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various material, but we see nothing of him | The typography is excellent, the paper good, -he is hidden in his subject, who is kept and the style adopted, renders the volumes continually before the reader. We meet fre- remarkably easy to read. The outlay on pubquently with beautiful passages, belonging, lications of this description is immense. The evidently, to the historian; but it has been sale requires to be correspondingly extensive, remarked, and we think correctly, that there but that, we believe, has been obtained ; and exists a similarity between Dr. Chalmers' the volumes are standard works that will be style and Dr. Hanna's mode of writing, that current for centuries in the market of literapermits the reader to glide out of the one ture. With the greater part of that time into the other, without perceiving a marked the publisher and printer, who has hazarded change, or being startled by an abrupt alter- a fortune in this work, or the author's family, ation in the complexion and construction of have no interest. Dr. Chalmers might have sentences. Perhaps it might be more ac- devoted his powerful mental faculties to the curate to say that there exists a similarity collection of money. He would have made of sentiment, and a devotedness of the his- an excellent banker or merchant.
He might torian to his subject, that, more than any have formed a large fortune, and bought mere similarity of style, accounts for the cir- and entailed an estate in his family while his cumstance we have noticed. A similarity of descendants continued. He followed another spirit goes far to accomplish the end men- course, and one still more useful to mankind. tioned; and Dr. Hanna, holding the same Therefore, the property reared by him only principles as Dr. Chalmers, living with him belongs to his family for a limited period. long on terms of the closest intimacy and He did not belong to party, it is said, but to relationship, and almost daily employed, mankind; and, therefore, mankind agree to since his death, amongst his journals, in appropriate the pecuniary proceeds of his preparing them for the press, would proba- labors, after a given period. So runs the bly imbibe some part of his spirit, and even law. gradually fall into his style.
Dr. Chalmers was born in Anstruther, a Dr. Hanna has sincerely devoted himself little burgh on the shores of the Frith of to the preparation of Dr. Chalmers' posthu- Forth, near by the East Neuk of Fife. Passmous works, and his life. We know that, ing over the introduction, the first chapter two years since, a desire was expressed for opens with a brief description of the past, his presence and professional assistance in a and now almost forgotten, greatness of Anquarter that he must have felt difficulty to struther. The family of Dr. Chalmers apresist, under circumstances that almost 'ren-pear to have been connected with Fife for a dered it a matter of duty to accept; that considerable period :would have conferred on him great personal influence, and insured a status in temporal “ With the county of Fife Dr. Chalmers' famimatters equivalent to the highest hopes that ly had for some generations been connected. His can be formed in his connection. The latter great-grandfather, Mr. James Chalmers, son of inducement may have possessed compara- John Chalmers, laird of Pitmedden, was ortively little weight; but a strong current of dained as minister of the parish of Elie, in the moral and religious interests, and even of per- Agnes Merchiston, daughter of the Episcopal
year 1710. In the following year he married sonal associations, must have inclined him clergyman of Kirkpatrick, who had been ejected strongly toward the acceptance of the cor- from his living at the period of the Revolution. dial invitations warmly pressed on him. A Undistinguished by any superiority of talent, the deep feeling of duty alone toward the great simple kindness of Mr. Chalmers' disposition enwork that had fallen into his hands, and deared him to his parishioners, and there still linwhich he could best discharge, must have
Tin the neighborhood a remembrance of the weighed much in dictating a refusal that in familiar and affectionate intercourse which was
carried on between minister and people. What scarcely any other circumstances could have the minister himself wanted in energy was amply been given with a consistent and strict re
made up by the vigorous activity of his wife. gard to duty, and to those high and immortal Brought up in the school of adversity, she had interests that he had promised always to pro- learned the lesson of a most thrifty economy. mote. We may, appropriately, at this stage, The estate of Radernie, purchased by her savings, notice the energetic manner in which the pub- out of a slender income, which had to bear the lisher of this important series of works has burden of twelve children's education, stili re
mains in the possession of one of her descendsupported the literary efforts to render them ants; while, in the after history of more than one what the public would desire, and have some member of her family, the care with which she had right to expect. They are substantial books. I watched over their infancy and education brought
CHILDREN BY SAID MARRIAGE.
forth its pleasant fruits. Her eldest daughter in the "vice-maternal" chair, although it is married Mr. Thomas Kay, minister of Kilrenny, a common error, from which the world has a parish immediately adjoining to Anstruther. derived many of the crooked and perverse With the family at Kilrenny manse, the family of Dr. Chalmers father continued to maintain the minds by whom it has been vexed, and made closest intimacy. It was to Mrs. Kay's son-in-worse than it might have been, if that prac. law, Dr. Adamson, of St. Andrews, that Dr. Chal- tice had been avoided. The boy in this inmers was himself indebted for his presentation stance ran away from the nursery to the to the living of Kilmany.
school, in the hope of escaping from calami“Mr. Chalmers' eldest son, the Rev. John ties which daily annoyed him at home. He Chalmers, D.D., succeeded his father as minister was net sent, but he fled to the school, when at Elie, but was afterward translated to the parish three years of age. Infant schools were of Kilconquhar. He inherited his mother's talent, and in his day was distinguished both as an then unknown, and so he must have been reeloquent preacher, and an able and zealous advo- garded as a remarkably young scholar; but cate of that policy which then predominated the teacher, Mr. Bryce, was old, and so nearwithin the Church of Scotland. Mr. Chalmers? | ly blind, that when he attempted to strike second son, Mr. James Chalmers, having married offending scholars with his “ rod,” the blows Barbara Anderson, of Easter Anstruther, settled meant for them generally fell on his own ta. in that town as a dyer, shipowner, and general ble. He had an assistant, who abandoned merchant. He was succeeded in a prosperous business by his second son, Mr. John Chalmers, his principal's system of discipline; but was who, in 1771, married Elizabeth Hall, the daugh- unfortunate in his career, although a man of ter of a wine merchant at Crail. They had a considerable parts :very numerous family-nine sons and five daughters—of whom only one died in childhood. The
“ Though he continued for many years afterfollowing table is extracied from Mr. Chalmers' ward to preside, Mr. Bryce had furnished himself family record :
with an assistant, Mr. Daniel Ramsay, afterward ** John Chalmers and Elizabeth Hall were mar- parochial schoolmaster at Corstorphine, to whose ried on the 20th August, 1771.
care all the younger children were in the first instance consigned. The assistant was as easy as his superior was harsh. As teachers, they were
about equally inefficient. Mr. Ramsay sought 1. James, June 11. 1772 June 14
distinction in his profession by becoming the au2. Lucy, Nov. 9, 1773 Nov. 14
thor of a treatise on “ Mixed Schools." His work 3. Barbara, June 21, 1775 June 25
won for him but little reputation; and an unfortu4. George, April 1, 1777 April 6 5. William,
nate act, in which, perhaps, there was more imAug. 31, 1778 Sept. 6
prudence than guilt, lost him his situation, and 6. Thomas, Mar. 17, 1780 Mar. 19 7. Isabel,
plunged him in poverty. For many years Dr. Dec. 13, 1781 Dec. 16 Chalmers contributed regularly for his support. 8. David, May 31, 1783 June 1
His latter days were spent in Gillespie's Hospi9. John, May 19, 1785 May 22 tal, where he died about five years ago. The 10. Helen, Avg. 31, 1786 Sept. 8 Rev. Dr. Steven, who visited him frequently 11. Jean, June 29, 1788 June 29
while upon his death-bed, in a letter with which I 12. Patrick, June 16, 1790 June 20
have been favored, says:- On one occasion he 13. Charles, Jan. 16, 1792 Jan. 22
spoke to me, in a very feeling manner indeed, of 14. Alexander, . April 9, 1794 April 13' Dr. Chalmers, and the impression made upon my
“Dr. Chalmers, the sixth child and fourth son mind was such that I have not yet forgotten the in this crowded household, was born at Anstruowords he employed : “ No man," exclaimed he, ther, on Friday, the 17th March, 1780.”
“knows the amount of kindness which I have
received from my old pupil. He has often done Unlike many other crowded families, this me good, both as respects my soul and my body; one was not early thinned ; and one of the many a pithy sentence he uttered when he threw disadvantages attending a numerous flock of himself in my way-many a pound note has the rivals to a mother's care was, that the nurse
Doctor given me, and he always did the thing as if had the management of Thomas at an early May God reward him!" The feeble old man was
he were afraid that somebody should see him. age; and a bad nurse she appears to have quite overpowered, and wept like a child when been, since the victim of her anger never en- he gave utterance to these words.' tirely forgot the treatment he received. “There had been a dash of eccentricity about Many young persons derive their first impres- Ramsay: Some years ago, when the whole powsions in life from a bad nurse, like the girl ers of the empire lodged for a short time in the who fixed her character indelibly on the single hand of the Duke of Wellington, he wrote mind of Thomas Chalmers. It is a great almost as much wisdom as wit—ihat he could
to his Grace, in the true dominie spirit, but with mistake to place the most inexperienced ser- tell him how to do the most difficult thing he had vant in the nursery, if she be to rule there in hand, namely, to cure the ills of Ireland. He
should just take, he told him, the taws in tae saying them, the lessons were often found scarcehand, and the Testament in the tither.' Engrossed ly half-learned — sometimes not learned at all. as he was, the Duke sent an acknowledgment T'he punishment inflicted in such cases was to signed by himself; and for some time it was diffi- send the culprit into the coalhole, to remain there cult to say which of the two Daniel Ramsay was in solitude till the neglected duty was discharged. proudest of–having taught Dr. Chalmers, and so If many of the boys could boast over Thomas laid, as he was always accustomed to boa: the Chalmers that they were seldomer in the place of foundation of his fame-or having instructed the punishment, none could say that they got more Duke of Wellington as to the best way of govern- quickly out of it. Joyous, vigorous, and humoring Ireland, and having got an answer from the ous, he took his part in all the games of the playDuke himself."
ground, ever ready to lead or to follow, when
schoolboy expeditions were planned and executed; The letter to the Duke does not bear out and, wherever for fun or for frolic any Ramsay's character for dealing easily with of the merry-hearted was gathered, his full, rich his scholars
. Teachers most probably be laugh, might be heard rising amid their shouts of come inured to “the taws” as they increase his mirth. He could not bear that either false
glee. But he was altogether unmischievous in in years ; but Ramsay's distribution of the hood or blasphemy should mingle with it. His governing powers is bad. The Testament own greater strength he always used to defend should always be tried before “the taws," the weak or the injured, who looked to him as in managing Ireland and governing schools ; their natural protector; and whenever, in its heatand if the precepts of the Testament had ed overflow, play passed into passion, he bastenbeen more consistently applied to Ireland ed from the ungenial region, rushing once into a than has been done, we might have found shells was flying to and fro, which the angry lit
neighboring house, when a whole storm of mussel less use for “the taws” in conducting its af- tle hands that flúng them meant to do all the misfairs. Dr. Chalmers' good nature was more chief that they could; and exclaiming, as he apparent than his genius at Anster parish sheltered himself in his retreat, 'I'm no' for powschool. The exercises there failed to inspire der and ball,' a saying which the good old woman, in him
any love of learning. He went there beside whose ingle he found a refuge, was wont not to find instruction, but a refuge'; and he in these later years to quote in his favor, when appears to have been often unsuccessful in being a man of strife, too fond of war."
less friendly neighbors were charging him with his object. Few of our greatest men have been precocious students. We have grave
During his school days, Thomas Chalmers doubts respecting the propriety of taxing was caught preaching to a single auditor, the intellect greatly at an early age. Pa- from the appropriate text, “ Let brotherly rents who expect children to be little men love continue." The circumstance is not of and women seldom get much good out of much importance, because, as we remember them. It will hardly do, we fear, to try and once to have previously noticed, most boys blot out infancy, boyhood, and girlhood from preach at some period of their career; for the life. Art is strong, and training powerful ; same reason that they teach schools and play but nature will keep its own against both, or at "soldiery,” without much more probabilavenge the theft at a subsequent period. ity of becoming "dominies,” or following a Still the boy contains the germs of the man. warlike career, than that of “the Queen of Great changes may be produced by the agen- May" to change her crown of roses for one cy of many circumstances, by the force of of diamonds and gold. experience, or, finally, as Scott has it, by the force of truth; but through them all the entered St. Andrews College :
Thomas Chalmers left school early, and influences of infancy and youth retain their places, sometimes scarcely perceptible, but
“ In November, 1791, whilst not yet twelve always real, and not seldom powerful. The
years of age, accompanied by his eldest brother, schoolboy character of Dr. Chalmers is clear- William, he enrolled himself as a student in the ly marked in the following passages :- United College of St. Andrews. He had but one
contemporary there, who had entered college at "By those of his schoolfellows, few now in an earlier age, John, Lord Campbell; and the two number, who survive, Dr. Chalmers is remember youngest students became each, in future life, the ed as one of the idlest, strongest, merriest, and most distinguished in his separate sphere. Howmost generous-hearted boys in Anstruther school. ever it may have been in Lord Campbell's case, Little time or attention would have been required in Dr. Chalmers', extreme youth was not compenfor him to prepare his daily lessons, so as to meet sated by any prematureness, or superiority of prethe ordinary demands of the school-room; for paration. A letter written to his eldest brother, when he did set himself to learn, not one of all James, during the summer which succeeded his his schoolfellows could do it at once so quickly first session at college, is still preserved—the ear. and so well. When the time came, however, for I liest extant specimen of his writing. It abounds in errors, both in orthography and grammar, and ral science. It was not unnatural that, recoiling abundantly proves that the work of learning to from the uncompromising and unelastic political write his own tongue with ordinary correctness principle with which he had been familiar at Anshad still to be begun. His knowledge of the truther, and unfortified by a strong individual Latin language was equally defective, unfitting faith in the Christian salvation, he should have him, during his first two sessions, to profit as he felt the power of that charm which the high talmight otherwise have done from the prelections of ent of Leslie, and Brown, and Milne, threw around that distinguished philosophical grammarian, Dr. the religious and political principles which they James Hunter, who was then the chief ornament so sincerely and enthusiastically espoused ; that of St. Andrews University."
his youthful spirit should have kindled into gen
erous emotion at the glowing prospects which At St. Andrews College, a number of the they cherished as to the future progress of our professors were “Ultra-Whigs,” keen Re- and that he should have admitted the idea that the
species, springing out of political emancipation; formers, and what would now be called religion of his early home was a religion of con“Radicals.” They were also men of excep- finement and intolerance, unworthy of entertaintional opinions and views in religious matters, ment by a mind enlightened and enlarged by libwhich is not a necessary, not often in Scot- eral studies. From the political deviation into land—a usual accompaniment of keen reform- which he was thus temporarily seduced, he soon ing opinions. Radicals, as they are called, retreated; from the religious, it needed many get no authority for their politics so good as
years, and other than human influences, to recall
him. they may find in the Bible, if they carefully
“In November, 1795, he was enrolled as a sturead its injunctions. Their opinions influen- dent of Divinity. Theology, however, occupied ced the young student. His father was, like but little of his thoughts. During the preceding many laymen in his day, of more evangelical autumn he had learned enough of the French sentiments than the majority of the minis-language to enable him to read Auently and intelters; but he was also a Town Councillor of ligently the authorship in that tongue upon the Anstruther, and the official influence he pos- study he prosecuted with undiminished ardor.”
higher branches of Mathematics. His favorite sessed in the burgh, for a councillor stood in no dread then of November, made him a Tory. St. Andrews, we suspect, has never changHis son deviated from his father's ecclesiasti- ed nominally in some respects. Moderatism cal and political opinions; and while the lat- has always prevailed there, although occater were recovered in a short period, many sionally a chair has been filled by men like years passed before he was restored to the Dr. Chalmers or Sir David Brewster. The former. Mathematics was his favorite study; politics of Moderatism have changed, and but he read the popular political works of even the religious peculiarity in some respects. the day, and felt a warm interest in political The Professors of St. Andrews for many past discussions :
years must be acquitted of holding “ Ultra
Whig or keen reforming views.” We deem “Other subjects, however, besides those of his it more probable that they generally incline favorite science, were pressed upon his notice, to the jus divinum, and oppose reform as not so much by the pretensions of the class-room, unnecessary until it be accomplished; and as by the conversation of Dr. Brown and his accomplished friends. Ethics and politics engaged sisted with the power given to them, as a
then adopt some measure that they have remuch of their attention. Yielding to the impulses final measure to be conserved with care. The thus imparted, Dr. Chalmers, at the close of his philosophical studies, became deeply engaged with religious element of Moderatism has also the study of Godwin's Political Justice," a work changed. It professes now to be evangelical for which he entertained at that time a profound, in religious doctrine; then it professed to be and, as he afterward felt and acknowledged, a very near Socinianism or Arianism. misplaced admiration. His father was a strict,
Although Dr. Chalmers, when a student, unbending Tory, as well as a strict, and, as he in his childhood fancied, a severe religionist. By kept journals
, corresponded largely, and had the men among whùm he was now ihrown, and abundant practice in English composition, to whom he owed the first kindlings of his intel. ret he seems to have been long defective in lectual sympathies, Calvinism and Toryism were that department. Dr. Hanna insists that his not only repudiated, but despised. St. Andrews' earliest compositions were deficient in the (we have his own testimony for it) was at this imaginative and sentimental qualities. The time overrun with Moderatism, under the chilling sermons composed when he was still very influences of which we inhaled, not a distaste only, but a positive contempt for all that is pro- half of the opinion. They contain no flights
young, and recently published, warrant one perly and peculiarly Gospel,' insomuch that our confidence was nearly as entire in the sufficiency of the imagination ; but they exhibit a mixof natural theology as in the sufficiency of nalu. ture of what might be called sentimentalism
-occasionally in undue proportions. We Campbell. Much franker and more manly than subjoin part of Dr. Hanna's criticism on this in the first years of my acquaintance with him." subject :
His collegiate career was diversified by a “His third session at the university, which had tutorship, which, from his correspondence, witnessed his first well-sustained intellectual ef- was evidently distasteful to him, and he reforts, had witnessed also his earliest attempts in tired from the family early in 1799, to be liEnglish composition. Here he had to begin at censed as a preacher :the very beginning. Letters written by him, even after his second year at college, exhibit a glaring deficiency in the first and simplest elements of bytery of St. Andrews to be admitted to his ex
“Soon after his return, be applied to the Prescorrect writing. much his own instructor, guiding himself by such amination, preparatory to his obtaining a license models as the prelections of Dr. Hunter and Dr.
as a preacher of the Gospel. Some difficulties Brown, and the writings of Godwin
or other favor- not completed his nineteenth year, whereas Pres
were raised against its being received. He had ite authors, presented. A few of his first efforts byteries were not wont to take students upon proin this way have been preserved. They exhibit little that is remarkable in style
. The earliest bationary trials until they had attained the age of compositions of those who have afterward become friends in the Presbytery fell upon the old statute
twenty-one. It happily occurred that one of his distinguished as poets, or orators, or eloquent of the Church, which ordains, that none be adwriters, have generally displayed a profuse excess of the rhetorical or the imaginative, which it took mitted to the Ministry before they be twenty-five time and labor to reduce to becoming proportions. years of age, except such as for rare and singular In the college exercises of Dr. Chalmers this order qualities shall be judged by the General and Prois reversed. The earliest of them are the simplest
vincial Assembly to be meet and worthy thereof.'
“Under cover of the last clause of the statute, and plainest, with scarcely a gleam of fancy or sentiment ever rising to play over the page. They terms of common use, his friend pleaded for Mr.
and translating its more dignified phraseology into give token of a very vigorous youthful intellect Chalmers' reception as “a lad o' pregnant pairts.' disciplining itself at once in exact thinking and The plea was admitted; and, after the usual forcorrect perspicuous expression; never allowing malities, he was licensed as a preacher of the Gositself to travel beyond the bounds of the analysis pel on the 31st July, 1799.
It was one of the or argument which it is engaged in prosecuting ; | tales of his earlier life which he was in the habit never wandering away to pluck a single flower in later years of playfully repeating, that such a out of the garden of the imagination, by which title had been so early given to him, and such a illustration or adornment might be supplied. Those who, as the result of their analysis, have con- dispensation as to age had been granted.” cluded that in Dr. Chalmers' mental constitution the purely intellectual largely predominated—that Some time elapsed before Mr. Chalmers fancy was comparatively feeble, and that imagin- made any use of his license. He proceeded ation, potent as she was, was but a minister of to visit a brother at Liverpool, and first conother and higher powers, might find historic veri: ducted public worship in the Scotch Church, fication of their analyses in the earliest of his col- in Chapel Lane, Wigan, on Sabbath, the 25th lege compositions."
August, 1799. He preached on the follow
ing Sabbath in Mr. Kirkpatrick's church, His college life commenced in 1793; and in 1807, while Dr. Chalmers was on a visit Liverpool
. His brother, writing from Liverto London, we find some memoranda of this pool, said—“It is impossible for me to form
an opinion of Thomas as yet; but the sersame John Campbell, who has lived to be one of the first English lawyers—the repre
mon he gave us in Liverpool, which was the
same as we had in Wigan, was in general sentative first of Dudley, and next of Edin
well liked.” · Éis brother thought burgh, in the House of Commons—the Attorney-General of England—the Chancellor trinal, and he complained of the preacher's
the discourse rather more practical than docof Ireland—the great legal historian of the awkward appearance and dress; adding, that day—a member of the House of Peers—and his mathematical studies seem to occupy now promises to succeed Lord Denman in more of his time than the religious.” Mr. the Court of Queen's Bench :
Chalmers returned to Scotland, and in 1800
be was studying in Edinburgh, while we hear “ Tuesday, May 12.—Breakfasted with the very little more of his preaching until the Miss Hunters, and took three of them to the Royal middle of 1801, when the circumstance ocAcademy, and had great satisfaction in observing curred that first introduced him into a course the increasing celebrity of Mr. Wilkie's picture of regular professional service :In going along to Somerset House I met John Campbell. [Now Lord Campbell.]
“Wednesday, May 13.-Breakfasted with John “While Dr. Chalmers was imbibing wholesome