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prevented his preaching for some time at that period.

“You know I am not naturally "athletic: something too must be as"cribed to the confinement to which . I submitted last harvest, in prepa"ring a work for the press, which I "call The Philosophical History of "the European Languages.' I la"boured rather too closely at that “time, in hopes of being able to fi"nish it, and to bring it into town "in the end of Autumn. I was not, "however, reckoning with my host, "for the fagging of research and wri"ting fairly overdid me."

Extracts from Letter of date June 30th 1812, as to his present health.

"I sit down in a kind of compa❝rative tranquillity, after a series of "heavy Sacramental labour *, to express my most heartfelt thanks," &c.


"From the 6th to the 15th July, "I have a command over my time; on the 19th and 26th I am involved "in the business of assisting at Sa"cramental service in my neighbour"hood."


Extract of a letter from Rev. Alex. Murray to Principal Baird, of date April 22, 1811; with a Note by Principal Baird, dated July 6,1812, sent to the Lord Provost.

"You ask when, and how I learned Abyssinian. Before I fell into your kind and patronising hands, I had got a slight knowledge of the alphabet from a stray volume of the Antient Universal History. I followed the business at College, by help of Ludolph's Dictionary, and the Polyglot Bible, so that in 1802-3 I was thought the fittest person about


This alludes to the dispensation of the Sacrament by himself in his own parish.

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"Mr Salt, the late Abyssinian Envoy, had understood that I could read the language of that country by perusing Bruce's Travels.

As it

seems nobody could be found about London that answered their views, he advised the Marquis Wellesley to transmit the letter from the Governor of Tigré to our King, to me for an explanation. I returned one to the Foreign Office, which I think was on the whole accurate, though some passages in the original were a little obscure. I will shew you a copy of the letter in the original,

when I come to town.

"I am very happy to think that the study of the Oriental Languages will gain by our intercourse with Africa. I greatly wish that this species of literature were cultivated with more attention, for it contributes to illustrate religion and antient history, and leads directly to a communication between the enlightened and as yet uncivilised part of mankind."

Note subjoined by Principal Baird to the preceding Extract.

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printed among the Documents, that Mr Murray has always had this object deeply at heart, and distinctly in his view.

In reference to a report which Dr Baird has been told has been carried

to some members of the Town Coun

cil, namely," that Mr Murray has some defect in his speech or elocution, which unfits him for teaching languages with due advantage," Dr Baird hereby attests solemnly, on his own knowledge, that this report is unfounded and false.

Dr Baird embraces the present opportunity of subjoining, that he is aware his communications to the Honourable Patrons have been frequent and prolix on the subject of Mr Murray's pretensions. He hopes, how ever, they will forgive him, when they consider how seriously his own truth and integrity were staked on the competency of qualifications in the candidate he proposed. As Principal, he is deeply responsible to the Patrons, and the Senatus Academicus for his official covet. But, with a deep sense of that responsibility on his inind, he still entertains and asserts the deliberate and conscientious opinion, that Mr Murray's nomination to the chair of Oriental Languages will do honour to the Patrons, and signally advance the interests and reputation of the University,


No. XXXIV. Letter from Principal Baird to Kincaid McKenzie, Esq., Lord Dean of Guild, in reference to Mr Christison's letter (No. XIX.) being printed and circulated among the Members of the Town Council, July 7. 1812.

Ramsay Lodge, July 7, 1812.

Dear Sir, I find that Mr Christison's letter, (No. XIX.) intimating

Murray as a candidate for the vacant Professorship, was yesterday brought into particular notice, by being printed and circulated among the Members of the Town Council. I have is any how called to it, neither he, nor only to say, that if farther attention friends should do more than refer to I, have any wish that Mr Murray's my explanatory note (No. XXII.) re. lative to it.

affect Mr Murray's claims. He had The occurrence obviously does not no concern in it, and has, since it took place, been regularly offered as a candidate, by both himself and me. Mr Christison and I do not reckon it on our account entitled to occupy the time or consideration of the Honour able Patrons, and we have no anxiety that it should do so.

From my being in the country, it must plainly have happened, and it did happen, that the intimation of the determination, (which I had for a time expressed,) was made without my authority, or concurrence, or knowledge. But it was made by Mr Christison, (as my Note shews,) in circumstances, and from feelings that do credit to his susceptible, judicious, and honourable mind.

I am happy to add that Mr Murray is not dissatisfied with the proceedings in question. In his letter of date June 27th 1812, addressed to me, he says, "I consider Mr Chris"tison's and your conduct, after my "first letter, as not only devoid of

blame, but in fact, as an indication "of great regard for my welfare."

You may employ this as a public letter, or as merely a private one, as you may judge most proper. I have the honour to be,

Dear Sir,

Your most faithful and obedient Servant,


my determination to withdraw Mr To Kincaid M'Kenzie, Esq.

P. S. Professor Christison is at present beside me, and approves of the statement in this letter. G. H. B.

Documents and Applications in favour of the Rev. DAVID DICKSON, Minister of ST CUTHBERTS.

No. I.

Letter from Sir H. Moncrieff, to the Right Hon. the Lord Provost, recommending Mr Dickson.

Edinburgh, June 12, 1812. My Lord, I hope I shall be pardoned for taking the liberty of recommending my colleague Mr Dickson to your Lordship's attention, as a proper person to supply the present vacancy in the Hebrew class.

I know his acquirements in Oriental literature to be very considerable, and am convinced that he is eminently qualified to teach the class to advantage.

If your Lordship will attend to the review of Miss Smith's Translation of the Book of Job, published in the Edinburgh Christian Instructor for September last, which I know to have been written by him, you will allow, I think, that his qualifications well entitle him to be mentioned on the present occasion; and will forgive me for taking the liberty to propose him to your Lordship and the Town Council, as a proper candidate to supply the vacancy.

I have the honour to be,
most respectfully
My Lord,

Your Lordship's faithful servant,

H. MONCRIEFF-WELLWOOD. Right Hon. the Lord Provost.

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My Lord,-Having only returned from the country this afternoon, I am prevented from waiting on your Lordship in person, humbly to solicit your generous support in behalf of my son, at the West Church, who has been mentioned as a candidate to succeed the late Dr Moodie, as Professor of Hebrew, &c. in the University of Edinburgh. Requesting that you will have the goodness to excuse my presuming to make this application, I have the honour to be, Your Lordship's most respectful and obedient servant, DAVID DICKSON.

17, York Place, 13th June 1812.

No. III.

Letter, Rev. David Dickson, one of the Ministers of St Cuthberts Church, Edinburgh, to the Lord Provost, withdrawing his Pretensions to the Chair,

West-Kirk, July 6, 1812.

My Lord,-At the time when your Lordship received the letter of application from Sir Henry Moncrieff, in my favour, as a candidate for the Professorship of Hebrew and Oriental Languages, vacant by the death of Dr Moodie, I had no reason to think that any other candidate had been decidedly brought forward, to whose qualifications for filling that situation, mine might not fairly be considered as equal. The alteration, however, which has now taken place in this respect, by Mr Murray having appeared on the field, induces me to decline any contest with him, and I submit this to your Lordship and the Council, as the sole reason of having come to this resolution.


Indeed, my Lord, Mr Murray's attainments in Oriental Literature, and especially in those departments of it which are more immediately connected with the object of the Chair, to which his friends are so honourably solicitous that he should be appointed,


are so extensive and profound, and have already raised him to such a high rank among Oriental scholars, that I should be in danger of incurring the suspicion, and should certainly possess the feeling, of having brought dishonour on myself, were I to throw the smallest bar in the way of that preferment, to which he is so justly entitled. When I consider, that at about fourteen years of age he was so versant in Hebrew, acquired without the assistance of any preceptor, as to be capable of translating the Psalter ad aperturam libri:-that before he had nearly finished his theological studies at the University, a time at which most young men in his situation are only beginning to learn. its first elements, he had made himself thoroughly master not only of it, but of its cognate languages or dialects, the Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, and Arabic-that, twelve years ago, he had composed a new Hebrew Grammar, which was pronounced by a competent judge to be a " comprehensive, judicious, and able performance, displaying a very intimate acquaintance with the peculiar structure, idiom, and general character of the language:" that he has ever since prosecuted his researches on philological and literary subjects, and especially into almost all the languages of the East, with the most unwearied perseverance and distinguished success, so as to be now able to translate many, and to teach not a few of them :-that some most splendid proofs of his talents and acquirements are already before the public, and that others of still greater Justre are about to appear in a work at present in the press:-When I consider these facts, I confess, my Lord, that I should blush at the thought of hesitating, even for a moment, to relinquish my own wishes and views with regard to the Professorship, in order to promote his hopes of success. And if my having declined to remain a candidate, on the present occasion,

shall have the least effect in leading to the election of Mr Murray, I shall, to the latest period of my life, look back to this part of my conduct with a satisfaction the most pleasing and unalloyed.

To those friends in the Council who were pleased to honour me with their countenance and interest, I now beg leave to return my best thanks: and, with every sentiment of personal regard and respect for your Lordship, I have the honour to be, my Lord, your obedient humble servant, DAVID DICKSON. To the Right Honourable the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

Documents and Applications in favour of the Rev. ALEXANDER BRUNTON, one of the Ministers of EDINBURGH. No. I.

Copy Letter from the Rev. Mr Brunton, to the Right Hon. the Lord Provost.

London, June 15, 1812.

My Lord,-May I request permission to offer myself to the notice of your Lordship and the Town Council, as a candidate for the office of Professor of Hebrew in the University of Edinburgh.

I intreat your Lordship to be assured that I would not presume to take this step, without being conscious of possessing, in some degree, the qualifications necessary for discharging the duties of the situation at which I aspire, or without feeling the strongest wish to merit, by every exertion in my power, the patronage which I thus venture to solicit.

I have the honour to be,

With the greatest respect, My Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient and faithful humble servant, A. BRUNTON. The Right Honourable the Lord Provost-Te be communicated.

No. II.

Copy Letter from the Rev. Mr Brun ton, to the Right Hon. the Lord


Edinburgh, July 2, 1812. My Lord,-I am informed that your Lordship and the Town Council agreed yesterday to defer for a week the election of a Professor of Hebrew, in order that you might have an opportunity of inquiring more fully into the qualifications of the different candidates for that office.

As a native of Edinburgh, and now for nine years a minister of this city, I have not thought it necessary to trouble your Lordship and the Town Council with any written testimonies in my favour. In a case where per-* sonal inquiry is so easy, I consider it as more respectful towards the Town Council, that each individual should be left to apply to those channels of information which are the

most likely to give satisfaction to his

own mind.

May I intreat that your Lordship would have the goodness to explain to the Town Council, the feeling by which, in this instance, I am guided. I have the honour to be,

With the greatest respect,
My Lord,

and, Whether I am willing to declare my opinion to the Lord Provost ? Not only have these questions been put, but the request has been made, that I would communicate my opinion on this point to your Lordship. In my complying now with this request, your Lordship will not, I trust, impute to me the presumption of wishing to interfere with the views of the Magistrates and Council, and to hold up my judgment as a standard for them in the nomination of a Professor. My object is to speak the truth tions of an individual clergyman, whom concerning the talents and qualificaI have long known, and who, the the higher in my esteem. longer I have known him, has risen Mr Brunschool-boy, has proved himself to poston, from the time of his being a the acquisition of languages. In posess, in no common degree, talents for lite and general literature, and in the knowledge

of the Greek and Latin

Tongues, his attainments are of a superior order. In the study of language, as in that of science, the knowledge of one branch excites the desire of acquaintance with others; and the field of research opens up ever wider. Accordingly, Mr Brunton has been extending his inquiries beyond the classics of Rome and Greece, and has, been de

Your Lordship's most obedient and for a great number of faithful humble servant,

A. BRUNTON. The Right Hon. the Lord Provost, &c.

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years, voting a large portion of his time to the study of Hebrew, of Persic, and of such kindred tongues as are conducive to the just interpretation and critical analysis of our antient scriptures. He has thus, without the shadow of ostentation, in the effort for

self-improvement in the line of his profession, been prosecuting exactly that kind of study which qualifies him for filling a Hebrew chair. Those who know any thing of Mr Brunton and his studious habits, will not call in question the great proficiency which, in such a number of years, he must have made. And therefore, from his acquaintance with the appropriate


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