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P.S. Professor Christison is at pre My Lord, -Having only returned sent beside me, and approves of the from the country this afternoon, I am statement in this letter. G. H. B. prevented from waiting on your Lord.
ship in person, humbly to solicit your generous support in behalf of my son,
at the West Church, who has been Documents and Applications in favour mentioned as a candidate to succeed
of the Rev. David Dickson, Mini- the late Dr Moodie, as Professor of ster of ST CUTHBERTS.
Hebrew, &c. in the University of
Edinburgh. Requesting that you No, I.
will have the goodness to excuse my Letter from Sir H. Moncrief, to the presuming to make this application,
Right Hon. the Lord Provost, re I have the honour to be, commending Mr Dickson.
Your Lordship's most respectful
and obedient servant, Edinburgh, June 12, 1812.
DAVID DICKSON. My Lord,- hope I shall be par
17, York Place, 13th June 1812. doned for taking the liberty of recommending my colleague Mr Dickson
No. III. to your Lordship's attention, as a proper person to supply the present Letter, Rev. David Dickson, one of vacancy in the Hebrew class,
the Ministers of St Cuthberts Church, I know his acquirements in Oriental Edinburgh, to the Lord Provost, literature to be very considerable, and
withdrawing his Pretensions to the am convinced that he is eminently
Chair, qualified to teach the class to advan
West-Kirk, July 6, 1812. tage.
My Lord,--At the time when your If your Lordship will attend to the Lordship received the letter of applireview of Miss Smith's Translation of cation from Sir Henry Moncrieff, in the Book of Job, published in the my favour, as a candidate for the ProEdinburgh Christian Instructor for fessorship of Hebrew and Oriental September last, which I know to have Languages, vacant by the death of been written by him, you will allow, Dr Moodie, I had no reason to think I think, that bis qualifications well that any other candidate had been de. entitle him to be mentioned on the cidedly brought forward, to whose present occasion ; and will forgive me qualifications for filling that situation, for taking the liberty to propose bim mine might not fairly be considered to your Lordship and the Town Coun- as equal. The alteration, however, cil , as a proper candidate to supply which has now taken place in this
respect, by Mr Murray having apI have the honour to be, peared on the field, induces me to demost respectfully
cline any contest with him, and I subMy Lord,
mit this to your Lordship and the Your Lordship's faithful servant, Council, as the sole reason of my havH. MONCRIEFF-WELLWOOD.
ing come to this resolution. Right Hon. the Lord Provost.
Indeed, my Lord, Mr Murray's attainments in Oriental Literature,
and especially in those departments of No. II.
it which are more immediately conCopy Lelter from the Rev. David nected with the object of the Chair,
Dickson, Sen. to the Right Hon. the to which his friends are so honourably Lord Provost.
solicitous that he should be appointed,
are so extensive and profound, and shall have the least effect in leading to have already raised him to such a high the election of Mr Murray, I shall, rank among
Oriental scholars, that I to the latest period of my life, look should be in danger of incurring the back to this part
my conduct with suspicion, and should certainly possess a satisfaction the most pleasing and the feeling, of having brought dis- unalloyed. honour' on inyself, were I to throw To those friends in the Council the smallest bar in the way of that who were pleased to honour me with preferment, to which he is so justly their countenance and interest, I now entitled. When I consider, that at beg leave to return my best thanks : about fourteen years of age
and, with every sentiment of personso versant in Hebrew, acquired withal regard and respect for your Lordout the assistance of any preceptor, ship, I have the honour to be, any as to be capable of translating the Lord, your obedient humble servant, Psalter ad aperturam libri :that be
David Dickson. fore he had nearly finished his theo. To the Right Honourable the Lord logical studies at the University, a Provost of Edinburgh. 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, Documents and Applications in favour but of its cognate languages or dia
of the Rev. ALEXANDER BRUNTON, lects, the Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan,
one of the Ministers of EDINBURGH. and Arabic :-that, twelve years ago,
No, I. he had composed a new Hebrew Gram- Colly Letter from the Rev. Mr Brunmar, which was pronounced by a com- ton, to the Right Hon. the Lord petent judge to be a “comprehensive, Provost. judicious, and able performance, dis
London, June 15, 1812. playing a very intimate acquaintance My Lord,-May I request perwith the peculiar structure, idiom, and mission to offer myself to the notice general character of the language :"- of your Lordship and the Town Counthat he has ever since prosecuted his cil, as a candidate for the office of researches on philological and literary Professor of Hebrew in the Universisubjects, and especially into almost all ty of Edinburgh. the languages of the East, with the I intreat your Lordship to be as. mest unwearied perseverance and dis- sured that I would not presume to tinguished success, so as to be now take this step, without being conscious able to translate many, and to teach of possessing, in some degree, the not a few of them :- that some most qualifications necessary for discharging splendid proofs of his talents and ac- the duties of the situation at which quirements are already before the pub- ! aspire, or without feeling the strong. lic, and that others of still greater est wish to merit, by every exertion lustre are about to appear in a work in my power, the patronage which I at present in the press :- When I con- thus venture to solicit. sider these facts, I confess, my Lord, I have the honour to be, that I should blush at the thought of
With the greatest respect, hesitating, even for a moment, to re- My Lord, linquish my own wishes and views Your Lordship's most obedient and with regard to the Professorship, in faithful humble servant, order to promote his hopes of success.
A. BRUNTOX. And if my having declined to remain The Right Honourable the Lord a candidate, on the present occasion, Provosi-To be communicated.
and, Whether I am willing to declare Copy Letter from the Rev. Mr Brun my opinion to the Lord Provost?
ton, to the Right Hon. the Lord Not only have these questions been pui, Provost.
but the request has been made, that
I would communicate my opinion on Edinburgh, July 2, 1812.
this point to your Lordship. In my My Lord,
I am informed that your Lordship and the Town Council complying now with this request
, agreed yesterday to defer for a week your Lordship will not, I trust, im the election of a Professor of Hebrew, pute to me the presumption of wishing in order that you might have an op. Magistrates and Council, and to hold portunity of inquiring more fully into the qualifications of the different can
up my judgment as a standard for
them in the nomination of a Profes. didates for that office. As a native of Edinburgh, and now
sor. My object is to speak the truth for nine years a minister of this city, tions of an individual clergyman, whom
concerning the talents and qualificaI have not thought it necessary to trouble your Lordship and the Town longer I have known him, has risen
I have long known, and who, the Council with any written testimonies in my favour. In a case where per-' ton, from the time of his being a
the higher in my esteem, sonal inquiry is so easy, I consider
school-boy, has proved himself to posit as more respectful towards the Town Council, that each individual the acquisition of languages. In po
sess, in no common degree, talents for should be left to apply to those chan- lite and general literature, and in the nels of information which are the most likely to give satisfaction to his knowledge of the Greek and Latin
Tongues, his attainments are of a suown mind. May I intreat that your Lordship guage, as in that of science, the know
perior order. In the study of lanwould have the goodness to explain ledge of one branch excites the desire to the Town Council, the feeling by of acquaintance with others; and the which, in this instance, I am guided. I have the honour to be,
field of research opens up ever wider, With the greatest respect,
Accordingly, Mr Brunton has been
extending his inquiries beyond the My Lord,
classics of Rome and Greece, and has, Your Lordship’s most obedient and
for faithful humble servant,
a great number of
years, voting a large portion of his time to
A. BRUNTON. the study of Hebrew, of Persic, and The Right Hon. the Lord Provost, &c. of such kindred tongues as are con
ducive to the just interpretation and No. III.
critical analysis of our antient scripCony Letter from the Rev. Dr Wil tyres. He has thus, without the shaliam Ritchie to the Right Hon. the
dow of ostentation, in the effort for Lord Provost, recommending Mr self-improvement in the line of bis Brunton.
profession, been prosecuting exactly
that kind of study which qualifies him Argyll Square, July 2, 1812.
for filling a Hebrew chair. Those My Lord,--Two questions have, who know any thing of Mr Brunton within these ten days, been frequently and his studious habits, will not call put to me by some members of the in question the great proficiency which, Town Council and others: Whether in such a number of years, he must I believe Mr Brunton qualified to be have made. And therefore, from his Professor of Hebrewin our University? acquaintance with the appropriate
Languages; from the high respecta: to our University, and useful to the bility of the character which he main students in Theology. This has bee tains as a ministér; from his distin- come of still greater importance, from guished talents for chaste and elegant the tendency which has appeared, ducomposition, and his happy facility in ring the last years, to prosecute Hcthe communication of knowledge, brew Literature with an ardour forwith simplicity and perspicuity; from merly unknown in this country.-the virtues of his private life, and his Having the honour to be in some deamiable manners; from all these, I gree known to your Lordship, I shall feel myself not only warranted, but be forgiven for writing this letter, bound, from intimate conviction, and more especially as it is done under the clear persuasion of my own mind, the conviction that you will be disto declare, that I think Mt Brunton posed to listen to any inforınation eminently qualified to fill the chair of respecting the different candidates Professor of Hebrew, in such a man- suggested to your notice. ner as to reflect honour upon himself, Mr Brunton, one of the Ministers to proniote the diffusion of Biblical of your own City, has been known to Literature among the students of di. me since the period he himself was a vinity, and to maintain, in his sphere, student in Divinity, and with a greatthat high rank in the literary world er degree of intimacy than almost any which our University has attained. other member of the church. I have
I have the honour to be, with been acquainted with the nature and timents of respectful esteem, my Lord, progress of his literary pursuits, and your Lordship's most obedient servant, which have been of a description Will. Ritchie. either know or appreciate. It is notv
which the public could not hitherto P. S. May I be allowed to express more than seven years since his laa decided opinion, which I steadily bours were zealously devoted to the maintain, that the Hebrew chair language of the Old Testament, and ought always to be held by a minister the result has been a knowledge of of Edinburgh.
it equalled by few, and surpassed by The Right Hon. Lord Provost.
none of our Scripture Critics. To other Oriental tongues, his attention
has also been directed; and, though No. IV.
here I am not personally entitled to
judge, I am persuaded his attainments Letter from the Rev. Dr Meiklejohn, will be found most respectable.
to the Right Hon, the Lord Pro- Knowledge in the department is most vost, recommending the Rev. Mr unquestionably and indispensably ne. Brunion.
cessary; but there are other points of Abercorn, July 2, 1812. character which deserve the most seMy Lord, Though not immedi- rious consideration. One of these is
the spot, I cannot be sup- unwearied perseverance and fidelity posed indifferent to the manner in in the discharge of professional duty; which the Theological chair in our and in this respect, Mr Brunton bas University, now vacant, is supplied. given a pledge to the public, which The study of Hebrew is most inti- must be held most completely satismately connected with the depart- factory. There is, therefore, in his ment which I have occupied for a case, the most perfect security against very considerable number of years; disappointment. and I feel viost anxious, that the Pro
little disposed to obtrude fessor appointed should be creditable my opinions in matters of this kind ;
but I bave the satisfaction of know- Literature is by no means small, and ing that they are in unison with those that with the industry and abilities entertained by others actively em- he is known to possess, he might soon ployed in the instruction of that distinguish himself in no ordinary class of students to whose improve- degree. The opinion I have given, ment the labours of our Hebrew as far as regards Mr Murray, you will Professor must be devoted. We are consider as founded in a great meafully convinced, without regarding sure upon public report, and, therepersonal attachments and aversions, fore, perhaps, far short of the justice and on a fair estimate of Mr Brun- due to him. I am, ton as a man and a scholar, that his
Dear Sir, appointment will be creditable to
Your obedient Servant, the University, highly beneficial to
GEORGE DUNBAR. our students in theology, and do honour to those who have the
No. VI. making it. I have the honour to be, with the greatest and most sincere Letter, the Rev. Andrew Brown, one respect,
of the Ministers of Edinburgh, and My Lord,
Professor of Rhetoric in the UniYour faithful and most humbie
versity, to John Waugh, Esq. Baivery
Edinburgh, 6th July 1812.
Sir,--In returning an answer to The Hon. the Lord Provost of Edin- the reference with which you
been pleased to honour me, concerning the nomination to the vacant
chair of Hebrew and Oriental LanNo, V.
guages, I desire to speak with that
diffidence which becomes one so litLetter, George Dunbar, Esq. Profes- tle qualified, as I am, to judge from
sor of Greek in the University of personal knowledge of the branches Edinburgh, to William Henderson, of literature committed to its charge, Esq. Old Bailie.
and at the same time with equal and Rose Park, 5th July, 1812. entire respect for the character and Dear Sir,-My knowledge of Mr talents of the two candidates named Murray's abilities proceeds more from in your note. report than actual acquaintance. I Mr Murray is known to me only by have had much better opportunities the merit of his works, and the extent of knowing Mr Brunton's talents and of his reputation as an Oriental schoacquirements. The former I would lar. To these, persons, highly comconsider as the more profound and petent to deliver a just opinion, have varied scholar in Oriental Literature. no doubt given their attestation, and The latter as possessed of far more I am disposed to give entire credit to taste, elegance, and general know- the claims stated in his favour. I ledge, and as likely to make a more may, however, be permitted, with successful and useful teacher. I be. equal candour, and with a deep relieve indeed there are few men bet- gard for the interests of the Univerter qualified to communicate instruc- sity of which I am a member, to comtion in an engaging and elegant municate what I know personally of manner than Mr Brunton; and I Mr Brunton. I have now had the understand that his acquaintance with happiness of living in habits of friendthe principal branches of Oriental ship with that gentleman for many July 1812.