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know the determination, to hear that I had gained the first bursary. I could not believe it till we, who had got bursaries were called in, and informed of it by the Principal. The second bursary was gained by a person of the name of Craig, (I am not sure where he comes from;) the third was gained by Laurence Pitcaithly, from Perth; and the fourth, by John Stewart, an elderly man, who had also attended the Grammar School, at Perth, some time ago.
"I began my letter with the decision of the bursaries, and have dwelt on them so long, because I thought it would be the most agreeable intelligence I could communicate. The whole four bursaries are equal in regard to value, being, each eight pounds a session, for four years, if the person continues at the College for that time. It has certainly greatly relieved my mind, as my expenses here will now be comparatively easy. I was very dull, of course, the first two or three days I was here, but since Alexander Duff came, I have been happy enough with my situation. I feel every comfort that I could have at home, excepting the presence of my friends. Mr. Lothian has been unremitting in his kindness to me ever since I came.
Your affectionate son."
This letter shews satisfactorily the attainments he must have made, when at the early age of fourteen, he could gain the first bursary among thirty-three competitors, the great body of whom, must have been much farther advanced in life than himself. It affords evidence, also, of that spirit of exertion and independence which dis
tinguished him to the last. It was his desire to be as little burdensome to his parents as possible; and every thing which enabled him to diminish that burden, he grasped at with avidity. His wants were very easily supplied; and could I, with propriety, communicate the details and evidence of his economy, which are now before me, I am sure they would excite no ordinary degree of surprise. Possessed, even at this early period, of a generous and self-denying spirit, he nobly sacrificed every thing which it was possible for him to give up, so that the expense of his education might affect as little as possible the other branches of the family.
The time of a young man attending the classes of a university, must be so fully occupied, that it would be foolish to expect the mu of it should be spent in letter writing. Besides, many letters may be written which contain nothing that would be proper to meet the public eye. I regret that a long letter which he wrote myself, during this session, has been lost or destroyed. The nature of it, and my anxiety that his mind should be directed to the best things, while pursuing the knowledge which so generally puffeth up, will appear from a short extract of a letter which I wrote him in reply.
"Perth, December 23, 1822.
"My dear John;
"I had been thinking of writing to you for some time, when your note from St. Andrew's, was put into my hands. I assure you, it afforded me much pleasure to hear from you; and also to hear of your success in the competition for the bursary. I pray that God may enable you to bear
these things in a suitable manner;-all talents and success comes from Him;-and to him it becomes us to ascribe the praise of every thing we enjoy. I feel deeply concerned that your mind should be led to see and feel that the enjoyment of God's favor is infinitely better than all intellectual endowments and gratifications. Literary engagements have a tendency to ensnare and to elate the mind; and, therefore, require to be counteracted by reflections of a different nature. Do not forget to read the Bible;-and read it,-not as an exercise, but as an enjoyment, and as the means of knowing the will of God; and of being taught how to cleanse your ways. It contains the words of eternal life; which, if you understand and believe, will make you happier than all things together which this world can afford. Without God, there' can be nothing but misery and danger; in the enjoyment of him, we shall find all things. Do make him your friend: you know not what need you may have for support and direction in your journey through life; and if he is near you, all will be well.
"You ask me to recommend some books to you; but, I really feel some difficulty in doing this, from not knowing much about the contents of the St. Andrew's library. Every thing connected with your pursuits at college, the Professors, I suppose, will point out to you, and Mr. Lothian will be able to give you his opinion of any book in the library, that you may like to peruse. If you have time to look at Dwight's Theology, it is a book I think calculated to do you good. It is well written, well reasoned, and full of important matter; a discourse out of it, now and then, I think you might read to advantage. But write to me more
particularly, when you have time, and I will be able, perhaps to give you a little assistance. "And now, my dear John, I commend you to the care and blessing of God, "And am,
"Your affectionate friend."
The following extract, from a letter to his mother, discovers his affection for her, gives some account of his employments, and shows how busily and constantly he was engaged.
"St. Andrew's, December 12, 1822. "My dear Mother;
"I confess that I ought to have written to you before now; I shall make no excuse for not doing so; but, shall only say, that it by no means proceeded from forgetfulness or neglect of you. If there is any one of you that I remember more than another, you are that one; and, indeed, I must be kept in constant remembrance of you, by the comforts you are sending me every opportunity. The flannels, &c. which you sent last, were very acceptable; the mittens you sent me were also very seasonable; but I hope you were not, in any way, depriving yourself of them for my sake; for, if I thought so, I could have no pleasure in wearing them.
"I was happy to hear by my father's last letter, that you were keeping free of your complaint; I hope you are still so; and David also. I always feel a kind of uneasiness in being absent from you all; but to hear that you are all well removes the greater part of it. For my part, I am keeping my health better here than ever I did before. I have not had the slightest head-ache. This, I am
convinced, proceeds in a great measure from regularity. Every hour is employed much in the same manner every day. My meals are also strictly measured to the same quantity. I rise every day at seven o'clock, (with candle-light of course,) go to the Greek class at eight, and remain there till nine; take my breakfast and go to the library between nine and ten; go to the mathematics from ten to eleven; the Greek again from eleven to twelve; take a walk between twelve and one; go to the Latin from one to two; dine between two and three; study till four; take a walk between four and five; and am in the house the rest of the night: you have thus a history of the time I have spent since I came here.
"This has been a very dry letter, but you may expect a better next.
"And believe me to be,
"Your very affectionate and obedient son."
By the same conveyance, he wrote his eldest brother a playful letter, enclosing a plan of St. Andrew's, sketched with his pen, with very considerable accuracy and neatness. As it is the only other production of his, belonging to this period, which I can give, I shall be excused for inserting it.
St. Andrew's, December 12, 1822.
"My dear Brother;
"The last letter I wrote to you was done in so great a hurry, that I am afraid you would make little of it; I had no time to read it over,-you must therefore excuse the errors that may have been in it. If you use my letters, as I do your's, I shall always write to you with great confidence,