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