, the division might have been readily healed. Many years after, all that the Free Church claimed was conceded, but the time when such a concession could to welcomed had long gone by. Shortly after the disruption, Dr. Willis came to Canada as a deputy from the Free Church, and also to render assistance to the recently established Knox College. Being invited to accept the Professorship of Theology in that institution, he accepted the call, and continued to fill the chair for nearly a quarter of a century, the latter part of the time as Principal. Associated with him in the Divinity faculty were Dr. Burns, Professor G. P. Young, now of University College, and Dr. Caven, who succeeded him in the Principalship. Dr. Willis’s work was not of that type which attracts conspicuous notice from the public. His life was devoted in Canada to the training of young men for the Christian ministry,—perhaps the most important duty a scholarly divine can undertake.

The late Principal possessed many of the highest qualifications for the task set before him. His talents were of no common order, and he never ceased to improve them by assiduous study. His theological learning had a wide range, for he was conversant not only with post-Reformation authorities but also a diligent student of the early Christian Fathers. One of his latest efforts was a collection of excerpts annotated from patristic literature. As a preacher and platform orator, Dr. Willis was singularly effective; indeed, at times, he rose to the highest eloquence. Like his co-labourer, Dr. Burns—perhaps even more conspicuously— he was an ardent friend of the slave, and deeply interested himself in the education and spiritual welfare of the fugitive coloured people who, some twenty-five years ago, took refuge in free and hospitable Canada. To them he devoted much of his time, and no slight portion of his means. His heart was readily touched by the cry of distress and suffering, and he was willing wherever he heard it to spend and to speak for its relief.

The fruits of Dr. Willis’s labours at the College are scarcely to be gauged with accuracy; yet there can be no doubt that they were abundant throughout Canada. The seed sown in comparative obscurity has not perished in a barren soil, but may be traced in many congregations scattered far and wide over the Province. In 1870, the Rev. Principal severed his connection with the College, because of growing age and infirmities. He had already surpassed the mortal span of three score years and ten, and naturally desired to rest in leisure until the change came. Taking up his residence in London, he shortly afterwards carried out a long cherished design of visiting the Holy Land. More than once also he visited the Continent, and was specially interested in the colonies of Scotsmen or their descendants he found in France. In August, 1879, Dr. Willis, with his wife, were visiting Dr. Sellar, at the manse of Aberdour, Banffshire; on the 10th he preached for his friend, but on the following day was taken ill. His sufferings were acute, but they were borne with patience and Christian resignation; on the 19th he expired, in the eighty-first year of his age, and the fifty-seventh of his ministry. It may be mentioned that the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon Dr. Willis by the University of Glasgow, and that of Doctor of Laws by Victoria University.

The Rev. William Caven, D.D., Principal of Knox College, Toronto, is a native Scot, having been born in the parish of Kirkcolm, Wigtonshire, in the latter part of December, 1830. He came of a persecuted people, the old Covenanters, both on his father’s and mother’s side. The names of some of his ancestors are enrolled amongst the "Wigton martyrs." One of his forbears was brutally mutilated by some of Claverhouse’s dragoons. Dr. Caven’s father, John, was a schoolteacher of learning and intelligence. As, however, he belonged to the Secession Church, he was not eligible to the post of parish school-master; still he taught on his own account, and attracted by his ability and teaching powers, a sufficient number of pupils. At Mr. Caven’s school, the son received his early education. His father removed with his family to Western Canada in 1847, and, after a brief residence in the township of South Dumfries, near Galt, settled at St. Mary’s. Having selected the ministry as his future profession, Mr. William Caven entered upon his studies under the Rev. William Proudfoot, and the Rev. Alex. Mackenzie. As no future opportunity may be afforded to give an account of the former, we introduce here some notice of a clergyman and teacher of high order. Mr. Proudfoot was born in Scotland in 1787, and died in Canada in 1851. He came to this country in 1832 as a missionary of the Secession Church, and laboured in a wide field over the western peninsula of Ontario. He was the first theological Professor of the United Presbyterian Church, and held that position for the eight or nine years preceding his death. Mr. Proudfoot was a man of great mental power; his mind was eminently logical, and he possessed refined tastes, highly Cultivated, [Principal Caven, who has kindly furnished these particulars concerning Mr. Proudfoot, adds: - "Whilst never leaving this proper sphere, his influence was decisively felt in promoting some of the most important reforms which mark our history, especially the opening of King’s College. He enjoyed the confidence of such men as the late Hon. Robert Baldwin, and is known to have been consulted by him." Dr. Caven adds: "he was one of the most eminent men it has been my privilege to know."] Vice-Chancellor Proudfoot and the Rev. Dr. Proudfoot, of London, are sons of his.

Dr. Caven finished his theological course at Toronto, and was licensed to preach early in 1852. In the autumn of the same year he was inducted into the pastoral charge of St. Mary’s and Downie. In 1865, on the resignation of Professor G. P. Young, who had accepted the chair of Metaphysics and Ethics at University College, Mr. Caven was appointed to lecture during alternate terms at Knox College on Exegetical Theology and Biblical Criticism. In the following year he was permanently appointed Professor of these subjects. In 1870, the Rev. Dr. Willis resigned the Principalship and was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Caven, but it was not until three years after that he formally received the title of Principal.

The great obstacles in the way of Knox College were the want of adequate buildings, and the small staff of Professors. The classes met in the old Government House, the site of which is now occupied by the Central Presbyterian Church. Principal Caven, in company with Dr. Gregg, spent two summers in raising a building fund. They succeeded in collecting the sum of $100,000, afterwards increased by further subscriptions by the amount of $30,000. All this fund was absorbed in the erection of the new college which makes an imposing appearance at the head of Spadina Avenue. The corner-stone was laid in 1874, and the building formally opened in the autumn of 1875. Principal Caven has, from the first, been a most ardent supporter of union between the various branches of the Presbyterian Church, and worked strenuously to secure the results achieved in 1861 and 1875. He occupied the position of Moderator of the Canada Presbyterian Church when the articles of Union were agreed to with what is popularly known as the "Old Kirk,"in the latter year. In 1877, the Principal was chosen as Chairman at one of the sittings of the Pan-Presbyterian Council at Edinburgh. He has also served as President of the Ontario Teachers’ Association. As a teacher, Dr. Caven is said to be singularly lucid in his expositions; as a theologian, an unflinching champion of evangelical principles as defined in the standards of the Presbyterian Church.

The Rev. George Monro Grant, D.D., Principal of Queen’s University and College, Kingston, is by birth a Canadian. His father, a Scot, settled in the County of Pictou, Nova Scotia, and was engaged in teaching at Stellarton, a village on East River. There, in December, 1835, the future Principal was born. His parents’ removed to the town of Pictou, while he was yet young; and his early education was conducted at Pictou Academy. From a recent biography, [Canadian Portrait Gallery, Vol. I. p. 167.] we learn that young Grant was considered an extremely clever lad, who could master his lessons with singular facility. But he was fonder of play than of study, and a romp, or even a fight, did not come amiss to him. Several instances of his boyish exuberance of spirits are related, one of which cost him his right hand. He and some playmates were amusing themselves with a hay-cutter, when the blade caught our hero’s right hand and severed it from the body. With that indomitable persistency of character which has marked him through life, he soon trained the left hand to do the work of the right, and quite as perfectly. This serious accident does not appear to have checked his youthful buoyancy, and he more than once received injuries of a more or less serious character from sheer love of fun. Still there was more in the boy than would appear from these little freaks His religious feelings were early quickened, and he resolved to devote himself to the Christian ministry. Once, with characteristic precipitancy, he suddenly conceived the thought of becoming a missionary. Perhaps, notwithstanding his bright talents, he did not devote himself closely to study; but he supplied in quickness of acquisition, what he lacked in application, and took several prizes, of which the one he has always been proudest being the Primrose Silver Medal. Next to that, as the biography quoted tells us, the happiest moment of George Grant’s schoolboy-days was passed, when the master of the Academy pointed him out to the Lieutenant-Governor, as "the best fighter of his age in the school."

When barely sixteen he was transferred to the Presbyterian Seminary at West River, where he had the advantage of being thoroughly drilled in classics and mathematics by the Rev. Mr. Ross, now Principal of Dalhousie College, Halifax. On the completion of his term there he was selected by the Committee of the Provincial Synod to one of the four bursaries which entitle the holder to training for the ministry in the University of Glasgow. Mr. Grant did not disappoint the expectations of those who sent him thither. For eight years he diligently applied himself to study varied, however, when he could afford a leisure hour, by athletic exercises. The love of romp and sport was born in him, and it was well, it may be, that he could not have repressed it, even had he desired to do so. Whether at work or at play, he was equally earnest, and his thoroughly social nature endeared him to his class-mates. His University career was a brilliant one. In Philosophy, the highest honours could only be gained by not missing a question; Mr. Grant attained this distinction which had not been gained for some years. He was also first prizeman in Classics, Moral Philosophy and Chemistry, besides carrying off the Lord Rector’s prize of thirty guineas for the best essay on Hindoo Literature and Philosophy. With characteristic versatility, Mr. Grant was simultaneously President of the Conservative Club, the Missionary Society and the Football Club. In addition to College work he engaged in private tuition, so that he not only supported himself at Glasgow, but paid back to the Bursary Fund the money expended on his behalf.

After taking his Master’s degree, and completing his theological studies, the temptation to enter upon a literary life at home assailed him; but he resisted it and returned to Nova Scotia in 1861, where he was appointed a missionary in the County of Pictou. In 1863, he received a call from the congregation of St. Matthew’s, Halifax, where he laboured, for fourteen years, with that zeal and energy which have always distinguished him. At the outset of his pastorate, the membership only amounted to one hundred and fifteen; when he left the congregation, it had risen to three times that number. Mr. Grant was connected with Dalhousie College, the Theological Seminary, and with numerous church and charitable movements. In the Synod he was an indefatigable worker, and for five years laboured earnestly to bring about a union between the various branches of the Presbyterian Church. His efforts were crowned with Success, and in 1875 he had the satisfaction of signing the articles of Union as Moderator of the Synod in connection with the Church of Scotland. In 1877, Mr. Grant was selected as Principal of Queen’s College, Kingston, and also received the degree of D.D., from his alma mater. Owing to the withdrawal of the Government grant soon after Confederation, the finances of the institution were still in depressed state. The new Principal, at once set to work to raise an endowment fund, and succeeded in collecting the handsome sum of $150,000. Dr. Grant’s duties as Principal include the financial supervision of the College, the arrangement of the courses of instruction in all the faculties, in addition to his labours as Primarius Professor of Theology. It may be remarked here that the learned Professor belongs to the liberal school of thought in the Presbyterian Church. Whilst he adheres to the cardinal doctrines of the Gospel, he desires to give the utmost freedom to individual thought and opinion within the necessary limits of the Church’s standards. His general tendencies as a theologian may be gathered from the fact that he is an ardent admirer of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle. Notwithstanding Professor Grant’s attachment to literary work, his life has been too busy for much fruit in that direction. In July, 1872, he started from Toronto with a party to cross the continent, and reached Victoria, B. C., early in October. The result of this excursion was an exceedingly interesting work, entitled "From Ocean to Ocean," which has passed through at least two editions. He is at present engaged in supplying the letter-press for "Picturesque Canada," the handsomest and best illustrated work that has ever issued from the Canadian press. Dr. Grant has also contributed largely to Good Words, to our native magazine, the Canadian Monthly, and recently to Scribner’s Magazine, of New York. The Principal’s latest effort was an eloquent address before the Commons Committee on Private Bills, in support of the claim of the united Church to the Temporalities Fund of the "Old Kirk." Dr. Grant is still in the prime of life and energy, and may fairly hope for many years of usefulness.

The late Rev. John Hugh MacKerras, M. A., Professor of Classics in Queen’s University, Kingston, was prematurely removed by death more than two years ago, before he had completed his forty-eighth year. He was born at Nairn, in the Highlands of Scotland, in the month of June, 1832. When only six years of age he was brought to Canada by his family, and settled in the county of Glengarry—the Highland stronghold—-at Williamstown. His father, Mr. John MacKerras, was a school teacher, and from him he received his earliest training. Later on, he attended what is now the Cornwall High School, then under the charge of Mr. Kay, a tutor of exceptional merit and ability. In 1847, Mr. MacKerras entered Queen’s College, Kingston, where he distinguished himself by his solid parts and assiduous application. During his course he won the highest honours without exciting the jealousy of his fellow-students. They felt his superiority, and were attracted by his gentle and kindly disposition. He graduated as B.A., in 1850, and as M.A., in 1852, and in 1853 was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Bathurst. In 1853, when he had only just attained his majority, Mr. MacKerras accepted a call from the congregation at Port Darlington, afterwards called Bowmanville. It was the only charge he ever filled, and he laboured there with singular ability and success. From the first he interested himself deeply in the cause of education, and was chairman of the local Board of Public Instruction. In the Church courts also, Mr. McKerras occupied a prominent position. In 1864, after having spent eleven years at Bowmanville, he was invited to accept the Professorship of Classics at Queen’s College, Kingston. The chair, however, being the subject of litigation at the time, he was not formally appointed till 1866. When the Ontario Government withdrew the grants previously voted to sectarian colleges, Dr. Snodgrass and Professor MacKerras immediately set to work to raise an endowment fund for Queen’s of $100,000. They made a tour of the Province, and succeeded in accomplishing their task. Unfortunately, the effect upon the Professor’s health, which had always been delicate was serious. At length in 1874, he was obliged to seek medical advice and change of air in Europe. So highly was Mr. MacKerras esteemed, that his friends presented him with a purse of $1,100 and a sympathetic address; whilst the College authorities gave a year’s leave of absence and undertook to pay the salary of a substitute. The Professor passed most of his enforced vacation in the south of Europe, the greater part of it at Rome. The tour appears to have partially restored him to health, and he returned to the scene of his labours and entered upon them with perhaps more energy than his strength warranted. He took special interest in the College Educational Association, and also served as chairman of the Temporalities Fund, and joint clerk of the General Assembly. Towards the end of 1877, it was clear that his health was rapidly declining. At first some of his professional duties were discharged by deputy, and at last he was compelled to give them up altogether. He died on the 9th of January, 1880, at the residence of Judge Dennistoun, of Peterboro’, leaving behind him a widow and three children. Professor MacKerras was a man of striking ability, perhaps too early developed at the expense of physical strength; as a teacher and a friend he was deeply beloved; as a Christian his piety and devotion were so ardent as to prove not so much an ornament to his character, as its basis and framework.

The Rev. D. H. McVicar, LL.D., Principal of the Presbyterian College, Montreal, was born in November, 1831, near Campbelltown, Kintyre, Argyleshire. He was only four years of age when his parents emigrated to Canada, and settled in the county of Kent. Dr. McVicar was educated at Toronto Academy, under the Rev. Alexander Gale, an exemplary teacher, as the writer can testify from personal experience. The future Principal received his theological training at Knox College, over which Dr. Willis then presided. At that time the college stood upon Front street, and subsequently formed the central nucleus of the Queen’s Hotel. The Academy was an unpretending frame building in the rear, containing one large class-room, and two smaller ones. After a season spent in private teaching, Mr. McVicar was duly licensed to preach in 1859, and at once entered upon his duties as pastor of the West Toronto Congregation, recently formed and then worshipping in a hall. After receiving and declining several calls, he finally accepted one from Knox church, Guelph. There he remained only one year; but he had the satisfaction of having materially improved the congregation by his zeal and ability, since during the twelve-month fifty-two were added to the roll of membership. In January, 1861, Mr. McVicar became pastor of Cote Street Church, Montreal—a position he occupied with marked success for about eight years. Able and eloquent as a preacher, his experience in teaching was made available in the Bible Class,—which speedily increased in numbers under his care. He employed himself also in the work of church extension, and in the establishment of missionary Sunday schools.

In 1868 it appeared to the Synod that the time had arrived for the institution of a Theological College for the Province of Quebec. Mr. McVicar was selected as Professor of Divinity, a position he accepted much to the regret of his congregation. It was, however, the day of small things, for the lectures were delivered in the basement of one of the Presbyterian churches. Now the college is established in a handsome building, with a staff of able Professors, and boasts a larger number of students than any similar institution belonging to the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Dr. McVicar did not neglect his old congregation, however, but assisted during a vacancy in the pastorate, and was chiefly instrumental in procuring funds for the erection of a new church. In other phases of labour, the Principal has been equally active. He has always taken a deep interest in the work of French Canadian evangelization, securing provision for the training of Presbyterian missionaries, and also the appointment of a French Professor of Theology in the College. He has sat moreover on the Protestant School Commission and is the author of a number of elementary text books. His lectures on various moral, religious and controversial subjects have attracted attention. Principal McVicar lectured during two seasons before the Ladies’ Educational Association on Logic and Ethics, and delivered a course on the former subject at McGill College, of which he is an LL.D., and Fellow. When the Pan-Presbyterian Council was held at Edinburgh, he was one of the Canadian representatives, and again at Philadelphia in 1880. In addition to all his other work, the chief burden of the College finances has fallen upon him; so that his career has been throughout an eminently useful and honourable one.

The Rev. James Ross, D.D., is Principal of Dalhousie College, Halifax, as well as Professor of Ethics and Political Economy. His father was also a clergymen, who came from Alyth, in Forfarshire, shortly after his ordination early in 1795, and settled at Pictou, N. S. There in July, 1811, Dr. Ross was born. After receiving his early education at the Pictou Academy, and his theological training under the Rev. Dr. McCulloch, Mr. Ross had charge of the Grammar School at Westmoreland, N. B., for four years. In 1835, he was licensed to preach, and became pastor of the congregation to which his father had ministered for nearly forty years. In 1842, Mr. Ross was made editor of the Presbyterian Banner, but it was shortly afterwards united with the Eastern Chronicle, and his brief editorial career came to an abrupt conclusion. On the death of Dr. McCulloch, he became the Professor of Hebrew; of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. The Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia was at that time suffering from a dearth of ministers, and unfortunately did not possess the means of securing the necessary preparation for students who intended to devote the themselves to pulpit work. The Pictou Academy no longer afforded the preliminary education, and Dalhousie College, so far as the Arts department was concerned, had practically ceased to exist. Mr. Ross was appealed to and prepared two young men for admission to the Divinity Hall. This, however, was only a temporary expedient, and an educational institute was established. The Theological Seminary was, after considerable delay, opened at West River in charge of Mr. Ross, who instructed the pupils in classics, mathematics and philosophy. His labours at this time were exceedingly heavy. Sufficient funds were not forthcoming to sustain the school, and he was compelled to tend it in addition to his pastoral duties. After a few years, he was relieved of his charge; the seminary was evidently a success, and therefore attracted material aid, in larger measure, as the years rolled by. A second master, Mr. Thomas McCulloch, was appointed, and in 1858 the institution was removed to Truro. Not long after, a union with the Free Church proved of great advantage to it; the two bodies amalgamated their seminaries; and the Rev. Dr. Lyall was added as a third Professor in the Arts department. The fortunes of Dalhousie College were now at their lowest ebb; and a resolution was come to by the Union Colleges to attempt its rehabilitation. It was made a non-sectarian institution, and, to raise the educational standard, Truro College was amalgamated with it, and Mr. Ross made Principal, and also Professor. Under his direction, Dalhousie has more than fulfilled the hopes of those who rallied around it in the day of adversity. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon Mr. Ross by the Senate of Queen’s University, Kingston, in April 1864.

The Rev. Alexander McKnight, D.D., Principal of the Presbyterian College, Halifax, was born in Ayrshire about the year 1823. He studied for four years in the University of Glasgow, specially distinguishing himself in Logic, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy; for proficiency in these subjects he received prizes. From 1845 to 1849 he underwent theological training at New College, Edinburgh, and was licensed to preach by the Free Church Presbytery of Ayr early in 1850. In January, 1855, the Colonial Committee of the Church appointed Mr. McKnight as Hebrew teacher at the Halifax Free College. Not long after his arrival he received a call to the pastorate of St. James’ Church, Dartmouth, and was inducted in 1857. From that time until 1868 he performed the double duty of pastor and professor. In the latter year he resigned his charge, and taught Exegetics in addition to Hebrew in the College. In 1871 he succeeded the Rev. Dr. King as Professor of Systematic Theology; in 1877, the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him, and in 1878, after the complete union of all the Presbyterian Churches, he was appointed Principal of the Presbyterian College of the Maritime Provinces, at Halifax. Dr. McKnight is said to be a man of great intellectual power, an impressive preacher, and an instructor of the first order. In the latter capacity he has always commended the deepest respect and affection of the students under his care.

William Brydone-Jack, A.M., D.C.L., President of the University of New Brunswick, was born at Tinwald, Dumfries-shire, in the month of November, 1819. After receiving his preliminary education at the parish school, and at Halton Hall Academy, Mr. Jack betook himself to the ancient University of St. Andrews. There he became a favourite pupil of Sir David Brewster, and it is possible that the fondness he afterward manifest for the study of astronomy sprang from this intimacy. Mr. Jack received his Bachelor’s degree in due course, and that of A.M. in 1840. In that year he received two invitations, one to become Professor of Physics in the New College, Manchester, the other to the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at King’s College, afterwards the New Brunswick University. He was then barely of age, and his friends, including Sir David Brewster, urged him to accept the latter offer. He did so, and reached Fredericton in September, 1840. His intention at that time, was to spend only a year or two in the colony, and then to return to Scotland. The fates ordained otherwise, however, and he has, fortunately for the University, remained there to this day. The University of New Brunswick, like its sister institution at Toronto, has passed through many changes. In 1845, all religious tests were abolished, but the Professorship of Theology, to be filled by an Anglican clergyman, was retained. In 1854, a Commission was appointed, upon which sat Principal Dawson and the Rev. Dr. Ryerson. An Act was passed by the Legislature, which, embodying the recommendations of the Report, materially broadened the basis of the University. The enemies of the Institution, however, still continued to wage uncompromising war against it, and, 1858, succeeded in procuring the passage of a measure to abolish Provincial grants in its aid. The Act though sanctioned by the Lieutenant-Governor, but it was disallowed by the Imperial Government. This was in 1858, and next year the controversy was finally set at rest by the complete secularization of the University. Thenceforward its progress and popularity have steadily advanced year by year. Dr. Jack was appointed President in the University in 1861, and has exerted himself vigorously to impress upon the minds of the people the great advantages which accrue from it. He is also a member of the Provincial Board of Education, and has spent much time in visiting the schools in various parts of the Province.

The Rev. George Douglas, LL. D., President of the Wesleyan Theological College of Montreal, is a native Scot, having been born at Ashkirk, in Roxburghshire in October, 1825. His birthplace was within seven miles of Abbotsford, and not far from the home of the Ettrick Shepherd, so that he comes from classic ground. In 1832, the family removed to Canada, and made their home in Montreal. Mr. Douglas’ father was a Presbyterian, and reared his family in that faith. His parents were in humble circumstances, and after attending a private school under the Rev. Mr. Black, afterwards, we believe, a missionary to Red River, young George was employed first in a book-store, and afterwards apprenticed to a blacksmith. His brother James was a carpenter and builder, and so soon as his apprenticeship had expired, he entered into partnership with him. In the meantime he had become an insatiable reader of every book at his Command. Mr. Douglas knew what was in him; he possessed a natural gift of eloquence, and his reading had given a polish to his diction hardly to be expected under the circumstances. His next resolve was to enter the medical profession, and with that view he was enrolled as a student. That, however, was not to be his destiny. Having attended some revival meetings, he was converted and joined the Methodist Church. In succession he became a class-leader, a local preacher and a probationer for the ministry. His elder brother John had already preceded him in the same path, and George followed closely in his footsteps. In 1849, Mr. Douglas left for England to attend the Wesleyan Theological College; but had hardly arrived when he was chosen as missionary to the Bahamas. He was ordained in 1850, and sent to the Bermuda Islands. There he resided for eighteen months, when failing health compelled him to resign. He returned to Canada and has laboured here ever since. Twenty years of his subsequent life have been passed at Montreal—eleven in the pulpit, seven at the head of the Wesleyan College, and two years in enforced rest on account of ill-health. Of course, under the Methodist system of itinerancy, he has been stationed elsewhere, and three years were devoted to each of the three cities of Kingston, Toronto and Hamilton. The disadvantages under which he laboured in his youth have made Dr. Douglas a student during his whole life. He has paid special attention to literature, philosophy, and the natural sciences, especially excelling in the field of metaphysical investigation. In 1869, the degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him by McGill University, honoris causa. It is a remarkable fact that the most eloquent preachers of the Methodist Church in Canada are Scots, and Dr. Douglas is one of the most eloquent. He possesses great physical advantages in voice and appearance, and is endowed with that indescribable power over his audiences which only distinguishes orators of the first rank. Like all speakers, gifted by nature with the faculty of impressive utterance, he is at his best when he ceases to be self-conscious, and is absorbed, as it were, in the dignity and momentous importance of his subject. At such times he seems rapt—his personality lost in the theme of his discourse. A natural consequence of his oratorical power is, that he has been called upon to represent his Church, on all important occasions, at home and abroad, at conferences, convocations, and Evangelical Alliance gatherings. In spite of ill-health, Dr. Douglas has always been a hard-worker, and, during eight years of service in the Wesleyan Theological College, his labours there have formed only a part of the Christian work performed in many spheres of usefulness.

The Reverend Robert Alexander Fyfe, D. D., late Principal of the Canadian Literary Institute, Woodstock, was born in St. Andre Parish, near Montreal, in the month of October, 1816. His parents emigrated from Scotland in 1809 and settled in Lower Canada. Their son’s educational advantages were few, and he was obliged at an early age to work for his living. He entered as clerk in a store, and remained there until after he had completed his nineteenth year. Meanwhile the influence of religion began to work within him, and he determined to enter the Christian ministry. Enrolled as a student at Madison University, in the State of New York, he applied himself so assiduously to study as permanently to injure his health. He was compelled to leave that institution, but subsequently renewed his course at Worcester, Mass. Unfortunately he could not afford the necessary time for healthy relaxation, since he was compelled to spend his vacations in teaching in order to gain the means of continuing his education. At length after a theological course at the Newton seminary, near Boston, he was ordained on the 25th of August, 1842. Returning to Canada, the Rev. Mr. Fyfe’s first charge was undertaken at Perth, in the county of Lanark. After labouring there for eighteen months, he presided temporarily over the Montreal Baptist College, pending the arrival of a regular Principal from England. This post he occupied for about a year, and then accept the pastoral charge of the only Baptist church in Toronto. The congregation had, for years, worshipped in the Masonic Hall, then situate on what is now Colborne street. A lot having been procured on March Street, a small edifice was erected which did not accommodate anything like two hundred hearers. As time rolled on the locality became an unsavoury one; but the street had its name changed several times, and few of the present generation will remember it by its original appellation. In order to make it smell the sweeter it was denominated Stanley Street, presumably as a compliment to the Derby family. Under that name it became more notorious than ever, and another change was tried—a rather absurd one, by which the thoroughfare became known as Lombard Street, it may be supposed because there were no bankers or stockbrokers there.

When Mr. Fyfe undertook a charge which had been thrown up in despair by a succession of predecessors, the communicants’ role numbered a little over sixty. With an exceedingly genial and winning disposition, the new pastor combined great zeal and force of character. He had been inducted in 1844, and shortly before his resignation, in 1848, he had the satisfaction of seeing a much larger congregation assembled in the new Bond Street Church. For a year thereafter, Mr. Fyfe laboured again at Perth; but his health, which was always precarious, gave way, and for the next seven years he ministered in the United States. In 1855 he returned to Bond Street, where he found the congregation considerably increased and the building enlarged. Mr. Fyfe ministered there for four years, and had the satisfaction of seeing a second Baptist Church rise in Alexander Street. He had resigned his charge, however, before the handsome stone church on Jarvis Street was erected. In 1860, with considerable reluctance, Dr. Fyfe accepted the position of Principal of the Canadian Literary Institute at Woodstock. As he had preached the first sermon in Bond Street Church, he was invited to preach the last. In the course of his address, Dr. Fyfe gave a brief history of the congregation. The remaining eighteen years of his life were passed in the zealous discharge of his duty at the Institute. He was a man of striking intellectual power, of exemplary piety, of much sweetness of temper, of great energy in every good work his hand found for him to do. Dr. Fyfe, as already stated, had during life been the victim of ill-health, and on the 4th of September, 1878, he passed peacefully into his rest.

The Right Reverend John Cameron, Ph. D., D. D., Roman Catholic Bishop of Arichat, N. S., was born in Antigonish in the month of February, 1827. His father, a successful farmer, came out to Nova Scotia shortly after the beginning of this century and settled in the township of Antigonish, and survived until 1874, when he had nearly reached the age of ninety-four years. His mother, who was a Macdonald from the same shire, survived until 1868, when she died at the advanced age, of eighty-four. Educated in the first place at Antigonish, the future prelate repaired to Rome, where he spent ten years in preparation for his sacred office. He was ordained a priest in 1853, and received at the same time his degree of Doctor of Philosophy and also of Divinity. In the following year Dr. Cameron returned to Arichat and was placed in charge of the St. Francis Xavier College. The Seminary was removed to Antigonish, where he acted as President and Divinity Professor for three years. Returning to Arichat in 1863, Dr. Cameron took charge of a large parish, and also discharged the duties of Vicar-General. Seven years after, he was appointed Co-adjutor Bishop, and consecrated at Rome by Cardinal Cullen. While at "the Eternal City," Bishop Cameron attended the sittings of the Ecumenical Council, returning to his diocese in the autumn. In 1877, the age and infirmities of Bishop McKinnon, a Highland Scot, placed his co-adjutor in the position of Administrator of the diocese. Shortly after Dr. McKinnon resigned his see, and Bishop Cameron became Bishop of Arichat. He at once removed to Antigonish, and set about the work set before him. His energy and zeal were such, that although he found the diocese encumbered by a heavy debt, he never paused until he had wiped out the last dollar. Bishop Cameron is a thorough scholar, and a most eloquent preacher. His wonderful activity may be partly recognized from the fact that while President of the College at Arichat, he had also the charge of two large parishes.

In this connection a slight account may be given of the Most Rev. Robert Machray, D. D., LL D., Bishop of Rupert’s Land. His father was an advocate, residing at Aberdeen, and there the future Bishop was born in 1832. He entered King’s College, Aberdeen, when young, and graduated in 1851; after which he repaired to Sidney College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B. A. with honours in mathematics. Mr. Machray was then made a Foundation Fellow of his College, and received Deacon’s orders from the Bishop of Ely, also in 1855. The following year he was ordained to the priesthood and became Vicar of Medingley, a village not far from Cambridge. In 1865, Dr. Machray was nominated to the Bishopric of Rupert’s Land, and consecrated at Lambeth Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury and four Bishops, one of whom the Right Rev. Dr. Anderson had formerly been Bishop of the North-western Diocese. Since he entered upon his work, Dr. Machray has energetically striven, and with marked success for the advancement of the Church and the spiritual welfare of the people. The subdivision of the diocese into several bishoprics limits the present Bishop’s charge to the Province of Manitoba, the districts of Swan River, Moray House and Rainy Lake with part of the district of Cumberland. In 1874, Bishop Machray was selected as Metropolitan. In addition to his episcopal duties, he is also Chancellor and Warden of St. John’s College, and Professor of Ecclesiastical History. Dr. Machray is eminently a missionary bishop, and is deservedly popular among the clergy and people, for his ardent devotion, practical energy, fervent piety, and unostentatious eloquence.

The Rev. George Bryce, M.A., LL.B., Head and Professor of Manitoba College, was born at Mount Pleasant, in the County of Brant,, C. W., in April, 1844. His parents, both Scottish, hailed from the parish of Kilmadock in Perthshire, and came to Canada in 1843. At the age of four young Bryce was at school, having early given token of marked ability. Passing through the common school, and the county grammar school at Brantford, he entered University College at the age of eighteen. Here his course was eminently successful, and he graduated in 1868, as medallist in Natural Sciences. Mr. Bryce’s next step was to enter Knox’s College, where he studied theology under Drs. Willis and Burns, and on the 19th September, 1871, was set apart for educational work in Manitoba, at the same time that the Rev. Mr. McKay was ordained for a far more distant field of labour in the island of Formosa. Mr. Bryce departed for Winnipeg to undertake a Professorship in the College just established. As in all newly-settled districts, the young clergyman had a double duty to perform: he was at once professor and pastor. As might be expected, Mr. Bryce met with many discouragements at the outset; but, being a young man of vigour and energy, he has managed to outlive them all. He had the good fortune to be joined in the College work by Professor Hart, who belonged to a different branch of the Presbyterian Church. By their joint efforts, considerable progress was made towards union, even before the eastern Churches formed a junction in 1875. In 1874, Professor Bryce was relieved of the pastoral charge of Knox Church, Winnipeg, by the arrival of the Rev. James Robertson. A large share of the missionary work still devolved upon him, however, and he laboured at church organization throughout the Province of Manitoba until 1881, when a Superintendent of Missions was appointed for the North-West. Meanwhile, Mr. Bryce has taken a prominent part in all religious and educational work in the territories. During his residence there, the early history of the country, its gradual development and progress have attracted much of his study and attention. During the present year, Professor Bryce published a handsome volume of three hundred and sixty-five pages, illustrated with maps and engravings, giving a full and accurate account of the Prairie Province as it was and is. [Manitoba: Its Infancy, Growth, and Present Condition London: Sampson Low & Co. 1882.] The larger portion of the work is devoted to the history of the Red River Settlement, and the broils in which Lord Selkirk and the rival North-West Company were involved. In our next volume the entire subject will be taken up, and Professor Bryce’s work will necessarily come under closer review. The young author is still at the threshold of his life-work, and much may be confidently expected from his learning and industry. On the title-page of the work referred to, it is stated that Professor Bryce is a Delegue of the Ethnographical Institution of Paris, and also Secretary of the Manitoba Historical Society.

An attempt has thus been made to give salient examples of Scottish work in our seminaries of learning. It is far from complete; still it may be accepted in spite of its shortcomings as a sketch in the rough of what Scotsmen have done in the interest of superior education. Many, if not most of the men who have passed under review are clergymen, and, therefore, the next chapter will follow in natural sequence.


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