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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 30 1 In discharging the private duties of his profession, no individual could be more zealous than Dr. Hunter. The great aim of his life seemed to be in every possible way to extend the knowledge and practice of true religion. To all the religious and charitable institutions of Edinburgh he contributed largely from his own substance ; and wide and judicious was the range of his private beneficence. Both in his pastoral conduct and in the discharge of his duties as a Professor of Theology, no individual could be more completely divested of bigotry or party spirit. He judged of others by himself; and uniformly gave credit to those who were opposed to him on minor points of religious opinion, or as to questions of church polity, for the same integrity and purity of intention by which his own conduct was governed. By his brethren he was much respected ; and his well-known candour procured every attention to his opinions in the church courts.' In the following quotation the character of Dr. Hunter has been drawn by one who knew him intimately, and whose judgment may well be considered no slight authority :-" Eut shall I not mention the known integrity and purity of his mind-the candour and sincerity which so eminently distinguished him through life, and which ever commanded the confidence of those who differed from him most in judgment-the fair, and open, and generous spirit which he invariably discovered, when he judged of other men, or acted with them--the scorn with which he ever contemplated an unfair, an uninterested, a disingenuous proceeding-the mildness of his temper, of which, by the grace of God he had acquired the entire command ; and (what can certainly be said of few amongst us all), which was scarcely ever known to have been roused into passion, either in public or domestic life-the earnestness and godly sincerity with which he followed every good work, and co-operated with other men whom he believed to be sincerely disposed to be useful ; with no shade of worldly selfishness to pervert his conduct ; without ostentation ; superior to envy, and superior to pride ; gentle and forbearing with all men ; but firm and immovable where he saw his duty before him ; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." In the private relations of life few men could be more estimable. He was one of the kindest of husbands-an affectionate parenGand the most attached of friends. At a period of life when actively employed in discharging the duties of his profession and in the full enjoyment of health, on returning from the sacramental services at Leith, he was suddenly seized with inflammation, and died, after a few days' illness, on the 21st of April 1809. The closing scene of his life was as exemplary and instructive as his whole previous conduct had been ; and he looked upon his approaching dissolution with all the calmness, resignation, and hope, which a well-spent life can inspire. Funeral sermons were preached on the occasion by his colleague the P&v. Dr. Simpson, and the Rev. Sir Henry Moncreiff Wellwood, Bart.; and most gratifying tributes of respect were paid to his memory by almost all the clergy of the city. He was appointed Moderator of the General Assembly in 1792.
Volume 8 Page 421
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Volume 8 Page 422
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