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cultivated. I too often neglected the present, by anticipating the future; and thus allowed many occasions to pass away, which might have been employed in promoting his advancement in knowledge and piety. Still, I trust, that intercourse was not altogether without profit. He is gone before, to the region where are no defects. May it be my privilege to follow, and to meet him there at last!
Two events of considerable importance belong to his return to St. Andrew's, for the third session, in Nov. 1824.-His introduction to Dr. Chalmers, and attendance on the moral philosophy class, taught by him; and the formation of a Missionary Society among the students of the university. Of the Doctor, young Urquhart had long been a passionate admirer; and, to be one of his pupils, was the object of his most ardent desire. He was too modest to anticipate the enjoyment of Dr. Chalmers' personal friendship, in the high degree in which he afterwards enjoyed it; but which it is evident was most gratifying to both parties.
Moral Philosophy, as it has been usually taught at the Scottish Universities, is one of the most dangerous and ensnaring studies in which a young man can engage. Instead of being, as the designation of the science imports, the philosophy of morals, it is commonly treated as the philosophy of mind, and is chiefly directed to the varied and perplexing phenomena of mental perception and operation. Instead of connecting ethics with the revealed will of God; it has too often been employed to gender skepticism, and foster the pride of intellect. Hume and Malebranche, Berkeley and Reid, are more frequently appealed to than the writers of the
Bible; and many a young man who went with his principles tolerably correct, if not altogether established, has left the class a skeptic, or a confirmed unbeliever. The occupation of this chair by such a man as Dr. Chalmers, is of incalculable importance. It secures against the danger of those speculations, which
"Lead to bewilder, and dazzle to blind;"
and provides that morals shall not become the enemy, but the hand-maid of religion. May he long continue to adorn the chair which he so ably fills!
With missionary objects, young Urquhart's early associations had made him familiar; and his mind having become deeply impressed with the importance of eternal things, he was exceedingly desirous of interesting others in the noble object of missionary exertion.
Of his first appearance in the moral philosophy class, and, also of the exertion which he made to accomplish the other object, I have been furnished with a short account, by his bosom friend, and contemplated associate in foreign labors, Mr. John Adam. The following extract from a letter to me relates to both:
"My first acquaintance with John Urquhart, commenced at St. Andrew's, in the winter of 1824. I had gone chiefly for the sake of Dr. Chalmers' Lectures to that university; and, besides my brother, was totally unacquainted with any of the students. The first subject given out as an Essay to the class, was on the divisions of philosophy.
The Doctor had introduced us to his department of the academical course, by some general observations on this topic. He wished us each to give an abstract in our own terms, before entering on the main business of our investigating moral philosophy. Not as yet familiar with any of my fellows, I was particularly struck when one of the youngest in the class, with simple dignity, (though, as he told me afterwards, with great perturbation of mind,) read an Essay, which, for purity of style, for beauty of imagery, and a masterly delineation of thought, exceeded every thing we had then heard. Nor could I but rejoice, when, at the conclusion, a universal burst of admiration (which was evidently participated in by the Professor,) proceeded from all present, I need only say, that his character, thus established, was maintained during the whole course. The decision of the prize, both by Dr. Chalmers and his fellow-students, awarded him the first honor they had it in their power to bestow.
"Soon after his first appearance in the class, I was happily introduced to him, at the house of one of Mr. Lothian's deacons, a Mr. Smith, when he mentioned a plan he was then meditating: viz. to attempt the formation of a Missionary Society, such as they had at Glasgow, which should not be confined to the Hall of Theology. This project was carried into effect a few days after; and a number of names having been collected from the Philosophy College, a junction was formed with a small society that had already existed amongst the students of divinity.
"During the term of this session, my friendship for John was cemented; and by studying together, by walks, and frequent intercourse, we became șo
attached, that, not to have seen one another for a few hours, was an extraordinary occurrence."
In a letter to his father, of the date of November the 3d., he communicates some particulars on the same subjects.
My dear Father;
I arrived safe here the same day I left you, and am again very comfortably settled in my old lodgings. I called on Principal Haldane, on Saturday, who received me very kindly, and invited me to breakfast on Monday. He said no application had yet been made to him, but he should be happy to serve me if it was in his power. At his sug gestion, I mentioned to the other Professors, my wish to have some private teaching; but I find there have been more teachers than pupils applying already. So I have little hope on this score. I called on Dr. Chalmer's yesterday; and find I shall need Smith's 'Wealth of Nations.' I will thank you to send it by the very first opportunity, as I need it immediately. I wish you would also send a slate, and a small black ink-stand belonging to my writing-desk, which I forgot.
We have been attempting to form a Missionary Society in our College, to co-operate with one which the divinity students formed last year. We do not expect very large contributions, and the assistance which we can render to the cause may be, comparatively, but trifling: but the great object we have in view is to obtain and circulate missionary intelligence among the students;-a thing which, we trust, with the blessing of God, may prove useful to themselves; and, though not directly aiding the cause, may, in the end, prove
highly beneficial to it. For this purpose, we propose holding monthly meetings for the purpose of reading reports, and conducting the other business of the society. We wish also, if possible, to collect a small library of books connected with the subject; and what I have chiefly in view in writing to you about it, is, that you may send any reports, or sermons, or other works, connected with missions, which you can obtain. You may mention the thing to any of our friends who you think could favor us with any of such publications, which will be very thankfully received. The formation of such a society in such circumstances is, I think, peculiarly interesting; and may, if properly conducted, be productive of the most interesting results; and I am sure the friends of the Saviour will be happy to assist us in our operations. In asking for subscriptions, we have hitherto met with no refusals; and, though we have not yet got many, I have no doubt but it will succeed."
The following, written a little after this, notices the state of St. Andrew's, and some other things relating to the formation of the University Missionary Society:
St. Andrew's, Dec. 15, 1824.
My dear Father;
As I do not intend coming home at Christmas; and, as it will be some time before I need to send my box, I sit down to write you a few lines at present. I received your's along with a parcel containing a new watch, about a fortnight ago; for which I feel very grateful. I am as comfortably situated this year as I could wish. I have been introduced to some very excellent companions,