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at Dr. Chalmers' class. The Doctor has brought a good number of students from other universities, many of them of very polished manners, and, I think, not a few of very decided piety.
The Doctor has thus not only increased the number of the students, (which, this year, amounts to about two hundred and fifty;) but those who have come for his sake, being mostly of evangelical principles, he has thus, though indirectly wrought a great change on the religious aspect of our university. It is to this chiefly, that I would attribute the success with which my efforts have been crowned, in attempting to form a missionary society in our college. We have got about forty subscribers, and have already had two meetings, which we purpose to continue monthly. There have also been formed a number of Sabbath Schools, one of which is taught by Dr. Chalmers himself, and the rest by students. And, besides this, several meetings are held, by select parties of students, for social worship. Such a change, I did not certainly expect to see in my day. And this has not all gone on without opposition. Not only were we refused a room in the college for our missionary meetings, but the minds of the people of the town are so influenced that, even yet, we are not quite sure of a place to meet in regularly, On the whole, our college seems, at present, to present an aspect something similar to that of the University of Oxford, in the days of Hervey and Wesley. Among the rest of my class-fellows, there is a young man who seems to be very zealous in the cause of truth. He goes out to the country and preaches every Sabbath afternoon, at a place called Dunino;-a place very much neg
lected; and on Sabbath evenings, he has a meeting of fishermen, to whom he preaches.
With all this to render me happy, the remark of the shepherd of Salisbury plain is still applicable to me:-that "Every man has his black ewe;" --I have not been able to get any teaching, &c. I am,
My dear father,
Your most affectionate son.
These letters show how much his mind was now occupied with promoting the spirit of missionary enterprise among his fellow-students. Instead of wondering that he should have met, at first, with some opposition to his plans, when we consider the materials of which colleges consist, it is rather surprising, he should have been so successful. The state of religious zeal in the University of St. Andrew's, had, for many years, approached nearer to the freezing than to the boiling point. The first attempt, therefore, to rouse and kindle the flame, could not fail to produce a certain degree of commotion. This, however, our young friend, and his associates, met in a Christian manner, and overcame by their prudence and good sense. Dr. Chalmers was early engaged in its support; and others of the Professors also came afterwards to encourage it. His friend, Mr. Duff, gives the following account of the progress of John's religious views and feelings at this time, and of his exertions in forming the missionary society among the students:
"At the beginning of the session of 1824–5, the traces of a gathering and growing piety were very observable. "Out of the fulness of the heart the
mouth speaketh;' and, accordingly, religious subjects became with him, the great, the constant, the delightful theme of conversation. Christianity was not now with him, a mere round of observances;a matter of cold and heartless formality. It engrossed all his thoughts,-it gave a direction to all his actions; and his chief concern was how to promote the cause of his Redeemer. One evening, early in the session, a few of his companions met in his room. The main topic of conversation was the blindness of the understanding, and the hardness of the heart, with its entire alienation from God. This led to a discussion upon the influences of the Spirit in removing the various obstacles that oppose the reception of the truth as it is in Jesus. On this subject Mr. Urquhart's thoughts were striking, and his views luminous. Our atten
tion was then directed to the resistance made to the offers of the gospel by the men of the world, and the want of universality in its propagation. The efforts of enlightened Christians in publishing the glad tidings of salvation, and the operations of missionary societies, were then largely spoken of. The next, the paramount importance of this object as involving the interests of time and eternity, was acknowledged by all. The question was suggested, Is it not possible to form a missionary society among the students? By some the idea was reckoned chimerical, from the coldness and apathy well known to prevail among the members of the university. By others, among whom was Mr. Urquhart, it was strenuously urged, that a vigorous effort should, at least, be made for the purpose of forming an association for the tion of so good a cause. I cannot now state the precise amount of influence which Mr. Urquhart's
arguments had on those present;-only he was most urgent and impressive in maintaining the propriety of the scheme, and its probability of success. Paper was accordingly produced, and the prevailing sentiments stated: the object being to procure a sufficient number of subscribers friendly to the missionary cause, to justify the formation of a society. A small association of divinity students met on the preceding year, in a private room with the intention of reviewing and supporting missions. It was suggested, therefore, that a union might be formed between the divinity and philosophy students, (in the event of the latter coming forward,) so as to form an active and efficient body of members. The whole scheme, so ably advocated by Mr. Urquhart, succeeded far beyond the most sanguine expectations. And thus originated the St. Andrew's University Missionary Society, which now ranks among its friends and supporters more than one third of all attending the university.
As this society occupied so much of his thoughts, and was, in fact, productive of some very important results to himself and others; and, as the mode of conducting its affairs was somewhat peculiar, I am glad that I can give some account of it from the pen of its founder. It was furnished to "The St. Andrew's University Magazine," a small monthly work, published by those of the young men attending the theological and philosophy classes; and to which Urquhart was an occasional contributor. Though written the following year, it may be read appropriately in connexion with the present period of my young friend's life. It is entitled
ST. ANDREW'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Perhaps an apology may be necessary for again calling the attention of our readers to a subject which may be supposed by some of them to have already occupied too prominent a place in the pages of the University Magazine. It is not, however, to the general subject of missions. that the following observations refer; but to an institution, which, for several reasons, is highly deserving of our attention. The meetings of the St. Andrew's Missionary Society are conducted by one of the most distinguished men of the present age; and one who is both an eleve and a Professor of our own University. After alluding to Dr. Chalmers, it is scarcely necessary to add, that the perfect originality of the plan of procedure in the public meetings of this society, furnishes the subject with an additional claim upon our regard. We feel quite ashamed, indeed, that we have not ere now given a more detailed account of these highly interesting meetings. Our only excuse is, that we have felt unequal to the task. When any subject is treated in an ordinary manner, a brief summary of leading ideas may be sufficient to suggest a pretty accurate conception of the whole; as a well executed sketch may give a just enough idea of a common painting. But should we attempt to give any adequate conception of the rich and expressive diction, and the living imagery of Dr. Chalmer's style, by a meagre outline of his ideas, it were something as if a mere dabbler in the fine arts should hold up his own rude and imperfect