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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 389 During his residence in Holland, I&. Davidson was licensed to preach the gospel according to the Presbyterian form ; and his first sermon was delivered at Amsterdam. In 1771, his father having been translated to Stirling, Mr. Davidson was ordained to the parish of Inchture, where he remained only two years, having in 1773 been called to the Outer High Church of Glasgow; from thence he was transferred to Lady Yester's Church, Edinburgh ; and again translated to the Tolbooth Church in 1785. Dr. Davidson was a sound, practical, and zealous preacher ; and, much as he was esteemed in the pulpit, was no less respected by his congregation and all who knew him, for those domestic and private excellences which so much endear their possessor to society. To all public chanties he contributed largely, and was generally among the fist to stimulate by his example. Even when his income was circumscribed, a tenth part of it was regularly devoted to the poor ; and when he subsequently succeeded to a valuable inheritance, the event seemed only to elevate him in proportion a.s it placed within his reach the means of extending the range of his charities. Another amiable trait in the character of Dr. Davidson was the interest which he took in the success of the students of divinity, with whom circumstances might bring him into contact. To such as he found labouring under pecuniary disadvantages his hand was always open; and there are many respectable ministers in the church who can bear testimony to his generous and fatherly attentions. In religious matters, and in the courts connected with the church, he took a sincere interest; but was by no means inclined to push himself prominently before the public. In cases of emergency, or when he conceived that duty called him, none could be more resolute or firm of purpose. A characteristic instance of this is related in the funeral sermon preached in the Tolbooth Church, on the demise of Dr. Davidson, by the Rev. George Muirhead, D.D., minister of Cramond. " He had been for some time in a valetudinary state, and went very little from home; and he was so unwell that day, that he resolved not to attend the meeting of Presbytery. But conceiving it to be his duty (when he understood that there was to be some discussion about projected alterations in the churches contained in the building of St. Giles's) to attend, even at the risk of injuring his health, he came forward, and, in a speech of some length, in which he alluded to his own situation as about to leave the world, so as to have no personal interest in the projected changes, and in which he declared himself not unfriendly to building churches in the New Town, and to repairing and ornamenting St. Giles's, he earnestly remonstrated against diminishing the number of churches in the Old Town, proving that the number of churches there was altogether inadequate for the number of its inhabitants ; and that it was not to be supposed that the class who inhabited the houses of the Old Town could get accommodation in the churches built or building in the New Town. It was very affecting, and at the same time gratifying, to behold the venerable father of the Presbytery thus
Volume 8 Page 542
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