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Memoirs of John Urquhart
Chapter 2


Difficulties in determining his profession—He is sent to the University of St. Andrew’s — Letter to his father, giving an account of his gaining the first bursary— Letter to his mother— His success at the end of the first session — Mr. Duff’s observations on his conduct at this time — Return to St. Andrew’s — Letter, giving an account of his early impressions, and change of mind — Remarks on this subject — His views of Christian fellowship — Success at the end of his second session.

The period had now come when it was necessary to determine the future career of this interesting boy. Various objects presented themselves to the minds of his anxious parents. They thought of the professions of the law, and of medicine, and perhaps of another profession also, though they feared to avow it, especially to himself. It is not improbable that his own mind was directed to the ministry; but as he had given no decided indications of piety, neither his father nor myself encouraged him to think of it.

Convinced of the deep injury done to religion, by the education of men for the ministry, who afford no evidence that they themselves know the truth as it is in Jesus, I consider the encouragement of such persons, the greatest wrong which can be done to their own souls, and to the Church of Christ. In some instances, it is true, the salvation of the gospel is afterwards received by them; in numerous instances it is altogether and finally rejected, although the most solemn obligations are submitted to, to preach it; and in many cases there is reason to fear, cold orthodoxy is all that is ever attained. Under the influence of these causes, Christianity has sustained more injury than from all other things. The ruin of any church may be dated from the time that it commences the training of men avowedly for the ministry, from their infancy.

This is a different matter from a Christian parent, devoting, in his own mind, to the work of God, a promising youth, provided he shall become a partaker of divine grace. In that case, it will be his duty to give him such an education as his circumstances admit, and which may eventually further the object of his wishes. Such were the views with which I tendered my advice to the elder Mr. Urquhart, respecting the education and prospects of his son. I was powerfully convinced, that, should it please God to call him to the knowledge of himself, he had all the elements of an accomplished and attractive preacher. He had a fine voice, a pleasing address and appearance, besides being remarkably fond of knowledge, and diligent in its pursuit. To himself I said nothing; but I pointed out these things to his father, and convinced him of the importance of giving his son such an education, as might suit any of the professions in which the knowledge of literature is required. To everything except study, he always manifested great reluctance or aversion; so that the path of duty to send him to St. Andrew’s became at length clear.

The high satisfaction which this afforded to John was very evident. The buoyancy and vivacity of youth, no doubt, appeared, in the prospect of going to a new scene, especially as that scene was a University. But he was to be placed among those to whom he was almost an entire stranger, to be separated from his own family, which he had never before left, except for a few days together, and to be made, in a great measure, his own master. These considerations could not fail to make on his delicate mind, some painful impression.

His parents, too, could not but feel the risk to which they were exposed, though he had hitherto conducted himself with much propriety and success. He possessed a large portion of good sense for his years. He was exceedingly steady and persevering in all his habits; and was ardently set on rising to eminence in some honourable department of life. But he was yet a boy; having only completed his fourteenth year. To many temptations he was now to be exposed, from which he had before been exempted, or the influence of which had been in a degress counteracted. Dangers of a very formidable kind frequently assail an inexperienced youth, not only from the associates of his academical pursuits, but from some of those pursuits themselves. But the election had been made; it was therefore necessary to commit him to the care and blessing of God.

I feel pleasure in remembering, that, with his father, I accompanied him to St. Andrew’s, and thus far assisted in introducing him to that scene of usefulness, and perhaps, in the best sense, I might say, of glory, in which he was destined to act a conspicuous and an important part. Lodgings of the humble kind, which are generally occupied by the young men who attended that University, whose circumstances and prospects are not of a superior description, were provided for him. The respective professors on whose lectures he was to attend, were spoken to, and he was commended especially to the watchful care of my respected friend, the Rev. William Lothian, minister of the Independent congregation, whose ministerial labours he was to enjoy, on the Lord’s day. Of that gentleman’s kind and affectionate attentions, John ever spoke with great warmth; and to him he was indebted for much useful instruction, in private as well as in public.

Here I cannot allow the opportunity to pass without bearing my public and decided testimony to the liberal principles on which the Universities of my native country are conducted. At these important establishments, no distinction of party is acknowledged. They are open to men of all professions. No subscription is required at entrance or in any stage of future progress. Their highest honours are attainable by the Dissenter as well as by the Churchman; and, in the distribution of their rewards, I am not aware that any difference is made in consequence of the candidate not being of the established faith. At St. Andrew’s all the students are required to attend public worship on the Lord’s day, at the College church; but a young man has only to signify that he is a Dissenter, and that he means to attend regularly at the dissenting chapel or meeting-house, and his attendance with his fellow-students is at once dispensed with. It is due to both parties that I should state, that John Urquhart entered the College of St. Andrew’s as the son of dissenting parents; [Of the Congregational body.] while there, he regularly attended a dissenting meeting, and became a regular member of a Dissenting Church; he left it with a mind unaffected on the subject of dissent; and throughout his course of study, he received from all the professors, the most marked and affectionate treatment. Of their kind and honourable conduct, he always spoke with the warmest respect and gratitude.

Of this impartiality he had soon a very substantial proof. Contrary to the wishes of his father, he was determined to offer himself as a candidate for one of the exhibitions or bursaries, as they are termed, in Scotland; most of which have been left for the encouragement of young men at the commencement of their college career, with a view to help them to defray the expenses of it. Though the sum is usually small, it has often proved highly beneficial; not merely in aiding those whose resources are rather limited, but in exciting and stimulating the successful candidate to further exertion. The effect produced in this way on the mind of my young friend, I have no doubt, was both considerable and beneficial. But, as happily his own account of his trial and his success remains, I shall allow him to tell the story of his first adventure himself. In a letter to his father, dated St. Andrew’s, 7th of November, 1822, he writes as follows: —

"MY DEAR FATHER—The bursaries are at last decided. Tuesday was the day appointed for the competition; we met accordingly, at ten o’clock in the morning, and got a passage to translate from Latin into English, which we gave in at two o’clock. We were then allowed an hour for dinner, and assembled again at three, when we had another version to turn from English into Latin, which we finished about six o’clock. We were then, without getting out, locked up in a room to wait till we were called in our turn to be examined upon an extempore sentence. I was not called upon till near eleven, when I was dismissed for that night. The professors met yesterday to determine the bursaries, from the exercises that had been performed the day before. There was no less than thirty-three competitors, and as I knew many of them to be very good scholars, from their answers in the public classes, I had given up all hopes of getting one. You may then judge of my very agreeable disappointment, on going last night to know the determination, to hear that I had gained the first bursary. I could not believe it till we, who had got bursaries were called in, and informed of it by the Principal.

"I began my letter with the decision of the bursaries, and have dwelt on them so long, because I thought it would be the most agreeable intelligence I could communicate. The whole four bursaries are equal in regard to value, being each eight pounds a session, for four years, if the person continues at the College for that time. It has certainly greatly relieved my mind, as my expenses here will now be comparatively easy. I was very dull, of course, for the first two or three days I was here, but since Alexander Duff came, I have been happy enough with my situation.. I feel every comfort that I could have at home, excepting the presence of my friends. Mr. Lothian has been unremitting in his kindness to me ever since I came."

This letter shows satisfactorily the attainments he must have made, when at the early age of fourteen, he could gain the first bursary among thirty-three competitors, the great body of whom must have been much further advanced in life than himself. It affords evidence, also, of that Spirit of exertion and independence which distinguished him to the last. It was his desire to be as little burdensome to his parents as possible; and everything which enabled him to diminish that burden, he grasped at with avidity. His wants were very easily supplied; and could I, with propriety, communicate the details and evidence of his economy, which are now before me, I am sure would excite no ordinary degree of surprise. Possessed, even at this early period, of a generous and self-denying spirit, he nobly sacrificed everything which it was possible for him to give up, so that the expense of his education might affect as little as possible the other branches of the family.

The time of a young man attending the classes of a University must be so fully occupied, that it would be foolish to expect that much of it should be spent in letter writing. Besides, many letters may be written which contain nothing that would be proper to meet the public eye.

The following extract from a letter to his mother, discovers his affection for her, gives some account of his employments, and shows how busily and constantly he was engaged.

"ST ANDREW’s, December 12, 1822.

"MY DEAR MOTHER — I confess that I ought to have written to you before now; I shall make no excuse for not doing so; but shall only say, that it by no means proceeded from forgetfulness or neglect of you. If there is any one of you that I remember more than another, you are that one; and, indeed, I must be kept in constant remembrance of you, by the comforts you are sending me every opportunity. The flannels, &c., which you sent last, were very acceptable; the mittens you sent me were also very seasonable; but I hope you were not, in any way depriving yourself of them for my sake; for, if I thought so, I could have no pleasure in wearing them.

"I was happy to hear by my father’s last letter, that you were keeping free of your complaint. I hope you are still so; and David [His eldest brother.] also. I always feel a kind of uneasiness in being absent from you all; but to hear that you are all well removes the greater part of it. For my part, I am keeping my health better here than ever I did before. I have not had the slightest head-ache. This, I am convinced, proceeds in a great measure from regularity. Every hour is employed much in the same manner every day. My meals are also strictly measured in the same quantity. I rise every day at seven o’clock, (with candlelight of course,) go to the Greek class at eight, and remain there till nine; take my breakfast and go to the library between nine and ten; go to the mathematics from ten to eleven; the Greek again from eleven to twelve; take a walk between twelve and one; go to Latin from one to two; dine between two and three; study till four; take a walk between four and five; and am in the house the rest of the night: you have thus a history of the time I have spent since I came here.

"This has been a very dry letter, but you may expect a better next.

"And believe me to be,
"Your very affectionate and obedient son."

By the same conveyance, he wrote his eldest brother a playful letter, enclosing a plan of St. Andrew’s, sketched with his pen, with very considerable accuracy and neatness.

He paid a visit of a few days to Perth, during the Christmas vacation of College, and returned to prosecute his studies with increasing ardour and diligence. When the end of the session arrived, he bore off the silver medal, which is the highest prize of the junior Greek class, which he attended. He also received "Xenophon de Cyri Expeditione," as a prize in the junior Latin class. In the senior mathematical class, taught by Professor Duncan, he obtained "Simpson’s Conic Sections," as one of the prizes; but which in order, I have not ascertained. This success could not fail to be flattering to a young and ardent mind; yet I do not recollect that he seemed much elated by it on his return. He seldom spoke of himself; and though to me he was accustomed to speak freely, he rarely adverted to his exertions, and scarcely at all to the honours which he had obtained.

I have reason to believe, indeed, that the good work was slowly and imperceptibly going on in his soul. I know that he was then in the habit of reading the Scriptures regularly every day, and that he and his companion frequently joined together in prayer. His uniform correctness of conduct and regularity in attending the means of grace on Sabbath, encouraged the hope that a decided profession of religion would be made at no distant period. In such a case as his, no very marked or visible transition could take place. His mind, familiar from infancy with divine truth, had not to acquire a theoretical knowledge of it. Not the intellectual perception of the gospel, but the moral taste for its beauty and adaptation, was the thing required. The former is a.mere human attainment, the latter is the doing of the Lord. Man may cultivate and enlarge the understanding; but God only can touch and renovate the heart. Our expectations in regard to this were not disappointed.

The following extract of a letter from his companion Mr. Duff confirms these observations, and shows what a change must afterwards have taken place.

"During the session of College at St. Andrew’s, in 1822-3, he and I lodged together in the same room. He was still the same John Urquhart, though more ripened in intellect, and, if possible, more amiable in deportment. He attended the junior Greek and Latin classes, and the second mathematical class. He gained the first prize in the Greek, a prize in each of the competitions in the Latin, and a prize in the Mathematics; all this he accomplished with little labour or exertion. He spent much time in reading books from the public library: of what description these generally were, I do not now remember; but one he read and re-read with peculiar satisfaction, ‘The Memoirs and Writings of Henry Kirke White.’ He took great delight in walking along the sea-shore, and exploring the rocks which so abound in the neighbourhood of the town. Throughout the whole session we regularly engaged in the worship of God morning and evening; but I fear there was much coldness, and much formality in almost every exercise. With neither of us I fear, was religion then made the great object. There was little appearance of the savour and unction of divine, little appearance of real joy and delight in communion with God, little in short, to manifest the earnest longing, the devout aspiration, the holy zeal of him whose piety is deeply rooted in the heart, and tinctures more or less with its own sacredness, every thought and feeling, every word and action. The Bible was read, but I fear that the spiritual meaning of the Bible was not understood, and the subduing power of its doctrines not felt. Prayers were regularly offered; but I fear that the real spirit of prayer was wanting — the fervent outpouring of the heart to God. The wonders of redeeming love formed but a small share of our discourse: our own individual interest in the great salvation, formed not a prominent subject of eager inquiry and anxious examination. In this manner passed the session of 1822-3, without any remarkable incident."

He passed the following summer at home with his friends, without any circumstance occurring worthy of notice; and in the beginning of November, 1823, returned to St. Andrew’s to attend his second College course. Scarcely any of his correspondence during this session remains. He appears to have been very busily engaged in his various studies; and yet it was towards the close of this period, that he was led to make that decided profession of religion, which he was enabled to maintain to the last. I cannot express the gratification I felt on receiving the following letter from him; and which, notwithstanding its peculiar references to myself, I hope I shall be forgiven for presenting entire. I had not previously heard of his taking the step to which it refers.

"ST. ANDREW’S, April 13, 1824.

"MY DEAR SIR — It is with feelings of a very peculiar nature, that I sit down at present to write to you. Since I saw you last I have been admitted a member of a Christian Church. I determined to write to you at present for several reasons. I have long considered you as one of my best friends, and as a sincere servant and follower of Jesus Christ; and your preaching was the first instrument in the hand of God, of leading me to think seriously of an eternal world. To you, therefore, I have determined to reveal every feeling, and to open the recesses of my heart.

"My first impressions of danger, as a sinner, were caused by a sermon you preached on a Lord’s day evening, about a year and a half ago. At the time, I was very much affected; it was then I think, that I first really prayed. I retired to my apartment, and with many tears confessed my guilt before God. These impressions were followed by some remarkable events in the providence of God, which struck me very forcibly. About that time, I had a proof of the inability of earthly wisdom and learning to confer true happiness, by the melancholy death of Mr. Moncur. On leaving my father’s house to come here, shortly after, I felt myself in a peculiar manner dependent on Jehovah. I was removed from the care of my earthly father, and from the intercourse of my earthly friends; and I felt great pleasure in committing myself to him who is the father of the fatherless, and a friend to those that have none. My companion used to join me morning and evening in the reading of the Scriptures, and prayer. In these, and in attending on the more public exercises of God’s worship, I had some enjoyment, and from them, I think, I derived some advantage. On my return home, however, last summer, I began to feel less pleasure in these employments; they began to be a weariness to me, and were at last almost totally neglected. My soul reverted to its original bent, and the follies of this world wholly engrossed my attention. Had I been left in that state, I must have inevitably perished. But God is rich in mercy; he delighteth not in the death of the wicked. In his infinite mercy, he has again been pleased to call my attention to the things of eternity. For some months back, I have been led to see the utter worthlessness of earthly things; to see that happiness is not to be found in any earthly object; that

"‘Learning, pleasure, wealth, and fame,
All cry out, It is not here,’

And I think I have been led to seek it where alone it is to be found, in ‘Jesus crucified for me.’ I have felt great pleasure in communion with God; and I have felt some love, though faint, to the Saviour, and to his cause. I have had a long struggle with the world; I have counted the cost, and I have at last resolved that I will serve the Lord. I have long been kept back from openly professing my faith in Jesus from an apprehension lest my future conduct might bring disgrace on the religion of the Saviour. But I have begun to think that this proceeds, in a great measure, from self-confidence, and from not trusting implicitly to the promises of God. He that hath brought me thus far, will not now forsake me; he that hath begun a good work will perfect it until the end.

"On Thursday s’ennight, after imploring the Divine direction, I felt it my duty to apply for admission to a Christian Church; since then, I have conversed with two of the members; and, being proposed last Lord’s day, I was received into their number. I have thus, my dear sir, as far as I can, related to you without reserve, my various feelings, and my state of mind since I first was impressed with a sense of the importance of religion. I have yet many doubts whether I have been really renewed by the grace of God. Of this my future life must be the test. I see many temptations in my way, and I feel that I am not able in myself to withstand them. May God perfect his strength in my weakness, and may he enable me to live henceforth, not to myself, but to him who died for me, and who rose again; to offer my body a living sacrifice, and to devote all the faculties of my mind to his service. And now, my dear sir, pray for me, that he who is able to stablish me according to the preaching of Christ Jesus, may keep me from falling, and make me in the end more than a conqueror. At present, farewell; I hope to see you soon. Give compliments to Mrs. Orme, to my parents, and all friends."

"P. S. You may, perhaps, think I have been rash in joining myself to the church here, when I have a prospect of returning to you in so short a time. I can only say that I felt it my duty to apply immediately, that I have before experienced the danger of procrastination, and that I consider it much the same whether I be in the first instance to be connected with the church here, or with that in Perth, and that our friends here were all of the same opinion. In connecting myself with that body of Christians, to which you and my parents belong, I think I have not been influenced by the prejudices of education, but a sense of duty, and the writings of the apostles themselves."

This letter bears all the marks of the most ingenuous and candid disclosures of the leadings of Providence, and the workings of his own mind. It shows the gradual and pleasing manner in which he had been led to receive and obey the truth; and that although he had been much engaged in literary and scientific pursuits, and ardently attached to them, the powerful operations of the divine Spirit had carried forward the process of illumination and conviction, till it at last issued in his decided conversion to God. His reasons for taking the step which he had adopted, were those by which he appears to have been invariably influenced in his religious course. He first sought to ascertain what was the will of God; and on arriving at a satisfactory conclusion on this point, he was then prepared to encounter all difficulties which stood in the way of full compliance with it. He delayed not, but hastened to keep the commandment.

How much it is to be regretted that prudential considerations, or sinful timidity, induce many individuals long after they have received the truth, to keep at a distance from the fellowship and ordinances of the Church of Christ. Instead of looking at the command of God, and considering the shortness and uncertainty of human life, they allow year after year to pass away in inquiring and doubting; or resolving and calculating, instead of deciding and acting. The consequences are a deprivation of personal comfort, to a great extent; the formation of habits most unfavourable to the decision of religious character, and injuries of various kinds being done to the souls of others.

It is as clear as possible, that at the beginning, no sooner did men believe the gospel, than they associated together for the observance of all the institutions appointed by Christ in his Church. There was then no neutral ground on which they could stand, between the world and the Church of God. No man is recognized in New Testament as a Christian, who is not a member of a Christian society. Yet not a few can reconcile themselves to remain in the perfectly anomalous situation of doing all that Christianity seems to require, but making that profession of it which lies at the foundation of everything else.

I am aware that human barriers have sometimes been presented, by which some have been improperly kept at a distance from the fellowship of the gospel, who ought to have been welcomed into it. But I fear, in the majority of instances, the evil is to be traced to erroneous ideas of the gospel, inadequate impressions of divine authority, and to a want of that firm and decided principle, which, wherever it exists, will conquer trivial and even considerable difficulties. Providence is frequently pleaded as an excuse, while its arrangements are only putting our sincerity and principles to the test. As he who observeth the clouds will not sow, so he that will not go forward in doing the will of God till all difficulties are removed out of the way, will always find something to hinder him.

The plea set up by many, that they are afraid they may be left to bring disgrace on religion, is admirably adverted to by my young friend. A more superficial thinker would have ascribed this feeling to humility and self-distrust; he, with nicer discrimination, ascribes it to self-confidence. Provided our obedience were in any instance the result of our own strength, we might be justified in exercising delay on this principle. But as from first to last we are called to depend on the strength of another, the ease is very different. He who enables us to believe, and flee from the wrath to come, will assuredly preserve us from dishonouring him, if our confidence is properly reposed. Many refuse to believe in Christ, on the plea that their sins are too great for them to hope that they may be forgiven. This they call humility; while in fact it is the deceitful operation of pride. It is obvious that if they thought they were better, they would not feel the same difficulty; because they could then come to Christ with greater confidence of acceptance. Many think they are not good enough to observe the Lord’s Supper; as if the observance of it ought to be suspended on their goodness or merit. It is intended exclusively for Christians; but under that denomination, it includes all of every grade in the profession, who really know and love the Lord. It is designed, not for the perfect, but as the means of promoting perfection in those who are aiming to attain it. It is intended, not for the full, but for the empty soul; and will always prove useful in invigorating the life of godliness.

The following extract of a letter written long after, to the Rev. W. Lothian, pastor of the church which he joined, both illustrates his grateful feelings, and his strong attachment to the church under his care.

"I am chargeable with many faults, and carelessness is not among the least of them. I will not offer any apology, or pretend to make an excuse for not writing sooner, for my own conscience condemns me. But be assured it has not proceeded from a want of Christian love, or a forgetfulness of the many spiritual blessings I have enjoyed under your ministry, and in communion with the church under your care, or the many acts of kindness shown me by many of its members. No! I will never forget St. Andrew’s; and the place where first I professed myself a follower of the Lord, and the little body of Christians who first gave me the right hand of fellowship, will be remembered with lively gratitude and delight, when the associations of literary and social intercourse shall have been effaced, by the impression of other scenes, and different pursuits. How different is our friendship from that of the world! Distance of time and place cannot weaken it, since neither can remove us from Christ. So long as we love him who begat, so long shall we love those who are begotten of him; and coldness of love to our Christian brethren can only be produced by lukewarmness in our love to God. Forgive my wandering; I sometimes forget that I am writing a letter."

"The account which he gave," says Mr. Lothian, "of his religious views and experience, on being received into church, was very satisfactory, and discovered great knowledge of the Scriptures in one so young. He particularly mentioned the advantage he had derived from parental instruction, and from hearing the gospel faithfully preached. I thought it my duty to remind him, that by casting in his lot with us, he would be deprived of that patronage which might otherwise have held out to him prospects of temporal advancement. He, however, said, that he had examined the subject for himself, and could not conscientiously unite himself to any other body of Christians."

The propriety of Mr. Lothian’s caution will appear when we reflect on the tender years of young Urquhart, on his highly promising talents, on the temptations incident to a college life, and on the little inducement which he could have, under such circumstances, to connect himself with a small, and in the city of St. Andrew’s, a despised independent Church. Difficult as the circumstances were, he maintained his consistency and integrity of character to the last. And such was the power of principle, and his attachment to the body to which he belonged, that when on his leaving St. Andrew’s, a very desirable situation was put in his power, he would not accept of it, till the parties were informed that he was a Dissenter, and that the full liberty to act according to his own principles was the sine qua non of his acceptance. I mention these things chiefly as evidences of his sincerity, decision, and steadiness.

Important as these matters were, it must not be supposed that he was so absorbed by them as to neglect his professional studies. The best evidence of the contrary is furnished by the fact, that at the end of the session, which took place after he joined the church at St. Andrew’s, he obtained again some of the best prizes. A second time he received the silver medal, as the best scholar in the senior Greek class; and also the second prize, "Xenophon de Cyri Institutione," in the same class. In the third mathematical class, he also obtained one of the best prizes. His distinguished attainments as a Greek scholar, were noticed by Professor Alexander: "He prosecuted his studies with unremitting assiduity; evinced talents and attainments in Greek literature of the first order; and in each session carried off, as he well merited, the highest prize of distinguished scholarship."

On his return home, I had the opportunity of conversing fully with him on the nature of his religious views, the great change which had taken place in him, and the object which he was now led to pursue. I found his mind, as I expected, devoted to the Christian ministry; and it now became my pleasing duty to encourage his resolution, and direct his reading with a view to that object. Possessing, as he evidently did, the leading qualifications to form a popular preacher, I hailed the day when it might be my privilege to introduce him in some form to the elevated and responsible employment of the ministry. I forget whether he then said much, or anything to me respecting the object to which he finally directed all his attention, the work of a Christian missionary. I entertain little doubt, however, that he then thought of it; but as my views of his talents led me to think of the home, rather than of the foreign service, I must have chiefly directed his mind towards the former.

While he was at home during this vacation, he wrote an essay on the Nature and Design of the Mission of the Saviour on Earth, intended, I believe, for some magazine, which promised a prize for the best essay on the subject. I remember that he showed it me; but I am unable to say whether he sent it. His accurate knowledge of the gospel, and the ease with which he could express himself respecting its nature and design are here strikingly illustrated. I believe it is the first piece of extended composition which he wrote, and cannot therefore be so perfect as some of his subsequent pieces. But the language requires as little apology as the sentiment. The former is as simple as the latter is dignified. [See Appendix A.]

This paper contains a very excellent view of all the leading truths of the gospel. They are every one of them stated fairly, and are all blended together in admirable harmony. No undue importance or prominence is given to any one topic, while the practical design of the whole is constantly kept in view. It discovers a discrimination and justness of conception, as well as an extent of acquaintance with divine truth, very rarely to be found in a youth of sixteen.

Even at this early period, and while so little accustomed to composition, he was above the ambition of fine writing. Here is no attempt at it; and yet the language is admirable for its appropriateness and simplicity. His mind was evidently filled with the importance of the subject; and from the abundance of his heart his mouth spake. His only object was to express himself clearly and forcibly; and in this he completely succeeded.

My personal intercourse with him was shortly after this time brought nearly to a close. In consequence of removing to London, our subsequent connection was maintained chiefly by letters. He employed himself, of his own accord, after my removal, for several weeks, in making out a catalogue of my library; classifying the books, as well as numbering them and registering their titles. It is now in my possession, and evinces, at once, his correctness and diligence, and his love for the proprietor, as it must have cost him considerable labour. That labour, however, I am sure he never thought of; it gratified, in a small degree, his love of books, as he amused himself by looking at many of them as he passed them through his hands; and it afforded him the far higher gratification of doing an unsolicited service to a friend whom he loved. I now deeply, but unavailingly, regret, that my opportunities of personal usefulness to him, were not, on my part, sufficiently cultivated. I too often neglected the present, by anticipating the future; and thus allowed many occasions to pass away, which might have been employed in promoting his advancement in knowledge and piety. Still, I trust, that intercourse was not altogether without profit. He is gone before, to the region where are no defects. May it be my privilege to follow, and to meet him there at last!


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