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Promiscuous crowds one common ruin share,
The following extracts, being the last mournful scene between Wallace and his wife, possess, I think, some poetical merit.
“But various cares solicitate my breast,
Or if propitious Heaven shall deign to smile,
Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. 18, Edinburgh, 1797.Blind Harry's Life of Wallace, A Poem, Perth Edition.Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. 1.-Miss Porter's Scottish Chiefs, vol. 1.
THE BLIND PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
Very little is known of the history of William Jamieson. It appears, from the few facts we have been able to collect from contemporary writers, that he was a native of Renfrewshire, in Scotland, and blind from his infancy. Crawford, in his history of this county, mentions a number of its distinguished natives, and, among the rest, the subject of this memoir, of whom he writes; near the house of Barochan, and within that barony, was born the learned Mr. William Jamieson, preacher of the gospel, and also professor of History, in the University of Glasgow, who was a miracle of learning, considering he was deprived of the sense of sight from his birth, and his works afford sufficient proof of his being a very able scholar.”
Woodrow, in his history of the church of Scotland, in speaking of the martyrdom of that christian patriot, the Earl of Argyle, pays a very handsome compliment to the learning and talents of professor Jamieson. We give the passage as we find it.
“Let me conclude with observing that the Earl was so full of composure, and the thoughts of his death were so easy to him, that the day before his execution, he wrote some very pleasing and affecting lines, as his own epitaph. This epitaph, of the Earl's own composing, was turned into Latin elegiacs, by the reverend and learned Mr. William Jamieson, preacher of the gospel, and History Lecturer in the University of Glasgow, my dearest and much honoured friend; and they have so much of the spirit of the original lines in them that I have likewise added them, with two lines of his own, which fell from him when translating them, as a just debt he owed to this great man. 'Though they were written in the days of his youth a little after the Earl's death, I am persuaded he needs not be ashamed of them in his advanced years, and after he hath favoured the world, and defended the interests of religion, and the church of Scotland, by his learned and valuable performances.
Watts, in his “ Bibliotheca Britannica,” thus refers to him; “ several books are mentioned as written by him, all on the subject of the Episcopal controversy. He carried on a controversy also with Mr. Robert Calder, an Episcopal curate, who wrote with great bitterness and some talent."
That most excellent Divine, the Rev. Matthew Henry, makes mention of our blind professor. At the time he wrote, the more wealthy of the English dissenters sent their children, particularly those that were intended for the ministry, to some one of the Scotch Universities for their education; among these was the Rev. Dr. Benzon, the intimate friend of Mr. H., from whose writings the following passage is taken. “In June 1695, Dr. B. went to the college of Glasgow. Among the learned men of that University, Mr. Jamieson, History Professor there, did correspond with him. That wonderful inan is quite blind, and has been so from his birth ; and yet, as appears by the learned works he has published, he is a most accomplished scholar, and very ready and exact in his quotations of authors."
Extracts from the Minutes of the “ Senatus Academicus” of the University of Glasgow. “May 30, 1692. The Faculty this day taking into consideration the condition of Mr. William Jamieson, who though born blind, yet having been educated at this university, hath attained to great learning, and particularly is well skilled in history, both civil and ecclesiastical; and having no estate to subsist upon, the Faculty considering that he may be useful in these sciences they have thought fit to allow to the said Mr. William
Jamieson, two hundred marks Scots per annum, for two years, commencing from the first of April last; the said Mr. W.J. employing himself according to his capacity, at the discretion of the Faculty."
“December 29, 1692. The Faculty determined that Mr. William Jamieson have a public lecture in civil history, once a week, on the Thursdays, at three of the clock in the afternoon, in the Common Hall.”
We conclude this article with the following extract, from the preface of a work entitled, “The defence of the Church of Scotland," printed in 1713.
“I therefore earnestly wish, that the pastors of the Kirk of Scotland would spend more time in explaining this controversy, especially in their catechetical discourses, and confirm from Scripture the Presbyterian principles, and confute the adversaries. This I earnestly wish were done in a grave way and clear style, for it certainly would be of great use, especially to the common people. It would also be of great advantage to give from the pulpit now and then, calmly and plainly, a deduction of God's mercies unto this land, by delivering us from spiritual Babylon, Rome. We find in Scripture, that the prophets and godly Jews did spend much time in relating historically the deliverance that God gave to Israel, from the Egyptians and other enemies, and I am persuaded that in this our Pastors ought to imitate them; it would do much to carry down the sense of God's mercies from fathers to children, and from generation to generation."
“In the third place, I earnestly desire my readers, that they be earnest in prayer, and wait closely on God, that they have not only a form of godliness