« ZurückWeiter »
ambition to make a show, or to exhibit his superiority over others, but to advance forward to higher attainments.
“ After leaving the University, at the vacation, we had no intercourse till about eighteen months after, when we met at Haddington, under Mr. Brown, where we studied divinity for five sessions, of two months each. Then our intimacy was revived and increased : it was my second session, and his first. It was then that I could discern, and I still well recollect, those solid religious principles and solemn views by which he was actuated. With all his flow of animal spirits, he not only shewed a serious mind, but that warm heart, and those unpresuming and pious affections, and open, benevolent feelings, which afterwards so eminently shone in him.
“I still recollect the agitation of his mind, under a discouraging criticism of his first discourse, by Mr. Brown: it was a homily on Rom. viii. 2. That agitation was confided to me alone, and I found it difficult to prevail on him to pursue his theological studies, which in the end have been so serviceable to the interests of religion. The circumstance arose from an unfavourable opinion formed by Mr. Brown of the system of moral philosophy taught by Dr. Ferguson,-a system which Mr. Waugh and I had studied with great attention, although our young minds might be incapable of doing full justice to it. By his continuing in attendance on Mr. Brown, (which I soon prevailed on him to persevere in), the suspicion
respecting his theological principles was quickly eradicated from the discerning mind of that eminent and judicious instructor.
“ After this, our intimacy continued, not only at Haddington, but when we returned to our parents, being kept up by letters. In one of the years of our attendance on Mr. Brown, before leaving Haddington, we agreed to spend the winter in Edinburgh together, for our mutual improvement. The usual course of academical studies was finished, but each feeing a class, we were entitled to the library; and living in the same house, and having the same parlour, we employed our hours as we thought most useful for ourselves. One portion of our time was occupied in reading one or two chapters of the New Testament, in Greek, daily, and making remarks on the expressive words; a line of study in which he advanced much farther afterwards under Dr. Campbell, of Aberdeen, whose prelections he attended one season ; and of the advantage of whose instructions he always spoke with much esteem and gratitude. Another of our chief employments was reading and remarking on books of taste, for the purpose of forming the habit of composition. Permit me to remark, that I was struck with an expression used upon his deathbed, to which I had that winter turned his attention, in Ossian's sublime address to the sun,• Age is dark and unlovely. That address had left an abiding impression on his mind, although Ossian was no favourite with him.”
We are informed by another contemporary,
" that his first discourse at Haddington was a mere philosophical essay, at which the professor and students were extremely grieved; but that even then he manifested that amiable disposition for which, in after-life, he was so distinguished. When Mr. Brown said, with much concern, “I hope I shall never hear such a discourse again in this place,' Mr. Waugh expressed his sorrow at giving him uneasiness. The second year of his attendance, there appeared a remarkable change on his mind, and the professor ever afterwards esteemed him very highly, and was accustomed to use great familiarities with him, both in conversation and in writing; and so far was he, on the other hand, froni feeling resentment, that he never spoke of Mr. Brown but in terms of veneration and gratitude.”
“ Let the righteous smite me,” saith David, “ it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” The professor's faithful and welltimed admonition produced most salutary effects. It shook Mr. Waugh’s confidence in Dr. Ferguson's speculations on human nature, on which we have taken the liberty to animadvert, and feelingly taught him the deep importance of the apostolic caution, “ Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, and the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” He now studied the Scriptures with close attention, and resolved to adopt no theological sentiments but such as were derived from the pure and uncontaminated fountain of
tion and ne of Mr. B
Divine truth. Henceforth we behold him, in every subsequent period, sitting at the feet of the great Master of Israel, and listening with meekness and humility to the words of grace and life that fell from his lips. His philosophy, instead of leading him again into devious paths, now became subsidiary to the great object which constituted its chief value, by enabling him to illustrate, in a more forcible manner, those allimportant truths which the Scriptures alone reveal, and the knowledge of which is necessary to make men wise unto eternal life.
In 1777 he repaired to the University of Aberdeen, and attended, for a session, the lectures of Dr. Beattie, professor of moral, philosophy, and of Dr. Campbell, professor of divinity, in the Marischal College. Both these eminent men had at this time acquired merited celebrity by their .prelections in their college, and by their writings in defence of Christianity against the sophistry of David Hume, who degraded his acuteness of mind and his high powers of style, by abetting principles equally hostile to natural as to revealed religion. Dr. Campbell had distinguished himself in the cause of religion by his “ Essay on Miracles,” one of the most acute and convincing treatises on that great and fundamental doctrine of revealed religion that has ever appeared. His prelections were highly esteemed, for the just and original views which they afforded of Divine truth, perspicuously expressed, and ably illustrated by criticisms on the Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldaic languages, with all of which he was familiarly
acquainted. The high respect in which he was held as a Biblical scholar, has been amply justified by the publication of his Translation of the Four Gospels, with the accompanying Dissertations, a work of profound erudition, calculated to raise the fame of his countrymen in this department of literature. We insert the following short specimen of the manner in which this learned and able divine was accustomed to instruct the theological students who attended his class :
“ Gentlemen, the nature of my office has been much misunderstood. It is supposed, that I am to teach you every thing connected with the study of divinity. I tell you honestly that I am to teach you nothing. Ye are not school-boys;—ye are young men who have finished your courses of philosophy, and ye are no longer to be treated as if ye were at school. Therefore, I repeat it, I am to teach you nothing; but, by the grace of God, I will assist you to teach yourselves every thing.
“ Begin with studying the Scriptures in the original languages; attend carefully to the distinction, that should always be made, between classical or pure Greek, and the Greek of the Septuagint and Testament, where the words, taken separately, are pure Greek, but where the idiom of the language, and even the acceptation of many of the words, is derived from the Hebrew, the Chaldaic, or the Syriac. Be acquainted with the civil history, the manners and customs of ancient times and nations, especially with that of the Jews, where the reading of Josephus will often be useful. But whatever books you read occa