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he was admitted, we know not in what year, into Marischal College, where he went through the usual course of Greek philosophy and mathematics. Being intended for the profeffion of the law, he served an apprenticeship to a writer to the Signet in Edinburgh; and to this circumstance, his biographer, differing widely in opinion from Swift concerning the general effects of legal study, attributes his ingenuity in reasoning:
Becoming dissatisfied with the en:ployment of a lawyer, which, he said, had made him lose a great part of the Greek that he had learned at college, he entered himself a student of theology, first in the University of Edinburgh and afterwards in that of Aberdeen, and redoubled his afliduity to recover the language which he had lost. Not satisfied with barely attending the prelections of the theological professors in the University of Aberdeen, he instituted a theological club or society for the improvement of such students, as, like himself, were defirous of combining the pleasures of conversation with the pursuit of sacred literature. This club seems to have been admirably calculated for the improvement of the young men who had the happiness to be members of it, and by its regulations did great credit to the judgment of its founder.
On the rith of June, 1746, Mr. Campbell was licensed by the presbytery of Aberdeen as a prelećtioner or preacher of the gospel ; and, being in 1747, disappointed of a church living through the balerul influence of clanship, he was, next year, presented to the church of Benchary Ternan, seventeen miles west from the city of Aberdeen. This presentation did equal honour to the patron and the presentee. 'Sir Alexander Burnett of Leys--the patron-knew nothing of Mr. Campbell, but his fame as a preacher, and his general good character; and considering patronage as a sacred trust, he conferred the living upon a young man of such acknowleged merit, without baving been solicited to do so by a single individual, who knew even the Christian name of the preacher.
It was in the parish of Benchary Ternan, that he first conceived the idea of translating the four Gospels; and in the fame sequestered place, he composed a part of his Philosophy of Rhetoric.
On the 23d of June, 1757, he was translated to one of the churches of Aberdeen, when he became a member of the literary society, which was composed of the professors of the two colleges of which the university of that city consists. In the year 1759, he was presented by His Majesty to the office of Principal of Marischal College, procured for him by Archibald Duke of Argyle, not in consequence of his li
terary eminence, but because he had descended from the family of Argyle. He soon made it appear, however, that he was worthy of his new dignity. On the oth of October, 1760, he preached, before the provincial Synod of Aberdeen, a sermon on the subject of miracles in answer to Hume's artful essay; and being requested by his learned audience to publish that discourse, he threw it into the form of a differtation, and gave it to the public in 1763. That differtation, of which the merit has been universa!ly acknowleged—ackknowleged even by Hume himself-has had the honour not only of going through several editions at home, but also of being translated into the French, Dutch, and German languages. Previous to this publication, he had been created D. D. by the university of King's College.
As principal of Marischal College, and one of the ministers of the city, Dr. Campbell conducted himself in fo exemplary a manner as to gain the love and veneration of all with whom he was connected. On the 26th of June, 1771, he was elected, by the town-council, professor of divinity in the college over which he had presided, with such credit to himself, for twelve years; and, in consequence of this appointment, he resigned his pastoral charge as one of the ministers of Aberdeen, though he was still obliged to preach every Lord's day in one of the established churches. He increased the duties of the professorship, improved the plan of theological study, and delivered those admirable lectures, of which his biographer gives so extravagant a character. This compelled him to return to his studies, which we are here told he had for some years neglected, and the fruits of those studies were the preliminary differtations published with his translation of the gospels, and the volumes of lectures which are now be
In 1766, he published, besides his Philosophy of Rhetoric, in two volumes, a sermon preached on the national faft, of such intrinsic merit, that 6,000 copies of it were afterwards printed and circulated, at the desire of Dean Tucker, through America. He published, indeed, at different times, many occasional sermons, which our limits permit us not to enumerate far less to characterize; but his greatest, though in our opinion not his happiest, work, was the translation of the Gospels, which, with the preliminary dissertations, issued from the press of Strahan and Cadell, in two vols. 4to. 1789.
After this period he continued to discharge in that exememplary manner in which he had ever discharged them, the duties of various offices, till feeling the powers of his nature much weakened, he offered (we know not in what year) to
relign the professorship of divinity, provided any one of three gentlemen, whom he named, should be appointed his succesfor. The terms were not agreed to by the town-council of Aberdeen, and he continued to hold the office till June 1795, when he resigned it in favour of Dr. William Laurence Brown, who had been driven from the university of Utrecht for his loyalty to the Prince of Orange, and his attachment to his native country. Sometime afterwards His Majesty conferred upon Dr. Campbell a pension of 300l. a year on condition of his resigning the office of Principal of. Marischal College, in which alfo he was succeeded by Dr. Brown.
The well-merited bounty of his Sovereign, this great and good man did not long enjoy. On the second of April, 1796, a stroke of palsy deprived him of the power of speech, and apparently of all sensibility ; but he lingered not long under this heavy distress, for, though Mr. Keith does not specify the day of his death, he informs us that his funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Brown on the 17th of the same month in which he was first rendered speechless by the palsy.
Dr. Campbell was married, but seems from the narrative before us to have left no child behind him. From his character, as drawn by his biographer, he appears to have been as amiable in domestic, as he certainly was respectable in public, life; and we read, with peculiar fatisfaction, that this acute metaphysician “ highly disapproved of the modern Socinians or rationalists, as they call themselves, who attempt to explain away the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel.”
To his biographical sketch of Dr. Campbell, Mr. Keith subjoins a general viezu of his prelections in theology ; from which we learn that he divided the subject “ into two principal heads, viz. theory and practice. By the theory he meant all that was (15) necesary to be understood by a young man in point of knowa ledge ; by the practice, all that was (is) necessary either for a minister of a parish, or a student of divinity, to enable him to make a proper application of that knowledge, so as to render it most beneficial to others and most satisfactory to his own mind." We know not what is meant by practice, enabling a student of divinity to make a proper application of that knowledge which, as a student, he must be supposed not yet to have acquired, and which he is called upon by no duty to communicate to others,
“ Under the first head, or theory, Dr. Campbell included sacred or church history, facred criticisın, and polemic divinity. Under the second head, or practice, he included pulpit eloquence, propriety of character in private life, or teaching by example, and propriety of character in public life, or a proper discharge of public duties, viz. catechizing, preaching, public worship, and adminiltering the facraments; as also a faithful discharge of a minister's duty, as a menber of the Church courts of the Scotch establishment."
These are the outlines of a valuable course of theological lectures ; and yet they have disappointed us. From a Profeffor of Divinity, eminent for his metaphysical acumen, we should certainly have looked for, at least, one lecture on natural religion, if it had been only to guard the students against being misled by the ignes fatui' of system bearing that title, Whether there be any system of religious truths and religious duties that can be called natural? If there be, to what truths and duties that system extends ? and in what sense such truths and duties are to be considered as natural ? are questions of the highest importance, which few men have been better qualified to answer than Dr. Campbell. We are, therefore, astonished that he should have passed them without notice, in a course of lectures meant to comprehend all that is necesary to be underfood here, whose future destination is to “ feed the flock of Christ," and defend it from “ wolves who come in sheep's cloathing."
(To be continued.)
The poems of Allan Ramsay.--A New Edition corrected and
enlarged, with a Glossary.-To which are prefixed a Life of
possibly be exerted, there is perhaps no one more laudable, and certainly few more pleasing, than that of appreciating the merits of a celebrated writer. Not many, comparatively, are the men, whatever their genius may actually have been, who have received any thing like justice, at the hands of their cotemporaries. It is only when they have passed from the stage of life, when the voice of envy, and the jarrings of competition are heard no more, that an after age is enabled to rejudge their exertions, and pronounce with candour. So ftrikingly true is, indeed, the remark, and so capricious the allotment of literary reputation, that frequently the authors who have obtained the higheit niches in the temple of fame, are not those who, while living, were most fondly idolized, but thofe, on the contrary, who were as strangely undervalued by their equals, until they were placed beyond the reach of cenfure or of praise.
The present editors of the poems of Allan Ramsay (for more than one person we must believe to be concerned in the work) are doubtless entitled to no inconsiderable portion of our applause, for the elegant and attractive manner in which they have brought forward, in this new edition, the very various, and as unequal compositions of the Scottish Theocritus, To an author, who, during his life-time, was so fedulous in collecting and publishing his own pieces, little, if any thing that is new, now remains to be added, after the lapse of more than seventy years: of course, there is little, in regard to original matter, that can be expected to call forth the examination of the critic. But, as the present editors have enriched their work with a new biography of their author, and a copious essay on his writings and genius; we are persuaded we shall both gratify our readers, and proniote the main object of our design, by giving some account, not only of the poet himself, but of the merit of these his editors ; pointing out, at the same time, as our duty is, the tendency and cffects, which the well known celebrity of the one, aided and embellished by the labours of the others, seems calculated to produce.
Allan Ramsay was born, as his present biographer informs us, on the 16th of October, 1686, in the parish of Crawfordmoor, in Lanerkshire,
“ A zealous genealogift,” he says, “could easily trace, Ramsay
“ ” to the family of the Earl of Dalhousie. His father was Robert Ramsay, who inherited, as it were, the management of Lord Hopeton's lead-mines, in Crawford-inoor: his grand-father was Robert Ramsay, a writer in Edinburgh, who had the managenient of the same mines : his great-grand-father was captain John Ran:fay, the son of Ramsay of Cockpen, who was brother of Ramsay of Dalhousie. Of this genealogy our poet speaks proudly, when he recollects,
Dalhoufie of an auld descent,
My chief, my stoop, iny ornament. PP. 5. 6. While yet an infant, Ramsay had the misfortune to lose his father; and the marriage of his mother, which foon after happened, leaving him “ without property, or the means of procuring any,” he was, in 1701, in the fifteenth year of his age, fent to Edinburgh, and bound apprentice to a wig-maker ; an occupation, as we may suppose, little suited to his temper or genius. This profeffion, his laborious biographer is careful to tell us, is not at all the same as that of a barber ; ad. ducing various evidence (by which we are not convinced) in order to prove, that, in the metropolis of Scotland, the two trades were not co-incident in that age.” If they were not then