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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Whitefield's noble aid to the Glasgow Highland Society


THE first grand lift which the Highlanders of Glasgow received is thus described, under date of A.D. 1843.

"About eighty-five years ago, a number of gentlemen in Glasgow, interested in the Highlands of Scotland, proposed to form themselves into a society, to be called the Glasgow Highland Society, the object being to educate, clothe, and put out to trades the children of industrious Highland parents. At this time, I think about June, 1757, the celebrated George Whitefield came to Glasgow.

"The members of the proposed Highland Society waited on Mr. Whitefleld, and, after explaining to him their object, they begged that he would preach a sermon, and then make a collection for behoof of the intended Society. Mr. Whifefield entered warmly into the measure, and readily agreed to preach a sermon (text, Mark vi. 34), and make a collection, but suggested it ought to be done in the High Churchyard; he further suggested the sanction of the authorities being obtained, that all the approaches to the churchyard should be put in the management of the Directors of the Highland Society.

The sermon accordingly took place, and the multitude of hearers was immense. Mr. Whitefield, having finished his sermon, made a most splendid appeal to the assembled people in favour of the poor and uneducated children of the Highlanders; he even went so far as personally to point to various groups of ladies and gentlemen, who were listening to him from their seats on the gravestones, saying, that they thought nothing of giving half-a-crown to see a play, or go to a ball, and he told them that he could not let them off for less than that sum on this occasion. In the meantime all the doors of egress from the churchyard were taken possession of by the Directors of the Highland Society, who stood, hat in hand, receiving the collections. The sum collected was the largest that had ever hitherto been known to be forthcoming at any sermon in Glasgow.

"The money so collected, along with some other funds raised by the Highland Society, was sufficient to enable them to erect the present [now, A.D. 1892, late] Black Bull [Hotel] Buildings.


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