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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


192 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCXXXVIII. REV. DAVID BLACK, MINISTER OF LADY YESTER'S CHURCH, EDINBURGH. THIS popular preacher was born at Perth, 23d May 1762. Both his father and grandfather ' were distinguished clergymen of that town, and his mother was a daughter of the Rev. Neil M'Vicar, of the West Kirk, Edinburgh, who, when the Pretender took possession of the city in 1745, displayed uncommon zeal in the discharge of his duty-being the only clergyman who had courage enough to enter the pulpit on the Sabbath following. After praying for King George in the usual manner, Mr. M'Vicar thus adverted to the claims of the Prince :_'' As for this young man who is come amongst us, seeking an eaithly s'own-grant him, 0 Lord, a crown of glory 1'' In his early years Mr. Black was remarkable for piety, having his mind constantly fixed on the ministry as a profession. At the age of sixteen he commenced keeping a diary-a practice which he regularly continued. His studies were chiefly prosecuted at the University of Edinburgh ; and on their completion, after undergoing the usual trials-in which he acquitted himself with the highest approbation-he was licensed by the Presbytery of Perth, August 25, 1784. As a preacher, his first appearance fully equalled the expectations of his friends ; and, the following year, he was presented by the patron, Mr. Richardson of Pitfour, to St. Madoes-a small country parish in the neighbourhood of Perth. Here he remained until 1794, when Lady Yester's Church becoming vacant, the Magistrates and Town Council, concurring in the sentiments of the congregation, gave him the presentation of that important charge. Possessing all the qualities essential in the ministerial character-sincere piety, zeal, a fluent and impressive delivery-Mr. Black speedily acquired the reputation of one of the most attractive preachers in Edinburgh ; and his church was usually so much crowded, that it was with considerable difficulty an occasional hearer could obtain a seat. In discharging the private duties of his office, he was equally faithful and respected ; and, in the propagation of the gospel, he displayed the most lively interest-aiding with great alacrity in forming the Edinburgh Missionary Society, of which he continued a zealous member. During his incumbency, in consequence of the decayed state of Lady Yester's The Rev. Thomas Black w8s presented, in 1707, to the Profasorial Chair of Divinity in the University of St. Andrews ; but the importunate solicitations of his flock, by whom he was greatly beloved, induced him to forego the appointment. He was the intimate friend of Professor Halyburton of St. Andrews, and edited a posthumous volume of aermona by that well-known author.
Volume 9 Page 258
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