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perusal, on which they are occasionally examined ; and to appoint one discourse, at least, to be delivered before them every year, to ascertain what progress they have made in their studies.
Regarding the qualifications of the Secession ministers, we may adduce the testimony of a minister of the church of Scotland, who, during a long public life, of more than half a century, was respected and honoured by men of all parties and denominations, for a sound judgment, a candid mind, a high-toned, incorruptible integrity, and for exerting bis great influence in the settlement of evangelical ministers throughout the country:—“ The candidates for orders in the Secession have at least the means of being as well educated as the ministers of the establishment. This fact, whatever additional strength it. may give to the Secession, is of no small importance to the country at large; for, from the congregations of eight seceding ministers, deposed by the Assembly in 1740, (adding to them the Presbytery of Relief, which sprung from the deposition of a single individual, many years later), there have risen up at last nearly three hundred and sixty seceding meetings, which, at a moderate computation, may, in round numbers, contain a fourth or fifth part of the population of Scotland.
When so large a proportion of the inhabitants of the kingdom is concerned, it is at least consolatory to believe, that they have access to instructors who are qualified to do them justice. The doctrines now delivered in the seceding meet
ings are in no essential article different from the instruction received in the established churches. Though, by being more numerous, and always well educated, the established clergy can certainly produce a much greater number of considerable men; it cannot be denied that, among the ministers belonging to the Secession, there are individuals not inferior to the most respectable ministers of the establishment; and it ought to be in candour admitted, that their people are, by a great proportion of them, as well instructed as those who adhere to the church.”*
In 1770, Alexander Waugh entered the University of Edinburgh, where he continued four sessions prior to his theological studies. He attended the Latin class taught by Mr. Stewart; the Greek, by Mr. Hunter; the logic, by Mr. Stevenson ; the natural philosophy, by Mr. Russel; the moral philosophy, by Dr. Ferguson; and in a subsequent year, after he had entered on the study of divinity, he attended Dr. James Robertson, professor of Hebrew.
It is to be regretted, that none of his papers of this period can be found, which might enable us to trace the gradual developement of his mind. We have seen that, during his attendance at the grammar-school, he was greatly distinguished for his proficiency in Latin ; and this language appears to have been always with him a favourite study. He was familiarly acquainted with the
* Life of Dr. Erskine, by Sir Henry Moncrieff Wellwood, Bart. D.D. pp. 454, 455.
Latin classics, and particularly with Virgil, whom he was accustomed to quote in a very appropriate and happy manner, and in the illustration of whose rich -and glowing imagery, his extensive general knowledge and fine fancy shone eminently forth. When thus engaged in the presence of the young, there was an absence of ostentatious criticism, that removed all fear of the examiner, combined with an exuberance of striking anecdote from ancient and modern history, and of playful illustration of ancient manners by those of our own days, which gave an interest and a definite meaning to the text that learned criticism alone generally fails to impart. To his intimate acquaintance with the Latin writers we are to ascribe, in no inconsiderable degree, his fine classical taste in composition, that copia fandi, that facility of expressing his sentiments in elegant and forcible language, which characterised him in future life. In regard to Greek, he appears to have restricted his study of that beautiful and copious language almost exclusively to the New Testament, which he read with great facility, at the same time analysing the words and phrases, so as to bring forth the meaning and beauty of the sacred writers, when expounding the Scriptures, in a manner which never failed to leave a deep impression on his hearers. In Hebrew literature he never attained to eminence. It is perhaps difficult to explain how the Hebrew language, in which so considerable a part of the Scriptures was originally written, has been but little studied in Britain ; and how we should be
so greatly inferior in this department to the Germans, who have devoted themselves to the diligent study of a language highly venerable, not merely for its great antiquity, but for being the first medium in which the God of heaven condescended to record the all-important discoveries of his covenant mercy to sinful men.
Mr. Waugh discovered a strong predilection for moral philosophy, as it was then taught by Dr. Ferguson; and it appears, from the college records, that he attended two courses of lectures under that celebrated person, whose vivid eloquence, and powerful reasoning on the important topics which came under his review, had raised the class to a high degree of celebrity. The great and leading fault of his prelections was, that he did not ground his arguments on Divine revelation; the only competent authority to which the appeal must ever be made in all moral discussions regarding the relations which subsist betwixt man and his Creator and Judge. By keeping the Scriptures entirely out of the view of his students, they were led to think too favourably of the capabilities of human nature, and less deeply to feel their obligations to that atoning blood which hath appeased the wrath of God for man's transgression, and to that sovereign and almighty grace which can alone change and renovate the faculties of our depraved and fallen nature. To his lec. tures, which were published after he had resigned his chair in the University, he prefixed the following advertisement:-“It may be asked, perhaps, why the professor should restrict his argument,
as he has done, to the mere topics of natural religion and reason? This being the foundation of every superstructure, whether in morality or religion, and therefore to be separately treated, he considered as that part of the work which was allotted to him. Farther institutions may improve, but cannot supersede, what the Almighty has revealed in his works, and in the suggestions of reason to man. • When first we from the teeming womb were brought, With inborn precepts then our souls were fraught.'
Rowe's Lucan, book ix. line 984.” It is difficult to comprehend how a person of Dr. Ferguson's acknowledged candour should have satisfied his mind with such reasoning; as if the founders of a class of moral philosophy in a Christian university could have intended that the students should rest contented with the imperfect discoveries of natural reason regarding the perfections of the Deity, the immortality of the soul, the nature of virtue and true happiness, — the most important discussions which can interest or agitate the human mind; -as if the Scriptures had never been written, and students had been listening to the prelections of Socrates or Cicero, -men, it may be observed, who would have gratefully availed themselves, in illustrating such topics, of the superior light of Divine revelation, had that invaluable boon been communicated to them. Dr. Paley, in his preface to a course of lectures on moral and political philosophy, which be delivered in the University of Cambridge, nearly at the same time, justly reprobates those teachers