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State of the BAROMETER, in inches and decimals, and of Farenheit's THERMOMETER, in the open air, taken in the morning before sun-rise, and at noon; and the quantity of rain-water fallen, in inches and decimals, from January 26. to February, 25. 1808, in the vicinity of Edinburgh.
M. N. In. Pts.
30.05 27 34
30.15 42 4.8
30.51 38 44
Quantity of Rain, 2.31
March 11. Session rises.
20. Equal day and night.
EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
FOR FEBRUARY 1808.
Description of MARCHMONT HOUSE.
class of small farmers which has furnished to the church of Scotland many of its brightest ornaments. It is common with families of this class, when any of the sons discover a peculiar taste and capacity for literature, to educate him for this profession. To have one of their sons a clergyman, both on account of the sanctity of the character, and the superior rank in life, is generally an object of their highest ambition. These young men, thus selected on account of superior aptitude for literary pursuits, and placed under the necessity of exertion, are often found to outstrip those who, setting out with greater advantages, do not feel the same stimulus to acti
DR JAMES FINLAYSON was born at
vity. The numerous bursaries which have been founded for poor and deserving scholars, and the employment of teaching, are the chief means by which they are enabled to support themselves, during the long period of their ecclesiastical probation.
Mr Finlayson pursued his studies at Edinburgh, at a time when it was adorned by many illustrious names; by
Biographical Sketch of the late Dr Robertson, Ferguson, Blair, and oFINLAYSON. thers, from whom he must have derived the most essential benefit, and the
value of whose instructions he was well qualified to appreciate. On completing his academical course, he was for a few years, as is usual with church
candidates, engaged in fulfilling the office of a tutor. In this capacity he spent some time with the family of Sir Peter Murray of Ochtertyre, in Perthshire. We have not learned whether he was in any other.
In 1786, he was presented to the parish church of Borthwick, in Mid Lothian. But by this time his depth of understanding, and extent of information, had pointed him out as worthy to fill a still more distinguished station. Mr Bruce, then professor of Logic, having, in consequence of being appointed to the office of Latin Secretary in London, relinquished the active duties of his class, Dr Finlayson was chosen to succeed him, though then only presentee to the parish of Borthwick. The general propriety of such an union of offices has been sometimes called in question. But it is allowed by all, that none of the inconveniencies to be apprehended from it, were in his case experienced. The employment seems to have been most happily adapted to the peculiar character of his powers, and was executed in a manner which gave universal sa
incomes of the church of Scotland could well admit of.
Dr Finlayson's apparently strong conformation of body, joined to his temperate habits, afforded to his friends and the public the promise of a long career of activity and usefulness. A few years ago, however, he began to be affected by a complaint, the precise nature of which could not be ascertained, and which manifested itself chiefly by debility and extreme irregularity of pulse. He continued, however, to teach his class, and to preach occasionally. He even began, during the present winter, to deliver his lectures. But his complaints daily increasing, and decided symptoms appearing of water in the chest, he was obliged, at the end of three weeks, to desist, and his place was supplied by his friend the Rev. Principal Baird, who read the lectures of the students. Dr Finlayson's health now rapidly declined, and he suffered extremely, both from the severity of the complaint, and the violent remedies which were employed to relieve it. In the extreme debility to which he was at last reduced, a paralytic shock came on and hastened his end, which took place on the 28th of January, 1808, in the forty-fifth year of his age. As Dr Finlayson never published any thing except a few detached sermons, the high character which he enjoyed rested chiefly upon his appearances in the pulpit and in his class.His compositions were distinguished in the highest degree by soundness of judgment, depth of thought, and lucid arrangement. And though it was in reasoning chiefly that their excellence consisted, yet they were rendered attractive by a covering of rich, though somewhat elaborate ornament, which was spread over them. His manner was not considered as adding to their attraction. It was devoid of gesture; and even his tones were somewhat heavy and monotonous.
Such merit, however, was not made to be buried in a country church.About three years after, in the month of December 1789, he received a call to the church of Lady Yesters, in Edinburgh. A few years after, he was transferred to the Old Greyfriars church, which being a double charge, was considered as a more eligible situation. A vacancy having then taken place in the High church, considered as the most distinguished theatre of pulpit eloquence in Scotland, a departure was made from the usual routine of promotion, for the purpose of raising to this high situation, one who was calculated to do so much honour to it. He was also appointed to the office of King's Almoner; and was thus raised nearly as high, both in point of honours and emolument, as he equal constitution and moderate