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The Scottish Nation

MILNE, COLIN, LL.D., a writer on botany, born at Aberdeen in 1744. He became tutor to Lord Algernon Percy, younger son of the duke of Northumberland, and entered into holy orders. He was afterwards rector of North chapel, in Essex, and also obtained the lectureship of Deptford. He received the degree of LL.D. from Marischal college, Aberdeen, and was likewise D.D. and F.L.S. He died in 1815. His works are:

Botanical Dictionary; or, Elements of systematic and Philosophical botany. London, 1770, 8vo. 2d edit. 1777, 8vo. A Supplement. 1778, 8vo. 3d edit. Revised, corrected, and enlarged, 25 plates. London, 1805, 8vo.

Institutes of Botany. In two parts. London, 1770-72, 4to. Supplement to the same. 1778, 4to.

The Boldness and Freedom of Apostolic Evidence; a Sermon. 1775. 8vo.

Sermon preached at the Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Linnaean Society. 1779, 8vo.

Sermons, London, 1780, 8vo.

Indigenous Botany, or Habitations of English Plants. Vol. i. Lond. 1793, 8vo. In conjunction with Alex. Gordon.

MILNE, WILLIAM, D.D., a distinguished missionary to the Chinese, was born of poor parents, in the parish of Kinnethmont, Aberdeenshire, in April 1785. He received his education at the parish school, and afterwards resided in one or two families in the capacity of a servant. He early began to entertain religious impressions, and having read the Transactions of the London Missionary Society, and the Life of David Brainerd and of Samuel Pearce, he was induced to offer himself to that society as a missionary. In consequence he was called up to England, and put under the care of the Rev. David Bogue at Gosport, with whom, having gone through a regular course of study, and made great progress both in classical and theological knowledge, he was ordained at Portsea, July 16, 1812.

Soon after he was appointed colleague to Mr. Morrison in China, and having married a young lady in his native county, he sailed with his wife from Portsmouth, September 4, 1812, and arrived at Macao, July 4, 1813. He immediately commenced the study of the Chinese language, but was soon compelled by the Portuguese authorities to proceed to Canton. After remaining there a short time, he made a tour through the chief settlements of the Malay Archipelago for the purpose of distributing tracts and New Testaments, and afterwards returned to China. In April 1815 he embarked with his family for Malacca to take charge of the missionary establishment at that place, where he also preached once a-week to the Dutch protestants. On application to the governor at Penang, a grant was made of ground for the erection of missionary buildings, and a free press was allowed at Malacca. Having established a school for the instruction of the children of the poor, he composed for his Chinese scholars the Youth’s Catechism, and printed various tracts for their use. He also translated into the Chinese language a part of the Old Testament, of which the Book of Deuteronomy, after being revised by Mr. Morrison, was printed in 1816. In May 1817 Mr. Milne commenced ‘The Chinese Gleaner,’ a periodical work containing extracts from the correspondence of the Eastern missionaries, with miscellaneous notices relative to the philosophy and mythology of the Indo-Chinese nations. In September 1818 Malacca was by treaty restored to the Dutch government, and on November 10 of the same year the foundation stone was laid of the Anglo-Chinese college, on which occasion both the English and Dutch authorities attended.

Previous to this period, Mr. Milne, along with Mr. Morrison, had received from the university of Glasgow the degree of D.D., which had been granted them December 24, 1817. In March 1819 he had to mourn the loss of his wife. In November of the same year the whole of the Old Testament, translated by him and his colleague, was completed, Dr. Milne having undertaken the historical portions, and Dr. Morrison the books of Solomon and the Prophets. In 1820 Dr. Milne published ‘A Retrospect of the First Ten Years of the Protestant Mission to China,’ in which he gives an interesting account of the history of that country, its manners, its morals, and its religion, and of the various attempts to introduce the knowledge of the gospel into that benighted land. After suffering much from the effects of the climate, Dr. Milne died at Malacca, 1822, at the age of 37, leaving four children.

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