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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 457 Few men ever enjoyed a course of uninterrupted good health equal to Mr. Sym. When confined to the house for a few days in the latter part of his life, he used to say that no medical man had ever felt hispulse, and that he did not remember having ever in his life taken 6reakfast in bed. Truly B favoured son of Hygeia, he attributed his exemption from disease chieffy to regular living, and to his fondness for early morning exercise. He and Osborne (formerly noticed) were the right-hand men of the grenadiers; and from his stature (six feet four inches), the former had to procure a firelock considerably longer than the common regimental ones. He acted for some time as fugleman to the first regiment; and it is told that, in his anxiety on one occasion to perform his part well, he so twisted his body, while his arms were poised above his head, as to be completely Zoclce&incapable of movement. In tliis painful predicament he stood a few moments, till aided by the famous Major Gould, who, on observing the circumstance, ran to his assistance. Mr. Sym belonged to the old school of Tories, and was intimate with Lord Melville, Chief Baron Dundas, and the other contemporary leaders of the party. The well-known Editor of Blackwood’s Magazine, Professor Wilson, was his nephew; as were also Robert Sym Wilson, Esq., Secretary to the Royal Bank ; James Wilson, Esq., of Woodville, the eminent Ornithologist ; and the Rev. John Sym, one of the ministers of the Old Greyfriar’s Church, Edinburgh. Though in his younger years a gallant of no mean pretension, and in high favour with the ladies, Mr. Sym continued all his life a bachelor. At one period he resided in the buildings denominated “ The Society,” Brown Square, but for the last forty years and upwards he was an inhabitant of George Square. Mr. Sym was a member of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers. No. CCCXXIV. REV. HENRY GREY, AM., MINISTER OF ST. MARY’S CHURCH, EDINBURGH. MR. GREY was born at Alnwick, in the county of Northumberland, in the year 1778. In early life he was left to the care of a kind and pious mother, who watched over her son with the most tender and anxious assiduity, and lived to receive the reward of her love and devotedness in her son’s clerical reputation and unceasing affection. Mr. Grey received the elements of English education at a private school in his native town. When eight years old he was placed at a seminary in Highhedgely, conducted by an intelligent curate of the Church of England, where he His father was a gentleman of the medical profession. VOL 11. 3N
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458 B I0 GRAPH I C AL S K E T C II E S. commenced his studies in Latin and Greek ; but at the end of two years, this gentleman having been appointed a minor canon in the Cathedral of Durham, his pupil returned for a year to Alnwick; and afterwards passed a year and a half at Newcastle, under the tuition of the Rev. William Turner-a gentleman of literary reputatibn. Little events in youth [often have powerful and permanent influence over the future character and destinations of life. During Mr. Grey’s residence at Newcastle he attended a course of lectures on Natural Philosophy, by the late ingenious Dr. Moyes (of whom a portrait and memoir have already appeared in vol. I.), who, though blind from infancy, made great attainments in literature and science. Mr. Grey wrote an account of these lectures, which was so satisfactory to his instructor, that Dr. Moyes was induced strongly to recommend the pursuit of a learned profession for his youthful friend. Mr. Grey felt and expressed a decided choice of the ministry of the gospel ; and having a preference for the forms of the Church of Scotland, his mother removed with him, in the close of the year 1793, to Edinburgh; where, during the seven or eight succeeding years, he attended the various classes in literature, philosophy, and theology, in the University, required in a candidate for the ministry ; besides other classes, literary and medical, not included in the prescribed academical course. He was licensed as a probationer by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in November 1800. Very soon after, through the interest of the Rev. Dr. Davidson of Edinburgh with the late Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Nisbet of Dirleton, he was presented to the parish of Stenton, in the Presbytery of Dunbar, where he was ordained in September 1801. Though repeatedly invited elsewhere, he remained in this rural charge, much esteemed and loved, till November 1813, when he was translated to the Chapel of Ease of St. Cuthbert’s ; and at once took his station in Edinburgh among the most distinguished and accomplished preachers and ministers of the Church. Innumerable and invaluable were the subsequent testimonies to the excellence and success of his faithful and popular ministrations. His tried and enduring fidelity and eminence at St. Cuthbert’s marked him out for preferment to be one of the ministers of the city; and, in 1820, after a keen contest in the Town-Council (Provost rtlanderson espousing the cause of Dr. Eryce of Aberdour), he was appointed to succeed the late Rev. David Dickson, as minister of the New Xorth Church, to which he was inducted on the 11th January 1821. He was introduced to this charge by Dr. David Dickson of St. Cuthbert’s, son of the gentleman whom he was called to succeed. Not long after, the new church of St. Mary’s having been erected, Mr. Grey’s continued pre-eminence induced the Magistrates and Council to present him as the fittest person for this new and important charge; and he was translated to St. Mary’s on the 13th of January 1825, and introduced to his congregation, on the following Sunday, by Dr. Robert Gordon, then of the High Church, who had succeeded Mr. Grey in the Chapel of St. Cuthbert’s ; and again, was appointed his successor as minister of the New North Church. Here Mr. Grey remained admired, for the sustained
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