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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 333 No. cxxxv. REV. ROWLAND HILL, A.M., DELIVERING ONE OF HIS SERMONS ON THE CALTON HILL, THIS popular preacher visited Scotland for the first time in 1'798. He came at the solicitation of a few zealous individuals, who having engaged the Circus for a place of worship, similar in principle to the Tabernacle of London, were desirous that he should open it for them. Mr. Hill arrived in Edinburgh on the 28th July, and was received with the utmost attention by Mr. James Haldane, at his house in George Street. Next morning being Sabbath, he delivered a discourse in the Circus to an audience of several hundred people ; and at night the house was filled to overflowing. During the two weeks he remained in Edinburgh, he preached every other day in some of the churches ; but the crowds became so immense that he was at last induced to hold forth from a platform erected on the Calton Hill, where his audience was reckoned at not less than ten thousand. The interest excited by his presence is said to have been beyond precedent-" Even the vera sodgers," observed an old woman, on seeing a party of military among the crowd, " are gaun to hear the preachin'." On the 1 Sth of August, Mr. Hill proceeded to Glasgow, and arrived there in the evening in time to deliver a sermon in the churchyard of the High Church, to an assemblage of nearly five thousand. Next morning he again preached in the same place-and from thence went to Paisley, where he was highly gratified with his reception. In speaking of the people of Paisley, he says in his journal, " there I believe Christians love each other." Returning from the west, he again preached several times on the Calton Hill to increased audiences. On the last of these occasions, when a collection was made for the Charity Workhouse, it was supposed that more than twenty thousand people were present. During his stay he was made a welcome guest at Melville House.' The great excitement occasioned by Mr. Hill's visit, and the subsequent The facetious manner and great convenational powers possessed by the Rev. Rowland 3ill were much relished by those who had the pleasure of meeting him in private circles during his stay in Edinburgh. A geutleman, who had then formed a alight acquaintance with Mr. Hill, happened to breakfast with him at Leicester a great many years afterwards. The subject of converaatiin naturally tumed upon his visits to Scotland, and the multitudes to whom he had preached on the Calton Hill. "Well do I remember the spot," said the Reverend gentleman, with his usual pleasantry, " but I understand it has since been converted into a dei4 of thieved/" [The jail is built on the ground where the Rev. Rowland Hill preached.]
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Volume 8 Page 468
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