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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 153 him, then it blessed him ; and when the eye saw him, then it gave witness to him ; because he delivered the poor, and him that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of them that were ready $0 perish came upon him ; and he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.' The blandness of his manners, and the kindness of his heart, united to the liberality with which he used the more abundant means and substance which the providence of God had graciously bestowed on him, made him a special benefactor to many of our youth who were training to the same service in which he so honourably laboured ; and there are not a few surviving-nay, some but very lately entered on their ministerial duties-who can trace, both to his seasonable counsels, and to his ready loans and generous gifts of useful publications, suited to their state of mind and the progress of their studies, the decided bias which, under God, they then received towards that personal faith and holy living, of which, as themselves partakers and exemplars, they are now assiduously employed in testifying the importance and necessity to others." Among other modes of encouragement, by which the Doctor sought to benefit his young friends, was the practice of maintaining an open table at breakfast every Monday morning during the classes ; on which occasions he made anxious inquiries regarding their welfare, and the progress they were making in their studies. A rather amusing incident occurred at one of these meetings, the first that had been held after the commencement of a new session. Somewhat late, a young student of fashionable appearance rang for admission, and was ushered into the apartment where the Doctor and those who had already arrived were engaged in the usual devotional exercises of the morning. He of course joined in the service, by bending the knee ; but,, from the manner in which he set about arranging his hair and adjusting his whiskers, his thoughts were evidently very differently engaged. When prayers were finished-and after addressing a few kindly inquiries to several of the student,s, as to the manner in which they had been engaged during the vacation-the Doctor approached our friend with the nicely frizzled hair and large whiskers, whom he interrogated in a similar way. Evidently unprepared, and much embarrassed, the beau answered in a general way, that his time had been principally devoted to reading. What were the works that had occupied his attention P was the next query put by the Doctor. " Sermons, sir-sermons, sir ! " was the hesitating and confused reply. " Sermons are very good," continued the worthy catechist ; '' but whose, or of what description were they 1'' The agitation of the student was excessive-he hesitated, he hemmed ; in vain he ran his fingers through his hair-all eyes were turned upon him, when at last, indistinctly recollecting Harvey's Meditations- the only title-page of a religious work of which he seemed to have any knowledge-he exclaimed with apparent triumph:" Sermons--among the tombs !" It was impossible to suppress the titter occasioned by this grotesque reading of a popular work ; even the Doctor bit his lip, and was glad to change the subject. Dr. Buchanan exerted himself greatly in the erection of the New Street . VOL 11. X
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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Chapel, built a few years after he came to Edinburgh ; and indeed may justly be said to have been its founder. He was an active promoter, and a liberal contributor to all institutions of a religious or charitable nature. He was one of the Secretaries of the Edinburgh (now the Scottish) Missionary Society, and for many years took a decided interest in its management. Although much indisposed during his latter years, and incapable of active exertion, his zeal continued unabated ; and to the last his generosity was liberally extended. Dr. Buchanan died on the 6th December 1832, and was interred in the Canongate Churchyard, where a monumental stone contains, in addition to the usual statements, the following lines expressive of his hope of immortality :- " Jesus, thy blood aid righteousness, My beauty are-my glorious dress ; 'Mid flaming worlds in these array'd, With joy shall I lift up my head. When from the dust of earth I rise, To take my mansion in the skies ; Even there shall this be all my plea- Jesus hath lived-hath died for me." No. CCXXIII. OLD WIDOW ELLIS. THIS Print was taken from a painting by Mr. William Donaldson of this city, by whom it was exhibited and sold to the late Earl of Buchan. From a card, in the hand-writing of his lordship, we observe in addition to the information conveyed by the inscription on the Engraving, that WIDOWE LLISw as married in 1745 to Francis Ellis, shoemaker in Keltie, Kinross-shire, who died next year of an iliac passion. At the time the portrait was executed (December lS16), Widow Ellis lived in Rose Street, where she had resided for many years. The particulars of her life are few and uninteresting. She was a sensible, shrewd person j had been active in her youth, and retained even in old age an unusual degree of freshness and vigour.
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